Working Bees Like Collages

Oh, the ambitious vision I had for my college work space. Sleek white shelves against a DIY wallpaper background, inspirational posters and family photos interspersed below them, and maybe a fox in a velvet green suit with a monocle framing a curious eye (a figurine, of course, otherwise that’s just unrealistic). But what am I left with? An incomplete wall of corkboard circles, and a makeshift collage I had recruited myself to take on for the school newspaper’s LifeStyle section (where I happen to work, otherwise I wouldn’t force the editors to feature my little DIY project).

All I can do now is pick up from where I started. Complete a collage that is both buzzing with motivation (I do aspire to be a working bee) and free from the chaos that comes with collages fit for a fan-girling teenager.

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Christmas gifts this year will be opened meticulously carefully so that I can essentially use them as itty bitty scraps of art. I’m sorry, family. It will take me anywhere from three – five minutes to open gifts this year.

70b40a16b95d7c492225bfef925b7c3eLiteral inspiration board. To be precise, a wood board. If I had the luxury of having an office that was all glamour and all white, a rustic wooden board would be so welcomed.

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Organized inspiration. Plus, the peachy-pink colour palette of this scene is too soothing. (I even have a little set of rainbow clothes pins… intriguing).

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Three perfectly framed words of motivation, forcing you to be picky about what you put up in front of you, and to choose only those that are more personalized to what you need to hear. For example, I don’t particularly like hearing the “rough and burly coach” type of motivation screaming at me, “That’s all you got?! Hah! Come on!” Instead I welcome an Australian yoga teacher anyday saying, “Breathe, and take one day at a time.” (Accents can vary.) Also that pink skull is very necessary.

09c4ec85a0b4d2aebf1012d1bceb7939This is almost more like a showroom than an office. As soon as I slip into my desk chair, I can imagine myself itching to grab a tube of red lipstick and getting down to business in the mode of some high-fashion magazine editor. I might also snap at someone for a tall, non-fat no-sugar latté. And yet the colour in this room is a constant display of optimism to me. Every detail is soaked in vibrancy, and although some may grow tired of this amount of bold detail (myself included), if work is only requiring a couple hours of your time then I can’t imagine a better energy booster.

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This room takes that optimism and plays it down a bit. Its presence is still hanging off each frame, each antler horn, each banner, yet it takes on a more subtle form with the more rustic backdrop of a white brick wall. There’s a little more room for mistakes, and a big reminder that that’s most certainly “ok”.

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Oh, IKEA, you Swedish creative masterminds. Taking a circular cork board as bubbles of inspiration boards is the most refreshing twist of tradition. I tried this in my own room, and I’m quite pleased with it, if it weren’t for the lack of symmetry. I wish I had one or two more to complete my equally Swedish, not quite as creative (as I didn’t exactly come up with) office space.  

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The Miscellaneous Drawers

There is no greater mystery to me than what on earth to do with the dreaded “miscellaneous drawer”. It’s nearly akin to the goblin that resides in each of our drying machines, who pounces on just a single sock at a time. You know, the natural phenomenon where you take the laundry out, and there’s just one sock left when you could have sworn you put in two. And he takes just one because he’s on a diet, obviously. He’s been painted in a negative light in the tabloids (aka children’s books). And yet so has this miscellaneous drawer, or whatever you happen to call it: etcetera drawer, random drawer, nothing drawer, don’t-look-there-because-it-will-ruin-my-facade-of-organized perfection drawer. The last one really rolls off the tongue, hence its abundant use.

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And yet there a few lucky souls in the world who know of no such mystery. Everything is laid out for them, and there is no impending heart attack when thinking about the whereabouts of their tape roll because it was dropped into your miscellaneous drawer aka a black, messy, maybe smelly hole.

Take this beauty of a work space. A desk that is a blend of mid-century classics with a refreshingly modern twist. A glass surface has always intrigued me, and I can’t say I’ve ever worked on one, but I could guess it would feel strangely liberating seeing your work floating above your crossed legs. But more than that, she has displayed pieces that may find their way into your mystery drawer as wall-worthy accessories. That cat mask that you wanted to save (and/or wear in a moment’s notice) is purring. And the punch of happiness in the form of the yellow magazine tray is intended for those old magazines you wish to save, but simply don’t have a place for.

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But hey! Maybe you don’t want any of that near your desk. Perhaps your desk is of minimalist nature, and you wish to keep anything miscellaneous in nature away from your zen. Well then just rip your front door off. Okay, a slightly less aggressive option is to simply scout one at an old thrift store (and a more aggressive option is to take your neighbour’s). But see, this is all about different places to stow away your favourite pieces without needing to stick to the predetermined drawers.

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Ah, the drop of the jaw that came with this one. I have to be honest – I’m in uncomfortable territory here. There is so much to look at and so much to ogle over. It just reminds me of that crazy aunt who would pinch your cheeks and somehow have a matching wardrobe to her house but then she got a wicked, modern makeover when she ran straight into the wall looking for her cat. This may or may not be the happy result of such an occurrence.

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The miscellaneous drawer in my desk during high school tended to accumulate mass amounts of notebooks and textbooks that I dreamily considered looking over before the next year. This, of course, quickly dissipated as my mornings began to prioritize the well-being of my sims over the well-being of my education. Regardless, don’t discard the beat up education drawer, if you will. Clipboards have stormed through the pinterest world.

Take a look at a sweet DIY and a sweet collection of inspiration.

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At first glance, one would make the most likely safe assumption that this belonged to a man, perhaps his man cave/office, simply by the dark, cozy hues, distressed brick wall, and sleek wooden surfaces… wait a second, what the heck, those are my favourite things. And let’s be honest. It’s a give away this room is intended for an elegant woman who prefers androgynous clothing with hints of femininity, like a simple black tank with a hint of a lacy bra peeking out along her ribs, or by the ever so dainty collection of flowers spilling out of her favourite, gifted vase.

This lovely lady keeps all of her miscellaneous items by pressing on the third brick from the left wall, and waiting for a pair of magical hands to take them from her while she gets back to living her cool life (or she has no need for a miscellaneous drawer because of her love for minimalism already).

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Speaking of magic, let us take a moment and appreciate just how much Harry Potter would not appreciate his bedroom transforming into an equally hidden away palace for organization. But we would all appreciate it, wouldn’t we? For the sake of quality design? Anybody?

On that magical note (and saddening for good ol’ Harry Potter), happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Let’s become so stuffed with pumpkin pie our skin turns a pleasant orange. Seriously, don’t leave me hanging here.

*m

(firstsecondthirdfourthfifth, sixthseventh)

Mother Nature, My Favourite House Guest

When I was still living at home, as in the house where my mum would put out a beautiful bunch of flowers on the kitchen table, and the house where my siblings and I would fight to the death over the last half-piece of bacon, and even the house where my dog would leave us the smelliest of presents in the darkest of corners, I never came to fully appreciate just how much I needed those flowers my mum would so diligently adorn our house with. Although I did very quickly appreciate the lack of bacon debacles and poopy presents. (Warding off my dog’s twisted sense of humour has been a struggle.)

But now it has hit me as to why flowers are a necessity my mum couldn’t go without. Quite simply, flowers are 24/7 spreaders of joy and cheer.

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 But now I am forced to accept the weeds along the side of the road on my way to class as  indifferent replacements. Once upon a time, dandelions were sweet, simple gestures, but now they are my only hope for a burst of natural exuberance. Long story short, my life is lacking some natural exuberance.

I just want a chair where I can feel like my bottom’s on vacation.

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Or a room where the walls are purely white because the flowers speak for themselves, breathing into the room with colourful exhales.

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 Even if that means just a sliver of life, like a single branch, or, if i’m really and truly desperate, a picture of pressed flowers will do just fine.

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Perhaps one day I’ll try to act as though I am Mother Nature herself, deserving of an indulgence so cheerful and so joyous that it’s simply not meant for the mortal race; I would drape a string of bottles with my lovely cheerleaders in each one over top of my desk. Ah, the optimistic sense of motivation I’d be given.

“She has it! She’s got it! She can always do it! Wahoo! Yippee doo dah! Look at her go!”

My cheer of choice. Thanks, ladies.

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As a result of my desire to make my humble abode as welcoming as possible to my future flowery tenants, I came across some damn nifty flower-trappers. Don’t worry. To the flower familia, this contraption is just called, “Palace for Joy.” What a life they lead. Maybe one day my room can just be permanently entitled, “Palace for Joy.” Although of course I’m going to need some flowers for that to even be a possibility. No Joy Palace lacks in Mother Nature’s offspring. Don’t be fooled. She needs an heir or two.

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Mmmmm. Yes, that is my go-to response for these babies. Simply, “mmmm.” Maybe it’s this dreamy photography, where the flowers look as though they really are captured from  utopia in glass water drops, but something tells me that the way the sunlight would dance through these Orbs of Joy would at the very least warrant an, “Mmmm” or a, “My god, I think I just opened my eyes for the first time” or maybe, “Turn me into a fairy, asap. My homeland is calling me.”

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Luckily for me, I live with someone who shares this somewhat obsessive appreciation for flowers. Now what does this naturally call for? A wall of pressed cheerleaders. Okay, that was admittedly disturbing, but remember that the cheerleaders of the Earth actually enjoy it. Their presence is intended to be permanent, but for some reason (someone told me because they are technically alive, but it could be a rumour) they need water and whatnot to keep on livin’. So pressed flowers are a beautifully convenient replacement.

Here is a perhaps more fancy-shmancy-DIY-skillz version..

If you want to get really epic:

gorgeous garden wallUntil next time, keep smilin’ (with flowers in your room, I think I’ve made it seem like that’s the only way possible).

*m

first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh is me, eighth, ninth

Moving On From My Castle

You know, I became quite fond of referring to my single dorm as my “castle” or, to be more precise, my “500 bedroom mansion.” I repeated the joke a few times, maybe more, and adopted a haughty, noble manner when inviting newcomers into my not-so-humble abode. Instead of walking, I glided, and instead of laughing, I cackled, so as to insure everyone knew the wondrous position I was in. But sure enough, once I went into my own bedroom which was right next to the garbage room and directly above the unloading site for the residence’s junky tings, my humble roots resurfaced. I would settle into my closet-sized room, throw on my not-so-royal bathrobe, and feel more at home than ever.

When my cousin’s little toddler visited once, mystified by how tall my “house” was, she looked at her mum as though she was told that my bad jokes were nearly tear-inducing (which they might be, but hey, they were funny once upon a time, I swear), and said, “But… where are all her toys? And her parents?” (I particularly enjoy the fact that the existence of my toys is the more pressing matter.) But, see, that’s the thing. Even though it wasn’t necessarily the home I thought I’d identify with, there were so many aspects to this actually ridiculously humble abode of mine that made it home (see: stringed lights, favourite birthday cards, deers staring back at me on printed paper, tulips basking in all the sunlight every morning…) that will definitely reappear in what could be considered my first real house next year. We have called ourselves the House Elves (my five roommates and I), and I will now be sleeping on a double bed for the first time in my life, so, to me, that is a taste of the noble life.

So! What does this call for? Virtual inspiration boards, yeah! You got it! Ey! Weo! Let us begin this wondrous, fairy-tale like adventure.

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 Something tells me that if I were to sit down in front of these two giant deer, people would look upon me as if I were true royalty. Or at least really intimidating and/or wise. Not to mention I would resemble a garden gnome if I wore my pointy red hat because of the size proportions going on (this red pointy hat may still need to be purchased to complete my edgy look).

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The House Elves are in need of some practical use of a non-functioning fireplace. So, what better way to take advantage of the fact that we have a fireplace than to use it as a store place for our textbooks! And then, at the end of the year, after our frustration with academia has lit up into a firey rage… we can burn them all. Again, it’s a super practical idea.

That, and I think every fireplace should be celebrated with a giant wreath like structure draped over top of it, and a deer with groovy antlers such as these.

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What am I fancying lately? Hand-drawn portraits. Even if they make my eyes look like a fruit fly or my nose like a pleasant piggy, there’s something very endearing about an honest & personal touch to your home.

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A cluster of vintage frames for a cluster of vintage, saintly women. Or, a cluster of assorted frames for a cluster of house elves.

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Well, black sheep are cool. And unique from the crowd. But, neon yellow sheep are most likely the original sheep hipsters. Who says all mutations are bad? That, and it has made this starkly minimalist desk into just about the boldest little thing I’ve laid eyes on in a while.

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Ah, a classic touch for a house to become a home. I just received a collection of rainbow laundry pins for my birthday and they will definitely be making an appearance in my bedroom this fall.

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I am now convinced that anything hanging on strings will probably make its way into my favourite things list every time. A jar with a light inside? Whimsical and much needed in our backyard (or lack thereof, but somehow we will make do). If not? Bedroom it is. Flowers may be equally lovely in an already sunlit room.

*m

Choose an animal, any animal.

“We are both tempted by the humanization of animals, often revealing our fantasies and projections by bestial men, another way for us to freeze the other in an animal” 
Antoine Spire

This series of paintings, photographs, trying to respond to a form of duality – that assumes an animal part – by the medium of painting in addition, runs, mask, portrait. 
To ultimately create an osmosis between the two mediums, so between the animal and the portrait.

What a whimsical idea. And it’s true, how often are you asked what animal you would be? Not every other day? Oh, how odd.
No, I kid. We don’t still have the minds of elementary school students. Yes, we do. However, when I am asked, I take it seriously. This animal represents what I will be in my next life. This casual question? It’s IMPORTANT. I can control DESTINY. 
I’ve decided that if I were to be a bird, I’d be the painted bunting. To be able to fly would be too cool to pass on. But then I think about the amount of worms and flies I’d have to digest. So I change my mind to a fox. Foxes are so suave, just love ’em.
*m

A Trip Through the Sun, From France

Ah, this room makes me feel light. Imperfect walls, a rugged collection of paintings and sketches, ultra-bright pillows… just insert me lounging like a cat on the couch right over there. 
That chair. What confidence. Should I mayhaps be in an entirely white & polished room, an iMac gazing into my eyes, with bouquets of my friends poised around the desk in front of me? I could. Or I could totally be the subject of attention against this rustic landscape. 
She prefers eyes on her at all times. But may have to share the attention with that good lookin’ ladder.
I’m really curious as to what’s above this bed… my dreams would be complete if it were an office that I could just sneak away to without anyone noticing. Or an art studio, omg. Or maybe it’s just a hideaway retreat for some relaxation.
Well I just felt like I was walking through the sun. Please invite me over anytime, will you?
*m

Spring Spring Spring!

Oh golly jee willickers, it’s SPRING! Officially. Completely. No joking around.
Mother Nature just took her sweet time to bring us even a hint of sunshine here on the west coast, though, didn’t she? But now that it’s here, I’ll be oh-so-courteous and oh-so-grateful because I was beginning to imagine my life as permanently monochromatic. 
But NO! This is what my life looks like now! 

That’s me… there in the back… oh, behind that girl… oh wait, you can’t really see me… but I swear I was with them, I swear!
Ben Gile’s work is so perfect for spring. Each piece is livened up by these electrifying colours of flowers in full bloom. 
But he also experiments with vintage photos in the most provocative ways, too.

So that I’m like, oh, this guy is a creative collage genius. 
This fella knows what he’s doing. And I am definitely going to plaster my inspiration board with these. 
*m

The Antlers and Some Goodies


Listen to the lyrics.

A few nights ago I was up late chatting with a friend, and the topic of music came up.
Always a casual subject, I was expecting an exchange of songs, and that would be it. 
I was saying how if you listen to Bon Iver’s Blood Bank at the same time as Rainy Mood, it can lull you to sleep within minutes. He agreed. “But nothing will ever come close to The Antlers.”


Here are the lyrics.

…and he was right. I have been completely wooed.
It isn’t often that music can actually hypnotize me enough so that if I lay down and listen to it, I can just let their lyrics breathe through me, the delicate notes of piano acting as a heartbeat to their message. Their music is beautiful.

Please listen to these songs! I hope it shall resonate with you as deeply as it has with me. *read in an elderly English accent for most impact*

Anyways, it’s good to be home. I’ve spent the last week reading To the Lighthouse, sipping variations of David’s Tea (can’t get any better than this), watching Pride & Prejudice over and over (don’t ask why, not sure myself, I was just obsessed) and playing Kettering on the piano, but the internet connection has been a sketchy, disappointing situation so I couldn’t post anythang.

But YO! Because I have abandoned you unexpectedly for a week, I fully intend to make up for that by making this post full of equally unexpected goodies

Ilana Kohn, Spring ’12
Ilana Kohn, you too have wooed me with your breezy tops and sundresses. Something about watching Keira Knightley wander through the knolls of the English countryside in those simple, high waisted dresses make me want to throw away my entire wardrobe and replace them with summer dresses fit for six glorious weeks of July spent in a French chateau. Really not too much to ask.
Bzrbzr Ombre Tights
Ombre tights are easily my newest obsession. Scrolling down past each photo was like watching a flower bloom in slow motion, a little in awe… at tights. Aka Tiffany Ju has made tights into something of an art and that is no small feat, I’m sure.
Slash this song came on and I found it quite suitable. Refer to the line: “…and you can walk your long legs, baby, right out of my life.”
Scout & Catalogue, Spring ’12
If I could look anywhere near as effortlessly cool as this girl, then I’m sold. This photo shoot was apparently shot entirely in the dead of winter, but they’ve achieved such a dainty, spring-like vibe to it all with her distressed blonde hair, the pastel palette, and the happy splash of vibrant ocean colours.
Okay, who doesn’t want a wolf eating their finger as a ring. That isn’t a question on purpose. I already know the answer. And note the battle wounds on the ears of the rabbit, what a unique touch to an already whimsical piece itself. 
Erin Wasson for Zadig & Voltaire
Here are a few goodies hand picked from her shots for Zadig & Voltaire, Summer ’12 collection. What did I take from these photos? 
a. I want her hair (…slash her face in general, and her ability to look so absolutely laid back while maintaining that rocker, bad-ass look).
b. This will be my French vacation home I was mentioning earlier. Oh golly jee willickers, guys, just bought it, so excited!
and c. Above all, I need Zadig & Voltaire in my summer wardrobe, stat. 
This has to be the most ornate, stunning, intricate fireplace I have ever seen. Talk about paying attention to details. It’s honestly a form of art in this room, I can’t take my eyes off it. 
Mmm, greenery. Come to mama! I would be so at peace working here. Kudos to the architect who intentionally forgot a wall, pretty brilliant.
D’aaaw. I can already a picture an entire wall dedicated to these enchanting shadow boxes, in an otherwise totally minimalist room. Very scandinavian, eh? 
Oh, and ps, be prepared to be washed over with envy. The creator of these gems lives on a small cycladic sland, Antiparos, with the Aegean sea stretching beyond her view for miles upon miles, acting as her inspiration and source of calm. Wow. 
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Until next time, I bid you adieu.
That was my cat alter ego speaking.

*m

Disheveled Statements

I think finding yourself surrounded by everything you’ve created would be such a constant source of inspiration and motivation, too. Although, gotta admit, this really reminds me of the scene from the Black Swan, where she looks into her mother’s studio and the paintings of her all start screaming at the same time. Disturbing timez.
Will never look at Australia the same way. Sorry, Aussies, you forever live on an island shaped as a mouth.
Black & white & black & white & black & white. Usually I’d be begging for a burst of colour, but this room’s serenity comes from its simplicity.
Slash I’d totally feel like some brooding, moody, Parisian photographer. Which is definitely a good thing.
This room is actually insane. And not only because it looks as if it is literally a piece of artwork in itself, just think about the story behind that stained mattress, empty closet, with a wall full of meticulously framed artwork, but because it isn’t real.

Say whaaat? 
It’s a miniature scene! Every itty-bitty detail that was thought out for this room just became massively impressive. When I think of how precisely she must have used her fingers, not to mention the star surgeon’s hand she must have had to keep every move so steady, it just boggles my mind. God, I love miniature houses, or just miniature things in general. 
Highly suggest you go check out the rest of this gal’s work.
…I can now very realistically see myself as a professional doll house interior designer upon retirement. That and own six dachshunds. 
*m

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5: solid frog, bbz, ashley curry}