Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Note

I'm so sad to see Christmas go. I love having life focus around the birth of Jesus Christ in all of the different forms that we choose to celebrate this time of year. From Christmas carols, to crafts and decorations, to service projects and everyone having goodwill toward men.

Christmas day for me has consisted of spending all day with my family going to church, changing back into our PJs, then opening presents, eating our traditional Christmas breakfast, taking our Christmas naps, and waking up to devour an amazing homemade apple pie. Now we're all watching Home Alone (my personal favorite) while I do a little net surfing, which is when I came across this very cool artwork by Christopher Broyles. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in a Duffy Boat

This year for Christmas, my brothers, my parents, and my aunt joined my sisters and I in Orange County, instead of us all making the trek up to Northern California. I appointed myself chair of Christmas activities so that would wouldn't just end up sitting around night after night watching Hallmark movies together. Although that is good family bonding, we laugh a lot harder at ourselves and at each other when we are doing some type of adventurous activity.

I'm not sure if a Duffy boat in the canals of Long Beach count as adventurous, but it sure beat Hallmark movies when it came to making Christmas memories. My brother captained our vessel as 10 of us cruised around Naples island and looked at all of the Christmas pretty while sipping our hot cocoa. This satisfied my mother's need to see a ton of Christmas lights and we seriously had the best time. A "must do" holiday activity for anyone within a 50 mile radius.

image of long beach harbor during Christmas found here 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Homemade Gifts

I've seen terrariums around quite a bit recently and it got me thinking about what a fun homemade gift it would make for Christmas. It seems every year that there are many people, in addition to best friends and family, for whom I want to show my love and appreciation. I decided early on that I wanted to give something a little more interesting and lasting than a plate of cookies for these special individuals. Enter the Christmas terrarium; cost effective, easy and fun to create, low maintenance, and adds a little bit of life to the receiver's home. 

First, round up your containers. Any glass container will work, I purchased all of mine from local thrift stores. Then add a layer of coarse sand or small pebbles. This provides a drainage area to prevent overwatering. Next, sprinkle a thin coverage of active charcoal (fish tank aisle of pet store) to prevent the water from stagnating, which will cause your plants to rot (bad news). After the charcoal, add a layer of moss. The moss keeps the soil from crumbling into the pebbles. 

I purchased a variety of inexpensive succulents from Home Depot. I love the way they look and they are also really hard to kill. Finally, every good terrarium needs a kitchy figurine. These nutcrackers were perfect to give my terrariums a Christmas twist. I added tags with a personalized note and finished them off with a simple red ribbon. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Style / No. 3

Why is everything old so much cooler than anything brand new? All of these ingredients for a perfectly retro Christmas were found on Etsy.

shepherd / tags / mugs / ornaments / santa mug / wood letters / santa tags

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Art Worthy of a Bulletin Board

I'm attracted to any wall full of art, but lately it's been specifically bulletin board style; held up with pins and tape. Since I've been shooting with my new (old) Polaroid camera, I have a lot of little photos that I want to display and the quickest and easiest solution for that seems to be a bulletin board. I've had bulletin boards in my bedroom and office for as long as I can remember. They seem to be something that will never go out of style. As I cleared mine off recently and started anew with my Polaroids, I'm really trying to edit this time, and only display images and art that are near to my heart and really inspire me.

top / middle / bottom

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New York

I just got home from New York and like always, that city left me wanting more. Being there at Christmas time made it even more magical. And Blogshop....can't say enough good things. Angela and Bri are such fanstatic, talented, stylish ladies and I feel so lucky to have been taught by them. My Photoshop skills improved about a million times and I had so much fun! I can't wait to implement everything that I learned into my blog.

images by Angela taken at Blogshop

PS Don't forget that my holiday table giveaway ends tomorrow around noon. Check it out here to enter!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Very Merry Giveaway!

Merry Christmas blog readers! As tempted as I was to do something completely outside the box and go for a navy and hot pink themed Christmas, I kept getting drawn to something more classic, simple, and sophisticated (see inspiration from previous post here). Anyone can easily put this table together with the below ingredients from your local craft store, but for one lucky reader, you won't have to because I'll be boxin' it up and shippin' it to ya!

I wanted to do something fun for this special time of year, so we're celebrating by doing my first ever giveaway here on the blog! To enter to win this holiday table design for 4, simply enter a comment below and tell me your favorite Christmas memory, or simply your favorite thing about this time of year. (Mine would be sailing around the Florida Keys last Christmas on a very questionable boat; that memory will definitely be hard to top.) To enter you must first leave a comment, but for additional entries you can following me on twitter here, and like my Facebook page here. I'll be selecting a winner at noon on Friday (December 16) and then packing it up and shipping it ASAP so that you have time to enjoy it before Christmas day. Sound good?

Here's what you'll get:

(4) red ribbed plate chargers
(4) smaller clear vases
(2) larger clear vases
berries, cinnamon sticks, twigs/branches
(4) gift boxes (to be filled with your own creation, personalized for your guests)
(4) red glittered initials to act as place cards and tree ornaments (I love when things serve a dual purpose...)
*Note: winner is to request the letters of their choice to coordinate with guests' names
(4) speckled feathers
(1) table runner
(4) white cloth napkins

**does not include silverware, plates, goblets

Good luck and merry Christmas!!

WINNER UPDATE: I wanted the drawing to be totally fair (because a lot of times I think these types of things are rigged), so I assigned everyone a number for their comment, then you were given an additional number for a Facebook like, and an additional number for a Twitter follow. That totaled numbers 1-54. I went here and the number that came up was 23, Rebecca!!

Congrats! Let me know what glitter initials you want me to send you and I'll ship it out tomorrow! Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Friday

Have a great weekend! Now go out and buy yourself some festive tights.

image by Chloe Aftel

Karen Alweil Studio

One of my favorite showrooms at the LA Mart is Karen Alweil Studio. She has a lot of cool product for people of all ages, but she has some especially adorable stuff for kids. One of the best parts about being the visual merchandiser for the CA Gift Show is that half of my job is shopping.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Selby / Perfectly Collected

I was searching around The Selby for inspiration (one of the best places to find it for collected/interesting interiors) and I came across the home of Kate & Andy Spade. Their colleciton of unique art is incredible and it's important to me to have a home filled with furnishings and accessories that one has collected over the years, as this one does so beautifully.

Holiday Style / No. 1

I thought it would be fun to feature different Christmas aesthetics, each festive in their own way. This is the first in the series - for simple yet sophisticated holiday enthusiasts.

outfit / fair trade reindeer ornament / tree in jar / berry branch card holder / organic wreath / feather wrapping / snowflake lantern

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Simple and Elegant Styling

A modern day Breakfast at Tiffany's meets Sounds of Music? There's probably a much better film association that I could make, but it's late, and as much as I'd like to be, I'm not much of a film buff. Even still, I'm enjoying bookmarking more and more fashion styling and photography that catches my eye. This particular shoot was photographed by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Suzanne Koller. So well done.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Piñata Celebration

The stress of completing these 22 window for the California Gift Show really hit me today. When it's all done I think I might celebrate with one of these guys.

And let's not forget the festive blindfold...

confetti filled piñatas and blindfold from Confetti Systems

Getting to Know My New Polaroid

On Friday night I received an old Polaroid 680 camera as a late birthday present and a bunch of Impossible Project film. This is probably one of the coolest presents that I've ever received. Yes...I picked it out myself, but still. For those who follow me on twitter, you know that this past weekend I was in the wedding of two close friends. I love weddings and it was the perfect time to test out my new camera. We decided we were just going to shoot for fun with my first 8 exposures (each exposure costs about $3), but after this I'm going to be a little more choosy with my photos and really try to create works of art. Hopefully some will be good enough to share on the blog. Enjoy my practice shots for now!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Styling / The Story of 2 Chairs

These are some photos from my first attempt at collaborating with a photographer to style something specifically for my blog. Steven Pereira was so fun to work with as we moved around these two little chairs in the grasses of Newport's Back Bay.

pink chair / Goodwill
gold damask chair / TJ Maxx
coat rack / Urban
fabric from Lee Jofa, LuLu DK, Schumacher, Kravet

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gold Sparklies

I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but I'm all about sequins and glitter right now. I usually don't gravitate toward a lot of sparkle but I guess times are changing. Here are a few things that have caught my eye recently, and just in time for the holidays!  / Anthropologie  /  pillowflats / garland / lights

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eccentric Styling

This girl is sort of creepy which makes the styling of these photos all the more amazing. It's time I added a little bit of edge to this little blog of mine.

Photographs by the very talented Silja Magg.


Today I became an aunt! Congrats to my sister and bro-in-law!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Inspiration Board / CA Gift Show

Here is my inspiration board for the January California Gift Show displays. The goal: to be a lot hipper than the ones that I did for July's show. I also want all of the floors (there are about 11) to be cohesive in their aesthetic. Displays need to be up at the LA Mart by January 18 and there are 2 windows on each of the 11 floors. That's 22 windows folks, which means a VERY busy December/January for me!

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight

4 Things / Jelle Martens

Diggin the graphic artwork by Jelle Martens. Full collection of works found here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Styling / Fall Picnic

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of teaming up with photographer Chantel Marie Tripp to style a  photo shoot. I wanted to do a fall picnic, but fall in Newport usually consists of "brisk" 75 degree weather and the beach. So why fight it, right?

I've styled interiors, windows, weddings and holiday tables, but this was the first time I had ever styled a photo shoot with people...from the models, to the clothes, to the scene, to the props, to the location...and I have to say, I had an absolute blast. 

It helps that Chantel is an incredible photographer and amazing to work with. She has a way of interacting with people that makes them come out of their shell and appear as though they are in love, even if they've only met once before (ahem, ahem). Not only is she amazing with people, but I love the way she sees the world and captures that with her camera. Girlfriend has a serious artistic eye and mad photography skills. 

See more photos on Chantel's blog here.

And a major shout out to Kelli and Aaron for being spectacular models and such amazing sports. Seriously kids...add these photos to your modeling portfolios! And Erin, mad props on Kelli's make up...are you for hire?
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