Gallery Walls, My Way… The Lazy Way

DISCLAIMER: You may be disappointed.

I’m just being honest.

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I have an obsession with gallery walls. Just look at my Pinterest board devoted to it:

Ridiculous? NEVAAARRR

I’m currently in the process of creating a gallery wall for my bedroom.

It took some trial-and-error and a few holes in the wall to get everything up. It took some planning, I couldn’t just pull from my pile of… stuff.

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Stuff. On my rarely-made bed. Hey self, tell me why you decided to share this photo with the world?

I probably have too much “stuff” so it’s been a process just trying to sort through and pick the best pictures. I have such a hard time separating myself from sentimental pieces, or the plans that I will have my own home one day where I can hang up my other pictures. Is it weird that I have a couple of photos of myself from when I was a kid? I just really adore the candidness of those photos, and it brings me to a time when I was not so worried with adult problems. Surely, I’m not alone with this thought?

But I’m rambling.

Basically, my way of hanging a gallery wall is very, very lazy.

First, I had to figure out how and if I was going to hang this beast.

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Author’s foot for reference

It’s four pieces. I can’t frame that! It’s so awkwardly shaped and has a freaking mind of its own. It likes to fall, or slide around, do flips and spins, because it’s so into being beastly.

Beast really is an underused word.

Beast, beast, beast, beast, beast, beast….

So I decided the beast deserves its own wall.

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Stare into the hall of darkness! Let the void and mystery take you!!

As for the actual gallery wall, I started with my charcoal drawing called “Transparence”. It’s the largest artwork, second to Beast, and is a great conversation piece. Also, I spent a crap-ton framing it so it kinda needs to be a focal point.

I wanted at least three areas of focus, the other two being a print by my favorite watercolor artist Agnes Cecile (check out her speed paintings on YouTube) and a watercolor face I did in college.

Another part of creating a gallery wall is the color scheme of the room it’s in. My color scheme for the bedroom is black, gray, and red–as the main colors–with pops of bright, random colors, especially oranges, turquoise, and tropical greens. This same scheme is echoed in my artwork.

By the way… I did not choose the wall color, and I’m not allowed to change it.

UGH, TAUPE, I HATE YOU.

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HAAAAATE ALLLLLL OF YOUUUUUU.

I originally had a gallery wall the side of the room with the window, but took it down. I changed the layout of my room completely when I discarded some terrible Walmart bookcases.

Don’t buy Walmart guys; go to Target, or anywhere else.

The problem I had in my room with those bookcases, aside from being poor quality, was that every time I opened my door there would be the side of my shelves. That view was just no good; interrupted the floooowww~.

Getting rid of the bookcases really opened up the room. I had to fix the holes from the previous gallery wall, and paint over them, which took fooooooreeeeeeveeeerrrr. Here’s a little tip for smaller holes, though! Use a bar of soap to fill in the tiny holes, like so:

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Picture found on Pinterest

Totally works! Save you some hole-filler, or whatever that goop is called. Can you tell I’m sooooo DIY savvy? Ha!  (I am now informed it is called wall plaster….)

But if the holes are really large, definitely invest in wall goop. If it’s a huge hole, you’ll need to pack the hole with newspaper and then slather on the goop; most likely there will need to be multiple layers of goop. Be sure to utilize a scraper to get a flat even surface, then spray on some texturizer (found at hardware stores) and paint over everything.

To save some hole-making, I wanted to plan out the arrangement as well.  Momtastic does a fantastic tutorial using the butcher paper technique.

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She makes it look so easy. Probably is. I just… meh.

But this is the lazy way! Shortcuts all around!

I wanted this gallery wall to look nice on the wall, so I still had to plan things out. You can’t just start hanging things on the wall and hope that it turns out alright. The one time I did that, I got lucky…. There were a lot of holes to fill when I had to vacate that room, just wasn’t worth the trouble.

I still measured my wall so that I knew what my limits were. My wall is about 11 feet wide, and I can’t get an accurate measurement of the height (because I’m short and tape measures like to give up on me) but I’m pretty sure it’s around 9 feet. Once I figured out the area I could work in, I laid out my artworks on the ground to figure out how I wanted them to be grouped.

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Layout 1, before framing and editing. There are SO MANY pieces!!

Sorry for the blurriness, there’s only so much I can do with a phone camera and shaky hands. I still wish I had gotten a Nokia Lumia instead of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha….

Currently undergoing some reorganization as well… Unkempt bed, holes in the wall, blurry photos, reorganizing mayhem–I just come off as a hot mess, don’t I?

But don’t ignore the puzzle! Gaze upon it’s splendor! Admire it!

Can you tell I’m quite proud of my family’s puzzling hobby?

To hang the pictures, I tried to stay away from using too many nails (I learned my lesson). Use Command Strips instead!

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Cue the angel chorus~~~

Did you know you can actually cut the strips in half for smaller, lighter pictures? I just saved you moneys. 😀

After all that work laying it out, I couldn’t bring myself to hang it up. Something felt off, I was overwhelmed… there was just too much. 

I decided that I had waaaaay too many pictures for my wall and edited out several pieces. Some made their way to the boyfriend’s apartment, some went up in the room on other walls, some have been thrown into the dungeon (my closet), and the rest have been ditched.

What was left were arranged in this setup:

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Man, my camera does not do ANY artwork justice. UGH. Where did all the colors go??!

Aaaaand then I ordered an new Agnes Cecile print for Xmas… and also moved the artwork around… again.

THIS has been a year of planning, and it still hasn’t gone up. It’s now the holiday season and my pictures are still laying on the ground.

As for the wall that used to be a gallery wall that I mentioned previously, it now has shelves. That’s another “How-To, My Way… The Lazy Way.” If I get around to it. I probably won’t at least for the one that was done in my room, because: LIFE UPDATE, I may or may not be IN my room next year….

OOoooo, enigmatic phrasing…!

Just think on that a bit.

Until then!

List of Artwork

  1. Others’ Voices” print — Agnes Cecile
  2. Transparence” — me, professionally framed by Aaron Brothers
  3. Dark Side of the Firework” print — saltyshadow, no longer available
  4. ‘3D’ Blue Orchids drawing on black paper — me
  5. Rainbow Pixel Skull — DIY
  6. Femme 46” print — Aja ebsq on Etsy
  7. Mute Butterfly” print — Amy Judd
  8. The Golden Forest” print — Gustav Klimt
  9. “Blurred Sigh” — me

 

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I Bought a Car… & a Cat! Some other things happened too.

Life update!

I bought a car!

Her name is Skelly.

She’s a 2018 Toyota Corolla SE, meaning Sports Edition. Never did I imagine purchasing anything remotely related to a sports car, but I did, I did. And I have no regrets!

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She looks exactly like this, minus the desert mountains. I’m in central Texas, the desert is out west, y’all. I’ve got tons of allergy-ridden cedar trees to look at/avoid out here.

Skelly is white, with “orange zest” interiors. Seriously, that was the description at the dealership! It’s black leatherette interiors with orange stitching. So zesty.

I named her Skelly because the colors remind me of Halloween, and being a white car associated with Halloween, I immediately thought of Jack Skellington.

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Love the Hamlet reference, Jack.

There’s more parts to this post, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. And it involves my second big purchase this month, considerably less money, but will probably be around longer than my car.

A new kitten!

We (the boyfriend and I) adopted him together from a local animal shelter in Austin. Originally my idea, not only did it take some convincing, but the adoption was a benefit of good timing. You see, my coworker was fostering a litter of kittens from a local shelter, and advertised around that if anyone needed kitten wellness (we have a stressful job), that we could come to her house and play with an adorable litter. She sealed the deal further by naming the kittens awesome names.

Thus, we were introduced to Bowser.

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Look at this majestic baby!!

He’s a gray, medium-haired, tabby, and is either chill and cuddly, or rambunctious and ornery; there is no in-between.

We absolutely fell in love with his little face, his fluffy mane, and his laid-back temperament. We had debated getting the runt of the litter, a black female named Sprite-to go with our current black cat named Sakura, but she was too active for the cat my boyfriend already owned. Sakura is nearly 3 years old. Bo’s had her for a year and several months before I met him. She didn’t take to me kindly, and would bite my toes while I slept. A year later, after much research, she now turns to me for comfort/warmth and will sit on my lap when I call.

We’re in the first month of adoption; Bowser and Sakura are finally playing. There is still some aggression from Sakura, but there is less growling and more chasing. We have to be careful though, because she may swipe and we don’t want her to get away with that; and Bowser keeps wanting to play with her so we have to separate them so Sakura doesn’t feel pestered all the time.

Lastly, the other thing that happened: I met my boyfriend’s families. I am so honored to be his first relationship he brought home (and hopefully the last relationship 😀 ). We traveled up to the New England area. We first started off in the Big Apple, where Bo’s workplace’s corporate office, and he met other members of his team. NYC was fun, OMG the MOMA was everything, but the most fun I had was in Massachusetts.

To name a few: we ate lobster, walked on a beach (yes, it was cold!), did a whale sight-seeing tour, and took a small plane ride over the state. It’s easy to fly over most of the state because it’s so small. I laughed and laughed when I found out it was a 45 minute drive to Maine–I’m from big ol’ Texas and takes 10 hours any direction to get out of here.

Seriously. HOURS.

My Instagram account has my favorite pics of the trip, but I dropped a bunch more here.

Enjoy!

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Chelsea & Bo’s Adventure in New England ^ 

I Can’t Keep Plants Alive

I can’t keep plants alive and it’s killing me!

My mother is an amazing gardener. I always thought she had a green thumb like Stanley from “Troll in Central Park,” which is a great old kid’s movie if you’ve never heard of it!

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I did NOT inherit my mother’s green thumb. I am not a Stanley.

*Weeps*

I just can’t seem to keep plants alive. I’ve vowed to stick to fake plants if I can get them.

HOWEVER!! I have a dilemma.

I really enjoy making floral arrangements… but they can be pricey, and more importantly: I have ZERO SPACE.

I’ve created a magnolia centerpiece [link] for my family’s dining table (when it’s not covered by an in-progress puzzle), and now I strive to make a parrot tulip wreath for spring, and some sort of frosted succulent and snow arrangement for winter, if I change up my decoration theme for the year.

As for year-round decorations, I’d like to get at least a large croton. Fake plants are expensive, but worth the lack of upkeep in my opinion. Preferably, I’d rather have real plants so that I could have fresh oxygen cycling in my home, but we all know their doomed fates.

My favorite would-be flora:

Aloe Vera – especially white or striped

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Croton – obviously; also, RAINBOW

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Fiddle-leaf Fig tree

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Monstera – I have some artwork at my partner’s apartment with these featured

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Orchids – especially white, blue, or unique

Magnolia – I’d love a huge tree of “Little Gem”

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Snapdragons – I have so many childhood memories

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Parrot Tulips – if tulips got a fringe haircut!

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Michael’s has great realistic fake flowers. I’ve shopped around and their the best store around for fake flowers, and yes, I’m including Hobby Lobby; those flowers fall apart super quick, they’re much too thin.

Right now, I have no space or money for the fake plants. But one day… ONE DAY!

They shall be mine, and I won’t have to worry about watering them.

I’m really lazy, guys.

Tulle Skirt: the DIY that took me a while… And gave up on.

Soooo, I’ve always wanted a long ballerina tulle skirt.

Like this:

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Well… Sorta like that. I like green and blue more. And this is me, so I’m going to make it differently. (AKA, the lazy way.)20160727_194603.jpgFirst things first! I got me some turquoise tulle! I got out my supplies; thread, fabric scissors, and whatnot.

20160727_194731.jpgSpeaking of whatnot, look at this cute little machine I bought for this tutorial!

Michael’s Loops & Threads brand, sold in stores only. It’s lavender and tiny and adorable.

20160727_200355.jpgI immediately unpacked it and started sewing! Look at that focus. And that posture. That terrible, terrible posture.

And then I realized… I don’t know anything about this machine!

How to thread it.

Or what leavers do what.

Or how to turn it on.

20160727_200652.jpgMANUEL, TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

20160727_200929.jpgSecond time’s the charm.

Sidenote: Am I the only one who finds staring at hands fascinating? Even if it’s my own hands, seeing the tension as they work is amazing, and I’m often not able to appreciate the beauty of hands creating because I’m more interested in the work being made. Look at your own hands at work next time you’re doing something!!

20160727_201000.jpgWhoo! I made an elastic loop!

I’m trying to test the strength for the camera. And showing off to my friend.

20160727_205004.jpgNow that I had an elastic loop, measured to my waist and taken in by an inch and a half so the band will keep the skirt in place while I wear it–next came the tulle.

I cut a bunch of strips a length I measured to fall around my calves. I planned on trimming the bits after the thing was completed.

I layered ten strips on top of each other and sewed them directly to the elastic.

20160727_210121.jpgI folded the strips over each other so they would get a volume and a cute little ruffle detail. That was completely improvised, I had no idea if it would work! This section was stitched so crookedly, but hey! I’m a beginner, it’s okay that it’s crooked, no one is going to be coming up to me saying, “Love the skirt, except that one part. That’s wonky! You’re an awful person for that mistake!” That’s just silly.

So the skirt is very different from other tulle skirts because I did the fabric in strips instead of a folded swath like most tutorials do. I’m going for a floaty look–(AKA, I’m not going for a look, I’m just super lazy and cheap and don’t want to go out and find turquoise tulle off a bolt at a fabric store. Which honestly would have been much easier than the tutorial I did. Wow. Good job, Chell-Bell, for coming to that conclusion.)

Even with the 10 layers of tulle, the skirt is very sheer. There’s no way I can wear it as it is. I needed to put in a liner. But while I was attempting that… I decided I did not like the way my skirt looked.

So I scrapped the tulle skirt and made some maxi skirts.

Maxi skirts are like two seams. Sew once, twice, DONE.

This tulle skirt was not like making a maxi skirt….

FAIL

A Hat for My Friend

This is my friend, Lexi.

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She’s the redhead, and was one of my friends to come to my graduation. I’m totally going to hers soon!

I promised that I would make her a customized sun hat for beachy days.

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Like this. ^

They are all the rage right now. I had no shortage of inspiration research on Pinterest. Seriously, all I had to type was “sun,” “hat,” and “message.”

Finding the right phrase has been a challenge.

A French saying didn’t strike me as “Lexi….”

And neither did “Beach Please…” or “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere!” as cheeky as those are….

Nor did “Do Not Disturb,” or other negative sounding message.

I’m sarcastic; any biting witty remark is golden in my eyes, so if I’m going to make a snarky hat, it’s going to be for me, but it’s not becoming of Lexi! Lexi radiates support and kindness.

So I searched for more positive messages:

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That’s cute, but not enough….

I liked the one that referred to travel, and the other reminds me of a song. Still not quite right.

The one that sold me on Lexi…?

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“Hello Sunshine”

Perfect!

A lot of the DIY instructions for customizing hats are all about gluing on the letters, but not only does it look bad, it’s also not weatherproof. And if a hat is not weatherproof, what’s the point??!

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Nope. ^

My favorite DIY tutorial, that both speaks to me at my level of sarcasm, but also respects quality control, is by YouTuber “Threadbanger” Corinne Leigh. She is one half of the duo that is Threadbanger.

Her video slays me.

I’m not adding a pom-pom edge, but I did find a lovely gold sequin ribbon at Joann’s in the trim section. I thought gold would suit the hat I got at Target.

I sewed on the sequin ribbon, little by little; like Corinne said, it takes a freaking ton of time and my fingers hurt. I made sure I got durable thread that could and would… weather the weather.

I’m proud of my puns.

One of these days I’ll add some fabric to the bottom to cover up the stitches, but until then… I’m proud of the result! Super duper cute. I hope Lexi likes it!

Hurricane in Texas

Okay, so it was a tropical storm by the time it hit us. Guys… Guys! Austin FLOODS.

They don’t tell you that. You really wouldn’t expect it because it’s so damn hot here most of the year; like seriously, what is snow? (Actually, I know what snow is, I can ski down a mean Black Diamond, but this is for hyperbole.)

Hyperbole aside, the years that I have lived here, 3 out of 4 have had flooding of, well, biblical proportions.

2015, around Memorial Day, there was such horrible flooding that 1,000 people were displaced in the towns south of Austin.

2016, Halloween, historic downtown streets were completely flooded, lake levels were at record heights.

Now, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hits the southern coast of Texas. While we didn’t get the brute force of the hurricane, we did get TONS of rain, and frightening winds (seriously, my car kept getting pushed to the side of the freeway)! Many of my coworkers couldn’t make it into work, the reason I was able to is because I live less than 10 minutes from my office building (a great perk of the job, completely coincidental).

While my situation panned out to not be so bad, many people are still being effected by the damage leftover from the floods and hurricane.

If you or someone you know needs help, here are some resources:

Humanity Road: updated information on road conditions and road closures

SPCA & Houston Pet Set: help for pets and animals effected by the disaster

211 United Way: referral program; dial 211 on your phone to find local shelters and resources in your area

WorkIn Texas: for those who have lost wages

Project Row Houses: list of other resources

Texas Tribune: list of other resources, includes a lists that are county specific

If you or someone you know wants to help, here are some resources:

Americares: donate to disaster relief

Update local papers and law enforcement of missing persons, flooded streets, or stranded civilians.

Donate to Food Banks

Texas Diaper Bank

Give blood

Volunteer your time: cleaning, rescuing, updating, and coordinating; you can even volunteer your home to house a relocated victim of the disaster.

Virtual Volunteer Reception Center

If you are willing and able, get out there and volunteer. There’s always donating food, clothes, and money for those who have lost so much. Please help South Texas.

Which GAMING SYSTEM Should I Get. In. My. Life?

Playstation 4? Would be nice to have the most updated system. Also: Graphics.

Playstation 3? My family has this now, so I do have a ton of games for this console. The PS Network has been a hassle though.

XBox? HA! Nope. I am not a fan of the games. So many shooters and not enough RPG’s. And the controllers hurt my hands.

Nintendo Wii/U? Honestly, if they came out with an Avatar: The Last Airbender video game where I could learn the actual movements, I would buy this gaming system in a heartbeat. Who doesn’t like kung fu??! Also, I’m terrible at Mario games.

Nintendo Switch? I just want to play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. DESPERATELY! WHOLEHEARTEDLY! *weeps* I just cannot allow myself to spend a ton of money for one game, albeit, I will play that game for over 200 hours, and also replay it, but stiiiilll.

Retro? Going vintage, awww yeah. The problem is that, while the classics are amazing, they are also hard to find and are expensive because of their popularity.

 

Final Choice:

We’re going with a PS4. We found a good price.

Also, these are all the games, so far, that we want, and it’s the longest list out of all the gaming systems:

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – Recommended by my S.O., it looks like fun, and he likes the series. Apparently, it’s pretty funny too.

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Deadpool – I’ve played it on PS3, and I always have a good time. So many Easter eggs!

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Diablo III – I’m a Diablo game fanatic, I grew up playing Diablo II and when the third installment came out, I immediately played it. Now, it’s my favorite multiplayer game, my entire family will work together, we get really serious. An issue I have is setting up the game to be challenging enough, but with the expansion, that seemed to help. I greatly enjoy the storyline of the expansion’s act. Fighting an Angel of Death, yaaaasss. The newest DLC features a new take on an old warrior class, the Necromancer! Sweeeeet!

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Dishonored – series, possibly, or as many as we can get on the PS4.  The S.O. likes the series, and rightfully so. Steampunk assassinations and dark magic? Sign me up.

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Final Fantasy VX – I know nothing about this game or the game play. This is an S.O. pick, and I’m just along for the ride. I research Final Fantasy games for the characters and plots, rather than play them; except Final Fantasy VII, that one is special. We watched the movie recently, and it was decent; I enjoyed the teleportation mechanics meshed with melee. If that a thing featured in the game, I’m all for it.

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Horizon Zero Dawn – This looks AMAZING. It’s my aesthetics completely. Post-apocalyptic future with giant mechanical animals roaming the wilderness, humans surviving with found materials, a female badass lead. GIMMEE. (EDIT: so we played it, and it’s like a combination of all the best bits of Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim. I freaking love this game.)

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Kingdom Hearts – Specifically the remastered and remixed editions, that come with 3 games in one. What a deal! I personally LOVE the Kingdom Hearts series. When it came out, I was floored that there was a creation out there that had combined Disney AND Final Fantasy! I had to play it. No regrets. I cannot WAIT for KH3 (released this December).

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – I played the first Mirror’s Edge and it’s one of my top 10 favorite games, so when I saw they were remaking it and expanding on the first game, I basically foamed at the mouth.

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Star Wars Battlefront – And 2, of course. And of course, nerds such as my self and my S.O. are going to get a Star Wars game or two. We did our research and any game that allows us to play as Sith Lords is a good time.

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Other games possibly, or if they become available: Ratchet & Clank series (at least the first 3, because I love them), Jak & Daxter (same as the aforementioned game series, which also comes from the same game maker), a Lord of the Rings game maybe, Skyrim, Ni no Kuni (how have I never heard of this game before!??), Dark Souls, a Batman Arkham game or two, Shovel Knight, DMC: Devil May Cry, Gundam game of some sort (an S.O. request, I’ll watch but probably won’t play), Mass Effect 1, 2, & 3 but not Andromeda, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, Bioshock,

 

Happy Birthday To ME~~!

27 is a good number I think.

Normally I only like prime numbers. My radio volume must be at 11, 13, 17, or 19. Maybe 21 or 23, but no higher than those, and only for really good songs.

But 27? It’s 3 cubed. Or 3 to the power of 3. I like that.

Each year that passes for me is another victory. I am still amazed that I am here, and that I am well. It’s wonderful and exciting. I used to worry about the future and the terrifying uncertainty, but then it occurred to me a few years ago… Why am I worrying?

[Post continued on 6/20/2017]

I had some time to think about this question. A little too much time, but I’ll blame that on my laziness. I could say I have a busy schedule, but honestly, it’s not that difficult to write. Sure, the Inspiration Fairy and Mr. Motivation need to be cooperating and present, but really, and truly… it’s not that difficult to write. Bad me.

So here I am, writing again. It’s one of my days off, and I’m watching Louis C. K.’s newest Netflix special, some of which is funny (the teacher bit, omg) and some of which makes me cringe (what even was that bit on stereotype voices, it was stupid). I spent the last day off making Pokemon and binge-watching Untold Stories of the E.R. It was magical.

I’ve been wanting to use my time more wisely, more productively, more… usefully. I think it goes along with my New Year’s Resolution? In the sense that I want to streamline my life, I guess… If you can’t tell, I’m reaching. Productivity, I’m hoping, will evolve soon.

But back to the question: “Why am I worrying?

Anxiety is a big struggle with a lot of people, and about half my calls that I take at my job has someone needing help managing anxiety. So… I’m quite knowledgeable in deescalating the debilitating symptoms of anxiety that a person is experiencing in the moment that they call. I’m not claiming that I can help every person, every time; heck no, that’s impossible. I’m certainly not claiming that I have the solution, end-all-be-all cure to anxiety. No. I can only remind a person of their strengths and suggest what may help, encourage the caller that they are already doing great things, and that it is okay to take a moment for themselves, to show kindness that they would normally give to others is okay to also give to themselves, and teach them that self-care is not selfish, but actually healthy and courageous.

Self-care is how I don’t worry anymore. I mean, I worry about some things if I need to, but overall: I no longer have a worry about what other people think of me, what I look like, or what my future is going to be. I work hard, I make educated decisions, and I am thankful for the life I have been given. I struggled getting to this point. I am very aware that I have privilege and not everyone has the opportunities that I had or have, so instead of bringing myself down with this very true fact, I use what opportunities I have to benefit others. I do not have to be at the job I have, but I don’t want to be anywhere else! And, I think, I can commit to this job and be very happy with my decision.

I am lucky, and I got here because I worked HARD. I give myself kindness and I give myself credit with THIS true fact, too.

10 years of college. I volunteered and worked while going to college. I failed, at school, at relationships, and happiness. I spent time sloshing in mud to help others, which paved the way through an extensive domino-ing network, to the job I am so happy at.

Ultimately, my hard work paid off, and my time is not over yet!

So, I don’t worry.

Because I commit to a decision and ADAPT to what comes up, rather than worry about what COULD happen.

There are a lot of what-ifs in the world. LIFE IS UNCERTAIN.

Being in-thenow is the healthiest mindset I have ever entered.

Being 27, is a good age.

🙂

Colored Hair: The Dilemma

Should I?

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Maybe not this ^ hairstyle per say, it is a bit too bold for me, but damn if I’m not super jealous when I see someone with colorful hair.

~~~

For years I have debated whether or not I should dye my hair. As far back as 5th grade, I can recall drawing myself with a light green streak in my hair. In later years I drew myself with a full head of blue curly hair.

That was my early years: dreaming of colors and boldness and being unique, searching for my identity so that I could fit in. My second year of college, I chopped off a ton of my hair, straightened it into an asymmetrical bob that would make anime fans proud, and added a clip on blue hair extension that did not match the texture of my hair at all. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but we all do dumb things when we are young.

I never got around to dying my hair for some reason. SO many friends were doing it. I wanted to jump on the bandwagon, but never did. Ah, peer pressure, you couldn’t keep up with my need for professionalism… and laziness.

I figure other reasons I never dyed my hair when I was young was because at the time of my high school years, the administration forbade unnatural hair colors, so that nixed high school. In college I was too busy with homework, working multiple jobs, and surviving various relationships; I barely had time to take care of myself let alone cared what I looked like.

At some point I was living on my own. I moved past the flurry and chaos of my first years of college, and decided to take time to focus on myself. Independence fostered, I began working at a job that paid the bills enough, and my managers at that job did not care if their employees had crazy colored hair. The desire to be bold came back.

That’s when the “mermaid” trend was introduced.

Welp, those are some of my favorite colors. So I looked into getting my hair done up like a damn turquoise fish lady.

I’m terrified of big commitments like that (which explains a lot of my life, but let’s not open that can of worms!!) I was mostly fearful of going to bright and it making my face redder than it already is. Some days are better than others, where the flush of my face isn’t so discernible.

To compromise with my fear, I thought, why not so bright, but go for a more muted or darker dye?

Perfect!

10-year-old Chelsea would be happy, adult Chelsea would be happy, colors all around!

And then I found out that no matter what, I would have to bleach my hair.

That prompted a very quick and very loud “NO!” while I smacked the chemicals out of the hair stylist’s hands. (That last part didn’t actually happen.)

So no awesome turquoise magic mermaid locks for Chell-bell.

I don’t like having long hair anyway. Too sweaty.

Years have passed since that time. I have “matured,” I guess… Well at least so far in hair care. I’m much more lax about styling my hair. I have embraced my wavy hair and prefer to not have to do a lot of maintenance. I hardly ever blow dry, never straighten, and maybe once in a while I’ll throw in some curl-boosting mousse. I don’t own a hair straightener, and have to borrow a hair dryer from my sisters if I care to blow-dry my hair; and I don’t care to blow-dry my hair.

I’m very lazy.

All this, and I still haven’t taken the plunge to dye my hair.

Despite this reality, I have made a pact to myself that when I’m old and gone silver-haired, I will become RAINBOW-HAIRED GRANNY and will be known throughout all the lands as the “eccentric” lady who uses a T-Rex grabber claw to menace and reach for soup, and frolic about the neighborhood with colorful locks on her head singing vintage Disney songs. I want to change my hair color whenever I want and I figured by that time, I’ll have a great base to do so. I’d just let my hair grow out a bit, close my eyes and pick a color at random, and tada! RAINBOW-HAIRED GRANNY. And when I want a new doo, I just shave it off to make room for a new hue.

This is a fact. It’s happening. You’ll see. In 40 to 50 years. Be on the lookout for Rainbow-Haired Granny, coming soon to your ‘hood.

In the meantime, the urge to dye my hair a crazy color still persists, with all the doubts ringing in my head as strong as ever.

Why not neutral or more natural colors though, Chelsea? Why go for color at all if you are so fearful?

Because, dear random person I made up in my head to talk to: if I’m going to dye my hair, causing unavoidable damage in the process–those chemicals fry your hair–as well as investing a lot of time and upkeep that requires special shampoos and touch-up treatments for fading and roots, then I might as well do something bold and daring to make me feel like the physical and fiscal torture was all worth it.

So I’ve found a middle-ground.

OIL SLICK HAIR

 

I’ve always wanted to go darker, maybe not black, but at least darker browns. Because I have a pink-toned face with some yellows, I know that if I go lighter, my face will look redder, which I do not like. I once stopped going to a particular hair stylist because they suggested I go blonde.

Never again. >:l

Darker sounds better because I believe that it will draw out a natural contrast with my light blue eyes. (Yes, I have really light blue eyes, go look at my About Me page for proof. That’s an untouched photo.) I’m not one to wear makeup as I have combination skin that feels like it’s drowning under a single layer of face mousse foundation, hence the desire to draw away from the days that I have a pinker face.

With oil slick hair, there is less emphasis on big areas of bright colors, so dying the hair requires less bleach. Less bleach means less damaged hair. The Tricoci University of Beauty Culture gave these pointers about oil slick hair dying, and it was definitely promising. (Be warned, their site has an automatic live chat function, I was not expecting that to pop up, but hey, it was first on the Google list and I can’t argue with credentials of beauty schools because I know nothing about them, whatevs.)

I like the idea that the base of an oil slick hair dye is the requirement for a cool brown or cool black. This will combat my warm-colored face! Also, cool colors recede while warm colors advance, that’s why reds, yellows, and oranges all pop out first in a picture, and why red cars get pulled over more often. Because we can see them. Fun fact: red is the first color we perceive after we are born, assuming the baby is not born with a diagnosis of protanomaly colorblindness.

If all else fails, I can just go for sectional hair color. The 10-year-old me from 5th grade, drawing herself with a stripe of green hair is a little more possible.

I really am going to do something, soon. Hopefully for my birthday. How often do we get to fulfill a childhood fantasy??

Spotlight: Koyamari/Maruti-Bitamin

Koyamari and Maruti-Bitamin are the same amazing artist, those are just two Internet names I have come to know them as.

Their artwork is easily recognizable by the watercolor, patterns, and subject matter. I tend to see works that emulate a single word or concept, such as atmosphere, water, or sun.

I personally own two prints of their work, and absolutely adore and cherish them. I wish to own more one day! And I am saving up for all of the art books. The coolest thing I received from them was that the artist customized the shipping package by drawing an adorable fat whale on the outside and added a cute little tag thanking me for my purchase. I still have the tag!

All credit goes to the artist, and links are provided below for more info and where to buy prints and work from them!

crystal

Crystal

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Terrarium Poster

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Reality, Intention, Action

grow

Grow

shelter

I tried finding all the correct names for the works through Instagram and Tumblr, but many of the art pieces are emoji names!

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The “Spooky Look Book” and some keychains!

plants-crew-shirt

Can’t go wrong with a plant-themed sweatshirt

These are only a FRACTION of all the artworks that the artist has shared on the web. Check out the pieces below!

Instagram

Tumblr

Twitter

DeviantArt

Store