Wednesday, March 26, 2014

With You Wherever

A friend of mine saw this print I did for another friend and asked me to create one with a verse that's helping her through a particularly hard time. I love learning where others are finding inspiration or strength each day. Even more so, I love helping to create a constant reminder in the form of a print that can sit on your nightstand or hang above your desk or peek at you from the living room walls.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Custom Save the Dates

My friend Trish is getting married this year and asked my roommate and me to help out with some of the styling and design elements. Agreeing to help was a no-brainer because we both love Trish, for one, and secondly, we both live for this kind of stuff.

Trish's wedding is in her hometown of Sag Harbor, NY and she wanted the invitation to have a beachy-watery-Sag-Harbor sort of feel. We decided on using a postcard since it's a destination wedding (for most of the guests, at least) and postcards just scream travel, right? As an added bonus, this method eliminated the need for envelopes, making the whole project much more cost efficient.

I received my postcard in the mail a few weeks ago and was really excited to see how it turned out! The poor little gal got a tad beat up on her way here, but if you can look past the scratches and nicks, she's quite pretty.

Note: The photo we used is from Google images. I wish I could credit it, but as it goes I couldn't find the direct source. Trish had these printed at Overnight Prints and I think they did a great job - they even mailed her a packet of samples beforehand so she could see the quality upfront. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I had been taking photos along the way of all the thank you cards I've mailed out to those who have given to my Kenya trip. I'd love to see them all side-by-side, each one different from the next. If I had them all in front of me right now, I'd have quite a large stack and there would be glitter everywhere.

To say the least, it's been an amazing journey and complete blessing watching friends, family, acquaintances and in some cases total strangers pour out their love and generosity into my life. I've learned a lot about trusting God over the last few years, so when I started the fundraising process, I was lucky to have the mindset that God would provide where needed. Naturally, I was not disappointed and was able to have every penny of that $3650 accounted for and then some (rest assured the excess goes to other team members, not my pockets!). Now that I've reached my goal, I can focus my prayers more on God's provision for our trip outside of finances - asking Him to show me what I need to see and experience what I need to do, removing my personal expectations of what's to come. I'm so excited to walk this path and take this trip. Less than three weeks to go!

Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY Graffiti Tank

I was going out to California to visit my friend Billy around our birthdays this year and I couldn't show up empty-handed, obviously. He's a big runner (understatement), so I thought a fun tank that said something funny on it would be the perfect gift. Because, you know, cotton is rotten unless it says something awesome on it, and then you will wear it and you will like it, ok Billy? And either everyone else thought the same thing and bought them all up in the stores, or no one is as funny as us and therefore didn't create quite the perfect tank. I vote option two.

In lamenting this, my roommate gave me the second best idea she's ever had (second only to "let's walk to Dunkin Donuts and split six donuts on snow day"): "Why don't you paint it on an American Apparel shirt for him?" Genius.

So to American Apparel I went and grabbed a neon pink tank for The B and started brainstorming clever things for his custom tank. Listen, this is the guy who won the "Most Intelligent" senior superlative and wore a Cash Money shirt for the photos. So what I'm saying is it had to be special.

It wasn't too hard to think of something because he is always saying it: "don't grind don't shine," borrowed from a Mike Jones song (unbeknownst to me until I started this project). I wanted the tank to have a graffiti feel so I decided to spray paint it and be ok with any stray paint that got outside my stencil.

To create my stencil, I printed the quote in a large type on regular paper and cut out each letter and taped the slits where I cut so that paint wouldn't get through (does that make sense?). I've been burned too many times by spray paint, so I tested my cutout on a piece of paper before spraying the shirt. I did each word one by one (I only cut out one "don't" anyway) and made sure to cover the rest of the shirt while spraying to avoid getting paint everywhere. I used the same black lacquer spray paint I used on my hutch hardware because I didn't want to buy more and I figured it wouldn't wash off.

I'm happy with the result and hope Billy is, too! Happy birthday, Billy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tag It // 02

Gift cards are tough because I don't really want to wrap them, but putting them in a card feels boring to me. For my mom and little sister's birthdays, I created some personalized tags with paper, watercolor paints and a heart hole punch. I attached them to elastic that I wrapped around the gift cards and it made for a cute presentation. My next step is to buy all the hole punch shapes that exist and go crazy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

But Why Kenya?

I have been posed a question on several occasions that I am sure is a pretty common wondering when I tell people I am going on a mission trip alllllllll the way to Kenya. It goes something like, "Why Kenya? Why not just help out in Atlanta?" or an iteration of that.

This sentiment is not a knock on Kenya itself, but rather the idea of going outside our local borders when there are people in need just right down the street. I mean, I could be going to another state and might get the same question. I've thought long and hard about my thoughts to this question and I'm ready to (publicly) answer for anyone curious or left scratching his or her head.

First, I totally agree that there is a lot of need right here in Atlanta. One of the reasons I'm proud to be a member my church is that we're dedicated to serving the local community and our church offers lots of opportunities for its members to give and get involved both locally and globally. Buckhead Church - and all the churches in the North Point Community system - really do it right.

But secondly, I truly believe that the entire world is our mission field. So, while I support local mission and service opportunities, I've been given the chance to go outside the proverbial walls of Atlanta and make a difference where it's not as easy for locals to do so.

Plus, I think we all take for granted how easy we have it here. Sure, there are churches in Kenya to offer aid in some areas, but they don't have the same resources that we have in the U.S. It's a lot easier for us to have a food or clothing drive, go clean up a park or volunteer at a local shelter than it is for so many other nations in the world to even do half of that, Kenya of course included.

There's a stat Andy Stanley has used in a few sermons I've heard, most recently in his Be Rich series:
The Sundays he has said this, I am politely reminded that I have more than enough and probably definitely shouldn't have complained about having nothing to wear earlier that same morning or how tired I was after voluntarily waking up at 8am to get in my personal car and drive to church after eating a nice breakfast and having a warm shower.

Here's the thing. I have been blessed with the opportunity to do something bigger (thanks to so many generous friends and family members who have given to my trip). At the end of the day, it is because He has given to me that I desire to give to others - no matter where they are. It's really as simple as that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Glass Cloche Inspiration

I came across a glass cloche at Hobby Lobby and scooped it up because it was under $15 and in all my past cloche searches (there are many), I haven't seen one under $50 typically. The wood base isn't the prettiest, but that can be changed. It's currently sitting on my dresser empty, but I've been trying to decide on what I want to put in it for the long term. I like the idea of hanging something from the inside that dangles down and live plants are also at the top of my list, but I'm scared of killing them. Here are a few pretty things that are currently inspiring me.

birds - DIY geometric shapes on sticks 

giraffe or other small animal figures - delicate butterflies

hanging vintage bells - a cluster of dried lavender or other dried florals

DIY dangling chimes or strands of beads - moss & plants

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring Dreaming

Well, I'm ready for spring. It's not even that cold in Atlanta as compared to the rest of the east coast, but I am over it. I'm ready for breezy skirts and flowy tops, long runs outside and weekend park time. After work today, I stopped at Trader Joe's to grab some bright florals for around the apartment. It's supposed to be warmer this weekend, but if sister winter decides to take over unexpectedly, at least it'll feel like spring inside with these beautiful ladies. Happy weekend! Here's to warmer weather!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Succulent Confessions

I've done something terrible. Terrible and embarrassing, mostly. You see, I heard succulents were easiest of plants to care for when someone has one of those, you know, brown thumb things that I have. So, last summer I bought these three hanging pots from Anthro for $10 each (seen here - but don't peek just yet) and tried my hand at potting those bad boys. Well, cut to just a few months later, two of my planters were hanging dead, just filled with bone-dry soil and some pitiful, dried-up succulent once-weres.

For months I left the two pots alone, too scared to replant new succulents and too lazy to research new options. Enter Hobby Lobby. Well, I entered Hobby Lobby, that is, and came across something I didn't know existed (as you do when you visit Hobby Lobby): FAKE succulents. And super realistic-looking, in my opinion. I debated buying them for all of five minutes in the fear of how ridiculous and sad it is to have an inability to love and care for dessert plants, but I'm a realist, after all, so I walked away with some pretty fake guys and about $10 less in my wallet.

So here's the true test: can you tell - without examining my June post - which two pots are totally fake?