July 31, 2012

July by Youth Lagoon on Grooveshark
This month has been a whirlwind of everything and nothing (vague, I know). I toted a Kodak disposable all month and finally got it developed, so here's a look back at some of the month's highs and lows, but mostly everything in between. 

July was...
-fireworks and seeing old friends. And cruising around in a convertible looking topless. That happens to me a lot, actually. Looking topless in photos, I mean. But a girl can't apologize for her love of strapless tops. It is what it is, friends. 

-florally things outside of my first job, where I used to take my smoke breaks. Haha. 

-making best friends with little kids at someone's family reunion. I got a bajillion pink marker tattoos from the sweetest kid I've ever met. I mean. He chatted me up about snakes and art while doodling on my arms. So, you know. I dropped some of my sage wisdom: "Never stop drawing, kid. Always follow your dreams". Ok, kidding. But I said thank you and loved every single second of my new ink. 

-lots and lots and LOTS of rain. And mushrooms in my neighbor's yard. 

-first paint date with The Boyfriend! More to come, whether he likes it or not (; 

-SOME sunshine, finally = 1000degree weather, but I'm ok with that. 

-hanging out with and then saying goodbye to one of my bffs before he went gallivanting off to Germany. The NERVE of some people. Kidding. Also, this is kind of one of my favorite photos, ever. We're probably contemplating really deep intellectual things. 

-DYING over the new H&M in our mall. I haven't set foot in a mall in years, unless I was working there. Again, years. But then this happened and well...this happened. And I stood a fool in the center of the choas with my instax camera like it wasn't no thaaaang. Because people take photos of store logos with spaceage looking cameras at the mall all the time. Whatever.  

-reconnecting with long lost friends! That's what happens when you save people's numbers under things like Jerry Lee Lewis. I mean, what?!

It was also...
-the first time I photographed a Major Event, aka someone's wedding. And I was completely and utterly unqualified to do so, but they loved it, and I lived to tell the tale. 

-art journaling. A LOT. And being clever. Or something. I've done a lot with paper  and related ephemera this summer. I hope that doesn't end any time soon. 

-reading. Lots of reading. PS Taryn Simon's most recent art installation is out in book form now. Someone be beautiful and buy me a copy. 

-lots of stomach troubles. Far too many. LAMESAUCE. 

-taking tons of photos! Totally fulfilling my June Summer goals list right now.

-watching lots of things: Wanderlust, Shame, Friends with Kids, getting caught up on all my 'shows' (because I have those apparently?) New Girl, 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, NEW SEASON OF BURN NOTICE. Re-runs of Are You Being Served? (aka ALL TIME HEART OF MY HEART). And also Downton Abbey, which is my new fav, maybe. 

-lots of music: live, discovering new, and listening to old loves. My heart is happyhappyhappy.

I hope your July was amazing. Tell me all about your adventures. All of them. I WANNA KNOW, DARLINGS!  

July 30, 2012


It's your party, you can watch season two of Downton Abbey if you want to, watch if you want to, waaatch if you want to! Happy birthday mommabear, I love you! 

July 29, 2012


So, here's the dealio (ok, I don't know why I said that. I don't even say that). Last month I bought a vintage Arrow camera, which is basically one of many Diana camera knock-offs. Mine included the signed warranty from 1976, yo! I call it my Diana-Arrow, since it looks exactly the same as the original. Actually, I call it Lady/Princess Di, because my mom was/is obsessed with the royal family, with a specific proclivity for Princess Diana- something that was passed on to me. That lovely, incredible woman. 
But that's not the point. 
I spent the end of June/early July figuring out how to load the camera (it's been so long since I've loaded film myself, not to mention 120mm, which I've never done, in a TOY CAMERA that I wasn't even sure would work, despite the seller's assurance) and take photos. And wind correctly. So I basically snapped away, hoping the test roll would produce something decent. 
I shipped my first roll to Dwayne's Photo in Kansas (they're awesome, btw. Cheapest development of 120 film I found and they're fast, professional, and so so nice) to be developed...and that was a learning experience, haha. I thought I'd done my research. When I'm in the market for something that I don't know 110% about, like, say,  cameras/film/lenses, I get serious. I read. I price. I ask questions. But hey, no one told me 120 film is SLIDE FILM. Which should've been a no brainer, considering the size of the film, the blocky-ness of it. Duh Jessica. I got a good laugh about that after they called and asked about my order form, because I'd basically ordered slides. But they cross-processed it and something else, I don't know, and were able to get me prints+a cd+exposures for less than $15...that included processing, printing, and s/h both ways. 
Good deal? I think so. 

I know Dianas are notorious (at least the originals...probably the new Lomography ones too) for light leaks, which is why I wanted one so badly. Experiment, ya know? Here's what I learned about my specific camera
-It does well in really really bright light (outside, probably fluorescent light)
-A naturally lit room is probably too dark for a decent shot 
-My film may have something to do with that, but it expires in 2013, so I highly doubt it
-120mm film is slide film and now I want a film projector (well, I've always wanted one since my grandpa's pooped out, but ya know) 

Overall, I'd say the test roll was a success. Only 10/16 came out BUT again, I had very low to no expectations, and was reallyREALLY pleased with the results! I'm hoping to buy a Diana by Lomography at some point, but Lomo brand film is just so expensive, ya know? I bought a lot of 5 rolls of 120mm Fujichrome Provia 100F on Amazon for crazycheap and now that I know the camera works, I still have 4 to have fun with! Heck yeah! Here are some of my faves PS iheartdoubleexposure! Eep!
Ok, I want to hear your thoughts on all of this, because I'm still pretty new to analog and despite my research there are OBVIOUSLY things I overlook, haha. Do you own a vintage/new Diana or other Lomo camera you're completely in love with? Any 120mm brands I just HAVE to try? Tell me everything! I wanna know! 
PS the title of this post is actually straight from the camera's mini manual, spelling and all. I mean. This.is.love.

July 28, 2012

Play that song / 1

Because obviously my life isn't busy enough with working full time, art projects (including my Summer Of Love art journal), learning about photography, reading, getting ready for fall semester, spending some quality facetime with people I love...I signed up for yet another art journaling class taught by, once again, the eversolovely Miss Kara Haupt. I mentioned it two weeks ago in a B&P post. Yeah. That one. Art journaling about music is taking me to some really exciting, weird, deep, and semi-scary places. 

You guys, even though I turn a twitching, wary eye/fullbodycringe at the thought of marriage, it's a little too late for me. I'm married to music, and always have been. More on this later, because I never personally weighed in during the Record Store Day series, but I wanted to share some of the pages I've done in this book so far. I included one or two lyrics pages in my Summer of Love journal, but this is a whole other beast. A composition book turned awesome. And in true Loverboy style, I'm lovin' every minute of it
front&back cover, unfinished / button detail (gold dipped in neon pink...it was a good idea at the time...)
inside cover / intro page / detail
genre page / other side of the spread is blank right now (why I listen to what I do..hmm)
random journaling / music from my past page / detail

July 27, 2012

Oooooh that redwhite&blue.

So, July is for defensive driving, apparently (read: The Boyfriend, my sister, and I are all taking it right now...bummer). The Boyfriend got these 3D glasses attached to a dd course card in the mail awhile back, and I've been using them as a filter for photos (for the record, none of us are taking this course. I was forewarned, haha). I haven't done a whole lot with them yet, but they've become part of my photography arsenal nonetheless. I tried using them with my last disposable camera, but I forgot to use the flash and the lighting wasn't too great sooooo that was a fail. They definitely work best with the dslr, and I shot through each colored lens respectively, then moved the glasses as fast as I could in front of the camera lens to see if I could get a continuous shot, hence some blurriness. Commence terrible segway into what I'm really trying to say here: OPENING CEREMONIES DAAAY! Yessss. Since the glasses are red, white, and blue I figured why not? I've been waiting for the right time to post and here it is. GO USA! And hey, London, your colors too. How appropriate.  
1/ 3D lace! Blurred but still fun
2/ the only continuous shot I've gotten so far 
3/ a little blurred but I love the subtle red creeping up the blue lace 
4/ red floral 
5/ blue floral 
PS these are completely unedited. I hope to experiment more with the dumb things, even if they are only two colors (: 

July 26, 2012


This week I’m giving into the Olympics craze (I love them, summer or winter I love them). Summer especially reminds me of that one time my freshman year of highschool when crosscountry was my end-all be-all and I swore that I’d be going off to some fancy college on scholarship and one day run in The Games. Hahaha. Hahahahaaaaaaaa. (If anyone from Dobie CC ‘05 is reading this, I hope you’re getting a good laugh). This was a serious moment that lasted maybe four months. Or something. Or at least until I broke my ankle and all hopes of any further athletic endeavors were dashed to smithereens (for the record, I’ve never known the exact definition of smithereens [pieces? ittybittybits?] but according to good ol’ Merriam Webster it’s this: fragments, bits; potentially of Irish origin, and first used in 1829. In case you were wondering). SO long ramble short, the Olympics are my favorite time of year, when I wax nostalgic about my “glory days”, bemoan “the incident”, and fantasize about “what could have been”.
Ok, not really. I don’t actually do any of that. But it IS true that I had long-distance running dreams for five seconds and I DID break my ankle and it DID ruin my athletic “career”, if you will. Since four years in public school sports denotes a career. Or something.

Anyway. I’m SUPERSTOKED for the games to start tomorrow and though this tribute is a little thin around the gills, it’s time for Bit&Pieces: London Olympics edition! (PS I could totally rename this segment Smithereens, since the definition is totally appropriate. Hmm).
1. This print has nothing to do with sports but it’s London and it’s beautiful. Hello, Big Ben. One day I will see you in real life and give you a great big hug from the States. Muah.
2. Um, I LOVE THIS OLYMPIC SPORTS BAG. I would carry it around on the reg and feel like a million bucks. Keep your Coach; I’ll take my “official Olympic sports bag from the 1960s…it’s a unique piece”. Thanks and thanks Braderie Vintage.
3. This Olympic rings necklace is really cute. I mean really cute. I got excited because I thought it was crocheted (read: “I CAN MAKE THAT!” -my brain) but there’s no mention of crochet of any sort in the description. Regardless, it’s an adorable piece of jewelry. And I could probably still totally make that.
4. Ok, this is some throwback (but I love me some vintage, y’all) and not at all British, but it’s near and dear to my heart nonetheless. These pins from the 1980 Moscow games make me happy because instead of Moscow they say Tallinn, which is the capital of Estonia. Which was still a Soviet state at the time. And also where the Olympic sailing regatta was held that year. Go Estonia go! So I’m proud. And biased because it’s The Boyfriend’s motherland. Whatever. Plus I'm kind of a fan of the color blocking and geometric patterns?
5. Someone please tell me why this awesome skirt with a map of the London Tube isn't on my body right now. Because I can’t think of one good reason.
6. Oh, Banksy. Stop creating awesomeness because I’m still trying to decide which piece of art to tattoo on my body. Just stop it. But huzzah to that Olympic ode. Pole vaulters awaaay!
7. Yet another flashback from the 1980 Olympics...I just had to share this because it reminds me of the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh (Vinni Puh) that I've been watching with The Boyfriend a lot lately...haha. I love listening to the language. This is actually the first one I've seen with subtitles. 
8. This is probably my favorite moment in Olympic history, and I wasn't even there. You guys, Nadia was FOURTEEN. I think she's still my favorite gymnast, even though a) she's not American (USA first and foremost, but I have SUCH a thing for Romanians&Russians...it is what it is) and b) she retired around the time my mom graduated highschool aka I was definitely not at all alive during her career. But still. Plus her name is really beautiful. Com─âneci. Ahhh!
I hope your Thursday is spectacular! Who’s excited for the opening ceremonies tomorrow?! If you are we’re probably best friends. What’re your favorite summer Olympic events?

July 25, 2012

Summer reads, makes me feel fine.

I thought I'd take a break from photobombing and use my words for a change, ha. Here's the thing: I’m a merciless keeper of lists. That’s it. Maybe I've mentioned it before. But I refuse to be pigeonholed by something like a “summer reading list”. Refuse. Why? Because the minute I finish one book, inevitably I’m grabbing for a recent recommendation from a friend or something that’s been gathering dust on my shelf that suddenly strikes my fancy. Argue that lists can be altered, sure, but making a list I most definitely will deviate from just doesn’t interest me. It feels like required reading for highschool (and who wants that? Exactly. No one). So rather than create a superfluous list of books I hope to read this summer (even though it’s more than halfway over, whatever) here are a few titles that’ve piqued my interest and I’ve either completed or am working my way through, in no particular order:

-Mere Christianity by CS Lewis completely changing my perspective on faith, and what the basics of Christianity are really about. My copy is ravaged by underlines, highlights, and margin scribbles. Something I definitely need to re-read to truly wrap my mind around. So brilliant.

-My annual re-read of Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit (a timeless favorite- again, brilliant)

-Re-read The Perks of Being a Wallflower to refresh my memory for the movie in September. I’m interested to see what director Stephen Chbosky has in mind, considering he wrote the damn book in the first place. That gives me some hope that this incredibly intimate/blunt/uncomfortable/awesome story will somehow be translated from page to screen with the meat of it intact. With my whole heart I hope for that. Maybe I sound ridiculous, rambling like I am, but this was such a mindf* when I read it in junior high. I know his vision for the novel and now the film is different from what readers may have in mind, but I’m really hoping for the best here. I mean, Emma Watson+Ezra Miller= already a step in the right direction. So there’s that.

-The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown: Like Mere Christianity, this book blew my mind and is destroyed by my handwritten notes to self. Definitely requires a re-read to truly soak it in. I tried to savor it as I went through but chapter after chapter was a slap in the face to some of my deepest insecurities. In a good way, of course.

-The Lab Magazine (because it’s basically a book, and I’m about halfway through it)

-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – I almost put this one down about 52pages in, and text my friend something about how much I hated it and how very Kurt Vonnegut it was. His response was that he hated it initially too, but at some point got really obsessed and couldn’t put it down. And that PS, KV and Heller were BFFs or something. And now I’m almost done with it and completely understand what he meant by ‘obsessed’. Yossarian lives, guys.

-Analyzing Howl by the incredible Mr. Ginsberg for the billionth time. Found a giant copy with original drafts of the poem and edits and commentary and photos at Half Price Books the other day and practically passed out in the poetry aisle. I mean.

-This doesn’t count as reading but it totally does: re-listening to every single David Sedaris audiobook, ever. Especially Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and When You Are Engulfed In Flames. His voice is perfect, his stories beyond hilarious and soul-searching.

-What’s next? Who even knows. I also picked up a giant volume of Ginsberg’s other work while I was at Half Price sooo I’m sure I’ll be pouring through that pretty soon. Also, I miss me some McCarthy and Bukowski, so we'll see what happens there.
That’s not a super impressive list, but you know. I’m doing what I can. I miss those days when I had all the time in the world to devour good literature. Or a few Nancy Drew mysteries a day when I was eight. She was the coolest. Whatever.

What’ve you been reading this summer? Have any recs for me?

July 24, 2012

Pictures or it didn't happen.

Hey, we were at the wedding too! Of course, I spent most of the time with my face glued to the camera (leaving The Boyfriend at the mercy of my teenage brother, poor thing...haha) but I grabbed my sister for five seconds to take some shots of us, because we never take photos at these things, and that's sad. I have five cameras with at least two in tow at any given moment, and you would think that being as photoexperimental as I am try to be, he'd be the main target of my shots. You would think. But you would be wrong. Blame my dumb phone with it's dumb camera for the lack of shots, or something. ANYWAY. This time we made it happen though, and I'm happy. Just another crazy couple at some beautiful backyard wedding. Ok, I take full responsibility for the crazy. He's pretty stoic for these things, but I can't take a 'normal face' picture to save my life. EXCEPT for the one up top: that's a historical moment people, captured on film for all eternity. The one time she actually smiled  something decent and no one complained (like they usually do) "Jessica, make a normal face! A normal one! Be normal! Stop with the crazytown!" Sorry mom, sister, Boyfriend, whosoeverbetakinmyphoto/beinthephotowithme: being "normal" (whatever that means) is not exactly in my repertoire, and I've proven time and time again that I'm incapable of normal face, so get over it. I love you, so love my notsonormalface. Embrace the crazy. 

I do. 
The Boyfriend does too (I think). 
PS we're matching? Like always? Show up lookin' like we planned that shiz. We're just on a level I think. Also, get a load of my eyeballs. And me + abuela Lela getting crazy by the margarita machine (duh). And my broseph doing some interpretive dance in the foliage. And the fact that my mom looks like she's dancing but really she's trying to maneuver out of the situation.
  I love my family way too much sometimes. All the times. All of the times I love them. 

July 23, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Carson

Wedding photo sharathon! It was a simple, beautiful ceremony, and everyone pulled together to make it such a special day. My sister and grandma made the cakes (groom's was chocolate, and the bride's had a vanilla tier and a red velvet tier. The cake topper even had a man in a naval uniform. I mean.come.on.) The weather was perfect (aside from being abilliondegrees- but no rain! Thank goodness!) and I just couldn't be happier for my cousin! Wasn't her dress just stunning, btw?! I was like GIRLPLEASECANYOUGETANYMOREGORGEOUS?! Josh is one lucky guy, and I'm pretty sure he knows it (: 

And guys, this post just wouldn't be complete without the big moment at the altar. 
Music: Thieving by Lovedrug
Amen to THAT. 


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