bloggers, book review

Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

via pink peonies

via pink peonies

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via pink peonies

Marie Kondo has had an epic year. She was featured in new york times and a billion other news places, gave a ted talk and sold over two million copies of her book the life changing magic of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. A book which I bought and is now changing my life and the way I live it. I’m not quite done yet and I have NOT began the method yet. But I designed this free printable:
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Should be high res enough to print one or two up on letter sized paper. What I have learned is its not about always cleaning or putting away its about you and what you want in your life. Do you struggle to find things you need? Do you feel stressed, have bad skin need to lose weight? Your environment and your feeling, your thoughts and thinking process all have to do with your dwelling. Here are seven of her tips (from NYT)…
1. Throw away anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” “’Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill…You must take each outfit in your hand.’ “

2. Skip the Container Store. “Do not buy organizing equipment—your home already has all the storage you need.”

3. Fold your clothes like sushi. “Fold everything into a long rectangle, then fold that in upon itself to make a smaller rectangle, and then roll that up into a tube, like a sushi roll. Set these upright in your drawers.”

4. Hang clothes in rainbow order. “Hang up anything that looks happier hung up, and arrange like with like, working from left to right, with dark, heavy clothing on the left…’Organizing them by category helps them feel more comfortable and secure.’ “

5. Thank your clothes. “Thank your stuff, it’s been working hard for you.”

6. Let your socks rest. “Socks bust their chops for you, and if you ball them up, they don’t get a chance to rest…’The socks and stockings stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday.’ ”

7. Get rid of papers. “’There is nothing more annoying than papers…After all, they will never spark joy, no matter how carefully you keep them.’

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image via the kitchn

I found out about her from the Daily Connoisseur whose books and blog I also love to death. This year will be the year of organizing and TIDYING. Someday I really want to have an office space like Pink Peonies as well. I love her unapologetic-ally girly style. Maybe that’s the lifestyle I am really seeking – that and peace in my heart. To feel happy and comfortable in my own skin and to someday start waking up at the same time and always having breakfast in an un-hurried calm way and a beautiful three course dinner as well. With a fully stocked closet (c/o of course!) and a studio of my own.Also a billion sales in my etsy store!! And a mansion!! I may start selling direct download files on my etsy store all organizationally themed. Because I LOVE lists. I feel that most people do. Would you buy my instant downloads? This will be the start of my entrepreneurial undertaking while I organize my things, my life, I will get going on the other bigger dreams of mine. What are your plans this summer? Will you begin spring cleaning? An awful lot of youtubers have documented using the KonMari method ( thats Marie Kondo’s method based on her name) in their homes. Its very inspiring to see how others put this art into practice. She even details how to clean your purse out. I have a long way to go with this, but I have been having a longing in my heart to have everything we own  live in its place that it belongs. To be a goddess of inner light and peace. To not let my ego hurt my thoughts, and let others who spew poison (however unintentionally) to not take that poison personally. Thats also a fantastic video the Daily Connoisseur does – Don’t Take Anything Personally. Seriously watch it, its very close to my heart now.

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activities, artists, exhibits to see

Igor Gnedo Art Exhibit in Kaliningrad

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I love seeing illustration that is bold, full of life and old world feeling. Add in fresh colors,serious graphic shapes, intense feeling and you get Igor Gnedo (pronounced eegor gen need do). He is a colleague and fellow FIT illustration alumn. He and his awesome accent can be found in NYC where he lives and works with the design/illustration glitterati. But he is all Russian, specifically from Kaliningrad which has gorgeous German gothic revival architecture, is on the Baltic Sea, is 750 years old and I’m assuming has delicious russian food. Someday I want to go and see this gorgeous place especially this gate:

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The King’s Gate was originally the Gumbinnen Gate (German: Gumbinner Tor), built in 1765 at the edge of the district Neue Sorge. In 1811 it was renamed the King’s Gate and was the terminus of the Königstraße boulevard. The gate was redesigned by Friedrich August Stüler in 1850. The west facade has three sandstone statues, made by sculptor Wilhelm Stürmer: nine metres above the ground to the left the Bohemian king Ottokar II is depicted, who was Königsberg’s namesake. Frederick I of Prussia, Prussia’s first king, follows as the middle statue. To the right Albert, Prussia’s first duke and founder of the Albertina university, holds an eye over the city. Above the sculptures the coat of arms of Samland and Natangen are shown.

When I viewed the art for this show – his first solo exhibit – I saw the charm and magic of Gnedo’s hometown shining through. If your xin the area check it out the Exhibition is at the art space “Ворота” (The Gates) from May 14th to 16th and here are more details here in Russian hahahaha and snag a limited edition piece.

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In his work I see Kandinsky color influence, Egon Schiele line work along with mid-century effervescent expression.

Wassily KandinskyMurnau with rainbow 1909

Wassily Kandinsky Murnau with rainbow 1909

Mid-Century inspired artist Toby Neighbors

Mid-Century inspired artist Toby Neighbors

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele

Also I love to see art that reminds me of my motherland (fatherland?) Europe (yup i own it all mineee haha) Comment below on what you think! Who are your favorite artsy Russians? I love Chagall, Nabokov and Tchaikovsky.

For more info check out his: portfolio and instagram

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activities, artists, fashion illustration, nerd

Sketch night @ Society of Illustrators NYC

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Last week I went to a specialty fashion sketch night at the society. Its $20 and from 6:30 – 9. Its really chill and there is free dumplings and the wine is $8 a glass. We all got wine. I went with 6 people lol. but we got there at 6:30 on the dot and all the best seats were taken. Up close would have been preferable.
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This model was so pretty she literally had a 12 inch waist. I love drawing from life, but it is difficult to find a model with a perfect figure, face, styling, makeup and the ability to pose for a drawing not for the camera.

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Yaeko sat by me shes so talented she was recently featured in a fashion illustration book as an up and comming fashion illustrator.

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Really blurry pic of Harry potter painting for the movie poster…was it Drew Struzan? Loved that doc about him on netflix. Should look that up HAHAHAH.

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Elvis and James (super talented coworkers and  friends) who brought real inks and watercolors, you can bring any supplies you want there. Also don’t be nervous if you havent been there and are worried about attending for the first time, no one talks to you or looks at your work, everyone is pretty relaxed and introverted as all illustrators are.wpid-cam00879.jpg wpid-cam00880.jpg

Some of my sketches, the wine made this a very fun and relaxing way to spend a thursday night in NYC.wpid-cam00882.jpg wpid-cam00891.jpg wpid-cam00892.jpgHere is the models pose and Yaeko’s sketch on left and mine on right. Its so interesting to see two artists interpretation of the same pose. Its also to be best friends forever and have the nerdiest night of friendship ever.

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Yes thats a selfie while the rest of the place was drawing. Come to the Society of Illustrators for sketch night!

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artists, creative industry, design industry, fashion illustration

Favorite Fashion Illustrators

 

 

Starting with Stina Persson. She is the boss of the modern fashion illustration genre. I know someone who saw her do a watercolor demonstration in person, he said she used masking and did all the traditional techniques then scanned the painting in and added the clean pure whites and graphics and burned and dodged in photoshop. I follow her on her blog and she now makes “imperfect” watercolors that are the way they are without digital manipulation and she is probably a millionaire from all the commissions she’s made. Or at least rich at heart. They saw the true riches lie in your heart from happiness. Her art makes me very happy.

I feel like Stokholm, Sweden is one big art museum. Because they also have Sarah Singh. Shes very similar to Stina I think that are friends but she has an edge to her work also more attention to anatomy in her full bodied people.

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I love Robert Best, remember he was on Project Runway? He is a really talented OG type fashion illustrator. He just can draw from his head like the originals can. I have difficulty doing this – the draw from your head and know how to turn a leg etch out an ankle. I’m used to reference and I just haven’t been able to make up a body on the spot yet.  Lanvin-logo

I have been reading so much about the incredible Lanvin exhibit in Paris. Did you ever see this vintage logo its a mother and daughter designed after Jeanne Lanvin and her only daughter she made mother daughter matching sets. I just love a pretty Art Deco, when will tis come back in a huge over powering way?

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book review, Books, movies

Julie and Julia

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all images via parisinfourmonths16658028646_a351f292ef_o paris images via parisinfourmonths

I have seen the movie, read My Life in France by Julia child, then Cleaving by julie powell (the library didn’t have Julie and Julia) which was such a awful experience i didnt have the stomach to try the original book i wanted to read by her. But today, years later – I finished julie and jul’ia i was able to use the overdrive app and get an e library book of it for free! I was way better than cleaving. OMg Cleaving was so disgusting. Not because of the meat hacking shes writing about – Cleaving is in reference to her butchering apprenticeship. After touching on slicing meat it goes in to the sordid macabre minutae of her affair. She cheats on her husband and he knows it and she loves doing it and has the time of her life. And breaks ups with the dude and then stalks him (he is NOT intersted) and then her husb has an affair too and its so gross, I stopped reading  and just read the reviews and summary.

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My life in France by Julia Child is really good and sweet. Its a real love story. It got weird when they go to germany (for me) cuz she kept saying she was shocked they weren’t all barbarians (yes we are decedents of barbaric tribes haha but still) based on the era when she lived I guess thats just how americans felt at the time. But it was off putting I stopped reading that too. The movie omg Meryl Streep and stanley tucci they’re the most exquisite actors and Streep as julia child is .. so mesmerizing. My favorite scene is when shes trying to describe a taste from a french dish to her sister (expertly played by Jane Lynch) and Tucci says its tangy and she leans over to him so overcome with love and says well thats …my husband. Its how the Childs were in real life im sure of it. They were hammy( see below hahahah)

54cc08591ca1cf0a23ad8ffa_imageI should mention now that amy adams as julie powell was a weirdddd casting direction. They should have has a real curvy girl with the correct coloring and a slight democratic texan feel. AMy adams is just too thin and pretty, you know she doesn’t eat and you KNOW she would get all hissy fitting and annoying girl but you just dont want to see that, its indecent to see grown woman act like vapid ennui little girls. She seems spoiled in the movie and they try to make her “ugly” but giving her a mullet and making her a unsuccessful writer instead of the unmotivated (scared?) actress she really is. But Julie Powell writes really well, she gets to the heart of things and shes a bit honest. Im glad I read J/J becasue it explains Cleaving (do not read that one, again) in J/J she is obsessed with her own and others sex lives in a way that some married-too-younge ppl something imagine the grass is greener and they are missing out. In J/J she even obviously attempts to seduce a director twice to the knowledge of her husband eric the long suffering but thoroughly unhelpful bloke shes married too. Other weird stuff too like how she imagines her domestic role and resents having that role. In there loft in Queens shes supposed to be a cleaning/cooking all domestic things slave and eric stays in his own world tuning her out until she screams obscenities. He also is always reading magazines which is hard to fathom since no magazines exist now, over ten years after this story started. I suppose now he’d just be on fb. Or like me eating all that french food I would want to go to France ASAP.

paris in four months

paris in four months

I also wonder if she took photos of her dishes she made, or if back then you didn’t have too, you just wrote. But yea amy in the movie was just bad but thats how nora ephron does hysterical capital B characters – there is always one as the lead in all her movies.  If life was so hard because the butter wouldn’t whatever right or the lobster you want to boil was scary, that would be such a sweet relif I would sob uncontrollably. Its exhausting watching these characters because if someone acted that way in real life they would have no friends or partner its unrealistic to be around these types of emotional narcissistic vampires. Also, its mean to portray woman this way, as a woman you make us look dreadful. If they put amy in a fat suit I would like her in the movie. That would be AWESOME. What I really want to do with this new info is bake a good chocolate almond cake from Julia Child’s recipe Reine de Saba it means Queen of Sheba I will make it for Easter this weekend. I also am really looking forward to one day FINALLY GOING TO PARIS! Gotta dream big, thats the takaway over and out. Froehe Oster!!

Reine de Saba (Chocolate and Almond Cake) with Glaçage au Chocolat (Chocolate-butter Icing)

Reine de Saba (Chocolate and Almond Cake) with Glaçage au Chocolat (Chocolate-butter Icing)

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activities, artists, artwork, museums, NYC

Visiting The Cloisters

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On this  ridiculously un-spring like weekend we went to NYC and visited the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Cloisters is a medieval castle that was built in the 1930s in Harlem and its in a pretty park by the 190th A train subway stop. its a super express ride to get there, no big deal to walk the 7 mins across the park either. I cant believe we haven’t been before, it is a really unique place. Almost of the interiors are imported from france and spain and very ancient authentic medieval frescoes, statues, stained glass, and real medieval botanicals too. I want to make sure to visit in the summer. The highlights for me are the unicorn tapestries. omg so beautiful, and there are thousands of varieties of plants and flowers woven in to he tapestries which depict the capture of the unicorn, only a pure virgin can tame the unicorn. There is a fntastic fiction book I read once called The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier.

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Its about a blind girl who knows how to weave and what to weave from the scent of botanicals and the feel of the dye in the threads. The cloisters are so enchanting. Also they have a real tilman riemenschneider, the most prestigious and my favorite wood carver who happens to be german (lol im not biased) also we saw his greatest pieces on our last trip to Germany so such a sweet surprise to see another piece by him.

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tilman riemenschneider

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We went to the Met after, because we are nuts. Just so you know the admission is suggested to both museams, that means u have your cash and you go to the clerk and say one ticket please, dont go up there and say one ticket please then they will say that will be 25 dollars and that sucks, because its not true it is not 25 to go to the museum that is what they think you should pay. When I was young and impressionable i paid the 25 once because i was forced, you have to give them the cash you want to “donate” and they have to give you a ticket immediately no arguing allowed. I think $1 is fine but husb gave $15 cuz i wasn’t watching, also we paid for the audio guide $7 but it was really worth it. You can use your ticket same day at the cloister and met.

the female pharaoh Hatshepsut

the female pharaoh Hatshepsut

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book review

My four favorite sci fi fantasy book series



in no particular order these are the best gd sci-fi series I have ever read over and over and over. I love to read I’m a serious book worm,I walk and read eat and read and take books into the shower. First a disclosure i love YA. I loved anamorphic when I was in middle school.but I haven’t reread them since then. All these other books I have read as an adult,with pride ahahahasha. Ok first up:



Julianna Baggot the pure trilogy

I’m this world a huge blast has turned the world to ashes. Every sci fi is based on something and this is very Japan after hiroschima atomic bomb but the whole world has catastropheid. The protagonist is a teen Japanese girl named Prussia it takes place by Washington, D.C. So when the world exploded a white dome rises up and is visible for miles and miles. The world is gray and ash and …everything and everyone Is attached to what was near at the time of the explosion. Also every “wretch” is scarred,starving, and in danger. Most died in the bomb but the survivors are horrifically malformed. For instance pressias hand is fused with a doll. The fussing or people to people and animals and rocks is permenant. The fused tissue is alive and can can be removed. One boy has birds fused to his back they are alive killing them would kill him. Another guy-my favorite! – named el capital has his little brother fused to his back they were riding a motorcycle at the time, helmed his brother is rendered dumb. Every book in this series is good and all should be read it get insane. Some religious overtone. Also there are people in that dome,unharmed who knew about all this,there is a master plan in place And you will never guess the twists and turns in plot. Fasinating series.



The hunger games Suzanne Collins 

Omg I loved these books. I’ve read these over and over I get hysterical sobs.they are way better than the movie but this is a rare senario where the movies really good too.thats due to JLaw,she’s incredible. But the books are better,and the details are more on point and significant,along with new characters that are integral.mockingjay the movie was not that great,compared to the book,agh.



Twilight Stephanie Meyer 

Dude I no hahaha,I tried these back when I was in collage and I was too annoyed by the damsel distress idiocracy I judged was happening. I was very mistaken and I’m sorry. These are a stupendous achievement my goodness. I skipped the middle books and just went for the first and last which I hav reread over and over. A real love story, that which is so poignant and profound. So obviously I’m verrrryyyy late to this game and just watched the first movie on Netflix last weekend.oh dear, that was embarrassing, the only person cast correctly was RPat/Edward everyone else holy jaysus. I was like whose that “blonde” chic supposed to be? Omg noooooo not Rosalie omg please no that’s just mean. And Kstew ( I dunno y I keep abbreviating the actors haha) o mother of gosh y is she in this movie? They tried to make her pretty with nice hair but the fussy hairstyles are even further removed from Bella. the special effects are revolting,a joke.i couldn’t watch I just kept it on in the living room as I made dinner because I was profoundly disturbed by this travesty,I’m not sure if I’ll watch any more of the movies, but RPat was good,he’s all that’s ok w the film. As for the books, they are incredible and the story moved me.



The Host Stephanie Meyer 

This is currently my favorite book in the whole world. This is better than Twigglight? This brings me back to my favorite animorphs books back in the day. This is also a love story it is so good. Aliens parasites take over the world they are called souls,they bring peace and I just don’t want to talk about it,just read it I’m afraid of giving away anything.i literally didn’t move for hours and just read this whole book one Saturday. I dropped everything and didn’t do any errands I can’t describe how emotionally involved I am to this story of Wanderer.

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