Friday, October 30, 2009

A Goody Bag For Grown-ups

Yay! I'm so excited because today is A.) Friday and B.) my free gift from Gemma Correll came in the post today along with a few extra little ditties tucked inside. A short while ago I won this giveaway over on Pikaland. The email I received that told me I was the big winner - well let's just say that it was one message I was truly ecstatic to find in my inbox. I have had such a great big artist crush on Gemma and her witty style for some time now. So, I am truly over the moon about my lovely new tote bag! Too bad I'm too old for trick or treating 'cause I'd love to stash loads of sweets inside it. And those few extra ditties I mentioned - two cute postcards of her work. I think they'll look lovely framed and hanging in my hallway.
Wishing you all a fun and safe Halloween weekend full of lovely surprises.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back to School Decor

I don’t know about you but I loved school. And having finished college a few years ago I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for some school yard flair. Those plaid skirts I wore back elementary and junior high school were so sweet, but sadly my old jumper from 8th grade no longer fits (yes I did try, but in my defense it was for Halloween). I figure there has to be a grown up way to incorporate some classroom love back into my life. Here are a few favorite ideas I’ve picked up in my search…

{clockwise from top left: I have to have to have these memo pad dishes, inexpensive and stylish conceal wall book shelf, lovely screen printed Jane notebook that brings forward memories of Austen's finest work, SAT Math Concepts shower curtain for those looking to smarten up in the shower, canteen utility chair - a modern interpretation of a classroom staple, these Periodic Table of Sentiments note cards are the cutest idea! I'll have to snag a few for my stash, ultra cool porcelain salt and pepper shakers for a sleek table setting, and lastly, these library card bookplates are the perfect way to let any book borrower know exactly when and who to return that good book to}

More A+ finds:
- super cute hanging antique chalkboard for writing grocery lists, schedules, or a dinner menu
- try one of these mathematician keepsakes for a cute stocking stuffer
- looking to stash the clutter? these girly locker bins are fun youthful idea for storage
- practice your art skills by sketching these animal manikins; plus they'd look great on a bookshelf

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bust a Move

Okay, okay I admit this is a pretty cheesy video, but I can't help it! It's so dumb its funny. I'm a sucker for bad acting 80's movies with any kind of choreographed dance moves. And yes, the break dancing ones are the best. So this little video brings back all my latch key childhood memories of watching 80's movies replay over and over on HBO after school. And come on, are those Barbie shoes for Ken that those dancing digits are sporting?! You have to admit its at least a little bit entertaining...right?

So...Tailgates Are About Food or Football?

Good morning and welcome to all my new followers! I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I spent mine relaxing with family. I was lucky enough to have a super fun sleepover, with matching owl pajamas, and my niece on Saturday. And on Sunday, I went to a tailgate party to celebrate the engagement of one of my cousins. I'm not a football fan so I didn't know what to expect, but there was tons of yummy comfort food like mac'n cheese, chicken wings, and chocolate fondue for all sorts of sweets. Oh, and I should mention it was held here in a big opened up banquet room with a huge projection screen showing the Bills game. I swear the players looked as big as I imagine they are in real life! And the little thank you gifts were beer koozies in Bills colors with the couple's names and the date of upcoming wedding printed on them; so fun! All in all it was a very fun experience. I came home with a full tummy, tight jeans, and a re-affirmed love of a good beer.

image via Real Simple

p.s.- stay tuned for today's Monday Morning Movie. It's gonna be more of an afternoon matinee.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bundled in Style...

With Fall in full swing it's not just the crisp cool air or the changing leaves and sprinkling of color on the roadways that has me excited. Despite my cold fingers, it's all the lovely ways to define my style while staying warm that keep me really happy. Here in, oh so cold and frigid, Buffalo, NY us natives spend most of the year in some kind of outerwear. Let's face it, I could wear cute clothes every day of the week and all anyone would ever see would be my winter coat! It's a well know fact that all you need to be styling in this town is a great coat and good haircut. And even though I've already snagged a fabulous military inspired A-line for the season I thought I'd share some sigh worthy styles for you ladies who've yet to find your perfect match.

{wool ribbon script coat in charcoal, double breasted A-line coat in boucle, Michelle wool coat in Cerise, Not just an amazing faux fur Bisous Stella Chubbie coat, but such incredible photo styling; don't you just want to breathe that kind of ladylike elegance?!, Sasha Coco Coat with a gorgeous scarf collar, Pita Coat in a multicolored knit}

{snug plaid wool coat, cute and cropped at the waist Genti blue jacket, Mulberry wool military coat, fur-trimmed twill coat, and last but certainly not least an adorable wool duffle coat in mustard that you may recognize from this week's Monday Morning Movie on Orla Kiely's new Fall line}

And for a chilly weekend, here's a few more cuties to browse:
- Rouge Plaid Ruffle Hem coat by Fred Flare
- Vintage 1960's Carpet Bagger coat
- Graphic Garland Amanda coat by Kate Spade
- Alford trench by twenty8twelve
- Song Bird coat by French Connection

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Magically Disappearing Days

Yesterday, I took a trip over to one of my new (to me) favorite blogs Mint and found the start of new series called Howdy Do It. Both Ellie, of Mint, and Margot, of Pitch Design Union, teamed up to take turns on each other's blog each Monday and share useful tips, tricks, and short-cuts to help out independent designers working freelance and/or running their own businesses, like myself. I don't want to give too much away and re-cap their posts from this week. Afterall, I'm sure you'll want to read each one for yourself, but I gotta say I found solidarity in what these two smart cookies had to say. While reading Ellie's post, in particular, I found myself serveal times saying "wait a minute, did I write this?".

You know, working from home and on your own can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Especially, when that long list of to-do's is all up to you and you alone. My days start early. They end late. The breaks are few in between and still the time just seems to vanish. Poof! It’s gone. And it’s starting to make me a little nervous; like I’ve been busy working all day, but what did I really get done?! So many tasks take longer than I anticipate and time is a precious commodity in my world. So, Ellie suggested keeping a time log for one day just to keep track of where your time really goes. And the best part is that she has, oh so generously, shared some adorable pdf's to download and print out our own pretty logs. You know, something to entice us with.

I think its a great idea. The pdf's came out super cute. And I'm definitely going to give these time management sheets a try. I’m really looking forward to the continuation of this series, if for nothing else than to know that I'm not alone and that other empowered women are facing similar obstacles.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Walk This Way with Orla Kiely

Welcome back to the work week! I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing weekend. I know I did. Sunday I went from pajamas to shower to a new pair of pajamas. It was wonderful. I also stumbled into today's Monday Morning Movie, Orla Kiely's new video lookbook for Fall 2009. I instantly fell in love with it and knew I would have to share it right away.

Its just so fun and girly what with their long legs doing their silly moves. Plus, the clothes are gorgeous. They're kind of fresh faced schoolgirl meets tastefully sexy and super hip secretary. I mean really, I'd like one of each. And did you see that blue A-line coat with the fur collar?! die for - and I don't say that often. Go ahead, take a look and feel free to share your to die for favorite. I'm sure everyone will find something to love in this awesome mix.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tell Me Your Secrets...

I don't freestyle with my word processor anymore. Since I started my blog I just don't seem to write for me anymore. I use my spare time for virtual hunting and pretend shopping. Which are two things I rarely, if ever, did before.
This morning I sat down for breakfast with my November issue of Real Simple to discover a great article where a handful of writers and photographers were asked to share their favorite time of day. I remembered at that moment that my favorite time had always been when I took a quite moment to journal - when I would dialogue with myself through pen and paper or buttons on a keyboard. You know, keeping a journal is like going to the therapist, seeing a new movie, and visiting with an old friend who always gives the best advice all rolled into one. It gives you a chance to process things that you normally would dismiss or flat out be too busy to notice. And it used to be a fundamental part of my week.

A friend of mine wondered the other day why I didn't do creative writing on my blog and suggested that it might be a fun idea for me to try. And I was left thinking - shit, I just don't write anymore - at all. When the hell did that happen? The journals I keep now have evolved into visual scrapbooks; full of doodles and pictures I've sketched in my free time. But, rarely do they house words.
You know maybe I gave up on it because I was sick of listening to myself over think things, but along the way I stopped thinking about anything that was personal, about anything intimate. So, no more neglecting myself and ignoring the things that need to be dealt with. From now on I am making an effort to listen to what I have to say. Will you do the same?

{all images by Kate Kane for Birdcage Cards}

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Want a Little Shimmer With My Wool...

With Fall officially underway and Winter close behind I've been scouring through the attic lately looking to dig out warmer duds. To be honest, while I'm ecstatic to see some favorite cardies I must admit that I've been wanting something new. And in my experience the best way to make old duds feel new again is to accessorize with fresh finds. So today I wanted to share a few things that are on my If I Had an Extra Million Dollars Lying Around That I Had to Spend on Myself List I would definitely buy...

llana ruffle leather flats via Report Footwear, layered rhinestone bird necklace via Betsy Johnson, large hanging bow earrings via Betsy Johnson, nested ring with diamonds via Vale Jewelry, Kenzie lock bracelet in black and white by CC Skye via esteffe

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Not Boasting, I'm Just Really Excited...

Just wanted to gush a bit today because I'm so excited to have been included by the ever talented Sam of inklore in one of her link:lore features! If you have a chance, when you head on over to read the interview, be sure to take some time to explore not just her lovely blog, but her amazing online shop too. It's full of gorgeous hand printed textile wares and accessories for yourself and your home. With the holidays just around the corner I plan on making a few virtual shopping trips there myself!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Morning Movie: Vincent

Halloween is fast approaching and for those of you that don't already know it is one of my absolute favorite holidays. Caramel apples and crazy costumes, free candy and ding-dong-ditch, horror movies and, well...sleeping with a light on. Halloween is that one week in the year when, for some reason, all of America collectively decides to scare our children. Yeah, its great isn't it?

Anyhow, I was trying to save this mini-movie for the last week of the month, but, well excitement got the best of me. So, here's a tiny taste of Halloween fun to come, something a little dark and sinister.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mixed Doily Minis

One of the best parts about being a stationery designer is that when you need something that can't easily be found you can just make it! So that's exactly what I did.
I took my favorite muted colors and my favorite current concept (paper doilies) and whipped up some small 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" folded note cards. I love mini note cards because they truly are the most versatile kind of stationery. You can slip the card in its envelope and tuck it inside a present as a lovely gift enclosure. You can punch a hole in one of the top corners, thread some ribbon through, and hang it from a bottle of wine as a gift tag. Or you can write a secret message inside and tuck it under a pillow, into a briefcase, or on top of a box of sweets! They're just so darned useful.

I send cards all the time through the mail when I can't be there to say something meaningful in person or when I need to tuck some cash inside in lieu of a gift. But, I mean think about it, when you're right there presenting the gift in person do you really need a $4.00 card to write three little lines in? Nope. All you need is a tiny little gift card where you can write "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations! Love you tons" inside and be done with it. Honestly, it's my idea of the perfect arrangement.

And because these little guys are such a big hit every time I use them, because I know just how hard it is to find them, and because I know how useful they really are I decided to offer these Paper Doily Mini Note Cards paired with 6 very soft muted orange colored envelopes (not nearly as dark and vivid as shown in the pictures) in my shop. While you're there feel take some time to browse through and see what else is new. I've been quite the busy bee and I'm not even close to being done for the season!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Heart Suspect Shoppe

I was browsing through paper n stitch this morning and stumbled across this lovely print from Suspect Shoppe. From the thoughtful color scheme to the whimsical concept it's really quite breathtaking. So, I immediately headed over to the artist, Mati Rose McDonough's, Etsy shop to see more of her amazing work.

The thing with art is, while you may be able to appreciate all of it, some of it just fits better than others. And the work of Mati Rose fits me like the perfect pair of worn in leather flats from jcrew. I would if I could buy one of everything, especially one of the prints of her collage birds or lucky elephants. Oh and how I'd love to get my hands on the original painting of slate junco. As you all know I'm a sucker for collage work.

So, while I'm turning over my couch cushions and counting the change from my piggy bank be sure to take some time and head on over to Suspect Shoppe. Its like walking through the most beautiful dream.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Forget Me Knot

I've got a to-do list the length of Mt. Kilimanjaro and that's just my one for Birdcage Cards! I've written everything down in hopes that it will help me better organize my time, but I fear that all I've done is waste a good twenty minutes writing it. Oh, and let's hope I haven't forgotten anything either! So, before I start to feel overwhelmed I will take a breath and remind myself of a promise I made not to long ago; to tackle each adventure one at a time and to always be mindful of the task at hand. Aahhhh, there I feel more in control already. Now wait, what was I supposed to be doing now?

image via krisatomic

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just Another Couple Of Bucks...

Check it out! My Buck It Up Note Card was featured in this fun deer centric treasury! Ahhh, a happy Saturday indeed. Head on over and check out all the other fun fawn themed items from my fellow Etsy artisans.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wall Art

Stumbled upon this super cool wall vinyl the other day at PopWall. I was never big on wall decals before simply because I've always been afraid that I would waste my money by messing up on the placement. Stick, un-stick, unfortunately, no re-stick. But, this paper evolving into an origami bird decal literally had me saying "wow". If they're making wall vinyls this cool then I'm gonna have to suck up my fear, 'cause this bad boy is too awesome to pass up.

Oh, and I should mention, there are wall stickers that do re-stick. A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway from Mae over on the Yellowgoat blog. I snagged some amazing Babushka Doll fabric wall stickers for my niece and these bad boys stick, un-stick, and re-stick with ease. Its a great product and I'd highly recommend some for the little one(s) in your life.