Abstract Art by Bianca Sotelo Available Now!


I'm excited and scared at the same time 'cause, look, Ma! That's my art hanging in the newly designed Apartment 34 offices. Aaack. 

I debuted my rediscovered painting skills on Instagram a couple of months back and got a response I would have never imagined- people, as in multiple people I knew and some I didn't, actually asked me "how do I get my hands on one, like now?!" Wait, what? Hands on what? Oh my painting? Like the painting I painted? Done by me? 

Yes. That was the answer to all of the above questions and after "yes" sunk in, I knew it was time to "buckle up girl" and focus on my paintings. So when my boss commissioned me to paint a HUGE piece that now sits smack-ass dab on the middle of a black wall in our new office, I was stoked. She asked me to ba-ring it with something bold and abstract, in my signature black and white color palette. And I was like, oooh gurl, it's already been ba-rung! 

photography for Apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick

I loved the way the piece turned out - and it's always so nerve wracking to wonder if somebody else likes it too- thank God, she does! It just pops off of that black wall in the space and I don't mean to brag, but I mean to, everyone that comes into the office asks about it. Zing!

So I also wanted to share never before seen pics of the painting that I have above my sofa in my living room. It's much more quiet than the painting for Erin yet, it's still fast and fluid. I focused in on a small area on a similarly, large sized canvas. I wanted the white on white of the canvas and the wall to add a barely there statement. And it does. Love. 

photography for A Fabulous Challenge by Aubrie Pick 

With that, I am pleased to announce that my abstract paintings are available now for commission!! I am currently working on a collection of smaller, on paper, original pieces that I will have available....real soon. But if you want your hands on something NOW- email me. I'd be honored to have my piece in your home! Email: afabulouschallenge@gmail.com 

Thanks for all the love. 

If You Can't Stand The Heat...


This editorial makes me want to paint my nails black, get in the kitchen and do something hot...like pose by the mixer and cheese grater in sexy dresses and bad-ass heels. Every male chef's wet dream is in these photos. And since I'm no male chef, a huge round of applause is in order to the art director/stylist/designer- I'm officially turned on. 

images via Ines Atelier

Despite this being an editorial look book, this model just killed it for every woman who thought she looked good in an apron. I guess it's no longer good enough to just cook- no big deal, just the act of keeping yourself and whoever's mouths you're feeding, alive. Now, you have to look good- no, great-while doing so. Oh well. As the saying appropriately goes...

If you can't stand the heat, get the fuck outta the kitchen. 


Setting The Table...


Setting the table was my job growing up...and I hated it. But years later, I've come to like the idea of not just setting the table, but always having it set. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1.) I think my dishes are pretty and I really don't want to hide them in the cabinet. And 2.) If there were nothing on the table, there would be no stopping to the mail, chip bags and receipts that would be strewn all over it. Kitchen table otherwise known as dirty-junk-collecting-surface. 

image 1 + 3 photography by Aubrie Pick 
image 2 photography by Kim Lucian

So I say, try having the table set. When you're putting away clean dishes, don't put them back in the cabinet, instead set them on the table. When you come home from work I guarantee it'll seem like you have a fancy dinner waiting for you. Until of course, you look a little closer and remember that there isn't in fact food on those plates and now you have to cook. Damn it. 

Take out is is...

Chairs: One Kings Lane
Table: Garage sale find
Candleholders: vintage
Dinnerware: CB2
Floral: I go to the park at 11 p.m. at night, pretending to walk my dog, shears in hand, and cut down stuff. Is that illegal? Probs. 

Are Those New Brass Sconces??


Are those new brass sconces you have on either side of your bed?? Why yes, yes they are. I see that you're admiring them so, let's see if I can break 'em down....

I found them on Etsy. I've professed my love for this amazing place on the internet before and although, I do find myself shopping on it less these days, it's still a major piece of my heart- along with Chevy's salsa, the Olsen twins and... brass sconces. Obvi.

I'd been admiring them for a while, but I'm the worst at making decisions. I just live without things for the longest time all because I can't pull the stupid ass trigger. But nothing quite lights the flame under your ass more than being asked to be on Apartment Therapy. Things were a mad scramble, to put them in breakfast terms.

I tried to fix everything I hated and well, that was a lot. Not that I hated things, it's just that rooms were not "done". You know what I mean, right? For instance, I didn't get a chance to switch out the mirrored bedside tables with something a bit more manly. They're not awful, no, but I outgrew them like 5 whole minutes ago and now I can't stand them. Nor did I get the chance to style out the tops of said side tables- books it is! Why books? They're easy and if you have a brain you should own a few. Besides, what's really on my nightstand: earplugs, tissue and well...you know, is NOT what the people want to see.

photography by Aubrie Pick

My bed I still love. I got it when I worked at Z Gallerie a million years ago. I worked there on the weekends while working a full time job just for this bed. An employee discount was the only way I was going to afford it. What- you don't get hired at a job for the discount? Liars. It's glam, but the black frame makes it masculine and I like it. 

Side note: God, that decanter looks really stupid on that side table. I should have styled that. But what the hell are you goina do about it now, sister? 

And since we're in the bedroom, I got a bunch of comments on Apartment Therapy like, does her closet actually look like that?? No, it's a mirage. Of course, it looks like that! (You get a sneak of it in the image above.) Yea, I lined my boots up nicely and stuffed them with newspaper so they would stand up straight. Sue me. And obviously, I cleaned up- picked clothes up off of the floor, vacuumed, you know, what any normal person would do if a stranger was coming into their house to take pictures. Kill me. And sure, if you walked into my closet now, you bet your sweet ass you'd see half of my clothes on the floor...

But seriously, how dumb is that question? 

I digress. Yes, those are new brass sconces and you can scope 'em out here


Ubud, Bali Has Some of The Best Shopping

Ubud, Bali has some of the best shopping. It's true. And going into this, I had no idea. Clearly! Or else I would have brought more money with me. 

You can go broke in Ubud, easily. And actually, that's exactly what I did. One of the cute boutiques that sucked my coin purse dry was Kou and Cuisine. It was a teensy tiny shop that sold jams and salts made right in town. It looked like something that could fit right between the best shops in Soho. It was modern and minimal and sold really cute hand carved wooden spoons, aprons and other little kitchen giftables.

The jams were a perfect souvenir, or so I thought. They used exotic ingredients like Passion Fruit + Tangerine and Grape + Buni and Pineapple + Guava and had the cutest little muslin top on them. I bought a bunch, but made one mistake: thought they could pass in my carryon. 

photography by Bianca Sotelo

But please note, they are, in fact, like .0001 oz. too big and security will make you throw them away. They have no mercy, those bastards. And at that moment, between their hands and the trash, you're going to say to hell with them- they will NOT win- and pay the bagillian dollars it costs to ship them home because airport security Can. Not. Win. 

And when you do get them home, you'll keep those jams all to yourself. Hoard them. Selfishly stare at them and vow to never give them away because they're now worth the price of a fine bottle of wine. And that is the moment you realize...

They won, didn't they? Damn it. 

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