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Savoring Summer

Friday, July 29, 2011


A little greeting from our busy-wonderful-joyful-inspiring summer. 

Enjoying these happy sunshiny days with my boys, (just love saying that, "my boys!")  but still figuring out life with two. Lots of trial and errors. Probably more errors, but I'm trying.  Our days are marked by little achievements and big celebrations; like Jack floating on his back during swim lessons and Luke charming us with his first smile. Breakfast outside in the morning sun and Jack's first harvest from his own blueberry bush. Life seems to have both sped up and slowed down...but I'm soaking it all in.....

{image credit Carolyn Cochrane}

Treasure Maps

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yesterday  I came across an old stone bridge I remember driving across when I was a little girl. There's a winding river beneath and a small horse pasture to one side. In college, I drove through this place often. Once, just a few days before I left to chase my dreams in California, I actually pulled over to take a photo.  To me, it was the image of my childhood and freedom all rolled into one....and I wanted to take a little piece of that with me. 
I realized I have many little treasures like that from all the places I've lived....

  • Los Gatos,  my first destination in California after driving 13 hours straight. I thought, "I will live here someday." And I did. 
  • The back pew of a tiny church with floor to ceiling windows in Houston
  • Curving country roads in Lexington, Massachusetts - my escape from busy Boston, I ran and drove these roads as often as I could
  • An old stone library in Chicago, I loved getting lost in piles of books and hiding away from all the chaos of the city
  • Highway 280, from San Jose to San Francisco, with George Strait playing and the window rolled down. I fell in love with my now husband driving this road that connected our two cities 
And the list goes on... but someday, I'd love to collect all these pieces in one place, maybe with a map display like these. 

What places do you treasure? 

Handmade Baby

Friday, July 22, 2011

 Oh my goodness, we've received some of the most thoughtful and sweet gifts in celebration of little Luke. From homemade dinners to my signature soy lattes to a big 'ol box of juicy strawberries....people have been so kind! In the mix of all this goodness has been lots of handmade lovelies, I thought I'd share a few:  

Personalized necklace with Jack & Luke by Lisa Leonard Designs
truly what I always wanted!  From a sweet friend. 
Personalized name plate by Elm Studios from an amazing customer turned friend! 
I had my eye on one of these for awhile...and look there are two little baby birds :) 

Little Chickie Teether by Pretty Dreamer, from one of my most wonderful friends in the world. I have loved this shop forever & am so happy to finally own one of their pieces! 

Flannel blankets from a dear friend I've had since 4th grade! In fact my first sewing project was with her! She used vintage fabric passed down in her family and these blankets have already become Luke's favorite. 
 Baby shoesies by TillyWhistle sent from a super lovely friend I so wish wasn't hundreds of miles away!

Looking Ahead - Fall Color Report

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enjoying every little drip of summer, but I figured a teeny tiny little peek into fall couldn't hurt! The Pantone Fall 2011 Color Report... think I'm going to go with Bamboo and Nougat on this one...what's your favorite?

Holding On and Letting Go - Oh My Handmade Goodness

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hello! Today you can find me over at Oh My Handmade Goodness where I share my perspective on returning to business after baby. Stop by & say hi!

happy, happy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

happy anniversary to my charming hunk of a husband! what an amazing six years it's been! 

dug up this oldie- one of our first dates in 2002!

Sketchy - A Peek at What's to Come

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Earlier this week I shared a bit about how Google's Rule of 20% is changing my approach to creating bags and clutches....actually allowing me to set aside time to make! During my wakeful nights with a newborn (he's a dream as far as sleeping goes...it's just me who can't fall back to sleep!) I sketched out some new ideas & notes I've had brewing....most of my designs start with a drawing and then I develop a pattern from there (see the process in my nifty iphone case!). We'll see which bags make it passed the drawing phase and which ones become new items for the shop!   
Which bags catch your eye?

p.s. I'd love to hear what you're working on & how you set aside time to make! 

p.p.s Oh yeah- If you have an Etsy shop or an online creative site, I've got a doozy of a giveaway coming up this month! stay tuned :) 

The Rule of 20 Percent

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last month while impatiently waiting for baby's arrival, I stayed up late at night reading gobs of books. Mostly non-fiction....the blur of facts and theories and biographies lulling me to sleep. One little tidbit of information really caught my attention though- and has inspired much thought and planning on my part. It's Google's rule of 20%.  
Since I lived in the Silicon Valley after college, I already knew Google Headquarters was a sort of crazy work paradise with cool office design, afternoon luaus, and delicious lunches. I didn't realize, however, that they also adhere to a policy to inspire innovation from their employees. Called the Rule of 20%.  It allows, and actually encourages, their Googlites to use twenty percent of the work week to address new ideas, explore experimental programs, and focus on novel concepts.  

After I got past a little bit of envy, I realized that this formula is just what I needed! 

In running a small business, I often get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks or I'm on the spinning wheel of completing orders ( definitely a good thing!) but somehow it leaves me little time to innovate or expand. All my ideas for newness get stowed away and lost in my sketch book. Only for me to re-discover and feel guilty them about later on......
But, by applying the rule of 20% I'm ALLOWING myself a portion of work time to create. The notion of actually planning for newness seems so easy. I think however, that having that time actually scheduled into the work week can make all the difference. Of course, I haven't actually applied this rule yet...since I'm not officially back in the studio...but I'm imagining how freeing it will be to feel like there is time to actually dust off those sketches and make.  I'm expecting a sense of inspiration, awakening, and fulfillment to follow. 

Thank you Google! 

light bulb print: The Big Harumph
create photograph: Marasca Photography

Jam Love

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mmmm, making homemade raspberry & strawberry jam today with my mum. Looking forward to toast + fresh jam in the morning!

A bit of jam love: 

New Mama Survival Kit

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I've described the adjustment period of our brand new second baby as a whole lot of joy with little bits of chaos. Add to the mix a difficult recovery and it's just been a roller coaster over here! 
However, there are a few things I've found that have eased both my mind + spirit....

1. Coffee. Went 9 months without it. What can I say?

2. Business Books.  Love reading about specific brands and marketing perspectives.  (Different from Youngme Moon is one of my favorites...plus she was my husband's professor)

3. Journals.  Writing makes me happy. Scribbling little notes of love to Luke. Recording Jack's big-brother quotes. Streaming shop and product ideas. Drafting new posts and articles. All of this done mostly around 3am. 

4. iPhone.  Keeps me connected to friends and other things I love - like fabric and inspirational quotes when I'm feeling a little blue. 

5. Lip Gloss. A little something to beat the post-labor blahs....

6. Dark Chocolate. Not pictured. I ate it all :) 

{ While these things are scrumptious & helpful, nothing can replace the tokens of friendship & thoughtfulness sent our way!}

Tutorial Tuesday - Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

What else can I say?
Whipped up this delicious homemade chocolate hazelnut spread (faux Nutella) for my hubby's father's day gift.  While it's not going to fool anyone as the original, I still think it's scrumptious! And personally, packaging food in a little jar makes anything taste good :) 

This spread would make a charming thank-you, housewarming, or just-because gift!

Here's a few Nutella-inspired recipes (I suggest experimenting, not only to get it just right, but it's also a lot of tasty fun to sample them all!) 

Homemade Nutella from The Family Kitchen
Vegan Nutella from Epicurvegan
Homemade Nutella from Living the Sweet Life in Paris

Printable Gift Tags from Creature Comfort


Monday, July 04, 2011

 from sea to shining sea....

Cheers to a magical Fourth of July. 


Friday, July 01, 2011

A week and a half filled with wonder, joy, amazement and even bits of frustration and heartache. Baby Luke is just pure sunshine to our family (and his name even means 'light') ...but I'll be the first to admit the recovery and adjustment has been difficult. I've got so much swirling about right now but want to share this striking book excerpt about being parent I just rediscovered......

"...to be a parent is to live in the past-present-future all at once. It is to hug your children and be intensely aware of how much smaller they felt last year...even as you wonder how much bigger they will feel the next. It is to be a time-shifter, to marvel at the budding of their intellect, their verbal dexterity, their sense of humor...at the same time rewinding and fast-forwarding...to when they were younger, to when they'll be older. It is to experience longing for the here and now..."

-Youngme Moon - Different

Thank you for all the kind words and happy wishes - I plan to be back creating & writing & making again soon...time away has confirmed it really does feed my soul and shapes a better mama for my boys.  xoxo

{image credit Jen Murray}