Photo A Day Challenge

I came across this photo a day challenge for the month of January and thought it would be fun to particpate. So I dowloaded Instagram to my iphone aiming for uniformity in my images and began working on the list. These are my entries for the challenge. All the photos and drawings are my own work. So in no particular order…..

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Monday Meditation ~Desiderata

Monday Meditation’s are designed to let your mind shift, heart rate slow and relax as your brain moves into a slower gear.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann circa 1920s

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Image: What lies Beneath by DCT

The Weekend ~ 1/27/12

We began the week entering into the year of the dragon. I figured it fitting to finish off and head into the weekend with photos from Vogue Magazines Rooney Mara: Playing with Fire.

Who better then the girl with the dragon tattoo?

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Here are some articles worth checking  out. See you Monday.
 

Weekend Reading List:

 

Images: Vogue

SS 2012 Couture Preview

In this week’s Wall Street Journal they write “couture makes a comback as labels burnish image with unusual details and techniques”.  The Yin and Yan of fashion where couture creations play the balancing act between the high end and mass market. Here are a few snapshots of the Spring Summer 2012 Couture lines taking their own unique risks.
 

Atelier Versace Haute Couture Spring 2012: Of Corsetry and Lace ~

The presentation intimate, the front row star-studded and from the background sounded classic opera. Dripping in bright colors, corseted metallic gowns, futuristic details glittering with sequins and crystals the clothes focused on the curves of a woman’s body.

 

Armani Prive Haute Couture Spring 2012: Oscar Buzz Admist Glittering Gowns ~

Metamorphosis  and “the woman who is at first calm and easy and then is drawn out of her own skin” was the theme and Oscar was the buzz. Armani delivered striking a balance between the sweet silliness of the corkscrew headpieces and his simmering creations- the ‘Oceans of organza undulated and glittered like late-night waves’. Reptilian shimmering textures, shades of green, iridescence, draped fronts and second skin sheaths completed the evolution from flora to fauna, water to solid.

 

Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2012: Nothing But Blue Skies ~

With Stewardess sexy Lagerfeld managed to convey a sense of lightness, casual ease to couture. This lightness was echoed on the runway with a “monochrome rainbow” of blues, blacks, and creams. Structured and clean, dropped waists, puffed sleeves and exaggerated boat necks and subtle embroidery. The evening looks glimmering with crystals, beads, sequins and high shine PVC.

 

Dior Haute Couture Spring 2012: Back to Its Roots ~

Returning to the classic full skirts, nipped waists it was pure nostalgia with “All the structure of iconic Dior, thanks to lots of fittings, but all of it see-through,” Gaytten explained. There were layers of ultra-femme transparent fabrics- chiffon, organza, gauze, artful folds and just the touch of a modern edge with croc leather and checks.

 

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring 2012: Pure Fairytale ~

A child’s Haute Couture dream, all fairytale, echoed in the gold leaf interiors of the salon. Opulence displayed in the delicate floral accents flooded with crystals and clusters of beads. Sheer tops, draped tops, raspberry, cream and salmon pink lace, folded knots sprinkled with fairytale touches everywhere the collection had a timeless aspect of a reawakened princess.

 
 
Images: Fashionista and Fashionologie

Evaluate your spending

A few months ago I came across a post Splurge or Save on vmac and cheese. I enjoy these “this or that” shopping comparisons. I heard a generalization once that women tend to talk about the deal they got, how much they saved on a purchase where men brag about how much they spent on the latest and greatest.  Regardless of which side of the scale you trend, splurge or save, who doesn’t want to look stylish at less than designer prices?

But personally I think the better question to ask yourself is not do I want that $1000 coat or $130 coat but rather do I need either one? Spending less on an impulse buy is still spending and if you put the purchase on credit, it’s money you don’t have.

As a nation of consumers seeking instant gratification. We have forgotten as Andy Warhol explained that “the idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”

Instead of saving money towards a goal, a camera, a vacation etc we go ahead and charge it. Thinking we’ll figure out how to pay it off later. This behavior inevitably snowballs until you’re buried under a mountain of debt. All joy or momentary thrill from that purchase long gone.

Imagine taking the time to save. Waiting for the purchase till there is cash in hand. What might be experienced  in the waiting? Can you remember holding hands in the movie theater; excitement building up to a first kiss. That is what we could recreate in small ways in our life. The anticipation. The thrill of acheivement.

I think it is important to curb your spending, live within your means. To determine the things that really matter. There is so much creativity lost in debt.

Can you find the joy in creating an evening with friends that doesn’t drain your pocketbook and pulls you closer to one another?

Do you honestly recognize what you can live without so you know where to splurge?

Are you ready to save towards that goal and revel in the ultimate gratification of knowing you were able to buy something you wanted without putting yourself under water. Ultimately sinking your financial boat.

There is a Swedish Proverb that  says “Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breath more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours! ”

Well I would add, “Spend less, Save More.”