Monthly Archives: October 2009

I Fell In Love With A Llama.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

The One and Only Nigel.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

This is probably the strangest post that I have ever made but please bear with me. I have fallen in love with a llama. Yes, I said a llama. I have never been an ‘animal person.’ In my 28 years, I have never had a pet of any kind (not even a goldfish). But, an encounter I had two weeks ago has shifted my perceptions dramatically. I now want a pet…but not just any pet will do. I want a llama.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

Back in March, I got word that a llama named Nigel was coming to town. He was supposed to be standing in front of the R.E.I. store in Portland’s Pearl District for a presentation about packing gear. I’d never seen a llama up close, so I was unsure of what to expect. The second I laid eyes on Nigel though, I was sold. Statuesque and all black, he seemed to be constantly smiling. In the middle of a bustling city on a downtown sidewalk, he was totally calm. His black fur was freshly brushed and very soft. I swear that he even winked at me. This llama was a total charmer.

Normally I am intimidated by animals that are larger than me, but I happened to be wearing my trusty Dries Van Noten wedges that night so we were at eye level. I was intrigued by this animal; there was something special about him.

I took a brochure for Wallowa Llamas which is where Nigel lives but over the next six months, life became hectic as I began taking on more freelance, bought a house and traveled often. The dream of meeting back up with Nigel got pushed to the back burner.

Then, a few weeks ago I was surprised with a late birthday present; a meeting with his royal blackness, Mr. Nigel himself. The drive from Portland was very long, clocking in at close to seven hours. Once we reached Halfway, Oregon (near the Idaho border) the scenery became quite idyllic. A bustling small town with farms and horses and greenery and quaint storefronts, Halfway has a storybook quality. Finding Wallowa Llamas proved slightly difficult; it was quite far from the highway, down a series of gravel side roads.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

Just look at that handsome profile!

nubby twiglet nigel llama

As we pulled up, one of the owners of Wallowa, Raz came out to greet us. Normally, they are accustomed to doing hiking trips that are multiple days in length and bringing the llamas along for the purpose of packing gear but made special arrangements for a shorter day trip instead. Raz took us over to a side plot of land where Nigel was hanging out. I spotted him from 50 feet away; even among other llamas, he stands out. As Raz was prepping the gear, he let us take Nigel into the orchard and spend some quality time together. Nigel ripped into one of the fruit trees and loaded up on leaves. Llamas chew funny, in a circle–8 motion just like camels.

Once the supplies were ready, Nigel was loaded into the back of a pickup truck with tall, enclosed sides and we drove a few miles to a secluded trail. As we hopped out of the truck, Nigel seemed confused; he is used to packing quite a bit of equipment but was free of the usual load that day. I spent most of the time pulling Nigel up along the path and we made a stunning pair, both in all black. He trotted right along, never stalling or tripping (unlike me)!

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

We took a few short breaks and Nigel chowed down on plants while we sat down, enjoyed the view and drank water. During one break, we heard some rustling and turned around to see Nigel rolling around, taking a dust bath! His fur became coated in dirt and full of debris but he seemed quite proud of himself.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

On the way down, the trail was pretty steep and Nigel was going faster than me. He kept getting a little too close, breathing over my shoulder and making high pitched noises. I thought something was wrong, but I was told that it’s really just a sound he makes when he knows he’s getting ‘close to home’ (the truck). Pretty cute if you ask me!

Nigel was on absolutely perfect behavior the entire journey but when he was being loaded back into the truck, he did get a little grumpy, ducking his head down. It was pretty funny to watch!

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

When we returned back to Wallowa, we were taken on a brief tour to meet the girl llamas and then the boys (they are kept separate to keep inbreeding from taking place). The girls really do look like girls! My favorite female llama was Mary Priscilla (I’m pretty sure that was her name. A fancy name for a fancy llama)! Her fur looked dip-dyed. She subtly faded into a beautiful spectrum of colors. The girls seemed inquisitive and simply stared at us, quietly taking in the situation.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

nubby twiglet nigel llama

In contrast, the boy llamas were much more rowdy and aggressive. They enjoy chasing each other around and occasionally fighting. Obviously, Nigel is much too evolved and refined to participate in this type of behavior and chooses to spend much his time away from the pack.

After the tour, we said a sad goodbye to Nigel and vowed to return next year.

I know this sounds crazy, but I’d like to skip the whole dog and cat phase altogether and move on straight to a llama. They are very quiet, go to the bathroom in relatively neat piles and don’t eat an absurd amount of food. Michael Jackson used to talk about taking his Llama named Louie on walks near his parent’s mansion and how he would stop traffic; I want to do the same!

Find out more about llamas and guided trips at Wallowa Llamas.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

Oh, I almost forgot. My favorite part of Nigel, besides that adorable face? These handsome little feet.

nubby twiglet nigel llama

Readers: What was your first ever pet?
If you had an unlimited budget and space, what would your dream pet be?

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What I Wore: 10.11.09

what i wore nubby new york style outfit

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

I would tell you why I was laughing, but the story is highly inappropriate. HIGHLY. Thanks, Auntie Nubs!

My brother took me on an insane estate sale voyage for most of yesterday. I’ve never seen such treasures! Six hours later, the back of his car was full as we headed back home. One of the things I found was this little Oregon Centennial ribbon which makes me feel like some strange war veteran. It’s from 1959; my aunt saw it this morning and said that she was at the centennial back then at age four. Pretty awesome.

My weekend has been pretty low key so far. I’ve spent some much needed time with family and friends, did a bit of freelance and washed dishes. What about you?


Oregon Centennial ribbon, vintage
Ripped black jeans, Forever 21
Jacket, Forever 21
lace-up heels, Zinda
Walk The Line blouse, Modcloth
Watch, Nixon
Headband, Forever 21

week in pictures

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The Week in Pictures: 10.9.09

week in pictures

week in pictures

Photo by Paul Dahlquist

week in pictures

This is the first Week in Pictures that I have gotten around to doing in October. Wait, did I just say October? Where has this year gone?!! Over the last two weeks, I have spent time at two agencies, done two rush jobs, accepted two new clients and though it feels great to be busy, sometimes blogging inevitably slows down in the process.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

One of the first things I noticed when I returned from New York was that my brother had been on a major taxidermy binge. When I walked into our house, I was totally freaked out by the stillborn baby deer that had taken up residence on our fireplace mantle! Additionally, a white (goat? ram?) creature has also moved in. I’ve told him that enough is enough, but he’s on a roll…and there’s no stopping him! We have at least four deer and a bear head as well.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

My brother loves frequenting estate sales and I decided to join him to see what the big deal was about. In the process, I found a box of tiny vintage keys for a few dollars. I am still not sure what I am going to do with these, but either way, I love the variety of shapes.

week in pictures

week in pictures

This is the future. I have been mixing distressed clothing items with extreme silhouettes of shoes (these Chloes from the side are very hoof-like); I am interested in how the fashion landscape is now compared to the way we thought the future would be. To me, it is all very post-apocalyptic and un-polished…and I love that.

week in pictures

week in pictures

I grabbed this Comme des Garcons postcard at one of their temporary outposts when I was in New York; I love the simplicity of the design. As you can guess, the store was very very black.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Two weeks ago, I went on a belated birthday trip to visit some llamas. Stop by on Monday for the full story! One of my favorites was this multicolored beauty; I think her name is Mary Patricia.

week in pictures

I have so much that I want to share with you but it’s time to get back to work! I’ve been hanging out with the Nemo boys this week and there’s much more to do. Readers: Do you have any big weekend plans?

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Link Love: 10.8.09

link love typography

nails


• Find out what fashion designers of the 1930s predicted that people would be wearing in 2000. Interestingly enough, Fashion Magazine points out that the predictions were very much on target.

• Molly Crabapple, a world class illustrator and the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School just received a multi-page write-up in the New York Times! Even better, we’ve joined forces for a top-secret project that I have very high hopes for. This girl is unstoppable!

• Five ways to get your blog indexed by Google in 24 hours.

• Design Observer remembers American photography legend Irving Penn, who died on October 7th at age 92.

• Dani of Hope Springs Internal just posted a little interview I did last week.

• Mara Zepeda has perhaps the most beautiful calligraphy ever!

• Smashing Magazine shares beautiful examples of kinetic photography. Of the process, it says “When you hear the word kinetic for the first time, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is motion. Kinetic Photography, also known as camera tossing, is a technique of shooting photos with the actual physical movement of the camera. However, it does not necessarily involve tossing of the camera — you can also shake, bounce, swing or spin it.”

• Movie posters for minimalists.

• Over at Condé Nast, the layoffs have begun.

• Did you know that Barack Obama’s smile is amazingly consistent?

• Why do women lie about their dress size? This has always confused me; isn’t life too short to waste time dwelling on these things? Accept yourself as you are and move on (via already pretty)!

• Odd but amazing: a collection of vintage hotel door hangers (via draplin).

What are your favorite links of the week?

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The Typofiles #35

This is my favorite door in New York. I took these photos last month; a total typographical goldmine! You can view all of The Typofiles on Flickr here.

Note: Posting has slowed down a bit here over the last two weeks due to a busy freelancing schedule. I’ve been spending the week working on projects with my pals at Nemo HQ and hope to be back on track with regular posting very soon.