January 31, 2012

Poignant illustrations

Pascal Campion is an French-American illustrator and animator living in San Francisco whose works have appeared in Dreamworks Animation, Disney TV, MTV, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network,  and PBS. Like many artists, he draws his inspiration from everyday life.  Illustrators are just like writers who have to keep sketching everyday to improve their technique and to bring to life what their imaginations dream up.

Reading about this amazing artist and about his philosophy of sharing his sketches with the world and how vulnerable it makes him feel at times, to be exposed, brings to the surface an artist's wost and most recurrent nightmare: fear of judgment and rejection.  It's reassuring, to some extent, to know that even the greatest, most talented artists out there feel like this to some degree. In his own words, "... the more you draw and the more you share your work, the more you will inspire your peers and people around you, and the more motivated you'll get."

His greatest and most useful advice, "....art and talent is not a gift from god. I don't subscribe at all at all to this point of view. The art of drawing is purely mechanical. The more you practice, the better you get. There's no secret involved, no formulas, no crutch. If you want to become an artist...DRAW! Don't look for formulas and shortcuts." So, YOU artist, yes you out there, go on and do YOUR thing.

My favorite illustrations thus far:

{Illustrations by Pascal Campion}

Young at heart

Today is my dad's birthday. He's turning 60, or what they now call the Golden Decade.  Happy Birthday Papi! We celebrated his birthday two days ago at my uncle's house with a BBQ and a chocolate mousse cake (his favorite). He's young heart and sometimes it's hard to keep up with him.  As in true Aquarius fashion, he lives his life to the fullest and enjoys being the center and the compass of this family.  My nephew who's almost 7 once said, I love Papa's voice, because it sounds like God's.

Handing out silliness

 ...hanging out at my great-grandmother's house. On her bed with my yellow dress and my knickers showing and all the silliness of the world dancing in my head and in my hands and spilling all over world.

Sometimes I think she talks in her head and I pretend to listen (and therefore, interpret.)

January 30, 2012

A black cat lullaby

Black Cat Blues by Franco Matticchio via Animalarium

Today I happened to be singing this song to Emilu, who's been irritable from teething her upper set of teeth.  

Es de mucha suerte, tener un gatito
que sea todo negro, cabeza y rabito
y por eso yo, y por eso yo
dare lo que tenga, pero el gato, no!


It's always good luck to have a kitty
who's all black pretty from head to tail
and that's why I, and it's how I
will gift everything except my ol' black cat!

A time for daydreaming

There's a time for everything.  A time to mourn, to laugh, to reinvent yourself and to daydream.  I used to daydream, but after giving birth and taking care of my daughter other priorities or simple desires have taken a back seat.  I love how it made me feel.  It's similar to when you read a good book or a brilliant passage.  You feel renewed, recharged and fulfilled for the next task ahead.  And I read somewhere that daydreaming releases endorphins, which as you know, it's one of the body's healers, keeping illnesses at bay.  And it makes you a happier, more positive person.

When I was younger I used to daydream a lot.  I would knit stories and images in my mind of how I wanted situations to unfold.  Much like someone who smokes, and plans his moves around the next cigarette. I used to set aside a quiet time for daydreaming.  The effect was similar to soaking in a warm bath.  My soul and spirit were in harmony with my intellectual side.  And not surprisingly many projects or ideas were born in this nurtured environment.

I never do New Year resolutions because I never stick to them.  But this year, I will make it a habit of daydreaming at least a couple of times a week.  I need to get reacquainted with this part of myself.  Play with my inner child.  I highly recommend this.  Have you ever set aside time to daydream?

Images by Andrew via Flickr

January 27, 2012

Have a legendary weekend

Hello friends! The weekend is finally here. And although I'm a stay-at home mom, aka domestic goddess, I welcome it like a school girl!  What are you up to this weekend?  Any interesting plans or projects you've set aside?  This is my last weekend in the island. I better soak up all the sun I can get, because next week I return to cold weather, my cozy home and my anxious husband.  I send you lots of good weather your way. Here are a few links I've found full of warmth and inspiration.

A few NYC favorites

This bedtime routine chart is smartly adorable

Paris in technicolor

Seven pretties 

This button wall decor DIY 

A beautiful selection of Valentine's cards

For those on the go: A mobile home

Ode to January with this amazing inspiration board

What a difference color makes in these black and white

I sometimes feel like this

I would love to be here

...and the secret is out:  I've had a crush on Bobby Kennedy, ever since I can remember.  I believe he's one of the smartest men to graze the White House.
{Images via Vintage Everyday and Flickr}

Etsy find: ReStyleshop by handz

I just discovered this great Etsy shop and I can't stop looking at these prints. They are unbelievably bright and retro fun.  And since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, they could be the perfect gift for a boyfriend or husband.  Oh yeah, I think my husband would enjoy one of these (well, except the pink one).

January 26, 2012

Around the neighborhood

Do you ever wonder about what neighborhoods look like in other places around the world?  Today I will give you a tour of a typical Dominican neighborhood.  Sometimes I do wonder about other places, like Brazil or somewhere in Sweden. I'm also the type of girl who is always looking into people's homes when I'm walking my dogs. Back in the States, I do this in my neighborhood all the time. It sounds creepy, but I promise it's not. I just like to see how others decorate.

January 25, 2012

Crates + casters = kids' storage

These adorable and practical DIY storage crates have been transformed into kids' storage bins for toys and crafts.  What a cute idea!  By adding casters to bottom of these crates they become mobile storage boxes. Voila!

Image via Apartment Therapy

January 24, 2012

Paris love locks

We all know that the City of Lights is the romantic and idyllic destination for love.  Dreaming of having our honeymoon there (if you are like me) and picturing ourselves living the Paris life at least once in a lifetime.  To capture this idea of romantic love, Ronda Carman from All the Best blog snapped this picture of heart locks, which have been attached to a metal fence on the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge over the Seine River.

In recent years, couples have been attaching engraved padlocks to the bridge and throwing the keys into the Seine as a sign of never-ending love. How romantic is this? Although now sources say that the locks have become an eye sore on an otherwise pretty sight and have been scheduled for removal.  Oh how I dream of traveling to Paris this year to see them before they all disappear!

Crawling and more

Sometimes I just like to snap pictures of Emilu during her regular playtime. But once in a while, I catch her off guard in one of her self-reflective moods, like this one.  I guess she had just discovered the hardness of the wall and was bumping her head very cautiously against it. She totally disarms me!

As a happy baby mamma, I'm thrilled and (nervous) to announce her pre-crawling days are over, she's now officially crawling. Yay!

January 23, 2012

ALT Design Summit

I was recently browsing through my favorite blogs and saw the recap posts about ALT Design Summit 2012, which took place in Salt Lake City.  As a new kid on the blogosphere, I was excited to learn that such conference exist for people like us.  And while many of the attendees have returned home with tons of fresh, inspired ideas and new connections and goals for their blogs, I'm thrilled that although I couldn't make it this year, I hope I can learn and distill some wisdom from my favorite bloggers about tips to manage their blogs and transmute all that inspiration we find in each other everyday.
And I was happy to learn that one of my favorites style bloggers, Jenny from Little Green Notebook has an amazing post last year on just that. Tips on how to be a better blogger and what goals you expect to achieve. I will be annotating and drawing out my blog goals this year, but firstly I hope to overcome my fear of commitment and stick to this because at the end of the day, I love to blog; and secondly, I hope I can cement many of the friendships I have made this year with other bloggers, whom I admire and get inspiration from. 

Image via Little Green Notebook

Riusuke Fukahori: Goldfish salvation

Japanese contemporary artist Riusuke Fukahori makes his London debut with 'Goldfish Salvation,' a collection of paintings and sculptures revolving around the often colorful freshwater fish.  What looks to be an actual goldfish frozen in time is a careful construction of casting resin which has been layered with acrylic paint. section by section, fukahori builds up the fish with fleeting brushwork, resulting in an effect that resembles motion blur underneath water.

Cast in a variety of vessels - from large sushi basins to the hollow insides of black bamboo - the 'living sculptures'are a delicate balance between painting and sculpture. the artist's meticulous attention to detail coupled with the tedious nature of the style creates highly dynamic three-dimensional pieces that capture the delicacy and animated life of the fish.


 Images and text via Designboom

January 20, 2012

Have a fun under sun weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?  We are planning a trip to the beach.  I can't wait to see Emilu's reaction to the water and sand.  Ever since I can remember, a trip to the beach at the beginning of the year is always good omen. Washing away last year's frustrations and  failed dreams, to make way for fresher, more robust ones. I hope all your objectives come to fruition this year and bring you closer to your dreams.  In the meantime, I have gathered a few links, which I hope inspire those dreams or put a smile to your face.  Have a happy, sunny weekend!

Pillow portraits

Street art made with tape and scalpel 

Amazing giveaway, it's huge!

Design-Mom's 30 favorite picture books!

A fantastic, worth trying cupcake mixology

This refreshing, Winter? salad

This is rental beauty

Ten world's oldest trees

A mother like no other

Donating an entire university to the poorest country

Yellow and black is sexy

I can't wait to get home and try this DIY braided wrapped bracelet

Best chocolate mousse of your life in less than 5 minutes (take my word for it)

Gucci's florals are so beautiful!

Shirt sleeves become toddler's harem pants

Me, Mom and cousins at the beach, circa 1978

Morning Quake

Two nights ago I was just putting Emilu back to sleep around 2:30 a.m. when I felt my bed shaking. People always say here in the island they feel these tremors by the handful in the early hours of the morning, but I was never one of those people until that night. About 15 minutes before the quake, while I was rocking Emilu to sleep, the neighborhood dogs, which are many in this street, started hauling and barking furiously, which made me think someone was either entering and breaking into a house or they were getting into a fight. So I opened my eyes and looked over the nightstand and saw the lampshade shaking. I sat up and it stopped. I glanced at the crib, she was sleeping. I wondered where it had come from, because it was rather mild (5.0)

When things stopped shaking, the dogs' barks got dimmer and lower.  Animals know, they feel things and sometimes try to alert us and we just don't have the intuition or the wisdom to trust the animal world.

How about you? The first quake I ever felt was last year in Washington, DC (out of all places!) It turns out there is a seismic fault along the West Virginia/Virginia boundary that's pretty much overdue in seismic activity.  And that was rather strong and long.  It was felt all the way in Canada.  Have you ever felt an earthquake?

January 18, 2012


Have you joined in the strike and helped petition our Congress to vote NO on the cloture for S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act, on Jan. 24th? The PROTECT IP Act is dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. It does not deserve floor consideration. I urged my representative to vote "no" on SOPA, the corresponding House bill. If you want to learn more about this dangerous bill, visit this site and fight back.  If you want to learn more about the participants, which include Google, Wikipedia, Tumblr, Vimeo and Flickr, go here.

Source: vimeo.com via Cary on Pinterest

Buttermilk Pancakes

Are you craving something delicious, easy to make, and super cheap?  How about some pancakes.  Like Alice from Savory Sweet Life, I prefer the boxed mix of pancakes (for taste and texture) for the same reasons she provides.  I'm dying to try this recipe of hers and see if once and for all I ditch the mix and marry a good homemade recipe.  I will let you know if this one recipe settles it. The secret, she says, is in the smoothness of the batter.  You have to blend well  (or whisk) in order to achieve the texture of the boxed mix. I have found that homemade recipes tend to taste a bit sugary or bland compared to the consistent, doughy flavor of the boxed mix.  So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed with this one.

Image via Sweet Savory Life