30 December 2010

2010 Did All That Really Happen?

It's hard to believe that 2010 is actually coming to a close, but I have to be honest - I couldn't be happier that this year is ending. I'm not trying to say that all of 2010 was bad for me, plenty of good things happened, but honestly, this has been one of the most trying years of my entire life. I'm going to try to sum the year up on here, and I just want to thank whoever is reading this for your patience and support. I'm thinking about my life in terms of the good old fashioned plus/minus system - it helps me to see that while there have been some really sad/tough times this past year, there have also been some incredible pluses and additions to my life.

MINUS :C
- I finished up my time at Knox. It's hard to say goodbye to a place I love so dearly.
- I moved back home, which isn't a bad thing, but I miss being within a one block radius of a majority of my closest friends.
- I realized that I own a lot of stuff, and am still working on moving in.
- My parents decided to get separated in September.
- Clay and I broke up in October.
- My friends are scattered all over the country (and there's one in Germany)!
- I currently feel like I have very little sense of direction.

PLUS C:
+ I brought in the new year amongst friends at a party in Brooklyn, NY.
+ I was sent on a grant funded trip to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to conduct research for my senior thesis.
+ I was able to attend the College Art Association Conference in Chicago with a group of art history majors from Knox College, also a grant funded trip.
+ I started to write on my blog again!!
+ I was able to spend some really great weekends with my boy friend Clay.
+ I was accepted into the 2010 internship program at the Art Institute of Chicago.
+ I had a wonderful  Titanic themed birthday party.
+ I finished my senior thesis The Gay, The Drag, and The Ugly: Examining Gender and Sexuality in Andy Warhol's Western Frontier, and the senior symposium was a total success.
+ I ate plenty of hot dogs at Coney Island, and drank plenty of pitchers of Old Style at Duffy's.
+ I frolicked with friends for an entire year.
+ I reconnected with Kappa as an organization, and as a sisterhood.
+ I graduated cum laude from a wonderful and weird place named Knox College.
+ I started my internship at AIC and made 8 new amazing friends, in addition to falling in love with this museum.
+ I landed a job in the office of development at AIC, and have been loving it here (it's hard to believe I've  been affiliated with this museum for over six months)!
+ We welcomed Franki, a purebred Siamese cat into our lives.
+ I became closer with Ben Scott and Kathy Olsen since moving back to Chicago.
+ I am in the process of redoing my room.

Phew, it feels good to get all of these things off of my chest. I've found that since starting this blog, I've tried to keep the personal aspects of my life to a minimum, which can be good thing. But the last six months have been outrageous considering the major life changes that I have been dealing with, and maybe writing about them here on this little blog will help me to cope with what is happening in my life.

If you have an words of encouragement or anything you'd like to share, please feel free to let me know.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, WELCOME 2K11. SRSLY!

25 December 2010

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, HOLIDAYS, NEW YEAR, ETC.

Tights: Target; Skirt; J.Crew; Shirt; Loehmann's; Necklace: Found; Lipstick; Neutrogenia

Well, concerning my room redo, I wound up choosing the cloud sheets, and spoiling myself with a brand new sheepskin blanket! I didn't get much more at Ikea - but the big news is I BOUGHT PAINT AND ROLLERS, so painting will be happening once I vacuum this entire space, dust, and sadly take everything off of the walls. I will be hanging framed art, including some of my own paintings (the yellow gingko one to the right is one of mine). It's time to get into the groove for next year!

I was doing some online browsing and stumbled upon these fantastic Cloud Cushions, wouldn't they be perfect on my bed??



HAPPY HOLIDAYS. I am obsessed with sparkly things, including this skirt (ultimate holiday go-to look). Love love, and lot's more love!



22 December 2010

Happy Christmas (Ugly Sweater Party)!!!

ON ME: Tights: H&M; Knee Highs: Nordstrom Rack; Pillowcase Dress: AA; Ugly Sweater: Chicago Free Store in Pilsen
Well well well, it looks as though I survived my first ever Ugly Sweater/ Wine Tasting holiday party! There were 13 wines to be tasted, and it just goes to show that being "fashionably late" isn't a thing - given that we didn't even make it to my hour-and-a-half late bottles of wine! 11 bottles of red wine, discreetly covering up Amy Winemouth with bright magenta lipstick, lots of wonderful sweaters, hugging, and very important small talk. I had a total blast at this party, and would be up for plenty more well organized and themed parties in the near future.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

21 December 2010

CABBAGES AND CONDOMS: A SLICE OF PARADISE


Nestled into the bustling, humid, and sticky streets of Bangkok, Thailand - sits this little oasis of a restaurant. Outdoor dining completely hidden by a beautiful canopy of luscious foliage, mai thais, and fine dining - all right smack dab in the middle of Bangkok. Cabbages and Condoms offers delicious food, cool drinks, plenty of shade, and a message - safe sex is cool and important. The proceeds from this restaurant go to providing condoms for the people of Thailand, as well as education on safe sex practices. So not only is this meal beautiful and delicious, it's also philanthropic and for a worthy cause. Can someone say "Pass the satay?"

16 December 2010

FANCY THAT: CHUNGKING EXPRESS

A film of love and loss, the epic pain of heartbreak juxtaposed with the utter tantalizing lightness of falling in love - two cops, two leading ladies, two Cranberries covers (sung in Cantonese and Mandarin) - all set in the steamy crowded streets and corridors of the Chungking Mansion in Hong Kong. This movie seriously makes any rainy day better. WATCH IT.

PS, DON'T YOU THINK FAYE WONG IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL?!

06 December 2010

ROOM MAKEOVER

GLASÖRT KULLE




BIRGIT LANTLIG


LUDDE

After my last post, I've been evaluating what it is I want to do with my bedroom. When I graduated in June, I was under the impression that moving back home would be a summer long/ temporary thing. I never really finished unpacking, since part of me assumed I'd be moving out - maybe to Kentucky or maybe just another part of Chicago. With some difficult changes at home, and my job conveniently close to my parents' place, it makes sense for me to continue living in the South Loop. 

Which leaves me with this conclusion: it is time for me to commit to my living space. When we moved in three years ago, I didn't quite accept that I was leaving my childhood  home behind. I was allotted one of the best rooms in the house, but I never considered painting it, or hanging art on the walls because I'm never home. But now this is my home. And I want to make it feel loved as well as lived in. Which means the walls are getting some color, the closet is getting completely cleaned out, my art is getting hung, my bed is getting a new set of sheets, and I am going to really make this space my own.

I'm leaning towards a light color palette, with colors like ice blue/pale pink/ and sea foam green all on the front of mind. I need to get rid of my clutter, get some more shelves, and remove the awful light fixtures that came with the room (seashell motif with gold - no thank you!). 

So that's my spiel. Time for a new year, a new approach to my environment. Wish me luck!

04 December 2010

Kitchen Crush

In the last year I've found a lot of really fantastic blogs - and I've lately been really into ones dealing with interior design and decor. Yvestown Blog is currently one of my favorites - and her post today about her kitchen remodel is absolutely amazing. The colors, layout, light, and objects in this kitchen all work so well together. I find her home and the hard work she put in to getting it to look this way absolutely inspiring, and I think I'm going to bring her energy, light, and color into a bedroom remodel of my own.

Here are some photographs from her post:




03 December 2010

Top 6 Picks: November

1) Skins Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: As a lover of teenage soaps including The Wonder Years, The O.C., Gossip Girl, and Degrassi The Next Generation - it should come as no surprise that I would become instantly addicted to the crazy BBC version of my guiltiest of pleasures. These kids are weird, and because they live in the UK, their problems and conflicts are weird too (ie different than the ones I'm used to relating to). I also like that because it's BBC material there is nudity and swearing. Eat your heart out Seth Cohen.

2) Beatle Boots from Santoki Vintage: I recently found these amazing ankle boots on etsy, and I am basically obsessed with them. So far they look amazing with skinny jeans, tights & shorts, mini skirts, and dresses. Oh and they look awesome with my winter coat. If you like vintage leather, check out this etsy shop immediately!

3) Bacon popcorn from Revolution Brewery: I repeat - bacon popcorn. Kernels popped in bacon fat, topped with crumbled bacon, parmesan, and fried sage leaves. I'm not sure what culinary genius came up with this one but marrying my two loves (bacon and popcorn) is seriously a match made in heaven. Snack on this while throwing back some of their in house brews, and taking in the hip atmosphere of a bar that actually serves really good food. Did I mention that I ate pork belly AFTER an entire bowl of this stuff??

4) Carmex and Rosebud Salve (tied): With the air dry and cold and my daily walks to work just a little bit rough for my liking, I've been rotating between my two classic lip loving standbys - good 'ol Rosebud and Carmex. I like the girly soft glisten and scent I get from RBS and the rough n' tough cooling sensation I feel from Carmex, the contrast keeps things interesting and my lips happy! Plus, I love the design of these two containers. It's like they haven't had a product redesign in 30+ years! And RBS now comes in a tube for all you RBS lovers!

5) Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno: I'm not a very preachy "this is my favorite book READ IT" kinda girl, but I read this book by local Chicago writer, Joe Meno, my junior year of high school and have subsequently read it every year since. I typically read it every fall since the first half of the book takes place during the fall - the time just works. South side Chicago in the early 90's, punk rock, high school romances, and being the weird the kid in a Catholic school - if you understand or like any/all of these things, then this book is for you. Small chapters read like short stories, interspersed with photocopies of mixtapes and directions for dying your hair bright pink. The narrator is convincing, real, pathetic, and kind of a hotty in his own way. I LOVE THIS BOOK. 

6) MY MOM: My final Top 6 Pick for November is my mom! Her birthday is in the month of November, and I feel it's time she get's some attention for it! She is basically the most amazing woman I have ever met, and I'm so lucky to have her in my life. Whether it's teaching me how to cook, sewing my prom dress, moving me in and out of school 4 years in a row up countless flights of stairs, or going out of her way to get me my favorite cabbage soup - this woman knows how to take care of a family and really make her children feel loved. I know we've been having a weird couple of months mom, but I want you to know that I love you and we are going to be okay. You are strong, and we will get through this! I LOVE YOU! (thanks for the fantastic photograph Adolfo!).


WANT: ETC FOR ALL ANNIE ROAD TEE FROM ALL FOR EVERYONE


I have been eyeballing this shirt for the last three weeks, and I'm fighting so many urges to not buy it what with other gifts to be purchased for friends this holiday. This shirt is a copy of any original made specially for the owner of ALL FOR EVERYONE, a really funky handmade knitwear apparel shop. I love how this tee playfully combines her love of San Rio and the Beatles. Plus it's basically the cutest shirt in the world...

COOL CHICAGO THINGS THIS WEEKEND


1) RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR: The Renegade Craft Fair is having its holiday sale tomorrow and Saturday! A fun way to spend a weekend afternoon, browsing crafts and looking around for last minute Chrismakah gifts!

2) ISAK APPLIN CONNECTS WITH GIOVANNI DI PAOLO: Local Chicago artist Isak Applin is giving a talk tomorrow from 2-3 in the Price Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago. He visited Knox two years ago with Carl Baratta (who I now work with!), and the two of them gave a really funny and charming artists' talk on collaboration within their work. I attended the November Chicago artists talk at AIC and really enjoyed myself. So come learn about art with me!

28 November 2010

"something picasso"

In an ode to over indulgences that exist in tandem with the great holiday of Thanksgiving, I must say that this outfit was solely inspired by a line from my favorite movie of all time - Titanic. Yes, I bought it on VHS the day it came out, yes I have the widescreen and regular edition as well as a dvd copy, yes I have a 3 foot poster, the teeshirt, the soundtrack, and yes, every time it is on TNT/TBS/Oxygen I have to drop what I'm doing and watch it. This past Friday it was playing on Oxygen, and after watching it 1.5 times in one night - I couldn't help but feel the movie really seeping in to my day to day life. There is a moment in the first half of the film when Rose is unpacking the artwork she has purchased on her stay in Europe, among them several Monet water lily paintings, some Degas ballerinas, and a copy of Les Demoiselle's D'Avignon by "something Picasso" - whom Cal thinks will amount to nothing. Don't worry, none of these works went down with the ship - and my love of Picasso / nerding out of art historical moments in contemporary films was well preserved.

Picasso Top & High Shorts: F21; Cardigan: AA; Tights; Thrifted, Booties: SantokiVintage Etsy; Necklace & Earrings: Found; My Melody Watch: McDonald's Happy Meal!!


I really like how this look came together, it's playful, funny, and so easy to wear. It's interesting how a goofy poppy accessory like the SanRio watch can add just the right amount of color and goofiness to any outfit!

23 November 2010

Fashion Consultation: Wedding Guest Attire

I was recently invited as someone's plus one to a wedding at Salvage One, and I'm having quite a difficult time picking out what to wear! The guests are going to be late 20's and up, and I'm honestly trying to put together a look that masks the fact that I'm 22, just getting to know my date, and don't know the bride or the groom. I cruised around Modcloth looking for some good looks, and I've narrowed it down to my top three choices. I want to look chic, sophisticated, and not like a 22-year-old recent college graduate. Your opinion counts!!!

Diner Jukebox Dress


Au Pair in Paris Dress

Gallop with Glamour Dress

22 November 2010

Naughty Must-Have Purchase of the Day

One thing I'm loving about the blogs I've been reading are the great Etsy recommendations people have been sharing. One of my favorites has been Santoki Vintage, a shop stationed in Austin, TX full of great vintage leather shoes and bags that I swear I can smell through the computer monitor. I saw this pair of boots that reminded me of the Beatles with a Southwestern edge, and after mulling it over all weekend, I simply couldn't resist - because you can never have too many pairs of beautiful ankle boots.

WANT: L.L. Bean Signature Saltwash Canvas Backpack

With my beloved thrifted leather backpack nearly in tatters from love and use, I'm thinking the only way to go is up. And by up, I mean this fantastic, classic, vintage inspired signature look from L.L. Bean. 

18 November 2010

Duck, Duck, Goose!

Currently Listening to: A mix CD for Carly!

This week has been all sorts of busy running around the city, cleaning my room, finishing my scarf [!!], getting my hair cut, and starting a new book! It's hard to keep track of all of the random stuff I'm up to these days, but my googlecal is perpetually booked with work, dates, gallery hopping, and eating delicious food all over the city. Oh, and running into celebrities. Barbara Streisand was at the museum last week, snuck a peek at Michael Shannon from Revolutionary Road on Monday, and almost walked smack dab into Ed Begley Jr. of Arrested Development/ Christopher Guest fame. 

Anyways, this outfit post is a testament to the fact that being business casual can also be comfy/cozers. I found this dress for $10 in the sale rack at F21, and it's so simple and easy to wear that I kind of feel like I'm wearing a big tee-shirt. Dressed it up with these brogues, and this fantastic novelty sweater that I simply couldn't leave on the sale rack, threw on my cowl neck (that I'm currently living in), and voila! I have the comfiest and cutest outfit ever.

SECRET NOTE: I recently splurged and bought a bottle of Jo Malone Orange Blossom perfume, and to keep this delicious smell near my nose all day, I spray a bit into my cowl neck and keep the good scents coming all day. I am such a weirdo.

Dress: F21; Tights: Zara; Cardigan: Anthropologie; Brogues: Lenny & Me [Chicago];
Cowl Neck Scarf: HANDMADE BY ME!

14 November 2010

"I'll Fly Away Oh Glory, I'll Fly Away"

Currently Listening to: Punk Goes Pop Pt. 3 

It has been crazy unseasonably warm here in the Windy City, and after scoring a slew of these Tucker for Target shirts at a very discounted rate (75% off!!), I couldn't resist dressing in a playful springy mood before the long haul of winter rolls on in. 

This look was initially inspired by one of the guests on the Rachel Maddow show about a week ago. She had the most darling little outfit put together similar to this, with a funky girly button up paired with a simple jumper creating a flirty yet sophisticated almost 1970's inspired look. And she had a great little pageboy bob haircut, which is what i would up getting done yesterday (pictures soon!). I was initially going to style this outfit with dark blue tights, but upon opening my new pair, I found a massive hole. So I improvised and went with bright pink. Such fun! It really makes the pink in the butterfly pattern pop!

Alright, I have to get ready for the Salon Series dinner at Bluebird. HOPE YOU ALL HAD A FANTASTIC WEEKEND! 
Button Up: Tucker for Target; Jumper: Ann Taylor outlet; Shoes: Thrifted; Tights: N/A

10 November 2010

"Cuz girl you're amazing, just the way you are"

Currently Listening To: As of late, Just The Way You Are [Bruno Mars]; Runaway [Kanye West]

So work has been pretty great lately. Been busy taking care of odd jobs. Yesterday I had to run around making sure lights were on, including the ones illuminating the beautiful Chagall America Windows. And today I was asked to photograph a Feliz Gonzalez-Torres installation in the Modern Wing for a report I'm working on. It's days when I'm running around the museum that remind of why I worked so hard to be where I am right now. Oh, and today we had a lovely celeb siting, which you can read a tidbit about over at Archives!

This outfit is a variation that I've been running with for the last couple of weeks after i picked up this gorgeous vintage goldenrod skirt from Village Thrift. I've been mixing it up working with pattern, tucked in shirts and belts, as well as loose fitting tops. And I've also been living in this scarf and cardigan. Ben Scott actually made fun of me for wearing so much of the same color last week at SOFA. Whatever, I love mustard/marigold/goldenrod. Deal with it.

Cardigan: J. Crew; Shoes, Skirt & Bangle: Thrifted; Shirt: Anthropologie;
Belt: Urban Outfitters; Scarf: San Lorenzo Market [a Firenze];
Ring: Chatuchak Market [Bangkok, Thailand]; Necklace: Found Object

09 November 2010

my morning commute

I am extremely fortunate to be a mile and a half from where I work, and I have been loving my daily walks to and from the museum. The colors have been outstanding, and the light before daylight savings time was really spectacular. I snapped these about a month ago, and I'm happy I did. It's getting chilly, dark, and the color is quickly fading. 

This is the view that makes my heart flutter with excitement. And makes me think, "I can't believe I work here".

07 November 2010

Chicago Artists Month

October was Chicago Artists Month here in the Windy City, and I have to say I'm really impressed with some of the work that's being produced and curated around this city. Whether it's public art, Pop Up Galleries in the Loop, or established galleries around the Chicagoland area, I find that I'm falling more and more in love with the community or artists around this midwestern town.

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to work a bus tour organized around Chicago Artists in conjunction with AIC and Chicago Artists Month. We visited four different studios, and one gallery - but the breadth and style of work varied so greatly! And each artist we met with was so welcoming, so inviting, and so ready to participate in an open dialogue about their work and our relationship with it as viewers.

WHO I MET:

GEOFFREY TODD SMITH [Represented by Western Exhibitions]

Inspired by 80's video games, sticker collections of his childhood, insanely detailed Halloween costumes, and Gelly Roll pens used by every teenage girl in the 90's, Geoffrey Todd Smith makes these intricate and dizzying works on paper that require patience, concentration, and a real appreciation of detail and craftsmanship. He spends close to 40 hours on each drawing, and did I mention that they are no bigger than the size of an LP? Oh, and his titles are usually funny play on words about robots and 80's love songs.

DEB SOKOLOW [Represented by Western Exhibitions]

Raised in Washington, DC by a political scientist father in the 80's, Deb Sokolow encounters the world through a slightly paranoid detective mystery birds eye view. At the early age of 9 or 10, she was witness to a mysterious briefcase exchange in the bathroom of a DC McDonald's and has forever looked at the world in a curious manner. She spends lots of time peering out of her window on the west side of Chicago watching the post office, seeing strange cars go by, and observing the "characters" that appear throughout the story of her day-to-day life. Whatever Happened To the Pentagon (restaurant)? (fragment pictured below) is a work dealing with a mysterious restaurant named The Pentagon that "is obviously a front for something". Her work is a mix of book making, storytelling, illustration, painting, and collage. She's funny, sharp as a tack, and totally great. Oh and she has a solo exhibition opening on November 19, and you should go if you are in the Chicagoland area!

CURTIS MANN [Represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery]

An engineer turned photographic artist, Curtis Mann is in to the technical processes of tampering with the chemical reaction that occurs when a color photograph is printed on various papers and with different inks - and then how all this can be altered. His current show at Kavi Gupta in the West Loop is a collection of images of war torn affected areas in the Middle East, which he appropriated from Flickr, then printed and bleach burned different chaotic patterns and colors into, creating a visceral commentary on these regions using a destructive yet beautiful and random method of permanently changing these images. He's also working on a time limit, given that some of the photographic papers and materials he tends to use will no longer be in production in the very near future.

ROBERT DAVIS & MICHAEL LANGLOIS  [Represented by Monique Meloche Gallery]

Two young artists who met at SAIC in the 90's interested in doing very different things in paint came together for a collaboration 13 years ago, and having been working side by side ever since. Having devised a hyper photorealistic large scale salon style unique to the contemporary art scene, these two artists have found something very unique in the way in which they work together to create purely perfect and beautiful paintings. Inspired by classical salon paintings of Gericault, David, and Ingres, as well as colonial bald-eagled furniture, beautiful soft core porn stars, and punk rock manifestos and lyrics, these two artists have something very special going for them. They also have wheelchairs you can roll around on in their studio. And they are part of a group opening at Monique Meloche Gallery this coming Friday.

RICHARD HULL [Represented by Western Exhibitions]

Who knew that a game of Exquisite Corpse dealing with the motif of the Trojan Horse could be so prolific for an artist? Working as a printmaker, painter, and illustrator in Chicago for over 30 years, Richard Hull a student and friend of the Harry Who collective in Chicago in the 70's has been doing works with ink, crayon, wood block and lithographic prints repeating this curving highway like closeup of a horse's ass, but in a way that is both funny and very refined. He also works in a live/work/space. An amazing live-in gallery studio space with some of the best interior decor I have ever seen. I wouldn't expect any less from someone who has so many great artist friends to barter and trade work for. 

So this is just a taste of some of the amazing things I've been doing with myself in the Chicago art scene. I'll have more posts like this soon. Maybe it will be another regular feature? Maybe something about Chicago culture? ALSO IF YOU HAVEN'T COME OUT TO SEE THE CHAGALL WINDOWS AT THE ART INSTITUTE, PLEASE DO SO. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!
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