Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Buddha, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Wow! What a year this has been! The past month has made me feel much more hopeful about 2008. It's going to be a great year, I just know it!

A few highlights of 2007:

I endured a living hell for about a year until I finally made the move to something much better...a new job with creative, talented, professional and FUNNY people! I am going to grow and learn so much without having to fight for my very soul on a daily basis anymore! Yay!

I learned how amazing my friends and family truly are. They put up with so much grief from me, it's ridiculous. Growing pains, I suppose, but they are all truly amazing to have hung in there with me. My boyfriend was a real source of strength for me through al of this, as well as my mother, son and so many of my friends. All of them seemed to know that something better was right around the corner, except me! Thanks so much to all of you!

I had some exciting freelance photography and design gigs...weddings and events. Fun times!

I upgraded my camera and lenses throughout the year, thanks to Craig.

My son developed a very noble goal that he is working extremely hard on. I have been watching in awe over his dedication and motivation. He has grown into a MAN pretty much overnight.

We were able to travel twice to CA to see Craig's band play. Had a blast both times!

I met some incredible people who I now consider friends for life on my trip to Tucson last May.

I finally saw some progress with my complaints of illegal alterations of my timesheets from my old job this week! When I told HR what was happening, they went to my department to correct it, but conveniently they just couldn't find anything wrong. HR then brought it (finally) to IT's attention. I received a check for 21 hours of stolen time that my managers had removed from my timesheets!

The year is ending on a very positive note. I look forward to 2008 being a year of extreme growth and happiness.

To celebrate New Year's Eve tonight, Craig took my mom and I to our favorite little Thai restaurant. I took the pic above of the Buddha there. I love looking at that happy little fella!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2008 is an amazing year for all of us!

Lucky Tennessee Caviar

This looks like a good recipe for New Year's day!

Tennessee Caviar
Serves 8

3 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. purple onion, chopped
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1/8 tsp. Tabasco
1 small can sliced black olives

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Cover and chill.

{{via Daily Candy mom Alda Rae}}

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Joint

The Black Crowes, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Had a really late night last night! I went to the Hard Rock Casino/Hotel to watch Craig fill in on drums for a gig at The Joint. He plays there through New Year's Eve. It was so much fun watching him play something other than metal! He rocked as usual though! And on songs he had never played before! He is amazing!

When the singer thanked Craig for helping out, he made sure to poke fun of me by saying Craig had brought his girlfriend (he pointed to me) and then said I was much hotter than the girl Craig brought the night before. Ha! Very funny! The audience had a good laugh.

I'll be glad when this run is over though so I can see him more often! At this rate I get him for maybe an hour a day if I'm lucky.

{{Pic above is from the Black Crowes show.}}

Friday, December 28, 2007


Cool color fun over at Colorstrology. See what your birth color is and what it says about you. That's mine above...Delft.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Swarovsky Lock Out USB Memory Key

Isn't this lovely?

Ohhhh iPhone

Oh how I wish that I could run out after work and blow my first paycheck on this pretty little gadget! Rent and car payment are awaiting though, not to mention the new work wardrobe items I am badly in need of. Plus I still need to pay Craig back for helping me with a couple things while I was unemployed for a month. I guess the iPhone will have to wait awhile.

Nicole of A Little Sussy got one for Christmas...lucky girl!

Did any of you get an iPhone this year?

2 Books

On my book list:

Art & Fear
by David Bayles

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
by Steven Pressfield

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Colour Lovers

Thanks to my friend Jason for blogging about this color intensive website, ColourLovers. Really clever tool for those times when 'Designer's Block' strikes!

I'm especially fond of their trend section where you can check out colors used on current websites and magazine covers.


Chocolate Santa, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Well, I think I pulled off my Santa duties without a hitch this year! I'm truly amazed that I was able to do anything for loved ones after having a whole month with no paycheck. Thank goodness for the freelance work Manuel hooked me up with! It saved the day!

A few gifting highlights...

For Austin:
Juke cell phone/mp3
remote control helicopter
monogrammed Ralph Lauren bath towel
gift card for the shooting range (yikes!)

For Craig:
Sirius radio
3 month subscription for Sirius radio
sweater & pants
gift card for shooting range
monogrammed Ralph Lauren bath towel
Spa For Men skin care products

For Mom:
blanket/throw she had been wanting
exercise trampoline
cool tea set with blossoming flowers
manicure products
monogrammed Ralph Lauren bath towel

I'm so thankful for all I received this year too!

Craig gave me a nice printer. He also paid for the groceries for Christmas dinner that my mom prepared.

My mom and Austin gave me shirts, the game Cranium and a cool candle holder!

What a beautiful Christmas this turned out to be afterall.

For more gifting goodness, I found this post by Jessica Claire to be an enjoyable read. Browse all of the comments to see what her readers were wanting and giving for Christmas this year.How was your Christmas? What were your favorite gifts given and received?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the most fanciful of holidays! May you have grand moments of merriment, joy and love!

{{photo via twinkle twinkle shabby star}}

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Presents under the tree!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Billy Gibbons

Billy f'in Gibbons, originally uploaded by Matthew Field.

After work I stopped in Off 5th (Saks Outlet store) and realized I was shopping right along-side a very 'sharply dressed' Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top! He was wearing a perfectly tailored suit & the same beanie thingy as in the picture above and had a driver waiting for him outside. Cool little unexpected celebrity spotting, I thought!

Photo by Matthew Field.

Wrangler 47

Not for a moment in my entire life did I ever think I would see the day that I would wear a pair of Wrangler Jeans. Well, that has completely changed. I bought a pair recently and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! They aren't your typical pair of Wranglers though. They are an updated line, Wrangler 47. It's hard for me to find the perfect pair of jeans nowadays, but these fit like a dream!

I bought mine at Macy's, but they are also available online at True Jeans.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All That Jazz

Strolled into work this morning, set my things down at my desk, headed into the hallway to get coffee and realized what I thought was someones radio playing was actually somebody in the studio playing trumpet! Heaven to my ears!

The studio is directly across from my! Green screen and everything. It's cold in there though!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apple iPhone

Do any of you have an Apple iPhone or are thinking about getting one?

After hearing my friend Sabina rave about hers and then having my friend Manuel try to convince me to get one, I started reading up & watching demos on the sleek looking gadget.

I am SOLD! I want one so bad I can taste it!

I keep trying to talk myself into getting one with one of my first paychecks as a congratulatory gift to myself of sorts...hehe. But then I talk myself out of it since my son and boyfriend, both of whom I communicate by phone the most would be on different networks then and it could get expensive on a monthly basis due to that. Uggh.

I really, really want one though!

UPDATE: I just found out everyone in my department has one!!! That's it! Now I HAVE to get one...hehe.

Concert Photography

Dec 2007 346.2, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Let me tell you...concert photography is HARD with no flash and especially difficult when you're getting used to a new lens! But when you finally get it right, the hard work is more than worth it! I would probably get more usable shots if I used a flash but they wouldn't be nearly as dramatic. With flash, you just lose so much of the vibe, not to mention annoy everyone around you.

Here are a couple of great articles on concert photography:

Concert Photography Masterclass by Daniel Boud

Secrets of Killer Concert Photos Revealed by Jamie Howard

Wish I had reread them before Craig's recent concerts. It would have saved me a LOT of testing different apertures, ISO etc.

New Job

A few highlights of the new job:

I have an actual window! I can see the sunlight!

I have a much more spacious desk!

I now have 2 flat screen computer monitors!

I have a much more comfortable chair!

I have access to learning materials!

2 words: BUSINESS CASUAL! That means I can wear cute outfits with JEANS!

My boss has a great sense of humor! How refreshing!

My drive is 20 minutes tops each way! That shaves at least 80 minutes total off my old commute! Plus I only have to take one road to get there. And, it isn't the same route as the old tractors and construction trucks that I used to get stuck behind all the time! And, I don't have to deal with ridiculous convention traffic anymore! Yay!

My new schedule is 7am - 4pm. It's still light outside when I leave work! I LOVE it! I feel like I can actually have a life outside of work now!

My office is located conveniently near some of my favorite places in town...Town Square, the District, the Outlet Mall, the Bootlegger, Panevino and even the airport!

Though I am feeling a little lonely there at the moment, on top of being scared out of my mind at the newness of it all. I really miss all of the great friends I had at CR.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Think GREEN This Christmas

Dec 2007 032.2, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Here are some great ideas to keep in mind with gift wrapping and gift cards considering that the amount of household garbage in the US increases by 25 percent during the holidays....

Give homemade presents and cards.

Pack presents not at all or in reusable containers to cut down on waste. Wrap them with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper or children's artwork.

Buy cards made from recycled paper and continue to recycle them.

Buy green gifts. That way, any harm that’s done through generation of waste will at least be partially offset.

And some solutions for the tree...

Consider renting a living Christmas tree. For about what it costs to buy a tree, outfits like The Original Living Christmas Tree Company in Portland, Ore., take trees out of the ground, pot them, deliver them to customers and then after the holiday pick them up for replanting in area parks and school districts.

Encourage green practices on Christmas tree farms by buying a tree grown without pesticides. The number of organic tree farms is growing.

Instead of putting the tree out on the curb for regular garbage pickup, take it to a tree recycling facility, where it can be turned into mulch or wood chips.

{{MSN Article: A Christmas without All That Waste By Philipp Harper}}

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wish Me Luck!

Tomorrow is the BIG day! I start my new job as Graphic Designer for a leading provider of marketing and technology solutions for online businesses serving the specialty finance industry tomorrow morning! Yippee! I found a new home!

Craig's Shows

I am so proud of my boyfriend! He truly kicked some serious ass at both concerts over the weekend! It was so much fun to watch him tear it up on the drums and exciting to hear the crowds response to how talented a drummer he is! Nick Menza of Megadeth fame even showed up to watch Craig play! Above are a few of the shots I took. It's HARD to catch him in action!!

Hollywood Show

San Marcos Show


I love these boots by Steve Madden! I would love to have these and this Bebe coat I mentioned previously!

Devoted Boots in Cognac Leather

That's Annoying

Sorry for the multiple posts. I just erased them. My YouTube posts weren't showing up so I embeded the html. Apparently, the previous attempts ended up showing up on my page a day later!

Back from the CA trip. We had so much fun! Craig's band was amazing, as always, which is sometimes surprising since the band members live all across the country, so when they have a show they usually haven't played together in around 8 months or so!

I'll post some pics in a bit.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heading to CA

On our way out the door to go to San Diego for Craig's show tomorrow night, then Hollywood on Saturday for his concert at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Fun, fun!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

P.S. Craig isn't in either of these videos, but it was the best I could do on short notice.


Gettin' Crafty!, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

My son, Austin and I had a blast making these beeswax candles last night as a holiday craft. Thanks to EmilyStyle and Oh Happy Day for the inspiration!


Lots of statues in the past few days. Most were from the private party at the top of the Hilton, totally reminded me of what Liberace's house looks like inside! The bottom right statue is from outside Bucca Di Beppo's. I wondered if they have this statue outside all of it's franchises and if so, if they all have painted lips and fingernails or if this was the handywork of a prankster.

Persimmon Vase

Oh, how I wish I had an unlimited amount of cash! I would purchase this little beauty in a flash from Jayson Home & Garden! Unfortunately, at $435 it's a little out of my price range at the moment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Exhibit Photos

Highlights from the Exhibit I photographed yesterday morning.

Full set here.

Everything is going to be okay!

I am proud to announce that I just accepted an offer for a new job! I am so excited I can barely sit still at all! The new job will be a salaried designer position that pays a LOT more than my previous employer who as a friend says, "eat their own", plus I will be working with fun & creative people, won't have to worry about the obnoxious drive to the Venetian anymore since the new job is a much easier drive, and so many more benefits. I feel so lucky to have survived my other ordeal and come out smelling like roses!

The Best Birthday Gifts

Dec 2007 029.2, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

First picture taken with my new lens and what a beautiful subject! Detail of the beautiful floral arrangement that arrived yesterday! I sure wish I would have had the lens yesterday for my photo assignments!

It takes such crisp, color accurate images!

Thanks again to my generous boyfriend, Craig for such an amazing gift!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Dec2007 083.2, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Wow! It's amazing what a single day can do for your whole outlook on life! Yes, today is my birthday and I suddenly feel like the luckiest girl alive!

Some of the highlights so far:

I have so many truly amazing friends...all of them beautiful on the inside and out! It was so nice to hear from so many of you!

I had a fun freelance photography session early this morning. Started my day off creatively AND making money! Can't beat that!

Coffee with my Mom. One of my favorite things to do! She even let me open a present! It was a flokati rug I had been wanting forever! Thanks Mom!

Then I had a VERY interesting phone call that made me think my future is only just beginning. I will fill you in on that one very soon.

An arrival of a very lovely floral arrangement put me aglow too!

Good news from my friend Christie, who I had been worried about!

I have one more photography assignment this evening.

Then it's on to Buca Di Beppo for food and fun! Craig is buying dinner for all of us.

And, I have to include last night as part of this since I had such a geat time with my friend Cari!

So much to be grateful for today!

Farewell Blueprint

Oh how I enjoyed you so! Apparently, the hippest of all Martha Stewart magazines will no longer be as we know it. It looks as though they will be incuding it as a section or insert in her wedding magazine. Seeing as I don't read or subscribe to that one, I will no longer be getting to read one of my favorites!

Add this to the list!

I was at Office Max last night and saw these ultra fine permanent markers by TUL and was immediately smitten. They are more affordable than Sharpie's too! When I get a job I'll have to have 2 for home and one for the office!

They had an even larger set in the store, which is the one I would want.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dream a little Dream

If we were having a normal Christmas this year, these would be some of the things on my list:

Shoes - Jessica Simpson
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design (Ebay has some GREAT deals!)
Canon Pixma MP610
Desk from Target (below)
Sirius Radio
iPhone or the more practical LG Voyager through Verizon.
Perfume - Dior Miss Dior Cherie
Anastasia Brow Pomade in Medium Ash
Kabuta Photoshop Actions Vol. 2 & 3
Stardream Paper Products from Paper Source
And pretty much anything I've ever blogged about. :)

By the way, this is just a dream list. To all my friends reading this, please don't get any gifts for me this year. I am not in a situation of being able to return the favor and I would just feel worst about the whole thing. Your smiles, friendship and patience are all I really need anyway.

Stylish Shades

One thing I always look for in sunglasses is 'visible eyebrows'. I don't like to purchase sunglasses that cover these natural face framers. These shades by Marc by Marc Jacobs at ShopBop would fit the bill rather nicely!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Target Desk

Interesting lines on this desk from Target! Even though I am dreaming of an all white office set-up, I could easily be swayed towards this one. It's affordably priced too!

Gocco Print

I'm still wanting a Gocco and this print by Annacote at Etsy only reaffirms that desire. Annacote has lots of lovelies for sale at her Etsy Shop.

Glamorous Trivet

Check out this fab Perle Trivet by Adam and Harborth, 2004.

{{available at MOMA}}

Silhouette Wall Hangings

Here's a great tutorial on making your own wall art from Domino. Looks pretty easy, doesn't it? Now I want a Tracer Projector!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Teacup Lights

What a sweet DIY gift idea from Martha!

What next?

Canon EF 85/1.8, originally uploaded by

Oh my lens was lost in transit! And, they are saying it will ship now within 1 to 2 whole months! I think I need to cancel that order and scramble to find another one similarly priced that can be overnighted now! I needed this lens for a hopeful freelance photography gig on my birthday next week!

Ummm and why are my flickr post images now extending past the boundary on my blog? Oh man, not my month, I see!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Marrakech Dinnerware

Priced between $12.95 - $14.95, these would be the perfect presentation for homemade treats this Christmas! I want the whole set in red!

Marrakech Dinnerware from Crate & Barrel


I had been looking for cute dresses for the company holiday party for a month or so and STILL find myself looking at them even though I now don't have to go to one. I just love party dresses with fab accessories! I'm sure I could find a reason to wear one!

I had recently purchased a super cute dress from Cache for my friend, Lisa's wedding. You can barely see it in the pic above..sorry! It was from their Contour Collection that really smoothes your figure. They no longer carry the dress that I have but there are other cute pieces to choose from!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Peace on Earth

Peace is a theme heavy on my mind this season and I thought this Pine Peace Wreath from Organic Bouquet says it all, in one glance.

Paper Source

One of my favorite stores to browse online is Paper Source. They have so many wonderful paper products and so much more! I am always inspired when I look at their products!

I have been busying myself by putting together Cristmas Cards I purchased from Paper Source in a do it yourself kit! So relaxing, almost therapeutic for me! The only problem is that I should have bought 2 sets instead of one. Thank goodness I had some backups of my own design printed up! I can't wait to send them all out!

I would love if Paper Source opened a store here in Vegas! I would completely lose myself there every single weekend.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wisdom Gained

What I've learned from my ordeal so far:

Being well-liked among the entire company doesn't matter if the new boss doesn't like you.

Being well-liked among the entire company can make the new boss not like you.

Nobody will stand up for you no matter how well-liked you are in the company.

Most importantly, LIFE IS NOT FAIR. And people are not as good at heart as I naively liked to think they are. People can be downright evil.

By the way, I wasn't fired. Close to it though, as new Management had been trying their best to build a case against me for many, many, many months. They made my life a living hell on a daily basis for almost an entire year with their unfair treatment, uneven policies, illegal practices and intense scrutiny.

My work life suddenly turned into high school all over again. Because I didn't participate in bad-mouthing everyone at the company I had been employed for 3 years, I was not to be trusted by the incompetent newbies apparently. My quality of work, loyalty and dedication suddenly didn't make a difference anymore.

I may delete this soon. Don't want it to hinder any future job opportunities even though the market is dry. Really needed to vent for a moment though. And maybe it will help anyone else going through something similar.

Holiday Gift Tags

I like the idea of using these tags for gifts with simple white wrapping paper and red ribbon.

Speaking of gifts...I'm still trying to figure out ways to buy gifts for everyone who means so much to me this year. Obviously my focus has to be on family. Seeing that I am newly unemployed, Christmas cards may be all I can do this holiday. I had so many fun ideas too! Bleh.

{{Tags Every Jot and Tittle}}

Poppy Corduroy Trench

I would love to have this Corduroy Trench with removable faux fur collar by Bebe in Poppy. I think it would be super cute dressed down too with jeans and brown boots!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Bouquet, originally uploaded by sfraz71.

Nothing like a bouquet of pretty flowers to help brighten a girls day! Thanks baby! But, thanks most of all for being my 'soft spot to land'! You're the best!

Maybe the new lens will come tomorrow?! These would make a great subject to get acquainted with my new toy!

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever; Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness." — John Keats. 1795-1821