Humming Along

Things have been busy over here! Last time I wrote it was summer and now it's autumn. I do love this season, though. It's the best season for the senses—you've got the brisk air in your lungs and softer textures on your skin, the piercing afternoon light juxtaposed with the aroma of steaming hot drinks, and pops of color are having their last hurrah—you can't go wrong!

I'm enjoying a new role at work but it comes with constant juggling and prioritizing. I'm learning a lot and finally my professional career path is steering a little closer to my personal interests and some day they'll be one and the same, a topic of discussion between J and I lately.

And that brings me to our kid (everything brings me back to that kid). Our son just turned 8 months recently, and I find myself having to stop and look him over for a few minutes. I examine him head to toe to remind myself that he's growing right before my eyes. I can't believe he came into my world only this year! So recently that I can vividly remember what my life used to be like, and while I miss some aspects of the past, I've never been more excited for what's to come. Heck, I'm totally going to be one of those moms that has pre-bought birthday presents stashed in the closet until he's of the appropriate age, starting with a wooden toy bear and a huge ship kite. Some people invest in the stock market; I like to invest in his smiles.

Side projects are also picking up. Speaking of kids, I've been asked to style another kids apparel photo shoot, this time with a fall theme. I've got less than a month to construct a set, acquire and craft all the props and plan the shot list as best as possible. I'm also working on designing a top shelf beverage label and a destination wedding invitation for some very good friends. 

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Yes, the holiday season is always busy, as I'm sure you all agree, but it feels like a particularly bountiful one this year. I've got lots to be thankful for, and I'm looking forward to getting in the festive spirit with la familia: upholding the old traditions and sprouting the new!

 

Union Jack

Fashion. UK. Prop styling. Two things I know next to nothing about, and one thing I'm gradually getting to know. It was a busy weekend but I was lucky to be able to tag along on this testshoot, even just for the first half. And what a location... 

I shook hands with Leila and she quickly dove into sharing anecdotes about the industry and showing me the ropes, all with such openness and candor. Completely grateful. I really didn't do anything to contribute, except steam a few textiles, but just to be around these talented professionals was an eye opening experience—I realized that I have a long way to go, but it’s not at all impossible.

Thank you Leila and crew for having me!

BTS shots by Milan Lee
Photographer Ericka McConnell | Assisted by Nico Oved // Prop Stylist Leila Nichols // Wardrobe Jane Black // Makeup/Hair Lisa Strutz

Oh Happy Day Collaboration

New collaboration with Oh Happy Day

Jordan of Oh Happy Day posted a call a couple months ago for stylists and crafters to collaborate on a new format for her blog, and I couldn't pass up the amazing opportunity. We met and planned and crafted our brains out and this Big Fringe Curtain is one glorious outcome. Learn how to do it yourself (suuuper easy) on her blog!

I also helped with a Halloween costume series:  The Red Balloon, Eiffel Tower, and my favorite, Strongman!

 It was so much fun to work alongside such hardworking and sweet people, right here in San Francisco. My world feels a little bigger and a little brighter.

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All photography by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Photography for Oh Happy Day

Art Directed by Jordan Ferney

Produced by Ashley Rose Kirschling

Styling by me

Monday Morning Meandering



[image from The Thinking Tank]

Monday 8 A.M. At the office early. I love it when the pigeons swoop by the windows in huge flocks -- I can't hear them but I see them out of the corner of my eye. Never quite turn on the camera fast enough.

So far, this morning was full of the following:

• An everything bagel with cream cheese and honey lemon tea. Opted not for the coffee that I think makes me highly grumplestiltskin.
• Photographers Jonas Peterson and Mikael Kennedy make me ache for my camera and the outdoors.
• My friend Justin invited me to Google Wave (!) so I watched two quick tutorials. So much to absorb. Huge learning curve if you're not already web app saavy, and I consider myself to be medium skilled. Regardless, I'm so stoked to practice using this collaborative tool with some friends of mine. Wave at me if you have it! milan.phan@googlewave.com.
• IKEA hack by one of my fav bloggers, for me, for you.
• Collaborative column about being recently self-employed between Mint Design and Pitch Design Union. If there's one thing that's bittersweet about this economy, is the emerging potential for greatness and goodwill we are seeing in people these days.
• Paper paper paper. Researching a possible visual identity for myself. Requesting some quotes for a thank you note card from a couple of letterpress stationary designers -- so far it's looking pricey but worth it!