Friday, January 30, 2009

another design and other news

Another great blogger to check out! Click here ------> Mag resides in the beautiful Northwestern United States. I grew up in the Northwest and dream of living there again. Mag is a wonderful photographer and quite the writer as well!

In other news, the aforementioned Domino Magazine announced this week that they soon will be closing their doors. Sad, sad day. I find myself wishing I had bought every issue for my own personal library like Nicole.

*If you happen to subscribe to this blog, be sure to take a look around my actual blog sometime, as I have revamped a little- adding a navbar and rearranging my sidebars a little. More good things to come folks, more good things:)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

latest design and install

Check it out!

Just thought I would show off my latest work. Another wonderful experience from start to finish with great communication. And another great blog written by a great gal with amazing recipes! This is the first blog I have done with a navbar, so that was exciting for me. I have three more blogs that I am working on.

Other plans for this week include revamping my etsy packages to reflect some of the new stuff I have learned and offer customers more options. I also hope to be able to make this blog function better for me... and of course the giveaway:) More upcoming posts to look forward to include the usual great stuff with some good ol' St. Valentine inspiration thrown in the mix. Happy blogging!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Olive Juice Sale

Olive Juice, an adorable children's clothing company is having a wonderful sale! Definitely worth a look or two (or three or four).

Also, JCrew is giving an extra 30% off of their final sale items!

...sorry I didn't follow through with the promised giveaway last week. I promise it is coming soon. I just have been a little buried and want to have all my ducks in a row before I post it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I have a confession. I love magazines. Back in the day, I even dreamed of moving to New York and working for Martha. At one point I remember talking with my roommate, who was a great writer, about the prospects of us doing our own magazine. As I progressed in my schooling however, I met a man, fell in love, graduated and realized that more than Martha and New York I wanted a family and ideally to be a stay-at-home mom, living a rural/country lifestyle in an average sized home (which I really prefer to a small pricey apartment in some high-rise in New York anyway).

I think as a left-over side effect of my dream though every time I go to the grocery store, or the book store, I have a hard time fighting the urge to spend serious time/money in the magazine aisle. I try to be a responsible magazine looker and not take advantage of the all access pass I have as a prospective magazine buyer, but lets be honest... I would be broke (not to mention have little time to do anything but read magazines) if I bought or subscribed to every magazine I wanted. I love getting lost in the pages of beautiful imagery and informative articles. Design, Photography, Style, Decorating, Crafting, Health, Beauty, Parenting, Gossip... the list goes on.

Now I try to justify not buying magazines because I get so much inspiration and great information from the world wide web, but still... there is just something about seeing those images in print. Here are some of my faves:


Cookie Mag





...also tempting on a regular basis- Metropolitan Home, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Country Living

Cooks Illustrated

Everyday Food

Beautiful, but often above my cooking skill level Bon Apetit and Gourmet


Martha Stewart Living:

Real Simple

Design (this is where it gets pricey):

Photoshop Creative




Communication Arts


Whew! See what I mean?! The list could go on I'm sure even (sad, but true). But I must say, it feels good to get that out in the universe. After all, the first step to recovery, is admitting you have a problem, right?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Long time, no post

Sorry I have been such a bad blogger. I have quite a few projects going on as well as quite a lot going on outside of my computer world. To make up for it I plan on doing a giveaway by the end of this week. I am still working out the details, but be sure to stay tuned.

In other news, just a few days until I will be closing the doors to my little jewelry shop for good. Be sure to nab anything you may be eyeing before it is no longer available.

I feel like I should leave you with a little visual inspiration to look at...

...this is a brooch by Melanie Baker who says of her work "I secure my memories through photographic images rendered in lines of my own hair, the physical remnants. I do not reproduce events, but quiet minutes, the mundane, the domestic, the ordinary moments." Check out her site for more incredible jewelry and images.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Healthy Living Challenge

Hello. Well I have been busy designing, as well as trying to keep up with home, family, and friends.

I've also started a healthy living challenge with some friends and family that is proving to be pretty difficult. We all put a little money in the community pot and the winner takes away all the cash. It is four weeks long and I timed it to end on Valentine's Day so I could reward myself with some of my favorite chocolates from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I've already clued my husband in so he knows what to get me;)

I thought I would post the worksheet though, to share with all of you, because I think the way it is set up is brilliant. My sister's in-laws set it up, so they get all the credit. It's not who loses the most weight- it's based on a point system and whoever lives the healthiest wins. So, without further ado, heeeeeere it is:

Biggest Loser Worksheet

Monday, January 12, 2009

organizing- using what you've got and thinking outside the box

As I mentioned previously, I love to organize. I dream one day of having a perfectly clean, perfectly organized house where all my organizers match and are visually appealing. Someday...

Until that day comes though I still find a lot of satisfaction in organizing with whatever I have on hand.

These are things I use in my house that I love:

1. A notebook to store odd and end recipes. There are many products out there that will help you organize recipes. For now, I love my simple white notebook that merely has clear plastic sleeves in it. I stick any old recipe in it in any order. I have recipes from friends, family and magazines simply placed in the plastic sleeves in no particular order, which surprisingly, I haven't minded that they are not categorized as of yet. It is kind of fun to go through and never know what type of recipe I will find next. It makes it super easy too.

2. A bunch of files to keep favorite magazine articles, images, and pieces. I love magazines. Over the years I have kept bunches of my favorite magazines until I have moved and then thrown them all away. I found that I loved some of the articles and imagery, but never really had time to thumb through them again. Then I had the idea to cut down on having to thumb through them by tearing out my favorite articles, images, sources, etc. and keeping them filed away in categories. You could organize these in a binder like my recipe binder with clear plastic sleeves, but I find the files quicker, easier and cheaper. I have a category for every room in my house, every holiday, gift ideas, crafting, sources, flower arrangements... and I think that's about it.

3. I find that using office desk organizers works wonderfully for my make-up.

4. Here is a crazy thing I have done with my make-up... I have used little bead and scrapbooking organizers to salvage and repurpose lipstick and eyeshadow that has been dropped or damaged by my toddler (or me :) ).

5. A few favorites for my closets are pictured above. I use the hanging shoe and sweater bags for everything from shoes, to my husbands hats and workout clothes, to my craft supplies and projects, to blankets. The sky is the limit with these. I also have loved using the hanging shoe organizer to store my markers, crayons, colored pencils, pens, paint, paint brushes, etc.

6. I have been known to use tackle boxes for beading and scrapbooking supplies.

7. I also use old cereal boxes to store some magazines that have too many good features to go through my #2 suggestion with.

8. I use shoe organizers and stacker shelves in all of my cupboards and closets to utilize the space in there better.

9. I use bead organizers for sewing supplies, cake decorating tips, and anything else that suits my fancy.

10. I love using old suitcases and baskets to store things like toys, remotes, exercise mats and weights, phonebooks, etc. and serve as decorations as well.

11. And last but not least... I use good old fashioned boxes of course. Old diaper boxes seem to be the most popular around here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

wanna see some of my latest work?

I really do love what I do. I have been thankful over and over again that I listened to my heart when deciding what to study in college and am thankful for a supportive husband that encourages and supports my continued practice of designing.

I was really excited to open my etsy shop up (and a little fearful of the unknown) and it has been such a joy ever since opening its doors, so to speak. I have been pleasantly surprised with the simple steady flow of people that have placed orders. Even better, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each one of them. Everyone that I have done business with on etsy so far, both buying and selling, has been so courteous and truly delightful to work with {knock on wood}. It really has kind of renewed my faith in customer service in a way. {Is anyone besides me tired of day to day shopping where customer service all too often non-existent, rude, or overbearing (usually when they are working on a commission)?}

You want to see some of my work? Really the design is truly a combined effort- as you will see each blog is pretty different and kind of a reflection of each blog owner. Anyway, I hope the work keeps coming, as do the kind customers, and I hope you will take the time to visit each blog and get to know each person as they are all wonderful with great blogs to boot! I can only take credit for her header here. She is an amazing scrapbooker! She takes cooking to a whole new level, using local fresh ingredients, with mouthwatering recipes, pictures, and is so personable and warm in her writing. She was so sweet to work with and makes the most adorable bows! I was able to do some bow tags and business cards for her as well. I can't take credit for the logo in her header, but the rest of the blog I was able to do for her. Anyone want a dream wedding in Italy? She is your girl! She was so great to work with and spoke such amazing English! I wish I even spoke a little Italian (and lived there for that matter:) ). So fun and sweet! Her attention to detail, great taste, and vision deserve a lot of the credit for her blog. She is another amazing scrapbooker. She was so laid back and easy to work with! I love her taste and am excited to see what she has in store for her etsy shop! I don't know if he actually ended up ever using this banner I designed for him, but he was super fun to work with and was great to communicate with! Be sure to check out this fun website.

I am in the middle of a few projects that I will post when they are done also:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

new year. new you.

What is it about the new year that seems to inspire everyone to clean out their closets, want to eat healthy, exercise, and do better in all aspects of life? Has it just become tradition and so everyone focuses on it and we all get infected by eachother?

At any rate, I think it is great that we are all inspired to do and be better. I think the trick is to set realistic and specific goals. I have been inspired to organize. I love organizing. You can't always tell by the way my house looks, but sometimes it takes me being excited about re-organizing some area of my home to be motivated to doing a really good clean on my house. I had hoped to get my act together today and be able to share some of my favorite organizing tips, but didn't get around to taking some of the photos I wanted to. Hopefully I will tomorrow... or the next day:)

I can share with you however, a cleaning list I have developed in the last couple of months that I have loved. It is a little extensive, but is a good guide and goal post when it comes to housekeeping. I got it from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook book and adapted it to fit my own home. I love it and keep a copy of it on my refrigerator. I also highly recommend the book as it has all sorts of helpful tips when it comes to housekeeping. Hope it helps someone!

Cleaning Chart

Monday, January 5, 2009

beautiful free calendar

Spotted this in the Little Window Shoppe this morning. It comes from Mibo, which has all sorts of beautiful prints, patterns, and goodies. I believe this is where Nichole of Pink Loves Brown and Making it Lovely got her lovely wallpaper. All you have to do to get your own free calendar download is sign up for their newsletter! Win-win!! Click here to get yours.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

storing and printing photographs in a digital age

I am in the middle of trying to figure out a solution to printing and storing photographs for years to come.

I, like many of you I'm sure, have loved the power that my digital camera has given me to take great photos (and LOTS of them), edit them, and store them on my computer.

The tricky part seems to be actually printing them out.

I have often found myself wondering what the future holds for photo storage.

Will the grandma walls of tomorrow display a row of digital photo frames rather than the classic mismatched photo frames displaying a myriad of memories from all different eras of a lifetime?

It is hard for me to imagine the classic still photo framed beautifully and simply ever being replaced, but still, I wonder.

There is also the subject of scrapbooking. I have thought a lot about this too. When I was in college I decided I would never be a scrapbooker. I liked (and still like) clean classic modern things and I boldly declared the scrapbook world was too "cutesie" for me.

The other thing that gets me about scrapbooking is all of the scrapbooking trends that come out. Because of the trends it doesn't take long for a scrapbook to look dated. And the mess it creates... I don't know how mom's in particular keep up with it. Last but not least is the issue of the economy and being green. Scrapbooking is not too pocketbook friendly nor is it very "green."

It seems to me that it was somewhat difficult for the previous generation to merely keep up with putting printed photos in albums. Who in their right mind decided to add cutting, pasting, stamping, and glueing all sorts of embellishments on to that?

Well with all of that negativity out of the way, I must confess a little part of my heart seems to have an affinity for scrapbooking. After I had been out of school for awhile and married to my husband for awhile I thought it would be nice for me to be able to scrapbook his football career as a gift for him. I knew he wouldn't appreciate all of the frills anyway so I assured myself I could stick to my clean, simple, classic taste.

Soon after that I had my first baby and was given an empty scrapbook as a gift. I actually got excited at the idea of being able to create a scrapbook for my baby.

Well, you know the rest of the story I suppose. I found myself in the scrapbook aisles of every craft store I came across oohing and ahhing at all of the tools there were to offer when it came to paper crafting. Man o' man has scrapbooking come a long way! There are so many options for stickers, stamps, papers, tools... the works.

Soon I was scrapbooking weekly with friends, going to stamping parties, and wanting more and more and more! The world I had shunned opened its loving arms and soon I had crates full of scrapbooking stuff with which to create my two little scrapbooks. Sadly it took me two years to put all my purchases to good use.

Now that I am done with my two scrapbooks, I am fretting over what to do in the future. I am debating on digital scrapbooking, which in my opinion is a bit greener, more cost effective, and more empowering for me as I feel the sky is the limit on the computer.

Or do I do blog books, create my own digital photo books, regular photo albums, digital photo displays, cds, dvds, etc. etc. etc.??? What will stand the test of time and be able to be easily passed on to future generations?

These are my thoughts on possible solutions-

Creating yearly dvd's with video clips, digital pictures, music and captions and letting people make copies as wanted.
Pros- Fun, easy, and super cost effective.
Cons- Hard for people to be able to reuse the photos, not sure if the dvd's would be as easy to share with friends and family as a scrapbook, photobook, or photo album. Will dvd's stand the test of time?

Blogbooks- I have heard great things about blurb.
Pros- Reasonable priced and fun to look back as blogs tend to focus on great family photos as well as fun insights and memories.
Cons- Difficulty being able to edit out posts you don't want in the book as well as figuring out how to do yearly ones as blogs are ongoing. Photos would have to be scanned to be reused. Each book would have to be photocopied for each child for future generations.

Similar pros and cons to blogbooks. Photobooks may be cleaner and a bit more cost effective, but may not have the fun insights of a blogbook.

Digital Scrapbooking
Pros- Kids to come won't be sad that my first born was the only one that got a scrapbook. Fun to make.
Cons- Again, usability for future generations and timely to make.

Displaying only the most memorable photos and keeping back-ups on cds
Pros- Cost-effective.
Cons- Harder to share old family memories with friends and family. Cd's may not stand the test of time.

Classic Photo Albums
Pros- Easy to look through, re-use photos, and divvy up in years to come?
Cons- Not as fun as scrapbooks? May not be so easy re-use and divvy up in years to come?

I think I am leaning towards classic photo albums or photobooks with keeping back-ups on cds... any thoughts?