Wednesday, January 28, 2015

From the Studio | 52 Silhouettes Week 4

I was feeling rather nostalgic this week for my grandmother Zelma. A friend is currently working on a book project and asked to borrow some of Zelma's swimming medals, which had me digging through a box of old jewelry and knick knacks. Zelma among other things was an incredible athlete and has a host of Lifeguard pins and Public School Athletic League awards from Jamaica High School in Queens, New York. While I don't often look at my grandmother's medals, I do use her scissors every single day. I inherited a beautiful set that sits on my desk, and when not in use, sit along side her husband, Kingston's wooden ruler.

For my silhouette this week, I chose a single pair of scissors, the one's I use the most. 

What heirlooms do you use everyday? 

Until next week!



Original photography, art direction + styling for Zelma Rose by Lisa Anderson Shaffer.

Monday, January 26, 2015

An Open Letter to Alt Summit

Photography by Baxter Miller

Dear Alt Summit,

Thank you. This seems small in retrospect, as I am unsure how to put words to the incredible feeling of being in a room full of brilliant, successful, and endlessly brave women. Maybe it is simply to be in awe. Whatever the case, I always return home floating on air. 

We are mothers, daughters, and partners and creative powerhouses dancing through this hustle, that as keynote speaker Lisa Congdon so wisely pointed out, we have chosen. Yes, chosen. So what exactly have we chosen?

I think everyone at Alt would have a different answer. For some it is to provide for our family, to be at home with our kids, to follow our passion, to not be held back promotionally or monetarily in a still male dominated and unequal workforce, to run the show, or to simply, as Freshly Picked CEO Susan Petersen put, "to be able to go to Target and buy anything I want." 

We choose to be brave. 

After my 4th Alt, and my second as a speaker, I think it is this choice that binds us. The commonality that connects the freelance photographer to the mommy blogger, the DIY crafter to the fashion stylist. We all at some point decided that no matter the circumstances, WE had a choice and were going to make one. 

Sounds simple, but choice is a leap, a risk, a run full speed to the edge of a steep cliff and a deep trust that once you leap, you will start to fly. I don't think any of us knew for certain when we took that leap that we would spread our wings, but we did it anyway, and we have soared. 

For me, the initial choice came from a feeling that I had nothing left to lose. When Zelma Rose came to be, I was reeling from a number of grief stricken years. Family deaths, a sick pet, and a yearning so deep in my heart to become a mother, it practically paralyzed me. But grief is a great teacher. It hurts and it's awful, but it brings your life, your breath, front and center. I know now that grief is the tension of the arrow being pulled back taut across the bow, waiting for flight. It strains and is exhausting but if you can be with it and in it with all of yourself you can not only move forward, but soar with great strength and direction. 

At Alt last week I saw all parts of the arrow. For some it was being pulled back tight across the bow, others were taking aim, and many had just released the arrow, watching it speed through the air with great determination. Being around this energy and hope is what drives us to make the choice to pick up the bow and arrow over and over again until we hit our target. 

When I look now at my daughter, my husband, and my business, I know it was this moment of choice and the bravery to step to the edge and leap that has given me the life I always dreamed. 

To you, the women of Alt, I thank you for making it look easy, hard, exciting, exhausting, joyful, and sorrowful to make that choice. It is a gift that we can all continue to do it together. 

Until next year,



Friday, January 23, 2015

4 the Record: The Grateful Dead American Beauty

For those of you who don't know, yes I wore Birkenstocks before they were vogue, and yeah I ate my weight in parking lot burritos. I was, and remain a Dead Head. While I am a purist and believe that the only way to really listen to the Dead is live, albums were the way I discovered the Dead as a kid. American Beauty was my first Dead experience and to be honest I didn't know what to think. The music didn't make much sense to me. It sounded like a bunch of lullabies and when I saw what they looked like, well then I was totally confused. Still, I knew there was something there and as I got older and went to my first Dead show, well the rest is history.

Sage | Hat | Bag | Tshirt | American Beauty | Denim | Poncho | Necklace | Clogs

With 50 years coming around the bend, it's safe to say that the Dead changed the face of music. I'm all for celebrating the authentic and few do it better than our very own NorCal grown. Congrats boys, and thanks for the memories. Wish all of you could here to say, "Fare thee well," one last time.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From the Studio | 52 Silhouettes Week 3

As the weeks pass while working on this project, I realize how interested I am in the flora and fauna that surround my house. With so much to look at, I'm enjoying taking a closer and more isolated look at each leaf and bloom.

This week I decided to focus on a leaf from one of the Bird of Paradise plants that grow beneath a set of our kitchen windows. With a few of the flowers in bloom, it seems a bit odd that a leave is what drew my attention, but I was interested in the different textures and how this would translate into a flat silhouette.

I was surprised by the results, as the curve of the leaf, which I was so drawn to seems to get a bit lost in translation. I like the way the drastic change in texture and color from green to brown is seen as only holes in the leaf in this form.

Until next week!



Monday, January 19, 2015

From the Studio: I'm Headed to Alt Summit!!

I am so excited to be returning to Alt Summit this week! This year marks my fourth time attending this super fun, and not to mention sold out conference for bloggers. It marks my second time as a presenter and I couldn't be more thrilled to have been asked back to share my skills to pay the bills using Instagram.

Photography by Sarah Deragon

My gal pal Sarah Deragon, of Portraits to the People will be taking the stage with me as we share our favorite apps to get your Instagram gallery looking like the professional portfolio of your dreams.

Photography by Sarah Deragon

The class is part of the Alt Summit Design Camp and will be held on Thursday from 4:00 - 5:30. We can't wait to see you there!

Photography by Sarah Deragon

I'm also excited to announce that I will be covering the conference for the one and only MARTHA! That's right, you are looking at the newest West Coast Expert Contributor to Martha Stewart Living! I'll be sharing the best moments, interviews with keynote speakers and lots of tips to get your business in top form for 2015! 

Photography by Sarah Deragon
You can follow along on my adventures at Alt Summit:

Instagram | @zelmarose
Twitter | @ZelmaRoseCurios

Salt Lake City Bound!



Friday, January 16, 2015

4 the Record: Ed Sheeran X

Ed Sheeran is adorable. But then again, I am a fan of us gingers. Still he's got a great voice, a humble presence and for a young guy, he can really write a song. His album X, or pronounced "multiply," for reasons I'm assuming I'm not cool enough to understand, is not the kind of music I usually have playing in the studio. I'm more of a sex, drugs, and rock n' roll kind of listener when it comes to my choice of office music. This week for whatever reason I was thinking ahead to spring and just wanted something pleasant that I could sing along to and let my mind just go. This album does the trick for me. The songs are well written, not over produced, even the single Sing, which is kind of fancy, does not reek of studio execs cramming strange manufactured noises into our ears.

Basket | Flowers | Kicks | Tee | Ed Sheeran X  | Beats | Shorts | Necklace | Blanket

X has all the qualities of spring for me right now. And listening to it this week brought me back to those carefree days and nights spent at the beach, running the waves and just being glad to be in someones arms. So if you are wishing for a little sun, have a listen to some Ed Sheeran and get yourself somewhere that denim shorts and tees are all you need.

Happy Weekend!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

From the Studio | 52 Silhouettes Week 2

If you missed the introduction of #52silhouettes, my new project for 2015, you can check out week one here. This week I chose another subject that I spend a great deal looking at, one of my studio plants. I am far from a gardener and for the most part have a black thumb as opposed to a green one, but succulents and cacti seem to do pretty well under my care.

This lovely little gem sits in my window and reminds me of the top of a pineapple. I adore the shape and really wanted to see what it would look like in silhouette.

This silhouette differed from week one in that I was able to cut it all in one piece.

I'm excited to see what next week brings!



Monday, January 12, 2015

Your 2015 Style Guide Checklist | For Him

As I mentioned in my Style Guide Checklist for Her post, I recommend starting the year off right by taking an inventory of your wardrobe. This is a great way to make sure every piece in your closet is in tip top shape, clean, and fits properly. We are all busy, and as conferences and celebratory events come into play, it's great knowing that your suit fits and is ready to be packed and hop on a plane. I pulled together some of my favorite basics for below to give you fellas a rough idea of what should be in your closet.

Shirt | Bow Tie | Undershirts | Denim | Suit | Thermal | Socks | Glasses | Boots

Also of importance each year is keeping your health in check. Annual medical appointments like physicals, skin cancer screenings, and eye exams should be repeated each year or every few years depending upon your doctors recommendations. To keep all of this info in check, I am sharing with you my own personal set of checklists to keep you organized and looking good throughout the year. You can download your own Zelma Rose 2015 Style Guide Checklist for Him, here.

When it comes to being sized for clothing, I suggest being fitted for suits, dress shirts, and shoes each year. You would be surprised how often our sizes change. Whether it is due to exercise, weight loss or weight gain, or the brand we like changing their size. Keeping up to date on your sizing makes last minute and online shopping a breeze. I like Nordstrom for fittings for both men and women. The Men's department at Nordstrom is a great place to get your shirt and jacket measurements. The shoe department also has a wonderfully professional staff that can measure your foot and help you get into a properly fitting pair of shoes.

Over the next weeks, I'll be sharing some of my favorite Men's basics and I would love to hear yours!



Original photography, art direction + styling for Zelma Rose by Lisa Anderson Shaffer.

Friday, January 9, 2015

4 the Record: U2 Joshua Tree

"I'm hanging on, you're all that's left to hold on to."

In 1987, U2 released Joshua Tree and I was pretty convinced at the young age of 11, that Bono would someday be my husband. With or Without You became the song that I would run to the stereo as it neared conclusion to rewind over and over again. I'm surprised my tape cassette didn't wear out. Wait, what's a cassette?

Shirt | Hat | Scarf | Necklace | U2 Joshua Tree | Skirt | Blanket | Tote | Boots

This album remains in my top, if I'm ever stranded on a desert island, list of favorites. Somehow it never grows old and maybe because I still get that feeling of teen longing when I hear With or Without You. As an adult, Red Hill Mining Town has become my favorite track on the album and when I listen to it in the car, my daughter and I belt out the chorus as loud as we can.

I think mostly this is an album of passion. I can hear it in the voices, the instruments and the beautifully woven lyrics. It's a powerhouse. Living in California and spending time in Joshua Tree, it makes even more sense. The quiet space, beautiful desert. It really takes you somewhere.

U2 forever.

What are you listening to?



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

From the Studio | A Year of Silhouettes

As I cleaned my studio at the end of the holiday rush, I was overcome by the feeling that I hadn't made any fine art in a while. I know it sounds weird, I am a maker by trade, how is that not art? And it is, but sometimes my life in the studio is a lot more about business and practicality than it is about just freely exploring a medium. One of my promises to myself in the new year was to allow some time each week to just be in the studio and create freely.

One of the things that inspires me each morning is the sunrise. My studio windows face east and I watch the sun come up over the mountains each day. On the foggy days it is like watching the light pass over a thin veil of silk. Each tree is outlined in silhouette form and the mountains create a jagged line across the sky. I have always enjoyed silhouettes, even as a child, fascinated by the ones my mom had made of our family members.

Inspired by looking closely at objects in their most basic form, I decided to create a weekly silhouette throughout the year. You will be able to join me here on the blog each week for photos of the finished piece and process, as well as participate on Instagram by following along and posting your own creations with the hashtag #52silhouettes.

Below is my first silhouette. It is of an antler that my husband found while walking the grounds at our home before we moved in. I look at it on our fireplace mantle everyday and love the simple curves and delicate intricacies of its shape.

I invite you to join me on this art adventure! As the weeks pass, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite ways to make silhouettes, along with featuring some of the ones you have shared with me. By the end of the year, I will have quite a gallery...

Here's to 51 more!



Monday, January 5, 2015

Your 2015 Style Guide Checklist | For Her

Welcome to 2015! With some much needed time off around the holidays, I like to not only review my goals and dreams for the new year, but I also like to get my house in order. Part of getting life back on track and ready for the next 365 days no doubt includes taking stock of your wellness and wardrobe. (I pulled together some of my favorite staples below).

Tshirt | Glasses | Scarf | Vest | Denim | Socks | Bra | Boots | Undies

I start each year with a handy checklist to keep track of my necessary annual medical appoints, my wardrobe, and all those little things we forget about. Nothing like packing the night before a conference to realize your tights have a huge hole in them!  Let's avoid that mess, please. By annually recording your sizes, and double checking the items in your wardrobe, you give yourself a single place to reference what you have, what needs to be replaced, and must be repaired. This year, I'm excited to share with you my very own checklist template! You can download it here. 

The checklist covers everything from your annual medical visits, to lists of basic wardrobe items, and lots of space for notes. I do not own everything on this list, so don't get too overwhelmed, and I'm not suggesting you run out and check off each item. Simply mark what you have and what you need to replace. I included on the list getting fitted for a bra and shoes. If you have kids then you know these sizes change a lot over the years. Scary but true, so good to get things properly measured each year. Nordstrom offers free bra fittings, along with a knowledgeable shoe department that can help you find a properly fitting shoe.

I find the most valuable part of this list to be where I note the brand, size and style. When a brand I wear is having a sale I can quickly reference what size and style I like. Also, it makes for easy gifting. My man can look at the list, see what stores I like and what sizes I wear and presto, the perfect gift!

I will be sharing some of my favorite picks from my own list over the next few weeks. Also, next Monday I will share the Zelma Rose 2015 Style Guide for Him. That's right guys, you get your very own checklist!

Hope you are off to a wonderful 2015!

Have fun with the Style Guide and comment below with your own favorite wardrobe basics, I'll be sharing mine soon!