If you are a blogger in the mental health realm, then you know Ashley from Mental Health @ Home. Ashley is a pillar in the blogosphere known for her daily support of other bloggers. She is informative, engaged, and as authentic as they come. She shares her experience as a mental health care nurse from the perspective of the patient as she suffers from treatment resistant Major Depressive Disorder.
Ashley is currently hospitalized and her treatment has been traumatic to say the least. She has access to a computer and has updated us on her circumstances. Please send healing and positive vibes her way and let’s flood the reader and the internet in support of her! How? You may ask. Well, to participate save the graphic below and post it to all of your media! A simple gesture in support of someone who has supported us all.
A fun flashback to 2018 detailing R.O.E.’s categories.
I am always trying to think of ways to make my blog stand out in a sea of blogs but also wanting to invent trendy ways of bringing blogs together.
The first example of this was by creating my own niche. I did this in an effort to make those of us who discuss many topics feel a sense of belonging. Having a niche topic works for some and for those of us that feel it limits us, I now offer the unconventional lifestyle niche. Please feel free to label your site as so if this fits your style!! I would be so honored.
That led me to decide on An Introduction, which will be a brief intro to the categories within my blog. So… I must backtrack and present to you the ones that have been established thus far here on R.O.E. and also introduce a new category.
Personal growth & goals
This is a category created to document the efforts and tools put into place for my personal growth. I am passionate about this category. It is in its infancy as am I. 2019 is my year to focus on uncovering and revealing the true me. It will be a raw experience with the hopes of life-changing results.
I do wonder if I will get anything out of it, I must admit. I am also hesitant about the vulnerability that comes with it but I trust my readers with my crazy, so to speak. We shall see. If it feels like too much I will slow my roll.
Planning & Organization
Each of the categories is pretty self-explanatory. Having co-occurring illnesses it is vital to living with a daily routine/schedule. This helps keep surprises at bay and allows for preparation, mental, for changing environments.
Less clutter has been proven to be a good thing for our mental health. Eliminating the chaos from our immediate surrounds gives us the opportunity to be productive. Clutter is a distraction and can increase anxiety. Over the course of a year, I plan to organize every aspect of my life. This will require a plan.
Thanks to social media, I discovered what I have done all along now has a name and a community. It is called creative planning and if you like crafty things, you will love creative planning! Stay tuned to find out more.
Mental Health & Recovery
It is what it says. Anything having to do with mental health, substance abuse, alcoholism, bipolar, OCD, healthy tips, and tricks, etc. This category is one that is personal to my heart and my life. I am diagnosed bipolar 1, anxiety, and OCD. I received my diagnosis in January 2017 after living 38 years in complete disarray.
I noticed when I wanted to acknowledge a holiday that the post didn’t have a category so I created one! (Surprised?). Holiday Greeting is for those posts wishing my readers a day of enjoyment.
R.O.E. Need To Know
This category is for information regarding this blog. Anything related specifically to the operations, simple additions and information I decide to share about this site with my readers. My curiosity leaves me wondering about the how to’s and why’s in life and I established this category for those of you who may be curious like me. 🙂
Creative and Collective
This is a new category that I haven’t published a post for but I am excited to bring it to R.O.E. When this site (not R.O.E., long story) was first established it was dedicated to exploring my creative side. While I don’t consider it a fail I felt boxed into a niche that I wasn’t familiar with. I didn’t want to scrap the entire idea rather integrate my newfound hobbies.
It is here I will discuss my handmade products and boast about the things that I collect. These items include paper, vintage ephemera, purses, and glasses. We all have small things that bring big joy to our lives and these are mine.
More to Come…
A few more will be added and with them, come an introduction. I created a category menu that can be found at the bottom of the site. Click on one of them and it will take you to the posts that have been categorized under the listed category. I used the social menu to create these category menus and that added them to the top of my site as well. They showed up as WordPress logo buttons instead of the category name. You can use those as well.
If this idea inspires you to create a menu similar to mine, I encourage you to do so. If you decide to classify your blog as An Unconventional Lifestyle blog, link to this or any other post so I can check it out.
These days (sigh), achieving an aestheticlook is all the rage #trending. The social media King Kong, Instagram, dominates this trend with personal and business accounts marketing products or sharing life’s snapshots in abundant variation, however, Instagram’s popularity wasn’t instant. Ironically, once Facebook began offering advertising opportunities (inadvertently, I assume) a shift occurred creating a spike in Instagram account holders.
Instagram’s simple format boasts the art of photography, eliminating the unnecessary Facebook became. As the platform quadrupled in users, account owners began to up the ante making their entire account cohesive in design. This technique caught on like wildfire and the rest is graphic design history. Entrepreneurs and chain store moguls saw an opportunity to promote their brand using simple product images with on-brand color schemes, fitting within a square 1080×1080 frame.
Que marketersand opportunists alike
Although IG takes home the trophy for this viral design trend, bloggers assist in keeping the trend ablaze. Being a photo hobbyist for the majority of my life, I was instantly drawn to flat lay photography when I stumbled into the blogosphere. Many bloggers refer to this style of photography as stock photography.
*If you are interested in the differences between the two, click on the term(s) for exact definitions but if you are a hobbyist like myself, technicalities are details that do not apply.
UPCYCLE COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, SAVE MONEY, AND LEAVE MAKE YOUR MARK.
Everywhere we look, we are met with design. Our individual preferences attribute man or nature for such displays of jaw-dropping design. Whether it is the intricate details carved in a handmade wooden pipe or monuments chiseled on a mountainside, one thing is for certain; design evokes emotion.
Design encompasses shapes, color, positioning, font, and stuff. It has long been known by marketers that there is some psychology behind colors and the emotion they evoke.
As someone who fancies design, I made the decision to establish a cohesive aesthetic for my online presence *cue the ingenuity economical* that could double as my home decor. Unfortunately, my love of pretty, shiny things isn’t a good enough cause for money to rain down on me so that I may indulge in one of my numerous passions. Whoomp, whoomp!
There is always a but…and a glimmer of hope!! If you are a penny pincher, by choice or not, this post is for you!! If you are bored and beg for inspiration to hit you, use this post as a guide to design a life that aesthetically pleases you!! I guarantee you will be glad you did!
Before we begin I want to offer some advice: TAKE YOUR TIME. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it OR up-cycle it by giving it a fresh coat of paint. You do not have to splurge and implement all in a day. Shit…I began late 2017 and here I am in 2020 with good direction yet not completion. I have added to the mix, removed and returned, moved decor all over the house only to decide it to be a perfect fit for the porch. Each day I make small progress toward achieving an aesthetic look that doubles as on-brand photography for my website while serving a purpose in my home. I call that a bases-loaded, two strikes, two balls, out-of-the-park home run (I forget the short version of such) win-win!!
Below I have attempted to outline how I approached this feat but if you come up with more clever ideas or an easier way things can be done, by all means do so.
I. Website Content
The first step is to determine if your website content is or going to be used for personal expression or for business purposes.
Dependent on your choice and the message you want to convey, this is where you make the hardest decision of the entire process (imo).
A.Choose a color scheme
If you are designing a business website this is called branding (it is much more than deciding on a color scheme). If your site will be used for personal expression, as a photo gallery, or for connection purposes, decide how you would like to be represented using color.
Pinterest is full of helpful material in regard to this topic. You will find a plethora of detailed information but beware, there is an overwhelming amount! Proceed with caution! For all intents and purposes, I will provide you with a few that I found helpful. The chart below is for website design where colors are represented by code, not by name. The chart has the names of the color with its code out beside it. One is the RGB code and the other is the CMYK.
II. Prop Sourcing
A. Pictorial Content
Whether you choose to blog using an informal format or a professional one, your website design and graphics should scream you. Adding graphics is the perfect way to enhance your content and keep your readers interested. It breaks up the monotony of words and presents your readers with a visual tool. If you want to really impress your following, add a video that pertains to your post.
Talk about bonus points!! That sets the bar for catering to your audience and their individual learning styles!
Please do not fall into the trap of thinking you must have camera x or super expensive lighting. I use my phone for taking my photos and good ole sunlight for lighting. It doesn’t get any better than that, although, unforgiving shadows can become a challenge but don’t allow that to stand in your way! Get in there and click from all different angles to find the perfect shot. There are thousands of photo editing apps available and my personal recommendation is to choose one filter that you use on every pic you post. Doing so will contribute to your overall aesthetic.
Okay, quick checklist…
✔ You have made your decision concerning the message you want to share with others (content).
✔ You have chosen your color palette (branding).
Now it is time to turn to your home for props. Use your immediate surroundings as a source for inspiration. Chances are, if you know enough about a topic to dedicate a website to it or invest time and money into creating a business, you have plenty of props at your disposal.
Using a white surface or background enriches the quality of your images. It will assist in presenting your products in a consistent and clean fashion. White gives you the freedom to add seasonal colors or on-brand colors without distracting from the product itself. You will find that having a white background helps with lighting as well.
• for any business, office supplies are the perfect, on-hand prop there is!
• showcase products that are sold on your site. Photograph individual products to give yourself a backup of ready-to-go snapshots. Surround your product with seasonally themed decor to add a more personable touch.
• dig for any old home decor that you may have stored away like picture frames, organizing bins, boxes, old books…I could go on forever. If it doesn’t fit your color scheme, paint it!!
• grab and pile pillows with cases that match your personality. Add a blanket, light a few candles, and an open book. Shoot the photo from above, landscape, and edit.
• place your laptop on your desk or any flat surface. Stage by adding a coffee mug and seasonal flowers.
• for showcasing your creative side, snap a photo using your supplies.
III. Create graphic images
Canva makes it easier than ever to create your own website graphics. If you have never heard of or used this app, GET IT!! It is a blogger’s best friend! They offer a free version and a paid-for premium version. I’ll give you a quick rundown of how it works (the free version).
• snap a pic
•choose a template or use the blank option formatted for the platform of desired use
•upload your snapshot. Adjust by using a filter, adding on-brand fonts, scale the transparency and much more
•title your image. Don’t forget to add a brief description of your custom graphic image for the visually impaired (alt-text)
•download your masterpiece or share it directly from the app
•insert your design into your post, poem, lead page, email header, or share it on social media
•Bam! You are done!!
>Pro Tip: make sure to add the name of your business or the name of your personal site to each graphic image you design. I place mine in the title. This optimizes marketing efforts and SEO. On WordPress and Pinterest, once you have uploaded your graphic design, you can link the image back to your site or anywhere you would like to take your reader.
Even if you choose to not do your own photography, Canva is a useful tool that formats social media, email, and website graphics but it also formats your designs for at home printing OR you can order prints from the printing service it offers!!
I am not an affiliate for Canva but I personally recommend it.
It is my hope that you draw inspiration from this post. The list here is short, indeed, but keeping things simple seems to push me to achieve such a feat. This began as a photo prop journey and has helped me to change the way I see things. Doing so has opened up a world of possibilities! Repurposing household items that I have acquired multiples of, has significantly reduced clutter and surprisingly added ease of access. It has challenged me to think outside of the box while adding a spark of pride for my creations.
If you give it a go,let me know!! Much love, y’all!!
Me, Mentally is an artwork series sharing creations made by yours truly!
Hey, Hi, Hooooo!! Whaddup, y’all?
In an attempt to overcome my fear of inadequacy, I have begun Me, Mentally, an art series that describes parts of my illnesses that I may be learning to accept, come to terms with, cope…explore.
If you know what’s going on around here, lmk 😉!!
When I sat down to create this piece I gave myself permission to use red in a way that accentuates a female.When I create or brainstorm creative ideas, they are generally fashionista inspired. I am an undercover fashion designer but I have settled for a trend setter…meh. It is no secret, Revenge of Eve is the mastermind of an empowered, lost woman.
Personal insight: growing up we were raised to believe that when a woman wears red it connotates that she is a whore. No, shit. I am for real and guess who’s favorite color is red?? One guess. Yup, mine.
We were not allowed to wear red nail polish. Red lipstick…pst get outta here with that, although, I got away with it wearing performance make up for dance (and painted my toenails 😂 I’ve always been a rebel)!
When I enrolled in my second year of college, I wrote a paper on how color is used to represent certain types of people, further supporting my father’s conformity. Color misrepresentation is more common than some realize and for some reason, my quirky brain picked up on this…and obsesses over it.
Red and blue are two colors I would never pair. I don’t know if it is because it’s patriotic or what but the colors are not two that I particularly care for. So I did it. I pushed past – what may sound ridiculous – barriers. And guess what?!?!? I LOVE IT!
The backdrop is a vintage photo casing. Back in my day…😂😂😂 you would order family photos through a photographer who used hideous carpet and wallpaper to enhance the experience…and charged an arm and leg for the service. This is an 8×10 cover that adorned your order, framing a photo. I will soon add papers to it and make it a notebook/scrapbook/junk journal.
Pushing through fears
It may sound ridiculous to some of you – the wiring of my brain – believe me, I question it too. But when I create, I don’t. I just do and if I am honest, it comes together into something I’ve grown fond of; my style. **I hope to soon have my first series of journals for sale. There will be 12 available. The series is a complete set with the 13th journal in which I will keep. It has been in the process of being made over the course of six months. I cannot wait to present them to you all ready for shipping 🙂
Oh, one more thang…
I’ve hinted toward the possibility of me having a secret and today I am excited to share that, I, have a boyfriend!! 🙂 It’s been scary but he has made the most of helping me through this transition period from single to in a relationship status. I don’t social media as many of you may know so I figured I could drop a few more personal bombs to keep my voice as human as possible.
What does this mean?
The one idea that keeps me drawn to Nate is his persistence that I create. He supports my healing and encourages communication. Yeah, I said that. He is kinda big deal and I haven’t been the easiest – I’m sure that surprises many of you 😉 but…I am learning some extremely ugly truths about myself but I am accepting them for what they are. Having survived a psychologically abusive home, a physically abusive and substance-abusing environment throughout my adulthood, I decided to cut my losses with the attachments I held with these toxic cycles.
My resistance is weakening and my mental capacity is expanding. It is expanding for growth, for wellness, and for non-biased opinions. Cheers to letting my freak flag fly!😂😂😂😂 no, but seriously, I am learning to fit into someone else life whereas it’s been the opposite experience for me. He has cleared out drawer space, a whole room for my creating space, closet and cabinet space…his home; to accommodate me and my presence. Yes, I am in the process of moving into his home. Eek!!
Not that it is necessary but I will calm any fears any of you may be screaming. We have been together for almost three months. No, not extremely long but I have battled the decision to take this leap and live with him and I decided it is a must for him, me, and us as a couple.
Bringing awareness can feel like a losing battle but one courageous model used the platforms of all platforms to share her opinion on a fashion tycoons runway wear.
Some legit shit!
I’ve not ever mentioned my love of fashion here on Revenge of Eve simply because it isn’t life like it used to be. Starting from an early age, runway shows have a tendency to mesmerize me. It is the extreme, outlandish fashion flaunted on the catwalk and the illusion it gives that leaves me wanting more from fashion moguls across the world. Competition is fierce as designers attempt to outshine, shock, and impress the world with one-of-a-kind designs that will never see sight of a department store rack.
Catwalk after catwalk, designers push the boundaries, using the runway as their canvass. Some boldly share their opinion about political issues while others declare non bias toward worldly epidemics. Models are paid to enhance the designers artwork by simply being beautiful and skinny, let’s not forget, too skinny. In the world of fashion and design the scene is interpreted as chaotic, neurotic, and before you know it; over. It isn’t typical behavior for models to express their personal opinions about a designers message yet one brave model has.
Fashion & Fame
InStyle.com reports the latest fashion show stopper as, ” Ayesha Tan-Jones, a model who was cast in the show, opted to peacefully protest while in front of the cameras. Before stepping out, the model wrote “Mental health is not fashion” on the palms of their hands using black ink, sending a powerful message to both the world and one of the most prestigious fashion houses out there.” Tan-Jones walked the catwalk all the way to the bank but not before sharing her message in protest of Gucci’s straightjacket ensemble.
She further took to Instagram with the following message,
I don’t think her response could’ve been any more direct and appropriate. A subtle yet effective way to #dodifferent all the while in support of those who suffer with the drudgery that is mental health stigmata. As for Gucci’s response to the models act of rebellion, his creative director had this to say, the collection wasn’t meant to be disrespectful, but was actually, “about humanity and uniforms. A uniform is something that blocks and constrains you-that makes you anonymous. That makes you follow the direction of travel.” And according to Gucci himself, straightjackets “are the highest type of uniform.”.
As someone who struggles daily, living with co-occurring disorders, yet someone who respects fashion designers statement pieces, I must say I am with the model on this one. While Gucci’s vision was directed toward the culture acceptance, almost implied, of normal, the models bravery to use the platform of all platforms in support of mental health awareness is hands down the most support the mental health community has received in the media. The medias misrepresentation of sufferers has impacted those diagnosed with mental illness for far too long. The stigma attached shadows individuals adding to the weight of an already misunderstood invisible illness.
Its time we #shatterthestigma and band together. Like I said y’all, a #mentalmovement is on the rise and I can’t thank you enough for being a brave #fellowfighter and for owning your story by sharing your experience with others. Some times it is the silence that speaks the loudest in a media-lit, money driven, chaotic environment. All you have to do is take a stance.
Proper props to: InStyle and Instagram. Getty Images too.