Lana Del Rey Plays my Heart Like a Harp

I didn’t intend to fall for Lana Del Rey as my close friend encouraged me to for quite some time. She claimed her style reminded her of me and her lyrics of myself and my love (aka Mister). After finally giving in and accepting the cd to listen to I fell for her instantly. She lives the 50s/60s pop culture and feminine woman’s role beautifully but also incorporates Lolita and a delores-haze of similar undertones such as appreciating the interests, looks and feelings of a creative young girl. She coined herself a ‘self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ and, my favorite, ‘Lolita lost in the hood’.

Having learned about her music, received her personal videos and researched her brand I feel as though she is special, a very amazing new artist and her music is absolutely jaw-droppingly filled with love, lust and vintage style which both soothes me and eats me alive in my own current situation of a happily ever after love addiction.

“It sounds like one of those insanely rare moments wherein someone from the music industry says “Lolita” and actually seems to mean Lolita, as in the novel, and not some kind of porn-derived mincing, but as in the character Dolores Haze: lover of late-40s movie magazines (there’s that miasma of “old-Hollywood glamour” Del Rey’s inspired by), lover of chewing gum (Stereogum on Del Rey’s “secret” show in NYC: “she chewed a lot of gum”). The Dolores Haze who hails from nearly the same patch of the country as Del Rey; whose profession is once listed as “starlet.” Who winds up tough and blithe, casually schooled in all the ways people manipulate and control one another, living in a dump with a big, hard-of-hearing working man who, if video games had existed in 1952, would likely have wasted a few nights on them.” ~ Why We Fight

Five Staples to a Domestic Artist’s Day

While relaxing after I did a speed clean of the beautiful and character-filled 4-story home I share with my partner (and our kiddies) and being brilliantly blinded by the fairy lights adorning our tree I’m impatiently waiting for my love to arrive home after a long day of work. I’ve been asked many times recently by friends and visitors alike how I manage all of my work, hobbies and activities while still remaining happy and seemingly on-top of everything. I’m not entirely sure I’m managing my time in the best way having just been through hell on earth not so long ago but I know I must be doing something right because the important things get done and I still have plenty of time to spend bonding with my love, myself and, most importantly, my daughter.

I was thinking recently… what what better way to stay motivated and inspired than to blog about what staples help me stay focused and chill throughout my day? What objects, products and regimens do I rely on to make my days a little more delightful? What can’t I seem to live without? What’s funny is I’ve recently realized I can literally live without ANYTHING (besides food, air and water) and there’s nothing like being stripped of everything you love to wake this inner strength in yourself. It’s extremely tough but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than you could ever imagine and the positive life that follows is the icing on the cake. What are the sprinkles, carousel candles and strawberries on that same delicious cake? Well some of my daily must-haves are…

1. Lavender

One of my favorite colors of all time is lavender and it just so happens to be one of my favorite herbs as well. Although lavender is not to be ingested it can bring peace and relaxation through aromatherapy and nothing is better than the scent of lavender with a bit of warm sugar. One of my daily staples is a relaxing sitz bath sprinkled with lavender extract while my lavender macaron candle burns a soft glow throughout the bathroom. Lavender incense works well too and be sure to hide some lavender sachets in your lingerie drawer so you can carry a faint relaxing aroma with you throughout your day without overdoing it (which is very easy to do with such a strong scent).

2. Coffee and Tea

Where would I be without coffee and tea? Although my love despises my intake of caffeine I feel without it I would move quite a bit more sluggishly throughout my daily tasks. Not only do the flavors entice me to take another drink but the ritual of brewing coffee and steeping teas are rituals I look forward to. Nothing is better to me than waking up early to black iced coffee and winding down in the evening with a nice, hot cup of tea. We keep a box of assorted teas and numerous tea tins in our kitchen so it’s a real treat picking out which tea to try next.

3. Crystals

The energy and earthen decadence of a crystal is matched by few objects to me. Something about crystals has always attracted me like no other. Since being a young child and carefully selecting my own crystals from traveling new age shops and then proceeding to cleanse and charge them with positive energy I have been a self-proclaimed crystal queen. Crystals hold a natural beauty that is unlike any other stone, they are much more precious than diamonds in my opinion and they create rainbows of light when sunlight hits their prisms just right. If you’re looking for your own special crystal but still haven’t found one that calls to you be sure to check out our shop next year (January 2013) for a limited selection of cleansed and charged kitschy, natural crystal necklaces and spiritually enhancing house wares. Not feeling crystals quite yet? We have lots of other earthen goodness made whimsically colorful coming your way for more positive life-enhancing decadence! Stay tuned and keep the positive energy flowing.

4. Candles & Incense

To explain the benefit in lighting candles and incense is to explain the importance to me of the daily life aesthetic. Setting the scene or mise-en-scene to me is pertinent in living a life as art. The visual aesthetic of everyday life is nearly as important to me as it is in a scene I’ve styled for a specific photograph or shoot. This value of mine that I’ve always held so dear doesn’t always seem to translate well to those I share this world with. Why does everything have to be perfect? Why are you constantly shooting photos of nothing? With the introduction of cell phones having digital cameras this is much more understood but still I receive blank stares when I take photos of what some consider to be mundane settings. The artistic beauty of life is wonderfully misunderstood. The importance to me of living a life as a genius, yet mad, artistic creation is unmatched. Your life is a drama in which you are the actor and your higher power is the director. Enjoy the extensive beauty that can be found throughout it. Adding a soft glow to the room and a relaxing, refreshing or comforting scent is key to utilizing the whole scene of the moment. The smoke of incense brings back memories while calming me. The psychedelic swirls of smoke that flirt with the air are as relaxing as the soft flickr of candlelight softly setting the room aglow. The scent adds volumes to this experience and if you’re interested in learning about aromatherapy you can even utilize some techniques to inspire your mood or productivity. Below I’ve listed a few scents that can be used for aromatherapy. Remember you can also mix scents!

Aromatherapy Guide

  • Aphrodisiac: jasmine, patchouli
  • Energy, Refreshing: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, tangerine, basil
  • Relax: lavender, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, cardamom

5. Music & Podcasts

Nothing sets your mood quite like the perfect song. When I’m working, whether I’m writing or designing a print or website, music and podcasts are very important to my productivity. I’m even known to listen to ‘brain hacks’ or ‘brain waves’ when working so that I gain more inspiration or stress relief as needed. The podcasts I tend to listen to while working are those of the spiritual or inspirational nature. Any way that I can take in inspiring information while working, relaxing or enjoying a hobby is pleasurable to me. Music sets the scene almost instantly and I enjoy a large selection of music when creating artwork and it’s definitely something I don’t tend to work without.

Simple Combinations That Make Life Great

Hello! I’ve been missing you so much, just writing to you makes my week so much more enjoyable! In fact I’ve written quite a few articles that I know many of you are waiting for.. and they’ll be here soon!

Where have you been? Where is my story? Can I join the staff? Will you support my work? ♥ My full-time job is designing goodies for clients on and offline — and now that we’re nearing the holidays work has went insane. As I’ve said before, I wish I could devote a lot more, if not most, of my time to Miseducated and helping new artists — but it’s not in the cards right now. I am however continually working in the background to ensure our success, the miseducated women’s voice will only get stronger.

That being said I love and am responding to many of your submissions!

I am very much in the works of preparing articles from great new and current contributors.. I know you’ll love so many of these! I’ve met many great current artists that I cannot wait to feature and I have recently heard from many new artists who are dying for the chance to have center stage soon! Lots and lots of deliciousness headed your way.

Deer Haus

So for some nonsensical escapeland fun I’ll tell you about a little something that I enjoy, combinations. Combinations of what? Interests, experiences, etc.

So do you have examples?

Examples

Some of my favorite combinations through the years, some common and some not.
dubstep & driving
coca-cola & icecream sundae
warcraft & royksopp
neopets & rice krispee treats
strawberry body shop cocoa butter & several week-long ‘hot bitch vacations’
coffee & dessert
hot dog on a stick & limeade
electro & dancing
strawberries & brie
coconut & the ocean beach
cheech & chong
driving & singing
fruity hooka & a group of friends
kitties & bunnies
glitter & makeup
miseducated & cereal
art/design & music

Surely you have some random or commonly known combinations that you prefer?

Join

<a href="http://www.miseducated.net/?p=5781">one &#038; two</a>
On your blog or website, simply type your favorite combination and link it here. ^*^ Others may question our sanity upon further investigation.. or join our side of tasty complementary combinations!
.. What?

You are also encouraged to leave as many of your favorite combinations here as you want — I can’t wait to see them!

Blog it Forward: On Inspiration

When I found out about sfgirlbybay‘s project Blog it Foward, I was so excited to be involved. Seeing all the amazing entries has me finding tons of new blog friends to connect with — design is a common language we speak.

What’s most inspiring to me and the work I do is life experiences, love, loss, emotion. There are also some silly things like vintage magazines and Japanese toys I cannot seem to stop collecting. Everything I have in my home inspires me to some deal.. I’m constantly inspired to alter, change and recreate. I’m also inspired by 60s and 70s psychedelic artwork, of course.. sometimes my work is overly colorful but I feel it’s right. If I tried to be less like myself and more like others it would be a boring world.. people inspire me, how different and yet how alike we all are.

Most of all you inspire me, you who visits and encourages me to continue strongly at my dream. With every visit, comment, email I float to the moon and sail through the stars.

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Another thing that has always made my life better — has saved me in so many instances I couldn’t imagine, inspired me endlessly and soothed me to sleep when I felt no comfort…

What inspires you?

Sometimes You Just Have to Do What You Want

You should always spend time doing what makes you happy. Last night, I spent a great deal of time doing something I did not want to do, something that made me ultimately unhappy, and when I woke this morning and thought back on the wasted Saturday night, I was reminded of a point that I always try to aspire to: do what you want to do. Of course, there are situations in which we must attend unpleasant events or participate in less-than-thrilling conversations, but there so many times when we end up committing ourselves to do something we don’t want to do, something we could have easily gotten out of. When this happens to me (as it did last night), I feel anger and resentment not only to the other person/people and situation, but to myself. Afterward, I ask myself, Why didn’t I just say no? Why did I waste time doing something that didn’t bring happiness to my life? I often rationalize that I somehow got suckered into it or I couldn’t get out of it, but this time I am choosing to do something different. After waking and feeling resentment about a wasted Saturday night, I am not going ask why the time was wasted or think about what I could have done with my night. Instead, I am going to prepare myself for the future by taking these steps to make sure that, whenever I can, I am spending my time the way I want to.

1

Just say no. When I come across an invitation or a situation I don’t want to participate in for whatever reason (even if no one else could possibly understand my reasoning), I am going to say no. Of course, this means I will still have to go to work and meetings and do some things I really, really hate doing (like pumping gas and walking down the aisles of a grocery store), but there are also a lot of things I can say no to that I usually don’t. I usually rationalize the event in some way, saying to myself, Oh I haven’t seen this person in so long or I don’t have any other plans set in stone yet. Even if I have nothing better to do, I will still strive to avoid spending my time in ways that don’t feel positive to me.

2

Recognize what things don’t interest me — and don’t do them. Ever. We all have things that we know we don’t like to do. For example, I’m not a big fan of sports games. With the right people and in the right situation they can definitely be fun, but I have spent hours and hours of my life on boyfriend-of-the-moment’s couch watching football or basketball. And I have sat there resentfully, thinking to myself, I could be doing something else right now. I really don’t care at all about this stupid game. What am I doing here? That’s just my example though. I’m sure for other people, there are certain situations they know bring out negativity and resentment in them. My advice? Don’t do them. Yes, if you have a friend or significant other that really wants your support, sometimes you might have to do things you really don’t want to do, but you should seriously consider if participating in an event and feeling annoyed about it is really worth it in the long run. Maybe you can work out a deal with the person or maybe you can find someone who has interests more in line with your own. Either way, settling for a situation never brings about positivity in any relationship.

youwant

3

Set aside time to do what you love. Sometimes it’s easy to remember what we love to do, and to find the time to do it. When you experience a situation in which you feel you have wasted time, often the things you would have loved to have been doing jump to the forefront of your mind. For example, last night I thought to myself, I wish I were writing right now. I wish I was finishing up the book I’m so into reading. I wish I could be in bed, turning off the light, about to get a few extra hours of sleep because it’s the weekend. Right there, I thought of three things that I really enjoy doing (yes, sleeping is one of them). That’s one of the few perks about doing something you don’t want to do — you realize all of the things you do want to do. Once you’ve figured out whatever it is really enjoy doing (which, actually, can be very difficult for some people so really take your time with this), you should set aside time to do it. Not general, maybe-this-weekend time, but actually time, such as blocking off an hour or two in your calender. In doing this, you will be more likely to remember and take time to do the things that interest you. In addition, you can easily say, “Oh, i’m sorry! I already have plans!” when an invitation arises that you are really not interested in accepting.

4

Realize that life is short. Cliche as it sounds, life is short. We only have a limited amount of time here in this life and we should make the most of it. We should spend whatever free time we have doing what makes us happy. It’s easy to get sucked into doing what other people want to do or justifying activities and saying that we “have” to do them, but this is unfair not only to us, but to those around us. People will be able to sense that you are not enjoying yourself (or, at least, people can sense when I’m not enjoying myself because I make it very clear). You will be resentful of the people and situations you spend time with and partake in because you felt you “had” to. You will miss out on all of the fun and excitement and joy you could have had doing what you really wanted to be doing. Our lives are short and we should all be living them the way we would like to.

5

Surround yourself with people who support what you want to do. This can be difficult at times, because not everyone wants to do the same thing and it’s pretty near impossible to surround yourself with friends and family members who enjoy the exact same activities that you do. However, you can choose your friends and you can choose friends that enjoy similar activities. You can also choose to surround yourself with people who make not like to do all of the same things you do, but who support the time you want to spend doing those things. Likewise, you can be the kind of person who, though you may not want to participate in a certain activity, fully supports those who do. People who are unsupportive bring negativity into their lives and the lives of those around them, so try to support the preferences of others and most definitely try to surround yourself with people who support you.
Some may read this entry and think, How selfish! We shouldn’t just go around doing what we want to do without thinking about the needs of others! This is true. I am not encouraging complete and utter selfishness, but I am, as always, encouraging positivity. We have this moment, this life, to live however we want to, and I feel like so often we take this for granted. We think that we can get to something later or, in my case, I rationalize things, saying to myself, Oh, I’ll always have time to read. But will I? What I know for sure is that we have this moment, this single moment, to live. No future is guaranteed so whenever possible I believe we should spend time doing whatever makes us happy. Between work and other commitments that we can’t get out of, we actually have very little time to do the things that make us truly happy. Think about what you really love to do — and do it!

Design Your Own Career: Part Three

“To love what you do and feel that it matters–how could anything be more fun?”
– Katharine Graham

In Part One of this series we learned how to target our dream careers and in Part Two we sussed out the skills required to start achieving it. In Part Three we are going to focus on increasing your appetite and ability for learning, and how this translates into a fulfilling career.

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Never Stop Learning

It is a common, often subconscious, belief that learning stops when you remove yourself from a traditional academic environment – be that school, college or university. But, for your dream career, this is absolutely not the case. You should always look at your career as a path, not simply a destination (if you saw the movie ‘Click’ then you’ll know the danger in that!)

However, this doesn’t mean you should constantly be striving ahead, rather than being content where you are – it is actually quite the opposite, it’s knowing that, when you reach a milestone, it is not the be all and end all, but merely a glorious bonus in a tapestry that stretches far beyond and around it.

When we stop learning, or being open to learning, in many ways we stop trying, we stop feeling challenged, we stop being creative and hopeful in our work, and therefore that work becomes dull, wearing, and a slog. Life is a continuous puzzle, and it should always be that way. The moment you feel you have it all sussed is the moment life becomes monotonous.

When thinking about learning within the framework of your dream career, it is necessary to look backwards as well as forwards – what type of learning got you to where you are now? What is the best direction to take the results of that learning?

Got a conventional education? Fantastic.

Just because you did what everyone said was the ‘sensible’ thing and got a qualification, doesn’t mean you aren’t still destined for a creative and unconventional career path. Standard curriculum education may have its faults, but it also has many benefits.

Take a wider look at your education – what has it taught you beyond the course title? Have you gained confidence, people skills, and a power for problem solving? If you start to look, you’ll realise there may be far more to your education than you thought, and you may start to see how those skills can transfer into a more creative, ‘designed’ career.

Not got a conventional education? No problem!

Learning is a personal journey, and it is certainly not found strictly within the confines of a classroom, or out of a traditional textbook. Find a genuine love for learning and you will find there are many avenues for self-education.

The likelihood is that you have built a wealth of real-life experience in place of a conventional education, and this can be just as much, if not more, value to your self-fashioned career than you think.

What Learning Looks Like

Learning comes in different formats. Learning can be alive and interactive and exciting – not just dusty equations on a blackboard. Learning is a frame of mind and, when you start to illustrate and intertwine your dream career into your life, you’ll realise there are lessons to be found all over the place.

Books – Fiction and non-fiction, books are perhaps the most straightforward way of gaining new insights within your field. Aim to read at least a book a month that is relevant to/impacts your career.
Internet – It’s easy to take the internet for granted, but we have more knowledge literally at our fingertips than we have ever had before. Take advantage of that.
Museums – Our culture, our ideas and our businesses are all built on our history, so educating yourself about the world you come from is a great tool for shaping the world you want for yourself.
Art Galleries – It is important to feel we are learning creatively just as much as it is to feel we are ingesting facts and figures. Gaining inspiration or knowledge from any creative medium can really help to inspire various elements of your career.
Film – Not merely a brain-dead way to pass a Saturday evening with a bucket of sweet or salted, cinema is a powerfully animated tool for teaching yourself about various careers, cultures, continents and more.
Music – Music and its history tells a story, it arouses our creative side and it is a thoroughly pleasurable way to learn about the world, so you’ve got no excuse to avoid it!
Travel and Real Life Experiences – These are perhaps the most valuable ways of learning as they remove you from your comfort zone, challenge you, and ultimately teach you about yourself.
People – That’s right, actual conversation and the ability to listen will pay dividends in almost any career. Always strive to learn from the people in your life, new and old; they have first-hand experiences you may never get the chance to live yourself.
Short, evening or residential courses – If you like the group learning environment then there are courses available within almost any niche. If you haven’t got the time or opportunity to physically attend courses, e-courses are becoming more and more popular.
Community Events – Getting involved in community events is the perfect way to tie together all kinds of forms of learning and, hopefully, build your career.

Putting Love into What You Do

So where does love come into all of this? Well, if you truly love your career, then an inherent hunger for improving within it is a given, and this is just another way of learning. Your dream career should feel fluid, organic and always fresh and exciting; that’s when you keep your appetite for it; that’s when you love it; and that is only achieved when you are open to learning.

The next and final part of this series will be all about making your passion pay – how to earn an income from doing what you love – so don’t miss out.

What Life Should a 20-Something Live?

what life to live?

I am a twenty-four year old woman and I don’t know what I want to be, do or where I want to live when I grow up. Sound familiar? Lately I’ve spoken to a lot of girl friends and women and have found they all have questions and concerns about the life they have chosen and the lifestyles they are living. Women have more choices than their mothers and grandmothers, they have a choice to be whoever they want to be, to live however they want to live. This also makes for more stress, what if you miss your chance? What if you wake up when you’re 60 and realize you didn’t achieve any of your main goals and choices? Possibilities are endless. Lately ladies have been finding economic stresses and lifestyle decisions that leave them in shells, filled with questions. How can you decide how to live your life when you can’t even afford to live it? Will you marry? Start family? Start a business? Travel the world and write a novel? Record a demo and play your songs live? Redesign a product? Help people in some way? Whatever you life you create, build it — be conscious you’re always changing and you’re always molding your life into the life of your dreams. If you’re not happy where you are after honestly questioning yourself, find new routes, question yourself about new goals and dreams, make steps to create the life you want and that life will be yours.

DIY Lifestyle

Step 1: What is my lacking in? What is abundant in my life?
Step 2: What is my dream life and what goals do I want to achieve in life?
Step 3: How can I achieve these goals? (even if you’re not sure, quite a lot of resources are available for us to research possibilities)
Step 4: Make conscious efforts, daily, to create that life and achieve those goals. Talk to people doing what you want to do, tell them you admire them and get advice.
Step 5: Continue working towards and gaining the benefits of your dream lifestyle.

Lifestyle Inspiration

Is it most important to you to do what you want to do, live where you want to live or to live with whom you want to live with?

Lifestyle Q&A

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* The photo above was taken by myself in Hello Kitty’s house (Puroland, Japan).