Thursday, June 25, 2009

semi-domesticity update

grosgrain must have read my mind (or my previous post). now, she's giving away a very cute & feminine apron that would totally complete my new "look." and i need one. and want one. really bad.

image source here.
how sexy is this?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

adventures in semi-domesticity

my friend ruth posted an inspiring video a couple of weeks ago that's been on my mind lately. i loved elder utchdorf's message and have found myself thinking about how often i use excuses for not creating.

"i'm not creative."

"i can't sew."

"i'm not good with my hands."

"whatever i try and make will just turn out really bad, so why try?"

now, while i still think some of these things are true, i decided to expand the realm of "creativity" in my mind. being creative does not mean you have to become a martha stewart type. there are so many other ways i can create and find joy. since i've been married (almost a year! gasp!), i've felt an inner desire to be more "creative." as i've mentioned in previous blogs, i've really grown to love cooking. i'm constantly on the look-out for new recipes, i have a list of kitchen gadgets and such that i really, really, REALLY want, and i am loving to learn to be one with my kitchen and enjoy the time i spend in there. it's almost to the point where it's become a relaxing task and something i can do to unwind. i absolutely love it. it's a beautiful process. here are some of my inspirtations/aspirations:

the pioneer woman. no words to describe. just complete love.
bakerella. talk about creativity! everything she does is absolutely adorable. one day, i'll have good reason to make (or attempt to make) her delectable treats.
smitten kitchen. i'm honestly afraid to try some of her recipes, but one cannot deny how beautiful and delicious her food looks.

photo by PW, source here

i've been meaning to post new recipes i'm found and have fallen in love with and particularly our pizza recipe i make from scratch every thursday (which has become pizza night at our house! [seriously, it doesn't take much for me...]), and i promise i will. i want to start involving photography so you can actually see what i'm doing/making. (yeah? neah?) to be continued.

something i've grown to love in the last year or so is photography (what? you haven't noticed?!). i'm really considering (a) purchasing a good camera (matt wants a banjo, so i can have a nice camera, right?) and (b) taking photography classes sometime in the next year. my experience in denmark really sealed this desire as not only real and alive but an attainable goal i'm willing to work hard for. and similarily, i've started following many, many photography blogs that have filled me with inspiration. here's just a few:

camilla binks, who did our wedding photos. i love her whispy and rembrandtian photos, and the deep story all of her pictures tell.
kelli nicole. her subjects captivate me, whether it be a new baby or the trevi fountain.
ashley thalman. her photographs alway leave me breathless. i often sense a bit of mystery in her photos that leaves me wanting to know more.
peace and pandemonium. i find her photographs incredibly atmospheric and full of energy. i am in love with the particular set of photos i linked to. she has the amazing ability to truly capture of the spirit of her subjects, and i think this shoot takes the cake.

i felt so alive trying to capture perfect image after not-so-perfect image in denmark, and i have a lot of photographers to thank for inspiring me to think outside of the box, to explore, to lay down in the middle of the street, and to truly feel connected with what i was photographing. i can sense all of this and more in their work.
aarhus, denmark, by me

and one last note on being more "creative": i really do want to learn (one day) how to sew and make...stuff. i found this wonderful blog called grosgrain that i find fabulous. this incredible woman makes the most wonderful pieces of clothing, usually without patterns, and while i feel inspired, i also think often to myself that i could never do what she does. look at this wonderful shirt tutorial! sounds easy enough, right? one day...she also has giveaways often of all of her fabulously homemade clothing, including these skirts. she's also having a giveaway for a shabby apple dress. i love their manhattan line. one day i'll own one of their fabulous dresses. (or try to make one!) one day...
image source here

Monday, June 08, 2009

through the looking glass

as i was spending close to a week sifting through and editing all 1200-sh of my photos from denmark, i often felt enchanted by how blue the sky was there. (when the sun was out, that is.) i would stare at these photos, remembering the place and inspiration for taking the photograph, and wondering to myself, "is the sky normally that blue?"

one particular day when i was caught up in this thought, i simply looked up at the sky on my bike right the sky really is that blue. why don't i ever notice it?

i think it's easy for me to so caught up in photographing a moment, framing it perfectly, and taking the shot a couple of times to make sure i end up with the shot i wanted, that i forget to actually take a small moment and enjoy what i am trying to capture. i might never get those few seconds back, especially those experienced in denmark. thankfully, my memories are locked in a photograph, but perhaps they are more surreal and less concrete.

as i find my inner photographer growing inside of me, sometimes screaming to be let free, it's both comforting and enlightening to have such a freeing moment of realization. the experiences i crave of both beauty and awe are only being seen or even noticed through a camera lens. i just need to simply look, unobscured.

take a few seconds, right now and look around. isn't the sky so wonderfully blue?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

head's up

i love pixar films. i have since toy story first arrived. and every film they have produced, except for cars, i have absolutely loved and could easily watch over and over again. yes, i'm also 5 years old.

matt & i went and saw wall-e on opening weekend last year, and it was the first pixar movie that not only made me cry but made me feel so much artistic joy. pixar had finally made an animated film into a work of art as opposed to an ADD-inspired, cliche-filled movie meant to entertain small children for 90 minutes. i found it remarkable and inspiring. and i still feel a fabulous sense of joy whenever i watch wall-e.

so, needless to say, i was quite excited about pixar's new film up. i loved how odd and ridiculous the teaser trailer was, something that only pixar does well. it's full of intrigue, and you can't help but want to know and see more. pixar then delivers and does not disappoint. i was a bit worried, however, when i started seeing the trailers. it seemed to be of the ADD stream of animated films that don't actually have any substance and, on the whole, aren't that funny. so, matt & i hesitantly waited until last friday when reviews started popping up. EVERYONE loved it. i didn't see a bad review in site. 4 stars here, 2 thumbs up there. any fears i had of pixar not delivering a wonderful and artful film to me died, and we immediately decided to see it opening weekend.

first, let me say that i did, indeed, love this film. the first 15 minutes of the film were emotionally breathtaking. i cried. like a baby. i absolutely loved the 5 minute montage of carl & ellie's life, with it's ups and downs, and ending almost tragically, and yet naturally. the final image of carl standing by ellie's casket holding a balloon was both remarkably powerful and incredibly heartbreaking. i think this was, by far, the most poignant and emotional scene that has ever made its way out of pixar's studio.

now, for the rest of the movie, i generally liked it, but had to take issue with a few decisions pixar made. namely, the talking dogs. maybe i'm too much of a humor snob, or maybe i just don't get it...but talking dogs just flat out aren't funny to me. it's a joke that can be funny, and actually was a few times (dug, i think, was the only talking dog that actually was (a) genuinely funny, and that (b) worked for me...["it's funny because the squirrel gets dead."]) but on the whole, it's a gag that gets really old really fast. and by the time the talking dogs are flying fighter jets, this element in the film had really lost me, and i couldn't help but feel like i was watching a dreamworks film instead of my beloved pixar.

i wouldn't go as far as to say that this ruined the film for me. the beginning and overall story is too compelling for much of anything to ruin it, but it did make me feel disappointed and let down by a film that started out so well and had the potential to slap me in the face with its artistic merit. instead, i was making funny faces and looking around in confusion while everyone else was laughing at the stupid gag of the alpha male having a high pitched, yzma-kitty-like evil voice. not funny.

like i said, i did love this film. i think you should see it. overall, i do think it works, but the dreamworksian gags do cause quite the disruption, and along with a few other elements in the film, they make the up feel disjointed. i left feeling a bit let down, but on the whole, i couldn't help but fall in love with pixar's new creation.

and on a side note, the sequence of carl & ellie's life together at the beginning reminded both matt & i of "le maison en petitis cubes", the oscar-winning animated short from this past year. we saw it, along with all of the other nominated shorts, in march, and this one in particular was incredibly poignant and heartbreaking. and yes, it made me cry. also the rembrandt-inspired animation is absolutely breathtaking. please take 12 minutes to watch this wonderful short film.