Saturday, December 29, 2012

029. The Month of December

I submitted this photoset to Rookie for their January mythology theme, and I'm anxious to see if they get in! They're all taken, styled, and modeled by my little sister and me. I'm particularly proud of the flower crown I'm wearing, which I made myself! I'm going to add a tutorial on how to make the "My own heart is my temple" poster if anyone is interested in that!

I feel like this photoshoot is representative of a lot of what I've been going through this month as far as trying to find inner peace and balance between mind/body/spirit. I'm thinking about starting a second blog just for spirituality related topics. Would anyone be interested?

And now the excuses.... I suppose I don't really have to explain why I haven't posted in a month, but I'm going to. Finals, as always, brought a lot more stress than I thought it was going to, and my free time diminished into being basically non-existent.  In addition to that, I feel like I've been a lot more focused on connecting spiritually, and that has sort of put a pause on all my sewing and craft ventures as well as a lot of other hobbies and interests. I'm at a point now where I would love to try and integrate the two, and use my spiritual side to try and fuel my creativity in all blog-related endeavors.

Overall, I've spent the past month becoming a happier, healthier, more connected person. I've learned a lot about myself in a lot a different ways, and I'm definitely looking forward to 2013! I want to post a resolution list right at the start of the new year, so that will be my next post!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

028. The Great Gatsby (1974)

For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you may have noticed I have a sort of love affair with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his works. Early in October I posted about his collection of short stories entitled Flappers & Philosophers.  Sadly, I've spent a lot of time worrying about the impending release of the new Gatsby movie. I have a lot of respect for Baz Lurman, and I love both Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, but I'm just so concerned about seeing the story get bastardized and raped by Hollywood to make it 'more exciting' or 'more appealing' to a general audience. I understand that my irrational concern over this movie is both snobby and self-indulgent due to the fact that it ultimately has nothing to do with my life or my overall happiness. Still, my desire for Mr. Lurman to create a masterpiece that will become my new favorite movie has embedded within me high enough expectations that I cannot help but feel I will be disappointed.

In order to better prepare for seeing my middle school crush (Leonardo DiCaprio) ruin perfect the role of one of the greatest literary characters of all time, I sat down and forced myself to watch the 1974 version of the film. In the first twenty minutes of the movie, I must have seriously debated turning it off at least five times. I was watching through my fingers horrified that it might alter my own vision of the characters. In the end, I was surprised to find that I truly enjoyed it. Of course, I missed the little things they decided not to include, like the library scene with the owl-eyed glasses guy, but overall they did a wonderful job incorporating some of the more nuanced aspects of the book like colors and the constant underlying feeling of longing. They did a great job in depicting Nick's role as the observer, placing him slightly behind the other characters in almost every seen. I thought the man who played George Wilson was wonderful as well. It's really a great adaptation as far as book-into-movie films go.

Here are some screencaps I took while watching and then edited for clarity. I took less and less as the film went on because I became more and more engrossed in the events. These are out of order:

On a different note, I want to apologize for the lack of personal posts/pictures. Especially fashion posts. Although I have always considered this more of a 'lifestyle' blog than a fashion blog, those are my favorite posts to read on other people's blogs and they always feel the most creative/individualistic to me. I promise to upload more of these types of things as soon as I get my finals under control! In addition, I've been pretty bad about responding to comments, following back, etc. I promise this too will be taken care of in the very near future!

Monday, November 26, 2012

027. Some Instagram Photos:

This is just a random selection from my instagram. It's not all my favorites, or my most recent, but it's the ones I kind of feel like talking about, so here it goes:
1. A carousel horse that was added to the decor of On the Other Hand. Also notice the cat pillow behind his front leg.
2. Dinwiddie Hall, my favorite building on Tulane's campus, and home to the Department of Anthropology (my major)
3. A beautiful balcony in the French Quarter. I took the picture while searching for voodoo shops on October 30th
4. Me being a cat on halloween
5. A T-Rex named Sue at the Field Museum in Chicago. I took this during the summer while I was at home.
6. A beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I took it this summer while vacationing there.
7. A cool mask display in the French Quarter, also taken while hunting for voodoo shops.
8. My darling boyfriend Tyler doing his homework on my bed. He hates this picture and tried to get me to delete it, but I think he looks so nice. All my stuff is so frilly and girly he almost looks out of place, but in a good way. He's been doing no shave November, so it's nice to be able to see him clean shaven!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

026. Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone in the U.S. is having an awesome thanksgiving! I opted not to fly back to Chicago, as the stresses of travel and of leaving my routine here sound less than appealing. I've been using this short break we get from school to get ahead in my work for finals and get some much needed self-reflection. Two of my close friends Lily and Allie are both here as well! None of us have ever spent Thanksgiving away from our families before, and there is an unspoken sense of closeness and independence as we forge new traditions together. Campus is so dead I feel as though I am living in a post-apocalyptic world. Everything is still. There are no real adults here, only students, and those are few and far between. It's calm and a nice shift from the usual hustle and bustle of the university.

Last night Lily and I looked through art magazines and watched movies about the cosmos. We took every advantage of our freedom from authority, academic work, the law, and stress to clear our minds and relax. I highly recommend investing in some art magazines. If you're someone like me that spends their time wishing they could fill their room with beautiful prints and etsy artwork, than they're the perfect solution. For about $6.00 you can fill your walls with all sorts of art cutouts and preview the work of brilliant up and coming artists. We picked up one  issue of Hi-Fructose and one of Juxtapoz. Here are some of the artists featured:

Audrey Kawasaki:

  Brad Kunkle:

Tiffany Bozic

Found any spectacular artists lately? Know of any great Art Magazines or other ways of finding great art? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

025. Spirituality

Something has been changing within me. Monday was my 20th birthday, and while I did very little in the way of celebrating it, I can't help but feel as though it's been a huge event in my life. I've spent the past three years being very sick. Although I would have considered myself a happy person, it is as though my body has been constantly holding me back. I think maybe it stemmed from a deep, intuitive knowledge that I had not yet found my path. I recognize now that for a long time, I have been holding MYSELF back. I've spent a long time looking for a quick fix for my many physical ailments, but what I've realized in the past month or so is that I have to cure myself. EVERYTHING that I want, I have to do for myself. Since summer, I have been on an intense diet for the sake of my illness. Although many girls would be thrilled to have lost the weight that I lost, I looked at myself and only saw someone who was sick. Although I am in college, I can not drink with my friends, or even stay out late. Eating at restaurants was unbearably stressful, as I couldn't eat anything on the menu. While I was content with who I was as a person, I hated my body for putting me through such misery. I felt sorry for myself. I felt victimized and trapped. My body controlled my mind, but now I've begun to realize the importance of letting my mind and spirit control my body.

I am still on the intense diet and countless different supplements prescribed by naturopaths and based on internet findings, but I am finally starting to truly understand how healing works from the inside out. I have learned that personally, in order to feel happy and fulfilled, a spiritual journey must in some way be part of my lifestyle. I believe that I have powerful, untapped potential. In fact, I believe that EVERYONE has powerful, untapped potential. I go to a great college. I've always considered myself an 'academic'. I want to be smart. I want to be well-read. I want to be an expert in something, but I realize now that I must first learn how to balance my mind, body, and spirit. The priority is happiness. I have always been very passionate about the study of Anthropology, but I see now that it shouldn't be my main life objective. For me at least, reading an academic paper is not the purest way of bettering myself.

I know that the spiritual is not everyone's 'cup of tea'. If you're not interested in this post, don't read it. I have no intention of making spirituality the focus of my blog, but I do want to post on it now and then. My main purpose for writing about this here is to affirm my commitment to it. I do not expect to find '10 quick steps to enlightenment'. For those of you who have read Salinger's Franny & Zooey, I don't expect to just say the Jesus prayer until I understand the universe. This is about how I want to live my life. This is a lifestyle blog, and this is part of my lifestyle. For those of you who are interested, here are some spiritual things I've been looking at for information and motivation:

On Netflix:

(clicking image will bring you to movie's netflix page)
1. Happy: This documentary isn't necessarily focused on spirituality, but is simply about what makes people happy. They talk to people who are happy despite a lack of material wealth and try to discern what life factors lead to happiness.
2. Ayurveda: The Art of Being: This documentary about the miracle healing brought about by Ayurvedic medicine and an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Many of the stories featured are really unbelievable, and they speak of curing things like cancer and blindness. This movie really inspired me and led me to look into guides to living according to some of these values.
3. Enlighten Up!: This documentary focuses on a very skeptical journalist's journey into yoga. He doesn't believe in any type spirituality or religion. As the documentary maker tries to force some sort of spiritual awakening, they travel to India to meet a series of different guru-like figures, each giving a different view of yoga and the gates it can open for an individual.

On Youtube:

1. Spirit Science: Although sometimes not as thoroughly researched as it may seem, this youtube series consists of short 8-11 minute videos about spiritual topics. Everything from chakras to the frequencies of different dimensions and to sacred geometry are explored. Admittedly, some of these videos are put together much better than others, but every single one offers at least some interesting food for thought. The best part? They're all told through the voice of an adorable little animated avatar.

2. Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditations: I absolutely love these. they put me in a relaxed state more quickly than any other meditation method I've ever tried. The youtube channel (linked through the image above) is great because each of the meditations vary in length. Whether you want to do a twenty-minute meditation or an hour long meditation, they have one available. I have a friend who's been using me as practice for her Reiki healing techniques, and playing these in the background makes it much more intense!

While I know this might not interest everyone, I hope at least some of you will click a few of these links! Like I said, I hope to be doing posts like this every now and then!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

024.Summer Nostolgia (preview)

About a month ago I collaborated with a very talented student at my school named Arebise and she agreed to shoot some pictures for me to post here! Here's a link to her Deviant Art and her Facebook page! I haven't downloaded all of the pictures from her yet, so this is just a preview of the everything to come! She went ahead and edited these ones of me and two of my friends (Becca & Natalie). I've been waiting to upload these for so long! Hopefully I'll be able to make a second part of this post sometime next week.