Favourite Friday: Words and Colours

Sometimes I have no clue what to write about. So I got the idea to do something weekly like many other bloggers do. It will be about things I cherish and enjoy. Favourite things. Simple things. And I invite all of you to comment a lot and tell me what about your favourites in the weekly category/categories!

Let’s start with words and colours!

Favourite (English) words: serendipity, lush, and cerulean (favourite words in other languages are another issue … for Swahili I’m considering shaghala-baghala “chaos”, mjinga “uneducated idiot” (yep, I use this a lot …), kabisa “completely”, and matatizo “troubles”; in French maybe papillon “butterfly”, and in German it would be some funny, randomly made up composite word … )

Favourite colours: current favourite is cerulean blue (which inspired me to start this stuff), and indigo, but what really is my favourite colour keeps changing depending on season and mood. Mostly natural, not too bright ones. And I like colours with pretty names, obviously :)

Changing signature colours

Many of the minimalism / simple living blogs I’m reading give some advise on simplifying one’s wardrobe by choosing one or two colour palettes to make all (or most) of your clothes go together in a decent way.

I recently noticed I’ve been doing this more or less over the last years intuitively. But just like other people have yearly signature colours for lipstick, nail polish or whatever, my colour palette keeps changing. Mostly related to bigger changes in life, and recently also to changes in my appearance: Healthier skin, a little bit of tan (getting darker with every year, so I’m only zombie-white for one half of the year now!), and I’ve finally found a mix of henna hair colour I like (warm medium brown with a slight reddish-golden shimmer, very similar to my natural hair colour, but minus the ashen undertone and the brown faded to greyish-blond in the front; plus my hair is in a long braid now instead of being a shoulder length mess of curls and knots). My body shape has changed a bit as well. More grown-up features, and a little bit more “female” all in all.

I never thought I’d be able to wear grey and blue one day. But let’s start with the earlier days …

School: No clue, I’ve been wearing some mess of clothes. In the end it was jeans, army style trousers, black or brown or green tees, the usual stuff. Mostly in dark colours. *insert random psychological analysis here*

Gap year: Jeans and black trousers, usually combined with black tees and one colourful accent (mostly a bright scarf, or the tee with the neon green turtle print). Sometimes also brown tees. Resulted in a stupid discussion with the other girl: What is a “style”? I also bought a brown summer coat, a purple sweat jacket, and a yellow summer dress.

University, undergraduate studies: steady transition to earth colours – favourite outfit: brown turtle-neck top, khaki shorts, brown tights. Appearance of a light blue summer dress and an indigo sweat jacket.

Postgraduate studies: No idea how, but suddenly I’m wearing more of a grey-and-blue palette. Come to think of it, it might have started with the chequered long sleeve blouse in a warm dark blue, which was inspired by one of the Twilight movies. Yep, I started watching the Twilight saga, got issues because some detail of the story struck some part of my subconscious emotional memory, and I started buying chequered blouses. Don’t ask. But my mom’s favourite colour is dark blue, so at least this part should be no wonder. Favourite outfits at the moment: a) grey shorts, striped grey and black or blue and black tights, random dark blue, grey, or black top/tee. Plus my old black fleece jacket with grey collar. Somehow my oldest clothes last the longest and get their turn to be worn nearly constantly for months every few years! b) the blue dress I got for our wedding in town hall. c) either the grey shorts + brown/black tights, or a pair of jeans, with said (really comfortable!) blouse. All outfits can be combined with my greyish ballet flats or my dark brown heeled sandals. And with my current favourite – the greyish blue army-style blouse/jacket (also a remnant of random shopping sprees during gap year).

This doesn’t mean I don’t own any clothes in other colours, but they don’t get worn as often. An estimated 90% of my clothes are either pairs of jeans or can be combined with them. Even 3 of my 4 shorter dresses can be worn on top of a pair of jeans. Recently I started letting go of some items. Even some of the brown and black tops/tees – they were well worn, shrunk, and one had a weird pattern straight out of the 80s or 90s. A pair of jeans one size to big with an elastic sewn in by my mom years ago, not worn in at least 5 years. Two or three long underpants, not worn since I was in my early teenage years. Two pairs of mold ridden black sandals. You get the picture.

Brown might get a renaissance in combination with blue, because as I wrote in my last post, I want to get real leather boots, and I also managed to snatch this leather purse in a natural brown colour. In addition I’m currently flirting with natural white linen … need a white summer dress. (And I need summer … such a cold year we have!)

But all in all it’s obvious my colour palette always contains mostly soft, medium warm, darker natural colours. No pastels, no neon (except for the odd t-shirt prints), very little yellow/orange/pink/purple/red. Three chequered blouses, three striped tights, two dresses with floral patterns, and the rest are solid colours.

Leather

My current idee fixe is leather. Sorry to all the vegans out there ;)

Purses made from synthetic leather keep breaking, chipping, and becoming ugly because I stuff heavy things inside (aka university related paper and my waterbottle). Last winter I bought a pair of really cool boots … ok, not really imitating leather, but made in a style which could look really cool in leather, too. Guess what, after wearing them for half a winter and one pretty cold spring season, they are leaky and have cracks and are coming apart already – despite using waterproofing agent. Oh, and my wallet – made of synthetic fabric whatever stuff and cardboard and glue – is coming apart, too. After maybe five or six years. Gee.

So I decided to give the good old leather a try. I got myself a small purse from a second-hand shop because I needed something small and decent for the upcoming weekend trip including a wedding party. It’s not actually second-hand but flawed stuff that wouldn’t get sold as easily in an ordinary shop. Close enough.

Today I finally found the kind of wallet I need, with two transparent pockets for ID and student ticket. And oh wonder, on my way home I noticed it is REAL leather, not fake as I thought. Let’s see how many good years I’ll get from this one. My prediction would be the zipper will break first! (I have an unhealthy talent to destroy zippers on all kinds of bags.)

Next up: sturdy but beautiful (and comfortable!) leather boots. I’ll save some money and go hunting in fall, because at the moment there is no big chance to get nice ones.

I’m trying to simplify my life, and buying sturdy quality products (and only one of each item if possible) instead of the annual cheap crap is part of my plan from now on. In addition I prefer traditional materials over synthetic ones each time of the day. At home we now store vegetables, cheese, etc. in glass containers we washed after eating the original contents. Self-made smoothie is taken to university in a small glass bottle, too. In addition I ordered a stainless steel water bottle today as an replacement for the hard plastic bottles. And I’m considering stainless steel straws, but as I’m not a regular user of straws this idea is on hold.

Summary: Although leather means killed animals (yupp, but so does my odd meat containing meal about twice a week), in my opinion it is better than synthetic materials, as it is more waterproof and can last generations. It doesn’t involve mineral oil. Of course I could use a fabric purse, but tell that to the rainy weather close to the northern coast of Europe! And as it was once part of a living being one should handle it with the proper care and not toss it just because it is out of fashion. And the main pro of leather boots (and purses): you can find a local shoemaker to get them fixed in case of broken soles, ripped off handles etc! Glass and stainless steel are slightly more expensive than plastic, but it will last longer if you care for it well, it doesn’t release as many toxins, and doesn’t contain as much mineral oil related ingredients if any. And it doesn’t give food/drinks this weird … plastic taste. And is easier to clean, in my opinion.

Any thoughts?

All-new photo blog!

I just wanted to inform you about my new photo blog. Until now I’ve been posting most of my pictures on deviantART, but seeing some nice photo blogs around here (and having a new camera!) inspired me to create something more personal. At the moment I’m mostly re-posting old photos thematically ordered, but in the future you’ll also see my new photos (at least the best of them). Hopefully I’ll also find some volounteers for portrait practise who’ll allow me to showcase one or two pictures of them!

Names and Plants

Didn’t want to mix this with the previous poetry post, so two posts today.

Last Friday darling and me got married in town hall. We had awesome weather and a lot of fun with friends and family. Looking forward to the “real” wedding in church in September! (In Germany you have to get married in town hall before you are allowed to have the church ceremony. Most people chose to have the church wedding the same day or the day after the civil ceremony, but like some of our friends we decided to split it up a little time wise. And I really like late summer.) My last name has changed and I’m still not used to using it, neither am I used to referring to darling as my husband rather than my boyfriend/fiancé. And the lecturers at university still don’t have a clue because I didn’t feel like creating a name related chaos yet. It’s on my to-do list for when I’ll get my new ID card in a few week and take the news to the main office to have the name changed in the campus wide online system :D

So, life is changing a lot. University not so much.

But my plants are growing. Plants as in vegetables. On the kitchen and bathroom window sills. Remember the potato I mentioned a while ago? The green part is still growing. And next to it I have pots full of tiny radish, carrot, and lettuce seedlings. Also cress of course, and some tiny bits of a chilli plant are showing. The in-laws brought some herbs, which are now living in the study (because there is no more space at the kitchen window).

Everybody could write poetry

Everybody could write poetry

but few do so

most people don’t trust themselves to pour this bittersweet gold of honey from their lips

afraid the world would hear nothing but the stickiness they feel between their teeth when trying

afraid it could clog their nine to five pens

afraid of being called dreamers.

When did dreaming become undesirable?

When did we forget the ancient art of piecing thoughts together into a flaming mosaic, the art of pouring this honey into patterns on the hard-won bread to make the tired and weary hungry again for life and laughter? When did we become scared of emotion deeper than the cavity of our dry mouths?

We don’t win our bread by touching the soil anymore, we don’t remember the stings accompanying the harvest of the last honey of the year, we don’t know how to wait for the right seasons anymore. We are lost, strangers to our world, merely taking whatever is provided by endless acres of supermarkets, grocery stores, vending machines. Consuming in haste, eating on the way to work to earn another year’s worth of bread, and yet not taking the time to taste the piece we hold in our hand.

Everybody could write poetry

but few take the time to taste life

afraid to waste time

afraid of finding out what we’ve given up.

Everybody could write poetry

and I won’t leave it to the so-called professionals, self-proclaimed experts

to find out what life tastes like

to define what is art and beauty.

I will write poetry again.

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This (or better the first few lines) came into my head while I was in bed with a spell of migraine-ish headache this evening. I can’t find anything good to write about for weeks, and then it comes to me while my head is throbbing and I don’t want to move or stare at a glowing computer screen … life is weird. Seriously.

You can also find this on my deviantART account:

http://kayanya.deviantart.com/art/Everybody-could-write-poetry-376503587?ga_submit_new=10%253A1370636563