Monthly Archives: January 2008

my supermodel

ben, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

My little supermodel had his first real modeling gig today for Speesees (an organic clothing company I am a big fan of) He was in heaven. So much attention from so many pretty ladies! Playing with his hair, dressing him up, trying to get him to smile…. He and I were both impressed with the gorgeous studio and the enormous paper backdrop and lights. The photographer was Maren Caruso whose work I have admired for some time… I’ll be sure to share the shots when we get them back.

I’ll be out of town for a few days seeing some of my favorite ladies and getting recharged and inspired.

Superhero Photo Challenge #1

ladle face, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

My first Superhero Photo Challenge is up at Shutter Sisters!

Shutter Sisters

sky at sunset, Nick’s cove, on Tomales Bay, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

If that wasn’t enough girl power for you in the last post, I have one more thing to announce. The Shutter Sisters blog is born! The founding sister of the project is Tracey Clark who is an incredibly talented photographer, writer and mama. We met at Blogher two years ago and I have been in huge admiration of her ever since. I was so honored to be asked to be a contributor to the site. (I said yes before she even told me what the project was about!)

Shutter Sisters is a collaborate photoblog, a resource blog, a community space, that is above all, as Tracey says, “an inspirational celebration of the beauty that women behind cameras can capture.”

This site is not about being an expert photographer. I love that Tracey chose both professionals and amateurs alike to collaborate with, knowing that we can learn and be inspired by “non-experts.” (I proudly consider myself in this category) A great example of this is Shutter Sister Kate Inglis’ exquisite shots with her point and shoot. How does she do that?!

There will be interviews, tips and tricks, giveaways, and lots of beautiful images and writing. I have a great feeling about this site and this budding commnunity. It feels like another bright light in the blog world.

Have a visit and let us know what you think! (We are still working out the kinks) Those of you who miss the superhero photo challenges will be happy to know they have a new home over at Shutter Sisters.

girly getaway

pier, Nick’s cove, on Tomales Bay, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

One of my intentions this year is to have more girly time. At some point I realized that I had slipped away from girlfriends that I love and decided that if it wasn’t going to happen organically (I rarely have spontaneous coffee dates or stay out late in the city these days) I was going to have to institute something more official. This has currently taken the form of monthly girly slumber parties. I discovered these recently when a friend of mine was going through a breakup. I could tell that she didn’t want to sleep in her house alone so I offered to come sleep over. It was such sweet time that we had her sleep over here the following week. There is something so rich and intimate about a good old fashioned slumber party. If you haven’t had one in a while, I recommend it!

With that in mind, my friend Marcia who is a food writer and the founder of the column and site Tablehopper thought of me for an incredible overnight stay at the new restaurant and cottages called Nick’s Cove. It is Pat Kuleto’s new creation. He is the owner of Farallon, Boulevard, Jardiniere and many other gorgeous San Francisco restaurants. He is known for his design style and his knack for transporting you. She was on assignment at Nick’s and I got to be her guest. (Hot tip to readers: Make friends with a food writer!)

The adventure began when Marcia picked me up in her sassy little red italian car. I am not usually impressed by cars but I have to admit that it was fun to be the girls in the hot little number zooming along the highway. People were letting us into traffic a bit more than usual, and every motorcyclist that zipped by gave us a wave and a salute. Seriously. We looked that cool. ? (The hours in my day when I look cool now are SO few I couldn’t figure out all of the attention at first. I thought we had a taillight busted or a skirt caught in the door)

Marcia, the Tablehopper, with her little red Alfa, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

Petaluma cow, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

The cottages are out near Point Reyes, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Truly, if you come to the bay area take a little day trip here. It has some of the most beautiful roads, beaches and hiking around. Not to mention the food… I tried my very first oyster during this trip and it was amazing! I had always been afraid taste them and somehow escaped the opportunity all these years. As I was about to put it in my mouth, I thought of Ben, realizing that he gets this same scary feeling every day. Not knowing what something will taste like, or what it even what it is. I had so much compassion for him in that moment. Needless to say, it was delicious (some of the best oysters in the world come from this area) and the barbecued oysters were off the hook.

trying my first oyster, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

Our cottage had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wood burning stove and heated italian tile in the bathrooms. Fresh local cheeses, apples and wine arrived to our room before dinner, fresh bread and french press coffee were at our door when we woke up. I know. I am torturing you, so I will stop there. It was dreamy.

Big Rocks cottage, where we stayed at Nick’s cove, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

Have you had your dose of girly time lately? I highly recommend it… a slumber party can do wonders.

Marcia, the Tablehopper, Canon Digital Rebel Xti



We’re all under the weather over here. Hope things are brighter where you are! Be back soon..

walkin the walk

Ben walkin, Chrissy Field, SF, Canon Elph SD1000

no hands, Chrissy Field, SF, Canon Elph SD1000

I am working on getting a good video of Ben doing his drunken sailor impression. His first wobbly steps are so exciting! It’s amazing to see how much he improves each day.

I am entering a whole new phase of being in love with this little guy. I fall harder for him every day…I am smitten. It doesn’t help that he does ridiculously adorable things like makes dog sounds in spanish when he sees a pup, “guau guau!” (sounds like wow wow) or talks in his sleep and says, “uh oh… uh oh…”

After a year of Ben, I feel like I am arriving home from a long trip. I feel like I disappeared from my life, from friends, from myself, from the world. Not bad, just went on a long journey to a brand new country and instead of coming home to the place I thought I left, I see that it is all different. I am now rearranging the furniture, hanging the drapes and making it home again.

There is some sadness in letting go of what used to be and a joy in loving what is new/now. I suppose it was an illusion to think that things weren’t always changing all the time. It was just never so obvious until now.

Like I said before, I love the metaphor of the new year and starting fresh. Ben is walking now, (well, wobbling now) and that is how I enter the new year with him: Teetering across the floor, gaining new ground every day, feeling proud of each new step, and falling over and saying, “uh oh” in my sleep.

Brian Andreas quote

andrea, matt, emeryville marina, shot on self-timer with my Canon Elph SD1000

“What do you want? I said and she said, in the abstract or the concrete? and I decided to rephrase the question. I’m going to the store, I said. Need anything? and she frowned and said, Obviously, you meant concrete.” –Brian Andreas


Zorba, joy necklace, photo by Shelba,Canon Rebel XTI

Shelba sent this photo to me yesterday of her daughter wearing a superhero necklace. Not only was I delighted to see something I had made in such a gorgeous photo, I was moved by the pure absolute joy in this child’s face. I thought it was a great image to celebrate our Mondo Beyondo lists and the brand new year. Let’s all call in more joy!

More things that brought me joy recently:
Ben saying “Uh oh…” when he drops something.
Swirly starting a brand new blog called Sparkletopia. Check it out!
Being asked to teach a workshop in September at an artist retreat in New England (more exciting news to follow on this)
Being photographed by Boho a few weeks ago.
Shooting a bat mitzvah in Puerto Rico with a dear friend this spring. Adventure!
Reading your Mondo Beyondo lists.(Keep em coming!)
Your awesome support with my book dream. Whee!
Ben taking two wobbly, drunken sailor steps toward me this morning before he carefully squat on the floor.

Mondo Beyondo 2008: Where will you go?

paw prints, Ocean Beach,Canon Rebel XTI

Okay everybody, now for the fun part. We get to create our intentions and our Mondo Beyondo list for 2008. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, I let go of declaring resolutions years ago when I realized they didn’t work for me. Mostly they didn’t work because they made me feel like a crappo person. They seemed to be about quitting something I liked (ie. chocolate), starting something I didn’t like (must pick up jogging this year!) and just basically being a better, more perfect and disciplined (get organized!) version of myself.

I prefer starting the year off with declaring what I want to draw into my life and let those items entice me into action. Sometimes the difference here exists in language. For example, instead of saying, “I want to get rid of these saddle bags” it might inspire you more to say, “My intention is to feed my body beautiful, whole foods and swim twice a week.” Or, instead of a vague, “Stop watching tv” you might present an inspiring alternative for yourself: “My intention is to read or knit each night after dinner and complete all of my unfinished craft projects by May.”

It’s up to you, whatever gets you going people! This is what works for me.

After you list your intentions, let’s do the list that is truly Mondo Beyondo status. What are the things you are wanting to manifest that are almost too scary to even write down? The ones that elicit a gremlin response of “You can’t have that!” or “Who are you to ask for that?” or “Fat chance. That will never happen. You’re not a good enough….(fill in the blank)”

Are you nervous? You should be. This list should be a bit dangerous. It should make you feel a little shy and excited. Butterflies abound.

Since I’m not sure how long I have before Ben wakes up, I will start with my one big Mondo Beyondo item: Complete my proposal and find a publisher for my book project. (This one feels scary to write!)

“If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can.” -Brian Andreas

quick and dirty wins the race

Ben doesn’t worry about being perfect and strangely he just is….,Canon Rebel XTI

When Ben was a few weeks old,Canon Rebel XTI

If you are anything like me, you have a perfectionist gremlin that keeps you from getting things done. “That’s not good enough!” it shouts. “You should maybe do that in your journal first..” it whispers. “Maybe you should work on it later/tomorrow/when the time is right…” “This is important. You shouldn’t just write whatever… you should light a candle and burn some incense and make a sacred space…”

Very clever little gremlin, I might add.

For those of you who haven’t answered the completion questions yet (and are inspired to) like myself, I encourage you to go in the face of your gremlins and write ANYTHING. I am a fan of the quick and dirty version… When I give myself permission to write something imperfect, I end up writing SOMETHING and that is always better than nothing. Even better, there is often a kernel of writing/ideas that I like in there. Sometimes the quick and dirty version is the most true expression, free(ish) of ego and gremlin activity. Imagine: What if you did a quick and dirty version of that novel? that proposal? that application? that painting?

Here are my quick and dirty answers to the completion questions:
1. In 2007 I learned how to take care of Ben, how to change a diaper, feed a wee one, listen to him cry (so difficult) and love him up. I learned how to give myself over to a task, to let go of all the things I thought I needed to do (sleep, see friends, blog, etc.) and simply BE with this little dude. I’m proud of the commitments I have made (and honored) to my little family. I am proud of how patient, present and connected I have been. I have been a good mama.

I am also proud that I ran Superhero Designs and got so much joy out of doing so. Making necklaces was like a meditation for me and I am so happy that I was able to do it and contribute financially to our home. I am proud of a successful year both personally and professionally.

I am proud that I honored my desire to be creative and to write and take photos when I could and also let it go when it wasn’t possible.

2. I forgive myself for being a totally imperfect mother and partner. I forgive myself for trying to control the show and not letting others help me (and then resenting them, ha! :). I forgive myself for neglecting relationships and disappearing. I forgive myself for not taking care of my body well. I forgive myself for not making ben’s baby food (earth’s best baby!) and for possibly contributing to whatever chewing and weight problems he has. I forgive myself for being afraid to travel with Ben (even to SF) this year. I forgive myself for watching too much tv and dvds.

I grieve the relationship that Matt and I had as a duo.

3. 2007, you were long and full and rich with lessons, joys and challenges. I am grateful to you and I am also ready to let you go and create anew. I declare you complete!

2008 is my year of partnership and romance!