Gratitude - Dec 31

+ a surprise trip to Las Vegas and massage appointment courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend
+ my new 50 mm lens... amazing to say the least.
+ secret santa at work
+ baking cookies for my coworkers, and everyone enjoying them!
+ free time to watch Arthur on PBS at 2:30
+ rain
+ 2010... happy new year!

Happy Holidays

We had a quiet Christmas at home.  I received a 50 mm f/1.8 lens from my mom, which is what I used to take these photos (except for the first one).  One of my new years resolutions is to participate in the 365 project, where you take a photo a day.  I have a few more goals in mind, but I'm going to mull over them over the next few hours before I make any commitments. 


Wool And The Gang

My two favorite kits from Wool And The Gang. They come with everything you need! Wondering if I could pull off the wool shoulder pad look in the second photo... (photos: Wool And The Gang)


Gratitude - dec 11

Instead of my (not so usual) "Things I Love" entries, I've decided to change them to a new format called Gratitude.  Every Friday I am going to compile a short list of the things I am thankful for, things that put a smile on my face, or just little things I'd like to remember that happened in the past week. 

+ my boyfriend
+ coming up with wonderful new ideas (with the boyfriend)
+ working on new designs and ideas that I am satisfied with!  A real shop opening is coming, I promise.
+ rain rain rain!  I love the rain. 
+ teuxdeux.com
+ Ecoholic.  Great book I purchased last week! I'll probably write a more thorough entry on it.


Felt Snowflakes

I love these felt snowflakes in hot pink and white by purl bee.  They'd also be cute as gift tags for the holidays!  Try making your own with their tutorial. (photo: The Purl Bee)

We Are Land Rich

Tarrow Bulb from Land Rich.

Anna Wolf

Beautiful photography by Anna Wolf.  This is one of my favorites.  Plus, I have been dreaming of a shirt like this (see previous post).  And it's paired with a marled wool sweater! (photo: Anna Wolf)


Here are a few pieces I've been dreaming of adding to my wardrobe...

Marled woolly cardigans to throw over everything, a simple bag to hold everything, cool t shirts with interesting prints, and high waisted skirts with a slight tulip shape.  Also on my list, nubby socks to pair with opaque tights and my new boots, polka dot tights, a black turtleneck, and peter pan collared plaid shirt (it exists, I just don't know where to get it). 


The Story of Stuff

Have you heard of The Story of Stuff?  If not, I urge you to watch the whole thing on their website.  Here is a little clip of the entire 20 minute video.

Fall Boots

Whoops, I disappeared there for a while.  In all honesty, after I opened my etsy shop I became very discouraged with myself and my work.  Not quite sure where I was going with it and it sort of led to a rut.   But enough on that topic...

In a recent post I wrote about how I cleaned out my wardrobe, with nothing left but my favorites and essentials.  Now that it's slowly getting colder, it's time I add a few pieces for fall and winter. 
Boots by scriptandserif on Polyvore.com
 Boots have definitely been on my mind lately.  After my trip to Portland I realized that all my shoes didn't really cover my feet! For every day wear I usually slip on a pair of ballet  flats or moccasins, neither of which cover the top of my foot or even allow me to pair them with woolly socks.  As much as I love the Clark desert boot inspired wedges on the left,  I think I'd wear a pair of flat boots more often.  Unfortunately I haven't really found one that fits the bill.  I did however come across a pair of my ideal boots, except they have a heel!

Other than looking for my ideal boot, I'd like to learn more about the process of them being made.  What's the difference between a moderately priced shoe and a designer shoe?  Is it the quality of materials?  Craftsmanship? I'm sure both play a part, but what about ethical production?  There are plenty of clothing designers that design with the environment in mind, and we are often given a glimpse into their production.  Some examples of such are not using sweat shops in third world countries and using organic materials. But what about shoes?  How and where was the leather sourced? Where were they assembled? How do I know quality pieces are being used? As passionate as I am about ethically produced clothing, it is much harder to find information about the origin of my shoes.


Etsy Shop Opening

Today I finally listed an item in my etsy shop and boy was it harder than I thought it would be!  Photos look completely different in the small thumbnails they create.  I had such a hard time coming up with a description of the card too!  Tomorrow I'm going to go back and take all new photos and try again.  The whole thing is a learning experience and I realized I need to step up my game by about 1000%.


A Lasting Wardrobe

One of my summer outfits. Striped top: from Loehmann's, Skirt: American Apparel, Vest: H&M, Necklace: For Me, For You by Kate Miss.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about my current wardrobe.  Over the past two years I've slowly weeded out my closet, getting rid of all the things I no longer wear, are the wrong size, or are beyond repair.  But now I am left with a near empty closet.  It was fine during the summer because when it's that hot you don't really care what you wear, just as long as its loose and comfortable.  But now that the weather is finally cooling down (except for the heat that arrived last week!), I really need to start filling up my closet with things to wear. 

My biggest problem is that my clothing budget is about $0. Even more so, I am so, so tired of wearing poorly made clothes.  I've become more aware of garment production, from sweat shop documentaries to sewing things myself, and I really just want more quality pieces that will last me a long time.  I'd also prefer to support smaller businesses, or people who genuinely care about the things they make. 

I used to shop at stores like Forever 21 and Nordstrom BP all the time.  But where are all those things now?  Not in my closet.  More often than not, I can't even remember what trendy, poly blend shirt I bought from there.  Not only is this a waste of money, but what about the environmental impact disposable clothing creates? 

Sometimes I think I'm asking for too much.  In my dream world, I'd like well made garments made from natural, organic fabrics.  I'd like them made by designers I want to support, not from sweatshops.  Oh, and I want them to be cute of course.  Am I asking for too much?  They don't even have to be organic, but it would be nice.  

I could really go on about this topic for ever, but instead I'm going to break it up into separate posts so it's not too overwhelming.  If you have any thoughts you'd like to share on this, please feel free to e-mail me at sunshinebysara AT gmail DOT com.  I'd love to hear from you!


Moonwalker by Mociun

I am in all sorts of love with this skirt.  During our stay in Portland we visited the boutique Frances May.  Among many other lovely garments, this definitely caught my eye.  The print is so mesmerizing in a dark, yet dreamy way.  Check out the skirt and many other amazing prints at Mociun. (photo: Mociun)


Back from Portland

I'm back!  My boyfriend and I took a short trip to Portland, Oregon and had a great time.  Most of the places we visited were food related, and unfortunately couldn't stop by all the restaurants we wanted to go to!  The food was delicious and the coffee even better.  Right when we got back I got really sick though.  Must be the horrible LA smog!  Anyway, here is a photo of the gorgeous Japanese Gardens we went to.  It took a long walk; someone at the hotel told us to get off an earlier stop and walk uphill... for quite a while! But we got there and it was totally worth it.  I wish I could be there now, breathing the fresh air...


Calligraphy Samples


One thing I've always wanted to learn is calligraphy.  Ever since I learned how to write in cursive in the 3rd grade, I've been practicing on any sheet of paper I could find.  Combine it with my love for stationery and I'm in heaven.

Here are a few samples I whipped up with fake names and addresses.  I'm still practicing, but it gets a little easier each day. (photos: Sara Tso)


More fabric flowers

flowers, originally uploaded by sunshine by sara.

Here's another sneak peek of the flowers I've been working on.  After making about thirty it gets a bit tiring and I start to slow down. 



"Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

— Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)

Things I Love - October 16

little bits, originally uploaded by simply photo.

// Oh Joy! party at Urbanic Paper last night!  I brought along two of my friends, so it was nice to catch up with them and meet Joy too!  I am a really big fan of all her work, so I was a bit star struck to say the least.  I could hardly get a word out!  But of course she was a total sweetheart and I was so glad to attend her party.

// Rain!  It finally rained in southern california.  Of course everyone forgot how to drive, but the next day the air was nice and clear and traffic miraculously cleared up for a day?!  I love overcast/rainyweather.  As odd as this sounds it makes me really happy; it reminds me of cozying up with tea, a blanket, and a movie!

// I finally caved in and bought a new pair of jeans.  I have been putting it off for over a year now!  I will probably do a separate post on this because the jeans are amazing.  I can't believe I was without them for so long!

// I am going to start on my quilt (!!!) today! It's for a top secret project that I'm really eager to start on.

// Okay, this is one of my most favorite things on my mind as of late--I'm going to Portland, OR next weekend!  My boyfriend and I are taking a small weekend trip up.   It was my goal for the year to finally visit and for my birthday my mom surprised me with tickets!  I am beyond excited.  I have never been, but through the magic of the internet (haha) I've heard so many wonderful things about the place.  I just hope it's not raining too hard when we get there.  My boyfriend is very susceptible to getting sick!


Nostalgia Organics

Have you heard of Nostalgia Organics? I just learned of them today through a flickr group for pretty packaging.  What's not to love?  First of all, they use natural and organic ingredients such as oatmeal, lavender, coconut, and lemongrass.  Secondly, the beautiful packaging goes above and beyond.   Each label is printed on recycled paper with soy inks and come with a pattern on the other side for a craft project!
I haven't decided which scent I'd like just yet, but what I know for sure is that my bathroom could use something as cute as this to perk things up a bit.  Check out their website, blog, and flickr here for more pretty photos.


Things I Love Thursday

If you follow Galadarling.com, you know she writes something called "Things I Love Thursday" (and if you don't, you definitely need to check it out!). It's about making a list of things you appreciate at the moment.  Here's my list for the week:

// my boyfriend coming over twice this week to cook me lovely dinners.
// Kate helping me figure out my stationery designs, and reassuring me that I'm on the right track.  thanks Kate!
// booking our hotel in Portland OR for a sweet deal!
// being too busy/productive/away from the computer to finish reading my blog reader
// swimming during the last days of summer
// mine and my boyfriend's one year anniversary
// a dozen sprinkles cupcakes for the occasion!
// finding out that the work OK looks like a sideways person
// beautiful sunsets from my bedroom window

(photo: sunshine by sara)


Fabric Flowers

A couple weekends ago I picked up some fabric for a small project I've had on my mind.  The project consists of making several flowers out of fabric.  I chose a cotton voile because it's smooth but a little stiff, and I like how the edges fray a bit.  I've only made 11 so far and I'm guessing I'll need at least 30. They surprisingly took a bit longer to make than I thought, but it's fun and nice to get away from the computer. Can't wait to show off the end result! 


Looking For A Silk Dress

Today I decided that I want to invest in a silk dress.  You know, something I can throw on in the summer but can pair tights and a woolly sweater with for the fall. Something with flirty details like a soft ruffle or a floral print.  The only trouble I come across is finding the right one.  Preferably I'd like it to be made by a small business rather than a mass retailer.  I'd also like it to be relatively affordable, as my budget is around $150 or so.  I remember coming across a dress that fit this criteria, but unfortunately I remembered too late!
The Regine Dress by Vain and Vapid.  I love the piping detail and the soft flutter sleeves.  And the beautiful fabric! If only I came across this earlier... The search continues.

(photos by Alana Davis for Vain and Vapid)


Sneak Peek

Here is a little sneak peek of what I've been working on.  The marshmallow painting is by the wonderful Dawn from handmadelove!  I've been thinking and working really hard on starting up my little stationery line.  Now I'm just waiting for my paper shipment to arrive in the mail! 


Excuse the Mess

I'm going to be changing the blog up quite a bit, which mostly means disappearing entries, new layout, and new content. I'm really excited about this new change and hope I can follow through with it 100%!

Oh, and doesn't that photo make you salivate? Unless you dislike tomatoes that is. There is actual lettuce leaves underneath, but I just love piling on all the fresh tomatoes. Taken with my new camera that I love very much.