Friday, August 21, 2015

Scenes from Life

I keep seeing lots of talk about fall activities around the blogosphere, but it is still very much summer around these parts...sunny and warm. When you don't have kids to return to school (and are no longer a student yourself) there is no real definite end to the summer season, is there? We're still trying to squeeze in a few summer adventures before the month is out.

The bees and butterflies go crazy for the lavender in our backyard. I've planted other pollinator-friendly flowers, but the lavender is definitely their favorite. If you like bees, try planting some in your yard or on your balcony; it's super low-maintenance and seems to be hardy in all climates. (I know lavender is supposed to prefer a hot and dry climate, but we had the wettest spring/summer ever, and it did just fine. And we've also had extremely cold temperatures and lots of snow, and nothing seems to faze it.)

I've tried a few times to get good photos of the butterflies, but this is the only one that was remotely in focus; just when I've got my settings right, they flit away to another plant. I love the way butterflies move through the air; it's sort of graceful and haphazard all at the same time.

We've had this summery welcome mat for a while, and I don't think I ever shared a photo. We got it at Target for $3.98 or something crazy like that (it was already on clearance). I have to say the natural coir doormats from Target last longer than any other we've tried. Remember this popsicle mat we got May of 2014? Probably not, but take my word for it that it still looked great until just a few months ago. That's an eternity in the world of doormats. We will keep this one forever too, but we'll probably move it to the back door once it gets closer to the holidays so our neighbors don't think we've completely abandoned the house. A summer doormat in December is sort of the equivalent of leaving your Christmas lights up till July, right?

I love the colors, and it makes me want to go to a pool! We haven't been swimming once all summer...must do something about that soon.

More zinnias growing in the window. I got a packet of zinnia seeds earlier in the summer, and I've gone kind of nuts planting them in any spare container I can find, all over the house and on the back patio too. I'll share some more photos when they bloom! :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend! xo, Mary

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Today's Finds

Plaitaway bangle from Erin Lightfoot

I love all of the patterns on Erin Lightfoot's porcelain jewelry...just gorgeous.

 Lounge chair by Masaya & Co.

I designed a chair with a very similar silhouette many moons ago when I was in design school, so it makes sense that I would instantly be attracted to this chair. I really just can't stop looking at it! Personal preference aside, I think this simple silhouette is truly timeless and would complement just about any modern (or not-so-modern) home. Also, this shop gets bonus points for using sustainably-sourced hardwoods and planting 100 trees for every chair they sell. :)

 Railroad circle blouse from Sara Bergman

I love Sara Bergman's take on the classic striped shirt...changing the direction of the stripes to create geometric elements and visual interest. And it looks comfy too!

Pure copper spun planter from Yield Design Co.

Copper, brass, and rose gold are everywhere right now. It's funny how trends change because if you look at design magazines from even just 5-10 years ago (and I have a lot of them...outing myself as a magazine hoarder right now), warm metals were considered outdated and even icky! Haha. That's just silly. This copper planter is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen, whether it's trendy or not, and it would look nice on a bookshelf (or really anywhere).

Silver stackable rings - Moroccan Sugar Collection from gemagenta

These rings were cast in sterling silver from models carved out of real sugar; they're inspired by Moroccan tea rituals and henna tattoos. How cool is that? I love the lacy, free-form style, and I think they're so delicate and pretty.

Have you guys found any new shops or indie designers that make your heart go pitter-patter lately?

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's all happening

Lately it seems like inspiration is everywhere I look, and my brain is buzzing with ideas! I can't tell you how great it is after spending the first half of the year struggling to make progress and feeling pretty frustrated and unmotivated, to be honest. I'm not sure what sparked the change, but I'm really excited again about art and illustration and a whole bunch of other creative stuff too. I've been filling up pages and pages with sketches and ideas. The tough part, of course, is getting my ideas off the page and out into the world as finished projects. (That is always the struggle, but I'm working on it!) I'm doing a lot of creative experimenting and learning too, and it's been really fun!

So what does any of that have to do with pink roses? Not a thing, haha. I just thought they were pretty and wanted to share. We passed by them after sunset, when it was probably really too dark for photos (and they did come out a little overexposed), but I ended up liking them all the same.

Hope your week is awesome. xo, Mary

Friday, August 14, 2015

Happy Weekend!

I'm late posting today, but I just wanted to take a quick break from other things I'm working on, share some photos, and wish you guys a happy weekend! I took these photos not too long ago when I was running errands in Old Town. Sometimes living in this area can be overwhelming with traffic and people, and there's nothing like pulling out my camera and snapping a few pics to completely take me out of that stress and refocus my attention on beautiful details, color, and light...all my favorite things. It puts me back into a mindset of patience and gratitude pretty quickly, even with people yelling or honking or sirens, whatever. It's like magic. :)

Hope your weekend is pretty swell. xo, Mary

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I haven't been making too many brooches lately, but I had a request through my Etsy shop to make a bee brooch, and I couldn't say no! I love bees and frankly couldn't believe I've never made a bee brooch before. I do have a bee notebook in the shop already that's really cute, if I do say so myself, but also very pink. I'm thinking I might make another bee notebook that's a little less girly. It will still be cute, though...nothing I can do about that. ;)

I waited pretty late in the day to take these photos, but that's the beauty of summer light and long days...they didn't turn out half bad! I'll be sad when the days get shorter, and I can't procrastinate taking/editing photos as long haha.

What have you been making lately?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Afternoon Light

Still slowly making my way through photos I took last spring and earlier in the summer. I learned a hard lesson when I lost all my photos last winter...many that I'd never gotten around to posting or putting in personal I'm trying to be better about doing something with them in a timely manner. It's obviously a work in progress haha. I'm also thinking about using Flickr as my secondary backup for photos (after an external harddrive) since I already pay for a pro account; I should be using that for more than the occasional upload. The only drawback is that I'd have to make my account private because I'd be uploading personal photos of family and friends who don't want to be all over the internet. (They specifically say things like "please don't post that on social media." I know...weird, right?)

I'm still looking for alternate cloud storage for the rest of my non-jpeg files. I know a lot of people use dropbox, but I would fill up the free limit in about 5 seconds, and $9.99 seems like a lot to pay every month. I'm very poor. So what's your favorite online storage? Please share!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Today's Finds

This week is all about cute patterns!

Lightening bolt wall decals from Little Sticker Boy

I can't look at a lightening bolt without thinking of Ziggy Stardust (that's not a bad thing), and I think these decals would be so fun in a hallway or entryway. I like the idea of trying out removable decals if you're not sure you want to commit to wallpaper but want to do something, you know?

Cactus twirling dress from Thief&Bandit

I originally saw this adorable cactus print on a little girl's dress and was like, "Once again, toddlers get all the best clothes." Then I realized there's an adult version too! (Is it weird that I still like the style of the kid's dress better?)

Wavy chevron pouch from Gracie Chai

I love all those little wobbles in the hand-painted squiggly lines, and it seems I can't ever have enough pouches.

Avocado pillow from Earth Cadets

These hand-printed pillows come in lots of color combos and sizes and they're made from organic cotton. Aren't they cute?

Handmade polka dot bowls from Baskakova

Polka dots are perfect on anything, if you ask me, and these bowls would look so pretty on open shelves.

Yep, I'm pretty much a sucker for any cute pattern or novelty print, especially if it's hand-painted or drawn, but that's probably no surprise. What patterns are you loving right now?