And You Thought the Shake Weight Was Bad…

I am in the midst of a group project along with two classmates. The goal, to create a 30-second YouTube video with essentially no parameters. When my professor suggested a commercial as a simple option, I immediately knew that I would have to dream up some heinously amazing product and its accompanying infomercial. Now, don’t flip your lid. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag yet. I will tell you that though, there is a clue in the text of this post. However, I did find this amazing video of the top 10 worst infomercials OF ALL TIME. I’m really not sure why UroGolf isn’t number one…question mark?

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What’s in My Bookmark Bar? Part II

Hope you guys enjoyed round one. Here’s a look at the rest of the links on my bookmark bar!

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Ellie Snow is a graphic designer author of the blog, Mint, based in Durham, NC. Along with curating daily selection of fashion, design and food, Ellie is also a stationery designer. Her wedding invitations and other papers goods have a beautiful vintage feel. My favorite has to be the Gatsby in Foil.

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Many of you probably already know about the now seminal design blog, Design*Sponge. Grace Bonney started the blog in 2004 to catalog her finds, not knowing it would grow to be her full-time job. She now has a staff of 11 and posts 6-8 times a day on topics ranging from DIY to Floral Arrangements to Etiquette.

Well, there you have it! I hope to continue this series in the future. I love featuring fellow bloggers and spreading the love around the web. Do you all have any favorite links you care to share? Comment below!

What’s In My Bookmark Bar? Part I

I have wanted to write this post for a long time now. Some of my best finds have come from other bloggers posting their favorite blogs so I thought I’d do the same. I’ll split it into two though so you can have time to explore each link.

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First, we have Rebelleon, a darling lifestyle blog written by my cousin, Catherine. This belle posts about beauty, DIY projects and other “blog-worthy finds” as she says. My favorite posts from her lately have been the DIY’s. Back in December I followed her post to make my own magazine Christmas tree, perfect for 20-somethings and college students. She also gave my grandmother’s wallet a new look with a little glue and a gorgeous stone.

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I met Kelsey Cronkhite when I moved to Savannah to study graphic design. She is definitely one of my blog role models. Her blog Pinegate Road features regular columns like “From the Desk”, where she “visits” with other designers and creatives to interview them about their process. I also enjoy “Outfittings” where she curates clothes pairings for every occasion.

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Last, but certainly not least, we have All the Mountains, an Australian blog I found through some random clicking one Friday night. Sadly, All the Mountains has closed its doors but you can still spend hours scrolling through their posts to get inspiration and witness unique products. I’ve definitely pinned plenty of their choices.

Look out for part II of “What’s In My Bookmark Bar?” coming soon!

Cross Stitching My Heart Out

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I am quite the nervous Nellie, panicking Patsy, anxious Angela type. I spend more time looking at my to-do list than actually accomplishing things on it. To center my thoughts I usually have to do something detailed or tangentially productive before I can get to the guts of my day. This usually manifests itself in the form of doing dishes, scrubbing the bathtub or organizing the bookshelf by color. Lately, I have found cross stitch as a way of gaining focus. Concentrating on the tiny x-shaped stitches brings me to a relaxed state.

Back when I was 7, my mom bought me a maroon colored sampler hand towel, some pink thread and a couple appliqué roses. I spent the better part of our car ride to Maryland embroidering my initials across the towel. Although it’s taken me 15 years to return to the craft, I enjoy the bits of nostalgia as I remember working mercilessly on my towel as we wound through the Shenandoah Valley.

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These days, cross stitch is experiencing a comeback along with many other fiber arts like knitting and crocheting. Designs have grown from granny-style floral samplers to more modern hipster-ish incantations like sushi, Queen Elizabeth’s profile and a Polaroid camera.

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My favorite cross stitch purveyor is Slipcover Your Life over at Etsy. You can buy a complete kit with hoop, thread, pattern and all or simply download a PDF file to get started right away with your own materials. I just nabbed the Keep Calm and Carry On Kit. Let’s hope it will help me cross more things off my to-do list!

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Art on My Walls: Elizabeth Bradford

"Kim's Garden, August" hanging in my parents' dining room
“Kim’s Garden, August” hanging in my parents’ dining room

Sometimes I forget how amazing my little hometown is. Davidson, North Carolina is a tiny college hamlet about 30 minutes north of Charlotte. It was a great place to grow up and the college presence generated plenty of intellectual and architectural fodder. One of my favorite local painters from the area is Elizabeth Bradford. I went to elementary school with her kids and remember seeing her at the local swimming hole from time to time.

Now my parents have one of her gorgeous works in their dining room. She paints mostly photorealistic landscapes with intensified colors and light. Her sense of light reminds me of one of my other favorite genres of art, Impressionism.

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Ingenuity Incorporated

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I have been following Joy Cho since the beginning of my foray into graphic design. This lovely lady is the creator of the blog, Oh Joy, and collaborator and generator of many other projects. I think I have to bullet them there are so many…

Joy does…

  • textile design
  • packaging design
  • branding
  • blogging
  • book-writing (2!)
  • stationery design
  • home-office product design
  • wallpaper design
  • consulting

Whew!

What I am most impressed with lately though is her books. Creative, Inc. and Blog, Inc. Creative, Inc. gives you all the necessary tools for boosting your creative business into a full-time gig. Let me tell you this is not your average business read. It is so simple to read I finished the entire thing among a week of relaxing nightly baths. Who knew business could be fun? That’s Cho’s whole point though, as she equips her readers to do what they love.

Blog, Inc.as the name suggests, gives experienced and inexperienced bloggers tips and strategies for building your blog into something beyond a hobby. Whether it’s monetizing a blog or simply choosing a platform Blog, Inc. has simple instructions.

One of the best features of both books is that they feature testimonials and interviews from real-life bloggers and designers that have experienced success in starting their own business. It is definitely reassuring to know that supporting yourself as a creative is possible!

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