Monday, April 25, 2011

Announcement Time!

I have a new website! 

I'll no longer be using blogger for my blog posts. I've now moved to  Here you can find my blog posts, info about me, how to get a hold of me, links to my Facebook page and Etsy shop, links to my galleries on Flickr, and links to other blogs that I enjoy.
That's right. All that on one site!!

So head on over now, and bookmark the site so you can visit again soon!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weekend Rewind

my purse was packed. my cameras were charged. my wallet had cash, and my ipod had a new mix of car songs.  i was ready to hit the road!

it wasn't a long trip.... 2 hours later we drove into Malibu, drove by the Pepperdine campus, and then pulled into the Getty Villa.  it was overcast and foggy, and the Villa was nothing like I expected, but it was worth the trip! Here are a few highlights:

mean-looking skies couldn't ruin all the colors on the Villa walls

ridiculous tile work

just your typical backyard...

my "texture and old stuff" radar detected this wall

did I mention the fog??

of course, there's more to see in the LA region than just the Getty Villa. so off we drove into the canyons and on our way towards Hollywood for an architectural fieldtrip!
first stop was the Oboler House, which we found to be privately owned (poo!) and clinging on to the edge of a foggy cliff (yay!). 

what? that's not enough Frank Lloyd Wright for you? you want to see more?? ok!
we kept driving east/southeast and hit East Hollywood. here we drove right into the Barnsdall Park. up the hill is the Hollyhock house in all its glory. now a public park, this house has hands down the most unbelievable views I've seen in LA. it's secluded, raised, and has clear unobstructed views of both the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory. even the dreary day couldn't dull its beauty. amazing!

Hollywood sign on the left hill, observatory on the right hill

i must have these planters.

photo credit: m. meagher

after one Getty Villa and two Wright houses, we were ready to head home!
want to see more select pics from my day of adventure? click here!

so what's next on my list for LA? I'm thinking a culinary tour is in order :) 

what's next on your wish list to see??


Friday, April 1, 2011

Does Malibu sell "L.A. dogs"?

"Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles."
~Frank Lloyd Wright

When I head to LA, I normally end up in the Downtown area for most of the time. Give me a weekend of the flower market, fashion district, Pershing Square and Grand Central Market and I'm a happy girl!
It's been a long time since I've visited the city of angels, though, and I sure miss it.

 Well I'll be heading north this weekend, but this time I'm getting to know a new area. I'm visiting the Getty Villa in Malibu! Instead of graffiti and sombreros cruising the pavement, I'll be spending time with the flip flops and Bentleys cruising by the sand.  :)

Of course with a city like Los Angeles just a short drive away from my home, I must have a wish list of things to do/see in the LA area, right?  "But Natalia," you may say "whatever is on this famous wish list?"   Grab a pen and paper, kiddies. You'll want to take notes ;-)

*visit Frank Lloyd Wright's houses (Hollyhock is #1, Ennis is #2!)
*visit Neutra houses
*Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles
*The Pantry (I've tried to go a bunch of times, but the line is always so long... must be great!)
*Queen Mary (preferably at night time!)
*Amoeba Records
*Hollywood Bowl with picnic food in hand
*Hollywood Forever cemetery for movie or concert
*camping at the Channel Islands
*take in the views on Angel's Flight
*Getty Villa (soon to be crossed off!! yay!)
*Malaga Cove @ Palos Verdes
*Lake Shrine Temple in the Pacific Palisades
*Rock Store (the food sounds filling and yummy!)
*Cinerama Dome

The list grows constantly, but that's it for now :)


model booties at the fashion district

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

one step at a time

After the historic earthquake and incredible tsunami in Japan recently, many of us are feeling like we want to help but don't know how. There are options all over the internet, but there are almost too many to pick from. I've put together a list of ways to help, including links and basic instructions. If you think that a small donation won't make a difference, please reconsider. Every penny donated will make a difference to those who are trying to rebuild their lives.

1)  iTunes is making it really easy to donate anywhere between $5 to $200. Follow this link to be directed to the donation page.

2)  Donate via Facebook. The Red Cross has launched a campaign on, with the goal of raising $150,000. Log into Facebook and then follow this link to help out.

3) Text your donations.  You can text several organizations to easily and quickly donate.
         -Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross
         -Text TSUNAMI to 50555 to donate to Convoy of Hope
         -Text JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10 to Global Giving
         -Text MED to 80888 to donate to the International Medical Corps
         -Text QUAKE to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army

4) Donate online to the following organizations:
          -Doctors Without Borders
          -Save the Children
          -Citizen Effect

5) There's a website that lists out organizations that will match donations. Your donation can do twice as much goodness! :) See details here

I hope this list encourages you all to take a moment and make at least a small donation to help in the recovery in Japan.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Lazy Sunday

I woke up this morning to no alarm. I slowly got dressed and ready for my day of nothing. It was great!
Sure, I have stuff that I needed to do. We all have that nagging to-do list that seems to never go away, right? It was refreshing, though, to wake up to a lazy Sunday with no appointments to meet. Granted, last week I had a perfect weekend of nothing, but it wasn't enough!

Even though it was tempting to just sit on my butt all day and veg in front of the tv, I wasn't feeling THAT lazy. ;-)  So after a little breakfast, I started playing. I've had a can of chalkboard paint for a couple of years now. It appeared when I decided to paint one wall in my kitchen into a chalkboard... Well, that ended up not happening, but I still wanted to try it out for some fun projects. It's just so tempting to paint everything black, so being able to paint stuff black and then write on it?! Awesome!

I've been playing with the idea of doing photo place cards for table settings... and the other day I had the thought that it would be even more fun if they had a chalkboard finish to be able to erase the names if needed! So out came the brushed and I started painting away.

I'm still waiting for them to fully dry before I give them a test run, but I like how they look so far. What do you think?

As a fun little bonus, I thought to paint some clothespins with the paint as well. I'm not sure what they'll be for yet, but I'm thinking they're be cute for plant markers or for labeling hanging artwork... something along those lines. Half the fun is just playing anyway :-)

Of course, the day needs to end on an high note. So after finishing up some cards to send to a shop in Goa, India for consignment (, I celebrated with a beer. Since I'm sitting down to watch the Oscars, it's also probably not the last for the evening.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Culture Check #002

Bar at Yu Me Ya Sake House, Encinitas

Place setting at Yu Me Ya Sake House, Encinitas

It's about time for another Culture Check! People are already starting to think about Spring and Summer, and there are tons of local San Diego events to check out. So here we go....

I think I'll start off with a new social event in town. El Take It Easy is teaming up with City Beat to start up a series of movie days that are centered around food. That's right: movies AND food! There's NO admission, so just bring enough money for a few afternoon beers and some yummy snacks :) This all takes place at El Take It Easy every Saturday in February at 2:00pm. Get more event info here and here.

While we're talking about food, I'm going to take the chance to introduce a sake house that I went to not too long ago and enjoyed. City Beat just happened to do a piece on them. It's called Yu Me Ya Sake House in Encinitas. The place is tiny. very tiny. So go early or be prepared to wait! The food was delicious, but what I liked most was the atmosphere. Very cozy! See City Beat's full review here.

So maybe you're not in the mood for going out for full meals (gasp!). Introducing... POP Thursdays at MOPA. You won't find burritos or sushi rolls here, but there is a cocktail hour to keep your belly happy :) Once you've had a few drinks and strolled through the open photo galleries, head into the theater for the main event screening. The next POP Thursday is on February 17th, where Easy Rider will be screened at 8:00pm (cocktail hour starts at 7:00pm). Get more info here.

Now that you're belly is full, you're drunk, and you've had your fill of movies, get intellectual! If you always thought that design and science were completely unrelated fields, check out the ANFA Interfaces lecture series. This 3-part lecture series looks at the connections between Neuroscience and Architecture. All lectures are free and open to the public! The first one is on March 2 at 6:00pm at Museum of Contemporary Art in SD. Get more info here.

Now, it's not my favorite "holiday", but I can't ignore Valentine's Day. So here are a couple of quick ideas:
If you have someone to cuddle up and celebrate with, why not FEEL your way through dinner?! Get your minds out of the gutter... I'm talking about Dining In the Dark! I haven't tried this yet, but it seems like a fun and totally unique way to have dinner out. While there are places all over the country that host these events, The US Grant Hotel hosts it in San Diego. Get more info here.

Are you anti Valentine's Day and looking for a way to celebrate your singlehood?? You're in luck! Head over to Proper Gastro Pub on the 14th for a celebration of non-commitment. Among their drink specials is (my favorite) the "Screw U Driver". Special deals for those that wear black or bring in a picture of an ex. :) Get more info here.

One closing thought... don't forget that it's Museum Month in San Diego! Grab a free card at Macy's to receive 50% off over 40 museums throughout the city. Get full info here.

Ok, lots of events are going on, so get out there and get cultured!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Own (Not So) Extreme Home Makeover

Front view, before

Front view, after

I recently got to flex my architectural muscles a little bit when my mom bought a new home. I say "new" even though it's actually 30 years old, but to her it's a new beginning :)
The house needed a good amount of updating, and I was more than happy to lend my design sense for the project! Even though it's still not a complete project throughout, we've made some pretty major changes already. You can see more before-and-after pics here. I'll be posting a few more views of the "after" rooms soon, so check back to see more in the coming weeks!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My photographic hero

Tonight I watched the movie Visual Acoustics, which documents the career of Julius Shulman. Shulman was an architectural photographer, most recognized for his iconic images of modern LA architecture.
I'd been wanting to see this movie for some time. Actually, I'd had my eye on it ever since I heard about Shulman's death in 2009. I never leave such an impression on me though!
Not only that, but I know exactly what it was that showed me he was my new photographic hero. Shulman studied architecture, but then spent some time finding his niche in the photographic world. I can definitely relate! Also, Shulman is shown saying that "the camera is the least important part of taking a picture." This is something I've told my friends repeatedly, and I loved having it confirmed by someone so well-respected and established. We had bonded! :-)

I don't make it a point to search out many movies for purchase, but I will definitely be adding this one to my collection.
The architect in me was revived, and the photographer in me was inspired. Thanks, Julius.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where the beats are born

A few weeks ago I had the awesome task of taking pictures of a friend's recording studio ( I hadn't seen his studio in a while, so when I saw what I had to work with that day I was impressed! Check out the photos here
I loved not only seeing how his business is ready to boom, but knowing that I was helping a local artist with that growth. How great is that?! Hopefully there will be more chances to do these type of shoots. In the meantime, I'm on the lookout for my next project! 


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Culture Check #001

Got culture? Well now you can.

Welcome to the first Culture Check. I'll periodically check in and let you all know about upcoming culture events in San Diego. So are you ready to get the creative juices flowing again? Ok, here we go!

First up is one of my favorite places to get cultured: MoPA! This Thursday (the 13th) is the first in a film series called "The Coming of Age Festival". They'll be kicking off the series with the movie "The World's Fastest Indian".  The event starts at 6pm and there will be an introduction by the Festival Coordinator! More info here.

I'll be at this next event: San Diego Architectural Foundation's Pecha Kucha night. What's Pecha Kucha? It's a night out at a bar while you listen to quick presentations by different artists/designers of all kinds. The ground rules? Each presenter is allowed 20 slides, at 20 seconds for each one. The evening always begins at 20:20. Finally (and most importantly) mingle, have fun, and drink up!
The next one is happening on January 20th @ Quality Social. More info here.

Pecha Kucha not your thing? Need something a little more... sober? Not to worry, you can spend January 20th at MCASD for their "Free Third Thursday Evening". Every third Thursday of the month, they open the doors for free between 5-7pm and even give free guided tours at 5 and 6pm! More info here.

Finally, there's a BARchitecture coming up to kick off the new year! Organized by the AIASD, it's a chance to share a happy hour drink with architects, interior designers, construction professionals, and random drunks off the street. The best part? If you RSVP ahead of time, the first round is on the hosts! More info here.

Well, that should have you all set for the remainder of January. Now get out there and get cultured!


Monday, January 3, 2011

New year, new blog format!

Hello online world!
Happy belated New Year :)

First off, I just want to say that I'M DONE WITH MY 365 PROJECT!!! I missed some days, but still always posted something to make up for it. I can't believe I did a full year, and it actually went by pretty quickly! Maybe I'll try doing another year, but it won't be 2011. hehehe

Secondly, I'm super excited about keeping this blog going but changing up the format. So, in the coming week I'll be redoing the look of the blog and I'll start posting links to interesting events in the area, or great artists that I enjoy, or any updates on what I've been up to professionally.
So, in the spirit of the new format I want to share an Etsy treasury that I'm participating in. It's a BNR treasury being hosted by the team EtsyExpats, which means it's a "Buy 'N Replace" so all the items are featured for sale and if you're an Etsy seller then once you purchase that item will immediately be replaced with one of yours! So check it out and buy something!

Till next time...

Sunday, January 2, 2011


mid-afternoon on December 31, 2010 in San Diego, CA

we ended up going to Old Town today to enjoy the beautiful weather and the holiday weekend. in all the years i've lived in San Diego, i'd never walked into the main church in Old Town. so today we walked inside. it's small, basic, and totally adorable! they had these prayer candles on either side of the entrance, and they immediately caught my eye.



late night on December 30, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

our plans for New Year's eve kept changing, and i ended up staying the night at my mom's house with everyone else. we decided to bust out the cards, and ended up playing until about 1am!! if you know our family, though, that shouldn't be a surprise.



December 29, 2010 in San Diego, CA

this is another preview shot because of all the holiday madness! this shot is taken on New Year's eve, but i couldn't help but share these wonderful palm trees.



December 28, 2010 in San Diego, CA

still in the holiday spirit



December 27, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

a few days ago, i helped my niece and nephew build this gingerbread train. let me tell you, those things are not easy, clean, or quick! after two hours of trying to keep the table somewhat clean and trying to make sense of the poorly written instructions and trying to keep my 3-yr-old nephew focused, the train was complete.
i present to you our masterpiece



December 26, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

no matter our ages, or whether there are two or ten of us celebrating Christmas, there will always be stocking hanging for treats from Santa



early evening on December 25, 2010 in San Diego, CA

i came home to footsteps leading up to my front door...



~8:00pm on December 24, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

it's CHRISTMAS!!!! i hope that it's very merry.



December 23, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

my sister started collecting these miniature Christmas village ceramic pieces many years ago, but then she moved abroad and wasn't able to take them with her. So this year was the first time that they've ever been completely set up, and my mom had it set up as a surprise for when my sister arrived for her visit and walked through the door. she loved it!! i still can't understand how my mom managed to set it all up in one night AND do loads of unpacking AND get some sleep, but the Christmas village looked wonderful.



late evening on December 22, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

so. much. food.
this is what a good time looks like! my mom's get-together was a success, and there was so much awesome food!!
my potato salad was a big hit, by the way ;-)



7:00pm on December 21, 2010 in San Diego, CA

my mom is having a get-together at her house tomorrow, and i promised to take potato salad. i've never made potato salad, so it was definitely an experiment! hint: it had green onion in it.



early evening on December 20, 2010 somewhere between Oceanside and San Diego, CA

most people complain about a lot of rain, and i used to hate it because i used to live in an area that was constantly gloomy and rainy. since i've been in California, though, i've come to love the rain because it's a break from all the monotony (yes, it IS possible to get tired of sunny and 70!).



late evening on December 19, 2010 in San Diego, CA

i finally decorated for Christmas!!!
this year i got pre-lit garland and decided to put it on my hutch along with any holiday cards that my lovely friends may send. i was quite happy with the results. definitely festive



2:00pm on December 18, 2010 in San Diego, CA

contrary to what it may look like, my nephew is extremely active and chatty. haha. this is a rare down moment while he waits for some food to come to our table. the "hat" on his head is actually a huge long stocking that he repurposed



evening on December 17, 2010 in San Diego, CA

with family in town, my car has been getting some extra miles going back and forth to my mom's house. we've also been getting lots of rain lately, so i'm kind of loving the lights reflecting on everything.



~10:00pm on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, CA

i found a good deal on a fun plastic holga lens to add onto my camera. call it an early Christmas present :)
this is one of my test shots that i couldn't resist taking before going to bed!



dinner time on December 15, 2010 in San Diego, CA

i made pizza tonight. yummmmmmmmmmm



6:00pm on December 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA

my sister and her family arrive today!!!! i love my sister, and my brother-in-law is cool and all, but i have to admit that i'm really looking forward the most to seeing my niece and nephew :)
they took a bit longer than usual to come out of customs, so i was kept entertained by the changing color wall by the ramp into the int'l terminal



late evening on December 13, 2010 in San Diego, CA

even my fruit is in the holiday spirit!



December 12, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

did i mention there are A LOT of boxes in my mom's house? or that my sister and her family come into town in TWO DAYS?!



early afternoon on December 11, 2010 in Oceanside, CA

my sister and her family are coming into town and staying at my mom's new house during the holidays. they arrive in three days. this is what the kitchen looks like currently. my mom is (understandably) freaking out.



December 10, 2010 in San Diego, CA

sorry folks, another blast from the past. this photo is from mid-July in Pacific Beach. i went to World Famous, which is one of my favorite places to go for thursday happy hours. during one my recent visits, a friend asked the waitress what they're famous for as he was contemplating what to order. she said "nothing", and somehow didn't seem to find the humor in that.



December 9, 2010 in San Diego, CA

this is another blast from the past... this photo is from early august.
with the holidays coming up, one of the things on my mind the most is.... FOOD! this is my mom in action while she makes alfajores



7:30am on December 8, 2010 in Oceanside, CA.

somewhere a little angel is crying....

this was a totally random and odd thing to find on the street at 7:30 in the morning in a residential neighborhood. i wonder who was so pissed with jesus?!



December 7, 2010 in San Diego, CA

did i mention i've been distracted lately and busy as heck?? this is another shot from the fashion shoot i did on the 27th for Creative Fashionista. The model shown is Kyra. Check this link for the full album!