Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Would a Supermodel Do?

A Pick-Me-Up

Hey, friends. Happy Saturday! I'm having a rough go of it today. Just one of those everything-feels-lame kinda days. Nothing super serious. Just sitting here on my comfy futon with Enya on Pandora browsing the blogs I follow for a little creative soul boost. 

That's when I ran into supermodel Sarah DeAnna's kick-butt post on her SuperModel You blog.
Her entire premise is something I'm very interested in - taking the principals a model needs to be successful and applying them to all areas of life. From the bit of modelling I've done, I resonate with her tips on taking the power of self-awareness and using it to thrive as a supermodel, executive, mother, friend, writer....anything. The principals of success are the same. 

Rather then try to summarize, here's DeAnna's post below. Read and implement. 

Hello Daily ‘Supermodel’ Lovers,
How are you? No, really, how are you? Let’s check in:
How are you feeling right now in this moment?
Do feel good? Tired? Happy? Bored? Anxious? Peaceful? Just kind of blah?
How’s your posture? Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten your SuperModel Posture from our first blog?
Are you leaning to one side more than the other?
Are you squinting or straining your eyes while you read this or sitting way to close to the monitor?
How do your clothes feel? Do they fit properly or are they too tight or too big or just plain uncomfortable?
What is your face doing? Are you scrunching your eyebrows together? Are you frowning? Smiling?
What’s running in the back of your mind while you read this? What to have for dinner? A conversation you just had with someone else? Are you scrolling through your to-do list? Or are you really 100% here with me?
Why does all this matter anyway?

Every one of these questions matters because Self-Awareness is the first key to making any change in your life.

Without Self-Awareness, you will never have the ability to understand why you are where you are or what you need to do to get somewhere else. By developing a keen sense of Self-Awareness, you will be able to Self-Actualize all your desires. Otherwise, forget it. You’re just going to be swept along by fate, with no say in where you end up.

Although you might not have guessed this, models actually have a high level of Self-Awareness. We have to be Self-Aware because it’s part of our job to know how we look, how we photograph, how we stand, how we walk (on runways and when meeting clients), how we hold our faces, and how clothes look on us. We constantly have to be aware of our posture and the messages we are sending with our body language. This is an important aspect of being a good model.

Let me give you an example of how important this is.
One of the first jobs I did with Versace was for an event at their boutique on Rodeo Drive. They hired three models, and our job was to be mannequins, standing on top of pillars, decked out head to toe in Versace. Stacie, the VP of Marketing and Events at Versace, informed us that we had to stay as still as possible, just like real mannequins, moving only to change our position if we absolutely needed to. We were not allowed to talk to the guests, smile, or respond in any way. She also warned us to be careful because a girl in New York had actually passed out and fell off the pillar doing a job just like this one. Who knew modeling was so dangerous? (Actually, I could tell you stories–falling off a horse while shooting in Cannes, hanging out of the back of moving U-haul truck for a shoot, climbing a barbed wire fence in Paris, leaches in the water—but I’ll save those for later.)

You have no idea how incredibly hard this is! I dare you to put on the most ridiculously high and uncomfortable heels you can find, strike a mannequin-like pose, and hold it for even five minutes. The two other girls and I had to do this for much longer!

This is what happens when you have to stay still in extreme positions for an extended period of time: Your leg starts to fall asleep, or your arm, or multiple limbs at once. You start to shake, your hip starts to give, you get crazy itches you can’t scratch. On top of the physical challenge, you’ve got all these people staring at you and poking you and wondering if you’re real or freaking out when they realize you are. Or they’re trying to get you to break face.

This was the most challenging job I’ve probably ever done as a model, and I’m telling you about it because it was an amazing exercise in self-awareness. I had to gain total control over my body and mind. It was a total body workout and a meditation all in one. I felt like I consciously experienced every muscle in my body and became keenly aware of my breath, my heartbeat, and what every part of me was doing, from scalp to fingers to the bottoms of my feet.

And I was good at it! People thought I was a real mannequin. The other models had a harder time. One girl had to get down before we were finished, and the other girl kept moving or laughing when people would try to break her. Not me. Once they realized I was real, people at the event kept trying to get me to laugh. Eventually, they succeeded when an NBA player offered me a drink of his champagne, and then put his glass to my lips and started to pour his drink into my mouth. I couldn’t help laughing, but I credit my ability to do the job so well (at least up to that point) to Self-Awareness.

That lesson stayed with me. I started to notice things in my everyday life, like the fact that I tend to rest more weight on my right hip when I’m standing or washing the dishes or brushing my teeth. I also noticed that I didn’t always distribute my weight properly while walking or standing, which tired me out faster. When you distribute your body weight properly, your core will almost always be activated. Your energy will flow better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll look better, too. Most people don’t notice how they distribute their weight, how long their strides are, how well they stay balanced. When you learn to notice and then to control your weight distribution and carry yourself with awareness, you’re a lot less likely to fall, because you’re balanced. You burn more calories from having your core activated. And all that leads to greater sensitivity and Self-Awareness about what’s going on in your brain, from the thoughts that run through your head all day to the words you choose to say (helpful? hurtful?), to the decisions you make about what to eat, what to focus on, what to LOVE.

So think about this as you go through your week. Notice your body. Notice your breath. Notice your thoughts. When you are tuned in to exactly what you are doing, how you are feeling, and what you are thinking, then the decisions you make about how to take care of yourself will be informed by Self-Awareness rather than habit. And that’s exactly where you want to be.
Good, no? Thought you dig it! :) Share your comment on an experience when you used self-awareness to be successful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Butterfly Wings Surprise Me

Butterfly Wings!

These are so PERFECT! Why didn't I think of it before???? 

As I've been flitting around Portland, gathering the small beads, shells, a fiber needed to build out the sexy, jewelry-inspired sandals I've been constructing, incorporating real butterfly wings never crossed my mind as a serious option. 

Previously, I was searching for some kind of pearlescent, translucent, purple-blue-green, radiant stone or shell to use as the centerpiece to rest on the top of the foot. Nothing was really "clicking" for me, until I happened upon these BEAUTIES in Fossil Cartel in Pioneer Place. 

Get a load: they are actual Argentinian butterfly wings that the locals harvest and trade. They are set in sterling silver and mounted with protective clear fronts to prevent damage. Totally the perfect shape, size, and luster. Not to mention ridiculously distracting colors! 

Teal, yellow, green, and black wings
Ruby, orange, green, and black wings


Fiery purple and indigo blue. Periwinkle!

Yes, Yes, YES! These are perfect. Blue morpho butterfly wings.

They are called Shimmerwings for a reason.....I know these pictures don't do them justice (like at ALL!), so I'll shoot you guys a little QVC style video of me holding them so you can see the magic!

This week, I'll be wrapping macrame around the two blue morpho wings I bought and lacing them into the upper foot strap. Exciting times!

What's in Your Treasure Box?

Did you ever keep one as a kid? An old shoe box. A bottom drawer. A cool vintage lunch tin? For as long as I can remember, I've had a "treasure box" for my found, sentimental, inspiring, fascinating, beautiful, or just plain odd mementos. 

Some were given - like the NHL hockey card my dad gave me featuring Joe Sakic. Some were collected - like the small pebble I picked up from within the Colosseum on my senior trip to Italy with my grandma. Others were inherited - like an old stainedglass-colored butterfly broach from a great-grandma. (I should really post of pic of this one! And wear it more...)

There's just something about us as people - we love to gather things to us that personally matter to us. Nothing in my treasure box is there by accident. It's my own personally, curated mini-museum. That's kind of what I hope this blog to revolve around - an online gathering of meaningful things that create joy and intrigue. "A modern anthology of beauty."

So, since we are all chatty about nifty boxes to stash stuff in, I'm curious to hear what other people use? Here's one of my treasure boxes. This one is for my shells, fossils, and rocks! All very inspirational to me in design work.

Felt bottom, simple wood sides, hinged lid, and some handglued shells. :)

 Grandma gave me the shells for the top of the box as a birthday present long ago. Grandpa presented the box. As a kid, what started out as a cool craft, turned into an awesome keepsake latent with memories.

I see seaglass!

These tactile, earth treasures were also in the box, but I think they are showier on the vintage mirrored vanity tray. Look closely and you can see a sea urchin spine, a trilobite, hematite, rose quartz, a sanddollar, seahorse, a geode, coral, and many other natural treasures! 

Each piece is so perfect in color, shape, texture. 
So what do you collect in your treasure box? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Timberline Trip

Rockin' a Monday at Timberline

Ok - when I become independently wealthy, I will own season passes to about three or four mountains. Probably a couple chalets as well. No joke. I LOVE to snowboard. Hands down my favorite outdoor activity. What's yours?

I boarded Whistler/Blackcomb earlier this month (AWESOME). The resort is only 7 or so hours from Portland.  Monday I hit Timberline on Hood for the first time in several years! Nothing beats a gorgeous warm day with friends, a sweet 2011 Burton Lipstick, and the iconic lodge from "The Shining." 

Could have done with a few more inches of snow and a few less rocks, but NO complaints! Any day on the snow is a good day, right? :)

Someone doesn't have to go to work today!

Trying to pick my next mountain of the season - Bachelor maybe? 

Hood in the Sun!


Remember the handmade sandals I designed? I'm getting REAL with my mockups! After getting some natural hemp fiber, semi-precious beads, agonizing over a macrame pattern, and finally growing some balls, I made my first foray into macrameing the upper strap to go over the wedges! Can I get a what-WHAT?! :)

As foolish as it sounds, my mind kept creating excuses why I would never be able to recreate the sandals I see in my head. Crafting these just freaked the heck out of me. To get over this hump and take some dang action, I had to focus in on "what would I do, if I KNEW I couldn't fail?" By golly, I'd approach my sandals with fearless enthusiasm and embrace mistakes since they will only help me get to my end goal sooner!

Here's a pick of me with my stuff out and ready to rumble:

Raw materials - this is what awesome is made of!

Right now, I'm trialing different gauge/color/texture fiber. The hemp is too coarse and thick - I'm going to shoot for something softer and sleeker. This pattern isn't terrible, but it's too "chunky" and not as tight and smooth. Thankfully, I've got a 70's book full of patterns and I've already selected the next one to try!

This is about half of the top strap. The center stone will rest in the middle of the foot.

Now for the beads. Love the subtle colors....but they just don't glitter the way I imagined. Thinking of going with a.) darker colors or b.) larger beads. Most importantly of all, I'm still digging around for my centerpiece! Currently, druzy, chrysophrase, abalone, mother-of-pearl or some other purplish-blue-irridescent flat stone is on my list. Does anyone have a good source for semi-precious beads and stones? The quest is on!

Small purple and clear beads - thinking I need darker material to POP off the fiber.

Overall - this was a great first trial. I've learned a lot about what I love and hate about these shoes and am stoked to do some more handiwork this weekend! Who's with me? :)

Stay sassy and enjoy the holidays!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

If You Don't Like the Channel.....CHANGE IT!

Take Happiness

How happy are you right NOW? Not earlier today, not later, but as you read these words, rate how happy you are.

If you aren't stoked, why not?

As I type this, I'm asking myself why I'm not over-the-moon all the time. That's the goal, right??? A friend asked me this week, "What do you want out of this winter season?" Without hesitation, I replied, "I want to flatline at awesome!" As humans, we all seek joy and fulfillment - if we don't we are usually dead. ;)

As I keep searching for what will make me happy all the time, I'm challenging my beliefs on what happiness is.

From the following, pick your view of what happiness is:

a.) A magical alignment of the stars that comes and goes unpredictably.
b.) The result of precise actions or circumstances that can be recreated.
c.) A phenomenal feeling when you are with the right person.
d.) Simple choice.

I would have checked "yes" to all of the above, until recently. As I take more time to stop and analyze why I am or am not happy on a given day, I'm beginning to see that happiness isn't something found in the physical world. I believe it's forged in your mind. Not to get all esoteric on you or anything.

Think about it, circumstances, people, or things, don't make us happy or unhappy - our opinion of them is what makes us delighted or pissed off.

This week, I'm committing to challenging my explanations for why I'm unhappy -

"I'm tired."
"My favorite iPod playlist has been deleted."
"Dinner tastes terrible."
"My parents are being weird."
"I will never find my romantic match."

That's such crap reasoning. I think the REAL reason why I'm unhappy is because my mind is dwelling on the things I don't like instead of blasting past those sad thoughts and replacing them with pleasant memories, goals, and gratitude for other things in my present.

Today, I own my thought patterns. I pick what thoughts I stick with and which I abandon. Don't be a victim of unhappiness. Use the incredible power of freewill and select the mental movie you want playing in your head.

Honestly, this is probably going to be hard. Really hard. To break old thought patterns that I let cycle through my head. But, a life stuck on the Sad Channel will probably suck WORSE, right?! :)