Love for Needle and Thread

If I had to identify the moment when I first developed an interest in embroidery, I’d have to say the day when my mother bought a tiny needle-point piece at a craft fair. I remember being in awe of the details. It’s tiny features are enamoring. Especially the sheep and their shadows!

I’ll never find this artist again, which hurts to admit, because I want to see so much more of her work! 

On the bright side, Instagram has introduced me to many new embroidery artists. They bring creative approaches to needle work, mixing thread with different media and making pieces that look like paintings.

@artiststephaniekellyclark, @humayrah_bint_altaf, @bordaros

This might be my favorite… a mix of watercolor and embroidery – so different! – and from Columbus artist @leahstorrs

 

@slow_stitch_sophie, @chloegiordano_embroidery, @memorialstitches, @sewandsaunders

I want to learn embroidery, some day, but haven’t made the jump. I’m currently trying to focus on painting with acrylics and just signed up for a clay class. I want to do it all! But for now, will just admire this amazing thread work and get inspired 🙂

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Latest Reads: February 2017

Here are some short reviews of books I’ve read lately.

Dark Matter: This book won numerous awards in 2016 and all accolades are well-deserved. Full of action and science, it’s also romantic. You’ll reflect and appreciate all that you have in life after reading.

Swing Time: This book follows two girls as they grow up and grow apart. It touches on everything that helps shape an individual… income, education, parenting, friendships, career choice, culture, etc. I look forward to reading more books by Zadie Smith. 

All the Single Ladies: This book is very thought provoking. It digs deep into the cultural shifts that are enabling more women to bypass the standard family unit and stay-at-home lifestyle.

The Twelve, City of Mirrors: These books are the second and third (final) books in the popular series by Justin Cronin about the world after a science experiment goes wrong. I flew through these and wish the story wasn’t over. 

Edgar Sawtelle: If you love dogs, you’ll be touched by this book. It’s raw and impressive, but also surprisingly sad. 

The Story Behind the Barcart

I write this post while watching my favorite show… HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. I could watch it all day…

Bringing new life to old furniture is one of my favorite things to do. This passion definitely stems from my parents and my childhood. My dad and I weren’t above picking up things off the side of the road and reworking them. And I have fond memories of going to auctions, garage sales, and of course flea markets with my mom. 

In my apartment right now we have a TV console, dresser, and coffee table that I fixed up. But without a lot of space for more furniture, it’s been awhile since I’ve tackled a project. 

When my friend moved to a new apartment and started looking for a bar cart, I was inspired to rework the tired, outdated cart that I’d been using as a side table. 

I found the cart at a secondhand store in Rochester and snagged it for $20 almost 7 years ago. Over time, the second-tier glass shelf disappeared somewhere and the gold finish rusted in spots. It needed some love, and dusting…

So, I decided to play in Alex’s scrap wood pile and pull out an eclectic mix of walnut, oak, and padauk then build a random pattern. 

Using a table saw, wood planer, drum sander, some clamps, and wood glue, I created a new shelf to replace the one I lost. Alex helped me add a routed edge design and then finish with a gloss. 

I also sanded down the old metal frame and painted it a flat black. I had no idea that this little change would make the piece look so much better. 

We worked on this sporadically, so I never finished it in time for my friend to use for her apartment… go figure! 

I also have no idea how to ship it… So I can’t send it to a friend in NYC who wants to buy it. 

Right now it’s sitting in my basement. Such a shame! I might post on Craigslist soon, but it’s also hard to part with. I love its story, but have no use for a bar cart. 

I’m currently looking for my next project, so let me know if you have one in mind  đź™‚  

3 New Favorite Instagram Artists 

I’ve come across some amazing artists on Instagram. Whether curated by other accounts, or suggested by the app itself, I am so happy that I found them. 

@sammichellepaintings – All the way in Australia, she creates impressive oil paintings with a unique stroke and style. Her current “Life Still” series is so beautiful. 

@humayrah_bint_altaf – These are the most unique needlepoint pieces I’ve ever seen. Incorporating beads and fancy layers, she makes beautiful beetles, bees, and butterflies. I love mixed media and really enjoy this new take on embroidery. 

@turn.studio – These pieces are the prefect marriage of pottery making and graphic design. He leverages technology to transfer impressive patterns onto clay. It’s so satisfying to watch a time lapse of each design be stenciled and glazed, or cutout and punched.

Spurring Wonder

The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) will be hosting their third annual Wonderball event on Saturday, January 28. If you’ve never been, it’s amazing! The entire Museum transforms into a party that’s geared at inspiring creativity and wonder in guests.

Attendees can freely explore the exhibits where rooms have been enhanced with lights, music, food, drink, and activities. This year there will be music from DJs Charles Erickson and Donnie Mossman and live music by Popgun, plus bites from Columbus’ best eateries, creative experiences, cocktails and more.

I’m so excited! In the spirit of sparking wonder, here is a mood board that highlights what currently inspires me…

wonderboard

Volunteering with CMA to promote the event, I have been lucky enough to also work with a few Columbus bloggers. They created their own mood boards, highlighted personal sources of creativity, and hosted themed giveaways. Luckily some of these giveaways are still open! Check out the below links for chances to win Wonderball tickets, event-themed nail art, and/or pre-event hair styling. I’d enter myself, but will be wearing a black and white wig to the party!

Creative Babes

Blonde in Blues

Cohen Places

Columbus Living Blog

Eat Play Cbus

Wander & Whine

Target Dreaming 

I went to Target the other day to buy an insulated lunch box (lame, I know!) and spent at least an hour loitering in the home goods area. They have SO MUCH good stuff right now it’s unbelievable. The personal restraint I employed deserves a medal. 

I started imagining what it’d be like to trash everything I currently have at my apartment and redecorate from scratch. Clearly not a possibility… but the idea of decorating in one full sweep rather than piece by mismatched piece was dreamy. 

Here are the goodies I can’t stop thinking about… 

Modern by Dwell has a new line exclusively at Target, and this lounge chair is super wide and deep. We’re waiting to buy a new couch until we move into a house and I’d like to buy accent chairs at the same time. This would be perfect! ($250)


You can never have enough vases, right? This speckled number is so sweet! ($18)

This picture doesn’t do the tray justice. Pink marble with grays and tinges of green… it’s heavy, solid and so beautiful! But I have so many other trays I have no idea what I’d do with another. ($27)

Rugs tie everything in a room together. We already have this style in the reverse color pattern, and it’s so soft and comfy! (8×10 – $789)

Saving all these for when we actually CAN redecorate all at once. You can bet a large portion of our (eventual) house decorations will come from Target. 

Dinosaurs Spur Holiday Fun 

Through my employer Zipline Logisitics I was able to give a gift to a child at Nationwide Children’s Hospital this holiday season. We filled our office Christmas tree with paper bulbs that listed small wish items from patient families. We could grab any items we were willing to purchase on their behalf.

I immediately grabbed the bulb that said toy dinausors. There is a book about toy dinosaurs that I absolutely love. It is the epitome of imagination and fun (in my opinion!) In fact, the creators of the book have a full Facebook community that I love even more.

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night, and Dinovember, imagined and created by Refe and Susan Tuma, are incredible. The authors have convinced their children that their plastic dinosaurs come alive when they sleep. Not unlike Elf of the Shelf, the dinosaurs are staged to look as though they’ve created turmoil somewhere in the house overnight. Mischievous, curious, and comical. The dinosaurs get into kitchen messes, art and office supplies… really everything. It’s fantastic. They break the rules, have innocent fun, and explore all that’s around them.


The idea of gifting a child the original book by the Tumas, along with actual toy dinosaurs makes me giddy! I can only imagine all the new connections that could grow in a young mind. So many adventures, hours of creating, and storytelling.

One of the reasons I enjoy the Dinovember Facebook community is because followers submit their own dino mishaps. Knocked over toy bins, spilled flour, paint on walls… parents and kids collectively get into the effort. (As a marketer, I geek out at all the quality user-generated content.) Additionally, the Tumas have published numerous other dinosaur adventure books for their community to read. All of which continue to spur more creativity.

Although small, this is the favorite gift I am able to give this year. I hope the child who has an interest in toy dinosaurs finds endless joy in their new avenue for exploring.

Greenery – Color of the Year 2017

As a marketer and a consumer I am fascinated with trend forcasting. Perhaps that’s why I am so enamored with the annual announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year. The organization selects a single color from its monumenous collection that “represents a snapshot of what’s happening in our global culture and that serves as an expression of a mood and attitude.”

The ability to synthesize our current state of mind into a singular color fascinates me. I enjoy the capsule and historical record the company creates with their Color of the Year program.

For 2017 the selection is Pantone 15-0343, “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew, #greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose amid a complex social and political landscape.”

The public’s reaction to the color announcement is also entertaining. So far, comments are very positive for #greenery, but 2015’s Marsala caused some disruption. No matter the color, I have a personal tradition of changing my nails to match 🙂

Another reason why I enjoy this announcement so much is the collaboration opportunities that emerge. So far, Pantone has announced that their doing an experiential partnership with Airbnb. The potential is endless… I’m thinking tree houses, tropical greenery, spa experiences, hiking trips… 

It seems like Pantone is spot on with their observation that the public needs something refreshing and relaxing in 2017. I look forward to seeing how more brands and designers incorporate the color into their work this coming year. 

My Interior Style

This isn’t a design blog, and I’m certainly not an interior designer… but if you looked at all the screen shots on my phone you might think differently.

I am constantly capturing images from the numerous design accounts I follow on Instagram. And rather than pinning them for later reference, the shots just live in my phone.

Here is a random selection… with a clear style theme: white or gray walls, big chunky furniture, statement mirrors, wooden pieces, art of all kinds, and lots of plants and patterned rugs.