April 30, 2014

My Vanity

This is what a fucked up joke my makeup table has been for about six months.

 Ikea Lack Coffe Table Makeup Storage

That's my coffee table which is also my dining room table which was also my vanity.

My boyfriend is a gamer. You're probably thinking you understand and that your boyfriend is too and he was totally addicted to Grand Theft Auto V but you probably don't understand. My boyfriend and I moved into our apartment a week before our stuff got here. We only packed the essentials aka what fit in his mom's SUV and drove it down and moved in like that. No furniture, no cable, no internet. Aside from our clothes and toiletries we had the stuff for our bathroom, an air mattress and our TV so we could watch Netflix via my boyfriend's wireless phone tether. That, and my boyfriend's enormous desktop computer, two monitors, speaker system and the rest of his equipment. We went to IKEA the next day and got three things - our Expedit shelving unit, my Alex drawers for my makeup, a desk for my boyfriend and a cheap desk. For a week our apartment was literally an air mattress laying on the floor in front of a TV, an empty Expedit and Alex pushed off to the side and my boyfriend's desk with his dual monitored desktop computer. He had his gaming computer totally and completely set up here before we had our couch or our bed.

His computer itself is so big it's practically a piece of furniture in this apartment. We're just unfortunate to each have a hobby that requires separate pieces of furniture. A lot of boyfriends don't have girlfriends who have two separate drawer systems to hold all of their makeup and nail polish, you know? That's not entirely normal.

So, my makeup space has been suffering for years, plural years, at this point. I've mostly been leaning over my dresser which got old pretty fast. The standing, the leaning, the makeup scattered all over the top of my dresser, all of it. So, about six months ago, I moved all of my every day makeup, hair and nail polish stuff to the only place I could - the coffee table. The whole thing was so messy. My mirror was just sitting to the side of our couch on the floor and there were always products all over our coffee table, sometimes while we were eating dinner. 95% of my products were across the room in my Alex and I never used them so things got basic pretty quickly. Just doing my makeup and my nails and my hair at the coffee table/dining room table every single day for six months. The coffee table is also $40 from IKEA so it's not necessarily made to withstand so much weight which is why it broke, as pictured. All of our furniture, literally all of it, is IKEA. Don't worry about it.

My boyfriend finally cracked along with our coffee table and became a man possessed with getting me a little desk. The table broke and he just stood up and was like "WHERE'S THE MEASURING TAPE, WE CAN FIND ROOM FOR A DESK FOR YOU, THIS IS RIDICULOUS." and drove us to IKEA at the first possible opportunity. We picked up a Micke white desk for about $50.

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage

It's by no means stylish because we only had room for literally the tiniest desk they sell and had to wedge it in the corner. All of my furniture is just kind of in a cramped line against a wall and it's incredibly obvious we shoved something new in because things on the wall aren't centered against the furniture anymore. Whatever, temporary apartment. Everything in our "bedroom" aka everything beyond our Expedit shelves is just pretty obviously mine at this point. My dresser, my makeup and nail polish drawers, my vanity/desk, a girly bed and my nightstand. I've decided this means it doesn't matter if I replace our lamps on this side with whatever I want because these lamps are the worst. I told my boyfriend this and he was like, "What's wrong with this lamp?? We got it at Ace Hardware!" Exactly.

These are going to be the new lamps.

Target is so next level with their adult 13-year-old girl collection. I just assume that's what it's called because that's what it is. Everything is pink or purple or flowery or gold and I want all of it. A gold, foil butterfly lamp??? wherehaveyoubeenallmylife-rhianna.mp3!!

This hot pink tufted bench is part of it and my ass would be planted on it right now if it were possible. All you single ladies better take advantage of this kind of stuff. Having someone who loves and cares about you but also likes leather couches is the worst.

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage
I'm just dead over my little set up. I haven't had a desk in three to four years. I don't even care that it's small or shoved into a corner or that my chair is black and about $10 (from IKEA, of course). I'll be able to have a bigger space eventually. I just love having a space that's mine. I can sit and do my makeup!!!!!! I can leave all my makeup lying around. I can make the area so feminine that your testicles will retreat up into your body when you look at it. I can hang up all the art that creeps my boyfriend out.

Pretty much my pathos. Just my being. A Barbara Kruger postcard against a frivolous Kate Spade tag that says "all that glitters". Barbara Kruger would hate me.

I'm sitting here right now in my fluffy Hello Kitty pajama pants, drinking coffee out of my Hello Kitty mug, listening to music on my pink headphones and typing this up on my pink computer. Just living that Julia Allison life.

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage
The best thing is the drawer which holds so much that I don't know what to do with it. I full on cleared out two drawers of my Alex and fit it in here. All of my palettes are in here now which is great because they'll actually get used now instead of me just reaching for my Nakeds over and over. I have all my palettes, Nars shadows, blushes and eyeliners and I could fit even more if I wanted to.

 IKEA Micke Desk Vanity Makeup Storage
I also adore my inspiration board that I'm constantly adding things to. This is how my vanity looks right now. Because I wrote the rest of this post in February and forgot about it. Oops. I tried to deceive you all but I think its best to be honest. Not updating or editing to make it fit with my current life. I'm sorry. I moved my lipstick holder and added a little Linus storage bin from the Container Store to keep all of my daily essentials. I'm also constantly trying to rotate the drawer out. I've discovered if I keep ONE palette inside the drawer along with my essential Naked palette then that ONE palette will actually get some use. My Alex drawer system also serves its intended makeup storage purpose this way.

This vanity/desk is my little oasis and I love it. This little corner is like my own little hideout. Like my version of a giant underground hideout filled with sharks who I feed my enemies to. Except all I do is put on makeup and read ONTD and blog.

April 28, 2014

Art in Rome, Florence and Venice, Italy (+ More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About How Much I Love Art)

Art and I have been in a relationship for as long as I remember. Always. Always always always. I feel like this is an exception rather than a rule with people who are into art. A lot of popular art history bloggers talk about how a college class sparked their interest and they got hooked. Most people I've met had a similar experience or took art history as a requirement because they were in art school and obviously more into creating art. I, on the other hand, am not a creative person whatsoever. I can't even think creatively about where I want to order my dinner from on a Tuesday night. I was president of art club and took all the art classes my high school offered but I was never good and never created "art" in the way you'd think of it. I just did technical pencil drawings of sheets and fruit and things like that. Nothing I created ever made any kind of statement or made you feel anything. I created the kind of art you'd see hanging up in a chain motel - just bland and generic. However, despite my shortcomings as an artist, I was just always into art. My dad was and is into it and I was just raised around it.

It's hard for me to comprehend that people don't "know" themselves and things like that because so much of my identity had always been defined by my appreciation and love for art, ever since I was little. My brain is just more inclined to appreciate and be drawn to artsy things. I don't know if I like art because I think this way or if I think this way because I always loved art. I'm sure I would be entirely different as a human if I didn't basically begin my life appreciating art in the way I did. It boggles my mind when people say they're good at math or enjoy math because it just makes sense (ie there's only one right answer) because math or science has never made sense to me. As early as first, second, third grade. Like, I was in that gifted and talented bullshit and was one of TWO kids in my school who was in gifted class but not in the gifted math class. This was out of at least 50 kids. 96% of those kids were better at math than I was. I had to google that percent out!! My mind does not work that way. Math is gibberish to me. Art is what makes sense. I just get symbolism and things like that pretty automatically. My mind works in that abstract kind of way and not in a logical way. And trust, this is not intended as some kind of humble brag. It sucks because the word revolves around the opposite way of thinking. Like, what's a skill in the real world, balancing a checkbook or analyzing a Whistler? But, as Ke$ha says, we r who we r and there's nothing I can do about it short of marrying some kind of accountant who is very insistent doing anything that falls under the "usual life skills and responsible tasks" umbrella himself.
I was probably going to art exhibits since I was five, at least. Growing up in New Jersey meant there was always easy access to the city but I really only ever went FOR an art show. Never to see the city itself or something. Just there would be a show that I or my dad would have to see and we'd wander around afterwards. Art is the draw of NYC to me, not NYC itself. Like, any apocalyptic style movies where New York City gets destroyed? I feel sick to my stomach because of the possibly of museums being ruined rather than, I don't know, the fake human lives lost. This isn't exclusive to New York. I feel that way about most places. If I had an hour in any city on earth, I would probably go to the city's art museum. Whenever someone mentions traveling to somewhere, even if it's to fucking Detroit or something, I'm always thinking of the art they have there and what I'd like to look at there. I could go to a museum for one thing. I could just wake up one day and feel the need to look at one specific piece in the NGA or another DC museum, hop on a bus, go look at that singular piece for an hour and leave. That's satisfying to me. That's my experience with museums in a nutshell. Most of the time, I don't feel the need to look at every single piece a museum has to offer. I'm just kind of immediately drawn to things and pay special attention to them, even if it means bypassing other things in the process. Events like the Whitney Biennial where people seems like they're playing this game of unsaid chicken with art pieces irritate me to no end. "Who is going to stare at this one piece longer? You're letting it out of your sight before me? I'm going to shoot you a haughty glance because you're simply UNCULTURED by comparison!"

I feel like it might be slightly weird to be as into art as I am. I sometimes feel ashamed because I sort of feel like that art is a lot more casual for most people. That those who know about and appreciate art but that knowledge and appreciation is on a sort of back burner in their minds. That they can recall and reference it and appreciate it but it's not the ONLY thing. Art is the only thing to me. I relate things back to art instead of vice versa. I live and die by it. Art makes me believe in past lives because I feel like I must have loved it for centuries to love it as much as I do right now. Art is my soul mate, most likely. Art is my constant, the Ryan Gosling I would kiss in the rain if my life was a love story like The Notebook. It just worms its way into everything I do. I started this blog as a beauty blog to show nail polish on my fingernails and eyeshadow smeared on my forearms but here I am, talking about art, because this is what art does to my life. I feel like I'm dumping my innermost feelings out on here like it's my 9th grade livejournal and all I'm doing is discussing what art means to me.

I feel that art and art museums as some of the most special things that we as a society have. I don't get offended by book burning or flag burning or any of that but the idea of art being destroyed is uniquely awful in my mind. I think it's awful that so much art is tucked away in private collections. Obviously, I'm green with envy but my eccentric billionaire plan would be to collect all the art I wanted and leave it in some spare home I owned, open free to the public (with security personnel and shit, of course) so that it could be appreciated by any one who wanted to see it. I feel unironically #blessed by the art I've had the opportunity to see in my life. You can't experience art without seeing it in person. I've always felt that way but I feel it TWENTY FOLD after this trip. All art that you've ever seen should be seen in person, IRL, before you form any kind of opinion on it.

Which brings me to the art I saw in Italy which was just so unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I've been very fortunate to live in close proximity to New York and in actual Boston and DC. My eyeballs have seen so much art, more than so many people get to see in their lives because of this. And Italy blew this all out of the water. OUT OF THE WATER. So, without further ado, here are my most favorite art related things I saw while in Italy. I'm trying to narrow it down to ONE thing or ONE museum because to try and include it all would be way too much of a tl;dr situation and I'm be up until 2AM typing it all out.

The Vatican

Aside from the obvious classics, the Vatican had a very cool collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, multimedia, etc of all periods and genres of artwork. The one unifying theme was religion. Just an unbelievably cool collection and something I definitely never expected to see in the Vatican. The only theme you could really do a collection like this with is religion which was obviously THE biggest theme in art for centuries. The purpose of art for centuries, even. Then, even after all this time, artists are still confronting and portraying religion through art. For hundreds and hundreds of years, just all different kinds of artists from so many different countries and races and backgrounds, all using different mediums and techniques to describe the same thing, their relationship with God and faith. It was endlessly fascinating to see the juxtaposition of modern art vs pre Renaissance stuff and how different it looked even though the driving force and ideas behind the works were the same.

An example of one of the modern pieces on faith.

Also included was one of Francis Bacon's screaming pope paintings of Pope Velasquez (an artist who might just be my favorite ever) which I felt was a pretty radial choice for the Vatican to include in their collection.
This collection is just before the Sistine Chapel so a lot of the guided tours skip right over it. It's really, really worth seeing, though. My dad was really disappointed he missed out on it due to being chauffeured around by the tour guide.

 But, of course, THE REASON to visit the Vatican museums is the Sistine Chapel and the Papal Chambers.

My feet standing in the papal chambers in front of Raphael's School of Athens. Just to document that I stood there, in front of it, in real life. This is something that you have studied e n d l e s s l y if you've studied art history. You have most certainly had this on a quiz or a final or something like that. You've had to reference it somehow in someway. It's so surreal to actually see in person after that. Just something you've looked at over and over and over but now it's in front of you and real instead of on a slide or in a textbook. Cannot believe I was even in the same room as this after so many years of memorizing Aristotle's and Plato's hand movements and Raphael's use of perspective. Art history education staple. DONE AND SEEN.

On that note, I feel like I have a personal relationship with this fresco after a semester long Michelangelo course and a final paper on this work. Literally was just thinking of enlarging tiny sections of this on my computer in Boston to try and suck every last detail out of it on my chair in my corner of my library. I was comparing it to Dante's Inferno and just the amount of time I spent with this work made it feel like I was seeing an old friend. I spent a good 10 minutes just staring at this. I can't believe I've finally seen this shit after 23 years. Michelangelo is probably pissed with me for giving so much of a shit about his paintings rather than sculptures WHATEVER YOU SMELL ANYWAY YOU TALENTED OVER EMOTIONAL IDIOT. Everybody from that time period smells, it's true.

The amount of time you hear "SILENCO, NO PHOTO. NO PHOTO." in here is unreal but whatever, ANARCHY FOR VATICAN CITY. I stayed in the Sistine Chapel for a very, very long time. I sat on a bench so I could kind of lean lay myself down and just stare up at the ceiling. There are barely words, really.

Botticelli, especially Birth of Venus, at the Uffizi
Medieval and Renaissance art can kind of blur together for me. I feel like it does for most people aside from people who really specialize in it. Renaissance art can get kind of monotonous for me when you're only seeing it in print, like while browsing the internet or in a textbook. Botticelli fell victim to that for me. Botticelli always seemed like a standard painter from that time. Dude painted Roman themes but H O L Y S H I T his work in person was so good. I thought Birth of Venus was very overhyped before this, like a Hopper's Nighthawks kind of thing or something where I don't really understand why that particular work is one of art history's standouts. I was so, so wrong. Botticelli is underhyped. It sounds so vague to describe a piece of art as just beautiful but that's what his stuff was. Just cut and dry beautiful and serene. It was really breathtaking and very, very, VERY hard to walk away from.
I have no photos because they're not allowed in the Uffizi but it's not like they could do it justice anyway.
 Botticelli's Primavera

 Botticelli's very famous Birth of Venus

I loaded up on Venus souvenirs in the gift shop but I'm just overall bummed out because it's not the same. I want to just barf over how good it was. I lay in bed thinking "Wow, I saw something truly spectacular today" when I was falling asleep that night.
My Birth of Venus lipstick holder. I was debating getting a pill case which I need a bit more for my purse but obviously I have to have the goddess of beauty on something that holds beauty supplies instead of Allegra. 

My Botticelli mug. I'm kind of put off by the schmatlzy writing on the side (unseen in this photo) but I'll just turn it around on the shelf so no one will ever know aside from me. Not even you, blog audience. Aka 2 people.
I also got a magnet and a postcard. I was just loading my arms up with shit. I was so possessed by Botticelli's work that I had to own everything possible. It was like I was a kid in a Disneyland gift shop. I stopped just short of a poster because a. IT WASN'T EVEN CLOSE TO THE REAL THING HOW COULD I LIVE WITH MYSELF and b. I already have way too many things to hang on my walls. My theoretical gallery wall Pintrest board is a mile long. I can't be spontaneously buying things that captivate me. I need to be saving spare dollars for my actual plans.
This is the kind of art shit that makes me sad because I so genuinely wish people felt passionately aout art and I feel like they could, maybe, if they had the chance to see things in person like that. Like, Botticelli? Not even a blip on my radar before seeing his work in person. Sandro WHO? But just spending some quality time with his work has me stanning for B. I want a biography. I want to see all of his paintings in person. I bought a postcard and a mug and a lipstick holder and a magnet. I have elaborate fantasies about tiling a bathroom wall with The Birth of Venus as a mosiac in a future home. All Botticeli everything.

Your opinion on art or an artist can totally change through exhibitions. The last time I felt this way I was maybe 15 or so and too cool for Van Gogh until I went to an exhibit on his drawings at the Met. It blew me away seeing how much his line work emulated his painting style, as if the ink was textured or something. I loved Van Gogh after that and I love Botticelli after this. It just goes to show you can sit in a class room for hours upon hours and make little flashcards and pour over Google images of paintings and feel like you really know an artist but none of it compares to just taking 20 seconds to stand in front of one of their works and take it in.

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum killed me dead. I originally only wanted to go as a modern art cleanser for a trip that was going to be filled with pre 18th century art. Now, I think this museum is up there with Piazza San Marco in terms of must sees for Venice. It's a gorgeous building on the Grand Canal with a sculpture garden where Peggy Guggenheim is also buried.

 Peggy Guggenheim was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim who famously died on the Titanic and the niece of Solomon Guggenheim who is pretty famous for this:

Peggy was a heiress who became an ex-pat in her 20's and was socializing with famous artists and writers in Paris when she was, oh, my age. By her 30's she was opening her own galleries, collecting contemporary art and basically lifting the careers of many artists out of the dirt. Man Ray photographed her. Calder made a headboard for her bed and earrings for her to wear on her body. Ernst married her. Pollock's name is what it is today partially because of her. She collected 40 Ernsts, 10 Picassos and 8 Miros AMONG OTHERS in 7 YEARS.

She later bought the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on Venice's Grand Canal, filled it with her art collection and just lived among it and basked in her own fabulousness, occasionally allowing other museums to borrow parts of her collection so the public could see them. 30 years she lived like that. 30 YEARS SLEEPING UNDER A CALDER HEADBOARD. Now, her former home is the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and it's pretty much perfect in every way.

Just to review:
  • Her whole job was "socialiate art curator"
  • Like, that was the whole thing she did. Spent money. Went to parties. Bought and lived among fabulous art. Made friends with artists and obtained more art.
  • Socialiate. Art. Curator.
  • 3 husbands, one of whom was MAX ERNST. Sorry, anyone who surpasses a 2 husband mark is a boss bitch. There is no way around it. Amend the Constitution to say so, it's a law.
  • Had so many affairs that writers started claiming she slept with their fictional characters, too. A ton of women are still being treated like property at this point in history but Peggy is like, "Eh, not for me..." and makes so many notches on her bedpost that it was whittled down to a toothpick.
  • Had such a great eye for art that she launched Pollock's career. Arguably one of the most famous artists of all time, an artist that even the average 10 year old can name and recognize, and Peg was pretty much one of the first to recognize his talent and elevate him to the level he's on today.
  • Buried in her art filled garden next to this laundry list of her dogs. Literally about 11 dogs. And the plaque says she's buried with her "beloved babies" or something like that and I was reading along being like, "WOAH, bummer, she had a lot of kids live until only 4, that is FUCKED UP. Wait, why did she name her kid Peacock? ...Dogs."
Like, fuck. FUUUUCK. What a life. What a legacy on top of it all, to have you personal collection on view and envied almost half a century later. I feel so much jealousy towards this deceased woman that it's almost actual hatred. What a bitch. How dare you have a life that sick?

I bought this postcard so I can have a visual reminder of all you can possibly achieve in life because I both hate out of jealousy and completely idolize this woman, now. My eccentric billionaire fantasy is to have a dizzyingly fabulous art collection and live among it before being able to share that kind of artistic wealth (both literal and figurative) with the world. I die.

Among other postcards I got is this Francis Bacon one of a chimpanzee. This postcard about sums up why you need to see art in real life at least once. This painting is so flat and bland and uncomfortably filled with negative space on the postcard. In real life, it was gorgeous and I stared at it forever.

 I had to settle for a postcard version of Peg's Calder headboard because I can't have the real thing. I should just take it above my bed to just make it all the more pathetic.

I also picked up these Man Ray and Duchamp postcards. In an alternate universe where I never want to have a professional job I have Duchamp's similar "Nude Descending a Staircase" tattooed as a half sleeve on my right arm.

Unfortunately, there was no postcard of this beyond incredible Magritte painting which was both my mom's and I's favorite. I'm obsessed with how he toyed with light in this.

So, there you have it. That's my cathartic experience with Italy's art museums and more than you ever possibly wanted to know about how art and I are pretty much soul mates.

April 25, 2014

An Assortment of Prints I'm Coveting

 Monarch Butterflies in Flight, Michoacan, Mexico by Frans Lanting
I love the contrast between the blue and the orange. This would make a great enormous statement piece. In my brain, I see this blown up and hung over the bed in a guest bedroom or something. This is because I could never commit to that kind of "one statement making piece of art" kind of lifestyle for a living room or something. I need a gallery wall and I need that because it's not acceptable to plaster every square inch of your walls with posters when you're 23.

 Pernicious Anemia
I suffer at the hands of anemia. I suffer extra as an iced tea lover. No lie, when I'm drinking something it's either water, tea (hot or iced), coffee or a vodka based alcoholic drink 100% of the time. I'm always drinking iced tea but, OF COURSE, tea inhibits iron intake which makes anemia even worse. I'm always bruised and always exhausted, so much so that my family was once worried that I had leukemia. I was just so lethargic and sick that it seemed like I could have a disease that was putting me near death but NO just iron deficiency. Just needed some vitamins. I love how adorable and girly this print makes anemia look. It's almost like pink animal print instead of a disease that makes you want to take a nap.

Kate Moss/Surfer Butt by Mario Testino
I am obsessed with this photo. Obsessed. I don't know why I love it so much. Maybe I just love butts. I'm kidding, I don't know. Just something about it appeals to my eye. It's really not the butt. I give up.

 The Butterfly by Pablo Picasso
Picasso has an assortment of great, graphic line work like this. My second favorite is one that depicts a wiener dog. Obviously, I'd pick the butterfly over that because butterflies are as important to me as they are to Mariah Carey.

Water Serpents I, Gustav Klimt
 IKEA sells an ubiquitous Water Serpents Klimt canvas which is hanging over my bed as I type this. Art.com sells this version of the print which you can order as a stretched canvas and blown up to the same size as its IKEA counterpart. How good would these look hung on opposing walls in the same room?

Colors 60 by Jen Ramos of Cocoa and Hearts
I love how this looks like swatches of make up. It would be great leaned against a vanity top. The artist has a ton of variations of this but I just love the colors of this particular one. It's just the right amount of soft, feminine and glitzy.

This is my #1 home decor lemming right now. I saw this idea on The Pursuit of Style a couple months ago and have not gotten it out of my head since. I love the idea of hanging all of the constellation maps of the zodiac signs grouped together. I am a woman possessed by it. I'll probably just settle for my sun sign (Scorpio) and my moon sign (Aquarius) hung up together because I don't have the room for 12 prints. Additionally, I don't have the $$ for antique French framed prints. Luckily, the above Etsy seller makes copies that she sells at prints BONUS!! from Ukraine. I just love how antique they look and the idea of them being maps, but maps to the stars. I'm growing kind of uncomfortable with how astrology obsessed I am. I feel like I'm going to start paying to get my aura cleansed and sleeping with crystals under my pillow at the full moon or something.

April 24, 2014

Italy Haul

This is just going to be a clusterfuck of the things I bought during my 10 days in Italy that are not beauty/art/PRADA HANDBAG!!! related. Also, not pictured are approximately 7 gelato cones, 3 cannolis and 4 macarons.

Which brings me to this dress that I photographed on my bed rather than on my body because HAHA 7 gelato cones, 3 cannolis, 4 macarons and pizza every day for 10 days.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
But how great is this dress? A mint and black colorblocked dress with a flippy skirt and waist cutouts. See ya. Done. I saw this on a mannequin outside a little shop that didn't seem like it even had a name in Florence and immediately went in and purchased it. The best part is that it has an actual bra built in. Like, the actual dress straps are adjustable bra straps and there's little bra cups in the top. Sorry, Italy dress designers are geniuses. Why don't American dresses with cut outs do this sort of thing?

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
 My parents think I was some kind of complete artistic genius who just threw my talent to the wind. They're like the opposite of stereotypical parents in that they're always complaining that I didn't go to art school. They're legitimately let down that I didn't pursue sketching fruit as a career. My mom got me this notebook from a street vendor to use as a sketchbook, thinking it will swindle me into tapping into the endless talent I have for drawing sheets. I know this was her master plan because she told me. Even though I won't use it for its intended purpose, I love this little sketchbook. It's handmade in Italy and that cerulean color is to die for. It's so vibrant in real life.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
Picked up this polyptych in Venice. This might be the most ideal souviner for the trip. Original artwork of the places we visited already matted in a distressed antiqued gold frame? Sign me up. The shop where I got this was really fantastic overall. It's called BAC Art Studio and you can shop online for ink engravings like this. There was a lot of original artwork of not Italy, as well.

I also got drunk at lunch in Florence and bought the following two scarves.  I have no idea how much I negotiated them down. I might have raised the price. I don't even know. I had three glasses of wine during lunch and got so drunk that I was buying knockoff scarves and desserts in a frenzy. It's like when you binge drink on the weekend and then black out and online shop for things that you aren't even close to needing. Except via lunching with wine.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
I don't know if I would have bought this sober but it's so beyond tacky but I love it. It's almost more of a shawl because it's so big and just obnoxiously not even real LV. I wore it on the plane home because it made me feel like that picture of Kanye West asleep under his Louis Vuitton blanket.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
That was me on the plane except incredibly drugged up on Xanax because flying terrifies me. Also, poor and not a rap superstar. Xanax is great, though. Like 30 Rock says, why shouldn't you be afforded the same luxury as a dog? I'm never flying without Xanax ever again. I've screamed in terror on flights before Xanax. Post Xanax? I was just too out of my mind to finish Frozen without falling asleep. I wasn't even thinking about an engine failure plummeting me into the Atlantic ocean. Not even once.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
Back to designer imposter scarves, I genuinely love this polka dot one. I was eyeballing it the whole trip all over the different stands. The vendors kept trying to be like THIS IS CHANEL PRINT, IT IS FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN STORE, CHANEL! Like I'm going to pay 40 euros or something obscene like that for a shottily made scarf because Chanel ones are expensive. Whatever. I bought it. I didn't even know about it's alleged Chanel inspired origins. I'm going to be one pissed off bitch if this one falls apart because I love it so much.

And two more scarves that my mom got me. SCARVES FOR DAYS IN HERE. Italy has really great scarf vendors. I think my mom and I got at least a dozen between the two of us. I couldn't have gone for my more but my rent was like, "Vanessa, I exist."

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
Purple to pink ombre. I love this one. It looks layered and soft and gorgeous on.

Italy shopping Rome Florence Venice street vendor scarf scarves LV Louis Vuitton Chanel knockoff designer notebook BAC Art Studio
This one is triangle shaped and looks extra pretty with the lacey fringe. This style was all over in Italy, in every gift shop there was.

That's all I got. I'm still in the middle of writing up a post about the general incredible things I saw in Italy, all of the art I was #BLESSED to see and the two adoptive babies I got from the Prada outlet. Shopping from the vendors was completely sick, though. I recommend putting yourself into debt and selling all your assets and opening up a high interest credit card if you're going to Italy any time soon. You'll probably shop enough to make it worth your while. Maybe.