The great outdoors

Inspiration for outdoor spaces.

Sasa Antic

Take a look at the beautiful home of the Swedish interior stylist.

Breakfast

Healthy treats the kids will eat.

Hello Yellow!

A bright cheerful color that can liven up any space.

It's Copper!

Just...Wow

Demestiks New York

I am absolutely loving this Etsy shop right now! I stumbled upon it about a year ago and completely forgot about it. I saw a nice video with the designer on the Elle Decor website and I am in love all over again. What initially sparked my interest and continues to, are the fabrics. Designer Ruben Reuel uses traditional Ankara and Holland wax print fabrics to create fun and exciting designs. I NEED one of everything! Plus, from his Etsy site he states:

The label’s initiative is to support domestic commerce by using fabrics, trims, notions, and production facilities in New York City in efforts to help preserve the Garment District. De-Mes'Tiks NYC by Reuben Reuel strongly believes in its motto: “Live to create, create to live”

Sounds good to me!! Now lets take a look at some of his fabulous pieces!

 The Kells Dress is part of a new collection that is available on his Etsy Shop
 I can see this being worn as shown, with some cute heels or also a cute pair of flat sandals. Love the colors and absolutely love the pattern.

 Oh. My. Goodness!! The Shavon Midi Skirt is Everything!! The colors, the cut. You could wear this with anything. Dress it up, dress it down..However. I love this!

This Tierra Romper is super cute. Again, all of his pieces are fun and versatile.

And there we have it! I also realized that I already pinned many of his designs on pinterest. Feel free to take a look at the video on the Elle Decor site here. Next time I'm in NY, I will be getting my fix.

Until next time....
 

Getting Down to Business

Now that I'm finished with summer school, I've decided that I really need to figure out a way to keep my life organized that I can really dedicate the time and energy to really making this work. I've loved pattern and textiles for so long and this feels like the perfect fit for me. I have to do it. It's been a very rough transition for me living in Argentina and I think part of the problem was feeling like I don't have an identity. In NY I had a career and friends and hobbies and I knew exactly what I wanted. But since having kids and leaving the states it's been a hard road.

Yes, I'm a Mommy. It's extremely rewarding, but also extremely difficult at times. You can never be prepared for the fact that you are everything to these little people, you are at their beck and call. Your life is not your own anymore. I've really taken the time to make a comfortable home for my family, so no matter where we are or what happens outside of the house they have a place where they feel safe and familiar. All except my office that is. Somehow, it's become a bit of a stash closet. Anything that needs to be put away but hasn't yet, ends up in here. I really have to make a conscious effort to keep this space clutter free. I think I need help in not only organizing my office, but organizing my life so that I have time to do the things that are important to ME. So I can do these things without feeling like I'm neglecting something else that needs to be done in the house.

Here are a few good articles and websites with things I'm willing to implement.

This great article from Zen Habits gives you 27 ways to stay organized. I realize now that I need a white board.

When I was pregnant and lived on the What to Expect App, the moms talked about this site often. flylady.net. The site has a lot going on, but there are some really helpful tips! It really is boot-camp for an organized life.

Lifehack is just a great site in general. This article on the 10 habits of highly organized people is a good read. It really is some of the simplest things that can make your life less chaotic.


Jess Lively. I've followed her blog for quite some time. Things have certainly changed as she's changed her business model. But she focuses on living a life with intention and now offers courses to help you do just that. You can take a look at her blog for tips and interviews with people who are doing just that.

Just in my own experience, a few things that work for me are:
  • www.myfitnesspal.com/  Staying healthy and disciplined is part of having an organized life. In my bouts of homesickness, I tend to eat. As a result, I gained about 20 pounds over the last year. Since regularly using this, I've lost 10.
  • Have a routine. Just like with children, everyone is happy when you know what's next. Wake up, give the kids breakfast, dressed for school. At night clean the kitchen etc... It's helped me tremendously. No longer do I dread some of these things(like cleaning), they are just part of the routine.
  • Don't think. Just do. This fits in with having a routine. If you dread doing the dishes and think about how much you don't want to do them, you will procrastinate. I think that goes for many things. Just do it.
I still have a long way to go. Especially with the dumping all of my papers in a drawer to be sorted later. Paper is my enemy. I'm getting there.

Please share any tips you have about living a more organized life.

Done with school...now what?

So I've gotten through all six weeks of the Make it in Design Summer School. I'm actually a bit sad that it's over. The great thing is that I've been able to get feedback and learn so many new things just from the Facebook group alone. It makes you excited to see other work and also to showcase your own. People asked questions that I never even thought of and the responses helped me in so many ways. I've definitely improved in this short amount of time and I've learned that I need to keep challenging myself. I need to enter more competitions, whether it be through Spoonflower, Minted or other outlets I find. You can take a look at submissions and options for each brief below.


 Above are a few of my options for the second beginner brief. The assignment was to create something tribal. I'm really drawn to that stay anyway so this was a fun and exciting brief for me. Right up my alley!


On the other hand, for the third and final brief, the theme was jewels. This brief was really hard for me and I think my submissions came out like bad video game design LOL. I got a bit too crazy with bevel and emboss in Photoshop.


The second theme for the intermediate brief was Animal Print. I'm not really one for garanimal prints so this was a bit difficult also. I don't even think the subtle giraffe heads and print really registers. But maybe that's a good thing! The final intermediate brief theme was feathers. I really like how this came out. Too me it has a bit of a nautical theme, possibly because of the colors. What I'm learning is that I like order and organization so I keep pumping out all of these geometric patterns come in sizes that can be divided by 12...no I kid! But I think I need to challenge myself to be a bit more loose and organic.


I think I really loved all of the themes for the 2nd assignment in all three tracks. For the advanced brief, it was tribal collage. I was able to take sketches I'd been working on and use them. Unfortunately, I finished too late and missed the deadline for submission. For the third and final brief of them all, the theme was Intricate Chaos. Oh my was this difficult. Originally, I thought my original design (top left corner of the photo above) was pretty intricate. But as I sat with it I realized it was in no way chaotic. So I had some fun experimenting in Photoshop and what you see above is the finished result.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience and this has really lit a fire under my ass to keep going! SO...I signed up for Module 1 on the Make it in Design website.


I want to give a big thanks to Rachael Taylor and Beth Kempton for giving aspiring surface designers a chance and an outlet. Many years ago when I worked as an Interior Designer, it was difficult to find any information at all.

Tchau!

Back to School!!



I know I've been missing in action, I've gone back to school!!! Well, not exactly, but I am taking some online summer courses through Make it in Design! A great site for getting help in the world of surface pattern design. I've decided to go HARD and take all three tracks(beginner, intermediate, advanced) cuz you know, I'm an overachiever. So far it's been a great experience, finding time to actually work and creating under the pressure of a deadline. Plus, I've gotten the opportunity to join a facebook group with a bunch of like-minded folks and it's been a pleasure to see all of the great work and also exchange ideas and get feedback. Below I've posted some of my submissions and also ideas that have sprouted up as well. Enjoy and please feel free to comment!

 A few iterations of my work for the Beginner track. The one on the bottom is what I submitted



 Intermediate track work. The lower design is what was submitted along with the mockup of the bathing suit.


Advanced track submissions. I ran out of time but I think I'll continue to work on it a bit more anyway.

So far, this has been a wonderful experience. MIID also offers more extensive courses and you can add your profile and portfolio to their directory. Take a look here. All in all, it's been a slow burn with this passion of mine, but hopefully it will all pay off one day. I don't expect to be rich, but some licensing and a few extra bucks in my pocket would be nice.

Also, here is a link to see the wonderful works that have been submitted:
http://makeitindesign.com/summer-school/

I Want an Eichler

While Hubby dominated the TV with all things World Cup this weekend, I spent my time imagining myself in an Eichler home. Joseph Eichler was a developer whose company built a number of communities in California in the late 50's, early 60's. Now, these homes are GORGEOUS! Planned and thought out and built in the exact kind of way that I'd like to live. The homes typically featured post and beam construction with glass walls. Open floor plans with A-frame roofs and one of my favorite features, an interior atrium or gallery which "brings the outside in". Here are a few restored Eichlers (as they are called) to drool over. By the way, they actually sell floor plans starting at $4500.

Via Pinterest

Via EichlerSoCal





Via Orange Review

Via wsj.com
Via LA Times
Via LA Times

Via LA Times
Via Apartment Therapy

Via Apartment Therapy


Universal Bike: One Bike Fits All



Nicolas Matheus

Photographer Nicolas Matheus is amazing! He does a fabulous job of mixing colors, textures, architecture and landscapes to produce breathtaking images. Plus he uses the geometry of the spaces really well . I won't provide too much comentary, his work speaks for itself.



Take a look at more of his work on his website

Clean House

It's fall here in Argentina and we are about to enter the dry season. Also, where we live, they burn the sugar cane fields to prepare for the new crop. Needless to say, this creates a smoke filled environment with a lot of dust. I think there is more dust here anyway for some reason. I remember when we lived in Brooklyn, I'd use the swiffer a few times a week and have someone clean about twice a month. It's a totally different story here. Most of the floors are tile, so I have to sweep at least once a day, sometimes more to keep up with all the dust and dirt.

Now that I'm primarily a stay-at-home mom, I've had a bit of time on my hands (when the kids are napping of course) to explore different options to make cleaning easy, less expensive etc...I definitely need help, but on the days that I don't, I want a quick and easy regimen. I've been exploring some environmentally friendly, have what I have on hand cleaners and odor removers.

Hotandhealthymom

Air and Fabric Refreshers


I love the smell of incense, so I always burn some during the day. Nag Champa is my favorite. I also love Febreze, unfortunately, I haven't found it here. Recently I stumbled upon a recipe to make your own. You can find it here. Basically, it's a mixture of fabric softener, baking soda and water. Seriously, if you have baking soda, vinegar and rubbing alcohol in your pantry, you might as well be McGyver.

The other issue we have is that I think a mouse had died in our wall...eeeeeek!!! The smell drives me nuts. I've found all of these natural remedies which will help mask the smell until the lil thing dies completely. These things you probably already have in your home will help absorb the odor and combat the smell. Vinegar: place cups of it near the offending odor and the vinegar will neutralize it. The same thing goes for boiling a pot of water with sliced lemons in it. Also, place bricks of charcoal around the house and where the odor is strongest to help absorb the odor. The kind you use for a barbecue will do. And of course, incense, to put you in a zen mood and absorb the odor until the little sucker has fully decomposed.

WikiHow

General Cleaner

Vinegar is perfect for cleaning every day surfaces, unfortunately, the smell isn't so appealing. Make your own citrus cleaner with vinegar and citrus peels of your choice (Orange, lemon, gratefruit). Take a look here for the instructions. If you don't mind the smell, just use 1 part vinegar and 9 parts water.

Glass Cleaner

For sparkling windows, just add 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap and 2 cups water. This also works great on mirrors and any shiny surfaces.

Wood Cleaner/Polish

Our poor dining table has taken a beating, cup rings and it's just lost the luster and beautiful tone it used to have. Mostly because I just hadn't had time to do anything about it and I couldn't find Murphy's Oil Soap. So I found a recipe to make my own here. Just mix 2 cups olive oil with a cup of lemon juice (I also added a bit of vinegar). I applied with a cloth, let it sit for a bit and then worked it in a little more, enough so that my hands weren't oily to the touch. I also used this on my chairs and any wicker/rattan furniture we had. It really brought everything back to life. I even used it for all of my decorative wood bowls and objects.

Please feel free to share if you have some DIY cleaners.

Happy Cleaning!

3 Fab Online Mags

I love a good decor mag. I miss the days of going to the newstand and picking up a healthy stack of all my favorites; Domino, Met Home, Living Etc, Elle Decor etc... There isn't anything like flipping through your favorite magazine with a cup of tea, snuggled on the sofa or while sunbathing at the beach. And while digital media is missing that tactile element, these online mags come pretty close to filling in. Now...in no particular order, take a look!

Adore

www.adoremagazine.com

This Austrailian mag has bright vibrant visuals. You can find everything from decor, food and travel. This is definitely a must see for me each month.

 Rue

ruemag.com 

 I absolutely love the styling in this magazine. Beautiful images and lots of useful information. You can find information on where to shop and where to travel. They have a little bit of everything from decor to fashion and accessories. 

Lonny

www.lonny.com

Definitely a favorite among the bunch, Lonny continues to innovate with the navigation of its site and magazine. Another powerhouse when it comes to visuals, I almost don't miss actual print mags.

I hope to introduce a few more in the future, but these by far, are the ones that I read the most. Who am I kidding, I don't read, I just look at the pretty pictures.

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