Where I’ve Been 14

Disclaimer: If you’re looking for a clear, organized post, this is not it. This is pretty much stream of consciousness.

For starters, I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past two weeks. Longer, if you count me wanting to recap February via Things I’m Thinking post, and feeling daunted by the thought, and now it’s March 27 and tomorrow I will have been in London for eleven months. Eleven months. Ridiculous.

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I got a haircut, and then I got another one. Had enough hair left after the first to cut some more off without going above my jaw, which is my upper limit. First haircut came with a bit of a copper dye; second came with a lighter brown dye. Both photos on this post are from the day I got the second one, March 19, at the L’Oréal building in Hammersmith. The first cut was for a hair seminar in Sevenoaks in Kent in late February, with Debbie G. It was a really enjoyable experience, which is why I picked up another hair seminar gig. Early start, train to Kent, worked alongside lovely models, was watered and fed, looked awesome with my crimped hair.

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The second gig wasn’t nearly as fun; there was no food provided and frankly I was close to either throwing up or falling over on the tube back home. I love the haircut I go — from Skyler McDonald of seanhanna — but it would have been nice not to feel sick throughout the day.

Modeling: never assume you’re going to get fed? Never assume anything ever, probably. I mean, the only modeling gig I’ve got fed on besides the hair seminar with Debbie G was the time I worked with Bethany Owen on a boat, and she’s like, a friend who cared about my well-being and whatnot. Also we were on a boat so it wasn’t like I could sneak off to buy snacks.

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What else have I done that I can talk about — I shot two events this week. The first one was rather regrettable, the kind of thing where I should have said, “Well, no, I can’t confirm I’ll do it if you won’t even tell me what the fuck it is.” Then it turned out they wanted video, which there was no mention of, and I filmed a bit on my phone because I didn’t want to have spent money on the bus for nothing, and then they went and paid me less than agreed upon. In short, why did I bother.

The second one was lovely, a Hot Hair blogger event organized by Michelle from Thou Shalt Not Covet. It was at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which is gorgeous, and I had fun and didn’t feel underappreciated and got good photos despite the low light, and it was a great palate cleanser even though I overextended myself by taking pictures of stuff, because I can’t resist a night lights shot even though I bleeding suck at them. Then I put too much weight — read: my DSLR — into my paper goodie bag from the event, and everything — read: my DSLR — went flying onto the floor at King’s Cross.

At this point my camera’s taken enough tumbles that I don’t really freak out about it breaking, but it was still an unpleasant sight. I’m just glad it happened in a well-lit tube station instead of on the busy streets in the middle of the night.

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This is Putney on March 12, when I went to seanhanna for a quick consultation before the L’Oréal hair seminar. I got there at 9 PM and only stayed for like twenty minutes and they gave me biscuits, which is probably why I didn’t bring snacks with me on March 19. Lulled into a false sense of security. Anyway, we actually talked about me going blonde, and I was a bit scared and excited, and then that didn’t happen. And then at the Hot Hair event yesterday I tried on a platinum blonde wig, and wow I’m so glad I didn’t dye my hair that color.

After that I shopped at Waitrose for the first time in my life and I’ve been meaning to find another Waitrose since then because their pasta is awesome and properly priced. I also still need to buy shampoo. Was kind of looking for a Superdrug for that, because they have better offers than the Boots on Haverstock Hill, which I found out the last time I ran out of shower toiletries before a press screening in Leicester Square. That was a good day. I recently instagrammed the shots I got at the National Portrait Gallery afterwards, when I randomly wandered in there. Scroll to March 9. There’s a Superdrug (and an M&S) in Swiss Cottage, which is pretty much the same distance from my flat as the Budgens and Boots on Haverstock Hill, but I don’t like going in that direction. There are no Waitroses anywhere. I mean, okay, there’s one in the wrong (read: furthest from me) end of Camden Town, and one like a bit further up north in Swiss Cottage but who needs that. I need to get invited to an event or get a photography or modeling gig near a Waitrose, stat.

Or maybe meet someone for coffee? Hot Hair event aside I haven’t met anyone since Rebecca from Bec Boop at the beginning of the month, and I miss it. (Click the blog link to go straight to the post she made with the photos I took!)

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I need to organize my blog folders. It’s a disaster right now. These pics are in a folder named Kitties with mostly pictures of my landlady’s cats.

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Yes, Tiikeri. Exactly.

I had a great time talking to people yesterday; I’d met Angelica and Jodie (I actually briefly discussed moving in with Jodie!) before, I met some new people I’d talked to on twitter via the hashtag, and I met two girls I’d been wanting to meet for a while — Christine (who I didn’t even expect to see there!) and Barbie. The weekend before I met Rebecca, I had coffee in Camden Town with Laila and Bel, and it was starting to feel like a good habit. I also found out Camden Town is a lot more visually interesting than the main road had led me to believe, though it is crowded as hell all around.

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I finished a book I was sent last month, I Was Here by Gayle Forman. I have some artsy pretentious pictures I took of it with a bokeh-ed backdrop of a tube platform when I came back from Putney. I was kind of underwhelmed, but a hopefully short review is upcoming. I want to accompany it with a post about my experience with suicidal ideation, because it’s not something I’ve addressed or blogged about before and I don’t see it often. There was a passage in the book where the main character is pretending to be suicidal on a pro-suicide message board that — I wouldn’t say resonated with me; I didn’t have that proper emotional connection with it — but it was certainly accurate for me. It was pretty much word-for-word things I’ve thought.

And that gives me an excellent segueway to update you on my mental health. The past two weeks have been rough for me. I got excited about a project and, when it didn’t get started right away, it did a number on me. This was at the same time I ran out of sertraline before getting my prescription; I didn’t think quitting an SSRI after only 28 days of treatment would have withdrawal effects. I was wrong. I was dead wrong. (I’m sorry, I had to put that link in there.) Seriously, that was a terrible idea. I wasn’t noticing much of an effect beyond side effects (the nausea subsided, but my sex drive was still squashed, which I really like about SSRIs, actually; that’s another post I want to write) and I was in a tight financial spot and I made the executive decision of switching meds when I went to my appointment on Wednesday.

Well, on Wednesday I couldn’t get out of bed, was ten minutes late, didn’t bundle up properly, started crying in the clinic when the doctor couldn’t see me and it turned out I had to self-refer to counselling again because I’d missed an appointment due to being notified of it after it was over, cried from Fleet Road to Haverstock Hill, started hyperventilating where the road took a turn towards A&E at the Royal Free and very seriously considered going there instead of heading home but didn’t. On Thursday I woke up with a sore throat, which is a telltale sign of a cold for me, but the last couple of times it’s happened, I didn’t come down with anything, so I was hopeful.

Then on Saturday I started feeling proper sick, and on Sunday my nose gave up the ghost. I was sick for that event on Monday, and in fact, when I went home to grab my tripod and head to Camden Lock, I tripped on a storm drain, stumbled for three steps, and fell on my hands. (This is why I took a bus instead of walking there.) At first I thought I’d just got a scrape, and that the fact that the whole right side of my body hurt was due to the cold. Then I tripped again on Wednesday — though I didn’t fall — and realized that was probably the cause. There is also a bruise on my knee I only noticed today, but I no longer feel excruciating pain in my arm when I take off my clothes, so there’s that. I can also breathe. Massive improvements all around. I’m still carrying some anxiety, bad sleep habits (the awake when the sun comes out kind) and lack of appetite, but hopefully it will get better now I’m healthier and, thank all the deities, caught a bit of a financial break. Tiny one, but you know, better.

Last Saturday I also finally googled clinics near me, and there are none closer than the one I signed up at when I lived on Fleet Road literally (okay, not quite literally, but I could rush out of bed and run down without feeling like death later for not having showered and got ready properly) five seconds away from it. But there is a mental health foundation trust ten minutes away, and I got in touch with them. Today they replied to me saying they offer four-session consultations and it sounds like I want ongoing therapy, which would be an issue if I’d ever got anywhere chasing ongoing therapy. Look, four sessions is better than zero. Call me, clinic. Call me. I want new meds too. I’m thinking citalopram. It’s obviously down to my doctor, but I don’t think I stressed my anxiety (no pun intended) enough when I asked my GP for meds last time, and I’m trying not to rely on lorazepam so much. (That’s another post: how lorazepam works for me. It seems it’s a bit different from the effect it has on other people. All in the name of informing, y’all. I take lived experience very seriously.)

Laptop work-wise, the highlights are I finished a media kit I adore for a client I love, and designed a blog that’s tentatively launching on April 1 and I can’t wait to show off. I finally followed the creative process I’d wanted to for ages but been too scared to try — mock-up first, coding later — and it was just an excellent result all around, and far less stressful than I’d predicted.

I also started a new Instagram project after ignoring #wearyourdamnjewelry for a month: #lixunderground. I think I may even bring it onto the blog, because I have tons of camera photos, too, and I’m just strangely attached to the tube. It’s a whole thing.

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It’s probably too overdone for me to try and do an actual photography project based around the tube, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.

tl;dr: Can you guess how many more photos have been added to my ever-growing backlog? Go on, guess. (I don’t have an actual number so I can’t tell you if you’re right, but there are lots.)

Oh, also:

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These days I run sales arbitrarily every three or four months and every one is different, so if this appeals to you, go for it because it’s probably not happening again. You’re welcome.


Stories of Old Travels & Simple Iced Caramel Coffee Recipe 4

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The first time I traveled out of the country — the country being Spain, where I lived for over 24 years, seldom going anywhere within or outside of it — I was seventeen, and I came to London for three weeks. I loved it, naturally, despite making poor food choices, staying with a family in Bounds Green, and probably straining my ankle by walking twenty minutes to the tube station in flats every day — and twenty minutes on the way back. There was a lot of sightseeing, a lot of walking, a lot of museum-going. I planned that trip to catch an exhibit of my favorite painter, John Everett Millais, at the Tate Britain. It was a good trip, and moving to Madrid for college just afterwards was a massive letdown.

The following summer, I took the same scholarship that allowed me to go to London — 1500€ to book an ESL course for at least three weeks. The UK was my only option for these things because I had no budget beyond the amount of the scholarship, and if tuition took up half of it, I had very little left for accommodation and flights. The thing is, I’ve always loved Europe, and wanted to see all of it, and been intrigued by England maybe most of all, so it wasn’t a hard choice to make. This time around, I picked Oxford.

I fell in love with Oxford. The way I feel about London is strong, but the way I felt living in Oxford was magic. The cobblestone streets, the bookshops, the colleges, the Botanic Garden — strolling around the city with my camera in hand, taking over five gigabytes of photos — and I wasn’t shooting RAW at the time. Under different circumstances, I might have tried to stay. I wanted to. I thought about it, though about finding jobs to apply for, but I was eighteen, I’d just dropped out of college, and I wasn’t ready to be on my own.

That year, I spent a lot of time at coffeehouses inside bookshops — the Starbucks inside Borders, the Costa inside Waterstones, the Caffé Nero inside Blackwell’s. Many of those places are gone, but I remember feeling home there. There’s something about chains that I actually appreciate: the familiarity, the solidness of it. I went to London one day to meet my best friend for the first time ever, and ate at a Waterstones in Piccadilly. I went to Brighton for two days to cap my trip, and had my usual coffee order at a Costa inside a Waterstones up West Street. The Waterstones is still there, according to Google Maps.

I kind of fell in love with that coffee order, and when I went back to Spain, to my hometown without coffeehouses inside bookshops or fancy drinks at the ones we did have, I set out to find a way to make it, and every time I did, it reminded me of being in England, a little bit. Eventually I also created a strawberry and ice cream shake — not quite a milkshake and not quite a smoothie — that will forever remind me of Wimbledon.

But when I was asked to share a recipe inspired by one of the countries in the Cricket World Cup, I thought it would be a lovely time to share my iced caramel coffee — no fancy machines, just whatever I could find in my little city — and the reason it ended up a part of my very small off-the-top-of-my-head recipe arsenal.

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The point of this recipe is that if you move somewhere they don’t sell half the shit you need, or move to a flat where you can’t use any fancy coffee contraptions, you can still make it. I got caramel syrup — golden syrup, whatever — and madagascar vanilla extract out of a cupboard in my landlady’s kitchen (I cleared this with her before using her kitchen; better lighting for photos, you see; was actually going to make a cocktail, but time ran against me and my complete inexperience in the alcohol department). I stole the milk from my flatmate, because whenever I buy milk, it ends up going bad as I just come to Starbucks every day because it’s warmer than home (and currently, until things get sorted out — apparently a cat chewed on a cable — my only access to the Internet). The coffee, however, was mine, and so was the mug and the… idea. Look, I have good intentions.

So, without further ado, what you need:

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Coffee for however way you make espresso or black coffee; I used instant like the heathen I am
Milk
Ice
Caramel syrup (sugar tastes terrible; that is one substitution I don’t recommend)
Vanilla extract (powder or on the bean or liquid; vanilla sugar is another substitution I don’t recommend)

A mug, a glass, and a machine to make hot coffee. If you have a espresso machine or a French press, use that. I just heated up water in a kettle. My beautiful mug is from Zoz Pots on Etsy.

Instructions are quick, but I swear by the order of them:

1. Heat up your water / make your espresso.

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2. Add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract to your mug.
3. Get your coffee ready in the glass (or another mug, or wherever).

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4. Hit the ice against the counter a bunch of times, or break it some other way if you know how to, or if you have tiny cubes, then more power to you, tell me where you get that shit. Put the ice in the mug.

5. Add milk; fill the mug to about the midway point.

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6. Pour some caramel over the ice; a couple of tablespoons is usually pretty good, but not everyone has the same standards re: sweetness in their coffee. I like a caramel taste in this drink, but won’t let sugar near my normal morning coffee.

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7. Finally, pour the steaming hot coffee over the ice, to fill up the rest of the cup. Let it rest for a few seconds — it will help melt the caramel syrup and ice cubes —

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— and stir.

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After this, I put my caramel coffee in a travel mug and took it to Starbucks. It was actually pretty good, which surprised me given the way I sourced the ingredients and considering I hadn’t made it in a while.

In fact, I hadn’t made it since before I went and packed my bags and moved to England.

Disclosure: I was asked by Betfair to take part in the Cricket World Cup Recipe challenge.


4 Things / I’m Thinking About 7

Lix Hewett / Instagram Photos / London Photographer

Winter Greens (Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead) / an old shot from a bus to Archway / Fleet Road, Hampstead
Cozy b.young Cardigan / Staying In (ZozPots Mug) / Delivery Office Run (Hampstead)
Hampstead Hill Gardens / Baker Street Station / Haverstock Hill, Hampstead

You can follow me on Instagram at @lixhewett!

1. Transport

I try to take the bus whenever possible because it’s cheaper, but it’s nice that sometimes you can get interesting photos of streets and traffic — if the window isn’t dirty as fuck, anyway. I’m starting to memorize my route from Swiss Cottage to Marylebone, and I just end up going on manual focus and taking bokeh shots of the car lights at night. I really want to do a photo walk down Eton Avenue one day, when it’s not as cold — the houses are so picturesque — and every time the bus goes past Lord’s Cricket Ground, I look at the little park — St John’s Wood Church Gardens — and the tombstones and the children’s playground and think, “I want to shoot in there.” It is impossible to get a halfway decent photo of it from the road, though, so you’ll have to take my word for it that it seems like a cool location for a shoot. In fact, hire me and find out!

2. Mental Health

I’ve had a depressive-episode week, again, due to a payment not being due when I thought it was. It’s thrown my motivation and sleep schedule into disarray, and I’ve only barely begun to recover. The sertraline isn’t doing anything for me yet, as far as I can tell, other than quell my appetite; I no longer feel drowsy and I’m not getting any more migraines.

Every morning, it takes me two or three hours to get out of bed; I feel hopeless and dejected and stressed. Then once I get up and shower and get dressed, even before I medicate, I feel better — I feel like I can make something of myself, that I can make things work. I’m having trouble falling asleep at night again, or rather putting my phone down and trying to sleep, which doesn’t help with the lack of motivation in the morning; if I go to sleep at 4 AM and I wake up at 2 PM, that means I’ll get up at 5 PM and I was really enjoying not doing that for the couple of weeks it got better.

But I’m making an effort to be healthy despite the lack of appetite, and I did get up when I was supposed to (even if it was an hour and a half later than I intended) on Friday when I actually had to be somewhere, so it’s not all hopeless.

3. Haircuts

So. I picked up a tiny hair modeling gig off Model Mayhem a few weeks ago. Hair modeling is like modeling except way more time-consuming and appearance-changing. I went for a consultation a few weeks ago, and yesterday I went in for a dye and a cut. The dye is so close to my natural hair color — copper, and my hair shines copper already — I can barely tell it’s there, and the cut isn’t a huge difference, either, because it’s still medium length at the front, shorter at the back — Alexa Chung inspired, apparently?

On Friday, when they blow-dried it at the salon (Billi Currie on Chiltern Street in Marylebone; I’m modeling for Debbie G), I wasn’t super thrilled with it; then when I washed it yesterday, I felt a little better, and this morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror I was like, “hell yeah.” It’s very bouncy and it actually reminded me of the picture of Rosamund Pike’s haircut they threw around during my consultation, and I am into it. Plus, it’s so much lighter and quicker to wash and dry.

The actual modeling is tomorrow, Monday, at a seminar in Sevenoaks in Kent. I have to get up at 7 AM, which is terrifying, but I’m sure I’ll manage. It should be fun. I like modeling because you just go and you do something that is really quite effortless if you’re comfortable letting people make you pretty and prancing in front of a camera, which I am, and it’s done. I like the simplicity of the timeline, compared to design work.

Anyway, everyone involved is super friendly and nice, so I’m looking forward to being made up and styled within an inch of my life tomorrow.

4. Plans

Then on Tuesday I’m going to a thing I can’t find info about on google — a sewing workshop in Brent Cross in the morning, and in the evening I will hopefully not chicken out of going to the Gossip Girl-inspired gifting lounge put on by Bloggers Love. I’ve never been to any of their events, but this looked appealing. I have no idea how gifting lounges work, though. Any of you gone to any? Can you give me a rundown? I’m investing transport money in this thing so I want to get something out of it.

And then the rest of the week is mine, all mine. I’m trying to plan it out now because I know my motivation will waver, but maybe if I get up early on both Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be able to stick to the habit and keep it up for the rest of the week. If you want to help me stay not-depressed, feel free to have a look at my design portfolio and get yourself something pretty. I’m currently booking blog design for late March, but I’m more flexible with media kits and product photography and other bits and pieces.

And so: how was your week? What have you got planned for this next one?


Creative / Product Photography for Jewellery by EMS 1

JEMS by Lix Hewett / London Product Photographer

A while ago — let’s not say how long — I met up with Emma from JEMS to have a chat and so I could return a memory locket of hers I’d previously photographed (and which she got published on a magazine!) and take some photos of her beautiful, quirky unique jewelry. (You really can’t take the American out of my English; I’m sorry. I tried. It felt wrong.) We had a little walk around Belsize Park — she was in London from Leeds, for an event — and picked a spot to get some photos.

I photographed the pieces she was carrying on her, and took a few more portrait-like shots as well. I’m sharing them with you all here on the blog today. I hope you love her work as much as I do. And if you’re interested in hiring a photographer, go here or here!

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Outfit / Spy 4

Outfit / Spy / Lix Hewett by Annemari S

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In last week’s outfit post, I mentioned that I had several sets of photos from last year I kept meaning to clean up and post. Well, the other night I needed a break from thinking, and I dug into one.

These photos were taken on May 3rd last year by my beautiful, lovely, darling friend Annemari S, who is beautiful and lovely and darling, and who I roomed and spent a week with when I first came to London. She went back to Estonia and I stayed, and all we have now are these pictures. (This is where I sigh dramatically.) Psst: her name is a link to her RedBubble shop. Here it is again. Her work is awful pretty, and her use of light and color constantly leaves me in awe — by which I mean I stare at it for a while and then I go WHAT and keysmash at her.

We took this at King’s Cross station in London, where Ashley wanted to go to get a photo at Platform 9 3/4 before she headed back to the States. There was a lot of walking that day, and a no-show flat viewing, and I have a picture of me pouting somewhere in Wood Green and a picture of me looking all come hither in the British Library, because going for walks with people who are as attached to their camera as you are (of course I also have selfies) is awesome.

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7 Things / I’m Thinking About 2

You guys, I’m so tired. I’m struggling to put this post together. I can mostly handle design, but anything that involves thinking is making me exhausted. But I’m trying! Because this is a side effect, and it will go away eventually, and it was worse yesterday anyway and at least today I got some food in me. But first things first:

Instagram: London Scenery

 
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London

To the best of my memory:

Rosslyn Hill / Foyles on Charing Cross Road (taken last month) / Rosslyn Hill
Belsize Park Gardens / Belsize Grove / Belsize Grove
Belsize Grove / Belsize Park Gardens / Eton Avenue
South End Road / Belsize Park Gardens / Belsize Park Gardens

This could have been a nice Belsize Park + Hampstead collage but then I wouldn’t have been able to share the Foyles picture I posted this week, and it’s one of my favorites. So there’s an outlier. I linked the ones with halfway substantial commentary. I’d love to write more about all my pictures, but some I have nothing to say about and some I just can’t be bothered to type on my phone for.

I live in a really pretty place, even if they insist on putting up signs with Comic Sans in it. And the anti-Tesco promo may not use an affront of a font, but the design is still — well, if Tesco brings down the neighborhood, so do those ugly signs. You can do better, Belsize Park. You’re supposed to be posh, goddammit.

Instagram: #WearYourDamnJewelry + Life

 
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Bobby pins from Starlight Woods (buy) / Necklace from Resity (OOAK; love this similar one in green) / Hampstead Group Practice
Ring from The Two Wicked Magpies / Wednesday In Marylebone / Friday at Starbucks (post)
Asics trainers c/o Sports Shoes (post) / Necklace from finntastic2006 / Candy hamper c/o Toxic Fox (now a jewelry box)
Snowflake earrings from Bonita Bellita (here + parcel pic!) / Cowl from delectare (I designed her banner!) / Makeup by Steph Lai
Cardigan in #8 and #10 c/o Blue Vanilla via etailPR

1. Insecurity

I haven’t been as much of a stickler for daily jewelry-wearing as I was at first, but I’ve mostly done things to make up for it, and on one occasion wore a cowl (more things I never wear: my knit accessories that I love) instead. I actually airbrushed out my acne in the cowl picture. I look at it on Instagram and cringe a bit, but whatever, I made the choice, I’m leaving it. That’s been the hardest part of this project for me. I never wear makeup and in fact I feel uncomfortable and unfocused with it on, so I have to find ways around it and play with angles and when all else fails, deal. I’ve posted more imperfect pictures on twitter. I’m just pickier with Insta and blog photos.

I actually had to take pictures of the bobby pins with my Canon — yep, that is a Canon picture in a midst of LG G3 ones — because my phone camera washed them out. On the bright side, my hands didn’t fall off. On the down side, I took some more at Starbucks because I wasn’t convinced and this woman across from me kept giving me weird looks because I kept taking pictures because they all sucked and I felt very self-conscious. The dark side of Instagram.

2. Makeup

The picture with makeup on is from last Friday and the Sun article I talked about here. I got my hair and makeup done by a professional, and then I was shot by a professional, and in between I took outfit photos and photos of a couple of pieces I still owed Pixiebell and basically an astounding number of selfies. I tried to repeat this on Friday, but I fell asleep. Anyway, yesterday I got an email from the article writer saying she couldn’t find it in the paper when it was supposed to go out, so I may not get paid for it, which is a bummer. I got more out of it than I put into it, but I could really use the cash.

3. Money

Honestly, I’m weirdly focused on blogging and writing as sources of income at the moment because this week I took the plunge and raised the prices on my design portfolio by about 5x plus developer’s fees. (If we’ve talked about a project before, and you haven’t decided yet but can’t afford the new rates, don’t worry — I’ll honor the price I gave you.) Those prices now match those on some of my favorite (and less favorite — people I feel on par with) designers, and it would now take one client a month for me to survive. But I have no clue how to find those clients, or get them to find me.

I opened accounts on Behance and Cargo Collective; I need to fill them out. I updated my LinkedIn. I haven’t touched my CV, but I managed the copy for my media kit, so surely I can do it. Somehow. Some way.

4. Anxiety

The day before my agency gig that got put on hold, I tweeted, “If tomorrow goes well, I’m making a GP appointment to get back on antidepressants.” I held myself to that — actually took a while to make the decision, and by the time I made the appointment, things had gone awry. (For a not-all-that-terrible-but-hard-on-me meaning of the word.) Over the following few days, the past few weeks, I found myself needing lorazepam every single day, even the days I tried hard not to take it. Thursday and Friday this week, I was feeling better, but I knew that was all the more reason to get back on meds now — when things are bad, I just let them get worse.

Of course, I went to sleep at 4 AM the day before (I’ve been doing better at falling asleep, but not on Wednesday and therefore not on Thursday), woke up at 9, pushed the snooze button about five times… and woke up two minutes before my appointment. Back when I lived literally two minutes up the road from the practice (reason #1 I picked it), I would have managed to run there, but I knew running the fifteen-twenty minutes from Belsize Park without showering and getting something nutritive in me would kill me, so I skipped. I explained my inability to send text messages to cancel to my GP the day after, who obviously thought it was fucking weird that I have a phone I can only receive calls and texts on because it’s registered to a PR instead of me, but understood. It is weird, Dr. Patel. I know it’s weird.

So yeah, I actually checked after I missed the appointment, and miracle of miracles, someone had cancelled an appointment the next day at 11 AM. Knowing me and the way I excel at chickening out of seeking medical help when time gets in the way, I grabbed it, and I was a little late to it — about nine minutes — but I bundled up, wore leg warmers to warm my legs — never had occurred to me before, honest — and got there.

I am now on sertraline. The GP looked at the previous GP’s prescription of mirtazapine and was definitely gunning for it, but I explained my concerns and then I mentioned that not only do I have trouble getting to sleep, I have trouble getting up, to the point that up until two weeks ago I’d been getting up at 5 PM every day, and she decided on sertraline instead.

Well, holy crap with the drowsiness. I feel a little more awake today, but I’m still too tired to do anything that requires thinking, or words, or thinking. I finished a media kit draft and a blog design mockup yesterday, so I’m not too scared it will ruin me, but it was amazing. I crashed at 8 PM without eating. I had some fruit this morning before showering because I would have fainted otherwise.

My GP also referred me for counseling, which no one said anything about last summer. She thought I’d rather have CBT, partly because they’d get that going more quickly than the 6-8 weeks for counseling, but I’ve got that sneaky aversion to ‘choose to be happy’ rhetorics (even if that’s not that CBT is) and I wasn’t expecting anything anyway, so I’d much rather wait for something I’ve always thought would help me and never got to try.

5. Marylebone

From the above — I knew going anywhere without eating first would kill me because it nearly did on Wednesday last week, when I rushed to Marylebone without breakfast for a hair consultation at a salon I’ll be modeling a dye and cut for next week (unless that also falls through. You never know). It was rainy and miserable, and I tried to find a Starbucks I liked in the area but the two I walked by sucked, and then I just took a bus back to my Starbucks.

Really, for an evil corporate chain everyone here is incredibly nice. The toilet was out of order that day and I was freezing and they let me use their sink to warm my Raynaud’sed-out hands. I’ve been coming here every day because it’s good for my mental health to spend £60 a month on lattes, shut up, and I know most of the baristas by name. The other day, some dude started screaming and throwing the displays and freaked a ten, twelve-year-old girl out who was, I think, waiting for her drink (the Starbucks is split down the middle by a wall, so I didn’t see anything) and made her cry, and the baristas gave her hot chocolate and a gift card and kept checking that she was all right. I kept thinking I should do something, but you know I suck at people, so I just sat around and felt bad.

6. Hampstead

I had high hopes of editing some photos from the time I went to the delivery office in summer and photographed the whole walk in various waiting rooms yesterday, but I didn’t have to wait more than a few minutes at the practice and the hospital pharmacy I thought I’d have to wait at was closed, so I killed my shoulder with my laptop for no reason. And boy, did I kill it: I had to pick up a GHD parcel from Best British Bloggers at the delivery office in Hampstead too (hence the motivation to edit those pictures from summer), so it was quite a lot of walking. Later that day, when all the drowsiness was high, I bee-hopped around picture folders and edited two pics from a walk from Hampstead Heath to South Hampstead, and they are so fucking magical I may try and get a Fairytale of Belsize Park post going. It’s not like I wouldn’t have to split up the pictures anyway. It’s a rare photo walk I come back from with less than seventy pictures for keeps.

Dear god, I did not set out to write a post this long. My bad! How was your week?


Creative / Design / A Classic Notion Media Kit 16

IT’S A MIRACLE! I have finished (and started! Starting was the hardest part!) my own media kit. It only took a year since the first media kit I ever designed for someone else, and me feeling like I may want to start pitching brands instead of waiting to be contacted. It took me ages to dig into it, but I was excited about the self-portraits I got on Friday, and somehow I decided which person to write the copy in and once that was done, everything came together fairly nicely without too many bumps in the road. (I may have redesigned the second page roughly five times, but that’s par for the course for print design with me.) I even got to put a credits footer on it, which I bloody love because I love crediting people and I think it looks super professional, plus it’s like, the right thing to do and shit.

I spend a lot of time designing media kits for other people and sort of going on about how convenient they are, but with most of my work, I have to go out on a limb and hope that’s true because — well, it’s not like I can afford myself, and I’m doing fine. Ish. But wow, I’ve been feeling the lack of a media kit really, truly heartily these past few weeks. I’m so happy I finally have one at the ready, and I love how it pretty much showcases all the things I do — print design, photography, modeling, copywriting — at once on top of informing people about my blog.

Media Kit Design: Lix Hewett Lifestyle Blog

See a larger version on my portfolio.

If you’d like a media kit design, feel free to contact me through my portfolio or purchase directly through Etsy. If you’re based in London, I can give you a special price for a media kit + portrait shoot, too. Get in touch!


Outfit Post / Snug 13

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Snug

 
I haven’t posted an outfit in a good long while — since Halloween, in fact. I’ve got several sets of photos from last year that I keep meaning to dig in and clean up and post, but I haven’t got round to it yet. Some of them are from nearly a year ago, which means the outfits may be season-appropriate when I post them. I’ve never been a trend person, and I haven’t had the opportunity to play with my personal style, so they’re not even out of date — for me, anyway.

Last Friday I got a chance to finally try to set up in the living room of my flat — technically not my living room, as I rent a room, not the whole place. A couple of months ago, though, I asked my landlady if I could use it to shoot, and she said it was fine as long as I asked first — which of course it took needing a place for a stylist to do my makeup to happen. I just, my sleep schedule, y’all. I also thought it would be at least mildly cold even though the sun comes in hard through the windows, which is why I wanted to use the living room to shoot in the first place — my room has very convenient white walls, but the lighting is terrible. Also, I hate white walls. But I couldn’t find the motivation to try the living room on my own, and thinking it would be cold didn’t help.

But I needed it on Friday, so I asked, and it all worked out, and I got my hair and makeup done by Steph Lai for a silly Sun article I picked up off the #journorequest hashtag on Twitter. Before and after the photographer arrived, I took the chance to do my own shooting. There was a lot of light and background and focus testing involved, and by god, I need a remote, but it was awful warm, and I got a few things done. This outfit post is one of those things.

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Life / Sports (and) Shoes: An Education 4

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Asics Running Shoes c/o Sports Shoes

This could be a review; I did say one of the reasons I wanted to start with a picture this month was so I could write them, if needed. But it’s not. It’s just a story, and a bit of an opinion piece.

Here’s the short of it: my relationship with sports, exercise, working out, all that stuff — well, it hasn’t always been good. I used to avoid all physical activity like the plague. I was bad at it, and I thought it was beneath me.

My relationship with sneakers, trainers, running shoes, whatever you want to call them, is also tricky; it was involved in one of those incidents that you carry around for years until you realize it was shitty on someone else’s part and you are fucking done feeling guilty about something that happened when you were fourteen and why are people still expecting you to take responsibility for a grown adult man’s behavior? But my mom reads this blog, and I don’t want to go into that. Maybe some other time.

Under normal circumstances, this entire post would never have crossed my mind. But of course, my circumstances are what they are.

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I ragequit gym class during a written exam the last year I had to take it. I can’t remember what was going through my head at the time, or why I would choose to give up on a subject when doing something that was the opposite of my problem with it. But quit I did: I got up, told my teacher I’d make up the subject in September, and went home.

For many, many years before that, gym class had the dubious honor of being the only subject I’d ever got a failing grade in. Fifth grade of elementary school, when I was nine, I’d failed a trimester in it. I believe the grade was called “Needs Improvement” at that point. It was primary school, after all. It wasn’t the kind of subject you made up, so I just kept going and passed. But gym was always my lowest grade, a barely-there pass in a sea of As and Bs.

I hated it. I did the bare minimum. You know how people always talk about being the kid who gets picked last? I was, but I didn’t give a shit about that. I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to run around my gym until I felt like I was going to throw up — which didn’t take very long because gym class was the only kind of exercise I ever got. I didn’t keep it up during summer, and I didn’t supplement it. I didn’t see a reason to put myself through that kind of pain.

A few years later, when I started getting tachycardia every other day, I was extremely conscious of my heart rate. But even before that, I had no endurance, and I couldn’t handle the workout. A time or two, we got to play sports and I didn’t hate all of them — I remember enjoying baseball in primary school, a sport we never touched on in high school. I remember not absolutely hating field hockey. I remember liking basketball except for how much my hands hurt when it was cold. Volleyball was always out-and-out painful.

Of course, when I was a teenager, I just felt small. I felt weak, and I hated gym class because it was so hard on me. I thought I should be able to handle the kind of exercise everyone else did. I thought there was something wrong me. It took me a long time, even after quitting, to realize that the whole thing was just messed up.

Here’s the thing: I was weak. I had low endurance. The way you build strength and endurance is slowly, starting at the bottom, taking baby steps. You don’t start where everyone else is, because that’s a surefire way of making you feel not good enough, and that’s never been a motivating thought for me. I do well when things go well, and I collapse under failure.

Not only was gym class designed to hold everyone to the same standards at the same time regardless of physical shape or external training, but I never once was given suggestions to improve my state. It never occurred to me that exercise could be fun, feel good, if you picked the right activities and built up to it. I didn’t find this out until August of 2012, when I got into watching gymnastics and on antidepressants both at the same time. I quit writing and watched a lot of TV on my iPod in bed when the sun was beating down hard on my room and my old overheating laptop, and I started exercising. It lasted until the end of the year, but it was a huge eye-opener.

I always meant to go running at some point. I still never have. But I know that if I decide to do it, I can build up to it by improving my endurance slowly, taking baby steps, with exercise that doesn’t make me want to throw up.

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I didn’t have a pair of sneakers from the time I quit gym class to sometime in 2012. I’ve been wearing that one pair every day since it got cold in London. Now I have another one to switch things up.

I picked this pair of Asics running shoes because the colors on the website reminded me of the Avengers. I guess that’s how you get me to do things: give me a media consumption reason to care. I started exercising because I was watching women’s artistic gymnastics, and I was fannish about it, and then I was fannish about Make It Or Break It and sometimes exercised while I watched. I actually bought a t-shirt once just because it said Payson on it, even though it had nothing to do with gymnastics; it was some kind of telegraph facsimile. But it’s still a t-shirt I wear on a regular basis.

The red on the shoes is pinker than I expected, but they still feel great on my feet.


Etsy Picks #3: Fantasy In Your Footsteps 2

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1. New York Photo Print by Lisa Russo / 2. Wildflower Necklace by Ines Rocio
3. Emerald Oversized Cardigan by BVLifeStyle / 4. Felted Woodland Collar by filcAlki
5. Wooden Leaf Stud Earrings by vadjutka / 6. Fairy Wishing Candle by the Evergreen Nest


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