DIY Card and Phone Case

One of my favorite things about finally having (a very small amount of) free time these days is spontaneous DIY projects. I think I was sitting down to write a thank you note for someone, which was something that was actually on my to-do list, when I noticed that I had a little left over suede from a recent project. Naturally, loving the excuse to procrastinate, I started working on something new. The piece I had was a large rectangle, so I rounded off one of the shorter ends, folded it in thirds, stitched up the two sides, flipped it inside out and called it a day. Then I think I got back to that thank you note. Yay for productivity!

Post thank you note, I realized the flap wasn’t wanting to stay closed much so I cut two slits where the flap overlapped with the inside of the pouch, threaded a few thin pieces of suede through the two holes, and the end. I carry a pretty big bag so this little ‘wallet’ is just the right size to hold my important cards, ID and phone, which is really nice when I want to go somewhere and not worry about my large bag getting in the way. I just snatch this up and party on.

Doesn’t get much easier than that.

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Now I just need to mail that thank you note. Life, why you so hard sometimes?

My head wants this hat

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Like, so bad.

/via Free People/

Snack Time

Maybe this is too transparent, or will be post that I look back on in the future and feel I went one level too deep or too personal, but the truth is that I bit off more than I could chew last semester and I struggled quite a bit. Or rather, I bit off too much without the proper dentures to get the chewing done. Hence me taking this month to get my ducks in a row so that I am prepared and ready to incorporate classes again and still have time for myself, my relationships, and this blog – on top of the other responsibilities on my plate.

I kept feeling so overwhelmed that I never knew where to start and all I could think about doing was taking a nap. Under the coffee table. I hate feeling self-pitying – I try and never lose sight of the fact that there are many out there with a far worse situation than what I am in, but sometimes one just enters a spiral and you end up leaning on those you love in an unfair way to pull you back up for air.

Anyway, to try and combat having a constant defeated feeling, I started, and it may sound cheesy, but writing down three things I am grateful for and the list of things I accomplished that day. Too often I was going to bed thinking about all the things I had to do or how little I actually completed, instead of being positive and focusing on the successful things about the day. So now, the last thing I do before I hit the hay is pull out my journal and pour out some good ol’, glass-half-full, yay-I-did-it kinda stuff.

So far it has helped and for sure one of the things that I am going to be writing down today is how grateful I am that my current job allows me to have three day weekends every other week. Today is one of my days off and I have been having such a nice me-day. Part of this lovely me-day has included two of my very favorite snacks —

Apples with almond butter: Not much too this, I cut up my apple, squeeze a little lemon juice, and dip into some almond butter. The end.

Apples and Almond Butter

Avocado and fried egg: Avocado, some fresh lime juice, cilantro, garlic salt, fried egg, salt and pepper, all topped with a little Siracha.

Avocado with Fried Egg

 

I hope you, too get a good me-day soon. Warm hug-filled thoughts go out to all of you – thank you for reading and having this short story of mine be heard.

DIY Canvas Triangle Bag

Happy Wednesday lovey dovies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, my life just finally calmed down a bit after being pretty nutso there for a while, so needless to say, it has been quite some time since I was able to get any fun projects done. I figured for getting back into it, I may want to do something small and simple – not put too much stress on the situation.

I also mentioned earlier this week that I am trying to be a bit healthier (physically, mentally, etc.), and with that, I have started taking lunch and snacks into work (sorry Chiptole, I ❤ Teriyaki, Havana, and others). But in doing so, I wasn’t overly excited by any of the typical lunch bags you see out there. So in an effort to create something a bit more unique yet simple, I figured I’d start with a $1.50 canvas bag. To spruce it up a bit I pulled out my painters tape and some black fabric paint I had left over from a school project.

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And a few minutes later, boom! Triangle bag. I am kinda in love with it. It is so easy, very graphic and was SO cheap that even if something spills in it or a handle breaks or any other traumatic event occurs, it can be redone in just minutes.

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What are your favorite quick DIYs? I am feeling really addicted to the instant gratification they provide; in fact, right after I made this bag I  quickly started a second project that was just about on par with the simplicity of this one and will be on the blog later this week.

Europe in Review: Antwerp

Living very close to the beach, we have the pleasure of paying lots of money to live in a box, well, that and experiencing perfect weather, pretty immediate beach access, and a ton of fun stuff in walk-able distance. Our apartment doesn’t even have a heater or AC because the temperature is mostly perfect (anyone who feels envious, just remember glorified closet + $$$, there are pros and there are cons).

Needless to say, when we landed in Germany and it was snowing, we were a bit out of our element. But warmed and motivated by our shear excitement to be out of the country and on a fun, new adventure, we somehow we made it to our rental car and drove straight to Belgium.

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And thus begins our trip in review, with Antwerp.

This may be a reoccurring statement for all the places we visited – but it is cold there in March. If you are making traveling plans, keep this in mind. But besides cold, it was charming, totally walk-able, not completely touristy and just super interesting.

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We were Bert and Marley’s roommate for two days – using the spare bedroom, and I can’t recommend this AirBNB spot enough. Beautiful views, stylish furnishings – including a piano that had been brought in by CRANE the day we arrived-, friendly cat (Marley), and what is probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I’m serious, he had a guest book and almost everyone (I’d say at least 50+ people) commented on the bed.

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We spent our days exploring. Alex is a beer guy, as I discussed briefly here, so we made a point to try a few of the local breweries. Almost everyone has a Double and a Trippel. I tend to prefer the Trippel, but Alex was feeling more of the Double’s. All beers come in goblet-style chalices, which will make any peasant briefly feel like a royal.

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Alex’s only real complaint was regarding the size of coffee’s available. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind their size, or their price as much because that was some very delicious small sips of coffee.

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My favorite spot was easily the MAS, the Museum Aan de Stromm. The way the entire building is organized was really fun and intuitive – you knew exactly where and what to see next; and it gave us a great overview of Antwerp and its history. You can also walk on the roof and get a full 360 degree view of the city. It is absolutely a must-see if you ever find yourself in the area.

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Another amazing spot was the Middelheim Open-Air Museum of Sculpture. It was huge. And this would have been the best day, had it been summer – grab some food, have a picnic in the park, and stroll through some incredible art.

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We also tried the fries, as many suggested. Now, we don’t speak Dutch, like not a single word, and while this was fine because everyone was super nice and often spoke at least conversational English, the fry place was a challenge in that there was just a TON (like so much, you guys) of fry-able items that were completely indiscernible. Rather than being those annoying American’s who ask what everything is (since it was labeled in Dutch and again, indiscernible) we stuck with the fries and the fries alone. Anyway, I thought they were OK, maybe there was too much hype beforehand. And maybe I tried them with the wrong sauce (I went with ketchup) because, like the options for frying, there was a great many options when it came to sauce too. The best part was that they come with mini forks, which are just adorable.

All in all, it was beautiful, and would only have been more so if we had been there on a friendlier-weathered month. I also really loved taking photos of our cat roommate. Only regret – there was this great little place down the street from us called Burgerij – Burgers voor Burgers (Burger also means citizen in Dutch, which is why THAT’S super cute), but when we tried to go they were very busy and ended up getting doners instead – Alex’s favorite.

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Back in ACTION

I am proud to announce that I have officially landed back on earth and will soon be getting back into the natural swing of things.

Turns out I had no routine, or plan of management for taking three classes last semester, on top of a full-time job and freelance work. So lessons learned, I will be working over the next month to develop a routine and way of maintaining a healthy body, both mentally and physically. My hope with this is that once classes start up again, I will already be so set in my routine that extreme chaos can be avoided.

One of the aspects of this plan is to be cooking more – and healthy foods. So tonight I made Kathleen’s (of Jeremy and Kathleen) Cauliflower Rice. It was delightful and one of those meals you actually feel great about eating. Up until today most meals have mostly been followed with self-loathing and guilty-tears.

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I am also going to get up and go running in the morning. I know, right? I am a BAMF.

More posts coming this week. For realzies.

Home.

We have returned. We are sleepy and recovering. But the world hasn’t stopped so we are zombie-ing our way through for the time being. I have much to share, lots to say and do really miss blogging. But the time is not now, so I will leave you with this short/fun-fact post:

Europe’s equivalent of Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Light, is not for me. It is yucky and just, ew. That being said, having mostly consumed coffee on the trip to meet my caffeine needs, I have somehow managed to not yet run right back into the loving arms of DC Cola and may just be (attempting to, at least) quit the stuff.

This may seem uninteresting and boring, but for anyone who knows me closely, this is kinda big HUGE news, so in that sense please feel privileged that I have shared it with you as well. For funzies here is a video of me, in highschool, at Red Robin, drinking a Diet Coke really quickly (and yes, that guy has a neck brace on, that’s Bryan).

 

Hope you have a wonderful week and I very much look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Also:

=

Hold Music

I am not dead. Life just has me by the balls. In a good way. I have been really busy with school, an awesome creative woman’s conference, MERGE 2013 (watch for 2014 because it was amazing and everyone lady should go,) and the whole working-much-more-than-full-time-thing – all of which is super boring and you don’t want to hear about, but it is really all I have to report. Apologies. Forgiveness?

Unfortunately certain priorities have moved up in the ranks and shifted the blog a bit lower on the list. This will probably be my last post until after I get back. So sorry, my dearies.

Wait, back? Back from where? Oh yeah, that is right. Next week I will be hopping on a plane to Germany. Itinerary includes:

/// 2 nights in Brussels

/// 2 nights in Antwerp

/// 2 nights in Paris

/// 2 nights in Heidelberg

/// 2 nights in Cologne

Don’t give up on me while I am gone, as I DO actually have some very fun projects in the works:

///////////// Sweet Sally Bakery and Catering Logo and Stationary Design

//////// Bread, Bread, & More Bread Logo and Stationary Design

///////////////// Finally making that hamper I mentioned in my 2013 top DIY plans

//// Phone cover re-visited (the smarter DIY)

// Wool &What-not Brand Identity and Packaging Design

////// Ryann Moore Design Website – say whaaa? Yup, I am stoked too.

Hope March kicks major arse for all of you. Until I return, please enjoy this little Spotify playlist I put together for you, entitled “Hold Music.

Oh and I can’t leave without talking about how incredible this portrait of my brother is, done by his good friend Brandon Vosika. He doesn’t have a website for his art up yet – I am promised that it is in the works, but in the meantime here is his Etsy shop. I don’t know him (really at all) but if I know any artist, I am sure he wouldn’t mind a direct contact for a custom piece or what-else-ish-ness, give it a shot.

Taylor, portrait by Brandon Vosika

While I won’t share with you the source image – it isn’t too flattering of my lil bro – just trust me in that this portrait is pretty right on. It makes me laugh and I think it’s pretty brilliant. That being said, I do feel like I need to share some photos of Taylor, because he can actually be quite handsome. He does have Carroll genes, after all.

Taylor

PAINTINGS

I don’t get nostalgic often. Sure, I appreciate and will mildly indulge in a sweet passing memory, but I don’t spend much time focusing around those thoughts as I find it occasionally leads to, for me, anyway, a shift in thinking – away from forward movement, to wishing some things were how they used to be. Or worse even, sometimes regret will enter the picture. And we all know regret loves to keep depression as close company. Then the next thing you know I am in the fetal position on the bathroom floor feeling sorry for myself for reasons I have already forgotten because all I can possibly do now is just be extremely sad. I probably (read: definitely) am exaggerating here, but my point is, I find myself looking forward, and only forward so much that I actually having created this false fear of looking back on things. It is so bad that I will often forget that it is also important to take an occasional step back to realize your accomplishments, remind yourself of where you came from and use that for wind in your sails. Gas in your tank. Pep in your step. Scoot in your boot.

This week I did some file organizing and found some pieces I hadn’t thought about in a while. Today, my primary focus when it comes to creating art has been graphic design, however, there was a time that I would spend my days/evenings/what is now considered my sleeping hours, in the painting studio. Over the last several years, I have done a painting or two, here and there, for friends or gifts mostly, but I can’t recall the time that I just painted because I felt like it or had a grand idea I wanted to see realized. Not to say my “commissioned” projects haven’t been fun, quite the contrary, actually, as I have greatly appreciated the excuse to get out my painting supplies. Yet today – as I look through some of my these aged files I am reminded of those wine nights with my fellow art students, listening to David Bowie or Iron and Wine or the latest band we were certain no one else in the universe but us knew about, and discussing the stress of the deadlines or our Art Professor’s passion for Tarot cards – I realize I should really revisit this practice. Maybe sans the deadlines.

To share a bit of this nostalgia with all of you, here are a few of the paintings I have done, once upon a time. (Are they great? No. Am I still proud/happy with them? You bet. Are they available for purchase or a gallery showing? Absolutely! Anytime! If fact, my studio is on wheels these days and ran out of my car due to the size of my current apartment – I can come to you! Home delivery, the latest in art collection convenience!)

wrath

taylor

thekaratestudio

angryalex

gluttony

Also, don’t ask me about my hair yet. It is still in the process…. patience my dears.

HAIR

I am greatly considering having this happen to my hair this weekend:Blond Streak Christina Perri

(photo source)

Maybe, maybe not. Not sure I can pull it off, but I kinda want to be the person that just goes for it anyway. Then again, I am not sure I have the ballz. Clearly I am indecisive, so stay tuned, we will see if I have some ballz or no ballz.

I find comfort in the fact that if I went for it, and it was terrible, it certainly still wouldn’t/couldn’t be the worst hair mistake I’ve ever made – trust me, it’s some tough competition. And it’s not like I am pulling a Miley Cyrus or anything (which is kind of an unfair comparison because I think she is kinda pulling it off.)

BALLZ.

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