30 April 2012

truly cray cray

i love this time of year because crawfish are in season and that means gettings together with friends, eating food that's too spicy, drinking beers that are too cold and sitting in places that are too hot.  throw a ping pong tournament in the mix and you've got a little shin dig.

our cray cray mess

the awesome golden paddle made by our friend andrea. the back gets signed with the winner's name.
i went out in the first round. i made a vow to myself to get better and surprise everyone next year. it would be an honor to write my name on that paddle :)

the crawfish invite.. finally some masculine design around here :)

round two.

sarge!! he's such a good dog.

it's the fancy shoe club.

oh hey, summer plaids.

i didn't take very many photos, which kind of tells you i was having a good time catching up with everyone who i hadn't seen in awhile... everyone's turning into ' busy adults' these days...  


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24 April 2012

it's here, it's open : charm & fig

so happy to announce that my etsy shop, charm & fig, is finally up and running!

if you follow this blog, you may recognize some of the items. here's a little peek at some of my new stuff. as you can see, all of these designs are inspired by the beach, which tells me i'm ready for a little vacation.

charm and fig water color polka dot stationery coral

water color sunset polka dot folded card

charm and fig hudson bay blanket stationery

hudson bay blanket folded card

charm and fig postal stationery

postal thank you flat cards

anchor stationery charm and fig

'you're my anchor' folded card

yay! now go check it out.. and if you're on etsy and you like it, please add charm & fig to your favorite shops. thank you.

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13 April 2012

texas blackberries & sorbet

over easter weekend we went to woodville, texas to visit jon's grandparents. the weather was gorgeous and we heard from a bird that blackberries/dewberries were ripe for picking. (note: we learned dewberries are blackberries that grow on the ground.. who knew that tid bit?).

here i am thinking about cool it is we found a handfull of berries. us city kids are so easily amused.

we found a jackpot of ripe berries! it was worth all the little thorns to get them.

our final stash.

when we got back to the house, we made some jam with raw honey from the bees on the land (we were in our own episode of portlandia. is it local? is it local? is it local? yes.)

when we got back to houston, i was quick to make some dewberry sorbet with our beloved kitchenaid mixer. 

so good. perfect summer treat! 

blackberry sorbet recipe
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 cups of blackberries or dewberries
juice from two small limes
pinch of salt

in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water. bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup is formed. let cool to room temperature.

blend the berries, syrup and lime juice in a food processor until smooth. put the mixture in a bowl and chill for at least two hours or up to one day.

pour the cold mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. for our kitchen aid mixer, i had it on level seven for 15 minutes and and level 10 for five minutes. spoon the slushy mixture into a freezer-safe container and place parchment or waxed paper directly on the surface to prevent ice from forming. cover tightly and freeze until form, at least two hours.

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11 April 2012

people who make things: sara lowery ng of noble house designs

sara lowery ng is the brains behind noble house designs, an amazing accessories line that is all about statement pieces. when i first met sara, she was wearing an indian-inspired necklace similar to this

when i found out she made it herself, i bombarded her with questions about her how she got started, balancing her day job and noble house designs (a topic we revisit in this talk) and so much more. not only does sara have killer lady style (picture lily pullitzter and kate spade at coachella), but she's funny, loves to travel and has a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit.

sara in india with a little elephant
where are you from and where do you live? And how does your environment relate to your work?
i am from columbus, ohio originally but have been living in houston, texas for over 6 years now. my work is all about color and allowing your accessories to match your personality. colorful, inspired by traveling the world/other cultures, not afraid to make a statement and yet still easy going. as an outsider looking in on the southern/texas lifestyle, women are well accessorized and love to dress up and are always put together at all times...  so its an inspiring city to see such fantastic muses for my jewelry.

what were your favorite creative outlets growing up?

i absolutely loved drawing and coloring when i was younger! when i was really little ( i think around 4 or 5) I would watch my favorite disney movies and color in my coloring books.  when i was in high school, i loved my art classes and loved to sketch and draw while listening to music.  around the same time, i started to appreciate vintage fashion and accessories.  so, my creativity took a long time to develop and understand how to use it.

tribal earrings - noble house designs

what are you favorite materials/medium to work with?
i really love any materials in vivid color.  i just crave colorful baubles and beads.  i like to mix up the high end gemstones with vintage plastic beads.  as long as the color story works, i will put anything together.  

what influences or inspires you?
fashion and Interior design magazines  - i subscribe to them all!  but i love how editors put together a color story and edit their picks.  it reminds me to go crazy but edit and then edit again.  i also enjoy how they inspire to show us beautiful things.  i also am influenced by vintage fashions and jewelry. i love anything from the 1970s.

nautical citrus - noble house designs

spring/summer 2012 - hazard necklace - noble house designs

how do you work through roadblocks on a project or piece?
i used to stop, walk away and come back to it after a day or two.  now, i work thru any roadblocks that might come up and make myself sit thru the frustration and do it.  i found if i walk away from a project with hopes to come back to it – i never would.  so i would waste a ton of momentum in the design process. i would have an idea and never see it to the end.  don’t get me wrong, sometimes the pieces that i work thru to finish are hideous!  but i usually learn something from the process.    

what has surprised you most about how your work has evolved, if at all?
that my style really has evolved. i have found my voice in my pieces that make me unique and i hope, tell my story. but that has been the most surprising!

black & gold vintage - noble house designs 
whats the hardest part of balancing your day job and noble house designs?
good question.  the hardest part is making yourself focus on issues that you don’t care and are not excited by. its been a struggle but if i didn’t dislike my full time job so much, i would of never ventured out and started NHD. things always happen for a reason :)


there you have it! shop noble house designs to add some serious color to your wardrobe. and be sure to check out sara's blog, where she writes about color trends, home decor and her favorite things.

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02 April 2012

two (neon) pink projects

been inspired by neon pink big time. saw these awesome neon pansies over the weekend... (sidenote: i want a garden so badly. we had chardonnay mojitos with fresh mint at tiny boxwood's and that delicious cocktail really put my garden envy in overdrive).

i tried to transform these worn out flats into something a little more fun. i taped them off, painted them with neon acrylic paint, then sealed them with mod podge. i'm sure they will crack and last less than 10 wears, but i was planning on throwing them away anyway.

 here's the finished product.. and i swear i didn't turn up the saturation on the color, they are very bright.

next up -- my friend andie sent me a project she found on a wedding website. all it was was wrapping jars with rope and tacky glue. we picked neon pink and white. really liked they way they turned out.  

the wider jars will probably be used for citronella candles on summer nights and the bottles will be hold wildflowers.

now i'm infected with neon stripes. everything i see, i'm picturing a neon stripe on it...your dog? stripe. that wooden tray that holds my magazines? stripppppe. baskets, electronics, chairs...stripe. stripe. stripe.

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01 April 2012

it's april! (+ march re-cap)

i kind of forgot about april fool's day, but the day is young (!!!)

march was light on posts because it was heavy on real life. three weddings, two baby showers & the stinking flu... but lots of pretty pictures were taken. 

march posts:

and just as predicted.. there were so many flowers to take picture of in march. 

anniversary flowers from jon. this purple color reminds me of my grandmother.

a vintage sign outside of the majestic metro, an old cool movie theater.

pastel pencils in the best shades of green. 

magenta pansies from thompson + hanson nursery

a view from our hotel room. it felt like a treehouse oasis. so relaxing.

tree with purple blooms from a winery in comfort, texas

koi fish from the japanese tea garden in san antonio

opi's cajun shrimp!

big fat burger fro hupcap grill

stephanie toppin's sculpture at char bar

houston ballet's center for dance on a cloudy sunshine day

hands down, the best vintage sign in houston.

buttercups! i used to smash these on people's faces... karma has gotten back me with seasonal allergies.

minty goodness. favorite spring polish color.

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