Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Loss of Focus

The Office Jim Falls Asleep

A dull throbbing pain at my temple. The sound of a nearby wall clock ticking away the seconds. The steady hum of a computer fan. The rhythm of the office.

I blink my way out of a dazed expression and re-enter reality. I was just thinking about that one scene in The Office where Jim dies of boredom.

“No, not just thinking about,”as I look down at my to-do list,”living it.”

I adjust in my chair, realizing I had slumped over.

“What’ll it be today? A quick run to the store for a coffee? Or just go all the way and take a quick 15 minute nap right on the keyboard?”

I ponder where I’d go to get coffee…that 10 minute walk into town doesn’t sound too fun. But the 5 minute trip to the grocery store to check out their snacks and drink aisle wouldn’t satisfy my desire for a nice, hot latte. Better skip it.

“Need. To. Focus.”

I look up to my computer screen and see Facebook.

“Ugh. Oh yeah. I came here to update the pages for work and ended up scrolling nonstop through the most uninteresting news feed ever and why did I do that to myself? Facebook has me trained. Enough of that.”

Exiting the page the next Tab open is an article about ’10 Ways to Wow On Social Media.’ Scrolling down, I see an ad for another article: ‘When Baby Kittens Attack.’

“Yes!”

The first .gif of an adorable kitten lunging for a sleeping dog loads and, “Ugh when are the rest of these going to load I want to see kitt…”

“Focus!”…exits article.

“Yes…back to Photoshop. I need these retail banners finished before next Christmas. If that could be accomplished that’d be greeeat. Ha! An Office Space reference. This is my life right now. Alright, now what font would look best here?”

Changing the font on ‘SALE ENDS MONDAY!’ what seems like 100 times, I give up and delete the text.

“That was way too clichéd to write anyway. Back to square one. Ughhh this is hard. ”

Takes out phone and scrolls through Instagram. Stopping at an ad for a retail store, I’m struck by an idea.

“Wait. What if I created something like this for the store?…What if I create a whole theme?!”

I put the phone aside and open a new file in Photoshop. Product photos. Style. Colors. Arrange. A whirlwind of clicking as ideas pop into my head one after the other. My to-do list carries onto a second page as more ideas fill my mind. A mere hour passes and I’m emailing my boss the marketing strategy for the next month along with five example graphics.

I spend the rest of the work day excitedly carrying out the rest of my tasks. Energized, accomplished, and excited to begin the next day, I shut off my computer and leave the office. I walk 10 minutes to a cafe for a celebratory latte.


ISFP-active

This scenario happens to me all the time. I understand having mid-day lulls and the importance of taking breaks, but I’m learning that this lack of focus has a lot to do with my personality type. I hope to explore my ISFP personality and find ways to use it to my advantage! When I’m excited, I’m focused and determined. Otherwise I can really lose track. I hope to report back with some tricks and tips so that inner dialogues like the above happen way less often!

Want to learn your personality type? I used this site.
Also, sorry I made up the article about kittens. But here’s one just as good.


 

This was part of the Writing 101’s Blogging University. The prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t anymore. (I’m making a habit of not sticking to the prompt…but I don’t think it’s so necessary as long as I’m writing and learning…is that just me?)


 

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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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Lately – Fan Girl Shopping

1. Union Jack Pillows- ILovePillow | 2. I’ll Fix it In Photoshop Tee – JedaTees | 3. Dr. Who Police Box Bow – FanGirlyStorm | 4. Harry Potter Marauder’s Map Tank – ThinkingGallery

Life has gotten so so busy. I’m working SO hard and overtime to get work completed because next week I’m going on vacation! This leaves little time for blogging or being social but I’m really enjoying all the work that’s keeping me busy (love me some Photoshop projects).

This weekend my and Taylor’s families are hosting a going away party for us, which is just crazy. Crazy crazy…. We are leaving the country in a month.
I could really use some advice for living out of country. I’m SO overwhelmed–and I haven’t even had to do any of the hard stuff like get visa applications and financial aid…I’m just overwhelmed in general at the fact that we’ll be leaving Texas, USA for three or four years.

I plan on enjoying this big party for our family and friends and taking selfies with everyone.

Back to work for me!  Lots of blog posts planned…in my head…but for now I’m on that sweet, sweet path to VACATION–which involves doing a ton of work beforehand. Oh well. 🙂


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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.

c4

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! 

b3

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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Shirt Designs

I wanted to post a few of the t-shirt designs I’ve created lately! I don’t take many custom orders because I do graphic design full time, but I love doing some just-for-fun designs occasionally!

shirtMy company put together a team for Relay for Life. We hosted a volleyball tournament to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In true Texas fashion, it was ‘cowboy’ themed.

shirt2I designed this volleyball shirt for the same American Cancer Society fundraiser tournament. The winners received this as a prize!

shirt1I created this shirt after my family asked for a Family Reunion shirt! The ‘roots’ are the names of my grandfather and great aunts and uncles and their parents.
shirt3A witty friend and her women’s softball team came up with this Miley Cyrus/Softball pun of a design. I was more than happy to bring their vision to life.


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Insecurities and How Mine are the Bomb

curlyhair

Looking back, my journey with naturally curly hair has been a big battle. Curly hair is so difficult to manage, and when I was a kid, it seemed  the “only” way to manage it was by hiding it completely under a fog of de-frizzers and heat or chemical-straightening options.

In fact, my pre-teen years were spent thinking my hair would just eventually ‘calm’ down as I aged. I had no idea what adulthood (and arguably reality) actually looked like.

My teenage years were spent straightening my hair as much as possible. I didn’t understand my natural hair and it was frustrating that no matter how carefully I followed the (sans heat) steps to “sleek, straight hair”, all I got was brushed out fluffy, frizz.

Eventually, I learned a few tricks of the trade which got me past the wear-it-in-a-low-bun phase, but just because I learned how to better manage my hair doesn’t mean I understood my unique texture. Maybe partly because of all this:

2005 Seventeen Magazine Covers

These Seventeen magazines, circa 2005, were my teenage go-to’s. Maybe once or twice a year there would be an article on ‘curly’ hair, but the model clearly did NOT have curly hair, merely shiny, soft curling-iron curls. (Probably something that fueled my naive hope to “grow up” and get calmed, sleek beautiful waves.) I never saw anyone else with the type of hair I had, except my family members.

Honestly, the hair in these magazines aren’t even the biggest issues, though, which is kind of the point of my attempt at airing out my own insecurities. Just look at those magazine captions. Was I the only one who was disappointed when their oh-so-helpful tips and tricks for ‘Perfect Hair, Skin & Makeup-For You!’ failed oh-so-miserably? Thanks, Photoshop for giving me unrealistic views of women! Little did I know my skin, makeup, lips, outfits, body and especially my frizzy hair would never look like those magazine models!

Even now, as a graphic designer who spends every day in Photoshop I still have trouble disassociating the models–as human beings–from their overly-Photoshopped magazine versions of themselves.

Except when Photoshop blunders like this happen:

photoshop fail

I saw these two movie covers in Hastings with two totally different versions of this poor guy. To note, his arm is in a different position and his chest and abs look like two totally different people. Even the angle of his head is weird and the scar on his side is different. I mean, at least keep the Photoshopping consistent, right?

I’ve seen amazing shifts lately, in general, with people really starting to grasp the idea that this built-up view of perfection is all a digital hoax. In fact, it almost seems like a trend to call foul (fowl? sports metaphors? what?) on companies who really take liberties with changing their models’ appearances. For instance videos like this one which shows a beautiful person transform into a completely different person (including hair texture!) all with editing tools, and ad campaigns like this which shows, not only different age and body types, but also features an amputee and paralympian competitor. Also, i can’t forget to mention my frizzy haired saviors from Naturally Curly who have helped me truly understand my hair texture and help all people celebrate their hair instead of hating it.

Honestly, these small changes are awesome. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. I would love to see this ‘trend’ of awareness become more than just a trendy eye-opener and really seep into our culture. Photo editing isn’t going away. It’s a fun tool that nearly everyone uses these days. (Instagram filters for the win) So it’s not JUST about shaming companies who use it unnecessarily. Yes, they have a powerful way of influencing people and they should use that for good!

However, it’s also about changing those everyday conversations we all have. Instead of  “I’m so fat!” how about trying to edit our perspective into a body-positive one; “I’m so awesome, and I’m proud that I’ve been exercising.” Giving ourselves positive motivation can completely change our outlook. Then suddenly our positive attitudes are all like, “Look how awesome my legs look!” In fact, look how awesome this chick’s body-positive messages are; so much so that I would love to have her confidence.

Or, going back to one of my biggest insecurities: ROCKING my frizz on East Texas days like today that are so humid my hair could possibly balloon up into an mad scientist-esque proportions.

A body-positive society starts by changing our inner-conversations, which leaks out into our everyday conversations, which could eventually completely change our childrens’ conversations. Maybe future generations won’t even notice or worry about their ‘imperfections’ because they are surrounded by people like us who decided to change their fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, frizzy hair-shaming ways.

Let’s change the conversation. Let’s motivate ourselves, not to ‘be skinny’ or ‘be perfect’, but to be happy with who we are.

We are all more awesome than the Photoshopped versions of ourselves.

 

 


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my new favorite photoshop filter

I wanted to give Taylor something really awesome this Valentine’s Day so  took a bunch of pictures of me! Conceited, I know!

But oh how these pictures turned out! They were fun and a workout! And they were the surprise I was excited to show you!

BEHIND THE SCENES

1. I set up my Canon Rebel xsi on a tripod and turned the lens high above my head, and set an automatic timer. And then, an hour of jumping up and down ensued!

2. I then went into Photoshop and chose ‘Posterize’ filter in a red color

3. Then I chose from an array of brushes for a fun look

4. There were three ‘parts’ to my photos:

1. A booklet I made that had a hand written letter from me to him.

2. A story using pictures where the first photo was me with a heart thought bubble and it the last photo was hearts bursting out of the thought bubble, the message being “My love can not be contained.”

3. A ton of random jumping photos–I chose the craziest photos for this section!

I had SUCH fun creating this! Even if you don’t have any editing software, I would recommend shooting a photo shoot where everyone is jumping! It’s perfect for any occasion, or non occasion.