Category Archives: New York

Elf Girl: My Journey To Ending Up On A Book Cover

elf girl book cover

Elf Girl Book Cover by Anna at Simon & Schuster.


When you’re nonchalantly checking your email, the last question you’d expect to see is, “Hey, do you have any elf shoes?” But back in January, I was faced with that very question. The natural assumption would be to write it off as a creepy fetish inquiry and delete it immediately…except that this email was from my friend Anna who just happens to be a senior designer at Simon & Schuster in New York. Anna designs book covers for a living and runs one of my favorite blogs on the planet, Door Sixteen. She was working on the cover for Rev Jen’s new book, Elf Girl (formerly Elf Like Me) and needed a cover shot. Of course, I was up for the job.


elf girl book cover

Unused Cover Concepts. Love the variety! Anna is great at her job.


Joey and I immediately got to work shooting the cover ideas (well, sort of…Anna had to help us track down elf shoes first). Anna gave us some great direction and we then tried as many variations as possible; I know from experience that when I’m pulling selects for a job, it’s best to have ample options to work with.

We shot the images in our all white dining room, stomped through rainy, muddy parks, stood under bridges and visited the industrial area of S.E. Portland (cobblestones galore) to get the combination of images we wanted. These are a few of my favorite unused photos:


elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover


Anna came up with some truly stunning options that summed up the premise of the book perfectly and besides being a fantastic designer, she’s an all-around awesome person. We’ve known each other for a decade now (online and off) and it’s easy to be friends with someone who shares a passion for graphic design, a love of Michael Jackson and is as excited about home decor as I am. Thanks Anna for the amazing opportunity!

Elf Girl Cover Design & Direction: Anna at Simon & Schuster. Photography: Joey Maas. Model & Concepting: Nubby Twiglet.


What I Wore: 9.16.11 // The Enchanted

nubby new york east village


nubby new york east village


This is the last in a series of three sets of photos I shot with Lydia Hudgens back in September. What I love about these sets is that although they were all shot within three days of one another, they are so incredibly different. There was the punk rock back-to-school look in The Bowery with Amelia Arsenic, the early morning East Village stoop loitering with Gala and now, this.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


You’re probably wondering about the mouse ears. Gala and I have been to Disneyland twice together and I’ve been to Disney Wold four times on my own (and I never plan on growing up) so I’ll wear mouse ears any change I get. Sequined ears paired with more sequins? Why not! A group was gathered on the sidewalk for church as we walked by at 9:30 in the morning and literally stopped what they were doing and started singing the Mickey Mouse Club song to us…ears cheer everyone up!


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


These photos were shot in a very special place; a private garden that Gala & I had our birthday in two years ago. This is a quiet, magical refuge in the middle of the East Village and feels straight out of a fairytale.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


I Wore:

Gryphon Sequin Dress, Tokio 7
Ears, Disneyland
Belt, Vintage
Tights, H&M
Wedges, Camilla Skovgaard
Nail Polish, Pop Nail Glam in Yellow

Gala Wore:

White irridescent mouse ears
Vintage turquoise beaded dress
Vintage bed jacket
Rings by Dyrberg/Kern
Betsey Johnson starburst Pollys


nubby new york east village


With all the sequins, it was only natural to finish up with a Michael Jackson-inspired dance-off.


nubby new york east village


After this shoot wrapped, I grabbed my bags, said goodbye to Gala, Hank & Dolly and headed towards the subway….back to Wall Street, then JFK, then home. It was a long day but so worth it. Thanks once again to Lydia Hudgens for the wonderful shoot!


What I Wore: 9.16.11 // The East Village

nubby new york east village


nubby new york east village


On September 16th, my last morning in New York, I woke up bright and early to catch a cab over to Gala’s apartment in the East Village. We had a shoot with Lydia Hudgens booked for 8 a.m. (this meant that the streets were very empty) and when I showed up five minutes early, in true Virgo fashion, they were both ready to roll.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


I really wanted to get some photos in my special birthday dress, a vintage Marimekko number that I’d worn to my party a few days earlier. I paired it with a Kate Spade newspaper clutch that I’d spotted in Gala’s office (the print is of a vintage New York paper!) I’d really like to find one of my own and I know that a number of brands have produced these in the past; do you have any suggestions?


nubby new york east village


My streamlined look was balanced out by Gala’s punch of pink and yes, a petticoat. Needless to say, we were slightly overdressed compared to the locals.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


I Wore:

Leather Jacket, Rick Owens
Vintage Marimekko dress, Etsy
Headband, Forever 21
Tights, H&M
Wedges, Camilla Skovgaard
Kate Spade Newspaper clutch, borrowed from Gala
Nail Polish, Pop Nail Glam in Yellow

Gala Wore:

Vintage pink bowler hat

218W Perfecto leather jacket by Schott

Diamond necklace (a wedding gift from my mother — I haven’t taken it off since)

Angora heart sweater from ASOS

Betsey Johnson belt

Vintage pink crinoline (I also wore this under my wedding dress!)

Betsey Johnson over-the-knee socks

Matiko Ai For Ai boots (so comfortable, & I love the suede/patent leather/perforated leather combo!)


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


It just seemed appropriate to try jumping. In five inch wedges. At 9 AM.


nubby new york east village


Once the shoot ended, we weren’t quite done. There was one more outfit change still in store…but you’ll have to wait a little longer for that one. Thank you to Lydia Hudgens for shooting the photos! We had such an awesome time!


A Party to Remember: 2011 Edition


30 birthday nubby twiglet

The Moose Head at Bedlam // September 14, 2011.


For the last few years, Gala and I have been combining our birthday parties into one big celebration since they’re just a day apart. In the past, we’ve done everything from open-invite picnics in Central Park to private garden parties outfitted with a disco ball and skull goblets. This year though, we wanted to try something different. Gala wouldn’t be arriving home from New Zealand until September 12th and I know how un-fun it is to plan a party and gather favors when you’re jetlagged! So, I asked around and a bar called Bedlam kept coming up. And upon further research it became clear that this place was beyond perfect…because it very much resembled my living room. What better venue to have your party in than a place that feels like a home away from home? The taxidermy and patterned wallpaper both evoke a Portland-esque feel and it seemed low-key enough that we could focus on what mattered most: spending time with our friends.



30 birthday nubby twiglet

Fuji Instax photos by Gala Darling.


I’d picked out a special dress for the festivities (it was my 30th birthday, after all) and the vintage op-art Marimekko number was found on Etsy. It arrived just in time but unfortunately, it was a little big. Since I didn’t have time to get it altered, I cinched the waist with a thin black patent belt. Gala on the other hand found the most gorgeous burgundy strapless dress at Betsey Johnson that fit her perfectly. I liked that it was outside of her normal style and everyone I knew was raving about how great she looked all night. Sadly, all the joint photos we took in front of the moose head turned out too blurry to share but we made up for that by having a photo shoot with Lydia a few days later.



30 birthday nubby twiglet

Enjoying turning 30 surrounded by my friends and Joey.


We each had a great showing and spent the night catching up with friends from all over. When we were introducing our friends and their accompanying professions, we realized that most of them were pros in more than one area and started simply labeling them geniuses. It’s true, we are surrounded by a pretty creative group that collectively inspires us from coast to coast.



30 birthday nubby twiglet

Top L to Bottom R: With Bianca // Bianca and Cindy // Shots with Amelia, Voltaire and Jayme // Joey // Jazzi!!!


Once the party began to wind down, we agreed that this was our favorite version yet: it was simple, inexpensive, allowed our friends to mingle and there wasn’t the pressure of planning (or cleaning up afterwards) that we normally feel.



30 birthday nubby twiglet

At the end of the night, Bianca and I morphed into a real life art installation!


Thanks to everyone who came out to Bedlam, sent birthday wishes and joined Gala and in ringing in another year!


nubby signature

What I Wore: 9.13.11 // The Bowery

nubby new york the bowery


nubby new york the bowery


I’ve always loved Amelia Arsenic’s style but it’s been nearly impossible to meet up in the last two years. She’s based in London, I’m in Portland and though we both travel all the time, we never seem to be in the same place at once! When we found out that we’d both be in New York at the same time in September, I arranged a shoot with photographer Lydia Hudgens.


nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery


The real fun was in scouting a location. I asked Bianca for some recommendations and she immediately mentioned the corner of Bowery and Spring. I distinctly remembered the spot from past trips as being a great graffiti mecca and after some googling, I was astounded. Get this: The building previously housed Germania Bank which was built in 1898 and is now the home of a photographer and his wife and daughter. Yes, one family shares this building featuring 72 rooms! He purchased the building for a mere $102,000.00 over 40 years ago (no, that’s not a typo) and has lived there ever since. Amazing! Read more about the building’s history here.


nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery


We spent Tuesday afternoon shooting around the edges of Soho and though we hadn’t coordinated what we’d be wearing, I loved the contrast of the green in Amelia’s hair paired with my red accents. What I’ve realized is that sometimes the best shoots aren’t overly planned.


nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery


I Wore:

Vintage plaid skirt, Etsy
Sonia Rykiel for H&M Sweater, Ebay
Bow Headband, Forever 21
Tights, H&M
Avant Garde Necklace, Plastique (Etsy)
Patent Wedges, Cheap Monday
Bag, Miu Miu
Nail Polish, Pop Nail Glam in Yellow.


nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery

nubby new york the bowery


Thank you to Amelia for posing with me and to Lydia for doing such a great job. And FYI, Lydia is now based in New York so if you’d like to shoot with her, get in touch!


The Week in Pictures: 9.17.11 // New York Edition!

nubby new york birthday


nubby new york birthday

A yearly tradition: standing next to George on Wall Street.


nubby new york birthday


The Arrival.

I left for New York last Friday night and arrived Saturday morning, just in time for Bianca’s birthday party. But right away, I knew that things wouldn’t be the same this year. After all, it was September 10th, the eve of the ten year anniversary of September 11th. I’m used to visiting New York at this time every year but security was at an all-time high. As I made my way to Bianca’s apartment on Wall Street, barricades were everywhere. My Supershuttle van was even pulled over and searched. Even though it was inconvenient, I was secretly relieved, knowing that the city was doing everything it could to keep us safe.


nubby new york birthday

The New York Stock Exchange.


Once I was settled in, I wandered around the Financial District and discovered my new favorite coffee shop, Financier Patisserie. Great coffee and pastries with a French theme and immaculate branding immediately won me over.


nubby new york birthday

Financier: Adorably French.


nubby new york birthday

Beauty in the details.


nubby new york birthday

Digging through the designer shoes at Century 21 with mixed results.


Onward we marched to designer discount mecca Century 21 where I tried on everything avant garde and bizarre that I could dig up (just for fun). WTF are these, Rick Owens?!!


The Jungle Juice Saga.


nubby new york birthday

Cindy samples the jungle juice.


When I’d heard that Bianca had invited a grand total of 50 people to her apartment birthday party and was concocting a special jungle juice elixir complete with whipped cream flavored vodka, I knew it was going to be unparalleled. Friends flowed in, beverages were poured into red plastic cups, a full-on dance party ensued and speakers were blown. This party did not disappoint.


nubby new york birthday

Cheers!

nubby new york birthday

Mischa and Bianca.

nubby new york birthday

The gift of very special gloves.

nubby new york birthday

Makeup artist Natalia gifted me with my very own MAC pin!!!

nubby new york birthday

Three gallons of pure magic.

nubby new york birthday

With Jamey and Bender.

nubby new york birthday

Bianca, that’s not your cup!

nubby new york birthday

My dream of starting a girl band finally came true.

nubby new york birthday

The party’s over! Funnel the jungle juice for safekeeping!


When the clock struck midnight, it was time to go dancing. Of course, midnight also meant that it was officially 9/11 and the city streets were barricaded everywhere our cab turned. We zigzagged down different paths until we got through and made our way into a club full of people. Nobody wanted to give into fear and I admired that.


nubby new york birthday


Birthday Aftermath And An Anniversary.


nubby new york birthday

Wearing a vintage skirt from Etsy, Target shirt, H&M tights, J. Crew cardigan and Minimarket boots.


nubby new york birthday

My favorite part of the Financial District: the restaurants on Stone Street.


nubby new york birthday

Post-birthday garb.


The next morning, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I woke up to faint sounds of the National Anthem drifting in from St. Paul’s Chapel, just down the street from the site of the World Trade Center. As we walked towards Stone Street for breakfast, layers of security had the area covered but we finally got through the crowd of various uniforms. It was a somber day.


Monday in Midtown.


nubby new york birthday


As soon as Monday morning hit, I headed towards Midtown for meetings and stopped to admire Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building in the process.


nubby new york birthday


Hello, Soho.


nubby new york birthday

Wearing a Forever 21 dress, tights from Century 21 and Camilla Skovgaard wedges.


With some free time on Monday afternoon, I strolled through Soho and stopped at a few of my favorite places including Dean & Deluca and Le Pain Quotidien. I love Le Pain so much that I visited it three separate times during my stay, including an awesome lunch with Anna of D16 (where we discussed graphic design and Michael Jackson in great detail).


nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

Dean & Deluca.


nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

Le Pain Quotidien.


Oh, Amelia!


nubby new york birthday

Catching up with Amelia after our shoot.


It had been two years since I’d seen Amelia Arsenic but she happened to be visiting from London. On Tuesday, we commemorated the occasion than with a photo shoot with Lydia Hudgens around the edges of Soho.


On Top At Le Bain.


nubby new york birthday

On The Standard elevator with Bianca.


Once the clock struck 11, Bianca and I were on our way out the door towards On Top at Le Bain, a party that takes place every Tuesday on the rooftop of The Standard. I wore my sequined mouse ears a dress with peaked shoulders and red patent wedges while Bianca wore a white wig and matching dress.


nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

Dancing in the jacuzzi and swinging the night away.


Club kids reminiscent of those from 90s ruled the floor. Perhaps best of all, the center of the club featured not only a disco ball but also a jacuzzi and swing (!!!) We moved through the capacity crowd on the grass-covered rooftop, eating crepes and looking out over the Manhattan skyline.


nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

Lounging on the rooftop and the video playing in the elevator.


Turning 30 Isn’t Scary When You’re Surrounded By Friends.


nubby new york birthday

The interior of Bedlam resembles my living room.


On Wednesday, Joey arrived just in time for my 30th birthday. Every year, Gala and I throw a joint party since our birthdays are just a day apart (hers is the 13th and mine is the 14th). We wanted to keep the party simple and low-key and chose to have it at a great bar called Bedlam. Friends from Los Angeles, London and more showed up and we shared a shopping bag full of cupcakes. Gala looked beautiful in a Betsey Johnson dress (of course) and I wore a vintage Marimekko number. Out of all the parties we’ve thrown together, we agreed hands-down that this was our favorite. But trust me, there are too many photos and details to do it justice here! So, I’m saving it all for another post. Stay tuned!


Say Goodbye With A Dance Party!


nubby new york birthday

Match your drink to your sweater to your nails. Always.


On my last night in New York, I was tired. Well, that’s an understatement. Exhausted is more like it. Everyone hit the bars and clubs but me but I was determined to not be a total downer.


nubby new york birthday

Pick a hat and pose!


When Bianca and her husband Yaniv arrived home at 2 am, we turned the living room into a dance floor and shimmied the night away. It started out innocently enough when I realized that the Absolut Citron bottle matched my new neon sweater and quickly escalated into sliding around in a Viking helmet and sequin dress. Bianca and Yaniv stuck with the sombreros (no, I didn’t ask where their hat collection came from!)


nubby new york birthday

nubby new york birthday

What can I say? Yaniv is a great DJ.


Best living room dance party EVER. The only downside was that it ended at 3:30 and I had a 6:30 am wake-up call for a shoot with Gala. Oops.


One Last Collaboration.


nubby new york birthday


On Friday morning, I pulled myself together, grabbed my bag of outfits and caught a cab to Gala’s place bright and early. We had a joint shoot booked with Lydia and I wanted to make the most of it. We hit the East Village streets dressed in mouse ears and sequins to the delight of churchgoers and school children. What a morning! After the shoot, I arrived back on Wall Street, packed my bags and headed home with Joey once again. The week of nonstop fun and magical encounters had come to an end. This New York trip was everything I could have hoped for…and then some. Until next time!


10 Years Later


week in pictures

White ribbons tied to the gate of St. Paul’s Chapel, September 10, 2011


I don’t have anything remarkable to share about 9/11 and in a way, that’s a relief since almost all the stories attached to that date are incredibly tragic. I’d had just booked my ticket for my first ever trip to New York a few short weeks before September 11, 2001. I remember waking up at my dad’s house and turning on the TV around 6 am Pacific Time as I was getting ready for work. I was half-asleep and couldn’t quite believe what I was witnessing as I watched a plane fly directly into a building. I’d never been to New York but everyone knew what the World Trade Center was. On the West Coast, we all went to work as usual but even though we weren’t in New York, we knew that things had changed forever.



week in pictures


I was scared to go to New York in the weeks that followed but my ticket was non-refundable. I showed up the day before Halloween in 2001 and on my last day in the city, I took a cab to Ground Zero to see it with my own eyes. And, a month and a half after 9/11 had happened, I remember seeing gates still down over shuttered businesses with entrances coated in a thick ash. There were handwritten signs everywhere and everyone was still in a complete state of shock.



week in pictures


I woke up on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this morning, a mere four blocks from the World Trade Center and could hear faint sounds of the national anthem and church bells ringing out. Looking back, I’m glad that I made that trip. In close to 15 visits that have followed in those last ten years, I’ve made some of my best friends in this city. New Yorkers are a strong and resilient bunch.



week in pictures


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