Miseducated | Whimsical Lifestyle Inspiration | Page 2

Because I can never decide which one is better so all of my pastel-coated paintings always have a little hot pink strewn through-out and same for my collages. Why choose one when you can have both? Have a hot pink Easter.

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Easy Neon Hanging Planters Tutorial by Brit + Co

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Candy Necklace Inspiration by Love the Day

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Chocolate Surprise Egg DIY for Easter

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Dip Dye Placemats by Design Love Fest

and lastly a breathtakingly beautiful home office and craft studio to inspire you to design your work space to fit your inspiration ala I Love Crafty:

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Who says the occult can’t be kawaii? For a long time I’ve loved tarot card art and the amount of dedication it must take to finish such a large deck. It’s a stretch, something totally new I never considered really doing. I know this is the next step!

So my next huge personal project is designing an deck of TAROT CARDS >> This is big for me to admit. Dedicating my next year/s to producing extensively designed mixed media tarot cards (78 in a deck) that will be available as very limited large prints until the entire deck is complete and then they will be made into decks of cards included as a lovely kit complete with a book written by a friend on interpretations.

I’ve also recently become obsessed with cute tarot cards such as those by Sanrio, Aya Takano (THE BEST: top of my wish list), the numerous cat and animal tarot cards, etc so I had to feature them! I’ve always wondered how I can add a totally different style/take into the world of the tarot.

The first of my new prints will be on show RAW located at the Murat on [official date announced!!] March 19th (buy a ticket ($15), you wont regret it! if not in the area comment and receive a free print at $30~). “XXI The World” is the first card and, as stated, will be first available at RAW.

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Once upon a time there was a kitschy Queen with a pretty, pretty princess and a bossy kitten that enjoyed the finer things in life. Things such as sugar, fluff, puff, stuff and more sugar sprinkled mayhem on top of that. In fact she thought the world might be a bit better if covered in sugar and so she spent her life running amok with her beautiful best friends while trying to make her dreams come true. Then the universe smiled on her and she met her King who had a couple princes and another pretty, pretty princess. They all 6 (her new lucky number) ran around with big handfuls of glittery love to throw onto the ground like petals at a wedding while the bossy little kitty sang the song of sunshine to all who would listen.

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Buddha at the Art Institute of Chicago

This is a beautiful Buddha from the Art Institute of Chicago where my King took me last week and it reminded me of old, happy memories. I love it and it reminds me of my home in Japan and our home here because we have mini Buddha’s all over the house.

Jamie and Amber Renee by ZambiCandy

ZambiCandy drew this of Jamie and I recently! I commissioned it for her birthday because I knew she loved Zambi’s work and because we had been playing our 3DSs non-stop together and talking about how fun it was just like the cartoon above! It was perfect because we each got each other sentimental prints and gifts this year. Absolutely excellent work by an even sweeter artists. I highly recommend her for any chibi or manga work you want done!

PST! See more daily photos like this via instagram. My username is: amberrenee — xx!

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caffeineaddiction

Question

I drink tea and coffee all day, even at night. Are tea and coffee really healthy or unhealthy? What is the truth about how caffeine can help or hinder me from having a healthy life?Jamie, TN

Answer

Jamie,
This is an excellent question & certainly something that many people seem to struggle with these days. As a culture we’re overworked, under-rested and, as a result, highly caffeinated. Plus, because caffeine is an addictive substance that often causes withdrawal when you try to quit, it can be quite hard to shake the feeling of tired to wired and back again.

There are two sides to the argument about caffeine, on the one hand, moderate amounts of caffeine have been found to improve concentration, increase memory function, reduce muscle soreness and even possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, it also interferes with your absorption of vitamins & minerals, stimulates stress hormones, spikes your blood sugar and dehydrates your cells, causing premature aging.

From the sound of things, your personal caffeine consumption is certainly above average. Over time, consuming at your current rate could fatigue your adrenal glands, putting your body in a perpetual state of stress and exhaustion. Cutting back on your caffeine, especially from coffee, can bring things back into balance, help you sleep better, and allow your body to absorb important nutrients it could be missing out on.

If you were one of my clients, I would encourage you to choose tea over coffee for awhile. Yes, you’ll still be consuming caffeine, but the caffeine in tea is more bio-available to your body than the caffeine in coffee. Plus, since tea is super high in antioxidants, the healthy benefits far out way any damage done by the caffeine that accompanies it.

The other great thing about the caffeine in tea is that it varies from type to type. This is helpful when trying to reduce your stimulant consumption slowly to avoid withdrawal. You can start off by trading your cup of joe for a nice black tea, the most caffeinated variety of teas. Then switch to oolong, green & white teas, the next step down. Until finally you can switch things up entirely with some tasty herbal teas. With the exception of yerba mate, herbal teas contain no caffeine at all, but they do help to replace the ritual of waking up to a warm beverage. If you find that you miss the earthy taste of coffee after cutting back, you may want to check out Teeccino, an herbal tea brand that’s roasted to mimic that java taste without the harmful caffeine.

Happy Drinking,
Michelle Shea Walker, H.C.

Ask A Healthy Life Stylist

Just make sure you are clear about if you mind your question/answer being published on Miseducated and if you’d prefer to be anonymous. All questions will be answered by Michelle regardless so ask away!

For more information about Health, Happiness, & Hoola Hoops please visit Michelle‘s website!

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I reworked this article from a couple of past articles because I decided to give “vlogging” another try!

There have been quite few awesome recommendations for the DO IT OURSELVES feature on Miseducated (suggest to us what you’d like us to both make and share the process of making) and so I decided I would try something I was asked about years ago.. mostly because I’m a bit shy/critical of myself and it’s VERY hard for me to force myself to make a video blog. I’ve done a couple through the years but I’ve deleted or never published most of them.

What I’ve been trying to do is to be as relaxed as I am when I’m writing.. as though I’m just hanging out with my friends and you’re coming along on the sugar trolly.


This first try is my new vlog introduction. It’s not perfect, it’s not even that great but I did check off my long list of basics such as finding a setting (key!), making the intro using an image and the custom theme (I got tired of the animation — maybe later) and having an idea of what I might say (but not scripted and slow!). I tried to put forth the basic tips I’ve collected throughout the internet years when creating this quick and dirty video show introduction. Stay tuned for both my notes and steps to try it yourself!

Notes

1. Theme Visual & Theme Song (or voiceover)
2. Introduction
3. Video Blog
4. End / Bloopers / Goodbye / Theme Close (with a cute animation??)
5. Credits (if needed)

Theme

What do you need to do this? Do you have any friends that compose original music? Can you use music that is free for public use? The possibilities are endless.

Video Editing

Again you can use and get creative with videos of public domain or grab your webcam and record some. You can settle for Quicktime Pro for quick and easy editing such as cutting, copying and pasting clips. If you’re interested in more advanced video editing software you should try Final Cut Pro~ for quick and easy editing I used iMovie.

Content

Of course this depends on what kind of video blog you’re making — if you’re interviewing a guest or featuring an event then obviously you would prepare questions and feature them as much as, if not more than, yourself.

AND if Miseducated has taught you anything it’s to pay attention to your mise-en-scene. Actually pay attention to what’s in the frame. If you’re filming in front of a pile of dirty laundry it probably wont have the same effect as in your local soda-shop or your cute office.

So if you want to start, read the following steps and join me in this fun medium of communication.

STEPS: Try it Yourself!

1. Watch a lot of video blogs.

Check out your friend’s blogs, their friend’s blogs, you favorite model’s blog and more. Surf around Flickr and Youtube and see how other’s carry out their video blogs. Pay attention to the content, length and format. Note what you like and don’t like about them.

2. Create the actual content.

Write down what you plan to talk about, keep it short and to the point so you can freely elaborate on video. Make sure you don’t look like you’re actually reading the notes to yourself; make it spontaneous but don’t get too lengthy. I think the best videos are short and sweet.

3. Practice makes perfect.

Practice in front of the camera. Take long videos, short videos, videos of you talking with your best friend, whatever video ideas you have practice them. Pay attention to how you present yourself in front of the camera and take notes. Re-record re-record re-record.

4. Post your video.

After following all the above steps you may or may not be ready to post your video. Post it anyway. We all have to start somewhere and that only leaves room for improvement.

Don’t worry about getting it right your first video. It will probably be too long, you’ll look like a huge dork, and the guys building a hotel next door will probably take the exact moment you’re recording to use their jackhammer. Whatever.” – Kontrary

Have you given it a try? Are you considering it now? Do you think we should further investigate this form of blogging?

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RAW Indianapolis Awakening

I was recently called about being selected for RAW: Natural Born Artist’s art event coming up in Indianapolis on a date that is to be announced. I was instantly very excited and a little nervous. Apparently they had found my digital collages online and thought they would be amazing for a showcase there. As you may know I’ve been a little behind on making any work for “myself” as I mostly work for clients online these days and take care of my family and my health. However I felt like this was the universe telling me, “It’s time” to renew my work, make some new work and get back into the swing of being a more active artist again. I’ve sat in a cocoon for over a year now rebuilding my life and truth is, it’s scary no matter when you step back out! So here I come..

Support My Work

If you would like to support my work and help the universe push me in the right direction please purchase a $15 dollar ticket for RAW. If you aren’t in the area and can’t make it I’ll send you a free signed $30 print for your support along with a million digital hugs, just let me know you got a ticket so I can send it out. I have to sell 20 tickets for the event to both promote it and learn to force myself to promote my own work to friends and family (I’ve always been shy about it, believe it or not!).

Now are you ready to see some new and revamped collages for the event? I must say that my collages are obviously mostly filled with photos of my kitschy artifacts found while rummaging through antique stores both here and in Japan. They are not the taste of everyone but they are me and my voice. If artists tried to please everyone then they would in turn lose their voice and nothing is more sad than communicating something you strongly do not believe or agree with.

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Let’s get pinned. My mood board for the day is whimsically spiced like a cup of my favorite tea, Amandine Rose, which has sadly been discontinued from Teavana (so I’m hoarding my filled tea tin like I’m hoarding the inspiring photos you see below all over my pin boards). Drink a cup with glittery eyes and relax with visions of sugar dolls dancing in your mind.

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I sometimes hear I should find something to do when I’m sitting around puzzling over what’s inspiring me in that moment and which way I should move with it (which appears from the outside to be some sort of boredom or stagnation) but is actually me almost in a living/meditating state. I’m taking everything in around me, iI’m imagining and I’m stalling. I don’t usually move fast with new ideas; In fact I usually move so slow that I tire of them before I even get them finished. I also currently favor the idea that in your worst times (most depressed, most angry, most passionate) you make your greatest discoveries about yourself which in turn shells out some pretty brutally honest and amazing work. (ahem, Eminem)

Why is inspiration such a process? And how do you get inspiration? Sometimes.. I’ll admit.. I actually pull the inspiration and motivation to move ahead with ideas from dreams. I dreamt I finally went to Japan to study which let me to finally decide I would study in Japan while in college. I had to do all of the work to get there; my college didn’t really have any programs in Japan in place at the time. It happened! I couldn’t believe everything went as smoothly as it did (this seems to happen sometimes when you follow your heart — things go smooth and easy). They told me to pick several programs and apply because I might not get the one I want, I chose the one I wanted and didn’t even apply anywhere else. I got accepted.

My host family was the most rad family in the whole program because they also just started so they weren’t sure what to expect either and they had a daughter that was just a bit older than me. So that means lots of shopping, events, festivals, sake and karaoke with friends. They are so wonderful and amazing, I’m glad we’re still in touch. Eri, the daughter, and I practically became real sisters (and our bond is exactly the same after all of these years). That little push I needed to live in Japan as the Japanese do was not just a dream anymore, it was a reality.

Some well-known self-esteem experts, such as Jack Canfield, claim that a way of proving you’re on the right path in life: everything, no matter how hard it at first seems (change is often scary), seems to almost come easily and moves along smoothly. Now I’m not saying you’re likely to avoid obstacles if you follow your dreams. Because, in my experience, often times the harder something is to get, the more worth or value it carries. So whether obstacles get in the way or not, always be prepared for them. I’m only saying it feels right.. you just know it’s the way you’re supposed to go. There will likely be obstacles but not impossible ones, rather they are empowering ones.

I also dreamt (No, I do not live in a Dream Castle.) I started a store downtown (dream come true) and a magazine with friends and found happiness and fulfillment in that. I’m an artist and designer first and foremost. When I finally dropped News/Editorial from my major I felt a little remorse, but sadly not enough. Somehow writing was not something I was after anymore, it didn’t feel right anymore. So what did I do anyway? I took heed from my dream and started this mega blogazine that you’re staring at right now. I opened a connected shop and sold pendants, original artwork, prints and the most random handmade gifts. I (sort of) started working towards making that dream a reality.

If fact sometimes dreams you once had come floating back as if reminding you to keep on your journey but to perhaps try another route. Sometimes to become who you want to be you have to re-harness some of your past, favorable qualities that you let fall to the wayside. For instance recently I was obsessing over these more recent prints and images I was creating (never released) and now I’m considering listing them at the store here. They were pre-falling-down-the-rabbit-hole-again stage but became a pretty big series in my life for awhile and I actually enjoyed creating them a lot. I found again that I work well with dolls as models and I decided to mix typography in more like my web-based designs thus furthering my interest in print making once more. Finally.

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Some other ways I get inspiration are as follows:
Japanese fashion and interior magazines, vintage woman’s magazines, 20s records, having a cup of black coffee or almond tea to get re-energized, taking a bubble bath with or without a book or candles and champagne, looking through my photo albums, looking through my record collection, hanging out with family & friends, taking a walk, swinging, carrying my camera, listening to electro, writing in my journal or any nearby notebook, getting out a pencil and a blank canvas and, most importantly, love and kisses from my husband and daughter. Every time I have genuine bonding time with my daughter I get an instant dose of inspiration.. I guess that’s why I tend to stay up quite late after her bedtime to work.

So want to pump up the process of getting inspiration by reading a few tips about gaining inspiration from other artists? That’s exactly what I had in mind. Also remember I always ask our featured artists to explain where they get inspiration from.

Need Inspiration?

Four Steps To Finding Inspiration, From An Idea DJ – I especially like the idea of video art, collaging video clips with music and/or audio.
50 Ways to Find Inspiration – I’ve done a lot of these and found some of them that I’d actually like to try. There are tons of great ideas here. I really liked: 31. Ask someone you love what they consider to be the most important thing they’ve ever learned., 34. Ask your parents to tell you what you were like as a child, and remember what mattered to you then. and 40. Spend time with children and see the world through their eyes.. Very positive and inspirational.
16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re In a Slump

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I love Rice DK decor, it’s no secret. I love Wu and Wu tins, Jeu de Paumes books and all the colorful and modern European designs with a flair of kitsch. I cannot get enough. My Lovely Lovely UK collection is still in wrapping because my kitchen is not yet ready for the palette nor have we finished deciding how, why and where things will be.

In this stage of our relationship I am NESTING. Nesting to the max. No I am not pregnant but I believe women are nesters in these stages anyway. Stages of the decision that this is going to be your life together, your home, your family. With that I’d like to say that men can also be nesters as my mister plans and completes renovations of spots in our home without me even implying I want him to. He also asks for my opinion and I ask for his. This is tough for 2 artists with VERY DIFFERENT art styles. I’m saying pop surrealism VS contemporary realism. Think bright color POPs vs calming earth tones.

I believe when you settle down and start a new life with someone else that you are combining your lives into one delicious (lemon poppyseed) cake. You must sacrifice yourself to become unified and to ensure both feel at home rather than one being resentful or stifled. So we begin the road to mixing the 2 styles in one big (pink) Kitchenaid mixer and set it to low speed (while I toss in sprinkles for funfetti cake). I found a few articles on the subject of collaborative design in the home with your partner but not many so I feel it’s best at this point to learn from the adventure. Please join us on our journey to create our dream home from our beautiful house (inspiration and mood boards included!) and the things I learn about designing it with mister.

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I’ve cleaning and organizing our studio because that’s often what I end up doing in times when I’m stuck at home (such as the ridiculous amount of time we’ve been snowed in lately). Our house and all of her cupboards, closets and drawers have slowly been organized and sorted since I’ve moved in but never so much as lately. I can’t get enough of discarding the old, jaded and faded and replenishing with all things good and sometimes new. In this spare time I’ve also found extra moments to spend sorting through packages, boxes and files filled with photos, letters, nostalgia and clippings. Things I had forgotten about and things I had chocked up as gone — casualties in the divorce, move and hard reset of my life.

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

I’ve realized that in finding these fossils of my past life I’ve also found a part of myself that was neglected to the inner and outer war that has been going on since around age 15. Losing yourself teaches you a lot about the hardships and the long journey you have ahead of you to try to find yourself again. It teaches you about the you you always hoped and planned to be, the yous that you left behind and want to find, the yous that you’d prefer to grow apart from for the extent of your waking hours.

In realizing these things exist you find you have changed, your life has changed and quite possibly you have found the person you know you will be. I believe this happens to each of us a bit with every new year, we reflect. However, in my experience, unless a grand change is made resolutions will be forgotten and old habits will resurface.

I lost myself once and I am still looking for myself. Who I wanted to be as a young girl, the things I wanted to do and see, the life I wanted to live. I’d gotten so closed in, I magnified certain aspects of my goals and forgot about others. For instance, I wanted to get married and have a daughter but I forgot I had wanted the most grand love there ever was. I forgot that I didn’t want to just be content, that I wanted to experience pure love for a beautiful man, to experience a love like we hear about in fairytales only more real and passionate. Someone I didn’t want to change but someone whose love changed my life. I didn’t just want to have a child but I wanted to bring a child into a love-filled family of magical wonder, a magnificent home life and many adventures lined neatly with security and stability. With parents who love one another more than anything else, with siblings that give, teach, take and give some more.

by David Cunningham

by David Cunningham

I saw that I wanted to write. I found many old memoir notes and pages of manga dialogue, articles, fairytales and more. I lost the motivation in trying to do anything other than to fix things that were far too broken and then zoning out completely when they appeared impossibly broken.

I saw that my art was a major focus in my life, other than true love and family, and designing everything I do. I saw my plans for paintings, illustrations and web sketches; designs that never made it off the paper and into illustrator because I lost the ambition and self-esteem needed to go.

Now that I am finding myself in so many ways, I figured there were others that have lost important pieces along their journeys as well. Others that might need a little push to gather those pieces strewn along the ground and trudge on through their own adventure of finding their true, superior self. The self they are, were and wanted to be. What have you lost and found along the way?

Happy New Year.

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