Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Last Friday I attended my cousin’s solo show opening at Mark Wolfe Contemporary in downtown San Francisco. I’ve written about my cousin Ryan Martin many times before and am a big fan of his work (and not just because he’s my cousin!). So many friends, coworkers and family members showed up that it just felt like a big party, which was great.

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

It’s fun talking to my cousin about his work and his process. As a graphic designer who focuses mostly on web interfaces and communication design, it’s interesting to hear my cousin’s answers to questions that illustrate just how different creating art can be than designing for a client, at least in my experience. I remember asking him about why he chose a specific color and texture in one of his pieces and he responded “I don’t know, it just felt right.” With communication design, I feel like every design decision is made to fulfill an objective or purpose, and it’s fun to recognize the differences between designing for usability vs. creating art for the sake of creating something beautiful, or to convey a message in an entirely different way. It’s incredibly inspiring.

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Portraits of George and Mike Kuchar

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Ryan Martin with underground film actress (and all around amazing lady) Linda Martinez and her portrait, and my lovely Aunt Val (Ryan’s mother)

Being someone who spends the majority of her time behind a computer, or at a desk, it’s refreshing to get out of my office or apartment to take in some new visual inspiration, and Ryan’s work is always that for me. His use of color is bold and fearless. The subjects and themes of his pieces can be fun at first glance, but draw you in and the longer you stare at them, the more thought provoking they become. He is truly an expert at his craft, but it’s wonderful to see him grow and evolve as an artist. This show was a great example of that. One major focus was the 37 Portraits of Julian Larach. Just as the title explains, he painted 37 portraits with varying scenes and themes with one model. And luckily for the opening night attendees, Julian was there!

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

I encourage everyone to check out Ryan’s show if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area. And if you’re unable to check out his show, check out your local art galleries! Seeing art in person is such a rich experience, and guess what friends, it’s free. Learn about the artists in your area, figure out what you’re drawn to, and follow those artists on Facebook and Instagram, send them messages of encouragement. If you’re lucky and discover an artist earlier in their career, you might be able to purchase one of their pieces. The world can be a scary place a lot of the time, and it’s truly a gift that there are so many people who are selfless enough to share their talents with all of us. That definitely should be celebrated.

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

Photo credit: All photos taken by Ali

To view more of Ryan’s work, visit www.ryanmartinart.com, or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

Gallery Hoppin: Ryan Martin at Mark Wolfe Contemporary | tatianajimenez.com

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My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips | tatianajimenez.com

As many of you might know, I’m a big fan of thrifting. The love for digging for treasures started sometime around high school in Victorville, California where I grew up. This was before you could buy things online, so my options fashion-wise were limited to the mall in my hometown, or traveling to the Inland Empire or LA for more unique finds. Instead, my sisters and I would head over to our favorite thrift store (which has been closed now for about 5 years), which was huge and was the source of many amazing finds — items I still have and wear today.

In college, my thrifting adventures continued in Orange County, at shops like ARC or Lincoln Thrift (now closed). I found that the pricing at stores that were not Goodwill or Salvation Army tended to be a lot lower. Once I moved to San Francisco, my cravings for a day of thrifting didn’t quite go away, but my trips were less gratifying since shops in the Mission were highly picked over and items were pricier, and in my opinion not worth it.

Stephanie & Melissa of The Fashion Citizen

Stephanie & Melissa – The Fashion Citizen

Fast forward to about a month ago. I discovered The Fashion Citizen on YouTube and could not stop watching their thrift haul videos. Through these videos I learned about Savers, and the concept of a Goodwill Marketplace (also known as Goodwill As Is, or by-the-pound stores). I traveled to Berkeley with a friend to a newly opened Savers and found so many great pieces that I felt back in my element.

Last weekend I traveled down to Southern California for a wedding, and I had a day of free time, so I decided to check out the Goodwill Marketplace in Santa Ana (Orange County). Goodwill Marketplace is where Goodwill sends all of the pieces that did not sell in their stores. There are two sections: one side is for auctions (they auction furniture and large bins of items, kind of like Storage Wars), and the other side is where you can buy items for $2.50 a pound.

My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips | tatianajimenez.com

It’s important to note that this is really a place for serious thrifters. I know a lot of people who don’t have the patience to go to a regular thrift store, to go through racks and racks of clothing to find gems. This place is probably a nightmare for those folks — but so much fun for me! When you walk in you’re greeted with about 20 bins filled with clothing. The clothing isn’t separated at all, in each bin you’ll find a melange of mens, womens and childrens clothing. My strategy was to start at the beginning and look at every piece on my left and then toss it to the right.

My First Trip to the Goodwill Marketplace, and Some Thrifting Tips | tatianajimenez.com

I even stumbled upon some nice vintage pieces. Check out those tags!

Here are a few tips for shopping at a by-the-pound Goodwill:

1.) They pull out fresh bins every half hour or so.
If you’re a newbie (like I was), and it’s crowded, I would recommend NOT trying to look through new bins when they’re first brought to the floor. There were a lot of women who looked like they would shank a bitch for a lightly used J. Crew sweater. Take advantage of checking out all of the other bins during this time.

2.) Food and drink aren’t allowed inside.
But you’re going to get thirsty, especially if you’re there for two hours like I was. I’d suggest bringing a water bottle in your purse.

3.) There are no fitting rooms.
This is how I ended up buying some pieces that didn’t fit me. But really, everything is so cheap, that I wasn’t too bummed out about it.

4.) If you see a potentially cute item, just grab it and edit your basket down later.
If you see an item you like, chances are it won’t be there for very long. Throw it in your basket and think about it later. I initally grabbed around 30 items and then edited down to 16.

5.) Like going to any thrift store, thoroughly inspect your items.
Sometimes, thrift finds ARE too good to be true. Always be on the lookout for broken zippers, missing buttons, or tiny holes.

6.) Hand sanitizer is your friend.
I was really bummed that I’d switched purses before my trip and didn’t have my hand sanitizer with me. The clothing you’re going through is sometimes not clean. Also, many hands have been all up in the bins. ALSO, you might come across a questionable crusty substance. But don’t let this deter you! Just push it aside and keep digging. Like I said earlier, this kind of thrifting experience is not for everyone.

Here’s a quick Vine video I put together with my finds at the Goodwill Marketplace. A few of them I picked up for my more fashionable (and thinner) sisters, but I’m mostly stoked about the rad blue floral dress and sweater I found, and the burnt orange skirt. For the 16 items I found, I paid $18. That comes to about $1.10 a piece. Not bad! It would’ve been a lot less if I didn’t buy those jeans that ended up not fitting, but that’s ok.

Do you have any favorite thrift stores in Southern California or the Bay Area that I should check out? Let me know!

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The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket

by tatiana on August 12, 2014

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

For those of you who are familiar with my work, you know that I haven’t made many items for babies. Besides this blanket, I’ve made one other for my cousin, and a cardigan/booties set for a coworker (which was SO ADORABLE — babies are ridiculously tiny, if you weren’t already aware of that fact). That being said, when making things for babies, there’s a desire to make the thing baby appropriate, but also to make sure it’s something I would want to own if I were a baby. Does that make sense?

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

My good friend decided to have a “gender reveal” at her baby shower, which I think is a fun idea. My friend is also awesome and shares my feelings about the idea that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” is a bunch of hooey, so I was extra stoked about the blanket I was already making.

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

After perusing Ravelry, I found this pattern. The pattern is fairly simple and it was a great pattern to work on whilst marathoning Friday Night Lights.

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

The blanket crocheted up pretty quickly and I love the shape. The scalloped edges are dainty and Victorian and I love how they frame the blanket.

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

Just for fun, I decided to photograph this blanket with some of my childhood stuffed animals! My mom sent these guys up with my sisters the last time they came to visit. I’ve had them since I was a baby, and I’m happy my mom held onto them.

The Gender Neutral Baby Blanket | tatianajimenez.com

As it turns out, my friend is having a girl! I’m stoked to meet the little nugget and hope she knows that this was a labor of love made by Auntie Tati, and if I’m lucky it’ll end up in one of her blog posts in 30 years as a beloved relic of her childhood. Or, maybe it’ll end up covered in vomit? We’ll see what happens.

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Day Trip to Sonoma & Real Talk About Wine

by tatiana on July 6, 2014

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

So, fun fact: I managed to stay away from wine until I was about 22 years old. In college, my roommate and another close friend would hang out in our living room with a bottle of Merlot and a plate of stinky cheese whilst watching America’s Next Top Model, and the buttery smell of the wine + the crazy cheese really turned me off. I didn’t grow up around these foods and thought they wouldn’t be enjoyable for me. As a result I went through most of college drinking Midori Sours. Headache central, kids. Head. Ache. Central. Luckily I eventually navigated to new waters that brought me to more fun and complex beverage experiences. My gateway wine was a Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, and at that moment I knew that there was a world that I had been missing out on. (And I now LOVE stinky cheese, although there are still a few that are outside of my olfactory comfort zone.)

A few months ago some coworkers and I decided to take advantage of how close we are to California’s wine country and visited a few wineries in Sonoma. I brought my camera along to document our experience. We visited the following wineries: Cline, Jacuzzi (owned by Cline), and Chateau St. Jean.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

This first photo (above) was taken at a winery that I a.) don’t remember the name of and b.) had an unpleasant experience at. The woman pouring the wine wasn’t welcoming and answered our questions with either monosyllabic answers or a condescending tone. I think a few ladies in my group still purchased some bottles, and the woman was friendly after that, which felt extra icky to me. I’m happy to report that everyone at the wineries I listed, that we visited after this first winery, were friendly, knowledgeable and a lot of fun.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

Checking out the tasting menu at Jacuzzi.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

Pretty stained window at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

Taking a moment to pose with the wax man statue at Jacuzzi.

We went to the Girl and the Fig for lunch, and it was one of the tastiest meals I’ve had. Included below is a photo of the cheese plate, which was one of the many things we ordered. What a treat! If you’re ever in Sonoma, I highly recommend checking it out.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com sonoma_09

Caitlin orders her first Bloody Mary (EVER) at Girl and the Fig.

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

We ended our trip at Chateau St. Jean. The photo below was taken by my friend and perfectly describes how I feel after a day of wine tasting:

Day Trip to Sonoma | tatianajimenez.com

Fuzzy and incredibly content.

Do you have any favorite wineries in the Bay Area that you’d recommend? Let me know!

In related news, I recently starting using the Delectable App for the iPhone. (Add me by searching for Tatiana Jimenez!) It’s kind of like a combination of Instagram, Yelp and Foursquare, but for wine. You take a photo of the label, or point to the wine you ordered on a menu and it identifies the wine, adds it to your wine feed, and you can rate it and add notes. It also organizes the wines you’ve tried into country, region, sub-region, etc. It is slowly turning me into a wine nerd, and I’m ok with that.

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Postcard from NYC

A few weeks ago I went to New York. I’ve been once before, I was an 18-year-old college freshman who had never really taken public transportation. I navigated my way around Manhattan (and Queens where my high school bestie and I were staying) via paper map (pre-iPhones and GPS). It was an adventure I’ll never forget, so I was especially excited when my friend decided to have her bachelorette “party” (or weekend, rather) in Brooklyn.

Postcard from NYC - Adventures in T-Shirt Design

Photo above was actually taken in Manhattan.

Five of us rented an apartment in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, which was conveniently a block away from a subway stop, and also a block away from Dunkin Donuts. (YES.)

Postcard from NYC - Adventures in T-Shirt Design

Another photo taken in Manhattan on our way to brunch.

Most brides-to-be these days have cheesy t-shirts that they wear with their bridesmaids at their bachelorette party. We decided that we are not that kind of bridal party. If we’re going to wear t-shirts, we said to ourselves, they’re going to be a.) not wedding related at all, b.) cool enough to wear again outside of the context of a bachelorette weekend, and c.) not embarrassing to wear around New York. All of that being said, I designed this bad boy, inspired by Barbara Kruger, who I’m a huge fan of, and know my friend is a fan of as well.

Let's Rage - Bachelorette T-Shirt designed by Tatiana Jimenez

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Here are the shirts in action, with the bride-to-be.

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Bachelorette apparel, sartorialized.

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The design appeared to be a hit! I even got some requests from folks not in the bridal party for apparel. It was fun to wear around town, get confused looks from people on the street, and we even were asked at one point if we were in a band(?).

We explored both Brooklyn and a bit of Manhattan. I loved the trip, and I can’t wait to go back to do more sightseeing and visit museums. Until next time, NYC!

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I Saw the Sign: New Orleans Edition

by tatiana on May 3, 2014

I Saw the Sign: New Orleans Edition

Royal Street, circa 1900 Photo Credit: Detroit Publishing Company

In March I hopped over to New Orleans for MARDI GRAS for my good friend’s bachelorette trip. It was a trip I’ll never forget! I’m not much of a party girl (only sometimes!), but it was a lot of fun to be engulfed in the atmosphere and sheer joviality of the celebrations. Aside from the festivities, the centuries-old architecture and general look and feel of the French Quarter was a feast for the eyes. There were also a lot of really great signs and typographic goodness. Below is a little tour of some of the great signage I stumbled upon throughout my trip: [click to continue…]

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Monday Inspiration: Ulyana Sergeenko

by tatiana on April 28, 2014

Ulyana Sergeenko

I’d first learned about Ulyana Sergeenko via a few photos floating around Pinterest. The one that stood out the most to me was the photo above. It totally captured a modern interpretation of old world Russian style and beauty. I became obsessed and recently watched her Fall 2013 runway show (which is one of my favorites) and wanted to share it here — if only to make it easier for me to watch over and over again.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian model and street style maven cum couturier. She was a collector of couture, which she wore fabulously, and just has a great sense of style that street style photographers seemed to gravitate towards (which is one of my goals in life, I mean, because why not).

Ulyana Sergeenko Street Style

Inspiration for her designs range from Russian fairy tales, to Anna Karenina to the American Civil War, which are evident in these looks below.

Ulyana Sergeenko

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Her most recent collection is less whimsical but still incredibly elegant and reminiscent of 1940s glam (view her S/S 2014 collection here). I’m excited to see what’s in store for her future collections.

Ulyana Sergeenko

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FOG Design + Art Fair

by tatiana on January 19, 2014

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Above piece: The Future Perfect

This weekend I was fortunate to have two passes to the FOG Design + Art Fair at Fort Mason in San Francisco, so I brought my friend who’s currently attending the Masters of Architecture program at CCA. I figured she’d be a great person to geek out over some good design & art with, and she was! We had a blast, and found the event incredibly inspiring. Here are some highlights from the day (both inside and outside the fair):

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The weather was PERFECTION on Saturday. I’m so glad I brought my camera along. You can see Alcatraz in the distance.

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After taking many photos of the water and generally marveling at how beautiful it was outside, we finally found our way into the event. The above piece, “Girls at War” by Beth Katleman, was pretty incredible in person.

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Pieces in the Ratio 3 booth (a local San Francisco gallery).

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Airbnb built miniatures based on real vacation rental properties available through their site.

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Quick coffee & snack break, indulging in goodies from Jane (hey, favorite cafe on Fillmore Street!).

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The piece above and the interactive installation below are works by Benjamin Rollins Caldwell.

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We attended Craig Dykers’ talk on the Architecture of Engagement and the new SFMOMA Expansion. Craig Dykers is a principal architect at Snøhetta, the Oslo-based architecture & design office working on SFMOMA as well as the new Warriors Pavilion near the Bay Bridge. It was inspiring to see Snøhetta’s plans for SFMOMA, and the philosophies & research behind those plans, and fun to get some sneak peeks of how the space will evolve.

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We left just in time to enjoy golden hour – which made the already beautiful day look even more spectacular.

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FOG Design + Art

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The Granny Stripe Birthday Blanket

by tatiana on January 9, 2014

Granny Stripe Birthday Blanket

So, maybe my friend’s birthday was in August… but who doesn’t enjoy a birthday gift four months after their birthday? This birthday blanket slowly turned into a birthday/Hanukkah blanket, which is how the cookie crumbles sometimes. When it comes to ambitious crochet projects, I tend to underestimate how long they’ll take, but I’m still learning! Next time I’ll give myself a good 3 months… or more, instead of starting a month before my friend’s birthday. Sometimes, you can’t just make it work!

Even though this didn’t get to my friend on time to enjoy in August… it kind of worked out that she received it in December. This crocheted behemoth is a pretty heavy blanket for the summer months. I didn’t use a pattern, and I forgot to measure it before I handed it over, but I think it’s around 5′ x 6′ — large enough to drape over a full sized bed.

Granny Stripe Birthday Blanket

My friend is really into wine, so I wanted to use a deep purple that I knew she’d dig. I used my trusty go-to yarn for large projects – Vanna’s Choice, in Eggplant and Linen. I used about 10 skeins of each color for this project. I highly recommend purchasing yarn from either Jo-Ann Fabrics (especially if you have a coupon, and the yarn is often on sale — it happens about every other month and is totally worth the wait), or Knitting Warehouse, who tend to have pretty good deals.

Granny Stripe Birthday Blanket

Since I made my own pattern, I just kept crocheting until the blanket felt large enough, then I crocheted a border using an HDC stitch. I went around once with the linen color and twice with the eggplant color. It made for a nice edge.

Granny Stripe Birthday Blanket

This is the 7th blanket I’ve crocheted! That’s a lot of warmth and love, y’all. To see some of the other blankets I’ve made (and had a chance to blog about), click here, here, here or here. So what’s next? Well, like I mentioned in the past, I really want to make another quilt. I’m really feeling this triangular look: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52917364343973085/. I have a half-completed quilt that I need to buckle down and finally finish first. Fingers crossed that happens sooner than later!

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Tuesday Inspiration: Portrait of an Artist

by tatiana on December 3, 2013

Portrait of an Artist: Ryan Martin Directed by Nicholas Domaguing

I’ve written about my cousin Ryan Martin before (read about some of our shenanigans here), but regardless of our shared bloodlines, he’s ridiculously talented and this short film is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I haven’t painted in years and this video makes me want to get my hands (or a brush) into some pretty oil paints.

To learn more about his work, visit ryanstevenmartin.com, or Like him on Facebook.

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