on romance

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I bought this dress when I had just turned 18. I tried it on in the shop change room and instantly fell in love with the romantic lace detail and the soft colour of the fabric. I shelled out $150 that day and didn’t look back at the shop as I exited without remorse – I had bought a dream dress. Something I felt that my future daughter would love to unwrap out of a box of tissue paper, and wear to her first dance or date. This dress has a lot of sentimentality for me. I haven’t worn it more than a couple of times, but each event was significant. The original reason I bought it was because I thought it would be perfect for a “first date”. I pictured mystery boy and myself going to a ballet or a theatrical performance of some sort, wearing this lovely dress. We would then have a romantic walk along the river and I would teach him (or attempt to) how to dance. 

This isn’t how first dates usually are my friends, as such, I found out this year on a rainy night in July. 

I was in a pretty horrendous place during the whole “romantic pursuit” of said boy. Life seemed to have “fallen apart”. Uni was a shambles, work wasn’t too good and in general, my mental health seemed at an all time low. I was really confused as to how anyone would find me even remotely desirable, let alone during this time of confusion and stress. I was feeling pretty delicate, and the last thing I wanted to do was add to my list of... things to worry about.
The actual date was lovely – albeit, I was a complete babbling mess for most of it, my left eye was bloodshot because I accidently sprayed perfume into it and the rain had caused my hair to take on the ‘electrocuted look’ . Things didn’t really continue with the boy afterwards and I was surprisingly completely okay with this, because at the time, the experience of it all was really quite fascinating, and it was exciting and positive while it lasted. You see, I’m pretty new to the dating world. High school didn’t involve any sorts of romantic conquests, and if they did, it was all my own head. I also consider myself a very guarded young woman; I wear my heart on my sleeve but I don’t act on a lot of the feelings I do have. I always felt that as soon as I got out of school I had to be fast, and experience things more and “catch up” to everyone else. And I mean, I still do want to experience more, but the feeling is beginning to slow down as I realise that everyone’s compass is different and sometimes taking things slow and letting them come together naturally is the best execution. 

So, yes, I am 19 and I’ve never been kissed before, but I do think there is something lovely and special about that. Knowing me, there will be some sort of disaster when the time does come, but, as always, there will be a unique story to tell my friends and family at the dinner table. 

Anyway – good night! I have a big week of uni and work and should probably get as much shut-eye as possible.

faux film project

Saturday, August 27, 2016

One of the many reasons I love having a blog is because it feels like I'm the editor of a magazine. There are only a few minor details... like the fact that there is no regular print version of my content, nor do I have an office full of devoted staff... (one day...)

Each "issue" or "post" has some sort of underlying theme, which keeps things interesting, but also relevant to the overall aesthetic and theme of Avenue Maria. I've been feeling a bit more experimental  lately; particularly focusing on the major difference filters (tasteful ones, mind you) can have on an ordinary photograph. For these photos, I wanted to achieve a pretty dramatic 60's/70's vinyl album cover look. I've been listening to a lot of Ray Coniff's records lately and I've been feeling really inspired by the dreamy photography and grainy effect from the film cameras. SO! I decided (with the persuasion of my little sister) to take photos that were inspired by these images. 'Faux film', if you will. 
Here are a few examples of Ray's previous album covers that are part of my vinyl collection:

And here's my edit!  It was actually really simple creating the filter for these particular photographs. I used VSCO on my phone, focusing primarily on adding colour in the "highlights" and "shadows" category. Editing photos without going overboard is actually something that has taken me a really long time to master. I love doing it, but it's time consuming and sometimes frustrating getting the colour balanced. I think these photos turned out beautifully, but who knows, perhaps in a few years time I will look back on the editing job in horror at how "over done" they are! 

Anyway, that has been my most recent little project! How are you all? Enjoying life hopefully, wherever you may be in the world. I am good! Uni is still going well, I am attending all my classes (surprisingly), hanging out with friends, working, the usual. My appointments at Headspace are still happening fortnightly, and that's going really well. I've been listening to lots of great new artists, reading (mostly uni journal articles.. ha), and also STRANGER THINGS! Everyone was tweeting, and talking and posting about it and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about... guys, it was amazing. I just finished the last episode this evening and the whole series was incredibly well done. Everything from the cinematography, soundtrack, cast and plot. I'm not going to give anything away, it's the type of show you should start watching without any prior knowledge.

And on that note, it's time for tea with the fam! Hopefully I'll be back soon, will say hi again in September, aka. Spring, which means more flowers and more beautiful sunlight to experiment with through the camera lens.

Modern Soul // Life Update + my new favourite dress!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

When Tess and I take photos and they turn out like this, all I can think of titling the post is "SPRING IS IN THE AIR!", or "Omg. The lighting... can we take a moment". But that's lame, and very 14-year-old Maria...ish. In all seriousness, these photos turned out beautifully, and when we were snapping away in the afternoon light today, it was a gentle reminder of the many blessings there really is in my life... and also, investing in an DSLR camera 5 years ago was a great idea. Hard earned McDonald's money spent the right way, my friends. Oh, and also, this dress! It reminds me of the Sound of Music a little - I don't really know why, since Maria doesn't wear any floral dresses this bold in the film. It just has a real 'Maria' vibe to it. 

So! Hello, it's been a little while. Just thought I would check in with you all and give you a little update on what's been happening with my life. I'm happy to report that I've just been feeling really positive overall over the past few days. Uni is back, and I'm, surprisingly, not absolutely loathing every minute of it. I have this awesome lecturer for one of my courses, and he's one of those teachers that was actually put on earth to educate others in a really engaging way. Everything he says just clicks with my brain and it makes the actual course content 10x more interesting. 
I've been staying on top of my readings for the most part and I have been feeling a lot more motivated to actually do my work and get decent grades. It's a nice feeling. A lot of this positivity in regards to my academic life has to do with setting goals and actually devising a plan for when I want to graduate etc. At the beginning of semester I sat down with one of my course coordinators and she was so lovely and helpful and reminded me a lot of one of the teachers I had at my high school, Mrs Norris.  I'm starting to organise my life a bit more and it's working. I'll keep you posted on that.

Also, you know how I mentioned that anxiety thing a few months ago? I went to Headspace for an initial analysis on my mental health a few weeks ago and from this week onwards I will be seeing a psychologist on a weekly basis which is really, really awesome. It's something I feel like is going to make a major difference in my overall wellbeing, and although it took a long time to organise, it was worth the trouble. Best advice for anyone struggling with life at the moment - go talk to someone! First step, doctor, and he/she will point you in the right direction :) 

So yeah. I don't really know what to say in specifics about anything else. I've just been doing fun things with friends, working (still making coffee!), studying and doing regular driving lessons. I will let you all know as soon as I am a license holder! But, for now, my computer has reached single digits, which means it's time to switch to my phone (ha...classic), read a book and have some tea or something. Cause that's what I do. Oh, also, here's the link to my spotify account - I have been making heaps of playlists lately because of the waves of creative inspiration that have hit me, so give them a listen! 
Goodbye for now!

P.S: If you recognise the title of this post as a reference to James Blake's latest album, let's be best friends. I love the song "Modern Soul". The piano playing is just so freaking nice.