Monday, October 3, 2011

A Collection of Words

It's been some time since I've written something. So much has been happening in the past month. I will be back to posting at least weekly with all Angel Eyes Designs related topics. In the meantime, I have put this blog together to share some of my most favorite quotes. These are all my original thoughts and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Read them, share them, do what you will with them. Happy Monday Folks! Get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the first day of the work week!

(this blog is dedicated to Len Dominguez, who told me I should start a Blog. Thank you Len!)

Quotes, thoughts, words by Angelica Santoyo-Bernal

"Most people would have given up by now. I am not most people."

"When God feels like blessing us, He likes to go all out. There's no stopping Him. He's like a fast speed train that just caught it's momentum."
"Change is good, but tough. You can either let it mold you into someone better or allow it to tear you down. The choice is always yours."
"Foggy this morning. And what is fog? Essentially it's a cloud close to the ground. So, today, I am literally touching the sky!"
"In Karate, the main focus is balance. If you're not balanced, you leave yourself open to get hurt. Same thing with life. Balance your life and protect yourself from your opponent (the world)."

 "According to recent studies, all men cheat, in some form or another. So no one is safe. This is sad."
"You know you have a great friend when you can just sit next to each other without saying a word."
"The best way to protect your heart and feelings is to not let anyone in. Sure, but what's the fun in that?"
"Miscommunications happen when we don't communicate. Pretty obvious statement no? Yet we all struggle with this simple concept every day."
"There will come a day when I am no longer around. I may move, I may change, I may pass on. So I say, don't take me for granted. If I am or ever was special to you, take advantage of our time together. Because, "I was too busy," or, "I've been meaning to call/visit," just won't do when I am no longer around."
"There is an art in learning to keep some things to yourself, private. It is protection for you, against an ugly world."
"I didn't know I was worth dying for. Thank you Jesus."
"The world is full of wondrous and mysterious things. You never know why you meet certain people or why you end up in a certain place. Call it fate, coincidence, or just life's strange journey to get you where you need to be. Today I am appreciating this strange phenomenon."
"It's definitely not easy to be inspired when your work is considered to be "not good enough" in other's eyes. I guess I have to take the good with the bad. Not everyone will like what I do & I am coming to terms with it. It's part of the growing process. I must say though, 9x out of 10, I CAN/DO make you something you like/love. I like those numbers. So for others struggling with the same, I say keep doing what you're doing. Don't disappoint those who admire your craft."
"Lots of broken, sad hearts out here in the World. I have no magic, healing words that will repair your wounds. I can, however, tell you that you're not alone. I am only one person, but I am one person who cares. Whatever it is you may be struggling with, fighting, or hurting for, I hope you find peace, reconciliation, healing and once again love, soon."
"You know, in your gut and in your heart, when God is ready to tell you something. Prepare your mind and soul for the message. He is usually not subtle about it and usually what He wants us to do is pretty drastic."
"Lazy Sunday's are meant for laying around, drinking coffee, kids reading the Comic pages, kicking back with family, chillin' with friends, relaxin' & chillaxin'. Sometimes, it's best to spend it alone. It helps to give yourself a moment to reflect on the week. However you're spending it, enjoy your Lazy Sunday."
"Since I only had two older brothers growing up, I always wished I had a sister to do all the girly things. I think God knew this and blessed me later with great girlfriends, who often feel more like sisters."
"Real friends don't often feel the need to say 'I love you.' When you spend time with them, call them, or be there when they need you, they kind of already know. It's the action that makes us feel their love, not the actual words. Personally, if my friends never told me 'I love you,' I wouldn't feel any less special. The fact that they share their life with me is proof enough."
"Just because you can't always see your life's purpose, doesn't mean it's not there."
"Hangin' in there because I feel something great is coming..."

"I have discovered when you gain a true friend, sometimes you also gain a sister/brother."
"When I think I can't go any further, I look at my child's face. The way he looks at me, the way he loves me, reminds me that he doesn't have to love me. It reminds me that no on has to love me, but they do. This love speaks volumes. So on to the next chapter of my life. No stopping. No resting."
"Can't see the light at the end of the tunnel? Close your eyes, take a deep breath, empty the clutter and put on your's about to get real bright."
"If you allow your inner voice to speak, you will come to know how it's louder than everyone and everything."
"It's when you shed all the B***S*** off that you find your true self. Let yourself shine. Don't be afraid to be you."
"I know a lot of people don't like the rain or cloudiness. I, however, enjoy and welcome it. Something so calming and refreshing about the whole feeling it brings. Being that I am more a feeling person, it pulls the inspiration right out of me. Me Enamora."
"There is so much that I HAVE to do...and so much that I WANT to do...that I don't know WHAT to do!"
"I may not have money to give you, but I'll give you the shirt off my back if you needed it. Just don't make fun of my love handles."
"I don't consider myself lucky to have a few loyal friends. I consider myself blessed. So many people have said to me, "I'm with you, no matter what. I believe in you. I will fight for you. I will always be there." What a crock and pile of $hiT. I'm sorry. It is what it is. I'm sorry for those who left me out in the cold."
"Inspiration comes at me in all directions. It's sometimes difficult to put it all together and make sense of it. When it finally does, My God, it's amazingly beautiful."
"I simply don't let the little things bother me anymore. A grey hair here, a wrinkle there, a love handle or is just too short. Imagine if my last day on earth was tomorrow and I spent all my time worrying about all these little things? How sad. Live your life, forget the rest!"

 "The process of making my morning coffee: Grind the coffee, pour water into pot, measure out just enough for two perfect cups, listen to the pot as it grumbles, smell the aroma as it awakens my senses, pour into one of my fave mugs from another city I've visited, take that first sip...Mmmmm...yes. Coffee for me, is an indulgent experience."
"The opportunities coming this way are truly amazing! I thank God for the bad experiences I recently had to endure. It sure helps me appreciate times like these. The balance of life. Believe in it. There must be downfalls to balance out the greatness!"
"I really don't like looking at someone wearing the same thing as me. Probably one of the main reasons I became a Designer."

"Holding on to negativity & bitterness only attracts negative effects. Take the high road & remain positive, smile at those who've hurt you & watch how the blessings pour over you."

"Wondering why the world is so depressed and angry. So what if you have no job, no money, don't own a house, don't have a car, don't have a man/woman. Back in the day, Jesus had nothing but his big heart ♥. He had family, friends, and lots of love. What else do we really need? We need to Chillax!"
"'friends' who are quick to throw you under a bus, are not really friends at all."
"La niñez va y viene,los años tambien. Hopefully,what we gain is friendships & Family that lasts through good & bad times, a special someone to grow old with & our memories.In my case,I feel like I have it all.I don't regret anything,I'm happy with who I'm surrounded by & I have a little person who is a reflection of me.I am overcome w/tears of joy!I am right where I want to be & I thank God for all of it."
"If I had a $1 for every time someone told me I sucked, or criticized my character or artwork/designs, told me I couldn't be what I wanted, or laughed in my face because I'm a dreamer, I would be rich! Well, I may not have a jar full of $'s, but I still filled my jar with all that negativity & found I could still use that jar to my benefit. Thank you for filling my jar."
"Sometimes I notice that I laugh really loud! I turn to look around me and people stare at me with a face like they just ate something bad. Then I realize, I must look and sound disgustingly happy to their miserable_______!!!"
"If it seems I am in my own world, it's because I am. In my world, there is no ignorance, judgement, rudeness, arrogance, hypocrisy. There is simply me, chill and laid back enjoying my time with those who wish to exist with me. No drama. Join me, won't ya?"
"If there is a memory you have tried to forget but just can't seem to, there's probably a good reason it's still there. Don't use your energy to forget it, use it to your advantage."
"When things become too easy for you, that means it's time to push yourself. We are capable of doing more than we think we can. Just when we think we can't handle something, we surprise ourselves with achieving the impossible."

"If you're not using the insults, embarrassments, put-downs, negativity, shamefulness, hurt, pain, death, deceit, lies, & failures of your life to your advantage, you're doing something wrong. Instead of building a pity party, build your armor to face the world with a smiling face."
"Don't mistake my attention to self as selfishness or being self-centered. My actions are merely an act of nurturing my mental & physical health. It is proven that if we don't make time for ourselves each day, we become resentful, angry, stressed, & depressed. Are you capable of giving yourself at least 30 mins of alone time every day? The world is so demanding of us, why should we not be demanding of ourselves?"
"Waiting for opportunities to come knocking at your door is like watching paint dry. You want change, a chance at greatness, you need to get out there and make it happen. No one cares about you more than you. Put a little effort into yourself and watch your future unfold."
"We are not special because people tell us we are. We are special because we KNOW we are. It's an inside feeling. No one can give it to us, we need to give it to ourselves. No one has permission to take that away. Look for it, it's in there."
"Sometimes I think we are way too selfish, wanting everything. I say if someone asks you to meet them halfway, do it. It's better than them not meeting you at all."
"Cleaning up receipts from all past Angel Eyes purchases/investments. Whoa! I have to say every penny has been worth it. Reflection on my part: If you're not shooting for the stars, sacrificing everything along the way, why bother? Staying level, on the ground, comfortable with my surroundings is no longer an option. Must float, rise, fly, climb, soar above it all."
"I don't think you realize how much and how far I would go to please you my little Angels. Sometimes I go beyond my abilities to make you happy, but it's so worth it to see that smile on your face when you put on your Angel Eyes Design."
"Humbleness is a Virtue. A Gift. If you don't have it, God will certainly give it to you. If you notice much success in your life, career, family, be grateful. No need to brag & put others down. Arrogance will only make you look like a fool!"

WOW! That's a lot! Posting these have taken me through this past year. Amazing so far.

Love and Peace,

Monday, August 29, 2011


Hello Everyone!

It's been some time since I have written a post. I have been quite busy with custom orders and designing new looks. Angel Eyes Designs was invited this past weekend to the 3rd Annual Mo'Rockin' Fashion Fest in Wicker Park. The Star Model Students wore my designs and rocked it on the runway. I was very pleased with the turn out. Again a big thank you to Latino Fashion Week for inviting me and for the students who so proudly wore my designs.

Many changes are on the way, hence the name of this blog is named after that change. Every once in a while, we need to stop what we're doing and analyze our work. Angel Eyes is in the process of doing so. There needs to be a change so grand, that will take this company to the next level. It's a very exciting time and scary all the while. Yet, I am so welcoming the changes coming. I'm all about improving, growing, and learning.

In these past weeks, there are many things I have learned about myself. Much like the caterpillars my son has been caring for, I feel much like them. I feel that I have been one thing, crawling around aimlessly, yet taking in the nutrients I needed to grow. Now, like the caterpillars, I am in the Chrysalis phase. For them, it only takes about 7 to 10 days to break free with their wings, ready to fly about. In my case, I may stay in this phase for longer than just a week or two. I am hoping to soon be ready to break free and also spread my wings. I will enjoy my time during this phase as I get to look deeper within myself, with a microscope so I can see all my flaws and all the beauty as well.

I can't tell you what will become of all this. I can only share my experience with you, hoping it can maybe help you on the path you're on. Don't be afraid to explore yourselves. You are not what people say your are. You are what you feel and what you see. People are quick to pass judgements on us because it is easier than having to judge themselves. Whatever path you're on, whatever decision you're struggling to make, always talk about it with someone. You'd be surprised that in a conversation, you sometimes will figure out the right choice for you.

I will post again and share with you this Metamorphosis I am currently undergoing. I can't wait to see the outcome. I don't know what colors my wings will be, but whatever comes, I will be accepting to it.  Until next time, enjoy the end of summer, and welcome the changes in the season. Peace and Love.

Angelica Santoyo-Bernal

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Girl and A Dress

Thursday, July 28th, 6:45 a.m. I get a text, "Hey. The Shoot." I could barely open my eyes to read the text, I looked outside and it's raining. Not a good day for a photo shoot. About 10:45, it was just cloudy and a little drizzle. I said, let's do this. I packed up my gear, umbrella, dress, and headed out to what was going to be my debut as a Fashion Photographer.

The day couldn't have been more perfect. We headed to Millenium Park, Chicago's hidden treasure. Joel Burton, Father of Leia Sofia Burton, allowed me to photograph Leia in an original Angel Eyes Design. She wore an ivory chiffon summer dress from my Summer Limited Collection. Leia was more than happy to participate. The 4 1/2 year old was a bit shy at first, so we told her to just play. She got into the water, she climbed benches, she splashed in water puddles and played with an umbrella under the waterfalls. I didn't even feel like I was working. I was simply following this little joy, full of wonder and amazement. I had so much fun, as did she. At one point, her dad got into the water as well. After the shoot, we went to Maxwell's and got some grub, then hit up Mario's Italian Ice on Taylor. It was a great day in the Park.

I never really saw myself as a photographer. I think it's definitely fun to do, but I would never want it to be my job. I think it would lose it's fun factor immediately. As long as the photo shoots remain fun, spontaneous, and simple, I'll take on the projects.  I'm so glad that Columbia College groomed me to be more than I thought I ever could be. All those classes of drawing, sketching, sewing, photography, tailoring, textiles, you name it, I took it. I am finally appreciating how it all was worth it and came to good use in my life. 

Here are some photos from my Photo Shoot with Leia Sofia Burton. You can view the complete album on my website under the tab A Girl and A Dress. None of these photos were Photoshopped or enhanced in any way. There was also no Make up or Hair Stylists involved. Just A Girl and A Dress!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Somos Latinos

I had the wonderful experience and pleasure of seeing Mana in concert for the first time yesterday at the Allstate Arena. What a spiritual event that was! Not only was my soul filled with beautiful music, but also with such inspiration! They played all their major hits and EVERY song had a different visual effect in the background. Beautiful and beyond description.

When they played "Latinoamerica", I lost it. I broke into tears and felt the meaning and words of that song for those few minutes of the song's duration. I looked all around me and everyone was chanting, hands up in the air, smiling from ear to ear and singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. It was surreal.

When I came home, I had to sit for a second to reflect upon my tears and sudden emotion during that concert. It hit me like a high speed train. I AM Latina. My parents are Latinos. My family and friends are Latinos. I am surrounded daily by people who struggle to make a dent in this country. I was born here, with so many privileges and have forgotten that it is not so easy for everyone else. My parents and the parents of many of my generation have bled, sweat, died trying to make a decent living in the U.S. Yet, here we are, as adults, and the struggle continues.


48.4 million:
The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2009, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. Hispanics constituted 16 percent of the nation's total population. In addition, there are approximately 4 million residents of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean U.S. territory.

Amazing isn't it? But the fight isn't over. Latinos are continuously looked down upon, ridiculed, harassed, hidden and often killed. We as Latinos need to continue to fight, "Luchar", and break the boundaries that separate us from the rest of the country.  

I may not be much but just one person, with one voice, but I still matter. As long as I matter, I will stay on the path I'm on because I believe I was given a gift. Not just a creative and artistic gift, but the gift to matter, to make a difference. I still remember when "Tely" invited me to speak to her 2nd grade class about my profession. The children were full of hope and inspiration. Their eyes mesmerized and their ears soaked up what I said like a dry sponge. Afterwards, a little girl came up to me to show me her sketches of dresses she had designed. She said she wanted to be a designer when she grew up. I told her, "Mija, keep drawing and don't let anyone stop you, or tell you you can't do it." She was so happy! I will never forget that.

I will also remember the words of my dear friend who said to me recently, "Whatever you do, don't stop making clothes. It's your gift, your craft. Don't stop." Those words echo in my mind and in my heart. Whenever things get a little crazy or too difficult for me to bear, I go back to that little girl, my friend's words. They bring me back to the ground and I remember why I do what I do. I do it for love. It's not for money. It's not for fame. It's not for anything but the sheer love and passion in my heart for it. So I say, especially to all my fellow Latinos, keep doing and keep dreaming.

Here is an image from last night's concert. This was right after Mana played "Latinoamerica"

 A true Celebration of life, freedom and love.
...and I ran into one of Angel Eyes' favorite and loyal model, "Tely"

...and the song that sparked it all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It's 12:58 AM and I cannot sleep. Too much on my mind after the Interpol/U2 Concert at Soldier Field tonight. Of course, both bands were beyond incredible! Interpol played all their major hits and so did U2. The one song that stood above the rest, the one song that hit so close to home, the one song that struck chords in me I thought I didn't have, was "One."

Facebook only allows 420 characters in one status update. 420 is not enough. 420 is not even close to the fraction of characters I wish to share. I don't want boundaries. I don't want restrictions. I want to be free. Freedom was stressed tonight at the concert. Freedom to be ourselves. Freedom to be creative. Freedom to Love. The song "One" expresses so many ideas. The message is this: It begins with One. One idea, one thought, one person. It begins with us. One person can put an idea in another and that idea can than be passed on to another. It is up to us to share something positive, or something negative.

Sometimes we think to ourselves, "I am only one person. What difference can I make?" You can make a WORLD of difference. If I start recycling, and someone else sees me recycle, they may think, "Well, she's doing it. Maybe I should too." Then someone sees that person recycle, and thinks to themselves, "Well, if they're doing it, maybe I should too." This is an example of something positive. The same thing can happen in a negative way. I throw trash on the ground, someone may see me and think, "Well, she doesn't care, why should I?"

One is all it takes. No one may read my blog. Maybe a handful will. However, I will keep writing and expressing myself here and anywhere I go in hopes that I can inspire, encourage, motivate, teach, uplift, or just spark ideas in at least "One" person.  Angel Eyes Designs began with One idea. The idea that one day, I'd be able to create clothing to share with the world. Well, so far, Angel Eyes Designs has been exposed to Chicago. One City. One day, maybe it will be shared in other cities.

Ask yourself, "Am I that one person who can cause change?"

It begins with One.

Here are some images of the concert last night:

And here is the song that inspired today's post:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Capturing the Moment

Hello Everyone! I hope your 4th of July weekend was fun and relaxing. I sure tired to enjoy it to the fullest.

This is Angel Eyes Designs first posting for the new Blog. The name of this blog is titled "Thread The Needle". I thought it was fitting as I do this almost daily. Thread The Needle also has other meanings. One of them is that when one threads a needle, we must pay very close attention and focus on that very tiny space to get the thread through it. Sometimes, it take several attempts. Distractions, lack of attention, or sometimes too much caffeine, causes us to miss the hole. Much like life, we must focus on our goals and pay much attention to everything we do along the way, otherwise we miss our chance to reach our goal. 

It's a very exciting time for Angel Eyes and this blog will help capture the moments. As new projects unfold and new collections come to life, they will be recorded here for your viewing. This is also a great opportunity for you to get to know the Designer (me) on a more personal and professional level. I will try to post at least once a week, if not more. I truly am 100% grateful for everyone who has supported my baby since day one. I only hope I can continue to serve you in all your Design needs. With all this said, please come by when you can and feel free to leave comments or suggestions. They are always welcome.

With much love,
Angelica Santoyo-Bernal
Angel Eyes Designs