Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lavender and Blush




______Green is beginning to speckle Iowa's landscape like freckles on the earth, dandelions are sprouting in patches that straddle sidewalks, and flowers in shades of butter yellow, lavender, and tropical pink are popping up here and there.

______What I love about spring is how slowly everything unfolds; time creeps by regardless of how fast your own life is going, and the bright greens of spring and summer tiptoe in little by little until all things are cloaked in a lush carpet of foliage and flora. It is comforting to know that no matter how quick our day-to-day routine may be, the changing of seasons will always be something to savor over time.

______Living in a world of instant gratification, we can forget how rewarding it is to be patient for things that are important to us; whether that means not knowing the predetermined day of the week a package will show up at our door compared to predictable two-day shipping, or deliberating over a decision opposed to immediately choosing one based on impulse, the drawn-out wait is just as worthy of recognition as is the final destination there.

______I am constantly trying to slow and control time, whether that be through letter writing, the use of traditional media in my artwork, or using those few free moments in the day put away my phone and people watch from my studio window.





______I know I'm not entirely susceptible to the rapid-fire abilities of technology, for I do take my photos with a digital camera instead of using 35mm film (but wouldn't that just be so hipster?) and I did type this entire post on my phone while sipping on a cocktail at a bar with jazz music, rustic bar counters, and bartenders dressed in black vest and white pressed button up shirts. I guess this is what adults do besides tax returns, watching House of Cards, and carrying suitcases around. They type out blog posts on their phones. 

______But like, a $9.00 cocktail--just one, savored slowly over half an hour while I wait for my friend to get off work and type away all businesslike on my phone--is totally an adult thing I can manage. Pretty sure there are three different kinds of alcohol in this thing. And a lime slice. Yeah, lime slices don't mess around. Lemon slice? Whatever. Been there, done that. Lime slice? Something serious is going down.

______You ever see a kid with a lime wedge on the rim of their glass? Didn't. Think. So.

______Enjoy a cocktail sometime this week, friends, slowly and deliberately as possible. Really appreciate it. Responsibly and only if you are legal, of course.



Lace top: Forever 21 (exact)
Blazer: Forever 21
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jelly sandals: BooHoo (exact)
Faceted ring: c/o BornPretty
Necklace: NastyGal
Bracelets: all vintage

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ghost Lace + BornPretty




______When the temperature is below thirty degrees, I'm not bothered by the coldness unless there's wind; that being said, there was definitely a wind yesterday that blew everything from my hair to the birds in the sky to places they surely didn't intend to go. I suppose that's why there are so many seagulls circling above the river here--they must have been blown here from a land far, far away.

______There was one morning, however, when I woke up on the happy, buttered side of my bread: outside my windows, falling in the slowest and chunkiest of chunks was the softest, purest, whitest snow my Southern eyes have ever seen. Overnight, the wind halted. There was the silence and stillness that only accompanies snow or a heavy rainfall. The sky was a shade of pale grey that Restoration Hardware would totally dig for their next wall paint color, and the landscape was blanketed in white, white, white, as if mother nature herself had knitted a massive scarf overnight for the earth. Snow plows were purring in and out of my hearing range, pushing snow from walkways and streets, and footprints were pressed into the ground in roads, across grass, and on sidewalks, revealing some of what was below.



______The first time the snow was predicted I didn't believe it for a second because where I come from, a forecast of snow usually means a) rain so cold yer extremities weep gross amounts of tears, or b) there are ten minutes of snow flurries that are as disappointing as a fun-sized pack of milk duds that only has two milk duds in it. Usually fun-sized portions have three or even FOUR milk duds. And I was always the ugly duckling that ended up with two. This has happened to me on more than one occasion--always around Halloween, always a little depressing. First world problems at it's most severe.

______In honor of the first day of Spring, I received two lovely items from BornPretty: this dainty silver blossom bracelet and gold and silver gingko leaf ring, both which are eagerly awaiting the return of warmer weather. I used to be afraid of mixing gold and silver, but when the jewelry does it for you as this leaf ring does, it makes things much less stressful.

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



Dress: Lulus (similar)
Lace robe: Forever 21
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Tassel Necklace: Charming Charlie
Blossom bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Gingko leaf ring: c/o BornPretty

Friday, March 3, 2017

Translated to Charcoal



______It's been a long and busy week, one that doesn't have a need for many words or many colors... and these extremely artsy, cheesy greyscale photos have nothing to do with the fact that I had the white balance set wrong the whole time and was too frigid to take more. NOTHING AT ALL.

______*nervous fidgeting*

______*immediately vacates the area*



Baseball tee: Forever 21 (exact here)
Jean skirt: TJ Maxx (similar)
Socks: Amazon (similar)
Choker: Valfre
Jelly heels: Juju (exact here)
Star ring, cross ring: c/o BornPretty

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Blue Dusk



______Unless I am intently focused on the completion of some task, there's a gear spinning in my head reminding me of something else I could be doing at that moment. Part of this inability to be completely at ease at all times is anxiety, part of it is likely from existing in a world where you fault yourself if you're not constantly in motion, whether that be mentally or physically. It is retracing thoughts you've already had to make sure you've thought them correctly. It is making unnecessary lists and crossing things off your unnecessary list. It is a constant hum, an anxious white noise machine that spits sounds of buzzing electronics and the heightened voices of news casters arguing over one another.

______I call these things--these happenings of overthinking, of worrying, of not knowing how to chill the heck out during downtime--The Screamings.




______I suppose The Screamings begin about halfway through my morning workout, the moment I wake and become something more than a tired shell of a human stumbling through her typical morning routine. You know, that moment the tea or coffee kicks in and you realize it's a new day with new checkpoints to reach.

______The Screamings can pertain to anything: thought-screaming scenarios that I weave in my brain, thought-screaming encounters with friends or dogs I dream of petting, thought-screaming ideas of future projects to work on in the studio, or even thought-screaming all the things I need to buy at the grocery store and their exact location within the store. If these thought-screams could be illustrated, they would be words tangled in swirling lines that swept across the page like a smudgy charcoal tornado; the paper would be cheap newsprint that'd rip a few times but could be pieced back together.

______Though my brain screams, I wouldn't be myself with it. Were I not constantly busy or thinking of things to do and make, I'd probably not be me. Better busy than stagnant...

Bralette: Alter'd State (similar)
Top: (similar)
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jelly shoes: Juju (similar)
Antler ring: c/o BornPretty
Braclets: c/o BornPretty

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Winter's Spoils + BornPretty



______Many times I've heard people say that no situation is perfect, but I find it hard to believe such a saying applies to me at this point in my life. I feel I am in a place of personal growth where I am constantly pushing limits, breaking boundaries, and other such actions with powerful verbage.

______Even if whatever task or project I am pushing through is difficult and I am living on the meager salary of a graduate student (with much help from the parents in other areas, thank goodness), things have been, well, pretty darn swell. Since I've moved to Iowa, I've found myself more comfortable with myself and my surroundings, no matter how unfamiliar they once were and still currently are; I also feel I have a greater understanding with the work I am producing in the studio, even if it constantly stresses me out and twists my dreams into anxious ordeals. Being alone with myself is more of a solitudinous treat to enjoy than a feeling of emptiness that overwhelms.




______I'm feeling more content than I have ever known before, even with the stress I put on myself, minus maybe that one time my grandma fed me an Oreo when I was small and I discovered my life-long passion for all things sweet and chocolatey. But the stress is good stress, because it's stress about the things I care about. Were it not, I'm sure a little grey raincloud would be following me around, dumping and dripping its rain all over me.

______That being said, I know I am thankful for all that I have now and will continue to have through graduate school, no matter what scholastic hardships I may face...





______Appreciation of life aside, BornPretty sent me another round of gold-coated items: this uniquely-designed antler ring, these dangling teardrop leaf earrings, a delicate branch bracelet, and a bracelet with rows and rows of glittering rhinestones. I'm always fond of their bracelet selection, especially the delicate pieces which are perfect for adding subtle detail on outfits which already have a solid amount of bling in them--such as this glitzy mesh top and sparkly tights.

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



Mesh top: Urban Outfitters (exact)
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Tights: similar
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Rhinestone bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Leaf bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Earrings: c/o BornPretty
Antler ring: c/o BornPretty

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fur-Trimmed



______The temperatures peaked in the mid-30s for the first time in what seemed an eternity.  The snow that was blanketing the ground when I left Iowa was completely melted upon return, except for a few frozen patches that lurked in the shadows. It was a much-needed break after so many days filled with icy blasts of wind, unexpected snowfall, and a raw throat from sucking down so much dry air. I do love the quiet and solitude that comes with grey days and snow, but it's nice to escape what Southern's call "the devil's dandruff."

______Good thing the devil acquired some dandruff shampoo. Things were getting a little wild there for a minute.





______I busted out this vintage jean jacket trimmed with rabbit fur that screams "Slightly Gaudy Upper Half of a Canadian tuxedo." I still remember the day I bought it and ran into my printmaking professor who told me it looked like it belonged on a backup dancer straight out of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" video. I did not disagree with her. I snagged the slightly tacky garment nearly two years ago but haven't had any days cold enough to wear it. That's one of my favorite thing about living in the Midwest: I'm actually able to cuddle up in sweaters like I'm being coddled by a dozen golden retriever puppies without feeling like I just did an intense interval workout. I can wear furry scarves and fur-lined cardigans and stay toastier than toast.




______BornPretty (use code ALT10 for 10% off) sent me a four leaf clover ring, blue necklace, and an open rhinestone bangle. More accessories to add to my mountain of accessories, and I am absolutely loving all the glitz, especially when the skies are grey and the temperatures a wee bit sad.

Jean jacket: vintage
Dress: Forever 21 (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Clover ring: c/o BornPretty
Necklace: c/o BornPretty
Rhinestone bangle: c/o BornPretty