#17- The Wonder of Whimsy

I have been so busy that I let my camera rest for far too long. Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to take off the lens cap and snap a few. I love the results that I got. Here are a few of the shots I managed to take (all self-portraits):

Comments and critiques are welcomed, as always! I do have a print of the 3rd photo available in my etsy shop. I am willing to sell the others too if anyone is interested.

I was feeling incredibly whimsical during the entire day of shooting. I ran around my entire house changing from dress to dress, slipping in and out of heels, and coming up with new concepts at the drop of a hat. I have several more images that I am working on and will share this week.

J.D., of course, wanted to make his usual appearance by sneaking into my photos. He needs his limelight!

Here are some whimsical items that I would love to own and incorporate into my future photographic adventures:

1- Vintage Roller Skates

How much fun! One could acquire a new hobby as well as a photographic muse with these beauties from ethanollie.

2- Lovely Ring

I try to base my photographs around one central object or idea. I am fascinated and have some sort of strange obsession with the unique beauty of human hands, so I have a large collection of rings and would love to add this piece by Silvercrush to my collection!

3- Luke the Monkey

This rag doll style monkey is cute and a bit strange, but that's what makes him so wonderful! I can just see myself squeezing him or holding him in my hand. This quirky companion and others (my favorites include a few pugs and a kissable boston terrier) are the creations of A. Nichell Designs.

4- Eunice Painting Reproduction

Backdrops are an important component in photos. I never use artificial backdrops, I usually go with my walls, and I love to fill them up with unique artwork that makes a subtle background statement. Reproductions of paintings by Amber Alexander are absolutely stunning and would catch anyone's eye.

5- Red Maillot

I have been searching high and low for a beautiful vintage swimsuit. Unfortunately I am on a tight budget and can't yet afford one of these lovely handmade suits by The Red Dolly. The suits are chic and sexy and would make any girl look like a pretty pinup.

Enjoy what's left of this weekend that is quickly coming to a close!

x's and o's

#16- The Age of Ignorance

An interesting epidemic of ignorance and prejudice seems to be blinding people in this area (New England) lately. My sister and her friends, who are only 2 years my junior, are all free spirits who mind their own business, adopt their own styles, and just want to be open and friendly to the people that they encounter. What is unfortunate is that adults, mainly local shop managers, have been profiling teenagers and stereotyping against them for their ages, the way they dress, and even their sexual orientations. There have now been several incidents at the Rockingham Park Mall in Salem, NH (at stores such as Icing and Claire's) where teenagers have been wrongfully accused of stealing, publicly embarrassed by false accusations, and then sent on their way without an apology. Store managers are attempting to keep their shrink from increasing, but while they are wasting their attention by focusing on people who are "different" in appearance, people who may appear perfectly "ordinary" are pocketing items while the innocent are being humiliated.
It is disgusting to me that these teens, who go to the mall as paying customers, are doing nothing more than being themselves and that seems to be cause enough for managers to toss them out of their stores. What is most disturbing is that a good number of incidents have involved gay or lesbian individuals, which makes me question if there is an agenda to these stores' accusations. Other individuals have also been subject to prejudice for dressing like "punks", "hippies", "scene kids", etc. It is not a crime to dress in a certain style, and it certainly is not a crime to love whomever one chooses to love.
The individuals that I know who have experienced incidents are some of the most down-to-earth, open hearted, fun loving, and free spirited people that I have ever encountered. My sister and her friends have been asked to empty their bags in front of dozens of spectators, told that they were not allowed in stores because they were "suspected" to have stolen in the past (even though the stores had no surveillance and no names recorded for theft), and publicly harassed. Mall security and store employees had different stories that did not match. They couldn't even say for certain who was involved in any of the accused incidents because they kept no records. They had only their words, and even those did not match up as they changed their stories repeatedly when I confronted them and found holes in their explanations. Since they have no names or photos, they go only by memory, which is not much of a system since it is fairly simple to find a dozen or so people who look very much alike and could be the culprits. My sister and friends have had fools made of them, and it is about time that someone made fools out of Icing, Claire's, mall security, and any others who may be a part of this ridiculous excuse for discrimination.
Someone needs to speak out against this new and ever-growing form of discrimination, and I hope that this blog will open people's eyes to this situation.

This inspired me to curate a set of items that encourage what America is SUPPOSED to be about: Freedom.

1. Peace Sign Messenger Bag

"Give peace a chance" as Lennon would say. Peace can only happen if we let it. This bag from Rainbow Swirlz spreads the word in a chic and practical way.

2. Stand Up Against H8

This shirt from fiftyseven-thirtythree apparel states "love ain't the problem". It's closed-mindedness that we need to watch out for. You can stand up to hate by wearing your thoughts on your tee.

3. Free Spirit Necklace

This immediately reminded me of my little sister when I saw it. It's sweet and unique, just like her, and the butterfly is open and free, which is everything that she stands for. She and others like her will love this pretty piece by Carol Love.

4. Winter Painting

This painting is beautiful and intricate, and though it is a stand-out piece, it is able to find a home in any room, making a statement that is simple and effortless. I would love to own this painting, because it seems to have the ability to transform an entire setting without looking like the home's inhabitant is "trying too hard" to be stylish and impressive. A piece of work that celebrates all that is beautiful shows us that a costume or way of dress may make up one's surface, but it is the mystery behind the mask that is most intriguing. Bravo to Jessica Ostrander for this breath-taking work.

5. Diversity Badges

What better way to celebrate diversity than a set of cute badges that you can pin to just about anything? Pick them up from Decaying Industries.

6. Marilyn Monroe Pendant

Marilyn is known as the ultimate sex symbol, but she was also a woman with brains. She was pigeonholed because of her looks, but there was a great deal more to her than a wonderful body and a sexy bleach-blond do. A woman who reveled in reading James Joyce's "Ulysses" deserves credit for more than her status as America's most intriguing sexual icon. You can take a peak at the pendant at Barker's Herbs and Heirlooms.

7. Gauges

For whatever reason, many people still seem to find gauges strange and taboo, even though many cultures have embraced and encouraged this form of body modification for generations. These 6g tapers are a beautifully rich color and are offered by The Sage Arts.

James Dean also celebrates people of all shapes, sizes, colors, races, sexes, orientations, cultures, religions, styles, etc.

(hat available at http://jessicalynneart.etsy.com)

Have a lovely weekend and remember to show a little compassion to everyone, and think twice before passing judgment. People just may surprise you...

x's and o's


#15- James Dean: Rebel With a Cause

Beautiful weather has finally come to New England and I can only hope that it lasts! James Dean and I have been basking in the sun for the past few days. We've been taking extra walks and rummaging through closets to find shorts and sundresses.

In today's blog, I have decided to celebrate my shop's first zine: "Rebel With a Cause". It is a zine all about pugs that James Dean has inspired. $1 from every zine goes to animal rescue and shelters. We hope that the zine will bring awareness of animal rights and adoption by sharing my photography along with quotes on animals, brief articles, and other fun fillers.

The zine is now available in my etsy shop, so be sure to take a peak at that and all of the other new pug items that we have brought to the shop.

In honor of the launch of the zine, I felt it only appropriate to do another post on the unique pug items that I have come across in the past few weeks.

1. Striped Sweater

James Dean's twin (or so he looks!) models this beautiful sweater offered by Natalie Wyatt. The sweater is also offered in red and white and will make your pup a picture of nautical perfection.

2. Pugs in Hats ACEO Prints

I sell hats for pugs and dogs, and this lovely artist creates portraits of dogs in hats that I could never possibly knit! This cute ACEO prints make me smile, and make cute collectibles for animal lovers. The House of Pawz offers prints of pugs in many different hats, but you'll have to stop by the shop and see for yourself!

3. Little Pug Doll

Ernest the pug is too charming for words, and you can hold him and his bigger buddy, Emmitt, in your hands. I had the privilege of designing a hat for the real life Emmitt a few months ago, and he was a great supermodel. These little dolls from Pug Notes are a lovely little gift for yourself or a dog lover close to your heart.

4. Pug Stitch Markers

As a knitter, I adore these pugtastic stitch markers. Tiny clay pugs will stand in to hold your place so that you never forget your stitches and slip up on your knitting again. Wee Ones offers pugs and many other tiny creatures in their shop.

5. The Pug Pouch

With iPhones, iPods, and other fancy gadgets floating around in the oversized purses of fashionable and practical women everywhere, it is not surprising that these expensive electronic investments get scratched and worn in their habitats among makeup, medicine, money, and whatever else we tote around. This poochey pouch from Track and Field Designs is a delightful way to protect these items while maintaining style and swank.

6. Pug Sketch

Happy Raver Girls' White Rabbit Wardrobe is a versatile shop with many different items and designs to offer. This wonderful 8x10 sketch of a Boston terrier/pug mix is an interesting study of one adorable little dog.

7. Bubble Chaser Print

Pugs eat anything and everything, so it is no surprise that this pug is off attempting to take a bite out of some bubbles. This 5x7 print from EekSwing not only shows a pug's true colors, but will also make you smile every time you glance at it.

8. Pug Life Mixed Media Artwork

All pugs have a bit of bad-ass in them, and nothing has captured that attitude like this piece by Retro Whale. The work consists of two 6x6 wooden panels that are ready to adorn your walls with Pugliness.

9. Mini Journal

Some hottie just gave you his phone number but you have a bad memory and nothing to write it down on. Bummer. That's why you should carry a little notepad at all times! I never leave the house without a notebook and a pen, just in case I come across something interesting or need to remember something on the go. This convenient and charming mini journal is great to throw in your purse or keep in your car to make sure that you don't miss a thing! FuzzyMug helps you keep tabs on things by offering lovely little journals with images of all sorts of fuzzy friends on their covers, as well as other sweet animal print items.

10. Embroidered Pug Top

This sweatshirt is as warm and whimsical as the pug that adorns it! Imago Drift offers beautifully embroidered items that are irresistibly posh and picturesque.

11. Pug Ring

Sofa City Sweethearts Jewelry Shop offers this sweet little accessory that adds a bit of pug-love to your sense of style.

12. Easter Bunny Costume

If this doesn't make you smile, then who knows what will? A pug turned bunny may not be cuter than a pug itself, but it is pretty darn close. This fun little get-up by I Lick You is offered among several other amusing dog costumes that will bring a bit of fun to your and your pets' holidays.

James Dean is exhausted by this curating adventure that we've been on. I have a feeling he or I will be in possession of a few of these items sometime soon... that is if one of our lovely readers doesn't snatch them up first!

x's and o's


#14- Rainy Days with Lucille Ball

It has been awhile since I've had the opportunity to share my adventures in the blog. School has been keeping me busy with novel reading, paper writing, and Italian speaking, but spring break has finally afforded me the chance to write again. Spring, indeed, it must be, because it has been raining non-stop. I am hoping for a bit of sun in the upcoming week so that I can at least enjoy a day trip or two.
For those of you who live in or will be visiting New England anytime soon, make sure you head over to Ipswich and check out their antique shops. I hit a few yesterday, including High Street Antiques, where I found several Beatles albums for myself, and then walked around to covet the whimsical jewelry, bird cages, signs, and such that they had to offer.
Choosing a subject for today's blog was fairly simple. I grew up watching Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy nearly everyday as a child. As an adult, I still watch it often, but mostly on Sundays while I revel in the tastiness of chocolate chip pancakes. I have always been fascinated with Lucy's fashion, beauty, and talent, and she remains an icon and role model. I love Lucy, and so do millions of people around the world who still create artwork and novelties in her honor.

#1-Mame Soundtrack on Vinyl

Nothing sounds sweeter than crooning voices flowing from an old record player. I can't get my hand on or my ears attuned to enough music on vinyl. Mame, one of Lucy's films in her later adulthood, is a wonderful story with an equally fun soundtrack. The rarevinyl shop offers this delicious oddity.

#2- Lucy and Ethel Shot Glass + Candle

Light a candle with Lucy, then clean out the glass to knock back a few shots with her. This cute little glass is offered by the Wandering Gypsy Soul Candle Co., and comes with your choice of one of their eco-friendly vegan candles. Good for the environment, good for the soul, and later on, good for happy hour.

#3- DIY Lucy Shirt

A lovely lady walking around with another pretty face on her top is sure to turn a few heads. This cozy top from Poppy's Wicked Garden is a handmade design that is one of a kind and is a beautiful addition to the wardrobe of a Lucy fan.

#4- I Love Lucy Charm Set

The Moon and Stars shop offers this set of 9 beautiful charms to add a bit of red headed refinement to your jewelry collection. Just add a charm to a chain, place it around your neck, and wait for the compliments to pour in. Plus, this set gives you options for every day of the week and even a few days more. How can one resist?

#5- 50's Style Apron

Feeling sexy in the kitchen is not always easy to do when one adds too much yeast to a bread that comes out 3 yards long or when one is trying hard to grab a newspaper-reading husband's attentions. These are feats that Lucy must overcome, and women still struggle to do today. It shouldn't be too hard to grab your Ricky's attention or tame a beastly loaf of yeasty bread when wearing this appealing apron from Lover Dovers Clothing. Lover Dovers has a shop full of vintage-inspired beauties to help you and your sprouting antique-chic children to channel Lucy and other 50's icons.

6. TV Necklace

Don't touch that dial! The perfect station is already tuned in on this delightful TV accessory from Happenchance and Odd, who offer fantastic little rarities that are just waiting to be the envy of all who see.

This has cheered me up a bit, as I listen to the wind and watch the rain continue to pour down on my vacation. Today Lucy has no "splainin'" to do, because these items have done all of the work for her.