My 2017 Christmas Wishlist

Daniel and I don’t really plan to do much in terms of gifts for Christmas this year. We’ve had a lot of expenses recently, and the tuition for his final semester of school in the spring is crazy expensive. We might get a few new items of clothing (things we need), but that’s probably it. My family has skipped gifts for years and has just celebrated by spending time together, which I actually really like. But Daniel is working late tonight and I’m bored, so I made a wishlist just for fun.

2017wishlist

1. Daniel and I would love to get a record player eventually. This one is sleek and the basic is fairly affordable. Though I love the walnut version!

2. We’d need records for the record player! We could probably acquire a lot by thrifting, since we both favor older music. I think Elton John, Billy Joel, and Simon and Garfunkel would be a great starting point. Essentials!

3. I loooove this bronzy gold color. I have for years, yet I don’t own much this color (one cardigan). This Madewell sweater is fun.

4. We have a diffuser we keep in the living room, but I really want one for the bedroom. This one is affordable and has great reviews. Though I also really like the one we have and wouldn’t mind another.

5. I’ve been wanting some beeswax candles for a while. I got rid of all scented candles in our house because they are toxic and they give me headaches, but I like the ambiance of candles. Beeswax candles are the solution! I’d like some made locally.

6. A pretty ceramic match striker to go with the candles, so I’ll be encouraged to light the candles more often.

7. I really need some new work pants! I want to try Everlane’s new denim in black.  A few other basic colors (navy, gray, olive) would be nice. I’d probably go with Loft’s sateen leggings. Loft is pretty much no-fail for me.

8. Wine is always a great gift.

9. Blankets are always good gifts for a cold natured person! Young House Love led me to this blanket. I like that it comes in king size and it’s 100% cotton. I like the gray and the white windowpane. I can’t decide which I prefer!

10. I want all of the interior design books! This one looks good, just from a quick look-through.

11. Daniel would probably say I don’t need more shoes, but black flats are my go-to for most outfits in winter and all mine are in bad condition. I really like these, but I also like these and these and these and these.

12. This would technically be a gift for Bert, but I have to look at his grimy bed every day, so it’s for me too. All the attractive ones are expensive (not to mention he needs XL). I like the woven look of this one. I think it would hide dirt and fur well.

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Neutral Booties Follow-up

Hey guys! Remember when I said my inspiration for neutral booties was “Emily Henderson’s Rachel Comey goes-with-everything shoe collection”? Remember how I said I can’t afford $400 shoes? Well, both of those thing are still true. And all of the boots I shared I still think are great finds, but none of them were quite perfect enough of a match to my vision for me to actually pull the trigger on. There were a couple of pairs I aaalmost went for, but didn’t. I had finally decided I’d live without until I find something “close enough” at a consignment store for considerably less than any “close enough” new options.

Until…

I did a bit more searching of every inch on the web and found these Lucky Brand ankle booties on Amazon. They so wonderfully match my vision—real leather (suede or nubuck would be okay but I really wanted leather), low shaft (I feel like they’re more versatile when the shaft doesn’t go too far above the ankle), a heel between 1.5″ and 2″ (to give me some height, yet still be comfortable), and a simple design (no extra zippers, buckles, embossing, etc).

Their resemblance to the Rachel Comey shoes I can’t afford is actually pretty remarkable (click image for more details). I didn’t realize that until after I had already added them to my cart. I’m sure the Rachel Comey shoes are more buttery and amazing (for $400, they better be), but the Lucky boots are only $28! I haven’t received them yet, but I’ll update* this post when I get them. The reviews are mixed, so we’ll see!

*Update: I got the boots! The quality seems great, but the reviews are correct. The toe box is very narrow. I ordered a size up, and they still felt snug around my foot. I have yet to wear them out (I’ve been living in sandals while the summer weather has lasted), but I decided I’d keep them since they were so cheap. I figured if I end up not being able to wear them, it’s not a huge loss. Most of my leather boots/shoes in the past have ended up stretching, so I’m hoping these will soften and loosen with wear (but not too much, since I ordered a size up and they’re a tad too long). I did buy these socks to wear with them and my other booties, and I can report that the socks are awesome! In conclusion, if you like the look, it’s worth the risk if you have Amazon Prime and can return them for free. And if you need no-show socks, buy these.

Lucky Brand booties

Lucky Brand

Rachel Comey booties

Rachel Comey

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Neutral Booties for Late Summer & Early Fall

I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of neutral (nude, blush, tan) booties for fall. I’ve been trying to downsize and simplify my wardrobe so getting dressed doesn’t require much thought and everything matches everything. I know a pair of neutral booties would get a lot of use! I might be inspired by Emily Henderson‘s Rachel Comey goes-with-everything shoe collection, but I can’t afford $400+ shoes. I know a lot of people are probably in the same boat (referring to the expensive shoes, not being obsessed with Emily Henderson), so I thought I’d share my findings thus far. I’m not sure which of these I’ll go with, if any, but I’ll let you know my thoughts on each below.

neutral booties

1. Seychelles for $140 – These were the very first pair I found that I like, and I still really like them. The color is MOST perfect out of all of these. I like the small heel, and I like that they’re nubuck rather than suede (just personal preference). My main issue with them is that collar around the top; I can’t decide if I like that or not. But these are definitely a contender!

2. Kork-Ease for $190 – I love this brand because they’re super comfy and they hold up well. I think these may be more beige (too light) than what I’m wanting, and I also think I want a bit more of a heel.

3. Steve Madden for $90 – Good price, and I like the low shaft. I think these would look great with both pants and dresses. I think these are too brown for what I’m looking for, though (I want more of a nude).

4. Steve Madden for $130 – These are a top contender for me! The color is almost as perfect as the color of #1. The heel height looks great, and I like the low shaft. My only concern is the part around the ankle looks like it might be uncomfortable. I guess it depends on how soft the leather is.

5. Franco Sarto for $120 – The shape of these is probably my favorite out of all of these picks. I love the gold zipper, and the cushioned part on the back of the ankle looks like a comfy touch. Once again, color is the issue for me. Maybe I’m too picky!

6. Franco Sarto for $60 – The price is tempting! I like the color and the zipper on these. The have an embossed texture that makes them unique. I’m not sure I want that though. I’m looking for simple!

7. Eileen Fisher for $245 – These might be my favorites! But that price! They’re actually on sale right now for $160 for Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, but I don’t know if I can make a decision soon enough to snag them for that price. I like that they’re unique, the color is great, and they look sooo comfortable!

8. Splendid for $55 – These are also a contender for me, and they’re such a great price since they’re last season. I can’t decide if the color might be too light, though. And the shaft might be a bit higher than I want.

9. Franco Sarto for $130 – These are really pretty boots, and the color is so rich! I like the details that make them a little different from the others in the list. But they’re also not quite the color I’m wanting.

Which are your favorites?

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A Travel Guide

I designed a book! 

It should be for sale soon at ourstatestore.com. I’ll share more about the project once it’s being publicized.

fourseason_book

 

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Homebrewing Guide

HBGUIDE

Ever wondered how to make your own beer? Our State has you covered. Go here to download a PDF guide I illustrated. It’s a bit slow to load (3 hi-res pages) … just have patience; it’s worth it.

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Photo Shoot!

Just some “behind the scenes” photos I took last month at an Our State photo shoot. We didn’t end up using the concept being shot here, but check out the Febraury 2015 issue (“Mayo Mutiny”) to see what we did use…

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Bert

My dog Bert is a Sesame Street star in the making. So handsome.

bert

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25 is almost here!

Last year,  I shared a rather deep blog post as my 24th birthday was approaching. I ended the post with the hope that 24 would be a fantastic year, and it was. I don’t have a letterpress studio (yet) and I still haven’t gone star-gazing, but I traveled; went to museums, concerts, ballets, etc.; continued to grow in my career; found love; and even became more self-assured.

All the dreams I shared last year still hold true, so I’m not going to write another post like that this year. Instead, I’m going to share a little wish list. I’ll probably treat myself to at least a few of these things as my birthday approaches. I’m 25. That’s a quarter of a century. I think I deserve it. :)

birthday_list

1. Chemex coffeemaker – I love my French press, but I also love pour over coffee (no sediment!). Now the only question is, three cup or six?

2. A haircut – Haircuts aren’t cheap, particularly for someone like myself who prefers to go to a DevaCurl certified stylist. I’m overdue for a haircut.

3. Rings – I don’t wear jewelry often, apart from earrings. My style has changed quite a bit since I acquired most of the jewelry I own. I would love some more simple pieces. I really like a lot of the rings in this Etsy shop. I also like this necklace.

4. Bert bath – My dog needs a bath. I don’t have a bathtub and it’s too cold outside to use the hose. A bath/nail trimming is $35, thus, Bert doesn’t get baths as often as I’d like.

5. Art prints – There are a few areas of my house where I’d like some more or new art. The bathroom is one of those places. Yes, the bathroom deserves to be pretty, too. I love these sea prints and I they’d go well with the color scheme in my bathroom.

6. Maxi dressPetite maxi dress for my petite self. Need anything else be said?

7. Phaidon Design ClassicsThese have been on my wish list for at least three years. The backstories of 999 everyday things considered to be “design classics.”

8. Roadtrip – It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a vacation or road trip. Maybe a weekend trip to D.C.? I need travel!

9. Chandler and Price letterpress – That letterpress studio I want? Well this would be the start of it—the most essential component.

10. A chair for my bedroom (not pictured) - I recently moved my office (computer, art supplies) to a separate room, so now I have some extra space in my bedroom. While I’d love a designer chair to go in the empty space, this much cheaper Ikea chair and footstool would be an acceptable alternative.

 

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Typefaces for Editorial

I was doing some typeface research at work today. All day. It was a great day. Am I crazy? Two things it takes a long time for me to get sick of perusing: 1) chairs, 2) anything typography-related.

I’m working on finding some new typeface options for body copy, so easy to read serif typefaces that are versatile (lots of weights/italics options) and easy to read. I thought I’d share some of my favorite findings so far.

Arnhem“it is calm enough for extended reading yet retains enough personality to save it from lapsing into mediocrity”source

Lyon – Used in the New York Times Magazine, a beautifully-designed publication.

Glosa - “Dino dos Santos evokes the vibrant work of 18th-century punchcutter Johann Fleischman…dos Santos is clearly aiming for something beyond a revival though, and introduces enough contemporary flair and personal quirk to do so successfully.” - source

FF Milo Serif - I believe the serif font is used in Dwell Magazine. Another of my favorite magazines.

Prumo“Prumo is a new type system, based on a unique skeleton that flows, like a pendulum, from high contrast to low contrast.”source

Meret – Used in Fast Company.

Leitura“Dos Santos…set out to create an array of neutral typefaces that could work together and achieve an invisibility – lacking in details that would distract from the content.”source

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Maleficent

Halloween is a fun time of year because it gives me a great excuse to be crafty. This year I decided to be Maleficent, for no other reason than I wanted to make her headdress.

Some wire, masking tape, black spray paint, tulle, string, and a headband, plus two hours of time, and my costume was ready.

I’d like to note that my goal was to mimic the 1959 Disney version of Maleficent, not the 2014 Angelina Jolie version of Maleficent (I found the movie to be a disappointment).

The makeup was a ton of fun to do too.

My sister threw a little get together with some of our friends. Here are some photos:

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Makup finished! Bathroom selfie.

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l to r: my sister Marion as Annabelle (Haven’t seen the movie, nor do I care to. I do find it disturbing how well Marion pulled it off, though.), me, and my friend Jami as Cheshire Cat.

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My boyfriend Daniel and me. He’s dressed as a fine dining server. Because that’s what he is.

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Kimberly the vampire.



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