Valentine's Gift Guide part I

The month of February is always a fun one: the near end of winter (or perhaps more cold? you can never tell in Portland), my birthday (celebrating the big 2-0 this year!), and of course, Valentine's Day. A day that will always remind me of crayon written doily notes and candy hearts sent to classmates in third grade, cheesy valentines for friends in middle school, and ever so slightly annoying roses and balloons in high school. I never had an "official" Valentine, only my best friends who shared in our proud singledom while we watched girls ooh and ahh over their drugstore bought balloons and teddy bears from their clueless "boyfriends."

Now that I have a real Valentine to share the day with, I wanted to create a gift guide that girls and boys could enjoy. I was never the type to go the usual route of flowers, bears and chocolates (although any chocolate is fine by me, it must be the heart shaped box that I don't like.) So instead of Friday Faves, these next couple weeks will feature all things Valentine related.

First up, the ever so important...Valentine Card.

The sweet simplicity of Satsuma Press' circle heart card is elegant and to the point.

This I like you...a lot card from Anemone Letterpress helps get over that hurdle of telling someone you're interested!

Hello Handmade Paperie will hand write a card to your loved one, in three amazing fonts! Snap them up before they're gone!

These two cards from Paper Dragonfly are beautiful! (I got the bottom one for my valentine).

Dutch Door Press always mixes their love of Dutch folk design with simple messages, like their Will You Be Mine? card.

Roll and Tumble press has an assortment of adorable letterpressed cards that look crafty and vintage. Grab them here.

So thats it for round one! All of these cards were found on etsy, which supports small businesses and individuals. Skip Hallmark and shop handmade! Our next round features cool gifts for her.

Also, happy 100th post to me!


Keep Calm

I was quite excited to receive a newsletter from London print gallery Keep Calm. American painter/artist Amy Ross will now be selling limited edition prints through KC. Her work is minimal and focuses on animals and nature, often combining both into a bizarre yet stunning piece. Her work is featured all over the place, so its delightful to see that shes getting bigger and bigger in the art world. You can find Amy's prints and other wonderful prints and posters at Keep Calm Gallery. Happy Wednesday!


Another Snow Day

Once again, the snow decides to grace its presence in Portland. I woke up and was quite confused; the past few days have been bitterly cold but ultra sunny and not a cloud in sight. Why now, snow? WHY? Well, it gets me out of class for the day so I can watch BRCs (thats short for British Romantic Comedies...you know which ones), and dream about going back to Europe. Its been 7 years (wow I was YOUNG), but I would love to go back to Scotland, specifically Edinburgh. Its such an old city with ridiculous amounts of history, and lots of cute Scottish men. Ah...I'll be there soon (I hope). For now...lets take a trip through pictures.

Ah...the memories.

Etsy Tuesday: Sarah Seven

This week's amazing Etsy finds are coming to you from Portland fashion designer Sarah Seven. Her ultra-feminine styles are sure to delight any girl. Sarah's use of chiffon, lace, dusty pinks and ethereal fabrics are a stand out from other fashion designer's creations.

I love love love the photography-it totally captures her style and mood when someone wears her dresses. As always, you can find her gorgeous clothes here. Enjoy!


Guiltless Muffins

Every morning I try to take my own breakfast to work. It saves me money, and whatever cereal I've got is wayyyy better than the hidden calories packed into our food items. Well, its freezing in my apartment right now so I felt like baking something yummy so I can stand next to a hot oven and make myself a cup of tea. I grabbed a box of Krusteaz Fat-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins, and started making them. I also made it a bit healthier by adding oats and flax seeds. Each muffin boasts 140 calories (in comparison to the blueberry muffins at work which have over 400 each!!). So keep warm and feel better with a lovely morning snack.

Guiltless Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffins

-1 box Krusteaz Apple Cinnamon muffins (they're SO cheap, I can make a dozen muffins for under $2)
-1 to 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds (I got mine at Whole Foods)
-1 handful oats


Prepare muffin mix according to box directions (its 1 1/4 c. water-how easy is that?!), stir in flax seeds and drop by the spoonful into muffin pan. Sprinkle oats on top and bake at 400 F for 18-20 mins.

These babies are a quick fix for mid-morning relaxing. I need to get myself more of these...


Artist Profile: Julia Rothman

New Yorker Julia Rothman is all about illustration and pattern. Her amazing talent has produced wallpapers, books, patterns and paintings. Julia's unique style can be seen all over design blogs-shes just that good.

Recently she teamed up with D*S and several other artists to create an online video series called "Design by the Book," where artists visit the New York Public Library, gather information and inspiration, and create a work based on their finds. The series is almost complete, and Julia has found inspiration in an old book based on Navy and sailor uniforms. Can't wait to see the final product!

Julia Rothman is a favorite amongst blogs like Design*Sponge, Decor8 and many many more. She also blogs at Book By Its Cover. I hope one day I can have a little breakfast nook wallpapered with her design.


Friday Faves

This week's Friday Fave isnt really etsy related...but wedding related! Recently I found my *favorite* real wedding post at Brooklyn Bride. It was perfection-the colors, the location, the decor, the food, the photography. Crystal and Andrew's wedding looks right out of an Anthropologie store; its cozy, home town feel and nostalgic elegance are captured so beautifully.

All of this greatness inspired this:

For more fantastic real weddings, inspiration boards and just great blog eye-candy, check out Brooklyn Bride.

photos from Flickr, Design*Sponge, Etsy.


Yes, he can

Today was a great day in American history. It was so refreshing and uplifting to see the new President be sworn into office. Barack Obama inspires America to stand up and rebuild our nation-something that should've been done long ago. It is indeed time to dust off and help America get back to the once prosperous and loved country that we were. I feel inspired and proud to be an American. And its great to see a young guy from Hawaii become the most powerful man in our country. Today is a new day!

Etsy Tuesday: Skinny Laminx

This week's Etsy Tuesday comes from reknown illustrator and design blog maven Skinny Laminx. Heather makes her cute creations at her studio in South Africa. She specializes in fabrics and home wares. She is basically loved by all in the etsy and blog world-and its easy to see why! You can visit her personal website/blog here and buy her products here.



I found this really cute blog from Marimekko. Always Mod is all about Marimekko products, showing us the greatest and latest from the design house. I found this page for desktop wallpapers-what a fun way to incorporate great design onto your laptop! Everytime I see it, I feel a bit more cool. You can download their wallpapers here. Enjoy!


Friday Faves

I was inspired by this pillow on Design*Sponge yesterday, so I went browsing for gorgeous purple and dusty gray shades...I think its love! Recognize that closet on the top left? Thats Carrie's from Sex and the City!

earrings by Emily Gray Jewels, dress by Sarah Seven (I had a class with the girl in the pic, she is so gorgeous!)

other photos from Domino, D*S


Lecture Notes: Daniel Bozhkov

Artist Daniel Bozhkov, born in Bulgaria, uses his art as a means of social connection and incorporates everyday images of Walmart and icon Larry King.

His lecture was quite varied, he showed images and video of himself painting a fresco in the layaway department at a Walmart:
And creating a huge "crop sign" of Larry King:
Perhaps my favorite image he showed us was a still frame from a 15 second commercial he aired in Turkey:
Everytime I see this I crack up. Its Darth Vader cleaning the Black Sea with a Brita water filter. OH MAN.

Daniel has been producing tons of work over his career, many of which involve community. Another great project was creating the fragrance of Ernest Hemingway-which he made into a real fragrance- Eau D'Ernest.
In many ways, hes brilliant. Great work!

photos courtesy Flickr and Andrew Kreps Gallery

First Etsy Sales!

AH im so excited! I sold my first items on Etsy today to two of my best friends. It doesn't matter that they are close to me, its just that I've finally done it! So so excited, I'm off to the post office right now to ship their items! Another print will be coming up in the shop soon, I just finished printing them yesterday. Later on I'll post my Lecture Notes series on this week's Monday Night Artist Lecture...until then!


Etsy Tuesday: Mudpuppy

Today's finds are from artist Michael McDowell of Mudpuppy, who creates beautiful bud vases and sculptures with clay. His work is minimal, clean, and fresh and still holds a feeling of vintage nostalgia. He was also just featured as last week's roundup on D*S. Great work! You can purchase McDowell's creations here and visit his website for more fun stuff here. Happy Tuesday!


Loving It

I found these great felted vessels from Papaver Vert on Etsy. They are a splurge, but are lovely containers for decorative plants, objects, pencils, whatever you got lying around! Get your felted wool fix here. Happy Monday!