Monday, August 24, 2015

For What It's Worth

(all photos by Brandon Smith)

______Something different for you all today! I've caught myself in another busy rut but managed to get out with one of my friends for a neat little photoshoot in a decrepit old house. These photos are all shot by my friend Brandon, but he allowed me the freedom of editing them to give them an eerie, ghostly feel. I'm all for that blue-tinted, ethereal spirit sauntering through an abandoned house aesthetic.


______From outside, the house looked like one of those locations you'd expect an unruly gang of ghostbusters to have an absolute ball in attempting communication with spirits. It was quaint, victorian, and decaying, with a roof that sunk from gravity's relentless pull and chipped wooden white railings that lined the front porch. Vines crawled up crinkled blue paneling and into its crevices like sneaky snakes on a sneaky snake mission (whoa, slow down there, Ali). The shingles were warped and uneven like crooked teeth and the windows were barred.

______I mean, it was definitely a nice starter house if you weren't concerned about mold chipping precious years from your life.


______The back door was open, which is where we made our entrance. Brandon gave me a large stick for protection, and he, too carried one.

______The air was stagnant and dust motes swam like minnows in the fading light that poured from the windows. Even the spiders had abandoned their webs. In the first room, half the ceiling's surface peeled back like an orange and hung limp against the floor. Another room had a broken window that fell out of itself. My favorite room, which most of the pictures here are in, had a lightbulb dangling at your eye's height, a crumbling fireplace, and the most delectable molded wallpaper. Can you say dream house?


Nightgown: my mom's from way back when

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cinderelly Dressed In Jelly


______I woke up this morning and decided I was going to sandwich the two most unlikely pieces together: the most smaaaaaahhhhhhshing neon pink jelly shoes and a confectionary-worthy blue dress. If you don't question the combination, is it even fashion? Boom shakalaka.

______I must shamefully admit that these are the third pair of jelly shoes I've purchased this summer. They were on sale. Don't judge me. Like Twinkies and the Neopets account you'll never be able to delete since you forgot your password, jellified plastic is forever. Jellified plastic is never a bad decision. Unless you're throwing it in an ocean. Then whales eat it, whales fail to digest it, and whales frickin' die. Not cool, man. Not cool.


______One of my best friends lives in North Carolina and besides texting, we tend to video chat back and forth via extreme, Olympic-worthy Snapchatting. She'll send a stack of videos and I'll reply with my own stack, and usually we'll end up sending so many selfie videos that our conversations run tangent to the initial topic. She may send an inquiry about my most recent thoughts on the current state of the millennial generation, but due to delivery delays, could receive as an apparent reply, a video of me vividly describing a strange blonde bird outside that looks like Donald Trump's hair.


______One thing that came up in a recent discussion was how we both aren't entirely satisfied with where we are after graduation.

______She confessed that she was envious how I was able to produce art on my fellowship and didn't have the pressure to get a job immediately after graduating; I confessed that I was envious of how she was already financially stable living on her own like a fully functioning adult, free to travel wherever she wanted. We both shifted guiltily, knowing it's selfish to think this way, knowing there are others who have it harder than us and have it much worse. But this is the way we both are: ambitious, desiring to be independent, and with minds that are constantly on the move, like recently hatched baby turtles who hurl themselves into the relentless ocean and expect not to drown.

______We both kind of laughed at the absurdity of desiring each other's successes instead of enjoying our own.

______Sure, she feels like her job is repetitive and knows it won't be her lifelong career, but she's climbing an uphill track and doing extremely well for being out of college for just three months. For that, I am proud of her. And sure, I might be as close to a career as a tomato is to be being a pineapple, but the fellowship I'm on gave me a year to produce work and acquire as much knowledge as possible through the workshops for which I was given funds. In addition, living at home with my parents who I get along with means I don't have to pay for rent or groceries. My friend and I both successful in our own ways, and we've simply failed to come to terms with that since we're too busy focusing on the future instead of the now. And that needs to change.

______Tell me one thing you really, truly appreciate in your life right now. Go!


Dress: KnowStyle (very similar)
Jelly shoes: Juju (similar)
Ring: graduation gift from dad, local jewelers
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Earrings: Charming Charlie

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pantalones Locos + JORD watches


______I was recently contacted by JORD Wood Watches to try out a piece from their new line of wooden watches. I chose the Ely model, a hearty piece crafted from a smooth blonde maple that was custom fitted to my wrist. Snug as a bug in a rug. Notched as a watch on a... Loch...ness... monster.

______Ha ha. Um. Anyway, it arrived in a beautifully crafted wooden box with a slide-open top that's a delicacy in itself. Their watches are eco-friendly, meaning tossing them into a forest won't turn it into a forsaken landscape of rusted metal scraps and burnt pines. But I wouldn't recommend throwing your watch into a forest for many reasons, one of them being because it's too darn purty, hyuck hyuck. Honestly though, I'll be wearing this watch around as much as I can!


______I don't believe it's necessary to have your phone on the entire day, and I think watches oughtta wiggle back into our generation for timekeeping. Phones tempt us with their glowing screens and suck us in like your favorite Disney movie, making it easy for us to ignore those in our company,  the ones with whom we should really be sharing an experience. There's nothing that makes you feel more like poo poo than when you're talking to someone and they're more absorbed in their phone than you. Watches allow you to be in the now, 'cause they don't tell you that Arnold Schwarzenegger retweeted a Vine of Paula Deen's cooking show dubbed with 2 Fast 2 Furious dialogue. As great as that Vine is, it'll be there for you when you get home, I promise.

______And if you take a whole gosh darn three hours to reply to a text message, I guarantee that nobody's going to viciously shave your eyebrows off the next time they see you in person for it. Unless their text message read "I'm going to viciously shave your eyebrows off the next time I see you." Then like, you better learn how to draw those suckers on with a Sharpie.

______You don't need to apologize for not being momentarily available. Patience really is a virtue.


______Though you can't always manage what happens with your time, you can do your best to enjoy those free moments. The weeks spent with my grandma at the sewing workshop in Florida were some of the most peaceful I had, even if my thoughts were swirling with notions of finishing projects and remembering responsibilities when I returned to the land of Alabama. But when you have some down time and are literally forced to be away from your work and usual routine, really make the most of it. Living inside a retirement community and sewing amongst a lively clique of sweet old ladies taught me a lot about slowing down, having patience, and being in the now. It made me a little forlorn, too, but I'll focus on the happy stuff.

______We spring onions should glean some living philosophies from the older folks. For example, in your free time, you should take an hour to whip up a batch of walnut cookies plump with chocolate chips, ask your grandpa about his war stories (because he probably still knows Morse code like the back of his hand), shimmy on over to the pool and toast under the bristling palm trees, or plot how you're going to take over an uninhabited island whilst diligently marking up the daily crossword.

______And do it slow. Savor each step in the process. Really be certain you want to take over the northern island opposed to that one to the east. The one to the east is full of hermit crabs that fart a lot, you know. Nobody wants an island full of those. Not even the crabs do, man.


Watch: Ely, c/o JORD Wood Watches
Pants: Bealles (exact)
Top: Charlotte Russe
Heels: ASOS (exact)
Ampersand ring: c/o BornPretty
Rings: Charming Charlie (similar)

Ladies Wooden Watches