Weekly Music

April 10th, 2014


The new Jessica Lea Mayfield album, Make My Head Sing, is streaming on Pitchfork. It has a lot more edge than her previous album and it satisfies the angsty teen in me, though it’s not an all purpose listening situation. But I dig it.

Exciting news I wasn’t aware of until this week: First Aid Kit has a new album coming out in June! The new song, My Silver Lining, makes me wonder if the new album will have less ballad-leaning songs but it’s hard to judge an album by one song. The vocals are more subdued, but I like it. I love those ladies.

Dabito has a really great new music mix up and through it I discovered Timbre Timbre has a new album, Hot Dreams. I find it to be a bit less spooky-sounding than his other work, but it’s still good late night chill music. His voice is just so haunting, always.

The mix also reminded me I never shared this Ruby the RabbitFoot song, “Ways” I really like that I hear on KCRW a lot. I’m not a huge fan of the rest of the album as it’s a bit too sweet for me, but I love this song a lot. Her voice reminds me of Jenny O. a lot.

ps. thank you all for the amazing dog stories and tips! I’m overwhelmed by all the advice but love to hear your own journeys with your own dogs, it’s always helpful to not feel so alone in your struggle!


April 9th, 2014

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You may or may not have heard that Will and I adopted a dog two weeks ago. She’s a purebred Australian Cattle dog (though very small for her breed), we named her June, and they think she’s about a year/year and a half. We’ve been wanting a dog for a long time now, but only recently did our living and financial situation come together to be a good time. I saw her one day on the Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue I keep an eye on, and it seemed too soon, but she seemed too good to be true, so Will and I took a day off of work and we drove up to Paso Robles to meet her (which is so much farther than my brain told myself it would be). We were warned she was really hyper but just needed to be trained, as she’d lived with a family that had way too many dogs and never got walks or training, and the city made them give up some of the dogs. We fell in love with her right away – she’s as cute as button and loves to give kisses. There was no doubt in our minds we’d take her home asap.

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But, here’s the but. As she settled in after a few days, things got so hard. I knew that bringing a dog into our lives wouldn’t be easy peasy, but I will fully admit I had no idea how hard it would be. (If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, think about how tricky it will be and you may need to multiply that a few times). She has issues I wasn’t prepared for and in the past two weeks there have been two points where I broke down sobbing, telling Will I didn’t think we should keep her – that she deserved someone who had the time and energy to train her and not resent her. I resented her so hard and felt so guilty all the time. And in turn she loved Will and was a jerk to me, because dogs are smart and pick up on all of that. But amazing people sent me amazing advice and friends told us horror stories about their dogs in their first year with them that I had no idea about. I realized the few dogs I knew well had either secret issues or were adoption story anomalies. I realized I wanted her to fit into the way I live my life right now and felt so stubborn about admitting that I needed to make certain changes and be super patient with her. We can’t go on long neighborhood walks anymore, but I drive her to parks where there are no scary dogs behind fences and every few days we go on a long trail run. I keep her away from my friend’s submissive dogs until I can teach her “leave it” and “watch me” like a pro (she’s a rough houser, which shockingly, not all dogs love). I’m figuring out how to keep her entertained and what jobs to give her to keep her happy. We’re taking her to training and learning lots of useful things. And some days it sucks and I feel defeated, but it’s getting so much better just in a few short days. I keep this list in my head of all the things I love about her and it grows every day, I feel less hopeless and full of more love.



And the question I get the most is “but what about Wendy?!”, even some really judgmental comments about how sad they are for her and that adds to my stress and guilt like you don’t even know. Because so far June isn’t great around Wendy – we were told she was raised with cats, but she sees her and wants to play, just like dogs on the street. And maybe the cats she was around before were used to that. But Wendy is a tough ass bitch (I mean seriously) and we have a baby gate up for her in the bedroom that she can get under (but June cannot) to have her own private space, and then when June is crated at night she gets the place to herself. She’s stopped hissing at June when they look at each other, and slowly June’s interest in her is starting to fade – which is exactly what we want. A lack of intrigue. I feel guilty often, but Wendy is the laziest cat on earth who sleeps all day, so things haven’t really changed too much. Every day we each make sure we hang out with her and give her lots of attention. I’m confident my vision of the four of us snuggling on the sofa watching TV together will come true in the future. Maybe just way, way in the future. I’m willing to wait for that moment.

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June’s awesome shibori dyed leash in the second photo is made by a fantastic company here in LA, Blink. I posted about them years ago and was excited to have a reason to get something finally! It’s tricky to see but she also has one of their cute tags with her name on it.

Weekly Music

April 4th, 2014

I totally disappeared this week, because whoa, it’s been nuts. A brief hello!

I haven’t heard a ton of new music this week, but a few things:

Another sweet new Lykke Li track “No Rest For The Wicked”.

Wye Oak has a new album coming out this month and I can. not. wait. “The Tower” was released a few months ago and somehow I haven’t heard it!

Lastly, this isn’t exactly music, but every Friday I am downright giddy for a new episode of my new favorite podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. If you’re into pop culture (particularly TV and movies, but they talk about books and music as well) and want to hear smart, funny people from NPR making observations on it – get on it.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

A little home tour

March 28th, 2014

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A couple weeks ago The Spoiled Life stopped by and took some photos of me at home and they’re up today! Some of you have been asking for a home tour and this is as close as it gets. Wendy was being antisocial hiding under the covers so the bedroom wasn’t shot (though she came out for a second to say hi for one photo), but the bedroom isn’t terribly exciting anyway. It’s fun to see your place through someone else’s lens! Pop over for more photos and a little questionnaire. And look at that, some open mouth smiles!

New California Postcard Set

March 27th, 2014

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I have a fun new product I’m excited to share! As you may have noticed, I’m pretty in love with California and taking lots of pictures of its beauty whenever I can. So I decided to put together a set of postcards of my favorite California photos and it’s in the shop now for sale! I’m a fan of sending postcards, and I like having a set of generic cards to send out to people I care about for thank you’s, just saying hello, non-traditional birthday cards. But these are also printed so nicely they’d be just as happy being pinned up or framed on a wall. They’re 4×6, uncoated thick cardstock printed locally, and have space on the back for writing and a stamp.

I hope you enjoy them! And if you have a cool store that’s interested in carrying these bad boys, get in touch. katemiss @ gmail


On Smiling

March 26th, 2014

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On Saturday I held another portrait session day and afterwards Katie and I discussed how taking portraits is an interesting and often sad look at how women perceive themselves. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I started taking more photos of other people, noticing this knee-jerk reaction to having our photos taken that so many women exhibit once the camera is on them. They immediately point out a physical quality about themselves that they hate and hope the photographer can correct for, a look of shame and disgust washing over their faces while they say it. And 99.9% of the time I can never see what they’re talking about. Never. I get that when you spend a lot of time looking at yourself in the mirror – whether you want to or not – you find flaws and you compare and you notice things. But I’ve also noticed a consistent pattern that this quality was once (or more then once) pointed out to them by another woman in their lives – very often their mothers or grandmothers. Often a classmate at school. Which bums me out because I know that while classmates could be doing it to feed their own insecurities, usually our mom only means well while leaving us with this wounded ego that follows us around our whole lives.

I also notice that so many of us can’t stand photos of ourselves smiling big. Katie and I debated on whether this was just a stylistic trend right now – the moody, artsy photos being more popular (I take part in this often) or if it’s more psychological than that. That photos of yourself grinning ear to ear are sort of a display of bragging or just seen as obnoxious? When I edit photos I’m drawn to the ones where people look genuinely happy and full of joy, but my clients almost never use those photos because they’re give a similar reaction “yuck, I hate photos of my smiling, my face looks weird!” Are we not used to seeing ourselves smiling in the mirror? I myself have very crooked teeth and feel like it’s always been a point of shame for me, so I have to work hard at not being ashamed by my smile.

But we both agreed we’ve been taught a lesson in all of this – to quiet that stupid voice in our head that spits out insults about ourselves to others, to embrace being joyous in photos more often, to be more comfortable in front of the camera. That being said, when someone comments on a photo of me and say I need to smile and look happier, I reject that kind of commentary as it’s just as unhelpful and photos of people not smiling are beautiful as well!

have a beautiful day, friends!

Weekly Music

March 18th, 2014

(this video is from a different live performance but wanted to include a video as well in this post)

I heard a wonderful live performance on KCRW this morning with Hozier that blew me away. I’d heard “Take Me to Church” here and there (it came out last Fall) but only really stopped to pay close attention to the song yesterday coincidentally, while I was driving – wondering for a split second if it was a new James Blake song. There are similarities in the piano and voice, but beyond that Hozier has a folk and blues sound that is so gorgeous. I love the way you feel like his voice is going to crack in the pushing emotion of “Take Me to Church”, but it stays steady yet not 100% perfect and over produced. You can hear the whole performance here.

Jewelry News

March 14th, 2014

a photo from portrait day of Katie wearing the Etched Moon necklace

Just a few quick jewelry updates! The new Etched Moon necklaces flew off the shelves (I’m a liar, I don’t have shelves) but they are back in stock! Also back in stock are drops, which is a favorite around here to give moms I’ve noticed. And if you’re a good child perhaps you’ll want to get on a Mother’s Day present soon, just sayin’.

In other news, I have two new online retailers: District West, a cool new LA Times retail venture highlighting makers in the greater Los Angeles area by neighborhood (patiently waiting for them to add my ‘hood so it doesn’t look like I don’t really live in LA, ha). They are also selling some of my prints. Definitely check the whole site out, there are some really cool things to be found! The second shop is a great new online store called Anomie, and my pieces are in great company with some amazing brands I admire.

Lastly, this has nothing to do with jewelry but just thought I’d remind you again to give to the Got A Girl Crush kickstarter! Giving = just pre-ordering the next issue, NBD! Seven days to go.

Weekly Music

March 11th, 2014

Hi guys, how was your weekend? We drove up to Ojai for a much needed breather and stayed at a hotel one night and camped the next up in the hills. It was brief but so necessary as we’ve both been working like crazy and barely doing anything but that and watching TV in those exhausted last hours of the night. But omg, True Detective, amiright?? (Only on episode 6, no spoilers) It’s OK to be a couch potato when it’s good TV, obviously. Ok, anyway, another good week of music collecting.

Future Island’s performance on Letterman was incredible. And I’m not sure what I love more – the performance or Dave’s ecstatic reaction to it.

Really dig the new Gardens & Villa album, Dunes. Secretly Canadian has the best bands.

New Lykke Li! Looking forward to the new album, I Never Learn, out next month. I love watching her grow as an artist. She’s also one of the few artists I enjoy following on Facebook as it’s actually her down to earth updates.

I heard this new Sharon Van Etten song in the car while I was running errands the other day and I wasn’t even 100% sure it was her at first, and even pulled over for a second to confirm it as I’m a huge dork. I love it.

March Portrait Session Day

March 5th, 2014


The last day of portraits I hosted was such a smashing success and so many people wanted to take part but were unable to, so Katie and I decided to do it all again! Same details as last time, but I’m raising the price just a touch because Katie ended up helping me way behind doing hair and girl deserves more cash money for her unbelievably awesome help (everyone who had their picture taken would agree). Some of my favorites from the day are here in this post. Such beautiful ladies!

- Saturday, March 22nd, scheduling times every hour from 9am to 4pm.
- $100 gets you a session that should take no more than 30 minutes total of your time, extra for adding on hair styling.
- We’ll be doing half indoor with artificial light, half outdoor with natural light.
- You’ll get around 10-15 photos, in color and black and white via Dropbox in 1-2 weeks.
- $20 extra for hair styling by Katie. Braids are her specialty.
- location: Hermon (between Highland Park and South Pasadena), Los Angeles – exact location upon receiving reservation
- cash or credit accepted
fyi: I have a cat who will no doubt hide the whole day and my neighbors behind my patio have chickens, if you have allergies!

to reserve a slot, email katemiss at gmail.com and let me know what times you’d prefer and if you’ll also want your hair done.


Thank you to Ashley, Bari, Bethany, Clare, Kara, Sarah, Claudia and Victoria for letting me share your photo!