Monday, February 28, 2011

All That Glitters Is Gold, Tamara Lichtenstein, & My Days Playing Fiddle In The Band

I think of that line from "Stairway To Heaven" when I look at Tamara Lichtenstein's photography: "all that glitters is gold." It reminds me of dusk and summer and stardust. She blends her photos with photos of stars or sun pouring through the leaves of a tree and the results are magical. It's like a real life Wonderland. I want my life to be a haze of sunlight and stardust. It also reminds me of all my mom's old photos from the 70's in Huntington Beach. They're all gritty and golden and warm.  I've got to find some so I can post them. My mom was a little beach bunny and my pops was quite the stud.

What else is inspiring me these days? Well I've been listening to a lot of bluegrass music. Mainly instrumental. I never thought I would ever say this, but after listening to music at work for 8 hours a day everyday, you start to get - gasp - tired of music! It's at that point you want something soothing and melodic but easy to kind of zone out to. That's when I put on one of my classical, soundtracks/scores, or bluegrass iPod mixes. No words - just music. Sweet, sweet music.

I played the violin in orchestra when I lived in NY growing up, and then when we moved to KY my sister and I played in our uncle's bluegrass band too. Those experiences taught me a lot about genres most kids never really get into because they're too busy listening to N'Sync on repeat (although I did my fair share of that. Side Note: I used to run home from the schoolbus to catch "Tearing Up My Heart" at Number one TRL everyday of 7th grade. Ahhhh what a hormonal little tween I was.) It really makes me want to learn the slide guitar or the banjo. I should really just practice my violin since I already know how to play that one. Me and Jen tried to jam the other day, violin and piano. I'm pretty positive I heard the neighbors' cats howling. Practice makes perfect though!

- Listening to: The Infamous Stringsters' "Fork In the Road"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mustachioed Men, Time Warps, and Old Man Crushes

[Fig. 1: via The Sartorialist. ]

5 Things:
  1. I hope to have an old man boyfriend like this  [Fig. 1] one day. 
  2. He looks like a British Naval officer who's ship got stuck in a time/space warp that teleported and dropped him in the middle of a London rock n' roll club where he asked some punk rock kid to borrow some pants and Doc Martins. Which is a good thing.
  3. He also sort of looks like the captain from King Kong, who I also have an old-man crush on.
  4. He has great follicle fortitude, much like these rad posters [Fig. 2] I found on one of my favorite design blogs They were done by AIGA for a show called Full Bleed.
  5. He and the posters both remind me of the art and tattoo work of Ricardo Cavolo. He does a lot with carnies and mustachioed men.
Listening to: Jamie Cullum's "Gran Torino"

[Fig. 2]

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Furry Vests, Socks With Heels & Back Alley Photoshoots

I've been seeing the socks and heels trend a lot within the pages of my magazines and as I scroll through my favorite blogs. Even my lovely co-worker Blythe has adopted it. I think it's so cute and it kind of reminds me of being five again. In a good way. It's the cuter version of the Brittney Spears fad that was going on back in the beginning of the Millenium. I totally used to rock the knee high socks and school girl plaid skirt. At the time I really liked fashion - and boys - and this fad (although semi- skank-tastic) seemed to provide me with both.  Back to the point, I tried the socks and heels look today. I went all out and paired it with my furry vest. I had so much fun walking around. I felt like a groupie for The Stones; like Anita Pallenberg would be meeting me to smoke a cig out back any minute. Neither of these things happened of course, but I did get some encouragement from my fellow shoppers at South Coast, which is always welcome when branching out on the metaphorical fashion tree. 

Blythe documents her outfits on her blog and I am her unofficial photographer. The alley behind our office is our usual shoot location, which the other tenants find very comical. I don't think any of them have quite figured out what the hell we're always taking pictures for. Blythe tried my hat on and her outfit instantly turned Sound-of-Music-Chic. 

[ "The hilllllls are aliiiiiiive..." ]

How much do you love her knee highs? I've been wearing my sheer knee highs with my boots which is super fun, but now I want to try this!

What's inspiring me right now? Blythe's blog from yesterday. It's the second installment of her new regular series called "Five Things" where she lists five things she's digging right now. The recent post is HILARIOUS. 

Hope the weekend's treating you well.
- Amy
Listening to: Kings of Leon's "The End"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Constellation Tattoos: The Bear, My Current Muse: Marianne Faithfull, & Cat Fights with Kate Moss

Here is the second installment of my poster series/study on constellations for use as tattoos (available now on Etsy!). I want to get a tattoo of a constellation, but I want to make up my own, so I am sketching out my ideas which you guys will then vote on to decide which I will get! The first poster was of a reindeer. Which turned out pretty rad. Items I'd still like to try are a classic car, a motorcycle, a banjo or some other hillbilly instrument, and a jackalope. I think the jackalope is going to turn out amazing. I also really liked the gun constellation I drew in my John Wayne illustration. It's equal parts dainty and tough - like a sexy woman drinking a whiskey straight up. Vote for which of the above you like best. Like I said, We'll pick the best option from each poster and then have a final death match between those winners to see which I should get inked on!

Which Bear Constellation Tattoo do you like best? From top to bottom:
The First The Second The Third The Fourth   

[ Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle. ]

CURRENT MUSE: Marianne Faithfull

Speaking of dainty and tough, I present to you my current muse: Marianne Faithfull. Particularly Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle directed by Jack Cardiff. Wearing a fur coat on a bike? She's my hero.

Marianne was equally as cool in real life however. Here are a few reasons why:
  • She's the daughter of a baroness and a WWII spy.
  • The first time f*** was used in a movie was by her in I'll Never Forget What's'isname.
  • She was Mick Jagger's special lady. It's said that some of the lyrics in "Wild Horses" are about her and Mick's breakup.
  • Went through some crazy ups and downs going from being a member of rock royalty to having a serious drug problem which left her homeless on the streets in SOHO.
  • Not only has she collaborated with the Stones, she recently collaborated with Beck, Billy Corgan, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Rufus Wainwright, and Lou Reed. 
  • She made an album of covers called Easy Come Easy Go which included her version of songs by Morrissey, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Decemberists, Billie Holiday, and Dolly Parton. Great taste, Marianne.
  • She's gnarly. She recently called Kate Moss a "vampire who stole my style." If you've seen her these days, that's a terrifying threat. The drugs didn't do her well. I love Kate Moss and don't think style is any one's to own, but it's kind of rad that ole' Marianne's still got some bite in her nonetheless.

Happy Friday people!

- Amy
Listening to: Beirut's "After The Curtain"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Crystal Jewelry, Summoning Captain Planet, and Musicals

[Fig. 1: Hiya Moon Gift Box with rock n roll (literally) jewelry inside. ]

I finally found some raw crystal jewelry that won't cost mE a small fortune! The shop is called Hiya Moon and it's on I got a bullet casing necklace with a quartz crystal and two raw crystal rings - one for my sis and one for me so we can trade like creepy twins do. The jewelry came in a cute little box [Fig. 1] which made me want to sing "Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things" in my best Julie Andrews impersonation. 

The rings and necklace were even lovelier in person than I thought they'd be from the photos online. After placing the rings upon our chubby little midget fingers [Fig. 2], Jen and I felt a rush of power and the strange urge to summon Captain Planet with our beautiful earth-centric jewelry. I've worn my necklace [Fig. 3] and ring everyday since I got them last week. They're fun to layer with my turquoise ring and raccoon claw necklace (at least that's what kind of claw I think it is). It makes me feel very Native American.

[ Fig. 2: Jen (left) and I (right) giving the fist of solidarity to show off our new rings. ]

[ Fig. 3: Bullet Casing Crystal Necklace from Hiya Moon. ]

Today I get to go to South Coast Plaza for a pre-mini-showing of a few numbers from Rock of Ages, the musical showing at Segerstrom Center for The Arts (formerly OCPAC). I'm pretty excited! There's not very many things that get me in a better mood than a musical number. I blame my mother for raising me on Rogers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I'm just a product of my environment. After, I'm grabbing lunch with my friend/PR Rep for South Coast Plaza, Beverly Morgan, and then it's back to the graphics cave where they'll re-chain me to my desk to pump out ads and editorial layouts till the prints on my finger pads are worn off. 

-Listening to: Cage The Elephant's "Tiny Little Robots"

[ Fig 4: Cage The Elephant from Bowling Green, KY. ]

Fun Fact / Pop Culture Lesson of the Day: Cage the Elephant

I went to high school (Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, KY) with Matt and Brad Schultz and Tyler Champion of Cage The Elephant. They were called Perfect Confusion back in those days. Matt Schultz [Fig. 4, center] was actually named Calendar Boy of the Year for our high school; It's like a Sports Illustrated Calendar they sold to raise money for school programs, except with high school hotties instead of models. It's always fun seeing how old friends go on to do great things as they grow up. I wish I was playing Coachella and opening for The Black Keys right now. Talk about making everyone else feel crappy at the ten year high school reunion. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Tattoos, Keeping It Real Like Ponyboy & Playing The Guinea Pig

[ On the "operating table," stencil on foot, awaiting the gun. ] 

Like I posted a couple weeks back, my friend Ari is apprenticing at Newport Tattoo right now. In order to practice he's handing out free tats like a pedophile hands out free candy on a playground. Being the starving artist that I am, and looking to scratch my metaphorical itch for some fresh ink, I offered my skin as a sacrifice. It was done in the name of art... and pauperdom. Here's a photo essay of the night as documented by my favorite twin sister (no need to point out my only twin sister), Jennifer Hood

[ Awaiting my foot's fate. ]

[ Starting to get excited! That's my friend and tattooist in training, Ari Kotsiris. ]

[ Discussing the plan of attack. ]

[ I had to run out to the car to grab my phone, and then I had the dirtiest feet you've ever seen which Ari had to touch. Sorry Ari. ]

[ Jen Hood, up to no good. ]

[ Sweet Jen. ]

[ Me mid-tattoo. ]

[ No pain, no gain. Or so the meat heads tell me. ]

[ Ari doin work, hoping I don't find out he has no idea what he's doing. Just Kidding. Ari was a pro and a half! ]

[ Trying to talk between whimpering - I mean - trying to talk while not noticing my foot is getting blasted. ]

[ We both made it out alive! Authors Note: Ari has the quickest thumbs-up draw you've ever seen. This thumbs-up was recorded at .06 seconds. ]

My tattoo says "Stay Gold Ponyboy." It's my first semi-ridiculous tattoo and I just adore it. Like I said a while back when pondering my potential Clint Eastwood tattoo, I've realized that the tattoos I like most on other people are the kind of ridiculous ones. The ones most would consider their mistake tattoos. And I don't mean the Winnie-The-Pooh-on-your-hip or dolphin-on-your-ankle kind of mistake tattoos - I mean a smiley face on your knee cap like my friend Tim Wiececk, or half the tattoos on or done by my friend Chris De Armas over at American Vintage Tattoo in Orange [See Figures 1 and 2]Funny/strange/absolutely unique tattoos. "Stay Gold" is a pretty common tattoo, but adding the "Ponyboy" to the end makes it quite unique and semi-comical. Mission Accomplished. As soon as this bad boy heals I'll post better pics of the actual tattoo.

[ Figure 1: A Jackolope, and Figure 2: A Colonel Sanders headed chicken shitting biscuits. Tattoos by Chris De Armas. ]

If you want some free ink and want to play the guinea pig too, call Newport Tattoo and ask for this guy [Fig. 3], Ari Kotsiris.

[Fig. 3: Ari]


Listening to: The Duke Spirit's "The Step And The Walk"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bodacious Babes, Epic Breaks, and Brahs

TODAYS INSPIRATION: Morgan Maassen, Photographer

Morgan Maassen is an Aussie photographer of bodacious babes, epic breaks, brahs and boards. His photography embodies the beauty of the surf culture and it's breathtaking oceanic playground. Did I mention he's only 20? When I think back to four years ago and my body of work, I had nowhere near the impressive portfolio this guy has already amassed. I mean not even close! He's worked for Billabong, Quicksilver, Volcom, Nike, Swell, Verizon, Corona, and the list goes on and on. I am now a proud follower of his blog, humorously named Here are a few of my favorite pics from his blog and website. 

- Amy
Listening to: The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?"

the smiths - how soon is now..

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