Mykaelah

Mykaelah is my friend, colleague, and muse. You can find this fashion blogger here! This winter she's most excited for turtlenecks, her dog MACEY (spelled with all caps, don't get it wrong), and graduation. She's very busy completing her undergrad at St. Edward's University and in the new year, this betch is headed to NYC. 

Sense of Space and Place

Freedom in beauty. The deep, true, holy beauty that makes you reach out your hands because you just might be able to catch a glimpse of paradise. Like a big blue room with expansive cloth panels on the roof that feel like clouds coming down from heaven itself. 

Santa Fe Magic

Santa Fe in October is the definition of magic. Leaves of aspen trees start dripping gold and every path diverging from the dirt roads lead to a secret hiding place that only you know about. There is a literal treasure trove that covers a square block of the city with relics and textiles from other worlds. And the blooms... don't get me started. Santa Fe invented millennial yellow; you can quote me on that. I tried to capture some of that Santa Fe magic on camera but nothing is like the real thing. Where's your happy place?

Girl Seeking Desert

"The mountains are calling and I must go." It sounds cheesy until it's mid-April in Austin, TX and I would give a left limb to be chasing a never ending sunset in the desert. Not that I can complain about living in Austin, but I will. Mostly I just want to walk outside without breaking a sweat instantaneously. But until I can pitch my tent, desert themed parking lots and Zilker Botanical Garden (they don't call it the jewel in the heart of town for nothing) will suffice. 

Model: Grace Sitzes (@outta_sitzes)

New Skills

Okay so technically this should just be titled new skill, but I had to get you here somehow. Somewhere in between math class and work and babysitting, I managed to learn Adobe Illustrator (okay, it was during math class). It's such a blast! I taught my self from Adobe tutorials and good old-fashioned google searches. If I can do it, you can do it, trust. me. Learning Illustrator has helped me to think about drawing and color a little bit differently, usually I'm a sketcher. I'm really attracted to the clean lines that make up and illustration and it's already on my computer!

The Soul of the Nation Goes For a Walk

What an honor to be able to go to D.C. last weekend and march together in solidarity with women across the world. We spoke out against an oppressive system that abuses power and has no grace for the most mistreated members of it's society. We said no to a president that furthers rape culture and jokes about sexual assault. We said no to a president that makes fun of people with disabilities. We said no to a president who lies, even when faced with the facts. We said no to a wall. We said no to violence, and especially violence against women. We said no to defunding live-saving health care. We said no to restricting women's access to reproductive care. We said no to climate denying and no to new pipelines. We did it together in solidarity. I learned as a privileged ally that my silence is violence. I will no longer sweep the things that don't affect me personally under the rug, and I am ashamed it took me so long to learn that. I walk on with new hope song (I've actually got a few songs and I made a spotify playlist so you could sing along). 

 

I hope the photographs that I share with y'all do the march justice. It was important for me as a photographer to capture the electric, unified, and deeply compassionate feel of the march. I hope that you get happy tears scrolling through these photos because I cried lots of happy tears taking them!

 

 

 

 

Things That Weren't Funny

 

I have this habit of being wildly over-dramatic and doing things while my mind is in another zip-code. This leads to lots of melt downs caused by various triggers. I've sketched out a few of my most recent traumatizing experiences so that y'all could cry laugh with me. All of these things were very not funny at the time but now induce giggle fits when my friends and I reminisce on them.  Word to the wise, let your horrible, awful, embarrassments become funnies because laughing tears are an elixir used to treat every bad thing ever. *All of these events really occurred how they are depicted, I wish these were hyperbolic sketches but they are not*  

 

Big Bend

There's one thing that I can confidently say I do well as a big sister and that's the wild and free spontaneous road trip. Nothing strengthens the bond of sisterhood like getting stopped by border patrol and navigating the freezing Rio Grande with only each other to lean on. It's 2017, be the big sister/friend/dreamer that you've always wanted. Take a note from the desert and wake up slow with the sun, change as often and as drastically as you want, and not only inspire others to look on in awe but invite them in. Here's to naming and claiming people in 2017; our year of togetherness and delight. 

Rejoice, Cry, Rejoice

It's hard to be whole on Christmas. Sitting on the floor surrounded by a mountain of gift wrap, I find myself uneasy because I know that I'm part of a very small population of the world who can say that. There's a holiness in letting your heart ache for brothers and sisters who you do not know and in weeping for injustice worldwide, but don't just ache. Resolve to create things worth hoping in and being joy in the face of trial for others to see. In the season of advent it's hard for me to rejoice because I know that there are people, who I know and who I do not know, living without homes, food, love, laughter, healthcare, shoes, warmth, acceptance, or justice and I don't know how to resolve that in my heart and live hopefully in that reality. But I do know that I will not stop aching or hoping. There's a lot to be learned in the tension of that dichotomy. I will let it shape me and the way I create with an earnest yearning for goodness and truth and beauty. 

I've hand-lettered some of my favorite Christmas carols that have social justice gems hidden inside them. As I've gotten older and realized the depth of what these lyrics mean I sing them a little louder and prouder than I did before. Below there is also a video of a live Christmas Eve performance of Mahalia Jackson's "Sweet Little Jesus Boy".  She gets it. I hope you let your heart ache a little and rejoice a whole lot more this Christmas.

Hyde Park Christmas

It's my first Christmas season away from my childhood home and I've spent it dog-sitting in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, TX. The long dog walks through this neighborhood in the freezing temperatures have made me deeply nostalgic. The quirky houses and decorations evoke a wistfulness in me that I attribute to growing pains. Growing up is something that I'm finding increasingly hard to stomach. I realized that I'm only blocks from one of my most treasured Christmas pastimes. I drove around looking for the "hippie lights" that my grandma would take us to see every year; my four cousins and whoever else could tag along, riding down 38th street in a stretch limousine to look at the houses, yards, street signs, electric posts decked out in lights. It was the stuff of childhood dreams. Only one house is left in all of it's neon glory, covered in lights with a sock monkey nativity scene, just like I remember it. The rest of the houses are now being rented out. The tenants, surely not quite knowing the splendor of hippie lights past, put up their own decorations.

My first Christmas away from home in Hyde Park also feels like every Christmas of my childhood. But now I'm hunting for Christmas lights alone in my station wagon instead of a limo with my dearest. And it's still good. These images are of houses decorated for Christmas that simultaneously make me feel joyfully sentimental and heart-achingly nostalgic for an Austin that is fleeting with my childhood.