October 18, 2012

my thailand

Three years ago today, I was anxiously sipping champagne on a surprisingly luxurious 18 hour flight, en route to Bangkok, Thailand.

Looking back, I think this must have been somewhat of a ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ because just after my 25th birthday, I found myself with a college degree but unhappy with my job and searching for a change of pace. Without any serious commitments to hold me back, I started paying more attention to that ever-present travel bug living in my head.

A few friends had told me about their experiences teaching English in China and Korea, where they were able to live and work in another country while still finding time to travel. ENLIGHTENMENT. After doing a little research of my own, I found an organization that offered a semester-long program to teach in Thailand and decided to go for it.

Because of my background in graphic design, I was placed in one of Bangkok’s most prestigious high schools, teaching Photoshop. My students were all so bright and talented and spoke almost perfect English. I was beyond inspired by their creativity, finding more similarities than differences between us. Of course there were a few wild ones, but I expected that…

Living in the heart of the city, I was overwhelmed with sensory overload. Music, food, swarms of people, CRAZY traffic – vibrant sounds and colors pouring in from every direction. I never got used to the locals blatantly staring and taking candid photos of me, but aside from the paparazzi, I loved being thrown into this completely foreign culture, challenged to find my way around, and forced to make new friends. Traveling alone will most definitely reveal your true self.

Needless to say, Thailand was a once in a lifetime adventure that I’ll never forget. I met amazing people and stood before unreal scenery, never to see the world through the same eyes again.

October 12, 2012

the jealous curator


My latest blog addiction is The Jealous Curator – “A collection of artwork that inspires & depresses me. I know it’s good when I’m left thinking DAMN I WISH I THOUGHT OF THAT.” -Danielle Krysa

I fell in love the basic premise: acknowledging that guilty hint of jealousy that we, as artists, may feel when we come across some amazing artwork. I can totally relate as I’m (secretly) familiar with these fleeting thoughts of great inspiration, slightly tinted green with envy.

I believe it’s only a natural reaction. Honest. Harmless. Complimentary even. But I really love how The Jealous Curator just announces it! Freely admitting as she showcases her handpicked art finds based on who she’s “jealous” of that particular day. This playfulness removes any negative connotation and creates a down-to-earth environment, simply sharing and admiring creative talent.

Seasoned designer and Creative Director, Danielle Krysa recognizes and proves the power in blogging,

“I may not have actual gallery walls, but thanks to the internet I have all of the white space any curator could ever want… and there are no nail holes to fill!”

Clever. Cool. Innovative. The Jealous Curator’s brilliant vision inspires me to keep pushing my ideas further, build a fresh concept, and own it.

Originally starting this blog just for herself, Danielle was happily surprised with a flood of positive attention: guest posts and features, expanding into live galleries, and a book in the works. Her series of one-day workshops, The Girl Crush Tea Party sounds really fun, too. Celebrating women artists, sharing inspiration, and creating art together in a cool city… I’m 100% in. Definitely looking into a mini trip very soon!

October 11, 2012

collage : do what you love

After talking to a friend the other day, I realize how lucky I am to have this creative outlet. I was telling her how I can get so involved in a project that I totally lose myself for hours, forgetting to eat sometimes. It’s my way of blocking out the rest of the world and quieting the noise in my head…Therapeutic. Peaceful. Zen. She couldn’t relate to my form of meditation, but I can’t even fathom life without art – my little escape that’s always there, just waiting for me to dive in and zone out!

Art for me, especially collage, is like putting together a puzzle. I wait for the pieces to speak to me, telling me what I need to do next, and this continues on like a dialogue. I know it must sound a little weird, but if you’re an artist, I’m sure this isn’t a completely foreign concept. The idea begins to grow from just a few scraps of paper. The concept builds upon itself until it becomes something entirely different from my original vision. The end result is never something I could have just drawn from my imagination. The shapes take on a life of their own; I simply bring them together.

Some might call this just a hobby…but if you eat, sleep and breathe art, it must be something more. I literally wake up with this passion to create…something…anything. It’s like I have too many ideas, and never enough time. But the desire to make art is always a driving force. Without reason, I just try to do more of what I love.

September 26, 2012

marine layer

Those long and lazy summer days are coming to a close, but I’m looking forward to the kind of newness that comes with autumn. The school year is just beginning and the air feels cool and crisp. The last few mornings have had this thick, billowy marine layer floating along the coast. It’s perfect cuddle weather; an excuse to lounge around in my fat pants to read, nap, draw, take a long bath, cozy up in blanket with a hot cup of tea… I LOVE Pukka tea. All organic, delicious herbal blends.

September 9, 2012


Growing up on the east coast, I was lucky enough to live right next door to my grandmother, who we called Mema. I remember her braiding my hair, her famous homemade apple pies, her classic sewing machines and antique collections. She was an amazing seamstress who could make just about anything. I would hang out on the deck with Mema while she painted, refurbished and reupholstered all kinds of furniture. I can’t help but think I inherited a lot of my creativity from her. She was always busy, on the go, and working with her hands. Mema was definitely someone who was driven and made things happen; she could be a little fiery at times and I’m pretty sure I inherited that too ;)

In 2004, just before I moved to San Diego, Mema gave me this sterling silver bracelet made from a vintage spoon. I’ve worn it every day since and it’s a reminder of the first woman who inspired me to run with my love of art.

August 31, 2012

diy : marbled paper

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A few weeks ago, I learned how to make this marbled effect on paper. It’s actually easier than it looks:

• Pour water into a plastic storage bin (the flat kind that fits under a bed).

• Mix oil paint and mineral spirits in a separate container (think mustard squeeze bottle).

• Drip a few drops of the paint mixture into the water bin.

• With a wide toothed comb, swirl around the paint mixture. At this point you should notice the paint separating itself from the water.

• Then lay a sheet of watercolor paper down flat over the water surface.

• Once you’ve let the paint absorb a little bit (about 10 seconds), remove the sheet of paper, trying to keep it as flat as possible. HINT: The 2nd or 3rd sheet usually turn out better, as the first sheet can be absorb too much color, leaving little or no marbled streaks.

• *Optional* dunk the other side of the paper into the water to have a double sided sheet.

• That’s it! Lay it out flat to dry.