Feb 9, 2014

Ceramics Inspiration

As part of my graphic design major I'm required to take a bunch of studio art classes — which I love. Right now I'm taking ceramics, and it's rocking my world. I'm obsessed. 

I love that ceramics involves making art this is both beautiful and practical. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with beauty for beauty's sake. But it does feel good to be making work that I can give to friends as gifts and see them put to good use. I just recently got my first bunch of work glazed and complete, and it started a fire in me to make and make and make. 

Here are some images of ceramic work that's inspiring me: 


LINKS: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

What have you been creating lately?

Feb 8, 2014

DIY Coffee Filter Monogram Letters

As I may or may not have mentioned a few times before, my sister got married over Christmas break! As her maid of honor (and more importantly sister) I got to help out with a lot of dreaming and scheming to make the big day happen. One of my favorite projects was planning a bridal shower in our hometown for her. Showers are SO fun, because you get to plan crafts, food, the whole shebang! Today I'm sharing one of my favorite DIY projects from that day! I wanted something fun to hang above the food table, and created....

DIY Coffee Filter Monogram Letters

What you'll need: 
cardboard, sharpie, scissors or a boxcutter, coffee filters, coffee or tea, cake pan, hot glue

1. First, you'll need to draw the shape of your letters on the cardboard and cut it out. It's important to try and find cardboard that is thick enough to hold its shape, but not too hard to cut through. 

2. Next, start folding your coffee filters. I used about 50 for two 1.5 foot tall letters. You'll need to fold them in half, then in half again to create a triangle shape like shown below. Try not to squash them too much during the process — you'll want them to still look ruffly and keep their folds. Place your folded filters into a cake pan. 

3. Brew tea or coffee and pour it over your letters, trying to distribute them evenly. I used coffee for half of mine, and tea for the other half so that my end result would have two slightly different colored letters. Pour enough coffee to coat all of the filters, but try not to leave too much liquid sitting at the bottom. Your filters will start to flatten out at this point, but as long as you don't push down on them they'll regain their shape after they dry. 

4. Put the pan in the oven! Check on them every once in awhile, and once they are completely dry take them out. (IMPORTANT: They need to be completely dry. If they're damp at all, they'll eventually start to mold. This happened to me with my first batch... it was disgusting. Learn from my mistakes! That being said, I'm assuming they'd catch on fire or something if you left them in for too long. Lesson learned: just check them. A lot.) My filters were dry after about 15 minutes on medium heat. 

5. Hot glue the filters onto your cardboard letters in your desired pattern! 

(Excuse the poor quality photo! My phone that had all nice photos of this project finalized bit the dust recently... so I stole this from my sister's Instagram.)

And voila! An elegant party decor idea that is (literally) made of trash.

Feb 6, 2014

lyric designs: Sam & Caleb

Hello, awesome readers! 

Lately, I've been picking up more and more design jobs, especially invites/programs/etc. for weddings. These are my favorite things to design! It's so fun to work with couples to get to know their styles and create something one-of-a-kind for their special day. Over Christmas break my sister got married (YAY!) and I got to design all of the paper products for her and her lovely husband, Caleb. 

All of the hand-painted details were my favorite part. They had an idea of what they wanted I got to be a part of it coming to life. 

Interested in having me design something for you? You can get ahold of me by clicking on the "contact" button at the top of the page, or check out my portfolio

Feb 4, 2014

Get the look: Monica Martin

Long time no see, blog world! Today I'm back after a crazy few months full of finals, Christmas, a wedding, too-heavy work schedules, too-heavy homework schedules, a birthday, sickness and a fair amount of traveling. 

Today I'm so excited to start a new series, "Get the look." I'm going to be taking a look at the fashion of a few of my favorite fashion-savvy female musicians. Today, I'd like to introduce to you Monica Martin, lead woman of the band PHOX. If you haven't heard of PHOX, I highly recommend you check them out. It's the perfect music to push away any February-blues that may be settling in. Check them out here: PHOX.

I love Monica's style because she takes classic looks and updates them to look modern and fresh. 

Look 1// Leopard Pin-up

1// Nasty Gal 2// UO 3// Modcloth

Look 2// Retro Floral

1// Modcloth 2// Madewell

Look 3// Winter Classics

1// Belk 2// Etsy 3// American Apparel

Look 4// Mustard Mod

1// Etsy 2// Etsy

Nov 9, 2013

Words and photos and things

Sometimes I fall in love with people I drive past on the interstate.

As my dirty black Saturn surges past them at a speed I’m not proud to admit, something catches my eye. Maybe it’s a peeling Peace Corps bumper sticker. Maybe it’s the obscure tune I’m sure only they and I know that I hear pouring out of a cracked window. Maybe it’s a head of well-kept dreadlocks bobbing to said tune.

Regardless, I latch onto to one fleeting moment of attraction and impose an entire life story onto my rolling neighbor. I imagine that if only they would look over at me and see all of the camping gear piled in my backseat, the streak of bright red hair I sport, or hear my equally obscure song choice, we’d share a knowing nod and a lifetime of friendship would surely begin.

If I’m honest with myself, I do this a lot more often than just while driving. I am constantly giving people a once-over and making all kinds of assumptions about their background, beliefs, and interests. Generally, I’m a positive thinker, an idealizer. I see someone with one interesting trait and assume that they have their whole life together. Surely someone with that unique of pants or reading such an interesting book knows exactly who they are and who they are is awesome. Way awesome-r than my unorganized emotionally-distraught identity-seeking self.

I know I’m not the only one who does this.

But something strange tends to happen between the idealized “friend crushes” of mine and myself. I have a class with, say, unique pants girl and we start to talk. At first, this can be a bit of a letdown. Unique pants girl isn’t living up to the unrealistic expectations I had set for her without her even knowing. Wait, let me say that again. Unique pants girl isn’t living up to the unrealistic expectations I had set for her without her even knowing. So, she isn’t the perfect shining human being I had created in my mind. At first, this can be a bit of a letdown, but I soon come to realize that if she had been that person, I could never have been her friend. My broken, confused self would have been entirely unrelatable to this perfect being, and surely would have driven her away.

And the worst part is, I believe that all of us try so hard at times to potray ourselves as unique pants girl or cool book boy.  Especially in the age of social media, it’s so easy to Tweet about how incredible our significant others are, Facebook a picture of our family in their Sunday’s best after church, or Instagram every perfectly organic naturally-lit salad we make for lunch. But what about that time our significant other forgot a birthday, our families’ not-so-pleasant looks or demeanor first thing in the morning, or the burnt Easy Mac we stomached for dinner last night? Those moments rarely make it to the internet.

In addition to setting up those around us unrealistically in our minds, we’re not portraying ourselvesin a realistic light. And while we might think that by making ourselves seem “cooler” to those around us we’ll have more friends or success or whatever we’re aiming for, I have tended to find that the opposite is true. We are making ourselves inaccessible, and it’s time to usher in a renewed sense of vulnerability. Our broken humanity is the one thing we have in common with every single person we encounter, and yet it’s the one thing we often try so hard to bury.

When we allow ourselves to enter into honest, vulnerable relationships with those around us and find our self-worth in something much greater than the impressions of those we drive past on the interstate, truly bountiful relationships are sure to flourish.

Nov 8, 2013

Creative Initiative #1

I was so excited when I saw this post from Lena at "This Lovely Little Day" about her new project to get bloggers sketching and sharing their artwork. Her project is called The Creative Initiative, and each week there will be a different sketchbook prompt that bloggers can complete and share. I love this idea, because sketching gives you the freedom to present something that is an idea rather than a finished piece. It takes a lot of the pressure off of sharing your work!

This week's prompt was sort of a free sketch to introduce the topic. Last night I did this quick little drawing of myself! To see the work from everyone joining in, you can head to Lena's blog that I linked to above.

Nov 7, 2013

Sam's Wedding Shower Inspiration

As I mentioned here, my sister got engaged a few months ago! As the maid of honor, I've been in charge of planning a bridal shower for her. Which has turned out to be a VERY good thing... it helps me get the wedding-bug out of my system by living vicariously through planning for her. ;)

Today I'm sharing some images that have been inspiring me while planning for the shower! 

1// [source] These flower embellished toothpicks are adorable and would be so easy to make! 2// [source] I'm thinking I could recreate this look pretty easily with coffee filters and cardboard letters... DIY post coming soon! 3// [source] I'm on the hunt for some brightly colored feathers. 4// [source] This would be the perfect backdrop for a table setting of delectable desserts, am I right? 5// [source] We're trying really hard to bring a springtime feel to a winter wedding. I'm trying to make wildflowers happen! 6// [source] These doughnut rings are one of the cutest things I've ever seen. And so easy! 

Any other bright ideas? What's inspiring you this week?