Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sorry for the lack of writing in posts this week, I'm having a crazy work week and will also be leaving to go out of town on Thursday.  I will get back to it next week as I have several posts to finish writing,  lots of blogs to read that I'm behind on, and some long overdue thank you's and shout outs for blog awards.  
Have a great week, friends!

Audrey Hepburn photographed by Douglas Kirkland, 1965

Matthew Jensen

I found this artist on one of the many art websites I stalk follow a while back, and then I couldn't remember where I found them or who the artist was!  (This seems to be a reoccurring problem since starting this blog.)  I ran across them again this week and I can't get over how gorgeous they are.

These porcelain pieces are by Brooklyn-based conceptual landscape artist, Matthew Jensen.
I really love how he paired his thoughts and musings with the photographs making this series not just lovely fragile, broken pieces of history but intimate and relevant works of art.

"I thought it would be interesting to look for landscapes in objects rather than trying to find objects in the landscapes. So I went through my collection of porcelain shards and I set aside all the ones with flowers, plants or landscapes. I photographed the final collection using the type of camera that would be used by a jewelry photographer so that none of the nuanced details are lost." -from an interview with Little Paper Planes

All photos from Little Paper Planes

Monday, January 30, 2012

 Your Monday Morning Wake Up Sequence

Let your sleepy eyes enjoy the feast of color that is Bianca Green's artwork.  Please do so while while eating a massive pile of waffles.  Or, if you are of the healthy persuasion, a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon.

"Josephine is a Hipster"

Now that you've enjoyed the artwork and had a few bites to eat, please watch this video of an adrenaline junkie to help you feel like dominating this Monday. 

Yes, that guy is flying with a wing suit and nothing else.  You can see how fast he's actually going when he nearly takes out his friend by the balloons.  The song is "Sail" by Awolnation (I know you were wondering, with it's supercool beat and lines like,  "This is how an angel cries, I blame it on my own sick pride, Blame it on my A.D.D. baby", who wouldn't?)


So finally, as you prepare to conquer this week, imagine yourself as this surfer, gliding above the chaos and the crowds, carving your own path, going your own way... above it all.

 Happ y Monday!

Surfer photos are by French photographer Romain Laurent from his project L’Horizon.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Laugh

My husband found this and put it on my Facebook page lol.

"I just want it, darling, don't ask me why" 

Featuring items that are frivolous and fairly useless.
Here we go.

Chair that won't match anything in my house

Adorable!  I could totally use this

A library ladder!  Like the one Belle slides around on at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast?  Whatever.  You know what I'm talking about.

These are cute little note cards you can use to leave someone a sweet message or as conventional cards for gifts and things

Examples of What's Inside

Light shimmery pink polish but I really just want the bottle

1. Louis chair
2. Birds On a Wire
3. Library Ladder
4. Polaroid Notes
5. Anna Sui Nail Color

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Word and the let down of a Fortune Cookie

Dreams and positive affirmations are well and good but recently a common thread has been popping up in my journal.  Something I feel so convicted about it may be my word of the year and it's a scary one.  The concept of
noun \ˈdi-sə-plən\

While this may conjure up images of your Dad's face and the resulting consequences after you'd rolled your eyes at him, it can also be:

a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior 
c : self-control

 In past years I've written in my journal about pursuing my dreams, living the life I imagine, being fearless, and making my health a priority so I can accomplish these things.  While these are all very good aspirations, it's come to my attention that the framework for the house of "the life I want" is built on painstaking hard work and nail by nail.  Darn it.  I was hoping for someone to notice my artistic talent on the street and offer me $90,000 plus a year to paint what I want when I want.  Or for God to snap his fingers and magically make me as fit and toned as a cover girl for Self magazine and no longer allergic/intolerant to many of my favorite foods.  One of my Mom's favorite sayings is that, "Insanity is doing the same things, with the same people, and expecting different results."  

I think I'm insane.

Why do I continue with the same time-wasting habits, poor food choices, and saying "yes" to things that I should say no to?  Which brings me to another adult sounding word: boundaries.  Ugh.  

[You know what my fortune cookie said the other night?  "As long as you don't take on anything else, you should be ok."  WHAT!?!?  What kind of crap fortune is that?!?!  I want the cookie to tell me my future or at least a positive piece of advice!  Good grief!" ]

So, at 25, I am forcing myself to stay disciplined, to quit whining, and make things happen for myself.  I've been slowly changing some well ingrained daily habits for a few weeks now and it's been really tough but I'm determined to stick with it.    

"We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change."  
-Sarah ban Breathnach

Florence Welch

”I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree  or off a tall building or as if you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe.  It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear” 

–Florence Welch from Florence and the machine

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Morning Wake Up Sequence

To help you wake up on this Friday Morning:

1) Calmly enjoy these lovely images while sipping on your coffee or hot tea

2) Now that you've woken up, you may need another upper to go with your caffeinated beverage and really kick your day into high gear.  So please proceed to rock out with 8 year old Juliet who is one hardcore little girl.  This video will make you laugh while simultaneously making you feel like you are going to kick today's butt.

3) and finally, as you proceed to conquer today and dive head first into the weekend, know that you're dreams can come true in the weeks ahead, as reminded to us buy the National Geographic Channel and team of scientists, engineers, and world-class balloon pilots who successfully launched a 16' X 16' house 18' tall with 300 8' colored weather balloons, inspired, of course, by the movie Up.

Yes, rub those eyes one more time and take a closer look, that is a real life house floating by balloons just like in the movie.  Real life magic.

Have a lovely day!

fantastic photos by Around & Around can be found at Society 6 
more photos and info on the Up inspired house project can be found here 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm currently reading Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and I love it.  It's cute, fun, laugh out loud when you're alone (and, ahem, in public) reading material.  I may even love it just a smiggin' more than Tina Fey's Bossypants although it was also very good.  Chelsea Handler's Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea is equally funny (just in a different more --- disturbing way), so I feel more comfortable recommending Mindy's, and out of the three of these funny ladies I find Mindy the most relatable.

I'm still reading but I just finished a chapter that contains a piece called "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities"  and I know that every girl who reads the book thinks, "Ohmaga!  That's so me and [insert name of best friend here]!"  Here are some of them:

Your boyfriend is never going to tell you that your skirt is too tight and riding up too high on you. In fact, you shouldn’t have even asked him, poor guy. He wants to have sex with you no matter how pudgy you are. I am the only person besides your mom who has the right (and responsibility) of telling you that. I should never be overly harsh when something doesn’t look good on you, because I know you are fragile about this and so am I. I will employ the gentle, vague expression, “I’m not crazy about that on you,” which should mean to you: “Holy shit, take that off, that looks terrible.” I owe it to you to give feedback like a cattle prod: painful but quick.

I can ditch you to hang out with a guy, but only if that possibility has been discussed and getting-ride-home practicalities have been worked out prior to the event. In return, I need to talk about you a lot with that guy so he knows how much I love you.

If you are crippled with pain because of a UTI, I need to haul ass to CVS to get you some medicine, fast. I should also try to pick up a fashion magazine and candy that you like, because distracting you from your pain is part of nursing you back to health as well.

This is a fair number of times to hang out with your boyfriend and withhold judgment.

Your home isn’t a hotel. I forget sometimes because you make it so comfortable for me.

As everyone knows, depressed people are some of the most boring people in the world. I know this because when I was depressed, people fled. Except my best friends. I will be there for you during your horrible breakup, and you can tell me a hundred times the same sad stories about how you thought he was going to be the one. I will be there for you to tell your long revenge fantasies to, and also to Facebook stalk whoever you want. I know I will hate it and find you really tedious, but I promise I won’t abandon you.

But don’t get mad if I can’t keep track. Robby? Don’t we hate him? No, we love him. Okay, okay. Sorry.

I know when you fall in love with someone you will completely forget about me. That hurts my feelings, but it is okay. Please try to remember to text me, if you can, if you know I have something going on in my life, like a work promotion or something.

We f**** rock. No one can beat us.

The whole book is a clever, funny, easy read that will definitely put a smile on your face.  Go view it here or on her website and if you are like, "and...who is Mindy Kaling?" you don't really need to know to find the book hilarious but please go here....and maybe go watch a few episodes of The Office on Netflix.  Please.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Artist Crush: Photographer Kirsty Mitchell

I've seen Kirsty Mitchell's beautiful images floating around the web and finally tracked down who was responsible for the photographs that seemed straight out of a stylized fairytale.  Originally in fashion design, (with internships at the design studios of Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, whose influences are obvious in her work) after going through some personal and life changes, she turned to photography (and boy am I glad she did!).

Her photographs are meticulously crafted as she makes everything from raw materials and "can take up to one month to put together one photo" she said in an interview with My Modern Net.  A behind the scenes example of one of my favorite images above:

 This photo from "The Incredible Making of Wonderland" posted by My Modern Net

Please click on the link above to see more incredible photos and what goes into making them and you must visit Kirsty's website (you will be blown away) to see the rest of her breathtaking portfolio.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth (successful author at 23!)

I just finished a great young adult fiction book called, Divergent by Veronica Roth which I reviewed on my book blog, but basically I really enjoyed it and devoured it in a day (and, um, maybe late into the night...).  I'm usually reading several books at any given time, but sometimes I just want a great escapism page turner and that's what I got with this book.  If you enjoy young adult fiction you should definitely check it out. It's received quite a bit of hype in YA book circles, was voted  Goodread’s “favorite book of 2011”, and spent eleven straight weeks on the New York Times' bestseller list following its May 2011 release. She has a sequel coming out this May and a movie deal in the works. What I wanted to mention on this blog was I thought the book was fun, fast paced, well-written, but I was blown away to see that the author was 23 years old and had actually started writing the book when she was 21 and still in college.  Wow.

I would love to ask her some specific questions about how she achieved this kind of success at such a young age but she does answer a couple of questions on her blog.

“How did you juggle college and writing?”

“The best answer I can give to this is: I prioritized writing. That sometimes sounds misleading, so I'll say this-- I did work hard, attend class, and maintain good grades. But: I also figured out exactly what was necessary to be in good standing in any given class and did only that .....But it's important, whether you're a writer or not, to remember that while you are a student, you are also a person. And I think you should prioritize being a person-- being healthy, sleeping, resting, hanging out with friends, exploring the world-- even at the expense of your grades. For me, part of being a person was writing. And I found that if I allowed myself time to be a person, when I did sit down to be a student, I worked HARD. I was far more focused during the time I set aside to work than I would have been if I had tried to work all day. So it's also a matter of using your time well. And you'll be able to use your time well if you have your priorities in order. That's my theory."

Obviously this applies to school or to a job.  She emphasizes something we all already know but seeing someone so young put it into action is encouraging, and that is to prioritize, set time aside, and not let anything distract you from your ultimate goal.

“Is it hard being a "baby" in the published world? Does being so young hurt your chances or help?”

“Just to set the record straight: I was 21 when I wrote Divergent. BUT other talented authors like the delightful Kody Keplinger were even younger than that when they wrote their books. So this age question is an interesting one.

Being young didn't hurt my chances because it wasn't a factor. I didn't mention my age in query letters to agents; sometimes I didn't even mention that I was a student. JSV knew my age only because she'd met me in person, and she didn't care. She just wanted to see a good manuscript, and in that, she's not alone. I haven't met many people who care how young you are, as long as you write a good book.

In a certain sense it's difficult, because I'm just not as wise or mature as I'd like to be. That's not to say that I'm unwise and immature, because I'm not-- but sometimes I seriously struggle to handle the things that are on my plate, sometimes I react to things like a young person does (with stubbornness!), sometimes I get anxious about what's ahead of me because it feels too adult, too soon. Maybe older writers also have this struggle, but some of it is specific to my youth and my personality. I also know that I can only push my writing so far before I just have to say, "Wait. With time, wisdom. With wisdom, better writing."

But as far as my reception among other writers, or people in the publishing industry...being young is not a hindrance. Some people will make a thing out of it, but only in a good way ("And she's so young, too!"), in which case I try to remind myself I still have a lot to learn, so that it doesn't go to my head.”

From her Amazon Q&A, she answers a question about how being young informed her writing and the themes she addressed in Divergent:

"Q: You’re a young author--is it your current adult perspective or not-so-recent teenage perspective that brought about the factions in the development of this story? Do you think that teens or adults are more likely to fit into categories in our current society?

Roth: Other aspects of my identity have more to do with the factions than my age. The faction system reflects my beliefs about human nature—that we can make even something as well-intentioned as virtue into an idol, or an evil thing. And that virtue as an end unto itself is worthless to us. I did spend a large portion of my adolescence trying to be as “good” as possible so that I could prove my worth to the people around me, to myself, to God, to everyone. It’s only now that I’m a little older that I realize I am unable to be truly “good” and that it’s my reasons for striving after virtue that need adjustment more than my behavior. In a sense, Divergent is me writing through that realization—everyone in Beatrice’s society believes that virtue is the end, the answer. I think that’s a little twisted.

I think we all secretly love and hate categories—love to get a firm hold on our identities, but hate to be confined—and I never loved and hated them more than when I was a teenager. That said: Though we hear a lot about high school cliques, I believe that adults categorize each other just as often, just in subtler ways. It is a dangerous tendency of ours. And it begins in adolescence."

I thought that last statement was rather profound.

She states that being young hasn't been an issue for her in the publishing industry but what's interesting is she didn't let it become an issue for herself.  (I wouldn't worry as much now, but at 21 I'm not sure I would have had that kind of confidence and drive in college!)  She knew what she wanted, she was disciplined in how she achieved her goal, and she did it without hesitation.  It's encouraging to read about someone so young going after their dreams and making them come true in a big way. 

P.S. If you are a writer/aspiring author, she gives lots of answers and advice on how she did it on her FAQ page here. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Walk off the Earth's cover of "Somebody I used to know"

This is a very cool video of Walk off the Earth performing a cover of Gotye's "Somebody that I used to know" using five people on one guitar.  If you haven't seen it give it a listen.  The lovely lady is The Creepshow's Sarah Blackwood.  

Also interesting and different is Gotye's original video (if you like artsy videos) and the original song is great, too. Some nice lyrics as well (ex: "You can get addicted to a certain kinda sadness...").   Go to watch it here (if you do, you have to get past the first 30 seconds because at first you might be wondering what sort of video I've sent you to, but don't worry, it's the right video so hang in there).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Just Want It, Darling, Don't Ask Me Why

Today is a new feature I'm starting called,

"I just want it, darling, don't ask me why"

Featuring items that are frivolous and fairly useless,
but if I had all the room and money in the world...
Here we go.

A typewriter (to write letters with?)

 Awesome Green Tissue Box Cover

Vintage phone even though we don't have a landline

Cat Lipstick, yes please

 A chalkboard wall, as featured in the fantastic movie, 500 Days of Summer

Ok, now this is somewhat useful and completely adorable.

1. This is actually a photograph on sale at Etsy here
(But I want that typewriter not the photograph.)
5. Not sure where to find this but the movie and soundtrack are awesome
6. White Owl Bone China Nightlight by White Rabbit England