Wednesday, December 16, 2009

These days...

I'm loving: the art nouveau images of Czech artist, Alphonse Mucha. His ladies' headpieces are my current source of inspiration.

I'm living in: my Docs with heels, big loopy scarves, cocoon sweaters, and big rings.

I'm listening to: "Animal" by Miike Snow, "Random Firl" by Late of the Pier, "Cool Yourself" by Thao, and "Heavenly Arms" by El Perro del Mar.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This time last year

Everything fell into place and everything was orchestrated. I was ready and sick of it. I was tired of the cynicism and dark winters. I came back from Beirut, and the city was rainy and gray. I slept on Isabel's floor, three cushions awkwardly pushed together in the 10th, by the Canal.

And I didn't blink when I left, and I felt nothing. I used to imagine taking the metro to the airport, watching sun stream through the windows as I raced away from the city. And I thought I'd be sad, but I wasn't.

I guess it takes time to digest and to step away. Now I miss simple things like Tunisian dates, listening to Neji's Arabic, deep French voices, dewy Montmartre streets in the mornings, the market at Montreuil, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and days of wandering to escape loneliness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm like a ghost, I have nothing but myself and potential.

Model Daul Kim died yesterday. Speculations are that she committed suicide. What a beautiful and complicated soul. I followed her blog, I Like to Fork Myself, during my time in Paris. She was a brilliant writer, offering honesty and transparency on a fashion blog. Daul was candid about her feelings of loneliness while traveling, and I always felt connected to her for this reason.

RIP, Daul. I hope that she is in peace now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nomadic notions and the chains on my feet

Somehow I'm back in the States, avoiding complacency and trying to view my city from virgin eyes. I'm trying not to get bored here, even though I feel like this city can be a bubble and a black hole. I never thought that I was running away during my travels, but sort of assumed that I was moving forward and always seeking. Sometimes being back makes me wonder if I am in fact escaping a little bit of the transparency that comes with being "home".

I'm utopic in my thinking and expect that each new city may actually hold what I need - from the perfect urban landscape to people who I'll "get". And many of them do hold these things, but I get bored after a few months and begin to wonder if there's a better option out there. I think I'm also fueled by the anticipation of travel, the mysteries that are behind cities with names like Beirut, Istanbul, Tokyo... Travel is my natural high.

Anyway, I've got the itch to move, and unfortunately that's not really an option right now. So I'm setting off on a new adventure that may be more challenging than moving to some country where I don't speak the language or know another soul... Being still and creative even in Austin.

I'll be working on my jewelry and styling and writing about Austin for a travel site, Trip Vine, that's set to launch on November 12. And although this blog may not be documenting travels for now, I'm going to try to take some trips throughout Texas, to some small-ass trippy towns, so be expecting pics at some point.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deadbeat summer

Lebanon in palettes...


and pinks

and sunset tones

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Turkey: Part Deux

So our last morning in Olimpos, I woke up feeling reeeeeally sick to my stomach and decided that some sewage which was released into the bay was probably to blame. It was hot and humid, and Nic and I had to stuff ourselves on a series of over-capacity small buses in order to go to our next destination, Fethiye. I wanted to die and burst into tears during one of the bus rides; it was standing room only, packed and hot, and we were looking at a 2 hour ride. Not cool.

We arrived to Fethiye in the afternoon and spent the day wandering around a bit and relaxing. Nic got hit with the sickness that night, so by the next day we were both in the mood to chiiiiill. We spent the day on the beach at Olu Deniz, a very salty and beautiful sea cove. It was nice and hot and there wasn't any sewage in the water, so we did a lot of swimming and floating in the water and laying under the sun, while the salt turned into crystals all over our towels, swimsuits, bodies...

The next day we took a little ship to Butterfly Valley. This beach cove was only accessible by boat and was home to 40 species of butterflies which live in a gorge that leads to an incredible waterfall. The Valley was a cool space where people camp out in the summer. It had a definite zen appeal considering that anyone staying in the cove must respect the natural environment - loud noises and pollution can kill the butterflies. Nic and I hiked to the waterfall and were just about dying from the heat when we reached it!

Leaving for the cove...

The next day it was back to Istanbul for us, which meant a miserable 14 hour bus ride. Neither of us slept a wink, and when we arrived in Istanbul, we went to bed at 6 p.m. and woke up the next day just before 10 a.m. Our last day in Istanbul was spent with our new pals, Emre, Mustafa, and Cemil. They took us out to some amazing clubs along the Bosphorous and taught me how to play Texas Hold 'Em. It was a perfect last evening in Turkey, and Nic and I are plotting how to get back to Istanbul this winter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I wish I were a fish on your dish

Turkiye, land of apple tea, nargile (water pipes), rugs and kilims, rooftop terraces, baklava and Turkish delight, fringe and tassels, the "eye"... I couldn't get enough of it, and I still can't. I'd fly back today and stay for another 2 months just to soak in all that this country has to offer. It exceeded all of my expectations and made for a magical traveling session with my girl, Nichole.

We started off in Istanbul, where we spent 4 days. We visited the mosques and palaces, painted in dusty mauve tones and saffron yellows and embellished with beautiful ceramic tiles. We visited the Egyptian Spice Bazaar (multiple times) and became addicted to the dates that a vendor in the back was selling. Our hostel was located in Sultanahmet and was very close to some good shopping. I taught Nic how to bargain like a pro, and we both left Turkey with ikat blankets, silk jackets, jewelry, and some cool bags. The Turkish are very hospitable and well-mannered, and every time we sat down to bargain, we were offered tea - apple, lemon, and orange-flavored or traditional Turkish tea. I joked that I was becoming a tea whore, bargaining just so I could sit down and sip out of tiny glasses while chatting with shop-owners and being shown tassled necklaces, belts, and textiles.

After meeting some amazing Turkish people, 2 of whom drove us through the night to Pamukkale, we headed south. From Pammukale, we took FOUR DIFFERENT BUSES, to Olimpos, a beach cove nestled in a valley. In order to get to the beach, we had to hike through ruins from 161 a.d. It was a pretty incredible and was well-worth the sweaty 15 minutes.

Why was this Turkish man wearing a Native American headdress? I don't know, but I love him for it.

Olimpos is a hippie wonderland. There are only tree houses and bungalows in this little valley, and at night, everyone sits on Turkish couches outside in their hostel "lobbies" to have a drink and smoke some water pipe. This place attracts a very Turkish crowd; there are of course tourists (mostly from the States and Australia), but very few. It's also a hippie hangout, and I loved watches girls and boys in tie-dye, harem pants, and feather accessories. Little jewelry shops popped-up at night, filled with pieces made from sandalwood, coral, leather, feather, bone, and even nuts and seeds. Our days were spent laying on the beach, eating figs and drinking Efes beer, and doing a little miniature cliff-jumping.

More to come on the rest of my trip... xo

Find yourself a new frontier

My current obsessions: all things Turkish, Persian, and Middle Eastern. Paris has surprisingly provided a great window into the Arab world, as it is a city full of expats and immigrants. Throughout the past year, I've become more and more interested in the cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. My recent travels to Turkey (which I will post about soon, I'm sorry I've been a bad blogger!) sort of provided a little stepping stone in the M.E., and my upcoming journey to Lebanon and Jordan should take things to the next level...

On another note, I know that I'm quite late in blogging about the Iranian elections in June, and although, this blog has never been a political one, I would like to encourage everyone to continue to follow the political situation in Iran and to pray for this country! They've been going through a very brutal few months, and after speaking with some Iranian girls here in Paris, I was told that they're very encouraged in knowing that their elections were being publicized and that people all over the world are claiming solidarity with Iranian students and political prisoners. Even though the elections are well over and the media hype may die down, remember Iran and for those of us in democratic countries, be grateful for the freedoms that you have.

Some amazing artwork from Iranian-American artist, Arien Valizadeh. Thanks Mag S'en Fou for blogging about him...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

MIdsommer and the sun don't set

I went to Sweden, thanks to my dear friend Brian, to celebrate Midsommer with some Swedes and old friends. Brian's got a cool island called Danmark's Holme outside of Stockholm, so everyone stayed in old houses from the 60's. The old inhabitants of the island left everything in their homes - pictures, posters, beds, blankets, furniture, kitchen ware, etc, so we stepped back in time. There was no electricity or running water, which meant wandering around with oil lanterns, bathing in the cold sea, and using the dreaded outhouses.

The sun never sets in Stockholm, and the nights never end. We cooked and cozied up by bonfires, sat in the hot tub then plunged into the freezing sea, ate herring, drank Swedish Schnapps, sang Midsommer songs, had a dance party until 7 a.m., collected sea glass, and took the boat out and around the Swedish isles.

Sweden was magical, and I have to go back. On my last night, Brian woke me up at 3:30 a.m. and told me that I had to come see the fog that had set over the island. It was so thick that we could barely see ten feet in front of us. We went to the bon fire, near the beach, and watched swans bobbing serenely around this enchanting little island which seemed to be enveloped by a cloud. Ash was blowing up and swirling around the glowing orange fire, and white bits rained down on our shoulders. The fog gently and slowly lifted, revealing the surrounding green hilly islands. It was one of the most mystical and beautiful moments of my many travels.

The man who made it all possible, my fellow wanderlust-er, Brian.

Sweden in the 60's.

Where we had our Midsommer's meal.

The sun rose at 3, even though it had never fully set. Oceanna called me out to see the blazing orange sky, and I couldn't grab my camera in time to catch it. I got this bit, though.

The island.

Boating at 6.

Stockholm on my last night.

Back on my mountain again

I have lots to tell and I've been a terrible blogger... It's hot and sticky in Paris, and I've been verrrry busy with some biiiiig changes. My mind has been all over the place, but now I'm going to focus it for a big on some updates.

My headdresses, earrings, and body jewelry have finally found a home at a great boutique here in Paris called Chine Machine. It's a vintage/ young designers boutique located at 100 rue des Martyrs in Montmartre, if anyone is in Paris able to check it out! Their MySpace is

Here are some pics of my new creations in action:

And some new sources of creative inspiration: