When I was a little girl, The Nutcracker was the quintessential Christmas story- with it's accompanying classical music and beautiful dancing, it captures the true feeling of this season. I was mesmerized by Clara's adventure. The symphony, written by Tchaikovsky, was adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman's (a German Romantic author of horror and fantasy) story, called The Nutcracker and The Mouse King. It was full of incredible detail and mystery.  Her beloved nutcracker, given to her by her God-father, transforms into a large dancing man, who leads her through his world of danger and intrigue.

Our original inspiration for this shoot was to create some over sized ornaments and props for a dance-inspired theme. We wanted some fun DIY projects combined with an authentic dancer, so Brittany ( of The House that Lars Built) and I searched our ballet connections, and we were pleased that Nicole Choules-Paul was willing to be our chosen dancer.

A former Ballet West dancer, Nicole showed up with a pair of her point shoes (she says she still has about 40 pairs in a closet at home from her dancing days) which she allowed me to paint faces on. She told us she danced The Nutcracker so many times, she lost count. We created large ornaments out of round balloons and silver paper for the tops, I created masks to accentuate the scary element to the ballet (which there already is with it's freaky rats etc.. ) Brittany and I painted the nutcrackers, and finished up the rest of the props just in time for Nicole to begin her magic. Aubrey Nelson was kind enough to do hair and make up, and Nicole was immediately transformed into her beautiful ballerina self- looking not a day shy of having left the stage.

The shoot was incredible with all of these women involved. Nicole looked like she was still dancing hours upon hours every day (this is a woman who is a mother of four children people!) Brittany was wonderful and charming and creative as always, and we helped each other finish up all of the props as Jessica Peterson (of Jessica Peterson Photography) bustled about, with her usual natural finesse and eye for beauty. Aubrey braided and brushed, and sprayed gold onto Nicole's hair, created a doll-like look for our dancer- she has a natural way of approaching each person she beautifies.

The rest is really self-explanatory.

Merry Christmas!

Photos by Jessica Peterson Photography, hair and makeup by Aubrey Nelson, Props and designs by Brittany Watson-Jepsen of The House that Lars Built, and myself, guest ballerina formerly with Ballet West, Nicole Choules-Paul.

Merry Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This is my first Christmas away from my family in 27 years. Is that weird? I think it is (can anyone say grow up already) But it also makes me feel sad. My parents live in Taiwan because my dad works for the government, so my grandpa, brothers and parents are all out there. My grandparents also moved this year, as did my aunt and her family. I'm grateful I have my husband and his family here- it just would make it better if my family wasn't all so far away. But that's what you get with an expat life. Distance.

To make it better this year I made my Christmas card Chinese themed- Shèngdàn jié kuàilè- which is Merry Christmas in Mandarin. The card was done in ink washes, similar to Chinese ink painting. And yes those are my cats (count them THREE) One of them is my mom's cat though, who we are watching while she and my father are overseas. He was my cat in high school in South Africa. He has moved a million times in his life, from South Africa to Beijing, to DC, back to Beijing. My mom thought one more move might finish him off, so he's here for now. One time in Beijing, he got lost for 6 months in the dead of winter. Right before we left for Thailand for Christmas, one of the gaurds in our complex told us he had seen him around the corner. So my mom rushes over and there he was, skin and bones, digging in the dirt. He was never really quite the same after that. Poor guy. He is so scared of everything now. Every single noise in the world.

Here's to a beautiful Christmas, and a beautiful New Years.

Baby Onesies in the Shop! FINALLY

Monday, December 23, 2013

These are up on the shop! I've had a lot of my friends with little ones who have requested illustrated baby clothes. So here you go. They are printed onto American Apparel cotton onesies and come in various colors. Click here for more ;)

S O H N: Wheel

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This song. KILLS me.

Hand-painted flats- Size 39-

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

These are left over from a photoshoot we had the other day (which I'll be posting soon) They are brand new, worn for literally minutes. The ribbon is removable, but looks adorable wrapped up the leg. Size 39- leather upper. Classy and comfortable. These are the only two available so I'd snatch them up real fast. 

Christmas is in less than a week. And it's cold. But I'm cozy in my studio with some good stations playing and my heater on- so I'm happy as pie.

Live Drawing Session

Saturday, December 14, 2013

This was a favorite from this Thursday's drawing session at my studio. Feel free to come draw with us if you are an artist and would like some practice. It's always so much better to be able to draw from life. Our models are also some of the best.

New Items// Gift Ideas & 10% off!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Only a few more weeks till Christmas- which is not to say you need to buy everything you lay your eyes on- but you can consider some items that may be something you are looking for. I've added a few more gardening gloves, egg cups, platters, place-mats, and sugarbowls for fun gifts. Have a look here- comment below and like our facebook page for a 10% off coupon.


Face Vase Giveaway

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Click here to enter to win my signature Face Vase! Kevin from Kevin's Crumbs, is an eclectic blog full of intrigue and interesting design which I'm sure you'll have no trouble navigating and finding something you enjoy. Kevin has a few other shops in the giveaway as well- Besotted Brand, Thatch&Thistle Supply Co., and Concrete Geometric
Have a look and enjoy these beautiful shops!


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