Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Heart: Wallpaper

{Anthropologie: Enchanted Forest by Rebecca Rebouche}

Check out my bold wallpaper round-up and guest post I did for my wonderful, sweet & super-talented friend Tobe over at the blog Because It's Awesome (she's also part of the fabulous I Am Project, which I posted about here). I'm sure you will get lost for hours looking through her blog pages of awesomeness!

 (And Tobe? Thanks so much for the intro - you made me blush sweet friend. Xoxo)

Friday, December 2, 2011

My 2012 Desk Calendar & Etsy Shop

Whew! OK. After years and years of wanting to make my own desk calendar I FINALLY did it! On top of that, I made a few extra's and opened up an Etsy shop to sell some as well. My little Etsy shop only has this one item in it right now - and I hope to add more products in the future.

My 2012 Desk Calendar is full of bright colors and features some of my most popular designs - maybe you'll recognize some of them from fabrics? It comes in a clear CD case that doubles as a stand and is gift wrapped just for you or to give as a gift. There are 14 pages total - one page for each month and a front and back cover.

Here are all of the month designs at a glance, January to December from left to right... 
 Hope your holiday shopping & gift making is going great!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cozy Christmas Wreath Project

Between working on Christmas projects, designing my holiday cards & creating a 2012 desk calendar on top of everyday work, things have been a bit busy around here and my blog has been a little neglected. Oopsy! I thought I'd hop on here and go ahead and share with you my Cozy Christmas Wreath project I just finished up. SO fun!!

I helped make some of these for friends and just HAD to rush home and make one for myself! In my rush, I settled for a 14" wreath, but I would have much rather had a larger one, if I took the time to do some research, as this one is a bit smaller than I'd like for my front door. But doesn't this look fun, festive and cozy!! I absolutely LOVE felt flowers, so I kept making them and added more and more...I was even tempted to make a whole wreath out of felt flowers, but I really liked the wooly wreath too much to cover it all up.

Here are the instructions for you, in case you want to make one for yourself. Total time=2 hours. Great to make while watching a movie.

To make this exact wreath, you will need:
  • 1, 14" straw wreath - keep the plastic wrapping on it
  • 1 package of 'Wool-Ease', Thick & Quick yarn (I used an Oatmeal color with flecks)
  • Felt in a variety of colors - approx 2, 9x12 sheets for each large & medium flower. 1 sheet for small & mini flowers.
  • Scissors
Wrap the wreath with the yarn, making sure you cover the wreath completely. I went over places multiple times to make it thick.

Make a variety of felt flowers in different sizes and colors. Each felt flower is made up of 8 circles. I made 4 different sizes of flowers for my wreath: 1 large flower using a 5" circle. 4 medium flowers using a 4" circle.  2 small flowers using a 2.5" circle. 3 mini flowers using a 1.75" circle.

Once your felt circles are cut, fold a circle in half. Cut 2 slits at the fold in the center, about 1/4"-1/2" long and leaving about 1/4" of room between the slits. Cut 1 foot of the yarn you used to wrap the wreath, for each flower you want to make. Thread the yarn through the slits of each of the 8 pieces of felt that make up a flower. Once all are threaded, tie a tight knot at the base & leave the tails as you will use them to attach the flowers to the wreath. Arrange the felt nicely to make the flower.

Arrange each of the felt flowers on top of your wreath in any way you desire. Tie them down in the back of the wreath with a knot. Snip the edges. Once you are completed, hang on your door to provide a warm welcome for your guests!

Keep me posted if you make one!! I'd love to see!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review (& Press!): Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design

The highly anticipated book by fabric designer Laurie Wisbrun 'Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design' is Laurie's first book and is an inspirational and practical guide that walks readers through the entire fabric design and printing process. Laurie finds the offbeat beauty in everyday objects and patterns, and translates them into unique surface and textile designs. Be sure to head over to her website to check out her fun & bold work!

This book is currently available in the UK and will be arriving in the US in February! I happily received my copy, read through it immediately, and decided I MUST share the contents with you.

This book not only contains techniques, tutorials and inspiration, but it also contains interviews of some fabulous designers out in the field now, which are very fun to read, and sprinkled throughout the book. And I must let you know that I am thankful to have been included in the designer interviews for this book! {Thanks Laurie!!} I had a great time answering her awesome questions and am super excited to be included in Chapter 2 'Sourcing Inspiration'.

To start things off, I must say that this book is very relevant to the now. It seems like every corner I turn I come across someone who has questions about creating a fabric collection, how to put artwork into repeat, or how to make a profession out of being a surface designer. This book is a great resource geared toward the beginning and budding designer, to assist in guiding you through the exciting field of fabric design and production.

Here's the chapter breakdowns for you:

CHAPTER 1: Designing for Fabric
Walks you through the different types of 'motifs' (such as florals, geometrics and ethnic designs), types of repeats, and working with color.

CHAPTER 2: Sourcing Inspiration
From researching trends, to keeping inspiration journals and creating mood boards, this chapter will guide you though ways to keep yourself inspired.

CHAPTER 3: Designing Patterns
Contains tutorials on how to build 3 different types of repeats in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop CS4, how to create a digital color palette, and how to create repeats by hand.

CHAPTER 4: Understanding Fabric, Inks and Dyes
Reviews different fabric treatments, textile dyes/inks/paints and resist dyeing.

CHAPTER 5: Hand Printing
Walks you through block printing basics and how to create repeats using block printing. Also includes stencil printing & the screenprinting process.

CHAPTER 6: Digital Printing
Working with a digital printing service, including adjusting color and touching up images.

CHAPTER 7: Going Professional
Chocked-full of designer interviews, and includes lists of examples of courses of study from universities that will put you on the road to this industry, as well as a list of full-time career options. Another highlight is how to approach fabric manufacturers and how to develop collections for licensees to developing a marketing plan and tidbits on trade shows. 

I would highly recommend this book for beginning designers as it is a fabulous resource tool full of important information that will help you on your way to learning more about fabric designing! Be sure to get your hands on a copy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heartspiration: Self-Determination

 {image via}

I was inspired today by this post from Tara Gentile, a creative business coach & consultant, and since this thought topic has been on my mind for - oh, about a month or two - I figured what better time to talk about it than now? (I apologize right now for the lack of beautiful, inspiring pics on this one!)

What's all this about? Self-Determination - and I'll throw in a few drops of discipline and consistency while I'm at it. Do you have it? Do you want it?

As many of you who have been reading along over the past few months have known, I left the corporate world I lived in for 12 years, and it's been about 6 months ago now (more about that here). Working for myself has been a wonderful blessing full of adventure, creativity and being able to take the reigns in my life like never before. Instead of being a quiet horse in someone else's carriage, I get to drive the carriage and shout my voice from the top of my lungs (which explodes with rainbows and flowers - just sayin'). Love.

Here's a little story about the journey and discoveries along the way of working for myself...

In the corporate world, I had a mentor. A pretty hard-core business minded one. Savvy. Brilliant. She asked what my passions were - I mentioned a pretty big one. She said 'I don't believe you, because if you loved it so much, you would make time to do it.' I bawlked. I wholeheartedly disagreed. I understood it was her point of view but marched in the opposite direction. (Hey, I'm a passionate creative, yes?)

I figured - 'when I work for myself, my life will look like FITB!'...balanced, gym goer, get my social life back, you name it, FITB for yourself. (I'll use going to the gym as an example because who can't relate to THAT one?) Then I started working for myself and wha? I didn't go to the gym. I had all this 'extra' time and I wasn't going to the gym. It finally struck me like lightening, what my mentor was getting at. Then I realized...I must not really WANT to go because I'm not making time for it. In theory I do, but obviously, if I really wanted to, I would make time to do it, not make excuses. I'd decide to put in the effort and the discipline.

Simple concept, but really, how many of us make excuses to not live the life we want? How many of us blame FITB for not being able to do FITB? Although I still don't whole heartily agree with what my mentor was saying, cause hey, LIFE happens, and it IS truly difficult to 'have it all', if not impossible. Wanting something doesn't mean it's going to auto-magically start happening when your 'excuse' has disappeared. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy or natural. It means you have to fight for it. To have self-determination. To have consistency & discipline. To push past yourself to achieve yourself.

Once I grasped that (yes, simple concept, but can be difficult to muster up the strength over and over again for each new thing you want to add into your life!) then I held the reigns tighter. Got focused & determined. Worked on consistency. And now I've said goodbye to the horse & carriage and am a steam engine.

How about you? What do you have a passion for that you're just not doing? What's standing in your way? How do you need to shift your priorities around to achieve the life you want and need to live? As Nike says so brilliantly - 'Just do it!'.

{PS - FITB=Fill in the Blank}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Heart: The I Am Project

My good friend Tobe over at the Because It's Awesome blog just opened up an Etsy shop to sell their I Am Project lettering prints which focus on affirmations and inspirations! Not only do I love Tobe and her extreme talent, I also absolutely love the cause that propelled her and her friend's work. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Tobe at Hallmark Cards some years back, and had a blast collaborating with her on projects.

The I Am Project was started by three friends with a passion around strengthening each others hearts.

The I Am Project :: Our wish is to affirm and inspire the beauty in every woman, to celebrate the uniqueness in each of us, as well as the commonalities that unite us as women. We want to create a space to confront the dark places that come with growth; to witness women being valued for more than their bodies, clothes, or societal projections; to feel inspired by stories and images; and to become more deeply rooted in who we are as women. We want to become a net of resources that will nurture and fortify each others confidence, and fill women with awareness of the extraordinary beauty that each of us uniquely brings to the world.


 Pretty wonderful idea, isn't it? This is definitely a cause that I believe all of us women can get behind and feel inspired and empowered to be true to ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness. 

You can purchase these beauties in their Etsy shop in either 5x7 and 8x10 size, and they even have a 'two for' deal going on. I hope these affirmations and inspirations inspire you and your day ahead!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inspired by: BHLDN

We had a blast in San Francisco over the weekend, attending my friend's wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous! Since that day, it has definitely gotten weddings on my mind. Yes, I have been married for 10 years and already had my wedding day - but I still just love the beauty of it all! I'm such a girlie-girl, and I confess, I still buy Martha Stewart Weddings magazines for the gorgeous color & theme inspiration. LOVE!

My number one favorite store to shop at is Anthropologie. Number ONE. So, today I thought I'd share with you their wedding extension, BHLDN. They've got such wonderful, vintage-with-a-twist items, from wedding and bridesmaid dresses, shoes and jewelry all the way to festive decorations and stationery. I absolutely love the vintage take on things and all the options that allow for so much personalization and personality. It's wonderful to see weddings taking a turn from the traditional confines and becoming a reflection of the couple.

I enjoyed this info from the BHLDN story - "Our roots are with Anthropologie, so a passion for experience and creating one-of-a-kind moments runs deep. But our offering speaks more to the not-so-everyday occasions—ours is a voice that celebrates a woman’s most anticipated milestones. And one that gives tradition a twist. Be you. Be loved. BHLDN."

Isn't everything just GORGEOUS!!! I'm so glad I got married so long ago to where half of the wonderfulness that is out there now didn't even exist! Whew! But I loooove looking at it all, that's for sure! I've added these images and more to my Pinterest board 'Wedded Bliss'. Head on over there and pin any favorites to add to your boards!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane: San Francisco

{Ork City Map Poster of San Francisco}

Jake and I are heading out bright and early in the morning to San Francisco! My BFF I've known since 7th grade has finally found her true love after 10 years in med school, and is getting married in the awesome city! I'm SO excited to be a part of her special day. I'm sure I'll remember it forever.

We're only staying one night which is super-fast, but we're hoping to do some quick sight seeing in our spare time. I grew up in northern CA, so I've been to SF a few times - the most memorable time being deep sea fishing in the San Francisco Bay - but I haven't visited for about 10 years. Any of you have some tips of great places we should see, places to eat, or things to do??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

From My Shelf: Elle Decoration · April 2011

Blues and greens are my absolute FAVORITE colors. Seriously. If I could cover my house, walls, furniture, etc. in just these colors I would be a happy girl! For many years I've wanted an aqua blue couch..or bright when I came across these tears from Elle Decoration's April 2011 issue, I just had to take the magazine home with me so I could add the tears to my inspiration library.  

I love in this magazine spread how they are taking different fabrics that revolve around a color story and piecing them together for wall hangings, table runners, mix and match pillows and upholstery.

I have a slight addiction, I must admit, to magazines. I think I may have come clean to you in a previous blog post? If not, I'm coming clean now {smile}. It's one of the things Jake and I love to go and do together - sit at Barnes and Noble, grab a stack of magazines and a coffee {ahem - a tall nonfat chai with six pumps of chai and no water - to be exact!}, and search for the best ones to take home with me. 

Just the other day I was going through my plethora of magazine inspiration tears - remember this blog post about my organization process, or this one about magazines I've had since 2002? - and thought to myself - 'Wow! I've gathered some beautiful and awesome stuff and it's just sitting in a stack!'...(because I have more inspiration tears and magazines than I have time to tear them apart and create beautiful books out of them). And with that, I thought I'd start sharing with you some of the highlights of my magazine shopping. I hope you enjoy and I hope that the pics I start sharing will inspire you to pick up that magazine at your local newsstand or start an addiction of your own! (Or maybe a slight craving to be surrounded by more beauty cause I don't want to encourage addiction {wink, wink}).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inspiration Organization: Houzz

I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE looking at home magazines and dreaming up how I would decorate a room. My many trips to Barns & Noble result in taking home with me magazines such as Ideal Home, Living Etc., Country Living-England, and Country Homes & Interiors UK to name a few - and boy do I miss Domino & Blueprint! To make it even wonderfully worse, I've started a folder where I put all the tears from these magazines of home & decorating ideas that inspire me. You know - for some day!

So you can imagine my happiness when I stumbled across an online home photo organizing website called Houzz! Genius. Dreamy. Addicting. Enough said!

But I'll elaborate, just for you. Here's Houzz in a nutshell:

Design professionals showcase their portfolios, sharing their work with a community dedicated to home and landscape design. 25,000+ professionals have uploaded more than 150,000 inspiring photographs, making Houzz the Internet's largest database of design and decorating ideas.

Homeowners collect their favorite photos, find design professionals in their areas, upload photos of their homes and gardens, and swap tips and questions with other members. 600,000+ ideabooks have been created by Houzz members, and new ones are added every minute.

So, finally - no more finding fab photo's of homes & interiors online, taking screen shots only to clutter up your desktop...and then have to move everything to a folder on your hard drive. No more!

So I've browsed and browsed & created idea books. The great thing is that you can create many idea books (dining room, kitchen, decor, wallpaper, etc.) & also include notes along with each image, such as 'love that coffee table' or 'interesting color combination idea', etc.

I've included some pic's that make me happy. I hope you find Houzz just as fun & inspiring as I do!

{Love the color combination}

{Interesting wall decor. Love the lamp & grass wallpaper}

{LOVE the idea of mix & match upholstered chairs!}
{All images from}

Monday, August 22, 2011

Missoni for Target

I'm SO excited for Target's new designer collaboration with Missoni!! Missoni for Target will be unleashed starting September 13th and will run until October 22nd and is bursting with over 400 pieces of stylish items in a multitude of categories from women's, men's, children's, home, accessories, lifestyle, and office products. This is Target's largest designer collaboration to date!

You can check out the entire collection here.

Some of my favorites are the home office products, frames, outdoor seating, plates, mugs & zigzag sweaters and and and...What about you? Any specific items on your list?

{Image from InStyle Magazine, September 2011 issue}

Friday, August 19, 2011

My First REAL Vacation

A couple of weeks ago, Jake and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We decided to take our first real vacation and visit the Grand Canyon. Pretty sad that it's taken us 10 years (and for me, my whole adult life) to actually take a real vacation - which to me is a vacation that doesn't revolve around visiting family or friends or to get a new job, but one where we can turn off the electronics and just BE.

It was quite breathtaking and spectacular, and a nice shake-up of warm weather from the dreary one we had been having in the Seattle area this year. I was kinda hoping to be a little sun-kissed by the time I got back so I could bask in the sunshine's warmth for a little while, but that SPF 60 really did it's job! Bummer - although I am glad I wasn't a crispy fry, like usual.

We slammed out the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in one day. Our brand new camera we bought was having technical difficulties and wouldn't snap a pic if it's life depended on it, so we were stuck with cell phone snaps on day 1 (although the pics above turned out pretty well, yes?). Low and behold we finally got it fixed (thanks to a brand new firmware download that just came out which saved our frustration level and camera-chucking-out-the-window reflex from happening).

So, since we had 4 days left to spend on our vacation we visited the North Rim and Zion National Park. Let me tell you - Zion stole the cake! It was breathtaking and beautiful. Instead of looking out across vast amounts of canyon we got to be down in the canyon looking up. Although I'm not an outdoorsy kinda girl, I could definitely appreciate the beauty!

I think this has definitely taught me to take more real vacations in my life and more regularly. I'll have to start compiling a list of places to visit. Anyone have any favorite spots for weekend getaways or real vacations? I'd love your recommendations!

On another note - 10 years of being married has been such a wonderful adventure! I'm such a lucky girl to be married to my best friend and favorite person in the world. I remember on our first anniversary saying 'I can't wait till our 10 year' - and here we are - time just flew by in a wink. Looking forward to the next 10+!


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