Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Sorry I've been so M.I.A all weekend! I've been struggling to keep up with everything from academics to social responsibilities. I cannot wait until two weeks from now, when it's all over! I'll still have finals, but not as much of anything else.

Since I haven't been able to properly post, I decided to humor you all with this photo of my roommate and I. She's a trophy wife (with no one to be the other half as the husband--- which basically meant she got hit on all night. Hilarious but terrible at the same time... and oh-so awkward for myself!) and I am a mime. I was initially supposed to be The Riddler, and I had my outfit (almost) ready as well. However, my friends and I all had to cancel meeting up and gallivanting around town in villainous costumes because we accidentally put the wrong times on our theatre show flyers. This basically means we ended up sitting and sticking labels on flyers all night instead! It wasn't that bad, really. I find that I'm willing to do almost anything when I care about it, and I'm not stressed either.

Hilights from this weekend:

  • Hot weather... I love L.A.!
  • Studying for midterms... still.
  • Wearing long, bulky over the knee socks! I am so addicted.
  • Local concert sessions
  • My last-minute mime outfit: A dress (rolled up), my roommate's vest, shorts, long socks (again!), a bowler, and gloves... along with some brilliant and slightly scary makeup! Oh how I love playing dress up. Pretending to be someone other than myself is so fascinating to me.
  • Getting closer to people by seeing them more often... On Friday, my friend Ivy and I got together and basically just hung out, talked, and pigged out on Pizookies (what's new? This has turned into our tradition).
  • Tech day from 12PM to 10 PM with few breaks. It was tiring but I feel much more prepared to go out there and make myself vulnerable.... It may sound odd, but I've always been more scared of being funny than being emotional-- which is exactly the reason why I auditioned for the role that I did. I still shake behind the scenes but I know it's going to make me a better person, so I'm proud of myself!
  • Having people ask me to teach them how to crochet. I'm so excited about this! It makes me feel like I actually know how to do something well.
<3 Linda

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Costume Time! Part 2: Famous Faces in Art

If you're still struggling to come up with a unique costume this Halloween, have no fear! One of the coolest things that you can be is a recognizable face from a piece of art.

Andy Warhol- "A Shot of Marilyn Monroe": Instead of going out as the usual Marilyn Monroe and running the risk of bumping into another girl with the same outfit, why not become a piece of pop art? I suggest the top middle version. Paint your face a slight pinkish color, wear garish makeup, and don a bright yellow wig instead of a believably blond one. Find a version of her dress in another color and you're good to go!

Botticelli- "The Birth of Venus": This one's a bit harder to do (for obvious reasons), but I think that it is possible. Find a bathing suit top and skirt or shorts for the bottom, and an extremely long wig. Create a "shell" out of pleated fabric or construction paper and fan it out to look like the shell in the painting. Tape it to the top of your skirt (think peacock-look) or around one of your ankles (I would imagine it would be hard to walk in, though!). You can get creative by putting mermaid-like details in your hair or outfit.

Vermeer- "Girl with a Pearl Earring": I had gotten the idea for this one after seeing a still of Scarlet Johansson from the movie of the same name. Use powder and foundation to make your eyebrows appear barely there. Don a brown gown or robe. Put on one pearl earring, and lastly tie your hair with a cream scarf with blue border. It would probably be easier to buy two scarves: One that's cream and blue, and another that's more of a headband (which will be only blue, to go over your head and secure the other scarf in place). Pretty!

Van Gogh- "Self-Portrait": If you or anyone you know is a ginger man, this is the costume for you! It's so brilliant. All you need is makeup and someone who is skilled in using it (or at least is willing to try!). I love the way painterly strokes look on this man's face.

Grant Wood- "American Gothic": A great couple piece, this is! Get a pitchfork and make both of you look like old people with makeup. Wear a collar, brooch, and dress (for the female) and spectacles, overalls, and a jacket (for the male). Done!

Frida Kahlo- "Self-Portrait (1940)": Now, Frida did a lot of self-portraits, but I think this one would look amazing as a costume. Get a long white peasant dress, put your hair up, create a neck piece with wire or paper mache, and you're good to go. Don't forget to add the animals and facial hair, that's what makes the outfit!

Shepard Fairey- "Barack Obama- Progress": This last one's quite recent and good for men who struggle to come up with a not-so-tacky outfit (it seems that male outfits are always horrible... or is that just me?) Just wear a button from the presidential election (or make your own), and go to town on your face with blue, white, black and red face paint. Then wear a suit and hold up a sign that says "Progress" (or "Hope", that was the more recognizable slogan!). It's quite easy and doesn't require too much fuss!

I think I may be too obsessed with art... not that that's a bad thing!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
<3 Linda

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stylespiration: Daisy Lowe

Daisy Lowe is a supermodel who has recently come under the radar for a lot of people, including myself. She's the daughter of Bush singer, Gavin Rossdale (he's also Gwen Stefani's husband, if you didn't know already). I really like her basic but defined style. I would never be able to dress like her everyday but I love the confidence that her look exudes: The bold bangs, the dark lips, the effortless style... swoon! Take a look for yourself!

Sources (clockwise from top): 1, 2, 3, 4. Here's a gallery if you'd like even more ideas!

And now for a Daisy Lowe inspired look:

It's a very youthful style, in my opinion! Every piece I included in the Polyvore set is under $50, except for the blazer. Cheapness for the win! On an unrelated note, I have two midterms today so I'm dying of lack of sleep right now. Wish me luck!
<3 Linda

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Gothic Inspiration

A lot of my posts recently have been word-heavy, so I thought I'd break it up by creating a treasury! Pictures are nice, right?

Click to see larger.
I just like to create wedding treasuries... even though I'm not even close to being married! One of my favorite color palettes are black, cream, and the palest of pinks. I fell in love with the pearl ring featured here and decided to create a collection around it! I think it would be beautiful to use a collection like this around wintertime. You can see it in detail here!

What are some of your favorite color schemes at the moment?
<3 Linda

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LCC: The Audition Story

Hey guys! I don't know if anyone will care for this, but since I talked about joining a theater group recently in a post, and I have posted once before about LCC Theatre Co., I want to take some time to talk about my audition.

I almost always take a long, more scenic route back from class when walking, but on that day, I took a path through the most crowded walkway on campus. On this walkway, a lot of clubs often hand you flyers for events while you're trying to get to class. As I was walking, a tiny voice called, "Improv! Comedy! Drama!" and I immediately stopped. Having not had any drama department in my high school, I've always wanted to participate in theater but never had the chance. I talked to the girl who had been flyering, which I will admit, is something that I normally do not do because I am terrified of talking to strangers, especially spontaneously. This girl told me that auditions were coming up and that I should try out, so I took a flyer and soon forgot about it. It seems that I put it in a textbook, because midterms were coming up and the flyer fell out when I was looking through my book. I absentmindedly browsed their website and thought they seemed like cool people, this "LCC". I signed up for an audition and hoped for the best.

For once, I did not feel anxious. For once, I felt empowered; like I could actually have a chance. And so when they asked me to do improv (something I've never done before) I actually managed to do something funny! I will not go into complete detail, but I do remember being so excited about all of it, and hoping for the best. After callbacks, which were the next week, I felt terrible though. I honestly thought it was over for me, after seeing all the talented people out there who actually were funny. I see now that it was more of an isolation tactic of mine, a "me versus them" philosophy that I create all too often in my head. Long story short, I found out I had been one of two freshmen who made it in. The girl that had initially talked me into trying out is now a Producer (one of two head honchos) in the group!

I really just feel like everything fell into place at the right time, and I have never been happier. Each quarter gives me another opportunity to play an even deeper or comfort-stretching role: This year I'm serving as comic relief in a dramedy as a drama teacher who is 1 part creepy, 1 part war veteran, and 1 part crazily British. In the process I've been finding out so much more about myself. I've been in LCC for about a year now, and if anything has given me the chance to push my comfort zone even further, it's this group. Our show is in two weeks, so we're down to crunch time. Can't wait to share some pictures with you all!

<3 Linda

Monday, October 24, 2011

Movies & Mixes Monday: Soundtracks, Part 2

And now for round two on my favorite soundtracks! I need to get around to actually downloading these things-- right now I'm living off Youtube, which (I know, I know) is terrible.

  • Kirsten, thanks so much for the recommendation to listen to "The Hours" soundtrack! I started listening to it while studying but eventually ended up putting everything down and just closing my eyes to take a listen. It's so ridiculously intense that it fills up your soul and all of your senses too. Just trust me! You can listen to it here.

Some more goodies:

  • "This is Neverland": Finding Neverland. This song makes me think about that specific scene... which I will not talk about since I don't know if you've seen the movie or not. Just know it's so strong and great because of this song's magical feeling!
  • Anyone who's a fan of Amelie will love this one: "La Valse D'Amelie". This song just goes so well with the whole feel of the movie!
  • Donnie Darko's songs were really good for the entire theme of the movie. I for one am a fan of Tears for Fears because of this movie. Some other great songs that are featured: "Did You Know Him?", "The Artifact and Living".
  • Simpon and Garfunkel's entire soundtrack in The Graduate reminds me of my dad, since he listens to that kind of music all the time! My favorites are "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Sound of Silence".
  • One that I can't get out of my head: "You and Me" from Blue Valentine. I have yet to see the movie! My roommates are obsessed with Ryan Gosling, so I'm guessing I'm going to see it by the end of the year. This song sounds like something that should be playing out of a gramophone... Can you imagine how good it would sound on vinyl?

You can also find part one of my soundtrack recommendations here. Hope you all have a great week!
<3 Linda

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Food For Thought: The So-Called "Comfort Zone"

Source sadly unknown.
Out of all of the inspirational pictures I've come across in my years browsing the internet, this is the poster that rings the most true for me. How can you expect others to admire you if you can't even please yourself? Happiness is a state of mind separate from circumstance (other than in extreme cases, of course), and so stepping out of that comfort zone will bring about a lot of bad things before the good comes, but we have to stop and think. You can still be happy without allowing your situation to influence your feelings. This is the reason why a lot of people who are doing what they love say that yes, they're stressed, but they love it all the same.

I think one of the biggest struggles in life is to get outside of your comfort zone. I remember moving to the United States, which in and of itself was a challenge. I could've curled up into my little ball and barely scraped through the years, but it became a lot easier to get out of my comfort zone after being forced to do it a million times. Now, I try to do one little thing that pushes me a little further each day-- whether it be to sign up for a theater group (!!), to make plans with friends and follow through with them, to explore a different path back to my dorm, or to even just talk to the cashier when I'm checking out my groceries. Who's to tell you what you can and cannot do? I'm not saying that I've even come close to my goal, but can you imagine being completely free of your own criticism? That's what I strive for... getting that nagging negative little voice that says "What are you doing? You can't do this" out of my head. And I know that one day, I will succeed. 

Things that make me super anxious may not even register on another person's radar as being uncomfortable. Everyone starts off at different ranges of comfort in their lives, but everyone has the opportunity to change it. The next time something pops up and you're offered the chance to do something outside of the norm, be like Jim Carrey and say yes! (That was a "Yes Man" reference; if you haven't seen the movie... You should watch it!)

<3 Linda

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Costume Time!

After a whole lot of pondering over what to wear, I've finally decided to be (possibly) two things: The Riddler and a Musketeer! They're both going to be part of a group set of costumes, though. Before I decided on what to be, I brainstormed a couple of ideas for dressing up on Polyvore. I like the idea of creating outfits out of actual clothes because they look less tacky and you can wear the pieces outside of Halloween.

I'm just excited because it's going to be the first time since... middle school? that I'm going to be participating in Halloween! How exciting!

<3 Linda
(Ps. If you couldn't tell, I made a Polyvore account... it's so addicting though!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guest Posting and a Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Today's a special day because I did my first blog post ever -- on the lovely Andrea of Paper Sparrow's blog! She's been nothing but kind to me, and I love talking to her. Andrea's hosting a Hitchcock theme party, which I helped come up with. Check it out today if you're a huge fan of Hitchcock, because she has some amazing DIYs and guest posts over there!

I myself made some Murder Mystery Party Invites for free download... You can use it for anything, not just murder mystery parties, if you replace the text! The pictures are a little blurry, but I assure you that the printable is not.

I also am taking part in a group giveaway right now... you can win this colorful crocheted pinwheel brooch on Little Luck Tree, along with three other prizes! Who doesn't love free stuff?

<3 Linda

Monday, October 17, 2011

Movies & Mixes Monday: Soundtracks, Part 1

I have no idea if this is going to work, but here's something good to listen to, especially at night. Jon Brion (a la Eternal Sunshine and so many more soundtracks) is seriously a genius, and Pandora is doing an amazingly good job with selecting appropriate tracks! I approve. If it doesn't work, I was trying to link you up to Jon Brion radio on Pandora. You should take a listen!

Some of my favorite songs from soundtracks are, as well as the movies they're in...

Ice Dance: Edward Scissorhands
Phone Call: Eternal Sunshine
Can You Feel the Love Tonight?: Lion King
All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands: Driving Lessons
Caring is Creepy: Garden State
Hedwig's Theme: Harry Potter
La Vie en Rose: La Vie en Rose

I have so many more, but that's for another post, as this one is running a bit long. Hope this starts out your day well! I feel like soundtracks are so important that they can make or break a movie. Do you have any favorites?
<3 Linda

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Freebie Alert!: Flier Printables

As you may have noticed, I've been MIA recently. Why? Because I've been designing fliers and doing artistic things for school. I have one to share with you today, as a freebie, because the show I made it for ended up getting cancelled! Sad for me but good for you. They're meant to be for a show, but you can also use them as invitations or announcements for sales and such.

Front side:
 Back side:

Things to note:
  • Ignore the terrible spacing of the word "Info" on the back side! Replace all of the "__ here" things with the information you want to put in.
  • The font of these images is called Alien League and I love it. You can download it for free here.
  • On the front side, I would recommend putting a large B&W version of your logo or whatever it is at the bottom of the hourglass. It really pulls the look together. I also think writing the name of your event in large letters on the top and curving it (on Photoshop with an upper arc of -4) would look great, but that's up to you. Here's an example of what I'm talking about if you can't picture it.
  • The space at the bottom of the back poster is for an email address or phone number to be listed.
They are HQ, so you can download them from my Flickr (they're 8.125 by 11.125 inches, incorporating the bleed space). Enjoy!
<3 Linda

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software: A Review

Hello everyone! Liz Gardner recently contacted me about doing a review for My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software as a recent promotion they've been working on (as I'm sure you've seen around the blogosphere already). I decided to give it a shot after being quite skeptical at first. Some of my favorite bloggers (Elsie, Silje, etc) have been avid scrapbookers, and I've admired their pretty projects for years. However, I've always been one to think of scrapbooking as an "elite" thing... as in, every time I go to a crafts store, I stare in wonder and amazement at the rows of pretty papers and decoration until I see the price tag and snap back to reality. So I was really excited when I heard about this, because I've always wanted to be a scrapbooker, and making templates digitally is a really smart way to do so while saving money! The transaction was really simple too, since they offer it as an instant download link instead of having it shipped to you.

Here are the results of my completely amateur scrapbooking skills... (PS. This is a great way to kill time when you're bored but still wanting to let your creative juices flow!) Don't laugh! It's my first time!

To warm up, I tried using a pre-existing template. This is good for people who don't have a lot of time on their hands. I found it difficult to resize the layer so it wouldn't get cropped, but really enjoyed the layouts that were offered (they weren't too tacky or anything).

Overall time: 30 minutes. I really found it easy to place pictures, it kind of reminds me of Powerpoint. The embellishment don't look overdone and comes in a good range of colors! I wish we could pick our own colors from a palette, but that's hardly anything to complain about, considering all of the options available. I also saw that it has an option for adding audio, transitions, and video, which is such a great touch and really shows what advancements digital scrapbooking has made!

Now, time for some scrapbooking from scratch... how daunting! However, it ended up being pretty easy; they provided photo layout ideas and I got to do all of the rest.
Overall time: 15 minutes. It turned out looking a lot worse than I had imagined, but that's because I went embellishment-happy on it. I loved how fast it was to throw together though! Definitely a good idea for anyone who is on the go and wants a simple way to scrapbook. I was able to add a link to my store in the upper corner, on the logo, so I can see how it would be useful for creating a portfolio. I also think it would make for amazing favors if you and your husband/bride-to-be make an album filled with pictures (and video and sound, which you can add using this software!) to give to family and friends after the wedding. It would make for such a creative and personal touch!

Anyway, long story short, I really enjoyed the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software, or I wouldn't have agreed to reviewing it. It's a fun creative outlet for beginners who don't know where to start in the intimidating scrapbooking world. I've been honest in my opinions and this is all just from me poking about and playing with the software. 

If you'd like to find out more about this software, you can check them out on all the usual social sites:
Facebook (They're having a lot of promos on their site right now like free software giveaways and competitions!)

If you've looked into it and are interested in getting one for yourself, click here. You can also get it for $10 dollars off plus $10 store credit if you use this code: STMMMS74375.

I only wanted to do a review this time around instead of pairing it with a giveaway, since this is a meaty post. Expect a giveaway by the end of November, though, as a last opportunity if you missed winning some of the software from other bloggers!

<3 Linda

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Man, The Legend: John Winston Ono Lennon

“If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that's a problem. Peace and love are eternal.”

Happy would-be birthday, Mr. Lennon! I can't believe that it's been so long since he was taken away... He would've been 71 yesterday. I don't get very attached to most celebrities, but I have always been so drawn to Mr. Lennon's voice and mindset. He lived a full life, with music and imagination and spirituality and love. I love his constant wit and wordplay, even if it was cutting at times. He always did what he whatever he wished; sometimes he wasn't seen in a good light because of his actions and meanness, but in a way, I can relate to that too. He's my inspiration because he was always willing to push for the things that he wanted. He grew up in a strict house with no parents and was considered a failure by teachers, but he believed in his own talent. He was the driving force behind The Beatles, having created some of the most beautiful songs of all time, and continued to do so even when he went solo. I find myself really entranced by all of his songs compared to his fellow Beatles, they have a piece of his spirit in them. It's a beautiful thing. He may not have lived the best life, constantly being under the public's and his own scrutiny, but he tried to create a peaceful world, and that's quite the endeavor for one man. He's an amazingly talented person to me (I cannot tell you how many books/ movies I've read and watched about him), and that's why I decided to write this short piece. I will never forget the impact he made, even though I unfortunately never got a chance to meet him.

<3 Linda

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oops, I did it again...

You can never have too many fonts, right? I was looking for a nice handwritten script as well as a stand-out font for a poster I'm making for my theatre group.

In order:
Throw my Hands up in the Air is really simple looking and good for writing large chunks of text without it looking too cluttered.
Skinny Black is cute because of the little holes that are blacked out.
Never Let Go is a pretty looking cursive font, 'nuff said.
VTKR Flowers in my Soul is gorgeous. If you look closely, there are flowers detailed in the letters! I couldn't get the font size large enough to do it justice in this picture, but you should check it out.
Honey Script is a sophisticated version of handwriting, aka the cursive I always wanted to have but probably never will.
Skinny Jeans will be fun to decorate and color in on posters or any art project, really.
Jenna Sue is similar to Throw My Hands Up in the Air, but a little more decorative.
Market Deco reminds me of something you'd see on a new edition of an old classic book, like The Great Gatsby or something.
The Only Exception, LaurenScript, and Learning Curve. They're all slight variations on cursive, but the last one's my favorite. That's how I used to write when I learned cursive in school! I remember winning a handwriting competition for the best cursive in third grade. Yup, it's my greatest accomplishment yet. Also check out the dotted version (not seen here), I feel like it would be a really cute addition to any photo!

I'm late to class so I'm off!
<3 Linda

Monday, October 3, 2011

Movies & Mixes Monday: Gang Gang Dance

I'm a person with an open mind when it comes to music, even though I normally find myself listening to a lot of indie, alternative, and funk-rock. However, when I listened to these guys, I became instantly enthralled. They have a tiny hint of experimental and electronic mixed with a lot of their own style that I've never even heard of before. I love it and find myself listening to them a lot when I'm needing to study, it really improves my focus somehow. They have an upbeat but comforting vibe that I can't quite describe, but they're definitely on my "music of the moment" list.
<3 Linda

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vintage-Inspired Hair: My First Attempt

I will definitely be doing this hairstyle again. I worked with my natural hair type and it was so easy to do, in my very inexperienced opinion! I paired it with black flats, a gold heart earrings, and a bright blue summer dress with a black knit sweater and belt layered on top (which unfortunately cannot be seen since my dorm's too small to take a head-to-toe shot).

Also, minor update: I've decided to not post 6 out of 7 days of the week anymore, but instead maybe 3 to 4 times. One of the main reasons is that I'm slowly falling more and more behind in reading for school, but equally important is the fact that no one wants to read about someone who posts quantity over quality!

<3 Linda