Love Notes

What About Love Notes

September 18, 2016     Like This Post!

It’s been almost a year since I last posted about some graffiti findings. Truth is, I still have a lot from my Greece trip last year but I wanted to find some in NY to kinda break it up a bit, since a whole batch of Love Notes were from Greece.

The thing about NYC is that the city is a lot cleaner than you’d think. Don’t get me wrong, graffiti can be spotted left and right, but it’s not the same city you picture from those 80’s movies with the subways smothered in crude saying and chicken scratch. It’s been cleaned up so much since then, and I’ll tell you, Greece has more interesting graffiti than here. In New York, I hear stories of artists being paid to paint murals, so the spontaneity and frustrations that are shown on the walls of Greece are not the same here.

Well, through my months of moving, walking, wandering, and exploring, I’ve collected a good amount of graffiti pictures.

These were all taken in the depths of downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The old parts of town are the ones worth exploring. Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are catching up with Manhattan with constructions and building to clean up and to be made more visually appealing, so before you know it, all of this art will be gone. It’s kind of a sad thought.

Title reference.

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Surface + Style

80’s Fashion In Films

September 17, 2016     Like This Post!

Over a year ago, I wrote up a post about my top three favorites featuring 90’s fashion in movies. Can’t believe it’s taken me over a year to write a follow up, but I did it.

If you asked me what my favorite era is for fashion and style, hands down, 90’s is number one. If you asked my second, hands down, 80’s for sure. I love the bright colors, tacky nature, and Memphis design. The music is memorable, the movies are classics, and it’s an era that we keep revisiting to gather inspiration. It was such a ‘one of a kind’ period and it’s full of a plethora of amazing things.
I put together a list of my top favorite 80’s stylings in movies that I appreciate a ton.

01. Cyndi Lauper in Vibes [1988]
Cyndi Lauper Vibes
Yes, a movies featuring both Cyndi and Jeff Goldblum exists, and it’s not exactly a very well known movie. As you probably expect, yes it’s a cheesy flick, but it’s fun. It involves psychics and lost temples. As you’d expect, Cyndi’s style also makes its way into the movie. It’s a little toned town compared to her known eccentric look, but her outfits are still super fun and very Cyndi.
The film itself didn’t get very high reviews, and while watching, you can probably see why. But Vibes is an entertaining watch and Cyndi is just precious. Her quirky personality stands out just as much as her wardrobe, and it’s hard to take your eyes off her. It’s honestly a real pleasant watch, especially when Cyndi is on the screen.

02. Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan [1985]
Madonna Desperately Seeking Susan
This movie was written and directed by a woman, featuring a whole lot of woman, which is a big deal for the mid-80s. Only a woman’s touch can make a movie so visually appealing. This was also filmed before Madonna was really a household name. Her music career was taking off around that time, and being in this film, as well as others, for sure only did more good than harm.
One reason this movie is a classic is because of the style in every sense – the scenery and the fashion. The wardrobe that originally belonged to Madonna’s character was a big deal. Her pyramid jacket alone is one thing that is memorable about this movie.
It turned 30 last year, and it’s still considered a classic. This movie holds the test of time and is still inspiring a whole lot of girls out there which is real cool.

03. Melanie Griffith in Something Wild [1986]
Melanie Griffith Something Wild
“Wild” definitely describes Melanie’s character in this movie. The 80’s featured a lot of movies of wild girls trying to save men from their boring lives (that dreaded Manic Pixie Dream Girl syndrome) – but that’s a topic for another day. The character Melanie plays is a real spontaneous personality. Her look definitely stands out, and although she changes her appearance mid-way, she really only wears like four outfits throughout the movie. A good chunk of the film she is seen wearing a simple black outfit, but it’s her accessories that are cool as hell. Sometimes all you need is a simple outfit where you let your accessories do the talking. It’s a bit reversed from how I work with dressing myself, but that’s why people make inspiration lists such as this.

04. Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink [1986]
Molly Ringwald Pretty In Pink
Pretty In Pink is too much of a classic, I almost didn’t want to add this to the list. It seems like a typical movie to talk about drawing 80’s inspiration from, since John Hughes movies are what defines the 80’s. With that said, it’s stupid to not add this to the list. Molly Ringwald’s look is iconic, and her outfits are definitely inspiring. Her character is another example of how you can really discover some great thrift store finds, as her character is explained as part of the lower class. That doesn’t stop her from being stylish in her own cool way though. Her prom dress was even made the way it was described in the movie which is a cool fun fact as well.

Molly Ringwald Pretty In Pink

That image ⤴ by the way, looks like me when I’m sitting at home on the floor spread out working on cutting and sewing things.

Anyway, the 80’s was a cool time, and these leading ladies brought their unique style to the big screen making it visible that girls can dress real cool. This style is my kind of my style. What’s your kind of style?

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Analyze This

Why I Create

September 13, 2016     Like This Post!

I’ll be honest. In general, I’m all around very self conscious. As much as I try to be confident about my appearance and attitude, criticism and judgements affects me more than I’d like to admit. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Recently, I’ve come to realize that the crowd I’ve been surrounding myself with has a much different taste than me. I feel like I’m losing connection with people who believe in hobbies, and who don’t criticize others for having said hobbies. Or I guess, this is “growing up”? ♫ ♪
I’ve been struggling to find time to tend to myself and my hobbies which play such an important role in my life. It’s what helps me wind down from a long day at work, giving me some me-time while letting my brain relax. Instead, my after-work moments have been spent out and about a little more than usual. I can’t complain about my crowd of people since it is me making the decision to hang around them, but I can’t help but feel if I’m spending my time all wrong by being such a homebody. I guess I’m just questioning everything about myself.

I basically made a list of reasons why I craft and why I need my hobbies. It’s almost like it’s a reminder to myself to keep being me because it’s really unavoidable. Old habits die hard. Old hobbies die hard?

01. Since I grew up in an environment where my grandmother was a seamstress, my grandparents owned a shoe repair shop, and we were on the poorer side when I was young causing us to get creative with everyday necessities, I’d say accessibility made it easy for me to get drawn to the creative life. We had all the tools and materials to make what we needed. Makeshift and homemade was the life we lived.

02. Since we were on the poorer side, I watched my parents get crafty and thrifty with home decor and wardrobes. We were about the DIY life because it was a life we could afford, and the outcome was rewarding. It was exciting when someone complimented something we made with our own hands. The DIY life was inspiring, and I’ve since been hooked.

03. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but truth is I didn’t have many friends growing up. I needed something to pass my time and that DIY life was always there for me. I taught myself to sew my own clothes, I learned to use all the colors of the rainbow to color people, and I even figured out how to read tablature so I can play some guitar (poorly). I took on so many hobbies because I had so much time on my hands.

04. Since then, it’s been a great way for me to keep busy. Even though I’m just a wee bit more established than my public school and college years, my weekends and after work hours are times not wasted. I’m in the middle of probably 20 projects and that’s how I like it. I’ve grown to be creative and building something from start to finish makes me feel good at the end of the day. I don’t feel productive if I’m not being crafty and I always like having projects to move onto when I finish another.

05. I like to challenge myself. Inspiration is everywhere and I love taking advantage, in the right way of course. Because I grew up with a family that DIY-ed because we couldn’t afford new, I’ve gotten accustomed to trying DIY’s before buying. Shirts, furniture, shoes… I’ll try to immitate before buying. I like that because it gives you the chance to customize mid-way.

06. And as I stated, it’s a way to help me wind down and to keep my anxiety under control. My anxiety levels have been pretty high the past few months and my after work hours are really important to me, so I need to use my time wisely and work on projects that make me happy.

Everyone has their own interests. Some people don’t like being home, especially alone. Some people need social settings to recharge them. A lot of people also don’t own many things so their hobbies are not full scale like mine.
My history is important and really does explain why I am the way I am. I get self conscious when people pick that a part and make me question myself. I find it interesting learning what makes people tick and what interests everyone, and their past probably has a whole lot to do with it, right?

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Entertain Me Monday

One Concert Photo

September 12, 2016     Like This Post!

I used to be such a concert go-er when I was younger but the last few years I’ve really taken it down a notch. I’ve gotten really selective with the bands and musicians I see live. Lately, a lot of bands from the 90s whom I love have reunited and toured, so those bands are usually the ones to get me out of the house and attend some concerts.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how important it is to experience the show as opposed to watching it through a camera. I used to be big into taking photo after photo, but that craving has really died for me. I’ll admit, I do feel weird not take a single photo, so I decided to take one photo per concert. Some photos come out crappy, others come out kinda decent. Concert photography is not easy, but that one photo is enough to spark all the memories I need.

The above photo is from a free show Blonde Redhead played in Brooklyn back in June. Blonde Redhead tends to do free summer shows, so I was happy to catch this one. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen them live.

The Stone Roses played Madison Square Garden in June – their first U.S. show in 20 years, and I brought myself to be there. It was such a last minute decision to attend as it was ticket prices holding me back. But I attended, and I’m thankful I did.

This was also another spontaneous show for me. A friend had two free tickets to see Seth Bogart in Brooklyn at the end of July. I really can’t say no to free shows. I’ve only really known Seth from his Wacky Wacko clothing line (which I love so much). I expected his show to be just as fun, and it was. It was so much fun and straight up wacky.

The highlight of my year was seeing 90s band Belly in August. It was also their first tour in 20 years. Buying tickets was weird as it was sold out before I had a chance to buy them, but magically there were a few tickets posted the week of the show which I snagged just in time. The show was a true blast; I’m pretty sure they played their entire discography making it a bit of a long show. Definitely got my money’s worth. I’m still astounded I was there. It was surreal.

I like this deal with myself – one photo per concert. I don’t attend many shows, but when I do, I make sure to be there in the moment. Taking one photo doesn’t take me away from the experience, and like I said, it’s enough to help spark a memory from the night. As far as I know, I don’t have any shows lined up for me to attend. But I’ve been itching for some live shows, so cross your finger someone good comes to town!

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Crafted

Splatter Floral Magnets

September 6, 2016     Like This Post!

My mom called me up one day telling me a project she wanted me to work on for her. I’ve made bottle top magnets before, and she loved them. She moved to a new desk at work and had a magnetic board that was in need of pretty magnets, so I obviously had no problem taking on the task of making pretty magnets.

I gathered 12 bottle tops with the least amount of dents.
After that, I honestly was stumped. I didn’t know what to paint on them. One idea after another, I finally committed to some floral design, but I was just gonna wing it. I have to admit, that’s how it usually goes for me. I start with half an idea and let the process and materials I use guide me to the finish line.

My mom loves flowers and plants. I thought to do like a black line work sort of design using paint, which meant the background would have to be light for the black line to pop.

I started off with a base layer of white, and had fun finger painting and slight “splatter” painting with blues, pinks, and yellows. After they dried, I did a layer of Mod Podge and my favorite iridescent powder. I’ve been obsessed with the powder, so I’ve been incorporating that into literally every project if you didn’t notice already.

The hardest part was painting black flowers real thin, but I’d like to think I made it work. I did some sketches in my notebook before committing so I knew what I was doing.

After the flowers dried, I sealed them with my go to Krylon spray.

I waited hours before flipping them over to glue the magnets to the back. Since the magnets aren’t thick enough, my secret is gluing a small piece of cardboard first before gluing the magnet. I’m a stickler for finding the right glue for the right projects, so for magnet projects, I find E6000 does the trick. This glue is intense.

Since this whole project is like one big waiting game, I chilled and let them dry for forever.

My mom’s birthday is coming up, so I made sure to finish these in time. She loved them and already hung them up on her work wall.
Success!

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Wardrobe Transformation

Throwback Shoes

September 3, 2016     Like This Post!

It’s always a sort of relief when you’re able to get rid of things. Clutter is a real problem, and nostalgia is a true instigator.

Before and after a move is a great time to rethink what you own, especially as you’re sifting through your things planning on how to pack and then unpack. When I was making my last move, I really dove deep into my closet. My wardrobe includes a lot of custom made things, which I usually reuse and upcycle anyway. I’m constantly reworking clothes. It’s really my shoes that collect, and especially the custom ones I don’t have it in me to throw out. Shoes I tend to hold on to. Which of course is a problem if I’m just collecting and piling shoes on top of each other.

Since all New York apartments are pretty small, I knew I had to suck it up and condense. I had to make a hard to decision of what to keep and what to toss. Deep down you know what you won’t wear anymore for whatever reason. There were four custom shoes I haven’t worn in years, and as much as it pained me, I knew I just needed to make the unfortunate closet space.

The above shoes I bought my first year of college with the intentions of decorating. I had silver fabric that I sewed first and then black lace on top.
I loved these and wore them a whole lot, but I didn’t want to accept the fact that they were a size bigger than my real shoe size. It made walking a little awkward.

I’ve been a No Doubt fan for years and always wanted these Vans “Rock Steady” slip ons but couldn’t obtain a pair because they were more than what I could afford and were sold out by the time I was ready to splurge. I had a pair of black slip ons from an off brand, so I used some red and white fabric paint and made them myself. It took a lot of patience to make that work, but it came out pretty great.
Thing is, the backing never loosened up and always cut me up whenever I wore them, so it was time for them to go.

These galaxy sneakers I created for a DIY project on my old blog. That post ended up being my top hit.
I bought the plain white sneakers from a local thrift shop to keep the project as cheap as possible. I used my favorite fabric paint to lay down a base color and then used a toothpick for the stars.
They weren’t the most comfortable because they just felt so cheap, so I didn’t end up wearing them much.

Oh, these sneakers I had for SO many years (since middle school??) and I wore the hell out of them. I bought them at Payless because I wanted a pair like Converse without spending the money on Converse. I drew checkerboard with Sharpie on the toe cap because everyone I knew was doing it and I guess for a hot second I wanted to fit in. I regretted doing that months later and tried to take it off with nail polish remover. It didn’t really work.
Years later, I revisited the sneakers and painted a quote from a Raveonettes song I really liked.

Can we also talk about how much fabric paint is my jam?
Anyway, I wore these the most out of every sneaker here, and even brought them to Portland with me, I eventually stopped wearing them and decided that letting them retire was for the best.

I gathered these together and dropped them off at a local clothing drop. I’m hoping they all made their way into a thrift store and was adopted by someone who will love them the way I loved them.
I miss all of these pairs but I don’t regret the decision to move on. I’ve been trying to stay basic with my shoe collection because it’s so easy to get out of control with shoes.
👟 👠 👡 👢 👟 👠 👡 👢 👟 👠 👡 👢 👟 👠 👡 👢

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