misc.

That Fresh Hair Feeling

There’s nothing better than a fresh new haircut, is there? OK, well, yes there are plenty of things better than a new haircut…but when you’ve been waiting patiently for four months, it’s a lovely thing to walk out of the salon with significantly less hair on your head!

I got my hair cut into a fresh bob on Tuesday, and my hairdresser also added in some colour to blend out my platinum, which was starting to look rather brassy and harsh. Growing out platinum is hard, but at least this looks a bit softer. I keep saying that I’ll never dye my hair again, but I probably will again someday- it’s a lot of fun while it lasts!

I don’t have much else to say about these photos except that this is the last of the lilacs. We didn’t get a very good show of them this year. I think that it was maybe too cold earlier in the spring, and the buds got a bit too cold with frost. It’s really too bad, because usually this hedge is just covered, and I love to do photoshoots with it as a backdrop. At least we did still get some blooms, and I got these photos before they all faded away.

What have you been up to lately? Are you long overdue for a haircut, like 99% of the population? Have you ever tried to grow out dyed hair?

And this is what happens when you take photos in the wind!

Seeing People as They Truly Are

my family history

It’s been a very sad, heavy and wearying week, hasn’t it? As much as I want to come onto this blog and start chatting about clothing and personal style and my latest sewing project…fashion just isn’t what I’ve been thinking about. My mind has been occupied elsewhere this past week, as I think we all have been- and rightly so.

For the past few days I have been delving into the issue of discrimination and wrestling through my thoughts on all the sides and aspects of such a complicated topic. I have wanted to run away from this issue. I have wanted to avoid the turmoil and stay wrapped up in my cozy little home. I have been afraid to post in case I say the wrong thing.

But I have not been called to hide, and change must come from each of us. I may not have all the words to say, but I don’t think that I can ignore the issue and post pretty photos of lilacs and dresses either, so I thought that I would write this out, just to get it out on paper, and share it here in case it can be of any help to you too.

I don’t talk about it a lot because it doesn’t come up very often, but I am Native American. I don’t look like it, but my dad’s side of the family is from northern BC & Yukon, and I am in fact a member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. It’s not a very big part of my life, because I didn’t grow up in the Yukon, I didn’t grow up on a reserve, and for the most part have lived a very “white” life.

Oh, that and the fact that I don’t look Native.

I live in Western Canada, in Alberta, and I have not seen a lot of racism towards black people in person (the  issue that is specifically tearing the world apart right now), so I cannot speak to that, and it would be hypocritical for me to do so. However, I have seen discrimination against native people, where I live in Canada. My own family members have experienced discrimination because of how “Indian” they look. (Bullying while growing up, getting beaten up, mockery in the workplace, not even to mention the historical oppression of Native Americans…)

I have seen this racism, but I have never experienced it firsthand because I don’t look “Indian”. This just goes to show how ridiculous this kind of discrimination is; I am genetically Native American (with some immigrant heritage thrown in), but because I don’t look like it…I am somehow exempt.

When it comes right down to it, scientifically our skin colour is only a very small fraction of the layers of our skin, and skin colour is a direct result of how that layer reacts to the sun. According to The Body by Bill Bryson, that layer is only about 1 mm thick (so thin that it is translucent). That is a very small amount of cells to divide people so radically.

After thinking about this issue for several days, and wrestling through my thoughts on all the sides and aspects of such a complicated topic, I have come to the conclusion that these problems we are seeing across the world are not rooted in racism.

What is racism really? We are all members of the human race. Whether you are black, white, red, or whatever colour you identify as; we are all human. Biologically there is no such thing as race. Our bodies do not have any defining characteristics to divide between people.

Even though it seems that the root cause of racism may be unique to one people group- looking at someone and discriminating against them because they have a different skin colour than you- that isn’t really the issue. After all, a white person can discriminate against a black person. A black person can discriminate against a native person. A native person can discriminate against an asian person….

I do not give these examples to distract from the very real and scary problems that people of colour are facing every day, but to show that discrimination can come from anywhere, by anyone and it all comes down to the same root problem: a desire to puff ourselves up and selfishly put ourselves first.

The real problem is in looking at someone else, picking out what is different about them, seeing them as somehow “less” than you, and discriminating against them because you don’t value their humanity.

By removing someone of their humanity, suddenly no evil action is beyond the scope of imagination.

Why were Native Americans wiped of their culture, taken from their families, put in residential schools, and made the subject of systemic abuse and stereotypes that exist to this day? Because their humanity was erased.

Why were people with physical and mental disabilities exterminated by the Nazis in the 1930’s and 40’s to sounds of celebration? Because their humanity was erased.

Why were Africans enslaved for hundreds of years in North America (and Europe) and still face real danger and prejudices to this day? Because their humanity was erased.

Why are people of colour being killed unjustly all over the world, no matter which culture or country they live in, still today? Because their humanity is still being erased.

This root of this problem is not racism.

This root of this problem is not oppression and power.

The root of this problem is the arrogance of looking at someone else, separating yourself from them, elevating yourself above them, and refusing to see them as a human made in the image of our Creator God.

The root of this problem is Sin.

When it comes right down to it, our actions towards others are determined by what we believe about others. Why is life valuable? What is it that makes us human? What is it that makes each of us worthy of life, dignity and respect? Before anything can change, we need to recognize the inherent value that each person has because they are a human made by God. We need to believe what God himself has said:

‘Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ Genesis 1:26-27

So, what is the solution to the problem? It can’t be fixed with human ideas.

The solution to the problem is not overthrowing those who are oppressing us. There will always be someone new to trample upon someone else.

The solution is not in educating everyone and making them see things from our perspective, though activism can be a great tool.

The solution is not in creating distinctions between people or even in trying to celebrate our differences.

The only real solution that can be found is to humble ourselves, take the focus off of ourselves, and follow the example of Christ:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! ” Philippians 2: 3- 10

I do not give these examples today to point fingers at others. I have done some of my own self reflection this past week and have taken a look at my own ideas. I have wanted to run away from the issue and not think about it; I did not want to stare my own prejudices in the face and see where I have acted wrongfully towards others. I have had to repent of some of those actions and attitudes.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.” Romans 12: 10

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends upon you, live at peace with everyone….Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 17, 18, 21

I may not have been as eloquent as I hoped to be, and may not have said everything as it should have been said, but I hope and pray that these words, dear friend, will have entered into the chaos and turmoil that is spreading all over the globe, and that they will have given you a pause and a peace to reflect upon. My prayer is that in the midst of all of the pain of the past few days and weeks, we will not find peace and fulfilment in anything on this earth, but will instead turn to the only One who can truly heal.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Florals for Spring, From my Fashion Scrapbook

This is from a wedding magazine, but I would love to wear a floral headpiece like this for other occasions too! Isn’t it beautiful?

Florals for Spring may not be “groundbreaking” according to Miranda Priestly, but no matter how cliché they may be, isn’t there something so nice about reflecting the changing of the seasons in your clothing choices?

I think that Spring is the most anticipated wardrobe change of the year, since it is such a dramatic departure from winter clothing. After a long, cold winter, there really is nothing as lovely as wearing your floral pieces!

I do, of course, wear florals all year round, but even so, it is still nice to be “seasonally appropriate” from time to time.

After taking a look through this scrapbook the other day, I thought that it would be nice to share some of my favourite floral and Spring themed magazine tear-sheets with you all!

It’s at times like this, that I miss living in town, because my bicycle, sadly, isn’t meant for country roads!

I love the photography, and this jumpsuit, from this page from an old Free People catalogue.

I do love a good clashing pattern, like on the left. And that skirt on the right is all of my Spring/Summer dreams come to life.

This one was from a Vogue article about “how to wear Vintage”. I like the updated take on the classic 1950’s silhouette (though I didn’t agree with all of their “advice”!)

Another lovely image from this spread…

And another gorgeous Free People image. I’ve never actually worn a flower crown…but I’m beginning to think that it is a must-have Spring accessory!

One of my favourite ads, above! The retro, pastel colour palette is just so fun.

Which of these images is your favourite? Are you an all-year-round florals person, or do you wear them only for warm weather?

Channeling Cruella

platinum bob with root smudge, the artyologist

There’s nothing quite like a fresh new hair cut and colour is there?

I was very long overdue for a hair appointment; it had been 11 weeks since my last cut/root touch up! (Hi, My name is Nicole, and I am great at procrastinating.) I haven’t had the pink hair for a while, but there hasn’t been any photographic evidence of that -oops! My roots were starting to show a decided grow-out line, so I got my hairdresser to do a “root smudge”, and then tone it again for a nice silvery colour; and I absolutely love it! If it wasn’t so much upkeep, I think I’d keep this colour for a long while!

Anyways, my hairdresser asked if I wanted it styled straight or curled, and I opted for curls because I never do them myself. After my appointment, I decided that some photos of the new style were in order.

platinum bob with root smudge

I was going for a sort of movie star look, but after I saw these photos, I realized that they have a rather Cruella De Vil feel to them…that’s OK, because she is definitely one of Disney’s most glamorous villains don’t you think?

Do you procrastinate when it comes to scheduling hair appointments? What colour of hair would you choose if time/upkeep/money wasn’t an issue? Who is your favourite Disney villain?