Friday, February 26, 2010

Fantastic Friday: Image Inspiration from Wedding Inspiration Boards

While researching photos for my travel blog, Transitional Nadia, I found a really gorgeous blog with tons of fabulous wedding photos! The blog is called Snippet & Ink and it has some truly beautiful images. I came to this blog by way of another beautiful blog called Pixelimpress which is owned and authored by Pam, the creator of a small stationery business and just to let you know, her stationary is beautiful.

Anyway, I wanted to share some of Snippet & Ink's inspiration boards, the ones which really call my attention. These are the ones I felt to be most beautiful:

Nantucket themed wedding, click here for photo credits.

Sparkle and Bubbly, click here for photo credits.

Pansies and Blush, click here for photo credits.

And last, but certainly not least, the fourth of my favorites:

Let's Do It, Let's fall in love!, click here for photo credits.

Aren't these inspiration boards by Kathryn at Snippet & Ink amazing? I am bookmarking this blog and adding it to my feed list for future reference. I suggest you check it out if you are looking for wedding ideas. Kathryn has tons more boards and many more great posts!

Here's to a wonderful weekend!

Cheers! ☺

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Awareness Thursday: African American Folkart

In honor of Black History Month I wanted to showcase and talk about some of the wonderful folkart that African Americans have contributed to our history over the years. The earliest forms of African American folkart were first seen in the early seventeenth century shortly after the African slaves arrived in the American territories. According to an article in by Rebekah Presson Mosby, because of the puritanical atmosphere of the colonial timeperiod, the arts were not regarded as a necessary form of expression but rather as a frivolous endeavor and therefore were rarely encouraged. Rebekah also mentioned that evidence has been found to assure us that high quality fine art portraits were produced during that time by African slaves. Other high quality artisan crafts made by both slaves and freed men includes "practical and decorative artwork—from the ornate iron railings adorning the balconies of New Orleans to fine clothing, silverware, pottery, and woodcarvings." (Arts and Crafts by Rebekah Presson Mosby)

Apparently the one craft at which the black americans most excelled was the art of furniture making. Although most slaveholders probably did not bring slaves to America for the purpose of their artisanship their talents were quickly recognized and many slaves became employed as cobblers, silversmiths, tailors and carpenters among other creative professions. One of my favorite excerpts from the article by Rebekah states the following:
"It is clear that people of African descent distinguished themselves in nearly all art forms—from music to the making of every imaginable type of art and craft—from their first appearance in America. The record regarding early contributions by blacks in the fine arts, such as painting and sculpture, is less well documented. In part, this was because making fine art was often a secret activity for blacks."
Here are a few examples of some of the beautiful craftmanship made my African slaves/African Americans through the ages:
Silver footed cup by Peter Bentzon, first black silversmith in the US
to mark his works with his name. Bentzon was born free c. 1783.

Armoire by Celestin Glapion, c. 1790.
Glapion was a free man of color and furniture maker
in colonial New Orleans.

Joshua Johnson's "Portrait of a Gentleman"
The portrait dates from c. 1805-1810. American Museum in Britain.

{Images from the article by Rebekah Presson Mosby}

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Conscious Shopping Wednesday: Paper Fever

Checking out my daily blog reads I found some gorgeous paper goods so I thought, "Why not write a post about the beautiful things people are doing with paper?" So here it is! I've been seeing a lot of letterpress goods and handmade paper lovelies that it is too difficult not to share the goodies!

Sarah Parrot's Parrot Design Studio has the most gorgeous wedding invitations I have ever seen:

In the blog A Field Journal you will find some pretty gorgeous paper goods as well, such as this Grade School Valentine Craft Pack:

This particular craft pack is actually available for download and even though Valentine's Day is gone I think it is worth downloading and using over and over! They are absolutely beautiful and remind me of when I was in grade school! How I miss it!

Another lovely download from the same blog is the I Spied October game book. A beautiful paper project to use as a gift or for nostalgic purposes. I think I may make one for my nieces to give them as a Halloween gift. Here's one of Livy's photos of her beautiful project:

Please be sure to check out Livy's blog A Field Journal, there are so many beautiful tutorials and great recipes. Plus, she was one of the first bloggers I started following, one of my very first daily reads and when you go to her blog you will see why! Click on the bold faced link of the blog name above the Grade School Craft pack photo to access her site.

{papermash} has some really great new products that I want to share with you! These really caught my eye:

Hello Camera Notecards from {papermash}
Mini doilies from {papermash}, shown in white
Paris Polaroid postcards, set of six from {papermash}

Aren't all these things lovely? I love paper goods and even love to make my own cards and things, but I love what others are able to come up with too!

I hope you've enjoyed this post! As you know, Wednesday is my favorite day so I love to share my favorite things with you! Don't forget to check the sites and blogs out!


Images from the following: Parrot Design Studio, A Field Journal, and {papermash}.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Tutorials: Inspiration Collage

Creating an Inspiration Collage in Your Journal

I use my journal for many purposes-- writing down thoughts, frustrations, inspirational quotes and more. Every now and then I like to include a sort of "inspiration board" entry made up of just images and quotes which is exactly what I want to share with you today!  The photo above is my finished product, my mini inspiration board right inside my personal journal (it is not every day that you get a glimpse into that fantastic piece of writing and passion), everything there has some meaning and inspires me in some way. Here's how to put it together.

First, gather your supplies together. Here's what I used:

My supply box...

Tags from products I've saved for tracing...

Box one of my sticker collection...

Some of the embellishments I have saved from trips and such...

Second, start placing your pieces on your "canvas," in this case the page(s) you will use for your collage.

My "canvas"

Pasting the background papers down.

Third, continue placing the embellishments you want to use in the desired fashion. I like the feel of the notebook paper barely showing as you can see below:

Almost finished, a bit of a block layout...

Complete, minus detail above heart...

Lastly, just have fun piecing and completing the collage! You'll feel so satisfied once you're finished and you'll have something uniquely beautiful.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and my little collage! I'd love to see what others come up with!


PS: Check my flickr page for notes on the photos!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Musings: Beautiful Eye Candy

I don't have much to say today as I was quite busy and was not able to really think about a lot but I wanted to share with you some of the gorgeous things I've been seeing while I blog surf! So, today it's all about images, gorgeous and wonderful, and sharing some sites with you that make me feel like I do not know how I lived without them! Enjoy!
{photo by: artlovejoy, from blog post "Mellow Yellow"}
{inspiration board, photo by artlovejoy at artygirlsblog}

{Image from decor8, as seen on artygirlsblog}

{Images from decor8}

The two images above I just fell in love with! They're fabulous! I love the first one for its uniqueness and the second one because I love to knit!

I want a room like this for my crafting pleasure:

{Images from decor8}

I leave you with the following, my favorite Alicia Bock photo:
{Photo by: Alicia Bock Photography: I Love Paris in the Springtime}

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fantastic Friday: Design Blogs Galore!

Fridays are so much fun! Alyssa, Gianna and I had a very good morning today. We were able to talk to my Mom (their Abuela) on skype which was fun! It's always fun, especially when I get to see my four day old nephew! He's such a cutie! Anyway, the sun was out and shining through the window (though it was freezing outside) and reminded me of Spring to come! I am longing for Spring, for colors to return! I love Winter but one can only take so much white before one starts to dream of color and warmth!

So, today I was thinking about design! I follow a ton of design blogs and it's about time I started sharing them! I've already written about {frolic} which is truly one of my favorite blogs. I cannot impress it enough upon you how absolutely inspiring Chelsea Fuss' blog is. Her images will wow you and her polaroids will astound you! Another blog you will remember having read about before on here is A CUP OF JO, though it is not strictly a design blog, Joanna Goddard often posts about design and oh how lovely are the things she posts! I especially love her fairly recent Home Inspiration: Flowers post. The photos of Juliet Toten's New York Apartment are spectacular!

Another site I am now following courtesy of Joanna Goddard's blog is Design*Sponge. Their site's layout is just fun to look at! It's gorgeous and the images that go with the posts are breath-takingly beautiful! There is nothing better than looking through a great design blog! The ideas you can get are amazing! There are many contributors to that site and as I always say, the more the merrier! Now if clean cut design images and beautiful vistas are your thing then you will love escapade. The blogs complete name is In Search of a Life More Fabulous: Escapade, and it truly is quite an escapade! I love it! Their is so much for one to feast the eyes on! I think this is just one of my many favorite images from this blog:

Can you see why I love all these design blogs??? Another favorite: Abbey Goes Design Scouting, which I have already mentioned as well. As for art and design: Jill Bliss has a little bit of everything! Just check out her new journal design:
{photo by Jill Bliss}

I cannot wait to get my hands on one of those full color journals! It's going to be a long wait as they do not come on the market until September but it is worth going to Jill's blog just to look at the above photo and all the other wonderful things she's posted about! Last but certainly not least, I will mention my friend Kiki Smith's blog: Kiki Nakita. Kiki is an up and coming designer studying in Oregon. Her blog has beautiful images, beautiful music and inspiring stories. You really need to check it out as well! There are so many more design blogs I follow but not enough time in the day to write them all up! I will have to do another Fantastic Friday post about more blogs!

Have a wonderful weekend and have fun perusing these great blogs!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Awareness Thursday: Fighting Cancer One Marathon at a time

As I was thinking of a charity event or awareness month to write about today I was reminded that I'd seen on facebook that my friends Paul and Tiffany Carbaugh were once again getting ready to run for cancer cure research. Last year I joined their group on facebook to encourage them in their endeavor to raise money and raise awareness for the need to find a cure for cancer of all types. I am not a runner but I will support those who are running for something that is so close to my own heart.

My own father battled cancer in the early 1990's and thanks to the grace of God has been in remission for over 15 years. The capable doctors who attended to him were amazing and full of faith. They never gave up and throughout that time I was able to get to know many other cancer patients who were being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Knowing that people like Paul and Tiffany want to help others have a chance to keep enjoying life like my father has gives me great hope that there still are those who care and want to give without receiving anything in return. The satisfaction that comes with giving is inexplicably great. I can see that in the tone of Tiffany's writing as she speaks of what she felt when she first gave back and participated in a marathon.

To hear more about Paul and Tiffany's preparations to participate in the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon with Team In Training, please visit their blog at: Read Tiffany's compelling post, check out the other Riant Photography posts, and don't hesitate to give as well! Paul and Tiffany have set a goal of $6000 to raise and are 31% of the way there. I plan on making a small donation. Won't you join me as well?

Cheers and thank you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Conscious Shopping Wednesday: Sneaker Sensation!

Sneaker Sensation at Rosaeurs!

Wednesday is my favorite day for many reasons!

Reason #1: It marks the mid-week point! It is exactly in the middle of the week!
Reason #2: I was born on a Wednesday.
Reason #3: I get to share interesting eco-friendly shopping finds! Yay!

So, today I went back to my favorite eco-site Inhabitat and found a great DIY Fashion kit being showcased on Ecouterre, their fashion weblog. Ecouterre is amazing and has everything you'd want to know about eco-fashion on it! A bonus was that I was able to attend their launch party in NYC last October which was a total blast! I love fashion and if it is sustainable even better!

Here's the skinny on the DIY: JGoods' Sneaker Restoration Kit, something I think I may just be needing to revamp my poor Nikes (they are in such bad shape right now). This kit basically makes your old kicks look new again and who wouldn't want that? Not only can you hang on to your sneaks a while longer (before deciding to place them six feet under or over a heaping pile of garbage) you can make them look great with this snazzy kit! You can buy the kit at JGoods online shop for just $35. In their own words: "The kit includes all the necessary materials for sneaker restoration and the most comprehensive guide to sneaker care, cleaning and restoration available." And did I mention it comes in a really cool shoe box?

JGoods Sneaker Restoration Kit

So, go on, make your shoes happy! Give them that nice new look and live sustainably by reusing rather than tossing away! Your shoes will be so glad you brought them back they'll want to dance the night away with you!


New York Sneakers out on Central Park

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Baby Nephew!!!

It's Tuesday and I would normally have a tutorial but I spent most of the day on Skype with my nieces as we "met" my new little nephew (their cousin) Alexander José. He is such a cutie and looks pretty much identical to my brother! This baby is his first child, my parents' third grand-child but their first grandson. The girls and I were beside ourselves when we were looking at him on skype! What a handsome little guy!

my little nephew moments after birth...

To keep in tune with the Tuesday tutorials I went hunting for baby themed tutorials posted on other sites to share with you and found the following:

Velum Birth Announcements on look like a fun option! You just need a couple of photos, some scrapbooking paper, vellum paper, a printer and you're ready to rock! Here's one of the sample photos used in the tutorial:

Don't have a little one but know someone who does? Here are some great crafts for making great gifts to give to those new parents:

From the Green Kitchen Blog: Sweater Sleeve Kid Pants Tutorial

From Karma Baby: Make Your Own Baby Sling!

Karma Baby Pocket on baby sling...

From Craft Blog: Silhouette Art Tutorial (great for giving to grandparents)

These three tutorials and more can be found on Make For Baby, a directory of crafts and projects to make for baby. I hope to soon be able to bring you more of my own tutorials, being in the middle of transition makes it a bit difficult but I will try to do something about that soon! Enjoy the links!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Musings: It's a preschool world!

I spend a lot of time with an infant and a preschooler so it's no surprise that the things that often call my attention have to do with their age group! My nieces are my two biggest loves and with a nephew on the way (hopefully by tonight he'll be born or at the latest Tuesday morning) you can hardly expect me to not see the world through auntie-eyes! Earlier this morning, during a quiet moment, I checked out one of my favorite websites which I'd not visited in a while and found the cutest little dress that made me think how much I wanted to get it for Alyssa (she's the 4 year old). It's from Preloved, a store from Canada that specializes in using vintage fabrics to create one of a kind pieces! The Melody dress is gorgeous!

Melody Dress by Preloved

The garments on Preloved's site are so beautifully crafted that I could spend hours looking at them over and over and never tire of them. The fact that they are reusing vintage fabrics makes the clothes all the more appealing as sustainability in what we wear is something that I value highly and want to teach my nieces about as well. I learned at an early age that taking care of our environment meant taking care of ourselves in the long-run and having a posterity which will also enjoy our beautiful planet.

I am not a huge fan of television, there are very few things that I truly enjoy watching and anyone who knows me will tell you that. However, being around a preschool age niece has brought me into a preschool world and Nick Jr is suddenly a part of my life! Nick Jr is now a whole channel! When I was a kid Nick Jr was in the morning hours of Nickelodeon and featured shows such as The Elephant Show, Maya the Bee and others. Having a channel that is like being in preschool all day long is interesting yet quite a bit of fun as well. My favorite Nick Jr show is Yo Gabba Gabba! I have to admit that when I first saw this retro-style song and dance show I thought someone was tripping off of something but when I started to pay attention to the message and the great active play I began to like it! It's fun and quirky and teaches great lessons about taking care of the environment, friendship and so much more. Yo Gabba Gabba is a true delight!

DJ Lance Rock and the Yo Gabba Gabba gang

Here are a few scenes from my favorite episode of the show in which Jack Black appeared:

Performing with Muno

Wearing a DJ Lance outfit, courtesy of People Magazine

Jack and Brobee's tummy party!

My niece loves singing "there's a party in my tummy! So, yummy! So, yummy!" When I first heard her singing that I had no idea where she'd gotten it from until one day...Yo Gabba Gabba really is a great show.

So, this week is Winter Break week here in Central NY and that means that Alyssa is home all day.☺ We watched some Nick Jr and all that good stuff but the best part was coloring in the Hello Kitty Coloring book I bought her a while back! We had a blast! Yes, I said we! I love to color! It's quite theraputic for me! Here is the page Alyssa asked me to color for her:

Hello Space Kitty!

So, yes, it's a preschool world and I love it! It's so much fun to be able to play, color, and learn with children!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Special: Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies and The Family Stone

A few days ago, while I was blog surfing, I came across Joanna Goddard's post Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies on her wonderful blog : A CUP OF JO. The recipe she referenced is from another blog called Abbey Goes Design Scouting, another great read! Abbey's recipe was adapted from a recipe originally found in Gourmet (sadly, the magazine is no longer in print) and her pies look fantastic! Here are Abbey's pies:

Don't those look delicious?

Being inspired by the photo above, which Joanna also posted to her blog, I made a few whoopie pies of my own! Mine were made using this recipe: Carrot Cake Cookies, which are made with carrot cake mix. My sister-in-law had a box of the mix lying around, we did not really have enough carrots to make the ones from scratch and we both had a craving for the whoopie pies after seeing that photo on Joanna's blog! So, here are my little pies:

My attempt at being decorative...

All that yummy filling!

A closer look at my culinary skills!

I love photographing baked goods! As I was making these I was watching/listening to the movie The Family Stone. Sarah Jessica Parker did an awesome job being uptight and obnoxious but becomes endearing in the end. It is a sad movie which teaches a valuable lesson, it teaches love and acceptance no matter what a person is like. I think that in order to really appreciate it you have to view it at least twice, it is a real tear-jerker. Here is one of my favorite scenes from the movie:
Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Sarah Jessica Parker

To top everything off, I received a box of Valentine chocolates from my sister-in-law, a nice surprise! So, don't waste another minute, make those whoopie pies and rent the movie! You'll love them both, I guarantee it! Happy Valentine's Day and have a wonderful week!

Cheers ♥

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fantastic Friday: {frolic}

I am obsessed with reading Chelsea Fuss' blog: {frolic}! I love all of her posts! From her tutorials to her product posts, everything she puts on there is worth taking a look at! Her latest post, Project Wedding DIY: flower crown, is sensationally simple to make and just as elegant as an elaborate wreath! It's right up my alley! Something worth bookmarking for when I get married some! One of the things I love most about Chelsea's blog is her list of sponsors! She has so many great sponsors.

{papermash uk} is one such sponsor and I think their products are super gorgeous! Just check out this amazingly beautiful list package:
This is like a dream come true for me! I love making lists and how much cooler would the look on the paper above? Also, being a notebook lover (I am, after all, a writer), I have fallen in love with their notebooks! This one in particular beckons me to buy it:

Such beautiful paper products for the girl who has everything and wants more of it! The best thing on the site, you may ask? The *free* section is pretty great! Right now they have a craft called Sweet Straws craft project by Olivia Kanaley which is pretty, well, SWEET! It's very cute and the instructions are available for download (hover over the word free on here and it will take you directly to the download page). I downloaded it and can't wait to make some!

Isn't that pretty?
This post is making me want to craft now! LOL! Well, now you can see why I love {frolic} so much! Who wouldn't with all the great things you can find on there? Thanks, Chelsea, for keeping such a beautiful blog and sharing your ideas and favorite things!



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