January 31, 2011

Day at Night

These pictures may look normal, but they aren't. Although they look as if they were taken during the day, they were actually shot in the middle of the night!

The key to taking pictures at night is setting the shutter speed to last anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour (or more) in order capture enough light. 
After seeing these pictures, I grabbed my camera to see if I could do the same thing; sadly, I have a dinky digital camera and it only allows me to set the shutter to 15 seconds at the most :[
But if you have a nicer camera with more options you should definitely try it out and let me know how it turns out!

If you'd like to see some more of these photos, go to this website! It's really neat!

January 30, 2011

#13 Go to the Sundance Film Festival

Every January, Hollywood moves to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. This year's stars included James Franco, Channing Tatum(!), Angelina Jolie, Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Toby Maguire, Kaite Holmes, Patrick Dempsey, Liam Hemsworth, 50 Cent, Lil John, the boys of MTV's 'The Buried Life', Oprah Winfrey, Elijah Wood... just to name a few.
Although I've lived 30 minutes away from Park City my whole life, I've never gone to Sundance! This year I did and I LOVED it.

A view of Main Street from atop The Bridge.
"We wear our stunna glasses at night..."
RayCray and myself.
RayCray and Sammy.
"No, Rachel! Don't jump!" haha
The Trolley cruising up Main Street.
RayCray stopped to smell a Banksy flower :]
RayCray puking over the rail... just kidding.
RayCray on the ice verison of Facebook.
We sat on glowing furniture in a VIP lounge, no big deal.
This made me LOL.
Yes, this is indeed a piano connected to a bicycle. The guy on the left wouldn't move, otherwise you could see it better. But it was pretty legit. 
Yes World, this is a man-thong made out of fur. It's called "The Duke". Be amazed.

Sadly, we didn't see anyone famous. (Unless you count the guy named Bill Murray who was in fact, not Bill Murray.) But we were mistaken for famous people twice. The first time was while taking the man-thong picture: we asked some ladies walking by to take our picture and I suppose since we had a big group of people surrounding us flashing cameras, people thought we were famous so they came over to investigate. But alas, it was just us lowly Utah girls, but we felt pretty cool. 
Then later that night we were just chillin' on some steps watching people pass by and drinking hot beverages and ice cream when some random film crew came by and asked if they could interview us. People stopped to listen to us, which was kind of awkward, but also cool cause they kept starring at us like they were trying to remember us from somewhere.

Other highlights of the night include:
- Calling the same parking attendant man four times because the parking meter was broke and we didn't want to get a ticket. He was very rude... and a liar.
- Walking around pretending to have British accents for the half the night. Eventually we couldn't stop.
- The hot Italian barista at Java Cow writing my name on my Carmel Spiced Cider cup the Italian way; Giulia. He was just as delicious as my drink.
- People watching. It was so cool to hear so many different languages and all sorts of accents as people passed by. It made the world feel a little smaller.
- And finally, the random group of hippies having a drum circle in the middle of the sidewalk. 
For your viewing pleasure: (sorry it's so blurry)

Quotes of the night:
"You won't. Get. A TICKET!!!!!"

JayMay - "What did they put in this drink?"
RayCray - "A bad English accent apparently."

RayCray - "I'm going to call him up and personally invite him to meet my fist!" 
(Referring to the rude parking attendant guy.)

*Way hot guy walks by, see's my hat and says...*
"Brighton!!!! As in the Boston Brighton."
*Bewildered JayMay*
"Uh... no... here."

*Jeep almost hits us while crossing the street*
RayCray (loudly) - "I'd rather keep my legs, thank you very much!"
JayMay (also loudly) - "Yeah, I'd rather not be in a wheel chair!"
RayCray - "My feet hurt."
*Cue the man with no legs*

January 28, 2011

My Princess Jasmine Costume

I'm a little late on finally posting this, but better late than never, right? 
Last summer I decided that I wanted to be Princess Jasmine for Halloween. So I went online to find a costume to buy. Problem was, all the Jasmine costumes online didn't look anything like her actual outfit!

   That... doesn't look like... This.

So I decided that if I really wanted to look like Jasmine, I need to make my own outfit! 
Here's what happened...

(Oh look! Brody found his way into my picture!)
It took me a while, mainly because I had no pattern, but I think it turned out pretty well!

I went to Joann's fabric store and found a variety of different Jasmine-blue fabrics, I liked a shiny fabric best, so I bought 2 yards of it, elastic, some thread, and then I went to work!

Like I said before, I didn't use a pattern, so I just used an old pair of pajama bottoms as a reference and just went from there. The fabric I chose was a bit sheer, so I lined the inside with some white cotton fabric that I had lying around. For the waistband, I cut out a thick rectangle about 8 inches thick and about 6 inches longer than my actual waist-measurement. To give it that tapered look near the belly-button, I just cut out the rectangle with a triangular taper in the middle on both sides. Then I folded that in half, making sure the triangular tapered parts met perfectly, and sewed it shut. To attach it to the bottoms, I first sewed an elastic band (that I measured to fit around my hips) into the top so that it would have a nice, uniformed gathering all the way around. Then I just pinned the waistband on, and sewed it onto the pants (making sure not to sew into the elastic). Once I finished, I cut out the elastic and got rid of any extra fabric. I added velcro strips to the back of the waistband and placed them where I needed to in order to make it snug around my hips. To finish, I sewed elastics that fit around my ankles into the bottom of each leg to give it that pouffy look. (Brody somehow found his way into this shot too, lol!)
Then came the top...

The top was a nightmare to make. And I can honestly say that I have no idea how I managed to figure out how to make it without a pattern. It's a miracle I suppose. The easy part was making the band that goes beneath the bust. It was very similar to the way I made the waistband for the pants, but without the tapered point. For the bust part, I also cut out a rectangular shape (a few inches wider than I needed it to be so that I could gather it like the picture above), and then figured out where to start tapering it so that it went down into the band under the armpits. Before sewing the bust part to the band part, I cut out a small strip of fabric (pictured above) and used it to gather the fabric so that it came together in the middle. Then I sewed the bust to the band, attached a skin colored bra underneath, and then added velcro in the back. For the sleeve-things, I figured the easiest way to do it was to just make them separate from the top itself so that I could move my arms around. To make them, I just cut out strips of fabric, sewed them into circles, pinched the part where I sewed them into circles and hand-sewed them pinched so that it made a gathered look around the arm. Then I added some elastic to the inside, only sewing it to the pinched part and not to the entire armband! I did this so that it made the sleeves appear like they were hanging loosely on my arms, but actually they were on snug and fit because of the elastic.

The Accessories!
It took me FOREVER to find these shoes! And when I say forever, I mean a month or two. But I ended up finding these "genie shoes" on this website. The dance company I bought them through only had my size in silver, so I just bought a can of gold spray paint and sprayed them gold.

I found the necklace and earrings at Kohl's. The earrings were more of a bronze color, so I spray painted them gold and then rubbed gold glitter glue all over them to make them sparkly. The best advice I can give for you is to just shop around and try to find jewelry that resembles Jasmine's. Even if it's not the right color, you can always spray paint it to make it work.

For the headband, I used a strip of left over fabric and wrapped it around an old headband and then hot glued it into place. I found the big jewel at a craft store, and then used the same gold glitter glue that I put on the earrings around the edge of the jewel.

I bought the wig on ebay, and then I styled it to look like Jasmine's hair. For the pony tail, I ratted the hair into two balls and then wrapped some ribbon that matched the color of my outfit in-between them.

This costume is NOT for sale, so please don't email asking me to sell it. Thanks!

*Clicking on each picture sends you to a separate window where you can enlarge it in order to get a better look at the details.*

January 23, 2011

I want to see the world

"But often, in the din of strife, there rises an unspeakable desire after the knowledge of the buried life; a thirst to spend our fire and restless force in tracking our true, original course; a longing to inquire into the mystery of this heart which beats so wild, so deep in us - to know whence our lives come and where they go." - Matthew Arnold

January 20, 2011

A little too late...

I once sat across from you every Monday and Wednesday in our literature group. We talked about Dostevesky and Camus when our professor came around, but mostly we talked about our lives and how we spent our time. At first, I didn't notice you much; you were just another guy on campus with nice Italian leather shoes and freshly pressed slacks. Then the more we grew to know each other, the more I noticed how your eyes were the color of forest moss and your hair was the color of redwood bark. I loved how you smiled to one side when you were being genuine and how you rolled up the sleeves of your button-up shirt to show off your volleyball physique. I loved how you weren't ashamed to admit that you had read Harry Potter several times and went to the midnight premiere of the movie just like I had. I loved how passionate you were about the things you cared about the most and how you spoke your mind without worrying what the rest of us would think. And I loved how you walked down the hall after class with your bag slung over one shoulder as you watched the floor tiles passing beneath you. But most of all, I loved the way you made me feel: alive again.
In those last few weeks, I left class with a smile on my face and a hope in my heart that maybe you felt the same way I did... but I never did anything about it. Our last day together ended with me leaving class, taking one last look back at the person who had awoken the flame in me that I had long thought went out in a wisp of smoke.
I slowly fell right into you and by the time I realized how much I needed you, 
you were gone.

January 13, 2011

Life Lesson #24

January 12, 2011

January '11 Obsessions

Last semester nearly killed me, and on top of almost killing me, it took away my time to update the blog regularly. But lucky for me, I only have classes on Monday and Wednesday this semester! WOOHOO! And that means I'll have loads more time to do more posts like this one! Which I've really missed doing, by the way.

1. Nordstrom's Beauty Counter
While I was in California, the girls and I made a stop at the Nordstrom's Beauty Counter to get the little sister a make-over. We ended up buying what the esthetician put on her, and I LOVE it!

The thing I love about these cosmetics is that they are natural and really good for your skin, but at the same time have amazing coverage and blend in a way that makes it look like you aren't actually wearing make-up! You use the brush to apply the liquid foundation, and then use the pressed powder with the same brush! Easy-peasy!

The angled brush is designed to round out the cheeks, and at the same time is great for creating shadows in your cheekbones! I'm obsessed.

When you're done putting on all your make-up, you spritz your face with MAC Fix+ to set it. It contains vitamins, minerals, cucumber, green tea, chamomile, etc. to make your skin soft, soothed, and fresh! It makes your skin look radiant and soft.
After a week, you clean all your brushes with the MAC brush cleanser. Not only does it clean and disinfect your brushes, but it moisturizes the bristles to help make your brushes last longer! Plus, they dry super fast.

2. Procrastination Websites...
The first one is great for a good laugh...
This website is HILARIOUS! 'Dear blank, please blank.' is a lot like FML and MLIA, but a million times better. I could seriously spend hours reading all the funny notes people come up with. You can also submit your own notes! I had one published once! It was an awesome feeling :] 

Some of my favorites are...
 "Dear death, Bring it bitch. Sincerely, Grandma."
"Dear Doritos, what are these chips doing in my bag of air? Sincerely, Anonymous." and...
"Dear math, Do us all a favor, divide yourself by zero and cease to exists. Sincerely, math students."


This website may not be very funny to those who have never worked at a library, but seeing as how I do, I find it highly entertaining and surprisingly very true...

They have been publishing comic strips 5 days a week since 2002, so there's a ton to sort through! So far my favorite is this one... because it happens to me almost everyday haha!
The funny thing is that I can relate to nearly all of the comics I've read so far! So every time something funny happens at work, I'm going to post one of these that relates to the situation. 

3. Dexter
Last semester I took a literature class that had the central theme of murder. Weird, I know, but it ended up being the best class I've taken so far at the U! The hot guy in my discussion group probably played a big part of why I liked the class so much, but anywho! 
So after reading everything from 'Beowulf' to the 'Lovely Bones', we ended the semester by watching an episode of Dexter. 
RayCray tried getting me to like the show a few months before the assignment in my class, and I hated it. It is super gorey and pretty crude. When my professor informed us that we would be watching it, I wasn't a happy camper. But after watching the episode we were assigned (Season 1, Episode 3), I was confused about the plot, so I ended up watching the two episodes before... and then all of season 1 and 2! 
The blood and gore still bug me, but the characters and plot lines are SO amazing! Man, I just can't even explain how well developed the characters are and how intense and complex the story is! The show is based off a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay and currently just finished it's 5th season. I have yet to watch seasons 3-5, but I can't wait to watch them! You should go watch them too! The first 2 seasons are on Netflix Instant Queue!

4. Big 5 React Gum
Yum! This is my favorite gum! It has a super intense mint flavor and lasts for hours! The best part is that the gum itself is black, which is very different and cool! Buy some, you'll like it!

If you're interested in any of these products, just click on the pictures!