One Month to Go!

Match 23 the entire collection will be revealed. stay tuned!!

Le Chien is March 22. March 23 the entire collection will be revealed. Stay tuned!!

Tomorrow we will be showing a preview of items to be revealed at Le Chien, along with our project with AHVMF, at the Oscar’s gifting suite!

It has been one of the most difficult times of my life. My mother fell and had to have surgery. She was under the knife when I was flying home. As the plane landed, I didn’t know if she was dead or alive. She pulled through both surgery and recovery with flying colors. That was followed by some rather debilitating business issues. One day I will talk about all of that. For two months, I barely ate and barely slept. The thing that kept me going, the thing that kept me in an aesthetic universe, above all the drama, was creating magnificent little works of art while making plans to change the world.

I’m a writer. There is a guy named Joseph Campbell. He who wrote a book, “The Hero’s Journey”. It tracks the stages a hero goes through as he gains the strength to slay his dragons and reap the rewards. Around the end of act two, he enters the inmost cave where he comes face to face with all that is holding him back. I spent January in that cave. It was harsh. I think I aged ten years! But I came out with no hesitation. No fear. No weakness. Pure intent.

I’m here to live my artistry; to make my voice heard, to bring empathy and understanding to all places of loneliness, to make people smile, laugh, think. To live my dream out loud. MY dream, specific to my talents. I have always been a square peg that has never fully fit in a round hole, and who has never completely had the balls to carve out my own place. I do now. I’m carving as we speak.

Some wonderful people are taking the journey with me. Tomorrow we will begin our promotional drive at the Oscar’s gifting suite. Victoria Burrows, Hollywood casting director and owner of Starpaws Rescue, is bringing a sweet little white chihuahua rescue named Daisy.  Laura Nativo of “The Home & Family Show” is bringing the fabulous Preston Casanova and his mini piano. And my dear friend, Julia, is bringing the darlingly sassy Miss Coco Puffz. Petbox donated 50 swag bags. Sylva Kelegian contributed 50 copies of her book, “God Spelled Backwards”, which is presently over at Oprah and Ellen Degeneres’ company right now.  Stay tuned for pictures and big announcements!

xoxo
LOLA

 

 

Week #19: How do You Stand Out in a Sea of Millions?

Technology has made it possible to build your own dream without the need of your industry’s gate-keepers giving you the key.

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If you are a musician there is software available for you to record your own album. If you are a writer, there are platforms where you can self-publish. If you want to sell something there are templates and hosting sites where you can open up your own store. As the younger generations grab hold of all of this, we will have a new world of creators and pioneers. But it creates a new problem. How do you stand out from all the millions of other people doing the same thing?

I get dozens of emails daily from people promising me a better website with SEO that will take me to the top of the search engines. And then there is adwords, which I see as a total waste of money except in a few rare instances.  I think the whole social media thing is a farce. I see people post the same thing every day to the same people. Unless a celeb or opinion leader in your field picks it up and endorses your product / service / event, your posts simply float around is a silent sea. People collect followers and likes as if they actually mean something, and they spend a lot of time doing this! I follow and like a lot of pages, and I never go to look at any of them. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

So what succeeds? Lots of people think you gotta have a gimmick.  Gimmicks can work if it is a really good gimmick, but for me, authenticity is the thing that will make you shine, especially in a world lacking in authenticity. I had an acting teacher say that tenacity will always win. I personally love tenacity, as long as it is a tenacity to create instead of a tenacity to destroy. With tenacity, talent grows, skills are gained, connections develop, wisdom sprouts. It is a process, a very special forward motion. It’s active. It involves choices and new roads to follow, and seeing your failures as steps toward victory instead of bitter defeats. You act as a warrior in your own life.

Another important thing is to be true to who you are and know specifically what you do. The only thing that makes you different from the other guy is you, so don’t try to be someone else. I had a writing teacher who would say that you have to write what you want to write, what you are passionate about. Maybe you will be lucky and it will be what the world wants to read-see-touch, and maybe it won’t. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a niche market somewhere for what you do. Find your niche market and become valuable to it! If you write historical drama, you probably will have a tough time getting a screenplay made into as movie, but you can easily dominate the market of that niche in the self-publishing field.

So what do I do? I do a lot of things. I used to fear that was my fatal flaw, but I’m starting to see that maybe it is the thing that makes me uniquely me. The place that I have failed has been in my use of power. I have given mine away a lot, mostly out of fear — fear that I wasn’t enough, fear that I was too much, fear that I didn’t want to do it alone, fear of some invisible reprisal. That last part was extremely real and extremely vague. I’m a big believer that we are all shaped by the lives we lived before this one, so my guess is it stems from something back there. It doesn’t matter. I no longer give it any power.  Again, the word power. It really is at the core of everything, the engine of life, so it is important to look at how you greet it, manage it, honor it, use or abuse it…

I think it is good to think about these sorts of things from time to time, so you understand your own journey, and so you can frame it to be one that you love. Really I wrote this for me, but if it helps anyone else, that’s good too.

xoxo
LOLA

Week #18: A little late, but Happy New Year!

We had a bit of a family emergency over the holidays. My mom fell and had to have surgery. I filled my suitcases with sewing stuff and headed home immediately.

I was so scared. She is old, and she has terrible allergies to everything. There was concern as to whether she would be okay with the anesthesia. While I was on the plane flying home, she was in surgery. I didn’t know if, when the plane landed and I turned on my phone, if I would have a terrible message waiting for me. Luckily I didn’t. She is doing great. I stayed for an extra month to take care of her.

But, with all that going on, I missed posting my New Years resolutions!

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 I’m one of those people who love New Year’s resolutions. I love the start of any new journey. I love defining the path I want to take. So this year something cool happened. A Facebook friend of mine asked her friends what their theme was for the new year.  What a perfect way of looking at it! I’m a writer, and I know the power connecting to your theme brings to the work. It’s the first thing I do when I’m starting something — I narrow down the theme of the piece.  So why not narrow down the theme of one’s future year? What a wonderful way to harness your energy and intent!

For me, one word came to mind. POWER.  CONNECTING to POWER.

If you want to do great things, you have to connect to power. The failures of my life have taught me that. They also taught me to not give away my power, and they taught me the length and breadth of that power.  But, what is this thing called power? Is it talent? It can be, if the world recognizes you for it. Is it people with money? I thought that. Money certainly does make things possible. But people with money can be insanely power-hungry, and that is an ugly debilitating form of power.

The power I want comes from two places.  One place is from within. The other place is through connections. 2015 will honor both.  A friend of mine wrote this as how he sees this sharing of power:

“There is a circle of divine truth and love, and that is the source of all good things. It has tremendous power. But none in the circle care about the power, it’s just something innate in the truth and love. Unleashed, they drive all Life, creation and growth. They are healing, health.”

I’m an artist, and artists do what they do to make the world a better place. But you can’t do it in a vacuum. It happens with connection and love. That is really what power is. The word’s derivation is “to be able.” I feel very able right now.

Cheers to 2015!  8 more weeks to Le Chien! I’M SO EXCITED!!

xoxo
Lola

Week #12 — My Mission is Defined!

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Life is like a puzzle. As you find the pieces to your puzzle and fit them together, the picture they are telling starts to become clear. You know who you are and why you are here. I have been slowly putting the pieces to my puzzle together for some time now.

I have four or five big chunks neatly formed on the table. But they don’t fully revealed the over all picture! It’s been frustrating, but I keep working with the pieces, finding more pieces on the table.  In the last month I have found a chunk of pieces that are helping me put some big chunks together!

It’s a complex puzzle with a lot of pieces. There’s the ones that want to survive — pay rent, pay bills, have a car, have proper dental care. Then there are the pieces that love to make beautiful things. The pieces that want to love and have fun. The pieces that want to have beautiful things. The pieces that deal with nasty obstacles and isolating fears. Then there are the pieces that connect with the problems of our world, empathizing with a zillion different things and splattering against the horizon.

We had a photo shoot on Sunday for a video we are making for The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation. The foundation president, a dear friend of mine who I have known for over 20 years, has introduced me to a renowned photographer. I told her my dream and she said, “have you been spying on my list of things I hope to do?” We shared a bunch of ideas. I read her artist statement. That inspired me to re-look at my mission as an artist. I’m both a writer and a visual artist, and I want to do both. I want to connect them together. This is where my life has lead me. Here is what I wrote for my mission. It will probably change as more pieces come to light, but I like how it is harmonically coming together.

I’m using the power of art and entertainment to inspire a more empathetic world.

The plan is to make incredible works of art, get them in front of large audiences and promote generosity of feeling while celebrating the power of the human spirit. Words, fabric and feeling are my medium.  Dogs are my muse.

I began on this road when I rescued my two dogs. I saw how many gorgeous dogs are put to sleep daily. Look in the eyes of a dog. Connect with the life behind those eyes. You will find it hard to justify killing them off just because of a shortage of storage space.

The problem isn’t the nature of man. It’s that we have become so busy. No one has the time to really look! Our society is so polarized right now. We are hypnotized by our cell phones. Speed has taken control. Computers are isolating us, trapping us inside of our big box houses. Technology has changed the way we communicate. We are beginning to treat our fellow humans with the same lack of empathy that we offer these wonderful dogs!

Dogs offer society the loyalty, love, companionship and compassion that our tech-driven world is taking from us. What better vehicle to help get some of that back than anthropomorphized dogs promoting causes?  The ones we kill, inspiring us to be better people. I like the synchronicity.

If you want to see the fruits of this, look for our Kickstarter page in the beginning of the new year. I will also be showing a collection of my work at Le Chien: Fashion Week El Paseo 2015, to benefit the Desert Humane Society.

xoxo
LOLA

Week #11 — Happy Holiday!

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Three dogs in Christmas bows, rescues rehomed during our saving 70 dogs campaign.

What an amazing week! My BF and I cooked a fantastic Thanksgiving feast, we got to be part of Cause For Paws, and I have the best clients in the whole world! My clients are my friends. How cool is that? I think it is what happens when commerce is driven by a cause. And of course when you offer great value.

Have you ever heard of the Pioneer woman?  She has a TV show on the food network and a fantastic cooking blog.  She guided us through the turkey and all of the side dishes, with no flubs! I think my favorite item was the turkey, because it was so juicy! But the best thing about the meal was when everyone said what they were thankful for.  That is what this holiday season is about. It’s been turned into a commercial mess, but really it’s about love, gratitude, generosity, kindness — the beauty of humanity, not the ugliness.

One thing I am thankful for this year is Cause For Paws, an all-star dog spectacular that aired on Thanksgiving night. We got to play a small part in the show, and I enjoyed every second of it. This kind of network attention to the fate of lost and forgotten dogs is exactly what is needed.  I am so proud to be a part of this cause. My March show will continue to pay it forward.  The dog models come with great personality and accomplishments.  Some are rescues with tales of survival.  Some are therapy dogs, some are service dogs.  And some will be dogs hoping to find their forever home.  The fabrics are bought.  The costumes are designed.  There is a lot of work still to be done, but, with all the wonderful and powerful connections that I am making, this promises to be a very effective rescue event.

That is pretty much it. Christmas is a blink away. I have a Pupscout photo shoot, a bunch of outfits to finish for  my clients, then I’m flying off to see the family!  My guess is that I might not get back to this until I return from PA, since the family doesn’t believe in the internet, so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

xoxo
Lola
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Week #10: Power

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power (n.) c.1300: the ability to act or do. Strength, vigor, might. From Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, to be able.

This makes power the essence of life. And you know what fuels it?  Integrity! Well that is what I think. And you know what shines the crest of your integrity? The problems of life. These become tests, opportunities to do the right thing and feel the surge of energy, the confidence and certainty, that comes from that. Or do the wrong thing and learn what a choice for the greater good might have been.  It allows you to grow, to become bigger, to become wiser.

Do you know what other word has the derivation, “to be able”?  MAGIC!  Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12 will be bringing a little bit of both to you this February when they host their Furbulous Fantastical Oscar Viewing Party Red Carpet Event!

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WHEN:
February 22, 2015

WHERE:
We needed a bigger venue with a bigger TV! We have a tentative place, an amazing wonderful place,but I don’t want to announce it until it is finalized.

WHY:
To Benefit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
http://www.ahvmf.org/

Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12  will be hosting the event.  The Pupscouts.org are a national organization of fashionesta dogs who like to earn badges and help their community. This will be an Oscar viewing party and red carpet event, with a 1920’s restaurant style fashion show that all attendees can participate in.

The fashion show part of the evening will preview a small grouping of items that I have created for a show that I will be doing March 22 in Palm Springs: Le Chien: Fashion Week El Paseo 2015 to benefit the Desert Humane Society. But any dog who comes dressed can be a part of the moment.

I am an artist. I used to design human clothes for Albert Nipon and Christian Dior. I left that world for adventures in Hollywood, where I eventually became a writer. I first returned to my fashion roots to help save rescue dogs. That has expanded into helping a variety of both dog and human causes.  Dogs offer society the loyalty, love, and compassion that our internet-driven world is slowly draining from us. What better vehicle to help get some of that back than adorable dogs in dresses promoting causes?  That is my mission, and my Pupscout troop is helping me to accomplish it.

The Pupscouts will also be posting their very own Kickstarter page in conjunction with the event to raise money for AHVMF, so stay tuned for that! Woofie and Bear,  with the help of the Darling Miss Coco Puffz, stole my computer! They then rallied the troop, and they are making something quite fabulous! Or should I say furbulous?  Look out, world, these dogs are getting it done!

xoxo
LOLA

 

Week #9: Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12

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I am now the leader of Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12!  In 2015 Pupscouts.org are going to explode upon the scene. Because have learned how to deal with a BULLY!

The Pupscouts.org is a national organization of socially responsible dogs and their people who like to earn badges and raise money for causes. They began in New York City with a group of prominent fashionesta dogs.  The organization gained national attention when they appeared on Good Morning America.  Nightline followed, then National Geographic’s “Spoiled Rotten Pets”. We are part of this organization, started by Susan Godwin.

This group has been plagued for the past year by a BULLY! It began when a small faction splintered off of Susan’s group and started their own group. Both groups had applications in with the US trademark office for exclusive rights to the name. Some time around March or May the ruling came down: the trademark was not available because it was too close to a trademark already granted to the Dog Scouts. No one had exclusive rights; both groups could continue on. Those are the facts as dictated by US law.

You would think that would be the end of it.  But no.  Despite the law, this bully continued to claim ownership! She claimed on her websites that she won the trademark! She telephoned the other group’s new members and told them that she was the pupscouts, that she owned the trademark, and that they needed to pay her; they needed to order their uniforms through her. She called media outlets that wanted to do stories on the original pupscouts and she told them that we were fakes, infringing on her rights! She threatened law suits at every turn. She got Pupscouts.org’s web store taken down, saying that we were infringing on her trademark (a store that has since been restored with grand apologies.) And possibly her boldest move — she stole the logo of the original group and used it, calling it hers! This is a logo that Susan paid an artist to make and she owns the copyright on it! I mean seriously, how many colors can crazy have?

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These are some postcards from a website I made when the soldiers were returning as a place where people could share their gratitude and where soldiers could share their feelings. Click on the picture. It is linked to the site.

I once wrote a character in a comedy script that had this same sort of delusional will.  She was a hoot. The screenplay won several awards. But I can tell you, in real life, it is not so funny. This bully posted heinous comments, disparaging Pupscouts.org, its leaders and its members. It was very unpleasant for all of us, but we have moved beyond it! You can’t fight crazy, you just can’t.

So, what will be the key to my making troop #12 a big success?  We are so diverse. We come from so many different backgrounds, age groups, lifestyles! Some have celebrity diva pups that they want to promote.  Some are retirees who just want to socialize. Some want to change the world! How do you get all that to hang together as one? I think the answer is a common cause. If I am going to successfully lead Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12 to greatness, I need a central mission, and it needs to be something that I am passionate about.  I am the pupscout mentioned above who wants to change the world.

I’m an artist.  That is what artists do. I’d fallen off-track with that for a while. Then 911 hit. After that second plane hit, I got this empty feeling.  At the time I was a writer, writing silly screenplays for entertainment with the goal of scoring a huge financial payout. Over time that has evolved to where the driving force in all my art is philanthropic.

So here is how I see Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12. We are donation dogs — dogs in uniform, making the world a better place. And what better way to do that than through the loyalty, love and joy that dogs bring us. My personal causes are #FashionSavingDogs (check out my website, World-of-Dog.com for more on that), my Kindness Campaign (see week #8 blog for more on that), helping our returning soldiers (click on the picture above), and raising money for Alzheimer’s disease. My dad died from that. He died one day at a time. I remember the day he realized that was the case. It is a devastating disease.

I will devise a plan for Pupscout Hollywood Troop #12 where our 2015 activities forward each one of these causes.  Stay tuned!

xoxo
Lola

 

Week #8: Taking the Struggle out of ‘Struggling Artist’

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I’ve worn the label ‘struggling artist’ as a badge. It’s time to remove the struggle. I hung out with friends last weekend. They inspired me to make these changes. These friends live smartly, they do lots of fun things and they have a great life. My life is like the ingredients list to a recipe sitting there waiting to be put together.

I remember a long time ago, in a conversation on good money management, someone said that a person should have five sources of income. That way, if one dries up, you have the others. I want money. I need a new car. I need some crowns on my teeth replaced. I need new shoes! (a girl always needs new shoes ;) ) And, with money comes power. My heart is in my philanthropic works and various change-the-world activities, but you need to connect with some form of power to make things like that happen. It’s time for me to get organized. I am going to have five sources of income.

I presently have two. I make the Pupscout uniforms and I make custom made dog party clothes. I’m going to add three more sources of income to that. I just got two new clients this week and both ordered sports-themed dresses. They are half-way done and I absolutely love them! what a great way to have fun with your life and your dog. So I’m going to promote a little “watching sports with daddy” grouping.  Then maybe some custom made “baby with matching doggie”? Custom made Mommy and Doggie costumes? A Mommy item that matches doggie?

No. I think the next two sources of income need to be outside of the doggie world. I’m still thinking of #5, but #4 takes me back to my roots.  I have begun a rewrite on a middle grade novel that I wrote a while back. It’s a fantasy adventure about a shy bullied boy and his struggle to find his own power.  He falls into the world of a book. It’s a magical book that fell off of the shelf in the library, that possibly was ‘pushed’ off that shelf by his father, a fireman who died before the boy, Peter, was born. Peter falls and lands under the dining table of a 15th century sailing ship, where he hooks up with Ponce de Leon. In his journey to find his way home, he travels through virgin lands and tarnished waste. He meets conquistadors, lion tamers and hippies. He visits the distinctive culture of the Tribe of the Female Chief. This was an Indian tribe that was often mentioned in English and Spanish documents for two hundred years before it mysteriously vanished. It’s a magical fantasy, an epic tale, all steeped in layers of historical fact.

Then there is my kindness campaign, which, beyond this video that has just over 100 views, has gone nowhere. This could somehow lead me to my fifth source of income, right?

Kindness Campaign video:

Another possible fifth source of income is a TV series that I wrote. It’s initial title was Levels of Intelligence, and it asks the question, which is better, a plugged or unplugged world? In all its rewrites it has gone off the rails and needs to be pulled back to its center.

Then I’ve got my March show. I can make something the people will wear and sell that.  I could somehow hook that up with my kindness campaign that I am dying to make happen.  I could build an amazing logo for that and integrate it with my show.

And I just became leader of Pupscouts Hollywood Troop #12. Could that be my fifth source? Doing big things with them will bring me contacts that will help everything else. Hmmmmm… thisnhas me very inspired!  I’ll keep you posted.

xoxo

Lola

 

Week #7: A Tribute to Bella Pomeranian

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A shining light went out last night when Bella Pomeranian, one of our celebrity models, suddenly crossed the bridge.

Bella was sassy, darling, powerful, and a pure delight. She found the spotlight when she became the 1-800 petmeds.com dog, and she used her power wisely.  She spread kindness in every picture that her mommy & Daddy posted.  She was the pom rescue ambassador, helping to re-home so many poms in peril. She helped her mommy make blankets of love to further help lost and forgotten dogs.
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Bella charmed us through the love she shared for Teddi B Kori. She recently travelled to Canada for a week of wedding and honeymoon festivities. Their wedding album, as well as their love letters were the finest example of kindness and friendship.  I looked forward to each day’s simple accounting of their days.  It took me back to simpler time, a time when letter writing was an art. Bella and Teddi reminded me of the kindness that our high-speed world is forgetting.

1937484_814546305252445_1655259739652858595_nAnd then there was Bella’s tenth birthday party!  On August 30th, fifteen doggies and their parents joined together at Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant, PUMP, in West Hollywood, for the grandest of soirees! The food, the wine, the company! It was the event of the season, and Miss Bella was the most gracious of hostesses.  These wonderful events that Bella, her Mommy and her Daddy shared with us burned her memory on my heart, and I thank them for that.

A while back I read a story about a little boy who lost his beloved best friend. The family was heartbroken, but the boy took it pretty well.  He had a great understanding of his doggie pal.  When asked why he was so calm, he said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”  The six-year-old continued,  “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Dogs teach us.  Mine teach me every day.  Our world moves so fast.  Dogs instinctively know how to slow it down. Bella showed us that in every cute smile that she shared.   She knew love.  She knew kindness.

She knew the code of dog:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it.  You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right.  Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t.  Life is too short to be anything but happy.  Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Have a great life.  And thank you, Miss Bella, for the lessons you taught us all. Run free, Sweet girl! You left your mark on the world!

xoxo
LOLA

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Week #7 — I missed last week!

WEEK-#7---DRESSES

It was mostly a week of draping, cutting and sewing, for both the show and the PUPSCOUTS!

It would be wonderful to do nothing but create for this wonderful presentation, but I do still have to pay the rent, and the Pupscouts are helping me do that!  Pupscouts Canada is about to take off, and the US troops are growing as well.  Dogs and their parents doing great deeds…. that is how it should be. My job is to make it so they can do it with class and style.

I did do some creating for the show.  I can’t wait to have 10 show garments that each demonstrate the core of what I am doing; garments that might inspire a famous fashion photographer or a celebrity dog lover to become involved.  Once I have those garments, garments that tell a full story just by looking at them, I will make a press kit whose purpose will be to involve people in our editorial style fashion photo shoot.

That’s really all I have to say today.   The loss of our lovely little Bella Pomeranian has wiped me out, and I have a lot to do — miles to go before I sleep.  I’m going to make something special in Bella’s name.

<3
LOLA