I feel like I'm working in a factory! Zeke goes to bed at a decent hour and I'm sweating in the "studio" meaning, my dining room past midnight working up a storm with my brushes and paints and I've been having so much fun! I love working on a collection that is based only on Valentines Day. I'm thinking I should make a book out of this collection... maybe even sell it!? We shall see, we shall see! Either way, new artwork was added to the shop! They go quick! Ya'll are making me work, work, work!
Excited to announce a Valentine's Day Collection of original abstract paintings! So far, each and every painting have sold out, so you could say, today was a sweet sweet day! I plan on adding more and more paintings throughout the days leading up to Valentine's Day so do keep an eye out and check every day for new additions to the Valentines Collection. What a blast I've been having painting these small, but whimsical abstracts that are pretty marvelous when matted and framed!
Well, what can I say? The living has been easy here for our first month in our new home. I am completely in a trance with our new location. The architecture really brings the past to life as it's all very Art Deco. I've always had an eye for architecture, even when I was younger, but the older I get and throughout my years of art history classes and learning more and more of my surroundings, the curiousness of it grows deeper and deeper. Like I've mentioned before, I plan on living and viewing things in Los Angeles as it were in the past. I'm a total dreamer and though this may not be pure reality, who cares - it's making this adventure even more thrilling!
Along with architecture, I love reading up on the history. Above on the left is an apartment complex located on 4th Street in Santa Monica. My eyes fell in love with this building on a trip here last August and I made note of the location, went back to Utah and Google Earthed it. I zoomed in and was able to get the exact address and started my research. Knowing we would be moving to this city in just a few short months, Zeke and I had our eye on this one with hopes of moving in. The history was extremely hard to come by, it was truly a mystery but what we did learn was that there was no availability within the complex. Luckily, we only live a block away so while I walk into the shopping areas, I make a point to walk past this place along the way.
And alas, the building on the right, and by far my favorite in Santa Monica, is The Georgian Hotel, built in 1933. Known to be haunted, which is a total jack pot and right up my alley, the hotel was built for intimate gatherings for the 'high society' and the celebrities of old Hollywood catering to one of my favorites, Clark Gable. Considered to be one of the most modern facilities of it's time, The Georgian was filled with the night life along the sea with martinis, jazz music, beauty parlors, extravagant dining rooms, and the most notorious American gangsters such as Bugsy Siegel and silent film actor and director Fatty Arbuckle.
They say that the Speakeasy Restaurant within the hotel is where the ghost and apparitions occur. Waitresses have claimed that they hear sighs and gasps when the restaurant is closed and empty. They hear footsteps running through the halls and in the morning, while setting up, they are welcomed by a voice saying, "good morning." I think its about time I go dine there...
Another one of my favorite spots is the 'Ivy At the Shore" right on Ocean Avenue. I love this restaurant so very much because every time I spent foot in it, it takes me back to a familiar place. I feel like I'm back in Florida where my grandparents lived before they passed away and my family would visit often. It has a total Florida Keys vibe and the decor could just be my future home. With the rattan chairs, and the botanical print pillows, floridian pink walls, the abstract figurative artwork and the sailboats all around, I was in Heaven. Oh, and to top it all off, I ordered a bowl full of Gumbo! And yes, it hit the spot!
As of late, January's weather has been just absolutely perfect which according to the people here, isn't normal. It's been the in the high 70's and sunny and for Californian winters it should typically be in the low 60's and very rainy. Apparently California is experiencing the worst drought and it's becoming so extreme that the state is starting to worry. With that said though, the nights have been pretty dog-on eerie and I have been eating it up! This street corner is on the corner of California and 2nd Street and it reminds me just a wee bit of a street corner in Savannah. Though it's hard to tell in this photo, this building is a dark red brick with a mixture of palms and shady trees all around. One night, Zeke and I were walking to the grocery store and there was a warm breeze and fog began to roll in through the streets. The tall art deco buildings seemed to disappear in the clouds allowing little pockets of light glowing in the sky from the windows. It was mysteriously magical and you best believe I climbed into my pajamas the moment I got home and began reading my murder mystery novel. Throughout the night you could smell the ocean breeze.
Everyone in Santa Monica/Brentwood is extremely active. How could they not be with this beautiful weather year round and with Palisades Park shown above on the left?Palisades Park is just a block away from us along Ocean Avenue and overlooks the ocean. It is very well kept, has beautiful organically shaped trees that create the greatest shadows. The paths are wide and windy and filled with loads and loads of runners. With that said, Zeke and I are trying to be more active and live healthier lives, so this has become my place to run, or it was the first couple of weeks we have been hear until a friend of ours told us about the Santa Monica Stairs. Tucked into the neighborhoods of Santa Monica and on the boarder of Brentwood are these stairs that make me want to keel over and die. I have been running to them from our place and then run back from them after doing some sets up and down, up and down and I can promise you it will whip you into shape. I kind of love the run to and from the stairs though because it's an excuse to have my own parade of homes tour. This house above on the right in particular is my favorite as it looks like it came right from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Now, you know my love for Hilton Head so I always walk during this part of the work out to take in this home and its surroundings and I love to mentally place myself back in my second home away from home.
The only downside to our clean eating, is the fact that we have discovered by far the most unreal homemade ice cream to ever melt in my mouth. 'Sweet Rose' is the mothership of all ice cream. When Niki was in town, we were strolling through some shops and discovered Sweet Rose and it was a warm day so we got ourselves a few scoops and I about lost myself. It didn't take much to convert Zeke has he was long gone obsessed the moment he taste tested his beloved Luxx Coffee flavor. It's safe to say Zeke and I go almost twice a week. I started out real good just getting a couple of scoops in a cup, but now I have gone straight to the waffle cone and I can't look back, I tell you. I now follow Sweet Rose on instagram and it's awful. I get an update on their flavors they are serving everyday and when I see that Pomegranate Soft Serve with the Smooth Tangerine Sorbet on that menu, I loose all self control. I can't wait to take my parents here over Valentines Day weekend. Also, I left my wallet here last weekend and they put it in the safe for me - so I pretty much owe them my life...
For the first month of living here and being away from friends and family, I've been blessed to have lots of friends conveniently having to pass through Santa Monica. Niki came for a weekend as we had a baby shower for Chelly to go to in Orange County and then Becca Boo passed through this past weekend and it was so fun to show them both our new neighborhood.
Dinner at 'Neptune's Net' with the Anderson's in Malibu
Palisades Park & Zeke at 'Baby Blues BBQ' in Venice
It's safe to say Zeke and I have been taking full advantage of our surroundings and we are making the greatest adventure out of it. I sure do miss my friends in Utah and I extremely miss my home and family in Georgia but I think California is the best place to be for distractions and keeping myself happy and full of life. I've been blessed to have a relaxing first month of the year. January has always been such a dreadful month for me while living in Utah. It was the longest month of my life, the coldest month and the most painful month and to say that I have enjoyed January for the first time in many years is mind blowing. I've have been blessed to experience a very warm and abnormal winter in January, going to the beach, trying new spots to eat, meeting new friends, and having time painting and reading. But don't you worry, I am taking action and becoming responsible and I'm truly excited to start my dream job on Monday as a Visual Associate at J.Crew and I'm ready to be put to work and to exercise everything I have learned with my Visual Arts degree while styling the J.Crew store on Third Street Promenade. Nothing could be more exciting for me at this time! Let the games begin, and onto February we go!