Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween and Day of the Dead

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It's a chance to be creative as we all try to outdo each other in terms of costumes. This year, I went as a Lichtenstein painting-esque girl, blonde wig and all. In Tucson however, Halloween means two other things--one, the weather is finally turning towards the cool side, and two, the All Souls Procession isn't far away.
Before I went to bed on Halloween, I was still lucid enough to take a nice bathroom seflie of my costume makeup (even if it had got a bit smudgy).

What is the All Souls Procession? It's a Tucson tradition and take on Dia de los Muertos, that honors both Mexican and native cultural notions of mourning and remembering the dead. Despite the grim connotations, the Procession is really just a huge parade, with music, performers, and everyday people who dress up and participate in the fun. This year it took place on November 3rd, and the weather was absolutely perfect for the event.

I went with my friend Hollie, and it was both of our first times at the Procession. We wound up having tons of fun and got to see some very interesting people.

Yours truly and some new friends

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Owl Purse Saga

Waaaay back in August (how is it already October??) I spotted this girl with the most adorable purse that looked like a very simple version of an owl's face. Of course I asked her where she got it--Bookman's, which is a sell/trade/buy bookstore chain in Arizona--but it was my loss that I didn't go to look for them until a couple weeks later, as by then they were all gone. As these things go, when I couldn't buy the purse I only wanted it more so I left my phone number with one of the employees on the off chance that they would get more in. Fast forward to last week, Bookman's called me! I rushed in and there they were!

When it came to it I couldn't decide on either black or brown. Luckily I had a trade-in credit slip, so I felt good about buying both. Ugh I still can't get over how adorable they are, just looking at them makes me smile! Have any of you had a similar love affair with a purse?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tech Upgrade

You know how in my last post, I was lamenting about the increasingly bad quality images I was getting off of my advanced point and shoot?  Well, now that I have a good paying part time job (I don't think I ever mentioned that did I? I work in the men's department at a well known department store) I decided to take the plunge and finally upgrade to a DSLR.

 In the past I've used Canons for my photo classes and given that my P&S was a canon I was inclined to go that route. However, once I started researching, I became more and more interested in Nikon, or more specifically in the D5200 which is what I ultimately bought. And although I've had very little free time to play with it--who would think school and work would be major time hogs?--I'm very pleased with the results I've been getting.

I just messed around for a bit using the auto setting and the two different lenses that came bundled with my camera. These aren't amazing shots by any means, but they definitely are better than anything my old camera could do.

My kitty Phoebe, using the 18-55 mm kit lens


Not a great shot, but not bad considering how far up the alley these javelinas were. 55-300mm

I also splurged and used my student discount to get Photoshop (which I will need to use for a class this semester anyway). CS6 is very different from the old version of GIMP I've been using, but in a very wonderful way.

Hopefully I'll get a day free from work and school so I can go out and shoot!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Testing (and casual Friday)

First two weeks of school--done! Get home before it gets too dark to take pictures indoors--check, maybe?

This batch of photos was a bit dark and I lost some of the quality when editing to correct it, but I was excited to try taking outfit photos for the first time in my apartment. I wore this to lab on Thursday, and it's very casual, but I like how I dressed it up a bit. Plus I really like fun headbands, like this yellow wire one that I wore. I think it's so silly that they require us to wear closed toe shoes in lab, but they don't care if we're wearing shorts or skirts that expose our legs, as the lab coats only go to mid-thigh. If I spill acid on myself, well, thank God my toes are safe! (I could wear pants more often, but sometimes the Tucson heat and fabric encased legs don't cooperate all that well.)

I was told I looked vaguely sixties while walking up to my door after school because of my hair do--I'll take that complement stranger/neighbor!

And one of my favorite pair of earrings; it's hard to take a picture of your ear by yourself.

The older my camera gets, the harder it is to get good quality photos out of it...I think I need to start a camera savings fund. Any suggestions for DSLRs in the $500 dollar range ( I need that RAW editing capability)?

Outfit details:
shirt: Merona at Target
shorts: Ann Taylor
shoes: B.A.I.T
earrings: Betsey Johnson
headband: Free with one of my many Modcloth orders!

(Everything is pretty old, but the top may be on clearance now)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to School Wish List

Yesterday was the first day of my senior year at the University of Arizona (although I will have a bonus semester next fall) and seeing everyone in their first day best is giving me some serious shopping urges. As I ended up getting those white Saltwater sandals I was wishing for at the beginning of the summer, it's high time for a new shopping wish list.

1. I know for sure I will be getting that dress as a celebration for getting a job! Can you guess where? And as a bonus, it matches a vintage Vera scarf I have perfectly.

2. Those Duluth bags have been on my radar for years, but the price always hangs me up. Although it won't stop me from dreaming about them.

3. I have these wedges in a dark brown croc and red suede--it's time to add another pair to the collection. The heel is low enough that walking (or biking) around campus isn't an issue.

4. Maybe if I had a pretty sketchbook I'd be more motivated to use it.

5. Ever since I watched an Antiques Roadshow that featured an ID tag of Clara Bow's I've been wanting one with my initials. I love the bar style.

6.  I will always be a pencil snob. Ticonderogas are the best for everyday pencils--and the name is fun to say too ;)

Monday, August 5, 2013

How Time Flies!

Long time, no post! The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for me as I have been packing and moving into an apartment. I didn't realize I had so much stuff! It's mostly books, DVDs, and kitchen supplies that have been major moving box hogs.

The good news is that most of my belongings are out of my parent's house and into my roomy 750 square foot apartment. I'm planning on showing it all to you, as I'm working hard slip covering my couch (a project I don't think I'll ever undertake again), but for now all I'm sharing are my refinished Craigslist chairs.

These babies were in pretty rough shape when I got them. The strange gold-leafed finish had worn through in some areas showing naked wood, and in others had an awful green tinge. The fabric also had some wear, and was a strange faux velvet mess. And all that was just the outside of the chair--the seat had to be completely re-webbed as the original webbing was made of some type of coated material which had become very brittle with age. I replaced it all with the wide jute used especially for seats. Now there's now concern of falling through!

 Now my chairs are a blend of traditional and modern styles. The gray will match my in-progess sofa and I feel you can never go wrong with toile--especially since I was very adament about pattern matching when cutting out.

The "inside" view--sheeps and dogs!

Look at that pattern matching! (and ignore my visible mess)
 I can't help but grin whenever I look at these chairs--the difference is night and day between the before and after. I also got to learn a couple of new upholstery skills; although I think this may be the most complicated reupholster project I'll ever complete--at least for a while.

Next up on my to do list is to finish my couch slipcover, skirt my media table, get some artwork done for the apartment, annnnnnnnd make my way through my UFO pile in my fabric bin as well as do some alterations. And I only have twenty days to do it all before school consumes my life! Where did the summer go?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Hump Day

Whew! It has been quite a week and it's only Wednesday! Between schoolwork (I'm enrolled in an online class) apartment hunting, job hunting, and furniture hunting, I feel like I haven't had a chance to slow down and relax all week.

The good news is that I may have found a great apartment and my class is over in two weeks. Job wise, I just got back from an awesome interview, but unfortunately the position I had applied for had been filled a couple weeks ago. I'm bummed, but it being a retail position, which typically have high turnover rates, I'm optimistic that they'll remember me when someone gives notice. Fingers crossed anyhow!

My constant stalking of Craigslist, and design blogs, led me to the perfect set of living-room chairs. After I saw this chair refinishing on Apartment Therapy, I looked back through the Craigslist search results in case I had missed anything. I had. I got the chairs below for $35 each from a listing that was already several days old. As I had looked at the listing at 10 o'clock at night, you can imagine my nerves and slightly competive nature coming through when I woke up the next morning.

The good news: They are the perfect size complement to the sofa my parents are letting me take and they are pretty comfy. The not-so-good news: they do need a little TLC. One of the seat bases has a huge tear (under the cushion), and that gold paint job is anything but even. Shades of green and natural wood are showing through. Some sandpaper, paint, and new fabric will make these chairs beautiful again, and I'm excited to be part of the process.

Here's to a restful weekend! (Maybe?)