Saturday, October 31, 2009

england - everything i hoped and imagined, and more!

a few days ago, i returned from a two week long trip abroad to one of my much ancitipated countries, england. since i had never visited england before, i had always dreamed of visiting this beautiful country in hopes of discovering more history than i had imagined.

at first, i was nervous. mainly because even though it's an english speaking country, i knew i was in another country, and therefore i wanted to be as respectful as possible towards their customs and way of life. considering i had to learn a whole new way of currency (the £ vs. the $), and of course, driving on the left side of the road—which till this day, still added confusion and loss to my right side of the road driving perspective—but i still anticipated awe and enjoyment during my brief visit.

not only are the english very respectful and kind as a whole, i love listening to their eloquent accents compared to our american accents—which of course, all things relative, is what i'm used to here in the americas—but what i hadn't anticipated was that they thought i was the one with the accent. go figure!

all kidding aside, i stayed at a quaint hotel located in the city of brighton overlooking the sea. it was bliss all the way around. i frequently walked around in the evenings and soaked up the energy that filled this urban town and continued to enjoy the sights. on the weekend, i took the train from brighton to london and per usual, did the "cheesy" american tourist-thing. i had always dreamed of visiting buckingham palace, big ben, et al, so even though pictures cannot describe the beauty and detail in the ornate historical architecture surrounding the city of london, i took many pictures to capture my trip, nevertheless.


buckingham palace

gates to green park (across from buckingham palace)

big ben - house of parliament

tower of london

underground subway (the "tube")

going across the london bridge

view from the london eye (i believe we were at the top)

another view from inside the london eye

busy street!

lucky i caught one of these original red double-decker buses. they were recently retired and now you mainly see newer ones, so this was a rare treat!

and of course, last but not least – the apple store on oxford st.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

stephen sprouse (1953–2004)

stephen sprouse

stephen sprouse was one of the most innovative and unique fashion designers of his time. he was not only a fashion designer, but an artist. stephen studied fashion design at the rhode island school of design, but never finished. he got his start by interning for veteran designer, bill blass when he was only 14 years old. at the age of 18, stephen worked as an assistant for coveted design haute couture, halston. a much coveted position and visionary enabled stephen to branch out into his own business, thanks to the financial backing of his parents—stephen sprouse, inc. was born in 1983.

gorgeous style with bright, bold colors

although his business was rocky to start, his experience working for such credible and well-known fashion design houses gave him much admiration and support from famed artists andy warhol, keith haring, bergdorf goodman, diesel jeans, barney's new york, marc jacobs for louis vuitton and his long time friend, debbie harry (from the 70s pop group, blondie).

window display

in 2001, marc jacobs called stephen with an idea for a new, bold and innovative idea for stephen to design a graffiti line of monogram pieces for louis vuitton. at that point, stephen sprouse was reborn and recognized by the masses. needless to say, it was a huge success and sold out immediately.

stephen sprouse graffiti louis vuitton monogram canvas keepall

in 2004, at the age of 50, stephen sprouse passed away from a long battle with lung cancer. even though he will truly be missed and be respected as one of the top designers of his time—thanks to his bold use of colors mixed with his pop art style—we are lucky to have the advantage of enjoying his wearable art; not necessarily as a collector's item, but to love and enjoy for years to come.

in january 2009, authors roger padilha, mauricio padilha and tama janowitz published an inside pictorial book to showcase stephen sprouse's art and fashion design throughout his years as an artist and a designer. this book is truly a collector's masterpiece and as a personal tribute, i leave it on my coffee table so i can peruse it every day.

there are four different colors available for the book jacket

when i lived in new york city from 1988–1990 while studying graphic design, i used to frequent the art galleries and boutiques down in soho and the village. i loved going to keith haring's POP SHOP on lafayette and houston on a regular basis and while walking on my many travels downtown, i stumbled upon stephen sprouse's boutique which at the time, was unfortunately going out of business. to my surprise, their sale was incredibly affordable and i was able to acquire many pieces from this iconic designer. if not to prey on the business' demise, but because finally, as a starving art student, i was able to actually afford some of his most popular pieces.

sketches by stephen sprouse

in 2003, to my regret, because i was no longer able to wear these beautiful pieces, i sold all of my stephen sprouse clothes on ebay. instead of saving them in hopes of one day being able to wear them again, i felt at the time, that it would be a more financially responsible decision if i could make some decent money, which i did. however, 6 years later, i regret every minute of it, especially that one signature piece, the sequined dress (at least i have a picture of me wearing it for halloween in 1989 as a 60s go-go dancer).

i miss you stephen sprouse, and i miss what could have been produced 5 years after his untimely death, because at the time, in the early 80s, you weren't appreciated for your original concept, but for your bold designs. this is for you, my personal tribute to a designer and an artist.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

release your inner barbie

do i mean barbie, as in THE most famous barbie doll? yup, that would be the one.

apparently this year marks barbie's 50th birthday. damn, she looks good for just turning 50! not only is this a celebratory event for the famous glamour doll, but jonathan adler of jonathan adler designs thinks so, too. he has designed a whole series revolving around everything barbie, which include gorgeous pink furniture, bright pink & black hand embroidered pillows and of course, it wouldn't be complete without a special edition jonathan adler barbie doll to go with this vivacious event. i love it!

imagine my surprise (and sheer pleasure) to see all things pink when i opened up my regular jonathan adler e-mail newsletter. all things pink to go along with his famous modern designs and lacquer accessories. if only i could convince my husband to decorate my bathroom in jonathan's bubble gum pink & black. for now, i can only admire from afar and appreciate jonathan's design sense and modern twist of a popular mid-century icon.

happy birthday, barbie! you look great!

if you're a barbie fan, you will love these glam designs by jonathan adler

new special edition jonathan adler barbie doll - $49.95

then your barbie can recline in this glam-or-ific accessories pack - $49.95

gorgeous bright pink lacquer accessories for your bathroom

check out these gorgeous large barbie plates - $98 set of four

retro barbie needlepoint coin purse - $38

love this funky barbie specs case - $38

or this must-have barbie lipstick case - $28

Sunday, September 20, 2009

my addiction to 'joe'

no, not a guy named joe, but my daily cup of 'joe.' yup, i'm talking about coffee. not just regular coffee mind you, but my daily, early morning cappuccino. that's what i'm addicted to.

i purchased a beautiful—and unfortunately expensive—amazing home consumer, semi-professional espresso machine by expobar. i love this machine. it makes me smile every morning as i walk upstairs and turn it on to heat up. i anxiously await for the red light to turn off, indicating it's ready to go. with eager anticipation, i grind my beans fresh every morning into the portafilter and anxiously await the bold smell of freshly ground espresso coffee.

now, keep in mind, i'm no expert barista by any means, but since i have recently become a cappuccino addict, i knew that i could save quite a bit of money by making my own cappuccino at home instead of spending over $4/day for a venti capp from my local starbucks. because of course, i just had to add a danish or apple fritter to my daily venti capp, which inevitably brought my daily cost to exceed $5/day instead. ugh!

not long after i purchased this beauty, it basically paid for itself just from the money i was saving from my daily spenditure at starbucks. so if anything, it was a purchase well justified.

it was either that or a new louis vuitton handbag. nahhh...definitely wouldn't satisfy me as much as my daily cappuccino. thank you very much!

not the best microfoam, but i am definitely learning (too many bubbles)

definitely on my way, but still a ways to go...

nothing beats freshly ground coffee beans in the morning

i only buy freshly roasted beans from my local roaster. they're the best!

not the best coffee grinder, but for now it'll do. i'm hoping to get a better one soon.

look at that crema....i'm in awe!

Friday, September 18, 2009

oh deer...

until last week, i worked in the town of boulder, colorado—only 45 miles south of fort collins—and even though boulder is not necessarily a place i would want to live (or can afford to live, for that matter), i enjoyed working there with the beautiful scenery everywhere you turn, especially with the breathtaking views of the flatirons just west of where i worked.

as i was driving from lunch one day, i came across a side road to avoid the construction on the main roads, so as i was driving down this side road, i looked ahead and saw this deer in somebody's front yard—on a busy road—i kept thinking to myself "that statue looks so realistic"—until of course, it moved.

i couldn't believe my eyes. a gorgeous deer outside in front of somebody's yard just standing there as if there weren't 50+ cars driving by at a continuous pace.

well, after seeing such a beautiful creature out in the open like that, i had to stop and snap some pictures. something like this is a rare treat—even in colorado.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

tour de fat - new belgium brewery

every year, local mico-brewer, new belgium, hosts an exciting charitable event throughout the country—tour de fat. i don't know the specifics of this event, but i do know that every year bicyclists around the country ride tandum in this incredible celebratory event in a different city each month. for us this month, it was fort collins, colorado, where new belgium started. what a pleasant surprise to walk out the front door of our loft to see this amazing "parade" right in front of our building.

during this event, cyclists alike can dress up (or dress down) as anything or anyone they wish as they throughout the city on their two-wheeler, but for some, it may even be a 3 or 4 wheeler, depending on the contraption they have created for this lively event.

it's a wonderfully colorful event and knowing that thousands of cyclists are on the road simultaneously is an extreme notion considering in this day and age, where we have become even more reliant on our motor vehicles. it's a pleasant sight, indeed.

you gotta love this homemade "motorcycle" bike

lots of colorful costumes throughout

this guy has it made — sit back and enjoy the ride! that chuckie on the back of that bicycle?

pretty in pink???

now that's the idea...

got milk? (cheesy, i know)

what's the buzz all about?

is that a recumbant bicycle?

surf's up on this bicycle

you say tomato, i say tomato?

how does he get down off of that thing? or how did he climb up?

this was my favorite. army dudes hard at work.