Thursday, December 27, 2012

small packages

The best gifts always have these two things in common - 1.) They must be beautifully, carefully, and personally wrapped. 2.) They must things that the receiver would want, but would never buy themselves.

I never follow these rules. I'm a "throw it in a bag & give them a gift card" kinda gal. But this year, I tried being an adult and a better gift-giver.

I took some time and bought specific yarn for the bows, stamps for the labels, and classic brown paper for the wrapping.

However, the gifts I gave paled in comparison to the gifts I was given. Above is a sample of what I received from my sisters. The nailpolish, the lipstick and the perfume are all things I lust at, but usually leave it somewhere random on it's trip up to the register.

I'm glad my sisters picked up them behind me ;)

Monday, December 24, 2012

merry christmas

I hope you're listening to some Christmas carols, watching "Home Alone", or wrapping presents, spending time with your loved ones, or enjoying the day.

Time to get off your phone or computer and enjoy these fleeting moments.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

places to go | BHLDN

First of all, my hair was reacting poorly to the damp weather in Chicago over this past weekend. Total. Lion. Mane.

Second of all, I don't want anyone to freak out - I'm not looking at wedding dresses. I've been a fan of {BHLDN} since it's launch about 2 years ago. So while I was in the area, I figured there was no issue with popping in for a 5-minute browse.

Yes, the dresses were BEYOND gorgeous, but what's not pictured is the beautiful party dresses, shoes, gifts, and accessories. If you're in the Chicago area, it's totally worth checking out. And if you're not, visit the {BHLDN website} and enjoy :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

selfish desires

Has anyone else had a REALLY HARD TIME denying buying for themselves this holiday season!? Granted, yes, I have completed my Christmas shopping list, but DEAR GOD it was a challenge to put the blinders on for all of the great things I came across while doing so.

So to treat myself, I made two online purchases today. {This print} and {this top} was totally on sale, so it was totally justified, meh?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

off to | Chicago

Today is a very important day! I have finished my Christmas shopping (Thank you, William Sonoma)! Just in time to begin a million other things that need to get accomplished before December 25th.

One of which is a family trip to Chicago. We leave tomorrow and I haven't even begun packing, but that's what big coats are for right? So I basically wear the same outfit the whole weekend without fear of judgement?

Have a warm and cozy weekend, everyone! Happy Holidays :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

playlist for productivity

With Christmas just around the corner, projects that need tweaking, and shopping that needs to get done - it's easy to pull the covers over your head and just give up.

I pride myself on the playlists I create to elicit a certain mood and this is one I created for productivity. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Monday, December 10, 2012

the year ahead

It's only December 10th and I already have my new year's resolution figured out - "More original work".

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE creating custom pieces for family, friends and even complete strangers (like I have done over the past year). But it seems that I've overbooked myself, so week after week, I've left little-to-no time for my own creative expression.

Whether it be taking photos or painting with no plan in mind - these types of things have taken a backseat.

I've always been one to say, "I don't care what I'm painting, so long as I'm painting!" which is still absolutely true. But painting, creating, art'ing is also a form of personal therapy, and I need to therapize on my own time with my own ideas more often. (Man, I just completely made up two words in the last sentence.)

I hope you all understand! Please still email, text and call me with requests - I will excitedly and happily oblige - but it might just take a little bit longer to work you in to this new schedule! And who knows, maybe you'll see something you like with all the new ideas I've come up with for the new year :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

color love | pink + rust

Winter is a sad time for pastels. I have this pair of mint-colored denim that are basically weeping and shivering in the back of my closet.

However, when I went shopping at J.Crew this afternoon, I found myself still drawn to the lighter colors. Mixing it with a "dirtier" pastel (such as rust) can warm it up a little bit! (P.S. How cute would this color scheme for a autumn or winter wedding?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

shop i love | Baba Souk

1. {Have Mercy Poster}

This Christmas season is going to be a busy one - a combination of finishing projects for others, as well as two weekend trips out of town planned, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed (especially in the gift department).

Thank god {Baba Souk} launched it's retail site just in time for Christmas. The curator and creator of the site, Stephanie Hebert, is a graphic designer that I stumbled across and quickly became a fan of. Here aesthetic is so closely related to my own, that I feel like I've found a kindred Canadian spirit.

I urge you to check out her shop {here}. (Psst - Everything I've found above is under $50!)

Monday, December 3, 2012

the way you make me feel

It's always an artist's goal to make you feel their piece - no, like REALLY feel it. Like, they want you to know what it feels like. Gah - I'm not making myself very clear.

Texture - people! Working with techniques in order to make a painting look and FEEL a certain way can be a daunting task. But I like to simplify it. Manipulating the paint in order to mimic a certain light pattern is the way I go about creating texture.

Basically, I look at the texture and say to myself "Oh! It's a little dark here and here and here, it gets lighter there and there, and then it's REALLY light here." Talking to yourself is an extremely necessary part of this process (as with any process).

P.S. Here's a little surprise of all of you! This week only! Click {this link} to see what I'm talking about!

Image source: 12 | 3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

and | &

I purchased {this ampersand} over the weekend, therby solidifying my obsession with my favorite character.

For me, it's a not-so-obvious way to show that I am an "and". I'm not one to hang pictures of me and my boyfriend around my room, or shout about our relationship from the rooftops. This is my (weird) way of displaying "us" in my own space.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a little of this, a little of that

I always come up with the best ideas and find tbe best inspiration when I'm at work (thank god for Pinterest!) and I always seem to execute them really late at night. Here are two perfect examples!

To the left - a late night sketch that made me laugh. To the right - {a color palette} that would've sent me directly to a canvas, if I wasn't sitting at work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the kids are alright

Kids have it right when it comes to fashion. I often envy their outfits - they're always comfortable, always washable, and always kind of daring. I pull inspiration from them here-and-there, and usually try to mimic some of the elements in my own wardrobe, trying my best not to look like a four-year-old.

Man, I wish I could rock those pigtails, though.

image source: {here}

Monday, November 19, 2012

art | Pink Giraffe

Pink and green has never been one of my favorite color combos. It's so expected and a tad over done. However, when the daughter of a woman that owns our local Lily Pulitzer shop commissions a piece of art - I knew I had to get over my distaste for the pairing.

And quickly I did. Above is the inspiration board and as you can see - bringing in cooler greens, and brighter pinks makes me much more "me". I hope Mary-Kate loves it as much as I do. And I thank her for opening my eyes to this new palette .

Below is the finished product - A pink giraffe, and the letter "M".

Thursday, November 15, 2012

style icon | jenna lyons

Whenever I read anything about Jenna Lyons, I'm immediately struck at how confident and how frickin' cool she is.

I know you can say this about a lot of people, but there's just something about rocking thick-framed glasses, a slick ponytail and a totally mismatched, but fashion-forward ensemble that just makes utterly impressed. Check out her on the J.Crew tumblr {here} and YouTube some of her interviews when you get a chance. Totally worth it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

dear, future home

1. {Farm Little Table} from ZaraHome
2. {Paisley Pillow} from ZaraHome
3. {Lucky Strike Pillow} from Jonathan Adler
4. {Orange Lacquer Cubes} from Jonathan Adler

I'm starting to think about my future living room. Not the room that I will probably have (filled with mismatched furniture passed on from family and friends), but the living room that I'm working towards. Collecting one piece at a time ensures that this goal of a beautiful home will be achieved, partially for now, entirely down the road.

I already know my design aesthetic - it falls directly between modern and traditional. I love the comfort of overstuffed furniture and neutral colors, mixed with a splash of color and bold shapes. Above are a couple of pieces that have caught my eye, pulled at my heart strings and my savings account.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

oh, hi!

Don't worry! I did not abandoned you, blog. In fact, in the past week I've grown to appreciate you more. Pretty ironic that my last post was about not giving up. Believe me - I haven't. Work has taken a front seat but I'm ready to work hard to balance the two - my daytime job & my nighttime job (aka painter, pinterest'er, blogger, etc.).

I really missed the challenge of posting regularly so I'm back and ready to tell you what I've been up to!

I created this piece for my friends, Jeff & Sara Snow. Jeff was in town over this past weekend from their new home in Colorado so I worked a couple late nights to finish this on time! I'm kind of obsessed with this piece. I'm probably going to recreate one for myself.

Last Thursday, I spent my afternoon painting in Moosejaw's shop window. It was a really fun experience that I'm going to do again in the next couple weeks. The finished result is on the right-hand side. The painting is currently hanging in the Detroit pop-up shop! Check it out if you're down there!

I've been getting some great experience helping out with photoshoots. Styling, playing the models' hair, and annoying photographers - it's a lot more fun that I ever thought it could be and I would jump at more opportunities like this!

Monday, November 5, 2012

this is all i need to hear

The most gracious people in my life offer a lot of advice - but sometimes this is all I need to hear. It usually comes from my own intuition.

Friday, November 2, 2012

moosejaw in detroit

I rarely post anything super personal on this blog because I want to keep it as close to an inspiration blog as possible. But today, I can't resist.

I work at Moosejaw Mountaineering, which is a Detroit-based online retailer for outdoor apparel, gear, etc. We also have a few store locations (mostly in Michigan) and just recently opened a pop-up shop in Detroit for the holiday season.

If you live in the area, I urge you to visit! I'm very proud to be part of a company that is pro-Detroit and implement cool ideas like this!

I'm also pro any company that designates an area above the bathroom for me to draw on. I started at the V.I.P. party last night, and will continue the narrative of the snake eating an ice cream as the holiday season wears on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

cactus love

I love how plants seem to add so much life to a room (literally... hah!... hah.)

These are nice because they are easily potted and don't expect much of your attention. I love the way the old burlap sack looks with the juxtaposition of the pretty vases and teacups!

I bought this little guy at Trader Joes over last weekend and he's still hanging in there!

How adorbs is this succulent container?! Click below to see the deets:
Vintage Home VHA101042 Laura Ashley Succulents in Clay Container (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

animal sweater

I never want to be "the weird sweater girl." I don't want people to not remember my name, but instead remember that I wear cute creature sweaters. But I'm afraid that's totally going to be the case. I haven't committed to one yet, but I'm getting dangerously close to one of these.

Which one would you go for?*

 *If you aren't feeling the animal sweater vibe, below is a really cute (and comfy) option!
 GUESS Tasha Striped Sweater (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Art | Hot Air Balloons at Sunset

As I mentioned in my last post, the colors of the sky are something to be gawked at. I was so excited to directly relate these images and inspiration into my latest painting. Hot air balloons are so serene and tranquil and I tried my best to convey that feeling with this painting.

What do you think?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

sky love

I try to not do the typical instragram photographs of the sky - but sometimes I just can't help those amazing Michigan skies.

At the risk of sounding totally high, what a beautiful planet we live in, eh? The shadows, the sunrises, and the sunsets all make me appreciate every day. Even when my life isn't going according to plan, recognizing the simple, simple beauty of a colorful sky makes everything seem better.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

a fascinating life

It's hard for me to find the time to go out a do NEW and EXCITING things. It's always so much easier just to go to the bar 10 minutes away from my house, hang out with the same group of people, wear the same clothes, draw the same things, because it doesn't take much energy to be repetitive.

But when I open my mind to new ideas, different kinds of people, and interesting places, I notice that my energy changes - I'm excited and intrigued and interested in everything again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

inspiration | Triangles

This fall has been all about the polka dot. You can't throw a stone without a hitting a polka dot. Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but today I just feel like I'm over polka dots, and I'm on to TRIANGLES. (<--- dork.)

image source: 1|2

Friday, October 19, 2012

friday favorite | Anthropologie Top

I love a top that is both dressy and comfortable, because the words "dressy" and "comfortable" are usually not close friends.

When I saw {this top} from Anthropologie, I think I said out loud "Yeeees!". With jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt - the sequins and the color could be rocked both out on the town and in the office. Or if you're like me, you'll wear this with a bulky cardigan and leggings to Coney Island after seeing a movie.

Painting a TON this weekend. New things will be up next week! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

art | Chrysler Building

{Chrysler Building} - Click this link to purchase this piece

The Detroit Tigers are playing the New York Yankees tonight. This probably isn't the wisest post to do on a day like today, but here it goes! 

I created this piece as an ode to my love of New York City. The architecture, the energy and the people make it easily my favorite place in this entire world. My favorite building is obviously the Chrysler Building, and really  how couldn't it be? With it's amazing arches, and metallic accents - what's not love?! 

This piece would be perfect for anyone who loves architecture and this beautiful city {as much as I do!}

Monday, October 15, 2012

inspiration | disco balls

Disco balls have been on my radar recently. I'm usually anti-flash, anti-glitz, anti-silver (I'm more of a gold person), but this influx of disco ball inspiration everywhere is beginning to change my mind.

These shiny balls of fun are beginning to inspire not only my art, but Halloween costume ideas as well. Below is an idea I think would look super cute and would be pretty simple to construct yourself!

{Just get some fabric glue, a cheap dress, and some tinfoil. 
Cut the tinfoil into little squares and glue them on the dress!}

Friday, October 12, 2012

hello, weekend

I'm so thankful that it's Friday. I am going to see Regina Spektor, drinking a lot of expensive coffee to keep warm, and going to begin working on some fun and exciting projects.

Relax and enjoy yourself this weekend. It's October! One of my favorite times of the year :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

style icon | Kate Moss

I have a confession to make. I sometimes totally forget about Kate Moss. Maybe it's just because she's been around forever, maybe her coolness and beauty is just so unattainable that I've just kind of written her off. Regardless, she is a secret obsession of mine. Yeah, her habitual drug use isn't that cool but man she has swagger - a confidence that I envy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

painting | room

One of my favorite series on one of my favorite blogs, is {Patternfest}. They take a pattern and show a room that mimics the same pattern and color story.

As I was rapidly scrolling through my Pinterest I noticed these two images sitting side-by-side. The colors are so similar and that warm and inviting feeling are so similar both in the painting and in the room.

image source: 1 | 2

Monday, October 8, 2012

detroit architecture

I went "urban exploring" (that's what people are calling it these days, right?) on Friday with a couple of friends in our hometown of Detroit. Detroit gets a pretty bad wrap for basically looking like a war zone - filled with crime and broken down buildings. However, I tend to think the opposite.

It doesn't take much digging around to realize that Detroit is experiencing a rebirth. While a lot of buildings are, yes, abandoned - there is a rumbling of art and culture, and pardon the cheesiness, bravery happening beneath the rubble.

{The Old Train Station in Corktown} Completely abandoned but still so beautiful.

The Guardian Building. All the original tile and structure dating back to the 1920's. 

What are your favorite buildings in Detroit (or anywhere else) that may be forgotten about or overlooked?