23 December 2011

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Since moving into our house over a year ago, I made it a point to paint my own Christmas card each year. Last year the design focused on the new house & recently adopted Noelle {our black lab/whippet mix.} And this year I decided that Noelle and the wedding should be the focus of 2011. 

A new tradition has begun!

I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing long weekend with friends and family. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

22 December 2011


So, I'm obviously not the most reliable when it comes to updating my blog. And crazy me, I've been toying with an artistic endeavor that will create an art shop on etsy.com. I'm hoping with my holiday vacation from work I might have the time to tackle this.

The lovely Maritza Lugo (aka @PolaRoid_Rage, aka the illustrator for HelloGiggles.com Illustrated Tweet of the Day) has motivated me to get my stuff together. I'm going to at least update my blog with some of the more recent art projects I've been doing.

Lately, my art has taken a turn from very polished & realistic to a little more colorful & whimsical. I'm enjoying it, and like I said, I'm working on a series of drawings that, hopefully, people of the internet world can appreciate.

But anyways, here's a look at some of my more recent drawings & sketchbooks.

28 November 2011

Thanksgiving Cocktails

This post will shock some of my closest followers as they had thought that I had abandoned them! But no, I had just been on a sort of personal blogging hiatus.

My teaching job has me doing a lot of blogging from the classroom. In fact, I'm not only writing on my personal teaching blog, but I'm also an internet published blogger over at North Canton Patch. It's been exciting and has opened up a few very cool connections within my city.

Anyways, I'll write more about my personal endeavors at another time, but for now I wanted to share my recipe for the drink my whole family devoured on Thanksgiving Day! {Or "Slopsgiving" as we were calling it!}

Apple Pie Moonshine!

My brother brought my husband and I a bottle of Everclear grain alcohol back from Kentucky and I had NO IDEA what I was going to do with it. He suggested I make some Apple Pie Moonshine to enjoy during Thanksgiving. I prepared this a few weeks in advance, although you can enjoy it right away, but I think it's better to let the flavors mellow.

Bring 1 gallon apple cider, 1 gallon apple juice, 12 cinnamon sticks, and 3 cups white sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Add liter of grain alcohol. Divvy up cinnamon sticks in 12 mason jars, pour out evenly, put on lids, and store in the fridge.

It was so good! Straight from the bottle was very sweet, warm, and cinnamon-y, so we'd pout it into cups and add just a splash of regular apple cider to mellow it out even more.

04 September 2011

Wedding Photo Preview: Degas Danseuse

This past week Nick & I went to see the rest of the images Genevieve & James took at our wedding. They are stunning! When I have them all in my possession I will be sure to share some of them here.

...But in the mean time, I am so drawn to this image that Genevieve captured of me getting ready. I can't help but feeling a little like one of Degas' dancers.

{Right - Painting by Degas, Left - Photo by Genevieve Nisly}

30 August 2011

Inspiration Board - Romeo + Juliet

This inspiration board is heavily influenced by Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. A mix of black & white with pops of red & turquoise, religious iconography, and a mix of soft femininity & hard urban style.

17 August 2011

Color Board - Mellow Yellows

This board should also be called "Wishlist Wednesday" because there is not a thing on this board that I would turn down. Beautiful, simple, mellow. Enjoy your Wednesday!

16 August 2011

Art Update

Thursday evening I will be out on the Piazza at Gervasi Vineyard with a small table of art for sale, taking commissions, and working on art with a wood fire pizza and glass of wine by my side.

Thought I would show you my most current piece that I just finished, featuring Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine.


09 August 2011

Color Board - Turquoise & Coral

As we head into late summer and signs of autumn are apparent, I find myself being drawn to this lovely mix of warm and cool colors. I am dying to try an ombré effect on my nails with essie's meet me at sunset into a deep brown/red shade. Christina Hendricks is always flawless. And how pretty would that cowl be with a brown trench?

{Top Row-wallpaper & wainscoting, abstract painting, cowl with button & essie nail polish; Bottom Row-weathered paint, turquoise and gold necklace, red coral bullet earrings & Christina Hendricks in InStyle UK}

06 August 2011

Move, Eat, Learn

Have you ever been somewhere, ate something, or learned something life-changing?

I didn't expect to be posting this morning, but I found these three videos and I fell instantly in love. If ever there was a post I wanted my readers to respond to, it would be this one. Take about three minutes and watch all of them.

{Film credit: Rick Mereki}

Aren't they beautiful & inspiring? I'm really partial to the "Learn" video but that's probably the teacher in me.

Have you been to any of those places filmed? Learned any of those things he's trying? How about eaten any of those dishes?

Yes? Please share! No? Tell me the best memory of where you have "moved" "learned" or "ate".

05 August 2011

Take Nothing For Granted - Part II

It seems surreal that I would have to make another post like this, about taking nothing for granted. But last night around dinner I got a phone call from one of my brother's friends explaining that he had been in a bicycle accident and wasn't wearing a helmet.

According to the friend, things were okay and he was just going to need some stitches. But they had to call and ambulance and he was being taken to a local hospital.

I dreaded having to make another phone call to my mother explaining that another one of her loved ones was being driven to the hospital for a head injury.

Unfortunately my brother was in worse shape than my dad had been. In fact, he is still in the hospital with two skull fractures, a shoulder fracture, eight stitches, and a lot of bumps and bruises. He will stay in ICU until they feel he is safe to go home.

It was so hard to see my brother in that state last night. This morning I went in and sat with him. He seems to be in much better condition and really wants to get out of there. However, because of the location of the fractures, they need to keep monitoring him to make sure no complications occur.

With that being said, I am so grateful that he is ultimately alright and nothing more serious happened. Like I said before, take absolutely nothing for granted. Tell your family & friends you love them. And if you are a bike rider, please please PLEASE wear a helmet.

04 August 2011

Almost Finished

Sometimes I get a commission offer from friends, family, or word-of-mouth. The most recent project has been painting a friend of the family's brother's house. I hadn't done a watercolor of a house in a long, long time so I was a little nervous. Overall I am satisfied with how it is looking.

Here is a sneak peek!

Things I Love Thursday - August 4, 2011

How are you today?

I'm not going to lie, the weather here in NE Ohio has been less than desirable. Hot, muggy, and overcast. It's been hard to be motivated to do much of anything. But with the warm weather and rain, my garden has been abundant and I am able to make fresh tomato sauce and salsa. It's the little things that keep us going, right?

So here they are. The things making me happy this week!

Life & Style
◦ Lush Cosmetic's Flying Fox body wash & perfume. The subtle earthy jasmine scent has made the last few days so much more pleasant.

◦ Making fresh salsa & enjoying it on Trader Joe's Pita Bite Crackers. So tasty! {My Salsa Recipe: 1 clove garlic, 1 green pepper, 1/4 red onion, 3 medium tomatoes, cilantro, salt & pepper.}

◦ Purchasing locally grown flowers at the Gervasi Vineyards Farmer's Market week to week and keeping my kitchen bright and fresh. {Which reminds me, if you are local, please stop out there Wednesday's 4pm-7pm--the grounds, host, and vendors are lovely and well worth the visit!}

◦ As embarassing as this is, I am excited that the new season of Jersey Shore is on tonight. Lame, I know. But I'm excited to see how they fare in Florence, Italy.

Art & Culture
Interesting, heart-breaking, lovely. James Mollison's Photos of Children's Bedrooms. View these on full-screen if you can.

◦ One of my favorite artists', Swoon, is creating an interactive public work of art in New Orleans. Musical architecture, doesn't that just sound fantastic and dreamy? {Not to mention her paper cut-outs and woodblock prints are gorgeous.}

◦ I love my blog and the community of bloggers I have found through Blogger & Twitter. Thank you so much for the support & inspiration!

◦ So proud {and a little jealous} of my friend Casandra Armour who is now an author over at HelloGiggles.

◦ Creating a Pintrest account. I'm already addicted!

Tristan Prettyman has always managed to put in words what I feel in my heart. She's so talented and a beautiful person, inside & out. I found this song today and have played it pretty much non-stop all afternoon.

So tell me, what are you in love with this week?

02 August 2011

Photographs From The Weekend /// Columbus, Ohio

Got back from Columbus last night. We had a really great time and made it around to some of our favorite places & also got to explore some new locations.

For the first time we ate at Thurman's Cafe. {We ended up calling the trip the Unofficial Food Network Tour, because we also stopped at Schmidt's. I love their cream puffs!} The burgers were huge! I ate the Rad Shroom burger which was very, very tasty. Sauteed mushrooms, horseradish cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle. Nick got the Macedonian and didn't even offer a bite, so I know it was good. They were some serious burgers though, I couldn't even finish mine!

We also visited the Ohio State Fair. We typically hit up the Wayne County fair during late summer, but we thought we'd check out the State Fair this year. It was... a fair. I'm always amazed at the people that are drawn to county/state fairs. The fairs bring out all kinds of interesting people. Anyways, I thought it was worth the trip & we got a bagful of reading material about Ohio tourism & agriculture. Two things I've become very interested in during the last year.

Also made a stop to Homage. It is probably the best place in Ohio to get graphic tee's that rep your city or school. I picked up a retro looking Billie Jean King tee {I realize this has nothing to do with my city or school, but it was fun} and Nick purchased a new Golden Flashes shirt. The retail store has an awesome sales floor that reminds me of a 1970's locker room/little boy's dream room. Old metal lockers, posters, pennants, sports memorabilia & a sweet arcade game.

{Speaking of Ohio & graphic tees, my brother picked up the Windians shirt by Fresh Brewed Tees. They also have some really great Ohio related shirts & they donate $1 of every sale to charity!}

29 July 2011

Have A Beautiful Weekend!

I hope everyone has a beautiful, relaxing weekend. After last weekend's chaos, I am excited to be able to have a romantic & restful weekend with Nick. I hope to get a little bit of "back to school" shopping done & eat some really tasty foods.

What is on your list of things for the weekend? What has inspired you?

◦ I am absolutely inspired by Natalie of iheartthisblog & her 30x30 posts. She has picked 30 pieces to mix & match for one month {30 days} and photo documents her daily outfits. While I don't expect to actually blog my outfits for 30 days, I do expect to more carefully chose my clothing for the month of August. I tend to get so lazy with my wardrobe, especially when I go back to work. Teaching art always seems to lead to big messes & I have never felt like it is worth the effort of looking stylish.

◦ The "Let's Play Pretend" photoset by Lissy Elle is enchanting & adorable. It has inspired some of the style decisions I have made this week, and will continue for the month of August--soft scarves, loose waves, ruffles, pinks & creams.

◦ Another inspiration is the photographer Antonella Arismendi. Her photographs and models have a natural beauty and soft glow. Check out the Kling Summer and White portfolios, especially.

{Photo Credit: 1 & 2 Lissy Elle, 3 Antonella Arismendi}

28 July 2011

Things I Love Thursday - July 28, 2011

{Photo of Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, Birdy}

Life & Style
I am envious of ladies with super long locks. Just look at Birdy's! My hair is finally reaching lengths of which I've always wanted {& I can't help but think about the story The Gift of the Magi.} Anyways, now that it's so hot out I'm struggling to come up with different ways to style it besides my usual messy bun or ponytail. How about these cute braids?

I love Joanna's, of A Cup Of Jo, post about the etiquette on introducing people.

You already know my obsession with John Slattery {a.k.a. Roger Sterling} and now I can just stare at him all day because Mad Men is finally available streaming on Netflix. If that isn't reason enough to pay for the 60% subscription increase, I don't know what is.

Ryan Gosling, Jimmy Fallon and Best Week Ever.
These 3 things come together and it's perfect.

{This also reminds me of how entertaining I find my husband's love/hate relationship with Jimmy Fallon. He thinks he's hilarious but hates how he laughs at his own jokes. Have you ever noticed how many comedians actually do this though? I think it's kind of funny. And I would have to imagine that they aren't laughing in an egotistical way.}

This explanation of Google+ seems to hit the nail on the head. So far I really like Google+ over Facebook as a networking site. I'm so tired of all the advertisements and spam that has overtaken Facebook.

Baby screech owls. They are too adorable & remind me of animatronics.

I'm usually a pretty harsh critic of cover songs. But I have found two that I cannot stop listening to...

Birdy's cover of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love"

& Ellie Goulding's cover of Elton John's "Your Song"

26 July 2011

Take Nothing For Granted

On Saturday my dad was over at my house cutting down a tree when a part of the trunk smashed his finger. This caused him to lose his balance, fall backwards, knock himself unconscious and plummet 15 feet.

It was literally the most traumatic thing I had ever witnessed. To have to make a 911 call for an unresponsive parent is something that I hope I never have to do again. My family spent the greater part of Saturday and Sunday at the hospital. But thankfully he is fully recovered with the exception some bruises.

It made me realize how unpredictable and delicate life can be. I can't imagine not having my dad {or the rest of my family and friends} around right now. Needless to say, I'm not taking anything for granted.

{And really, neither should you! So go ahead and call up your family and friends and let them know you love them. Please!}

This beautiful photograph of my dad and I was taken by Genevieve Nisly.

18 July 2011

When You Believe In Things You Don't Understand

I am not a huge superstitious person. Yes, sometimes I have little rituals that, when they get interrupted, I might feel a little anxiety. But other than that, I don't avoid black cats, dread Friday the 13th {I was born on one, after all} and I have no problem picking up pennies that are heads down.

But lately I have noticed that on Mondays everything has been going wrong. Now, I am on summer break so I don't even work on Mondays. There are no deadlines and no stress; just chores and errands that I still wake up and try to be ready for by 9am.

Last week I brought Noelle to the groomers and when I picked her up my car had stalled in the parking lot. This morning while making my morning cup, I was holding the canister of Teavana loose tea and dropped it, spilling all of it's contents.

I'm sure I could think of more, but quite honestly, I do not want to criticize Monday too much. I'm afraid I will not want to finish today! I will just head back to bed and wake up on Tuesday.

{This self-portrait was part of a final photography portfolio in college. I was stressed out, can you tell?}

Here are some interesting facts on superstitions and phobias:

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. It was said that if you could pronounce the word paraskevidekatriaphobia you could be cured of the fear.

Abracadabra, a word used by magicians as a mystical word to invoke spirits, has origin in the Aramaic phrase, avda kedavra, meaning "what was said, has been done." For those of you Potter fans, J.K. Rowling was influenced by this for her Avada Kedavra curse.

In November 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Wonder's song "Superstitious" at #74 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The most popular lucky number is 7, but according to Cha-Cha the most winningest lottery number is 32 & 3.

Whether it would bring me more luck or not, this ceramic bowl from Paloma's Nest would look lovely on my dresser holding my jewelry. {I have always joked, for being born on Friday the 13th, I have always been very lucky!}

15 July 2011

Happy Friday!

Good morning!

These summer weeks are FLYING by. Can you believe we are already more than halfway through July? That is crazy to me! Nick & I are visiting another farmers' market tomorrow and then heading up to Painesville for their annual Party in the Park. I have always loved summer festivals & fairs, especially when they are able to bring in some talented musicians and artists! I'm going to try to slow down and really enjoy my weekend, and the rest of the summer, as there are fewer days till I'm back at work. I hope you all can do the same.

The gorgeous flowers that have been warming up our kitchen since Wednesday. Can anyone tell me what kind of flowers they are? I am tempted to grow them next summer.

I'm always excited to learn about new music. This Seattle band has been on heavy rotation as of late and I'm thinking about going to see them open for The Decemberists in Cleveland.

How cute are these color wheel earrings? Perfect for any art teacher...

This would be so nice for potting herbs during the months I don't have my garden.

I am in love with this bedroom collection from Anthropologie. It would go great in my salmon colored bedroom, no?

I agree with Ron Swanson {and also Seth Meyers} where is Nick Offerman's Emmy nomination?

Anyways, be safe and see you all Monday!

14 July 2011

Things I Love Thursday - July 14, 2011

A short, but sweet, Things I Love Thursday, as I have to head off to work for a bit. Enjoy your day, as I know I will!
  • This print by Mike Monteiro. I think that I need to get this for the husband
  • Hitting the snooze button & snuggling with my pup for an extra ten minutes
  • Fresh blueberries for breakfast
  • Teavana JavaVana tea with breakfast
  • Being excited for tonight's dinner of fresh vegetables & locally bought chicken for dinner
  • Going to see Winnie the Pooh Movie this weekend
  • Going to see the Harry Potter movie, as well
  • Knowing that Saturday I will pay a surprise visit to an old friend

12 July 2011

Photos From The Weekend /// How Does Your Garden Grow?

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time tending to my garden. Nick and I hadn't made it up to Michigan as planned (it really was never about visiting the IKEA store, it was actually to adopt a kitten, but the shelter never returned our call *tear*) So, instead, I did a lot of work around the house.

I got tired of pulling weeds so I snapped some photos of our very first garden!

11 July 2011

Gray Hair?

Over the weekend I had this incredibly realistic dream that involved me heading over the my hair stylist only to realize that my hair had turned completely white. Instead of continuing to highlight and dye it, my stylist suggested we just change it to be all white and no longer color it. I woke up in a bit of a panic, but at the same time, I was happy that my dream-self was accepting of the gray and embraced it. Would I be able to do this in real life? I don't know. I'd like to think so!

Here are some insanely beautiful graying ladies.

{Clockwise starting top left: Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, Jane Goodall, Stacy London of What Not To Wear, Beatrix Ost}

Isn't it unfair that men can get away with this more easily than women? {I just needed an excuse to post photos of my two favorite {among many} graying men!}

{John Slattery of Mad Men, Eric Dane}

What about you? How will you/do you handle gray hair?