Thursday, June 20, 2013

movin' on for now

Hey, guys. Life has been a'changing, as it tends to do. Blogging isn't as big of a priority to me as it once was. Or, maybe just not as I have been doing it. The brand of the whole thing has started to really weigh me down and distract from the whole purpose of writing and being part of a community.

I'd like to simplify and focus my time on things that really matter to me instead of dividing my attention between a million different pursuits and obligations. So, I'm moving the blog over to Tumblr. It'll be a different sort of thing, less composed, more stream-of-consciousness - more like in 2003 when I first started blogging (on Blogger!) and I mostly just babbled about classes, choir, and eating Cheetos. I'm also excited to have a space to talk about my business, which I felt I couldn't do here.

I've been sitting on this post for a while, and maybe it's because I've been clinging to the Blogger platform out of nostalgia. It was my first blog! Then came LiveJournal (oh, LJ), then WordPress, but always the return to Blogger.

Anyway. If you want to continue following me, that's super rad. I'm switching spangledparaphernalia.com over very soon, so your reader should be directed. Or, you can go straight to spangledparaphernalia.tumblr.com. I've already made a couple new posts. I'd love to keep hearing from you guys.

If this were a yearbook, this is the part where I'd write, "Stay cool. Have a great summer. See you next year!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

overwhemled

Tagged by @jackielynne . What am I doing right now? Laying on the couch and watching some smutty reality tv for the first time in foreeeeva! I tag @adashofspectacular :)

I'm really stressed out, you guys. And, it worries me because I tend to be a really anxious person. I have worked very, very hard to learn how to deal with my anxiety and not let it run my life. And, I have been really successful. The past year especially has seen me in more emotional control than I can ever remember.

The problem is that the anxiety breeds more anxiety, and the longer it goes on, the worse it is likely to become. For instance, right now I am anxious because I am worried about being anxious. When I am stressed, I am more susceptible to bouts of insomnia, which in turn create more extreme emotional swings. A merry-go-round that turns faster and faster, harder and harder to jump off.

Every small business blog you could ever read will tell you to list out your priorities in order of importance in order to know how to make difficult decisions. The problem is when EVERYTHING seems equally important.

- work
- family
- silks
- friends
- business
- grad school
- health
- rest
- etc, etc, etc

How do I pick which one of these has to go!? Some may say silks because it is expensive and isn't attached to a long-term goal. But, I say no, that is exactly why I need it! Grad school is the opposite - the benefits are strictly long-term, but I am unwilling to sacrifice my happiness five years down the road for my immediate comfort. Work? Well, darling, that's where the money comes from.

Something has to go...but what?

Then of course there is the worry that putting all this worry and stress out in the open is tedious and self-indulgent. In a week or two, I'll probably look back and wish that I hadn't been so weak or impulsive to write this out. But, this isn't a blog about anything particular, and if I'm going to write, I'd at least like to be honest and seek catharsis wherever I can.

I have several big projects on my plate right now, and I know that everything (inside my head and out) will mellow once one of two of them have been taken care of. Despite my grumblings, I am so excited about some of the things I'm working on, and sososo hopeful for the future. My printer came in the mail, which means that I should be able to sell prints soon. My silks studio just started offering more classes, which means that I will be able to practice more often. I have great friends and a loving family who all want to celebrate life with me.

These thoughts keep me above water. I'm not sure what I hoped to gain from all this, except maybe that sharing makes everything more manageable. Getting my fears and hopes outside of me for a second helps me to see them for what they are. And I am less overwhelmed.

Monday, June 10, 2013

outfit // heirloom

outfit // heirloom
outfit // heirloom
outfit // heirloom
outfit // heirloom
outfit // heirloom
occasion: weekend shenanigans / shirtLittle Minnow Designs (last worn) / shorts: Banana Republic jeans cut off by me (last worn) / shoes: Guess / purse: vintage Coach (last worn) / hat: Target (last worn) / ring: gift (last worn) / watch: heirloom

I've been staring at the screen for a good ten minutes trying to come up with something to say about this outfit. I could talk about how this watch is a heirloom that belonged to my great grandma. I could talk about how I need a haircut and thus have been wearing this hat much, much too often. Maybe I could discuss how fine the weather has been lately.

Or may I will just say that life is incredibly busy right now and it's hard to really care all that much about what I put on in the morning. Style is simply superfluous these days. There, I said it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

outfit // travel

outfit // travel
outfit // travel
outfit // travel
outfit // travel
occasion: leaving on a jet plane / shirt: Target / cardi: Target / jeans: Gap (last worn) / shoes: Kenneth Cole (last worn) / necklaceAmanda Deer / hat: Target / sunnies: Ray Ban (last worn)

I'm still going through vacation photos, but here is what I wore on the plane to England. I'm going to humblebrag for a second and mention that I am a master of the TSA line. Minimal jewelry, easy on and off shoes, a hat to hide the greasy plane hair, comfy cotton shirt...I use exactly one plastic bucket and never get the pat down. I never have to stop moving to put on uncooperative shoes or repack my pockets - it's like a dance.

Seriously, I think I've found my calling.

Monday, June 3, 2013

may #ootd

I'll be honest, May was not my most inspired month in the wardrobe department. Since I work for a university, finals time is incredibly stressful - I did well just to get my skinnies on in the morning. Then there was England, which was amazing, but cold and lacking in tumble driers, so I ended up wearing said skinnies for nine days straight. Feel free to gag, I know I almost did.

Today is bananas. B. A. N. A. N. A. S #ootd #9to5It's a tshirt and jeans kind of day. #ootd #9to5
All black again, clearly I have regressed. #ootd #9to5Spring colors to combat rainy weather. #ootd #9to5
Moh books, moh problems. #ootd #9to5I wore these jeans for nine days straight in England. They're clean today, though. Ten would be crossing the line. #ootd #9to5

So, all I got was six measly, uninspired little outfits. Well, except that last one, I was pretty fond of that combo. Made me feel like Twiggy. June will be better, I swear!

For more getting dressed and other adventures, follow me on instagram.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

we're back!

Clearly, I was more impressed by the Queen's house than @corbie

Wow, that was a longer blog break than I expected! I promise I had the best of intentions to build up a reserve of blogs to schedule while Corban and I were on vacation, but you know what they say about the best of intentions...

At any rate, we're back now! We took a nice extended trip to England and saw so many amazing things. We got back just in time for Memorial Day celebrations with friends and then a photo shoot with the amazing and talented ladies at Shaina Sheaff Photography and Blue Bird Weddings and Events. On top of all that goodness, I've got several art projects underway that I will share in the coming weeks. Clearly, Internet, you and I have a lot of catching up to do. I will spend this week doing laundry, watching Arrested Development (you know you're doing it too), and sorting through photos. The best kind of busy. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 17, 2013

garden beginnings

Dad's garden
Dad's garden
Dad's garden
Dad's garden
Dad's garden
Dad's garden

My dad's garden is starting to bloom and bear fruit. I got to hang out there for just a little while after my sister's graduate. Sitting in the sun, enjoying the occasional breeze, watching for birds, and basking in the silence - these are some of the simplest pleasures, but certainly the most profound.

Every time I visit my parents, I wonder why I don't live in the country. I have always thought that the greatest tragedy of life is that we only get one. By making one decision, we have removed the opportunity to make a different one. This isn't necessarily a "good" or a "bad" thing, but it does mean that it is impossible to avoid regret. I love my life, including where I live and who I live there with, but a part of me - a very big part of me - desperately wants a quiet street and a simple house filled with sticky, unkempt little people who look like me and are learning to speak with a drawl. And a garden.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

college grad

This weekend, my little sister graduated from college! After four years of hard work, she has earned her bachelor's in English Literature (just like me!).

Jennifer's College Graduation
Jennifer's College Graduation

I am so incredibly, indescribably proud of her. It's amazing how one day we were all kids together, and now my siblings and I all have college degrees. I know that my parents are very proud. It's something they always wanted for us, and I am so happy that they have seen one of their best hopes for their children realized.

Jennifer's College Graduation
Jennifer's College Graduation
Jennifer's College Graduation
Jennifer's College Graduation

Congrats, Jen! I hope you enjoy this moment in life and are presented with every opportunity to make dreams and follow them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

learning esperanto

Cheese and crackers, I love library books.

To add to my ridiculous and ever-growing list of exotic/oddball/whack-a-doo hobbies, I recently decided to teach myself Esperanto. So far, I can say "I love to paint" (Mia amas farbi) and "Your cat is fat" (Via kato estas grasa). Not bad for two week's study!

But why? you and several other people, including the desk clerk at the public library, may ask. Esperanto is a made-up language that nobody even speaks. Why waste the time and risk the inevitable cool points you will loose pursuing this fruitless endeavor?

Well put, Internet. I'm glad you asked.

Because I believe that there isn't enough purposeful hope in this world, and Esperanto is the most blatantly hopeful concept I could possibly imagine. It was, no lie, conceived and created with the intention of removing communication barriers so that people of all nations could begin to confront the mistrust, paranoia, and violence that lead to prejudice and war. It is a linguistic middle ground (granted, a closer middle ground for those who speak Latin-based languages), a neutral base for open discussion. Literally, an instrument of world peace. How freaking cool is that!?

(Ok, and it doesn't hurt that it's totally pure and perfect and so much fun to learn. There, I said it. I'm a nerd.)

As a self-admitted, at time surprisingly tenacious Pollyanna, I can't help but be drawn to a language that takes it's name from a word that means one who hopes. But here we have the crux of the matter. I feel the need to downplay my optimism by labeling myself a Pollyanna, a term denoting willful ignorance and naivete, not passionate belief in the possibility of good. Why do we Americans act like engaging in unprejudiced hopefulness is tantamount to believing in Santa Claus, responding to email scams, or buying trinkets in Galveston (like a yellow box with a picture of a palm tree that was priced down to $2.99 because one of the seashells fell off that of course I would never buy)?

I, for one, and tired of living in constant fear of looking like a tourist or a fool.

The longer I live, I'm finally realizing how pointless it is to try to be cool. Not that it's unattainable, but that it just doesn't matter. Things that resonate with our souls matter. To me, silks matters, Esperanto matters, and hope matters. Looking out to the world in all it's vastness and the people in all their complexity instead of inward to the limits of my own self, that is when I can see my role in the world and how to contribute positivity and love.

So, I will learn my hope language and write things that none of you understand, and it. will. be. awesome.