Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breathtaking South Lake Tahoe

My hubby and I were due for a vacation.  We own a timeshare and we needed to do something by the end of the year or we would lose the opportunity.  We decided we would go to the Tahoe Seasons in South Lake Tahoe.

Hubby was really excited to go hiking, swim, walk around...  That all went out the door when the weather turned on us.  Who knew that there would be a freak snow storm this early in winter?  We certainly didn't.  

It turns out, it was a blessing in disguise.  It gave us the opportunity to see Tahoe in a whole different light!  It was a rare opportunity to see the fall foliage in full bloom with a fresh layer of powdery snow blanketing it.  I posted a bunch of personal pics on my Instagram account under the username, ooi0katzy0ioo.  I'm a big foodie so I love going on vacation and taking pictures of all the yummy things I eat.  You'll see a lot of those in the account.  Believe it or not, all those pictures were taken AND EDITED with my iPhone 4S!  Even this gorgeous panorama below:

I took this on the shoreline while the sun was setting.  I was worried it would be too dark but it came out better than I expected.  If you'd like to see more just watch the slideshow below or click on it and it will take you to that album on my photography website: Johanne Moore Photography.  Happy clicking!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Fave Fall Trends 2012

My Fave Fall Trends 2012

Fall has to be one of my favorite seasons.  Do you know why?  The rich colors, textures and BOOTS galore!  I'll give you a run down of just a few of my fave trends.
  1. If it ain't "baroque" don't fix it!  HA!  What was big on the runway for fall were baroque inspired prints on dresses, skirts, blouses, even purses...pretty much everything.  The luxurious print adds a touch of class to any outfit and makes for a bold statement, like the sweater dress I feature above. 
  2. Floral!  I'm a girly girl and when I saw all the floral prints out in stores (shoes, bags, tops, bottoms) I was in heaven.  Obviously, I would have to keep the rest of my outfit simple to balance out the busy print and, just like the image above, I would also pair it with some rugged/ripped skinny jeans just to tone down the overtly girlyness of the blazer.  I would also choose some studded, spiked, moto-inspired boots or booties to complete the outfit just because I always like pairing opposites.  This blazer is a great piece to add to your work closet.  
  3. Bring out your WILD side!  Snake, zebra, leopard, crocodile...  Fashion is a ZOO right now!  I love all the animal prints and animal embossed leather that is saturating the stores.  Sam Edelman, one of my fave shoe designers, came out with an on-trend spiked, snake print, leather, crossbody satchel that is to die for.  Pour la victoire came out with a color-blocked, crocodile-embossed, leather satchel (loving the pop of burgundy on the sides).  Both purses have feminine shapes but the animal embossed leather and hardware keep it young, modern, and oh so CHIC!
  4. The color of amour.  Red, deep red, is the color of the season this year as you can see from the various items above.  It adds a beautiful pop of color to any outfit.  
  5. Booties!  Who doesn't wear boots for fall?  Remember when over-the-knee was THE boot to wear?  Well now the fashion pendulum has swung the other way to their shorter counterpart, the bootie.   A great pair are the Sam Edelman wedge booties seen above.  They take advantage of the on-trend color, which is gorgeous, and the comfy wedge heel assures that you can walk in them.
  6. Man it UP!  Yea I said it!  Men's-wear inspired shoes, like oxfords and loafers, are everywhere.  Dolce Vita, another one of my fave shoe designers, captures multiple trends in one shoe: crocodile embossed leather, cap toe, and men's wear inspired.  What more could you want?  
If you liked any of the items above, you can click on the links below and get them for yourself.  Have fun shopping for fall! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential Election Season
If you live in the United States and are paying attention to the news, or watching TV, or even listening to the radio, you know that we are closing in on our presidential election.

You can expect the mud slinging, the exaggerations, the political ads from politicians and various organizations championing one proposition over another.  Sometimes, I just get sick and tired of hearing, seeing and reading it all.

I always wanted to be an active participant in our government.  I even look forward to getting my jury summons and always wish I could be chosen (still haven't).  However, being a responsible voter is a lot of work!  Why?  Because I constantly have to research whether or not what I'm being told is the TRUTH!  Honesty is hard to come by within politics.

As I prepare to watch tonight's town hall debate between Governor Romney and President Obama, I can't help but remember their last debate on Oct. 4th.  I know I'll probably get a lot of flack for this, and I did at work, but both candidates LIED.  OMG, you'd think I cussed out the President according to one of my co-workers.  She was so offended and couldn't believe I would say something like that about our President.  I kept telling her that I said both candidates but apparently I could say whatever I wanted about Governor Romney.  She asked me to send her proof so I did.  To me, exaggerations and inaccurate numbers are lies especially since I have no doubt that they, with all the resources they have access to, are aware of the exact numbers.  It's all about spin.  She's being naive and sensitive because she is for a particular candidate (Obama) and refuses to hear anything negative about her favored candidate.

I'm very grateful to have access to the following website: FactCheck.Org.  They are a non-biased, non-partisan, NON-PROFIT group that research all the statistics and claims that politicians throw around.  They then publish their research, with sources cited, on their webpage.  This is how I figure out whether or not someone is telling the truth or not.  It will be the same website I check after I watch the second Presidential Debate.  I just hope that people, including my co-worker, realize that politicians lie. It's what they do.  I've accepted it and work around it by doing my own research.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My First Doll Faceup!

I've recently delved into my creative, artsy side.
Because of this I bought my first two resin, ball-jointed dolls. They are fully customizable as long as you know what you are doing. Although my dolls came to me with a faceup, some dolls come completely nude and without a face/makeup, I wasn't happy with my most recent doll's face. She is a white skin and had a faceup that had red undertones. Therefore, she looked like she had allergies and her eyes looked very irritated. The artist also got waaaay too happy with the red blush and gave her rosacea! >_< Haha...

Here is a stock photo of her with the default face up:

As you can see, the face up has a lot of red.  While it looks good on this particular skin doll (I think it's an island skin) it looked HORRID on the white skin.  So after a lot of fretting and researching, and I do mean A LOT, I decided to undertake my first face up!

First I removed her default face and sprayed her with Mr. Super Clear to protect and help the pastels and watercolor pencils adhere to the resin.

Then I did the blushing with flesh and light rose tones.  I made sure to get inside the nose and ears as well as lightly dusting the contours of her cheeks.  I also colored in the lips with a very pale pink and darkened the inside of her mouth with a deep rose color. 

Then came the eyebrows, the inner eye liner, lip lines, as well as a little hint of pink at the inner corners of her eyes to give it a little more depth and realism.  The eyebrows were pretty hard to do and I'm not completely happy with it but it's the best I can do for now considering it's my first time.  I'll probably end up redoing this face up once I get better at it.  (I'm thinking of buying a used head on Den of Angels, a BJD doll forum, and use it for practice face ups.)

Next came the eyeshadow, winged eyeliner and drawn-out bottom lashes.  The bottom lashes were HARD.  I practiced and practiced on a piece of paper till I got the lines and pencil pressure just right.  Not bad for my first...

Then I attached new eyelashes to her eye sockets and put a little gloss on her lips as well as the inner corner of her eyes.  It's really coming together now!

VOILA!  I'm finished.  This is what she looks like with her eyes in and wig on.  Not bad right?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Into The Woods We Go

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugI am absolutely in love with using natural light in my photography.  I like my subject to be surrounded by nature.  This is why I was so excited when I got my first BJD.  I pictured Alythia as a druid or wood nymph.  Her look isn't complete.  I'm playing around with wig styles and color as well as eyes and clothes.  I'm still working with another artist on her outfit.  In the meantime, I'm not going to stop photographing her when I get the chance.  The weather was too good to pass up and I was in a beautiful garden setting.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sharing the Road - What It Actually Means for Bicyclists...

My Bike - Street/Mountain Hybrid
Bicycle injuries: Is the right-of-way fight getting ugly? - From

I recently read the above article and I immediately just had to put my thoughts down.  I live in a very bike-friendly city (Alameda).  We have bicycle lanes up and down the main streets of our small city and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see a bicyclist sharing the road with cars.  I myself, occasionally, ride around on my bike, especially when the weather is warmer.  I'm more comfortable biking around my neighborhood than I would be bicycling in a big, urban jungle like San Francisco.  I know there are plenty who do it but there are just too many cars, trucks, buses, subway cars, etc. that could run me over.  While I may have the right of way on my bike (and maybe you do too), the big, hunkin, metal car will always win! 

With that said, I really didn't like the tone of this article that seeks to blame only the automotive vehicles on the road for all accidents between them and cyclists.  The following link has the laws that bicyclists in California must adhere to: California's Bicycle Laws (DMV Website).  It even states, "Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations.  Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules."  I KNOW there are bicyclists out there who have no respect for cars and vice versa.  They do not follow the laws and they act as if it is the always the driver's responsibility to look out for them.  I think it goes both ways!  I don't drive around thinking other cars need to watch out for me...  That's a great way to get into an accident!

There have been so many times that my hubby and I have driven around, in Alameda, Berkeley, SF, and we've nearly gotten into an accident due to a bicyclist speeding by, running a red light or through a stop sign.  They weave in and out of lanes and make left turns without signaling.  Are they crazy?!?  One of the reasons why I refuse to drive around SF and Berkeley (I let my hubby do it! LOL) are the crazy bicyclists with a complete disregard for the rules of the road.  It's really such a shame that they are always crying foul and blaming motorists.  Then, the article points out, blaming police as well?  I think police don't do enough about ticketing bicyclists who disregard the vehicle code.  It's a shame that I always seem them getting a pass.

That's enough venting for today.  I'm a bicyclist that is well aware that I'm taking a major risk riding with traffic.  I follow the laws, have all the proper equipment and avoid busy intersections when I can.  That's the most I can do and I wish all bicyclists would do the same.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Burst of Nail Artistic Expression

I don't know what's different about today but I had the biggest itch to do my nails!  Yes, my nails!!  And not just slapping on some color.  No...  I felt like doodling, like really doin them up.  So I sat down and thought about what I wanted on my nails.  I ended up doing something different for each nail just to see how it looked.  I was going to choose, in the end, which one I liked better.  BUT...I liked them all so much that I decided to do them all!!  :)  Besides, they're my nails and if I want something different on each nail well then, that's my decision. LOL

From left to right: cake, cherry blossoms, panda, cherries, flower.
Like it?!?