Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Have Some Talented Friends

Living in Nashville, it can pretty much go without saying that I am surrounded by ridiculously talented people on a daily basis. The amount of musicians, writers, artists, designers and the like that call Nashville home is one of the reasons why I love this city so much. There is newfound inspiration around every corner, and I love how creative people tend to form a community, supporting and encouraging each other.

I also have a pretty large group of family and friends all across the country who have begun letting their creative sides out to play, opening their own businesses and following that little voice inside their heads that has been telling them to try something new or to take a risk.

So, I'd like to showcase a few of these friends and family members here today, with more to come! Check out their sites, and please patronize their businesses. We need to support these amazing entrepreneurs!

Muck A Duck

Muck A Duck is made up of my sister-in-law Janis and her best friend/ practically her sister, Megan. These sassy ladies hand make everything from pillows to jewelry to wall art in their hometown of Valparaiso, Indiana. Their creations are fun, funky and on trend, yet uniquely their own. I especially love the names they come up with to name their designs. I recently bought a red jeweled bracelet that was perfect for wearing on stage.

Here is their Etsy page.

You can also find them on Facebook and "Like" their page.

The Remodeled Life

The Remodeled Life is a popular blog run by my sister-in-law Megan in North Carolina. She writes about her adorable little family, the youth group that she and my brother minister to and mostly, the amazing DIY remodeling projects that she does around her home. And she also designs jewelry. Geez. Overachiever, maybe? I absolutely love her whimsical, colorful necklaces and earrings. These are statement pieces that can be worn again and again. I was wearing one of her Dragonfly necklaces like the one pictured above on the night that Nate proposed to me. So obviously I will keep it forever. 

Here is her Etsy page.

Also check out her amazing blog!

Christie Silverstein
Integrative Health and Lifestyle Coach

If my dear friend Christie was not in my life then I never would have met my husband, Nate. So, she's already golden in my book. Add that fact to an amazing, warm personality and a love for people and she is pretty much set in the good karma department. She has such an amazing talent for connecting with people, which is perfect for the line of work she is in. Not only will she help you organize and declutter your life, but she will make sure you are making the most of your body by eating well and engaging in a pure lifestyle.

Find her at her website


After a week in the shop and a vacation's worth of money spent on repairs, I finally have my beloved 4 Runner back. And to celebrate that joyous homecoming, I watched as the odometer flipped to 200,000 miles.

A few years ago, Michael and I were looking to upgrade my old blue 4 Runner. After he died, I bought this one for myself, so I suppose it holds some sentimental value to me. It has taken me to the shores of California, through the crowded streets of New York City, down to the beaches of Florida, home to the ones I love in North Carolina, up near Chicago to meet Nate's family for the first time, and many, many places in between.

It has carried microphones, guitars and musicians to gigs all around the country and it has transported clothing racks and store fixtures for my first boutique. Through my rearview mirror, I've watched Maddux grow from a wrinkly newborn into a rambunctious toddler.

My mechanic says it's got a few more good years. I hope he's right.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anatomy of a Christmas Photo

As any of you with toddlers know, it is nearly impossible to take a decent photo. Maddux may be sitting perfectly still, doing the sweetest, most angelic little thing, but the laws of parenthood state that the moment a camera is taken out and focused on him, he turns into the Tasmanian Devil.

So, as I am a bit of a slave to tradition, I just had to attempt to take our yearly family Christmas photo. I'm sad to say that these are not all entirely Maddux's fault.

Here are the results:

                                               Checking the lighting......

And the tripod positioning. Oh hello there, Jackson Dog.

This could take awhile........

                                        At least he's looking at the camera.

Oops! There goes my top. Thanks Nate!

Almost there.....

                                            As good as it's going to get.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crave: Loeffler Randall Messenger Bag

                             I wish I had told Santa that I wanted this.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Easy DIY Child's Silhouette

I have always loved old-fashioned silhouettes of people. In fact, my original logo for my boutique, Lucy & Lloyd featured a man and woman's silhouette.

After Maddux was born, I considered hiring someone to do his silhouette, but I had a hard time finding an artist who was within my price range. I wondered if it was something I could pull off on my own, and after doing a little research, I found this great tutorial. Still, I couldn't seem to find the time to sit down and actually create something. With a one year old, it felt a bit overwhelming.

Then, my super crafty sister-in-law Megan posted this on her blog, and I was sold. Last week, I finally sat down and created my silhouette, and I absolutely love it!

Here is what I did:

1. First, you will need black acrylic paint. I bought two, unsure of how much I would actually need, but I only ended up using about half of one bottle.
I used a foam paintbrush, but I'm sure any kind would work.

2. I found a profile picture I had taken of Maddux and sent it to Walgreens to be printed off on photo paper. I chose 8 x 10.

3. I used some very fine manicure scissors to cut out his silhouette. I was extra careful to preserve as much detail as possible, in particular his curls and eyelashes.

4. I then started the process of painting the cut out silhouette, using long, even strokes.

5. I let each layer dry before starting the next. I wanted it extra black and thick, so I ended up painting 4 layers.

6. After the silhouette was completely dry, I mounted it to a piece of scrapbook paper that I liked, using double-sided scrapbook tape. The frame is a record size frame that Nate had that I repurposed. It is actually a little too big, so I may go back in and make a black, scalloped border. I'm also thinking about adding his name to the bottom. 

I really love how this turned out! It was super easy, and we now have a cute piece of handmade art that captures Maddux's sweet one-year-old profile.