Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Acoustic Bandits


As I've mentioned before, Rx Bandits is my favorite band. When they announced they would be doing an acoustic show in Long Beach I bought my tickets the minute they went on sale.

It was such a great show, especially because the venue was actually a movie theater so it had a much more intimate feel that complimented the acoustic vibe. And then there was the wonderful news that they are officially getting back together and are writing a new album!! They also said that they'll be doing acoustic shows in Long Beach once a year, as a tribute to their home base. So much good news all at once!

I was talking to my friend before the show started and I realized I've seen Rx B live more than any other band. I'm pretty sure this past show was the seventh time I've seen them play, and honestly every single show has been an amazing experience. I have so much love and respect for them, and I can't wait to hear the new album.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lost Voices and Whispering Friends


I have a habit of ignoring my body's needs when I get sick. For example, that one time I got sick my freshman year of college and went to class with a fever. (I probably don't need to tell you not to do that, but just in case: don't go to class with a fever. It's no fun.)

Estrella and I had been trying to work out a time to see each other that would work for both of our schedules for literal MONTHS when the universe finally aligned for us the first weekend in December. You can imagine my unhappiness when I woke up the Wednesday before my trip with a sore throat and a low fever. I took a day off work to rest, but as soon as I wasn't feverish I went back to work and tried to convince myself I was fine. The morning I left for Santa Barbara I actually did feel fine--but I had lost my voice.

This is probably where a rational person would have realized that they should stay home and heal properly, but that is not what I did. I went to Santa Barbara anyway.

No regrets!! It was a much-needed trip; I hadn't seen Estrella since JULY! So we whispered to each other all day, and her mom made me soup and lots of lemony tea. The only downside was that my immune system was tired of me ignoring its needs and I woke up the next morning feeling much worse. I ended up going home after just 24 hours but I'm still glad I went.

Forever thankful for someone who will whisper with me all day <3



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Deck the Halls! Part 5: Bonus Round

I mentioned wanting to have some Christmas decorations in my room, and as much as I wanted a real mini Christmas tree, I had to admit that my mom was right and it probably wouldn't fit in my room. In the end I decided on this mini fake tree that I snagged at Target. I was hoping for a white one, but this gold one has done the job well.

I decorated it with some paper ornaments that I folded following the directions on this pin, as well as the 2 ornaments I had posted about earlier.

The topper on this guy is a little bow I made out of the pages of a magazine I had lying around.

I hope you guys are having a pleasant holiday season!
<3

Friday, December 13, 2013

FUN in LA: Whimsic Alley

Whimsic Alley
A few weeks ago one of my friends took me to the most magical place in LA.

Not Disneyland. Whimsic Alley.

It's a store designed to look like Diagon Alley! So you walk in, and the different sections of the store look like little store fronts of their own. They even have a Great Hall that you can rent out for parties!! It was so awesome it was overwhelming. They have so much Harry Potter merch, but also Doctor Who , Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones stuff.

Whimsic Alley
Whimsic Alley
Whimsic Alley
It was so much to take in all at once, I couldn't decide on what to get. I ended up getting a Ravenclaw prefect pin, a button with a dark mark, and a button with the Ravenclaw crest to put on my work apron, and a time turner necklace that I have not taken off since I bought it.

Whimsic Alley
I think I'm going to go back after the holidays to get myself a Ravenclaw Quidditch jumper, but mainly just to be immersed in the awesome-ness again. I wish I had found out about this place sooner, because they also do events like a Yule Ball!

Whimsic Alley
It's my new favorite place, and another spot I think you NEED to see if you're visiting LA.

<3

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Deck the Halls: Part 4! The finished product

Christmas Tree
I've never felt an emotional connection to a Christmas tree before. The tree is always just there, and it looks pretty but that's where my Christmas tree thoughts end.

Not this year. Seriously every time I walk past the tree I think about how much I love it, and I frequently find myself just staring at it adoringly.

Christmas Tree
So let's talk about this gorgeous thing!

I've already told you about the ornaments and the tree skirt; it's kind of frustrating but mostly hilarious that the glittered stars are the showstoppers on the tree. Hours I spent fringing the other stars and they don't look nearly as pretty as the ones that took 5 minutes. The other ornaments are the ones we had already. We have some colored ones but we decided to go for a silver, gold, and blue theme this year.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
The top is what I am most proud of. Me and my mom were in Macy's in September (not an exaggeration, it was literally September) and they had Christmas trees up already. In all the trees they had flowers or feathers bunched up at the top and we really liked the look of it, so when we went to Michaels on our Christmas craft excursion we got a few bunches of fake flowers to try to recreate the look. It turned out to be incredibly easy and I love the way it makes the tree look. We just cut the flowers off the main stem with a wire cutter and stuck them in! That's all it took, and the tree instantly looked more posh.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
The tree topper is the first real tree topper we've ever had, we bought it at Target this year. Usually we use this paper angel that I colored in the 3rd grade, but I thought it was time for an upgrade.

Honestly, this tree gives me so much happiness that I'm starting to understand people who leave their trees up all year. Although I'm probably not going to do that. Probably. No promises.

Christmas Tree

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset

A few weeks ago we had a bit of rain, and the sunset reflecting off the dark clouds made the sky look like it was on fire and bathed my driveway in pink light. It was the kind of sunset that required admiration.
11.22.13
11.22.13
11.22.13
The pictures don't do it justice.
<3

Monday, December 2, 2013

Deck the Halls! Part 3

Christmas Tree
Our old tree skirt was really lacking in pizazz. It was just plain white felt that was starting to look pretty shabby, and it was way larger than it needed to be. I saw these pins a while back and decided to combine the two concepts to make an embroidered constellation tree skirt.

Though I used the above pins as my inspiration, I followed Rachel's tutorial. I started out with a yard of blue felt that I ordered on etsy to use as the night sky background, and some white embroidery floss I picked up at Michael's. I followed Rachel's instructions for cutting out a circle, and then I made a little paper mock up of what my constellations would look like. I was just sketching it out tentatively, but I stuck really close to my model.

tree skirt
tree skirt
tree skirt
When it came time to embroider, I watched a youtube video to teach me how to made a french knot and basically just plunged in. It was really easy to work with the felt; it's stiff enough that I didn't need to use an embroidery hoop which made the whole process a lot faster.


I'm so happy with the result! Seeing it under the tree makes me wonder why we needed such a giant tree skirt before.
Catch up on the earlier deck the halls posts: 1/2

Friday, November 29, 2013

FUN in LA: Moonlight Rollerway

Moonlight Rollerway


You guys, I've found a wonderful place. One of my coworkers is moving away, so we wanted to have a going away party for her and another coworker suggested we go roller skating, which led to this beautiful discovery. The Moonlight Rollerway is so awesome, every corner was Instagram worthy, from the signs outside to the carpet inside. I was pretty sure we'd be the only ones skating on a Thursday night, but there were a lot of people there who were clearly regulars because they were skating PROS. The rink had a great atmosphere too, everyone was really positive and helped us (me) when we'd fall instead of judging us for not being on their level. I'm pretty sure some of the ladies who were skating do roller derby, just to give you an idea of how badass they were.
Moonlight Rollerway
Moonlight Rollerway
Moonlight Rollerway


The actual skating itself was so fun! Normally taking someone who has trouble walking in general and strapping wheels to their feet is a recipe for disaster but I only fell 4 times! By the end I felt like I was really getting a feel for it and my roller blading moves were coming back to me.

Apparently this roller rink is famous! It was the one featured in the skating episodes of Parks and Rec & Modern Family and a Katy Perry music video was filmed there. I can totally see why they use it as a filming location, it's a gem. If you're coming through LA you have to stop and skate here.
Moonlight Rollerway

When was the last time you skated?
<3

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Deck the Halls! Part 2

So for the second installment of this series I'll talk about the star shaped ornaments that inspired my trip to Michael's in the first place.

Again, these were inspired by a pin (this is a trend you'll see carry out for the rest of the Christmas crafts). I loved the look of these piƱata-esque star ornaments so I decided to try to make some. I started out with 6 paper mache stars and painted them all a pearl white that I found in the craft closet.

After the base coats were all dry I set out cutting and fringing strips of paper in 5 different colors. I chose gold, silver, and blue mylar with white and blue tissue. Once I had the paper cut and fringed I covered each facet of each star. These ornaments were substantially more time consuming, which is why halfway through I decided three was probably enough. I love the look of the finished product but in the future I'll probably stick with just tissue paper on a project like this. The mylar did not want to cooperate with being glued down to the star base. So if you take on something like this, just keep that in mind.

ORNAMENT FRENZY
ORNAMENT FRENZY
ORNAMENT FRENZY
ORNAMENT FRENZY
ORNAMENT FRENZY

After hours and hours of fringing paper, I wanted to do something easy with the last three stars. I was really happy with how the pearl white came out, so I decided to glitter the lines and leave it at that. Some of them ended up a little sloppier than others, but they're going to look dazzling on the tree and that's all that matters.


ORNAMENT FRENZY

Part three coming soon! Catch up on part one here.

<3

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deck the Halls! Part 1

I'm going to be honest with you guys, I've been bit by the Christmas bug. I mean right now you're probably thinking that I'm a little early but not unreasonably early, but I've honestly been planning Christmas crafts since September. The last weeks of October and first few days of November I was making ornaments like a fiend. And that brings me around to the point of this post! I'm going to do a series of posts on the ornaments/general decorations I've been making for my house this holiday season.

First I'm just going to say that in my excitement to try out a lot of different techniques I had seen floating around the web, I forgot to think about the cohesion of all of the different elements. As such, I have no idea how these will all look together on the tree/in the house, but I had fun making them and that's all that matters. Right? Right.

My main inspiration was this image from Pinterest. I really don't know if it comes across at all in what I actually made but it's what I kept coming back to in my mind.

I went to Michael's for star shaped paper mache ornaments, but two other shapes caught my eye. I'm pretty determined to bring holiday decorations into my room this year, and I'm really drawn to the idea of a tiny tree in my room. Since I don't know how expensive tiny trees are though, I figured I could always grab some sticks at a park or something and still hang some ornaments in my room. So with that in mind I made these guys.


Ornament frenzy
Ornament frenzy

There's not really any kind of technique involved; I glittered the diamond shape with a fine grain gold glitter and forgot to take any pictures of the process.

The other one I painted black and glittered every other section with my multi color glitter.


ORNAMENT FRENZY
ORNAMENT FRENZY

I love the way these turned out! They were both incredibly easy, definitely something you could finish in the span of one tv episode. (As I did)

Part two will be coming soon!

<3


Sunday, November 3, 2013

FUN in LA: Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells
For a long time I was confusing Sleigh Bells with Best Coast. It wasn't until I saw the trailer for Bling Ring and I fell in love with "Crown on the Ground" that I realized my mistake.

So when my friend asked if I wanted to see Sleigh Bells with her a few weeks ago I didn't hesitate to say yes. (Full disclosure: I hesitated a little bit because my work schedule can be unpredictable, but when I knew I didn't have to work I was all in.) 

We ended up missing the opening act but we got to the venue in time to see Sleigh Bells and it was SUCH a good show. Alexis Krauss is my new hero, she's so badass. She backed onstage in the robe she wears in the Bitter Rivals video, with one fist in the air and it made me want a leopard and satin robe so I can enter every room the way she did. It was a small venue to begin with, and we ended up right at the edge of the stage so we had a perfect view.

Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells
If you get a chance to see Sleigh Bells live, definitely take it. In the meantime, check out their new album.

Have you been to any good shows lately?

<3


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gallery Wall Updates

IMG_0530
My favorite thing about my room is still my gallery wall.

I realized that I've never gone over all the prints and pictures I have up!

I added a new column to it and I think it feels more balanced now. The white frame is from Ikea, and it has a silhouette that me and my mom had cut when we went to Disneyland this summer. The picture underneath is just stuck on with washi tape. It's of me, Ali, and Estrella on my 22nd birthday. I was planning on getting a frame for it but I kind of like the way the wall looks with not every picture framed. The black and white picture under that is one that JT took of me for one of her classes our junior year.

The Roscoe Mitchell poster is my favorite print. Roscoe is a music professor at Mills, and I got to see him play at Cafe Oto when I was in London.  The painting under that is another piece made by JT, that was a gift for my 19th birthday.

In the last column I have a print of Shakespeare as a calavera holding a skull like Hamlet that I got at Renegade Craft Fair. To the right of that is a picture of me and my mom at Disneyland when I was a toddler. The yellow frame was given to me by a friend, it's painted to look beveled but the frame itself is flat, and inside it I have a poem I bought at the poem store. To the right of that is a photobooth picture of me and my mom when I was a baby that my mom had enlarged for me. The bird print I bought at a silent auction for the Vagina Monologues my first year at Mills.

I think I'll keep the frames where they are, but I have a few other pictures/prints I want to display so I'll probably switch up the contents in a few months.

<3



Monday, October 21, 2013

FUN in LA: The Brewery Art Walk

The Brewery Art Walk '13
The Brewery is an art colony in LA, and if you live here you've probably seen the smokestack from the freeway. When it was built in the early 1900s the building was a steam power plant; it later became a Pabst Blue Ribbon factory which eventually got converted into artist lofts. Twice a year the colony has an art walk that opens the space up to the public to walk through the studios and see the artist's work.

I absolutely love open studios. One of my favorite Mills events is at the end of each semester when the Studio Art MFAs have an open studio. I love seeing how each artist interacts with the space they're given almost as much as seeing the art itself. The Brewery's art walk adds a whole other element to the studio, because so many of them are live/work spaces. So not only was it like walking in an art museum, it was also like walking into 100 different houses. Being the naturally inquisitive (nosy) person that I am, it was right up my alley. 

Since there was a big crowd at the art walk a lot of the artists were busy talking with other people, and quite a few were not friendly at all, but we did get to talk to a couple that were incredibly nice. One of them was the artist behind these trees.

The Brewery Art Walk '13
They're so beautiful! He talked with us for a while about where he gets the bonsai from and what he does before he starts building in them. He said he worked on this piece for almost 10 years, which is incredible. 

The other person we talked to was the girlfriend of one of the artists. Their loft was one of the most beautiful spaces I saw at the Brewery, and being able to talk to her about it is probably what made me appreciate it more. She told us that when her boyfriend moved in the room was literally a blank square, but the finished product looked like it could have come out of a magazine. Most of their living area was roped off upstairs but the kitchen was downstairs and it was just gorgeous. Their oven is the same model as the oven in Bewitched! And the rest of the downstairs was their workspace. I gushed about how in love with her kitchen I was, and I told her that it was nice to be able to see the studios because the space itself becomes an art piece in a way. 

The Brewery Art Walk '13
Basically I left the art walk desperately wanting a studio. It was a very good day. 

Aside from the studios themselves, the art was amazing. There was such a wide range of so many different aesthetics and styles. If you live in the LA area you should definitely check out the Brewery's website for info on the next art walk. 

The Brewery Art Walk '13
The Brewery Art Walk '13
The Brewery Art Walk '13
The Brewery Art Walk '13
The Brewery Art Walk '13


<3

Monday, October 14, 2013

Minka

Minka the ham
I'm a little bit of a crazy cat lady, not gonna lie. Minka's just so adorable! I can't help it! Any time I get out the camera to take a picture of something I end up snapping a few of her too. On this particular day she was more okay with it than normal, so I got a few good shots.

IMG_0524
IMG_0513
It's hard to believe she's technically a senior cat! I love her to pieces.

<3