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Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Hello, everyone!
Took a little bit of a social media hiatus for a week, but I guess I failed to mention that to all of you! Haha, sorry for the unexplained disappearance, but between actually traveling back to the States and then getting semi-settled over here, there wasn’t much time or energy left for blogging. Okay, so I probably could have managed a tweet or two, but just trust me that the break will make a much more sane and well-adjusted blogger in the long run.
In my absence, a lot has happened both in regards to Nine to Phive and in Josh’s and my life in general. Let’s get right to it! News and life changes for all!

1. May 17th was the one-year anniversary of the birth of Nine to Phive!

Sorry about the anti-climactic lack of celebration, but for us the immense gift of returning home after our five months abroad was celebration enough. Here’s hoping that Nine to Phive features a lot of new content to interest both artists and art-lovers worldwide in the years to come.

Coincidentally, the 17th is also the anniversary of Josh’s and my first date back when we were babies in 11th grade 🙂

2. The winner of our Spring Giveway and a 25$ gift card to Hobby Lobby is Julianne Elizabeth Singh!

Congrats, Julianne! Hope your new materials from Hobby Lobby will enable you to enjoy a bunch of creative projects this summer.

Keep an eye out for Nine to Phive’s Summer Giveaway!

3. The winner of the Who Did It Better? poll for “Somebody That I Used to Know” is Gotye and Kimbra!

I guess sometimes you just can’t compete with the original. What’s interesting is how popular this song turned out to be back here in the US when our class had discovered it and bonded over it all the way over in Spain. 
Another thing to be on the lookout for is our next Who Did It Better? poll.

4. Josh and I are back in Rochester!

Sort of. At the moment, we are both working at Roberts–he in maintenance and I at the library–but we are actually living in not-so-nearby Canandaigua with my grandparents until our apartment becomes available in July. We each have an hour-long commute to and from work! To make things more confusing and stressful, Josh now has a job offer with the gas companies back in PA for double what he’s making now. Hmm, pay off our debts or live in the same city this summer? *Sigh* a choice I am definitely not thrilled about making.

5. My parents’ house back in PA is on the market!

It’s only a matter of time before they sell that puppy and move into some new digs in Rochester while my Dad works on his doctorate. It’s so exciting to think that after months of living thousands of miles away from them, Josh and I will be a stone’s throw away from family this next semester.

6. This is the 300th post written for Nine to Phive!

All 300 posts haven’t quite been published just yet, but that means you have a lot to look forward to this summer!

7. Also, we just hit 30,000 views!

Wahoo!

For Your Inspiration: Where News Comes From

The advert below premiered in London at the end of February, and Josh and I got to watch it along with several other kick-butt previews and public service announcements when we went to see A Dangerous Method in a hipster Soho theater complete with bar and lounge. It was an awesome experience! Too bad we were too tired to really enjoy it.

The movie was very interesting. I shy away from saying “good” because it was a smidge disturbing, but very artistic, compelling and well-done. On the other hand, I’d really like to talk about this ad for The Guardian because it reminds me of everything that I love about journalism.

Behind every story is a hundred other stories shaping opinions and actions throughout the world.

The journalism industry isn’t as much about producing a finalized piece as it is sparking a conversation. If a day comes when people don’t have anything to say about the stories and perspectives you are bringing to the world, that is probably the day you should stop being a journalist.

I’m so excited for my future as an author and so grateful for my job with Thalo magazine!

In other news, journalism is also the worst failing industry in the world. Thank you, Mr. Economic Crisis. I’ll show you!

Spain in the News

Photo credit

I’ve been reading the New York Times lately. I feel that’s a good hobby for an aspiring author to pick up, don’t you? Well, it just so happens that when I went to the NYT website (yeah, we’re on a nickname basis), the first post under “Travel” was about Spain, the first post under “Art” was about Spain, and the first post under “Most Popular Right Now” was about Spanish!

I figure it’s a sign. You should all read (or skim) these articles to learn about the waves that little old Spain is making in the world at large.

Prado Researcher Finds Insights Beneath Copy of Mona Lisa

The Benefits of Bilingualism

Minorca: Off the Coast of Spain is a Tranquil Biosphere Reserve

I really do love this country, but in a sense very different from how I love the US. The cultural, economical, and academic activity here is buzzing and exciting but relaxed and in no rush.

That being said, I would never live here, haha. More specifics about these sentiments after we get home.

World’s Youngest Fashion Designer

Twelve-year-old Cecilia Cassini was only ten when she first showcased at New York City’s Fashion Week 2010 in Bryant Park. After receiving her first sewing machine as a sixth birthday present, Cecilia made unique dresses which several professional adults assured her “did not match.”

Cecilia’s mom, however, believed in her and decided to show several of her daughter’s pieces to a boutique owner in Sherman Oaks, California (near the Cassini family’s LA home.) Apparently the shop owner was so impressed by the pieces that he hosted a trunk show featuring Cecelia. The sale was a complete sell-out, and a fashion career was born.

I actually love this look on Bella Thorne

I’ve been following Cecilia on and off since fashion DIY blog Chic Steals featured a post about the release of her first collection. She has  debuted at Fred Segal and collaborated at Ugg Australia. She even has the dreamy distinction of designing clothing for starlets such as Miley Cyrus, Heidi Klum, Brooke Shields, and Bella Thorne. When asked about her aspirations, Cecilia says she sees herself showcasing at every fashion week around the world in the future. Also, she wants to make a dress for Lady Gaga.

Although Cecilia’s career has been going as well as any junior-high fashionista could hope, her press has involved a pretty even mix of rave reviews and caustic criticism.

Even back in October of 2010, a story about her surfaced on Gawker.com describing her as “unbearably precocious.” Contributor Richard Lawson states in the harsh article,

“Look, I’m sure that Cecilia is a perfectly nice child who does perfectly nice things and leads a perfectly nice life. But her presence on this show was just so terrifyingly trying to be adult — not in the cute-ish way that all kids try, in a ‘I’ve studied playback of The Hills for months’ way.”

Lawson’s argument (and the argument of bloggers and YouTube commenter’s worldwide) is that Cecilia’s childhood has been truncated by the fashion industry. 

Is childhood dead for youngsters breaking into the fashion, film, and even music industries? Or is this just a phenomenon that the “appearance-obsessed” designers and showcasers of fashion have imposed on young girls and boys?


Or is there no problem at all? Are people like Lawson overreacting?

To quote my husband (because he is an expert, lol), “I think being in the public eye encourages an unhealthy self concept. Most children don’t have the decision-making capabilities or the strong sense of identity needed to determine what is important. What’s important for children is to learn who they are, how to respect themselves, and how to respect others. A lot of children and adults in pop culture fall into the trap of ‘oh, this is all about me and my talent.’ There is a lack of responsibility and respect–the things that children need to be learning to develop as they grow up.”

Remember the summer 2011 French Vogue controversy with 10-year-old model Thylane Blondeau?

 This is a good point. Being involved in fashion can be dangerous for any person of any age who has a lack of responsibility and self-respect. These are the girls who will do anything to “be good enough” for the industry. They often end up with eating disorders and other self-destructive behaviors in an attempt to either fit in or stand out.

Not to say that girls (and guys) of all ages can struggle with these issues, but the emotional immaturity of children like Cecilia can certainly make them more susceptible.

What does the Wintour-wannabe herself have to say on the topic?

“I still want to look like a young girl,” she says, “I love booties. They’re not too grown-up looking, and the heel is just high enough that I feel like I am wearing a high heel but still look appropriate for [my age].”

Let’s hope that Cecilia is reflecting her attitude accurately and that she is not missing out on the opportunity to “be a kid” and develop healthy habits before getting lost in the world of fashion, media, and pop culture.

What I Wore: Warm and Worn-In

Thrifted sweater, DIY vest, American Eagle jeans, White Stag earrings, Payless boots, nasty roots

This is the outfit I wore to Segovia last weekend.

Its comfy cuteness was scarcely seen because I kept it tucked inside my puffy winter coat and accompanied by gloves. These items were shed solely for the purpose of photos. I can do anything for five minutes, right?

Stay tuned for:

  • The rest of the modeling pics I promised
  • The rest of the pics of Segovia I forgot
  • Pics from today’s trip to Salamanca
  • More frumpy outfits designed to keep me warm in this tundra
  • The turnout of my awkward hair situation

Get Discovered on Nine to Phive!

Would you like to see an ad for your blog, product, or service featured on Nine to Phive.net?

So would I! The blogging and art communities are very important to me. If your blog or small business is related to art, fashion, faith, travel, etc., here are two ways that you can sponsor Nine to Phive:

Design an ad with one of the following sets of dimensions and send it to ninetophive@yahoo.com:

(250×150) or 2”x3.5”
(145×145) or 2”x2”
OR

Just send me a photo in the correct dimensions, and I will gladly create an ad for you.

We can discuss pricing options, or we can just arrange a swap! You feature my ad on your blog and I will feature yours as long as you do.

Email me if you are interested!