Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lately, I've been inspired.

As you may have read earlier this week, I've been feeling super crafty again out of the blue. So I went on a hunt for inspiring handmade paper pieces the other evening before I brought out my own art journal, and I came across a girl named Robyn Wells.

While browsing, I fell in love with the postcards that she paints, stamps, collages and ships around the world as a part of her mailart365 project.

I sent her a Flickr message and offered to swap a postcard with some handmade goodness on the front. I really can't wait to receive my postcard in the mail. I really enjoy the way she uses textures, bright colors, and organic shapes. And her stamp-making is beginning to inspire me to pull out the homemade stamp kit one of my housemates bought for me for my birthday last summer.

To be honest, I've been too concerned about not making the "perfect stamp" that I haven't even tried one yet! I'll be sure to work on that mini project soon.

Be sure to check out Robyn's Flickr and Etsy shop. I think she's so great!

I'd be willing to swap a handmade postcard or letter with others of you as well! Feel free to leave me your email address in the comments and we'll do a mini-message swap. Now I'm off to an Open Mic Night at Brick & Mortar. After I pet Matilda for awhile, of course.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fuji, you've done it again.

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness... This can't be true. But, it is?! Fuji has revamped their beautiful Instax Mini camera and Photojojo has a special deal today. For $150 you can own the brand new, all-black, sleek n' sexy, upgraded Instax with all the bells and whistles.

Check out some of the new features:

A tripod mount.

A macro lens attachment.

A digital display for light/dark settings so you don't waste as much film guessing on tricky exposure situations (i.e. a day that's a little brighter than you may have expected, or a darker room indoors at a party).

So yeah. I bought this impulsively (sort of). I had to do it... I've been saving up and had been considering buying a new Instax Mini anyway, because I have dropped my little choco camera more times than I'd like to admit and most of the body is taped up. It still works great, but I think that this smaller, sleeker camera will live in my purse full-time. I really am pumped about this.

Oh, and if you buy this camera today on Photojojo, you'll get a free, handmade booklet with "20 totally fantastic ways to use instant photos," and you can't go wrong with that.

You can also snag this camera off Amazon. I usually stick to the two camera sellers I know best, but it appears you can buy these babies for a little less there, if you're not interested in getting a package deal. Your call. I'm sticking with Photojojo because I know my package will show up on my front step in two days, with happy packaging and a little plastic dino inside.

Do any of you use Instax or Instax Mini cameras? Would you consider upgrading to this newer version?

Happy instant photo-loving,

Art journaling, revisited.

I have been feeling pretty restless lately, and it may have to do with all the traveling I've done this month. I just can't stop dreaming of pretty pictures and colors in my down time. So tonight, I unloaded my art drawer and went to town.


I started this particular book last year, as part of Elsie and Rachel's Tell Your Story online art journaling class. I loved the cute, daily prompts, and enjoyed the challenge of creating something new every single day. Check out some of my older pages below:

a nautical page for a nautical boy

Tomorrow I'll post some art journaling inspiration from some of my all-time favorite crafty ladies. Hope you're excited! Do you like to draw, paint, write, or art journal? (Be sure to leave links to some of your creations.)


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Airplanes always make my hair feel crazy.

And I am on one right now.

Thus, there seems to be no better time than now to dream about cute headbands I've been wanting for spring. I am starting to come to terms with the fact that sooner than later it's going to be way too hot to wear my hair down in the Florida heat and humidity, and I'm brainstorming new ways to wear my hair up for the warmer seasons.

peach and lace crown, by honey pie headbands

I think this is the cutest little thing. The buds look like fresh sprigs of berries and the colors are really great for brunettes or redheads (or, somewhere in-between in my ever fading/changing 'do). I discovered her Etsy shop through a new blog I started following over the weekend, Holland 1945. And, believe it or not, she's having a giveaway right now! You'll have to hurry though... the deadline to apply is tonight at midnight (PST). Good luck, guys!

The Starlette Crown, by Giant Dwarf

It should come as no surprise that the Starlette Crown is on my wish list for spring. I've wanted this crown now for over a year (after I first saw it on Elsie's blog), and I just haven't felt ready to purchase it yet. Maybe I should ask for it for my birthday. Anyway, I really think it's the best product in the world and that I'd wear it nonstop. It's just that cute. 

Gypsy Loop Crown, by Moorea Seal

And this stunning little crown. I. want. it. All of Moorea's products make me feel like I've found an old catalogue from another era, and a faraway land, but her pieces are also all also very modern and fresh despite their super vintagey feel. I love her use of geometric shapes and warm colors in her pieces. She's just a really creative girl. 

As soon as I reach a specific number of blog followers (a secret number) I will do a giveaway with a fancy crown for spring. I'm looking forward to being able to share something really pretty with someone else, since giveaways always excite me. 

And remember, be sure to visit Holland1945 before her giveaway ends tonight. 

See you when I land, 

Goodbye, hotel bed.

I'll see this little girl rolling around on the carpet by our door the second I walk through it tomorrow evening. I can't wait. 

See ya next time, LA.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Just... yum.

We had our first day of MOVE Los Angeles today, and it's been incredible thus far. I really am thankful for the attendees this time around, and how wonderful everyone is despite how completely awful and chilly the weather was in Hollywood this morning. (Twitter followers... remember when I mentioned not packing correctly? Think not enough warm clothes to start, and then add a ton of rain and wind, and only packing old boots with holes in the soles. Yuck!) 

But the day really was a good one overall. (Great, encouraging conversations. Good laughs and happy memories. Smooth transitions.) But it was especially good because the team got to celebrate together over a dinner of scrumptious Thai food, followed by an always tasty Pinkberry treat. 

It was Nichole's first time, and my third. 


I love the ambience of every Pinkberry shop, but I really like the spring vibe the company's got going on right now. Floral decorations and translucent glass, fun geometric shapes, and the always vibrant colors inside. Everything feels so clean and healthy in there. (aka, they have great interior designers)

Mine's on the left:
Lychee frozen yogurt, vanilla flavored animal crackers, organic gummy bears, honeydew melon, slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey on top. And a side of hazelnut crunchy goodness, just for fun. :)

Super pumped/stoked/blissful/still-on-east-coast-time.

Hope your Saturday is sweet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I am still alive (but barely blogging).

I'm in Los Angeles again this week. By the end of March I will have lived in my house in Florida for a total of eleven days. (Yikes!) I'm staying near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it's one of the weirdest places in America, I think. This entire city can be hit-or-miss for me, in that I really enjoy being in Cali because I spent my first ten years living in this state, but I really could care less for Hollywood, which is where we're staying now. It's just too much for me to handle sometimes. Although, it is really fun to see celebrities randomly, and eat Pinkberry, and enjoy cheeseburgers and neopolitan shakes from In-N-Out Burger while I'm here...

The traveling lifestyle is not one I would want to live for a long duration of time, but for the time-being (unmarried, no kids, etc.) it's definitely been an adventure. I have gotten to see so many big cities and special parts of the world I may have never seen otherwise, and I am super thankful for the opportunities I have with my job. However, I consider myself a homebody at heart, and I think that these past two years of semi-frequent travel have really prepared me to enjoy spending most all of my time in one place when I head off to grad school this fall. (And I'll probably long to be on the road when I'm swamped with homework once again.)

Either way, it has not gone unnoticed to me that my blog has been slackin' lately, so I'm going to start fixing that. I will get to spend an entire week and a half at home after this weekend before I have to zip off to NYC, so I've got big plans to get this blog back up and running. I feel like I just have to live in Florida again so I can find the rhythm and make space for fun things again, like blogging.

It's nice to be back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Austin, TX (part 3)

A full description of my trip will come when I get back to Florida, but until then, more photos to share!

Have a happy Thursday!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Austin, TX (part 2)

What a week so far! I seriously haven't had this much fun on a work trip in ages. I feel like I could go on and on about how great the conference went, or how hilarious our team's conversations have been in our rental car (squished in with merch and all sorts of madness), but instead, I wanted to highlight a few of the incredible spots Austin has to offer, though I'm sure there are literally hundreds more in this great little southern city. 

The evening our conference wrapped up, the team wanted to celebrate with dinner and country dancing, so we asked around and received some pretty killer recomendations. For dinner, we decided to check out The Highball, a classic yet modern 1960s Vegas-themed diner, complete with bowling alleys, a dance floor, karaoke, and private lounge rooms for parties (each with a different music theme). I'm not kidding when I say we kept turning to each other and saying, "This is the coolest place I've ever been to in my life." Drinks are creative and zesty – I had a pretty rockin' spin on a gin and tonic (with gingerale, mint and lime added to the mix) – and the food's great too. Nichole and I each got their yummy arugula salad, which comes with oranges, pickled beets, candied nuts, and a hunk of goat cheese on top. (Ughhh, so heavenly.)

Oh, and did I mention they play a mash-up of old 1960s film clips on silent on the back wall of the bowling alley? From classic horror flicks to creepy retro TV commercials. Such a unique and perfect touch to the overall ambience.

The background music ranges from Death Cab and The National, to The Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel. I can't wait to come back to this place on my next visit to Austin. It's going to be a priority on my agenda, for sure.

And, speaking of music...

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. We went to The Broken Spoke for some good ol' fashioned country music, honky tonk, boot stompin' action. And holy cow, this place couldn't be more legit. I could try and describe this gem of a spot, but I'll let The Austin Chronicle do it for me: "When you need your Lone Star cold, your chicken-fried steak hot, and the ghost of Ernest Tubb on your shoulder, the Spoke is it."

Alvin Crow & the Pleasant Valley Boys beckoned the young and old out onto the dance floor. Those sweet Texas gentlemen seemed to be very pleased that our group included three single ladies who had no clue what we were doing out there. But, I had only been seated for a matter of minutes before a guy walked up and very politely asked me to dance with that drawl of his. I ended up dancing with some really kind, southern (old) men who taught me how to Texas two-step and waltz all over that wooden floor.

My friend Nichole was the most popular girl in that bar.

The best part about this spot is that you leave smelling like the old cowboys you've danced with – leathery, earthy and sort of sweet. Oh, and like cheap beer. haha

Today we explored East Congress before some of our team had to fly back home. We had heard that Allen's Boots was a must-see spot, so we started there. 

I haven't ever owned a pair of cowboy boots, and I never really thought I'd ever been attracted to the idea, but the trip today may have changed my mind. Allen's has aisles and aisles of boots in every color, shape and size. The entire store smells like old leather (obviously) and there are so many details to observe. 

I fell in love with those rose boots. I think they're the cutest things ever. And, for a mere $500, I could have taken them home with me. (Let's be honest, I'm dreamin' folks.)

And, the last spot that I think is pretty rad is a little antique store called uncommon OBJECTS. I'm usually pretty into antique shops, but this one manages to have something extra special and endearing about it. 

I bought those small keys to add to my collection, and that old photo for someone special (but I won't name who because they might end up reading this post!). The little pomade tin made me think of Harbor, so I had to snap a photo. :)

Anyway, it was a really fun afternoon shopping with my coworkers/friends. We wrapped up the day running errands and finishing up some work-related stuff before grabbing a bubble tea and heading back to our condo to unwind before the new week. 

Have you been to any Austin hot spots? Please feel free to share any cool restaurants, bars, or kitschy spots downtown I need to check out in the coming week. I want to make sure I experience it all. 

Goodnight, y'all. (haha)