I know it’s only rock and roll, but I like it!

May 28,2013

On Monday May 20th 2013 my boyfriend, Ron and I went and saw the Rolling Stones at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. When I heard tickets were going on sale a few weeks back I told Ron we needed to get online that morning and try for the cheap seats. This was a case of the cheap seats being $150! The good seats were $650! Ouch is right. No one ever said the Stones (and especially Mick) are not good businessmen. It’s a lot of dough, but since they said it was their last tour (and at their age, how can I not believe that) we got sucked in. We did end up getting two pairs of the um … Cheap Seats so we were able to ask a couple friends to join us.

Pre-show Prep

The Place was Packed!

The show was amazing! Yes, these guys are old, but man, that Mick Jagger did his famous dancey-prance-dance the entire two hours. He is mesmerizing to watch. The energy and charisma that he exudes is fascinating. Keith is amazing on guitar as usual and yes, he is the most weathered of the bunch, but his singing “Happy” and “Gotta walk before they make me run” were my favorites of the show. Ronnie Wood still seems the youngest and was running all over the stage and Charlie Watts … what can I say … that silver fox, holds the whole sound together! Sure, it was nice Mick Taylor was back and he did an amazing guitar solo, Bill Wyman should have been there and we always need to remember pretty boy Brian Jones, who wrote some of their best music back in the early days.

Jumbo-tron always a help


Ronnie Wood

When I first started listening to rock and roll, the Stones were part of quintessential rights of passage soundtrack for 13 year olds, along with Led Zep, The Who, The Beatles , etc. But funny enough it was The Who and The Stones that were the crossover bands when I later got into punk rock music in the early 80’s. The Who had the energy and the rip-it-to-shreds attitude. The Stones had the bad-boy-raw-dirty-sound on their early recordings but also on my favorite Stones album, Exile on Main Street.

Beatles or Stones? I have been known to ask this question. In fact, on first dates, I would often ask this question (Ron got the answer correct). It was a little bit of a test of personality and a little just for fun, because others were confused by the question. Was there a right answer? Not entirely. It’s kind of like the cats or dogs question …

Yes, I like them both but to me the Stones ARE rock and roll. Even in the 60’s the media asked “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?” Many parents said they would let their daughter marry a Beatle. The Stones are the dangerous ones, the bad boys and isn’t that rock n’ roll personified? The Beatles were singing, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” while the Stones were singing “Let’s spend the Night Together”. The Stones were always masters of marketing and they marketed quite well. They are the last ones standing as far as 60’s rock n’ roll bands, and frankly they did “Rip this Joint” up at the Staples Center Monday night. I got my “Satisfaction”!

Rockin' it


The Tongue Pit all Lit

Lovely Creatures of the Sea

April 22,2013

I recently visited the  The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for the first time. Even though I have mixed feelings about zoos and animals living in captivity, I can’t help but be fascinated by the beauty of the ocean and sea life. Seeing the animals playing made me so happy, I felt like a kid again.

The sea otter is so darn cute and amusing I could have watched him all day! The sea otter wears the heaviest fur coat in all of the animal kingdom. This has, sadly, made it an extensively hunted species in the past. The good news is … they have been protected in more recent years and remain on the endangered species list. They use rocks as tools to dislodge their prey and open shells, such a clever little character! They also help protect kelp forests from damage from over population of sea urchins (they eat them for lunch). We just added a new wallet case featuring a little sea otter by artist, Kelly Vivanco. Look at this adorable little guy holding his sea urchin lunch.

I absolutely love the penguins! Always so formal, they make me feel under dressed.

The jellyfish are so gorgeous and graceful and fun to watch (especially with glass between us). Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years (or more) which makes them the oldest multi-organ animal.


The sea lions love to chat!

The seahorse is so prehistoric and mystical looking to me. The male seahorse actually carries the eggs for the female. When he gives birth, his belly swells from contractions and he expels anywhere from 5 to 2,500 tiny seahorses, depending on his size! Geez! Freakishly fascinating creatures! He is then ready to mate again within hours with the next female seahorse that comes along, they are not a monogamous lot!

Speaking os sea life, I love this new painting by Caia Koopman. It depicts the endangered monk seal. Caia’s painting is part of a multi-artist print release done with PangeaSeed, a Japanese/Hawaiian marine life focused environmental organization. The prints are available here.

The Art of Saving Animals

November 7,2012

This season at Classic Hardware I collaborated with four talented artists and asked them to create an Endangered Creatures Collection.
Kelly Vivanco painted a touching series of bears. Bonni Reid created a wild series of big cats. Melissa Contreras did a lovely gouache series of baby animals from Africa and
Simon Sotelo did detailed etchings of winged creatures. We have the images available on our vanity cases, necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and some money clips and cufflinks, too.

The best part of the story is we have teamed up with the non-profit organization, Born Free USA. We are donating a portion of the proceeds from each sale to them. Their mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity and rescue individual animals in need as well as protect wildlife in their natural habitats. Here is Oliver the monkey having some fun at the Born Free primate sanctuary.

As some of you may recall, “Born Free” was an award winning movie in 1966 about an orphaned lion cub names Elsa based on a true story. Elsa was raised by George and Joy Adamson and then released back into the wild. Real-life husband and wife Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna played George and Joy in the film. There is a great PBS documentary about the movie that you can watch here

They became wildlife activists in the process and began Born Free in the UK along with their son William. Among the many great things they did for animals, was house the famous Christian the Lion, prior to him being released back into the wild of Africa. This video is an amazing account about Christian the Lion. It brings me to tears every time Christian recognizes his caretakers after a year in the wild!

We are very happy to begin our collaboration with this wonderful organization. Here is the Born Free USA press release.

And just to make sure we covered our bases, we ran it by Bugsy, the Classic Hardware studio cat, He gave it the paw of approval. We hope you will, too!

Caia Koopman’s New Art Show

June 25,2012

One of my favorite artists, Caia Koopman, recently had an opening in Los Angeles at Thinkspace Gallery. Thinkspace is an innovative gallery that shows the work of up & coming pop surrealists, lowbrow artists and beyond. They were previously located in Silver Lake but have really taken off since their move to gallery row in Culver City a few years ago.

I met Caia several years ago at Thinkspace and began collaborating with her, utilizing her gorgeous works on Classic Hardware jewelry and vanity cases. Caia has grown and really expanded as an artist since we first met. It was really fun to see her, she is super sweet and personable and exudes great enthusiasm about what she does. Her latest series, ‘Between Wind and Water’, is a new edgier direction for her. The work combines the themes of fairy tales and fantasies with elements of street art. In some of the pieces she has reduced her usual vibrant color palette to mysterious blues and haunting blood reds. The images border on creepy yet cool and are thought provoking, as always.

Me and Caia

Juxtapoz Magazine has done and interview with her here and Hi-Fructose did a studio visit recently as well check out the pics here

The other artist in the show, Sarah Joncas, is a Canadian artist, currently based out of Toronto.  Her style is painterly and detailed with themes that are dark and mysterious.

Caia, Me and Sarah

If you are in the LA area try to make it by before June 30th, if you are not, you can view it here. Enjoy the show!

Patchwork Indie Arts and Craft Festival

May 29,2012

This past weekend, Classic Hardware exhibited at Patchwork in Santa Ana. Patchwork is an independent arts and crafts fair created by Nicole Stevenson of Random Nicole and Delilah Snell of A Road Less Traveled They have been having these craft fairs for years and they have only gotten bigger and better.
This weekend was packed with great products, yummy food, good music and wonderful customers! The show is free to attend and is always a fun event. It happens every Spring (May) and Fall (November) and they have it at 3 locations – Long Beach CA, Santa Ana CA and Culver City CA.

The Culver City show is June 10th 2012 and will be held in the ever so cool, Helms Bakery District. The locations are great and it’s really nice to be a part of a growing independent marketplace with all USA and locally made products! Every show is unique as they are always bringing in new vendors. If you haven’t been to a Patchwork show yet this spring … here’s your last chance …

Are you Devo?

May 10,2012

This Friday, May 11th 2012, the band Devo will be performing at the Hollywood Park Racetrack. They are a band that is quite nostalgic to me on a couple of levels. I mean, they are the true trailblazers and weirdo genius of the new wave/punk scene of the 1970’s. I learned about them in my early teens and loved them when I myself was getting into new wave and punk but later found their commercial success annoying when I would go to high school and kids would laugh at my pink colored hair, Black Flag t-shirt and thrift store garb and say, “Are you Devo?”

According to Wikipedia, The name “Devo” comes from their concept of ‘de-evolution’ – the idea that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society. I guess defined here … we are all a bit Devo?

When I was 16, my best friend’s father was working on Toni Basil’s album, “Word of Mouth” with the famous song “Mickey“. The guys from Devo were her back up band and they were at my friends house all the time. Toni’s boyfriend was Spazz Attack. He is the spiky haired guy doing spastic flips in Devo’s video “Satisfaction”. Spazz was around a lot, too. We were fascinated by his flips and the stories that he would entertain us with. Once he had gotten pulled over by the cops and did his famous forward flip for them (landing flat on his back), and they let him go. He later went on to “Spazz” out on David Bowie’s 1987 Glass Spider Tour. A show I got to see with with Siouxsie And The Banshees as the opening act. Check out the videos they are very nostalgic for me and give a good glimpse of 80’s fashion and style. For better or worse!

Their song  “Mongoloid” (the first single) is still one of my favorite songs to dance to! You can’t beat the edgy driving build up on the guitar in the beginning of the track. Genius! Dorky Genius for sure!

Bonni Reid “Cartes de Visite” Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

January 31,2012

One of our favorite artists, and a great gal to have a cocktail with, Bonni Reid, is having an opening this Friday at our favorite gallery, La Luz de Jesus. If you haven’t been to one of their openings, they are well attended and lots of fun. La Luz is also located inside another gem, probably the best gift store in LA, (in my humble opinion) WACKO Soap Plant–it’s called a lot of names but we just call it fantastic fun! They sell everything from art books to jewelry (including Classic Hardware- ahem) to toys to amazing tchotchkes you won’t find anywhere else. The best place to buy a gift for yourself or someone special.
Click here
to see Bonni’s work with Classic Hardware.
A few of my favorite pieces from her upcoming show:


Cartes de Visite
February 3 – 26, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, February 3rd; 8-11 PM

Cartes de Visite: Noun, French. 1. Small photographs, traditionally mounted on card stock, for mailing and trading purposes.
Used during the Victorian era.

“Having a professional career in creating Saturday morning cartoons, I wanted to break from this candy-coated world in order to depict another side of childhood, one that is much darker, haunting or just plain weird — to evoke a time before we child-proofed everything. By utilizing old photographs of family, friends and found images, this collection portrays the alter ego that resides in all of us —
the real inner child which isn’t always what we as adults want it to be.” – Bonni Reid

Bonni Reid lives in the West End of Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work has appeared in various galleries throughout North America. Aside from brewing her own visual concoctions, she is an illustrator, graphic designer and an animation colour designer.

Contact the Gallery Director for availability and purchase info: (323) 666-7667