Monday, January 23, 2012

My Commercial for QVC

I shot this commercial for QVC a couple of weeks ago.  Shop all day tomorrow (Tuesday) QVC's 25th annual California Gold Rush sale.  English tutor by day, model by night...
I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jazz Age Baby

Here's a litte photo (and shopping) inspiration for you this Wednesday morning.

The large photos are from either Harper's Bazaar or Vogue in the late 90s or early 2000s. As a teenager I ripped these pictures out of the magazine and after all these years, they still hold great visual appeal for me. The actress is a young Winona Ryder.

These gorgeous shoes (which are technically Edwardian in style, not Jazz age) are available for pre-order right now. They are from American Duchess. You should check out the shop and blog; the girl behind the brand is seriously fabulous-- and she sews! 

And finally, Behida Dolic handmakes beautiful hats. Definitely take a peek at the gallery in her Etsy shop and if one strikes your fancy, send her your measurements and she'll make you a custom hat. They're gorgeous (as is her model, Helena Bianca) and would smarten up any outfit. A girl can dream, right?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Things Friday

Five things I'm grateful for this week:

1. Time with my sister.  Having a married sister who has a very time-consuming job means that I don't get much quality time with her.  This week, though, we took Cole for a walk at the dog park (he's afraid of all the other doggies, silly bear!), then rented a movie, ordered Italian food, and settled in for a cozy evening together.

2. Work!  I really enjoyed being off from work for three weeks during the holidays, but my wallet is definitely feeling the strain.  Not only did I start working again at the language school where I work 30-something hours a week as an English tutor, but I also shot a "commercial" for QVC.  It's nice to be doing a little modeling again.

3. Friends coming together.  One of my gifts (I think) is bringing people together.  I love introducing my friends to other friends; it makes for a wonderfully interconnected group.  My friend Morgan is a close friend from college.  We took a class together (fashion illustration) and did a study abroad together in Paris.  She's awesome-- smart, gorgeous, savvy.  I can't say enough nice words about her.  Meanwhile, Matt and Corrie are my best friends in the world.  I became close to them when I met Corrie at a model casting.  We shared a bit of our life stories and immediately clicked.  They're two of the most loving, wonderful people I know, and I'm so thankful that God brought them into my life.  Anyway, last week Morgan was in LA working as talent/stylist on a commercial when the producer decided they needed another actress.  Morgan immediately thought of Corrie for the part (they know each other from the days when we were all living in NY), and voila, Corrie booked her first commercial in LA.  Morgan sent me the above picture of her, Matt, Corrie, and their 6-month old baby.  I wish I could be there with them, but it warms my heart to see my friends gathered together.

4. Warm weather.  I wasn't looking forward to returning to the Northeast after my time in Texas, but with temperatures mostly in the 50s, it hasn't been bad at all.  I walk four miles roundtrip to work most days, so the temperatures have been great for easing me back into winter weather.  Next week will be much colder, but the milder temperature will have hopefully helped me to acclimate from sunny Texas's weather.

5. Music! One of the great things about January is that it gets you thinking about what's most important to you.  Music-- more specifically performing it-- is something I value very much.  On Tuesday I attended the rehearsal for the Newark Symphony Orchestra.  We're practicing Ravel and Debussy for our March concert.  Yeah!  Tomorrow I'm meeting with the group of women that I play quartet music with.  We'll meet up, play for a while, break for a potluck, and then play some more.  It's wonderful.  Really.

What are you grateful for this week?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What's Your Dream Talent?

Sometimes I think about the special talent I would have if I could have any talent I wanted.  My dreams usually come down to just two: I'd LOVE to be able to draw really well (i.e., be an illustrator) and/or I'd love to play guitar (or ukelele) and have one of those throaty, mellow chick-with-a-guitar voices.  And if I had to choose between the two talents, I'd definitely go with the singing/guitar playing.

I found this video today via a post of Facebook, and yep, this pretty much sums up my dream.  If I could sing and play guitar, then I could find a boy and we could sing and play together!  I think I'd happily sing the day away.

I love the song, too!  What would your special talent be?

Five Things I'm Grateful For Friday

This past week we were in Cherokee, Texas (population 175) to celebrate New Year's.  My aunt and uncle live there and my cousins live a short drive away in Valley Spring, Texas.  We all hail from South Carolina, so we used to gather there during the holidays, but after my grandma died, it all sort of came to a close.  This was the first year since her death in 2009 that we gathered together during the holidays.  My parents went, as did my niece, and we had a splendid time shopping, eating, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to stop and take time to be grateful for the blessings in my life.  Here are five things I'm grateful for this week:
1. The beginning of a new year, which enables me to wipe my slate clean and begin anew.  (Of course, I know my slate is already wiped clean by the blood of Christ, but the turning of a calendar year helps me to reinforce that in my head.)

2. Time with my beloved niece.  I'm particularly grateful that she got to come with my family to Texas and meet her aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time.

3. That I've gotten to grow up being exposed to the country, the suburbs, and the city.  My family moved to the heart of suburbia when I was a teenager, but much of my family lives in more rural areas.  When we go visit them, we ride horses, go fishing, shoot guns, eat plants and animals from the wild... it's very thrilling and shows me a different side to life.  As an adult, I've spent most of my life in the world's big cities (New York, LA, Dubai, Mumbai...), and I'm thankful that I've gotten to experience that as well.  Sometimes I feel like that song-- "I'm a little bit country and I'm a little bit rock 'n roll."

4. Sweet doggies.  Last week we got the call that my sister's dog had died after getting into chocolate.  It was a sharp reminder to value the time we have with these sweet creatures.  (Click here to view an interactive chart that shows how much chocolate is toxic to a dog). My aunt's dog, Tee, became my best friend in Texas and at night she would curl up with me on the couch where I slept.  I truly believe there are few joys in life which are more sublime than having a dog planted next to you, blissfully asleep.

5. Family.  My family moved around a lot while I was growing up (by the time I was 13, we'd already lived in six different cities which were scattered from Texas to South Carolina to Delaware), so seeing relatives was a luxury reserved for holidays (and often bookended by 13-25 hour drives across the country).  I've never gotten to know my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents very well, but when I'm with them I do feel like family and I cherish every moment.  It was such a blessing to spend my holiday with that bunch of crazies :)  They may be crazy, but they're my crazy.

What are you grateful for this week?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thoughts on Creativity

"What we airily label creativity typically blends so many features: risk-taking, perseverance, problem-solving, openness to experience, the need to share one's inner universe, empathy, detailed mastery of a craft, resourcefulness, disciplined spontaneity, a mind of large general knowledge and strength that can momentarily be drawn to a particular, ample joy when surprised, intense focus, the useful application of obsession, the innocent wonder of a child available to a learned adult, passion, a tenuous (or at least flexible) grasp on reality, mysticism (though not necessarily theology), a reaction against the status quo (and preference for unique creations), and usually the support of at least one person-- among many other ingredients.

In the throes of creativity, a lively brain tussles with a mass of memories and rich stores of knowledge, attacking them both sub rosa and with the mind wide open.  Some it incubates offstage until a fully fledged insight wings into view.  The rest it consciously rigs, rotates, kneads, and otherwise plays with until a novel solution emerges.  Only by fumbling with countless bits of knowledge, and then ignoring most of it, does a creative mind craft something original.  For that, far more than the language areas are involved.  Hand-me-down ideas won't do.  So conventions must be flouted, risks taken, possibilities freely spigoted, ideas elaborated, problems redefined, daydreaming encouraged, curiosity followed down zigzagging alleyways.  And sort of unconsidered trifle may be fair game.  It's child's play.  Literally.  Not a gift given to an elect few, but a widespread, natural, human way of knowing the world."
~Diane Ackerman, One Hundred Names for Love, p. 245 

Ackerman's next sentence (which I didn't want to include in the quote above, but which I think is true and needs to be said) reads: "With the best intentions, our schools and society bash most of it out of us.  Fortunately, it's so strong in some of us that it endures."