Monday, April 22, 2013

Amazing news - Bright July + Mollie Makes Magazine!

Friends, I'm over the moon with this one! Ready?

My Carpe Noctem pillow is featured in this month's issue of Mollie Makes Magazine!

 Here I am, on page 11...                                                                            Right here!

Mollie Makes is an awesome UK magazine dedicated to handmade, crafting, thrifting, and re-purposing. Here's what they have to say about themselves: 

Mollie Makes curates the best craft from around the world into a tactile, collectable, and totally irresistible magazine. Mollie Makes brings you the best of craft, a look inside the homes of the world's most creative crafters, tutorials on inspiring makes, roundups of the most covetable stash and tours of the crafty capitals of the world. "We love to make - handmade is more than just a hobby for us, it's in everything we do. We can't resist hunting down treasures in thrift stores, then costomising, re-covering, and embellishing our finds with our endless stash of ribbons, buttons, fabrics, and felt. We're forever on the lookout for new inspiration. Whatever we do, we're living and loving handmade." 

Mollie Makes, you're my kind of girl! 

You can flip through a preview of the issue in digital form here

Off to celebrate! I hope you have a fantastic Monday. 



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Ode to Tulum - it's Love.

 Oh, Tulum. I really, really love you.
This place is stunning. I wish I took more photos, or maybe took a little more care in taking the ones I did take. Many of my photos ended up slightly blurry or crooked or rushed. I think part of it was just due to the fact that I was totally intoxicated by my surroundings.  This place, at this time, was exactly what I needed.

 We stayed at this fantastic little place, Playa Mambo. Like many of the hotels in Tulum, it is a little property of cabañas right on the sand. Each one has thatched roofs, screened windows without glass, and simple concrete floors. The entire hotel zone of Tulum is off the grid, so every property has electricity via solar, wind, or generator power. Many places don't offer 24 hour electricity, but Playa Mambo does. Its in the form of one little outlet per cabaña, conveniently fitted with plugs that work with US appliances - perfect for phone charging.

Playa Mambo is a simple, comfortable place. The accommodations are basic, but we always had what we needed and felt welcomed and at home. One thing to note - as you can guess from their website, Spanish is exclusively spoken here. I took it as an opportunity to practice speaking Spanish and really enjoyed it. The staff is wonderful and kind and will make sure you have what you need. Apparently there is WIFI here, but we never received a signal. We just used the WIFI at Mateo's down the road. It was a great excuse to stay away from our phones.

{This was what we had to look forward to every morning. Delicious breakfast, right on the beach.}

Speaking of the beach - what a beach it was. The water is such a bright turquoise and the sand is so soft and white, its glorious. 

We rented a car from EasyWay near the Cancun airport, which we were really happy about. 
One day we drove to the Coba ruins, which were a bit disappointing. Except for the awesome iguanas. 

Oh, and then there was this: 
Amazingly hilarious, weird little face. I was a big fan of him. 

 One day, when we were feeling very adventurous, we tried scuba diving here, at Casa Cenote:
 Yes, the water really is this color. Isn't that amazing? Luckily it did not occur to me at the time that there may or may not have been crocodiles in the water with us. I was worried enough about all the possible ways to drown while scuba diving.

{I sincerely appreciated my afternoon tea on that day}

The next day, we snorkeled here:
Dos Ojos Cenote. This place was unbelievable. After scuba, it felt so freeing to snorkel. We hired a guide for cheap and visited a cave full of bats, which was amazing. We were given flashlights to help us navigate, and ducked under stalactites and around stalagmites to get in. Once inside the cave, we quickly noticed that almost every possible crevice was full of bats. So awesome.

On our last day in Mexico, we decided to head up the coast to Akumal to snorkel. We had heard it is the best place in the area to see wild Sea Turtles. Sadly for us, the water was rough thanks to rain from the day before, and we were not allowed to snorkel with the beach red-flagged. We decided to embrace the day and just lie on the beach and swim.

{Amazingly, after slathering on SPF 50 multiple times and lying in the shade almost exclusively, I managed to achieve an attractive deep red burn. This skin of mine. You'd think I'd know by now}

Later that day, we visited the Tulum ruins on the way back to our hotel. Just the Ocean view is well worth the visit to this gorgeous place.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. We spent our last morning soaking up every possible ounce of refreshing ocean energy, in an attempt to store it somehow and bring it back with us. 

If only that were possible. 

Thank you, Tulum, for being amazing in every way. I'll be back. 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Etsy Round Up - Pattern Play

This week, Etsy is filling my seemingly insatiable desire for pattern - all kinds of pattern! Lately I've been smitten with polka dots - which is a new obsession for me. And of course, stripes and chevron never really leave my radar either. So much fun! 

Clockwise from top left: 



Monday, April 1, 2013

Styled - Lola Donoghue Inspired Nursery

A little while ago I happened upon this painting by Lola Donoghue on Etsy - isn't it fantastic? I think it would be an amazing addition to all kinds of spaces, but this week I chose to create a spunky baby girl's nursery around it. I'm a big fan of the idea that baby and kid spaces should be inspiring and fun and be able to grow with the child. I know these pieces can do just that. And I couldn't help but include my Carpe Noctem pillow - it seems that babies know exactly how to "seize the night" instinctually! 

1. No Man's Land by Lola Donoghue on Etsy
2. Sophie the Giraffe Teether from Land of Nod
5. Stitched Striped Pillow from Anthropologie
6. Carpe Noctem Pillow in Navy by Bright July on Etsy (another shameless plug!)
7. Color Inside the Lines Rug from Land of Nod 
8. Netto Collection Louis Crib from Modern Nursery



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Etsy Round Up - Viva Tulum!

This week, I'm so nostalgic for Tulum its a little silly. It could have to do with the fact that its been cold and snowy here, and everything under the snow is still mostly dead and brown and crunchy. Its no secret that this time of the year is my least favorite. If I could, I'd follow summer all around the globe every year.

Luckily Etsy is full of awesome Mexican made and Mexican inspired things to bring the vacation back home!

Clockwise from top left:

Mexican Wedding Banners by Ay Mujer
Tulum Mayan Ruins Print by Little B Studio
Vintage 1960's Taxco Mexico Silver Hoop Earrings by Loving Tree Studio
Palapa Print by Little B Studio
Hand Carved Copal Wood Deer Bowl Set by mexchic
Natural Mexican Vintage Crochet Tunic by Aida Coronado
Pink Folk Art Embroidered Pillow Sham by Casa Otomi
Tulum Ombre Seascape Pillow Cover by Loud Waterfall Photography ($1 from every sale benefits Nothing but Nets, an organization that gives mosquito nets to needy families. Cool, right?)

Any of you going (or just returned from) somewhere warm for Spring Break?



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Styled - Jennifer Young Inspired Office

I forgot how much fun I have making Styled rooms! It has been way too long. I've just caught up with my sewing goals and have finally had time to do it again. Hooray! 

This week's post is inspired by the most gorgeous photograph taken by Jennifer Young. Check out her inspiring blog, I ART U, here. That amazing saturated shot of color against the landscape behind it in this image is just stunning. I think it would bring the perfect amount of energy to a workspace - just enough to get you through a tough project. 

1. Magnetic Bamboo Board from West Elm
2. Cotton Polka Dot Pillow by Sveta Style on Etsy
3. Photograph by Jennifer Young
4. Kvarnvik Magazine Files from Ikea
5. The Original Chalkboard Horse by Houndstooth Design on Etsy
6. Striped Pencil Cup from See Jane Work
7. Epicene Frame from Anthropologie
8. Single Drawer Homework Desk from Design Within Reach
9. Surya Jill Rosenwald Fallon Rug in Coral from RugsUSA
10. Saddle Office Chair from West Elm



Monday, March 25, 2013

An Excuse and Some Good News

Well hi friends!

Let me start by apologizing for the very long time its been since I posted anything. I have all kinds of excuses, but I'll spare you.  Except for this one - I won't spare you this: 

Last week I was in Tulum, Mexico. It was so beautiful and warm and spontaneous. I desperately needed it. I can't wait to fill you in on that trip in more detail. 

I also have some exciting news to share with you - I'm a featured seller on BRIKA

I am so excited about this partnership. BRIKA is a beautifully curated site stocked full of gorgeous handmade items at special prices for a limited time. I've discovered some really fantastic sellers via BRIKA, and I'm honored to be among them. 

BRIKA shot a video telling their story - its lovely. You can watch it here.

I have been one blessed woman when it comes to pillows lately. Lots have been selling in a few different channels, which is really exciting - and very validating. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes. I'm also itching to make new styles that I've had the ideas for in my head for weeks, and just not the time to produce them. Can't wait for that! 

If you've been thinking about buying a Bright July pillow, now is the time. The limited time sale I am running with them will be up for another week, and then it will be gone. So head on over to BRIKA, folks! 

Its good to be back. 



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Etsy Round Up - Pink and Mint Valentine

This week's Etsy Round up is inspired by a color combination I love - pink, mint and gold. I swear, these colors are made for each other. With Valentine's day just around the corner, I vote for updating the usual red, white, and pink tradition to this fresh combination. And these fantastic items are a great place to start. 

Clockwise from top left:

Sweetheart Love Studs by Lola and Cash
Arrow Bobby Pin by Dreams by the Sea
Mary Oliver The Journey Letterpress Print by Cucumber Press Studio
Mini Round Stud Earrings by matoto
Set of 4 Golden Feather Napkin Rings by Nest Pretty Things  (Gorgeous photo and styling by Susana of Citrus and Orange)
Fold Over Vegan Clutch in Mint by Milk and Honey Handbags
Pink Gold Bar Necklace by laonato
Gold Zag Tray by Up In The Air Somewhere

More beautiful pink, mint, and gold finds are here - Treasury - Pink, Mint, and Gold Love.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Styled - Britt Bass Inspired Living Room

Styled is back, and packing some serious color punch thanks to this amazing painting by the lovely Britt Bass! I'm such a big fan of her bright, engaging, layered pieces. You really should head over to her site and look at them all. They are stunning! Britt's bold, bright painting is the jumping off point for this seriously fun space I'd love to hang out in. 

1. Rock Party IV by Britt Bass
2. Flamingo No. 4 by Sharon Montrose via 20x200
3. Coco Spiro Hanging Lamp from Weylandts
4. Love is All You Need Print by Print for Love of Wood on Etsy
5. Eres Mi Cielo Pillow by Bright July (shameless plug!)
6. Simpatico Hobnail Candle from Anthropologie
7. Clairemont Coffee Table from Crate and Barrel
8. Nayna Rug in grey from
9. Klyne Slipcovered Chair and a Half from Crate and Barrel



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bright Bazaar Feature!

This is a crazy week of features, friends. And I'm up to my eyeballs in sewing to keep up!

I discovered a few days ago that my Je T'aime pillow was featured on Bright Bazaar last week!

{See the whole post here.} 

So, so exciting. As a result of all this attention, I've been sewing like a crazy person. Cutting, ironing, and stitching until my fingertips go numb. Its slightly ridiculous. But my goal is to complete 30 pillows by this weekend, so I have no choice. Onward! 

So please forgive me for my blatant lack of blogging this week. I do have a beautiful room planned for styled and some awesome Etsy finds for Round Up next week, so stay tuned!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Etsy Email Feature!

Look what happened yesterday morning! 

My Carpe Noctem pillow was featured in the daily Etsy Finds email!

I am totally shocked and thrilled to be featured, particularly in the top left hand corner! Am I dreaming?! Someone pinch me!
Usually I open the Etsy Finds email every day and check over it to see all the beautiful things being featured. Yesterday I went out for a run early, and since I had a lofty sewing goal to achieve, I didn't check it until dinner last night with Jeremy. A few hours before dinner, I was printing a shipping label for an Etsy customer and noticed that my Etsy activity seemed really busy. When I checked the stats, it read that I had over 1,200 views - in just one day! By dinner, it was up to 1,400. It seemed very strange to me, until I opened the email and my jaw hit the floor.

So last night's date night was full of with conversation about vision for this Etsy shop of mine, and toasting to the day's success. In the end, I had over 1,511 views and 363 favorites yesterday. And its really just as well I have lots of new pillows on the way - because I intend to do my best to keep this ball rolling!




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Etsy Round Up - The Pantone Color of the Year, Emerald!

This week's Etsy Round Up is inspired by Pantone's official color of the year for 2013 - Emerald!

This saturated beauty of a color has so much to offer. Its dark enough to be almost neutral, but stands alone to pop an outfit with some serious punch. Nice work, Pantone. I enthusiastically approve of your choice!

Clockwise from top left:

Rough Emerald Twin Ring by metalmorphoz
8x8" Landscape Photo Set  by Moon Garden
Emerald Draped Slinky Dress by We Had a Time
Emerald Medallion Beaded Applique by FolkStroke
Vintage Emerald Earrings by MyCellarDoor
Boho Emerald Twist Turban Headband by TheTurbandShop
Emerald Green Distressed Leather Handbag by artoncrafts
Emerald Landscape Photograph by NessysNest

And if you can't get enough emerald, there are more gorgeous Etsy finds here - Treasury - Pantone 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Styled - Inspiration for my Boy!

This week, I couldn't resist styling up my own little boy's* room. We had a very helpful and productive phone call with our adoption agency worker last week (!!!), and as a result the thrill of meeting him re-settled into my soul. Its a very good feeling to let myself be happy about it, instead of putting it out of my mind all the time. So I've channelled my energy into planning his room! I've been envisioning a quirky African inspired space for him - but something he can grow into. I think this room is on to something. 

1. Robbie the Large Rhino Trophy by Cardboard Safari
2. Cheetah Print by Berkley Illustration (already purchased! Yes!)
3. Z-A Print by Jaco Haasbroek via Africandy
6. Oak Park Elementary Nightstand from Land of Nod
7. Kite Kilim Floor Pouf from West Elm
8. Crossed Flokati Round Rug from Anthropologie
9. Piper Twin Bed from Room and Board



*Please don't be confused by the fact that I go back and forth talking about my son singular and my sons plural. Since its much more likely that we'll end up being referred to one boy, I decided to talk about him that way for now. We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Etsy Round Up - New Year, New Start

Well friends, we are solidly into 2013 now. How are your resolutions coming? I tend to be a bit all over the place with resolutions -  for some reason the word "goal" works much better for me. And one of my goals is to dress more stylishly this year. And that's where Etsy comes in - with so many gorgeous things available with just a click. If only one of my other goals wasn't to save money to bring home my son/s! Anyway, here are a few of my favorites this week. 

Clockwise from top left:

Gold Chevron Ring by katerinaki1977
Hand Crocheted Hand Warmers by Plexida
Ikat Clutch by eclu
Baby Botanist Bag by Opelle
Handmade Small Convertible Leather Bag by LeatherFun
Lace Up Flat Boots by Olive Thomas
Missing You Crystal Buttoned Quilted Cashmere Coat by idea2lifestyle
Apophyllite and Quartz Chunky Ring by CraftsGardenOfZen
Felt and Leather iPhone 5 Case by TopHome

There are more gorgeous finds in the rest of the collection here - Treasury - New Year, New Start.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Styled - Sam Kweskin Inspired Living Room

Styled is back, fresh and ready for a new year! I don't know about you, but I'm definitely in the mood for some changes to my living space. As usual, I live out all my design daydreams with inspiration boards inspired by artists that I love! This week, photographer Sam Kweskin's landscape inspired a modern, saturated and functional living room. If you look closely at the photograph, you'll spot the human element. I love the presence of people in landscape photography, and I think this particular photograph would make a beautiful centerpiece in any room. Layered into this space are plenty of saturated colors, natural textures and metallic elements. 

1. Small Arrow Bundle by Vogtsmith from Serena and Lily 
3. Capri Blue Indigo Jar Candle from Anthropologie
4. Venetian Frame from Anthropologie
5. Clarke Sofa from Room and Board
6. Hammered Metal Lamp - Nailhead Stripe from Serena and Lily
7. Driftwood Side Table from Crate and Barrel
8. Venda Dhurrie in Plaster from West Elm

Any living space updates planned for you in 2013?



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Its a New Day!

Happy New Year, friends! Here's to a new start, a new year, one day at a time. I must say, I'm reveling in the fresh feeling that January first brings.

Cheers to all of you today! May 2013 be richer, fuller, happier and braver than any year you've ever lived to see.




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