Smiles had just arrived home to Los Angeles (secluded Mt. Washington, to be exact) from Ecuador. She felt like she was walking through a thick fog, and it had nothing to do with jet lag. Had she really just spent the last week with Sheila E? Smiles certainly hadn’t expected Sheila to approach her in the bustling cafe, and she certainly hadn’t expected to be hit with Sheila’s magnetism (although, as a Prince disciple, she totally wasn’t surprised). Her week with Sheila had been like a dream– like sharing secrets at a sleepover, without any bra freezing. They had laughed so much, plied with colorful mixed drinks and fresh fruit, discussing the intimate things they thought were bringing them down. “You’ve got this,” Sheila had assured Smiles quietly. “Your past is not your future, and you are on both feet, with a brain like a trap door. You are ready.” In that moment, as Smiles saw love swell in Sheila’s eyes, she accepted who she was, and confidence and security wrapped around her like a warm blanket. She took the next plane home, knowing the rest of her life was waiting, gloriously, for her.     Model: DJ Smiles Davis […]
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Cate loved the number eleven. This love started after an intense distaste of numbers and number related subjects…otherwise known as SCHOOL. Eleven was different from the other numbers. It could only be divided by itself and the number one. It provided beautiful symmetry. And it was usually muddied in the middle of a lineup, if Cate was ever so lucky as to be part of a team sport again. You could say that eleven saved Cate. Or you could say that Cate saved the number eleven.   Model: Cate Campbell Photography: Jennifer Emerling Makeup, styling, and words: Aurora Lady
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  Sera had gotten sick of going to the same place, at the same time, each and every day. She knew she wanted more: more shimmering light in the morning, more sparks when she touched hands reaching for the sweetener for her coffee, and more loose, smiling head shakes when she heard good jokes. Sera started making lists. She made sure to only write them on heart shaped Post Its, as an homage to her self esteem icons, Romy and Michelle. She put them everywhere, in library books, on mirrors at the restroom inside Pita Jungle. And, most of all, on abandoned beer tumblers at the bar a few blocks away from her cottage. Pretty soon she started to see that someone else was leaving Post It notes. They were green, and perfectly square shaped. Sera loved collecting the tiny green notes and then placing them inside her high school yearbook. She lined them up in the order she found them, and used a different kind of tape to save each one. Once each note was lined up, she couldn’t get them off of her mind. Who was this like minded post it person? Sera went back to the library, […]
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You know how there are some people you just need to celebrate? Doe Deere is one of them. And not just because her birthday was last Saturday. Although, I have to admit that is as good an excuse as any to write this post. Doe in her flamingo sunnies (her power animal!), lifted from her blog, Doe Deere Blogazine. There are lots of reasons to love Doe Deere. She’s colorful. She’s fun. She taught me how to give myself a proper manicure. But here’s what you might not know about her, and what I’ve been lucky enough to find out while being her friend: This woman is tough. This isn’t just a story about a woman creating her own company– it’s about a woman creating a lifestyle–both for herself and for people like her. Like that isn’t enough, she’s had to do it despite vocal naysayers. And you know what? This girl still always has a sincere smile for you, a hug, and an honest disposition. Doe is a standing testament to the power of believing in yourself and your idea. FUCK. YES. She’s got a great sense of humor. It’s one I didn’t expect, and yet it suits her […]
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I wanted to share the cover art I did for Sara Routh. Sara and I worked together to conceptualize what her new album, “Road(s)” was all about– what feeling she wanted the cover art to express, what story she was telling. I primarily used watercolors, pencil, and a camera (!) to give this piece the light, airy mood it needed. When I listened to Sara’s album while creating, I kept coming back to the idea of “space”. There is a definite awareness of distance in the lyrics and the way the album was recorded, and that resonated with me. You can purchase Sara’s album here, or better yet, go see her at one of her shows! Sara’s a total sweetheart. Tell her I sent you! xo
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A photo I took of Renee Olstead in my backyard, when I was feeling the beginnings of a creative slump take hold.   Dear Aurora,I’m in a blog slump and I think I’d like to come out of it. Please share a few of your secrets. Thank you in advance. Your friend,-Jefferson Oh Jefferson! You poor thing! I’m hardly a blog expert, but I do know about being in “slumps”.  Here’s my formula for getting out of your own personal hell of unproductiveness. Ask yourself, “What is my blog about?” Chances are, you started your blog with a specific vision. I know this sounds elementary, but let’s face it, sometimes we fall away from our intended purpose. What was it? What did you intend to write about? If you can’t remember– geez, you’ve been in a slump for awhile!- take a look at your first entry. Maybe that will jog your mind. Once you’ve figured that out, write that shit down! And really, let’s get hardcore about this– get a notebook that’s small enough to fit in your purse, wallet, or back pocket, because this little sucker is gonna be your new best friend. Might as well commit to a […]
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It’s hard to image a world where fashion blogs and What I Wore posts weren’t commonplace. But that world once existed…and I remember it! I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite blogs of yore and wanted to get the skinny from other gals about who they adored on the internet. Who was that girl on the internet that you couldn’t get enough of? How did they influence you? Send me an email at alady@auroralady.com if you wanna be part of the fun! Aurora Lady on Gala Darling (is it totally weird or totally awesome that I’m using myself in this blog post? Go with it…): I’d already been following Gala’s blog, Icing, at the time, for quite awhile before this outfit went up. I have to admit that this is my favorite version of Gala. I think she had just moved to New York and broken up with her boyfriend and it seemed like she was getting tattooed all the time and going to France and Florida and dating. She was still very much figuring out what direction her blog, and she herself, were going to go in. This outfit wasn’t usual Gala– it wasn’t black, it wasn’t streamlined, it […]
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I’ll be frank- winter isn’t the easiest time for me. I don’t know how I’d handle it in a place that has REAL winters…LA’s cold is peppered with a little bit of rain and hail. Sometimes we get wind. It’s nothing like Chicago or New York. That said, I end up retreating into my little home, turning the heat up, and taking scalding hot baths and walking around with a blanket. It doesn’t help that my days feel shorter because the sun sets earlier. I make dinner as soon as I get home from work, do some drawing and then go to sleep. It’s no way to live a life! When I was trying to describe this to my friend Jane, all I could think to really get my point across was that it felt “grey”. Thankfully, Jane is an idea person and she suggested something new. “Why don’t you do something with text? Do an all-text coloring book!” Um, OK! It was just the sort of project I needed. I logged a lot of time choosing the perfect phrases and then inking them. On Friday, March 15, it will be available for you to download on www.aladysweetshoppe.com. I was […]
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I found out about Suzanne Wachtel through a mutual friend on Facebook. It was one of those strange, by chance things and I was instantly charmed. Suzanne is fundraising so that she can enter the Miss California Pageant. Guess what, that shit is EXPENSIVE! She’s doing it all herself, which I totally adore, and the way she’s making her skrill is by selling vegan donuts. When I found out about her idea, I knew that I had to make contact and work with her. It was all just too sweet. Suzanne was nice as could be, and we did a super quick consultation and then I put together this fundraising poster for her. Can I just say that I have missed drawing super adorable things? This was basically about as girly as I could get and I had a huge smile on my face the whole time. Good luck, Suzanne! And if you are in the Los Angeles area, email redshimmerz@sbcglobal.net so you can get your own homemade vegan donuts. Suzanne will even deliver to your home or to work! It’s like a frosted coconut dream. xo
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I met Laura Goldstone when we were both art babies– freshman in the art department at Fresno State University. I knew I liked her when I heard her singing “Teenage Suicide: Don’t Do It” under her breath in class. She has since served as a studio roommate, home roommate, fort building friend, teacher, and most of all, inspiration. In a nutshell: she’s one of my favorite artists. Ever. She’s progressed from gorgeous watercolor drawings to this handsewn, large installation built of thread and leaves, called “Hush”. I was utterly enraptured with Laura’s process and thoughts while she created this piece. Here’s the thing about Fresno– art ain’t easy here. I mean, it ain’t easy anywhere, but there’s a special toughness that comes with Fresno. Laura’s piece is intrinsically connected to Fresno, and it’s important. It’s needed. If you live in the central valley, you need to check out Laura’s piece at the Fresno Art Museum and have your mind promptly blown. Details are below. For now, here’s an interview I did with her regarding the piece. Your piece, “Hush”, was created with the intention of being shown at the Fresno Art Museum. Can you share how Fresno influenced the creation […]
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I love me some Yoko Ono. Who’s in with me on this delicate,  beautiful, and actionable Cleaning Piece? I’m starting a.) tomorrow morning. xo
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There’s only one Courtney Love. And she’s had a place in my life for a long time. When I was a young teen, my life was pretty chaotic. We were moving around every year, and I was transferring in and out of schools with swiftness. I was struggling with a family situation that didn’t make me feel safe, and I retreated into a world that came out of a radio. Looking back, it seems strangely antiquated to say “Rock and roll saved my life.” It didn’t– I kept myself alive. But I did it with the help of music. Here’s the thing though– up until that pivotal point, I was listening to r&b, top 40, and hip hop. I loved music, but I didn’t find what I didn’t know I was looking for til I heard Hole. I knew who Courtney was, of course, because she was married to Kurt Cobain, and Nirvana was all over the radio and Mtv. I wanted to like Nirvana (I still want to like Nirvana), but they never really hit me in the gut. I knew they were important though. I knew that when Kurt passed away, I was sitting next to my best […]
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Mandy Fierens is one of my favorite people—she’s the smarty otherwise known as “The Curvy Blogger”; a photographer, model, and designer all wrapped in one delightful package. When Mandy told me about Zaftig Clothing, I knew I wanted to be involved. Mandy created Zaftig to cater to the female size 10 plus market. Having been part of that market for a very long time, of course I was curious about what the line was going to have to offer. The answer (thank goodness!) was dresses! Perfect. And when I saw Mandy’s first design, I was sold. Totally cute and versatile—I’d feel as special wearing this black and white creation to a tea with a a girlfriend with messy hair, purple lipstick, and cat ears, as a night out to the ballet with vintage heels, mixed up costume jewelry and a pillbox hat. Mandy asked me to create a print, and she’s using it as one of the rewards for funding her Kickstarter for Zaftig Clothing. This was the first time I used gauche on a finished piece; turned out I absolutely love that stuff, and I’ll be using it more! Check out Mandy’s Kickstarter—she’s been working on this for a […]
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Tayva Martinez is someone I’ve known since we were both super teens– as a matter of fact, she was the Super Duper Teen to my Trying to Find my Landlegs Teen. Now that we’re both adults, she’s one of my favorite take-no-prisoners entrepreneur ladyfriends. Tayva has run her own business for as long as I can remember– and she’s always impressed me with her quick wit and sincere devotion to her aesthetic vision. Role model, much? Tayva’s now running her own vintage reproduction jewelry line, called “Sparklelux, by Miss Tayva”.  Make sure you enter our contest below to receive your very own stunning pair of her newest earring design! Even though your handmade vintage-inspired jewelry line is sparkling new, you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time! How did you catch the bug? Did you always know you’d be the captain of your own ship? My mom, who never really worked a “normal” job, has always been artistic and made extra money with her talents. Her main craft has been stained glass windows. She’s outfitted churches with her windows, and has always had a large amount of private clients. It allowed her to stay home with me. She definitely had […]
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