Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I am mentally building a little art wall for the living room. I'm thinking this should be a definite "Yes."

Kitty Wells Art Print by Hammerpress
 I am getting the itch to do some painting, too. Poor Andyman. Painting usually = Tired Tina = Tiptoeing Andy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Circle Surplus

Whenever I finish a project, I salvage the scraps by punching them into shapes. My stash is getting huge, so I've been trying to use them whenever possible. It's so easy to make a last minute package look a little more thought out by dressing it up a few mix-n-match papers.

Today I used them to dress up a bottle of champ for a coworker's 60th birthday gift. 

She wanted a very big-deal-less birthday, but you can't let one's entrance into their seventh decade slip by without at least a little pomp and circumstance. They earned it! My packaging gave me a giggle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On the Zig Zag Bandwagon

A small part of me hates myself when I like popular Missoni and Target. But, really, who hasn't loved both of those forever? I mean, one of my most favorite memories from my wild and crazy twenties is when my friend and I stopped drinking at the Sheffield Garden Walk so we could sober up and escape the heat  with a Target run...only to arrive at a powerless Target that let us shop in the dark. But Missoni and Anthro? Now that's B-A-N-A-N-A-S.



They're even orange! I'd wear the sh*t out of that bottom one. It would be my winter staple. If it only it weren't Missoni for Target and eBay prices!

BTW, I was out of the country for the big Target Missoni launch, so I felt sheepish when I ran to my local Target a few hours after the plane landed to find out that I was about 60 hours too late to score any sold-out-in-an-hour-booty. I got some solid Halloween treats as a consolation prize, though. Only 10 more days until October 1!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walking Shoe FAIL

I've been back from France for 2.5 days and my tootsies are still recovering. I thought that I had some solid walking shoe selections going into the trip, but not so much.

I bought these ECCO Goya flats back in March.

They were like stepping on clouds. I excitedly saved them for my trip. On the first day of our trip, we visited the town of Beynac, France, which is basically a 45-degree angle made out of very old cobblestones. Then it drizzled and the town became a 45-degree angle made out of very old, SLIPPERY cobblestones. I did baby steps the whole way down while holding onto buildings for support and Andy occasionally backtracked to make sure I wasn't dead. I pulled these out of my suitcase again in Paris. Only one day of walking through the city of lights and I had blisters on the bottom of my toes and burning soles. These just aren't made for cobblestones.

I picked up these OTBT Springfield shoes a few months ago because I had a Groupon to burn. 

The soles are kind of like Birkenstocks, so I thought they'd be great for traversing cobblestone streets. For the first few hours that I wore them in Paris, they were a DREAM. I commented aloud that I couldn't believe that my feet didn't hurt after that morning's hike. A few hours later, I could barely walk. In fact, I "held it" for an hour at the Musee d'Orsay because the bathroom was downstairs and I couldn't face walking down and back up again. We ended up taking our only cab of the week that night because the thought of walking across town to our hotel was too much. The hard soles bruised my arches pretty badly. I wore these on Tuesday and my feet were still tender when I get a pedicure on Saturday night.

Thankfully, I impulsively tossed my dusty old PUMAS into my suitcase a few minutes before I zipped it up.

I ended up wearing these for 7 of our 10 days of travel. I was a little embarrassed by their condition and the fact that they didn't match any of my outfits, but I am pretty sure that my giant camera bag and the camera hanging around my neck already gave me away as a big, unstylish American! The shoes just sealed the deal. Incidentally, PUMAS also aren't made for walking on cobblestones. Your foot basically just bends around them like a bird.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I have 1,650 photos to process.

So far, I've edited the first batch of 317 down to 241.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best. Costume. Jewelry. Ever.

If I ever have a little girl, she is so having a designer imposter of this painting in her nursery.

The necklace is made out of knobs from Anthropologie

Spotted at the Anthropologie Southport location in Chicago.

L-O-V-E, I tell you. Love. If I could hang this in my living room without emasculating Andy, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spooky is Just Around the Corner...

I have so much excitement coming up in the next month, but I can't stop thinking about Halloween, despite myself.

These candelabras from CB2 will look great on the Halloween table—especially when laced with some scaaaaaaaaaaaaaary webs. They'd be excellent for a modern dinner party or wedding too.

Am I a bad blogger because I took the time to save this picture and write the post, but am choosing to go to sleep instead of create an "inspiration board" around these? I am pretty sure that I am. Sorry, dear friends/readers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travel Journals

I’m not a big journal person, but I do try to make an effort to be when I go on big trips.

Our upcoming trip inspired me to pull my Italy journal out of storage last week. I’ve had so much fun reading about the trip and laughing at the odd occurrences that I had forgotten since 2007. Such as, the little boy in Florence who asked my friend and me to pose with scary faces for his travel journal or the video message that we made on a stranger’s video camera for his friend’s wedding. The entry that made me laugh the most was the note about the American we met on the train who told us people would recognize us as Americans because of our “layered haircuts.”

I’m so glad that I took the time to write in such detail. But I’m also glad that I saved so many mementos. I remember thinking that I’d put together a formal scrapbook someday (yeah, right!), so I have business cards, train tickets, museum tickets, etc. sort of randomly taped in the middle of entries. LOVE IT! 

I also kept copies of the postcards that I sent from each city.

Paper Source unfortunately discontinued these wonderful leather journals a few years ago. Thankfully, I had a clean one in storage that I had picked up on clearance. 

I already have a few entries in our France journal – pictures of the “Avoir” gifts and cards we’ve received. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Farewell, Summer...

Fall's been rearing its head in Chicago for a few weeks now, save for a few late August days in the 90s. Although I love the fall, I feel a little sad, as I feel as if I've wasted this summer. My beach bestie and I only made it to the beach once and Andy and I didn't do a single thing that I had on our Summer Fun list.

 But I feel hopeful for the adventures that fall always brings. I just wish that fall didn't have to be followed by Chicago winters. Yuck.

Happy Labor Day! I hope that your labor is minimal and your fun is MAXIMUM.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Photography Class

I took a "Digital Fundamentals in a Day" class at the Chicago Photography Academy today.

I still feel overwhelmed, but much, much better than I did yesterday. Just having a professional admit that it's tough after hanging in Blog Land, where so many novices are good, made me feel better. And these really are the best photos I've ever taken. I should note that it took me 170 photos to get these. Not kidding.

I really liked the Chicago Photography Academy. I highly recommend it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Automatic American in France

As I mentioned I few times, I bought a DSLR camera in March. Manual photography is so much more difficult than I ever would have imagined. I know that I'll have my light bulb moment, but I'm ready for it to frickin' come already.

In anticipation of our trip to France, I've been taking pictures of everything and anything in an attempt to master my camera. I got a new haircut last night and thought I'd try some self-portraits to see how it looked (instead of taking another 50 photos of my "art" and tree).

I was SO EXCITED when I looked at them on the camera. I thought, "Finally! A few photos that look like they were taken on a nice camera." Then I loaded them onto my laptop. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. These are the best of my "great" photos. So dark, so light, and so blurry.

Oh well, I guess that there are worse problems to have than having to shoot automatic or AV/TV in France, right?

BTW, I normally only wear my glasses for computer work, but find myself reaching for my glasses more and more these days to relieve eye strain. I took these pictures with my glasses to see what grandma looks like in her cheaters. I'm so happy that they still work, as I bought them for a much more slender face and they weren't cheap.

Have a happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Think Big

A lovely, artful tribute to my sweet home.

Found via the Second City Facebook page.