Tuesday, June 26, 2012


One of the many things that is on my to-do list is a new logo design. The last logo I had designed, I didn't love...at all. I have used it a little, but not really.

Of course, last week I ended up in a situation where I needed a logo immediately. It was late night and I needed a watermark for a set of images. I tried just using some text with my company name, but it just wasn't working for me. So, I pulled out the not-so-loved logo and tried to make it work for me.

Because it was going on an image with many different backgrounds, the logo itself needed to have a light background. So, I adjusted, played and came up with this...

Do you see it? Yes, it's totally a feminine pad with wings. This wasn't going to work at all. So, I came up with this little diddy.  

Which I later found out had the same background as a beer company or something. Plus my sister and mario were totally unimpressed. It was last minute though and I needed to get a damn watermark on my photos. At least it didn't look like a pad and it looked kind of cute on my photos. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board...

This is one of the beautiful families that just moved into one of the homes I photographed.

They were doing a news piece on the project and interviewing the new homeowner.

An interview with the realtor about how the program works. 

So far this project has kept me busy, but it's fun to shoot stuff like this once in a while. ps...I still keep the pad with wings logo on my desktop because it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to come to the airport with her family. They pick me up, we drop them off, I take their car and keep it at my place for the few weeks they are out of town. It was easy peasy. I found the one area where there is no street sweeping parking restrictions. I parked it and pretty much just checked on it when I went out to my car.

Tonight was the night I was supposed to pick them up from the airport. Between sitting on the street for two weeks and its normal three young male passengers...it was a mess. So, Mario took the van down to his favorite car wash for a quick wash and vacuum. It looked great. I was pretty excited to pick them up, see my boys real quick and send them home with a clean van.

The timing was perfect. I pulled up as they finished picking up all their luggage. Nick came out to start loading up the luggage. I left the car running and hopped out to help. As I rounded the back he asked me to unlock the back hatch. I turned around headed back to the drivers door and my heart sank...I had locked us out of the car with it running!!!

I felt awful! 11 o'clock at night, two exhausted adults, and three crying exhausted boys! What a jerk! Nick immediately decided he should just break a window...driving home with a broken window and three crying boys sounded even worse! Luckily Mario was following right behind me and could call AAA for a locksmith. I didn't want to hear the crap I would get from Mario...although nothing could beat the guilt I was feeling for my friends who had just spent 5 hours on a plane, dealing with three boys far past their bedtime. They now had to wait for a locksmith and then drive an hour home! Jerk isn't a strong enough name for me!

I stood there looking down and kicking the curb, wondering how long it would take to get this car unlocked. I had lost Mario before we even got on the freeway, when I ran through a yellow light and he was now no where in site! I looked up to see my best friend staring at me through the window and I just shook my head. She smiled...not what I was expecting. Why was she smiling? Well, because Katie is a super mom and had packed a spare key in their luggage! Woo hoo! Until Nick broke my hopes by telling me it was the key to their other van! This was an emotional roller coaster! And Mario still wasn't there to call AAA.

Luckily Nick was wrong and she did have the spare key to the van! Mario pulled up just as we unlocked the can. Car unlocked, luggage thrown in, 2.5 crying kids seat-belted in, and four adults happy to be heading home!

I still can't figure out how I locked the car. Most cars now a days have a security feature that makes the car unable to lock, if the car is running and there is no one in the drivers seat. My oldish car does at least, and I think it's the bestest feature ever! I got out of the car, but I never hit any of the lock buttons. I just hopped out and ran back! I specifically didn't hit any buttons. I personally think the door can be opened without unlocking it...which means I didn't unlock it in the first place.  Either way...dip shit move!

I got a text from Katie as we all drove away saying she owed me for picking them up, washing the car, and putting gas in the car...I told her I took it down a notch and a half with the locking us out stunt. I thought it was the stupidest thing I've done in a long time. Being a great best friend, she made sure to remind me of her top two favorite dip shit things I've done. First, was somehow tying my feet together with my sister's purse straps, trying to exit the car and flinging myself face first into the pavement on our first day of vacation and injuring myself pretty good. Second, was on our last day of a cruise we were on. Flip flops + freshly swabbed deck = me slipping and falling two or three times. It was like one of those cartoons where they are slipping on oil and can't stand up...this was me in front of a crap load of other passengers.

True, these were two stellar dip shit moves. However, neither were exactly my fault. They mostly played off of my ability to be a clutz. Locking us out of the car was definitely my fault! At least it worked out in the end but still. Karma sure knows how to put a girl in her place!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just when I thought I was blogging again...

I got a very time consuming gig. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm photographing rehabbed homes for a non-profit and, I guess, the city of LA. Their website goes live next month, so I've spent pretty much the last three weeks shooting a crap load of homes.When I'm not shooting, I'm editing. The only reason I have time to write this, is because I'm waiting for photos to export.

I had just enough time to run away for my birthday...very fun, but very inconvenient! That really cut into my editing time...not to mention how distracting my mother and sister are! despite the inconvenience of my birthday, it was exactly what I needed. My mini-birthday-weekend was far too short and I was back to work far too soon.

Luckily, I've had Colleen to help with the shooting. She's been my assistant, stager, prepper, closer, and key holder...she's also been a form of entertainment. Her job starts when we get to a property. She hops out of the car and unlocks the gate. Then she has to go on a hunt for the lock box containing the keys to the house. Generally, if the instructions say the box is on the front porch...it's most likely on the back porch. They're never quite where they say they'll be. In most cases, we just search around the entire house.

At one of the houses, the instructions said the keys were on the back porch. She headed to the back and I started to photograph the front exterior. I got one shot off before she came back around the corner mumbling about how tall people need to appreciate that there are short people in this world. Interesting. She then told me that she was going to need to use the step stool, because the builder is obviously 6'4'' and built the fence too high for anyone to reach over and unlock. So, I went to the car, pulled out the step stool, handed it to her, and got back to shooting.

Another minute went by and I figured she had gotten through the gate. Until she came back around the corner and asked me to come look at something. Some of these houses are not in the best neighborhoods. Honestly most of these houses are in South Central...which turns out isn't as bad as they say. Watts, however, is as bad as they say. So, I followed her around the corner not knowing what to expect.

I did see exactly how tall that damn fence was...I completely understood why she was grumbling. The fence was tall. I was actually about to ask her if the step stool was tall enough, when I saw that she had gotten the gate open. Cool. Then she pointed out the problem.

While there was a gate, there was actually no fence attached to the gate or between the two houses. HA! She was so focused on the gate being tall that she missed the fact that she could have just walked around it! I'm still giggling about that!

My next favorite thing has been her staging aesthetic...always classy! She tried this one out to see if I actually pay attention when I'm photographing. I'm happy to know that I pay a bit more attention than I thought I did, cause I caught it pretty quickly.

Anyway, it's been busier than crap for me. Hopefully, after July 1st, I'll be a bit more relaxed and more into a routine for this company. It's a two year contract, we're just in a real push to get what they have online. Not to mention that I have a client that keeps sending me referrals...it's yay and wait hold on, I'm too busy, all at the same time. I love it though!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

So This is What They Discuss at Quilting

"Hi Laura, it's your mother. Oooh...god I'm having too much fun here. I've been working on the health insurance at work. Anyways, had a fun time last night at quilting. We were having enjoyable time. And we were talking about the Fifty Shades of Grey... didn't know that was three books. And then there was a discussion. Nancy has decided that I'm the one that has to get rid of her "toys". They're in a Chico bag, under a pillow in her closet. Oh my god! We were having a very interesting discussion with that last night. Oh and we talked about the hunger games....blah blah blah. Love you whole bunch. Bye"

Why. Why is this a message that my mother leaves on my phone?! Why is this being discussed at quilting? Why is my mother in charge of getting rid of someone else's "toys"? And why are they in a Chico bag? Despite all my questions, I didn't call her back...I really don't want to know.

Monday, June 04, 2012

My New Game

One of the new fun games I have started to play is "When Will Mario Notice?" No, not that game that bitter wives play when they get their hair cut and get then pissed when their husband doesn't notice. This game is fun.

Mario and I tend to have the standard running list of things that we want to get done around the house...eventually. We always think it will get finished next weekend...and it tends to not happen that fast. Since I've really been getting things done around here, I finally decided to hit some of the things on our running list.

First on the list was getting some curtains up in the living room. We can not stand vertical blinds. These have the bonus of being broken vertical blinds. We had curtains and everything else we needed. So, while Mario was in class, I set out to get those bastards ironed and up on the wall! They went up easily enough. I might have had to iron them two times and they still look wrinkled, but they were up...and they looked good. It added a lot of texture and a more finished look. I was pretty happy. I knew Mario would love the curtains...I was just curious how long it would take him to notice.

I figured it wouldn't be too long. He usually comes home all excited about the things he learned in class...I know...geek! Then I figured he'd have some dinner, relax and then "oh hey look how nice!". Nope...there was competition!

Mario had ordered some gadget from Amazon and it had come in the mail. He was in love. The man walked in the house...talk, talk, talk about school...saw the box...opened it like a kid at Christmas...played with new toy...walked down the hall...came back down the hall facing said curtains the entire time...sat in front of curtains playing with toy again...went into the kitchen for some dinner...walked back from kitchen facing curtains but not seeing them because he was gazing lovingly at new toy..."You used to look at me that way" I said jokingly...shot me the look that says "I was not gazing lovingly at my new toy" which made me laugh cause he totally was. I knew there was no chance for the curtains. I would just wait and see.

He noticed two days later. I had been out for the entire day and was finally home. "Oh, honey, you put the curtains up! You must have put those up pretty early before you left this morning."
Me smiling..."No I put them up while you were at school"
Mario..."no way! I can't believe didn't notice!"
Me..."Yeah, I wondered how long it would take. It makes the place look so different. But you had gotten your new toy...and it's all you could see. You even put the toy right in front of the curtains...but you only had eyes for the toy"
Me..."It's alright. I was more curious how long it would take...there were bets made."

Of course that couldn't be the only round of "When Will Mario Notice". One of the things that has driven me absolutely crazy since the day we moved in this joint was the fridge. Because of the different layout of the kitchen, the fridge now opened the wrong way. This was actually pretty high on my get-er-done list. Luckily one of my friends was over. "Ever switch the door on a fridge?" Her response..."I think I'm about to learn"

Cussing, one reference to the google for a little help, the better part of an hour and one discussion about whether we could carbonate wine in our soda machine, and the fridge now opened in the correct direction. This was exciting. I was quite proud of us...hell I'm still proud of us. We didn't even empty out the fridge or freezer door before we took them off...I'm not sure if this was a benefit or not...but it's all back together and in working order. We basically switched the handles to one side and switched the hinges to the other side. I only wish there was a way to have switched the hinges and kept the handles where they were...that would have really confused the man! I couldn't think of a way of doing it without possible breaking the handle, so it I let it go. And I waited...

This time it wasn't that long. Mario came home and walked into the kitchen for a drink. I purposely stayed in the living room because I knew I would blow it and start laughing if I was in the same room as him.

I heard him reach for where the handles were and I swear I could hear the confused silence. Then..."Honey! Uh, um, the door, did, um.....you changed..."
Me trying not to laugh "What?"
Mario "The fridge door..."
Me "the fridge door?"
Mario "You switched the door. It's on the other side."
Me "What are you talking about?"
I couldn't keep it up though cause the poor man was stammering and completely backwards..."Yes I switched it. I talked Colleen into helping."
Mario knowing I've been playing my new favorite game "When did you do this?"
Me "Last week."
Mario "What! I can't believe I didn't notice! Oh my god!"
Me "I'm just kidding! We only finished half hour before you came home. It's much better, right?"
Mario "It feels so different! I actually makes the kitchen feel much better!"

I haven't figured out what round three will be...but I can't wait. He's aware of my new game, but I don't think he cares because all the odd shit is getting taken care of around here!

Sunday, June 03, 2012


I've been on a real kick lately. I've been making weekly lists and getting shit done! I spent the last few months sans list and spent more time wondering what the hell I've been doing.

Out came the list again, and I've been uber productive. Things that I have been sitting on for months are getting finished. I know...I write a blog like this at least once a year. Me surprised that writing everything out actually helps me get more finished...I can't help it, I'm surprised every time.

With so much of the odd stuff getting finished around the house and a few good size projects on the business horizon, I took the weekend off from the list. I decided I needed to get a few fun things finished. My first project was technically on my mental list. I have been looking at it every day and wondering what I'm going to do with it. Our dining room built-in...

I love it. I've always been a sucker for a cute built-in. This one is sure cute...but it's blah. Since we moved in, I have been trying to decide what I wanted to do with it. I think I had decided to line it with cute fabric or paper. I just hadn't found anything that would fit and I couldn't decide how I was going to attach said paper or fabric to the inside. Even in the shower this morning, I was trying to decide if I should just use contact paper...the only problem is that I haven't seen any contact paper that I even remotely like. So, as Mario talked about hitting home depot after lunch, I instantly decided that I was going to paint it teal.

Not only did I pick up my paint, but I picked up supplies for another project that has been gathering in my closet....aaanndd....I finally picked up two cute planters with flowers for my front porch! I have been looking for oh four months now. Yes, it's a miracle. Anyway, here is the finished project...

Ignore the yellow cast...the color is actually much more teal than the blue it's showing. I'm in love. It pops and I can actually see my glass cake plate and little dishes. Of course I had to pull my grandmother's and mother-in-law's tea cups to put out. I think there will be a few more things shifted around until it feels right, but holy heck it's finished! A really quick little change that makes me infinitely happy. I've actually been walking around the house trying to figure out if there is somewhere else I can use this color...I wonder if Mario would notice if I painted out closet teal?