Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Did It!!!

I am writing this article to express how elated I am to have accomplished a huge and amazing goal I've always had - I am officially a Fashion Design graduate from FIDM in Los Angeles.  It is such a fantastic feeling.  I have worked so very hard to accomplish this.  This has been one of the most surprizingly difficult things I have ever worked for in my life.  The work was so intense but now the reward and sense of being finished is extremely sweet.  It feels oh so amazing to accomplish something you have always dreamed of doing.  I feel so alive when I go after what I want in life! 

What a fabulous article I now get to write to share that I have officially accomplished this major goal that I set out to do when I first began this blog after I left the city of DC.  It was a feeling beyond expression when I was driving back home to Utah when I passed this spot in one of the canyons where I almost gave up on my dreams.  A long while back I wrote an article about how I couldn't fathom how this was all going to work for me to make the major sacrifices that were required for me to pursue my dream of attending FIDM in Los Angeles for Fashion Design.  I had almost given up a little before school started because I had not found an apartment and employment was extremely questionable during the current economic state.  My brain had basically talked me out of going for this dream because the rational side kept trying to tell me that none of this was going to work out.  My heart kicked in when I was driving away from my City of Angels and tears fell down my cheek.  I knew at that moment that I had to tell my brain to just shut the hell up for a lil bit and let my heart take over for once.  I remember the specific spot I was driving through when I was completely overcome by these emotions.  Now after just recently graduating and accomplishing this amazing goal it was such a mind blowing experience passing through this same spot on my journey in the canyon realizing - wow I did this!  I went for this, I gave it my ALL, and I did it!!!  I remember those sad tears of thinking I had to give up on my dream and now I had tears of complete joy knowing that I did it! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Your Capacity is Far Beyond What You Can Imagine

"Your capacity is far beyond what you can imagine." - Elder Richard G. Scott

I have been looking back on how my skills and knowledge in the fashion world have improved so much since the first day of school.  What I could do in one week, I can now do in a matter of a few hours.  It's amazing to see progress.

It's great to visualize what you want out of life, then analyze how to get there, and then finalize it!  Visualize, Analyze, Finalize!  These happen to be concepts a great fashion designer utilizes in the process of design, but can absolutely be applied to anything you want out of life.

Everyday in life we should pursue our goals.  Our goals should be balanced in terms of personal/family/spiritual relationships, career/work, and serving others.

So many times in life we hit bumps or even brick walls along the way.  Never give up no matter what.  Happiness is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.  Life is not meant to be perfect, but it is important that we are constantly pushing ourselves toward perfection.  Every step I take in my own personal progress, the happier I am on the interior and exterior.  Instead of thinking that something is impossible or you "can't" do something, STOP, rethink, and start with a "how can I..."  It's all about taking the first step, once you do that, keep working and then you will realize how everything just seems to work out and things will fall into place.  Just start by thinking "all I have to do is take the first step" and then TAKE IT.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Will Go Where You Want Me to Go ;)

All I can do now is think about the countdown - the countdown of how many weeks/days/hrs I have left until I graduate from FiDM and leave LA.  I feel like all I am doing now is just waiting for the end of school to arrive.  I have the toughest month ahead of me in terms of what I will be required to produce.  It will be awesome to push myself as hard as I can and then look back and know how I really did give it everything I've got!

I've made my decision - I am moving, moving out of LA and to.... I'm sure it's not a big secret at this point but I am moving to.... Salt Lake City, Utah.  Home sweet home.  It's time to pull the plug from city life and recharge.  Not sure why, but I feel like that is the place where the good Lord wants me to be for a little while.  I'm not sure how long I will stay but I'm just going to lead with my heart for now, wait for my head to follow, and watch out for the opportunities around me.  My small business has officially started.  So many things in the works right now, but first I need to finish school and put in as much effort as I can in my final projects.  Once the final "school bell" rings for me, then I will full fledge commit myself to my fashion design business.  I'm going to pursue my next biggest goal and make this happen for me no matter what.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fashion & Oxygen, Nothing More, Nothing Less

The past couple of days I have been contemplating the amount of work that is required to be successful in my fashion design program.  It's really amazing how many hours I put into working on fashion design related projects.  The other day I started my designing at 8am and continued throughout the entire day only taking breaks to eat.  I continued into the late evening, then into the late hours of the night, and then soon enough my alarm to wake up went off and I was still up and working (hadn't slept a minute).  I then had to jet off to 9 hours of class.  I got home at 9pm and then went straight to bed.  I was exhausted to say the least.  I keep looking at this week's schedule of projects and wow, I'm starting to think that I may have this busy routine quite often.  I'm glad I didn't really understand how hard I would have to work in this industry, because if I had really understood that at day one I may have seriously been scared away.  I do know that I LOVE fashion design because this may be one of the few things in life that I could happily do with this type of schedule.  This is my last quarter of school and it will be over very shortly.  I'm so happy that I've had the opportunity to experience this.  Fashion is the marrow of my bones.  I'm so excited to discover what the future holds for me in this industry.  This is what I was born to do.  What keeps me alive - Fashion & Oxygen, nothing more, nothing less.

Friday, October 22, 2010


What and If are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of you life: What if? What if? What if? You only need courage to follow your heart... 

So then, follow your ♥ !

I recently watched the movie "Up in the Air", it had a great message overall but one line that I loved was this:  "Do you know why little kids love professional athletes so much?"  The answer was because professional athletes follow their dreams.  Life becomes magical when you do just that.  It's time we all ask ourselves about what it is that we are passionate about, what it is that we want to experience, what it is that we want our lives to aspire to.  It's never too late!!!  I will say this again - If you aren't living your dreams, you're already dead.  

So who is this gal you ask, what business does she have gett'n up on her soap box preach'n to the crowd about liv'n your dreams, well if you've been reading my blog since day one then you will realize the shape that my journey is taking.  I hit the reset button and quit a high profile job to take the biggest risks of my life to pursue fashion design.  The journey is underway and still going, this is a dream I will spend the rest of my life developing.  Fashion is never finished ;-)  There are  other dreams I aspire to have that go along with my design pursuits and those will be my next paths I will take once I graduate from FIDM in eight short weeks.  What an exciting yet perhaps a little scary time this is in my life!  What's the next step?  Where do I go from here?  I know what I want, now to look at the plan and tackle the first and next and next tasks to get there.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lucky to be Here

I can't help but count the days I have left in LA when it feels like there are so few left (only approximately 60 days).  When the end of a story approaches sometimes in our lives it is bitter sweet.  Going to fashion design school at FIDM has always been a dream of mine.  This was one of those dreams I thought would always remain just a dream.  I couldn't fathom it actually becoming a reality.  Well it's a reality, and I'm kicking butt at it.  I love it.  I could design all day and night, and I actually have to prove that I can do just that frequently with my busy schedule and intense curriculum.  It's a good thing I love it so much.

It's going to be hard to leave the comfort of some of the very fun friendships I've ever experienced here in LA.  I've met some amazing people who I would do anything for.  LA has been a place where I've been able to fully be who I am.  The circle of people I've been so blessed to meet have done nothing but hold their arms wide open for me.  That will always be in my heart forever.

On another note - I won't miss the crazies talking to thin air and all the homeless people peeing on the sidewalk.  I won't miss the weirdos who follow me on the street and completely creep me out.  I won't miss the druggies trying to bum 63 or 42 or 57 cents off of me to "ride the bus".  I won't miss the plastic Hollywood clubbing losers.  Haha, but these experiences have helped me to see reality for what it is, to really evaluate the direction I want my life to head in.  Seeing this has made me realize how much I want to have a family of my own, how much I want to find an awesome guy to fall madly in love with and experience being a mom someday.

LA took me as I was and will shortly be sending me out a better person.  I've seen my share of devils in this angel town.  Who would have guessed that I would find me - who I am - here in LA.  Thank you LA!  But you're not getting rid of me quite yet, we've still got 60 days :)  Let's make the best of it!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 Weeks

10 weeks left in LA, [I think].  10 weeks until I graduate from my Fashion Design program at FiDM.  10 weeks until another chapter finishes and time to start a new one.  10 weeks until no more hustle and bustle of the big horizontal city.  10 weeks until I get to embark on a new journey.  But until then, the next 10 weeks are going to be the 10 weeks that shape and develop who I am.  These next 10 weeks may just be the most critical 10 weeks I might have in my life for a while.  It's hard to say what will develop after this, I know what I have in mind and it will be a matter of working hard to get it, but it will take time.

I'm back in LA, got back last night.  I felt like a stranger strolling around the unusual rainy streets this evening after being away for a couple of weeks.  When I transition from Salt Lake City, Utah to LA I feel like I'm on a whole different planet.  It almost feels like another time period.  I can't say that it's entirely a positive or a negative feeling, perhaps a bit of both.  Living here is not something you can describe or accurately express to those outside, but it is merely an experience to be understood by only those who too have lived in LA.  I'm sure I will spend the next two weeks readjusting to the place that I consider home for now.

Today I felt alone in a city that has over 8 million people.  Yes there are many many many people out there in LA, however I find myself just wanting to almost shut it all out for now.  I came here to do one thing - study Fashion Design.  Self mastery will be my focus.  Sorry world, you are just going to have to keep all of your problems for a later time.  I've only got 10 weeks left!

Monday, September 20, 2010

LACMA Recharge!

Today on a random spur of the moment - I thought hey I could really use some art intake to recharge my creative side!  So I ventured off down the road to LACMA - LA County Museum of Art.  And guess what... they had some fabulous Andy Warhol paintings.  I love that I was greated with the traditional Campbell's soup can.  The 60s... this is where it all started - the break of finally good fashion and freedom of art, and freedom of oh so much more haha!  ;)  Love love love modern/contemporary art, love poppism, love Andy Warhol, love the 60s counter culture movement, love Edie Sedgwick, love Twiggy, love Marilyn Monroe, LOVE Jackie O.  Fabulous stuff!  It's like finally turning on the light and seeing the world after being in the dark for so long.

After the art museum I was inspired to do a little retail therapy at The Grove in West Hollywood.  This might be one of my favorite outdoor malls.  I think I may have even had a Jude Law spotting!  Not a bad way for a gal to spend her afternoon living her life in LA.  The Grove is adorable and fabulous.  There is this street that goes off of the main walkway - the small path is covered in cobble stones with antique looking light posts - makes you feel like you are in Paris for a minor second.

Other than spending my time recovering from finals with art museums and shopping, I have been reading.  I just finished a great book!  It was written by one of my favorites - Tim Gunn (the Project Runway mentor and so much more).  His book is called Gunn's Golden Rules:  Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work.  It was an easy and stimulating read.  I finished it in just a couple of nights.  The book has a good message about truth telling and always taking the high road.  It is humorous in terms of his outting the Divas of the fashion world - namely my least favorite diva Anna Wintour!  He talks about how she infamously never likes to take elevators with others and how at one fashion event she made her body guards carry her down five flights of stairs and then even continue until she was placed in her car.  Disgusting!  It's funny to me that so many in the fashion world worship a woman who could really really REALLY use an updated hairdo!  Haha!  For those of you who don't know Anna Wintour, I'm sure you have seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada.  The woman Meryl Streep plays is supposed to be a knock at Anna Wintour at Vogue.  Need a good book - purchase Tim Gunn's newest!

Very soon I will get to spend some time in Orange County and the beach when my parents come to visit.  Then I will be off to Salt Lake City, Utah to check out a few ideas I have in this creative brain of mine!  It's time to soak it all up before the school whip gets popp'in again!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Elle - Oh - Vee - EEE!

Finals finished.  So happy.  I worked so hard.  Things are really starting to come along.  I can see my design vision taking off.  I can see the picture I want in life starting to develop.  This experience of moving to LA without even knowing a single person and pursuing something I've always dreamed of doing has been so challenging.  I can see now after working so hard, that I will continue to have to work even harder. However, now is the time where I can finally start to taste a little bit of the sweetness.  The reward only comes after the blood, sweat, and tears.  I love fashion.  I love being a fashion designer.  What an amazing experience this is.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One More to GO!

I am in the midst of finals for design!  Last night equated to no sleep and sewing all hours of the night.  I completed a pair of capri pants with extra large cuffs and a motif draped dress w/lining out of Georgette fabric.  So many times during my night last night of final projects I wanted to quit.  However that didn't happen.  I love this too much.  My weeks have consisted of approximately 80 hr plus weeks - attending classes, projects, and working my side job outside of school.  I have completed four finals and now just one more to go tomorrow night for my computer pattern drafting class.  After tomorrow, I will have one remaining quarter until I am officially a FiDM Fashion Design Professional Designation Graduate!  It's just around the corner.  I want my last quarter to be my best!  I have now fully adapted to being a fashion design student.  I have a whole new view and a tremendous amount of respect for what it really requires to successfully survive a renown fashion design program.  This has been quite the refining experience.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Simple Thought

You know its been said that we just don't recognize the significant moments in our lives while they are happening.  We grow complacent with ideas or things or people and we take them for granted.  It's not usually until that thing is about to be taken away from you that you realize how wrong you've been.  You realize how much you really need it, that you love it!

I love my family.  I love the idea of being able to have a family of my own.  Some days I think I may have forgotten this.  I have become clouded and preoccupied with so many other things such as my career and the voice of the mainstream world.  I almost forgot that this is the most amazing thing to achieve.  The idea of having a family of my own used to be one of my biggest goals, biggest reasons to fight for life!  It still is, but I think I've been hiding it with all the fear that the world brings.  The world can paint a very scary picture when it comes to trusting another, giving your heart away, putting your happiness in another's hands.  I wouldn't change the things I've been blessed to accomplish thus far, those have molded me into the person I am and will help to mold me into the person I will become in my life journey.  I will never stop working toward the goals that I have.  Some days I just need to remind myself of the biggest blessing I really dream of having - more than being a famous fashion designer, more than obtaining "things", some day I dream of having a family of my own.  Family should be the foundation of our society.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Year and Some Change

A year ago, I didn't even think there was a possibility of me pursuing one of my biggest dreams of going to a prestigious fashion design school.  There was so much weighing me down.  So many many many things clouding my mind where no matter how logically I looked at the picture, it really didn't even seem possible.  I cried thinking I might just have to accept that this dream of mine just didn't make sense and that I might just have to let it go.  My heart finally took over my brain.  I felt like I literally had to push the off button on my brain just long enough to actually make the leap and just get out here to LA, start school, and hope for the best, that everything else would line up so that I could survive and really accomplish this.  I'm here.  I've overcame the worries and barriers I never thought would work out.  Crazy thing is, I still to this day can't really fathom how everything has just worked out for me.  Things seem to fall in the right place.  However there have been many intense struggles.  This has been one of the hardest things I've had to work for.  No matter how hard it's been, no matter how many struggles, every single day of this dream has been soooo worth it!  Now I have finals in two weeks and then just one more quarter left until I graduate from my program.  I wish a year ago I could read what I am writing this very moment.  A year ago I'm not sure I would have believed these words today.  What an amazing faith building experience.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So What Happens When You Really Live Your Dreams...

I was just watching a show about kids in High School.  I feel like High School was just a couple of years ago... however, it turns out High School was about 8-9 years ago... wow!  I remember the girl I was back then - the dreams I had.  The really crazy thing that I just realized is that I have actually lived most of the goals/dreams I wanted for myself.  It started out with my adventure to Hawaii and living there, becoming a college athlete (cheerleader!), graduating in Business Finance, climbing the corporate ladder (Vice President position of a national CRE banking group - promoted just before my 25th birthday), obtaining a specific figured income goal for one year (age 25), running two marathons a month apart at 26.2 miles a piece (in 2008), and then going to graduate school for fashion design.  I will complete my graduate degree in December of this year 2010... less than 115 days away.  So now what?  What is left?  Well now that all of that can be checked off my list, there are some very important goals left:  To start and run my own successful business, find - fall madly in love with - and marry my soulmate forever in the temple, and become a mother.  Oh and just for good measure go to Tahiti.

I don't think a day goes by where I'm not thinking about what I want in life, what goals I have, what my dreams are.  I have accomplished a great deal of what I have wanted to achieve, but I think the most important goals are the ones still to come.  These remaining goals that I have so far in my life are the ones that will most likely bring me the most meaning for my life, the most happiness, and make me a better person if I should be so blessed to accomplish them.  I think about the goals I have yet to achieve and I become a little afraid about not getting there.  However, then I just remember accomplishing my previous goals.  They all started out with a dream and a desire to obtain.  I then worked very hard.  Nothing came easy, but I just never gave up, and I eventually got there.

I have an amazing family.  They have taught me so many things and have supported me in so many ways.  I will forever love them for this.  I'm very fortunate to have a family that has praised me while I was up and has lifted me when I was down.  Let's just say that along with the good sometimes comes the bad and our life trials.  These I have experienced.  Trials - once you overcome them fully they can become strengths to you and to those around you.  The path has not always been easy or fun, it has been very difficult at times.  The most important thing is that I haven't given up yet.  My family will never give up on me.  Life is a refining process.  Life should be about family.  That is if you want a life full of meaning and happiness.  The beautiful thing is that we all have the ability to have families of our own, if we so choose.

Monday, August 23, 2010

LA You Can Have It Because I Don't Want It.

There is so much attitude and pretentiousness in this city - enough to fill eight million hot air balloons.  In life you've got to choose your battles.  LA is never going to change.  I've never met so many people who think they are going to be rich and famous.  When you look into their eyes, that is the only story their souls tell.  I don't want to be any part of that.  It's like the city has a disease.  They ramble on in nonsensical ways.  I guess I didn't get the memo when crazy zombies took over LA.  It's short and simple - I don't want to be a LALA Land victim.  So there you go, my bubble has been popped, I've seen it all!  Now I'm the one who is turning my back.  I'm moving on.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who am I? Where am I going?

This is the purpose of us being here - to learn who we are.  It is vital for each of us to frequently ask ourselves - Who am I?  Where am I going? 

When we are learning who we are, we are also taking steps in many different directions.  Our destination is directed as we grow to know ourselves.  We get to make choices which lead us to who we become.  We can make changes to who we are by redirecting our paths.  We do have choice.  When we make good decisions it frees us to have more available choices; in an essence we become even more free.  If we make poor decisions we bind ourselves; in an essence we are in prison and our scope of choice becomes extremely limited. 

What's the difference between a good decision and a poor decision.  Just step back for a few minutes and ignore your carnal/brute nature and listen to your heart or what impressions you feel by your gut instinct.  The good decisions often times are not based on instant gratification. 

I've been doing a great deal of self reflection and changing back to who I know I really am.  The change has been more than worth it by how I feel.  I'm finally getting that inner happiness back.  I remember the day I felt I had lost that inner happiness.  A little while back, I was sitting in my car waiting at a stop light outside of the Univeristy of Utah, I felt a pit of misery inside of me.  Now after some changes, realizations and humility, I am in such a better mood.  It feels like my spirit wants to smile and laugh.  There is a good familiarity about the way I feel now. 

There is more out there than just the latest fashion trend, more than the best high class dining experience, more than unruly substances to consume for instant gratification, more than money, more than popularity and fame.  If life is only about these, one will realize either quickly or over some wasted time, that real happiness actually isn't gained from these.  There is something more... thank goodness!

Friday, August 13, 2010

17 Moves and 5 States Later...

Summation of every single time I have packed up all of my stuff and moved... GEEZ...

1.  Born - Farmington, New Mexico (NM) - 1984
2.  Midvale, Utah (UT) - 1985/86
3.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 1987
4.  Laie, Hawaii - 2002
5.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2003
6.  Provo, UT - 2003
7.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2004
8.  Murray, UT - 2005
9.  Sandy, UT- 2005
10.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2005
11.  Downtown Avenues, SLC, UT - 2006
12.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2007
13.  Downtown Salt Lake City, UT - 2008
14.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2009
15.  Washington, DC - 2009
16.  Cottonwood Heights, UT - 2009
17.  Los Angeles, CA - 2009
18. ??? - 2011

17 Moves and 5 States Later... Here I am!

*I should note that a majority of the "Cottonwood Heights" moves were just for a couple to few weeks staying at home until the next move was all prepped and ready to go, however I still had to move everything even though I may not have unpacked all my bags.

Just some random thoughts to share... How many times have you moved???

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LA or Elle eh?

Today I decided that even though I have to study all of the time, I might as well try and have some fun while doing it.  Today while studying for my last midterm, I sat at the edge of my pool with my feet in the water and my study materials in hand.  Such a fabulous way to study!  There really are some amazing parts to LA, this is one of them.  

I have to constantly seek out the beauty around me if I want to keep my mind in a state of "creating beautiful things".  This job of seeking out the feelings of beauty to translate into something tangible is a spectacular job.  I couldn't think of a better way to spend my life from a career standpoint.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

Change of Heart

My last facebook update status notes:  It has taken me a little while to realize the only one who can inhibit us is the person staring back at us in the mirror. So I decided to stop inhibiting myself and you know what it feels pretty awesome. The weight on my shoulders has been lifted and I can finally breath deep and clear with a big smile on my face.

The change of heart for me in my life has happened, it will continue to happen all of my life as I learn and grow.  Not a better feeling out there.  Walking down the streets of Los Angeles on my way to school today felt great.  Sometimes in life we all need to do this - We all need to make those changes, make those improvements, and then walk confidently and happily towards what's instore for our future. 

The song "When the Sand Runs Out" has great lyrics.  The intro is about being at an old friend's grave.  I have changed the lyrics to a small degree to fit my life.  The old friend's grave... well.. it could represent the person I used to stare at in the mirror.  Now someone new is there with a changed countenance. 

"When The Sand Runs Out"

I spent the morning at an old friend's grave
Flowers and Amazing Grace, she was a good girl
She spent her whole life spinnin' her wheels
Never knowin' how the real thing feels

And I stood there thinking as I said goodbye
Today is the first day of the rest of my life

I'm gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here

'Cause people do it everyday
Promise themselves they're gonna change
I've been there, but I'm changin' from the inside out

That was then and this is now
I'm a new girl, yeah, I'm a brand new girl
And when they carve my stone they'll write these words
"Here lies a woman who lived and loved life for all that its worth".

Yeah I wanna be runnin'

When the sand runs out.

First fix yourself.  Then look to help others.  Serve others.  Be happy, with happiness that just never ever seems to fade.   

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear Mom,

... When you can't "verbally" say it, ... but you need to say it...

Dear Mom,

I love you.  You're great.  I've always known that!  You are an inspiration to me, I want you to know that.  It takes more than guts to go after what your heart wants.  I never fully understood that until I too entered the "creative world".  I'm one of the lucky few to have parents support me whole heartedly for me to pursue my dream in this fabulous "creative world".  What I'm learning from my surroundings is it's rare for parents to "emotionally" back their daughters in this field.  Most aspire for their kids to be doctors, lawyers, finance CEO's ;) [wink... that's where I was headed] ... Sure the parents "fit the bill" for their kids, but there is no emotional support -- that is priceless.  You've always supported me - pushed me to want to reach my full potential.  For this, in my life, I will!  To some degree, I already have, but I have big goals for my life -- and I know I will get there.

I'm lucky to have you as my mom.  I can only hope and pray that someday I too can have a daughter that would feel the same way about me.

Some can take the easy road.  But for me to really get it -- I guess I've had to take the road less traveled on.  However, I've never felt alone -- you've always been there.  When I was sick in Hawaii, basically on my death bed, you were there all the time -- I will never forget that.  I think of those times way more often than you may realize.

You and my dearest daddy are wonderful people.  I still don't know how I deserve you both as my parents.

I'm sure I've still got a lot of learning to do... but I'm gett'in there.

I know God loves me dearly -- because of the family he gave me.

I love you all!  Thanks for always supporting me - even when I have a hard head, you are still there.  You're the best!

Love,  Elena
Your one and only daughter! [thank goodness - right?! ;)]

*** This article is dedicated to my mommy dearest, the only mom who would ever really get me -- I'm lucky!  I love her!  This article is intended for you to be inspired to write a letter to who has inspired you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hollywood's Not America

This song was "figuratively" written about me... my journey...

Born ELENA jane
With a restless soul
She moved west to California
Became a centerfold.

But once you change your name
Well the pieces fall
Now she hardly recognizes herself at all.

And there's never any rain when you want it
A hollow little game, and you've won it
Looking for a thrill but you've done it all.

So long, put your blue jeans back on girl
Go home
Remember Hollywood's not America
So long, put your blue jeans back on girl
Go home
Remember Hollywood's not America.

And everybody here is from somewhere else
You could make a million dollars, but you might lose yourself
And you can take the heat, will your heart go cold?
They say acting's just pretending, but even that gets old.

And there's never any rain when you want it
A hollow little game, and you've won it
Looking for a thrill but you've done it all.

So long, put your blue jeans back on girl
Go home
Remember Hollywood's not America
So long, put your blue jeans back on girl
Go home
Remember Hollywood's not America.

And I know what to do when
I know that you

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Single White Female Liv'in in LA

So here I am in LA.  Again witnessing at least ten mentally insane people a day.  I am also amongst the Hollywood stars aka the people everyone has seen in the movies... la la la.  I'm reading this book about success, about getting from where you are to where you want to be.  It's about knowing yourself, setting goals, and then mastering them.

Today I made my goal list.  I decided on a list of ten.  Not sure if I feel like being open enough to share them with the world, but they are written down, written inside my lovely personal design journal.  My goals range from my own personal career success to personal relationships and family life to physical fitness aims.

I read this story about Jim Carrey before he made it big in the acting world.  He drove himself up to Mulholland Drive looking out over the beautiful homes and set his goals, he wrote himself a very large check... a way of setting his own goals for what he wanted to achieve.  He post dated the check for when he expected to reach his goal, he did it - he achieved his goal by the date he set on the check he wrote to himself.  When his father died, he put the check in his father's hand when he passed away because of the support he had received from his dad.  Today, I wrote myself a check...  It was in the amount I want to earn from my own personal business that I have set as a goal for myself.  I pasted the check inside my journal with a post date of the time frame for when I expect to get where I want to be.  I post dated it to my 30th birthday - January 6, 2014.  I too have great support from my family and friends.  I too will get there.

I have some personal struggles to overcome.  I'm working through those at the moment.  Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's hard.  All I know is that I need to stay strong and most importantly stay POSITIVE.  I keep thinking of my plan for when I graduate.  Right now I'm brainstorming a couple of ideas... we shall see what I decide as the time gets closer to the end of the year.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Expectations, Broken Promises and Disappointment

I think we have all been there - step 1:  having expectations, step 2:  broken promises and then comes step 3:  disappointment.  I'm tired of being disappointed.  I'm sure it is an inevitable feeling which some people may just try and avoid by not having expectations.  However, then you live in LALA Land.  I think that is a good reason why many refer to LA as LALA Land.  So many people are on this so called journey to make it big, be somebody and do something amazing.  However most of who I meet are people falling short, working in lame jobs with crazy addictions.  People talk a big game but where are the actual strong players?  What is this fantasy world anyway?  Perhaps I'm just the "square" that doesn't fit in here and I am more than ok with that.

I'm glad I'm here right now seeing these examples first hand.  I'm learning everyday what I do and do not want in my life.  I graduate from my program in approximately five months which will then leave the door open for me and my next decision in life.  Each life experience has taught me important lessons.  I've seen a lot and have a good perspective about what is good.  Because of this, I am amazed at how distorted the general population's view is.

Life is not easy, but it is worth it!  An example of what I saw today to show how life is not easy, were the three crazy people I saw when I was walking to school.  They were out of their minds, yelling and screaming and then talking calmly to no one.  So bizarre.  Then there were the ten homeless people, pee stained sidewalks, and teenagers panhandling for drugs.  Yeah, this is what I see on a daily basis and it is sad.  I'm sure there are worse situations out there, however that still doesn't make it right.  What makes life worth it for me right now, is knowing that I'm doing something I have always dreamed of - going to an amazing fashion design school.  I can check a big item off of "my life list".  There are also some amazing sites living in a major city with the tall buildings, city lights, and diversity.  These amazing sites are things I will take and store as the good memories of my time living in LA.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thought of the Day

"Being oneself requires the determination to move beyond one's cultural origins, not to mention the courage to combine remnants from here and there in the creation of a design in step with current fashion.  This is how I will express my voice."

I keep thinking to myself, this thing isn't going to make itself, I have to.  It's a path that requires step after step.  It's important to keep moving but also enjoy the process.  By me working hard while loving what I do, I can really provide something that makes this world better, more enjoyable, more fabulous.

I know this is what drives me.  This is my passion.  When you can't sleep and wake up at 4 am for no reason but just to design, then you know you have found your true love from a career perspective.

Your whole life you see everyone else around you.  You hear countless opinions.  You wonder who you should be.  Then one day after you have been on one hell of a journey, you wake up.  You realize your dream can be a reality.  Furthermore, it's you who you really want to be.  Now all that is left is DIG DEEP within yourself and pull that inner soul outward and share it with the world.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Anyone?

My newest design! It's a honey yellow halter... triple front tucks with double front bag pockets constructed in a linen fabric. Perfectly fabulous for enjoying the summer in fashion.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The World Paints an Incorrect Picture of Truth

I'm a very open minded girl. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they are making decisions and life choices. The thing I am stuck on the most right now, is how the world, or most of us in the world, have the idea that Hollywood or being famous is the ultimate goal. I have stared Hollywood right in the eyes. I have now met and observed quite a few of those "famous" people. The sad thing is, when you look into some of their eyes, there is a gross feeling you get. There is an emptiness in their soul and it coughs up nothing but misery. These are some of the people we envy??! I had another awakening yesterday after hearing a friend at lunch tell me his ultimate life goal - which was to be famous, wearing the fur coat, and having a super model stand beside him. He wanted to be exactly like a specific famous actor. Then later that evening I ironically bumped into this famous actor in West Hollywood. I shook "Mr Famous's" hand and experienced the empty soul coughing up misery... it seriously was a crazy experience and is almost difficult to really express what I saw and what I felt. I just wish we could all have the experience I had yesterday to really understand and see that what some of us think we want, isn't exactly what we think it is. The things we think are going to make us happy may actually make us very miserable. Life lesson #278... "the world paints an incorrect picture of truth"!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some of Us Just Aren't Like Others

So I've had my perspective changed with people. It is amazing how different a person becomes when you really get to know them. From my school perspective, today I got to know some classmates a little better. I was thinking I'm glad this isn't high school. In high school it always felt like you could only hang out or associate with the people who looked like you and dressed like you. Today I made friends with some people who I thought were very different from me, but in reality we all sort of clicked. I was the one who may have judged too soon, which doesn't happen very often, but I'm glad I was way wrong from my initial perspective.

I had a good day today, had to pull myself out of a slightly down feeling I've been having. It's funny I had no real clear idea on why I was down, I simply just felt down and for almost a week. Too long not to smile. However, I waited for myself to come out of it and I did today. The internal storm cleared and some sunny weather was a result. Now I can feel myself want to have a little more fun but still stay focused on school. I only have a few more weeks of this quarter. Once I have finals, I will only have two quarters left until I graduate... wow! How is this all flying by so fast?!

Anyway, just wanted to share a little bit on my insight of really getting to know those around you as well as yeah even I have down times for no specific reason, but it's the down times that make you really appreciate the up times!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Give YOUR Soul

In the creative world, you are constantly barraged with other people's opinions. We are all so different and uniquely programmed that it would be impossible to please everyone. One person believes this, another person believes that... So in the big picture it isn't important to please everyone, what is important is that you remember why you are doing what you are doing. The main reason why you do what you do in the creative world is PASSION! Passion is derived from your heart and your soul. So in the big picture, you should give your soul through your artistic abilities. When I express what is inside of me, I feel like I'm singing from the top of the tallest building downtown; it's my voice that I'm sharing with this world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Blue Room

Yesterday the idea came to me in the "Blue Room" at FiDM. I've got it, now just to expand on it! 2010, the start of it is happening this year.

I finished a final for my Saturday class and all my midterms for my remaining four classes! Awesome feeling and I feel like I'm on top of it all for once! The ducks are behaving themselves and may just be standing in a decent, somewhat of a straight row; it's time to roll the ball and hatch that business egg. What does all this mean? haha it's code for lil elle's good idea that finally feels right. Here we go... initial stages are in order!

What's interesting is sometimes I get this feeling of where I am going to end up and then it usually happens. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds and where I end up next year.

Thought of the day - create your own vision and keep taking steps in that direction at a good pace that is favorable to what your heart is telling you!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Give into Love or Live in Fear

Ok, so I'm always writing based on current experiences and definitely experiences of the past. Thus, good luck trying to figure out what time period I'm describing here... however this can definitely speak to most of us. From me to you...

I click the pen to write,
Passioned yet upset I'm thinking about you.
I know what I'm looking for,
but does it exist or am I stuck with you.

Those aren't harsh words,
My heart just has a beautiful voice.
We only get to live this life once,
So it's up to me and my choice.

I have my dreams, oh yes I do...
But if I have what it takes, I can live them too!
So here I am, just one step at a time,
Deciding if I should listen to your heart or mine...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Weight of it All

So it just hit me... I'm really happy today. I completed my final for my Computer of Fashion class that is on Saturday mornings for six hours. I think I did a really good job. It felt fabulously perfect or perfectly fabulous walking home from FiDM in the sunny 70 degree weather, jammin out to my iPod.

It further dawned on me that I have completely re-routed my previous life path. I deviated from the life of a banker to life of a fashion design student. We can always have a general plan in order, and I feel it's very important to do so, but what's even more important is to be happy day by day. For me to be happy day by day, I gave up a hell of a lot of money, but frankly I gained in happiness dollars! I was thinking that if I had stayed on the previous path I may have been purchasing a house, driving my somewhat of a dream car, not caring what I spent when shopping at the mall, dining out often... Now I am extremely frugal with little to no extra spending cash. Today, I eat Lunchables and have old carrots in my refrigerator. I make just enough money to pay rent and am still blessed to keep my cute little mini cooper. I haven't bought more than two items from the mall in over a year. What's funny about this whole picture, is I have never been HAPPIER! Weird huh? (; Sure I have crazy day to day struggles, so does everybody else. I hate to say this, but if I died tomorrow I would leave this lovely world one happy little girl, who is lucky to have amazing family and friends and whole lot of life experience! However, I love life and hope to live to 100! There are some things out of our control, but if we have a good heart and listen to it, we can smile from the inside out practically every day of our lives.

My future path is in a new direction, I have a general idea of where I want to be, but I am no longer wishing away any minutes of any day. I'm doing my best to enjoy every single one of them. I know there are days where I get really down, but I'm elated for days like today where I feel like a million bucks!

The weight of it all has been worth it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I made that leap
I'm on my path
The brain is off
And the heart is on.
I'm in this world now
And my soul has been turned on.

I feel so alive
The passion burns inside me
Driven onward
Nothing can stop me.
I'm making this world better
My heart is finally singing for me.

I see my life through a different lens now. I'm leaving the past behind me. My foundation has been set. I'm running free!

Awakening a side that's been kept deep inside of me...


Friday, April 23, 2010

My MUSE Manuscript

Muse - defined as - to gaze meditatively or wonderingly as well as a means to discovering inspiration. Inspiration is the initial stage of the design process. Inspiration is the foundation.

I have been reflecting about my muses, my inspiration. Here is a short list of my MUSE Manuscript:

- ATHENA - goddess of wisdom and art! In Greek mythology Athena was, in essence, the prototype of the contemporary "career woman".
- Edie Sedgwick - 60s fashionista and was considered to be a Muse of Andy Warhol as well. She was the "poor little rich girl" with an inner sunbeam everyone could see and feel.
- Andy Warhol - Mr. "Success is a job in New York" comes from a past that I can also relate to in so many ways, different yet I believe we could share a great deal of the same empathy.
- Marilyn Monroe - immortal icon who has her own Cinderella story.
- A lifeguard stand on Sunset beach on the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii. This is a place I would consider one of my favorite places on this earth due to the emotional connection and time in my life when I lived on the island.
- 60s Mod and Counter Culture - my design philosophy is working around this concept but adding a definite regentrification by expressing freedom of the soul and social balance.
- Cities - New Orleans, Austin, NYC, San Francisco, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago
- Artists - the aforementioned Andy Warhol, Henri Mattisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, El Greco, Roy Lichtenstein.
- Christian Dior - famous fashion designer

This is a short list of what inspires me. I connect emotionally with this list. This in part, expresses a sector of who I am. These muses create a base for my creativity. The list will continue to grow and has many different subcategories, however a start is a start!

Monday, April 19, 2010

FiDM and a Tidbit on Men's Style

Quarter three has now commenced. My classes are now becoming more computer oriented and I even get to apply some math skills. I guess I will be using that finance degree after all (;

I've started doing a little research on men's styling. I feel there is quite an open market here. Menswear is not as complicated as women's wear, but there are definitely must knows for a guy's closet. It's no longer about blending into the "sea of the suits", it's about standing out just a little bit in the right direction. Also after the work shoes come off, there is so much to play with when it comes to the world of sportswear and casual attire.

Two things for the guys to explore: Knits and Wovens - Fabric that is...

Knits are what you wear to the outdoor sporting event; wovens are what you put on when attempting to impress the parents.

First know your body type and find an appropriate fit, then you can apply styles that express your inner self. Fashion can be a fun way to tell the world who you are without even having to move your lips!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Inspiration gives no warnings.

What you chose to wear is an instant reflection of how you present yourself to the world out there. Our human interactions can be so quick. Fashion is a language of instant gratification!

Today my inspiration came from a lady on the street. On my way to the market, I became face to face with what looked like a lady who was going to attack me. She was rough looking wearing beat up clothing and uncombed hair. She got directly in my face to simply ask me a question. I stepped back slightly but then realized all she really wanted was to just ask me a question - "Sweetie, do you know where the Metro is?" she asked. I gave her directions and her response back to me was so surprised that I answered her and that I was nice about it. The way she was dressed was her instant reflection to the world that she might be someone to be careful around even if she may have been harmless. However, due to her shocked reaction to my kindness, showed that her treatment from the general public has obviously not been positive.

Does it make it right for the world to treat others poorly because of the way they dress, absolutely not. However, the truth is, the world does take judgment based upon your outward appearance. So give it a try, one day, dress like complete shit, see how the people outside initially react to you. On another day, rock your business suit to a department store; watch how you are catered to, see how many people smile at you.

Bottom line for fashion is have fun with it. Our world is so serious and fashion is a very serious business, but fashion can be a break from the mundane world and provide a smile. It can also work to your advantage if you can dress to impress the public. It's not about label hoo haa obsession, but about pairing something to express your inner self with a silhouette that works well for your body.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Entourage Party in Hollywood

Last night I attended a very fun industry party for the show Entourage. I met some amazing people from a very prestigious fashion designer to music producers to the next potential governor of California to the original Entourage cast. I had a great night with a couple awesome friends that attended with me.

I love networking and meeting new, fun, fascinating people. You have to have a solid network and good connections to make it any where in the business world.

LA is never dull. There is always always always something exciting going on. Good times LA!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Why do you try so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out!"

Today I wrote in my creative journal about balance. Feeling balanced and actually being balanced are so important. It may not happen every second of every day, but it's important to always work at it. Design and creativity is the ultimate "balancer" for me. It pairs so well with anything else I choose to let into my life. Design gives me power and because I love it, I'm a happy person. Design allows me control and expression of my feelings and emotions.

I have such a fun life. This is something I have always wanted to do. I love going to school at FiDM. I'm learning so much as well as being extremely challenged.

The journey to get here has been a learning experience, it has given me the strength and foundation I need to walk this path that I now walk.

A little excerpt that describes my journey to get here:

And Hansel said to Gretel, let us drop these bread crumbs, so that together we can find our way home. Because losing our way would be the most cruel of things. This year I lost my way.

And losing your way on the journey is unfortunate, but losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel.

The journey lasted five years. Sometimes I traveled alone, sometimes there were others who took the wheel and took my heart. But when the destination was reached, it wasn't me who had arrived, it wasn't me at all.

And once you lose yourself, you have two choices. Find the person you used to be, or lose that person completely.

Because sometimes you have to step outside of the person you have been and remember the person you are meant to be. The person you wanted to be. THE PERSON YOU ARE.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's called survival [period]. This is a description of my finals week to end my quarter at FiDM. I'm not used to being so heavily challenged, I have had several sleepless nights to finish all of my projects. I'm still not done, two more days. Monday I have two more and then I will officially be finished. I feel like I'm running a marathon, I'm on the last two miles... gotta keep on going. My studio is a mess, fabric everywhere, papers everywhere, sketches everywhere, books everywhere. Once I am finished, first thing will be to clean my studio, second thing will be to go to the ocean and relax/regroup.

I have learned so much and my skills are improving drastically. I am also really enjoying my job serving at the Daily Grill. I work with a great group of people and the guests are of the business/professional type. The guests remind me of the business world I used to work in. My job is a nice balance which allows me to step out of my "creative space" in my studio and network and interact.

Almost there, keep cheering me on, I need your support! Definitely can't do this alone.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Big Bolt of Fabric

I was quite the spectacle in dowtown LA about twenty mins ago. I got an amazing deal on some fabric that I felt inspired by, so I made the purchase and had to carry a bolt of denim as well as a huge bag filled with other cut fabric and notions. Literally I was carrying approx 40lbs! Little me walking with that load (in high heels of course) was quite the experience. But I love what I do and I'm excited to start making some of my design ideas over my break after I finish finals this week!!

I have done such a fabulous job of keeping my thoughts positive in getting everything done this quarter. I work 5-6 days a week, last week I actually worked seven days!! Yesterday I worked two different jobs... but here I am feeling calm and collected and excited to start my next project for finals. However, the next two days are going to be the most productive days of my life. I also have to go to work and due to Day Light Savings time, I lose an hour tonight! Oh dear (;

Here we go!!! I'm going to do my best work and love the process. Positive thoughts will carry me even farther!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Leader of beauty and life of a tortured artist!

Breathe in and out.... ahhhh... this is finals time.

I never expected to feel so happy yet so challenged in fashion design school. From the outside it just looks like a world full of "plastics", girls with lots of hot style but no brains. FiDM definitely has a way of weeding out the weak, the weak fall aside, only the strong remain. I wonder what the numbers are for those who start the program to those who put the blood, sweat, and tears in to finish - because it really takes that. You will never really get it, unless you yourself are sitting in the driver's seat. The outside world looking in, definitely doesn't get it. But that's ok, cuz when the survivors survive, we will be the ones who rise to the top, be able to make the so called "big bucks" but not have to fully sell our souls like the cubicle-land people. This is my dream. Now just putting one foot in front of the other to get there!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

They call me Elle!

It's funny, in every city I live in I have a different nickname. In DC, it was Marilyn because I wore my hair curly and resembled Marilyn Monroe. Now in LA, it's Elle, somewhat short for Elena. I know where someone knows me from by what nickname they call me. I have various nicknames from soccer, cheerleading/college, high school...

I pulled an all nighter last night - working on tech flats, specs, fashion figure sketches, fabric swatches, sewing an organza skirt... then I woke up and went to an early morning class then onto work. The awesome thing about this whole event is I actually had a smile on my face after going through all of this and it honestly hasn't felt like a big deal. I am tired, but still so jazzed to be doing what I'm doing.

It will be interesting to see where I decide to live once I finish my Fashion Design program at FiDM - either stay in LA or go to NYC or perhaps London... who knows... but I will find the path that I need to be on or stay on!

Oh and if you want to consider me a close friend, feel free to call me Elle as well (;

My thought for today - What should you wear??? I recommend a SMILE (:


Monday, January 18, 2010

These are the Days of our Lives

Back in Los Angeles...

The 2nd Quarter has now begun.  Wow!  This is definitely going to push me further and further and feels like it is going to be an intense one.  To the outside world, those who are not involved in the fashion world, probably don't get it.  One may view the fashion world as pretentious or frivolous yatay yatay yatay.  However those who have the inside track know exactly what I am talking about.  This is such a FAST paced world!  I have been adept to the fast paced environment from my finance background, however the crazy thing is the fashion world may actually be faster.  Bottom line - I love it!

So in LA the land of 70 degree weather and sunshine, it has now decided to have a raining event for probably a week.  With the rain I thought - hey what a fine time to update "The Days of My Life"! 

I've officially adapted to the California life and am amazed how my perspective has changed from when I first moved here.  My network of amazing friends is expanding exponentially and there are so many fabulous folks here! 

Top 5 Favorite Things of the Week:
- The vast array of personalities that my teachers have at FIDM
- All the fun new art supplies I got for this new quarter
- Cheeseburgers (ya I'm slightly addicted)
- Facebook updates (ya slightly addicted to that too - but is it really a waste of time? naaah!)
- Pink colored things (I also may have dyed the inside of my dishwasher fuscia on accident...haha whoops!)

Short term goal - slowly yet surely get the business ball rollin to start up my own personal business involved with fashion...

Oh and a funny yet awesome Diesel advertisment I saw in West Hollywood:

Smart thinks with the brain.
Stupid thinks with the heart.