Sunday, December 20, 2009

Schopenhauer meets Vivre sa Vie

There are some things we can explain, and other things that tend to lack meaning. I have found that those we can explain are inexorably not necessarily accurate, which is unfortunate. I have been reading Schopenhauer lately and reminiscing about some things past. Certainly, my viewpoint since childhood has changes considerably, and no longer do I adopt the nihilistic views I once prided myself on. I agree and disagree with Schopenhauer. While I feel suffering is an inevitable part of experience, I do not agree that happiness is nonexistent. That is to say, if happiness is nonexistent, so too would suffering be. We cannot truly experience joy without succumbing to sorrow from time to time, in my opinion. What a bore it would be, truly, to live in a state of complacency without expectation in order to feel true satisfaction. I look at happiness simply as a by-product of experience. True satisfaction is not of this Earth, admittedly, but so, too, is suffering. To deny ourselves of happiness is to deny ourselves the value of consciousness. While I agree that our expectations and disappointments associated with happiness are unfortunate concurrences, I fail to see the validity of denying our animalistic natures. If it is only through suffering that we should grow, it seems very proper that we should experience happiness in order to fully understand suffering and self-sustainment. If we follow Aristotle's philosophy ("not pleasure, but freedom from pain, is what the wise men will aim at"), we miss the boat entirely. By discounting pleasure and seeking as little pain as possible, we are stunting our growth. While it is true that by denying such impulses and instincts one may succinctly grow to attain wisdom, it is suffice to say that there would be an imbalance in one's psyche. To live "less unhappily" is to adapt defense mechanisms against ever truly living. Life is bridged by conscience and consequence, and rightly to live a tolerable life is simply that-- "tolerable". I somewhat disagree that "limitation always makes more happiness." I feel it is a crime to limit ourselves to what we feel we are capable of, without ever putting forth a valiant effort to obtain some form of enlightenment. By limiting ourselves to what we feel is possible, if not only probable, we are robbing ourselves of the statute of "possibility." We are giving up the dream in favor of what is easy, simple, and ultimately lacks challenge or substance. To do this, in my opinion, is immoral. To live piously is one's own rhetorical suggestion, but to deny the possibility of progress through emotive exploitations is absolutely impossible. Oscar Wilde once remarked that he could "resist everything except temptation." Comical as that may be, it holds some truth with most people. I feel we have to give into temptation from time to time, whether happiness is fleeting and illusory or not. This is one of the only ways we will accumulate knowledge of how the world operates and how to offset our radial views of perfection.
On the other hand, I do feel Schophenhauer has some valid arguments. If we limit our field of vision, we lack the expectations that ultimately lead to disappointments, and therefore may achieve some level of satisfaction. When unhappy, we tend to focus on the most abundant of awful things and fail to account for the minute situations that could bring about less unhappiness. Schopenhauer, however, tended to contradict himself at times, and by doing so, made happiness a real and viable thing. So I feel happiness may be illusory and everchanging, but it is also a dominant force, if not a necessary evil.

Friday, December 11, 2009

cupcake crafterie


So I have been planning this little venture for quite some time and hope to start January 2010 if I can get enough folks to attend!

Cupcake Crafterie will be a monthly craft collective/class that meets at mi casa to- guess what?- eat cupcakes and make some cool stuff! It will be BYOS (Bring your own supplies) and BYOB (or BYOL) unless otherwise noted. We will meet, eat, and I (or other "craft professors", when applicable) will show you how to create some kickass stuff for your home or to wear! There will be a supply list for each course and the base fee for the first "semester (3 months)" will be $15 total to attend (this covers the cost of the extra supplies I will be providing for the upcycle classes, as well as the mini cupcakes and some beverages). Special classes (highlighted in green) are optional as they may have additional fees. Fees must be paid before the beginning of each semester and can be paid by check, Paypal, or in person. I will help you perfect your creative skills and give you additional reading material to help you retain the basics. At the end of the second semester, we will have our first show at a local Knoxville business, displaying your work for the masses (at which point you might even want to sell some wares!). Most classes should last between 2-3 hours at the most, depending on the difficulty of the subject matter. We will also have optional, more intensive courses or workshops that last longer (with an additional fee), highlighted in red. As always, if you have your own mechanical supplies (sewing machine, knitting needles, woodburner, etc), feel free to bring them along! Guys are welcome to attend also (we can do other projects for you, unless you LIKE making skirts). :)

Here is the course schedule for the first round, as follows:

15th, Friday, 7pm-9pm?: ART 101: Make a Velvet Art Painting
For the first project in this course, we are taking inspiration from the Velveteeria in Portland, OR. I was fortunate enough to see an exhibit at Powell's Books a few seasons ago that showcased some fantastic vintage and modern works. Velvet paintings will no longer be ONLY associated with portraits Elvis Presley! So let's get your craft on and create some masterpieces!
Supplies needed: An old wooden picture frame from a thrift store (or an old canvas that you can use the frame from), enough black velveteen to fit your frame (usually 1/4" yd to a 1/2" yd); Some inexpensive paintbrushes; and an idea of what you would like to paint. I will provide the acrylic paint, instruction, and any additional embellishments.

12th, Friday, 7pm-10pm?: KNIT 101: Knit a Scarf or Scarflette
Oooo! Baby, it's cold outside! Wouldn't it be nice to make something cozy for you (or your sweetie; after all the dreaded V-day is rapidly approaching)? This is a crash course in basic knitting and I will show you how to create a basic stitch and bind your work off when you are finished. We will them embellish your scarf/scarflette and create a one-of-a-kind fashion that you can wear!
Supplies needed: A skein or two of medium or large weight yarn (none of the frilly stuff, as it is hard to learn with!). You can usually find it at Joann's on sale and most generally run between $3-$5 a skein. For most of my scarflettes, I use a chunky yarn by Lion Brand as the project tends to go faster and the chunky knits are SOOO WARRRMMM!! I will supply knitting needles, scissors, and additional embellishments (buttons, appliques, lace, etc).

12th, Friday, 7pm-9pm: SEW 101: Mustachioed (or other appliqued) Coffee Cozies
Like most of us, you like your coffee HOT (unless it is the summer, in which case you might prefer your coffee iced). I started making felt coffee cozies about a year ago to combat some of the usage of paper coffee cozies (which don't always work that great anyway, honestly). In this class, you will learn how to cut a coffee cuff from a pattern, handstitch it together, and embellish it. I will also provide espresso or hot cocoa and paper cups, so you can try it out when you're finished making it!

Supplies Needed: All supplies, additional materials, and instruction will be provided to make (2) coffee cozies.

March 21, Saturday, 12AM-5PM: SEW 124: Cupcake Crafterie's Sewing Basics

I will be conducting a 5-hour sewing course (4 hours of sewing instruction with 1 hour lunch break at Veg-o-rama down the street). This class will teach you how to cut out a pattern, use a standard sewing machine, and produce a garment (either a simple skirt or blouse). I will also provide some additional tips and tricks. This class is a one-time deal and will be $45, which includes lunch at Veg-o-rama, all supplies, and instruction. If you already have a sewing machine, let me know in advance if you are bringing it, as all sewing machines are different.

If you would like to attend and live in the Knoxville area, please contact me at and I will add your name to the list of students. Payment for the first semester must be received by January 10th, 2010. These classes will probably start off rather small, but that will benefit students more as it will provide more one-on-one experience. Maximum total of classes will be limited to 10 people for the time being unless otherwise determined. In the event that a class is cancelled, students will be reimbursed for the particular class (usually $5 per class unless otherwise noted).

Upcycle Apparel (CFT 101), Create a Portrait with Woodburning (ART 102), Make a Set of Feather Earrings (CFT 102), Screenprinting Workshop(CFT 201), Owl Painting (OWL 101), Make a Notebook (CFT 103) (FREE CLASS!!), Make a Mini-Shrine or Diorama (CFT 120), Create a Simple Purse or IPOD Case (SEW 102), Christmas Wrapping/Tagging Workshop (CFT 121).

Friday, December 4, 2009

b-l-i-s-s: currently coveting

I am feeling a bit under the weather today and it is a bit chilly outside, so join me with a cup of hot chocolate and a comfy blanket and enjoy these fabulous etsy finds for today!
woodgrain in pink and chocolate, 2-pack by birdtrouble, 16 usd.
Reclaimed Mustache Teacup with Saucer by breadandbadger, 24 usd
Folkloric Nativity Scene - Fabric Christmas Ornament by missbutler, 17.50 usd.
4 Double Old Fashioned Drinking Glasses by daydreemdesigns, 54 usd.
.Eco Friendly - Owl Christmas Ornaments by carrotfever, 7 usd.

Baby Its Cold Outside by moxiedoll, 70 usd.
Medium Paper Tree Silhouette by jennyleefowler, 10 usd.
Keep Calm and Carry On...Giclee Print Poster in Aqua Fresca...9x12 by blulima, 12 usd.
Birds of a Feather Women's Skirt, by redbootsdesign, 54 usd.
Eco Toes in Houndstooth Wool by infusion, 45 usd.
Scarf tee by memmori, 20 usd.
Vintage Deep Copper Buckle Heels, 6.5 from allencompanyinc, 22 usd.
Victorian FRENCH Silk Painting (1880s) from StylishRibbons, 149 usd.
1940s vintage SILK BLUSH lace bodice dress by allencompanyinc, 108 usd.
60s Babydoll Green Gown (small) from lemoncreme, 46 usd.
Dusty blue with brown print scarf (organic) by necklush, 42 usd.
Tree Silhouette Iphone/Smartphone Case by hollyhawk, 23.50 usd.
Vintage FOXTAIL Wrap Coat from TheChurchofVintage, 68 usd.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

end of an era

My friend Janice's vintage shop in Old City is closed for good starting this week. I don't know if she wil reopen again or take a long break from it altogether, but it is the end of an era.

The first time I went into Legacy I was 8 or 9 years old. We had been driving down Kingston Pike during the "grunge" era in the early 90's and my sister was obsessed with vintage shops and thrift stores. Our journey took us to a shop nestled in a dimly lit corridor, near a shoe repair shop. What I found there was not only a newly established love for vintage apparel and furnishings but also a long friendship that has outlived many other friendships I have had.

Legacy and Janice saw me through all the stages of my adolescent and adult life, including my growing pains, my marriage, and eventual divorce. I have changed so much over the past decade, yet for some reason there was always some sort of permanence existing with Legacy; no matter how much I changed, Legacy was always there, existing in some place that time forgot.

In a broader sense, it helped define who I am today. We are going to a party on Friday at the shop, although I am sure it will be practically empty. It is sad but necessary and I wish Janice the best of luck with her newfound freedom!

at Legacy in the Old City.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

dark dark

It's been nearly 2 months since I last updated- shame shame shame on me!! I have a good excuse though-- mainly that I have been busy, busy with school, work, and etsy sales. I have almost sold 50 items on etsy, which is a small feat, admittedly, but I am still really happy about it. We are listing a couple hundred fabulous items in the next two months and I can't wait to share them with you! Some of them are from my personal collection, including 20's-40's pieces, and although I hate to part with them, I think they deserve to be worn!! Also, be prepared for lots of unique housewares and winter coats this month!

My boyfriend and I have been busy working on a new project, which I plan on sneak-peeking on here for you guys very soon. We are all sorts of excited about it. He is a freelance artist and we are combining forces to create some really neat pieces for your consideration. We have had an owl fetish as of late and spent last week thrifting and searching antique stores for the perfect mid-century owl. We found a gold one and upcycled it; it was a lot of fun painting owls with him, so look forward to seeing our collaborative efforts on here. I will also be doing a contest on here near the end of the month for one of our collaborative pieces, so keep checking back!

Speaking of the boy, his birthday is Thursday but because of finals and his work schedule we celebrated most of it this weekend. He isn't from the area so he had never been to the Tennessee Aquarium. We spent Sunday at the Tennessee Aquarium, drove up to Rock City for some coffee and a nice view, and then headed to Lupi's to visit with our friend Greg. We took hundreds of pictures, although we didn't get to go to the River section of the Aquarium (Next time! There WILL be otters!!):

I have been working on music again, thanks to GarageBand and finally figuring out how to play instruments. Stay tuned.

I finally reached the decision to sell my "Bella." She is a 2005 Limited Edition (Great Britain Edition) Mint Green Genuine Stella Scooter, which is basically a replica of a vintage Vespa. She has under 300 miles to her name, is manual, and features lots of nifty features and add-ons. She has a few scuffs and such but I think that adds to her scooterness. I am asking $2,950 USD (firm!) for her, which is pretty much a steal, but I only drove her 5-6 times this year and think she needs to be driven regularly. I think I will eventually get a scooter again, but for now I would rather her not be sitting in storage. :) If you're interested in adopting Bella, contact me on here or at

I will be posting a new covet list soon! The theme this month will be, of course, winter weather and holidays. We put up our aluminum Christmas tree the other day and decorating the house, complete with vintage mistletoe and ornaments. Although hectic, I have a feeling the holidays will be a nice break!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

covet + friday

It's been a long time since I updated- physics and portfolios have been swimming through my head lately and I haven't had time for much else. Midterm week is next week and I am hoping to have a few things accomplished by Monday! I stayed up until the wee hours yesterday evening working on a Stumptown-inspired wood painting for my portfolio and cleaning my home, which are both good things. I will post photos this weekend if I get a chance. I finally got around to posting up the last of my wall hangings so now I think I'm done! I am hoping to take a break between physics and a bike drawing to grab some coffee downtown with a girlfriend tonight, but we shall see. In the meantime, here are some items on my Friday covet list. Enjoy!

Autumn 3-piece Table Setting by marywibis, 50 usd.

Matryoshka Cards by Poketo!, 3.95 usd.

Sophia boudoir chair by ReclaimTheThrone, 800 usd.

Silverware Vinyl Flatware wall decal by circlelinestudio, 40 usd.

Ecofriendly Bamboo Dishcloths by SweetMemoriesQuilts, 14 usd.

Maternity Fetus Shirt by phippsart, 25 usd. (And no, I'm not pregnant. I just think the concept of this shirt is rad!)

WaterTowers NYC by FauneYerby, 80 usd.

Heidianne Pumpkin Pie Scarf by EfiaFair, 55 usd.

1950's Abstract Olive Dress from SmallEarthVintage, 58 usd.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

master of none

Autumn is already in the air. I woke up this morning to foggy hills that reminded me of Mt. Tabor. I am getting ready to start making Pacific Northwest breakfasts for the early mornings to take to work (consisting of a Doug Fir-esque smoked salmon and rosemary hashbrowns). I got to wear a light jacket for the first time a few nights ago.

(sunset highway)

Things are going really well although they have been busy. I spent last weekend rockclimbing and seeing a few friends/getting organized so I think I accomplished much more than I anticipated, for a change. I have been ridiculously emotional/weird for the past two weeks so I am glad I am finally getting out of outer space and getting back to rational thoughts and finishing projects. I hate being a girl sometimes. Speaking of being a girl, I can't believe I am going to be an architect and construct/plan whole buildings yet I can't even figure out how to fit a bike rack on my damn car! Someone help!

I am pretty excited about this weekend. My friend Ben is coming into town from Chicago and I think he is staying with me. I'm not sure what his plans are yet but I look forward to seeing him. He moved a while ago so it has been a while since we have been able to hang out!

(new etsy listings this month)

(bitches unleashed- mary and I hit the streets)

(Rockclimbing with Kelsie in Virginia)

(Jared's band "the Enigmatic Foe" playing his bday bash)

I think I have been feeling extra-crazy since September started. I hope things settle down soon! Ciao!