Behind the Card: “Golden State of Mind”

IMG_20150116_191820The original text of this particular card was meant to be written on the back of a postcard I bought in Huntington Beach. It’s a lovely little vintage piece with deep blue and all the sunniness that nostalgic California should sing about!CA Post2

With my writing, California is definitely a big part of my identity. All the ideals of this “21st Century Land,” as I like to think of the West Coast, really sings to me; there is just such a widespread misconception that California is a Neverland, an Eden or the crack in the glass ceiling. Heading out West means starting new and making your dreams come true. It’s a calming effect to being out here as well, as San Franciscan transplants I’ve heard talk of their relocation as refreshing. But is this place really as refreshing as outsiders make it to be?

Of course not. I live here– born and raised and more than aware of the downsides to being in this state. First off, it’s expensive being out here. And there is a sense of snobbish entitlement borne from the awes and resentment that living in California creates for people outside of here. But California is for the most part no separate place from the global and political issues that claim the rest of the nation– and living in the center of a changing urban scene as San Francisco’s makes all too familiar with issues like the homeless and marginalized ethnic groups with deep roots to the city. But I’m an idealist. Just because reality kicks in doesn’t mean change can happen, that luck may find its way around.

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Orange blossoms notebookAnd that’s where “Golden State of Mind” comes from. The disillusionment of the American Dream as set in place by the idealistic offerings of California is always fixated on my mind and makes for a stark contrast of inspiration from such a postcard. But taking down the California image is not my agenda with writing. In fact, it’s my motivation to seek change or discover the hope in whatever struggles I face while living out here. People do get that about California. That being that there is wonder, there is beauty, and there is the dream– dreams live on if you keep thinking about them, simple as that.

RockridgeStationBARTThis card always recalls a brief conversation I had with a friend who lived in California for two years after graduating from the University of Oregon and has since moved back to Portland. They left Oregon in the first place because it was necessary to get outside their norm to truly see who they are. In coming to California, they discovered that being back in Oregon made sense as the way of living in California was unbecoming. People weren’t nice. And maybe I don’t know better because I’ve pretty much been here my whole life. But in the traveling I did this past year, I could really see what they meant. People have no expectations elsewhere in America. They’re humble and genuinely warm and always in awe when I said I came from California. It’s a bit disappointing to see that the hospitality that does arise from here is out of a sense of distorted duty to the tired illusion, to keep on proving to outsiders that inside here the grass is really greener. In stepping out from the state I saw how insane it is to be living here. The perfect, cool life is in fact a hot mess.

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But in my case, it is home.

Complete with the hand drawn and watercolored orange fruit and blossoms, I hope these words open the door to some sort of actualization about this place. California isn’t any of those things the books and movies make it out to be– and then again it is. You can’t just arrive here and expect the troubles to go away. Like any person working for a goal, making dreams come true, such fancies aren’t without putting in your own share of hardships and muscle. Let the fruit of your labors bloom golden and full because in coming to the Golden State, you’ve earned it. You’ve earned yourself this imperfect paradise.

See the printed card now at my shop here, and have yourself a little bit of California!

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Behind the Card: “Floppy Hat” Magnolia Birthday Card

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Part of my joy in writing has been my new venture into my other passion: crafts and illustrating. The relaunch of my Etsy store has brought me so much thrill and excitement even if I never make a profit off the work. Creating for myself and sharing those weird or pretty little numbers I put out there is the only self-validation to prove you did– and you still are– trying to make each moment count towards an active, artistic life.

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So here I’ll start giving you some fun insight behind the work that goes into creating the featured items at Paris K Studio. This week I’m very happy to show you my latest greeting card, the Floppy Hat Magnolia. It’s for Birthday occasions and influenced by my little piece I wrote regarding my favorite accessory, a wine red floppy hat I have to hold myself back from over wearing too much!

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I’ve always been fascinated by hats and the implications behind wearing one for the sake of fashion. Catching your attention first, shielding off the sun second. I can’t pull off hats but somehow the charm of a floppy one makes me feel very confident, weirdly confident and happy. It’s definitely like the glass slippers to pull together the Cinderella look. I was going to draw pretty hat boxes and the original hat onto this design but somehow it didn’t hit me. There would be no symmetrical way to depict them onto the card and I like symmetry at least to round it all off.

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That’s how I came up with my usual floral depictions, and in this case I happily decided upon magnolias. Big hats remind me of the South– something I feel that any modern Southern Belle would have in her closet as a staple piece as a nod to the elegant past. So the flower of the south would be accent with my own idea of “bluebells,” literally blue dots! As I created my first card I found myself once again listening to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. It was the same song I played in the car when I was driving up the I-95 from Florida to Savannah with my mom last October. First time ever in the South, and honestly I never thought I’d ever go to the Southern states. But I’m glad I did. Glad life just surprises you with adventures you never knew you needed.

 

And I hope you can now enjoy this dainty little card you can have as a keepsake or to give to a very loving birthday recipient that fits every bit of bloom as its flowers!

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The Shop is Open!

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New year, new goals, and exciting adventures ahead for this P!

I’ll officially be moving into San Francisco, cutting my commute to work in roughly half! It’s been too long since I’ve been away from this city to properly enjoy all it has to offer, and my move will enable me to attend and write about a variety of literary events within this romantic city with its rich history of the arts. For one, I have a prospective writing workshop to be a part of, but details later to follow– just an idea out there that I’m GLAD at least it’s out there!

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Having received a typewriter over Christmas has reawakened my want to write every moment, as much as I can. Sometimes nothing hits me, but I’ll still jot down whatever fleeting thought I have just to keep the energy going. It’s a blessing, a beautiful thing to have. And it’s a great tool that’s enabled me to take on once more my Etsy shop!

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The new items on display at Paris K Studio now feature not just my own artwork and designs, but some writing as well! Ever since working at Paper Source, I’ve found the perfect outlet in creating greeting cards and unique stationery– a fun form to condense my writing in just the right amount of words. You even get to see a lot of my own designs too, with each card/ printed prose. I don’t have a set signature style; just drawing what makes me feel good inside and hopefully that same feeling translates with the aesthetic I put together in each card!

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Take a look at the shop! Especially if Valentine’s Day is around the corner….

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Washi Tape: the DIY tool that makes ANYONE Crafty

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LOVE THIS STUFF.

I’m totally not afraid to start off this piece with a simple and generalized statement as that. But it’s true– washi tape is seriously what makes crafting worth it! That last minute solution becomes your best friend in the glittery world of DIY paper goods. It’s how I started off mine!

Washi tape is, obviously, a tape! But it’s a magical one, made from paper and delicate enough to tear away what you need from the roll, making it also very easy to work with. It’s practical for basic adhesive uses, but c’mon, tape this colorful begs to decorate! For me, I’ve got my uses out of my set:

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 Cards yes, but I’ve used mine on boxes and mini bunting, to even adding new borders to blah picture frames on my desk. Its universal function stretches far and wide, these are just somethings I’ve put them to use for. Better yet, check out this Buzzfeed article highlighting the beauties of washi tape, and then some!

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Lace washi tape: a God-send.

For anyone looking into crafting, here’s your gateway tool: the one and only and magnificently bountiful array of, this stuff.

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Striping a card, simple as that!