DIY Collection: #002

While collecting up these projects, I began to notice a trend. Recently, I've been more and more attracted to easy, quick, and simple in all areas of my life. These DIY's are no different! For someone like me, who is awfully busy, this is awesome. In addition, almost all of these projects can be made from recycled materials. Old light-bulbs, twigs on the ground outside, scrap metal wire, empty spools, threads, old clothing, thrift finds. These are my favorite kinds of projects!

These projects look like too much fun, and super simple. The briefcase and the candle holders only require glue! I hope you enjoy these tutorials & DIY's. If you make one of these projects, please share! I would love to see what you've made.

Birthday Wishes, Part Two

My birthday is getting closer and closer. (Six Days!) Even though I'm not going to be doing much shopping on my birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some items I'm coveting. If I could pick 11 things to have on my day, these would be it! Click here to see Part One.

If you have a moment, take a peak at some of the shops I've shared. They are all incredibly talented and create truly lovely things. I only wish I was actually able to procure all of these beautiful things for my birthday. 

Do you have a favorite item from what I've shared? I'm so torn between all of my choices, I don't think I could choose a favorite! 


Birthday Wishes, Part One

My birthday is approaching swiftly, and I'm getting so excited for it. Although, I'm not going to be having a luxurious, amazing birthday party. Nor will I be able to spoil myself with gifts. But, it's always fun to look at pretty things, right? I've specially hand-picked 11 items I would love to receieve for my birthday. I hope you enjoy!

I'm so, so in love with each of these pieces and the shops they come from. These artists are all very close to my heart, their styles inspire my own work! Anyways, you may have noticed that this list is 100% jewelry. What can I say? I'm pretty addicted. 


Busy busy bee

Recently, I've become a very busy bee. I've been trying to squeeze some peace and relaxation into these hectic days, but it's not as easy as it sounds. I thought I would share some of the interesting things I've been up to lately, and then get back to work!

Daniel's Website Design. For the past few weeks I've been spending decently large portions of my day on Daniel's new website. I'm excited, because I think it's coming along great, and should look spectacular when it's completed! I'll be sure to share more soon.

Designing Lovely Things. Recently, I selected designs for 5 dresses, 4 bags, 2 headpieces, 2 bracelets, 2 necklaces, and 1 belt. I'm getting ready to do a lot of sewing. It's going to be awesome. Honestly, I'm pretty nervous about opening up my shop. (Definitely suffering from what-if-nobody-likes-it syndrome, I hope I get over it soon.)

Dress & Skirt = Complete. Huzzah! I've come so far, I'm so proud! I wanted to test out my abilities and make a few garments for myself before I unleash my greatness unto the world. I'll be sharing these two lovely pieces soon.

Beading Attempts #1 and #2. In a couple of the photos above, you may notice my "pretending-to-be-happy" smile. I was really frustrated to tears with the tedious bead work. But, I continued on, and finished half of a design. I do love trying new things, hopefully I'll learn to have more patience by dealing with these tiny little beads.

Birthday Anticipation. That's right. 9 days away. I'm totally excited! I haven't decided how to celebrate. The only thing I've come up with is going to get a delicious coffee drink. But, that's pretty lame. I'm hoping I can think of some great ideas before it's too late!

Studio Organizing & Decorating. Also in the photos above, there are a couple sneak peaks of my studio. I'm preparing to do a nice big studio tour to show you around my new space. It's the headquarters of Birch & Bees, and where I spend most of my time. (I'm actually going to go collage pin-boards and make a garland right now!)

What have you been up to lately? What's making you smile?

Inspired: Artists I Love

I have bookmarks for everything, recipes, DIY projects, artists, artworks, blogs, blog posts, the list goes on and on. One folder that is always overflowing is "Artists I Love". I bookmark portfolio websites from dozens of talented artists, and I come across more every day. Here are 3 artists I've been crushing on lately.

Sandra Dieckmann
Blog / Portfolio / Shop

I've been drooling over Sandra's work for a while now. Her work is a combination of what I love most in Illustration, when realistic meets stylized. Plus, she's fond of illustrating animals, which are my favorite subject. Her bisons, bears, and wolves are enchanting. I've been incredibly inspired by her work, and simply had to share! 

Emma Leonard

Emma's art is simply lovely. On her blog, she posts works in progress and the process of creating her art. I'm head over heels for her illustrations of melancholy girls. I think what attracts me to her work the most is the nostalgic feeling that everything emanates. I could go on, but you should really check it out for yourself, it's so worth it.

Andy Gilmore

What can I say about Andy's artwork that actually does it justice? It's magnificent, it's kaleidoscopic, it's multi-dimensional. When I first viewed one of his many artworks, I spent at least 10 minutes examining the detail, the depth. I later found out that many of his artworks are visual translations of music, beats, harmony. (Don't quote me on that though.) His work is stunning. Just take a peak.

I honestly love all three of these artists, and plan to buy things from them in the future. I am so amazed at the amount of creativity and inspiration I get from just looking at other artist's work. It's so splendid. Do you know of any amazing artists? Please share!



2 Years Together

Daniel & I have been together for 2 whole years, as of yesterday. We celebrated the day by having a picnic on a hill with our dogs. Including fruit juice, apples, plums, and even doughnuts. After the rain started, we played video games inside for hours. It was awesome. Eventually, I mentioned something about presents... Lo and Behold!

Back in July, we were drooling over the amazing glass-work by Chip Moore, who owns a lovely ocean-themed Etsy shop, CMoore Glass. I adore everything he makes, it's all so lovely! I eventually selected one, and told Daniel it was my favorite. We left the conversation at that. Every once in a while, I would think of the pendant. But, sadly, I didn't have the funds.

You would not believe how surprised I was when Daniel gave this to me. To actually see this piece in person is surreal. I honestly couldn't be happier with how amazing it is. I'm not the type to be obsessive about material possessions, but I'm head over heels for this pendant.

The most surprising and pleasant thing about this pendant is the way light shines through it. Even when I'm in a dark place, any light source illuminates it with a warm, beautiful glow.
But the part that makes me happiest is that I know someone worked very hard to create this by hand. I know that it's an artwork, unique and one-of-a-kind.

Daniel also bought himself an amazing Jellyfish Mable. Once I get some great photographs of it, I'll share it here! I've decided that I definitely want to buy another piece from Chip's Shop.
I'm in love!

*Note: I am totally not being endorsed/rewarded/paid/etc. for writing this. It's all from the heart, baby.


Beach Inspired Bracelets

"Pebble Beach"
Glass beads, Natural Hemp, Dyed Hemp, Button

"Sea Glass"
Glass Beads, Natural Hemp, Dyed Hemp, Button

Glass Beads, Wooden Beads, White Stone, Natural Hemp, Dyed Hemp, Seashells, Button

I love wearing these bracelets stacked, they look so interesting when paired together

I made these three bracelets the other night, and loved how they all had a similar look. I realized shortly after making them, that my "theme" for this past year has been the four elements. I've been more attracted to giant green forests, deep blue seas, the fiery sun in the sky, and the gentle caress of a breeze flowing through your hair. Whenever I create, I try to harness that lovely feeling of being one with nature.

For instance, when I created these, I imagined sitting on a sun-kissed beach with balmy winds and splashing waves. I imagined sand between my toes and searching for seashells. I imagined palm trees, little crabs, and the peaceful roar of the ocean.

In other news, I should be having my shop opening before the end of 2011. I am, indeed, stoked. Today I'm finalizing my first 6 dress designs. After I finalize the designs, I start picking the fabrics, then the real work begins!

Have a beautiful day!

P.S. I just realized that we're already halfway through August, and I haven't shared anything I've been doing this month! I'll be sharing some awesome things soon, I promise. Like my new studio tour, some inspiring things I've been seeing lately, a collection of wonderful stuff, some DIY's, and more!


Styled: Topknot & Harems

Necklace: My own design
Shirt: New York & Company
Pants: My own design
Shoes: Mossimo (Not sure which store)

I finally finished my Harem pants! I've been working on these pants for at least a week now. It was a giant behemoth of a challenge to make them, as I have never created shorts or pants.

To my surprise, I did a pretty awesome job, and they turned out exactly how I hoped they would. (They look as though I could have purchased them at a store! Huzzah!)
I want to make dozens more in all sorts of colours and patterns.  They are the perfect pants. Seriously.

It feels like a giant mountain has been conquered, and I couldn't feel more proud.

I'm going to do some hardcore celebrating for this accomplishment of mine. And proceed to brainstorm more projects to create and new ventures to take on! Have a happy Wednesday!



Hello August

Since we've started a new month, I thought I would give a little update on what's been happening lately.

My Newest Dress. I worked on this all Monday & Tuesday. (You can see me working on it in my Photograph An Hour post.) It's not quite done. I still want to add a hem and black lace to the bottom of the dress. But isn't it cute? I love, love, love it.

Studio Decorating. It's been difficult to create the inspiring and relaxing place to work that I imagine in my mind. The best I can do is to soak up some more inspiration and just keep trying. (These Pinterest Boards are keeping me quite creative: Here, here, & here.) Eventually, I hope I can finish up this project and share a tour of my new space. It's at the top of my to-do list.

Fabric Shopping Trip (Round Two). I get a real thrill from scouring racks of fabrics and finding high-quality for a low price. I'm definitely a penny-pinching, bargain-hunter. Shopping for fabric is just so inspiring and fun, it can always lift my mood. (You can see my finds from Round One here.)

My 8 Week Project. Three days ago I started my 8 week project. It's not something I'm going to be regularly blogging about, but I will share some of the changes I make and things I do. I'm excited for the project because it's something to keep me focused.

Slowing Down. I've been trying to remember that everything happens in due time. I wish that I already owned a shop and and was successful. I try to remind myself each day that this is a long journey and it doesn't happen overnight. Elsie at A Beautiful Mess wrote a short, sweet, and "to the point" post about this.

Anticipating My "BirthWeek". Because I love birthdays, I celebrate for the whole week around my birthday. My "BirthWeek" doesn't occur until next month, but because BirthWeek is my favorite holiday, I'm preparing early!

What does August have in store for you? What's have you been up to?


A Photograph An Hour

I have always wanted to do this. Because of a) my new business venture, b) my studio relocation, c) my not being able to remember to take photographs, it hasn't ever happened. But, I was incredibly motivated to do this after seeing Abby's Photo An Hour post at A Geek Tragedy. I love how she took her pictures. They're all so different & interesting.

So, without further ado, here's a 9am-7pm glimpse of my daily life in photos.

9am / Waking up, reading blogs, getting inspiration for today's work.

10am / Reading a bit, drinking coffee & tea. (By the way, "Catcher" is my favorite book.)

11am / Heading into the studio, My essentials for work: Delicious drinks & happy Buddha.

12pm / Designing a new dress, drawing out a pattern.

1pm / Break from work. Feeding the animals, watering plants. (My succulent has started flowering!)

2pm / Pinning hems, taking measurements, cutting patterns.

3pm / Another break, eating snacks, working on design projects.

4pm / Back to the studio, finishing up, and closing up for the day. (Usually I tend to work later than 4pm.)

5pm / Dinner time, making pasta.

6pm / Movie time! Eat dinner, drawn some designs, work on jewellery creations.

7pm / Painting my nails, and start writing blog posts.

The Rest of the Day: Around 7:30, Daniel comes home from work and we talk about our days, watch movies, and work on our artsy stuff. I tend to do a lot of sketching, designing, and making jewelry for my (soon to be opening) shop. Then we get up the next day & do it all over again.

I really loved doing this! I want to do it again in a year or so and see how much my daily routines and actions change. This was such a great way to document my day and practice my photography skills.
Hope you enjoyed it!



And So It Begins

I bought 4 different fabrics while I was in the city yesterday. I'm still learning how to buy fabrics using the metrics system. (I tend to automatically think in yards, not meters.)
Anyways, I bought some simple, basic fabrics to experiment with. I'm thinking of making two dresses, a skirt, and a fabric belt? I am incredibly tempted to make a pair of harem pants, but I've never made pants before. So, I'm a bit afraid to just jump into that project.
Today is my first day of sewing fun. I plan to make myself some delicious drinks, play loud music, and have a fantastic day.

I can't wait to share my creations & fun day. I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time.