CAMERA GIVEAWAY! // celebrating with latrina from of trees + hues

April 17, 2014

Some pretty awesome news: one of my blogger friends, Latrina from the gorgeous blog Of Trees & Hues, just had her 29th birthday and, to celebrate, we're giving away a DSLR camera!

Yep. It's pretty good, right? The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, which I'm especially excited about since I've been using this camera since last summer. I absolutely love it and have been blown away by the photos it produces! (For the lucky person who wins it, I totally recommend investing in the "nifty fifty" -- a relatively inexpensive 50mm prime lens, which I can't get enough of.)

A big group of people -- all amazing bloggers, designers, and shop owners -- joined Trina in making this raffle possible, so definitely check out some of these lovely people! And feel free to hop over to Of Trees & Hues to send Trina a birthday message, or, like I do, just drool over her photography and design skills. :)
Of Trees and Hues | Lorelai's Things | Cocorrina | Melissa Alam | Buckets and Spades | Whisky & Tinder | Thatch & Thistle | Thou Swell | Writers Block Near You | A Lively Blend | Tara Victoria | Fashiony Fab | My Life Box | Kyla is Inspired | Star Crossed Smile | Love Grows Design | Coco and Mingo | J for Jamie | 45 Wall Design | We Resolve | To Adventure | Team Wiking | Hanna's Places | Clear the Way | Diana Willard | Pen & Peplum | La Designerie | Witty Title Here | Cambria Grace | Mamages | Emma Lou Designs | Safaris and Sunsets | Tori's Tales | Folk & Fest | Lucky Number Seven | Likes of Us | Ex Vitae | Horses of Ares

How the giveaway works:

>>Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below -- signing up for the first entry will open up a ton more ways to earn more entries!

>>The raffle ends midnight on May 6th and is open to international readers.

Good luck everybody!

xo Diana

a Rafflecopter giveaway

weekend details + sour cream coffee cake

April 13, 2014

So I have a camera, and I have an online course, and I have a promise to myself to learn how to shoot in manual properly.

And it turns out the hardest part of this promise is actually getting myself to take the camera out of its bag! So, some shots from a sunny photography walk this weekend, followed by a way-too-good cake. Er, delicious breakfast food. Try it.

We found the local public library and drooled over the amazing books (not literally, not to worry). Next weekend's goal: library cards!
It turns out Saturday was the Cesar Chavez parade, and it turns out there are at least three rival vintage low-rider clubs in San Francisco. Debating which one to join.
I adore the murals in the Mission District, and have so much respect for the people who make them. Never ceases to inspire me.
Oh, and it's spring!
This cake is heaven.

It's sweet and dense and moist. And my mom has been making it as a special breakfast treat for years, so that's how you know it's something good.

I'm pretty sure you could bake this up in a flat pan, but putting it in a bundt pan just makes it that much more delicious. :)

From The Silver Palate Cookbook. Makes 10 servings in a 10 inch bundt pan


  • 16 tbs (2 sticks) sweet butter
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dairy sour cream
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shelled pecans, chopped (you can also substitute walnuts or almonds)
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10 inch bundt pan and lightly dust the inside with flour.
  2. Cream together the butter and 2 cups of the sugar. Add eggs, blending well, then the sour cream and vanilla. (For those of you without a stand-up mixer, or a mixer of any kind, never fear -- I mixed this whole thing up the old-fashioned way.)
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and beat until just blended. Do not overbeat.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar with pecans and cinnamon.
  6. Pour half of the batter into the bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of the pecan and sugar mixture. Add remaining batter and top with the rest of the pecan mixture.
  7. Set on the middle rack of the over and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Or cold. Honestly, it will be amazing no matter what.

xo Diana


April 10, 2014

I've been feeling the fear a lot lately: that paralyzing feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt.

There have been a lot of moments in the past few weeks where I really doubted that I could make this work, or that this was even a good idea. This includes being an artist, running my own business, even blogging -- everything is new for me, and even some of the little parts of it can be intimidating.

This weekend I visited the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the De Young Museum and was really interested to learn many of her paintings came out of moments of negative feelings -- pain, sadness, maybe even anger. Yet (I think) they are truly beautiful paintings and create a lightness and happiness within their own world.

This quote of hers really rang true for me:

I've been terrified every moment of my life, and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to.

-- Georgia O'Keeffe

Yes and yes. Pushing through the hard stuff today. Best of luck with everything you're trying to make happen!

xo Diana

P.S. As I was working on writing this piece, Emma's post on a similar topic popped right up! Always reassuring to know that other people are going through similar things!

VEGETARIAN BIBIMBAP // korean veggies + rice bowl

April 08, 2014

With all the craziness of moving and life and everything, I recently found myself in a bad-eating rut.

I was inspired by a fellow Instagrammer @ns0n and his lunchtime series featuring a book/juice pairing. I love how it combines healthy eating with reading, both things I wanted to do more of! I decided to follow suit and do a salad/book pairing of my own.

I tested it out last week with a simple quinoa-based tabouleh and loved it! I'm trying to make it a habit, continuing with this week's bibimbap: a Korean rice-bowl dish with sautéed, pickled, and raw veggies.

ART PROCESS 05 // soundwaves

April 05, 2014

It's funny how sometimes the littlest thing can trigger a big idea.

This week, I finally geared myself up to start practicing yoga daily. An unexpected benefit of this was that it got me listening to music in the early morning. I was feeling a little bit stuck in my painting, but at least I was enjoying the soundtrack!

So I decided to do a little exercise for myself that I hadn't done since my days at music theater summer camp (yes, really, and you can bet I was the only tone-deaf camper there). I decided to "draw" the music.

This process turned into a series of sketches as I listened to one song and then another, and before I knew it, I had gone from is-it-naptime-yet to ready-to-paint-a-whole-series.

That's not to say there aren't some rough moments in the process.

As I shared on Instagram, greens just aren't my thing when it comes to painting. (This will be a real problem if I decide to start doing botanical still lifes, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.) I love blues, pinks, yellows... I adore turquoise and I can happily do a nice blue-green.

murmur, detail

But dark, moody forest greens are not something I've quite mastered.

This was an issue because I could see so clearly that one of the songs I really wanted to paint, The Mummer's Dance by Loreen McKennitt, was quite obviously a true, deep green.

After some significant pondering (plus two cookies) I think I have the pieces where I want them: a triptych of three songs all from my yoga music mix.
I often end up with leftover paint on my palette. Since I paint with acrylics, even slow-drying paints will dry within a day or two, so I end up wasting a lot of paint. This time I had an easy solution:
All five paintings are available on my Etsy shop and I'm offering a mix-n-match deal if you're interested a "mama" painting and "baby" painting together -- half off the small painting. Just convo me with your order and I'll hook you up. :)

Have a great weekend!

xo Diana
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