outfit: texture + ad fatigue

tilda linen

The thought of wearing white pants scares me.  I’ve never owned a pair.  These linen pants in the color “flax” are the closest thing I have to them.  The slight color variations in the fabric hide stains well.  I don’t live in fear of stains in these and don’t hesitate to sit on subway benches or walk on dirt paths in the park.  An outfit succeeds when it gets out of your way, allows you to move freely and go anywhere. Continue reading →

My non-toxic method for oil painting from start to finish.

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For a long time, I put aside oil painting because I don’t have a studio and I didn’t want to fill my small NYC apartment with toxic fumes.  It’s one thing, to be in a studio for a few hours inhaling the stuff; it’s another thing, to live and sleep with it every day.  Long-term effects of inhaling turpentine and mineral spirits include permanent brain damage, dementia, and psychosis.

Throughout my training, I was taught that solvents were necessary to prime surfaces, thin oil colors, wash brushes between colors, and varnish the finished painting.  Basically needed for every aspect of oil painting. I used to think solvents were an occupational hazard oil painters had to accept. Continue reading →

Links

Dr. It Girl Peonies and Birks

Here’s some things I read this week worth checking out:

1. Micro-blogging the next big thing for advertisers? via the private life of a girl.  I don’t believe it too.

2. Is that big sofa really necessary? — This article written in the 80’s is so relevant today!  We got rid of our sofa and don’t plan on replacing it anytime soon.  It’s a long story so I’ll write more on this later. Continue reading →

all shoes go to heaven

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I’m transitioning to spring weather shoes this week.  A start of a new season is a great time to assess the condition of your clothes & shoes and throw away / recycle things that are no longer wearable.  If you’ve been a long-time reader here, you will recall that I wore these shoes almost every day in the spring and summer months.  The rubber soles have worn down and the cork lining has crumbled off with water damage, and dare I say it, there’s mold!?  (Maybe it’s just dirt?)  The leather uppers have stretched so much that my feet slip and slide.  And the straps have split ends. It’s shameful how long I continued to wear these. 😂 Continue reading →

Links

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Here are a few links that captured my attention this week:

1.  Congratulations to Rosie on her TED talk on failure and vulnerability.  She talks about how creative work makes you vulnerable and relates an ability to tolerate vulnerability to perseverance and success.  I resonated with how hard it can be to get negative feedback on creative work.  I got flashbacks of my university painting critique.  Every person’s work before mine sparked lively discussion.  When it was my turn, there was dead silence.  It was awful, soul crushing.  It ended well though because weeks later the dean of the art school stole my painting and had it exhibited at the state capitol building. It can feel vulnerable writing here too.  I’m not a “writer”, I just happen to write (mediocrely), and in order to keep doing it, I had to develop a tolerance for negative judgment. Continue reading →

The strange way leather is made.

apc gigi bootsIn a previous post, I had mentioned the horrific things that are happening at Bangladeshi leather tanneries.  I really had no idea how bad things were until I saw this segment on PBS.  It got me wondering: what does “proper” leather tanning look like?  I found this youtube video about how leather is made in the USA.  Even leather made “safely” in America is strange!  Frankly, it’s gross.  Manufacturing waste from the leather tanning process, in forms of dried up connective tissue and gray globs of fatty slime, is bought by cheap dog food companies to use as filler (yuck, I’m so glad we feed Freddy real meat and good dry food).  I’m not vegan or anti-leather, although I do admire those who do choose to be.  I do own a few cherished leather items: my APC gigi boots, half moon bag, watch, wallet, and loafers.  But after seeing this, I’m starting to evolve in this area, and will opt to purchase leather secondhand when I’m in need of replacements.  Or go “pleather” or “vegan leather”– both names don’t sit right with me.  There’s lots of snarky connotations in those terms.  What about removing the term leather altogether and replacing it with the name of the actual material.  As it terns out there’s a huge range of vegan leather and some are actually really bad for the environment and yet they all go under the same name. Continue reading →

dead malls + environmental hopelessness

Seph Lawless

Malls are dead.

All across America, malls are dying. And there are people out there finding inspiration in the decay. Just check out Dan Bell’s low budget films and Vaporwave, an internet art movement. They’re using dead mall imagery to express a sense of hopelessness about the things we can’t control, like being poor, having no jobs, the false promises of capitalism, and so on. Continue reading →

my bare bones beauty routine

beauty routine simple

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it:  I think most beauty routines out in the blogosphere are stupid; most are unnecessarily complicated and offer marginal benefit over simply washing & moisturizing.  I have fairly “good” skin, at least I’ve been told I do. Every once in a while, a few blemishes pop up, and you have to be very close in bright light to see any fine lines; it’s no big deal.  I’ve tried a lot of beauty products in my life and quit almost all of them, now that I’m older and wiser.  Continue reading →

The value of one hour to think about one thing.

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Sixty minutes, two times a day, 5 days per week = 10 HOURS.  That’s the amount of time I spend commuting each week.  I try to make the most out of that time.  As of late, I phased out listening to my usual politics podcasts because, well, it was getting toxic.  Then I discovered the value of choosing to think about one thing for one hour during my commute. I’ve been using this time to think creatively. I start by selecting from a mental menu of options to think about.   Continue reading →