Thursday, August 30

Memento


Every time I've had a tattoo done I am asked different question in the real world.
Of course one old question remains: Does it hurt?
Well, I wouldn't call it pleasant. But it's well worth the sting.




Anyway, I was going to say:
Each time new questions arise..

This time around I got a lot of queries regarding cost (which I am not sharing here). 
One colleague exclaimed "you're spending all your wages!" when she first laid eyes on my new addition. Just so you know: I am not. Not by a long shot. I guess her comment took me by surprise. To me it seemed natural that an original piece of artwork wouldn't come at a fiver, especially when my own skin is the canvas. No room for error there. Frankly, price was never a major concern for me. I was looking for an artist who's work I enjoyed and who I'd trust to paint my very skin. It just never seemed like an occasion to argue over a few quid.

So, what's with the (not yet) blue roses?
Of course folks are always interested in the meaning of a new piece. I tend to a be a little cagey about this IRL, mostly because it is hard for me to aptly explain where I am coming from in just a few words. After all not everybody who asks this wants to sign on for a half hour lecture on my deepest, darkest.

Online this is a lot easier to sum up. I get to write it all out, re-read and edit, rather than gibber on aimlessly ;) So..

My original idea was for a baroque style flower arrangement. I guess that alone should give away my prime motif: I wanted a memento mori. After lots and lots of image searches I decided there was no need to be so darn literal about my little reminder: Who needs wilting flowers when the arm around that bouquet will wrinkle in time? It's only right for the blooms themselves to remain pristine while time creeps up on me.

Eventually I came across a blue rose tattoo flash by Amy Williams and the choice of colour instantly chimed with me. Blue. Blue roses don't occur in nature and thus, can be seen to symbolise the unobtainable.  That recalled another concept I'd not originally planned on incorporating into the image, but which is also close to my heart: They call it saudade. It's a Portuguese word that has no direct English translation and refers to a deep longing, a yearning for something unobtainable. Saudade. The meaning attached to the word comes closest to describing the strange sensation that remained when I used to feel very, very numb indeed. A distant grief, not triggered by a memory of something lost, but merely the aching awareness of an unremembered absence. It seems impossible to describe, but if you’ve been there I guess you know what I am struggling to express. Luckily, I rarely get that far removed anymore at all, but these absences have influenced my life greatly and played more than just a little part in leading me where I am now. And you know, I am real glad to be where I am now ;) 

So while I wanted it to be a pretty adornment on first glance, to me my new tattoo is a reminder of the transient nature of life. A visual cue to make the most of every minute and a reminder not to dwell on what cannot be changed.



And the answer to the most frequent question of them all:
While Amy Williams' image served as inspiration, the one now permanently etched into my arm was created and tattooed by Alexandra Hugianu.

Well, that was a long one :)
Have a fantastic Sunday you all!


top, cardi & flats: highstreet
brooch: fabric shop (labeled "vintage" Handmade maybe, but certainly not vintage)
skirt: etsy (Eclectasie)
tights: online store
*shout me for specifics

Tuesday, August 28

Don't tell my heart..


I've been keeping to sleeveless dresses (for easy moisturising access) and cardis (to protect my tattoo from the sun).Yay! There's been sun to protect it from :D



Candy bracelets! Why the heck not? ;)



And here is a long overdue animation.
Check out the cows in the background - kinda looks like they're line dancing.. don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart.. ;)

Have a most excellent day!
Swing from a tree branch if you get a chance to ;)


hat: glasto
dress & cardi: highstreet
fabric owl brooch: fabric shop
tights & boots: online store
white owl brooch: etsy (decoylab)
log lady brooch: etsy (damki)

Sunday, August 26

Reality is relative

It's funny with us fashion, outfit and personal style bloggers. Whatever we class ourselves as, the vast majority of us share a certain reluctance to let the real world know about our self-portrait fuelled hobby.



I am fairly open about Diversions these days. While I don't give out my URL to friends and family unless prompted, most everybody who knows me, knows of Diversions.

My parents are an exception to this, they were my first readers. We live so far apart it's reassuring that they can see what I am up to between phone calls, visual proof that I am doing well. But co-workers, friends and the rest of my family didn't know me to be a blogger until years later. I feared my pastime would appear narcissistic in nature, present me as a vain and vapid shell of a woman.

When I first posted in 2009, I had recently decided not to make my camera my bread earner.. for now. Instead I was going to take an office job and pursue personally meaningful photography projects in my sparetime. Only I didn't pursue any projects at all. I'd stare out my camera of an evening, compelled to pick it up but somehow.. found myself unable.

Really I started the blog as a distraction, a Diversion ;)
I hoped that it would, and it did and still does provide a way to feel closer to my parents, get out into the fresh air more frequently, and a reason to keep snapping photos without the weight of the word "meaningful" hanging over me like a Damocles sword.
Personal style bloggng in particular appealed to me because I do enjoy clothes, but find fashion magazines deeply depressing. Full of beautiful imagery sure, but populated with the heavily manipulated, interchangeable porcelain faces of emaciated, young girls, not quite yet women. Not that I don't find the odd size zero teen beautiful, but if you are here right now I know you enjoy a little bit of variety in that department too :)

Bloggers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. We don't just wear the outfits in our images for five minutes. What readers see is, largely - and I'll get to that later - real.
When it comes to fashion, well darn it, we're a breath of fresh air and a valuable alternative to what's available in the conventional media. And while individually we might not count for much, as a group we're pretty darn influential. I think there's every reason to be proud to be part of this community of free spirits with bulky wardrobes.

And don't get me started on guilt over enjoying fashion in the first place. Everybody has a hobby. Or well, they sure as hell should have. Hobbies don't cure world hunger, but they provide us with a counterbalance to whatever else we've got going on in our lives. The merit is in the pleasure it provides. And that's that.

So, if you haven't yet:
Out there, in the real world, tell a friend about your blog. I am pretty certain you're going to be positively surprised by their reaction.




There is another topic I read about just as often as blogger shame: And that's the notion that bloggers lead perfect little lives. Now, I am dead certain you all know I am no Miss Perfect, but frankly, I never thought any of us were. Perfection is a theoretical concept. Unachievable. And having the unachievable rubbed in your face, presented as if it were in the realm of possibility, well, it's kinda discouraging, just like those magazines I used to buy despite myself.

Well, like I say, I reckon it's obvious I am no Miss Perfect, but I hear a lot of other bloggers speak about the notion. When I started my blog I knew instinctively that I wanted to filter what I share with you guys. In fact, for a long time it was really difficult for me to share personal stories at all. Over time this became easier, but seeing as this blog is available to anyone who cares to read it and is easily found by potential employers and identity thieves alike, I can assure you: I'll carry right on filtering. But that's not the only reason why I pick and choose what I share with you about my life.

From the very beginning it was crucial to me that Diversions be a positive space. Neither did I want to dwell on day to day downers, nor did I want to share them with you guys. Not that I don't think you would be supportive if I ever felt the need, it's just that I want a visit to my blog to be a pleasant experience. So when I write a post after I've had a bad day I take the time to think back and find something positive to write about and more often than not that cheers me up too.

It's a classic case of splitting. This is not necessarily a negative thing but it can provide readers with a skewed view of our lives. For instance, I've got quite a temper, but why tell you guys about inappropriate rages I am not proud of? I considered owning up to a shouting match with an equally aggressive stranger in the bread aisle (he touched every single bagel, the cheeky sod). There clearly were funny elements to the story, but at the time I was just too deeply embarrassed by my choleric tendencies. Stef smash. Another example played out two summers ago, when I as good as stopped posting outfits for a while. I blamed it solely on the miserable weather, but really it was a muscular injury that left me unable to so much as lift my tripod that held me back. Instead I started making miniatures for my doll house and posted about tiny little biscuits and books. The whole affair was enough of a downer as it was, I didn't want to mar my happy spot with tales of it to boot. 
So, I guess it is because I pick and choose what I share myself, that I automatically assume you all do this too. This is why, when my style icons tell me that they are battling social anxiety or confide (to the world at large) that they have the odd stonking row with their other halves, I am not so very surprised.

Blogging is a great means to encourage yourself to view even spells of bad luck as opportunities, to put things in perspective and reinforce your positive outlook. But don't let that fool you that there's all that's to them. To us. We're not magazine spreads. We're the girls taking or directing hundreds of photos of ourselves. Of which we choose five. Reality is relative. But we're as close as fashion gets.


Please share your two cents about blogger shame and filtering with me - I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions regarding these subjects and I know you all have something to say about this one :)

sweater: etsy (CapriciousTraveler)
bow: present
bracelets: etsy (vozclothingandart)
skirt: etsy (CovetedVintage)
clogs: online store

*I hid a couple of marks on my fingers with my partner in crime photoshop.
Those nails were chipped in the blink of an eye..

Friday, August 24

Girls in their Teens


Last week I treated myself to this old magazine full of sewing patterns. The instructions are way over my head and a few pages are missing at the end, but if you're interested shout me for a closer look at the print.

Anyway, I am drooling over quite a few of these, so I thought I'd share:


The one with the cape (actually: all of the ones with capes..) is just too sweet. The way the fabric is gathered around the waist is also a neat detail, no?
And those "beach pajamas" are pretty rad too :D

Told you the capes got to me: The one with the scalloped waistline is by far my favourite :)




The drawings are so sweet in themselves :) I am not particularly into vintage when it comes to nightwear, but don't the two girls at the bottom of the page just belong in a picture book:

Which of the patterns is your favourite?


Wednesday, August 22

Sweets wrappers, plaster, digging and tattoos




I took these photos the day after I'd had my new tattoo done. Although strictly speaking: It's not done yet :) There is going to be colour of course!


I am decimating my collection of pretty sweets wrappers by pasting them all to a wooden step stool I've grown  tired of. A few more layers, some lacquer and it'll be time to show you the finished product. And then of course I'll have to eat lots of sweets to get my collection going again!
Also, I finally hung a couple of bits in our living room, though I am still holding my horses as soon as we need to give the place a new lick of paint in places. We're waiting for some plaster to dry before we can do that.. I am so impatient :)
David has joined a local allotment society, so lots of digging (turning the soil over in particular) lies ahead for us.

There are a couple of really, really wordy posts scheduled for the coming week, so I won't keep you any longer today :) Must strike a balance, right?

It's me, my kindle and Driven tonight. Have a relaxing one yourself!


hat & flats: highstreet
cardi: supermarket
dress: charity shop
tights: online store


Monday, August 20

A stranger to and in his body


It's been one balmy weekend. A sluggish kinda heat, perfect for a short cycle followed by plenty of cold drinks and lazing in the relative cool of the house.



David and I watched Drive again (we'd seen it once before and were really taken with the cinematograohy, score, sparse dialog and well, the violence of course). Second time around and it's still a pretty darn awesome movie. I followed it up with the book of the same title, on which the movie is loosely based. While it was a swift, easy read, Nicolas Winding Refn's adaptation holds together far better. It's a clear case of film over original book. Still, I'll probably give the sequal "Driven" a go soon.



Are you a book-over-film purist or do you prefer some movies to the books they were based on?

Have a brilliant start to the week!


*post title quote from Drive by James Sallis

blouse: present (tulle)
scarf: present
cardi: supermarket
skirt: etsy (annabelfuzz)
bag: glasto
flats: high-street
*shout me for further specs

Saturday, August 18

Sunday, Monday..


Yep, I've been running around with two bags just lately: The backpack holds a camera insert in which I cart around my digital and a couple of spare lenses as well as my remote, spare battery, you name it. The pink bag is great for keeping my mp3 player, phone and a (more or less) fresh hanky in easy reach while I am cycling :)

I know most of us bloggers drag heavy camera equipment along with us most everywhere we go. Do you carry a multitude of bags as well or does everything fit neatly into one?
I know two is not really a multitude, but there is my tripod in it's carry case too and man, that thing is unruly. I reckon it counts double ;)



This week was paradoxical in that it seemed never ending and yet I kept feeling surprise that it was Wednesday, Thursday, Friday already. You know, Wednesday felt like a Tuesday, Thursday like a Wednesday.. you get the idea :)

Now it's the weekend I sure hope I can remember that it's only Saturday, not Sunday or Monday ;)



Right, I am going to edit today's shots now and then I shall join the husband for some well deserved televisual zombification.

Happy weekend!



dress: eBay (thefrippe)
scarf & backpack: present
bag: glasto
tights & sunnies: online store
sweater & heels: highstreet
*shout me for specifics

Thursday, August 16

Odds and sods


More ice cream!
These were still made with my hand blender but I am the proud owner of a proper food processor now. So the next lot won't leave such a mess in the kitchen ;)

The lighter one is a mix of coconut milk, cocoa and a little icing sugar (nothing to write home about)

The darker one is made from lots and lots of strawberries, one small spotty banana, plenty of cocoa and a little bit of icing sugar
I strain the mix before pouring it into the mould, to get shot of all the pips, but then I usually end up spooning the left overs anyway.. greedy guts.

Anyway, the strawberry choc ice is sooo yummy I made a second batch already :)


I adore globes.
The moment I lay eyes on this one I grabbed for it. "You're coming home with me" I said. Talking to myself again. No wonder so many people think me a little bit of a nutcase ;) How swiftly maps are out of date, huh? Europe's borders are fairly old-style on this one. But Austria is already tiny :D


My bedside lamp is a globe too. I love giving it a spin before I turn out the light. But really, forget the globe: Check out my new jewellery holder :D
I've been lusting after this jackalope creature for ages, but it was sold out in online stores before I could get my greedy hands on it. Hurray for eBay :) Now it's so much easier to pick from my rings and brooches :D

Have you got a soft spot for globes too?
Or any favourite ice cream recipes to share?

Tuesday, August 14

Comfort



Some days I put back in the closet whatever colourful garb I've laid out the day before and go blue in blue. I go blue in blue quite a lot anyway, but some days it's the only colour I feel comfortable wearing. It's my favourite colour, but I think you guessed that already.

Last Tuesday (when I wore this, but I think you guessed that part too) was one of those days. I shunned the pistachio tights and soft pink cardi I'd meant to pair with this blouse and skirt and turned myself blue instead. I'd have worn blue shoes as well, but they needed a clean and you know how it is when you're trying to get to work on time.



In case you've been wondering about my hair recently: I've been getting caught in the rain a lot latey. :D

By the time I noticed the theme for EBEW was monochromatic this month, I'd already scheduled this post for today. A stroke of luck I'd say ;)

If I am going to stick with a single colour, it's always gonna be blue.
Monochromatic
What's your comfort colour?


bow: present
blouse: high-street
denim jacket: eBay 
skirt: etsy
tights & clogs: online
*shout me if you'd like specifics