this week i'm loving ...


Meditation Flags by Cazmira

I went to my first meditation circle on Sunday. I have been meditating off and on at bedtime to help with sleep and wanted to try meditating with others during the day so, I checked out meetup.com and found a group nearby to sit with. I usually use this guided meditation video from youtube which helps me clear my mind by listening to the soft sounds and voice guiding me. This was a very different experience. We sat meditating for 20 minutes in silence. My mind has a lot of chit chat going on. I engaged in the thoughts and then tried to let them go and gain space. The space was short lived though as a new thought would arise one on top of another. We took a break and then meditated in silence for another 10 min. The second round I did a little better but still chatty. This is going to take some practice. Some meditation flags like the ones above would make a nice reminder.

toy cleaning and organizing

Diaper Caddy by Hip Baby Boutique

With school a couple weeks away I figured now was a good time to clear out toys, trash broken items, donate others and organize the stuff worth keeping around.It was a two day ordeal as I needed lots of little breaks to get through all the stuff. I completed the kids playroom but, still need to tackle the bedroom. How cute is this Diaper Caddy above? I think it would work really well for organizing little bits in the play room too!

snickers ice cream bars

Need I say more? For some reason I decided to buy a box of these and by eating a half bar here and half bar there I managed to finish the box almost completely by myself in a few short days. Man, these bad boys are good.


true love wedding stationary

This month I attended the wedding of two good friends in New York and I had the honor of designing their wedding invitation suite, programs and favor tags. This wedding marked the eighth wedding stationary suite I have custom designed. I decided it was about time to share these designs with you and I am starting, well, at the beginning with my own wedding invitation almost 11 years ago.

I got engaged two short years after I began my career in graphic design. I knew I would design all the paper goods for our wedding. I was in love with drawing digitally at that time so, naturally I wanted to put those skills to work and create an illustration dear to our hearts. We are both lovers of trees so, the idea to draw two trees intertwined and growing into one another was a natural one.


Not one to miss the opportunity for a little pop of color and whimsy I added a butterfly between us to complete the design. The response cards (not photographed) had simple wedding rings illustrated on them and for the the travel guide I illustrated a man on a bicycle. Again a touch of whimsy. The trees have little green apples that I repeated in our wedding day decor, bouquets and had green apples with seating cards pinned to them. That day was and still is one the best days of my life. True Love.   


vacation on long island

My family and I are back from a two week vacation on Long Island in New York. We saw so many wonderful people and places. I gathered a few favorite photos to share with you.

We celebrated two great friends tying the knot, caught some waves at the beach, rocked out at a Phish concert, celebrated two great friends baby shower (see the painting I created for their daughter Lily), kids played with their cousins, celebrated a childhood friends bridal shower, roasted s'mores over a campfire, took a day trip to NYC and attended lots and lots of BBQ's and pool parties. It was a whirlwind of activity and jammed packed fun. We got home on July 10th but, it might as well have been yesterday. It took me a really long time to get back into my daily groove. But, that's what vacations are for right - to laugh, play and the come home and reset.

Hope you are enjoying some summer fun and hopefully even a little relaxation sprinkled in too.


this week I'm loving ...


After a very busy 12 days traveling with two kids, attending a bridal and baby shower, celebrating a wedding, a little phishing and visiting with our friends and family in New York it feels great to sleep in my own bed and to drastically slow down our schedule and allow for some lazy summer days at home.


Pony And Poppy

It has been cloudy, rainy and all around beautiful this week in Arizona. A break from the sun is most definitely welcomed this time of year. This also made for some extra sleepy days, bonus!

chris guillebeau

I love reading. I always enjoy reading something that is entertaining but, usually you'll find me reading books on how to better myself in work, life, parenting, diet, ect. It can be a sickness really. The latest book that has challenged me to think differently is The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau. It is a great read for anyone who wants to live an unconventional life.Chris questions education, credibility, and influence, and gives useful ideas as alternatives to the traditional methods of gaining those qualities as well as how to apply them to your career based on what has worked in his own life. The apply part is really the tough one for me. I get stuck just before the stage and veer off course. I need to figure that out still. Lucky for me, I am picking up his newest book The $100 Startup today! Very excited about what I will learn next. 


inspired by ...

Alice Pasquini 

Driving through New York a couple weeks ago my oldest son said "Oh my goodness, why would someone do that? That's terrible." When I realized he was speaking about the graffiti along the highway, I had to laugh. It was such a sweet and innocent response to something he rarely sees and I barely notice is even there. Had he seen the the beautiful street art created by AliCè: Alice Pasquini, a visual artist who works as an illustrator, set designer and painter, that would be far from his reaction. Her work is joyful, soulful and colorful.

Based in Rome, AliCè has traveled the world bringing her art to the streets of many countries. Alice's work shows acts of love, hope, and affection. I browsed her work on flickr and got lost in the most beautiful of ways, take a look for yourself here.


bead and button show treasures

After a couple weeks away visiting family and friends in New York, I'm back! I left in a frenzy wrapping up odds and ends and didn't have a chance to share my goodies from the Bead&Button show with you. I didn't have a whole lot of time to really look and shop at the show but, of course I managed to pick up a few treasures.

I have had some raw crystal ideas swimming in my head for awhile so, finding a strand to play with at the show made me really happy. I came home and designed these 4 necklaces and 3 earrings with these straight away! Above are the pieces I have left to work with when new inspiration strikes.

Before heading to the show, I noted of my lack of black jewelry in my stash. I wear a good amount of black/grey clothing so, picking up some interesting black stones was high on my list. This beautiful strand of Tektite gemstone beads fit the bill. They are gorgeous! I picked these up from the Soft Flex Company booth and have to say it was really hard to resist all the pretty gemstone beads Soft Flex has in their booth while I worked all week!

I was gifted these beautifully crafted ceramic beads by Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studios. She is so very talented and sweet too! I am thinking that the rose connector or wing would go nicely with some Tektite gemstone beads.

My friend and co-worker Jenny Wilson gifted me her handmade and adorable lampwork bumpy beads and a recycled beer bottle glass ring component, sweet! I love the teal blue color of the bumpy beads and couldn't resist whipping up a pair of earrings with them as soon as I got home. So cute! I made the ear wires while demoing how to make ear wires in the Soft Flex show booth. The ear wires are made with 18 Gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire in Pewter. 

Speaking of ear wires I picked up a spool of 18 Gauge Soft Flex Craft Wire in Smokey Quartz, a cup bur and a rubber block so I can make my own ear wires at home. I think I should have picked up 20 gauge wire too though as 18 gauge can be a little thick for some ears.

Cami of Envirotex Resin generously gifted me some jewelry resin (yay!). I can't wait to try it. I love working with resin to make art and personalized magnet sets and art jewelry.

Above are a few bezels I brought home to play with the resin. I love how large and beautifully ornate the antique copper bezel from Kerri Fuhr is and in contrast I adore the simplicity and handcrafted quality of the pewter bezel and swirl charm from Green Girl Studios

Last and certainly not least is the inspiring "follow your bliss" Simple Truths pendant from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tresori Trovati Jewelry. To see the full necklace, see my post here.

Bead&Button is always a great show full of artful beads, tools, wire, education as well as a great place to connect with jewelry artisans, beaders and friends alike!


simple truths celebration

Tesori Trovati Simple Truths Pendant "follow your bliss"

Erin Paris-Hintz of Tesori Trovati is celebrating her Simple Truths line of art pendants today. I am delighted to be part of the celebration and share a necklace I made with Erin's Simple Truths pendant.

I was first introduced to Erin and her work in 2010 when I worked with her on her featured web page over at Soft Flex Company's Spotlight On .... I instantly fell in love with Erin's style and the jewelry she creates and was lucky enough to meet up with Erin at the Bead&Button show last month, she is so kind and easy to talk to. She generously gifted me a Simple Truths pendant of my choosing. She handcrafts so many beautiful pendants that it was hard to choose. Ultimately, the wise words "follow your bliss" choose me and are a beautiful reminder for me to create with passion and follow my bliss!

In addition to designing jewelry, Erin creates this line of Simple Truths art pendants that combine wise phrases with sweet images on hand painted polymer clay. You can find Simple Truths and her jewelry in her etsy shop, Tesori Trovati. 

Be sure to visit Erin's blog where she will be giving away a Simple Truths subscription to one lucky commenter who has never owned a Simple Truths pendant as well as a discount offer for her shop.

Please visit these designers and see their Simple Truths creations, you will be glad you did.

Erin Prais-Hintz

Sharon Misuraco

Tanya Goodwin

Alice Peterson

Melissa Trudinger

Lori Bowring Michaud

Rebecca Anderson

Chris White

Cherrie Fick

Rosanne Garvison

Shelley Turner

Marlene Cupo

Mary Harding

Lola Surwillo

Michelle Burnett

Kirsi Luostarinen

Paige Maxim

Kristen Fagan (That's Me!)

Cynthia Riggs

Thank you, Erin for your generosity and the motivation to bring my Simple Truths pendant to life!