Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Assignments, Hurricanes, Life.

I'm not going to lie - the past few months have felt like a lengthy creative slump. Aside from doing stuff for Solé (something I'm very passionate about), I was having trouble motivating myself for school. I blame this in part to this cold I've been having trouble shaking and maybe the cold weather, but I also have been bogged down with some less-than-good feelings about certain aspects of school. It's put me in a pretty bad mood. However it definitely got me thinking, through a series of random 'Katia-Mind' connections, about which person I want to be - the average artist or the above and beyond artist?

The art/design world is one in which being 'average' gets you nowhere. You know those days where you go through class thinking "I'll just get it done, I'll be happy with a 70, so long as I pass."? I'm starting to feel like I can't let myself think that way, because no one's going to care about me or my artwork unless I do something new and different and NOT average at all. No one's even going to remember my work. This is more applicable for after you're done with schooling and need to attract clients with your body of work, but why not start now?

By the way, I am in no way bashing 70's. I've been working hard and am at a 73 ish average and am more than happy with it! I'm a definite 70's average kid since I got into university! I'm just saying that personally I've made a commitment to myself to push the boundaries and actually feel proud of my artwork. I'm always in a much better mood if I'm happy with my pieces and can feel a significant downward mood swing when my assignments just DON'T turn out how I wanted them to. So I guess this is partly a way to try and keep my mood UP.

On that note, this is a piece I did with pen and ink this past weekend. It's for a book cover assignment for the book 'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind, it's a really weird twisted book about a man with an incredible sense of smell but no human emotion who resorts to murder to attempt to make the world's most beautiful scent. It's awesome though. 

(c) Katia Engell

This is a piece I'm happy with. It turned out the exact way I wanted it to, it's got a distinct style, it looks finished, tidy, without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn - I JUST LOVE IT.

My prof wasn't such a huge fan though, which broke my heart, but I think it's a matter of differing style preferences - he has a thing against too many clean controlled lines. Ah well, now I know.

Hurricane Sandy is also hitting us in Toronto. So far a woman has been killed by a metal sign that got blown off a store or something, and a Roots store downtown was set on fire somehow. I'm feeling quite lucky to have been unaffected so far apart from some serious draft coming in through the window where my air conditioner sits. Made for a cold movie-watching-session though! I also love how facebook has become a total weather channel - I don't even need to go looking for information, it's just there for me to see, wew. My heart and best wishes truly go out to those who are more seriously affected by Sandy <3

And last but not least - A few links to share!
• Miss Indie is throwing a little costume contest on her blog, link up your costumes tomorrow, HERE!
• Soy from the adorable blog 'Soychild' tried out my granola recipe! Eee that warmed my heart!

So I definitely was not intending on going on a big 'I refuse to be average when it comes to school' rant when I started writing it, but welp. Those are my unfiltered thoughts on it. Is anyone else studying art in school? Do you feel a similar pressure?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sam Wish // Guest Post

Today I have a good blogging bud of mine, Sam, guest posting about her REALLY funky clothing business! One of the things I love most about her store (other than the clothes of course) is that she focuses on environmentally friendliness - which is a cause close to my heart!


Hey there! My name is Sam and I blog over at My Latest Obsession. Today I'm here to talk to you about my store, Sam Wish.
At Sam Wish, I sell vintage and handmade goods with a focus on eco-friendly clothing. Everything I sell is second hand (the vintage) or made from second hand materials (the handmade/upcycled). My main goal for my store, the purpose if you will, is to create fashion without creating excessive waste. By using second hand materials, I am recycling and keeping these materials out of a landfill while at the same time reducing demand for new materials.
Did you know that the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries on our planet? It's not something people normally think about but unfortunately it's true. I love clothes but I don't want to hurt the planet to fulfill my crazy desire of keeping up with trends. And that is where Sam Wish comes in, it gives me the opportunity to make and wear eco-friendly clothing. It gives me a chance to be fashionable without being harmful. Bust most important part is that it allows me to share this gift with everyone else! 
These pictures are from a shoot I did over the summer and you guys are the first to see them!! 
You can visit my store, Sam Wish here. And also, like us on facebook here for the latest updates on products and special deals going on :) 
Thanks so much for having me Katia!! It is a real pleasure. 
I actually own a piece of clothing from Sam's store - one of her hand made dresses, I wore it in this outfit post! I highly recommend you check out the stuff she sells, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An Autumn Doodle

(C) Katia Engell

Just some thoughts on Autumn visualized....


Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe // Nutty Goodness Granola

One of my goals this fall season was to make my own granola! I've been stuck in a breakfast/snacking rut since moving out on my own, and I figured it was about time to get myself out of this rut by making something totally delicious! So I headed out to a bulk barn and picked up some ingredients that seemed granola-appropriate! It turned out deliciously, and it made my apartment smell soooooooo good. I haven't even finished all that I made, and I already want to make more!

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Dried Banana Chips
1 1/2 cups Walnuts
5 cups Regular Oats
3/4 cup Skor/Toffee Bits
3/4 cup Shredded Coconut Flakes

Wet ingredients: 
1/2 cup Becel
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Honey
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put dry ingredients into whichever baking tray/pan you're going to use. I used what google tells me is called a "Rondeau", which was pretty big and worked well for the amount of Granola I was going to make! 
2. In a small pan, melt all wet ingredients together and stir until smooth.  It will look like there isn't much compared to the dry ingredients, but it will be just enough! You don't want soggy granola afterall.
3. Evenly pour the wet mixture onto the granola.
4. Stir stir stir!

5. Once your granola seems all mixed up,  plunk it in the stove for about 25 minutes. Every 5 minutes, give the granola mix a quick stir, or else it'll all just clump together and make a giant granola bar type thing ;)

6. Let cool, or eat warm, whichever you like! I like to serve mine with some fresh fruit (Banana!) because I'm trying to have at least one serving of fresh fruit a day. My room mate doesn't like banana though, so I didn't put any on hers and she gave me her banana chips after this photo was taken, haha!

Have leftovers? (You probably will with this recipe, but that was the point!) Make sure you store it in an air-tight container, tupperware works great!

And enjoy! This granola is super filling - this cup sized portion filled me right up, and in a totally delicious awesome way. I've also been bringing small baggies of it for snacking on at school!

Et Voila! My first attempt at Granola making, successful!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Solé Necklaces up for sale!


New designs up all weekend! 

Check them out HERE!
And to receive more updates on when new necklaces are up, like us on facebook!


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Thought or Two // On Letting Go

(Lyrics from 'Slow And Steady' by Of Monsters and Men)
(image (C) Katia E.)

There is something to be said of the sense of peace that comes with letting go of something. It is freeing, it is liberating - any way of saying it, that's what 'letting go' does. Whether it be a romantic interest - who isn't so interested, a relationship gone rotten, an old grudge you've clung onto, a bad habit, any preconceptions of how life is 'supposed' to be, your strict sense of self - letting go can often be one of those life defining, 'epiphany' type moments. 

Sometimes letting go means doing exactly what is best for you, not everyone else. And sometimes' thats most important. Hollywood has romanticized the idea of holding onto things. Theres the girl that never gave up on the love she felt with the bad boy who ran away time and time again, but eventually came back because it was true love. There's the child who was bullied by a popular kid in high school who refuses the no-longer-popular kid a favour because they are now far more successful and still holds that grudge from way back then. Then there's the kid whose parents split up and no longer believes in love, but has a slight inkling of a feeling that one day 'the right person' will make her believe again. It's romantic - sure as hell it is. But is it realistic? Not really. I'm sure it happens, and I'm sure it's beautiful for those people in the end. But how often does that bad boy ever change, or the bullied kid and popular kid's paths actually cross again, etc. ? Not often enough to hold on so long when sometimes it's just so painful to do so. Except there's the fact that letting go sometimes hurts just as bad. HOWEVER.

Here's a handy little metaphor for you.
Say you get a cavity, but you hate the dentist and you know that getting a cavity fixed hurts like crazy, so you avoid going. You know what happens? The cavity gets bigger, and worse, and more painful. And in the end you'll still probably have to go to the dentist, and endure a couple minutes' worth of pain. But after that? You'll be pain free. The end. Happy teeth, healthy smile - oh the smiles!

So here's a challenge. Throw away the shirt you've kept so long that belonged to your ex. Burn those old sappy love letters. Delete those facebook pictures. Send someone you've not spoken to after a spat a message, just asking how they are. Shed these burdens and feel the weight lift off your shoulders. If you're ready for it (because, face it, as much as I just made it sound black and white, you still have to be ready. And some people actually aren't worth your time, of course.) then just suck it up, prepare some chocolate for afterwards as a reward, and do it. Just let go.

I'm ready to let go of some old memories, ready to move on. Throwing out a crumpled plaid shirt, and maybe some letters and phone contacts too. What are you going to try to let go of today?

ps. I let go of some of my damaged, frizzed, long hair;
I'm not 100% sold on the length, but it feels softer and healthier than it has in YEARS, so hip hip hurrah for that!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Likeable Links v. 2.0

I've got a couple of really neat links to share today! A thought provoking one, a really whacky one, and a really sweet mushy gushy one!

1. The Thought Provoking One:
First World Problems Read by Third World People

Guys. Is my heart the only one that broke into a thousand pieces just a little bit? I found this article & video when someone posted it on facebook and I just find it SO so powerful. I will completely admit - I myself have used the "Firstworldproblems" hashtag once or twice, and it is an ironic hashtag to begin with, but I will think twice about using it again after this. I mean if it is such a 'first world non-problem' is it really worth my time to compose a witty 140 character tweet about it? Probably not.

2. The Really Whacky One:

Not that I condone drug use in any way, but this is the coolest series. It's actually frightening to see the effect of some of the drugs on this man's perspective of things and makes me scared shitless of said drugs. Not that I wasn't afraid of 'bathsalts' after hearing the cannibalism stories or anything, but to see it visualized is really something else. I'm not how I feel in terms of the artist's integrity or if I think it's respectable of him to do such a series, but I think it's a really neat series regardless - and often pretty funny! I guess he gets props for being dedicated to his art. And his drugs... hahaha

3. The  Really Sweet Mushy Gushy One:

My heart melted and even though I had a huge urge to turn on an obnoxious chick flick snuggle up with a blanket and a lonely-girl chocolate bar (or two, or three) and bawl my eyes out, this is the cutest article ever and I couldn't help but feel like a pile of sappy romantic goo afterwards. Some beautiful wedding photography too!

In my thanksgiving post, I forgot to say that I am very thankful for this blog and all of you lovely readers and the opportunities it has brought me. I have made so many great blogging buddies for whom I am very thankful and plenty of amazing readers (oh hey, that's you!) who are all super uplifting and supportive in your comments. Yes, I am aware of this statement being a total blogger cliché. No, I'm not going to refrain from saying it because it's true!

Hope you all had lovely weekends filled with Turkey and potatoes and family. And if you're not a Canadian reader I hope your weekend was still filled with awesome food and awesome people regardless, ha!


Friday, October 5, 2012

"The Body Images"

Do you guys know Jes, the blogger behind The Militant Baker? No? Well you should. She's an incredible person and I've had a total girl-blog-crush on her ever since I started reading her blog a bit ago!

Jes, who is a strong advocate for being one's self and loving one's self, is doing a series of photography pieces based on Body Images. The title is quite literal, as well as meaningful, as there are photos of women - all shapes and sizes (And I mean all, for ONCE and for REAL, there's no discrimination up in here) posing for the camera. They are astoundingly beautiful - the women and the photos. Every time a new one shows up on facebook I fall a little more in love with the series, and my guy friends keep asking me why I've been liking so many naked-people-pictures lately. And then I tell them the story behind it, which brings them to say 'Oh that's actually really cool!' And then I fall in love with all my guy friends a little more, because they rock too. But that's another story.

Here are some of my favourite shots:

I so wish that as a society, we idolized women like these and admired photos like these. That's not to say some of us don't, but as a whole it seems we're still stuck on the photos mainstream media throws at us of overly made-up, modified, photoshopped girls. This whole series really gets me thinking about our perception of beauty, our bodies and how we treat them. Our bodies deserve our respect and care - after all, they're all we really have to get us through life. Might as well help it bring us through it by treating it well, right?

Ya. I'm actually obsessed with this series.  Check out the rest of them HERE!
And check out Jes's blog too!

You won't regret it :)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reasons Why I Shouldn't Be Given Too Much Freedom On An Assignment

Well, at least not when I'm feeling like.....

(c) Katia Engell

Typography is fun sometimes....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Button Swap!

Because you KNOW you wanna be reppin' that crazyface up there. Yes. Yes you do.

Now that it's a new month, and that I'm back into the swing of things, I've revamped my 'sponsor/button' page and am looking to swap buttons and make some new blog-buddies! So whatta ya say? Want to swap buttons with Kitty Snooks this October? Check out my sponsor page to find out more and contact me!

Before I forget, I would also like to wish you all a very happy October! This month is such a good one - thanksgiving, Halloween, turkey, candy, orange, orange and more orange, scarves, pumpkins, pumpkin pie.... need I go on?

And in light of the thanksgiving mood, I'm going to be posting a list of things I am thankful for! Feel free to join me and post your own list on your blog! Maybe we could have a little link up party of thankful lists! ;)