“It’s not you, it’s me (actually its you)” — My breakup with LA

It’s official! La and I are over an done with. After a couple years of romancing the relationship fizzled out and I saw it more for the dirty city it was! Haha no La is dirty (not to offend loyal LA-lites, but come on that place is going to melt down in a fog of smog, its just a matter of time)

My husband wasn’t very happy there, I had no time to sew, and no time to sketch- literally as you can see, I basically stopped sketching completely for myself and only sketched if it was a big commission job. My real-time job working for a clothing company (making stuff you see in places like Anthro, Urban, etc) took up so much time and energy I found myself coming home and collapsing, hoping to rest up before I needed to be back in the office by the next morning.

I thought alot about my dreams in design school, when it all started, and when this blog, Etsy, and Illustrations a la Mode was created. I wanted to make things. I wanted to draw and cut and paint and pin, hunch over a watercolor tablet or sewing machine until 4am in the morning blue-eyed with  some sort of maddened sensibility, a controlled chaos, that I would come out of the other end holding something beautiful and say, I made this.

Not even to make money- sure, money makes the world go round or whatever the American capitalist bullshit tagline is. And yes I love me some nearly $30 MAC mascara and smelly face creams that set one back a good benjamin without breaking a sweat. I like having some nice things, but looking around me there isnt one of them that I would weigh out and say yea, I’ll give up what I love to go make money else where so I can own lots of you. (yes, in this dialogue Im talking to Chanel foundation. But thats neither here no there)

Maybe it wasnt the city- I think people can make themselves miserable or happy no matter where they are. But it was a rut. A dark dangerous hole that while my day job payed some bills, at night when I came home and should feel accomplished I instead sat and obsessively flipped through Vogue, looking at some gorgeous thing and closing my eyes to try and remember piece by piece how I’d pattern it out, or what colors I’d mix and how much white to leave on the watercolor tablet to make it great.

I was doing the wrong thing. But now I think I’m on the right track : )

Some sad news that happened in LA for a recap- my beloved pug, Bella (she blogged once or twice here) passed away after an inaccurate diagnosis of epilepsy ended up being a brain tumor. Being there as we let her go has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I know she’s resting now hopefully somewhere where there are alot of goldfish crackers and nectarines (yes, those were some of her favorite snacks!).


Back to good news, and being back on track- we’ve moved to Monterey county! We are close to Carmel which if you’ve followed earlier posts I’ve blogged about my husband Jacob who is the first American artist to be represented by one of the very prestigious galleries in the town! The difference between what you get for your money in southland compared to up here is amazing, Im so in love with our new house we’re renting! It has really high ceilings, lots of light, and an extra room! Now Jacob and I both have separate spaces to do our thing (his paintings/space used to be our entire living room in La -_- ) now that we are in a 3-bedroom I have my atelier, he has his paint studio, and then the master room is upstairs.

I dont think I ever posted much about our space in La, but its crackers in comparison. Can you believe our rent is substantially cheaper?!  It makes no sense, but I love it. That is the extent of photos I’ll share for now though- my lack of housewife skills means we are still in the process of unpacking. But, for the most part we spend alot of time around the gallery and Carmel and are loving it. One of our fav local haunts is Cafe Carmel! If you’re ever in the area, go in for the best sandwich/panini of your LIFE. Ask for Johnny, and tell him Jacob and Chelsea sent you and you want the works. He’ll hook you up ; )


In other news, I have acquired more pet minions. While in LA we adopted a siamese kitten from a shelter, I could not believe and still dont know how I swindled Jacob into agreeing, but he’s a pretty chill cat and totally attached to Jacob so I think it worked out : ) Meet De Kooning! (If the name is unfamiliar, brush up on your art history here!

Shortly after our adoption of  de-koon, my beloved Bella passed. If anyone has ever lost a pet and is like me where you feel as if you are responsible for them like a child, you understand the loss. I was pretty torn up, and my husband joked that I should look at pug puppies to make myself feel better. I think he would have went right out that day and bought me one if it would have made me feel better, but I had pretty much sworn off getting a dog again that would be my puppy and grow up so attached to me. But, as I scrolled though pictures, I accidentally stumbled upon a petfinder page with a ton of grown abandoned pugs. I scrolled down, so sad and disgusted that all of these pugs were cast off, when I would have done anything to have kept mine more than the three years I was given with her. Then, I see this dog. I dont know why, but unlike the rest where I thought oh so sad hopefully it finds a home or good sanctuary group, I felt compelled to read more. They had a video of him playing in a yard, and under his story. “Marbles” as they temporary called him at the shelter group was given to them by a vet who came by him when his family abandoned him instead of providing him care. The previous owners had kept him outside in their yard 24/7 with the family’s other dog, a german shepard. Once while playing, the german shapard got a bit rough, and literally popped this little pugs eye of of its socket. The owners, not wanting to foot the vet bill, left him in the yard that way, with his eye hanging out of his head. Once it got severely infected and he showed signs of severe pain they took him to a vet. When told the surgery would cost $600, they surrendered him to the vet expecting him to be humanely euthanized and they left.

His story was unbelievable to me, and I knew I needed to help this little guy out. So, while he had a bit of tough shit to deal with, I got this awesome pirate pug- meet Napoleon!

Best part, the cat and the pugs love each other.

So, new start in Monterey with a bunch of mutts and husband, ready to start doing what I love again.

With that, I’ll get back to blog-related content : ) Head over to my next post for last night’s latest illustration!




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