get inspired: Dahlya

graphic by me, photos (from left) by A.B. Reich Photography, Kate Roberts, me (I think)

I recently started a new series of posts about my two favorite things:  creativity and inspiration.  As a "creative" person, I am constantly searching for inspiration to fuel my creativity, and I thought it would be interesting to ask others about what they are passionate about.  This is the third interview in the series.  See the previous ones here.

Dahlya has been cracking me up since we sat together in the back of 8th grade English (we may have been shushed by our teacher multiple times).  She is one of my best friends, and I am so fortunate for her friendship.  She inspires me everyday!  Check out her blog Funny is All I Have.

Everyone who knows you knows you're hilarious. Would you say that comedy is your biggest creative outlet?
First of all, thanks for the flattery. My ego just grew about 4.3 times larger than it already was. An yes, comedy is not only my biggest creative outlet, but also the biggest part of my everyday life. Even in my toddlership I can remember attempting to make my peers and family laugh, and when I did not succeed I would say to myself, "I make myself laugh." This is still the case. However, as far as creative outlets go, coloring books come in at a close second.

Where do you look for inspiration?
I wish I had a better answer for this question, but honestly, my inspiration comes from anything and everything. Life is just funny. Also, if anyone ever offers to pay me for being funny- that's super inspiring. 

What's the funniest thing you've experienced recently?
The funniest thing I have experienced recently happened to me two short days ago. I was walking out of Bryant park with my friend, Jen, and a 40 year old gay man with a camera crew and a microphone approached us and asked, "For a dollar, Mindy Kahling or _________ (I can't remember her name)." We answered with a confident, "Mindy Kahling because she's great on The Office and Indian food is our favorite!" To which he responded, "Really? Indian food?" Then handed us both $1 and walked away. We found out we had just been interviewed for the Fuse television network show "Billy On the Street" which is part of the Funny or Die channel and will premiere in December. Look it up, it's hilarious. 

Besides that, I think mostly everything is funny. For example, I'm watching women's swimming in the Olympics right now. They are competing in the butterfly. That's hilarious. Ten women swimming like butterflies in a pool. Butterflies don't swim- they drown. 

This past year you started an all-girl comedy group at your school. Why was this important to you and what do you hope to achieve with the group?
There are a few answers to this question:
A) My all-female comedy group, Damsels in Excess, was mainly started because some friends and I simply wanted the opportunity to perform comedy. 
B) The comedy world is highly dominated by males for many reasons (but is becoming increasingly less-so, thanks to groups like Damsels and movies like Bridesmaids). Not that this is a bad thing, but it's time for a change. 
C) I'm a raging feminist (maybe I'm joking, maybe I'm not).

I hope that with this group, the other girls and I can learn a lot about comedy, have fun, make people laugh, and successfully sync all of our periods at the same time.

I look up to you so much for your drive. What motivates you to achieve your creative goals?
I'm not exactly certain what motivates me to achieve my creative goals. There are many reasons for this, but mainly, comedy is an innate part of my soul (or lack there of). I'm not sure how else to put it. There's no better feeling in the world than hearing people laugh at you... in my case at least. It's the most effective way I can spread happiness without getting STD's.

How would you describe your personal style or aesthetic? 
My personal style as a comedian has yet to be defined, and will never be a static aesthetic, however I sense I'm close to discovering somewhat of a definition of my "persona". I'm fortunate enough to have been born with certain facial features that seem to inspire laughter without me even saying anything. Also, I'm finding that my strengths in the comedy come from thinking in another direction. The medical world may define this as extreme ADHD. I define it as... oh man, I could really go for some mint, chocolate chip ice cream right now. 

I love you.
I love you more. Someday when you're a successful costume designer/ blogger with millions of clients and followers, I'll be honored to live in your basement.

take back the past: regency era

As a lover of fashion and history, I decided to start a new series about looking to the past for fashion inspiration.  First up:  Regency Era Fashion (1795-1837) 

Here are a few distinctions from this time (found here and here):
  • hoop skirts were shed for more delicate silhouettes in plain cottons
  • high hair and hair powder were abandoned for more natural hairstyles 
  • extravagant jewelry and general extravagance were now garish
  • the Empire waist became the most popular style
  • usually made from white lawn, muslin or batiste, Empire-style dresses were named after their influence from flowing Grecian robes
  • white evening gowns were a sign of social status, while pastels were reserved for daytime
  • Grecian and Egyptian-like trim patterns
  • popular accessories were shawls, caps, bonnets, hair combs, reticule handbags, muffs, gloves, cloaks, and flat footwear sometimes adorned with bows

Inspiring at all?  In my book, a little romance while getting dressed is never a bad idea, so I love getting inspiration from films like Pride & Prejudice and Bright Star.  

geronimo balloons

So, I am really tickled to discover that Geronimo Balloons exists. Although it's ridiculously expensive, the concept is so simple and lovely that it makes my heart happy.  I would never spend $$$ on giant balloons (I'd buy regular ones and deck them out myself), but I am a big fan of balloons, sweet gestures, and making life a little more sparkly and colorful.

photo diary: visiting kate in tucson

It had been far too long since I had the chance to see my gorgeous best friend Kate, so Erin and I took a mini road trip down to Tucson last week to stay with her, her sister, and their roommate.  I am so glad we did!  It was lovely to just be in Kate's company--best friends should never go this long without seeing one another...

Kate was a great host, showing us around her neck of the woods and introducing us to her friends.  It was nice to see her and her new life there.  It was so comforting to just hang out, look at shops (she got that awesome maxi dress while we were shopping the first day--Erin calls it her "adobe goddess dress"), watch the first season of Girls, eat vegan ice cream and otter pops (that's all we Arizonans eat obviously), and get crafty.  We ate lots of great food during our stay and even caught a show at The Loft, which was very cozy.  We even got some rain!

I am so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful best friends as Kate and Erin.  I love all my friends so much and already know it will be tough going back to school in less than two months.  Now if I could only get Dahlya to come home to me...

just my type: an epic wedding invite

As a lover of design and typography, I thought it would be fun to start a feature called "Just My Type" to showcase some awesome online finds.  You know, just because I'm nerdy like that.

Since I am using my friend's recent engagement as an excuse to indulge in my love of weddings (it's a big, embarrassing love), I found this awesome interactive wedding invitation while looking at one of my favorite blogs, Green Wedding Shoes.

If you have the time (let's be honest, you probably do if you are reading my lil' ol' blog), scroll through it.  Not only is it a beautiful work of design, it's also freaking precious.

(Also, totally drooling over the woman's work.  Check it out here.)

riikka sormunen

I love how the internet makes it so easy to discover new artists...  My latest discovery (about ten minutes ago) is Riikka Sormunen.  Originally from Helsinki, Sormunen has studied fashion design, illustration, and painting.  She started her illustration career when she was only 19!  I'm loving all the warm colors, textures, and attention to detail in clothing.

photo diary: mesa, gilbert, & phoenix - ted's visit, day four

Monday was a very happy, but sad day.  Ted and I packed in a lot!  First we went to Downtown Mesa to browse the shops and eat cookies at Sweet Cakes (plus save an indulgent brownie for later).  Next we drove to Gilbert to stop at the Riparian Preserve and stop at my dad's fire station where he's captain.  By this time we were pretty hungry, so we went to the always intriguing Chino Bandido to split a late lunch.  

All the beautiful pictures of cacti were taken at the lovely Desert Botanical Garden.  Since we didn't have the time or heat resilience (115 degrees, you guys) to walk around the whole garden, we convinced the nice ticket lady to let us in for ten minutes to take pictures in the entrance area.  Okay, so maybe Ted did the convincing...  

Finally, we had some dinner at Pizzeria Bianco, which is usually packed, but somehow we walked right in without a reservation.  The airport wasn't too far away from us at this point in our trek.  It was very hard to say goodbye to Ted after a few short days.  Now I have seven weeks ahead of me until I see him next (and go back to Portland).  I'm very thankful he was able to visit though!  

photo diary: tonto natural bridge, gilbert, & mesa - ted's visit, day three

On Sunday we woke up early to take a short hike at Tonto Natural Bridge before driving home.  It was beautiful!  Ted loved taking pictures there.  When we got back in town, Ted and I drove to Postino for my mom's birthday lunch with family.  Later we had cupcakes with my grandparents to celebrate some more!  At this point we were exhausted and ended up just hanging around the house until spontaneously deciding to pick up dinner at Vito's to eat at the movie theatre.  Ted really wanted me to see Safety Not Guaranteed, so it worked out well.  Dining at the movie theatre--we're a classy couple.