Jul 15, 2018

Book And Happenings

It's been quite awhile, and I wanted to catch up with everyone and announce the launch of my new book.

I decided to bite the bullet and put together a collection of short stories that I have written over the past year.

Most of these stories are about the heart, emotions, both positive and negative. There are stories of love, insight, inspiration, whimsy. They aren't meant to be taken literally, they aren't about anyone, or even for anyone. They are simply like poetry, to make one think, to appeal to the senses, perhaps to remember a moment or two of your own.

There is a passage, one that I like to refer to as a parabal for the heart. I was feeling very uncertain of my path. Every now and then, we all feel a little stuck. We want to be remembered, to matter, to be heard.

The heart is like a book. It holds memories. There are chapters that we like to re-read now and then. The storm in my story is a metaphor for life. It can be gentle, or it can be fierce and make us question everything. There are dog-eared pages in my book (heart), well loved moments, people, friends.

The character is feeling unsettled inside, is walking in the rain.  I liken the world to a diary that was carried by someone, dropped carelessly along the way, perhaps into a puddle, the pages are drenched. Someone finds it, and tries to see if they can salvage what was written inside.

As you read this story, I hope that you can relate.

The following is an excerpt from "And Then God Smiled" by Elaine Hamilton

                                                  The Book And The Storm

Feeling stormy today. There's a quiet roll of thunder under my calm surface. Seeing with my grey eyes today, there is no sun that can warm me enough to feel anything but disdain. I almost like the feel of rain on my face, I've come to welcome it some days, because it just feels good to to become part of the wildness of nature, just let go. Walking, feeling the wind, no one can see the pain behind the sardonic grin. I hide it well.

Raindrops hide tears, wrapping my heart with rubber bands again. Words, memories surface, almost like an old journal that is treasured. Scrapping everything I know once more. The pages of this book are getting old and tattered, a few are dog-eared because I tend to revisit them now and then. I carry this book with me, keep it close, but one day, I'll let go, and it will be consumed by the puddles that are left after the storm passes, pages will be drenched, and the words will be erased, and the book will lay forgotten.

Maybe someday, someone will find it, and wonder about the story it might have held. Maybe they will carefully dry out the pages , and see what was written, try to decipher the story within, the things that might have been, the wistful fairytale, the long forgotten dreams, and treasure it.

The book is available in the Amazon Kindle Store. Check out this link if you'd like to know more.

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Dec 7, 2017


I've been missing in action for awhile. There have been so many changes going on, and I just wanted to update everyone on that.

When I first started BellevueGrl back in 2009, it was to support local business and local fashion. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful business owners, local designers, makeup artists, and entertainment personalities. I have bonded with so many people, and I am so very honored to call them my friends.

I've photographed hundreds of shows, attended front row fashion events, met some of our wonderful Seahawk players, and dined on some of the best fare from all over the city.

BellevueGrl started branching out to go beyond just the local city and Seattle. It soon incorporated designers from Project Runway, personalities from Sally Beauty, friends from LA. I started writing for a few online publications, became a brand ambassador for AHAVA, did some visual merchandising, and immersed myself in the field of fashion completely, once again.

I most recently became a fashion and lifestyle writer for a digital magazine in Beverly Hills, and attended LAFW where I was able to go backstage and capture all of the behind the scenes action, watch models rehearse for shows, be able to watch hair and makeup teams work their magic, I met with emerging designers that were of a global outreach, and so BellevueGrl evolved once again.

Evolving implies change, and that's kind of the beauty of things. When something grows, rises up from the ground to become something that can make an impact outside of it's normal boundaries.

BellevueGrl will soon become a new entity "Just A Girl In The City Too", a new digital fashion spot featuring emerging women designers, interviews, photos and more. I will be doing mentoring, as I believe in developing talent and inspiring others to reach their goals and giving back, and I will be embracing more of an entrepreneurial role, and hopefully, putting my book out on shelves in 2018.

Writing a mission statement for a new publication was once a dream, and looking back on the past few years, I feel so very blessed.

Will you come along on the journey with me?

Thank you all for your support, friendship, comments. To all who are out there, never underestimate the power of your talents or voice. One article, one photograph, one painting, can make an impact on someones life in a moment.

You never know who's watching! 

Until next time~
With so much love

Sep 22, 2017


Behind the scenes, fashion illustrator, Stephanie Gentry would describe herself as a woman with designs. Wife, designer (having shown at some prestigious fashion weeks),  graduate of  SCAD
SCAD .edu: Home artist, showing the world what love is through fashion and celebrating life in every moment using fashion as a focus.

Here an interview with Ms. Gentry:

Stephanie, tell us a little about your background

Growing up I was always appreciative of fashion sketching from an early age, and you could say I had a slight obsession with evening wear and weddings. I was always drawing dresses, not even realizing fashion was what I was doing. I was always very artsy growing up. I’d find ways to make things or recreate things. I loved dress up as a kid *who didn't* but I would always take control of the situation and style everyone I was doing it with. I started exploring costume design and making clothing in High School. It wasn't until I was in college that it all came full circle after taking a fashion design class where I learned all my skills. I was inspired by seeing designers on project runway and knowing I wouldn't be fully happy doing just illustration which is where I was coming from I explored the idea of creating a fashion sketch from my head and then pushing even further to a physical form. It's so exciting seeing designs on paper become reality and not only seeing them on the runway but seeing people in real life wear them! The best part is seeing the process come to life.

Where did you go from there? Tell us about your experiences

I started freelance designing and illustrating back in 2011 during college to make extra money. I had no idea this would become my own business in 2013. As a student I was seeking opportunity. Found a lot of it through being really proactive. Including having investors who sent me to  Phoenix Fashion Week – Bridging Designers and Buyers  to compete as an emerging designer, my aesthetic and what I'm about. I call myself a designer and an artist. Because I do both. I create clothing and I create art in a way I combine the two. Because fashion is art I believe  it is a form of art. A way to express oneself using the body as a canvas in a truly unique way. It can send a message, start a movement, and provides shelter for our bodies. Color and color theory affects us every day. It also embodies fashion. Colors have meaning example, the color green is said to relax you. I am inspired by these concepts to create the things I do.

What would you like to share with others who might be considering a career as a fashion illustrator or designer?

Do set up your own website, and have your portfolio displayed in multiple platforms. The more you put yourself out there the better it gets. It seems scary but what I have learned from my business coach is if you are not scared something is likely wrong. I used to think it was better to stay in my comfort zone let's be honest we all have one. In putting myself out there I have gotten so many things I normally would not. What's the worst they could do when you ask, say no?

Do make connections constantly. It's all in who you know. Sounds cliche but it's so true. If you don't know people, introduce yourself go to events network find a support group talk to people online. You'll be surprised who you meet, it's a small world as they say.

Do keep a spreadsheet, and label it WRMB. Wholesale, Retail, Media, Bloggers. I learned this valuable information from the director of Phoenix Fashion Week during the Emerging Designers program. Keep track of who comes in and out keep in touch with everyone and reach out. Not so often that it's annoying *I hate spammers and never wish to be one* But enough that it's a balance. This is a key element.

Do have a good reason for why you do what you do. Why does someone care? Mine for example, is I am showing the world what love is, preserving life in a single image celebrating key events and passions that deserve to be documented and remembered every day. Such as weddings, or special events, anniversaries, special moments. Art brings people together and can start a movement for the greater good. This is why I do what I do and my mission is to create uniquely beautiful things thats have lasting effect on the world in daily lives.

Do find a support group. There are tons of support groups you can join online. Facebook is a great resource. Take advantage of social media. We are no longer in the dark ages with no technology and have plenty of capability to connect with those across the world if we wanted.

What other advice would you like to share?

Don't sell yourself short. Do research, if you're having trouble setting your price, compared to what else is out there. Ask for constructive feedback!

Don't forget to follow up, it's good to always follow up. Even if the answer was no. However if it was no, follow up with a can we stay connected and as a bonus send them a thank you card with a picture of your work on it. Something for them to keep and remember you by.

Don't take things too personally. If someone says no its ok, there are plenty of other opportunities out there.

Don't forget to get everything in writing. for everything money related or business related. Save all emails related to this as well. This usually includes a payment agreement and an nda. In freelance design my clients always appreciate me being willing to do these things as they protect not only you as the freelance artist but also the company you're working with.  

Don't be afraid to reach out on social media. starting nice relationships through this platform is one of the best things you can do for yourself. comment, interact with magazines, celebrities, bloggers or people in general. You will be surprised the feedback you get.

For more information, and to contact Stephanie, please go to

Having worked in the industry and shown at Phoenix Fashion Week, Ms Gentry is a perfect example of what it takes to be part of the creative process in creating designs and being on that stage.

Until next time~ Hearts and Hugs BellevueGrl

Photo Credits: Stephanie Gentry
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.

Sep 12, 2017


If you've never been to New Mexico, you're missing out.

Dubbed "The Land Of Enchantment" this beautiful southwest spot definitely lives up to it's name, with gold and watermelon sunsets and a sky full of stars.

Not only does it sport the wonderful capital of Santa Fe, but there is a certain charm to Old Town in Albuquerque.

I had a chance to visit a few months ago, and was impressed by the galleries that it has to offer.

One that caught my interest was GhostWolf Gallery, where I  had the chance to meet with local artists.

Tucked into a cozy corner, one feels the ambiance of walking into a friend's home with speciality pieces made to make you immediately smile.

Usually, there is an art crawl or special event going on, a chance to do a little champagne or wine tasting, and mingle with the creators of copper, clay, and canvas works.

There's plenty to catch the eye as one strolls from room to room, and always a bright blue sky to gaze up at while meandering the patio outdoors.

I was able to chat with Amy M. Ditto, Owner about her work and the pieces that she is most proud of.Hearing her speak, you can really pick up on  the energy of her creations.

Amy's favorite work is her "Dia de los Moo-uertos" the poster, which to her surprise, won at the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival. Another favorite piece (mine too) is "Meanwhile Back In Kansas" which depicts a very calm "Dorothy" during the raging storm.

This piece is printed on dye infused aluminum, and gets rave reviews from everyone. There are so many who see this as a symbol of strength.

The Gallery is open from 11am-6pm, and is closed on Tuesdays.

If you're traveling anytime through the southwest, be sure to put this on your "to do list". The memories and the warm atmosphere of friends gathering will last forever.

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits: Elaine Hamilton
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.

Jul 25, 2017


What's a birthday without a few glam presents, right?

Especially when the treats come from Tarte and Sephora! This years #BeautyInsider treat from Sephora was this fabulous duo.

Inside is a full size Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush in a limited edition shade "Paaarty" which is a peachy nude shade, teamed with a mini tarteist creamy lip paint in "Birthday Suit" a sweet confection of peach and beige.

This set is perfect for the gal on the go (like me!)

Grab yours at Sephora, and get ready to dazzle. #BeautyInsider membership is free, and you can earn points per purchase for all kinds of treasures.

"Paaarty on! "

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits:
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.

May 19, 2017


If you don't have a denim jacket as part of your wardrobe,grab one!
I adore the versatility of this Old Navy distressed denim jacket.

Shown here is New Medium Authentic for $36.94 view at:http://oldnavy.gap.com

This jacket will pair with anything for those cool,breezy days or evenings.Dress up or down,shorts,slacks,sundresses or even a little black knit dress ,add sneakers or your favorite sandals.

There's plenty of choices out there from Maurice's ($39.00) to Free People.
Try the Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Denim Jacket for $98.00  log onto www.freepeople.com for further information.

These styles are pack-able,toss-able,easy wearing! Grab your sunnies and go!

I feel a summer road trip coming on!

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits:
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.

Apr 29, 2017


I posted a portion of this the other day on Facebook,but knowing me,I had more to add to this story,and the writer in me simply had to expand on those ideas. It is a bit like an earworm,something just tells you to keep on writing.

On Life...

You never really know how precious and short life is until you are faced with almost losing it. People can tell you a million times,but unless you are forced to step into those shoes,we remain blind. Cherish those that you care for,tell them every day how much they mean to you. Find the words,the time,to let them know. Even if you feel silly.Don't waste a moment. Celebrate life,even if it's one small thing a day.Celebrate love,it returns what we give to it.Never take it for granted. Celebrate friends and family,because that is our greatest treasure.Take the time to "smell the roses" because you might not be here the next day to do so. Enjoy the wind in your hair,the sun on your face,the smell of the rain,the starlight after the clouds have passed. Find room in your heart to make others who are hurting smile,you never know whose life you may touch!

On Love:

Often,we are too afraid to accept love,as if we are afraid that the real thing would be our un-doing.We are afraid of the cost,of hurting someone,when instead we should be embracing that connection,that welcoming smile,the comfort in knowing that someone else will stand beside you through thick and thin,have your back,see you through your visions,and help you achieve your dreams. That uncanny connection is there for a reason.Trust it! If they haven't walked away through the tough times,they arent going to. They are a foundation,a sounding board,and a forever friend. When something is right,no distance,time,no amount of good times or bad will change that.

On Our Heart:

We are so used to rejection, so used to having people take advantage,that we almost accept that as a norm,that when we find acceptance,we are scared of it. What we dont see is that that person,or those people are brought into our lives for that very purpose of re-connecting our souls,our hearts back to the universe,bringing joy,laughter and purpose into our lives,inspiring us to think,often to think beyond ourselves,and to reach out to others in turn. At least the right person should do that,inspire us to become better versions of ourselves.

Compassion is always in fashion!

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits:
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.