Sunday, November 17, 2013

au revoir, bonne soirée, HELLO!

visitors :: they are my most favorite. 

a few weeks ago, one of my nearest and dearest came for a week,
and we had a blast. 

i miss her already. 

come back soon, mon cherie. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

tiinee treasures now on Etsy

hello, babies!

big news today:
(no, no, i'm not designing for chanel- yet ;))

BUT i did FINALLY launch an etsy shop! 
who knows what will become of it, 
but, it was long overdue. 

thank you to all my friends and supporters who have been
encouraging me to do this for almost a decade now. 

if anything, it's a fun way for me to pay homage to my roots and current adventure.
stop on by & take a peek! 

{new items coming often}

Friday, November 8, 2013

this guy has been saving my life since the moment we met

my dear (and SUPER talented) friend
has *officially* launched her pet photography company.
if you live in the greater Phoenix area, 
you really shouldn't hesitate to book her.
she's a caesar milan with a lens & you won't regret it.
go NOW and check out Funny Bone Pet Photography

 she's also amazing & came to visit me for a WEEK in Paris!
i'm too lucky and loved. 
while she was here,
she did a session for me and my main squeeze.
we had too much fun.

these are my favourites, hope you enjoy them as much as i did:

this is paris.

and some mornings,
when you are sipping coffee
and trying to finish your homework,
this happens.

this is paris.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The world was waiting for him to learn. ♦

“It’s strange, isn’t it?” the woman said in a pensive voice. “Everything is blowing up around us, but there are still those who care about a broken lock, and others who are dutiful enough to try to fix it. . . . But maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”

// a little over a year ago, i was first introduced to Haruki Murakami. he's a japanese writer whose words and short stories are so poetic and unlike most anything i've ever read. he speaks so eloquently about plain and simple things, that it just makes them so beautiful. the other day, i was perusing The New Yorker (ha, that makes me sound like a lame Parisian grown-up) when i came across a short story of his i hadn't read before. It's called Samsa in Love and you can read the full tale here. // enjoy.

“Will I see you again?” Samsa asked one last time. 
“If you think of someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again,” she said in parting. This time there was real warmth in her voice.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

just the tip (aka- 28 going on 13)

because English is all of my professors' second language,
and all except one of my classmates,
nobody understands the incidental references that come from speaking very technical English. 

for example: while in pattern drafting and working on trousers..

"I don't want you to spend too much time on the crotch.
just focus on the fluidity of the curve and the tip. 
don't go too deep, just get the tip in. 
really work the curve, but remember the tip is the most important part."

oh man. i'm the only one trying not to laugh.
stuff like this happens on the daily.
it so good & keeps life interesting ;)

plus, i may be painfully immature. 

it's the little things.

i've found that when living in a foreign land,
unsure of the day to day and what to expect next,
it's the little things that really define the experience.
here's a collection of some 'little things' that either made my day, 
or seemed a little to much to bear. 

there's a guy in my classes who is so shy,
super talented, and just precious (like put in your pocket precious- he's tiny).
he's not confident in his english, so he doesn't talk much or respond to conversation,
but has asked permission to sit across from me in class so he can practice his sketches for his senior collection. (how fun to be a muse!)
last week we traveled to a museum visit for class & while riding up the elevator to the 5th floor (in silence), he suddenly started singing a late 90's destiny's child song in perfect english. 
i was so taken aback i started laughing out loud. it made me so happy. 

money can't buy happiness, well sometimes it can:
paris is crazy expensive. the cost of living is very high, and being a student ensures you don't make millions. therefore, i never really splurge on anything and live very minimally (which is fine- i live in Paris!) but i did buy myself a doormat and a tiny little cactus with red blooms that i found in a fluer shop by my house. they were little things to make me feel more at home. one night i got home, took oliver out for his walk, and when i came back about 15 minutes later, someone had stolen the cactus off my enclosed window ledge, and someone else had taken my doormat from INSIDE my building. i was so sad. i dramatically texted my friend saying that it was 13€ of happiness i'll never get back. sounds so stupid to say now, but when you have little, the little things matter. 

cheat to win:
i've been really struggling with having a kind heart here and not being begrudged that so many of my peers are so young and stupid rich and have no concept of money or a budget or needing to work hard at anything. they drink and do drugs and party all night & can afford ridiculous supplies for class. none of them care about their grades or doing homework, and i'm so bummed out by that. i can't figure out how they're all passing and having the time of their life. 
last week, we had a big exam in one of my favorite classes. i studied for 6-8 hours to memorize about 15 hours worth of lectures. during the test, several other students said they forgot paper and needed to type it on their laptop (which incidentally had all their notes too), others had tiny squares of paper with all the answers on it taped to the palm of their hand. essentially EVERYone (ok, most everyone) was just straight cheating. now i know in the long run, my character will make a difference & you can't really 'cheat' at life and in real jobs, etc. but man, that sucked. thinking that they'll get better grades for cheating. the next day, the girl that was cheating next to me came up to me in the hall to complain how 'unfair' it was that other students had their laptops open and could have just copied the answers from their notes. i looked at her so puzzled thinking "you're mad that they cheated easier than you?" but instead i just said, "yeah, some people huh, no integrity.."

catch me if you can:
on my walk to school, i pass several primary schools and kids walking with their parents to class.
one morning the cutest little french boy was pleading with his dad to race him on the way to school. the dad looked exhausted and kind but was politely telling him, no- not today. the little boy looked so blue, so i turned to him and said, "un, deux, trois" and took off running down the street, full speed. he started squealing and running so hard after me. i let him beat me to the corner (in his defense, he was really fast for a little kid). seeing how happy it made his son, the dad swooped him up in his arms and started jogging down the street, tickling him- looking back to yell "Mercí" at me as they continued to school. 

$150 worth of junk:
my sweet mom is the best lady. she'll ask me on the regular if i want her to send me anything. last week, i thought of all my leather scraps at home and embroidery floss (that here costs 3€ a piece) and asked her if it would be cheaper to just send mine. she of course agreed and then threw in some jewelry and my favorite ratty old pair of boots. i came home to a slip that my package was at the local post office & i was SO excited! i quickly ran there before it closed and then faced a disaster. the lady at the register was telling me I had to pay 52€ to pick it up! whaaaat?! why? i was pleading in French. well, because of how the customs form was written (materials, thread, boots, handbag) it looked like i was importing goods and had to pay french taxes on the insured value. I tried to plead that it was just art supplies and old shoes from my house, but to no avail. and so i conceded and handed over my credit card. i was exhausted and sad and it was pouring rain outside and i just couldn't stop myself from crying. it was not cute. like wiping my snotty nose because i was trying so hard not to cry. i couldn't get out of there fast enough. so embarrassing. i think more so because the french are so emotionless & historically, i haven't been a 'crier' really. i think i've cried more in the last 2 years of my life than in the previous 26 combined. just feeling not as strong i suppose. regardless, i now have my favorite boots, that i've bought twice :/ 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

château de tá

i'm so lucky.
i live in my favorite neighborhood,
in my favorite arrondissement,
in Paris.

i pay more than i've ever paid in my life,
to live in the smallest place i've ever lived,
but i love it.
it's plenty of room for me and Oliver,
and the occasional pajama party.
plus, there's a pingpong bar across the street : hipster nation.

come visit & snuggle, mmk?

"life's a garden, you gotta dig it- make it work for ya." -joe dirt

it's quite ridiculous how money,
or worries,
or homework,
or missing people,
can distract from the extraordinary beauty that surrounds you.

take a minute to remember.
drink it up.

Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

all is not lost (or- the $9,000 break up)

loss is really hard for me.
really hard.
i imagine it's difficult for everyone,
but some people are better able to move on and 'never look back'
i'm pretty incapable of this.

i fell in love a little over a year ago,
and this summer,
as i prepared to leave for paris,
we broke up.
to say i was devastated would be an understatement.
i'm still sad about it every day.

(this sounds so dramatic, but it is deeply real for me.
sar and i talk about how sore throats and break-ups are the worst things in the world.
and that's so true. this was different though. i've never known pain or sorrow like this before. and for those of you who know bits of my story over the last few years, this says a lot).

i remember very specifically, a few weeks into our relationship,
thinking i should quit while i was ahead.
i recognized that with how much i felt and how deeply i was falling in love,
that i risked to lose a lot in the end. 

i risked anyway.
i loved hard, with wild abandon.
i lost a lot.

i still remain very confused as to what happened,
or 'what went wrong'.
but in the wake of sorrow,
i'm trying to reframe loss.
that in something lost, there is always something gained.

my heart has never known love like that (and it's known great love).
i loved courageously despite my fears and insecurities.
he was so good for me, and my life.
i used to be an obnoxiously joyful person,
the real me, who has been broken down by life a bit.
he's like this, and i was so attracted to that in him.
he made me come alive again.
we laughed and played and loved well.
he saw me and cherished me and spoiled me.
it was so beautiful.

i tried to a better woman for him than i've ever been before.
i loved and accepted every part him,
and took such delight in him.
i handled our love well.
i'm proud of how i loved him.
all is not lost.

there are three types of crying:
1) wailing uncontrollable sob: just hideous and embarrassing, but it happens
2) tears that naturally come because of sad or beautiful things (or cheezy songs on the radio)
3) soft tears that come when you aren't aware of them or that you even felt sad. like a sigh from within your heart that flows up to your eyes.

a few weeks ago, i was walking home in Paris,
and those third tears came.
it was raining lightly and the only reason i even noticed i had begun to cry,
was because i could feel the contrast of the warm tears down my cheeks against the cool rain.
it wasn't outwardly noticeable that i was crying,
but the deepest parts of my heart began to ache.
in that moment, i made a promise to myself to never love someone like that again.
no matter what.
i honestly don't even think it's possible to love someone else in the way i loved Marcus,
and that's ok.
some people don't even get one great love in their life,
so i'm luckier than most.
i cherish every moment & memory & wouldn't trade it for the world.
i'm better because of it, because of him.
all is not lost.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

you are enough.

a friend of mine sent me this ted talk over a year and a half ago.

i have to be honest and say, that today, as i was clearing out emails,
was the first time i listened to it. 

 it was a beautiful reminder of the life i hope i'm living.

listen to it, it's only 20 minutes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

and the seal goes ow, ow, ow

i have the greatest friends.
they know my heart,
and my funny bone.
one of my soul-mates sent me this.
watch the whole thing, especially when you think it's totally stupid about halfway through and want to exit. 
the upcoming sounds are worth it. 
trust me. 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

be cool, stay in school.

I'm through my first few weeks of classes. I've been in Paris for almost a month now. every day there are confusing nuances and little victories. like the bank being closed until 3 on Thursdays when I travel 30 minutes by train on my lunch break before class at 2pm. or buying cute French stamps to send postcards and figuring out they are for domestic mailings only. whomp wha. I did however duplicate my flat key (for when visitors come!) there's nothing like a Home Depot or Staples here and I had to go to a shoe maker for this (and pay 18€ oof)- but, alas- little victory!

what I'm most constantly impressed with however, is the education. gosh it's just so good. I had wonderful teachers at university, but nothing even close to this. EVERY single one of my professors have worked crazy incredible jobs in the industry. I mean, it's unreal. their stories, the experiences they've had. they are the most modest & I feel constantly starstruck. 
I probably shouldn't be so surprised. I am after all, lucky enough to be studying fashion, in Paris - the fashion capitol of the world- at one of (if not THE best) fashion schools in history. 
I guess I just figured that they wouldn't also be professors. 

we get to spend about 5 hours a week together, per class, learning and drawing and draping.
it's so hands on, it's so technical, it's so creative.
i feel like this is what i was created to do.
having the brain of an aerospace engineer from my poppa
and the beautiful free-flowing artistic spirit of a hippie momma,
this is what i was made for.
everything has to be technically perfect, 
but it also gets to be wild and free and expressive!
i love it beyond words.

here are my teachers this semester.
you should seriously click the links and read up on them a little tiny bit.
they are drool worthy.

and others that are equally notable:

geraldine goddat- she has several published books and has spent years doing knitwear designs, production and textile work in Paris; she's a master embroider

catherine carloni- a creative stylist and fashion illustrator

michel malard- the first ready-to-wear designer for Italy in the 1960s when haute couture ended as an industry in Paris. the most knowledgable man i've ever met.

claire jochum- worked for christine lacriox and is a tremendous textile creator

i'm so very lucky.
now i must do some homework if i've ever going to be on their level!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

sacapuntas :: skyfies

yesterday at the art store, 
the sweetest man was helping me find supplies, 
while teaching me the words in french.
it was going along fabulously, until: 
pencil sharpener.
i was motioning, and he thought: knife, eraser, crayons. 
oh boie.
the word in french is: affutoir
incidentally, it's the only thing i remember from his lesson. 
when i got home, i realized that there are only 2 words I know (remember) in all 4 languages i've ever studied:
pencil sharpener & french fries

afrikaans: skerpmaker
french: affutoir
spanish: sacapuntas (my alltime favorite word in spanish)
english: pencil sharpener

afrikaans: skyfies
french: frites
spanish: papas fritas
english: french fries

i guess this says about me:
i love potatoes and i'm passionate about art supplies.
sounds about right.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

burnt hair, Italian coffee, French couture

halfway into 'official' week 2 in Paris.
orientation week- done.
first day of design school AND moving into an apartment,
across town in Paris on the same day- done.
unpacking a bit, getting situated, learning the neighborhood, and have already attended 16.5 hours of class this week- done.
i have class for 28 hours a week, plus a 12 hour internship,
plus homework, and I'm trying to get a job where i don't have to speak french.
if last year prepared me for anything, it was 80 hour weeks.
i got this.

i find that i'm learning the most here through the mistakes i'm making (which are a LOT) and probably even more than i even realize, because most of it is lost in translation, 
and i just smile a lot.
(sarah pugh taught me this: you don't understand, smile bigger)

adapters are wonderful.
they do not convert the voltage.
usually not a big deal. 
your battery gets hot, things charge way too fast,
you have to keep an eye and unplug them.
curling iron,
i have a blow dryer here, that's french.
after moving into my own flat (eeeeeekkk!- the most exciting),
i took a VERY long shower and decided to get all ready for the first time since arriving to Paris.
blow dried my hair, perfect.
plugged in my curling iron,
first strand (just like i'd done a million times before)- straight BURNED off in SECONDS! seconds!!
i was in a state of panic. burning hair smell filled my apartment.
what seemed like half of my entire head of hair was attached to the curling iron, and NOT my head.
i frantically pulled it off (as it continued to smoke and burn) and for a moment tried to re-attach it.

--this is EVERY girl's worst nightmare--

great. first day of fashion school in Paris, and you're bald.
ok, i'm being dramatic, but it was awful.
i decided to make a cup of coffee and calm down.

a million dishes in my kitchenette- 3 water kettles- no coffee machine.
so after class i stopped at the 'french version' of a bestbuy.
looking at french presses- 40-50 euros- jeesh.
tiny, cheap drip machine (which will make bad coffee because it's all pre-gound to espresso)- at least 20 euros.
then- i see my tea kettle, in the coffee section... 60euros! what the hell. 
apparently it's some sort of Italian coffee maker that I had never really seen before.
fantastic! how exciting! 
hurried home feeling empowered, and proceeded to make it wrong, 3 times in 3 days.
i'm a pretty smart girl.
EVERYone has these here.
it should not be this hard.
first time, poured the boiling water into the top. wrong.
second time, poured the boiling water into the bottom and attempted to turn completely upside down to get the water to pour through the metal grounds filter and into the top. wrong.
finally- cold water in the bottom, grounds cage, attach top, boil on stove and it evaporates up into the top chamber producing: coffee!!
i was so excited that i didn't notice the burner was up too high and all of the coffee boiled over onto the stove and all over my kitchen. 
i salvaged about one sip, sans the mess.

if you want to piss off someone in french fashion,
use this word.
also, you should never use this word- ever.
slang is so hard.
i've learned some french slang which is crazy to me.
the literal translation and the meaning are completely different.
super foreign.
for example, there's a phrase that is: "it's the feet!" 
which means our equivalent of: "it's the most awesome!" "it's the bee's knees" "there's nothing better!"
likewise, our slang, does not transfer.
i was in my (presumably) favorite class:
couture craftsmanship, and stayed after to look at a book my teacher loved.
we were talking about materials and she was asking the word in english often.
about this time, a friend of hers (and some mr fancypants designer somebody) came in the room.
she asked me the name of this string/material in english.
i started to tell her that it is very cheap (meaning inexpensive) in the states, and is usually used by little girls to make necklaces at summer camp.
oh boy.
mister man lost his shit.
he was grumbling, and talking faster and faster at his friend, looking disgustingly at me and occasionally repeating 'cheap' through his scowls. 
she tried to explain (i think) that i meant it literally, related to the cost, and was not insulting the designer we were looking at together.
it did not matter. 
i'm pretty sure i'm blacklisted from anything that guy is related too.
welp, you live and you learn.
don't say 'cheap'. ever.

i got home that night and my apartment still smelled like burnt hair and exploded coffee.
that's what you get for being 'cheap'. 

chanel, can you just hire me already?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

an oldie but a goodie

the lights are my favorite.

hapy saturday

get after it

i love (-correction- LOVE) back to school supply shopping.
it's one of my favorite activities, and has been since i was a kid.
back to school shopping for fashion classes in Paris-

today i traveled to this tiny sewing shop in Paris called Hamon,
they've been open since 1818. whoa.
the sweet shop owner gathered all the supplies on my list,
(at least I think he did),
and i trustingly handed him my credit card.
class starts Monday in THE most beautiful room with a view of Paris.

then i spent a few hours hanging out with Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Seurat & VanGogh
at the Musée d'Orsay

and tonight i'm invited to a dinner party with artisans in French perfume and fashion.
i'm little nervous.
it'll be great. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

United we wait.


this word seems to have been my anthem for the last two years. 
i suppose i didn't really even realize it until just now,
but it has.
i'm quite terrible at waiting.
life is for the living!
not the waiting.

'all in due time'
'soon enough'
'nothing good comes easy'
'the best is yet to come'

i'm exhausted from waiting.
and it seems as though the wait is finally over-
well, almost.

i finally made it back to Paris,
and in some strange ways, 
it feels like i was hardly gone but a day.
so little has changed.
a restaurant here and there, some new street art or a revamped Metro.
hardly anything.
this city breathes though,
like a breath you can physically feel.
this city does.not.wait.

any of you who know me (and I'm especially sorry for those of you who have known me well or closely over the last two years), know that i have never worked harder, faced more obstacles, been more discouraged,
or thought the day would ever come. 
this day. (or specifically this coming monday).
there i go, being bad at waiting again.

when i was boarding the flight in phoenix,
with my little Oliver,
i was 97% relieved and 3% still waiting for a disaster.
i suppose it would be too ridiculous (considering the last 2 years) to assume that i wouldn't face some terrible set-back on this last leg of my journey to the rest of my life.

flight to DC- flawless.
arrive, 45 minute lay-over, rush to the gate.
and wait. annnnd wait. 
delayed. 3hours, 6hours, 9hours.
switched planes. terminals.
delayed. 3hours. boarded. cheering, joy, happiness.
sitting next to a US Marshall who says, "sorry honey, don't get too comfortable. in a few minutes, a crew announced as the 'catering' service is going to board and then survey the crew & make all the passengers de-board."
it happened. just like that. 
230am. i was done.
no flight until 7pm the next night.
sobbing at the ticket counter as the mean man yelled at me,
(literally he yelled and cussed until it brought tears to my eyes)
trying to find a hotel that would take Oliver.
hi, remember me & how this is YOUR fault, United?
picking up all my luggage, getting left by the trolley, 
having to call a cab.
$3 dinner from a vending machine and no toothpaste. 
waking up in DC. my great nation's capitol.
yeah, yeah- whatever america.
getting someone to help me speak french to my hotel in Paris who had since fully charged me AND cancelled my 5 day reservation for no-showing. worst.
i had sobbed so hard that it hurt to open my eyes.
now, if anything happened with my flight today, and we didn't land in Paris by Thursday, Oliver's 10day papers would expire and he'd have to get shipped back.
i wanted the last two years of my life back.
i felt tired and foolish for chasing after this so hard.

i kept going. i kept waiting.
i was as anxious as a broken bone.

on the plane.
in the air.
she had to get gone, gone, gone gone gone. she had to get gone, gone, gone.

i had one glass of wine, took Oliver out of his kennel (which is not allowed),
fell asleep with him on my lap & woke up in Paris.
i could have slept for a week,
but now i had no time for waiting.
absolutely none at all.

within 4 days i had:
viewed 17 apartments all over the 5 zones of Paris (lordie),
got a cellphone, got a Paris phone #,
opened up a French bank account,
signed up for my annual metro pass,
bought a month pass in the meantime,
settled my tuition bill,
deferred by undergraduate loans,
settled any debts in phoenix,
registered for class,
traveled to several small shops to gather school supplies from a daunting list, which was unnecessarily in french,
was on the phone with my banks for hours and hours about international wire transfers,
signed up for french,
submitted my OFII form,
signed up for French Social Security,
sent mail at La Poste,
looked for part-time jobs in Paris,
confirmed my fashion internship,
went to welcome dinners and networking events,
bought shampoo (and incidentally 2 umbrellas),
and walked my dog twice a day.

all while attending orientation from 8-6 daily.

this list might not look that daunting, but add:
everyone speaks french,
you only speak english,
in a town whose roads and buildings you don't know,
without google maps on your IPhone.
just pointing and post-it notes and a student visa.
yeah, way harder.
also, a few of those days it was 50degrees and pouring.

but, alas!
the wait is over. i'm here.
making a life for myself in Paris.
it seems surreal.
it is hard. really, really hard.
it is a dream. i am lucky.
everything is beautiful & there are glorious sites and art and history LITerally around every corner. 
the whole city smells like a toilet.
and it's filthy. like dead pigeon and discarded half-eaten food and dog crap, filthy.
but i love it.


Friday, August 16, 2013


over the last year,
Marcus and I have been thrifting
and dreaming 
and building a collection.
(which now fills a whole room in his house!)
He's done so much research, 
and has worked really hard to launch his Etsy store!
(I may have helped a lil tinee bit with some branding and photography)
within a week's time he had his first sale- how fun!

if you're a lover of things rare and vintage, 
(especially mid-century modern)
head over and check it out.

we're constantly updating merchandise,
and the quality & prices can't be beat,
so wander by frequently. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

{growing dreams}

cabo. a new friend.
a commissioned piece.
no direction, no limits.
"guidelines are for sissies"
so crazy, so supportive.
conceptualized, created, sent.
hang it in a room with a window.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

and nothing was simple there..

“but Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, 
not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong 
nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.” 
-Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, July 18, 2013

make a friend, not a scene..

"Friends are friends, 
because they've discovered how much they have in common.
Opponents, adversaries and foes are friends too, 
who have just not yet discovered this."

-a note from the universe

Thursday, July 11, 2013

the 90s are alive.

the city of ironic individuality.
a week to see and do.
a week of celebrating family & friends,
old and new.
the very best week indeed.

food trucks
and street art
and electric districts

and lots and lots of late late nights.
best friends.
flower fields
and laughter.
love, lots of love. 
local everything and just loving portland.
cheers to you, Pacific NW- keep up the good work!

be sure to wear, flowers in your hair..

store front.

street tacos. 

team zissou.
the bride's nearest and dearest (and sidler me)
picking all the wedding flowers on sauvie island.
it was THE most beautiful thing.

put a bird on it.

lavender fields forever.
those babies, sure do breathe a lot.
babes welcome.
some hipster doing hipster things at Ace Hotel.
4th of July grilling and thrillin'
me and this hunk at bridgeport brew pub.
brother. sister. momma. momma. 

wedding shenanigans in the oldest rose garden in portland.
the bestie. babe. bride. becca.
(and Marcus' famous white wall photography)
jupiter hotel

stay weird, portland. 
see you soon.