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laughing henry in bathtub IMG_9665 IMG_9803 me and wesley july 4 2013 raptor time! IMG_9631 IMG_0396 IMG_9144 IMG_8655 henry mirella wesley henry sleeping aerial view IMG_0145 IMG_0640 IMG_0249 IMG_0393 IMG_0431 IMG_0648 IMG_0651 IMG_0656 deaffriendly IMG_0646 IMG_0654 IMG_0661 IMG_8885

Who else loves pic dumps? I do! These pics never before seen from last summer/fall.


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revised bandits

Within two hours of posting them in the shop the other day, these three bandits sold out.  Not only that, the buyer proceeded to practically wipe out the shop.  So cool!  She sent me a sweet email praising my shop and signed it “fellow vintage loving friend”.

This is her loot of vintage treasures from Happy Shock Shop: three bandits, the antlers I posted about before, three whiskey bottles from the 1950s, a gold seagull wall hanging, and finally two pieces of nautical art. 10 items in all. In case you’re wondering, the bandits got their eye masks from me.  Some black paper, scissors, and taffy glue, and they were looking spiffy.  Sometimes it’s about the details that catches one’s attention.

one person bought all these in one stop!

Can’t help but love when I can give people exactly what they want!  It was a good day.

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macrame wooden shelf planter

Unique macrame rope hanging planter just now in the shop.

Half a year now since opening the store and to celebrate, I’m blogging about it!  Etsy is amazing; they make it possible for anyone with a drive (and goodies to sell) to open and run a shop.  Etsy is a place brimming with creative and energetic people.  I like!  All summer, I’ve been working the shop part-time.  4 to 8 hours a week at the most even if that.  I made the conscious decision back when school for the boys ended and summer began to just be there for Henry, Wesley, and Trey.  To just let them consume me.  And that I did.  I loved it and we had a great summer.  Everything else was secondary.


Impressively, the shop did well for the little amount of time I spent on it.  Since opening it last spring, 38 items have sold [update: 40 items].  I must give credit to my hard work with the photography, uniqueness of the items, and great prices.

keystone 8mm up close

See the antlers, vintage mirrors, movie camera, movie splicer, glass bottles, and some oddities listed here.

With putting each item up in the store, it is a progress usually going like this: research the item.  Determine a price according to its value and put it on the low end to make it accessible to people looking for a good deal. Clean item and get it photo-ready. Stage. Take pictures.  Transfer photos from camera to computer. Edit photos. Write a detailed description of object and include all the information such as shipping, etc.  Upload pictures of item, 4 or 5 photos total, to Etsy.  Check over everything one last time.  Then finally post the listing.  It can take up to two hours per item. It’s something I’m really enjoying.  I get to play with photos and staging, and I get to write a bit, too.

green pedestal candy

A cool green candy dish on a pedestal makes great storage for your odds and ends.  I got inspired with my bracelets here!  Find this tall candy dish and others at the Happy Shock store.

Of course, I mustn’t write this post without saying a huge and well deserved thank you to the fine folks who have been rooting me on.  Thank you!  And I love you!



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you are wonderful

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It was hard letting Orso go.

Nearly 13 years with us, beginning in my one-year stint working in Las Vegas where I got two cats, him and his brother, while Steven stayed behind in Berkeley for school that year.  Orso, King Bones, and I returned to Berkeley, moving back in with Steven.  Then it was Los Angeles for all of us.  After a few years in Los Angeles, we all landed here in the Great Pacific Northwest and bought this house 10 miles north of Seattle.  Orso spent his last 7 years of life frolicking among the evergreens and napping away many days by the big picture window in the living room facing east where the morning sun shines brightest.  Not a bad life at all.  When King died of pneumonia three years ago, Orso became sad and not like he used to be.  There is a chance he started not feeling well even then.  He still had his outside cat frenemies that he’d encounter in the middle of the street or under a bush and probably have a hissfight with just for fun. But with King gone, there was no one he’d curl up with during those days when it was just them at home, brothers of the same womb.

So it was just Orso the last few years chilling with us.  He will be missed.  We are all so sad.  Henry cried hard.  He wept into the white fur of our other cat, Snow, who comforted him.  Yeah, we adopted a cat last month when our friends had to move and couldn’t take him.  I won’t ever forget the sweetness of Henry looking up at me from Snow’s fur and asking, “Can we change his name to Orso?”

Orso was an awesome and interesting cat.  Being an Oriental Shorthair had a lot to do with it.  Also it was Orso himself.  Smart, smooth, and everything.  Will never forget the magicial and gravity-free acrobat sessions he and his brother would do as kittens and onward.  Kittens with the hugest ears you ever saw.

And don’t get me started on the deep love affair between Orso and Steven. I never saw any cat love that hard on any human before til Orso and Steven. :-D  Anyone who has seen them interact before with their own eyes knows exactly what I’m talking about!

Rest in peace, Orso Bear.  Thank you for everything.

orso candy necklace

steven and orso

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Black, red and white pins collected since I was a kid.  Most are old, some are new like the Rat City Roller Girls one (Seattle, represent!)  Never had the heart to toss any of the older ones ever.

A few of these pins were seen before here.

Past cigar box collections can be seen here and here.

Now back to the weekend that is happening right now!


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Easy and nice!  Made a lightbox for photographing objects that go into the Happy Shock shop.

This lightbox folds away after, which makes it perfect.  Lots of natural light is key too, thus setting the lightbox up right by the big window.  I sit there on the other side of lightbox, my back resting against the window, and shoot away.  My secret is sitting low on a stool when shooting, so I cast no shade across when taking the close up pictures.  The lightbox was made with just $20, plus using some stuff I already had like the green goose neck clip-on lamp and yeah.  Clear, crisp pictures because that’s what I look for when browsing.  And it makes browsing worth it when you can really see the object for what it is.

Also been playing plenty with my birthday camera, now a year old.  What I know now about my camera compared to then is huge!  It comes down to this: playing is always good.

Orso also likes me to play with my camera.  And he purrs like a fiend the whole time, that one.


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The last few months flew by FAST.



All photos here taken with iPhone.


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Happy Shock Shop is up!

The preparing of this new shop is pretty  much why it’s been quiet around here the last few weeks.  Months, even.  To celebrate, there shall be a huge photo dump showing some of what we’ve been up to!  That’s for another day.  Now, bed.

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Jason Tang.

Born and raised in Bellevue, WA.  Still his home.

Wearing: ‘After Hours’ PUMA tee shirt bought in Venice, Italy. Diesel jeans. Levi’s leather belt.  Salomon hiking boots. Panerai Ferrari 003 watch.  Carrying Nikon D4 camera.

Style inspirations: Chase Jarvis, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz.

Sign: Gemini

Superpower of choice: Flying.

Favorite city in the world: Wengen, Switzerland.  Switzerland is still his favorite country after the time he made an illegal U-turn in a tunnel that ended with his car caught on camera and the Swiss police chasing him down. He almost got away with it.  A hefty $1650 fine later, he was back skiing on the alps!

An unforgettable moment: The first time he held his tiny baby niece, Madeleine.  He looked deep into her bright eyes, and thought, Wow, you are the new generation of us. Enjoy everything life has to offer you, girl.

It’s a rare day to see Jason without his camera, his passion and profession.  Check out his cool photography on flickr where you’ll find plenty shots of travelling, cars, models, family, friends, you name it.  Events, Specialized Photography and Portraiture are a few of many flickr sets worth looking through while his website Atomic80 photography is under contruction.

As for Jason, there’s a good chance he is already back on top of a snowy mountain somewhere right now. Or certainly will be tomorrow.

(Photo taken on Capitol Hill on February 7, 2013)

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Walking around Capitol Hill the other day, I took a photo of what is arguably the greatest looking Rite Aid store ever.  I loved it ever since I first saw it years ago.  It used to be a theater until it went out of business.  Rite Aid moved in.  They kept the marquee sign and original Broadway letters, etc. just added their name underneath.  Come get your drugs here!

It used to look like this. (several pictures at the source). It was cool AND clever of them to keep the outside.  Too bad about the theater itself closing down.  Because all old historical theaters should always continue to entertain, fire up everyone’s imaginations, never turn off its lights, and just be magicial places forever.

Painted ladies in front of Blick art store.  When your car stops at the red light where Broadway and Pine meets and you look over it’s easy to imagine that the lovely blonde is leaning over, looking back at you through your car window and soliciting you for a ride…

Maybe just like our friend Jason is doing here.  Haha :-D  Jason will be featured in Deaf Street Style along with a few others.  I am on a mission with the whole Deaf Street Style project and it wouldn’t exist without you guys.  For real.

If I had a list of 100 favorite words, Creature would probably be one of them.


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Hello 2013!

Roar! L to R: Trey, Wesley, Henry.

The year ahead is looking pretty damned fine.

2013 is the year Happy Shock will open a store. Woo!  The store will have a mix of vintage items, handmade things, and art.  They will be showcased online via etsy, a great, great place for people who want to start a small online shop. Both exciting and terrifying because this is a new thing! I plan to write a bit about the experience here in Happy Shock as I proceed with opening the store then running it because I know some of us have been wanting to do this for a while and if I can share what it is like, then so I shall.

2013 will also bring on more Deaf Street Style.  No secret that this is my favorite project of all time.  Stay tuned.

I’m silly excited about 2013. :-)

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North to South: Henry, Trey + Wesley.

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Plenty of dreams to chase.  Oh, which ones to give it your all?  And let’s do it.  Hot topic in our house these days.

G & S

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Melissa “Echo” Greenlee.

Born in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Currently living in Seattle with her boyfriend, Ben, their Rottweiler (Bronx, 6), cat (Storm, 15) and numerous Koi fish.

Wearing: Lucky Brand pants, MODA International blouse, Coal hat, purse from Papaya Art.  Her dream catcher necklace is a gift from her boyfriend for their three year anniversary and her wooden bead bracelets have been gathered over the years.

Style inspirations: Bohemian hippie chic.  Kate Hudson.  If the clothes are not comfortable, she doesn’t wear them.  While she may often be conservative in her style choices, under all the fabric, she’s a true hippie at heart who can easily don the patchouli and get dirty in the forest.

Astrology Sign: Taurus.

Things she can’t live without: all the good things in conversations, friends, food and wine.

Favorite city in the world: San Francisco, California.

Currently spending almost every waking hour consumed with her new business venture deafREVIEW, your source for deaf-friendly businesses.  If you see her out and socializing, consider yourself lucky!

Echo is the perfect example of someone who had a dream and went for it with grace and sheer determination.  No lie in saying she is a great inspiration and I hope to emulate her someday!

(Photo taken at Seattle’s waterfront near the new Ferris wheel)

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Hugh Holland.

Mad crush on his photographs here.  He was there at the right time, the right place, otherwise known as the beach cities of So Cal back in the 1970s when skateboard culture was at its most fresh and real.  I was also born there and then, so all this truly speaks to me.

There is a skate park right around the corner from our house and it is so very tempting to pick up a skateboard and have a go at it, all 5 of us, wind in our faces.

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Which smile is bigger here? I say it’s a close one…

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Wesley and Trey turned 3 years old two days ago.  I wonder how that happened.

This is them on their very first day out of my belly.

This is them today as swaggering boys, ages 3.

Holy Batman.

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Loren Ashton.
Born in Tucson, Arizona.
Currently living in Seattle.

Wearing: Black button-down “boyfriend” shirt from J. Crew.  Black tie from a farmer’s market in Aix-en-Provence, France (5 euros). DL1961 jeans from Nordstrom. Turquoise bracelet, a college graduation gift from her parents. Black on black checkered classic Vans; this is actually her second pair here.  Messenger bag custom-made on Timbuk2.com with her love of red, black and white.

Style inspirations: Ellen DeGeneres and P!nk.

Six things she cannot live without: her jeans, Vans shoes, two 8 lb. cats Charlie and Remy, hot showers and words!  Her favorite city in the world is Aix-en-Provence, France, where she went to school for six months.  There, she learned how to really enjoy the small and precious things in life and how to live as a minimalist.

Regarding her love of turquoise stones, this is what I learned from her.  Turquoise represents protection, wisdom, creativity, peace of mind, emotional balance, good luck, spiritual grounding, friendship, love and loyalty. Absorbs negativity. Also works with the fifth chakra – throat which represents open, honest communication.

These days, Loren works at Sound Mental Health in Seattle as a mental health therapist serving the Deaf and hard of hearing.

And know what?  Today is her birthday.  Yep!  Happy Birthday, Loren!

(Photo taken on June 7, 2012 inside one of the art galleries in downtown Seattle)

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