Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Community Feel

1. Plaids by Pladra  2. Doggy Digs by Blueblood Living  3. Raw Edge leather clutch by Scabby Robot  4. Sweet Prints by 3 Fish Studios  5. Iconic Tote by Lady Alamo 6. Shortbread Truffle Sandwiches baked by Bow and Sparrow Bakery  7. Great bags by Sally Spicer  8. "I left my heart in SF" stationary by Noteify  9. Sneaky Ipad cases by  Dodo

Hands down my favorite thing about San Francisco is all the events constantly going on.  It brings the whole city together for some free fun outside, delicious food from all the mobile trucks and typically showcases local talent.  Last weekend was no different.  I headed across the bridge to Oakland's monthly Art Murmur and enjoyed a different band from block to block, shopped the local vendors goods and had a great time with great friends.
Next up was the Renegade Craft Fair, SF addition.  Jackpot!  Awesome hand-made goods from locals in the area.  I already new the area was teaming with skilled artisans, but the number of professionals running a full out business and manufacturing all their goods right here in the city?! Amazing.  Much love SF.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trees Abound

This tutorial is so simple I almost didn't bother, but in the name of a graphic...  So I plowed through nearly my entire supply of paint chips with this method and decorated every nook and cranny with these fun trees!

I was down to more subtle colors of green in my stash, but I like the winter wonderland effect the more silvery-blue hues of green evokes.

Luckily my gold polka dots from my pumpkin display work just as well for the winter holiday!  I tried to vary the size and type of branches on each tree for a fun eclectic look.  It's like a dreamy little pastel forest and I love it!

I also found this great tutorial by none other than Martha Stewart to add some variety to my tree bonanza.  Mine are a slight variation of course since you gotta use what you got!  Anyone recognize those reeds from my previous spook sticks project?

These trees may have also crept onto the adjacent shelf as well... along with some ornaments and pine cones to top off the shot glass collection.  I mean, drinking is festive right?! Ha.

Some more ornaments in spare glass jars (we keep them all, from pickle to sauce and even the cute narrow olive ones too!) keep the tree and the trimmings all together in a completely non-traditional way.

A Santa in his sleigh flying into the night with more paper stars thrown into the mix top it all off.  Strolling by the tree down the street in Union Square is a nice treat too!

So I can now say my apartment is totally Christmasfied, and it only cost me about five bucks!  How much are you spending gussying-up your space this year?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

I've been itching to get a tree.  We have a perfect spot in the apartment for it, but considering we are headed home on the 15th and the boyf won't be back to deal with it until the end of January... it was still unrealistic.  Not to mention it would be a poor economic purchase on my tight budget.  So when I saw this little baby strapped on top of that cute little green VW I snapped a quick pic.  Not to worry though... thanks to my paint chip stash, I know have a tree!  Well, actually many trees...

We'll start with the big guy.  Remember that huge paint chip sample haul I made while interning during the office move I mentioned here?  Well it was high time I made something from them, and being that they were all mainly green in color, the tree project was a no-brainer.  Free, festive and a great conversation starter.

I then created some streamers and attached them to some red twine along with some dollar store ornaments to dress it up a bit and play into the shaggy three-dimensional vibe.

Of course my tree needed a topper... queue Pinterest.  I found this great origami paper star tutorial on annekata.  She lays it all out perfectly clear if you want to make some too.  I had just purchased some origami paper at the dollar store and I used them all up on stars to hang around the tree.  I used scrapbook paper for the largest star.

I am happy to lay on my back and gaze up at this funky tree and think of all the Christmas cheer waiting for me at home!  Check back soon to see how I ended up going a little tree crazy in my living room...


Friday, November 23, 2012

cozy necessities

Now that it's Black Friday it's finally clicked that it is indeed winter, despite the much milder weather I've been enjoying in the bay area.  Naturally the Holidays bring out my nostalgia for New England winters.  I'm craving a wood burning fire, thick wool socks and cozy sweater, and warm lush bedding.  Above are my favorites with sources below.  What's your favorite part of the season?

Left to right;  1. wool knee socks from H&M  2. silk and velvet coverlet on Layla Grayce  3. crescent firewood rack through Brookstone  4. aztec cardigan by Mickey's Girl  5. jumbo knit throw via Etsy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sans the White

Graphic patterns and bold colors have been trending for a while now, and they all seem to come together with heavy doses of white for balance.  I've got nothing against white, but sometimes when it seems the most obvious choice, that's exactly when you shouldn't use it.  The result?  Breathtakingly fresh combinations that demand a double take and exude a fun and carefree, yet dramatic way of design.  Why should the walls have all the fun? 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

inhabiture and the Green Movement

At my current internship, I've been working closely with the Creative Director to assist with the re-branding of a growing company.  They are unique in their commitment to all things green, environmentally friendly and sustainable without sacrificing a modern, functional and beautiful design aesthetic.
The branding has an earth inspired pallet with a hit of orange for a bold design accent.  The two chosen fonts are unique yet cohesive, one serving as a bold type for headers and the other thin and minimal for text that won't distract from vivid work examples.
I hand drew stylized linear leaves to lend a natural feel to this wholesome brand, executed related collateral, created brand guidelines and designed web pages.  I am really proud of the results and look forward to seeing this company shine.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Come Sail Away with Me

Music always creates a slide show of images in my mind, and listening to Noosa was no different. Sail away got me humming along in no time, dreaming of the open ocean and sunny skies, so I made this little graphic to accompany your listen.

Her sweet and airy voice is calming and upbeat all at once, so don't miss out.  She has six songs on Spotify so get to it, and enjoy your Sunday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Day on the Farm

I've loved horses all my life.  I usually always find a way to be around them or ride despite my busy schedule, city lifestyle and constant relocation.  But since being in SF I have not gone riding once... Naturally I made a board of everything I love about the farm to gaze at longingly until I can ride over winter break.  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oriental rugs.  I love them for their classic appeal.  However, they classically come in red.  Lots of red.  I know plenty of people love the hue, but I am just not one of them.  It always comes off angry and aggressive in my eye, so I avoid it in my decor at all costs.  So I was delighted to see this neutral version on House of Turquoise the other day.  It would blend seamlessly with any decor, but still offer interest with its subtle pattern.

I was especially excited to discover Medallion Rug Gallery on my way to work yesterday.  The showroom was large and filled with the ornate beauties.  They had an impressive color spectrum and I lusted over several, literally petting them as I snapped some pictures.

How awesome is this blue and green number?  Right up my alley and not a hint of red in sight.  I made a little exception to my red rule for this cute bird motif though.  How sweet is that?!

Because these rugs are such high quality and offer awesome warrenties and restoration throughout your ownership, they were expensive.  Very expensive.  But it is definitely a lifetime item that is worth investing in if you have the money.  Some day!

In the meantime, the stacks of rugs as a graphic will have to suffice.  Plus, gazing at the patterns really gets my creative juices flowing.

I also found these more affordable options on West Elm.  They are over-dyed and distressed for a monochromatic textured look.  I'm digging the patchwork motif too...

What do you look for in a rug?  Pattern? Price-point? Material? Color?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photo Filters

Here's a hot mess I created while playing around with different filters in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  I know a good handful, but my life would be much, much easier if I experimented more often with various combinations.  This way I can expedite the process of getting ideas from my head to my computer screen.  I admit, sometimes I would much rather do things by hand, but digital illustration can have some interesting affects in the right hands, so as they say, practice makes perfect!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunbathing and Scarf Shopping

For anyone who missed the memo, I've got a new do.  I decided to be Cleopatra for Halloween, and rather than wearing an itchy wig all night, I thought I'd just dye my own hair a lovely jet black.  It was startling at first, but it's really grown on me!  Thanks to my Syrian roots, it doesn't look too outlandish... right?

I generally have Monday's off, and yesterday was no different.  It was a ripe 81 degree, blue sky, sunny day. (I've got to brag about SF all I can before I move back to frigid New England for the winter... I shudder.)  I headed to the pool to soak up some sun and then went to the street vendor market to browse.  They have these awesome pashmina's, just four for twenty bucks!

If you know me, you know this equine themed pashmina made my heart pitter-patter.  I also scooped up a nice b & w polka dot accented with some leopard, a royal blue and gold combo and a pink and cornflower psychedelic number.

While I plan to wear these as scarves, I started to brainstorm ideas of what else I could do with them.  At 4 for 20, it wouldn't be a stretch to buy a bunch more.  First, I tied the ends together to create the trendy infinity scarf.  Perfect for any windy days that obnoxiously unravel you en route.  Which got me to thinking, if I bought a bunch and tied them together into a larger piece, they could be hung as fun and funky curtain panels.  And if I cut some batting to size, sandwiched it between a few pashmina's and ran the stack through the sewing machine, I'd have a quick and unique quilt or throw.  Or tie them around a pillow for a new cover.  Yup, sounds like I may need to buy a few more.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Earrings in Bloom

While at checkout in the bead store a few weeks ago, I spotted these little plastic flowers for just 25 cents a piece... you know I bought them in every color and got to making some earrings.  All I needed was the posts, which were sold in a 12 pack for just one buck.  Success.

With post, flower and instant krazy glue in hand, these only took a few seconds to make.  Just dab some glue on the post and hold the flower in place.  This particular glue was insanely sticky and dried in an... instant.  Go figure.  But really, I did notice a better adhesion than with just regular super glue.

And then before I knew it, flower earrings galore!  You really can glue almost anything to a post and call it an earring, think buttons, flat stone, sea glass, etc. but I've been on a flower kick ever since buying a pair of sea-foam green rosette earrings from Etsy.  And now I have four more for about $2.50... perfectly within my intern budget.  But I didn't stop at flowers...

I also grabbed these flat-backed bubbles in shiny, luscious turquoise.  I decided to glam them up a bit by ringing the edge with my metallic silver sharpie.  It really gives it a little something extra in my opinion.

For a few dollars I know have a new pair of the earrings for everyday of the week!

*Being from the east coast, I've got all my family, friends, and community in my thoughts as Sandy dishes out her wrath.  Stay safe please!*



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Polka Dots and Pumpkins

Polka dots have always felt childish on my clothes, but on my walls... in gold... with pumpkins... yes, please!

Styling bookshelves can be a little tricky.  Too much stuff and it looks cluttered and crazy, but too streamlined and it looks like you haven't fully unpacked yet.  Enter the Holiday season.  It gave me a steadfast theme to adhere to, and when you collect like items, the cluttered look falls by the wayside and you get super stylized amazingness!

The polka dots where a fun touch to play up the roundness of the pumpkins, add a little color and shine, and best of all an impermanent DIY soulution that won't rob me of my rental deposit.  Here's how:

Gather all of your materials and maybe a partner if you're tackling a large space.  Measure and cut your paper to size and adhere with some double-sided tape, beginning in the center and smoothing the paper out towards your corners as you go.  I admittedly got frustrated during this process and enlisted the boyf against his will ;)

Next, dip your cork end into some paint and stamp in the center of the space you are polka dotting.  Work out from there.  I just eyed-balled it, but you could do some simple math and mark lightly with a pencil if you are so inclined.

I went with a staggered pattern to make the alignment easier freehand.  If your paper is thin like mine was, simply stab the shelving brackets straight through into their slots and replace your shelves.  Another designer tip, odds.  Always group in odds, it is far more pleasing to the eye.

I also made this little painted print of my polka dotted pumpkin filled shelves.  I'll be making it into a printable if you'd prefer to remove the heavy lifting but still get the look.

Will you be adding polka dots to your decor?  Or just to your Pinterest boards ;)