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Posts from the ‘Love this’ Category

Indian Food….(love)

My obsession with Indian food is a problem.  I can eat it almost daily.  I think about it hours before.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s wrong to eat dal for breakfast.  I’m vegan so the veg options are perfect for me.   One of my Indian girlfriends gave me my very own masala kit.  I almost cried when I saw it.  She would laugh at me when she saw how much money I would spend on an order of dal and rice and told me how simple it was to make.   Read more



Okay maybe not ever – there are a few contenders for that one – but this is pretty darn close to it.  This is something that I am infatuated, smitten, and obsessed with.  This is the new love of my life (for now, until it is replaced with something else).

My husband bought this for me for Christmas for photo editing.  It’s a tablet that you connect to your computer and you can write directly on the tablet with the pen that it comes with.  Pretty cool, agreed.

You keep it on your desk and can use if for many different things.

I did try it with my photos but was immediately preoccupied with the drawing, sketching, and painting features that it can also be used for.  Someone on Amazon posted that they use it in conjunction with Sketchbook Pro and well, it’s love at first site.  Now I can draw ON MY COMPUTER!  Well not exactly on the computer itself – but ON THE TABLET – which shows up on the screen.  And you can change brushes, strokes, colors, and I’m dying over this thing.  You can even blur and smudge like you can with real pencil and pastel.  And you can layer like you can with paints and –I LOVE YOU WILL YOU MARRY ME?

I am going to get married to my tablet and my sketchbook software.  It will be like some type of high-tech 3-way marriage.  And I know I sound like someone who thinks that she just discovered the internet or cellphones or something which has been around forever.  I know that anyone into graphic design or computer art has known about this for ages but whatever.  I’m late to the game but it’s the best game ever!

I have been playing around with it.  These kind of suck but I will get better, I promise.

My attempt at a pinup girl. Adapted from a sketch in a book that I have

I realize that this may not be exciting to normal people but I’m screaming over it and want to sleep with it under my pillow.

Have a peaceful 2011

About New Year’s Resolutions…

I am rather introspective and tend to over-analyze everything that I do.  I believe in the importance of self-awareness.  Like right now, I’m aware that there are a few too many  hy-phen-a-ted words floating around here and that is freaking me out a little.  That’s not the point, my point is that I think about thinks a lot.  I don’t exactly do “New Year’s Resolutions” though.  I may have some goals rather, that I set for myself or small things that I’d like to correct or improve about my behavior or personality.  I like to look at each area of my life – each category if you will – and look at what is working and what isn’t working for me.  And I try to be better in all of them across the board.

There is something inherently self-defeating about a New Year’s Resolution.  You may get all inspired and motivated at the beginning of the year and say things like “I’m going to lose that weight once and for all!” or “I’m going to start saving more money“, etc.  There is nothing wrong with either of those statements.  I’m all about feeling going about yourself physically and financially but I’m not sure that simply saying this because it’s January 1st is the most effective way to do so.  And why does it need to be January 1st?  Why not March 5th or October 17th?  What gets me nervous is that I know that most people have trouble sticking to these statements and halfway into the second month, will start to beat themselves up because they couldn’t stick with it.  And somehow you end up feeling badly about yourself.  Worse than you may have prior to making the resolutions.  Heck, I’m already sick of the lovely Jennifer Hudson strutting across my television screen singing about Weight Watchers.  It gets me nervous.  Jennifer!  Didn’t you see what happened to Kirstie Alley or Carnie Wilson?  Even my beloved Oprah has professed to finally have found the answer many times only to gain back some of the weight.   Stop it.  Everyone calm down about this whole “It’s a new year – it’s a new you!”.  What was wrong with the old you anyway?

I am not terribly keen on the whole need to “get it right” and to wipe the proverbial slate clean.  The whole concept of resolving to do something properly or to lose the weight “once and for all” feels to me like it has some inherent disdain for one’s prior actions during the year preceding.  Like we have to fix all of our mistakes from the year before.   How about reframing it and thinking about what you did well, and doing more of that?

I had a giddy moment where I thought to myself “wow, what a privilege, a luxury, to take a moment to reflect upon my life”.  What an opportunity to appreciate all that I have and all that we have.  I am looking at the things which have been great thus far and how to make them even greater . To do the things that made me happy or brought happiness to others, and to keep on doing them.   I want to stop taking myself so seriously (do I actually do that?) and to continue to laugh and make lemonade out of things that others would scream about.  It’s not that serious.  Well, some of it is, and for those things I will keep sending out positive energy but the rest, it’s probably not that deep, is it?  And if there are people who want to lose weight, do it because you love yourself and want to feel healthy and stop beating yourself up.  Don’t do it because you have been “bad” over the holidays or because you finally want to get it right.  You are beautiful already.  All of us are.

I have this statue at the top of our staircase and I occasionally pause to throw him a little kiss or a moment of thanks.  Maybe there is something that you can put on your desk or your bedside table to inspire you to do the same.

Isn’t he gorgeous?

A friend of mine gave this pink Buddha to me for Christmas and he’s rather awesome.  The color, the silliness, but the overall message of peace and joy. He’s right there next to my more classic guy.  I’m not sure where I will put him yet but rest assured that when I glance over at him, I will smile.

It’s a new year.   Like Chelsea Handler says “everybody calm down”.  Be open and free and don’t be afraid to be yourself.  Be kind to people.  Smile at them and to spread the good.  Don’t harp on the bad, the past.  Focus on the good stuff and more will come.

Peace and love man.

I think some people may actually “get it”

When I first saw these dolls, I immediately saw them photographed this way in my mind.  Retro black and whites of them and cool color shots.  I was more than a little obsessed for several weeks.  My vision was to blow up these imagined shots and frame them as presents for my friend’s daughters.  Doesn’t every girl want something like this?!? (um…no).

A few close friends will remember the dolls living in my living room for a little while.  I brought them out for a few friends and never put my toys away.  “Look at my dolls!”.  Yea, just like a ten-year old.  Some of them “got it” conceptually and most gave me blank stares which said “It’s going to be okay Illy…”.  Those dolls may have been around while we rang in 2010 with our friends watching a marathon of the Jersey Shore.  I’m pretty sure they were still sitting there during our Superbowl party.  I brought them to my Mom’s where my Mother-in-law and I enjoyed a few hours messing around with them and styling them.  She got the concept right away.

I didn’t take the photos though.  I was afraid people would think it was strange.  Who takes pictures of dolls anyway?  I was also torn about the message behind them.  Behind Barbie.  Though this line is diverse in skin tone and features (to a point), they are still very Barbie.  The whole long hair, skinny thighs, ridiculous waist, and somewhat similar features.  I don’t know that it was possible to capture what it is that I love about a Barbie without reinforcing stereotypes.  Sometimes something can’t simply just “be” for me. But this one in particular – she kind of looks like she belongs on the pole.

So, the dolls sat there for a while and were subsequently stowed away.  I waited for the inspiration to come back to me.  It always does if I wait patiently.

Opportunity struck when we were invited to the Barbie-themed birthday party of the daughter of dear friends.  I decided to just go for it and trust my instincts and let her parents worry about the pole (sorry guys! love ya).   I pulled the dolls out of hibernation, dusted them off, and dragged them out to the deck off my bedroom along with various things to use for background and yea, hairspray and an eyebrow comb.   I decided not to care what people thought and to trust that the five-year old in me understood what our friend’s daughter would want.  I think I was right.  I think she loved the photos.  The adults did too.  Even the husbands.   I’m a little worried that one of the frames will go missing.  Unfortunately, some things are still out of my control and Barbie is…well she’s always going to be hot.

For some reason, this one caused the most commotion amongst the adults...

Color version of the B/W one. Framed this one for her

Tell me she isn't smiling with her eyes. She is working it baby

My favorite doll. In my mind, this would be the one that looks most like me

So many dolls, so little time...

More to come.  There are still many dolls who haven’t yet had their photo session with me.  Waiting for more inspiration.  Already have some ideas.


It should come as no surprise that I loved Barbie dolls as a little girl.  When I saw this line of dolls at the store, I screamed.  They aren’t classic Barbies – they are fashion Barbies.  They are more like models and they have them with black dresses and cool hair and makeup.  The most exciting part (to me)…is that there are twelve of them and they are an array of ethnicities.  Latina, African-American, Indian, Caucasian, a blend of several races, 
you aren’t really sure what they are but they are not your vanilla typical Barbies.  Here are three of them.  And yes, I own all 12 and plan to shoot pics of them all…

Not sure if this is beautiful, or disturbing

One of my vices

Oh how I adore a gorgeous ad

I am a magazine addict. My current titles include Vogue, Bazaar, Elle, Lucky, and a few others. To me, a fresh issue of a magazine is like a piece of cake. It’s delicious from cover to cover. I look at the photos in the ads, the styling, the composition, the layouts of the pages, everything. I devour the articles and rip pages out for inspiration or for further research. I jot down product names in my blackberry and movie titles for my Netflix. I should have been an editor. Perhaps in my next life…

I heart fashion models