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Daisy Tribe | California Lifestyle Blog » Style - Explore - Creative - Healthy - Our Favorite Things

Creative Feature – Meet Alexandra, The Bright Eyed Baker

Last week I promised an awesome lineup of Creative Features in February, and our next feature doesn’t disappoint. Today is the first time we are featuring a food blogger, Alexandra of Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker. I first came across Alexandra’s work on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her dreamy feed, full of beautiful photos of everything from cupcakes and cookies to truffles and ganache. Her blog is just as amazing – gorgeous photos with easy to follow recipes – mixed in with the personal anecdotes of a twenty-something California girl. Today Alexandra is sharing the story behind her food blog, how she gets those perfect pictures, and her advice for living a creative life. I hope you enjoy learning more about the story behind this Bright Eyed Baker!

Tell us a little about yourself and your food blog.
I started my blog, Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker, a couple years back when I was in school, and at the point it was more of an impulsive shot than anything. I had no idea if it would be successful or where it would lead me, and I definitely didn’t think it might become a career! But little by little, I realized I was really passionate about what I was doing – and not so passionate about what I actually went to school for – so this became my full-time focus. Now I’m just a girl in her twenties trying to make my dreams a reality!

Have you always loved baking? How did you get started, and how have you transitioned since then?
Not particularly. Growing up, I mostly remember making the occasional batch of homemade cookies, plus box-mix brownies – but it was really nothing I was especially crazy about. Then at some point – I’m really not sure why – I started baking more often and finding recipes on food blogs, and my interest in it grew. Since then it’s been an amazing experience because it’s really something I taught myself how to do, and I went from following recipes to a T to creating my own recipes all the time. It’s a bit baffling to think back at how much progress I’ve made!

Your Instagram feed is dreamy. Do you take all the photos yourself? What kind of camera do you use?
Yes! I do all the photography. My Instagram feed is a mixture of iPhone photos and dSLR photos – right now I use a Canon Rebel T2i. It’s nothing super fancy, but I’ve learned along the way that you can take amazing pictures with a basic camera and basic pictures with an amazing camera; so much of it comes down to learning the right techniques and developing your own style.

What inspires you?
Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere, in my work and in my daily life, but more than anything, people doing what they love inspires me. There are so many crazy-talented people in this world, and seeing their work just boggles my mind. It makes me think bigger and work harder. Plus, it seems to me like the people who are living their passions are also the most uplifting people, and I find that really moving.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday morning?
I try to take a break from all the blog work during the weekends, so for me, the best Saturday mornings are when I can sit outside, have a breakfast treat, read a good book, and just relax. And drink coffee – there always has to be coffee!

Do you have any advice for living a creative life?
Find inspiration wherever you can. Chase your dreams. Believe in yourself! There’s a lot of what looks like perfection in this world and it’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel inadequate, but the truth is that nobody’s perfect, and when you let others inspire you instead of bringing you down, you open up so many new possibilities for yourself. And really, creativity stems from passion, so if you can follow your passion, your creativity will grow in leaps and bounds.

Where can we find more of your work?
All the big stuff is on my blog www.brighteyedbaker.com, and you can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Stellar @brighteyedbaker. My work is regularly featured on Honest Cooking, SkinnyMom, and Pepper Passport as well.

 

Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Alexandra! I love your energy and passion, and your advice to let others inspire you instead of bring you down. I’ll definitely be following to see where all of this takes you!

 

Lindsay Ava - Her pictures are absolutely stunning! Cakes never looked better! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Apple Pie Crumbles - […] be,and a few other thoughts about living creatively, you can check out the article on Daisy Tribe here. […]

The 5 Best Places To Eat In Long Beach

Long Beach Roger Howard Pano

Back in December I had the pleasure of tagging along with the husband on his conference in Long Beach, California. Long Beach was beautiful, warm, even in December, and vibrant with its diverse population. If you asked me what I did while I was there, my first response would be: I ate, I ate A LOT. When I know I’m going to be traveling somewhere, the first thing I start researching is not what to do, but where to eat and what to eat. I’m a bit eccentric like that. So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Long Beach spots to eat during our stay. If you’re ever in the area, I totally recommend you check them out! In my next post, I’ll share with you on where to go and what to do while in Long Beach.

The Breakfast Bar

Breakfast Bar Restaurant Long Beach

This place is incredible. And by incredible, I mean, I threw away my carefully researched list of new breakfast places to try and ended up eating brunch at the Breakfast Bar three days in a row (it would have been four if my husband hadn’t encouraged me to try somewhere new. I still regret that decision). In addition, when we bumped into some conference goers who had also mentioned that they had gone to the Breakfast Bar for brunch, all four of us excitedly exclaimed in perfect unison: “It was sooooo good!” True story.  So what kept me coming back for more? The Naked Cakes.  They came highly recommended so I ordered them (twice) and was not disappointed. Whole wheat berry buttermilk pancakes with berries on top served with a side of eggs and bacon or sausages. The nutty flavor and gritty texture of the wheat berries all within a fluffy pancake was an amazing combination. It left me quickly researching how to make pancakes from whole wheat berries, because I needed to have these pancakes in my life once I left Long Beach! And what left my husband drooling and returning back to the Breakfast Bar with me three days in a row? The Eggs Papi. A deliciously savory breakfast sandwich with rosemary sourdough, a sausage patty and a poached eggs all topped with a spiced hollandaise and a side of potato pancake. We were in brunch heaven. This place really knows how to serve up delicious food! Do not leave Long Beach without having brunch here! Bonus: The patio is dog friendly. My Tips: If you come here on a weekday and check-in on Yelp, you get a free sangria or coffee. Also, make a reservation for brunch even if you don’t think you’ll need one – it can get busy quick.

The Sky Room

The Sky Room Restaurant Long BeachUpon researching places to go in Long Beach and seeing pictures of the Sky Room, this place quickly went to the top of my Long Beach Bucket List and it did not disappoint. The Sky Room sits atop The Breakers Hotel, and was once a luxury oceanfront resort built in 1926 that has gone through various changes in ownership and hotel names. It is now currently a… wait for it… retirement home with the Sky Room Restaurant and Bar located up top. But don’t be put off by that, this place is a really unique gem. Being that it was built in the 1920’s, the building definitely has a lot of character with its prohibition era style that I find oh-so charming – and they even have an elevator attendant! Once you ascend the 15 floors up the elevator to the restaurant, you are greeted by a friendly hostess, soft jazz music, candle lit tables and breathtaking views of all of Long Beach, including the marina. This place is romantic and sexy and is the perfect place to grab a drink, enjoy a romantic dinner, listen to live jazz music, or go dancing later in the evening. And if you travel up the narrow stairwell that goes above the restaurant, it will take you to the most amazing rooftop bar with unparalleled views of the city. Their dinner menu is filled with top notch selections of steak, seafood, pasta, soups and salads – but if you’re on a tighter budget like we were, they have the most tantalizing happy hour bar menu. From the happy hour bar menu, I highly recommend the Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Appetizer and the My Burger Can Beat Up Your Burger – and from the dessert menu, the Almond Joie, which is a coconut and almond mousse with chocolate. I instantly fell in love with this place the moment I set eyes on it – or should I say, sank my teeth in it. It’s a must-go-to when you’re in Long Beach!

Pier 76 Fish Grill

Pier 76 Fish Grill Restaurant

I’m not a huge seafood fan, so I completely overlooked all the fabulous reviews about this place when researching where to eat. But when a large group of conference goers were heading here for lunch, I obliged and went along, even though I had eaten a large brunch just a few hours prior. This place made me want to love fish and wish that I did, really. Everything looks so fresh, healthy and flavorful with the abundance of colorful vegetables and herbs used in their food. Since I was still pretty full from brunch and admittedly hadn’t eaten a single vegetable in 48 hours – like the true Californian I’ve become – I ordered the side kale and tomato salad with avocado added. The salad cost me a whopping $4. Four Dollars, people! The portion was huge for $4 and I couldn’t even finish all of it! Plus, the salad was delicious beyond belief. And their strawberry basil lemonade was a must – and free when you check-in on Yelp! Note: Pier 76 is great for large groups, because it’s spacious and you can pay at the till. That way, you don’t have to wait for the check to come or deal with the headache of splitting a check with ten people.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

RoscoeWhen it’s past midnight on a Saturday and your party of 20 people is on the prowl for some good greasy food, where do you go? Roscoe’s! By 1 am, this place was still hopping and jam packed full of people eating delicious looking chicken and waffles and all kinds of southern food. I was stuffed from eating everything in sight from morning until night, so I didn’t have the capacity in my stomach to order my own meal and consume some of those world-famous chicken and waffles I wanted to try (next time). However, I did sample a few bites of some southern staples like grits, biscuits, gravy and the likes – which were delicious. Judging by comments on Yelp, my friends comments on the food, and the speed at which they devoured their meals, this place was a smash hit.

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo Mexican Restaurant

This totally unassuming Mexican restaurant is where it’s at. If you want affordable, authentic Mexican food – come here! This place is touted by many for being the real deal when it comes to Mexican food. With limitless chips and salsa, delicious $2 tacos, $5 quesadillas or nachos that you make you feel like you’re in Mexico, you really can’t go wrong. It’s a no-frills type of place, which is great because you can come as you are from the gym, work, or in conference attire like we were and feel totally at home at this place. Note: Cinco De Mayo is cash only, but they do have an ATM in the restaurant if you forget to take out cash before hand.

 

I had wonderful time eating my way through Long Beach, CA! Have you ever been to Long Beach? If so, what are your favorite places to eat there?

*A special thank you to Roger Howard for the beautiful Long Beach panorama and to our friends at Yelp for providing some of the food pics.

 

~ Carmen ~ - I have been to Long Beach when I lived in Orange County. I don’t recall any spots as I didn’t frequent it very often, but Cinco De Mayo looks tasty.
:] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

Gaby Scanlon - I love this post! I have to go visit Long beach it looks amazing and the food, I love food and the pictures look delicious. http://apathtotheunknown.blogspot.co.uk

Behind The Scenes At Stella Carakasi

It’s been fun to introduce you to Bay Area designer Stella Carakasi over the past two weeks. In case you missed the first few days, here’s the lowdown: Daisy Tribe was invited on an exclusive, behind the scenes visit to the Stella Studio in Berkeley. Our NorCal team had a great time exploring the studio, trying on pieces from Stella’s collection, meeting some of the amazing people behind the brand, and of course taking pictures to document the whole thing for our readers. The Stella Studio is located on 10th Street in Berkeley’s Gilman District. If you live in the area, you know that the Gilman District is the new hot spot in Berkeley, with tons of cool shops, restaurants, and artist lofts popping up all over. The neighborhood is buzzing with energy and excitement, and the Stella Studio is right in the middle of it. The boutique is open and airy, with tall windows and high lofty ceilings. There’s a relaxed California vibe to the space, which you feel from the moment you walk in the door. The walls are adorned with a few well-selected paintings by Yarra McClure, and of course, there’s the clothes! Row upon row of soft, elegant pieces from Stella’s current collection line the floor of the boutique.

In the middle of the studio are dressing rooms and a super comfy lounge area. The Stella team had so warmly set out some coffee and sweet treats for us – which I’m not even sure we acknowledged properly (because hello, the clothes!) If you come in you have to meet Brittany, one of the super sweet and stylish members of Stella’s team. I got her to model for me since she happened to be wearing some beautiful Stella Carakasi clothing and Janet Harrer jewelry.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret and I promise it’s a good one. The back of the Stella Studio serves as an outlet for past collections – so if you love Stella’s clothes but find them to be a little out of your price range, you can find some amazing steals here that you will not find anywhere else. Oh and hey, there’s me in one of Stella’s beautiful coats. Seriously, this coat is so gorgeous and easy to wear, it deserves it’s own post!

After our impromptu fashion shoot in front of the boutique, it was time to head into the design house where the magic really happens. You would never know that connected to this chic little boutique is a huge warehouse filled with everything it takes to run a global brand like Stella Carakasi. After passing through rows of boxes and fabric bolts, we made our way to the offices of the people behind Stella, which were buzzing with activity and excitement about Stella’s upcoming collections. I was so excited to run into Charlene – who has a super important title that includes the word Global Director – because she was wearing Stella’s Tiburon Tunic which I absolutely adore. The tunic is simple and artsy, and looks amazing with anything from jeans and sneakers to black leggings and heels. I don’t think Charlene came to work expecting to have her photo taken – but I really loved her look and she agreed to let me snap her picture anyways. Thank you, Charlene!

We may or may not have seen some top-secret information like sketches of the 2015 collections and a fitting for a beautiful kimono coming out in the fall. Unfortunately if I had seen any of that, I wouldn’t be allowed to show you on the blog, so you’ll just have to wait and see what Stella has in store. And speaking of Stella – did I mention that we met her?! You guys, she was so warm, elegant, gracious, and funny. She showed us around her space and even came out to shoot a few photos with us.

On our way back in, we ran into Vivian, who is one of the partners behind Stella Carakasi and all-around awesome person. On the day of our visit, Vivian and Yarra had just returned from LA, where they were dressing the stars at the Golden Globes gifting suites. I couldn’t leave without getting a few images of Vivian and her sassy red and black cowgirl boots. Her little pup was a total rockstar and happy to pose for the camera.

It was so much fun to get a peek behind the scenes at the Stella Carakasi studio and design house, and meet some of the faces behind the label. I fell in love with Stella’s brand for so many reasons – I love that her clothes are simple, elegant, and easy to wear. She uses natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly fabrics into many of her pieces, and incorporates great architectural and California influences in her designs. And obviously she has a great team behind her. But I think what I love most of all about Stella’s clothes is that they look great on women of all ages and body types. I feel like Stella really gets women’s bodies, and designs her pieces with great attention to detail, so that everything falls exactly where it should. Her clothes work on women of all ages because they are modern and on-trend without looking “trendy”, if that makes sense. It was a great pleasure to work with Stella and her team and hopefully you’ll be seeing more posts about Stella in the future.

Now, if you missed the first few days, I’m going to get you caught up! On Day 1, our Style Editor Delia modeled two outfits that included accessories from local jeweler Janet Harrer. (To read the full story and see more pictures, click here). 

On Day 2, we did a a special Creative Feature on Yarra McClure, Stella’s Director of Customer Engagement and an accomplished painter. Yarra shared her creative journey, as well as her advice for finding inspiration and growing as an artist. Here’s a link to Yarra’s story and more photos of her beautiful paintings.

On Day 3, our Healthy Living Editor Kendra modeled three California casual outfits with pieces from Stella’s collection. Lots more photos and links to shop these looks can be found here

Our Social Media Director Janaia’s picks were up on Day 4, and she showed you two looks incorporating classic, neutral pieces with a modern twist, like this tunic that can be worn multiple ways and the amazing Work It Coat. You can get the details on Janaia’s outfits in this post

And now I am sorry to say, that like all good things, this series of posts must come to an end. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Stella Carakasi and the team behind the label. You can follow Stella Carakasi on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thank you Stella, Yarra, Vivian, and everyone who made us feel so welcome on our visit!

 

DIY Colored Mason Jars

Every summer I head out to my local farm at the peak of raspberry season to pick fresh raspberries to make jam. As a result, I have acquired quite a large collection of jars that I use for many different purposes around the house. Although the jars are lovely in a very understated way, I thought it would be fun to give them a splash of color. I’m excited to share this fun and simple DIY project with you today!

DIY Colored Mason Jars

IMG_9206

MATERIALS

 – Mason jar
– Glossy Modge Podge
– Food coloring (I used Wilton food coloring gel)
– Toothpick

DIRECTIONS
 – Fill a mason jar with 1/8″ of Modge Podge.
– Using a clean toothpick, add one drop of food coloring to the mason jar and mix until the mixture is no longer white.
– Swirl the mixture around the inside of the jar, until the entire jar is covered.
– Turn the jar upside down on a paper plate and allow for the excess liquid to drip off (about 45-60 minutes).
– After the remaining mixture has drained onto the plate, place the mason jar in an upright position on a clean paper plate to dry completely (1-2 days).

*After coloring the mason jars, food cannot be served or stored in the jars.

I filled my mason jar with flowers that my little girl picked while on a stroll around the neighborhood. I especially love the way the jars look when the sunlight seeps through the glass.

I also use mason jars to organize my many knitting needles and crochet hooks. I am in so in love with the deep violet color of this particular mason jar.

IMG_9213

The best thing about this project is that it was a way to up cycle something I already owned into something even better. Instead of sitting around in my cupboards collecting dust, my mason jars have been turned into pretty containers for a variety of uses. I’d love to see what you do with this project to make it your own!

 

Mandy - Love the colors on these!

JJ - I did this same thing, only used enamels acrylic paint that can be used specifically for glass (like mason jars). I tried painting one inside and one outside of the jar. I like the outside of the jar best because it left a distressed look, the inside left a more clean, streamlined look.

Bake Method: Allow painted item to dry for 1 hour to be sure all layers of paint have dried. Place project in a cool oven. Set oven temperature to 350ºF. Once temperature has reached 350ºF, start timing for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off. Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage. Do not place glass in a hot oven. Let glass cool completely in oven. Do not use for 72 hours.

Air Dry Method: Air dry project for 21 days before use.

My inspiration came from pinterest:
http://www.itallstartedwithpaint.com/mason-jars-painted-distressed/

Creative Feature – Photographer Heather Lazark

February is shaping up to be the month of Creativity here on Daisy Tribe, as we have a ton of Creative Features in the queue! It’s fun to meet so many interesting people who are doing all kinds of amazing things – and today’s feature is no exception. Heather Lazark is a talented Northern California photographer based near Sacramento. I’ve been a long-time admirer of her work – and she is one of the few photographers whose images I immediately recognize as belonging to her, even before reading the name attached. Her photos are always sweet, always soulful, always simple yet well-composed. In addition to her lifestyle photography business, Heather spends a great amount of time documenting everyday life with her two little girls – and somehow makes it all look extra ordinary. Today Heather is sharing a bit of her photography journey, a look into one of her special projects (it involves hearts!), and her take on finding that ever-elusive “balance” we all crave. I hope you all enjoy learning more about Heather in today’s Creative Feature.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi. I’m Heather, grateful mama of two little loves and admirer of all things creative.


How did you get started in photography and how have you evolved over time?

When I was carrying my first child I knew that I wanted to document the lives of my children as they grew, capturing their milestones and bottling up our memories. From there, photography evolved into an intense gateway to my soul.


How do you continue to find inspiration on a daily basis?

Since I found photography and children came into my life, I see the world as a completely different place. There is beauty in everything, you just have to take the time to look for it.


We love the hearts project that you worked on last year. Can you tell us a little about it?

Two years ago I was inspired by a fellow photographer who blew me away with her February hearts project so I made it a goal to complete one myself last year. Each day for the month of February I shot a different photo capturing some form of a heart. It was so fun that I am planning to do it again this year.


Was it hard to find something to shoot each day? And what advice do you have for someone thinking about starting a personal photography project?

I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive to commit to the project because I wasn’t so sure that I could come up with a new idea each day. I actually found that it really challenged me creatively and helped me grow as an artist. For anyone considering a personal project I highly recommend finding a topic that feels inspiring and diving right in.

We know you have your hands full between your photography business, kids, and mentor responsibilities at Clickin Moms. Any advice for achieving that ever elusive ‘balance’ we all crave?

My goodness, I am still looking for the answer to this. If you saw my laundry pile you would know that I have not found that balance yet. I often remind myself that I have a much more fulfilling life getting down on the floor and playing with my four year old or taking a spontaneous trip to our local nature center together than having a super clean house. Our lives are chaotic, but it’s a beautiful mess. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?

This may be my favorite day of the week. On Sundays we sleep in a few extra minutes. Then as I sip on my cup of coffee I make Paleo pancakes and we listen to music and talk about our week. Then we head of to our favorite farmer’s market, full of face painting, organic produce, our favorite vendors, and live music. Sundays are the best.

Where else can we follow you?

You can find me on Facebook and Instagram, as well as my photography website. Last year’s hearts project can be found here – and to keep up with this year’s hearts project – or to contribute your own heart images all month long – use the hashtag #28daysofheartsproject.

 

Thanks so much Heather, for allowing us a peek into your life and sharing your thoughtful words of advice with us. I’m excited to follow your hearts project this month as well as your creative journey in the years to come!

 

 

Kendra - Love, love, love this article! Heather is one of my fave photographers! She has so much passion for what she does, I wish I could just bottle that up and sprinkle a little bit on myself everyday 😉

Lindsay Ava - These are beautiful photos and I can definitely see a pattern with the photography even though by no means am I any sort of expert when it comes to photography 🙂

Sarah Wilkerson - Wonderful interview!! Heather is one of the most beautiful souls, and it comes through in all of her words and her work. <3

Classic and Neutral With A Modern Twist

It’s Day 4 of Stella Carakasi Week on Daisy Tribe! If you missed the first three days, you can get caught up here, here, and here. Today we’re featuring two more outfits with pieces from Stella’s collection, with our Social Media Director Janaia as the model. Janaia was really loving all of Stella’s classic neutral pieces with a modern twist. The first look includes the Defining Moment Tunic and Ready To Wear Leggings.

Janaia loved the little details in this outfit like the draping on the tunic that can be worn multiple ways, as well as the sweet ruched ankle detail on the leggings. We styled this look with black flats for a casual California morning, but I also see it working with heels or ankle booties for a night out.

Janaia chose the That’s A Wrap Top and Work It Coat, along with the Ready To Wear Leggings for her second look.

While the top and leggings worked well on their own, we loved the way that this urban inspired coat pulled everything together. The pictures really don’t do the coat justice, so if you get a chance to visit the Stella Studio in person, this is one item you should definitely check out!

That’s our final look for today – but we still have one more post for you featuring our visit to the Stella Studio in Berkeley – where we’ll introduce you to a few members of the Stella Carakasi team, give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the design house, and even meet Stella herself. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time for more Stella Carakasi Week on Daisy Tribe!

Stylist: Yarra McClure   |   Model: Janaia Roeder   |   Photographer: Kati Dias

 

Emily H - Both looks are lovely! I especially love the tunic, it looks so comfortable and elegant.

Emily
http://www.threadsandblooms.com

Kendra - So beautiful! Stunning model and clothes!

Effortless California Style With Stella Carakasi

Today we’re continuing Stella Carakasi Week on Daisy Tribe! If you missed the first two days, be sure to check here for an intro into this amazing California designer, and here to read a Creative Feature of Stella’s Director of Customer Engagement, Yarra McClure. I mentioned in my first post that we would be featuring parts of our visit to the Stella Studio in Berkeley all week – and today we’re going to show you three outfits featuring pieces from Stella’s collection – with our Healthy Living Editor Kendra as the model. The first look includes the Wrap Up Cardigan, Just a Dash tank (available only at the Stella Studio) and Street Smart Jacket (currently sold out).

We paired the tank, cardigan, and coat with brown Tory Burch boots and jeans from Forever 21. The coat helps pull the outfit together when the temperature drops, but the tank and cardigan alone are perfect for our weather here in the SF Bay Area almost year round. All three of these pieces are so versatile and could easily be mixed and matched with other items in your closet to come up with a variety of looks.

The next outfit includes the Mirage Dress and Style To Spare Jacket, along with a handbag from Latico Leathers which is handmade in the USA.

This dress was one of the favorites in our group because it’s perfect for anything from work to a weekend brunch to a night out with friends, depending on how you dress it up or down. We loved it with this sweet crop jacket, which would also look great with a pair of black leggings and one of Stella’s tunics. This look also includes a necklace from Janet Harrer, a local jeweler based in the Bay Area.

The final look includes Stella Carakasi’s Go Everywhere Sweater and Redefined Jacket. You might recognize the jacket from our first post about Stella – both Kendra and Delia fell in love with it and were able to incorporate it into their posts.

The sweater incorporates a sweet open weave detail, which you can see on the arms, a high low hem that is incredibly flattering, and dolman sleeves that are finished with rib knit trim. Like many of the pieces in Stella’s collection, it has a relaxed California feel to it, and is easy to pair with classics that you already own for a variety of looks.

That’s it for today, but we’ll be back with more Stella Carakasi later this week! Be sure to check out our first post featuring our Style Editor Delia, and our second post about a special member of the Stella team.

Stylist: Yarra McClure   |   Model: Kendra Cardoza   |   Photographer: Kati Dias

 

Heather Lazark - So much gorgeousness. The dress is my favorite!

Kintan - Simply gorgeous outfits.
Love the jacket from the first picture.
So beautiful color and great style.

Colleen Welsch - Love those photoreal prints!

COOCOO FOR COCO

Creative Feature – Meet Yarra McClure

Yesterday, I introduced you to the Stella Carakasi brand and told you to get ready for a whole week of Stella on Daisy Tribe. Today we have a really special feature of one member of the Stella Carakasi team, Yarra McClure. In addition to her role as Stella’s Director of Customer Engagement, Yarra is a talented artist with a lifelong passion for painting. She also happens to be one of the warmest, friendliest people you will ever meet. I’m so excited to share Yarra’s story with you, and hope you will enjoy hearing about her journey from a kid who colored on the walls to the accomplished artist that she is today. (She also shares how she finds inspiration – and why her perfect Saturday morning includes coffee and a four pound chihuahua)!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, my name is Yarra McClure and I am an artist. My art form is painting, varying from small canvases (4” x 4”) to larger works (6’ x 9’). Abstract expressionism, color and landscape are my main influences. I aim to create paintings that are imbued with feeling. When someone looks at my work I want them to feel the aliveness of the image through my use of color and the way that the paint dances on the canvas. Painting, for me, is a way to seek a deeper understanding and connection to the world and myself. My art is where I find my home. To find that “home” I’m often inspired by other people’s work. For instance I might see something and think, “I wonder if I can do that?” Once I start trying to emulate a technique or image I begin to understand what it is and to make it my own. Part of what makes my work unique is the way that I layer paint. My paintings vary from watercolors, to lightly layered acrylic paintings to heavily layered oil paintings. In each painting I work with layers of glazes and washes of paint until I feel a harmony of brushstrokes and color has emerged.

Can you tell us a little about how you got started with painting and how you’ve evolved over time?

I have been drawing and painting since I was little. My parents always encouraged me to draw and paint – I was one of those kids who would draw on the walls. All through school I was always drawing and painting. As time went on and I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I resisted the thought of an art path. Even in college, studying art didn’t seem practical and I tried to resist. Once I began taking painting classes I was hooked. Painting is a life-long passion for me. Over the last 15 years my work has evolved to include more symbolism, even though it is still primarily abstract. Today I feel more free to juxtapose abstract fields of paint with representational imagery. I have become more comfortable with my painting process over time which translates into paintings that are more fluid. My process is fairly simple, I start with a subject and research it. For instance, I wanted to paint a picture of Tomales Bay after a visit there. I had a general impression and then drew from photos I found after researching online. Beginning a canvas can take time, after an initial painting is established I like to draw into the painting and apply more layers. What comes across to me is a story in paint; you see the process of the painting, and the layers of paint and pencil have a history that comes alive on the canvas.

Which painting is your favorite, and why?

Wow, that is a hard question. In many ways the painting Untitled, 2001 at Stella Studio is my favorite painting (below left). I painted it after I first moved to the Bay Area – I was living in the Mission in an Edwardian flat on Liberty Street and my art studio was in a tiny basement around the corner. I remember sitting in the living room of the flat one evening and looking out the window at the wall of the building that was only about four to six feet away from our living room windows! The light from our windows was creating these beautiful ripples across the grooves of the our neighbors paneled building. This was the inspiration for the painting, and when I look at it I think of city nights and how beautiful the passage of light can be.

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday morning?

Sipping coffee, going for a dog walk and having long talks with close friends and family. I have a busy life working in the fashion industry with Stella Carakasi – in addition I like to stay active in my free time with academic and creative pursuits. On Saturdays, I like to take Lola, my four pound chihuahua, out for long walks while catching up with friends and family on the phone. I have three siblings and this is how I like to connect with them.

Do you have any advice for living a creative life?

Creativity and beauty is everywhere. For me there is nothing like seeing powerful art to recharge my creative “batteries.”  I love being surprised by the work of other artists by looking at street art, visiting galleries and museums. Living a creative life is a work in progress – be persistent with practicing your craft. Also, I recommend finding people you trust to share your work with and to bounce ideas off of – it is important to have collaborators.

Where can we find more of your work?

You can find me at my website, www.yarramcclure.com.

Yarra, it was such a pleasure to feature you on our site today. I loved reading about your journey from childhood to now (my kids love to color on the walls too so I guess there’s hope!) – and I feel like your advice to be inspired by other artists, be persistent with your craft, and collaborate with other creatives – will strike a chord with many of our readers out there. I look forward to seeing how you continue to evolve and inspire us with your art.

Tomorrow we’ll be back for more Stella Carakasi Week on Daisy Tribe, so please check in and see what we have in store!

 

Stella Carakasi Week on Daisy Tribe - Daisy Tribe | California Lifestyle Blog - […] pieces from Stella’s collection, behind-the-scenes photos of the Stella Studio, and even a Creative Feature on Stella’s Director of Customer Engagement Yarra McClure – who also happens to be an […]

Kendra - So beautiful! Love Yarra’s artwork

Stella Carakasi, Capri Leggings and Girlfriends - […] One of the highlights of the visit was getting a chance to spend time with the people who make Stella Carakasi the fantastic brand it is. Yarra, on the far left, is the manager of Stella Studio and is also involved in many other ways including as a stylist. Yarra is also an accomplished artist. Read more about her art in this wonderful post by Daisy Tribe. […]