Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When objects talk to you

Can you be in love with a shop? I think I'm in love with these jewellery pieces from the Pia Jewellery catalogue. They are not only beautifully simple but remind us to dream, laugh and follow our hearts, all advice that I definitely need to start following. Is that a good enough excuse to buy these pieces?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Think before you buy

I thought I'd explain a little bit about my non-buying challenge, to make it real and stop me forgetting I'm doing it. And because some of you are wondering what it's all about (Hello Julie!)
It all started with the spending hiatus at Simple Lovely. Although I never signed up officially, I thought it was a great idea and decided to try it. It also ties in nicely with the new, "post South America me", the one who promised never to forget what's important, and to live a simple life full of fun and love, but with few things.
The exception to this is, of course, basic items like food and toiletries and books. I have a lot of books and I'm NOT getting rid of those, books are friends, I've said it before, and you just don't get rid of friends, even when you know them very well (specially when you do know them very well!).
But I did decide not to spend so much on things that I normally buy on a whim and that provide instant, but not lasting, gratification, namely, clothes and magazines. Surprisingly, non buying clothes has proved very, very easy. As long as I don't get close to the high street I'm fine, I don't even think about it. Not buying magazines, on the other hand, has proved so much more difficult. Borders is my happy place, you see, and Borders is full of all kind of magazines. I'm not doing so bad, I've bought a couple of magazines in the last couple of months, as opposed to 10 (but I did buy this one), but I have to try harder.
I have noticed others things that I was spending my money on, specially take away food, or eating out, and I'm now making a conscious effort not to spend so much on those.
The key to this is that I'm not really forbidding myself to buy stuff, I'm just trying to think more carefully about what I buy and why.
If you'd like to do something similar, this video would definitely convince you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Xul Solar

Xul Solar (1887-1963) is an Argentinian artist that I discovered only last year, during my time in Buenos Aires. When I find a new artist whose work I really enjoy, I like learning about his life and his ideas. In Xul Solar I found an incredibly personality, a very creative life, and an important dream.

He produced paintings, sculptures, architectures, and also he created games. But what I found fascinating is that he created a new language based on a mix of all the languages spoken in the American continent. He wanted America to be a united continent in peace. His rationale was that language is the base of our ethnicity and so, a common language would mean a common race, an opportunity for people to connect, communicate and understand each other.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspired by book covers

And more book covers inspiration. I really like this week's collections, I feel calm when I look at these covers. They are simple, beautiful and have a mysterious air. As if the calm was hiding something dark... Can you find something calm and unsettling at the same time?

Otra colección de portadas de libros. Estas portadas me encantan porque me inspiran calma. Son muy sencillas, pero preciosas y tienen algo misterioso. Como si detrás de su aparente calma se escondiera algo oscuro... ¿puede la misma cosa inspirar calma y miedo al mismo tiempo?

Monday, March 23, 2009

If you buy one thing...

Have you seen Giselle's photos for the Elle and RED campaign? The photos have appeared in 30 editions of Elle magazine to promote RED's work against AIDS in Africa. The slogan is "If you buy one thing this month, buy (RED)." I'm not buying anything at the moment, but if I were, these Converse would be mine:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Inspired by book covers

And more inspired book covers, I love, love, love these ones. So romantic and mellow. The words on the cover just a promise of what it's to come. I want to read (or reread for some of them) every single one of those books.

Más inspiración en forma de portada de libros. Me encantan las que forman este grupo. Tan románticas y tiernas. Las palabras de la portada son solo un pequeño avance de lo que vendrá al abrir el libro. Me gustaría leer (o en algunos casos, releer) cada uno de estos libros.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I want to be her. If I was her, I think I would be happy under the English rain.

Photo from the amazing Garance Doré

Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome the other me

Some of you would have realized that I was maintaining two blogs (actually, it's four blogs, but that's another story). I was struggling to update both of them, but, most importantly, I was also struggling to remember why I ever thought I needed that many. Oh, I know there was a reason that made perfect sense at the beginning. But no more. Some of those things, and Cuttings on a blog, especially, seemed to have lost their initial reason to exist. I was beginning to feel a bit schizophrenic, and worse, dishonest, about having both. Initially, Some of those things was going to be more serious, I wanted to post about my favourite things and those included books and films. Cuttings on a blog would be more visual, lighter, and more fun! So I'd be talking about the film The Class there, and about Confessions of a Shopaholic here. Because, yes, I saw both and enjoyed both.
I'm a gemini, you see, and although I'm not sure I believe in horoscopes, I definitely see two sides of myself. There is one, who reads (or tries to read) the right books and watches the right films, and the other one, who reads Vogue and every other fashion and lifestyle magazine that Borders stocks, as well as being interested in fashion, and other beautiful things, and who can be quite silly.
I like this about myself, but over the years, some of my friends have struggled with it. Depending on where or how I'd meet them, they would be surprised, confused and almost annoyed when they saw a glimpse of the other me. And so, in many ways, I got used to compartmentalize myself. Of course, my real friends know both sides of me (in fact, all sides of me!) and simply think I'm crazy. So, welcome to crazy me! If you scroll down, you'd find new post, the ones that I posted in Some of those things, and that I managed to import into Cuttings on a blog (for once, Blogger was very helpful!) a mix of everything that I like and inspires me, from serious books to silly films, because I'm made of all and some those things.
You can also find the Spanish me aquí.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The simple things...

Even Anna Wintour is saying it: "value is in". And if Vogue is telling you not to overspend or be too showy, well, that's a serious sign that something is changing. People keep talking about the crisis, the credit crunch, the recession, the current situation, the whatever you want to call it. It's in the news (it's specially in the news, journalists are having an easy time nowadays, no need to go looking for news!) and here in England, it's replaced the weather as our favourite topic.I join in, because I do worry about it, of course. But I can't help but thinking that this is merely a readjustment, and a needed one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking this matter lightly, I understand that many, many people are losing their jobs, their savings, their houses. I, for one, has had to put many plans on hold, as my employer cannot guarantee that they would need me after the end of the year. But still. This was going to happen, sooner or later, and in many ways, it's a good thing. We were all in a race to accumulate things, things, things. Clothes, gadgets, cars, houses that we couldn't afford. If the "current situation" brings an appreciation for a simpler life, it won't be a bad thing. Fresh air in the room, a whole day spent in bed, balloons in the hallway... those simple things.
Photos from Flickr and A glamorous little side project

Friday, March 13, 2009

This week...

I finished Revolutionary Road (the book: it's still haunting me) and watched Revolutionary Road (the movie: disappointing, despite Kate and Leonardo).

I started Norwegian Wood and Murakami got me thinking already: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” And looking for an image of the book cover, I found this cool mosaic on The MG Harris blog.
I received my Toast Catalogue. It's as beautiful as ever. Jon was working from home when it arrived and he sent me an email: "You got a magazine, it has a tomato on the front page, so it must be about food." Bless.

This weekend, there's going to be some changes around here...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two different jobs, a happier me?

Even though I enjoy my job as an editor at a publishing house, I sometimes miss the days when I first moved to England and worked as sales assistant. The two things I miss the most are the social side of the job (you can chat to your colleagues and work at the same time, and chatting to costumers is part of your job), and the fact that, no matter how hard my day was, it ended at a fixed time (We're closing in ten minutes, sorry!), I could never take work home, and so, very rarely would I worry about it when I wasn't there. Because I can take my proofs home and do an extra bit of work, I think I should, and I'm continously worrying about work. Of course, I get a lot of satisfaction from what I do, and I also remember that dealing with customers in the shop was sometimes hard and very frustrating.
None of the two jobs are perfect but, what if I could have smaller doses of the two? Holly, from Decor8 linked to this article in her blog. The author, a freelance writer and journalist, also works as a part-time sales assistant. I have already talked about a portfolio career, and I think this could be part of it. Off to print my CV!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This moment

I need to remember this, remember to enjoy the present, because it really is all we have. I always have lots of plans and ideas about things I want to do, what I want my life to be like. This means that I tend to focus on the future; I'm always convinced that I'll be happy when I have more money/the weekend arrives/I start that course (delete as appropriate).
The truth is that there are plenty of things that I can be grateful for at this very moment, but I need to remember to stop and count them. Some of these are: my boyfriend, my family (yes, they can be a pain, but yes, they are always there for me), that fact that I was able to come back to my job after a year traveling in the middle of a recession, friends in lots of different countries, my books (I could count my books as friends)...
Today, I'm going to try and be happy every moment... even the moment when I have to go to my boss' office because I realized last night that I made a mistake that's going to be a bit expensive to solve (sigh).

Image from dazeychic-etsy
, via Lovely Little Things

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I did it! I performed as a bellydancer for the first time! All the students from the Improvers class had prepared a really nice choreography to Hayaati Milkik by Emad Sayyah (Listen to a preview here) and we showed it at the Hafla that the Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Society organized last Friday.
A Hafla is an Arabic dance party, where people dance, watch performances and get to know other bellydancers. I had already attended several but had never danced. We were all really, really nervous as, for most of us, it was our first performance. I was really shaky, but hopefully nobody noticed through my shimmies! The coreography was quite cheeky and a lot of fun, and I think people enjoyed it.
I'm really proud that I've finally done it, because I think performance is a big part of this dance. Bellydancing is a form of communication, and it's a very social dance. At the Hafla, you dance while you talk to others, and you move around the room with bellydancing travel steps, oh no! You should not walk! Although the origins of bellydancing are unknown, it's clear that it was always part of rituals and social ocassions, a way of interacting with others, and that's one of my favourite things about it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This week...

I have been practising for my first belly dancing performance. It's TONIGHT!

I went to the cinema to watch two very different films: The Class is a must-see. I know people say that about a lot of films, but I truly think that this story about a teacher in a difficult school in the suburbs of Paris can teach us all something... or at least make us think. Confessions of a Shopaholic is not a must-see, but it's a very funny comedy based on the Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, which I still prefer.

I'm still unravelling myself and this week, we have been thinking about our favourite things. It's really amazing how all those important things are very rarely expensive acquisitions. All the important things that I own are very simple presents or memories from the people I love. And looking through the photos that other people in the course have posted, we all feel the same.

I tried to spent less time at my computer... but wasn't entirely succesful.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Inspired by book covers

More book covers inspiration! Of course, yellow was going to make an appearance on my favourites. You've probably heard of people organizing their bookshelves by colour. As much as I like the idea (colour coordination is VERY important to me!), I could never do it. With the amount of books that I have I could never find anything if they were organized by colour (yes, they are organized by fiction and non ficition, and then by author, since you ask).

Aquí hay otra colección de mis portadas favoritas. Por supuesto, tenía que hacer un póster en amarillo, dado que es el color del año. Probablemente, habréis oído de gente que organiza sus estanterías por el color de los libros. Me encanta la idea (la coordinación de colores es MUY importante para mi), pero nunca podría llevarla a la práctica. Con todos los libros que tengo, si los organizara por colores, nunca podría encontrar nada (vale, ya que queréis saberlo, os diré que los tengo organizados en ficción y no ficción, y después por autor).

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've said it before. I love learning new things. Normally, if I want to learn more about a particular writer, or history period, I'll start reading about it or do an evening class, all very intellectual ways of learning, as opposed to learning to DO something.
Lately, I've found myself very interested in two things I know nothing about: textiles and book binding. As always, I headed to the library and found things on these subjects (yes, I love using the library, and yes, books are always my first port of call), and then I heard about this workshop happening in London and jumped at the chance!

Prints, Patterns and Patina - a workshop with Martin Bergström

I booked myself a place in this workshop at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and I can't wait! With everything else I'm doing at the moment, I didn't want to commit to weekly evening classes, but doing a workshop or learning day here and there would be a perfect way to learn more about these things! I'm very excited to do this first one!

And, of course, it's the perfect excuse for a day in London (may even make it a weekend) and a browse around the museum.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


After a year traveling in South America J and I decided we did not want to own a TV. We simply realized that whenever we happened to have one at the place we were staying while traveling, we'd spend more time inside the room, basically flicking from one channel to the next. So, we never got a TV when we came back and, amazingly (or maybe not) we have not missed it at all. Although (confession) we do watch Heroes, and I watch Gossip Girl, on the Internet.
The problem is that we've found new ways of wasting our time. Instead of flicking from channel to channel, we spend our time on the Internet, link, link, link from one page to the next. And we're not even doing this together anymore. Before, we at least had to watch the same channel, now it's each of us with our own laptop, sitting together but doing our own thing. I read beautiful blogs, J reads about the latest gadget.
Of course, we get more from the Internet that we ever did from TV. I can't begin to explain how much inspiration I find in the blogs that I read, how many amazing people I've met, how many new projects, ideas, plans I have since I started reading blogs.
The problem is that I don't have time to carry out any of these. And so, I keep reading, jotting down, creating something in my head, but never doing anything in real life (you know, the life outside the blogoesphere). I end up questioning myself, why don't I have time to do the things that other seem to do effortlessly? And it's only in some rare moments that I realize that nobody has time to do everything. Some of the blogs I read are written by people posting about their businesses, or who have made blogging part of their career, or spend more time at home than I do (it's just depressing how much time I spend in the office). Of course, there are a few that are simply amazing and do indeed find time for everything. Or maybe they just MAKE time. Maybe, they turn off their computers once in a while and actually tackle that knitting project they started, or do something with the card making kit they got a while ago, or read the pile of books that will soon have to go back to the library, or decide to stick the cuttings they've been collecting for weeks in their journal.
And that's what I'm going to do as well. I'm disconnecting. Not completely, but I'll be turning off my computer two evenings a week. Of course, on the other days, I'll just have to try harder to keep up with all the blogs I love.
Right... I'm off to read... a book!

This is part of the disconnect challenge, over at The Inspired Room.

Photo from Cabbages and Roses