April 30, 2018

Monday Mood 003

Guys! I move TOMORROW. I'm feeling the whole gamut of emotions about it right now, so instead of focusing TOO much on it, I'm trying to think about other things and get some work done. It's hard to work from home while also trying to pack up everything and then working in a chaotic, half-packed space. So here's a mood board with some pretty things that I love (and just a teenie bit of interior decor inspiration).

I've been listening to Lola Kirke all week and she's maybe my latest musical obsession. Her voice is like honey when it has crystallized just a little but still goes down so smoothly. AH. My favourite of hers is Monster, her latest single, which the still in the middle of this mood board is from. I love her red dress in it, I have a thing for red dresses lately. They're so classic but also such a statement.

And a couple of other credits: Aweng Chuol with the flowers, Jessie Cundiff with the many warm shades on the bottom right, Janice Street with the frost on glass (yes! That's what that is!).

Happy Monday, do YOU have anything big going on this week?

As always - if you know the original source of the other images, please tell me. I should just stop using Pinterest finds for these, which don't always link to the original sources....

April 28, 2018

Journals: Daily Morning Journaling

As I've been preparing for my big move (3 Days left!), I've been sorting through a lot of my old sketchbooks and journals to decide what to keep and what to ditch. Of course, this means going down memory lane and re-reading some of my old journal entries and the many "novels" I'd start as a kid, all with plots suspiciously similar to Harry Potter (but with a female protagonist) or whatever other book I had devoured at the time!

I realized that I used to journal a LOT. And I love being able to re-read through them, especially when I'd capture some good moments (not just the cathartic angsty entries), or when I'd journal some philosophical thoughts and insight I had since forgotten I ever had, or when I'd write little poem bits in the margins. I want to bring that kind of creative and soulful writing back into my life, but it's hard to know what to write about right off the bat, when you're out of practice.

In the past I've tried doing daily journaling to overcome feeling out of practice. I bought an agenda to keep track of which days I wrote what, with just enough room for a quick little journal entry. I also tried gratitude journaling, writing about my shifts at work where interactions are often ones I want to remember.... none of it has really stuck for me.

So when I stumbled upon this list of 31 Morning Journaling Prompts by Marc and Angel, two professional life coaches who blog lots of self help and self development content, I felt a bit skeptical but wanted to give it a try. The prompts are meant to help you self reflect, and begin to think about things differently. I really liked the list and it seemed like a therapeutic practice to get into. The idea of a morning routine also seemed good for me, as I tend to be way more productive in the mornings, especially if I get started right away with my coffee next to me, before I can dawdle or get distracted. I hoped that by starting with some personal writing, I would prime myself for doing my Master's thesis writing, which had been hard to motivate myself to do.

And it WORKED! My routine became really smooth and enjoyable: wake up around 7AM, get a coffee in the kitchen, bring it up to my desk in my room, put some music on and listen through headphones to block out other noise, do one of the 31 Morning Journaling Prompts in my journal for about 10 minutes, then jump into my day of work-at-home! Or, alternatively, get a bit of work-at-home done before heading off to whatever job I was working that day. I found that I could then focus on my school work, or work work, way better than before and I loved the feeling of being in the flow before I even get started!

Morning Journaling has been better than evening journaling for me, because I am often out and about at night, or tired and uninspired. My mornings are when things flow, so it's been good to figure that one out. Also, I decided not to be hard on myself if I miss a morning. I often stay at my fella's place and either forget to bring my journal with me, or would rather drink coffee and do sudoku's with him. So while it is a 'daily' morning routine, I put no pressure on myself to actually do it every morning if something else came up. That said, it became a practice I looked forward to, so it became easier to do it every morning when I'm at home and have work to get to. And of course, because I'm incorrigibly drawn to aesthetics and visuals, I bought myself a date stamp and I just love the way it looks at the top of the page. Especially if I make a mistake with it (it's a finicky little stamp) and have to repeat the stamp. There's just something about the imperfection and texture of it that I LOVE. It's a great addition to the whole routine of it, too.

Do you have a journaling routine? Have you tried any lists of journal prompts that you recommend? I just got to the end of Marc and Angel's, and I'd be curious to try some others!

Let me know in the comments. xx

April 24, 2018

Creative Crush ~ Isamu Noguchi

It all started with a coffee table.

My fella sent me a text with some pictures of a table his dad was getting rid of and offered to me for my new apartment. The table is gorgeous and I immediately knew I wanted it. I also felt that it is so beautifully designed it must be a designer table. I turned to Pinterest with half a mind to find out who designed it, but also just to figure out how other people styled coffee tables with a glass top and wooden base. And behold! Within a 10 second scroll I discovered the exact make (or, at least, the inspiration), and began learning about the incredible Isamu Noguchi.

Isamu Noguchi was born in LA in 1941, on November 17th (hellooo fellow scorpio!) and passed away at the age of 84 in 1988.

Noguchi is my kind of creative: he never limited himself to a single medium or field, he was a modernist/formalist/whateverist who worked with great abstract shapes and subtlety, and he wasn't all about being in the spotlight. He just created prolifically and consistently - from what I can tell. He was inspired by his travels around the world, as well as the first 13 years of his life living in Japan. Noguchi started his schooling in pre-med, and slowly gravitated towards the creative world of sculpture instead.

I love that Noguchi dabbled in sculpture, set design, landscape architecture, art for public spaces, and furniture design! What a great way to apply your skills and creative eye to multiple disciplines and spread it farther than you can just through one medium. This fluidity in mediums really speaks to me - there are some days where I want to do it ALL. I've never been comfortable sticking to just one medium.

There are also some funny Noguchi anecdotes out there. Apparently he was quite reserved and private - though there are stories about a brief affair with Frida Kahlo (which Diego interrupted once, oops!), and that he was intermittently part of the Andy Warhol group in New York in the era of New York cool kid artists. He also designed playgrounds, but none were ever built as far as I can tell. I read that he believed in the power of play which I whole heartedly believe in (another blog post anyone? I keep promising new ones the more I write.... ha!).

So back to the coffee table. The table was distributed through the Herman Miller company along with other modern furniture including another favourite of mine - Charles Eames! It's gorgeous and I am so pumped to have one (or the rip off of one?) in my home-to-be. I'll have to find a way to discover if it's authentic or not. I'll get back to you on that one! But for now I'm excited to have the very cool Noguchi's design around me and to learn more about the artist. Hayden Herrera, who wrote biographies for Frida Kahlo and Arshile Gorky (two more favourites), also wrote a biography for Noguchi and even speaks about it in a lecture you can listen to online. I'd love to read this biography some day! If you want to learn more along with me, here are a few starting points:

- The Noguchi Museum: Biography
- Wikipedia: Isamu Noguchi
- Listening to Stone: Hayden Herrera Lecture
- Look at his work on Pinterest!

Noguchi inspires me in his curvy shapes and forms, his love of play, texture, and craftsmanship. What do you like most about his work?


April 15, 2018

One Purchase a Month: Updates and Failures

My year of thrift in 2015 went really well, so when I declared that this year I'd only purchase one clothing/accessory item a month, I did not know it would be this difficult to control my shopping urges. Turns out, especially with thrifting, when I enter a store and see that ONE item that I'll never find again because it's in a secondhand or vintage shop, I can't resist. That being said, I can echo what Cait Flanders of "The Year of Less" writes about here, in that I have come to a really simple solution: just don't go into stores, and I don't browse online! This seems to work really well for me, though it does change how I spend time with certain people for sure. But, maybe that's not a bad thing ;)

So here's an overview:

January: I went to my favourite Arts Market on my way to the bus stop from one of my jobs, and I fell madly in love with a vintage Kenzo sweater and a hat. I can't remember what else I bought that month but I feel there might have been something more? I think these two items were my "above my limit" purchases. I giggled these purchases aside and told myself (and others) that at least I'd tried for the very first month, and that I'd get better. I was only a little bit wrong on that point....

February: I went to Aruba and a) wanted to buy things to wear that were hot weather appropriate, and b) I got there and realized it was actually cold and windy, and I needed something to keep me warmer. I bought in total two pairs of pants, a hat, a shirt, a jumpsuit, a necklace, and a bathing suit. Yeesh. I failed really badly in February and almost gave up this goal entirely.

March: I did a total 180 and did so well in March! I didn't let February Failures dishearten me, and I instead just didn't go shopping. Period. I did purchase some things as a gift for my fella, but was very proud that I didn't even go into the women's section to browse this time. My one purchase ended up being a pair of handmade earrings from the spring One of a Kind show which I mention in my post of favourite OOAK finds!

April: So far, it looks like my clothing purchase this month will be a sturdy backpack to lug all my things around in, as my good ol' friend had the major zipper break. I'm tempted to fix the zipper, but to have it done well and sturdily might cost me the same as a new backpack... maybe. I haven't decided yet. But I'll be sure to let you know!

There have been some ups and downs, that's for sure! I'm curious to see how I do the rest of the year and with season changes. I'm sure I'll have a few more fluctuating ups and downs, but my plan is to stay strong nonetheless! And with that, I'll leave you with my few key learnings so far:

~ If you don't want to buy things, don't shop, don't browse.
~ If you fail at a monthly, weekly, or daily challenge, don't give up! If you meant it in the first place, it doesn't actually matter if you did it every time. Try try and try again, and be kind to yourself when you do forget or mess up a bit (or a lot!).
~ Bunz trading is a dangerous and wonderful alternative to buying! Never heard of it? I'll make a post about it soon.


April 9, 2018

Monday Mood 002

This week's Monday Mood board is a mix of sleek and semi-minimal, and busy and eclectic. Pretty much sums up the things I like lately! I've always been drawn to both stream-lined simplicity, and hectic collages of things. This gentleman, Isaa Samb's jacket in the middle is a great example of that sort of mixture, and it looks so rad on him.

On the other hand we have Isamu Noguchi's work. Noguchi has been on my radar very much this week, as my fella's dad is giving me a Noguchi-style coffee table for my new place and I am pumped! I didn't know who he was until this, and so I started googling and found out that he is the coolest sculptor, landscape architect, and furniture designer ever. I'll do a highlight of his work in a separate post soon because he's just that wonderful. The top left sculpture and the middle right photo are both Noguchi.

Some links for the photos I was able to find original sources for:

Naomi Bikis ceramics
Calabasas Remodel reveal
Making Sense of Isamu Noguchi
Issa Samb portrait

*note: if you know where any of these other images come from I'd love to link 'em up properly.

Happy Monday folks and cheers to a good week ahead!

April 6, 2018

Handmade finds: OOAK Spring 2018

In Toronto twice a year, we have the One of a Kind Show. It's a huge convention centre filled with booths for Canadian artisans. There's clothing, food stuff, jewellery, home stuff, art work, and so much more! It's the best and I usually go every year.

Though I'm trying really hard not to shop and buy new things lately, I collected business cards of makers whose work  I LOVED. I also maybe did buy just one pair of earrings from raw eco jewellery, a nice metal loop and clay bead on each ;) So I thought that I'd share a few of my favourites with you guys on the blog and spread the love a little.

Heirloom hats had the most beautiful and unique hats and uses the coolest old fashioned techniques to make them!

Raw Eco Jewellery had the coolest most unique jewellery and Dev was the most friendly!

Amanda Moss's colours were maybe entirely what I'd like in my dream wardrobe .

Talia Silva's ceramics were almost impossible to leave behind. I unfortunately have so many mugs already that I can't take on more in my collection right now.


April 5, 2018

Aruba Adventures: The Butterfly Farm

I'm going to get a little bit real here today: traveling with family can be tough. Especially when you stick three adult siblings with very different personalities into one tiny hotel room for the week. There were definitely some sharp pointy words thrown around and lots of built up tension, which is always a little bit disappointing on a beautiful vacation where all you want to do is enjoy! But c'est la vie, right?

That being said, because Aruba is so safe, I was able to wander off and get a little bit of space by walking to the Butterfly Farm all on my lonesome! The reason I bring up the drama at all, is because the Butterfly Farm was the exact healing, calming, and restorative thing I needed. It had a really big impact on me because I needed that and I want to share how magical it felt.

I walked in a bit timidly - I'm still not one of those people who boldly does new things alone, especially in foreign countries. I do so timidly, though, so that's a start! The people working there were so incredibly friendly and cheerful that I felt very at ease around them and better about going alone.

The tour was wonderful and funny, I learned so much about the life cycles and habits of butterflies. Did you know that rainforest butterflies adapted to get their nourishment from fallen fruits, which inevitably are fermented. Ergo, drunk rainforest butterflies, at all times! The tour guide was really kind and we chatted. I think he sensed that I was a bit awkward being there on my own and he helped me get an owl butterfly to eat some orange off of my finger! It was the best.

I also just walked around the relatively small, enclosed butterfly garden and spent time sitting on the benches in quiet corners, green foliage tickling my shoulders and butterflies fluttering around me (and sometimes, the drunk ones, swooping dangerously close to my face!), birds in the distance singing songs and water trickling in the garden's little ponds. It was really peaceful. My only regret is that I went at the end of my trip, because they give you a ticket for re-entry throughout the rest of your trip!

At the end of my visit, the staff chatted with me and helped me pick which souvenir I wanted: a choice between earrings made of butterfly wings enclosed in glass, or a necklace. One asked me why I was all covered up and not working on my tan. I told him I was from Canada and therefore would simply burn. He got really excited and asked if I'd ever been to the Butterfly Conservatory we have in Niagara falls, which I have been to! So we chatted about that and he said it was on his bucket list. They were all very fun people to be around with great spirits and kindness.

I walked back to the resort hugging my little souvenir to my chest, just filled to the brim with hopefulness and renewed peace. Man, is nature ever the healing and magical thing. Nature and sunshine; though I guess the sun falls under the umbrella of nature doesn't it?

ps. it was SO HARD to get good photos of the butterflies! Most of my film ones turned out super blurry, except these two at the end.