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The Tale of The Love Collage (aka Happy 2nd Birthday!)

Happy birthday LC! I confess I enjoy fireworks, especially in the shape of a heart.

Writing my blog for the past two years has been both a rewarding and exciting endeavour.  I write about haphazard musings that have taken hold of my fancy, from the frivolous to the heartfelt.  Time and again, I am surprised to meet strangers who follow me regularly, am utterly thankful for your ongoing support and am touched by those who embrace ‘living with inspiration.’  In many exchanges, I am asked how it was that The Love Collage came to be (here is a refresher).

When I originally built my website in WordPress, you only had one instant to choose a title.  The title was everything and for me, it had to convey sincere meaning with a dash of wit. 

“What should I name it?  Hrmm, what should I name it?”  Perplexed, my eyes darted around the room searching for an idea to spark a revelation.  I stared out the window.  The afternoon rays were peaking through the wooden blinds.  I sighed heavily.  My head twisted to the left.  There it was.

A month prior I had decided to feng shui my bedroom.  In my tidied love quadrant, lay charms meant to invoke love, the theory being that a mini-shrine to love would create an abundance of love.  This presumption made sense to me and plus, there truly was no real harm in creating a tableau in hues of red and pink.  Sitting atop an otherwise empty shelf was a vintage postcard of entwined tango partners, a tanned Spanish George Hamilton look-alike in a 70’s one-piece dance outfit and his female dance partner attired in ruffled flamenco garb, an oversized faux rose bouquet and a love collage which I had painted and carefully pieced together on my birthday.

And so became the title of my blog, The Love Collage.

I have come to grow very fond of this title because it captures the sentimentality of memories, the passion of dreams and the small things we treasure.  The Love Collage is more than a diversion – I write because I love to write but am ever thankful that you love to read.

The Love Collage is inspired by…

Early Carrie Bradshaw. I do type in cute outfits where possible or paint my nails between checking emails. Mad skills.

Do you dream in black & white or colour? A sketchbook a day keeps the doctor away. The mini hoarder in me collects postcards, jots down observations and sketches inspiration.

NERD Alert: I am like reallyx3 into the library lately. I want to wear a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows and my Lisa Loeb glasses. Nerd pick-up lines: "Study much?" "Do you want to be my french tutor?"

The possibility of travel: In 2012, I have resolved to hang glide from Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil (tandem of course). Oh yes, I am a fashionistah adventuress.

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August 15, 2011   1 Comment

Mi Corazón (My Heart) Belongs to Seville

What's red and white and sexy all over? Flamenco dresses adorn the many boutique windows.

My quiet desire to travel to Andalucia had been growing for a while; the feeling tugged at my heart more persistently as time progressed.  Perhaps the greatest impetus for me to submit was the revelation that Feria de Abril (April Fair), a week long cultural festival in Seville would take place in early May this year.  There would be no more hesitation.  I took it as a sign from the heavens that the time to leave would be now.

Bright lights and dress to impress! The best compliment is when you are mistaken for a local.

While many guidebooks pronounce southern Spain as the most Spanish of travel encounters, being present for Feria is an experience that validates this sentiment.  Throngs of Spaniards descend on the city to celebrate their heritage, music and flamenco dance.  The air takes on a vibrant energy as festival goers revel in opulent traditional garb and do a slow procession taking to the stone promenades or proudly showing off in horse-drawn carriages.  Hundreds of brightly hued casetas (tents) are erected on the Feria grounds by prominent families or associations.  These are embellished to the nine’s with chandeliers, draped with gauzy fabrics, paintings, furnished with gilded chairs and filled to the brim with musicians, dancers and partygoers wine glass in hand.  Have you heard?  The Spanish love to party.  Adjacent to the tents are amusement rides, playground foods and games.  Imagine the wonderful sight of women dressed in flamenco outfits and boys in suits riding the Tilt A Whirl!  Only at Feria!

Walking through limitless ruffles like a kid in a candystore. A took this picture while I was siesta-ing. I snooze, I lose.

Whilst integrating ourselves into the festivities, perhaps one of the best parts is getting dressed for such an occasion.  Your outfit is not complete without a form fitting dress accented with ruffles, fringe, pom-poms, a hair accessory such as a haircomb (peineta), a lace head dress (mantilla) or a colourful giant rose propped on top of your head.  My travel companion A and I became skirt chasers during the evenings, pursuing Spanish beauties through the streets for the honour of their photograph.  Having primped the better party of the day, many were flattered and obliging.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

Girlcrush! Forget the men! Countless gorgeous Spanish beauties from around the country flooded the streets of Seville during Feria. Fashions so outrageous and uniquely spanish.

Loving the extra long fringe! We kidnapped this lovely from her boyfriend so she could strike a pose for us!

Tiny Talent Time: Pretty in pink young dancers take the stage to show you their sevillanas.

We found this adorable cutie by the Churros stand. She matches A so perfectly!

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June 12, 2011   2 Comments

A T&G (tanned & gorgeous) Homecoming

Last month, after a prolonged period of all work, minimal play, I decided to throw caution to the wind and book a plane ticket.  One week, I was here, the next week, I was off.  Seems impulsive, non?  But I am young and free…at least in my heart.  Eager for adventure and inspiration, I travelled armed with my sketchbook and just the right 2B pencil.  After an extended sabbatical galavanting through parts of Europe, I finally returned home. 

What I experienced was the high of travel – sampling local cuisine, strolling zig-zag pathways through cobbled boroughs, soaking in the history of ancient buildings, immersing myself in the arts, watching dance performances and meeting fellow travellers.  For me, there is no greater luxury than taking a timeout to travel.  It expands our global perspective, awakens our senses and teaches us to appreciate our blessings.  For me, my innate cultural curiosity is an itch that needs to be scratched on a yearly basis. 

In my next few posts, I hope to share some of the excitement of my trip – from the heat and grandeur of the Feria de Abril in Seville, to the opulence of the Alhambra in Granada.  My journey took me to tiny hilltop towns in Andalucia and the cosmopolitan city streets of London and Copenhagen.  From international fashions to hidden gems and experiences not to be missed, I will give you insights to fashionistah travel without smashing your piggy bank (aka shoe fund).  In telling my fanciful tales, I hope to ignite your dreams of white beaches, cerulean seas and destinations off the beaten track.

Travel, especially when it is outside of your comfort zone is not always easy.  But let me just say, that I asked the universe to support me on my trip.  Whenever I needed aid lugging my suitcase up a flight of stairs (because there is nary an elevator in Europe), a kind stranger appeared to offer their assistance.  More on that later dearies. 

Stay tuned… xo The LC

Feel free to shout Ole at any time: Daria works her T&G on the cover of ELLE Spain May 2011

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June 10, 2011   No Comments

Dance, Pray, Love

I have always been a dreamer.  An optimist.  Ever hopeful.  Always thinking.

But in all honestly, I have not always put fearless gusto into all of my endeavours.  Like many people, I have been the biggest obstacle in pursuit of my dreams.  For quite some time, I have harboured a secret desire to tour the southern region of Andalucia in Spain – to dance my heart away and to make a pilgrimmage (the camino) to Santiago de Compostela.  In an expected twist of fate, I also have the opportunity to visit Copenhagen Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson.  After much thoughtful marination (as in I’ve thought about it soooo long, the idea has soaked into me like a piece of chicken, marinated in soy sauce), I will embark on my trip this Spring.   

Dear readers of The LC, I would love to take you with me, however, I need to take this journey to rest and rejuvenate.  Upon my return, I promise to share the highs of my adventures and hopefully my shared stories will stir up your own internal wanderlust. xo

Feria de Abril in Seville. During the festival, everyone dresses in traditional garb. Flamenco, bullfights, fireworks, partying. Me divertido mucho!

I like long walks on cobblestone streets in flowy skirts and gladiators. Marbella is Spain's answer to St. Tropez.

The Little Mermaid statue erected to celebrate Hans Christian Andersen. My mom let me watch the original Aesop fable! I remember having to concoct an alternate ending in my mind to save myself from despair. I cried for days. Super-tear.

A penny for your thoughts. I like to sketch. Lacroix Virgin Notebook

What the heck! Since I'm already over-sharing, my potential wedding dress. *lol* I'm putting it out there (the secret).

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May 1, 2011   No Comments

To Thine Own Self Be True

Remember that scene in Clueless where Cher (Alicia Silverstone’s character) corrects Josh’s girlfriend for misquoting Hamlet?  It’s Polonius.  Obviously.  And sidebar, does Paul Rudd age?  Think about it.

As a bohogi, I thought I would write about finding meaning in an age where people feel increasingly disconnected from each other and from themselves.  It can be very easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of one’s purpose or dreams.  And speaking from experience, the further away we get from who we authentically are, the more challenging the notion to find our way back.  But we all know in our heart of hearts, the truth of our own potential to be better, to act on our impulses and create our happiness.  My free 3 step rehab: 1) Smile more 2) Laugh often 3) Do something you genuinely love at least once a day.  This is moi, planting seeds for the Spring. 

Some sage advice on living with inspiration:

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.” – Freya Stark

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” – Woody Allen

“The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, and this you will become.” – James Allen

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud

Flashback 1995. Holy crap, that cellphone is gi-normous! Fun fact: I was voted Most Likely to Appear in Clueless 2. Lots of production delays.

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March 7, 2011   No Comments

Bohogi Is The New Yogi

Bohogi, sounds like a sloppy sandwich, doesn’t it?  It’s my play on words – a bohemian/yogi fusion if you will.  And for those of you scratching your heads, per the Urban Dictionary, a yogi is defined as, “One who practices yoga and has achieved a high level of spiritual insight or a teabag that has been rolled into a joint to add flavour.”  I am obviously referring to the former and not the latter. 

The promise of Spring/Summer always gets me in the mood for bohemian attire.   But for me, Bohogi is more of an attitude – a love of altruistic good deeds, an appreciation for beauty, people, culture and spirituality, a return to nature dressed up in an embellished caftan.   But Bohogi goes beyond that.  It’s really ‘be yourself.’  Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Close your eyes.  Let’s make believe I decided to erect a giant Bohogi teepee for my friends in my backyard.

Lucky girl has her own library and teepee! Um, spoiled.

Then we draped the walls with these sumptuous velvet Viceroy curtains from Anthropologie.

The will of the universe: We throw a bunch of Sky posie pillows in there and they land oh so perfectly like a shoot for Elle Decor.

And your feet were kept warm with this brilliantly bright Gloria's Garden rug. Love matchy-not matchy.

And we snuggle in this DVF Tie Dye Duvet

Impromptu dance party: We listen to Miike Snow on this Roberts Revival Radio or we ask our friend to bring their iPod speakers. Whatevs.

The more I think about it, it sounds like a fun party idea.  Hrmm, maybe I should plan that.  And, I’m taking credit for coining the term Bohogi.  Give it a few months and it will be all the rage on MTV (just like crazytown). Trust.

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February 11, 2011   No Comments