Golden Hour

Portrait of a Lady

vintage dress by Diane Freis

“If you look back in history of the women who are most memorable and most stylish, they were never the followers of fashion. They were the ones who were unique in their style, breakers of the rules. They were authentic, genuine, original. They were not following trends.” ~ Nina Garcia

With her perfect curls and effortless style Golden has always been able to make sequins and sparkle the must to every outfit. Golden is the owner and creative mind behind Paper Dazzle custom event stationary. If you have an event from wedding to graduation she’s a great source of creative energy to set your invitations apart. (She has done the invitations for my wedding and most recently my goddaughter’s quinceañera). A business owner, wife and mother of two wonderful boys it’s amazing how she does it all.

I wanted to do a photoshoot as a gift for my cousin Golden’s milestone birthday. Prepping for the day I looked for inspiration from photos by a few of my favorite photographers James Van Der Zee, Carl Van Vechten, and Seydou Keita. We found dresses in thrift stores but many options came from her very own stylish closet. She had dresses from the 60’s, African dresses it was almost overwhelming. We finally settled on a vintage lavender dress by Diane Freis and an African dress that was so beautiful against her skin almost capturing the sun.

What is your perfect day? My favorite day would involve rain, masala chai and a reason to wear something pretty/sparklier than the sparkly things I wear daily. I love Fridays because I like the anticipation of the weekend.

What is it that you do? I’m a graphic designer. My specialty is event stationery, particularly weddings, but I’ve been doing more digital corporate work recently. I’m also a mom, so I’m constantly feeding my children and teaching them how to be good humans. 

Why did you choose this profession? It kind of chose me! One of my first memories of college was meeting with someone about my work-study job. I was slightly interested in psychology, but hadn’t even taken a class yet. The counselor asked me what I was interested in doing and I told her, “I’ve never had an office job. I want to try filing and stuff.” and she goes, “You don’t want an office job. You’re gonna have to deal with huge piles of paper like this…” and she points to this huge stack of files on her desk! Then she wrote down this lady’s number and told me to call her. It was for the Student Activities Director. As her office assistant, I did small office tasks, hung flyers around the campus, and fell into designing the monthly campus events calendar. I faked my way through the software and eventually took a class to make sure I was doing it right. After a few more classes, I decided to I major in Graphics and minor in Studio Art. My graphics classes were in the Technology building, but the moment I stepped in the art building, it just felt right. 

What has motherhood taught you? Patience! I’m probably losing it over the years, though! I’m still practicing consistency. Now that I think about it, I realize that it could easily be the foundation of parental success! It applies to discipline, school work, scheduling, building trust. I think kids are most comfortable when you’re consistent. Consistency is what gets your voice nagging in their ears, even when you’re not physically there! 

What do you like about you? I like that I’m such an individual. I never got trendy clothes when I was younger, so I convinced myself that I wasn’t into name brands lol. I’ve loved thrift shopping since middle school, and that means I get all the unique things. All the gems. Sometimes, I shop in the kids’ department (because I’m cheap) and I laugh and show a random kid when we’re wearing the same thing. I’m 40 and I still wear glitter almost every day. At the same time, I know how to use power tools and like the satisfaction of dirty work. I also like that when I explore things that I enjoy (like baking, styling hair and random crafts) they tend to turn out well.

In the current climate how to you find your calm? I don’t immerse myself in it. These are upsetting times, but hanging on every dumb word I hear only fuels my personal fire. And the way my sanity is set up… I don’t have room for that in my life. I know that everything happens for a reason and that God always works things out for the good. Our society is in a transition, and change is hard! 

So growing up I never realized how great of an artistic vision you have, Who inspires you? I didn’t either! From 4th grade on, my classmates often told me that I was creative; I didn’t know what they were talking about! I’m inspired by other artists. Kehinde Wiley amazes me, and I see strength in Frida Kahlo. I’m just as inspired by local artists and random ones I find on Instagram because they are just out here feeding their passion and expressing themselves. Many of us don’t make the time or are brave enough to put our stuff out there. That keeps me in awe of art, in general.

Motherhood is… love

Art is… passion

Happiness is… love

Women are… love lol Second choice: Strength. We’re like the world’s glue

Love is… patient

Marriage is… 100/100, not 50/50

Being a black woman is… empowering

Beauty is… a glow

Coffee to me is… meh. It’s a treat (with a ton of cream and sugar), but I don’t need it.

In five years I plan to be… happy

Fashion to me is… stirring

A HIDDEN TREASURE

Kubota Garden Series I: Winter

entrance

Nestled among homes in South Seattle there is a hidden gem. It is a welcomed surprise, a beautiful 20 acre Japanese Garden known to locals as Kubota Garden.

In 1927 Fujitaro Kubota, a self taught gardener, purchased five acres with a mission to show the beauty of the Northwest in the art of the Japanese garden.

In the garden you can find streams leading to waterfalls, rock formations, beautiful trees and many beautiful spots to have a romantic picnic.


The garden has been a favorite of photographers, weddings, picnic goers, and sunrise chasers. On a visit with my family we got glimpses of young lady getting her Quinceanera photos taken. I wish I’d taken photos of her beautiful white dress that was sparingly covered in pink flowers. But I didn’t want to disturb them. We also stumbled upon a first date among trees near this pond sitting on a green plaid blanket sharing hard cider.

My husband and I have visited a few times and for the first time we discovered the waterfall. Neither of us new it was here and was such a pleasant surprise to discover with our daughter leading the trail of followers we collected on our stroll. It is the perfect escape amongst the urban surroundings. I highly recommend a visit.



LOOKING FORWARD…..

Resolutions 2019

We’re in the last few days of vacation slowly preparing to get back into the busy days of school and work. It has been nice to wake up to the sun peaking through the blinds. No alarms, no rush to get ready just easing into the day. Some days grey and rainy but wonderful just the same. It has been nice binge watching new and old television shows, movie and game nights galore. Few early evenings were spent in the kitchen making sweet potato pies and chocolate cookies that rarely made it to the next day. Ending 2018 was spent with ones I love hanging on with heaving eyes trying to make it to midnight. If you’re wondering I did in-fact make it. I could not have asked for better people to spend that time with.

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In this morning of 2019 I am excited about the things to come. The positive changes of life as if I am seeing the new year with the optimism of youth. In looking forward to the new and exciting magic of life sometimes we must look backward taking inventory of things that helped shape our present and exhale in serenity that we’ve made it through. I will spare you the exhausting details as there are so much I am still going through and learning to process. I will tell you there has been loss, near loss, injuries, weddings, and births. Life has its way of serving curve balls nearly knocking you off its axis testing your balance. May be that is what I am still needing to find. That “perfect” balance. To help keep me focused I decided this year I would share my 2019 Resolutions to not only put my intentions into the universe as they say (speaking them into existence) but to find them and hold myself to it. I am typically a quiet goal setter, a shy goal setter. As one of my resolutions states it is time to do more of the things I dreamed of, to step out of my comfort zone.

Here are my resolutions in no particular order:

  1. Read more (never stop learning)
  2. Watch less television
  3. Write more
  4. Help my daughter navigate the trials of youth
  5. Take weekend trips – explore more of the Pacific Northwest
  6. Get back to Yoga
  7. Meditate
  8. Less is more (learn to live with less)
  9. Waste less
  10. Shop small – Buy local and with purpose
  11. Define my style as a photographer
  12. Execute photo ideas for portraits of cousins
  13. Cook more
  14. Save money (for travel and a house)
  15. Learn to be more comfortable sharing my life
  16. Open online shop
  17. Work on professional goals
  18. Step out of my comfort zone
  19. De-clutter – get rid of “stuff”
  20. Nourish my daughter’s creativity
  21. Love more -forgiveness

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