Monday, April 30, 2012

Eyes Open by Taylor Swift // Music Monday

Ok, so I have an confession: I am not a fan of the Hunger Games. The movie was ok, and I found myself liking Katniss, but after reading a summery of the last two books, I can tell that it's definitely not my kind of story.

I do, however, really like this song from the soundtrack. It's by Taylor Swift, and I'm able to relate to it a lot. ♥

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grotesquely Optimistic // Daily Outfit

I came up with the title of this post several days ago, (It's one of my favorite lines from Tangled, but I missed it the first half-dozen times or so that I saw it. It's actually from the the song I've Got a Dream. Flynn yells it out about Rapunzel when they're describing all the bad guys.) but then I realized that it really fits this post. There's a lot of bad in my life right now, but there's also a lot of good and I really don't want to focus on/talk about the bad, so I'm just going to tell you all about the good that's going on right now!

1. I got this dress over the weekend. It called out to me from the racks of Francesca's Collection, and as soon as I put it on I knew it would be leaving with me. Love at first wear. ♥
2.  I finally got my hands on a pair of knock off Jeffery Campbell Lita's and I cannot wait for them to arrive in the mail!!
3. I now have a new favorite band: Summertime's End (you can download their album, Light and Color here) ♥
4. My little sister got me started on a new TV show: Royal Pains. Perfect timing since two of my favorite shows don't start again till the autumn, and the third one's season is ending in three weeks.
5. I finally booked a senior portrait session with the lovely Marnie Bigelow and I am beyond excited for it! Her photography style and my taste match perfectly! ♥
6. Molly finally finished my Route 66 dress and I am totally taking it to the senior session.
7. I've finished two of the three pennant flag banners for my graduation party and I'm finishing the third today (I'm also taking one to my senior portrait session much like Molly did for her senior portraits)
8. Last week I finished two chalkboards similar to this one for my graduation party and I have one more to finish up. I love them. ♥
9. I now have several Ball/Kerr/Mason jars for my graduation party
10. This week I'm planning on ordering some of these strippey straws for my graduation party
11. I'm really loving doing all this DIY stuff for my party. I feel a bit like I'm planning a wedding - in the best way! ♥

   ♥ ♥ ♥              
dress: Francesca's Collections
belt: thrifted
jacket: TopShop
sandals: ModCloth
bag: ModCloth
sun glasses: Target

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We Love Colors Giveaway Winner

Ok, sorry I'm posting this late, but when I said I'd announce the winner on Monday I forgot that I wouldn't even be home on Monday! Lol!

Anyway, the winner is Kelly! Wooh! Shoot me an email with your address and I'll get the tights out to you ASAP!

Monday, April 23, 2012

This is the Stuff by Francesca Battistelli // Music Monday

This is one of my favorite songs ever. It's such an upbeat tune, and I love the reminder to look on the bright side and remember that God has everything under control. I had a bit of an emotional week last week, and this song totally encouraged me through the whole thing. ♥

Her Grandmothers Dress // Daily Outfit

Ok, so this isn't exactly a dress, and none of it is my grandmothers, but the detail of this crochet collar totally reminded me of something from a grandmother's attic, and I love the song that lyric comes from, so I decided to use it anyway.

This blouse was the second piece Lauren sent me to style up. I really wanted to wear it with my ModCloth wedges, but after walking home from work in the rain I decided I'd better put on some tights and boots. I still really like the look. I've been really into sheer blouses lately.

You can see how Lauren styled this over on her blog.

Hope you all are having a lovely Monday so far! 

blouse: borrowed from Lauren
skirt: thrifted
tights: Target
boots: DSW
jacket: TopShop

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favorites

Hopefully you'll be reading this as I drive down state with my family to stay with my grandparents for the weekend, but with Blogspot's auto post not working this might not be up till I get a chance to open my laptop and push "publish" once I get there. Boo!

Anyway, my cousin and I have a fun time planned for this weekend. We have lots of fun errands to run (fabric store, outfit photos, etc), a frozen yogurt date, a dinner date, and a photo shoot planned. I can't wait! Hope your weekend is as nice!
These photos from Tieka of Selective Potential. That dress! Those shoes! That location! I die. <3
This video. It was so eye opening to watch, because it was like he was describing my blogging journey. For so long I knew what good posts looked like/read like, but everything I posted on here was just so inferior. It's only been that past few months that I've been actually really happy with my posts and template.

This post on being yourself from Meg of Bow Ties are Cool.

This tutorial to make tulle pompoms

 This bracelet

This first chapter teaser of the book Haphazardly Implausible by Miss Jack. Not gonna lie. I had way too much fun formatting that document for Jack.
This song.
These pretty images.
The lovely color palate in this outfit.
This post on being your own kind of blogger.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interview with Becca of Nattosoup + a Giveaway!

Today I have a fun interview to share with you all! It's from Becca of Nattosoup! She's an extremely talented cartoonist who you may know from her illustration of Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky (seriously, how pretty is that picture!?)
Becca, how did you get started on drawing?

Most kids take to crayon and paper like a fish takes to water, the problem is, most people stop drawing when they start caring about what others think, and let negativity ruin their fun.  Growing up, my dad used to draw with me, and even during my 'dry' spells where I focused more on writing, I still enjoyed drawing.  I got a late introduction to comics, our local paper didn't run the good stuff (like Calvin and Hobbes) so my experience with newspaper comics was pretty dull.  In middle school, I started watching anime, and from there I found manga, and then I branched out into American indie comics, pushing myself to improve artistically the entire time.  It's taken a long time, and I've learned a lot, but I'm fairly pleased with my progress.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

All sorts of places!  There's still a strong shoujo (girls) manga influence to my work, as well as a lot of Disney (particularly Glenn Keane's stuff) and I learned how to construct a body from the Glenn vilppu Drawing Manual (he also worked for Disney) and A LOT OF STUDY, so style wise, I guess I fall into that large category still referred to as American Manga.  I look outside these narrow sources for inspiration, however.  I read a lot of style blogs since my favorite subject matter is cute girls, I'm highly influenced by Studio Ghibli productions, particularly the storytelling, and I'm always reading new comics.  My classmates at SCAD are a continual source of motivation, competition, and inspiration, since I refuse to be left in the dust.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get better at drawing?

You have to be honest with yourself, and decide how much you want to improve.  If you're ok with hyper-focusing and learning how to draw one thing well, that's ok, but if you want to be a skilled draftsman, you have to learn to love the stuff other people don't find fun.  Perspective, realistic anatomy, and facial construction are all areas that many hobbiests ignore when practicing their craft.  You don't  have to go to an art school (though it certainly helps) but you absolutely need passion, patience, and dedication.  The internet has been my biggest resource, both as a source of inspiration  and a source of information and reference.
What are some of your favorite comics?

I go through phases, but some of my all time favorites are:

Horror:  Junji Ito's  work (Uzumaki, Gyo)
Historical: Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story (I highly recommend it, it is a beautiful comic and very well written)
Autobiographical: Raina Telgemeier's smile
Travel: Sarah Glidden's How To Understand Israel in Under 60 Days
Josei (kinda an adult version of shoujo)/ Slice of Life: Chica Umino's Honey and Clover

What are some of your favorite blogs?

I read a variety of blogs, but the ones that make my eyes light up when I see there's been an update are:

Art Education/Instruction:
Temple of the Seven Golden Camels
Comic Tools

The Beauty Department

And Beautifully Pure, of course!

Aw! Thank you! What is your most valuable tool when it comes to your work?

A cheap sketchbook I can carry around.  Moleskins are not for me.  Handcrafted sketchbooks filled with handmade paper, also not for  me.  I make a lot of mistakes, erase a lot, scribble down a lot of notes, and do color swatches, and I need a sketchbook that isn't 'precious'.

Where is your favorite place to work?

For sketching?  In class, when I should be paying attention.  For actual comics?  My lapboard in front of the TV.  I do have a desk, but that's too fussy for me these days.

Do you have a favorite illustrator/cartoonist?

Every comic artist loves Alphonse Mucha, Mary Blair, Norman Rockwell, Albrecht Durer, and I'm just as guilty.  I am really loving Fiona Hewitt's Wu & Wu illustrations, its a perfect mix of cotton canddy 50's nostalgia, and I've always been drawn to Mizuno Juunko's misanthropic darlings.

Is there anything else you'd like to add before we close up this lovely interview?

Sure!  If you want to be proficient at drawing, it's more than just a hobby.  It is a passion that drives your life.  Learn how to draw EVERY THING.  If you're going to do commissions, actually draw the people, don't just do a 'palette swap', where every  girl you draw is exactly the same in the face but wears different clothes and has different hair.  I feel like a lot of aspiring artists lack the desire to leave their comfort zones, and only draw what they already draw well, because it provides instant satisfaction.  Stretch yourself in your sketchbook, where noone has to see.
Becca is also giving away a digitally-colored personalized avatar similar to these.

How to enter:
Just follow Nattosoup on GFC and comment to let me know you did!

Bonus entries (leave an extra comment for each):
1) Follow Becca on Twitter
2) Tweet about the giveaway and include a link
3) Post about the giveaway on FaceBook and include a link

The winner will be drawn at random on April 30th and announced the following Monday. Good luck to you all and thanks to Becca for this great giveaway!

18 Before 19 (Again)

Two weeks ago when I took a blogging break I decided to re-write my 18 before 19 list. I realized there was a lot of stuff on there that I wasn't really in control of. Like, too many things that were too many activities on it instead of habits to break/form - which is what I really wanted the list to be about. So, I sat down and took off a lot of stuff and added new stuff. The above is a picture of the new list. But in case you can't read it (the lighting was terrible) I'll type it out below:

1. Get my drivers license (done!)
2. Set up a pretty blogging space
3. Have a good head start on my dream wardrobe (I have so many clothes left over from my early teen years that are not my style at all anymore and I hate them cluttering up my closet but I have nothing to replace them with, yet!)
4. Get a pickup truck
5. Get a DSLR camera of my own
6. Post regularly
7. Do more DIYs
8. Don't save nice outfits just for special days
9. Get my 120 film developed
10. Have an amazing grad party
11. Sponsor at least one blog every month (just sort of a personal challenge *winks*)
12. Write a book (more on that later!!)
13. Go on a road trip without my family
14. Get more organized
15. Try at least three new things that scare me
16. Have a clear work time and a clear break time (taking a page from Enya's book here!)
17. Find my signature fragrance and purchase it
18. Make new friends See Owl City live again (who needs friends when you can be in the same room as Adam Young and Breanne Duren!?)

Do any of you have x before x posts? Comment and tell me about yours! I just love seeing what everyone puts on their lists! ♥

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wish List Wednesday

1. Couldn't Be Nicer Dress
2. Always on Tea Time Planner
3. Orange Sherbet Punch Dress
4. Thoroughly Modern Musician Headphones in Raspberry
5. Love Me Duo Dress
6. Bunny in Wonderland Oxfords in Mint
7. Charter School Cardigan in Raspberry
8. Do It the Bright Way Sandal

Keep Your Eyes Open

Most of the time I don't like to get super personal on this blog, but every now and then there is something that I feel like I just have to talk about. Today is one of those days.

One of my favorite things to do is re-read old posts from my archives. It's a good reminder of where I've come from, and can be incredibly enlightening. In the last year my confidence has soared, and I think that this was at least in part due to some of the new friends I made during that time. They accepted me just the way I was and reminded me of all the good in me when I would forget it and see only the bad.

But if there's one thing I've learned it's that friends don't always stick around. Yeah, there's one or two sometimes - like me and Miss Jack – but a I think most of the time friends come and go. Sometimes they even go and then come back, but it's rare to have a friend that is always there.

One of the friends I made in the past year turned out to be one of the friends that come and go. And it's one of those odd situations where it sucks, but at the same time I've accepted it. Maybe it's just that I know God has a plan for it... Anyway, I just really feel the need to write this to my friend:

I understand. I know what it's like to be young and have no idea what's going on or what you're supposed to do, and I know what it's like to act like an idiot because of that. But I really hope and pray that somehow you're able to find the same strength, courage, and peace with yourself that you've helped me find with myself. And I really, really hope that you become the person I know you can be – not for my sake but for your own. Because really – I still you can be pretty amazing when you chose to be, so don't loose that.

Thanks for letting me unload, gals (guys?) you're the best. ;)

Have any of you ever lost a friend that helped you a ton? What did you do to deal with it? I'd really love to hear about it. I think we can all learn so much from sharing our experiences.

Also, I'm working on a new project that I'm planning on sharing with you all tomorrow or next week. I can't wait. ♥

Tights: Target
Belt: thrifted
Necklace: vintage
Cardigan: Lace Affair
Bag: ModCloth

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eternity by Paul van Dyk ft. Adam Young // Music Monday

Yup... we're back to Adam Young songs. Technically this isn't actually one of this songs, but he's featured in it. I can't help it, I just love his style/taste in music so much!

Not much to say about this song except I've been listening to it non-stop since I downloaded it. But then, that's no surprise. ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

When the Stars Come Out // Daily Outfit

I'm so excited about this post! Lauren and I have been talking and working out the details for this swap for weeks and I'm so happy to finally be able to show you all!

When I first tried on this dress for some reason it just made me think of Doctor Who - then I realized that the polka dots on the skirt reminded me of stars. So cool! I've never had a sci-fiy-ish dress before. And I'll admit that at first I wasn't sure how to style it at all - but then I found this cardigan and realized that it would be cool enough for me to wear tights and all was well.

You can see how Lauren styled this dress here. I'll post a link to how she styled the dress I sent her as soon as it goes up/I get home from work.

Hope you all are having a lovely Monday so far!

Edit: Here's the outfit Lauren styled with my dress! Doesn't she look cute?

* * * * *         
dress:: borrowed from Lauren of Someone Like You
jacket:: TopShop
cardigan:: Target
ankle boots:: Blowfish Shoes
bag:: ModCloth 
sunglasses:: F21 via Miss Jack
necklace:: The One Ring from LOTR Risk game

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favorites

This lovely photo.

These rockin' shoes!

 This gorgeous picture. Serious inspiration for my graduation party.

 This photo. So true.

This tutorial. I'm definitely making some for my grad party!

This giveaway. Who doesn't love Barnes and Noble!?
These stripey straws. I'm getting some for my graduation.
This amazing teapot
This is so sweet.
This is just uncanny.

Win a Pair of We Love Colors Tights! {Closed}

I totally meant to post this giveaway last month, but life just threw me a curve ball and I'm just now getting back to myself.

Anyway! Last month's lovely sponsors, We Love Colors, is hosting a giveaway featuring these lovely limited edition black and gold splatter tights! It's no secret that I love black and gold and these are just so glam! Love!

How to Enter:

Just "like" We Love Colors on FaceBook and comment to tell me that you did! Easy, ain't it?

Bonus Entries:

"Like" Beautifully Pure on FaceBook and comment again to tell me that you did! (You must comment again or your second entry won't count.)

Winner will be drawn one week from today and anonced the following Monday. ♥