Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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I Was A Band Roadie

Modern Miracle Crammed in the third row of a vehicle hooked up to a trailer of music equipment, I rode the miles of open highway to our first destination. It was time to tour. Get out. Stretch. Divvy up hotel room beds. Then back in the third row, travelling to the gig.

It was usually a small church, or an outside venue. Sometimes we performed to a massive crowd, other times…not. Get out. Set up. Cables and guitars, drum kits and sound checks. And me. T-shirts and stickers, SD cards and tripods. I was a roadie. Girlfriend to a guitarist and absolutely crazy in love with this band.

When I became part of the Modern Miracle family, I was immediately enamored. The energy and excitement to hear their music, to see my boyfriend perform…I was inspired.

38102_412366495669_3548101_nRight out of high school with a new laptop and Photoshop Elements, just beginning my college courses on multimedia, I had the desire to create something beautiful for this band. I sat in my dorm room listening to their music on repeat attempting to create something that expressed the emotion of the lyrics. I don’t think I’d look back at my first attempts to use Photoshop without training and call it a masterpiece…but I learned to use it through my passion for this Christian band.

As my place in the family grew, I started photographing them in concerts and photo shoots. Then I started creating t-shirts and posters and banners. I became interested in re-designing their Myspace page. If anyone remembers, the classic Myspace had a lot of really great features, if you knew html. So I learned html. I spent hours perfecting their page, creating a beautiful aesthetic. I eventually began creating Myspace page layouts for several bands. I had, perhaps, a year of html experience under my belt before I first took a class on it. Through the beauty of music, I had come into my calling.

Modern Miracle

Modern Miracle was a constant source of inspiration for me. The lyrics were poetic stories ready to be unraveled, the music was a strong force to be reckoned with, the band members were a multi-talented family willing to do what it took to get their music out there. For me, the songs were worship. I felt connected to God by listening to them. And I knew my work was worship, too. I worked to create beautiful pieces of art and I worshiped God while doing it. By art, I mean Myspace layouts and t-shirt designs…but it was all for God.

Let our dancing feet set fire with the powers of your Holy Spirit.
We are anointing every word we say. Let it resonate.

I’ve never been so connected to music before or after this band. I appreciate music; the talent, the energy, the effort. There are a few bands I love. But there’s a difference.

With Modern Miracle, there was a raw passion that went straight through me. All the hours spent at band practices and concerts. The time forming bonds with each of them. The late night work sitting on my dorm bed creating. The connection my boyfriend (now husband–plot twist!) and I made when we talked about this group.

Seasons change, life happens. I wouldn’t trade anything to go back, but I do miss that time of my life. I miss the people, especially. Perhaps that’s what caused such an emotional response—having the band members there, laughing and joking; creating unique, original music. Music that held their talents and skill; their pain and joy. I didn’t just listen or watch, they didn’t just play and sing, we grew into who we are now…and we did it together.

Turn from the world. Double portion for shame.
Suffer your own cross for spiritual gain.


This was part of theWriting 101’s Blogging University. The prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? – (No. hehe)
All photos by me. ‘Diamond Palace’ video credit to D2S Records. Quoted lyrics are from the videos that follow them. Listen to one more song they never got to record!

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Smelling the Tulips | Writing 101: Day Two

amsterdam_netherlands_tulip_fields

‘They’re my favorite flower,’ I hear my grandmother say, as I gaze over the vast field of never-ending violet. Ripples of color sway lazily with the breeze and, breathing deeply, I’m transported back to my grandmother’s kitchen. The soft smell of tulips sitting on the kitchen counter next to the coffee pot as Elvis Presley sings hymns softly in the background. She liked listening to that CD in the morning. I make my way through the field taking photos I can’t wait to post, excitement I can’t wait to share.

The things that connect us. The purple tulips in May, on her birthday. The slightly burnt coffee every morning strictly at 7 am. The voice of Elvis Presley in the morning. Things that connect all of us. The entire family. I don’t have to explain my nostalgia for Betty Boop, because they have the same nostalgia. I don’t have to wait for the laugh track when I mention my appreciation of salt and pepper shaker collections because they appreciate them too. They get it.

mamawThis woman who lived a full life, filled with everything from a childhood in the country to one of glitz and glamour. She lived. Her feisty, talkative personality filled her house with laughter. Her love of collecting filled her home, literally. But it was beautiful. It was all beautiful. Specifically I’m not talking about her milk glass collection or china teacup sets. Or her extensive, beautiful gold and diamond jewelry, mostly rings. She treasured those rings and wore them, all at once, on special occasions. No, I mean sneaking in her wardrobe as a child and playing dress up in her 1970’s polyester nightgown-and-robe sets. I mean waiting until she went to the kitchen to slip into her storage room to gaze wide-eyed at her giant collection of Betty Boop coffee cups and dolls and shirts. Once I gave her an old life-sized cutout of Betty Boop. She displayed it in her living room for years.

Finished Painting of Baker Homestead

We were never incredibly close. Or, perhaps, we were. To be close to Mamaw, was to savor the small moments. To be present and willing to listen; to be patient and willing to wait. I wasn’t a good roommate. I wasn’t. After college, I was just grateful for a room in her home at all. I came home exhausted from work and shut myself in my room to decompress for hours. I couldn’t stand watching The Bachelorette with her–even ironically–so I left that to my cousin. I would snap back with an attitude after 30-too-many-times her telling me to not wash my dishes/clothes/self while she was watching her evening shows. She couldn’t hear them, otherwise. I was patient, but I still think about the times I was not. Of course, she had an attitude as well. The kind of attitude that comes with the privilege of aging and not caring at all if what she said offended. To be close to Mamaw was to not care if she did offend, because you knew she was just trying to tell her funny story for a good laugh. Or she was just trying to make sure her precious Betty Boop valuables weren’t broken by the hands of a curious child.

I drift in and out of these memories of my grandmother. Visiting the fields of tulips is like an amplified megaphone; each petal, each smell shouting a memory directly at me. The beauty of those flowers, stretched miles and miles and miles, is overwhelming and awe-inspiring. These fields connect me to my grandmother, they connect us all. They affect me like they affect my family. There is a beautiful trust in that. Even thousands of miles apart, I know I am not alone. Through a simple song by Elvis Presley, we can share a memory, a story, a laugh. Through a single tulip, we can ensure our family history will be remembered in the most beautiful way.

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This was part of the Writing 101’s Blogging University. The prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

I’d love to visit Amsterdam during their tulip season for my grandmother! It’s on my Bucketlist, even. This spring I at least hope to visit one of England’s beautiful gardens.


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UK Update | Two Weeks Down

 

The remains of Canterbury Castle

The remains of Canterbury Castle

Our life in the UK has become much easier as we’ve settled into a semi-routine, discovered our favorite cafes and met a couple people. While we have become more comfortable, there are still quite a few issues we are working to sort out, so there is still a feeling of restlessness between us.

Canterbury is a gorgeous city with lovely parks and historical buildings at every turn. We are still in awe that we live here! Canterbury is actually a very tourist/university-driven location, so us being Americans don’t cause us to stick out at all. Taylor has met Canadian, French, German and Bohemian students and teachers. Go to any cafe and the possibility of hearing at least two or three different languages around you is quite high.

Of course living in a tourist and college town does have its downfalls we will need to acclimate ourselves to, such as having droves of people visit the city centre each weekend and the normally peaceful evenings turning into loud nights each Saturday due to students.

We are currently continuing to live in our tiny flat, however we reserved a flat that will hopefully be ours very soon. Waiting on hearing back from the realtor is making us even more restless, but the flat currently has people living in it that aren’t due to leave until the 16th of October so we just need to be patient.

Thankfully our money situation has improved, as well.  We were able to sign up for a UK bank and received a debit card recently, although we’re being sparse with our money as we  want to have as much as possible in the bank ready to be delivered to the new flat if we are able to obtain it.

We have slowed down on being ‘touristy’ to save money, although we did visit the Canterbury Castle recently. We plan on visiting the gorgeous Canterbury Cathedral that I love snagging photos of, we just haven’t been able to make time to visit.

The Fun Stuff:

We’ve started drinking A LOT more tea. At cafes you get an entire pot of tea for half the price of a coffee, and tea bags are much cheaper. I love tea!

Though some groceries offer an ‘American’ section, we’ve yet to find one, although Uncle Ben’s ready-made rice meals are very popular over here.

Eating at restaurants is very different. We have had several meals where our waiter wouldn’t come back to our table! We would sit there not eating for 5,10,15 minutes to no avail. At first it was surprising and confusing until we realized that, unlike in America, waiters are not supposed to bring the check (or bill) until they are waved over. We are quite used to being handed the bill without asking for it, but it is considered rude to do that over here.

Slang and Phrases
‘You’re having a laugh’ -meaning – ‘You must be joking’
‘That’s not bad’ -meaning- ‘That’s good’
‘Quite good’ -meaning- ‘A bit disappointing’
‘Takeaway’-meaning-‘Take out’, ‘to go’, or ‘delivered’
‘Go to hospital’ – a normal phrase used instead saying ‘go to THE hospital’
‘Watch the football’ – as opposed to ‘watch football’ (without ‘the’)–and of course football is soccer
‘Redneck’ – they think it means anyone from the South!


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Happy Blog-iversary!

Today is my ‘8 year’ blog-iversary. I wish I could say I had 8 years of riveting posts, but I can’t say that I do.

I’ve used this blog (under two different names) as a means to journal and share creativity. I haven’t always needed that outward form of expressing myself, so there are many empty moments through the archives. However, I thought I’d share some interesting times in my life as I go through college, marriage and career changes in the span of 8 (more like 5-6) years.

2009: One year into college, 2009 is the year I really start blogging!

I discover my love of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion and get my first non-restaurant job. 

I am faced with the horrible choice of being forced to get my first touch screen and data-mandatory phone! (Back when phones were phones)

I realize I want graphic design to be my career.

I made many, many t-shirt d.i.y.’s. This one is a dress from a 4XL t-shirt. 

I get engaged in a surprise photoshoot.

2010: The year I decided to link my Tumblr and Twitter to my blog and almost all my posts have NO TITLE. What an archiving nightmare.

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I realize what a hoarder I am

I get super into Photoshop (some more)

I made my brother this adorable Max from Where the Wild Things Are costume

I get into photography.

I get obsessed with fashion photography and move to Chictopia for. a. while.

2011: I graduated college (mid-2010) and move somewhere with no Internet until I got married so I

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Post about my bridal portraits

Self-designed wedding invitations

Getting Ready

My awesome wedding party

A beautiful ceremony

And the reception (that I starved at)

2012: Working at an exhausting daycare job and feeling so creatively unfulfilled, I began blogging again!

luis

I opened an etsy store selling vintage purses. This later turned into designing flyers

I tried blogging something more meaningful for the first time on the blog. (I’m still struggling with this, but I have so much to say these days that the hard topics must be given a voice!)

I got a job as a secretary which quickly moved into managing websites! 

I started noticing some sad realities in my life. Mainly the gradual decline of friendships and relationships. 

I tried my hand at d.i.y. journals!

2013: The year I blog fairly consistently! 

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I start (and fail to finish) and 365 day Photo Challenge

I tried (and fail to succeed) to organize my blog

I hint at all the friendship struggles I was having (but still try to remain positive and not get too deep)

I try my hand at recipes! Yum! & Coffee

I “win” a fun blogging award and answer questions about myself!

My husband graduates with his Master’s degree and I realize what that means for us

I finally get promoted from managing websites to managing and designing websites! Finally using that college degree to the fullest extent! Except, my creativity for blogging leaves me. 

I learn the hard way about friendships. And, of course, give a vague nondescript version of the story.

2014: After a short lull (only like 6 months, no big deal!) I decide to start blogging again! 

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I’m trying to find my focus for 2014. I love d.i.y. and photography projects, but I really want to try my hand at writing more serious posts. I’m a quiet person and have let that affect my opinions on topics, so as not to offend or hurt feelings, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep quiet anymore. I hope I can find my path as I begin this blogging thing over again. Every year seems like I’m starting over, because I’m just trying to find my way. Here’s the beginning: 1, 2, 3


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Change Time

Things have not slowed down.

And I’m starting to think that’s okay.

My husband has officially been accepted to his first doctoral program. Edinburgh’s school of Divinity in Scotland sent him an acceptance letter last week and we’ve been celebrating ever since! He will continue to apply to other schools, but we are so excited to think that in 10 or so months, we’ll be traveling a very long distance to a new school and home.

Tonight we looked up one-way plane tickets to Edinburgh, just for fun. Yikes. There’s nothing like looking at price tags to really make you realize the big picture.

We’ve set up a decent budget for ourselves to help us save more money. We have a comfortable amount of money in the bank, but it sure would be nice to leave for (insert UK school here) with our normal amount of  money PLUS plane ticket money.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should brain-storm ways to make extra money, but I’m not sure what I can do. I’d love to try adding free-lance design, but as a full time designer at work I fear that will be too much stress on me. I also considered investing in those boxes of chocolate that children use to fund-raise for band concerts and field trips, but I doubt taking children’s customers is the best option. We’ll see. 😉

This will be a great time for us. So much planning, saving and preparation will be made this year, but I think we’re going to enjoy this learning experience. We’ll see!


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Finishing Up a Chapter

Sometimes you have a wonderful story to tell. You think long and hard about the story process—how the beginning shall begin, how the middle will raise expectations and excite the minds, and how the end will pull the whole thing together into a beautiful, inspiring conclusion.

And sometimes you have a week like this:

-Three final projects due by tomorrow
-Aton of cleaning
-A ton of packing
-A ton of moving
-A ton of responsibilities that have been put off

So. Oh, also, I’m tired. Sleep deprived. But, since I can’t work on my projects because I’m at work, I’ve decided to take a little break and do some online shopping for SUMMER CLOTHING:

I love this tunic. Forever21 $8.80

A simple, lovely tank. Not too tight or short. Forever21 $7.90

An awesome romper. I’m wary to buy rompers, because I have a longer torso, but this one is stretchy! Forever21 $9.80

AND FOR MY DO-IT-YOURSELF FIX:

You can buy this shirt, sure, but it appeals to my D.I.Y. nature(and I could make it for cheaper!) Forever21 $13.80

Ok. This slashed tee is a bit much. But I do like the idea. Definitely going to D.I.Y. it Forever21 $11.80

Oh and to explain the list—I’m moving out of the campus apartments. I’m moving in with my Mamaw and finishing out the last semester of college there. Once I move in there, I’m really not sure at all what my plans are. I hope to find a summer job, save up some money, start planning my wedding, and graduate college. After graduation…whew. More scariness. I hope to dive straight into my work field–searching for a job that can start my career in design. That…is very scary.


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A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Meaning

The meaning  is the notion that when all is said and done, a thing is what it is.

Origin

The line is from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’:

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters,
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Pages ages page ages page ages.

Ok, this is the LAST post about my birthday!

I left you with the notion that my birthday was a cold and rainy mess of  a day, neither good or bad or special. And up to that point—it was! After my night class, however, I drove to Applebee’s and my dad drives up next to my car and my sister parks her car on the other side of me! This was definitely a surprise—I thought it was going to be me and my mom, but she invited the whole family! This made me happy, of course! I got to spend my birthday with mom, dad, step-mom and all of my brothers and sisters!

And I guess the ‘birthday’ doesn’t end until midnight, and Taylor proved that to be true by surprising me at my door with roses and a home made cake at 10:30 pm!! He could only stay until 11, but I ate cake at 12 so I celebrated all day!

So, ‘a rose is a rose is a rose…’ yes, my birthday was cold, rainy, and mundane at first, but it was also full of facebook and e-mail well wishes, happy birthday text messages, and family and fiancee surprises. It was what it was. =) I am thankful for a great day—and a great life given to me by God. Happy life to me.


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happy rainy birthday

It’s so cold and rainy today!

Such is my 20th birthday! I’ve been so tired and sluggish today—after work this morning I went back to my apartment and fell back asleep until my 1:00 class–and then I was a few minutes late to class!

So, not much has happened today. I’m just being really cold and sluggish and a little sick. After my 6:00pm class I’ll be going out to eat with my mom and that will be the adventure of my day!

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My Saturday was fun, however! It was mardi gras in Jefferson and Racheal and Case were down from Missouri so we headed over to mardi gras to visit with them. I guess Tay and I aren’t mardi gras people. We ate lunch at sister, Victoria’s job, Kitt’s Kornbread, listened to an older man’s stories from being stationed in Korea, watched an old guitarist play a guitar he built, stood amongst leather clad bikers who were watching a rock band, visited an old hotel, and went to a house with art all over the walls and hung out. Oh and Tay and I went to ETBU’s Opera, Hansel and Gretal. So I’m not sure we did much mardi gras related activities, but it was a very fun day!


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January

Ah, January as flown right by us, hasn’t it?

Although February is just a day away, why does it seem like my classes are just dragging by? My classes have gotten such a slow start. And it’s unfortunate to say that I’m not that interested in any of the subjects I’m taking. However all three of the classes (I have four classes, but one is an intro. class I have to take and I don’t have to go to class, just check in) are important and directly related to my major; Adobe InDesign–perfect for magazine spreads, Adobe Captivate–similar to PowerPoint but more in depth, and Digital Video–records and edits video. Yikes. All three are important—they’re just different from my photoshop so I’m being lazy about wanting to learn them. Ah well….

So on the coldest day of January (literally!) I attempted a photoshoot with Modern Miracle. It was a rather unfortunate photoshoot. It was so cold and I wasn’t making any progress!! I got literally 4 or 5 photos that are temporarily “useable.” As soon as the weather warms we’ll attempt another photoshoot!


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2010 New Year

I’m not going to lie, my first reaction to 2010 is: Eh. Simply because I have such a big event happening in 2011 that I’m excited for! (um, the wedding)

However, I do have much to be excited about for this new year. This summer I’ll graduate college, so I’ll have a lot to do after graduation, like decide what I’m going to do with myself! Where to live, where to work….

But, I guess I also have a lot to do before graduation. And that’s where the new year’s resolution comes in.

I have resolved to continue with some goals I had already laid out for myself—only this time, to keep on a clear and steady path to those goals.

  • Downsize. I have so so so much STUFF. The essentials: clothes, bath, school books, school supplies, beauty products. The hobbies: Paper crafts, sewing crafts, paints, paint brushes, canvas, paper, glue, markers. The electronics: Wires, wires, wires. And more. The problem with this stuff is that I have an overabundance of it and it clutters up my tiny bedroom and drives me crazy. Not to mention the things I have in storage from high school and even junior high. This goal is directly related to graduating college and, of course, getting married. I don’t want to bring so much junk everywhere with me after I graduate. I know that I won’t ever be able to live a minimal lifestyle, simply because I have so many crafts—I always think about putting all of my crafts in storage, but I literally do use them at least every other week, so it’s not like I’m holding onto them for no reason.
  • Downsizing will help this next goal out tremendously—I need to be more responsible about cleaning and organizing. Part of my problem IS the fact that I don’t have enough space for my overabundance of STUFF, so once I downsize, I’ll be able to control it better. However, that still leaves a lot of cleaning responsibility. I just want to handle that responsibility better so that I don’t carry those bad habits with me after graduation.

Of course I have more goals than that: enrishing my relationship with God, yoga! eating healthier and more consistently, being more responsible with homework, and being a friendlier person. Those sort of explain themselves a bit more than the first two.

Anyways, I’m not too keen on the big new year’s resolution hype—it seems more like a joke to many people, now. But at the same time, there are several ‘problem areas’ in my lifestyle that I struggle with, so let’s call them resolutions and get on the ball!