I need your help!

March 31, 2010
So as all of you may have noticed, most of my personal photos look like a toddler got a hold of a camera and went to town. My camera used to be a good one...but over the years has been dropped one-too-many times. And then there were all those trips to the beach...yeah, okay maybe I wasn't the best camera-owner. But times are a-changing - and I'm finally in the market for a serious upgrade.

Now this is where I get a bit lost...so many choices, so many features, lenses, accessories. I've decided I want to go with either a Canon or Nikon, but I'm still doing my research on which models would be best for me.

What camera do you use, and what do you like about it?

Where the MAGIC Happens

March 29, 2010
When I'm not rearranging furniture, painting, crafting, or creating in general, I'm here:
(click to enlarge)

Yep, that would be my cubicle - the glamorous life of one in marketing. 

Happy Monday!

Woodblock and Stencil Projects

March 28, 2010
Today was a wonderfully relaxing, restorative day. The day started off with a bit of house cleaning, organizing, furniture rearranging and fresh Spring flowers. 
Then on to projects! I'm really getting into woodblock printmaking and stenciling, and today I spent a good long while getting reacquainted the process. I hadn't realized how long I'd been doing it until my hand cramped up and my shoulder was aching...then a break and a cup of green tea. Here are a few things I worked on today:
This was a fun flower graphic I cut into card stock and stenciled with black acrylic paint.
When I signed up for my Anthro rewards card, they gave it to me in this cute little cloth bag with a great floral/plant print. I traced it on to a linoleum block and started carving!
Here we are at the halfway point...tried it out with some black acrylic and realized that I need to carve deeper into the block...
 See the resemblance!?

I think next I'll try a basic graphic like a bird with some branches, or maybe some eucalyptus leaves. Suggestions?


March 27, 2010
"Be a first-rate version of yourself, 
not a second-rate version of someone else." 
Judy Garland

It's Friday!

March 26, 2010

I’ve had a few design epiphanies this week. The majority have been brought on by my web wanderings and discoveries of some pretty fun places to visit. Another notable place of epiphany: on the running trail with the husband – who knew running could inspire such things! 
  • For fancy fonts of all shapes and sizes check out the crazy-addictive Dafont. Caution: you will want to spend a considerable amount of time here…don’t say I didn’t warn you. 
  • I’m a firm believer in the power of paint, and apparently this week I’ve got a thing for yellow. Check out these inspirational photos here, here, and here of what a little paint can do! {Sidenote: being married to a pianist, I am especially in love with this piano!} **Update: sorry about the bad links - things are back in order!**
  • As always, I love a good dose of party inspiration. Check out Party Perfect for unique ideas to celebrate – Roaring 20’s, Pioneer-themed, Fiestas, and a two-year-old bash are just a few of her very creative ideas.
  • For those of us that aren’t lucky enough to have a whole arsenal of photo/video/audio editing software to call our own – thank goodness for Aviary. It’s almost as good as photoshop, and free! Matthew will be testing out the music editing software soon – more to come.
Have a fantastic weekend friends!


Yellow, My Friend

March 25, 2010
 When I was a blonde I never wore yellow. I heard from someone, at some point, that blondes shouldn’t wear yellow, and it stuck. I now wish I could smack that person. Now as a brunette, I don’t really give a flying bahoo about what anyone says about yellow. I love it. I’m still on the lookout for the perfect yellow dress, and yellow heels. Flowers, hair ribbons, cardigans – oh I love yellow.

Big Bloom Love

March 24, 2010
I've come down with Spring Fever. Flowers, sunshine, iced tea, sun dresses, large bodies of water - bring it on! My mind has been wandering to tropical locales and beach ware this week, and Emersonmade's gorgeous creations aren't helping...how can a girl think about work when she could be frolicking through a field wearing one of these?


Hope is the thing with feathers

March 23, 2010

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson-

Elf love

March 22, 2010
Okay, I’m in love. LOVE. How I haven’t known about this for all of my makeup-wearing years is beyond me.

e.l.f cosmetics – all products are $1. One buckaroo.
(With the exception of their mineral line, which are $3 a pop.)

And apparently these aren’t scary ghetto knock-off cosmetics either.

I recognized the label from some nail polish I got for my sister last Christmas, but had no idea how extensive there product line is: e.l.f., or eyes / lips / face, has everything you’d need to update your makeup arsenal. Personally I stick to Bare Escentuals for face, but for a buck I’m willing to try out their other products. So for a grand total of $17.98 (Orders of $15+ get shipping for $1.98 with this code: SHIPFOR198) I got the following:

2 mineral eye shadows

3 eye liner sticks (black, coffee, and plum)

Cream Eye Shadow

Eye Shadow Brush

2 bottles of Nail Polish (fire coral and plum)

Lip Brush

A new pair of slant tweezers

So I’ll keep you updated…if my face falls off after use, you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, check out their site!

SJR Update

March 21, 2010
Just a quick little ditty for this Sunday eve: I increased my mileage this week to 3 miles each training day, and things are going great. I need to start going on "long runs" on the weekends, but was happy to get out yesterday and do the three. The river pathway is so gorgeous - I'm so grateful for this beautiful place to run as an alternative to the stifling gym. Again, any song suggestions for my kick-butt-girl-power race playlist - let me know!

Have a happy Monday and a very pleasant week!

Spring has Sprung!

March 20, 2010
Here in Northern CA things are starting to look up - weather wise that is. Normally a Seattle-weather-sort-of-gal, I am actually looking towards the summer months with anticipation and longing. It's been very rainy, foggy, and dreary for awhile now...but I'm happy to say that today we're boasting a high temp of 
78 degrees (crazy, i know) and sunshine. Yes!

With the arrival of better weather I am confronted with the dreary state of my wardrobe, and have thus resolved to making some Spring updates. I always do this...arrive at the next season with the realization that I somehow have accumulated only heavy knit sweaters for summer, or have shorts and flowy tops for winter...not quite sure how it happens...

 This Spring I am all about dresses - I love that with a dress all you have to do is grab a pair of cute shoes, throw on a bit of jewelry, and you have an outfit. No worries about tops vs. bottoms, clashing patterns, etc. So easy. Check out the latest and greatest from Anthro:


It's Friday!

March 19, 2010

Happy Friday! Man oh man it's been a long week...
I'm so glad to have my arms around Friday afternoon. 
Here are my favourite finds for this week
that are worth checking out:
  •  Being in the party business (of sorts) I'm always looking for fresh new ways to celebrate. The Party Dress has great ideas on everything from decor to menu to parting gifts. 
  •  I found some gorgeous handmade woodblock print cards from Oh Joy! that made my heart skip a beat. Hurry, they're on sale!
  • So I know the rule that if you find a piece of furniture on the street it's your for the taking...does this count too?
  • If you're anything like me, then you definitely have dedicated space in your closet for the too small/too big/too ____ clothes that you'll probably never wear again. If you have the patience and are willing to put in a little extra effort, thredUP is the site for you.
  • Killer green curry recipe:  Rasa Malaysia is my go-to site for asian cooking - it's clear and so accessible.

That's all for this Friday - have a wonderful weekend!

Desktop Delights

March 18, 2010
Whenever I see photos of decor delights I save them to a file on my desktop. I have a jumble of styles, rooms, projects, ideas, and how-to's. I love having a place where every picture inspires me and sends me on the hunt for new pieces or drives me to spend most nights rearranging the furniture. (Matthew may love this a bit less...but he's supportive). This file is overflowing. These are a few things that have inspired me as of late: 
Thanks to Apartment Therapy and My Little Apartment for the lovely ideas.

Leprechaun Trap

March 17, 2010
It might sound a little stuck-up to say that I'm not into St. Patrick's Day, but the truth is....I'm really not into St. Patrick's Day. I think it stems from my early days where at school there would be groups of kids staring you down to spot your speck of green and threatening to pinch you due to your lack of necessary color-foresight. I'm not Irish, I don't particularly like corned beef, and I absolutely don't like people criticizing my outfit of choice and making me feel like I'm out of the loop if I'm not wearing a head-to-toe green jumpsuit.

Okay, I'm done being a downer.

I do, however, love that my family is so darn creative and fun. My Aunt Peg and cousins Ryan and Kyra were out this morning checking their Leprechaun Trap to see if they had caught one this year, while Frank looked on with the camera. This is a much planned and anticipated annual event, and it's so fun to hear the stories and see the pictures of their early morning adventures. Ryan and Kyra take this very seriously, and it's nice reminder that even holidays that I don't really prefer can have a whimsical and fun twist when the right people are involved.


Les livres sont beaux

March 16, 2010

This made me think of a few people in my life, but mostly Matthew and Anna. They love books. And it got me thinking about books in general and what they mean to people. It makes me cringe every time I hear about the Kindle or Reader or Compu-Book (Okay, I made that one up…), or whatever those digital techno readers are called. I can’t believe there is speculation that these little devices might eradicate real books, and I shake my head and mentally plan another trip to the used bookstore. As much as I love efficiency, I will never, ever give up the pleasure of owning and enjoying real, live books.

I Heart Chickens and a SJR Update

March 15, 2010
Growing up we had an amazing chicken house. The front door was a mural of chicken adventures (parachuting, among them) and my sister and I would fight about who got to go out in the morning and check for eggs. Talk about exciting – early morning, shuffling outside to the coop, opening the door very slowly so you wouldn’t hit a beloved chicken, standing on tip toes and peering into their little beds…and then you spot one! And then you realize it’s not one, but two! Oh happy day.

Lately I’ve been thinking about someday having an amazing chicken house of my very own…but then I remember Numi,  our lovable yet very rambunctious black lab, and I have visions of chicken harassment. (Chicks are friends, not food!) It’s possible – I say to myself - we could introduce Numi to the baby chicks in a safe setting, then they could get to know each other…and eventually become best friends. And snuggle together in the sunshine on the back lawn. And provide for many hilarious photo opportunities.

Aside from adorable animals, raising chickens for their delicious, organic, fresh eggs sounds fun. Sounds like work (I remember how dirty the chicken coop could get…) but fun. And delicious. Just hearing Kathy go on about how she’s inundated with farm fresh eggs makes me want to cook and consume immediately make quiches, souffl├ęs, omelets, fried eggs, egg in tomato sauce, and the like.

A couple things to pique your interest:

Read Still Life With Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer. It chronicles her journey through divorce, moving into a project home with her young daughter, heck, moving on in general, and her crusade to raise mentally sound chickens. I read this about 2 years ago, and LOVED it. Hilarious, poignant, and quirky – go find yourself a copy!

 Check out Heather’s chicken mansion– clearly she has some love for her adorable baby chicks. I see endless possibilities in creating the perfect hen house – and I’d have to have a mural door. It would be heresy not to. 

 And Finally - the SJR (See Jess Run) Update! 
It's like Saturday Update! (SNL fans, anyone?) 
Admittedly not as funny.

Okay, so if you missed my previous post, I'm signed up for a half marathon in 2.5 months. And for those of you snickering in the back - I feel great about it! Today I eased back into training with a 2 mile run on the bike trail with Matthew. Waaaay better than going to the gym, and a delight to discover that something so beautiful exists in the heart of our little town. I was pleased, that even after 2 weeks of being sick/out of commission, I felt great. Albeit tired, but really good. The two miles flew by as Matthew and I chatted about our days and kept up a decent pace. I'm SO glad to be getting back into training and to have an end goal again.

Sunday Sentiments

March 14, 2010
Today I visited my happy place. The Sacramento Antique Faire is a blissful two blocks of vintage clothing, art, furniture, ceramics, junk, and kettle corn. And pretty much anything else you can think of. Kathy insists that I need to increase my endurance - I was tired after 2.5 hours. She says 4 should be my minimum. I've got work to do.

Check out my finds:
  Check out my vintage Exit sign box - this picture does not do it justice. 
It has two light bulbs inside, and with a little wiring, could make a killer lamp.
Glass Apothecary jars.
Can you spot my little orange mirror? 
I've never found one with feet before.
Topiary stand - but for now used as a jewelry holder.
A petite cake stand - I LOVE it.
Old fashioned enameled pitcher/measuring cup.
A cute French print - and at $1, the perfect price.

Oh Antique Faire, thank you for these wonderful pieces. See you next month!

Eleanor Roosevelt once said...

March 12, 2010

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

(And Kelly Corrigan says this, which is equally as cool.) 

Well, I’ve got a list of things I think I cannot do.

And as cliche as it sounds. . . I figure it’s about time to start crossing them off.

Last March I completed my first Triathlon, something I never thought 1) I would ever want to do and 2) ever could do.

But I did it. And it was amazing. And by amazing I mean the icy lake water hurt my soul and I actually cried halfway through the mountain bike section. But as I crossed the finish line, body nearly broken and spirit very worn, I was overwhelmed with a sense of genuine accomplishment. Never having been particularly gifted in the athletic arena, attempting a triathlon was something completely new and unheard of for me. The look on people’s faces when I told them I’d committed to the race was a mixture of incredulity and feigned enthusiasm…but in the end having those people surround me at the finish line, cheering me on, literally staring in disbelief as I finished – it was incredible. (And yes, wearing a wetsuit made me feel like a super hero.)

So. Back to my list.

This year I’m giving myself a present to celebrate my 25th : I’ve signed up for the See Jane Run Half Marathon in Alameda, on June 5 – the day after my birthday. What better way to start the second half of my twenties?

Completing a half marathon is definitely on my “cannot do” list.

For one, Matthew and I were signed up for one last fall, but ended up being brought down by nasty sickness. I took this as a sign.

Secondly, I’m wired to think that running 13.1 miles voluntarily, for fun, is just plain wrong. I’ve held the belief that the only reason I would want to run 13.1 miles is if I’m being pursued by an unstoppable carnivorous beast – period. And even then, I’m not sure I’d run the whole 13.1 – I may just give up around mile 6 and cut my losses.

In all seriousness, I want to test my own strength. I want that feeling of accomplishment as I cross the finish line – which I’ll feel even if I’m the last, straggling, gasping participant. I want to cross another thing off my “cannot do” list.

So I’ve already started compiling my kick-ass playlist to push me to the end. If anyone has any suggestions…like songs that will make me forget where I am, make me think I’m laying on a tropical beach, or enjoying a blueberry lemon scone – bring it on. Or you know, anything that falls into the category of girl power.

In the spirit of full disclosure: there will be chocolate, champagne, and massages at the finish line. Score.


If Only

March 11, 2010

Sadly this isn't what my alarm clock looks like. If it did, maybe I would be more open to rising at 4:45 a.m.

Okay, enough griping.

The thought of traffic, meetings, and stressful-like things just doesn't sound appealing today.

I'd rather be here:
Okay, I guess I wasn't done griping.

Upside:  tomorrow if Friday. Which means that the weekend is right around the corner, which means....ANTIQUE FAIRE! 

You know you're jealous.