Friday, December 30, 2011

friday favorite | Signet Rings

This friday favorite is something (the only thing) that I wear every single day - the signet ring.

I've been long obsessed with signet rings. The history behind them and the way they are passed down from generation to generation. My dad has had one for as long as I remember and maybe that's where the interest comes from.

A signet ring can be engraved and designed to your personal taste, or you can scour vintage stores for ones from the past (if you don't mind wearing someone else's intials). Either way, they can be easily worn with anything and everything, and will quickly become your favorite and most personal piece of jewelry.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

blog of the week | tweaked (green)

This week's "blog of week" comes to you from the ladies of {tweaked (green)}.

tweaked (green) is an energy auditing and green consulting firm for residences and small business that they founded in St. Louis, MO, and this blog shares their findings regarding all things "green". Whether it be decorating, clothes, energy saving tips - Allison Macon and Ashlen Williams know how to blog with style!

I am a big supporter of the green movement, which is what initially drew me to their site. The clean and interesting, tribal-meets-sophisticated aesthetic is kind of what keeps me coming back for more. The color scheme reminds me of a cool drink of water. (Ok, I'll stop.)

Their photography is original and beautiful, just like their company. You can tell how much heart and soul makes up each post. It's easy to see when people are passionate about something, and Allison and Ashlen are passionate about taking care of the world around us without sacrificing up-to-date, modern style.

Anyways, I encourage everyone to check out their site {here} and go unplug your cellphone charger! (My favorite way to conserve energy).

Image credit to tweaked (green)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

art | Chirpin' Bird

"Chirpin' Bird" is not for sale at this time. 

I am in the middle of an idea regarding the color "orange". I found a picture of a diamond bird broach that I absolutely fell in love with. Inspiration comes from the oddest places. Mixing this image with the "color of the week" has been a fun challenge and I feel like I am going to be very happy with the results, once this piece is completed.

P.S. - Below is a painting I did for a friend. She found a picture of her father-in-law that was captured while he was trapped in a fox hole, while reading a prayer book. It is a powerful and emotional photograph, and I had the honor to recreate it as a Christmas gift to her husband. Here is how it turned out:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

inspiration | 15

Orange is a color that I've been drawn to recently. Whether it's because of the dark grey days ahead or the red-and-green overload from the holidays, orange just seems to be warming up all areas of my mind right now.

all image credit can be found on my {pinterest} account

Monday, December 26, 2011

day off

I took the day off today. The day after Christmas is one of my favorite days to wake up early, and then take a naps on my couch all day long. It's a great day to go out for coffee, start a good book, and clean up around the house.

But above all, it is a day to stay in comfy warm clothes and enjoy a peaceful day of rest.

I'll be back tomorrow, filling the week up with a fresh serving of style and inspiration posts. So stay tuned :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

friday favorite | Christmas Cookies

Like I mentioned (before}, I am not crafty. Well - I should probably mention I'm not "bake-y" either. As in, I don't bake things well or often.

But since it's Christmas, and Christmas is a time for miracles, I decided to do something really simple. Dip my favorite cookies (Vanilla Jo-Jo's and Oreos) in melted vanilla and chocolate coating. I also added some crushed peppermint shavings and red sprinkles for a little color.

They're pretty much as easy as making a PB&J, and are very design-friendly. Below are how mine turned out.

My sister also made Christmas cookies last night. She (much more of a baker than I am) made shortbread and put peppermint candies in the center (altering red and green).

I think both of them turned out really well! (And they are so friendly to people like me who would rather watch "A Christmas Story" that get my hands dirty in the kitchen.)

Enjoy the Christmas celebration and have a great holiday weekend, you guys :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

blog of the week | The City Sage

{The City Sage} reminds me of flipping through the best scrapbook ever. A city girl through-and-through, Ann Sage brings to life a collection of images, fashion, and interior decorating inspiration from a multi-dimensional point-of-view. In other words, homegirl is ALL over the place.

That's what I love about her.

She likes what she likes. She can put together a killer color scheme, appreciate interesting design, and publish a sophisticated photo shoot from a high-brow magazine, but still maintains a down-to-earth appeal in every post that she does. (She also has some pretty awesome giveaways!)

Visit her here {The City Sage}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

art | Tangled Lights

"Tangled Lights"

This is a sketch inspired by the mess of christmas lights that were on my family room floor. It's a fun and playful design that has true potential to be turned into a painting or poster to hang around for the holiday season.

Monday, December 19, 2011

bright lights

Whenever we drove home from a family party on Christmas night, my mom used to always remark on how Christmas lights just don't look as bright after Christmas. They seem to be lit from anticipation. Ever since my mom made that observation, I always spend the Christmas season trying to enjoy the Christmas lights as much as possible.

So this week, drive around, enjoy the lights, and the beautiful glow that they cast during these dark winter months. Merry Christmas :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

friday favorite | crazy big orange scarf

A friend from work made me this GIANT orange scarf. It's huge and cozy and warm. It tries to kill me sometimes. Like right now, I'm sitting at my desk (and on half of the scarf), and when I reach to pet my cute dog or pick up something off the floor, my airway is suddenly super closed off. BUT IT'S WORTH IT! I'm in love.

Happy Friday, you guys!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

blog of the week | Simply Breakfast

The "blog of the week" this week is something to give you (and me) a reprieve from the running around. {Simply Breakfast} is a daily reminder to enjoy the very simple act of just starting your day off right. This blog is quiet and serene and the photography is beautiful. I'm not a big lover of breakfast food, but for some reason every recipe that is posted looks appealing.

(They even sell calendars which is a great idea for anyone on your list that loves the first meal of the day).

Sip your coffee or orange juice and enjoy this site. I know you'll love it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

art | The Tea Party

"The Tea Party" is for sale! Please click this {link} if you want to see detailed information about this painting. Leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in purchasing this piece.

This painting has been on my list of things to do for a while. It has been finished for months but for some reason I just felt like I needed to add finishing touches. Well I finally found the time this past weekend.

The colors and fairytale quality makes this piece feel very sentimental to old children's literature. In every book I read or TV show I watched, it always seemed that little girls were having tea parties in big, beautiful forests. I know it's cheesy, but it always sounded so cool. So anywho - there ya go. That was my inspiration. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

inspiration | 14

1. Brooks Brothers tie | 2. Brooks Brothers robe | 3. Sanders Sea Salt Caramels | 4. The Art of Shaving travel set

1. The North Face Women's Nuptse Vest | 2. Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy | 3. Anthropologie scarf | 4. Yankee Candle "White Christmas" candle

1. J.Crew thermal top and pajama bottoms | 2. MarcbyMarcJacobs bangle | 3. "Chance" by Chanel perfume | 4. Anthropologie sweater

1. Nixon Corporal Watch | 2. "Light Blue" by Dolce & Gabbana cologne | 3. Sorel Men's Caribou Boots | 4. Moosejaw Axel Foley "Detroit" hoody

( I do enjoy the holidays, but if you're getting stressed out like I am - watch the video below, get some tinsel, put on a rockin' tune, and dance the stress away.)

(Thanks to {Rue magazine} for the inspiration)

Monday, December 12, 2011

making a list, checking it twice

I really made a vow to myself to try to relax during the holidays this year. But that plan got thrown out the window, when I was invited to go to Florida for the week. This week. I'm leaving on Thursday, so this past weekend was spent making a giant to-do list, and checking the items off one-by-one. My original plan for this holiday season was to put off getting gifts as long as possible. The procrastinator in me agreed. Why do something now when you can do it later?

Well, that has also been added to my giant to-do list. Instead of wasting time at the overcrowded malls, I decided online shopping has been a nice and relaxing alternative in the middle of this tornado of Christmas. I can sit at my desk, (or outside on a clear winter day) find it without stress or worry.

This week is about taking a moment to breathe, looking around and enjoying the holidays. I encourage you to do the same.

Friday, December 9, 2011

friday favorite | homemade christmas bows

My first attempt at being crafty.

There is a difference between being "artsy" and being "crafty". "Artsy" allows you to make mistakes and be messy. "Crafty" is the complete opposite. Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) projects usually require precision, neatness and a follow-the-directions-carefully type approach.

I'll admit, I'm more artsy. One of my new years resolutions is to work on my craft. When I saw {this}, I thought to myself... it can't be THAT hard.

And actually, it wasn't! If you study the pictures carefully and read the directions thoroughly, you will end up creating colorful, handmade Christmas bows. Give it a try!

Have a happy weekend :).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

blog of the week | Cupcakes and Cashmere

All the blogs I've mentioned here (and that I have yet to mention here) are all equal in my book. They all provide me with a ton of inspiration, happiness and motivation to do what I'm doing right now. However, if I had to choose a favorite - {Cupcakes and Cashmere} would definitely be in the running.

Emily Schuman has maintained consistent, daily posts revolving around the topics of food, fashion, and creative projects for over three years now. I first stumbled upon {Cupcakes and Cashmere} when I was an intern at a publishing house in Detroit. It was my first taste of cubicle life, and instantly I needed a creative escape.

I remember when I found it, I went home that night and read each and every post that came before that. It was my first impression of "fashion blogging" and instantly I was hooked. A real girl, my age, is just being herself, yet still is sharing daily inspiration from a seemingly beautiful life.

And a beautiful life, Emily does have. Since I've been reading, she has had partnerships with Forever 21 (I walked by the storefront once, and there she was on a giant poster in the window), designed her own bag with Coach, and most recently paired up with Stylemint as the guest stylist of the month of November.

There is nothing I don't love about this blog. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

art | Spunk and Spark

"Spark and Spunk" is for not for sale currently, but please leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in detailed information about this painting or if you have any questions regarding the creation of your own favorite lyrics.

When I bought six different pink Prismacolor Markers to create this piece, the lady at the art supply store looked at me and said "Girrll!!... WHAT in the WORLD do you need all this pink for?!"

It is inspired by my favorite song by Nicki Minaj ("Your Love"). Even though it's over-the-top girly, I'm really happy with the way it came out and plan on having it matted on a dark pink background and framed in gold.

This was a really fun project, and it was nice to get away from acrylic paint for a minute. Look for more Prismacolor pieces in the future, for sure!

Monday, December 5, 2011

music for every occasion

I listen to a lot of different of music. Most days, my ipod will see a very wide range of styles, genres, and tempos depending on my mood. I grew up listening to records from old Disney movies and classic musicals. Today, while I still love the old stuff, I've been listening to a ton of new stuff. It seems like every day friends and family are giving me CDs to add to my itunes or I'll discover a new radio station that becomes an instant favorite.

This week, I'm getting inspired by music and letting it directly influence my work. Instead of making a playlist to listen to while I paint or clean, I'm collecting all of my favorites - past and present - to see what I can come with and how my musical tastes have changed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

friday favorite | Kate Spade Hedgehog Coin Purse

I make really impulse purchases sometimes.

*slam it on the counter*
*whip out my debit card*
*say "thank you" profusely to whomever is ringing me up*
(speaking to the object of purchase): "LOVE IT!.... I love this!"

And then I walk out of the store, look in my bag and think "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!"

WELL! This was definitely NOT one of those purchases.

Deborah Lloyd (creative director at Kate Spade) created {this coin purse} as an ode to her home country of England, where apparently hedgehogs are as common as black squirrels in Michigan. They are also a sign of good luck!

To me, I see this as something I will pass along to my grandchildren one day. When I'm long gone, they're going to open up a box and think "WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?!" and will fall in love with it, just as I have.

Meanwhile, I'm still alive - so I will enjoy it this weekend!

Happy Friday, you guys!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

blog of the week | Whitney Port

A little known fact about me is that I have a major obsession with Whitney Port. You may remember her from "The Hills" and "The City". Well, I have been keeping major tabs on her since then. 

{Whitney Port's blog} is filled with personal photos of her family, music she likes, designs she's working on and the progression of her career in fashion.  She has a line called Whitney Eve, which I'm a huge fan of, and is growing steadily in popularity.

Her style is comparable to a Carrie Bradshaw.  It's risky, yet wearable.  She mixes and matches the most random things in the most interesting ways. Her choices are always off-beat and exciting. 

She seems super down to earth and a girl you would want to hang out with on the weekends. I can honestly say I try to copy her style more than anyone else. 

Check out {my pinterest board} to see more looks of Whitney Port sprinkled in with other people that I love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

art | Some Things

"Some Things" is for sale! Please click {this} link if you want to see detailed information about this painting. Please leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in purchasing this piece.)

This was a difficult piece to edit. My sketchbooks are filled with black and white drawings of things around my room. That's what I do when I'm bored, or waiting for a page to load on my tired old Mac computer. Picking a collection and placing them in a way that I was happy with was very hard. I still might play with the layout but I'm (for the most part) happy with the way it turned out.

I think it speaks to any mind that is oftentimes cluttered. A framed picture of royalty in the corner, a map of city streets, an (empty) coffee cup, a dandelion - these are things that fill up the everydays.

Here's a quote that inspired the idea this week:

Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

inspiration | 12

Like I mentioned yesterday, this week I've drawn inspiration from the things I've found in my room, house or other comfortable and familiar surroundings.

photo credit to {Cupcakes and Cashmere}

This is the poem by John Keets I found in my chemistry notebook from high school!