Tag Archives: gina hief

It’s 2012!

Happy New Year! It’s 2012 and depending on how much you believe in the Mayan calendar mumbo jumbo, this may be the last…so make it a good one!

All this end of the world hype could be a blessing, really. It’s reminded me (and I hope some of you too) that life is precious. What would you do this year if it truly WAS your last year of life on Earth?

I’d laugh more and say YES more. I’d live life a little bit out of the “comfort zone” and take chances. I’d tell my friends and family that I love them and I’d give more than I receive.

Even if it’s not the last year and 2013 comes as scheduled, taking chances and laughing can’t be all that bad. 🙂

R.I.P. to the girl in the drawing

As some may already know, I’m busy this month working diligently on new illustrations for my upcoming exhibition in New York City at the Orchard Windows Gallery. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the basis for this show, and starting each new piece –

until last week I hit a block.

I’d been working on a beautiful drawing of a girl in profile for a couple of days. The inked girl looked beautiful – hair soft and flowing, lips perfectly plump. She was just the vision I had in my head, but she wasn’t quite complete. I wanted to add all sorts of color and life surrounding her like a field of flowers. I wanted to add an elegant and yet human touch to this simple black and white drawing. So I went for it…. it turned out horrible! I couldn’t believe it. I tried to save the girl in the drawing….I added more to cover up the bad…which as many know, only makes it worse. The damage was too great and I knew after 2 full days of work, I’d have to throw her away.

Perhaps you’ve been there too. You’ve worked so hard and furiously on a project and something went wrong. You’re too attached to give up yet, so you desperately try to “fix” the mistake – cover it up, accentuate it, ANYTHING that will keep you from having to say goodbye to the project you loved. But alas, sometimes we have to let go and learn from our mistake – journal about it, set it aside, try not to cry and start anew.


Back in the Habit

I’m Ba-ack! My ridiculously-awesome-road-trip-of-a-lifetime is finally over. I’m feeling rejuvenated and overwhelmed with inspiration – ready to take on the need segment in my life. Although I lost track of blogging about many of the destination cities we visited (*sorry*), I plan to recap some of the best highlights in the coming months.

For now, I’m back in Phoenix, AZ for the holidays and drawing like a fiend.

I had the honor of participating in a Etsy Seller event last week at the lovely West Elm store in Scottsdale. This event was coordinated by West Elm and Etsy to feature local handmade sellers in their store for the holidays. The event brought lots of new customers to my store and I was able to sell some of my original drawings.

New originals are being listed in my shop so stop in and check it out for look at my freshest drawings.


Pacific Northwest Trek

Within 2 minutes of crossing the border from California into Oregon….it began to rain. The Pacific Northwest lived up to it’s reputation with cloudy skies, evergreen forests and espresso stands of every corner.

We spent over a week in the Pacific Northwest both sight seeing and relaxing with family. Here are some of the highlights:

We camped near Mt Hood along the banks of a the Clackamas River. The view from our campsite was spectacular and although it rained – the water was such a fine mist that we hardly noticed it. 🙂

Portland, Oregon is a lovely city. By appearances, it should be a busy, bustling place full of life, sound and culture. Instead we found empty streets with only a few somber looking folks walking from building to building. Not exactly what I expected.

Seattle is everything it’s cracked up to be and more. I’ve been there a few times since I can remember and each visit to the city is always a good time. Great food, lots of life, and top notch entertainment are what makes this city thrive. I wish it wasn’t such an expensive city. Many will argue that San Francisco and New York City are more expensive…but not by much.

Vancouver, BC was by far my favorite city in the Pacific Northwest on this trip. It was my very first time seeing the city and I was immediately impressed with the sheer size of it all. We only got to spend one day there, but I am confident that we will make it back on another trip to see more.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay with family in Washington State and the week was the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration. Next stops: Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado.

Lessons Learned in SF

For 2 full months, we are traveling the country. I imagined that we would see the sights at our own pace and relax whenever we wanted. It turns out that “relaxing” is a lot harder than it sounds! In fact, I had hoped have time to write a new post every 4 or 5 days – obviously I’m a tad behind on that goal.

California seemed to last forever! Hollywood, Yosemite and Monterey were fabulous, and I couldn’t  have been happier on our early morning drive into San Francisco. The plan: drive in and jog in the park then find a hotel and check out the city. As we’ve been learning this trip….things don’t always go according to plan.

We got about as far as jogging before running into a big problem (no pun intended). Nearly every hotel in the city was booked, and the few that were available were drastically out of our budget. I ended up finding a great deal across the Bay Bridge in Oakland – a Hilton with great amenities. Jake insisted that we go to the hotel first so he could have the “peace of mind” knowing that we were checked in. The trip from the park to our hotel across the bay: 2 hours!

The Hilton was great and well worth the drive into Oakland. They even shuttled us to the BART and we took a train into the city. San Francisco was overwhelming. By this time it was after 2:00pm and we were angry with hunger after such a late start to the day. We ate at Ike’s Sandwich Shop, a dive that Jake had seen on TV a few months ago. The sandwich we shared was great and our moods were much better afterwards too.

Next we walked along Embarcadero and out onto the Piers in San Francisco Bay. I had hoped to catch a cable car ride around the city (something I had been looking forward to this trip). Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to catch a ride. Bummer! Instead, we walked over to Chinatown in hopes of scoring some authentic cooking. While Chinatown was bright and full of life – the restaurant we chose could not have been a worse choice. We literally walked into the only place in Chinatown that requires a minimum per person charge…. I was more upset by the server who insisted we order more than enough food for 2 healthy people even after we more than exceeded the minimum charge.

After dinner, we walked around the city before heading back to the hotel’s fitness center for a workout (arguably the most enjoyable part of the day). I’ve been to San Francisco before and I know how great it is. However, we also learned a good lesson for the trip. A city like San Francisco is ideally experienced when you have at least 3 days to enjoy it, a bigger budget…and a pre-booked hotel room. I’d love to go back one day again now that I am more fully prepared for the experience.

See you soon San Francisco!