Monday, June 3, 2013

A Bedding Ballad. Or A Lesson in Taking Matters into Your Own Hands.

This is the story of one girl's journey into the world of bedding, the story of her hope for the market, her inevitable disillusionment and her creative solution to the problem.

One day this girl finally grew tired of her trusty apple green twin comforter that was much too small for her full sized bed, always falling to the floor and bunching awkwardly on the bed. With some money in her pocket and a glimmer of hope in her eye, she began to search high and low for it's replacement. A bedding designer by trade, she was very picky. If she liked the pattern, she did not like the colors. It HAD to match her peacock blue silk drapes. If she liked the colors, she did not like the pattern. Often too old or young or trite. If she liked both the pattern and the colors, it was too expensive... or made of microfiber. Fed up with waiting for stores to release the perfect product, she decided to use the skills she learned in college, now somewhat rusty and dusty but still accessible, and dye her own duvet cover. It was cheap enough afterall, even if it turned out to be a failure. $50 ikea duvet + $25 ikea duvet cover (100% cotton) was not at all bad. And so Memorial Day Mess 2013 was born.

For a long while she did not have an idea of what to paint. Should it be solid? Textural/Watercolored? Lots of colors? Or few? Florals? Stripes? Dots? Oh my. But then it hit her that some floral paper cutout exercises she did would provide solid bones for a placed design, and she was sold. All she had to do was paint it. The hard part was over right? Wrong.

First came the duvet wrangling, consisted mostly of the girl crawling inside a duvet cover and laughing hysterically. Or really just trying to fit a very large sheet of taped together freezer paper into a very large duvet cover and also having it lie flat. A deceivingly difficult task.
Exhausted from a day of duvet wrangling and dye/resist/color tests, she began the actual painting the next day. Only to discover that it is really impossible to see what you are painting when you are painting white on white. So she embraced the messiness and inconsistency and hoped for the best.
While the resist dried, she mixed up an absurd about of dye, absolutely frightened of the idea of running out half way through. Once everything was dried and prepared and setup, the fun part began.
And went on. And on. And on. But was still fun even her knees and back did not agree. And finally.... suspense?! Could there be tragedy?! When the girl stood up to admire her, she kicked over her very large jar of navy dye. It was here that she had a choice. It was either he duvet or her hands. She sacrificed the hands, cleaning up the spill as quickly as possible while containing the spill to an area that was supposed to be navy anyway. And that's how this happened.
But then it was done! It was nearly 4am but she celebrated! She had triumphed through 2 days of obstacles that had challenged her ability to problem solve quickly and efficiently! And also made something pretty cool! And that's when terror struck. She had 24 hours for the dye to cure. 24 hours to wait anxiously and hope everything went as planned. She kept the duvet it warm place, occasionally turning on the oven and opening the door just to be sure. She eyed it nervously, peering through the clear plastic bag to make sure it was still damp. When finally it was time to wash it all out. The moment of truth!
And despite a very stubborn to wash out wax resist and endless navy dye, the duvet turned out pretty okay. Just the right colors and pattern. Even if the reverse looked like a clown suit and the navy dye stained some white areas. It was hers and she was happy to have such a fine work to keep on her bed!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

1, 2, 3

It is March 10th. It is March 10th and somehow I don't believe it.

January was a blur of apartment hunting while evading the trickery of brokers and the wading the treacherous waters of roommates. Once we managed to find a place, a place that steadfastly waited for us as we waffled and tried to make decisions, January was time for analyzing all the stuff we've accumulated over the past year and figuring out how or if it belonged in the next. And then January just crashed in February. February brought new people as well as spaces, bigger, brighter more wonderful spaces. Spaces we could furnish and fill and customize and cherish. It brought 80 hour work weeks and 1am works nights on the heels of heavy lifting. It brought deep exhaustion. But most importantly, February brought friends new to the city and eager for adventure. Friends to go out with, to laughing hysterically with in pursuit of grilled cheese or wandering late nights in the East Village. Friends to stay in with, lazing about on couches or making smore's over the gas stove.

And now its March, sunny warm March just a few days shy of my birthday, and I'm feeling good about this place I'm in. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dog Days of Winter

Some photos from my mostly broken Minolta camera. Check out my flickr for more super-light leaked photos of NYC/Coney Island. Now... please excuse me while I go bake some cookies.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013

Almost a year ago I made the decision to move to New York City with nothing but some material possessions and hope. Hope that somewhere in this sprawling metropolis I would find my place in the world. And I realize that sounds really silly, but hear me out.

A lot has happened in the past year. I quit my safe retail job and moved across the country. I struggled as an intern until finally getting my first big girl job in my field of study. I've found a few good friends in a city full of strangers and been on more dates than ever before. I've had to fix things, deal with frustrating landlords and make tough decisions. I survived Hurricane Sandy and a trip to the ER. I've been sick multiple times, gotten lost, taken the wrong trains, not slept enough, spent too much money, had too much fun. I've been to bars, parks, parades, concerts, rooftops, restaurants, museum, and ice cream parlors.

I jokingly refer to 2012 as my freshman year of adulthood. Because when you think about it, freshman years are that period of time at the beginning of something that you are expected to blunder along making mistakes with foolish confidence. And I've definitely made a lot of mistakes. I've felt small and unsure and inexperienced. I've felt lonely and young and silly. I've freaked about the future and the millions of directions it could go in. But I am comforted by remembering that I still have time. It's only my freshman year.

After years of people mistaking me for 16, friends who have known me for years are telling me I look like an adult now. Even though my wardrobe is mostly the same and nothing about my appearance is different enough to warrant these comments. Though it's funny because lately I have also been feeling like more of an adult. I still call my dad when I don't understand my health insurance or my mom when I want advice about my hair, but the decisions I make are mine. As is this money, this apartment, this stuff and these friends. Somehow throughout all the stress and struggles I found a place to belong and it may not be perfect but it's just right. I am excited to see how it changes and grows in my sophomore year. Because if history proves correct this time too, it will only get better from here.

I spent my New Year's Eve, my freshman year graduation, on rooftop in Manhattan not too far from Times Square. The door was locked so we had to climb out a window. It was difficult and a little scary, but every bit worth it to hear the roar of Times Square and feel the energy of this city, this place that I can add to my list of homes.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

#1 Fan

I thought about this post for a while. I thought maybe I would tell you a thrilling story about how I spent the last 1.5 months without a computer. Maybe I would wax poetical about all the major life events that happened in 2012 or even just chat about my Christmas. Instead here are some pictures of my face. You can all shut up now.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oh hey

So remember when I actually took pictures of my outfits and posted them on here?

I've got a confession to make, I've gotten lazy. I've been relying on outfits that are easy and safe and cute enough. My long hair is no longer new and fascinating to me. And most mornings I'd rather sleep until the last possible minute than apply fancy makeup or take pictures awkwardly in my tiny Brooklyn apartment that only really gets light in the mornings.

On one hand I like the ease of this lifestyle and feel slightly vain when I go take pictures of myself... but on the other I really miss curating outfits and pushing the interpretation of my closet. My brain is often so busy just trying to figure out the innerworkings of my day that I forget the simple pleasure getting dressed up. Of taking those extra few minutes in the morning to feel confident and put-together all day. If I feel good about me, then I will feel better about everything else. 

I think it's worth reminding myself of that. Maybe that means more pictures on here, maybe it's just an attitude adjustment that will inspire me to post here more (with or without pictures of my face).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weather is Neat.

Let's pretend I've updated more since the end of summer and that the snow out there doesn't really exist. It's still fall you guys, right?! Thanksgiving? What is that?!

To be completely honest, life since my last update has been overrun with stress and work and more stress and more work... and then maybe a few much needed nights spent with friends, good dancing music, and cold drinks that makes you feel warm on the inside. Which is why HURRICANE SANDY couldn't have come at a better time. Sick, sleep-deprived and nostalgic for the South, I was absolutely giddy with excitement for this hurricane. And it did not disappoint. Wind! Rain! Bonding with friends! More sleep than I could ever dream of! Luckily our neighborhood remained incredibly safe and dry. Other places not so much. One of the eeriest things I have experienced has been walking down to the East River as Sandy only quietly roared, Brooklyn streets virtually peopleless and half of Manhattan in darkness. Manhattan! That shining beacon of life transfixed into a visual ghost town.

My office, however, is in a prime Zone A location and has been majorly affected by flooding and the Great Manhattan Blackout. Oh and hey, the L train, my lifeline to the city, is the only train not back up and running. After being closed for over a week, our office finally opened for business yesterday afternoon, and I found some way to get there that didn't involve swimming or submarines. Except there is no heat. Something that wouldn't be too bad if New York were not suddenly being pummeled by WINTER STORM ATHENA. (I want to say again how awesome the winter storm name list is. Haven't seen it? Go look it up. And hope for the sake of all things comedic we make it to Winter Storm Gandalf.) It's snowing outside, you guys. SNOWING?!!

And I am cuddling up under blankets as I work from home, grinning like an idiot and having flashbacks to my childhood Christmases spent up North with my family. Funny since a week ago I was acting out a similar scene but with memories of Katrina and Gustav. In the past two weeks we've had a crazy loud Southern storm jumbled up next to a nice peaceful Northern storm. And I can't ignore the parallels to my own life. The weather might just understand what it's like to be a Christine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for...

 Ice cream!!!! (Yes. I was one of those annoying kids who sang that ALL the time.)

The Setup
I figured that since fall officially started this weekend, it was about time I shared my summer project. It all started this list. At the beginning of June the Village Voice posted a list of their top 10 Ice Creams in NYC, and from there two of my equally sweet-toothed friends and I set out on a quest to eat them all before summer ended. Ice cream structured our free time and gave it a purpose, often leading to sugar-fueled giggle fits and other adventures. It made bad days better and our weekdays more exciting. It brought other friends into our schemes. It gave us a reason to travel to parts of the city (mostly in Brooklyn) we had never been to or didn't really have a reason explore. And now I have a plethora of options to take friends and visitors to!

The Ice Cream
(In order of appearance)

#1 Victory Garden - Cantaloupe Sorbet + Salted Caramel Soft Serve- Goat's milk soft serve that was light, interesting and refreshing.

#2 BKLYN Larder - Almond Gelato + Unnamed Ice Cream Sandwich - Millions of delicious flavors arrayed before your eyes. Too bad the shop is located in an out of the way location or else I'd be taking home pints from here all the time.

#3 Sundaes and Cones - Lavender + (I can't remember) - Reasonably priced, conveniently located, and the only place to sell floral ice cream!! A favorite of mine ever since my Leopold's days in Savannah.

#4 Big Gay Ice Cream Shop - Bea Arthur + American Globs - The soft serve itself is okay. I'd only go again for the novelty and upbeat atmosphere.

#5 Ample Hills - Nanatella + Mexican Chocolate Milkshake + Mint Chocolate - This one wins the chewiest award. It was dense and delicious, but not very creamy. I loved the flavor assortment though!

#6 Van Leewan - Cinnamon + Strawberry + Hazelnut - The old standby. Having a Van Leeuwan truck inside my workplace and running into the truck everywhere, means I've had this several times. Their ice cream never disappoints though.

#7 Momofuku Milk Bar - Cereal Milk - We weren't a fan. Please don't throw shoes at us. it just tasted like really cold milk. but I'm very eager to try the new Blueberry Pancake flavor.

#8 Blue Marble - Strawberry + Vanilla - Hands down the best strawberry ice cream I have had in my life, creamy and intense.

#9 Sky Ice - Chocolate Brownie + Raspberry Cilatro/Thai Iced Tea - I was sad to get there at 7pm on a weeknight to find they had sold out of about half of their flavors. Including some of the more special/thai-themed ones.

#10 Steve's - Sundae Morning + Bklyn Blackout - Too sweet. Too rich. Too much.

That's all folks! We had so much fun with this list that there just might be more in our future!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And the Results are In!

As you may know, last summer I had the amazing opportunity to intern with Lilly Pulitzer (there's a nice long post about the experience here). For a print designer who likes flowers and bright colors, Lilly was a paradise. By end of my time there, one of my prints, "Hush", had made it into the Fall 2012 line. And I have been waiting eagerly for this August when it would finally hit stores!! A print that's 100% my creation being sold to Lilly-lovers everywhere. It's things like this that remind me why I love creating prints. Here it is, from artwork to print to product!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


When I first moved here I would sporadically go for walks (usually in my Brooklyn neighborhood but sometimes in Manhattan too), exploring with one of my film cameras. I spent about three months slowly building up a roll of haphazard double exposures. It's a technique I stumbled upon accidentally when trying to do a simple double exposure a while back. Photos like these are my pattern-orientated brain's answer to photography. It's less about composition and lighting and more about layers, depth, and a story, a bundle of experiences in one frame. I finally got my roll developed at the end of last week and it was very serendipitous timing because this past Friday was my 6th month NYC anniversary!! It's been a jobful and adventureful 6 months. So thanks New York for being my best Valentine ever.

Here are some of the photos, check out my flickr for more!