fun : a few favorites

Paper Schmaper : Russell + Hazel : Fresh

Hi Everyone -

Since I work on marketing for an accessories company, I look at trends quite a bit. We don't follow them, but it's important for us to be aware of how our designs fit in. Lately, I've been
really focusing on color forecasting and loved this summary of Pantone's color palette for Spring 2009. I also learned via unruly-things that The Gap teamed up with Pantone and has a special t-shirt shop based on those colors.

Earlier this month, coco + kelly had some wonderful predictions and I really loved the choices from Snippet & Ink :

- Lemon + Navy
- Coral + Emerald
- Cocoa + Cream
- Red + Peach

I think they influenced me quite a bit as I focused on yellow last week and blue today. I've never imagined combining red + peach, but we'll see with Valentine's Day a couple of weeks away. Maybe pink + orange as an alternative? Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Cindy

Art : Jim Deneven's sand art is absolutely incredible, the scale alone is amazing (via Double Takes)
. You can make your own sand art online here.

: Scott likes to buy me soap, a lot. I hope he's not trying to tell me something ;). The latest is a lightly-scented Violet Moss in the prettiest packaging from Fresh. I conserve fancy soaps like this, but will spare you the details.

Music : My brother gave me Juliana Hatfield's latest album How To Walk Away recently and it's nice to hold an actual CD in my hands for a change.

Office : One of the best things about starting school each year was the new supplies. I love the Field Notebooks from Russell + Hazel and actually write in them.

Stationery : Krissy of Paper Schmaper creates the most wonderful designs. We both love the birch wood postcards and I'm particularly excited about Krissy's new letterpress. The above design would look awesome in that format. I loved how Mav combined her photos with letterpress. Just sayin'.

pics : tusk

Hi Everyone -

This will definitely fall into the self-promotion category, but we were struggling to find an image for the Valentine's Day special at Tusk. I gave it a try and made no promises. Turns out, my co-worker thought my pic was good enough to use and she did a great job pulling it all together. I'm psyched. I didn't photograph the mirror, the owner did that part. In addition to everything else he does at the company, he's pretty good with a camera.

Happy Day!

xo, Cindy

life : stay on budget

Spotted Owl Fabric, Alexander Henry : Sweet Dots Fabric, Yuwa

Hi Everyone -

I hope you all had a nice weekend! It was pretty cold here, but it didn't keep us inside for too long. On Saturday, we went to Soho with a gift certificate I had and wandered around down there. On Sunday, I thought I was going to see Slumdog Millionaire, but ended up in Last Chance Harvey. Scott said I agreed to see it, but I think there was a 'failure to communicate' (listen) on my part. The movie was very sweet and is basically about never being too old for love. Apparently, Scott loves Emma Thompson and he got weepy during the movie THREE times. That alone made it worth seeing because he gets so embarrassed. I think it's cute.

There were many financial temptations this weekend and online (this new collaboration is irresistible). I'm doing pretty well staying on my $99 a month budget, which applies mainly to credit card purchases and impulsive buys. Necessities like socks (3 for $18), cookies, etc. are not included ;). I've already learned a few things that are helping -
  1. Rainy Day Fund. Every two weeks we each get a cash 'allowance' and Scott saves some of mine for me. I only dip into this when the item I want is really indulgent and I have to bring in my heavy artillery during an intense negotiation - I NEED that little camera, this one is TOO big to lug around all of the time.
  2. Gift Certificates. I forgot about the one I had for Purl Patchwork ($45, spent half), which made it all the better. Kind of like found money.
  3. Sales. Everything seems to be on sale or reduced with a coupon. I'm usually not very good about getting things on sale, but I was so lucky to find a pair of Tretorn sneakers for half price ($27)! I've only wanted them my entire life. They would look great with this jolly car.
  4. Bailouts. A little help from a 'friend' who likes to buy you stuff goes a long way. In this case, straight to the florist ($18). And, don't put said 'friend' on the same kind of budget, at least in relation to things for you.
I'm sure I'll learn enough to write a book and will keep you posted. All I know is that January seems like it has been the longest month of my life! It probably has to do with the winter. Sure, that's it ;). Have a good week!

xo, Cindy

fun : a few favorites

Jess Gonacha : Bubbo

Hi Everyone -

It's winter in our neck of the woods and the short days can get tedious. One way to let the sun shine in is to surround oneself with things that are bright and cheery, which is the basis for today's list.
Did you know that 14-0848 Mimosa is the Pantone color of the year? It's true.

I'm also on a self-imposed monthly spending budget of $99. So, my plan with these posts is to include wonderful treasures that are reasonably priced or free. I won't promise that I'll always be able to do it, but I'm going to try.
Those that I photograph have been purchased over the last year or so. Have a sunny weekend!

xo, Cindy

Art :
Jess Gonacha's gocco print is so sweet and I must admit that I sing that song to a certain someone from time to time.

Craft : I really love my Bubbo ledger even though I just can't bring myself to write in it. Natasha's attention to detail couldn't be more special.

Jewelry : Sweet Michelle of Blue Moss makes the most beautiful jewelry from vintage items accented with silk ribbons or seam binding.

Movies : Pixar's Up looks to be so much fun, as usual. Love those balloons!

Music : The Brilliant Mistakes is a new band to me and has the sweetest sound. Their MySpace page says 'The Brilliant Mistakes are a New York City-based band who specialize in radiantly melodic roots rock brimming with classic pop songcraft, vintage sounds and lush harmonies." Couldn't have said it better myself.

: I recently saw Gift Card Exchange mentioned on the Very Short List website. Through their Gift Card Rescue program you can exchange an unwanted gift card (Home Depot) for one you might actually want to use (IKEA), or sell it at a slight loss for cash.

life : welcome, president obama

Photo Credit : AP Photo/Chuck Kennedy/Pool

Hi Everyone -

We really love the relationship President Obama has with the First Lady. We love that she was his boss and that their first date was to the movie Do the Right Thing. We love how they tease each other and took it right up to his being sworn in as President, today. Did you notice that when the platform was placed down for Michelle to stand on, just before he took the oath, Barack laughed and told her it was for her? As if there was some divine intervention, he then went on to flub the oath and she laughed. No harm done, but I'm sure she'll call him out on it later and so will their daughters.

It seems like he's going to be great. Calm, smart and inclusive, which is different than being tolerant. Grace under pressure. Annie was right when she sang "The sun will come out, tomorrow." It is tomorrow and the sun did come out. Other than the obvious, a highlight of the ceremony for me was the beautiful poem by Elizabeth Alexander. I'm sure President Obama's speech was beautiful, too. I listened, but didn't really hear a word. I will the second time.

xo, Cindy

PS President Obama, your GM Cadillac is fierce. We sincerely hope its strength will never be tested.

life : inauguration

Hi Everyone -

Are you excited about the Inauguration? We are really looking forward to seeing President-Elect Obama sworn in and all of the festivities. It's exciting and I hope it will be a great pre-game show for an equally great four years to come. Even if you didn't vote for him, it will be good to move forward and out of our current stagnant state of affairs.

I heard that the Inauguration is going to cost $160+ million vs. the last one for Bush at $40+ million. What's a few million when we're dealing with billion dollar bailouts? The Obamas are making up for it by shopping in IKEA - see here.

We saw the 'We Are One' concert on HBO yesterday and it was very good. Barack is starting to look a little bit gray, already. Michelle looked fantastic and the girls are so cute. Malia seems to take a lot of photos and it would be so neat if the girls had a blog, especially when they get that puppy.

The music got me thinking of an appropriate song for the occasion. For some reason, Let's Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez immediately popped into my head. The song is probably played in every sports arena and the US (if not the world) will be kind of like one big arena tomorrow. The song has a positive, simple message and lots of energy. So, let's do it. LET'S GET LOUD. Enjoy the day!

xo, Cindy

fun : a few favorites

Blissful Images : Karin Eriksson : Jewelweeds

Hi Everyone -

The traditional five senses are sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste and they're all covered in today's favorites. Although not entirely, lately I'm rediscovering some things I've had for a while and it's been fun. In particular, I've been listening to music and bands that have fallen off of my radar, including today's choice - Incubus. Maybe it all stems from a desire to cut back, or I'm getting old? Nah, can't be age ;). Have a nice weekend. Look around and find enjoyment in something you've loved for years.

xo, Cindy

: Mrs. French's beautiful images provide blissful inspiration and often look like paintings.

Design : I recently read about Kegan Fisher and Liz Kinnmark who are the renaissance women behind Design Glut. They have a very interesting site with interviews of some well-known creatives (Swiss Miss) and a high-concept line of jewelry and housewares (love the Hookmaker and the Currency bracelet).

Ceramics : Karin Eriksson's functional ceramics feature wonderful enamel transfers.

Craft : Lovely scented lavender sachets from Jewelweeds feature the prettiest embroideries.

Music : I really love the songs Love Hurts & Dig by Incubus. Scott didn't feel well this week and it's hard to see a loved one in pain. He's much better now, and so am I, now.

Yums : I had Pringles the other day for the first time in years and they taste GREAT! The OCD in me loves how you can count out the portion (15 = 150 calories) and they're so neat and tidy.

pics : tripod

Dear Tripod -

I'm sorry you were stored under the bed.

It wasn't personal.

I just couldn't handle you.

All those dials and levers.

I figured you out.

I don't always do things the conventional way.

More like the hard way.

Now, together with my camera and wireless remote control, you complete me.

Well, maybe not me, but my pics.

I promise not to do the tango with you anymore. That's just weird.

xo, Cindy

PS I photographed some of our vintage items on blackboard fabric. I started with pure white objects added some silver & pink along the way and ultimately ended up with pure black. It was a good learning experience. See all 74 of them here.

Next up, photo-styling with multiple objects beginning with white on white. I think finding a nice white that isn't too gray or too yellow will make me feel like Goldilocks and give me fits. We'll see. For now, I'm going outside to play!

fun : a few favorites

Jen Corace : Alice Apple : Artsyville

Hi Everyone -

Although my Mom told me that I was a very good sleeper as a baby, it's not something that I do very well, now. There have been many times when I've felt like I was dozing all night. Finally, it got so bad a few years ago, I went to a sleep specialist (she would be very unhappy about un petit studio in our bedroom), and it helped me. So, if you find yourself having a restless night, these favs won't put you to sleep, but will surely keep you company.

Have a nice weekend! xo, Cindy

: Artsyville's doodleprints always seem to say it better than I ever could. I won this one in Aimee's giveaway to celebrate the opening of her Etsy shop. Yay!

Blog : Jason Santa Maria is a graphic designer with a beautifully designed, thought provoking blog. Be sure to check out his daily photos.

Music : Imogen Heap's music is sure to sooth you.

Read : Jen Corace is a favorite illustrator and her prints are hard to come by. But, you can pick up Amy Krouse Rosenthal's book Little Hoot illustrated by Jen. The book is about an owl who actually wants to go to sleep, usually the opposite of what kids want to do.

Toy : Alice Apple's handmade Mini Sausage Dachshund's are about as cute as you can get short of having a real dog.

pics : un petit studio

Hi Everyone -

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a very nice holiday. During the break, I worked on some photography and started to learn how to take full advantage of my camera's capabilities. There's a corner in our bedroom where I work on still life photos as it offers the best natural light in our apartment for a good part of the day. However, trying to quickly set-up un petit studio (doesn't everything always sound better in French?) with a white background as a foundation has been a challenge.

First, I want to mention the wonderful tutorial Tartlette wrote for My Cooking Hut about the A-Z on her food photography from set-up to processing. Thanks to Helen, I've learned a lot and I'm now shooting on aperture vs. automatic settings, which makes a big difference.

We have a small folding table I previously covered with a vintage quilt and it works well. For a white surface, I've been using an extra shelf from our computer cabinet covered on one side with paper leaving the other side a natural oak and a foam core board. Together, they work ok, but there's always a shadow on the horizon line. I've also used white fabric, but constantly needing to iron it is a pain.

Then, I had an idea - a white window shade! It's similar to professional backdrops, but much smaller (37" wide), inexpensive and easy to store. I also have a yard of black chalkboard fabric for use in the same way. I fold the bottom-end over the white vertical board and drape it down. Other backgrounds can then be added - voila!

Since taking these photos, I noticed that the white of the shade had a gray tone, so I attached a piece of white fabric that gets rolled up - no wrinkles.

A white or ivory foam core board is placed on the right side to reflect the light and I'll experiment with a silver car windshield visor purchased from the 99¢ store as a second-type of reflector. [Note: The visor works great, I clip it to the foam core board! I bet foil paper would also be a good choice as it comes in different colors. I'd love some gold. Even tin foil might work? The key is to keep costs down and be easy to store.]

A change of the dark curtains and removal the lace curtain might add more light, but I like both and can pull them to the side. I think the lace provides a softening filter, especially in the summer. The new system seems to be working out pretty well and gives me enough space to keep the shadowed areas out of the shot and takes about 5 minutes to put together. Now, if I could just figure out a way to control the sun ;)?

xo, Cindy