29.10.10

important discovery #3463463

When I was growing up I felt like I had to grow up really fast, but the truth is that I was simply forced to bypass growing up; I was never given the chance to grow up at my own pace, and I never had the opportunity to sit down in front of the mirror and see who I was.

When I was seven, my second grade teacher had to sit with me through every lunch hour, making sure I ate at least half of my lunch. I thought I had fat thighs. Who knows where that came from--I look at pictures of myself from back then now, and I don't see that kid as "fat" at all. It's probably because all my friends were skinny, or something.

I had a rabbit named Benny, and a lovebird named Thandi, and my mom had a cockatiel named Tristan and a parrot named Schubert. We gave Schubert away when my little sister was born because he was just a little bit dangerous around babies. Tristan died of old age and I was torn apart. I was given Thandi a few months later, for my birthday, and she was my best friend for three months before she died too, of a sickness she'd had since birth.

My father left for good when I was eight and a half and I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong. When I was ten my mother met a nice man and so she, my sister, and I all moved to Germany with him. I had to give Benny away and I have no idea what happened to him.

We moved to Vancouver after Germany, where I went to high school. I was kind of a weird kid and I had kind of weird friends. I liked to make jewellry out of bottlecaps and cover my jeans in writing and safety pins. My best friend was named Will; we met every monday for lunch and went on walkabouts.
When I was in grade 10, Will committed suicide.
In grade 12, I ran away from home for three months. Then I came home and nothing was ever the same again. After I graduated I moved out again. I attempted to go to school for a few months but dropped out because I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and couldn't really handle anything.

As a culminating result of all of these things, I continue to feel jumbled, lost, stupid, fat, ugly, wrong, disjointed, pointless. I know that none of that is true; I just never figured out who Lorelei really is. It was always on the bottom of every to-do list I ever made, and so I've got to finally get around to checking it off. I had to spend so much time dealing with things and accepting things and fighting things and figuring things out that I didn't put any time aside to figure out what I loved. There are a few things I know about myself, but it really is a very few things:
My favourite snacks will forever and always be pickled peppers, which I eat like chips.
I play guitar, but I'm really not very good. I'm a better singer.
I only really listened to my art teacher after I graduated high school, and I wish I'd listened to him before. He has important things to say.
My best friends are my teachers. Other than that, the list is short. It's gotten shorter over time it seems.
I'm terribly impulsive and I think it's gotten me into trouble before and I've wanted to punch myself in the face because of it before. I've thrown a lot of things away before, and I've made a lot of really bad purchases. But deep down inside I know that's because I didn't trust my gut and I decided to veer off the path. I'm going to try to trust my gut on this one:

I think I started this blog because I wanted the world to validate me, to tell me that I was doing great, that that's such a pretty photo and oh, I wish I could be like you. The truth is, though, that the world, all of you readers out there, you're really good at spotting fakes. Right now, that's precisely what I am: a fake.

I could try my entire life through, but I will never be Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast. I will never be Fashionista Extrordinaire. I will never be an amazing blogger. I love to bake, I love seeing people wearing beautiful things and I love dressing up, but I'm never going to have ground-breaking, profound, exceptional ideas to contribute to the fashion world. I'm always going to be behind the camera. I'm always going to be writing commentary on what other people do. And THAT'S OKAY. That's who I am, that's who I have to embrace. I can't expect to create an entirely new person on the internet who is a false representation of me.

I've been looking for people to leave me inane comments that make me feel like a whole, successful, meaningful person. And yet, 0 comments, 0 comments, 0 comments. And that doesn't mean for a second that I am not a whole, successful, meaningful person. It means that my heart isn't in it. Why would anyone leave me a comment saying they love my style when I don't even love it? People aren't idiots. They can tell. And it doesn't matter if you've never met a person before and just happen to stumble upon their little place on the internet: it's easy to spot a facade.

So here's to abandoning something that never really started anyway. Until I start being true to myself, and until I am doing something that truly gets my heart pumping, and until everything feels really and completely truly right, no one is going to leave me a single comment. No one ever turned heads with a dress that didn't fit. I'm going to finally sit down in front of my mirror.

day off

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These are my beautiful skull-painted tributes to Halloween because I'm not going to be doing any Halloweeny baking this weekend. I'm on the prowl for a new electric mixer, but so far I haven't found anything that fits my budget. Yesterday, however, I picked up a couple of fabulous new icing tips for future cupcake adventures. Once I get a new mixer, of course.

Rock & Republic Jeans, Alexander McQueen heels, Allison Wonderland blazer

28.10.10

love love love jeffrey campbell

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Love love love these boots.
Considering winter is coming, they are completely and totally justified, right?
And at $139.95USD, I mean, come on

27.10.10

no more excuses

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I have a tendency to gravitate towards all the same colours: grey, black, white, and muted beige and purple. This photo is back from mid-summer; even then I was basically confining myself to a strictly black palate.

It's now definitely fall, and so I can't help but be inspired by all the oranges and golds and reds I'm seeing all around me, but I also have to admit that, based on past observations, it's doubtful that I will be successful in applying this to my wardrobe. But I have to try! Here's to more colour before winter wisks all my colourful inspiration away.

Betsey Johnson blazer, Zara top (you can't see it here, but there WAS some colour to this piece), H&M leggings, Darcie Doc Martens, Armor ring, Marc Marc Jacobs sunglasses and bag.

24.10.10

reverse chocolate chip cookies

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One of my Top Five Desert Island Favourite Baked Goodies: Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's pretty much a fool-proof recipe, and it never fails to please. Plus, I mean, come on, how could you not love them?

Along with my standard switch to warmer clothes, I've also made my switch to a diet almost entirely composed of comfort foods (this includes a dangerous amount of baking). There was practically an audible click (or sonic boom, rather) when I made the decision to make the jump: I woke up one morning about two weeks ago and, BAM, summer attire was entirely forgotten.

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REVERSE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar
 (packed)
2 1/4 cups flour

1 tspn baking soda

3/4 tspn salt

1 cup softened butter

2 beaten eggs

1 tspn vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a seperate bowl, mix the butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add wet ingredients to the flour/sugar mixture and mix until smooth. The dough gets a little stiff; this is where I usually start using my hands to mix everything together. If the dough is way too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons milk to soften it up. Just make sure not to add too much or the dough will be super sticky.

Once everything is well combined, add the white chocolate chips (and macadamia nuts if you want) and make sure they are well distributed.

Roll the dough into little 1 1/2 tablespoon balls and press lightly onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving a little over an inch between each one (I aim to get 12 onto each sheet).

Stick 'em in the oven for 9 minutes, remove, and allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet. Enjoy!

22.10.10

hip baglady

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About 60% of the time, when the weather gets cooler, I find myself gravitating towards outfits that can best be described as "Stylish Bag-Lady": Leggings, mid-length drapey asymmetrical skirts, drab colours, big sweaters, Docs, etcetera.

H&M tee, TNA faux fur-lined hoodie, JNBY skirt, vintage necklace.

fall colours

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Chances are, if it's got Amarula in it, I'm going to love it. Besides which, I think that milky coffee colour and the luscious red of a maraschino cherry look splendid together. Definitely one of my favourite fall colour-combos.

21.10.10

Robert Adams

Diana treated me to a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery this morning, where we had a tour of the Robert Adams exhibition that's currently featured there.

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I was especially taken with Adams' later work, focussing more on the contrast between nature and human development, and humans' intrusion on and manipulation of the natural environment. I loved how Adams turned the whole concept of the pastoral upside down: instead of using nature to illustrate human emotions, Adams used the pastoral to underscore the intrusion of humanity in nature, and, despite its vastness, nature's inability to completely repell human development. Our perception of what is "natural" has been scewed to the point that we no longer notice when landscapes have been altered by human life. Adams' photo of an irrigaion canal surrounded by trees demonstrated this clearly; until I was told what the photo actually depicted, I had no idea I was looking at a man-made river. Many of Adams' later photos focussed on humans' denial that we have encroached on nature and altered it--murdered it--before thinking twice about what we were altering; an entire room was filled with photos of clear-cut forests that were blatantly reminiscent of casualties of war.

The juxtaposition of human development and the nature around it in Adams' photos illustrated both the relationship between people and nature, their similarities and differences alike, as well as the reality of what we do to our world every day without taking the time to think about what it is we are doing. The photos show an attempt at coexistence and a stark failure on our part to function in such a relationship. Instead, we have spent a great deal of time and energy trying to change nature to suit us, and see only what we would like to see, that we have ignored the voices from nature itself, to the point where we can stoop to look at a flower on the ground and miss the corpse of a dead animal beside it. Similarly, a number of photos depicted peoples' ironic need to bring nature inside: a painting of fruit hanging on the wall in the kitchen, for instance. We need and want nature in our daily lives, but, conversely, use walls and houses and construction and development to shut nature out in nearly everything we do.

Adams' work depicts tragedies in our day-to-day lives that, although vast in reality, fall on deaf ears and blind eyes until contained in a small frame. Through the use of the pastoral in contrast with human development and destruction, Adams illustrates human influence in, and our inability to properly live in harmony with, the world around us. I am reminded of a scene in Fern Gully where the fairy protagonist touches a tree and asks, "can't you feel its pain?" Adams exhibit showed that, clearly, we can't.



The past few days have been really heavy on the artistic thought/inspiration/revelation. I need a serious nap, and then after that I just want to do a crap ton of art. WUDDUP?!?!?

on art

I had an important revelation this evening:
A young guy came through my till this evening at work and had with him a large print, a photograph of a dark and rather grimey alley. I asked him if he had taken the photo and he replied yes and asked me if I wanted to have it. I said of course, as long as he signed it for me, which he happily did.

Later in the evening I took the photo back to show some of my coworkers. They were disappointed when I showed it to them though; it wasn't a "pretty" picture of a sunset or a beach, and neither of them could see what I saw that excited me so much about the photo. And I just couldn't stop looking at it and gushing about it. That alley was the most beautiful thing I'd seen all evening.

When it comes to art, there are two kinds of audiences: Artists, and Observers. Observers see "pretty things" as art (and only pretty things as art), and Artists see anything or everything as art. Observers decide selectively what is beautiful and artistic, and Artists cannot help but see the art in everything. I looked at the alley in the photograph and was thrilled at its rugged character, and my coworkers didn't think twice about it because it wasn't something typically "pretty". As an artist, ugly things are just as "pretty" to me as anything else, because they have voices. Everything speaks and breathes art to me. Everything is art--what is and isn't, isn't for me to decide. That mentality is what makes me an artist. A sense of duty rather than an entitlement to choice; I can choose which things I capture, and ultimately decide whether I want to or not, but I am constantly overwhelmed by the art in the world around me and can't classify one thing as more artistically valid than another.

20.10.10

armor

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Finally, a style post! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever actually get around to doing one.

I fell in love with Armor Jewelry the first time I laid eyes on the collection. It could be that I was looking for this line my entire life, but just wasn't aware of it. The pieces are a balanced perfectly between Bold and Badass and Whimsical and Feminine, on a fulcrum of expert craftsmanship. The materials are top-notch: the chains on this ring feel almost like silken threads, but still look hardcore enough to suit my fancy. In any case, when I found it, that void in the jewelry part of my heart was instantly filled. I'm being totally cheesy here, but there's no other way to properly articulate it. The sales people at Sucre thankfully shared my excitement, but may still have been a little concerned about me shaking and bubbling over with glee.

Armor is the creation of designer Sandee Shin, who is based in New York. Shop the entire collection here.

19.10.10

rolling stone

I took this back around Easter. I was a few days away from moving into a new place (which I have since moved out of). I had this feeling like things were falling into place, and they could have, but they didn't. Things feel like they've been suspended in mid-air since September last year. Every now and again I've tricked myself into feeling my feet touch the ground.

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18.10.10

best ceasars in town

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Rodney's Oyster House in Yaletown has the best ceasars in town, no question. Not to mention really good food. And all the people who serve there are big burly 'roid monkey-esque guys wearing t-shirts that say things like "eat me raw".

17.10.10

blue water

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I went for dinner with my boyfriend and his mother a little while ago, and these little delights were served with our cheque at Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown, Vancouver. I wish I could say I baked them myself.

banana bread

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16.10.10

namesake

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finally fall

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There's finally a bite in the October air.
Good-bye, summer berries. All I want to eat these days is food that's slathered in layers upon layers of cheese, i.e., nachos and pizza. I have also made good on this desire. Multiple times.
I need to go back to eating some decent food. AUTUMN RESOLUTION, wuddup.

12.10.10

in the vinyard

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TOP FIVE DESERT ISLAND FAVOURITE FRUITS/VEGGIES TO EAT AND/OR TAKES PICTURES OF, not in order of preference:

1. Dragonfruit.
2. Grapes.
3. Citrus type things like limes and grapefruits. Yes, that counts as one.
4. Savoy Cabbage.
5. English Peas.

This list will probably change by the day.

this is just to say

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chocolate armarula cream cupcakes

Complete and utter Cupcake Fail.
Awesome idea: Chocolate Amarula Cream Cupcakes.
Mmmm...yeah, no. Not so much.

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Nothing really significantly wrong, but somehow everything went wrong. And so they had to be thrown in the garbage (yeah, yeah, I know, starving children in third world countries).

8.10.10

continuation

It hasn't taken me long to realize that my focus, when it comes to my photography, is food. There's something about photographing food and drinks and ingredients that just turns me on, so to speak, like nothing else. I don't have my own studio (for the time being) and I don't have a lot of equipment (I have a desk lamp and some white plates and nice glasses. Yup), so my subjects need to be relatively small unless I happen to be working outside.

Anyway, long story short: I've decided to take that focus and run with it, and create a little world for it all on its own. I also plan to dabble more in fashion photography and explore those techniques a little more.

My older work, as well as more general subjects, can still be found at I Water My Sidewalk; I will continue to update there with various miscellaneous work.
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