Friday, May 30, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Jack, Pat, and Mike O'Neill demonstrating the Supersuit, 1970s
Aug. 2007 ed. of San Francisco magazine

Our landlord sent us this cool article about the O'Neills, the local Santa Cruz family who helped shape cold water surfing with their invention and perfection of the wetsuit. But did you know his son also invented the leash? It's their company motto that makes me grin. Read on...

Back in the 1950's, the frigid waters of the northern Pacific kept "Nor Cal" surfing in the hands of just a few ardent enthusiasts. Swimmers were constantly devising schemes that would allow them to stay in for more than a few minutes. One man coated his U.S. Navy jumpsuit in Thompson's Water Seal, which created an oil slick behind him each time he paddled out to the break. But perhaps no one had as big an impact on the scene as Jack O'Neill, who in 1952 opened the Surf Shop at 3518 Wawona Street, near his favorite bodysurfing break. He's pictured here with his two sons, Pat and Mike, in the Supersuit.

A technical innovator in the best Bay Area tradition, O'Neill would ransack army and navy surplus stores for WWII frogman suits. One of his first contraptions consisted of pieces of unicellular plastic under bathing suits. After he incorporated neoprene, a successful wetsuit business followed. "It's always summer on the inside," he'd say as surfers flocked to buy his warmth-retaining suits.

O'Neill closed the San Francisco store in 1959 and moved his company to Santa Cruz, but he and his progeny kept on innovating. His son Pat invented the surf leash, which keeps the surfboard attached to its rider in a wipeout. Other O'Neill ideas included surf booties and board bags, which protect the boards from rough luggage handlers as surfers roam the world in pursuit of the endless summer. The Supersuit in this photograph, taken in the mid 1970s at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, was inflatable, so the wearer could bob in the ocean for as long as 24 hours. "Just lay your head back and go to sleep," O'Neill says. (The company still makes a version for Navy SEALs.) A recent invention is the Animal Suit, which was modeled after armadillo skin and designed for extreme surfing conditions.

O'Neill is 84 and still serves as the chairman of his company, but he also finds time to bodysurf. O'Neill, Inc., remains based in Santa Cruz and employs 500 people worldwide who are apt to hit the water when the swells begin to roll. "We have a saying at the company: as long as you get your work done, surf," says Pat, who at 54 is now O'Neill's president and CEO.

back of the photo reads:
Jamie - Surf Diva, June 2001
Tourmaline Beach, San Diego

This is me in my first wetsuit, which no longer fits by the way (I'm saving it for you Mo). I was so happy because I had driven all the way to San Diego to visit my Grandma and attend Surf Diva school in La Jolla. No snickering, guys! It was one of the happiest weekends of my life. My Surf Diva teacher taught me two very important things that I'll never forget. (1) The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun and (2) Think of the Beastie Boys' lyrics, "Slow and low that is the tempo". She meant that when you stand up, keep it low and easy. Don't be standing up straight, wobbling and sticking your behind out.

So the following day, I had made plans to meet a friend at their home in San Diego, and she and her husband Peter and their Vizsla dog Henry, took me to Tourmaline beach where Peter and I surfed. Dana took this photo of me when I got out of the water and mailed it to me soon after.

Do you guys want to know a little secret? The friend was one of the sweetest dynamo women I've yet to meet. Her full name is Dana Perino, the current White House Press Secretary. I met her when I worked at a VC firm, Sevin Rosen Funds. She was part of the PR team and I just loved her. We haven't keep in touch however, and finding out about her new job was a wonderful surprise. She really went places didn't she?! Good job, Dana. My hat's off to you.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

PineappleLuv's first giveaway!

Good morning! I'm so excited to have the first giveaway on PineappleLuv. I made sets of cards for Open Studios earlier this month. And I never told you how that went. Well, it was really slow this year, so there wasn't a lot to tell. But while I was there I thought, if there are any of these card packs left, I would love to give one away on the old blog!

It's a set of 6 cards and envelopes (size 4x6) with my original artwork printed on them, on linen paper. They would be perfect for sending a sweet note to a friend or relative.

All you have to do is leave a comment, and someone at the Watson household will draw the name out of a hat on Monday night. I will announce the winner on Tuesday morning, June 3.

Even if you've never left a comment, come on and participate! Even if you're a close friend or relative, yes! Even if you're a guy, you could give them to a lady friend. Or impress a lady friend by writing her a note!

Hope you all have a fun day. xoxo

Friday, May 23, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Mark your calendars on June 20, 2008. Why? Because that's International Surfing Day! It's a day created by both Surfing Magazine and Surfrider Foundation, to promote surfing and clean, healthy beaches all around the globe.

Everyone is encouraged to catch a wave that day and then clean up the beach before heading to get tacos! I will be taking that day off and heading to the beach with Mr. Watson, which I will document for the June 27 ed. of Surf Fridays!

Are there any people out there who've always wanted to surf but just keep putting it off? "Oh I'll learn someday". Well those people (Jeff N.) might want to take that day off too. Or start acting like a hard core surfer and call in sick. Just kidding.

Now here is a fifteen year old surfer from Hawaii. Her name is Carissa Moore and she's won eleven national titles. She started learning how to surf when she was only four. Here is a little more info about her from Surf Like a Girl:

Why I surf: I surf because it is a really good challenge and it is a really good way to spend time with my family. Overall, I surf because I absolutely love it. I love everything about it: the water, riding the waves, paddling, the sun. I love surfing because it is the only sport that [lets you] travel all over the world and surf in beautiful places.
What I've done to make the world a more environmentally friendly place: I try to pick up some trash each time I go to the beach, I also have some contests on my website to try to get people to pitch in and clean up. We also have a worm farm!
Advice for people to live "green": Take care of the land and in return the land will take care of you.
Words to live by: Go big or go home.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A few of my favorite things

honeysuckle from the garden, planted this time last year

rainbow bracelet from one of those cheap accessories stores

little bird vase ~ a wedding gift from Jessica Mendels

kai perfume
my absolute favorite scent ~ evokes tropical feelings

Friday, May 16, 2008

Surf Fridays!

We're having our first heat wave of the year in Northern California, and it's been too hot to blog. I had a very special visit with my Grandma and my Aunt this week. I have a feeling the next Interview Wednesdays will be about my Grandma. I hope everyone out there is happy that the weekend is here and that you'll have many smiles on your faces today.

Last week's Surf Friday's showed the home of surfer and artist Alex Knost. He's the one who had that cool bachelor pad with C.J. Nelson. Well lo and behold I found the most beautiful clip of Alex surfing. It's from a movie, called Lines from a Poem. The movie description says, "Lines from a Poem is a document about an overlooked and under appreciated niche of the surfing experience: classical waveriding using traditional equipment".

The gorgeous song that goes with it is called Shelter & the Sea and is the perfect accompaniment. It's just what I needed in this heatwave. Hope it goes well with your day, too. Over and out...xoxo

Friday, May 09, 2008

Surf Fridays!

This edition of Surf Fridays! is all about real surf style, when it comes to the home. I subscribe to C Magazine (which is all about California) and was ecstatic to find this awesome section called New Wave Surf Shacks. The intro reads: For a style-minded set of surfers living on the coast from San Diego to Ventura, a deep passion for riding waves spills over into the way they live. Produced and photographed by Todd Saunders, a dude who learned to surf in Half Moon Bay and now directs surf and beach culture TV.

Make sure you click on the photos to make them larger.

Robin Kegal has a super minimalistic style but obviously has an eye for really cool beautiful things. Notice the blue vase and green bowl and rainbow cup on his kitchen counters.

Look at the cool dudes, C.J. Nelson and Alex Knost. I like their style and the fact that Knost is an artist. It's definitely a bachelor pad, notice the collection of vintage Playboy covers in their living room.

My dream home is just like Randy Hild's (the guy putting his surfboard away in that cool quiver contraption under his house). He's an EVP of Marketing at Quicksilver and he has decorated his home so gorgeously.

And in the last set of photos, check out the many endless details and fascinating art in Steve Bojorquez's home. He had to stop surfing due to bad shoulders, but has transferred that passion into his music and his found-art installations. Wow, dude. Notice the pink Trophy Queen bag that must belong to his girlfriend. Can anyone find it? As the owner of one of Jenny's bags, I highly recommend them to all the hipster ladies out there.

And for those of you who like more of a clean, laid back style with a touch of surf meets Pottery Barn and that San Francisco design-y vibe thrown in, check out the cool compositions that sfgirlbybay put together. Thanks to Ana for sending that my way.

Have a great weekend everyone! xoxo

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Interview Wednesdays: Jaden Nichols

I happen to know a young boy who turned five years old today. I've been fortunate to know him since the day he was born. His name is Jaden Nichols.

We dropped by his home this evening and when Jay and I came to the door, Jaden greeted us so politely. "Thank you for coming on my birthday", he said. He invited us to stay and eat homemade sliders with the family, and to stay for presents, strawberry chiffon cake and a game of street hockey - which turned out to be one of his gifts. During dinner I asked Jaden and his parents if I could interview him and they all said sure! Now try to imagine a sweet little voice when you read Jaden's answers...

Jamie: Jaden, does it feel different to be five, than it did when you were four?

Jaden: It feels different because I'm going to a different school and I have a different teacher.

Jamie: Do you feel older?

Jaden: I do feel older, yeah.

Jamie: How does it feel to be older?

Jaden: It feels better. It just feels good because when other people in school are five, like Nathaniel and Murphy, they thought that when I turned five they'd be six, but they're still five!

Jamie: What is your favorite thing about being you?

Jaden: That I'm alive and that I have a Mom and a Dad.

Jamie: What's your favorite toy?

Jaden: Spiderman and Batman. (Mom mentions that she's surprised and Jay wonders if he might have a different favorite toy tomorrow). Jaden says it might be Speed Racer tomorrow.

Jamie: Do you know any words in a different language?

Jaden: I do! Gesundheit and...(Momma helps and asks, "What do we say when I drop you off at school")? Jaden smiles and says, Au revoir.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Silicon Valley Open Studios 2008

new work

After work each day I've been going to my studio in Redwood City to work on new prints. The annual SVOS is fast approaching (tomorrow & Sunday!) and I don't feel as ready as I would have liked to by this time. But I'm still looking forward to it. I placed my first Moo card order and love how they turned out. I really wanted to order greeting cards on watercolor paper from WHCC, but I ran out of time. I'll have those ready in June for my new Etsy shop (me jumping in the air - woohoo!) More on that to come.

At my last show in December, I had a couple of visitors ask me how to frame my prints. Can they just go to the store and buy a frame? Well my original prints are not in the typical ready made frame sizes. So in the future, I am going to consider cutting down the paper to a ready made size, and for reproduction prints, for sure.

Last night, I went to a local frame shop and bought a few frames. I then took some of my existing prints and cut down the paper just a bit to make them fit. I'll display these at the show, to give people an idea of how they can look in their home. You know the saying, 'the cobbler's son has no shoes'? I don't have anything of mine framed in my own home (silly I know), so I was excited to see them this way. Also I'm a little surprised but I am really liking white frames. Boy I'm really rambling on aren't I! Must be that Dominican coffee I brought home.

One more exciting thing is that Mr. Jay Watson has made some really gorgeous large prints of some of his newest work, because he will be participating in Open Studios too! He's borrowing space from another artist in our studio, who is out of town.

We'll be there from 11am - 5pm both Saturday and Sunday. If you're local, come on by! (Click on the above studio link for map). My Mom is baking her famous chocolate chip cookies again.

I'll post photos of the event next week! xoxo

Surf Fridays!

Happy Friday! I was all set to post about some modern California surf shacks that surfers are styling down in SoCal. But I needed a serious shot of adrenalin. Next week we'll get some style. Today, a jolt to go with your coffee.

Is Laird fearless?

“No, I don't think Laird is fearless at all. I think that's what's so interesting about Laird and athletes like Laird," says his wife, Reece. "They are just as afraid, but they deal with it differently -- because if they didn't have fear, I don't think they'd be as good as they are.”

Hamilton considers "a big wave" a wall of water up to 70 feet high, the equivalent of a seven-story building. And these are the waves he lives for.

“It would be, like, if all of a sudden you saw a block of buildings come alive, and it decides that it's going to start falling towards you -- and you have to know where to go to get away from it,” says Hamilton. “If you're up on top of it, you have to know how to get down it and get away from it.”

What he’s describing may seem like a nightmare to some. “Some people seek nightmares out,” says Hamilton. “I mean, scary movies are popular.”

Does Hamilton understand why he needs this danger in his life?

“Probably not. I know that if I scare myself once a day, I'm a better person. And I think everybody would be. I think it's part of actually existing," says Hamilton.

"I think that we've gone so far away from that physical fear. A dinosaur was chasing you in pre-historic times and wanting to eat you. I think we need some fear.”

Why does he continue to do it?

“I really just love it. I think it's one of the few times in my life that I feel totally complete, like, this is why I'm here,” says Hamilton. “When I'm out there and I'm doing it, I don't have any doubts or any questions. I'm living it, and that's it.”

Surf movie tip:

I highly recommend renting the movie Riding Giants. Not only is Laird Hamilton featured, it's got great stories and photos from the 1950's bad boy of surfing, Greg Noll. And for you NorCal dwellers, the film wouldn't be complete without Mavericks. Directed by former skater Stacy Peralta, who previously directed Dogtown and Z-Boys.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jamie's April favorites

April blew by so fast and hard, that I wasn't sure I'd have many favorites. I'm happy to realize that I did. I'm still glad it's May though.

1. Going to a Warriors game with Jay, sharing an $11 beer, and running all the way to the back of the parking lot before anyone else (thanks to Big Cool's advice)
2. Donating art to Habilitat
3. The beach and the smiles in the Dominican Republic
4. Getting picked up at the airport by Jay and Devo
5. Having our house cleaned (a heavenly treat from Mom)
6. Making this green drink (surprisingly delicious)
7. Preparing for Open Studios
8. Mom's new strawberry cake
9. Rock of Love finale
10. Kimberly's baby shower
11. Discovering the larb gai at Sirayvah Organic Thai
12. Watching Karate Kid on TV
13. Jay in the kitchen, doing the musical and physical imitation of Punched
14. Googly Eyes Gardner with Christopher Walken
15. Sharing a Godfather deli sandwich with Jay, then listening to the Transplant Song
16. Meeting Abraham
17. Jay handing me a shot of whiskey in the shower

Happy May!