Hi! I'm glad you found this blog! I no longer blog here, but feel free to look around. If you're interested in following my new blogging journey, please visit me at Into The Glimmer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What to wear :: a day at the beach

There's nothing quite like the sights, sounds and smells of the beach and boardwalk- the crashing waves, the cawing seagulls, the rides and arcade games, the yummy scent of caramel popcorn...It's paradise, I tell ya! And I'm heading there this weekend!

From sunbathing to splashing in the surf to grabbing dinner at your favorite pizza place (ahem-- Mack & Manco!), all you need is a cute retro-style swim suit, a breezy white skirt and simple, beachy accessories to go from a day at the beach to an evening on the boardwalk. And don't forget a lightweight sweater in case the evening breeze gets a little chilly.

what-to-wear-day-at-the-beach copy
Swimsuit from Delia*s | Sandy Beach handstamped sterling earrings by Tidepools Jewelry | Shae Cocoon Cardigan from South Moon Under
| QT Canvas Tote in Purple by Kinies | White Cotton Ruffle Skirt by Janny's Girl | Vintage Gold Nautical Sandals from Sweet Clothes of Mine

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Giveaway from The Etsy Beagles Team

win-this-ultimate-doggie-brownies-by-ciao-hound copy

I'm a proud member of the Etsy Beagles Team, and we* just completed our summer challenge. Check out our blog to see everyone's "Lazy Days of Summer" entries, vote for your favorite, and get entered to win these yummy doggie brownies from Ciao Hound. I've ordered from Shari, of Ciao Hound, in the past and her dog treats have the Stella and Lucy paw stamp of approval. Your precious puppy won't be disappointed!

Go vote now!

*By "we" I mean the other team members. I was unable to participate in this challenge because I'm working on some other endeavors behind the scenes.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cool collaborations :: Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for Madewell

Ever since Target started their GO International collections, collaborating with emerging designers, I've noticed a pretty cool trend of more high-profile chain stores getting together with emerging and indie artists and designers.

And so, I thought it would be another fun thing to highlight these cool collaborations in my blog (new column alert!). Since my goal combines supporting handmade and local, as well as indie and emerging, I think it fits. Even more, I realize it's not always possible for everyone to buy everything local or handmade, so here's a way you can shop the chain stores but still support those fabulous indie and emerging designers.

First up, Madewell and Lizzie Fortunato Jewels:

cool-collaborations-madewell-lizzie-fortunata-jewels copy
Clockwise from top left: Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for Madewell pendant necklace | Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for Madewell braided chain bracelet | Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for Madewell madras & chains necklace | Lizzie Fortunato Jewels for Madewell denim bouquet necklace

About Lizzie Fortunato Jewels - Run by sisters Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, Lizzie Fortunato Jewels are high-end designs made from reclaimed, upcycled and recycled fabric, chains and other components. Read more here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

freshly picked :: Endo

For the outdoorsy (or the outdoorsy wannabe) guy in your life- Endo's smart graphic t-shirts that pay (slightly irreverent)homage to outdoor sports and the people who love them.
endo-screenprinted-t-shirtsClockwise from top left: The Giant Half Bike One | The iPedal One | The Bunch of Sports One | The Hiking Boarding Climbing Skiing One, all by Endo

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Good stuff :: 4th of July Picnic

The makings of a perfect 4th of July picnic? A vintage basket and handmade wine stave, spices, eco-friendly bags, and of course, a cute dress.

Have a safe, happy and handmade 4th of July!

4th-of-July-Picnic, Etsy finds
1- Fresh Apples Eco Reusable Sandwich Bag by GoEco | 2- Wine Stave Basket by Wine Cask Creations | 3- The Grill Guru BBQ Blends by Purpose Design | 4- Urban Picnic Roll-up by Nstar Studio | 5- Vintage Picnic Basket Set from Gramma Mac
| 6- Bouquet Custom Made-to-Order Dress by La Madeleine

Friday, July 2, 2010

TGIF link roundup :: cool things going on around town and on the web

It's been a while since I've done a link roundup, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging more often again. So, here we are!

fireworksFade in Fade out fine art photograph by Ablaze

Is everyone ready for the long holiday weekend? I know I am. Mine got started a little early (unexpectedly) because my little Lucy beagle has a tummy virus. We were at the pet emergency clinic at 7 a.m. today. But, as you can see- or maybe you didn't notice, in which case, I'll point it out- I still managed to be productive today while simultaneously tending to the Beags and I made some small changes around here design-wise. In the left column, you'll now find frequent topics, an author bio with a pic of my shining little face and a share the love blog banner (feel free to use it!). In the right column, you'll now find my stay connected icons where you can hook up with The Blooming Wildflowers Project on Twitter and Facebook.

And now, let's get on with our link roundup,shall we?

On the web
Do you love color? Or are you a little intimidated by it and its infinite possibilities? Either way, check out Brandi's How to be a Color Rockstar e-class.

Want to quit your day job to pursue your passion? B.B. Bellezza shared 11 Lessons Learned from Leaving my Day Job.

Scoutie Girl posted about Our Disposable Culture (and how we can fix that). I'm loving this post because it fits my blog's mission and my personal goals exactly.

And lastly, Megan at Crafting an MBA has a great post about How to use Etsy as a launch pad. I piggy-backed off of this post and posted about my own plans over at Moxie/Grace.

Around town- Lancaster, Pa.
It's First Friday and it's a beautiful evening in the city (the past few days have really reminded me of the perfect weather in Southern California). I'm getting ready to head out to the festivities soon.

Happy Friday, everyone!

freshly picked :: Lin Designs

I'm loving the colorful, vintage-inspired gemstone jewelry in Lin Designs' shop. The bright pretty colors and easy-to-wear styles are perfect for summer.

freshly-picked-lin-designs copy

Lilac Lucite, Silver Flower and Crystals Necklace | Red and White Flower Snowflake Earrings | Pink Owl Necklace | Ocean Blue Earrings

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

what to wear :: garden wedding

June means wedding season, and if you're anything like me you probably have a few invitations stuck to your fridge. And of course, so many summer weddings take place outside in gardens or other grassy areas. So, what to wear to stay cool, look appropriate and not sink into the grass? (Hint: not stilettos.)

what to wear to a garden wedding, orchid grey dress, handmade, indie

Orchid Grey Dress, ModCloth | Roaming Frills Cardigan, Anthropologie | Gold and Vintage Crystal Earrings by Happy Max Designs | Taupe Snakeprint Pochette Clutch by Morelle | Vintage Charms Bracelet by Marie Fly fly | Seychelles "Liz" Wedges, Piperlime

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy National Flip Flop Day!

It's National Flip Flop Day! And every year in honor of the day, Tropical Smoothie Cafe (a franchise with locations owned by local business people*) joins with Camp Sunshine, a camp that supports children with life-threatening illnesses, to raise money to send families to the camp. To help raise awareness, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is giving away free smoothies today to customers who wear flip flops to the restaurant.

And of course, there are a lots of Etsy and indie finds featuring this beloved summer footwear:
handmade items featuring flip flops, national flip flop day

1- Summer Flip Flops on a Clothes Line by Studio Lara
2 - Agency sandals from Ruche
3 - Tropical Flip Flops Pendant by Tiny Shinys
4 - Flip Flops bracelet by Angela Moore
5 - Outdoor pillows by This Little Home
6 - Summertime Fun Patchwork Tote by Quilting Diva

*Lancaster, Pa., peeps, we've got our very own Tropical Smoothie Cafe right downtown. It's located at 15 East King Street, right down from Penn Square. For those of you outside of the city, there's one on the Lititz Pike in Bloomfield Square Shopping Center.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Target + The Yumi Yumi Shop

I've always been a fan of The Yumi Yumi Shop, so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a Target (yes, Target!) t-shirt with licensed art from this shop! And no worries, everyone, Target didn't rip off this artist - her name is printed on the inside of the t-shirt and she posted about it on her blog. It's nice to see a big box helping out an indie gal, don't you think?

target t-shirt with yumi yumi art, floral burnout t-shirt
Target t-shirt | Little Sparrows by The Yumi Yumi Shop

(PS - See how I styled the t-shirt (yes, I bought it) here, my new(est) fashion and style blog, Moxie Grace. I'll save the explanation for that for another day.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My jewelry shop :: the shape of things to come

Since I mentioned earlier that I'm closing up shop in my current store, I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of what's coming sometime in the future.

I may have discussed my obsession with artisan lampwork beads once or twice around here. And I've been busy hatching a new line where these little works of art are the star of the show. The only problem is I've ended up keeping everything I've made so far for myself (or I've given it away as a gift). So for now, I can only offer you the pictures below, but hopefully soon, I'll actually be selling these babies (or something similar).

handmade artisan lampwork jewelry, necklace, bracelets, earrings by Moxie Grace

PS- Did any Lost fans catch my episode title reference in the blog post title? I'm a geek, and I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Color love :: pink and brown

I'll admit, I haven't given much thought to this color combo in quite a while. It was my favorite about six or seven years ago until it became all the rage, and then it just seemed like too much. Too much sugary pink. Too much syrupy brown. Kind of like how the first chocolate covered strawberry is a divine slice of heaven but the 10th one makes you regret consuming six through nine. Yeah. It's exactly like that.

But anyway, right now I'm designing bridesmaid jewelry for a pink and brown wedding, and that's sort of forced me to look at this sweet combination with fresh eyes. And you know what? If you want to feel like a girlie-girl, even if it's not your usual style and even if it's for just one evening, there is no better color combination than pink and brown to make you feel oh, so pretty.

color-love-pink-and-brown copy
Left side, top to bottom: Vintage Pink Carnations Necklace by Bethtastic | Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Dress from ModCloth
Right side, top to bottom: Singing Bird Gift Tags by Seasonal Delights | Embroidered Silk Blooms Luxury Clutch Purse by Red Ruby Rose | Soft Skies Fine Art Photograph Print by Monko Photography

Monday, June 7, 2010

freshly picked :: JooJoo Land

One click into this shop and you'll feel like you've entered...well, JooJoo Land - a magical fantasy land filled with jewelry in soft pastel shades and nature-meets-Wonderland shapes, all photographed in a serene, and sometimes nearly surreal, photography style.

freshly picked find, joojoo land handmade jewelry
Top row, left to right: I Love Paris Earrings | Butterfly Garden Necklace
Bottom row, left to right: Water Lily Pond Locket | Golden Garden Earrings

Monday, May 31, 2010

color love :: red, white and blue

What better color combo for Memorial Day weekend than the patriot trio of red, white and blue?

color-love-red-white-and-blue copy
Top row: 1- Berry Cheesecake Necklace by Catie's Blue | 2- Red with Flowers Clutch Purse by Tulip Couture
Middle row: 3- Mute Navigator Blouse by Amoel Barroco | 4- Red, White and Blue Bracelet by Bijoux Mimi
Bottom row: 5- Kilauea Lighthouse Fine Art Photograph by Livvielane Photography | 6- MacIntosh Dress in Red from Spool No. 72

Memorial Day Remembrance

To all those who have lost their lives while fighting for our freedom and to all of you who continue to serve our country - Thank you. I wish you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Star Spangled Banner Watercolor painting by Cindy's Art and Cards
The Star Spangled Banner original watercolor painting by Cindy's Art and Cards

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I've been up to

Hi, everyone! During my mini-hiatus, I've been extremely busy with final projects for grad school. I thought I'd share with you a small piece of what's been keeping me busy.

handmade, upcycled, vintage necklace

I designed this necklace as a prototype for my Trend Analysis & Product Development class and it's representative of the plan for a full line of jewelry I developed (for this class). Fortunately, I did not have to produce a full collection, although that would have been great fun!

But, this necklace is just a small piece of the work. I conducted trend forecasting and market research before determining my product line and now I need to create a business and marketing proposal that I could present to industry professionals who might be interested in buying or promoting the line. This is a fully branded product line (I created tags, a logo, etc.) and follows the real world process as closely as possible. It's been a fun journey!

Your feedback would be appreciated, as I still have time to include it in my presentation!

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm also working on an e-commerce business plan for another class and a fashion history project for another class?

I'll be back to blogging regularly in a few weeks when this is all over and I can breathe again. Happy May!

In unrelated news - We picked out a stone for the engagement ring! After meeting with our jeweler and deciding that aquamarine would be too fragile for someone like me to have as an every day ring, we looked at blue diamonds and purple sapphires. I went with a round, 1 carat, sparkling blue diamond that's the color of the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla. Check the picture below from our recent vacation- that deep blue-green color? Yeah, it's like that. And it's perfect! But now I'm not allowed to see or hear of it until D gets the ring back from the jeweler.

the pacific ocean in la jolla

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's quiet around here (And California vacation - day 4 pictures)

I know I've been posting a little less in the past two weeks, but grad school is seriously kicking my booty. I'm heading into finalizing final projects mode for three classes (three grad school classes, people, plus my day job- that's a lot when you work full-time) and I just simply haven't had the time to devote to the blog because of it. But, I wanted to pop in and let you know I'm still here. I'm just taking a little breather for the next few weeks so I can wrap up my semester.

I'll be back in full swing in May since I'm not taking classes over the summer. I'm just getting my midpoint review proposal and presentation ready so I can present it to the board and move into my thesis work in the fall. Hahaha...I said "I'm just" doing that as if it's going to take me a few minutes to complete. Yeah. So, I'll be busy then, too, but probably not as busy as I am now.

To pass the time, check out day 4 of our California vacation pictures on Flickr (only three more days to go!). Here's one from the square in Coronado, where we spent the day. (I seriously love Coronado.)

clock in coronado california

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

good stuff :: aquamarine rings

D and I started engagement ring shopping this weekend and I found myself bored with the standard diamond rings. I want something different, preferably in a pale, watery blue-green (sort of like the color of the ocean just before it meets the shore). And of course, I want to buy it from a local jeweler or an Etsy seller, rather than a chain store.

After perusing around on Etsy this weekend, I became (even more) obsessed with aquamarine.* There were so many good finds, I thought they deserved their very own "Good Stuff" blog post. Not all of these fall under the engagement ring category (go ahead and guess which one I want as an e-ring -- hint, hint: it's in the bottom left corner), but they sure are pretty.

handmade aquamarine rings
Top row, left to right: Aquamarine Cushion Cut 14K Rose Gold Ring by One Garnet Girl Designs | The Cloudburst Aquamarine Quartz Ring by Lush Boutique
Middle row, left to right: Beryl Aquamarine Cluster Ring by Shop Shrew | Faceted Aquamarine Cabachon Ring by Janish Jewels
Bottom row, left to right: Santa Maria Blue Aquamarine Ring by Master Gold Craft | Aqua Ice Recycled Sterling Silver Ring by Future Tribe

*I'm a little concerned with choosing a stone like aquamarine (or similar stones like blue topaz or blue zircon) as an engagement ring because they may not be durable enough for every day wear (and tear). Any jewelers want to chime in and help me out here?

Friday, April 9, 2010

california vacation :: day 3

Sorry for the delay in posting more vacation pictures. I've been busy with grad school and another project that I can't quite mention yet, which may or may not pan out, so maybe I'll be able to tell you about it soon (or not). How's that for vague and ambiguous?. But anyway, here are some picture from day three of our vacation. We spent most of the day at various beaches, including La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay Park and Del Mar. It was pupping season in La Jolla, so there were tons of seals on the beach. So cute! Glad I had a long lens!

waves at la jolla cove
the pacific ocean
mommy and pup seal at la jolla cove
baby seal in la jolla
la jolla
del mar
del mar

Check out the rest of our California vacation day 3 pics on Flickr.

freshly picked :: erica leilani upcycled vintage jewelry

I love upcycled anything, but I especially love upcycled jewelry. And designer, Erica Leilani makes some absolutely beautiful handmade jewelry using vintage flowers and crystals. There's so much loveliness in her shop, I can't decide which piece is my favorite.
erica leilani designs, handmade upcycled jewelry
Top row: Greta Earrings in powder blue | Greta Earrings in mint
Bottom row: Clara Earrings | Mae 3-Strand Bracelet

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

color love :: peach and hot pink

This color combination just shouts "spring" to me and I'm loving it. Maybe I love it because so many flowers grow in these colors or because it reminds me of eating delicious peach and strawberry sorbet on warm spring day, but whatever the reason, peach, hot pink and I are having a moment.

Sherbet Hairpin Set by Hot Pink Chick | 60s Hollywood Regency Vintage Lantern from Fabulous Mess
Betsy Johnson Iona Dress from Modcloth | Victorian Rose Necklace by Jewellori | That was just a Dream Photograph by Zuppa Artista
Daisy Hot Pink Chalcedony Earrings by Made by Sam | Cotton Washcloth Set by Madd Crocheter

Friday, April 2, 2010

california indie shopping highlights :: Shop Annmarie and Muttropolis

One of my favorite things about traveling (other than spending time outside) is checking out all the great indie boutiques in other cities. And San Diego definitely has some good ones. Here are two of my favorites:

Shop Annmarie
I stumbled upon Shop Annmarie while strolling through Del Mar, a relaxed beach town just north of San Diego. Dave was hungry for pizza, so while he waited for his pesto pizza, I popped next door into this jewel of a shop. It's the perfect blend of beachy and sophisticated, with beautiful jewelry made by the shop owner, Ann Marie D'Ecrole and a great selection of clothing and accessories in a range of price points. And the shop manager was so friendly and helpful.

I could have stayed there for hours and done some serious damage to my budget, but fortunately Dave finished his pizza and came looking for me. But not before I snapped up a minty green dress and a satiny olive jacket from Los Angeles-based indie label, Theme.

Inside the boutique
inside Shop Annmarie D'Ecrole in Del Mar
photos from ShopAnnmarie.com

Brick and mortar location:
207 15th Street Suite B
Del Mar, California 92014

If you want to spoil your furkids, definitely stop in at Muttropolis. We visited the La Jolla location (Muttropolis also has outposts in Solana Beach and Newport Beach). Again, another super friendly employee helped us with our purchases (which were numerous)- Thing 1 and Thing 2 got a variety of toys, clothes, treats and this dog bed. My dogs are spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!

Muttropolis even has fun events for dogs and their owners. The day we visited they were holding a Puggle/Beagle/Pug Meetup in the evening. It made me sad my little Lucy Beagle missed out on it! Maybe next time...

Outside the La Jolla location and the new dog bed
muttropolis la jolla location and dog bed
photos from Muttropolis.com

La Jolla location:
Downtown La Jolla
7755 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Thursday, April 1, 2010

what to wear :: sunday brunch

What are your plans for this weekend? Maybe a Sunday (or Easter) brunch? I always take brunch as an opportunity to wear a fun dress and stand-out shoes. And while we're having fun, why not just pile on a stack of handmade silver bracelets and hammered silver hoop earrings? And don't forget the colorful bag.

what to wear to sunday brunch

Art Academy Dress from Ruche
Glass Ceiling Blazer from Modcloth
Emerald Green Leather Frilly Bag by The Leather Store
Grayson Shoes in black from Nine West
Silver Hammered Hoop Earrings by 2 Trick Pony
Left: The Bangle Sterling Silver Handforged Bracelet by Sea Babe Jewelry
Right, top to bottom: Faceted Sterling Silver Wrap Style Bracelet by Rowdy-Wear
Just Peachy Boro and Argentinium Silver Bracelet by Jewelwing Designs
Twin Curve Cuff by C.G. Whitfield

california vacation :: day 2

Continuing the vacation picture posts - here's day 2. We spent the day mostly in downtown San Diego, touring the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier (where, apparently, you can book events on the flight deck since they were setting up a stage, bars and tiki decorations while we were there) and hanging out in Balboa Park and its many museums (which many, unfortunately, do not allow picture taking inside, so just a lot of outdoor shots here). But the museums are fabulous and Balboa Park is beautiful. If you're ever in San Diego, you must go there! We also stopped by Shelter Island and Mission Bay Park for some photo ops.

USS Midway
outside the USS Midway in San Diego
uss midway in san diego
uss midway

Balboa Park
bustform in balboa park
outdoor theatre in balboa park
balboa park
fountain in balboa park
balboa park

Shelter Island and Mission Bay Park
san diego skyline
san diego
me in mission bay park

And, lastly...Dave's favorite part of the trip.
red mustang convertible

Yep, he upgraded our rental to a red Mustang convertible.

Check out the rest of our California vacation day 2 pics on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

good stuff :: sushi

There are two things I must eat (preferably more than once) when I visit California*: sushi and tacos. I don't even try tacos here in PA. That would be as ridiculous as eating Pennsylvania Dutch-style chicken pot pie while in California. Utter silliness. And the sushi here? It's really good. Until you've had it in California. And that takes it to a whole new level of yummy sushi-ness.

handmade sushi jewelry, cell phone case, artwork
Left, top to bottom: Sushi Magnets by Clayworks by Kim Detmers | California Sushi Rolls Original Watercolor
Right, top to bottom: Sushi Bento Box Cellphone Case by CB Sew | Bento 1 Print of Original Collage by Crystal Smith | I HEART SUSHI Bracelet by Insane Jellyfish Designs

*Forgive me for still being stuck in a California state of mind. Even though, that's pretty much my perpetual state, I'm in overdrive this week since I just came back from that little slice of paradise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

california vacation :: day 1

Wow. I took way more pictures than I thought I did (over 1000!) and the editing and uploading process might take me weeks! So, instead of waiting until I have everything uploaded, I decided I'm going to post several rounds of pictures on my blog. Today, I bring you, "California Vacation- Day 1," where we went to the The Flower Fields in Carlsbad and hiked around Torrey Pines State Reserve & Beach. All pictures by me (except the ones of me; those are by Dave). I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

PS- I do have some indie shopping highlights that I'll post later this week, too.

The Flower Fields
daisies at the flower fields
pink and red roses at the flower fields
the flower fields
the flower fields

Torrey Pines State Reserve & Beach
lifeguard station at Torrey Pines State Beach
steps to the beach
hiking in torrey pines state reserve

Check out the rest of our day 1 pictures here.

All layouts and designs by J. Christine Kissinger, author of Blooming Wildflowers.