Thursday, May 2, 2013

Snail Mail

Here’s a look at some of the snail mail I’ve been sending out and receiving lately.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Crafting

I’m so glad it’s almost Easter, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally starting to feel like Spring outside.  For a minute there I was worried we might have snow on Easter.  Today I spent some time working on a few decorations for Sunday.

I made these little treat bags using paper shopping bags, old envelopes and washi tape.  They were really simple to make.  I created the pattern by taking apart a paper trinket bag and tracing it onto some cardstock.  Later this week they will get stuffed with tissue paper, plastic grass and candy.  I can’t wait to hand them out to my family.

In addition to those, I made some pom poms that I plan to string together for garland.  This was my first time making them.  I always see them on my Pinterest feed and being incorporated into all sorts of projects, but I never took the time to figure out how to make them.  It was super easy!

Another project I worked on today was a small centerpiece for one of our tables.  It’s a work in progress.  Usually I’m not of fan of artificial d├ęcor like fake fruit and flowers, but I actually work with these foam eggs quite a bit.  There’s something about them that appeals to me and blends in with the colors I like to use.  As for the flower, I’m still unsure of how I feel about it, but for now it’s helping me brainstorm.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Inspiration Tip // Change Your Search Tags

Pinterest, Tumblr, and related sites are great sources of visual inspiration.  You can cater the boards and blogs you follow to reflect your personal styles, aesthetics, and interests.  For me, it’s very soothing to scroll through pages of colors and subject matter that I’m drawn to, but too much of the same can cause a creative block.

Once a week try switching things up and searching some new tags.  Get outside of your creative comfort zones.  What are the opposites of what you are usually inspired by?  I love pastels, but it can be refreshing to check out some neons.  Do you lean towards contemporary design?  Check out something vintage.

What we take in has a huge impact on what we produce.  Recharge your creative library and challenge yourself to incorporate something new today.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Artist Love // Midori Yamada's Cats

Are you familiar with Midori Yamada?  She’s a Japanese illustrator.  I first saw one of her cat watercolors last year and absolutely fell in love with her work.  Even after seeing her diverse portfolio, they still remain my favorite.  

I’m very interested in the way she uses plants and flowers as an element of pattern for the cat’s to become submerged in.  Even when used as a design element, she takes such great care with each leaf and petal, making sure they retain their individual integrity and delicacy. 

The eyes of all her cats hold a certain edge, a little bit of mystery and darkness, which mesh with the hazy tone of her palette.  Their gazes draw you in and hold you.

Aside from cats, Yamada has a range of enchanting subject matter including fish, girls, plants, and comics.  You can check out all of her work and other projects on her website, 

(images: Midori Yamada) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beauty Review // Dear My Essence in Lips-Talk

Korean company Etude House is on of my favorite cosmetic brands, but it can be a little intimidating to select the right beauty product when you’re buying out of the country.  I first got into their products last fall because I was in love with their package design and catalogues.  By December I was ordering product, but it wasn’t easy to make the perfect choice.  I had to rely heavily on beauty review blogs to find the right product and shade.  That’s why I’ve decided to review some of their products I’ve ordered since then.

Today I’m going to talk about my current favorite; Dear My Essence in Lips-Talk in the shade EPK002.  It’s become my go-to lip product, even if I’m only running to the grocery store. 

First off, what is Dear My?  That’s Etude House’s line of lip sticks and tints.  The best thing about the lip Essence is the smooth, light consistency.  I can’t stand having anything heavy or sticky on my lips, but this product is neither.  Its signature silky texture can be contributed to the Meadowfoam seed oil it contains.  Because of the seed oil, it also does not have that chemical lip stick smell. 

Another great thing about this product is that it conditions your lips.  If you have chapped or dry lips you don’t have to worry about the pigment clinging to the skin.  It goes on very smooth and is quickly absorbed into the lips, leaving only the lovely matte shade.  I don’t recommend applying a chap stick or anything to your lips first, because it will cause the color to sit on the surface of your lips instead of fully absorbing.  Over time the shade will lighten and continue to absorb, so I typically reapply after four hours.

Now, can I take a moment to gush about the packaging?  It’s absolutely adorable.  I saved my box!  I really enjoy the brush-like illustration of the lip stick on the front and the adorable pencil scribble style hearts all over it.  The tube itself is a sweet shade of pink with a hint of silver.  
 To wind the product, you gently rotate the base to the right.  You will hear a gentle click.  Do this about 2-4 times.  It winds very gradually so that you get a nice smooth line when you apply it.  Because the product is very soft, they have designed the tube to only wind just the right amount.  The cap has enough room that it does not come in direct contact with the pigment. 

One thing to know about the tube is that you can not wind it back down.  Therefore, do not aggressively over wind it.

You can find lots of places to order Etude products online, but I find that the cheapest and most reliable route is to order through a seller on Amazon.  This way you have a third party involved in the transaction with international sellers in case your shipment is lost or you need to do a return.

Dear My Essence comes in seven other shades.  For the most part the colors are pretty accurate; perhaps they are a bit darker in person.  I suggest finding a review where the shade is being modeled on someone’s skin so that you can make the right selection for yourself.

What about you?  Are you familiar with Etude House?  Which products have you tried from them or what would you like to try in the future?