Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Glass.

A Year in Review.
*Art by Robin Eisenberg*


Hello sweet readers, yes, I know it has been a minute since I have been present over here on my blog.  The holidays were quite busy for me, and where I intended on posting a little something several days ago, the wretched flu decided to hunt me down and hold me captive for the better part of a week.

But here I am now.

I hope this post finds you happy and well as we venture into the beginning of a new chapter in our lives; a brand new year welcomed with open, flailing arms.  2016 was a mad beast for many of us, with the bad outweighing the good in many circumstances... but as I get older and value the life that has been given to me in spite of the chaos (and sometimes grief), I try to grab onto any and all of the good in order to carve a permanent mark of light in the many chambers of my mind.

Herein lies this entry; a little collection of photos I've taken and gathered as a kind of lookbook of things that have brought me joy and insight throughout the year.  Most, if not all of the photos below can be found on my Instagram, but I decided to provide more of a narrative for them here on my blog that said photo sharing social networking site cannot provide/the photos are more meaningful to me when I don't have a judgmental audience to cater to.  (My blog is a more personal space for me as only a certain few tend to read it at this point, whereas Instagram is a kind of nesting ground of random voyeurs looking for a fix.)

Anyway.

Cheers to the memories, in no particular order:

Ahh, the blue hair period.  (Aqua, teal, mint, sea breeze?)  Whatever color you want to call it, this was a shade that was pretty short lived in the journey that is my hair.  Many of you seemed to like it, and while I did too, it was honestly the most difficult hair color to keep up with.  I had to color it once a week in order to maintain the pigment, and even at that, the shade would only be perfect for a day.. and start to fade (without even washing it!) everyday thereafter.  I don't know.. maybe I will try the blue family once again when Spring/Summer rolls around.. because although the upkeep was the most tumultuous, the color was also the most fun.  What do you guys think?

And then there was pink, (again and again, andagainandagainandagain).  With every hair color I try, I always seem to come back to pink (it just works).  But 2016 was the first year I ever tried Manic Panic (no kidding), and now I am a fan for life.  I have tried so many high to low end pastel pony shades out there (*cough*Pravana*cough*Adore) and have never been quite as satisfied as I am with Manic Panic.  I guess there's a reason.. they've been around since forever.. and the pigment this brand upholds is absolutely FIERCE.  For any who might inquire, I tend to do an updated hair dye routine using Manic Panic in the year ahead.

Aaand here's one of my favorite self portraits with said pink hair.  I was really into scrunchies and high ponytails at the time.  I was constantly trying to channel 8 year old Susanna during much of 2016.  Nostalgia rears its pastel pink head.  :D

Ahhh, Laser Kitten.  I blame/thank Laser Kitten for getting me back into the D.I.Y. game.  I used to collect buttons and pins and patches and sew them onto anything I could get my hands on, but for some reason or another over the course of the latter years of my life, I just stopped.  Booooo.  Insert Laser Kitten.  A badass online shop based out of L.A. that makes the most amazing little everythings I could cry.  The pin above is the first piece of merchandise I purchased from them, which then inspired me to start decorating my clothes, jackets, bags, whatever once again to make my wardrobe that much more personal to my personal style. ;)

So, some of you know that my method of transportation for getting around town is riding my bike.  And since I tend to carry a lot with me from place to place, I need a large, sturdy bag to accompany me.  However not just any old bag will do.  For bike riding purposes I like to visit my local army surplus shop for a bag that will serve me well while two-wheeling across the city.  Aaand since we're on the subject of D.I.Y., I decided to personalize my most recent cycling bag with some of my favorite pins and patches I've collected over the years... and if you look very closely, you'll spot my Laser Kitten pin. :)

(Fun fact: the "Bowie" patch is actually a cut-out from an old shirt I don't wear anymore but didn't want to throw away.)

Speaking of cut-outs from old shirts, this Adicts patch is from an extremely old, decrepit concert tee that could not be salvaged save for the logo.. so rather than throwing the shirt away completely, I decided to give my vintage acid-wash denim jacket a little more personality.

Speaking of personality, this is a little corner shelf I put up in our bedroom several months ago as a home for my night light and a few collectibles.  (Yes, I still sleep with a night light.  The warm, soft glow is simply comforting to me.. I can't really explain.)  The happiness this little shelf and its inhabitants bring me whenever I walk into the room is always so confounding
(it really is the little things that count the most).

(Left to right: "Glory" - original 1980's My Little Pony Miniature, "Fluttershy" - plush design from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, "Twilight Sparkle" - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

A few days after I put up the shelf I decided it wasn't complete without my favorite character from Adventure Time,
 "Marceline The Vampire Queen".

While we are on the subject of collectibles, many of you know that my husband and I collect records.  The little vinyl haul pictured above is from a late Summer/early Fall trip to Reno where we stumbled across one of the raddest little record stores ever, "Recycled Records".  Believe it or not, each record is an original pressing which makes the entire haul that much more amazing.

(Clockwise starting from top left: David Bowie - "Aladdin Sane", Scorpions - "Love At First Sting", The Clash - "Black Market Clash", Elvis Costello and The Attractions - "Armed Forces"

Another amazing little spot we found while visiting Reno was a place called "Junkee Clothing Exchange".  This place is seriously one of the best vintage/consignment shops I have ever stepped foot in, and I've stepped foot in many.  Maybe it's because Reno is kind of in the middle of nowhere so it doesn't have a stampede of people frequenting its local haunts at any given time, but this shop was ENDLESS and filled with absolutely every magical antique, trinket, and lovingly worn piece of vintage imaginable.  No joke.  I wish I could have snapped more photos, but I am painfully shy and didn't want the shop employees asking what I was up to.  But if you ever find yourself in Reno, "Junkee Clothing Exchange" along with "Recycled Records" are an absolute must to check out.

Record and thrift shopping versus gambling in stuffy casinos?  YES PLEASE.

For good measure, I decided to throw in this photo I took on the last morning we were in Reno.  The image is of one of the older Reno motels located in the downtown area.  During our visit we would always walk by the little landmark on our way to wherever else it was we were going, and I always felt compelled to snap a picture.  I finally did on our last day.. and it somehow perfectly sums up exactly how I felt about Reno as a city and our time spent there as visitors.  Reno is a heartbreaking place.. at least in the downtown area where most of the tourists spend their time and the homeless frequent.  It is an empty city.  Broken, sad, resolved to be sad, with many people there searching every neon-lit corner for a chance at non-existent fortune and fleeting satisfaction.  The truth about Reno can be found in these old motel signs coloring the streets with false promises to vagrant dreamers.  They compel me.. and I was in awe of nothing in Reno other than these said relics with corner stores and fast food chains stuck vainly between them like old, forgotten trophies.

The streets of Reno, Nevada are not for the faint of heart.

Moving on to lighter notes, some of my favorite settings for photography lie right here in my neighborhood.  My favorite pastime is going on a solo walk with just my camera and snapping photos of anything I please.  This house is my favorite.  I call it a dollhouse because it absolutely is.  Imagine any dollhouse in any children's book ever written, and this is what you will see.

Because, Oakland.  My city and my heart.

When I'm feeling adventurous and more existential than usual (if that's even possible), I like to visit Oakland's historic cemetery for some soul searching and clarity.  This photo was taken at Sunset on a day in Autumn while some friends were visiting from Portland.  My husband and I decided to take our friends on a late afternoon hike out to the cemetery, and of course I brought my camera along.  It was probably the most beautiful day of the year, for me, for a myriad of reasons.

Where there is death there is also life.

Christmas Day, 2016, up in the Oakland Hills with my family.

This is one of my absolute favorite Christmas gifts from my husband, Aaron.  This was on a short list of several items I wanted for Christmas, and without my nudging, Aaron decided on this one for me.  The pendant contains a piece of an actual butterfly wing.  Not to worry.. each butterfly is raised ethically and sustainably, living out its full lifespan before part of its wing is used for the pendant.

Check out the Etsy shop here.

Probably the most thoughtful Christmas gift to date: a cat necklace with the word "Morrissey" engraved on it.  My sister-in-law, who really I consider my sister, bought this for me at a Morrissey show she attended with my brother.  I was invited to come along with them, but I could not afford it at the time because of work and money and blah blah yadda yadda.  But if anyone really knows me, I mean really, *truly* knows me, they know my two favorite things in life are cats and Morrissey.  The fact that my sister spotted this at his show and knew that I had to have it means the world to me. Love shown through pure and complete thoughtfulness is a gift all on its own, and this means more to me than any material gift itself.

Funny, happy, sad, grateful... these are a few of the elements in life that make it worth living... that make one an artist of observing, knowing, feeling and empathizing.  These are the elements that make everything come full circle, in a never-ending sort of way, as if to say: keep going.

And with that, I am ever eager, ever hopeful, ever delighted for each twist and turn ahead.  But more importantly, I am so incredibly thankful for the present moment, which is where I plan to stay..
with every given second.

Love to you all. =^.^=

10 comments:

  1. This post is so pure and sincere and i love that about your blog! always <3, i also love every picture in here, they're just so amazing one of my favs are the "Dollhouse" and the Cementery one ahh they look so awesome! I've liked every hair color on you! Any of them looks perfect... i was so exited with my "Electric Amethyst" hair dye from Manic Panic but i don't know what happened and it just didn't worked for me :( so i had to use another brand (that's actually the purple color i have), so that really dissapointed me.. any advice when using MP darl? anyways, the Cat necklace of the last picture is so cute! and your makeup is on point! <3.

    Can't wait to see your new outfits and inspirational post of yours!
    Take care dear Susanna! :) LY girl!<3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Krissia your comment means the world to me. It really touches my heart that you love the sincerity that I try to convey through my blog.. this is always my number one goal above all else. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.. I put a lot of time and work into it and to know that readers are responding so well means more to me than anything. <33

      As far as tips when using Manic Panic, sometimes the shades are so rich and pigmented that you need to dilute them with something else like conditioner. Manic Panic also has a product called "Pastelizer" that you can mix with any shade to make it less strong. I know that when using some green or purple shades.. If you use the entire bottle on freshly bleached hair.. it will come out looking more blue.. so next time mix the shade with a bit of conditioner or pastelizer. Also, are you bleaching your hair before you dye it? Bold, unnatural colors will not show up on unbleached hair unfortunately. :( I hope this helped a little bit! Like I said I will post an updated hair dye routine with Manic Panic very soon! Love you girl! <333

      Delete
    2. You're welcome darl!<3... Talking about MP i did bleached it! but didn't mixed it with any conditioner, thanks for the advice dear! I'll try to do it next time in other opportunity and Keep it up with your blog!! Love to you too <3

      Delete
  2. I really enjoyed reading this post! I love all the photos. The dollhouse looks amazing. Blue and pink hair both look so good on you. I'm jealous that you can pull off any hair color! Love the cat necklace, cats are my favorite too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so SO much Emma! I am so glad you enjoyed this post.. as posts like these are some of my favorite to write! Thank you for all of your sweet compliments.. they brighten my heart. And yes, aren't cats everything? So glad I've found another cat love like myself! Haha. Have a beautiful weekend, sweetheart! <333

      Delete
  3. Such a awesome post!! Please, make more post like this! I love the retrospective vibe.. I loved all the pictures too! They are just amazing, and it's so good to remember every single moment of the past year, isn't? Oh and your hair colors <3 you look gorgeous w any hair color, in my opinion! Hope you have a great another great year, dear!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweet Lu! It makes me so incredibly happy that you like posts like this! I will definitely make more like it! And I really appreciate that you love the retrospective vibe as that is exactly what I was going for. Yes, it is always good to reflect on memories and how far you've come as a human being on this earth. Thank you for your kind words.. you always lift my spirit! Take care love! <333

      Delete
  4. The blue hair looked amazing on you! :)
    LA VEINE

    ReplyDelete