October 8, 2012

NEW in SHOP!



Yay! I finally have some new items up in the shop! Here's a little preview but be sure to go check 'em out!










October 2, 2012

Inspiration: Expectations



“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
- Bruce Lee

I've been thinking quite a bit about expectations recently, both those we place on ourselves and those that others place on us. In my mind, expectation often seems to correlate to disappointment - life throws you for a loop and something didn't turn out the way you thought it would or the way someone else wanted it to turn out for you. Sometimes the right choice is taking the unconventional route, doing something instead of waiting for something, moving forward (even if it's in a completely unexpected direction) instead of standing still.  And when others tell you you're crazy, that you're taking a step in the wrong direction, you tell them you don't give a damn what they think because in the end, it's your life to live. Opportunity often presents itself in ways you least expect it. Trust your gut and believe in yourself - if you do, you won't be left wondering how you let those expectations become a missed opportunity.

image via here

September 27, 2012

Of the Moment: Woody Allen State of Mind



There is something about the transition of seasons from Summer to Autumn that makes me long to visit New York City. I think it must be that Fall has always been my favorite time of year and when I lived in New York City, I reveled in the changing of colors and cool crisp air. I spent hours just walking around Central Park, taking in nature's glorious transformation and wondering how, during this magical time of year, I was able to lose myself in a natural wilderness, surrounded by millions of people and a city's rough, urban, concrete exterior.


Since a trip to New York is not eminent, I decided to visit in film and who better to visit with than Woody Allen. And it's not just New York that has been resonating with me, but more so the sense of realism (and lack there of at times too) that he incorporates in his films. I appreciate that his film's endings aren't "happily ever after" - not to say they don't end on a positive note, but more of a "life isn't perfect so you got to make the best out of what life deals you." I can appreciate that, especially as I grow older.


The other day, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that had the old saying "when life gives you lemons...", but instead of "make lemonade" it said "paint that shit gold!" Either way, you just got to make do the best you can.

Annie Hall images via the thinking tank

September 24, 2012

Back...I think

This Summer has flown by in one sense, but in another, it's been slow and arduous. I ran out of steam around June and I just now feel myself able to pick back up where I left off in the Spring. After weeks and weeks of ignoring my studio and my little shop, I found myself back at work this weekend, finally inspired enough to work on some new designs. If I'm being honest, I kind of needed to step back and take a look at the things I've been making. Are they a reflection of me? Do I even like the things I've been producing? Some things, yes. Other things, no. So, I kind of "cleaned shop" so to speak, took some things down and began toying with some new materials and new designs. Hopefully, I'll have something to show for it soon.

For those of you reading this, thanks for your patience and for bearing with me through this span of silence. I just might be back for reals this time!

August 13, 2012

Eats: Dinner with Julia



In my mind, Julia Child has always been and will always be the pinnacle of French cooking. So it's not surprising that until this weekend, I had never made or followed a Julia Child's recipe in my life. They just seemed too intimidating, even though the grande dame herself is the one that made French cooking so easily accessible to people like me. In honor of what would be her 100th birthday, I gladly rolled up my sleeves and got to work making a dinner I'm sure Julia would be proud of: moules √† la marieni√®re (mussels steamed in white wine) avec les pommes frites (french fries) et pour le dessert, mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse). 



In true Julia Child fashion, everything turned out marvelous, even though I'm sure I made a few mistakes along the way. Bon Appetit!

August 10, 2012

Reflections on Resolutions


Now that the halfway mark of the year has come and gone, I thought it appropriate to check in on the resolutions I set out for myself at the beginning of the year. There's nothing like accountability to see you through to and help you achieve your goals!

Resolution 1: Be More Creative
Creativity has been overpowering, overbearing and yet at times elusive. By far, my greatest accomplishments on this resolution have been my photography and my Etsy shop. I took two photography classes and although I kind of fizzed out on the second one, I took a lot away from both classes that I'll continue to use in the future. And my shop, well that feat alone has helped me grow leaps and bounds in just a few short months. I'll admit, at times its stifled my creativity - having to churn out some of the same things over and over - but its also boosted it in ways I could have only imagined. 

Resolution 2: Take More Chances/Fear Less
Again, here I'm going to have to say my Etsy shop best embodies this resolution. A year or two ago, I never would have had the guts to put myself out there and open up a shop. It's been scary and downright stressful at times, but its also given me so much confidence - I've really had to push myself to figure out the ins and outs of opening and running a small business. The tiny army of supporters and encouragement from friends and family has really been what's kept me going through the whole process. 

Resolution 3: Give More/Want Less
I admit, I'm not exactly where I want to be on this resolution. Yes, I have been giving more, much in thanks to CharitySub's amazing concept, but I'm definitely hoping to do a bit more on this resolution by the end of the year. Clearing clutter from the house is still an ongoing process, and I'm sure it will always be, but I've  been more conscious of the purchases I'm making and the things I bring into our home. Hopefully, I'll have more to reflect on by the year's end as far as this goes.   

What about you? Have you been keeping up with any goals or resolutions you've set out for yourself? I'd love to hear about them!

image credit: Reflections by Kristina Klarin

August 8, 2012

Inspiration: Idleness



Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth.” - Tim Kreider, "The 'Busy' Trap", New York Times

Idleness...its been on my mind a lot recently. Maybe because I just took three days off from work, finally slowed down a bit and took some time to think about my life. I haven't been able to do that for some time. I've been going, going, going for almost 2 years now. Honestly, three days wasn't enough; I could have used a week, or even two! But in those three days, I was able realize that the busier I am, the more apathy seems to take over so many aspects of my life and it's high time I start doing a little less and living a little bit more.

image credit: Marie Antoinette film still via mmorrow

August 1, 2012

Recap: Mini Marketplace

Thanks to those of you who were able to stop by Saturday for the Mini Marketplace sale! We had a lot of fun and it was wonderful to get so many questions about my jewelry and suggestions for future pieces to make.

Although initially nervous about participating in the sale, it turned out to be a great learning experience for me and got me jumpstarted on adding some new things to the shop. Lily and I spent quite a few hours in the studio prepping and creating in anticipation of the event, as N captured so well in the picture above.

And I will admit that I let out a huge sigh of relief after it was over, but the takeaway was definitely worth the stressful bits!

 Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to participate in something similar in the future. A big thanks to Lindsey Neuhaus for setting it up and including me!

July 30, 2012

NEW in SHOP: Suede Lace Style

It's been awhile since I've been able to do a NEW in SHOP post, but I finally, FINALLY have some new goods up in the shop. Here are a few of my new favorites, but definitely check out everything - I added a bunch of listings!







July 27, 2012

Photography: Jet Setting to Seattle

I recently had the opportunity through work to visit Seattle for the first time. Although I was there to attend a conference, I made the most of the free time we had to explore the city and have some fun. And much fun was had! Seattle was absolutely lovely and we went at the perfect time of year because we really lucked out with the weather - a fabulous high of 79 degrees. That's unfathomable to a Texas girl used to 100+ temperatures in July!

I wasn't able to lug my good camera with me, but I did remember to bring my trusty old point and shoot. Here are some of my favorite places and shots from the trip:















July 25, 2012

Take Notice: Mini Marketplace








This Saturday, I'll be participating in my first ever Mini Marketplace sale! I'm joining up with a Stella & Dot Stylist, as well as a Smocked Dress creator from Smocked Sweets for a morning of browsing, shopping and a few mimosas! I'll be debuting some new designs there (like the necklace pictured), so if you're in the Austin area and interested in joining us, visit our Facebook event page to learn more and RSVP your attendance - we'd love to see you there!

July 23, 2012

Eats: Tomates a la Provencal


As I've previously mentioned, N and I have been making an effort to hit our local farmer's market on a weekly basis. Not too long ago, we came home with these gorgeous, and extremely large, tomatoes from one of the local farmers' stands. I thought for quite some time how to best enjoy them, other than the usual slice and chop for a salad or sandwich, and had a eureka moment when I found this recipe on the wonderful blog Manger.

Heavenly... that's the only word to describe how wonderful these stuffed tomatoes really were. They tingled the taste buds in the best way possible. And I served them with an Orzo Salad recipe that I adapted from The Kitchn blog. Instead of Spinach pesto, I made Arugula pesto because we had bought some fresh arugula with our tomatoes. The peppery kick of the arugula went so well with the mellow richness of the broiled tomatoes.

A perfect summer meal! Bon Appetit!

July 19, 2012

Still Here...

I haven't disappeared, I promise. A lot has been going on in the past few weeks, some celebrations and some travels. I'll be back to regular postings soon. Until then, enjoy this gorgeous sunset photo I took overlooking the Puget Sound. I live for sunsets like this -oh how I wish I could basque in their beauty forever!

June 28, 2012

Lately...




I haven't been a good photographer lately; I guess I just haven't had the energy for it. But, I have captured a few images with my phone camera and thought I would share a little glimpse of my world, lately, with you.




June 26, 2012

Inspiration: Stillness in the Midst of Chaos



I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction. -  Saul Bellow

It seems life has been one big distracting mass of chaos recently. We have so much hinging on one decision, a decision that isn't even ours to make, that our nerves have been frayed to their very ends and focusing on anything but this decision has been nearly impossible. Our life feels as if its been on hold for over two years now and we're more than ready to pick it back up and start living again. The one bit of solace in all this frustration has been working in my studio. I haven't had as much energy to devote to it, but when I walk into that room, pick up the colored strands of thread and begin knotting them with my tired hands, this art that I create gives me a stillness and calmness that I haven't been able to find in anything else. The world somehow seems to slow down and the questions and worries that constantly invade my thoughts somehow seem to fade away.

image credit: "favourite place" by Hannah and Landon Metz

June 22, 2012

LOOK: Bracelet Stack

4th of July
The 4th of July is coming up so I thought it would be fun to put together an easy, laid back look in celebration of our country's independence. Nothing says the 4th of July like backyard bbqs and nighttime fireworks, so I'm keeping it comfortable and cool with a jersey dress, some retro shades and some classic American kicks; a cute tote bag big enough to carry the essentials for firework gazing, like a bottle of wine and a blanket; and of course some cute bracelets to spice things up!

June 19, 2012

Take Notice: Etsy Front Page




























As a fairly new seller on Etsy, it sure was fun to see one of my bracelet stacks make the front page yesterday morning; a pleasant departure from my usual Monday morning blues! It's amazing how that little bit of exposure really brings people to your shop - I had over 1600 listing views yesterday. So fun!
 

My Grammar of Ornament All rights reserved
© Blog Milk Design Powered by Blogger