August 31, 2009
August 30, 2009
Positive post to follow tomorrow. Until then I would just like to state that I, Ashley Louise Barrett, HATE Los Angeles.
Now I am going to go shower in an attempt to wash off the ash that is covering my body since half the state is currently on fire (which I saw driving back to Riverside. There were three houses aflame in the No. Hollywood Hills).
August 29, 2009
So Long! I'm in LA this weekend for a bachelorette party and will be away from the computer. I shall return with many pictures and probably not enough sleep.
Now I'm off to do battle on the freeway, wish me luck, I may not survive.
August 27, 2009
In other news the other day I was out with Charissa and Bri and we were shopping and we went to Johnny Rockets for dinner. We had yummy food, took silly pictures and then the idiot waiter of ours rang me up wrong and continued to which resulted in my bank account being charged for the transaction multiple times thus shrinking my balance to about eleven dollars. each transaction has been voided but it takes up to 72 hours to clear so as far as my bank knows I actually bought all these things for the next few days. It's highly annoying and confusing and I ended up getting my meal "comp'd" which wasn't really comp'd since they charge me for it. Actually he didn't even charge me for my ticket, but for Charissa's, who was paying for both herself and Bri. Then my monthly service fee on my bank came through so now my account thinks is negative, which is shouldn't be. I am greatly perturbed by this development. I hate banks. But on to happier news:
August 26, 2009
(Click to enlarge. I got a new camera for my birthday and was having far too much fun taking pictures there. I'll show you the camera tomorrow, because it is a very nice one. Have a lovely day!)
August 24, 2009
I am not a birthday person, and I do not like my birthday, but this one has been exceptionally good!
My dad has to work sort of late tonight and it's a Monday and all that rot so we celebrated yesterday. Tonight we're going to have a small dinner/cake thing and Charissa may come over to make flowers for Bri's wedding. Knowing that today would not allow for much celebration, I had come up with a semi-silly plan for my birthday celebration and not only did my parents love the idea they planned the whole day without me having to lift a finger. So thanks mom and dad! And let me tell you it was a really lovely day.
When people ask me what to do when they come to Southern California I tell them to do four things. The first is to find the nearest In-n-Out. You will never eat a better burger. The second is to go to Disneyland and embrace your inner child. The third is to drive up the 101 and look west (east isn't all the beautiful to look at usually). And the fourth is that when you are driving up the 101 drive to Solvang.
Solvang California is in Santa Barbara (and is a good three hour drive from Riverside) and is a Scandinavian Village. Part of my heritage is Norwegian and so it is alot of fun to go up there and be surrounded by a bit of my cultural history. But as I said it is pretty far away, so I suggested we go up there Saturday night and then spent Sunday afternoon in the town, but instead my dad decided we would drive up Sunday morning and drive home that night after we stopped at Pea Soup Andersen's for dinner. This place has amazing split pea soup, which is really good since the whole place is themed after split pea soup. It was delicious and marvelous and wonderful and just a really good day! We had Ableskiver's with our brunch (you must try them if you are ever in Solvang) and walked and shopped in book shops that were actually magical, and found a random vintage shop with an amazing 1930's dress that I wanted but had sold, and we found a thrift store with the cheapest prices ever, and we found a fabric mall that charged 99 cents a yard!!!! I could go on and on talking about how much I love this place but I will let my pictures do the talking. I also got a really AMAZING gift from my parents, which I shall show you tomorrow along with all the other things I got. But until then have a lovely Monday!
Bookstores, old things, and shoes make me happy.
No dolphines were harmed in the taking of these photos.
Pea Soup Andersen's
August 21, 2009
August 18, 2009
I bought this dress at my favourite thrift store yesterday for four dollars. I was very happy. My mother hates it and said it looked like an 80's home-school mom dress. It's actually an 50's cotton day dress with almost tiki-ish geometric print and very large pockets. I think if I shorten it about three inches it will look less disagreeable though I still love it.
I don't usually show off my jewelry, which is odd since I really love jewelry. I've wanted to try doing this multiple brooch thing for a while and was quite happy with the result. My mom called me out for stealing her cameo, but I'm thinking a may steal it from her permanently. My mom has had this for as long as I can remember and it wasn't until a year or so ago that I learned it belonged to my great-great grandma. My mom got it from my great-grandma when she was going through jewelry once. My mom also has a really beautiful gold wedding band that my great grandma threw away and my mom rescued from the trash can. When my mom asked my grandma about it and why she was throwing it away, my grandma wouldn't say a word, and still won't. So being the imaginative one I have concocted about six stories of how it could have come into my grandmother's possession. My grandma is one of my heroes and is a very interesting woman. She and my great grandpa got married in 1940 and she was a Rosie the Riveter while my grandpa was in the Navy during WWII (he was stationed Idaho, go figure). She was only 20 or 21 when she got married (on New Years Day), so my theory is she had a lover before my grandpa and he gave her the ring as a promise, but for some reason they could never be together. Then she met my grandpa (and trust me they were very much in love. They were married for 65 years before my grandpa died, and were the funniest couple ever.) and forgot all about Reginald, or Edwin, or Bartholomew, but always kept his beautiful ring. I figure she threw it away when she heard he died. But that is just my theory...
I've tried to steal that from my mom too, but always get caught. I did not get caught stealing this locket from my nana (my mom's mom). Of course she had it buried under a pile of old broken jewelry for years before I rescued it, so she probably didn't even know it was there. when I was little Bri and I would sneak into my nana's room and try on all her jewelry. There's a black pearl ring she has that I am determined to get my hands on at some point. She won't tell me the story of that either, though I think my papa got it for her when he was stationed in Hawaii in the 60's and had it set. But who knows, she could have had a secret lover too.
Dress-me, shoes-random NYC shoe store, Necklace- F21, Lolita glasses- F21
August 17, 2009
So I have been mulling over this idea for a while and I keep coming back to it. I was afraid it would be lame or dumb, or no one else would be interested, but I have decided to throw caution into the wind and go ahead with it.
As you all either know, have guess, or have no clue, I am a musician. I was trained as a Classical Soprano for eleven years. This means that I sing Opera, Classical, and Art Songs that are in the "classical" genre. I love Classical music, but never even for a moment considered it for a honest to goodness career. However I spent alot of my "musical career" involved in the classical world, and while I have a deep passion for the actual music, I am not a fan of the attitude that goes with it. There is a stuck up, snobbery that seems to follow the term Classical and I just don't like it. I mostly don't like the fact that everyone who is in classical music follows this same stereotype. It is my personal opinion that the great composers that all those people snob about, would be angered by this were they here today. Music, is music. Classical is not better than Rock, just different, and I think any well rounded musician should and would be able to appreciate all the fine points of all the genre's. Due to this view point I was always an outsider to the classical world of music. I was the girl who fell into opera. I started taking voice lessons at age eleven with the intentions of becoming a pop star. No joke. A Pop Star. So when my voice coach played Charlotte Church for me at my third lesson and told me that he thought I could do what she did, I laughed at him and scoffed, which my mother, who was there, later told me was rude, even if he was wrong. My parents promptly bought her CD and within a week I'd learned all 17 tracks and could sing them nearly as well as she could. However this provided me with a very large problem to my pre-teen brain: I was horribly made fun of. I loved the way singing made me feel, but I hated that all my friends listened to the Spice Girls and I was made fun of for listening to Puccini. Oh how the tables have turned. But then I hated it. One friend of mine at the time told me no one cared about my stupid old people music, because it was uncool, lame, and make me look like a dork. These are the most horrible things that could be said to a pubescent girl. But I continued on with it mostly because my parents were paying for lessons.
At age 12 my best friends mother told my mother that it was obvious that I loved Opera and classical music. When I overheard this I was furious because I had done everything in my power to make people see how much I hated it, even though I owned every Charlotte Church album available (and still do), and even googled young Opera stars on a regular basis to find other like-voiced youths (with not much luck). I was so mad that my own best friends mother was trying to make my mom think I liked my music. And that's what hit me. It was My Music. I was the only person I knew who could do what I could. I realized I did love it. I loved it more than almost anything else. I loved the composers, and music theory, and being a "dork." it made me stand apart from the rest. I was a twelve year old who could recognize Verdi. That was pretty special.
My musical career story is much longer than this, and maybe someday I'll write for you the whole story, but the point is that I really love classical music with a deep passion. It's a huge part of who I am. Since having left the classical world (reasons being a part of the long story I will someday tell you), I've found I go to my classical music for more and more inspiration. The complexity of the music makes me want to make my own music better. I like the patterns that aren't very obvious, and the intricacies of the melody and harmony lines. I love knowing why all these things sound good, why they work, and why they are in fact classics. I'm a total music geek, and love learning about the structure of music. There are some pieces that make my heart flutter! And to me they are always inspiring. So this week I thought I do something a little different and post five of my favourite classical pieces. Two are from my favourite composer. The first is very long, but I promise you wait until the end. The last 20-30 seconds are breath-taking! I'm so sorry if this is a disappointing Inspiration, but it is something I am very passionate about. And if you did like it them I am so glad! I have alot more where this came from.
The pieces I have chosen are thus:
La Mer by Debussy
Claire De Lune By Debussy
O Mio Babbino Caro! From Gianni Schicci By Puccini (you should hear me do this piece, It's my signature)
Visi d'Arte From Tosca (my all time favourite Opera!)By Puccini
Rhapsody In Blue By Gershwin (proof form genre crossovers. Gershwin was considered a near abomination for combining such "high art" with such "low art", and thus he is a huge hero of mine. He wrote classical, jazz, and popular music and each are works of art.)
So push play and relax.
So sorry this was so long. I know I'm usually a talker, but get me talking about music, and I can go all day and night! Who are some of your favourite composers? Is there a piece you can listen to over and over again?
August 16, 2009
Thursday I played at an open mic night and was rotten. No seriously, rotten. Don't try to rub my ego, I can fully admit it was possibly the worst performance of my life save the time I went in for Voice Juries not knowing my song at all and made up Spanish sounding words. Lowest grade I ever recieved for that display of horridness. This performance would have probably gotten the same grade. I started too high, sang off pitch, muddled my fingering, forgot an entire verse of one of my own songs, skipped a chord... it was lovely and a learning experience so that is perfectly fine. I did get to see a very dear and lovely lady who I usually see once a year, named My good friend and hippie comrade Lauren. Lauren and I are talkers, and I think we talked the whole time- until I went on stage that is. Afterwards Sarah and Charissa came over to my house for a little late night cookie fest and bestowed early birthday presents on me. I So thanks friends!
Friday I was going to go into work since Jess is on vacation and thus I could work on my usual day off, but I was far too tired and didn't get up until far later than I am willing to admit. I did spend the day watching The Edge of Love which was really good albeit very sad. The costuming was marvy! There was about four outfits of Keira Knightly that I am intent on knocking off. The colour pallet of the costumes was really wonderful, and very much me. I also watched my siblings that night while my parents went out to go shopping. We ate pizza and sundaes (which made me so sick), and watched The Addams Family Values where I studied the clothing of all the Addams' and their family. I'm on a bit of a gothic/steampunk/victorian/edwardian kick lately.
Saturday was a very nice day. Not very many people were home all day, including a two and a half hour window where I was home alone. My dad took my brothers to go shoes shopping for wedding shoes, my mom and Bri and Grace went down to Oceanside where Bri and Michael are getting married and maped out decorations. Chelsea and Delaney went to see a movie with their friends who are also sisters. So other than taking them to the movie and picking them up I was home all day. I did laundry and cleaned the downstairs bathroom which was disgusting. I absolutely hate cleaning bathrooms and it always ends up being my job. I always procrastinate which of course doesn't help so I finally spent the entire time I was home alone cleaning the dern thing. I scrubbed the walls, bleached everything, bloodied my fingers getting rid of soap scum, it was gross. But the bathroom is clean and I have threatened anyone who dirties it within and inch of their life. We'll see how long I can keep it up.
Today I spent cleaning my room, which took forever (it's still not really done either!). My sister is boxing up things (which means I have more room for my things. Trust me, never undervalue the gift of a closet to yourself), so we are in the process of rearranging and whatnot. I am bringing the headboard to my bedroom set up from storage and getting new sheets and working around the colour sceame I was talked into when we did our room last year. Had I my druthers I'd repaint, but not only do I not fancy cleaning out my room and painting, I also only have ten more months of living here, so I shall just tough it. My room is painted a bright pink, yellow, and orange. Any colouring sugestions are welcome. I'm just happy to get rid of these horrible terquoise sheets. I am not a fan of terquoise at all, and it happens to be Bri's favourite colour. Her whole wedding is shades of terquoise and blues. Luckily that includes navy which is my best colour so I do not have to find a dress in that most horrid of colours.
Also accomplished today:
- My mending pile was tackled and I finished one project from it. It is a two year old project. I will show you on Tuesday
- I went through my 45 pairs of shoes and got rid of 5 pairs. All will be replaced with in the next two weeks. They actually are ones that just needed replacing: torn black ballet flats, well worn sandals, lovely, but highly painful black heels. I'm still on the fence about one pair. I bought some Minnie Mouse shoes a few years ago and have worn them twice. They are horribly uncomfortable. They cut into my achilles tendon and always cause blisters, blood, and other attractive foot problems when I wear them, even with stockings. I love them alot but only wear them if I know it will be for a few hours at the most. We'll see where they end up.
- went through clothing and got a whole bag full of salvation army donations.
- Made my "inspiration wall," which is really my closet door.
- finished copying all my magazine recipes into my recipe book
- Talked my parents into something a little crazy for my birthday! I am not a big birthday person. I like other people's birthdays but not my own. I find getting gifts awkward and always feel like my thanks are superficial or ingenuine. But my father happens to be a huge birthday person. He always wants us to choose something to do for the day. Most of my birthdays have been spent on the road because we were usually on vacation. Denny's makes a mean ice cream sundae. But I have spent birthdays in some very interesting places including a Denny's knock off which was horrible, a Pizza joint in Yosemite, Dir Rhinelander in Portland (very good food! and the waiters sing German fold songs to you, and if you happen to be a precocious brunette like yours truely, you will polka because you learned to polka while in a musical, and then your even more precocious father will insist you sing Edelwiss instead of the waiter.), and Powells in Portland (where you will relish the fact that there is no sales tax so you can actually afford to buy the two vintage Nancy Drew books that cost the thirteen dollars you got for your thirteenth birthday.). So this year I concocted a brilliant plan on a whim and my parents were sold immediatly. I will reveal my plan on my birthday, which for all you is the 24th, incase you were thinking of getting me anything *wink wink*.
And that is it! It really was a busy weekend, I just spent most of it doing things around the house. How was your weekend?
August 12, 2009
Then there are days like today where I want to punch them.
There is a guy in our office who, while not unattractive, is not my type. He follows me around the office, "helps" me take the trash out, and is horridly inquisitive about my life. I have no desire to speak with this fellow, but he finds excuses to talk to me. It's not even flattering because I really, really, really don't like him at all. For a while I thought he was married and had a kid, but turns out not.
So today I was sitting at my desk, which you will remember is at the back of our office, and he walks in like he's going ask-us-all-a-mutual-question-but-really-just-wants-me, and asks if any of us happen to be good with copiers. Except instead of actually just standing in front of us and asking, he walked around Jessica, and put the thing he needed enlarged in front of my face and directly asked me.
Now annoyingly, I am known around the office as the tech girl. I'm not a tech girl. I kill technology, but I know how to plug in a printer, and pull a miss-feed out, so everyone thinks I'm really good with technology. So unfortunately, being the kind hearted soul that I am, I reluctantly said I'd help him.
The following happened while I was trying to figure out the dumb copier's problems: He told me he was not the "sharpest pencil in the box", He asked me if I knew where he'd gone lately to which I responded how should I know, He told me about this "great bar" he'd discovered, He asked what was my favourite bar, He was very prompt to tell me the location of the only bar I've ever been to as if I didn't know, He told me he is a "falconer man, himself" in reference to the pub around the corner from our office, He asked me if I was a secretary for the "BK Guy", He wanted to know why we need four people working in our office, he wanted to know what my job entailed and how many days a week I worked, and he wanted to know how I got "so good at fixing copiers".
I didn't ask him a single thing. I didn't volunteer any information, I just fixed the copier while he stood there being highly unhelpful and asking me annoying questions. A part of me thinks I'm being overly annoyed because I don't like him, but another part of me is pretty sure that everyone would respond the same way if it was happening to them. When I came back and told Bri and Jess what happened they proceeded to get on facebook and post a million comments about how I need to open my heart to love, which involved Twilight quotes, and Hannah Montana and Jonas Brother's songs.
In closing, I want to go home. This guy is so annoying, and I'm probably going to kill Jess and Bri at some point.
oh wait Jess wants to write something:
(this is Jessica. I love Ashley and I won't pick on her anymore today. That is my semi-Asian promise. Now her sister, Bri, is my main target and Ashley is welcome to join me. Pranks all around. Debussy to this?)
"Debussy to this?" is a Twilight reference......
August 10, 2009
I was sitting at my desk putting on lip gloss. It's actually a stain, a very light red stain that has a lip plumping gloss on the other end. I was putting the stain on, not the gloss. I may have no lips, but I have no desire for my lips to be big and numb. So I was putting on the stain. I was minding my own business. In my right hand was a pocket mirror, in my left my lip stain. So there I was, minding my own business. I feel this fact needs to be stated a few times. Also take into account that my desk is at the back of the office. We have four desks in this little tiny room. There are two on either side. Mine is in the back right corner (for this scenario). The Back. Where I mind my own business. Well some guy walks up. He was walking from the back of the office towards the front. He got to the end of our doorway, which doesn't have a door much to our annoyance, and stopped. Now I was in the middle of a conversation with Bri, and we were minding our own business. So then the guy who stopped turns to me and says (and I quote, no joke): "You look good, don't worry." and proceeds to walk away. Bri and I just stared at each other. This all happened alot faster than I can write it, but it was so weird. We couldn't figure out what he meant, and why he was talking. Bri thinks it was because I was putting on my lip stain, I think it's because he was just a nutter. Maybe it was one of those you had to be there things, but it was weird. Also the phone has not stopped ringing all day. Oh Monday.
To counter this strange day I shall leave you with some pictures of lovely braided hair. I'm all about braids lately. This may have to do with the heat, and the fact that I realized the other day that my hair suddenly got alot longer than I thought it was, thus meaning I need it off my back during the day. I also think they are incredibly seasonally versatile, and very pretty and romantic.
So enjoy and have fun playing with your hair. Oh and before I forget, I'm going to be listing more things in my shop through this week. I figure if I do three things a day I might end up getting it all done by Friday. Yay for two weeks late!
All images are from random Googling, except the last. That is from Vulgar Moon.
August 9, 2009
August 6, 2009
at heart I'll always be a 70's boheme (My nickname in high school and even still to some, was the "Clean Hippie")
60's Mod is cute, and fun, and flattering, and I'm obsessed with the Gidget TV show and movies.
Who doesn't love a good swirly 50's skirt?
I love the structured/military influence of the 40's
The 30's remained elegant under bad situations
But I am pretty sure my heart really belongs to the 1920's. There is just something about that decade of clothing that is so beautiful to me. I find it really romantic. There's a remarkable charm to the era that I find irresistible. For some strange reason there are a few people I know who continuously call me a Gatsby Girl, and say I look like Clara Bow (Which is the highest possible compliment I could ever think of receiving, even though I don't see it).
August 5, 2009
SEE!!! I was so excited! I am not catholic, but the idea of Nuns in a bank cracked me up and I scrambled to get my camera out in time to take pictures. I do apologize for their horrid-ness. Bank lighting is bad.
And here is the polka dot dress I made! I quite love it. Sorry that the pictures aren't awesome, I'll take better ones tomorrow, I just haven't had a chance to do so. I spilled ice cream on it and there was a tree climbing incident that left bark splatter, and our washer is dead until tomorrow. I didn't use a pattern for this, just cut and sewed and readjusted until I liked it. It's not perfect, but it is 96.7 % perfect. I'll write up how I did it and exactly what I would change later. I do want to mention the bias tape. It's vintage that my mom picked up a long time ago and I've always loved it. I was going to go with plain red bias tape, but then I saw this and thought that the patter mixing would be pretty cute. So voila! there you have it. My other favourite thing about it is the back which I will have to show you later since I didn't get any pictures of it. I'm thinking of making a few more and improving the design a little. This dress is a cotton and it is sooooo nice for these horrible hot days we're having. I think I could live in this dress. Though next time I'll remember not to make one in white. I am far to klutzy/adventurous-when-it-comes-to-trees-and-hills-of-dirt for white dresses. Also how awesome is that jump!
Dress- home made by me
Bag- 80's Dooney and Bourke
Ribbon- somewhere in the garage.