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Oh look, a day I missed... oops... >.>

Yesterday passed me by far too quickly. I worked, and then it was Rachel's birthday and we had to get ready for the dinner, and then we went out to dinner, and by the time we got back it was midnight and we were exhausted. And so, no Tuesday Tea and Books.

It's ok, you didn't miss much. The book I finished was called "The President's Vampire," but wasn't at all as exciting as it sounded. Angie B. could probably use it for her fantastical book Weird, USA (and by the way, bebe, I'm planning to pass it on to you ASAP for exactly that purpose), but as a whole, the book was only middling.

Today is Wardrobe Wednesday, and I WILL get a wardrobe post ready for you. I just want to talk about this for a minute:

http://thebloggess.com/2010/05/the-traveling-red-dress/

I don't know how many of you follow The Bloggess, or how many of you have already encountered the story of the Traveling Red Dress, but let me just tell you that it's fantastic on every level and I've cried over it so many times today that I've actually lost count. The Traveling Red Dress is, essentially, about going after your dreams; about taking that one incredibly ridiculous, impractical, and glorious thing you've always wanted, and going after it.

I think this moves me so much because chasing after the things I want has always been a struggle for me - as it is for most everyone, I believe. As a whole, I'm pretty confident. I'm not afraid to wear crazy clothes that don't match. I'm not altogether concerned about what strangers thing of my weird hair and nerdy shirts and desire to costume.

No, none of those things bother me particularly. I'm ok with being seen as an oddball. But what I am afraid of is failing at the things I truly want. And because I'm so afraid, I usually don't even try for them.

I'll use one particular example here, because it's the most recent and dearest to my heart, and it's sort of ridiculous how much it means to me.

You probably already know this, but in case you don't: I love the living hell out of dolls. Yes, I'm 23. Yes, I have a BA. Yes, I have a full time job and a boyfriend and car insurance and yes, I am paying my student loans like a big kid. And no, I will not "grow up." Growing up, in my opinion, is highly overrated.

I used to have a big thing for Barbies, particularly exotic looking ones. I had TONS of them. I still regularly purchased Barbies in high school, because they made me smile. I loved their clothes, and their delicate faces, and how easy it was to represent characters - any characters - through them. They made me happy.

Sometime in high school, I found this magazine called Haute Doll, which featured gorgeous (and, of course, incredibly expensive) fashion dolls, like those you find at Tonner Doll. Seriously, go check out that link. I can't even begin to explain how beautiful these dolls are. I own exactly one - the Wicked Witch doll from the Wizard of Oz collection, the first Wicked Witch released. She was a birthday present from my mom. I named her Elphaba, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has seen or heard of Wicked.

Also featured in Haute Doll were repainters - people who repainted dolls' faces, re-rooted their hair, and designed new costumes for the dolls. I was completely fascinated, and totally in love. I devoured the articles on re-rooting, and pored over articles on how to repaint eyes for hours upon hours. I thought repainters were probably the coolest people in the world, and repainting itself, the neatest hobby ever.

But it was expensive, and it was a silly hobby for grown adults. Plus, nobody around me seemed to approve. They saw my magazines and commented, "That's kind of freaky." My parents were relieved when I stopped my subscription to Haute Doll. Everybody seemed to think it was a stupid hobby, and I let it go.

Cue the entrance of the Monster High dolls.

Ok, I admit, I'm obsessed. I fucking LOVE Monster High dolls. I think they're gorgeous and fun, and I would never have played with anything else if they'd come out when I was younger. I love the show. I love that the dolls encourage diversity and uniqueness. I love the way they bend, and the detail that goes into every face sculpt. I just think they're the most fantastic dolls ever made by anyone, ever.

I started collecting about a year ago. But I was embarrassed, so I only bought one. I kept her stowed away secretly on a shelf, and only took her out to pose her when I was by myself.

Along came Nick, who knew I loved Monster High. Who bought me a second doll - the one I really wanted - for Valentine's Day. Who told everyone I wanted Monster High dolls for my birthday. Who took me to Toys R' Us and Target and Big Lots and everywhere else in the world because he knew how much I loved those damn dolls. Who didn't care and didn't judge and loved me anyway.

It seems like a small thing, a trivial thing, but I honestly can't tell you how much it means to be supported like that, even when I'm at my most ridiculous.

I can't even quite explain why it's so important. It's just a bunch of dolls, after all. But here's the thing: some part of me - some major, creative part of me - thrives on the kind of imaginative play that dolls invite. Dolls were a huge part of storytelling for me as a kid, and I don't think I've ever quite gotten over that. My dolls let me tell stories.

They'd let me tell better stories, too, if I let myself get into repaints.

I wouldn't, though. I resisted, even after I kept finding picture after picture after picture of gorgeous Monster High repaints. Even when I pointed and told Nick, "I want to do that."

I would never have started repainting, except that this Sunday, Nick took me to all the craft shops and pointed to the paint brushes and said, "Hey, check it out. Those paintbrushes you need for repaints are on sale. Let's get some acrylics and check to see if they have doll hair, and you can start repainting!"

We bought paints. We bought brushes and palettes and sealants and everything else we needed.

And I panicked.

I'm not an art student, I said to myself. I can barely draw. I'm ok with paints, but not great. What if I mess it up? What if they look terrible? Nick's so good at crafting things. What if people look at what I made and laugh? I can't do this. It's too expensive anyway. I should just stop. It's a stupid hobby and I shouldn't even want to be doing it.

Nick could tell something was wrong, and poked and prodded me until I finally told him what was going on in my head. And here's what I love about Nick: he gave me a hug, and told me I was silly, and that I can do whatever the hell I want. I just have to sit my ass down and do it.

So we took my paints, and my brushes, and my palettes and sealant, and we came home, and we sat down and we worked.

And I cannot even tell you how wonderful it was, and how much it means to me that I did it, finally. That I've started. That I'm making something I've wanted to make for years.

So thanks, baby, for knowing how much this means. And thanks for helping me get over my own stupid self-criticisms, and getting me to do what I already wanted to do in the first place.











‎"I’d always wanted a red silk ball-gown, and I knew I’d never give myself permission to buy something so wasteful – and that’s when I realized how much I needed it. Because when you start to think that your dreams are wasteful that’s a sign that you need to go after them before they run away forever.” - Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess

Movie Monday: The Warrior's Way



This movie, you guys. THIS FREAKING MOVIE.

I saw this for the first time last Tuesday, when we spent the night at my friend Rachel's house. We agreed that the night would be full of carousing, merriment, and terrible movies. Rachel wanted to start with this one, because, as she described it, "It's ninjas. In the Wild West. Plus Geoffrey Rush."

HOW COULD WE GO WRONG?

So we put in this movie, and I, of course, expected it to be awful. I mean, Geoffrey Rush is amazing, and worth watching in just about everything, but I doubted that he could save this movie for me. I mean, seriously. A MOVIE. ABOUT NINJAS. IN THE WILD WEST.

But I was completely in love with this movie within the first ten minutes. It's that kind of movie. It's beautiful, and well-acted, and hilarious, and all-around incredible. I honestly cannot say enough about how fantastic it is.

Cut for potential spoilers.Collapse )

Super-Random Sunday - Checkup

I DID IT.

I KEPT UP WITH MY BLOGGING SCHEDULE AND STILL HAD TIME TO SPARE.

This is a bigger deal for me than it probably should be. But still.

This week, I'm not working very much, so I'll probably be crafting and baking and doing all kinds of things.

For one thing, I'll be finishing up my first Monster High custom doll. I'M SO EXCITED, GUYS. I've been wanting to work on custom dolls for ages, and Nick's finally prodded me into starting. I'm starting with a Frankie doll - the Gloom Beach edition - and repainting her entire body. I'm doing Greek Goddess customs. Frankie is Hestia. Because they're MH dolls, I'm going with lots of colors rather than more normal, human looks. Hopefully it turns out well.

ANYWHO. I've got an excellent movie picked out for Movie Monday tomorrow, and I hope you'll enjoy my review. I may also take some time to show off whatever I'm working on.
A snippet of young Cerys and young Kelper Lorach, her betrothed, on the night that their parents make the official announcement regarding the date of their marriage. Cerys is not pleased. Kelper is dubious. And all is awkwardness and mild teen angst.

Cerys and Kelper, at the time of their betrothal.Collapse )

Bad Romance #7: Sword of Rome

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ladyparts - for tonight I bring you a tale of passion! Betrayal! Duty! Bellydancing! Phallic titles! And SO MUCH MORE!

First of all, the cover of our epic tale, to whet your appetite:



Well, alright, it's not a very exciting cover. It's just some dude's abs, AGAIN. I thought I would get away from that theme when I left behind the Christmas romance novels, BUT NO. You ladies, it seems, just keep wanting to stare at dudes' abs. COME ON, FELLOW ROMANCE READERS. Demand better. Demand horrible pastel covers with man-mullets and heaving ladybosoms and Zebra Lovegrams! You know it isn't quality until it has a Zebra Lovegram on it.

But fear not, my friends - the description of the book promises quality right from its start.

"FROM THE SHIFTING SANDS OF EGYPT"



The Golden Arrow was the most coveted prize of the desert's fierce Bedouin tribes, but it was a disgrace for the prince's beautiful sister to claim it by outriding and outshooting her male competition.

Well, hey! That doesn't sound so bad. That actually sounds pretty sweet, as books go. I'm all for a strong heroine who outshoots and outrides the dudes --

When the sheik despaired of finding her a husband, Adhania vowed, 'I shall show you that I can please a man,' and proceeded to inflame all viewers by disguising herself as a dancing girl.

...Oh. When I was thinking "outride," I was thinking more of riding on horses rather than riding on dudes, but ok, if we want to take a badass woman and reduce her to her sexual components, that's cool, I guess. It's not like that's basically what's been done to literary women for centuries or anything.

What choice did her brother have but to send her off to Queen Cleopatra for a change of scene and lessons in decorum?

RIGHT. What ELSE can we possibly do with this rebellious young lady but send her off to CLEOPATRA?

OOH, WAIT, I KNOW. WE CAN INTRODUCE HER TO THE HEALING POWER OF PENIS!

"TO THE TREACHEROUS STREETS OF ROME"



Tribune Marcellus Valerius, Caesar's Master Architect, had witnessed Adhania's sultry display, been intrigued by her daring and entranced by her soft skin and the unforgettable scent of jasmine. In the city of his birth, where scandal, intrigue and danger were a way of life, the lovely young Egyptian seemed instantly at home. But caught between Caesar and Cleopatra, she soon needed rescuing and to learn that Marcellus knew best of all how to please his woman.

"SWORD OF ROME"

... Really? REALLY? "Entranced by her soft skin?" Did he touch her while she was up there dancing? Because I'm pretty sure that's a hands-off, "look but don't touch" kind of activity in this particular case. Or maybe he's just making assumptions because this mystical woman also magically sweats jasmine from her pores instead of actual sweat, like a normal mortal being.

I guess we'll find out...

Sword of Rome, by Constance O'Banyon. BEWARE, THERE IS RAPE IN HERE.Collapse )

Apparently I've become a housewife today.

Not because I stayed home and cleaned and cooked and did the washing today. Ha! That would be silly. No, I was hard at work at Macy's most of the day, preparing for inventory tonight - which I fortunately don't have to participate in, other than keeping everything semi-organized.

No, it's because my cousin just introduced me to Pinterest, and suddenly I've been introduced to a wide world of recipes beyond my imagining, and pictures of really nifty homes with cool features that I want in my own house.

As I was flailing over the recipes and the backyards and the really awesome wedding stuff, Nick shook his head at me and said, "You're nesting, dear." And he's right. I am. And I am unashamed.

Here. Have a look at some of my favorite recipes and house things.Collapse )

Wardrobe Wednesday: Thrift Store Steampunk

So today, I spent most of the day out thrifting and shopping and photographing at some crazy cool places. There was an empty lot with a standing fireplace and couch just chilling on the foundation, and an abandoned old service station, and a really weird little square sculpture, among other things.

At our second-to-last thrifting stop, I found the coolest jacket in the world in the "vintage" section of this particular thrift store. (How hilarious is it that a thrift store has a vintage section? Aren't most things in a thrift store technically vintage? I know not all things are, but a whole lot are from past eras - the seventies and eighties at the very least. Apparently eighties is vintage now.) I don't even think the coat is vintage, but it IS steampunk. And bright orange corduroy.





(Sorry for the shite quality of the photos here - the lighting in our room is AWFUL.)

As soon as I saw this coat, I knew that I needed it. How fabulous is this sucker? It'd be great with a plain tee and a pair of skinny jeans.

Of course, I prefer over-the-top looks. Something more like this:



The shirt under the jacket is a black shirt from Charlotte Russe with a ruffly lace cravat. It's actually reached the point where it's far too small for me, alas, but it's an adorable shirt and I'm afraid to get rid of it. I got it a long, long time ago at Charlotte Russe, so I doubt I can find another one.

The skirt is another thrift store purchase - a really awesome Candies jean skirt that's sort of like a short mermaid skirt. It has an embroidered gold rose on the back pocket.

Originally I had more steampunk-y, delicate boots paired with this, and they were probably a better match, but I love the crap out of my Corcoran boots. They're big and clompy and awesome and I will wear them with literally anything. For Christmas Eve I wore them with a lacy pink dress and gray-and-black plaid tights.

I'm thinking about wearing the jacket to work tomorrow, probably with jeans and a t-shirt. I'm just too excited about it not to wear it somewhere!


First of all, it's an awesome day for tea and books here in Georgia. It's blustery and wintery and I didn't have to go anywhere.

I didn't do much in the way of book reading today. This is a book I've already read, or rather just finished in December. And I'm sort of ashamed I hadn't read it yet.

So, let's chat about Howl's Moving Castle.

Howl's Moving Castle Review - Possibly contains spoilersCollapse )


I wanted to hate this movie.

This seems rather silly in retrospect. It has basically everything I've ever loved - and I mean things I've loved for the whole history of my whole entire life - contained within it. Including a love triangle that includes the big bad. I LOVE love triangles that include the big bad. That is essentially what I am best known for loving. And it also has MAGIC. And EPIC COSTUMES. And MAGIC. And A REALLY COOL EXPANDED UNIVERSE. AND MAGIC.

But it also has Nicholas Cage, and he is possibly one of my least favorite things in the world. He reminds me of an old high school acquaintance's dad. That dad was a creeper. Like, a super-ultra-mega-creeper, of the kind that possibly assaulted and beat his kids and was always far too smiley and nice to girls with large boobs.



At any rate, I probably would never have seen this movie without Angie B (zombres), who has forever altered the landscape of my fangirlism in more ways than I dare to count. Angie wanted to see it, so I reluctantly agreed to go with her.

BEST. DECISION. EVER.



I love this movie. My love for this movie has no end. I think it is, in essence, an almost-perfect Colleen movie, if not THE perfect Colleen movie. I love the characters, I love the universe, I love the portrayal of magic, I love the mythology. EVERY GODDAMN MINUTE OF THIS MOVIE IS ULTRA-MEGA-HAPPY-LOVE for me.

And yet, I've never written any fan fiction for it.

And here's why...Collapse )

Project 365, Day 2.



Project 365
Day 2
"Fifteen Minute Delicious"

For my fifteen minute breaks at work, I usually swing by Great American Cookies and grab a cookie and coke for an energy boost. Because apparently my primary goal in life is to get fat.

At any rate, this brownie was especially delicious today, perhaps because it was so busy and the break was so very needed.

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