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Category Archives: Adventures of a jewelry designer

EMP Museum madness!

Jenny Dayco visits the EMP museum in Seattle 1

Seattle’s EMP Museum was so amazing, I had to create a standalone post for it!  EMP stands for Experience Music Project, and it is a nonprofit museum, dedicated to contemporary popular culture. The EMP Museum was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000.  If you love pop culture, science fiction, and all things media / entertainment related, then definitely make a pit stop here!  Not only is the exterior incredible (which was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry), but the exhibits were phenomenal as well!  As a seasoned “museum buff”, I was impressed by how well each exhibit was carefully curated.

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My absolute favorite exhibit was the Infinite Worlds of Science showcase!  Not only did I feel like I was boarding an intergalactic spacecraft, I was in the presence of many amazing props, costumes, and models from the most iconic movies ever!  I’m a child of the 80’s, and I utterly adore all the science fiction movies that defined the genre in the 80’s and 90’s.  So seeing all of these things up close was a real treat!  First up was one of the models from the Terminator movie series!  They definitely freaked me out as a child, so seeing one up close was just as creepy!  It was a lot taller than I expected, but it definitely had that signature menacing grin that I remembered!  On the right side are some of the lightsabers from the original Star Wars trilogy!  The top one was Luke Skywalker’s, the middle one was Darth Vader’s, and the bottom one was Darth Maul’s.

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If you know me, you’ll know why I had to feature these three photos above!  I love the movie Mars Attacks!, simply because it’s a hilarious parody on the classic “alien invasion” movie!  Pictured on the left is one of the stop motion models they used in the film!  In the middle is the costume that Daryl Hannah wore as Pris in Blade Runner.  What I love about this particular costume is that it has a futuristic “Siouxsie Sioux” look to it, with a little punk rock thrown in!  And on the right are two costumes by one of my all time favorite movies, The Fifth Element!  One of them was worn by Bruce Willis’ character, Korben Dallas, and the other one was worn by Milla Jovovich’s character, Leeloo.  All the costumes in the film were designed by the irreverent and innovative French couturier, Jean-Paul Gaultier.  Who, by the way, was (and still is!) one of my favorite designers from the 90’s!

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To complete this particular exhibit, they had these infinity mirror and light displays in a couple areas of the show!  So naturally I had to take a few pics of them!  The lights were super trippy but absolutely selfie worthy!

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When you first enter the museum, you are greeted by this incredible floor to ceiling musical instrument sculpture!  And it plays music!  I couldn’t quite gather the melody, but you can see bits and pieces of the various instruments moving on their own.  The sculpture was in between two major shows centered around iconic musical acts, such as Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses, and Wild Blue Angel: Jimi Hendrix Abroad.  It was amazing to see memorabilia, instruments, and costumes worn by such talented people!

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The last exhibit I checked out was Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film.  I can be a real scaredy cat when it comes to horror films, but after seeing all the other shows, I decided to brave through it so I wouldn’t miss out!  And of course, it totally delivered!  I got to see a life size model of one of the aliens from the original Alien movie, which embodied true sci-fi terror all by itself!  There were many other pieces showcased, but since I’m not a horror movie buff, I had no clue what most of it was.  To lighten the mood of the show, they included an interactive exhibit where you can be your own alien!  I had to stand in front of a light projector, and as I moved, it would animate my silhouette into a silly monster creature!  Pictured is what I would be if I were some kind of monster, LOL!

If you’re ever in Seattle, I would definitely check this place out!  All I know is that I am absolutely going back again next time!  To know more about Frank Gehry and see his body of artwork and architecture, please visit https://www.artsy.net/artist/frank-gehry.

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Sleepless in Seattle!

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The last time I was in Seattle, I was a sassy (and grumpy!) typical teenager.  Although, I did secretly enjoy being the city known as the “birthplace of grunge”.  Going as an adult was a totally different experience–and I could barely sleep because there was so much to do!  I actually wanted to do all the touristy things, like visit Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, etc!  One of the first things we did was visit the Pike Place Market–also known as the one of the oldest farmers’ markets in existence!  Not only did it begin in 1907, but it also houses the first Starbucks coffee shop ever!  (Prepare yourself for a long line!)  When we were there, it was the height of tulip season, so all the flower shops held endless rows of colorful and bright tulips!  And you can basically eat and shop everywhere around you, there are local vendors selling fresh fish and meats, as well as specialty foods and snacks.  Our personal favorite was Chukar Cherries, we literally could not get enough of their Pistachio and Cherry mix, and their Classic Dark Cherries.  And yes, do take advantage of their bulk discount, because we sure did!  And there are also plenty of shops, there are the typical tourist-y gift items, but there are also hidden gems within the large building as you move down through all the floors!

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After running around the Pike Place Market all day, I decided to check out Seattle Center.  When I was young, we only got to see the Space Needle.  Today, it is surrounded by several museums, and it also has a lovely public playground, performance area, and park!  Since everything was already shutting down that evening, I decided to walk all around the park and take some pics!  I was first enamored with the EMP Museum, with its unique architecture and colorful metal panels.  The building was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.  I loved the looming curves of the building, and with every step around it, it was a new shape / silhouette against the sky!  Most of the panels were mirrored, which made for some awesome reflections and colors against the ground!  The building was so gigantic, I took a picture of myself (look how tiny I am!) for perspective.  The next day, I went inside the EMP Museum–but that needs its own blog post!

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I also took a quick snap of the Pacific Science Center’s unique arches, I thought they looked incredible against the cloudy gray sky!  I wasn’t able to check it out on this trip, but I definitely will next time!  EMP Museum blog post to follow soon!  It was just as incredible on the inside as it was on the outside!

To know more about Frank Gehry and see his body of artwork and architecture, please visit https://www.artsy.net/artist/frank-gehry.

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En route to Seattle!

After a few days in eastern Washington state, we decided to head out west!  En route to Seattle, we saw a gorgeous stop that overlooked the Columbia River!  So naturally we pulled over and took a few pics!

Since it was still cold out, I got to rock my Adidas Originals rose jacket, my favorite black pants by Tripp, and my black Air Max’s by Nike.  The sunset over the river was gorgeous!

Also near the overlook is this random outcropping of rocks!  My parents and I were joking about how funny we looked next to it, we looked like giants!  If you’re ever en route to Seattle or Spokane, definitely pull over and check out any scenic overlook by the freeway, it’ll definitely be worth it!

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Visiting Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene!

We decided to head a little further east from Spokane, and check out Post Falls and Coeur D’Alene!  Post Falls has a lovely man made waterfall and a river side park, called Falls Park,  so naturally we had to make a quick stop!  The waterfalls weren’t high like the one in Spokane, but they sure were mighty!  The park was lined with weeping willow trees–which were mine and my cousin’s favorite trees to swing from when we were little kids!  They were not quite green yet, they were a lovely shade of yellow.  So naturally I had to get a photo in between them!

Afterwards we made a quick shopping trip to an amazing antique mall, called My Favorite Things.  If you love antiques and home decor, this place is definitely worth checking out!  Found so many collectibles, along with a gigantic selection of wonderful antique jewelry and accessories!

After visiting Post Falls, we decided to end the day in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho!  We were told that the first thing we should do was the walk along the boardwalk on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  The boardwalk is one of the world’s largest floating boardwalks, and it has stunning views of the lake and the mountains beyond it.  Part of the boardwalk has a short tower bridge, which had unique architectural details and made for some great photos!  Also, I stumbled across an incredible metal sculpture of a dandelion, created by artist David Tonnesen.

I definitely had a great time visiting these peaceful, low-key cities.  It was undeniably a nice break from the insane pace of LA!  (But of course, I still love LA anyway!)

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Making a stop in Spokane, Washington!

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So a few weeks ago, my parents and I decided to take a fun road trip around Washington state!  I hadn’t been to Washington since I was a teenager–so it was definitely an entirely different experience this time!  We decided to make our first stop in Spokane.  One of the first places we visited was Spokane Falls, which is a waterfall and dam in the heart of downtown Spokane.  They have a lovely park right next to the waterfalls–but if you get too close to the water, you will definitely get super wet!  And unfortunately, we learned that the Sky Ride is only open on weekends!

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Here’s a detail pic of the massive bridge above Spokane Falls, with its amazing strong arches and supports.  And of course I learned the hard way about getting too close to the water, it definitely felt like it was raining in my face!  But of course I had to take a selfie!  And that was the only face I could make with my eyes slightly open, LOL!

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As we were driving around downtown Spokane, we saw these two large smoke stacks!  Turns out it’s an old steam plant that they converted into creative office spaces, boutiques, and a restaurant!  So naturally, we had to eat at the restaurant, which was called Stacks at Steam Plant.  The cool part about it is, you’re still surrounded by the infrastructure of the building, while dining on tasty food!  And afterwards, it’s fun to explore the rest of the building (and work off all that yummy food!).

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Even the tiles inside the building were amazing!  And, creepily enough, you can actually go inside one of the smoke stacks.  I went in when it was super dark, and it was definitely an eerie feeling being in an enclosed space and looking up!  Spokane was definitely a super fun trip, and it was awesome to see things that I don’t normally see in Los Angeles!

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Traveling to the Travel Town train car museum!

A couple months ago, I was stuck in traffic on highway 5.  Being an Angeleno for almost two decades, this is not a surprise. In fact, traffic is so prolific, it is always the perfect opportunity to connect with God!  I.e.  “Please Lord, give me strength to not sideswipe this car!” or “Jesus, take the wheel, or else I will throw my beloved Coffee Bean ice blended at that driver!”  This time, it was so bad on the 5, that I actually had a few moments to look at my surroundings.  Near Griffith Park, I saw a whole lot of old train cars situated behind some trees, and I asked myself, “What is THAT?”  Later, when I got home, I looked it up and saw that it was the Travel Town museum!

In my mission to do something new each week, I decided to do a quick stop over there.  The museum was a lot larger than I was expecting, I didn’t get a chance to cover all of it, only just what was outside!  (They have an indoor area with train cars that I have yet to inspect.)  Naturally, I had to take my jewelry with me to explore opportunities for some cool shots!  There are a couple train cars that they allow you to go into, there’s an engine car and an empty passenger car you can walk inside of.  Since I’m not surrounded by trains often, I was pleasantly surprised to see how large and looming they are close up!

I wandered around all the cars looking for cool backgrounds to shoot my jewelry on!  The aged painted metal, wood, and dynamic surfaces definitely made for some amazing shots.  (See gallery above!)  There were also train tracks everywhere, so I suffered through the blazing LA heat to get my name just right on the tracks!  The Travel Town museum and grounds are a great place to do a little exploring, or have a lovely picnic!  It’s definitely worth making a pit stop if you’re in the Griffith Park area!

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Peeking around the Petersen Auto Museum

After having lived in LA for almost half my life, I finally visited the Petersen Auto Museum!  They were closed for a long time for renovations (hello, fancy new exterior!) and they just re-opened at the end of last year!  So, one cloudy day in LA, my friend Aaron and I decided to check it out!  We also opted for the vault tour, to see all the cars they have housed in the garage below.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but it was definitely amazing to see some of the first cars ever made, as well as one a kind cars, and famous cars from movies and other historical events!

When you walk past the amazing exterior entrance–which looks like a giant fingerprint!–you get to see a small selection of awesome cars.  Inside was a burly Land Rover truck from the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, a white 1967 Toyota 2000gt (also in another Bond movie, You Only Live Twice), and a gigantic 1930’s Rolls Royce Phantom with round car doors!  The cars are curated into specific show exhibits, so each gallery has a different rotation of cars based on their show calendar.  My friend and I found ourselves in love with their “Precious Metals” exhibit, where it featured a large handful of beautiful cars in the same bright silver color!  My personal favorite was the 1959 Corvette Stingray–which obviously I had to take a selfie with!  There were also a couple other cars that were exciting to see, like the 1970 Dodge Charger from Furious 7, and the Batmobile from Batman!  One of the guards told us that the Batmobile was a modified Chevrolet Impala, who knew?

They also have frequent car meets and special events hosted at the museum, so it is not only worth just a visit, but worth returning to!  Side note, I also spotted actress Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By The Bell, Showgirls) right next to Steve McQueen’s car!  You never know who you may run into!  Visit their website online at: http://www.petersen.org for tickets and more info.

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A novel trip to downtown LA

A couple weeks ago, I decided to squeeze in a quick trip to The Last Bookstore in downtown LA!  I’ve heard about it for so long, and finally decided to just fit it in that day’s schedule!  I love the smell of old books, the feel of thumbing through old pages, and marveling at the book cover designs of tomes decades old.  The wall above my bed is covered in such weathered pages–I could go on and on about how much I love books!  Not only do they carry current print editions, but they also carry gently used books, and extremely rare volumes as well.

The second floor is where the fun begins!  A beautiful “flying book” installation by Jena Priebe and David Lovejoy entitled “Diagnosis” greets you as you enter the second floor.  It’s followed by an old Chevrolet tailgate that was re-purposed into an industrial style bench.  As you walk further in, you are surrounded by shelves put together in wacky ways, and there’s even an old bank vault that they converted into a room full of horror and mystery books!  Right next to the vault, there is a large “book archway” that leads you into the next room.  When I walked through the book archway, it was hard not to think of Hogwarts, and all things Harry Potter immediately.  Not only are there great installations on the second floor, there are also small gift boutiques, and art galleries too!  And also, right around the corner is the famous Bradbury building, where many scenes from Blade Runner was filmed!

And of course, I had to get in a couple shots of my jewelry inside, pictured is my vintage 1960’s gold swirl bracelet set with large amazonite stones, and my vintage gold, pyrite stone, and topaz coated quartz point necklace.  The necklace was shot inside the vault, where they had these strange science fiction-y style consoles!  It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area and want to experience something cool!  The Last Bookstore is located at 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

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I want to be the girl with the most cake

The title of this blog post pretty much says it all!  Yesterday while I was out buying jewelry supplies, I decided to check out a local art show!  I saw some amazing cake inspired artwork on my friend’s Instagram accounts, and I wanted to see its sugary goodness for myself!  The show is called Break Bread, and it was at the Think Tank Gallery in downtown LA.  The show featured local LA artists Baker’s Son and Scott Hove.  In the spirit of absolute kitsch, I decided to wear my off shoulder Angelyne t-shirt!  (To those who don’t know who Angelyne is, she is a true LA icon!)

The gallery is somewhat hidden in between a fabric shop and a wedding supply shop, but the women outside know if you’re looking for the gallery, because they said to me, “Second floor!”  LOL!  When I walked in, I was told that they were setting up for another event, as well as moving stuff around–which means I may have missed stuff?  However, I first went towards Scott Hove’s cake room, which was a colorful, narrow corridor with tall cake sculptures, and each nook and cranny was covered in frosted delight!  The corridor was mirrored, so in the photos, the room appears large than it is.  But, it was definitely Instagram-worthy to get in there and take a couple selfies!

I moved forward to another room, which was a mirrored maze that led me to a large video art installation.  The video piece was surrounded by mirrors, so as you got closer to the screen, you felt enveloped by by what was being projected.  It would transition from a cool, refreshing rainfall, to a wild, hot fire!  After that, I went into another room with more cake sculptures.  Naturally I tried to take a few photos with my jewelry alongside the artwork!  My favorite pieces was the “Cake Uzi” and the feral looking frosted cake–which all I could think of in my head (which may not make any sense at all) was “FEED ME SEYMOUR!” from The Little Shop of Horrors!

Definitely stay updated on future shows at the Think Tank Gallery, and check out the Break Bread show before it ends on March 13th!

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Feeling intergalactic planetary at Vasquez Rocks!

Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of science fiction movies!  So one random Monday, I decided that I needed to get out of the LA area, and visit one of the movie industry’s iconic filming locations, Vasquez Rocks!  I squealed internally as I drove up towards the large, diagonal rocks!  My favorite films and tv shows that were shot here are:  Austin Powers, John Carter, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and MacGyver!  And, Vasquez Rocks was drawn as a landscape in one of my all time FAVORITE tv shows, Futurama!

I did a quick walkabout, and I tried to get some cool shots of my jewelry with the rocks in the background!  What’s also amazing about this place is that you can bring a book and read, relax and meditate, or hike up the rocks!  Which of COURSE I had to climb up the rocks–it’s a short but steep hike, and a little narrow and tricky in certain spots, but I made it up there!  (Sans water, like a crazy person–I mean, what was I thinking?)  As I was making my way up, there was a guy blasting music from his car, so I hiked up there listening to the soft sounds of Otis Redding and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

It was definitely inspiring to be around such unique and looming rock formations, I mostly just stood awestruck in the midst of it all!  Hope you guys get the chance to visit such a magical and incredible place!

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