Threads + Thoughts | Changes of Scenery, Changes of Pace

There is a strange juxtaposition occurring in my internal life now. This odd fissuring of who I was and what I want to be creating an anomalous sense of instability. I suppose I write this in part to define this sensation to myself, as well as to others. I’m only just beginning to comprehend how drastically and suddenly my life has transformed (as it often does) and exactly what that means.

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I grew up in the mountains, on the shores of a lake so big and blue it’s sometimes called “The Lake of the Sky.” I grew up playing in the woods, beneath towering pine trees, in the coarse sand of a dozen alpine lakes. I spent summer nights under stars that burned bright silver in a velvety, blue-black sky, the milky way strung across it like a gossamer veil. I walked home under those stars in the freezing winter, the only sound my own breathing and the crunch of my boots on the snow. I grew up with camping trips and bonfires and hours of hiking trails. With snow days and hot chocolate by the fire place and socks damp from snowmelt. My legs were always covered in scratches from running through the brush in shorts. My arms were always sunburnt and freckled from hours spent beneath the high, hot summer sun. I built forts by the river and spent autumn evenings writing in my journal on a rock in the middle of it’s lazy flow. My youth was an idyllic one, I must admit, with a closeness to nature that made the woods a sanctuary and the wilderness a church. But by the time I was in high school, I wanted nothing but to flee the silence of that cathedral. I wanted light and sound and motion. The rush and press of city streets and the chatter of a thousand voices lulling me to sleep each night. Thats the life I imagined for myself when I was a restless, angst-ridden teen, adrift in a town where I didn’t really connect with anyone. Those were the years I dreamt of San Francisco and New York and a career as a fashion designer or magazine editor. I had grand schemes of a cosmopolitan life full of glamorous parties and beautiful people and opulent clothes. I wanted art and music and lavish parties attended by interesting people from all over the world. I wanted to drink in all their stories, all their varied experiences. I loathed my small town and what I deemed to be it’s small-minded people. I was convinced I belonged elsewhere, in some bright and glimmering city.

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Now I want something somewhere in between. I want the art and culture and creativity that I found dripping off the walls of San Francisco’s multi-colored victorians. I want the community and collaboration of living around a bunch of like-minded people; artists and musicians and writers and creatives of all varieties. I want a bold art scene, a raucous music scene, a plethora of culinary options to choose from. But I also want stars over my head and the quiet of the deep dark night. I want early mornings with the mist on the mountains and the sun creeping across the window panes. I found my soul depleted by the constant noise and rush of the city, by all those people, all those stories, all the endless things to do. I found myself strangely overwhelmed by it all and there was a longing for that old peace, to escape to the solitude and silence of the woods once more.IMG_2616

Ojai is it’s own little bubble of juxtaposition, a tiny town nestled in one of the few East-to-West running valleys in the world. It’s considered by many to be an energetic vortex, and is well known for spiritual retreats and it’s artsy-hippie residents. I have the strange sensation of being called here, summoned by some external force whose intention is still unclear. Before a few months ago, I only knew of Ojai peripherally, vague mentions of this beautiful place from friends, the suggestion that “Ojai and you would get along famously” from a dear friend whose grandmother lives here. And then, as I got closer, the word Ojai came up again and again for me. In books, on podcasts, in movies, in passing conversation with strangers and friends. J visited Ojai with his mother while I was working in San Francisco and he called to tell me “You will absolutely love this place.” As soon as I set foot on it’s soil I knew, this is where I want to be. Everything about it felt so right, from the towering mountains that ring the valley to the eclectic citizens that roam the streets, I fell instantly and irrevocably in love with Ojai.

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I wake up every morning to the sound of roosters crowing and I watch the sunlight stain the mountains outside my window. I go to sleep each night to mockingbirds songs. I took these photos on my porch, as the sun slipped down towards the horizon and the valley filled up with gold. The contrast is sharp to where I was only a year ago, with the sound of the city right outside my window. I am sometimes still surprised by it, the strangeness of how drastically my life has changed in the space of a year, but I also find myself exuberantly happy. Thrilled each morning to wake up in a place so naturally beautiful.

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outfit details | knit top :: thrifted | woven leather belt :: vintage | blue high-wasted shorts :: vintage | flats :: reef

The Casa Ojai | Gold + Grey

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While scouring the thrift stores I came across a lovely goldenrod hued blanket with all the grandma-kitsch appeal I love and it got me to thinking about the color scheme I want for our new bedroom. I previously had a theme of grey and green and blue, which I loved but I feel like it’s time to change things up a bit. Here are some of the pretty objects I’m lusting over while I fantasize about redecorating.

1. Danish Modern Teak Dresser via OtherTimesVintage
2. Vintage Brass Pocket Change Dish via TheLittleThingsVintage
3. Geometric Wool Pillow via ScoutandWhistle
4. Stonewashed Grey Linen Bed Cover via HouseOfBalticLinen
5. Cactus Poster Art Print via TheBlackVinyl
6. Abstract Yellow Landscape Print via evesand
7. Mustard Yellow Throw Blanket via LinenFromLithuania
8. No. 09: Fig & Jasmine – 7.5 oz Soy Candle via pommesfrites
9. Honeycomb Cubby Shelves via Haase Handcraft
10.Crystal Terrarium via White Lies Jewelry
11. Two Buddha Head Planters via Brooklyn Global
12.Handmade Macramé Wall Hanging via The Wov

check out the full wishlist over on Etsy

Time Warp | Beach Babies

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Halleluja for summer! The temperature keeps creeping up, the sun is on full blast and everyone looks like they just got back from vacation, all sun soaked skin and sappy smiles as they loll slowly down the street. My freckles are multiplying and the desire to shed my clothes and jump into a large, icy body of water grows more and more persistent. Thinking back on my favorite summer time memories, their all full of this brilliant, golden light and the spark of sunlight on ripples, the sensation of the sand beneath me, the icy lap of water against my ankles. So much of my summer has been defined by water, by lakes and rivers and oceans and pools. By long days of swimming and diving and floating in it. By hot afternoons propped up on my elbows beside it, reading, laughing, drinking, talking. We used to have bonfires on the beach, bright faces ringing the flames, the pound of the ocean a shadowy mass beyond the circle of friends. We used to float rivers and fling ourselves off cliffs and rush through the air at the end of a ropeswing, holding our breath for the moment when we are plunged, once again, into the sweet, cool depths.

I can’t wait to get out and enjoy all the fruits of the summer time, particularly the aquatic variety. Southern California is renowned for it’s beaches and unfalteringly sunny days, and Ojai has tons of tiny, backwoods hot springs and watering holes speckling the hillsides. I plan to enjoy them all.

What’s your favorite way to pass a summer day?

image via Pinterest

Mixtape | July 2015

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Subtly Patriotic

Subtly-Patriotic

I never understood people who went out and bought a whole new outfit for holidays, particularly ones like Fourth of July or St. Patricks Day. Purchasing explicitly holiday themed items has always seemed strange to me. I’ve never been the type to rock the American Flag on a t-shirt or even invest in an ugly christmas sweater. I like my clothes to work year round, or at least for the full season they are designed for. So I threw together this list of Etsy curated items that will work great for your 4th of July festivities, without making you look like the party decorations.

1. Ok, so this is more overtly patriotic than subtle, but isn’t this Vintage 48 Star Flag via Heja Home just the coolest?
2. This Lapis Totem Cuff by LaurelHill is amazonian goddess awesome.
3. Every wardrobe should have something akin to this Cherry Red Dooney and Bourke Purse via Box of Hollyhocks. Works. With. Everything.
4. Slip this 90s Vintage Cream Cotton Dress from Decades on over your swim suit when the sun gets low in the evening.
5. I am really no fan of being cold, so I would probably bring some jeans, like these Vintage Shredded Denim Levis 501 from Maeven Vintage, to slip into before the fireworks go off.
6. Patriotic or motivational? Maybe both? Guts and Glory Tapestry by Belles and Ghosts.
7. Denver is a classically American city, and this Vintage “Loved in Denver” Baseball T-Shirt from Raggedy Threads is just plain classic.
8. The Blue Devine Bralette could probably pass for a bikini top. From KateXTee.
9. A little pop of red brings in the our nations favorite primary color with this Hot Red Necklace from Wire Fox Jewelry.
10. I actually plan to wear this Gold Star Headband from Bloom Design Studio every damn day. Practicality be damned.
11. This snuggly red Aztec Poncho via PIYOYO will keep you warm as the night wears on.
12. Draw some inspiration from the classic American pin up and throw a cute Navy and White Polka Dot Headscarf on, like this one from Sassy Stitches by Lori.
13. There are so many craft brews coming out this summer and choosing between them all can be kind of tough. Expand your options with this Dual Beer Glass from the aptly named Pretentious Beer Glass.
14. Every living room needs a badass Vintage Metal Eagle Wall Hanging. Period. Haven Vintage will totally back me up on this.
15. Beach hair is the best. Beach hair that smells like strawberries? Uhm, yes please. Strawberry Beach Waves – 8oz from The Gnarly Whale

What are you doing for the Fourth?

Friday Favorites | Tinctorial Textiles

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These might just be the prettiest curtains I’ve seen in a long time. The concept, executed on thin, semi-translucent wool panels that are designed to be overlapped, is an experiment in natural dyes and color blending. The name Tinctorial is derived from the latin name for the most common organic dying agents. – via Raw Color

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This stunning Gainsborough Drafting Table from those fine Canadian’s over at 2point54

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Rohan Anderson, the Australian food and farming blogger behind Whole Larder Love, has a new book coming out entitled A Year of Practiculture: A Guide to Living, Growing, Hunting, and Cooking With The Seasons

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The embroidered illustrations of Izziyana Suhaimi.

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This pretty collection of stoneware and wooden bowls in this pretty Portland home. -via DesignSponge

 

Threads + Thoughts | Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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Oh, hey there, Internet. Good to see you again. It has been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry I went all MIA on you. But look! I’m compensating with a photo of me attempting to look sexy and smirky in this rad little shift dress I scored on a Thrift. It’s the perfect weight, length and cut for summer, plus it’s super versatile and looks great paired with damn near anything.  I have a feeling I’m going to be rocking this well into the autumn months (though
 the entire concept of seasons in Southern California is sort of a joke). 

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To be perfectly honest, part of the reason I am so few and far between on the outfit photos is because they are really hard for me. I feel so silly, primping and preening for the camera, even now, after all this time. Even when I have someone else to take my photos, I feel so stilted and unsure of myself as soon as I sense the lens on me. I suppose there is an element of insecurity, the worry of how I look. There are still days where I struggle to like my appearance, still days where I worry that I’m an ugly girl and that self consciousness is particularly keen when I’m in front of the camera.

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A part of the reason I started my style blog was because I realized I avoided cameras. There are huge chunks of my youth in which not a single photo of me exists because I hated having my picture taken. For years I would either flee the room or pull a face whenever a camera pointed in my direction. I still have a hard time smiling for photos, because I think I look like a complete goober when I smile. Hence the eternal RBF (Resting Bitch Face) in all my photos. I know how silly that is, particularly since I spent 2.5 years in braces and get compliments on my smile all the time…but it’s just one of those things, ya know? There’s probably some carryover insecurity from the Before Braces era, when I was a snaggle-toothed little kid who covered her mouth when she smiled.

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I’m still coming to terms with the way that I look. Every day there is the comparison, the concern that I am not pretty enough or not as pretty as someone else. I rarely doubt my own intelligence or sense of humor, but my looks? That is something I am constantly questioning. As I was editing these photos, that nasty, inner critic we all have started doing it’s thing. Gosh, your face is boring. Shouldn’t I have a thigh-gap? Are my knee caps fat? Why in gods name am I concerned about the fatness of my knee caps?? It’s all so silly and trivial and superficial. Who am I comparing myself to? Whose standard of beauty am I not measuring up to? Why am I enforcing that standard on myself?

Recently, the ever lovely and encouraging Gala Darling posted this image on her Facebook page and the sentiment hit me like a fistful of glitter. Just stop. Stop comparing yourself to other people, stop evaluating yourself based on someone else. Here’s a little secret; you never measure up. So just stop doing it. It reminded me of another quote I love, and one I’ll leave you (and my inner critic) with.

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Goals + Ambitions | July 2015

IMG_2140The month ahead…

Reading | Universal Myths: Heroes, Gods, Tricksters and Others by Alexander Elliot

I picked this up off my roommates bookshelf the other afternoon and found myself entirely absorbed. Mythology and religion have always been fascinating subjects to me, so learning more about the ways in which myths and legends have shaped humanity is completely compelling reading for me.

Learning | to approach my photography without judgment.

I have this strange anxiety about taking a photo. I want the right moment, the right shot, the right setting and lighting. And I want it all on the first try. I’m a perfectionist at my core and I find myself frustrated when I am not instantaneously gratified by the perfect shot. This is unreasonable, I realize.

Exploring | a few of the yoga studios around town.

My good friend Mel just opened up her own studio called Arrow Heart Yoga over in Meiners Oaks and I’m so excited to go check out a few of the classes she’ll be offering! I haven’t attended a yoga class in-studio since I left SF, so I’m excited to see what Ojai has to offer.

Creating | more personal and custom content for the blog.

I’ve been working really hard to get a consistent posting schedule going for Gypsi and hopefully, this month, you guys will see the fruits of my labors. I have so much fun stuff planned for the summer!

Healing | myself.

I’ve been sick a lot this year, and last month I had to take a couple weeks off work for personal health reasons. Between all the moving, job changes, stress and just the daily grind, my body and my immune system have just been worn out. I finally had to take a moment to slow down and take care of myself and reconsider my personal care routine. I’m making a very concentrated effort to be more mindful of myself, more aware of my body and what it needs and more proactive about giving it the care and exercise it needs to remain healthy.

Enjoying | taking time to journal every day.

Keeping a journal has always been something I’ve done, and lately I’ve been trying to be more mindful of carving out time during my day to sit down and really go over my feelings, my day and just do a little check in.

 

Femme Fatal | Frida Kahlo’s Wardrobe

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Frida Kahlo is a Femme Fatal for a bunch of other reasons that have nothing to do with her iconic style and truly epic threads,  By the time she was eighteen she had survived both polio and a horrifying trolly accident and would live the rest of her life in unimaginable pain. She was an outspoken communist, openly bisexual and intensely talented. Her artwork, personality and image are synonymous with the Surrealist and Mexican art scenes of the mid-twentieth century. She carried on many tumultuous love affairs, with both men and women, the least of whom were Georgia O’Keefe and Leon Trotsky, not to mention her notoriously unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera, the great Mexican muralist. She kept monkeys and loved dirty jokes, drinking and dancing. She lived in a big, blue house surrounded by cacti and made art that still stops people in their tracks with it’s power. For all these reasons and many more, Frida Kahlo is a genuine bad ass, but since I just discovered these stunning images, we’re gonna talk about her clothes.

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Frida is a collection of images captured by Ishiuchi Miyako. The photographs catalogue a collection of Frida’s garments and personal items, which had been locked inside a bathroom in “The Blue House”– or the Museo Frida Kahlo,  for nearly fifty years. The contents of this bathroom were placed there by a grieving Diego Rivera, who sealed off the collection with instructions for it not to be opened until fifteen years after his death. Just imagine, that bathroom, full to bursting with all that bright silk and embroidery…the smell of her still clinging to the fabric as all those skirts and frocks and scarves languished in the shadows for nearly half a century. Miyako, whose work has centered around the strange intimacy of objects, was tasked with documenting the collection in 2013.

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When you think about Frida’s iconic style you must also consider that she wore her clothing as both a shield and a distraction from the incredible physical disabilities she suffered from. She wore the traditional long skirts of the Tehuana which served to not only conceal her mangled lower limbs, but also as a proud feminist and nationalistic gesture to her heritage. She wore shoes with one stacked heel to even out her polio-stunted left leg. She decorated her casts and corrective corsets so that even the instruments of her agony became art. Her clothing became as much an expression of her unique perspective on the world as her vibrant paintings. She dressed as she did for many reasons, and her style is iconic because it is as thoughtful and startling as her artwork.

Learn more about Frida Kahlo…

Images via the Michael Hoppen Gallery and good old Google Image Search

Mixtape | May 2015

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image via DancinInWonderland on Tumblr

 

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