Friday, June 17, 2016

Indigo-go



______I promise I haven't been whisked away by aliens to another planet far, far away, nor captured by a ferocious band of jellybeans and converted into a new JellyBelly flavor. But if I was converted into a JellyBelly flavor, I would hope it to be something akin to week-old fish turd-flavored so that nobody would dare consume JellyBelly Ali.

______I digress. The first week I was away, I was in North Carolina at the John C. Campbell Folk school taking a workshop for my third time there. This time around, it was a dyeing workshop. Our instructor was from Nigeria (but has been living in New Mexico for the past twenty years) and brought the techniques of the Yoruba Tribe with him as well as many samples of his own work.

______He also brought natural indigo for us to dye our fabrics in after preparing them with patterns through methods such as batik, using a cassava paste as a resist that was "painted" on to the fabric, and tie-dyeing.





______This top was one of the pieces he made. It's silk, lightweight and delicate, and dyed a deep indigo. Deeper than the deep blue sea. Deeper than a sinking sand pit. Deeper than a black and white Instagram photo with an inspirational quote. That deep.

______Immediately after returning home from the workshop, dad and I packed our things for our North Dakota and Montana trip to see family members. I hadn't seen any of them for nearly seven years due to summers being filled with work or classes, so being able to see everyone in person was quite the treat. More than worth the 50+ hours on the road.

______If you were a JellyBelly flavor, what flavor would you be?





Top: made by Gasali Adeyemo
Heels: ASOS
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Starfish fish: c/o BornPretty

Monday, May 30, 2016

Black Star + BornPretty



______BornPretty sent me over some summery accessories: these retro butterfly-shaped sunglasses, a tiny silver infinity ring, and an open bracelet tipped with prismatic crystal cubes that shimmer like the sun-kissed wings of a dragonfly. Dramatic description, I know. I try to go all out with these things.

______I'm pretty sure my dog could sit on these sunglasses and they wouldn't break; they're so sturdy it's like they're made from the bulging forearms of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Same goes for this bracelet; I'm pretty sure I could chuck it at Arnold Schwarzenegger and it could even knock that rock of a man out. I love me some sturdy jewelry that doubles as weaponry.

______I digress. As usual, you can get 10% off your order at BornPretty with the code ALT10.





______I am aware that I was wearing a black jacket in the swarming 90-degree heat. I did it for the fashion and immediately had to chuck it in the washing machine afterward.




______For the next week, I'll be in North Carolina for a fabric-dyeing workshop, and a day after I return home, daddy-o and I will be driving up to North Dakota and Montana to see our relatives. So much driving. So many gas station snack stops. That being said, if you don't see anything for me until late June, it's not because I went off in pursuit of David Bowie in outer space or fell ill from eating the consumption of too many Rolos and Tootsie Pops; though those are things I would likely do, it will simply be because of The Traveling (all caps necessary).

______I hope you all have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious next two weeks. I was so close to spelling that right. I interchanged an "a" for what should have been an "i."

______Keep your spelling sharp, folks.



Jacket: Forever 21
Top: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (exact)
Heels: ASOS
Bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Sunglasses: c/o BornPretty
Infinity ring: c/o BornPretty
Earrings: Steinmart
Necklace: vintage

Monday, May 23, 2016

Velvet Goldmine




______One day, I decided I wanted to get rid of aaaaaaaaaall my undergrad paintings which were stored in my parents' basement.

______This decision was made after Spring cleaning my room for the second time and deciding something somewhere didn't feel clean enough, that I had to get rid of more things, that there were still cobwebs that needed to be cleared. This decision was also made because I felt I needed a new start with my art (*snaps for unintentional rhymes) as I near the start of... dun-dun-dun... grad school; thus, I put them all up on Facebook for sale. I kind of laughed in my head; I wasn't expecting anyone to really bite at them because to me most of them were fairly old, needed some help here or there, or seemed like paintings where I learned something rather than came to a conclusion of sorts.



______But we are our own worst critic, and they all sold. I spent the next week delivering them with help from my dad's Yukon and many blankets so the paintings would be snug as a bug in a rug on their way to their new homes.




______In my humble bumblebee option, it's more beneficial to have you paintings hanging in someone's home rather than collecting dust, long-legged spiders, and unfriendly ghost spirits in a basement. I've got a photo archive of all my work, so what more do I need with the physical object taking up space? Plus there's that whole thing about money. I have yet to truly become attached to anything I've made.

______After selling everything on Facebook, I received a solid amount of painting commissions, so now I'm looking at getting about four more done before the end of the summer. Here are two (thankfully the largest I'll have to be painting) that I've gotten out of the way this past month.

______Have a fabulous start to your week, my fair feathered friends.


Sensory Tables, 2016
oil on panel, 4'x4'

Lisa
Untitled, 2016
oil on panel, 3'x3'

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dreaming of Sugarplums



______Humidity and heat are beginning to permeate the Alabama air: in just a matter of weeks, the flowers will start to brown and curl at the edges like burnt toast, sprinklers will hiss and spit at lawns to keep them at their greenest, and even shady areas will be uncomfortably warm to leisure beneath midday.

______Wasps are becoming more and more plentiful and darting around diabolically like the vile winged beasts they are. They are plotting in their tiny cheese-like combs of homes, readying their armies to infiltrate earth with another early attack of buzzing, stinging, dive-bombing, and other similar unpleasantries.




______My dog is already wagging his tail slower whenever I mention the word "walk?" because he knows it means setting paw upon the hellish landscape that is the searing concrete streets of our neighborhood. And unless the path we walk is shady and cool, he basically stands by and says, Nah, I'm good, bruh. He also knows the warmer weather means wasps, and though many dogs avoid these flying red villains, my dog does not; rather than shying away from those nasty buggers, he approaches them with an air of nonchalance, then either pounds his paws on them, sticks his nose at them, or straight-up eats them whole.

______Bless his soul. May he one day learn.



______Not gonna lie, most of the time during summer, I'm dressed in a loose top that lets my armpits breathe the sweet air of freedom, some blinding neon shorts that scream "traffic cone," and keep my hair up in a ponytail. Kind of sort of exactly like those workout moms who shop at the grocery store after their morning yoga classes. You know the ones: they've got sunglasses on their heads, a matching Lululemon set, a baby cradled in one hand, and a cart being pushed by the other.

______So today instead of being a yoga workout mom, I tried to up the casual with minute, shiny details so maybe I can be a little more exciting, kind of like a pineapple covered in glitter. I am a strong believer in that dressing up makes you feel better no matter what. Heck, I bet wasps wouldn't be such jerkwads if they just put on some glittery headbands once in a while.

Sugarplum

Top: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (exact)
Choker: NastyGal
Headband: similar
Heels: ASOS
Earrings, quartz bracelet: local artisan
Rings: c/o BornPretty
Lips: Hourglass

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Siren Song



______BornPretty sent over some lovely gems again, these foraged from the seas and probably crafted with immaculate dexterity by seahorses and tiny octopuses. I've been choosing items that pair well together, and in lieu of summer's promise of warm weather and lazy days, settled on a few beachy accessories: this clustered seashell statement necklace, a dainty starfish ring, and a simple gold ring. This necklace is such a charming little piece with its sea shells, pearls, and gold stars adorned with pearls, and it clinks like chimes in the wind as I move.

______As usual, you can get 10% off your purchase at BornPretty with the code ALT10 at checkout.




______I'm ready to poise myself as a mermaid, one who is adorned with lustrous pearls and glittering golds which dropped from ships' reserves deep into the ocean. One who will sing her siren song and lure  men from their boats so that she can eat their faces off and loot the treasures from their pirating pockets. Because that's what a real mermaid would probably do.

______Okay, maybe that's more like a vicious siren, but I like to think mermaids and sirens were hairs plucked from the same mustache. Of all the mermaids in the world, surely there are a handful who have a diabolical side; ones who don't mess around with the craft of seaweed basket weaving, exchanging handmade Best Friends Forever bracelets with the local dolphins, or admiring themselves in shards of mirrors that drifted from above into the crevices of their homes.

______Nay, these dark mermaids have the urge to hypnotize land dwellers and therefor align themselves with the baddest creatures of the ocean: scheming sharks, twisting electric eels, Ursula, Furbies that still manage to sputter "I Love You" even though they're fifteen years old, and last but not least, The Godforsaken Blob Fish.




______I'm keeping this post short because I want to hop off in order to bake some cookies. There's a strange urge I get about once or twice a month to bake cookies, and perhaps that is a siren song in itself... eat me, the cookie dough sings tantalizingly. Eat me and so I can go to your thighs.




Dress: New York & Company (similar)
Sandals: ASOS (similar)
Pearl and starfish necklace: c/o BornPretty
Starfish ring: c/o BornPretty
Simple ring: c/o BornPretty
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Poofball: Amazon