Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Positivity!

Five ways to feel a little happier this week:

1. Write some poetry.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
                    — Dead Poets Society. Such a good movie. If you want to feel inspired, watch it!

2. Pay yourself a compliment.

How can you feel bad about yourself if you look in the mirror and tell yourself this everyday?!

3. Make like Zoolander and get an orange mocha frappuccino!

I had to go there, you guys. I just had to. :)

4. Listen to an empowering song.

When I used to feel down, I would listen to "Blue Skies" by Noah and the Whale, which is a sad but comforting song. That whole album was pretty good for any "I can be happy" feelings. Find your song, and sing it out loud, cry to it, whatever makes you feel better! Sometimes we find it tough to get through hard times, but music always finds a way to soothe the soul.

5. Spread the love by backing a charity that's close to your heart.

Here are two that I would fully support, since I've always felt passionate about animal issues:
1. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Organization. Help out by fostering an orphaned baby elephant?
2. The Snuggles Project. I love it because it combines two of my favorite things: Animals and crafting. It's hands-on: You create blankets for animals in shelters, and you can donate them directly to your local shelter (if it is Snuggles eligible-- Go to the website for more details).

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend! Keep posted tomorrow for an update on the Little Willow Shop grand opening!
<3 Linda

Friday, July 29, 2011

Things I've Learned About College So Far

1. School pictures still don't turn out the way you want them to.
2. No matter how good dorm food is, you will get tired of it after you eat it everyday.
3. Everything's a short distance away, but you have to travel up and down millions of flights of stairs just to get anywhere.
4. No matter what a school's reputation is, you will always find a variety of people there. As in, if your school's known for partying and you're not much of a partier, you're sure to find other people who are the same. Or vice versa.
5. Learning to hone your napping skills is absolutely necessary. Learning to nap in-between classes, wherever you can, and at the drop of a hat are all abilities that you need to have to survive school.
6. TV is no longer important in your life. Coffee is the most important thing in your life.
7.  It's hard to make and keep friends unless you join a student group to find people with similar interests. (This is particularly true at large universities.)
8. TAs will often provide more knowledge and insight than professors can.
9. Student discounts: A college student's blessing.
10. The difference between a triple and a double is vast. Get used to living in cramped spaces, friends, because no matter how hard you try, your desk will always look like a tornado blew through it.

Yeah. I think that just about sums it up.
<3 Linda

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Five Little Facts... About Me!

Hey guys, I just thought now would be a better time than ever to kind of introduce myself a bit more, so here goes!

1. The Little Willow is a name that I've been using for a couple
of years now, initially for my Tumblr and now for other accounts, including this one. It had come to me in a flash of inspiration, and I just liked the way the syllables rolled together. The "Little" part stems from my shortness. Haha. I clock in at just under five feet. Willow is one of my favorite names; if I end up ever having a kid, I would probably name her that! I like how it sounds wistful, delicate, and graceful. The last, and most nerdy, reason I chose Willow was because I happened upon JK Rowling's website when I was utterly obsessed with the Harry Potter books, and found that she chose Ron and Hermione's wand woods based on a celtic tree chart. For my birth date, the assigned wood was willow, and I thought that was fitting because it's my favorite kind of tree as well. So many different reasons, I know! And later on I found out that Paul McCartney, once part of my favorite band, has a song called "Little Willow", about Ringo's beautiful ex-wife, Maureen. Pure coincidence, but I like that my name and that song are linked in an odd way.

2. I love love love making lists. I have a listography but I also write lists on my computer, on papers, in  the margins of books, in notebooks, and all that. I also tend to write lists everywhere I can, mainly of things I need to do but also things I like, things I want to buy, things I want to eventually try, etc. I think it's a good way of getting thoughts out and getting organized, but now that I'm hooked on it, it's almost become the opposite! It's hard to stay organized when you're trying to keep track of five lists at once.

3. I can't get through a day without drinking tea. It makes my morning headaches go away and makes me feel calmer. A good day to me involves drinking tea and crafting with friends!
4. I'm a huge fan of Big Band and Motown. A lot of things that I like tend to be what people call "old-fashioned". Vintage clothing, black-and-white movies, '60s and '70s rock and roll music, etc.
5. Some of my favorite books are fiction, because I like to dream, but I also like classics (because I want to know what the hype's about) and autobiographies (because it's interesting to hear about a person's life through their own eyes).

Just wanted to leave you all with a couple of general pieces about me. :) Today's going to be filled with taking pics, listing, and figuring out how to use Etsy; I may or may not be asking some of you guys for help! It all seems so complicated...

<3 Linda

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Expectations v. Reality: Beaches

This is why I normally don't particularly enjoy going to the beach.

Source: Travel Journals
Ahh... A lovely deserted island. Perfect for sprawling out!

Source: USA Today
When it's so crowded that you can't even see the sand.

Don't get me wrong, though. If you can find me a not-so-crowded beach, I am there! Haha. Can't wait to go to the beach sometime this summer!

<3 Linda

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things I Love Tuesday: Christmas in July?!

Haha, just kidding. I just thought now would be a better time than ever to do a picture post of my Christmas wishlist!

1.  This Wacom tablet. (Yeah yeah, I know I've been going on about tablets.)

2. The Feeding the Swans dress from Modcloth. I hope lace never goes out of style! And those eyelets! And that collar! And those pleats! And that pink! ...Okay, going to stop rambling now. All I have to say is that this is the perfect dress, I'm so happy that it was chosen!

3. Brooches. Come on now, these ones by Hanaletters are adorable! I collect brooches, because you can wear them with almost anything, and put them almost anywhere!

4. A fair isle poncho. I haven't tried knitting fair isle myself, but I love the way it looks. And ponchos are personal to me because it's an alternative to draping a blanket around myself (which I love to do at home!). This capelet pattern is from Ravelry, so if you're interested, buy it and try it out!

5. These Sheer Pinstriped Thigh Highs with Bows from Sockdreams. I have been eyeing them for who-knows-how-long. They remind me of something you'd see in Moulin Rouge or Chicago and definitely have an old-time flair about them!

6. A black faux leather jacket. It's chic but not too dramatic. This Black Faux Snakeskin Suede Biker Jacket from Topshop would be amazing, it it were only in my size! I don't support wearing leather for ethical reasons, but if it's fake, I don't mind. Here's a cheaper alternative from Wetseal that I've also been contemplating.

That's just a bit of my huge wishlist! I'm an avid window-shopper, so I highly doubt any of these will be mine come December. But it's good to dream!

What do you have on your wishlist?
<3 Linda

Monday, July 25, 2011

Craving for... Gold

Hi everyone! Hope you had a nice weekend. I'm moving today's "Movies & Mixes" post to Thursday, since I really felt like putting together a collection of gold things I've been admiring recently!

Here's a simple makeup tutorial about how to put gold eyeshadow on.

You can find another video of hers here that does another kind of gold look. Love it!

1. Black and Gold Heart Earrings from HandmadeLouisiana on Etsy. Profits go to helping with the Gulf oil spill.
2. Garden Gazebo Pendant from Modcloth. It's got a tiny golden dove hanging inside!
3. Road Warrior Harness by IHeartNorwegianWood. Looks pretty fierce to me.
4. Sequins Ye Shall Find Shorts from Modcloth. They stand out on their own!
5. Seychelles Secret Bootie from DSW. That thick heel means it's probably easier to walk in.
6. African Gold Peacock Clutch by MermaidsDream. A piece like this could dress up any outfit!

I love the way gold looks. If it's done right, it looks classy and not too flashy!
<3 Linda

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tiny Successes!

I have no idea if anyone would think these things are that big of a deal, but to me they are, because they are teeny personal successes that have led me to be a very happy gal this week.

I signed on today and found out that I reached over 100 page views on this blog! To me that's something to celebrate since I'm such a blogging noob; I'm rounding on 3 weeks now. :"D Thanks so much for commenting and reading, everyone!

More things to celebrate:
  • I was the lucky lucky winner of a pair of Blowfish Shoes on Amy Morby's blog! She seems so nice, check her out if you have time. I will definitely blog about them when they come in! Highlight of my week, most certainly.
  • My scanner is finally working for my computer, so I can upload Daily Animal Doodles now, and they'll look nice and clean! Somehow or the other the software worked a second time around. Unfortunately I've fallen behind the past couple of days... tomorrow's catch-up day, and I have around 3 to catch up with. Uh-oh!
  • My laptop is finally getting a replacement battery, so I won't be constantly living in fear of it spontaneously dying on me.
  • The shop is opening in... 9 days? (I'm terrible with counting.) I'm so nervous but excited. For the first few weeks, you can expect to see some "standard" items. In the meantime, I'll be working on some larger scale projects that you will hopefully like when they come out! I now have so much appreciation for anyone who has an online business; it's a lot of work! 
I'm writing this at night so that I can sleep in tomorrow (I really need it!). I'll let you know what I was up to today later on in the week instead, I am pooped!

<3 Linda 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Positivity!

B+ stands for Be Positive. With all the stress of worldly and personal problems, it sometimes gets hard to be positive. So each week, I'm going to put together some things to make you (and myself) feel happy and inspired!
Source: Leilockhart

This quote by Jackie (played by Mila Kunis)  from That 70s Show made me laugh. It's so typical of her character. Does anyone watch that show?
“Okay, look. I had to ask myself a really hard question. Who do I love most? And the answer was so obvious. It was staring me in the face the whole time. The person I love most is me. I love me most. Look, if I could run across the beach into my own arms, I would.”
How sweet is this drawing?
Source: Mischief Champion

Lastly, Gala, one of my favorite bloggers, is doing a Radical Self-Love Bootcamp, for anyone who's interested! Here's a link to a little excerpt she posted up. I love the idea of a little more positivity being added to the world. I might go see her speak later on in October when she goes to Santa Monica, if I can afford the tickets!

Tomorrow, I'm doing a massive JoAnn run to get some last-minute supplies. If I have extra time in the day and my battery doesn't act up again, I might put up my first DIY! If not, you'll see it in the upcoming weeks :)

<3 Linda

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lovely days, lovely nights

I really need to remember to take my camera outside in the daytime. I've been working on crocheting (as per usual), and am going to switch my focus to painting and drawing tomorrow if everything works out well. It'll be nice to work on canvas and watercolor paper after a long time of doing purely crochet for the store. I have a couple of portfolio pieces to put together too, so it's been a lot of crafting for me recently! Not that I mind.

 Yes, those are avocado plants. I can't wait to devour those strawberries.

Here's a picture of yesterday's quail prompt from Daily Animal Doodles. I didn't bother fixing the picture on Photoshop. Why? Because I finally have a new scanner/printer! However, the software malfunctioned when I tried to download it to my computer, so I have to look into that. But I just wanted to share this with you! I can't wait for my drawings to have a nice clean, white background.

I like doing my Daily Animal Doodle right before going to bed, to wind down, so I haven't done today's yet. The animal is "raccoon" and it's going to be cute!

<3 Linda

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Animal Doodles

I finally uploaded my pictures from all these days; you can see them all on my Flickr account.

My absolute favorite to draw so far is Day 13: Lemur. I love his expression! I may just redo this one in a nicer fashion for the shop. Perhaps with a nicer message... haha!

I am extremely pleased with my drawings, but I wish I had a tablet to draw them straight onto the computer instead so that they look nicer. I'm always too lazy to scan...

As for the challenge, it's been really hard to keep up, but I know that my drawing skills are getting better, so I'm forcing myself to persevere!

<3 Linda

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things I Love Tuesday: Museums

I'm such a big fan of museums and collections, since they can be anything from weird and wacky, to clean and modern. Next quarter, I'm even taking a museum studies course! I'm majoring in Art History in the hope of working in an art museum someday. Here are just a few museums that I have yet to visit (but would love to!):

Source: Sizuken's Flickr
1. The Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan. It combines nature and sculpture to create a unique experience.
Source: Marvin's Museum Website
2. Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Michigan, US. It has everything from coin-operated games to vintage fans, and is sure to be an interesting visit.

Source: LittleBrumble
3. The 3D Center of Art and Photography in Oregon, US. An interactive museum with special 3D screenings, classes where you can learn to make 3D images, and even portions dedicated to ViewMaster® toys, remember those?

Source: Busy Beaver Button Co
4. Busy Beaver Button Co. in Illinois, US. It's the only known pin-back button museum! I remember loving pinning these to my backpack in high school. It looks like it's really cutely displayed.

5. The Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum in Ontario, Canada. Its focus is the 1950s to 1970s, which happens to be most of my favorite music to listen to. They have a Beatles exhibit (!!!) as well as a Neil Young one, and so much more.

There are way more that I like, but I think I'll break it off and do another post on museums later! So many of these museums are free to the public; more people should go! I'd love to do a museum road-trip sometime. It would be a nice adventure, I think!

<3 Linda

Monday, July 18, 2011

Movies & Mixes Monday: Favorite Music

Maybe I should just turn this into "Mixes Monday", since I rarely feel like posting about movies anyway! This week seems to feature big news from some of my favorite bands.

Warpaint is a group of four women (including Jenny Lee Lindberg, Shannyn Sossamon's sister, and Emily Kokal, John Frusciante's ex) who play music with an ethereal vibe. They have come out with a new video of their track, "Warpaint". I would embed the video, but the coding doesn't allow me to. Click through to listen to it on NPR.

They're also playing at the Hollywood Bowl on September 25th, along with TV on the Radio and The Arctic Monkeys, just to name a few. Tickets start from $27 and are on sale now! I'm definitely considering it; I'm sure these girls are amazing live.

Speaking of John Frusciante, I really miss his musical contributions to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Today, they released a single from their new album, "I'm With You", and while it's not terrible, it was hard not to note the missing falsetto tones of Frusciante's backing vocals. I still have hope for the new album, though, since I've seen what Josh Klinghoffer has done while working with John himself! It comes out on 8/30. Here's a link to listen to the released song, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie".

Delta Spirit is one of my favorite bands because of their comforting Americana vibe. They're supposedly going for a different sound on their new album, which they're currently working on in a cabin right now! To keep people's interests peaked, they have made "Devil Knows You're Dead", a song featured on the finale of Friday Night Lights, available for free download on their website. If you want to listen to more, their music can also be downloaded for free at Daytrotter.

My ultimate favorite is a classic. The Beatles song, "I'm Looking Through You" is finally available for download as a single on iTunes. In addition, Martin Scorsese is making a documentary on George Harrison called "Living in the Material World", which is being released at the same time as a book of the same title. And, of course, the Cirque/ Beatles collaboration, LOVE, is on sale right now. I've been itching to see it ever since I saw the documentary on it called "All Together Now". They're having all kinds of promotional deals, like 2 for $100, 20% off select performances, and a 35% discount for college students (which I will definitely be using!).

I'm so glad that this summer seems to be a big one, musically! What are some of your favorite bands and musicians?
<3 Linda

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yarn and Photoshop

Just a quick post to say that the shop is progressing! Only ten more days until the store opens, and I'm very excited! Currently I'm working on little knick-knacks, nothing too large, but as time progresses I am planning on putting some bigger pieces up. I just want to get a stable start without getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday was really nice. My friends and I went around town, attempted to walk around the lake, drank lots of cucumber water, and caught up at a cafe. All in all, a good day! My camera died on me, so I have no pictures. Womp.

Here's a sneak peek at the new banner for the store:

I'm off to doodle, brainstorm, and crochet my day away! I'll hopefully be uploading some drawings from the Daily Animal Doodles, too. I've been keeping up, but often forgetting to photograph and upload them onto Flickr for others to see!

<3 Linda

Friday, July 15, 2011

Around the house

A short picture post since I woke up late today after the HP movie premiere last night. The movie was really good, by the way! If you want to see a movie that finally sticks to the book, this is it.

The solar lights around my house are really pretty, and they glow in different colors at night!

I'm heading out soon with a couple of friends now! No idea where we're going, but it's sure to be fun.
<3 Linda

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adventures Galore

Today I went out and about, so I decided to bring my camera along!

This is what I look like as of recent. My bangs make me look like a 10 year old.

First we went to Petsmart or Petco (I forget which) to check up on a friend's dog, Whiskey. The little bugger refused to stay still!

While I was there, I peeked about at the other animals. The Zebra Finch was my favorite! It's so sad to see them in these cages. If I had my own bird, I'd let him or her fly about wherever she pleased within the house. At least it would be a step up from the confined pet store spaces!

Then it was off to Target, where we ogled at cards. They look so colorful and pretty together!

I had to resist the temptation to buy scrapbook supplies...

These little pinatas made me laugh!

T'was a random but fun day. I normally hate going shopping, but I pulled myself out of the house because I wanted to see Whiskey. Tonight's the Harry Potter premiere, so I may not be posting until late tomorrow!

<3 Linda

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Five Little Facts

Hello! This is a new installment that I've been brewing in my mind for a while. It'll pop up every so often on this blog. I'm a huge fan of trivia; my dad and I even used to compete against each other when watching Jeopardy! It's fun to find out odd little pieces of random facts and expand your IQ, so here you go!
  1. Our planet is slowly reaching a population of 7 billion people. In fact, the world's 7 billionth person is projected to be born in October of this year! We'll have to face the consequences and find more sustainable options to accommodate so many people on one planet.
  2. In 1952, Albert Einstein had been offered presidency in Israel, but he declined. Imagine!
  3. Less than 30 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood! I, myself, am not able to. That's why it's so important for those who are eligible to give blood regularly!
  4. We lose half a liter of water everyday through breathing. I guess that's why we're told to drink 8 glasses of water a day!
  5. I found this one through my Geography class last year: Breathing the air in Mumbai, India, for one day is equivalent to smoking 2.5 packs of cigarettes!
And that's it! Hopefully that'll start up some interesting conversations!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things I Love Tuesday: Books

Hello everyone! Not every T.I.L.T. of mine is going to be themed, but I found so many book-related things that I like that I decided to throw them all into a single post!

1. Shelfari is a great site if you want to keep track of which books you've read, are reading, and plan to read in the future. How many times have you been in the middle of a book when you suddenly realize that you've read the book before? It's sometimes really hard to keep track of which books I've read, so I like to use Shelfari to keep my affairs in order. My account's private for the most part, but you can also use the site to socialize and find people who have similar reading tastes, as well as to write reviews about books you loved or hated. I also like it because I can properly answer the question, "What are some of your favorite books?" by just pulling it up from the website.

2. Woody Allen shares his top 5 books. #1 does not surprise me at all. A lot of people list it as their favorite book, but I have yet to read it!

3. is officially my favorite summer site. It has several classics online, including my go-to book, The Count of Monte Cristo. I love the look and feel of a real book, but since I spend a lot of time online, it's convenient and easy to access. I like that each chapter has its own link; that way I can pace myself and have a goal of steadily reading a chapter a day. Keeping it to this schedule works out great if you have little time on your hands! That way you can prevent yourself from being sucked into a book for hours on end, shirking everything you need to do (which I admit, I have been guilty of!). I recently used this website to read the classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and loved the book's wordplay. Let me know if you've read it before!

4. This image (created by Poorlydrawnlines) always makes me giggle! I remain undecided on the issue.

5. The next few things on my reading list: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Wasteland, both by T. S. Eliot. I also plan on reading Labyrinths, if I can get my hands on a copy. Daniel Radcliffe recently recommended it in an issue of Oprah, and this excerpt immediately caught my interest:
[In] "The Library of Babel" ("Borges proves that if you can write a story in ten pages, it doesn't need to be any longer"), he imagines an infinite library filled with every book written, not yet written, and every combination of words and letters in between. "The premise is that contained somewhere in these books is the meaning of life. So cults develop that walk through the library searching for it. The fact that Borges could start with such an idea—an infinite library, what would that involve?—and then take it to a logical conclusion is remarkable."
An infinite library? Sounds good to me. 

What are you planning to read this summer?
<3 Linda

Monday, July 11, 2011

Movies & Mixes Monday: Moe Meguro

Hello hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I can't believe it's already been a week since I created this blog!

Today I wanted to focus on the music side of things. Throughout the course of my life, I've met a fair amount of musicians, some of whom got together and played as bands. In my first year of college, I met a guy named Jojo Brandel. Throughout the year, he and his friends in Berkeley were in the process of coming up with songs for an album. I loved sitting and listening to him work out little melodies late at night, and it sometimes inspired me to get creative with my own work, too.

If there's anyone who's dedicated to rock and roll, it's Jojo. Talking to him, you can really tell how passionate he is. He wants to take any extra money and send it to help some local bands from Japan out, since he's going there next year. Jojo's band has created a Kickstarter, and though they met their goal, they're still about $500 short of the money they need to put the album (San Mai Niku) out there. They still have five days left, and I hope you, the readers, take a listen and donate. If you're into Japanese culture, or feel like listening to something different than the normal rock you hear on the radio, this album is for you.

Here's a little snippet to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

More info can be found at their Kickstarter. Another friend, Cindy Lin, lent her lovely vocals to the album as well, and so I'm writing this for the both of them, even though neither asked me to. I just really want to see this album come to fruition! 

<3 Linda

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drawing Daily is a Challenge!

Today, I decided to join and begin drawing Daily Animal Doodles in July. It's such a great idea! I love drawing animals. The plan is to draw one animal for each day of the week-- hopefully I can stick to it! 

My goals for this challenge are:

To meet fellow artists.
To learn how to draw quickly while maintaining quality.
To improve my drawing skills.
To create a trademark style unique to myself.
To learn how to draw with little reference. I often need to look at the subject every so often if I'm depicting something real.
To get myself to upload pictures more often.
To use my sketch book more.
To stop being so negative about my own work, and to start being constructive.
To stop feeling insecure about showing my own work to other people.
To sit myself down and draw for a month!

I'll be drawing daily but more likely than not, I will not be posting up pictures daily (I am simply terrible at posting anything online on time, photo-wise). I may do a collage at the end and upload them all at once. Or maybe I'll post my favorite one each week every Saturday. 

Here's my very first drawing. This is from yesterday, Day 8: Goose. I wanted to play off of the whole "Mother Goose" thing.

Here's the Flickr Group if you want to see others' drawings! There are 44 members currently in the group. If you don't find my drawings on this blog you'll probably see them on Flickr. 

Join us! It seems like it's going to be fun.
<3 Linda