Monday, 26 September 2011

attention to detail.






The face bone's connected to the... necklace bone?


dress worn as a skirt - Old Navy // red shirt - Target // belt - Kohl's // heels - Indigo // watch - vintage


I've always been the artsy type.  I'm a literary nerd who can't remember life without reading, and I've been fortunate enough to have had a pretty steady stream of great English teachers (and when I didn't, I just filled in the gaps with my own love of language and writing).  My mind is full of "useless" quotes from books I've read years ago, or shows I've seen with clever dialogue.  Scattered around the house are old folders and notebooks full of stories and drawings from my youth, ambitiously begun but for the most part, unfinished.  I'm a photographer, a doodler, and a dress-up-er.  I've always had a "weakness" (though I don't really see it as such) for beautiful things - feathers, rocks, marbles, jewelry, and hats just being a few of the subjects of my collections throughout the years.  Sticks and chairs should probably be in that list too.  Hey, to each her own [slightly-mad collection], right?


I'm positively horrid at math.  History is interesting to discuss and debate, but mostly I'm caught up in the beautiful period clothing and romanticised accounts of the Victorian era (and onwards through the decades).  Recently, however, I've found my interests branching out.  Still including my beloved "soft" subjects like language and art and dreaming, but growing wider to encompass a strange new fascination: science.


Science was always mildly interesting to me as a kid.  I like understanding how the world works, what animals come from where and why some have claws and fur while others hide behind plates of armour and poison.  But in the past few weeks I've been actively interested (not in my actual science classes, mind you.  Sorry to say it, but my teacher is somewhat less-than-inspiring) in learning about human anatomy - why our body parts work so elegantly together, and how truly fragile the system is at the same time.  One tiny imbalance can make the whole body fall apart, and yet humans keep surviving.


It began while I was talking with my mother about college.  She's a chiropractor, and was describing to me a human anatomy and dissection class she took in chiropractic college.  I was very curious to know if a non-medical student would be allowed to enroll in such a class, because while I find the subject fascinating, I don't really have a desire to become a doctor or other medical practitioner.  My mum didn't know, but all the same I remain fascinated.  My family's library is home to a plethora of old anatomy books, which I will likely be reading once this blog post is finished.  It's a very weird feeling, to want to memorize bone structures and systems and factual things, but I think there's a certain beauty in it.  The abstract, thoughtful element of humanity is amazing, but so is the concrete here-ness of fingers and skulls and eyes, all connecting to create the necessary physical vessel which carries the abstractions which I so love.


This is a completely different direction from anywhere I've ever held interest before, and it's slightly alarming.  Maybe more than a bit scary, because who am I if I'm - gasp - logical?  But art and science both require an attention to detail which I've always had (sometimes to the point of annoyance) and I believe they can fit together beautifully.


Cheers,
Shayli

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

a study in feathers.






Because you totally wanted a close-up of my hair.  Or maybe you did, I dunno.
I just thought the light was sort of cool.







owl tee - American Eagle // vest - Charlotte Russe // shorts - American Eagle // grey over-the-knee socks - Hue // combat boots - Kohl's // feather earrings - Charming Charlie's


All I want to do is stop thinking about people dying.  I should think about my fantastic Labyrinth-Jareth-David-Bowie-owl shirt or the great over-the-knee socks I've got.  Or maybe even something productive, like my homework.  But no.  My brain is set on doing what it does best, apparently: dwelling on things when I'd love nothing better than to forget about them entirely.


Oh, joy.


Cheers,
Shayli

Friday, 16 September 2011

i ain't lost, just wandering.




Oh, yay, you can see my awful raccoon-eyes from being sick :P  Joy!

I'm rather unsatisfied with today's photos, but my camera battery died in the
middle of my photo-taking and by the time I got it charged up, it was dark out :/


Bill Cosby-esque sweater (aka my Amazing Technicolour Dream Sweater) - thrifted // grey v-neck - Old Navy // denim shorts - American Eagle // tights - Kohl's //boots - Seychelles // necklace - vintage

I've been in a strange space lately.  Perhaps it's because I've been getting more and more sick since about Tuesday (I think I hit the lowest point yesterday, so from here on out it should be recovery time!) and haven't been able to take time off from school with all the work that's been due, tests and projects and absolute madness.  Or perhaps it's because I read a story the other day that played on my biggest fear: losing my loved ones.  My best friend, my family, my cats - it doesn't matter, I panic just at the thought.  Maybe it's just a side-effect of my addictive personality, I don't know.  This particular story was about the death of a best friend, and it gave me horrible nightmares from which I'd wake up, not remembering the plot, but that my best friend had died in each dream.  Just thinking about specific quotes (because I'm a quote hoarder rememberer) from the story makes me nearly start to tear up (this is coming from the girl who hardly ever cries, and I was sobbing reading the story).  So this week's unpleasant mixture of sickness, exhaustion, panic, and accidentally overdosing on NyQuil (not by much - I just took the recommended amount, then found out I wasn't sick enough to require that much and that was why I was having trouble balancing and remembering where my hands stop.) resulted in some internal freak-outs and sudden random movements.  It also resulted in a poem.


(It doesn't have a title, because I couldn't think of a good one.)


~

stumbling
I’m afraid of the thoughts
which barrage the insides of
my skull and my fingertips
don’t end where I think they
do, but that’s just fine.

even in the refuge which
I’ve built inside my closed
eyelids, I find no
salvation, because there can be
no salvation
no refuge, because I seem to exist
everywhere I go.

but to leave, to exit this drain
of nearly everything of interest
and perhaps view the world from
another shade of un-belonging
feel a different form of exhaustion
taste a better word for “leaving”.

if only steepled fingers could
solve all of my problems, or
provide me with more reason – more
reasons.

yet I suppose there must be more to see
belief brought by passion, fueled by
desperation
a body cooperating no longer against
a mind so bored of monotony
and lack of deviation from patterns
which aren’t even an interesting shade
of grey.

maybe there lies, somewhere,
a name for the unnamable,
if one is necessary
or an answer to the questions
I can’t bring myself to ask.

maybe there is rest from
all that I’ve been fearing
but I am unsure whether fear
is a motivator or a
paralytic

and until it is realized,
I won’t know what any words mean
and though I’ll colour them over
to forget the fictitious past
my eyes will always lose
focus
at the precise
wrong
moment.
~



How's that for honesty?


Cheers,
Shayli


PS - What do you think of the outfit details listing?  I've seen this on a lot of blogs and I kind of like it better, but I'm not sure.
PPS - It actually felt like fall today!  In the mid-60's and everything!  It cheered me up quite a bit :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

honesty is not my best quality.



I wish the world was in black and white.  I adore it.






outfit details:
shirt - Ross
dress (worn as a skirt) - Charlotte Russe
floral flats - DSW
necklace - from my mum


Therefore I want to be Sherlock's buttons.  Ah, yes, have I not introduced you to my new favourite television series ever?  Well, actually, it's sharing the top of the list with Doctor Who (of course) but as it's newest, it's receiving special attention today.  The BBC miniseries Sherlock, written by Steven Moffat - who also writes for Doctor Who - and Mark Gatiss, is absolutely brilliant.  It's a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes, set in 21st century London.  Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock, and one quick Google search will tell you how happy that makes my eyeballs.  It doesn't hurt that he's a fantastic actor, either, and that he sounds like Alan Rickman!  Woah, sexiness overload.


I was doing some back-reading through this blog, and I came upon a post where I said I wanted to be more "honest" and tell people what my true thoughts are.  Well, honesty is a great virtue to have (usually), and I promise I'll never outright lie to you here, but sometimes (er, most of the time) I don't feel like delving into my personal emotions and displaying what comes of that on the internet.  Now, I'm a very opinionated person, but with emotions I'm not usually too open anyway, so for me to display that on my blog would be completely against my own personality.  And being true to my personality is a form of honesty, yes?


So, when I want to gush about my favourite television program, I'm going to stop feeling bad about it, or "fake", and just have fun with it, because that's honestly what I want to talk about at that moment.  Tomorrow I may surprise you with a deep, life-changing epiphany, but today I've laughed and cried myself out reading fanfiction (don't judge me!) and I'm just out to hook you on the best show ever.  So there.  That's today's dose of honesty.


Cheers,
Shayli

Friday, 9 September 2011

we're all just survivors of our own personalities.


This photo made me look far more tan than I actually am, so I tried editing it...
Didn't work that well.  Eh.  You all know I'm pale xD






Mama Mantis!


outfit details:
sequined dress - Kohl's
shirtdress (worn as a jacket-type-thing) - thrifted
socks - Kohl's
combat boots - Target
felt hat - Target
belt - Kohl's

(photos taken by my mum - we were waiting for my brother's gosh-darn baseball practice to end!)

Today is Friday, and also my mum and dad's 22nd wedding anniversary!  I think that's pretty impressive.  To celebrate, we went out to dinner at our favourite sushi restaurant (and I had all the avocado rolls to myself... mmm, the pluses of being the only vegetarian in my family!).  My dad gave my mum a gorgeous silver, turquoise, and coral necklace, and my mum bought him... chocolate.  Well, she does know the way to that man's heart, haha!

We also saw praying mantises laying eggs on the sign post you can see in some of the photos!  It was really neat to see praying mantis egg-laying, but also sad because they die soon after.  Poor mantises :(

I'm ridiculously exhausted right now - it's been go go go all day, with no time to rest!  But I did want to share with you a poem I wrote today at the writing group I attend every Friday.  Is that a something that's allowed?  I don't really know or care.  If you're interested, read on!  The poem can also be found at: http://paintedmagnolia.blogspot.com/2011/09/failed-exercise-in-stoicism.html.

~
a failed exercise in stoicism.

her mind is a blur,
possibly because her hands
are unsteady, with their slight
shaking, and
her eyes don’t focus as well as they should
in the early morning.

she repeats the same sayings,
the same jokes, like mantras, so as to
give her body the rhythm it so
dreadfully lacks

she dresses
and faithfully turns down the sleeves
of her blouse
piecing herself together by
breaking herself apart –
is believing in something so
darkly insignificant a crime?

the promises she makes are hard
and shiny like tumbled stones
yet their jagged qualities can’t be
tumbled away.
they remain brittle.

she practices printing, then
script in fine red ink,
trailing her y’s and making the
sharpest of v’s
mostly she wishes her facial features were
phonetic
so she could pronounce her emotions
instead of puncturing them.

she is a weaver, and with orchid-scented
palms she hooks and threads and
nimbly orchestrates the digits at the end
of her weakening arms.
these tapestries of elaborate
hope are nothing more than gossamer,
light and fleeting,
and she uses them in defense, allowing
them to settle over those who would rescue her
to comfort, and cover, and fool.

there are lies, which she
harmoniously practices at the jewelry
counter, or the river, or on those she loves.
for when she tells the truth,
it tastes like plastic.

and comfort is better than worry and truth;
they may have grown, but she can
still shield them
from the harsher aspects
of the world –
how no one ever really “gets
better”
and we’re all just survivors
of our own personalities

she’ll continue surviving
unless she doesn’t
but the more they try to silence her ramblings
and still her unrelenting hands
the less they’ll remember of how
they thought they solved her
in the first place.
~

If you made it this far - fantastic!  Any comments or critiques?   Should I never ever post poetry on here again?  Should I... go to sleep, right now?  I think I really should, for that last one.

Cheers,
Shayli

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

much ado about nothing.



In the tenth grade, my English class read Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and my favourite couple was Benedick and Beatrice.  Whose wasn't?  Their witty sarcasm was the best part of a story full of fools and completely avoidable situations.  And, like the good literary nerd I am, when I found this recording of David Tennant and Catherine Tate singing a duet as Benedick and Beatrice for their production of Much Ado on London's West End, I had to share it with you all.  It's absolutely  hilarious and shows their relationship perfectly.

Ye gods, David Tennant can sing to me any day!

Cheers,
Shayli

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

real water drops are a blessing.








Am I the only person who can't stand the fake plastic-y "water droplets" on plastic flowers?  Eugh.  Real, fresh rain is the only way to go - there's no substitute.


Sooo, after today's photoshoot, I was walking back up the path to my house when I noticed a few roses still in bloom on our tiny rose bush.  The opportunity was too good to pass up: soft light, raindrops on petals, and oh look, I conveniently have this camera here with me!  There were a lot more photos than this, but I didn't want to bore you - so here are my favourites.  The contrast between the bright pink of the flowers and the grey of, well, everything else made the roses just that much more special, I think.


[Also, the white balance on my camera turned the gravel behind some of the roses a bright aqua colour.  I kind of like it though, so it stayed :) ]


Cheers,
Shayli

you're just like your dad, surprise, you don't only share his eyes.







Awh, frizzy hair... Hey, it was 98% humidity out there today, gimme a break!



outfit details:
blue tunic - Coldwater Creek (thrifted)
black tuxedo jeggings - Jessica Simpson Collection
sexy boots - Seychelles
scarf - Charming Charlie's


They say, when you have kids of your own, you'll reach that terrifying moment when you say something and it sounds just like what your parents would have said.  Well, jolly good for me, I don't even have to wait to procreate before noticing this.


After the concert I went to on Saturday, my friends and I were loitering standing outside of the [amazing] coffee shop a few stores down from the bookshop where the concert had been held.  It was about 10:10pm, and we had planned to get coffee/hot chocolate/chai lattes/drinks of deliciousness after the show, but the shop was closed!  So, like the chai latte-loving person I am, I began to rant about how silly it is that shops downtown close at ten when there's obviously at least some semblance of a nightlife after that hour.  They'd make so much more money if they were open til eleven, or even just 10:30!  Am I right?  I'm right.  So, I was really getting into my rant, when bestfriendHaley steps in and says, "Shayli, I'm very sorry to tell you this, but you sound just like your father.  And it's a little scary."


Yikes.


I love my father, but the last thing I really want to do is unconsciously mimic his tendency to rant and rant and rant and rant and rant and... well,  you get the picture.  Ranting about things you can't really change.  Charming, no?  If I'm going to inherit qualities from my father, I'd rather gain the ability to cook (I can make toast and brownies, does that count?), or the ability to make friends anywhere and everywhere (I'm far more reserved around people than he is), or the ability to fall asleep anywhere (...I pretty much have that one covered, actually).


Let's hope I don't end up loudly snoring or totally disregarding time, okay?
[Love you, Dad!  :)]


Cheers,
Shayli


PS - A word on my outfit - this is the most comfortable outfit I've worn in... forever.  It was a perfect (and rainy, but still) autumn day today, mid-60's and overcast and fantastic.  I felt warm and cozy and quite a bit badass in my boots.  They remind me a bit of a certain sexy Goblin King :)


mmmmmmmmm.....