Well hey, It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Two months to be exact. SO much has happened since then that I decided I had to put aside all my photoshoot plans and project ideas and in the process, I forgot to update this lovely blog and inform you all of my mini-hiatus. I wish I could go on forever and ever telling you about it all. My adventures and my shenanigans, but there’s no time for that and it’s not like this is really a personal blog, more like an art blog. I will tell you though, I started college and decided I don’t like what I’m doing, I rewrote my life goals because of that, Taylor Swift followed me on my other tumblr and proceeded to reblog once from my blog and like three of my posts including a selfie, I bought more fabric that I didn’t have time to sew, I learned how to make macarons, I spent more than is reasonable on an all new fall wardrobe, I redecorated my room, got a new job that I actually love, painted tons, and made new friends. That’s the general outline of my life as of late. Enough about me, I want to show you one of my most recent paintings.
behold, Olivia B. Swift // Acrylic on Canvas - 6” x 8”
This was my first real painting in 7 months, my first painting of a cat in a year and a half, exactly. I made it for a few reasons. 1) because it’s one of my more important dreams to have Taylor Swift acknowledge my art again, there’s a story behind that from the first time I met her but that’s for another day, and 2) I was at a point where school was wearing me down I was crying everyday I didn’t feel like I could do anything right, you know. I wanted to relax and there’s no therapy like making art. 3) I was also feeling as though I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life, you know. I felt like everyone was better at everything, including the things that keep me going and I wanted to prove to myself that even so many of my friends are incredibly talented artists, I can be too.
One of the things I’m most proud of regarding this piece is the fact that I was able to finish it in 10 hours, as opposed to the usual two weeks. I holed myself up in my little blue room, turned on a marathon of New Girl and Girls and it just all came together. I love how when I’m painting it’s almost like I stop existing for a little bit, I sort of melt into the piece and when it’s done I feel like as though nothing can tear me down again. It’s euphoric.
If you wanna be technical, you should know that this painting was mostly acrylic mixed with water for a watercolor effect in the background and I really only used the basic primary and secondary colors, mixed and a 1/18 paintbrush along with a 0 brush and a 1, and or the background a bigger one but I don’t remember the size. My reference pictures were those of Taylor holding Olivia in New York, the first time, and the one where Olivia is modeling for Keds. As for the outfit, I used to design children’s clothes, you know. That was just out of my imagination.
I remember when I first posted this painting for the fandom, about a week ago, I wasn’t sure what people would think so I was a little nervous. I mean maybe other people think it’s weird to paint cats in clothes? Is it? Because I really sort of love it. Well anyway, I sat there reading through comments and replies and all these people were saying the kindest things, there were hundreds of beautiful people making me feel like I could do something right, you know. There’s nothing like that. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up. I think maybe I deserve to do something that makes me this happy for the rest of my life, you know. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
Then this morning I looked at my phone first thing, always a habit, and I came to find one of my very best friends was freaking out last night around 2am because MTV put this painting as the cover picture to an article and you should have seen me screaming. ME?!?!? MY ART??? on MTV??? what????!??!?!
it’s a real thing that actually happened guys. go google it! I feel so accomplished.
Have a happy Sunday,
I’m gonna start editing content for more posts. Love you! :)
People will always disappoint. That applies to friends, family, loved ones… everyone. It’s human nature and it scares me to the point of constant anxiety. And I’m not one to talk openly about the chaos that is, and has always been, my mind.
You know, I don’t understand how it is possible that even though I had planned for this to be my most relaxed, creative summer, I ended up doing nothing but work, in essence, from 8 in the morning til the middle of the night. I mean sure, I take short breaks to talk to my loyal internet friends and to eat and to go to barre and to buy coffee, of course. But, still, I don’t understand when it is that summer stopped being more about creating and less about working? Maybe that’s the pivotal point where I grew up. Or maybe I grew up when I lost my friends, again. Can I tell you something? I romanticized graduation to the point of delusion. I dreamt it up to be a time when I would never stop being with and doing things my favorite people and talking to them in the middle of the night and for a while, I genuinely believed it. I did. Until it was the end of July and I came to the tragic conclusion that I am starting over, again, except now I’m more on my own than I was before and god knows I have no idea where I’m heading. It’s turning my mind into a hazy mess of past and present and future and I can’t seem to tell the difference between then and now.
You should know, I’m missing a show I had been looking forward to since June this Sunday, not because of me, but because earlier, when I first started working where I work, one of my favorite co-workers told me this would inevitably happen and I didn’t listen, which was the first flaw. He left soon after and I should’ve quit my job months ago. I know I should have, and I regret staying. This is particularly painful now, seeing as this artist I won’t get the chance to see was the artist that soothed my constant crying last summer, during a particularly horrible storm in my life. I attribute to her the reason I ended up finishing so many projects last year. It tears my heart into pieces knowing that no matter how hard I try, it’s not in my hands to decide whether I’ll go. Sometimes I just like to just go to concerts to mentally thank the artist for doing what they did for me, without them even knowing. It’s so selfless. Last weekend I went to a Train show and the entire time, I was thinking about my friends. I thought about that time I was fourteen and Nina showed me the new Train song. I remembered the time I was about fifteen and Lauren got to sing with them and I freaked out because my god, that girl has talent and if anyone deserved it, it was her. I thought about Brooke and how she had wanted to be there and that she’s leaving soon and that it breaks my heart. I never had as good a friend as her in real life… I don’t know how I’ll survive freshman year without her. Nobody understands me though, not one person has said to me that they understood and wanted to help. This isn’t about the concert though. This isn’t about work either. This is about unrequited love and what it has meant for me throughout the years. To all of us, really. That was all just the introduction. The really, incredibly long introduction that only holds onto the point by a single, silky thread.
A short while ago, Taylor wrote something that really resonated with me. It’s long, but I feel like you should read it because it explains everything. It soothed my worried heart, even just for a short while, and if it helped me, maybe it will do something for you too.
“I think we grow up thinking the only love that counts as true love is the kind that lasts forever or is fully realized. When you have a broken heart, the first thing a stranger will ask is ‘how long were you two together?’ As if your pain can be determined by how long you were with someone. Or if you were with them at all. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think unrequited love is just as valid as any other kind. It’s just as crushing and just as thrilling. No matter what happens in this situation, I want you to remember that what you are doing is selfless and beautiful and kind. You are loving someone purely because you love them, not because you think you’ll ever have your affections reciprocated. You are admiring something for its beauty, without needing to own it.” - Taylor Swift
It’s just relevant. But I mean why do people even shy away from emotion? What is so wrong about feeling something just to feel? When I was at that concert last week, I ended up telling the two boys next to me and the girls in front of me my life story. They told me theirs too, which turned into a confession session of sorts among all of us strangers, with heartfelt advice and everything. The girl in front of me ended up telling the boy next to me that she thought he was cute. Simple. I wish more people were like that, I wish I were like that. Whatever, I just think you should know I’ve loved a lot. I can’t say I’ve loved everyone equally, I can’t say it was all worth it, but every time comes with its own lesson and this time, I’d like to think I learned that it’s okay to just love, for me, and not for anyone else. I made a playlist, inspired by Taylor’s words. Turn down the lights, pull out your journal and pen, and hit play. They’re all acoustic, that’s for a reason too.
If I ever have more time, I’ll put it all nice on 8tracks, cover and all.
Picture this, I’m in a freezing little tiny room, listening to John Mayer, lying on a bed that isn’t mine, and strangers keep passing behind me, looking over my shoulders. it’s barely 9:30 in the morning and I just spent the last two hours editing these pictures. So I know it has been a month minus 11 days since the last time, not that anyone’s counting, and you might not believe me but the thought of updating this blog crosses my mind quite a bit, usually followed by an “oh I don’t have time for that right now.” I wasn’t trying to abandon this blog. Life just got busy, again. For one, I got a pass to the local barre studio, so that’s where seven hours of my week are spent. I also volunteered to be a girl scout leader and got approved so I’ve been training for that and I’m excited, nervous and probably not as well-prepared, but definitely excited.
I also opened a new shop, surprise! So I’ve been working on orders in my free time. You can find my new shop at onelaststitch.storenvy.com, but I’ll also post a link on the sidebar sometime soon. And on top of all that, I’ve been going to quite a few job interviews and applying to all sorts of places lately. I realized I need a new job, and now. It doesn’t help that I literally work once or twice one week and practically every day the next week, sporadically. And last week, somwhere around 2am I made a series of personal decisions that I’m still evaluating, but I know that’s going to take a lot of time and well, patience. With that said, I haven’t had much time to sew and when I do it’s in the middle of the night. I’ve really only made two and half things though. I’m quite behind.
But here’s the thing, I’ve had these pictures sitting on my desktop since April, so I’m going to show you. This is one of my favorite projects I’ve ever made, eleven months ago, mind you. And I ought to mention, these are from the week after I started working at Krispy Kreme, so that was pre-gaining-10-pounds, most of which I’ve gone on to lose. (THANK YOU BARRE GODS)
It’s funny because I was thinking about what I was going for this post a couple mornings ago and then it dawned on me that there are some articles of clothing that I never once wore to school but that I wear so often in the summer. I love this skirt, I told you it’s among my favorites. I love it now for a different reason than why I loved it last summer and why I loved it in April. I guess I could say It grows with me.
At first, I intended to make a light, flowy, graceful maxi but the fabric wasn’t what I expected it to be. So I changed it to a midi, and I made it with elastic in the back. I decided I would wear it with worn out boots and I thought of Nashville when I sewed it. It was my prairie skirt and I wore it when I wanted to feel wild and feminine. It was also my first sewing project of last summer.
Then life got busy, or what I considered was busy before I knew what it’s really like to not have any free time, and I wasn’t quite fit anymore, so I wore it because it hid my thighs and imperfect skin with its floral print and gathered waist.
And now it’s July and I tend to wear it with heels or brown sandals. I wear it because it makes me feel pretty and I can dress it up or down. I wear it because it reminds me of when I wore it in Nashville and how it was the first thing I packed back then. I wear it because I feel fit enough to pull it off. And because long skirts make me feel grown-up and not so lost in my thoughts and problems. How odd is that.
Looking back, I guess the reason I never wore it to school was because I never knew what people would think of it. I was scared of a lack of approval and being alone at loving it. I feel like my life revolves around this same fear. You know, I’ve learned a few about myself this summer, among those things is the fact that I need to push myself to stop being so stuck to the idea of approval in order to stay sane. This is one of the main reasons why I even went to that first barre class and then why I bought a pass. I decided that If I wanted to get fit, that was for me, not them. I got tired of waiting for people to come with me so that I wouldn’t have to learn alone. Well, I don’t.
It turns out there are new people every time, all of us starting off nervous and unsteady. And you know, I knew within the first half hour that I loved it - more than yoga, more than pilates, more than morning hikes, or anything else and even with that it still took me two whole classes, impromptu decision-making and lots of overthinking before I got a pass. Again, with the skirt issue. I still don’t know what people think of me when they walk past the windows of the class and glance at us fleetingly. It doesn’t matter after all.
On another note, I hate talking about my overcoming of insecurities. It just always feels like I’m bragging, but I’m not trying to. I could get into a whole other discussion about that. The point is that I’m not going to stop wearing the skirt when fall comes around this year, and that maybe I actually really love the idea that no one has any control over what makes me happy and what I want to do. After all, I’ve always been a feminist.
and yes, there were indeed only two pictures in which I was1) looking at the camera and 2) smiling.
the trouble with buying the fabric first and then designing the dress and drafting the pattern is that I’m just now realizing that the design requires so much fabric and I’m not quite sure I ordered that much. So there’s that dilemma. In other news I’m out of muslin fabric and there’s a small chance this pattern won’t work.
I know, I know this is the third Taylor-related quote in a row and all I’ve been posting are sunday quotes. I’m sorry guys, I’ve been busy sewing and trying to be healthy and going places. Plus it’s the end of the Red era and almost the start of album 5 era and if you know me, you know that this is when I go fully into fangirl mode. Onto the quote:
Nothing safe is worth the drive - Taylor Swift
I had this quote written on the tiny little whiteboard next to my desk for a grand part of the school year, along with other “take risks” type quotes. I’m terribly comfortable sitting alone in my bedroom or in my studio with nothing but beautiful music in the background and my sewing machine humming away, or a pen in my hand. If I don’t motivate myself, I could do that for days and days and sometimes, I do. So I took it upon myself to stop being so scared and just do worthwhile things by using quotes. I remember after all the turmoil I went through after the release of Red, I was listening to the album one day and I realized this line stood out from the rest. It’s so important to me.
Then two weeks ago I was watching 9 Days and Nights of Ed Sheeran on MTV and he showed them the needlepoint hoop art Taylor had made him and I remembered I had an extra hoop sitting in my studio. Then I was feeling under the weather the next day and I decided I would start and naturally, I went with this quote. It only took me two afternoons and a tiny bit of embroidery thread. I think I want to make another one.
and now that’s on the subject of Ed Sheeran, his album comes out tomorrow and I think you should get it. I know I will. Have a lovely Sunday night!
let’s start with the quote:
this week I didn’t feel like making a fancy edit, but it doesn’t even matter. Three days ago, I woke up melancholic thinking about how sad it is that there are amazing moments that I’ll never get to re-live and people I grew apart from and just as I was getting ready to write a nostalgic journal entry that would probably leave me in tears, Taylor posted this on instagram and I came to the realization that even though all these beautiful moments have come and gone, more of them are yet to come. Thinking about it, there are so many exciting things coming up.
Now for the updates…
I wrote this post two weeks ago, and I’ve since had to re-write it and edit it to no end. Lesson learned, don’t spend an hour writing a post about fabric that hasn’t arrived. ANYWAY, it’s here now and my ideas evolved. Well, this summer I decided to plan out my sewing schedule again, except with minor modifications. I figured that since last year’s worked so nicely, this year’s will too. The projects are all different though, but the idea is still close to the same. Well, sort of. I mean there’s a few changes. For one I planned ahead this time and I didn’t wait til the middle of June to place my order, so now I’ll actually be able to start my sewing before July. Hopefully I’ll get more done this way. I also decided to leave some room for spontaneity and random inspiration. My biggest issue last summer was that sometimes I felt like making something other than the original idea and even I ended up spending lavishly on the pretty fabric I saw at the little indie stores throughout town. So I mean, it’s not like I can just plan all of my creative projects ahead of time. So even with all the time I spent over-thinking about what fabric I should buy and what my budget should be I ended up spending less than intended, which leaves room in my budget for the random pretty fabric I’ll probably end up buying sometime in the next three months. So that’s perfect. And not all the fabric I have now has an exact plan in mind, so that’s even better. Alright, onto the pictures.
let’s start with the shirts!
the shirt I’ll be copying is from Anthro and the fabric is from Girl Charlee. It’s actually quite thick and a bit brighter in hue, I like it though. I mean I might end up dying it darker, but the rust is pretty too. And before you start thinking “oh how boring” I should explain that in the winter, I mostly wear black and blue and dark green and gray, so I figured if I make this winter-esque shirt, then maybe I can start livening up my fall/winter wardrobe when I’m in college. Plus it’s knit, so really I can wear it year round. It would be cute with my black high-waisted shorts, and my short cream ones.
I actually bought that fabric spontaneously the other day. I found it at a local fabric shop and it was just so pretty I decided to go back and get a yard. It’s knit and not too thick or too thin, so it’s a nice balance. I’ll make this lovely shirt and it should only take me about a half hour. I think I’ll use it a lot.
and now for the dresses (aka the majority of the projects)
I was supposed to make a short knit dress last year, but then I messed up with the fabric quantities and I didn’t get enough, so this is round 2. This is going to be a basic little dress. It should only take a short while to sew up, like an hour or so, and it’s sort of essential in the summertime and an overall classic. Oh and the picture is from ASOS and the fabric is from Girl Charlee, as usual. It’s really thin, but not too thin. It’s thin enough to be really comfy in the summer. And the size of the flowers is so freaking perfect, you have no idea.
this is where the lack of limits comes into play. I ordered these knowing they’d become dresses, but without a clear picture in my mind for either of them. I mean I have general ideas, but not exactly. The trapezoid one has a sort of retro feel to it and it’s so soft and drapable, so think I’ll make that one rather vintagey. As for the deer print Echino fabric, I fell in love with that one for seemingly no reason and I couldn’t stop thinking about it as a dress. That one feels retro to me too, but still modern. The dots are larger than I was expecting though, but I don’t mind. I don’t know why, but it reminded me of last September. And as you know, I have an affinity for animal prints on fabric, so I mean I just had to have it. I’ll probably end up using a self-drafted pattern for both of these. Oh and the first one is from Jones and Vandermeer. Yes, the one that uses goat stickers to seal their packages. And yeah, that’s maybe 30% of the reason why I love that company. the other 70% is for their high quality fabric. Although it’s quite expensive, so consider yourself warned. As for the retro print, that’s from Girl Charlee, but it’s not knit. It’s peach fuzz, so that’s exciting. And relatively inexpensive.
If you were to ask my who my style icon is the obvious answer would be Taylor, but if you wanted to know the specific era when I loved her style the most I’d say summer of 2012 in Hyannis Port in a heartbeat. I really love vintage style. I bought the Betty Dear 2 fabric by Robert Kaufman from Purl Soho in this pretty purple color and I immediately thought of the above pictured purple dress Taylor wore in Boston that summer, which reminded me of that yellow one. It’ll look like a cross between the two. As for the actual fabric, it’s the same weight as any Robert Kaufman fabric and the flowers are about an inch big, so that’s pretty. My mom loves it.
And finally, the knit pencil skirt:
I promise I didn’t know of that skirt’s existence until just like a couple days after I placed my order. The thing is, I lack nice, dressy skirts because half the time I’m in casual dresses and it’s not like I ever have anywhere nice to go, except when I do and then I have to dress up my casual skirts and that’s rough. So I figured a knit pencil skirt would be a good idea because it’s both casual and nice, but mostly nice… and knit fabric tends to be super comfortable. Oh and you should know, the fabric is $6 a yard and I really only need one yard for a pencil skirt so GUYS, I got a pencil skirt for $6!! you know where I got the fabric. It’s thin though, but who cares, it’s perfect.
and then I bought this fabric about a couple weeks ago, in real life:
it was on sale for $2 a yard and I know, it’s cheap polyester stuff that’s maybe a little too thin and a little too stiff and I’m kind of a bit of a fabric snob most of the time because really the higher quality stuff lasts longer and looks better, but the print was cute enough to justify the cons and there was only two yards anyway. It’ll make a cute skirt, I think.
and more random fabric:
this was a good idea gone wrong. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s actually quite gorgeous in real life, but the print is too big for what I intended, so I think I’ll store it away for future use. You won’t be seeing it on here in the near future, unless I get really, really good idea. I mean I kind of should’ve expected this to happen at some point, but it’s really my fault for not paying attention to the size descriptions.
and then there’s this, which I bought last summer:
this was the result of one of those spontaneous trips to one of the cute little local fabric shops I told you about, towards the end of last summer. I didn’t have time to make something out of it, so I store it off with the result of my stash and then I found it and I decided I should sew with it. It’s Heather Ross, you know. I’ve never used a Heather Ross fabric before, but I’ve always really wanted to. I think a nice 1950s house dress could come out of this, but I’m not quite sure.
and it’s not over yet…
If I happen to find some pretty black knit with white polka dots the first thing I’d make is that dress, but the chances of that happening here are slim. Utah’s not exactly the place to buy fabric, let alone knits. As for the grey dress, it’s a Free People one I’ve adored for so long. I feel like it would become a summer essential for me, so if I find cheap heather knit at the Joanns, I’ll make it, and I probably will. Also, I got an Archer pattern ages ago and I never made it, but there’s this cute fabric store nearby that happens to have a collection of plaid flannels that are dreamy, so I might just make it for the winter. And another cute fabric store in the next town over has more lovely fabric that would be perfect as an Archer button up, so I don’t know, I might do that too.
Maybe I’m over ambitious. For all I know, I might just end up unintentionally adding to my fabric stash and then I’ll just have to buy more shelves, but I think I’ll be pretty good about sewing tons this summer. I won’t start until mid-June though. I’m taking a class right now and I actually love it so I’ll be busy, at least until next Thursday.
I love you so much, thanks for reading my blog. It means a whole lot to me.
photo credit goes to this guy here.
I saw this quote last night and it just hit home. That’s one of things I love the most about lovely Taylor; she always happens to say the perfect thing at the perfect time. If you wanted to know, this is from her All Too Well speech in Shanghai yesterday. But anyway, part of me doesn’t want to write about graduation tonight, I want to move on and think about how exciting life is supposed to get in the following months and not spend another minute reminiscing and crying. The point is 1) I graduated on Friday and 2) I’m a writer, and as a writer, I spent the three hours after coming home from the senior all-night party writing and writing and writing about everyone who had ever made an impact on me and all the memories I think I’ll keep closest to my heart, all with tears running down my face, a deep sense of belonging in my heart and a sadness that was unexplainable. I only stopped when the sky became light and I came to the realization that I had to sleep, even if I never got tired. And because of that, I can attest that when Taylor says that you need to write about what has already been, to really live it, it’s the full truth. I remember being sixteen and wishing I’d be done with high school right then, taking everyone and everything for granted, and never quite appreciating my friends the way they deserved to be appreciated. When I was writing about everything that night and yesterday I think I finally understood just how important everyone has been to me and I think the adults in my life weren’t lying when they said these were going to be the best years of my life. I wish I could say more, but after all these hours and all those handwritten pages, I think I’m out of words to say. With that said, here are some pictures from graduation. I wish I would’ve found more of my friends after, but I tried my best.
I’m sorry I haven’t done one of these in a while. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been busy, but maybe I shouldn’t be apologizing. I mean it’s my blog anyway, and I know for a fact that less than 75 people read it. But that’s not the point. Today’s quote is important, but not too important.
I don’t know what to say. I feel as though this quote doesn’t work for this week, but no other quote does either. Everything that needs to be said has already been said and I’m out of words. I’ll talk about this anyway. I’ll make it tie into how I’m feeling right now. I promise this will work. But first I have to admit that I’ve been having a good day, but if you would have asked me on Wednesday I would have shaken my head in disagreement. I would have told you I’m not happy, even though I think I am. I think the main problem here is that for the first time in a long time, I’m scared of people I have to see on a regular basis and that ends up taking up most of my thoughts even when I’m supposed to be relaxing. So I know I’m going to sound whiny when I say this… but I really, really, really do not like my job, not because it’s particularly hard, but because it makes me feel like I’m in junior high again. The other day, however, I was working with two people in particular who were so incredibly kind to me, even after I told them why I was so sad. And then after the crowd dwindled down and we were just standing there, they asked me question that were so interesting and thought-provoking that I went home with a smile on my face that night. That’s the same way I made friends in my second period sewing class junior year and in art class that same year. I love questions that make me think, they’re beautiful. They build friendship and knowledge and understanding, and they breed joy.
And I failed to tie that into how i’m feeling now, mostly because I lack the words to express my disgust at how it could possibly be that even with all these possibilities to be happy and make others happy, we end up with some absolutely horrible people in the world. Think about it, but don’t think too much. Pray that it won’t be a problem someday, that society will change for the better, and that maybe someday people won’t have to imagine worst-case scenarios and be scared at the possibilities.
Have a beautiful Sunday. I love you.
Remember in 2011 when Gwyneth Paltrow released a cookbook? Maybe you don’t, but I remember reading about it on a blog and looking through the recipes at the local Barnes and Noble because even at sixteen, I was very fond of cooking and all things creative. I decided I’d buy a copy, not for me, but for my sister. She’s never been fond of cooking, or baking, or anything of the sort. I don’t understand why, but I figured if I gave her a great cook book, she might actually care about the subject. Funny story, it sat there, collecting dust for the longest time, until I found it and made her use it because I have the idea that if something belongs to someone, they should get to use it first. Then everyone else can use it, with permission of course.
Anyway, we ended up making the Penne Puttanesca first. It was my sister’s idea. I would’ve picked something else to start off with. I mean for one, I’m very specific about what seafood I will eat and what I will never touch. I’m picky. second of all, this meal produced a major mess in the kitchen and we had to clean it up, but it was exciting. I think we giggled the entire time and it came out to pretty and delicious and I decided I love My Father’s Daughter. So I made another recipe from the book again last week. And again. And I stocked up on the ingredients that the book asks for in the first few pages. You should try it too. I think you’d like it.
Have a lovely weekend!