Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Breath of Fresh Air

I'm sure you've noticed the excessive amount of DIY posts in ratio to the severely lacking outfit posts lately, huh? That is due to three things:
  1. I've been performing in Les Misérables at the community arts center for the last two weeks, so I haven't had the biggest amount of time on my hands,
  2. The time I did have, I was contained within the four walls of my house where I could only do small projects that would be finished in one sitting, and..
  3. I've been in the process of packing my clothes away. Kind of presents an issue when posting about fashion.
I managed to squeeze in one last session before picking it back up once we're down in Tampa. I will go ahead and warn you that the school year itself will surely cause posts to be spaced out, but they will not stop completely. I assure you of that.

As I get ready to leave for Florida, I think about how prepared I am to get out of this place. It sounds awful, I know, but I don’t mean it as harshly as it comes across. I’ll miss my dear, lovely friends so very much, it’s obviously not because of that. It’s just the fact that... I’ve been in the same predicament since we first moved here. I have been spinning my wheels in this town; I feel sort of trapped and like I’m not getting anywhere with my life as long as I remain here. It’s been great for a while, everyone needs that steadiness to a certain point. There are a lot of really great things about Manchester, but there are a lot of things that really bother me. I don’t intend on going too far into detail about all of them, just the one that relates to the story behind today’s post.

Erin and I were taking these outfit pictures down one of the streets on the square. Few people were out and about in the area we were actually taking the pictures, it’s not the busiest section. However, we walked to a pawn shop before the shoot and nearly every single person glared at me (it would usually be “us,” but Erin was in a mere t-shirt and jeans on this particular occasion). The glares were that "giving someone the look-down" glare. This is far from the first time it’s happened, but it struck more me this time. I’ll be thrilled to be a place where people actually put forth effort into the way they live, whether it be their speech, dress, work, or general mentality. Not to sound like I’m some kind of high class booshie, but Manchesterites push the lines of trashy. And then they look at ME like I’m the weirdo! I’m sorry I don’t go out in public wearing whatever stained shirt and baggy PJ pants I rolled out of bed in,... geez. I mean, this is just a flowy skirt, a lace shirt, and a floppy hat! It was a nice, sunny day! It's not like I wore anything glitzy or unusual. I'll admit, this outfit leans toward the bohemian/70's extent of my style, but it's nothing too far out there!
Casual but fashionable, people. Get with the system.
The problem with the mentality of the inhabitants is that they aren’t used to (nor do they want to get used to) anything out of the ordinary. They’ve set the standards way back when and don’t want anything out of their comfort zone to catch them off guard. And I’m not only talking about dressing well put-together, I’m addressing many of the thoughts and opinions of people I’ve met here. Of course, it would be unfair of me to lump every single person from Manchester into this category, but most would agree that this is the overall atmosphere. It's just not for me. At least not for me to live in.

Not to say that Tampa is the perfect place. No place is the "perfect place," anywhere will have its flaws. Eventually, I will discover the one area I will want to settle down for good, but until then I'll be testing out a couple states. Perhaps Manchester will transition into a different feel in a few years. For now, I'm going to school in Tampa, FL, and that will be a good change from... this.
Saying "good bye for now, see you later" to the people that mean the most to me has been really complicated. Difficult, obviously, but mostly complicated. I think I'm fighting two feelings inside of me while I'm doing it. On the one hand, it's not as hopeless as it seems. It's just a school year apart, then I'll be back again for another summer. Not to mention the holiday vacations. Facebook, Skype, and cell phones make the distance less distant, and we'll be seeing about the same amount of each other as if we were going to various schools in the same state. Then again, I think my emotions are a little on the fritz since having to say good bye to Garrett. That was one of the most emotionally scarring moments for me from several aspects, but I think I got all of the sadness of parting (with anyone) out during that one "farewell". I already had to come to terms with being separated from the ones I love back then. The reason I'm not letting myself relive that moment with each of my friends now is because I couldn't handle it.
So. I've come to a reasonable conclusion: I'm not worried. It's unfortunate, yes. I'll miss people and want them around, but life continues. You'll always have those relationships as you continue to grow and gain experiences, and they will help to keep you going no matter where you are. It's not the things that come easy that are worth keeping.

“Things which come to us easily have no significance. Satisfaction comes when we do something which is difficult; when there is sacrifice involved”
-Barry Morris Goldwater
I like to think that applies.

Shirt/bracelets: Forever 21, skirt: thrifted,
sandals: Target, hat: courtesy of Erin


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Display dangling earrings and necklaces

Frame Jewelry Organizer

Most of my jewelry are long pieces, making it difficult to find a jewelry box/tree tall enough to hold my necklaces that works for my earrings as well. Taking matters into my own hands, I hit up Pinterest for some ideas.
  • Frame
  • Paint
  • Lace strips
  • Hot glue gun
I discovered this vintage wood frame in the attic, and (after clearing it with dad and finding no significant value) painted it with two coats of pink craft paint. Painting it a different color is obviously optional, it was
 just my choice in the matter. Next, pin the strips of lace into the crease on the
inside of the frame, the indention where the frame's glass would settle.

Now, when pinning the lace, I cannot stress this enough: PULL AS TIGHTLY AS POSSIBLE. The lace really needs to be as stiff and have as much tension as you can make it, because I promise you the weight of jewelry will pull it down. So, eliminate slack. Once everything is where it should be, bring on the glue. Apply generously, but in layers. Too much hot glue at once just becomes a goopy mess. Allow the areas to dry, and repeat for each section of lace.

All that's left is to adorn your new organizer with jewelry and show off how crafty and cute you are. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Combine your favorite things into your decor

Sheet music shadow art

Painting an image onto sheet music gives a different dimension than just on regular paper. You can choose a song with sentimental value or an image you really like.. or both! For people like me who don't have much room to display everything I love in separate spaces (dorm room walls will only hold so much), it's a pretty cool way to kill two birds with one stone. I give credit to Pinterest for inspiring the idea.
  • Sheet music (sepia tinted paper)
  • Template
  • Box cutter
  • Paint
I printed out a section of sheet music onto vintage-y sepia paper. Then I used a picture I drew of *big surprise* Marilyn Monroe. Just a warning: using this detailed of a template is really tricky, so you might want to start off with something with less cutting out if you're unsure. Proceed to cut out the stencil part of your template picture.

Once all of the shadow part is removed, trace your picture onto the sheet music. Now you get to choose whether you want to paint within your stenciled section or more of the background. This depends on how much of the sheet music you want to be shown vs. the painted portion; depending on the image, one may look better than the other. I wanted to paint the stenciled parts.

And there you have it. With some patience, you'll have a unique, artistic picture filled with your personality and made with your own two hands! And the help of a printer. But mostly you.