How My Creativity Reignited

Lately I’ve been feeling a kind of boredom. Everything I did seemed a bit mundane or like nonsense. I suppose you could call it a sort of deadening nihilistic attitude to life or creativity. I ended up abandoning my instagram account with over a thousand followers, and instead created one on private with no followers, and following about 50 artists and photographers whose work I could gain inspiration from.

The thing is, I wanted to create art. It’s been a huge point of identity for me. Maybe I got lost in the outer identity of myself, and had been psychologically stripped of, what I thought was, a main focal point of me. What was left without this pinnacle point of my identity? Just a person. Within this “personhood”, if that is a word, I had found a huuuuge centre of creative magma. It was like I had plugged back into humanity, or being a person. I felt small again in the scope of the life landscape fiasco, and in the limits I found everything I needed in order to function again.

Dancing Skeleton

The tipping point to this realisation, or more so actualisation, was a book my boyfriend lent me called You Are More Creative Than You Think by Rod Judkins. It was useful, it wasn’t written in ego, it’s like a little book of electric sparky creative fires. It did a lot of tying up on loose connections for me. I’ve finished reading the book and have bought it on my Kindle so that I can highlight some info, and so I can just give a glance when I need a quick caffeinated pick me up.

Another contributor to this new lease on life, to use a cliche phrase, is Jordan Peterson. I find him incredibly intelligent and his conservative views are fascinating – which must sound weird, but I’d have been raised in a very hippy, happiness-and-spiritual-enlightenment-are-the-goal kinda family, so to have a reasonable person explain these concepts rooted in psychology, science, humanity and history… Is a huge change from the more dense conservative types I’d, in general, hear from. But now these more conservative views and perceptions make sense to me, and are explained through a well intentioned person.  To generalise, I find it interesting how people with lower IQs tend to drift towards the conservative, and I think that’s another interesting part of J.P. is that he is drawn to the conservative from his intelligence.

My own creativity has now a weight which I can function in. It combines creativity/imagination/aesthetics with practical/functional/technical aspects. So now I can actually produce art instead of talk about it. I’m involved in the work, I have skill to match talent. Well, I’m working on the skill part – but the point is; skill is what pushes you through and separates you from the rest – and if that’s combined with talent, etc. You’re ahead. And you’re actually doing something.

 

Organic Haircare

I’ve been trying to get back into a more natural way of living lately. Having been consumed by work over the summer and autumn, I feel like I’ve been thrown off self-care balance a bit. So I went onto http://www.naturalskincare.ie and ordered a bunch of stuff, as you do.

I’ve normal to fine hair so I thought I’d try John Masters Organic Normal to Fine Hair Collection (because obvz). This is the Lavender Rosemary shampoo, the Citrus & Neroli conditioner and the Deep Scalp Follicle treatment (which I’ve never done before!).

The shampoo says it will make the hair shinier, thicker looking and increase volume as well as slowing hair loss. The conditioner says it increases shine, volume and fullness. It also says it treats dry scalp and strengthens the hair. The Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment promises to stimulate blood flow in the scalp which encourages healthy hair growth, and it eliminates free radicals, as well as apparently being an excellent volumiser for thin/fine hair.

I found the smell of the products were gorgeous, especially if you love essential oils. But the lovely smell didn’t last on my hair – only when I was using the products was there any smell, which is disappointing. But my hair definitely did feel lighter and looked healthy and shiny.  I’ve only started using these products and I found them good so I don’t know the longterm effects I’m just going over the immediate results I’ve gotten. I’d buy again if they weren’t so pricey at about 20 euro each nearly which isn’t ideal if you’re a college student with unfixed work (like me!).

I do absolutely adore the fact that PETA endorses John Masters Organics, it’s actually an organic line (which means no nasty chemicals and pesticides, which are harmful in the longterm), and that a lot of the products are suitable for vegans. Below I’ve gone onto the website and copied and pasted the guidelines the company follows.

All ingredients must meet strict guidelines :
1. All products must be made with 70-100% organic content
2. No sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, DEAs, MEAs, or TEAs
3. No GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism)
4. No animal testing
5. No artificial colors, fragrances or fillers
6. All plant extracts and essential oils must be certified organic whenever possible
7. All essential oils used must be steam-distilled and not extracted with propylene glycol – which kills the
effect of the oils
8. All plant oils must be cold pressed, not heat distilled – which kills the therapeutic properties of plant oils
9. All ingredients must be proven to be beneficial to the hair or skin
10. All ingredients must be harvested in an environmentally-friendly manner (wild-crafted)
11. All ingredients must be bio-degradable as possible

 

Teens to 20’s

Since I’m approaching the end of my teen years, I thought it’d be a good time to reflect on how my body’s handling the situation. Often people, especially women, get stressed or anxious about ageing and I’m finding that’s not the case for me. Maybe because I’ve a, somewhat, positive perspective on the process and accept it in general. Also it could be the fact that I’ve seen really stunning, elegant older women and I find it aspirational.

iris-apfel

Iris Apfel, for instance. My ultimate goal.

What I’ve noticed mostly is the fact that I’ve put on weight for the first time in my life. Noticeably in the past 3 months. I’ve always been super thin thanks to a high metabolism. Eating large amounts of carbs and doing no exercise wasn’t any kind of worry for me. I see a slight pooch instead of a flat stomach and a rounder face, very small changes but huge surprises for me. Another surprise about this is that I’m not as terrified of this as I thought I would be, it’s just smaller portions with better food & exercise. Doable, manageable stuff.

body

On the subject of food, I’m starting to lose my sweet tooth. Instead of 4 teaspoons of sugar in my tea – I’ll have none. Or preferably just a green tea. For the first time there’s a limit on how many sweets I can eat before a feel sick. That limit being max 4. Personally, I find this insanity. Or what’s even crazier I’d go for dinner over dessert. I know right, it’s fucking wild.

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Roasted Veggie Pita with Avocado Dip

Something that I never thought would happen, though, is my hair has gotten thicker. I’m not good at taking vitamins or anything, so I’ve just put it down to age. Naturally I have very fine hair so this is like a miracle out of nowhere for me. Hairdressers keep telling me while my hair is very fine, I have a lot of hair which makes up for it. It could be down to the fact I’ve weened myself off of dry shampoo in the past couple of years so maybe I’ve let my scalp breathe again and new follicles emerged or some kind of wizardry.

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There’s been a huge change in my skin, which is bizarre. I’ve always been a sweaty, shiny mess of excess sebum until I struck 18 where I noticed my skin becoming quite dry and thirsty. I even got eczema. Took me a while to cop that I shouldn’t go for the anti-oil products anymore, and start taking up a dry skin routine. My skin then transitioned to sensitive, and currently resides as combination. Now I’m trying to target cleaning and shrinking pores, and managing flakiness which sporadically attacks.

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This model obviously has the skin of a newborn egg

Finally, with the transition from ‘teen’ to young adult – I’m finding a lot more clarity and that I’m becoming more self-aware rather than self-conscious and self-obsessed. I think being a teenager is a huge shit storm. They’re years that I won’t miss. I’m just glad I got something out of them, and that I feel no more ties to the teenage me. In fact, I feel more connected to the 4 year old me than the 14 year old me as I approach 20. Just fatter and with better hair.

 

 

Stevie Style

Stevie Nicks’ style can be summed up as a velvet-clad-ballerina-witch draped in lace. Personally, I would love to get a perm and dye my hair blonde because of her, but considering all my hair would probably fall out I have to settle for a more non-permanent alternative to emulate the goddess that is Stevie Nicks.

steve

Stevie a sheer black dress with floral embroidery and sequins

I’ve put together a sort of Stevie inspired dreamboard that makes her stage style more realistic for everyday wear. This embroidered, velvet jacket with dreamy purple and reds is just perfect. I probably would sell my house for this. I like the pairing of a skinny black velvet scarf and a sheer embroidered deep V neck underneath.

roberto cavalli velvet

Roberto Cavalli Autumn 2016 – ok not so realistic to buy but I think it could be a major source of inspiration in one outfit

This black sheer wrap top could be coupled with a black lace bra underneath (Urban Outfitters have really nice ones). The long necklace is perfect with a deep V. Extra Stevie points for a crescent moon pendant.

uo tops

Urban Outfitters sheer wrap crop top with bell sleeves and a long silver necklace.

These platforms are such a beautiful purple – they’re like a mix of satin and velvet with embellishments on the side. Love the idea of sheer black socks / or lace socks could be another option. Damn you Nasty Gal! Now I’m on their website – which I can’t even order from because I live in Ireland & the tax and duties would break my heart.

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Nasty Gal platforms and sheer socks

Another website that’s got great vintage looking stuff is Reformation. Yet another website I can’t order from without insane taxes and duties, but I have a look from time to time for inspiration.

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Velvet dress from Reformation with a slit and deep V neck

Stevie went for a lot of deep necklines and usually had a cinched waist and bellowy skirts and sleeves. The thin black scarf and layered necklaces tie the Stevie look together nicely here.

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Another Reformation dress

 

Lacey, beaded, sheer, sparkles, plunging neckline, vintage looking, beautiful I am obsessed.

roberto cavalli

Another Roberto Cavalli – I’m so sorry for this unrealisticness – but just ugh 

She infamously wears black lacey dresses, but here’s a nice example of colour. Fitted body, the top part reminds me of a ballet dancer’s leotard, then a fuller billowy midi skirt (I imagine) and some accessories. Fun fact: she had a necklace of Merlin the wizard.

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Stevie in a lilac dress and a pink shimmery scarf, with silver layered necklaces.

Stevie wore a near identical outfit to this cropped terracotta wrap top and blue flares. She wore it with a pair of platform suede boots – but I think this version modernises the look a bit more. You want to emulate the style of the time, not look like you stepped out of a time machine.

flares

Jeanne Damas for Reformation

 

Elie Saab did a beautiful collection that had a gorgeous Stevie/magic vibe. It captured the bohemian elegance and mix of vintage pretty/70s glam. But Elie Saab is yet another brand I can only get ideas from rather than buy (because I need to buy food to eat in order to live) – Free People do the most stunning clothes that really omit bohemian vibes without taking away your silhouette. It’s much more affordable than Elie Saab by far, but they would be investment pieces (and surprise surprise massive tax and duties woohoo!).

free peopeelie saab

 

Here’s some dreaminess free of my spoken word.

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16 Small Realistic Steps to Happiness

 

1. Push yourself to get up that bit earlier. As soon as you’re out of bed splash some water on your face and get dressed in whatever you’ve laid out for yourself the night before. You’ll feel that bit more productive and motivated. Drink some cranberry green tea while your make your breakfast.

 

mornign ready

 

2. Let yourself fall asleep earlier. – Start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling re-energised and comfortable. It helps if you make your bed irresistibly cosy. Sipping some chamomile and honey tea before you go to bed also helps.

 

Cosiest bed ever

 

3. Cut down & get rid of processed food from your diet. Start with no candies, crisps, biscuits, then erase white pasta, white rice, cereal, then white bread. Try use the guideline if a child couldn’t identify what’s in it – don’t eat it. Or a 10 ingredient max to help the transition.

 

unprocessed meal

 

4. Get into the habit of preparing yourself a beautiful breakfast. Ready brek, almond milk and honey. Some green juice. Herbal tea. Multigrain toast, mashed avocado with too much lemon on it. Or these vegan blueberry oat pancakes look very promising (note to self : have to attempt these). Sit and eat and enjoy nothing else.

 

vegan blueberry oat pancakes.jpg

 

5. Stretch. Start by reaching to the sky as high as you can, then try touch your toes – don’t push yourself to where it hurts. Always be gentle with yourself. Roll your head slowly. Stretch your fingers. Stretch everything. Look up and attempt some beginner yoga tutorials (and don’t be afraid to modify the shit out of them – it takes practice to touch your forehead to your knee).

 

yoga stretch.jpg

 

6. Buy a 1L water bottle. Start off pushing yourself to drink all throughout the day, then try drinking it twice when you feel your body’s used to it (it does wonders for the skin even over just a few days).

 

water flavoured naturally

apple, vanilla, cinnamon / blueberry, lime, mint / strawberry, cucumber, thyme / orange, rosemary

7. Buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful inky black pen. Write down everything you do and think of. Include dinner dates, appointments, work deadlines, what you’re feeling, your to do list. No detail is too small.

 

journal.jpg

 

8. Strip your bed of sheets and empty your underwear laundry into the washing machine near the start of the morning. Put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. Make your bed so nice and cosy for your future tired self.

 

cosiest bed in all the world.jpg

I can’t even handle the cosiness levels here

9. Organise your room. Fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, take a goddamn selfie, clean your laptop/ipad, vacuum the floor, escort any spiders outside with a glass and bit of paper, light your favourite scented candle or some incense.

 

   

 

10. Have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. Wash your hair, exfoliate your body, brush your teeth, lather your whole body in moisturiser (or baby oil), apply a coconut oil hair mask to the mid-lengths and ends.
  
 

11. Push yourself to go for a walk, with the dog, with a friend. Go to the beach or the woods. Sit for a moment and take in nature.

 

  

12. Arrange a friend date. Go out for dinner, do something you’s both love, stay in make cookies and talk about your life goals with face masks. Who cares about cliches it’s FUN.
  
 

13. Clear your life of toxic people; the manipulators, the selfish, the mean. Be around the people you aspire to be, who make you feel good about yourself and who help you along through life.

 

  

14. Think about what interests you. The Universe? Crime? Rock and roll in the 70’s? Political metaphors? Find a book about it and read it. There is a book about literally everything.

 

  

15. Become the person you want to fall in love with. Let cars merge in your lane when driving. Stick your tongue out at babies. Compliment people on what you like about them occasionally. Challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day, a week, a month. Walk with a straight posture. Look people in the eye and give them your full attention. Let people be themselves comfortably around you. Speak about your passions, not your dislikes. Encourage others the be themselves by example.

 

  

16. Lie in the sunshine. Daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a concept. Open yourself up to positivity. Take small steps toward your goal.

Minimal Me

Just a year ago I got my first job and I was so excited to spend my money on, essentially, keeping up with the Jones’. Every style blog and beauty article was telling me about ‘must buys’ and ‘essentials’ and how to build a makeup collection (why do women need to build a makeup collection unless they’re makeup artists?!).

 

jeanne damas vanity clear

 

Now I’m stuck here a year later with piles of unworn clothes and duplicates of products I never even used. I didn’t know it at the time but all of this physical clutter was clogging up my mind and giving me straight up anxiety. All this accumulation of stuff was stressing me out and I didn’t really know how to manage it.

 

yoga minimal

 

One day I read an article about minimalism; how to ‘have less, do more. There were articles about unfucking your closet by creating a 37 piece capsule wardrobe, decluttering your beauty products and transitioning to more natural cosmetics, even making it easier to clean your room/house because you’ve less stuff for the sake of nostalgia and clutter.

 

jeanne vanity clutter

 

I cleared out all the clothes that were not practical for my lifestyle (the weather here in Ireland is wet and cold), that weren’t my style, that I couldn’t imagine wearing in a few years time, that were ill-fitting, as well as things that didn’t suit me or I wouldn’t miss. Most of the clothes I haven’t worn are put up on Depop, and I’m going to set up an eBay account too. Some clothes I’ve donated to charity. Some I’ve given to friends and family.

 

minimal wardrobe

 

As for beauty I gave products I didn’t use away to friends and family; hair texturisers, foundation, moisturiser, fake tan, etc- I threw out anything gone stale or unhygenic; eyeliners, mascaras, old nail varnishes, etc. What makeup I was left with could fit into a makeup bag easily. Packing takes a lot less time now and is much less stressful. As well as having less, I’ve been evaluating the ingredients in the products I was using. I now stick to a less than 10 ingredient guideline, or at least know what ingredients I am soaking into my skin.

 

flowas

 

I got rid of anything in my room that didn’t serve a purpose. Like I had old lamps with no bulb, random tables that just accumulated clutter, tons of old DVDs and books I read when I was 14. Just loads of ‘stuff’! I made sure everything had a place, which makes cleaning extremely quick and easy. I had to buy extra coat hangers, under bed storage boxes and a set of wicker baskets – but not much else.

 

cosy minimalist

 

Since then I’ve just been feeling so light and motivated. I’ve started doing things again like exercising, writing, drawing, reading – simply because my mind felt clear. I couldn’t believe how much of an impact my environment had on my brain. I’m going to do more detailed guidelines on how I decluttered my life in future – wardrobe, beauty and my room.

 

cosy bed yumminimal room 2minimal room