It feels as if my last few years in Chicago were spent dwelling on the past and sleeping away time for the future. I was flying back and forth to California while working on a few larger projects that consumed the vast majority of my working hours. Each trip I made to California was incredibly uplifting, inspiring, and fulfilling. So much so that it made any time with cold pizza and warm beer in Chicago feel tolerable for way too long. I finally decided to uproot my life there and relocate to San Diego last year. The intention behind my decision was to allow myself presence in everyday life. That’s it. Basically, I just wanted to be happy again, because life is way too short!
To this point, it was easy for me to flip the script during apartment hunting, which would typically be daunting task. Scoping out new properties brimming with possibility was elating. I carried with me a pretty ridiculous must-have list including things like philodendron trees, wild jasmine plants, tiny bathroom floor tiles, a cross breeze, and above all else an office space with functioning windows that didn’t look at a brick wall. Knowing exactly what I was searching for with a list of priorities helped me land my dream Jungalow in no-time.
Life will always throw shit your way and that didn’t stop once I moved here. However, it’s so much easier to deal when you don’t feel the weight of 1,000 external forces pushing against you. This Monday I was having ‘a day’ and just felt like locking myself in a closet to stress cry for hours, but I didn’t! Instead, I opened all the windows, went for a walk to smell some flowers, pet stranger’s dogs, and ate fresh grapefruit from my tree with avocado. I also took some photos of my apartment to remind myself that things aren’t as shitty as my current hormone surges would like me to believe.
I’ve recently had some extra time to get creative with sourcing furniture for my space. It’s actually become a revolving door for furniture lately. Slowly, I've been curating the space by leveling up with nicer things from Estate Sales, using funds from selling old pieces on Craigslist. I don't have a ton of money to dump into a rental, but I think we can all agree that IKEA may be a portal to hell. Estate Sales are actually becoming a new favorite hobby of mine! It’s kind of like The Selby IRL, only a little bit morbid.
Walking a stranger’s home inflicts some serious perspective on the topic of Interior Design and how we choose to interact with the material possessions in our lives. I'm mesmerized by things like meticulously organized garage workshops that illustrate the life of their previous occupant and visualizing a home's static furniture layout through a quick glance at their tired shag carpet. It’s oddly satisfying to score authentic mid-century danish teak, which someone cared for through their last days, and give it new life.
A friend of mine from Chicago also chose to relocate to San Diego last year. He's a super talented jeweler and I'm excited to collaborate with him on some pieces for Funday's shop opening later this year. We've been playing around with a few ideas, like the Santosha ring concept below. It's one piece in a series of rings, midi and traditional, grown from principles behind the yin and yang— how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
Here are a few more treasures keeping a genuine smile on my face this week:
A. 砂絵アーティスト (sunae artist) ナオ氏 (Naoshi) get's it. I want to ride an ice cream rocket into space with her and a gang of cats in donut space suits to collect sand samples on distant planets for art in her Etsy shop. What? Yeah, you heard me. She sells sunae kits that are a fun gift idea for lull budding artists in your life.
B. Pastel Pink Heart Knobs (2 pk / $10) Picture these on your wood dresser. Mmhmm...
C. I LIKE CATS, OKAY!? I like cats a whole bunch, but I really don't want a real one. Because poo. Because this. Instead, I choose to download apps like Neko Atsume, where I can compulsively collect dozens of cats, with zero responsibility. I also like to proudly display this to strangers with a cool pin! Can't even tell you how many coffee shop conversations have started here = ^ . ^ =
D. I fell in e-love with Oh! Happy Day's "Happy Mail Project" a few months back and realized the best way to increase the odds of receiving cute letters is to send them! I've since stepped up my mail game with limited edition stamps. Puh-ritttty stoked about the 2016 Forever Stamp additions, guys. Space! Trucks!
E. I found myself magnetically transported to a Copic display at Blick after watching numerous wip loops on Instagram. I recommend starting with the Copic color theory guide. Keep going. Don't stop.
F. Is it just me or does walking into LUSH give you instant anxiety? Liiiiike... everyone settle down and stop rubbing shit on me. Thankfully, I've finally got a good grip on that place! Ask the first person who talks to you for a sample, scoop up exactly what you want while they process that, and head out with minimal interaction. HA! Ugh. Totally worth it because Yummy Mummy makes me smell like a scented Strawberry Shortcake doll. Seriously. I've smelled my arm close to six times throughout the process of writing this blog post. A few other go-tos for good measure: Montalbano + Lust + R&B (sample size, always). Their solid shampoos are gold for anyone who lives in planes, trains, and automobiles.
G. Diptyque's L'Ombre dans l'Eau is reminiscent of a walk in an English garden, filled with Bulgarian rose petals and the leaves of blackcurrant bushes. It makes me feel like a strong and sensual woman rolling in a field of money. Too far? Well, it's true.