Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inspired By: Books

On a cold gray day like today, all I want to do is curl up by a window with a pile of blankets, a cup of tea and read a book or two in the gloomy light. 

Whilst thinking longingly of the pile of reads next to my bed, I put together a little inspiration board about books and reading. 


"The first thing reading teaches us is how to be alone." - Jonathan Franzen

In college, I used to underline sentences that struck me, that made me look up from the page. They were not necessarily the same sentences the professors pointed out, which would turn up for further explication on an exam. I noted them for their clarity, their rhythm, their beauty and their enchantment. For surely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.
Jhumpa Lahiri, My Life’s Sentences

"If you think reading is boring, you're doing it wrong." -unknown

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”  Lemony Snicket

Read anything good lately?

(1)/(2)/(3)/(4)/(5)/(6)/(7) (8)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweetest Words

This is a letter from Ronald Reagan to his wife Nancy on their 20th anniversary:

Isn't that just the loveliest thing you've ever read? There is nothing more endearing than a handwritten letter.

Have a lovely day my dears! I challenge you to sit down and write someone a letter this weekend. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Almost Halloweeeeen....

I’m sitting outside on my lunch break on this unseasonably warm day and thinking thoughts of Halloween. The wind has picked up and is blowing heaps of dried leaves across the sidewalk.  Were it gloomy and cold, the sound of them skittering across the pavement would be appropriately creepy.

In the past I was never too jazzed about this holiday, mainly because I don’t enjoy being scared (and I don’t actually believe in goblins and witches and whatnot). When I was a child, I always went trick-or-treating in costume with my siblings, but I didn’t necessarily look forward to it with the anticipation of say, Thanksgiving or my birthday.  In college, I worked the night shift at my job for this holiday specifically so I could watch the parade of poor life choices walk by the front desk as my fellow students came and went from their various all hallows shenanigans. Nothing was more amusing fascinating than a seeing group of scantily-clad “Fanta Girls” leave all excited, talking loudly of how awesome their night was going to be, only to return 6 hours later, bedraggled and disappointed, and more than a little drunk.

That sounds so judgmental. Don’t worry, I’ve mellowed.

Anyway, I’ve come to appreciate it in recent years. If only because I enjoy any excuse to get together with friends.  Also, it happens at a perfect time. Summer is long over and we haven’t quite reached the beginning of the holidays. And I’m never going to say no to free candy. Well, unless it’s being offered to me by a sketchy man in an unmarked van. Then no, sir, I do not want your candy or your kidnappings.

Last year was possibly the best Halloween on record. I attended a little get together in eastern PA and it was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, despite getting snowed in (!!!) on Saturday. We carved pumpkins, wore hilarious costumes, had amazing food, played games, and pretty much laughed our faces off. Since I don’t live on the East Coast at the moment, sadly that particular gathering is too far for me to attend this year.

However, I’m hoping for a similarly awesome good time this coming weekend at a get together down at my alma mater.  It’s a great group of people so I’m sure it will be. My costume is still coming together (it’s a themed number with my brother) but I’m not sure anything can top last year’s dinosaur costume. I mean, it was basically an adult onesie with a tail. Comfortable AND functional. I’d totally wear it again, but it is currently languishing in a closet in Massachusetts, out of my reach.

In the spirit of a Halloween, here are a few of my favorite things in that vein:

+ Taste: the themed baking possibilities are endless: candy witches' brooms! gummies shaped like body parts! Popcorn balls (used to love these as a kid)! Cupcakes decorated like mummies!

+ Touch: there are approximately 40 million crafts you can do with a pumpkin. If carving a toothy grin isn’t your style, you can paint cool designs on them, cut out fun shapes for a rad effect when lit, or my personal favorite, put fangs in them:

+ Smell: my favorite Halloween-y scents: caramel, hot apple cider, and of course bonfire

+ See :
            -Read: Bunnicula, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and anything by
             Edgar Allen Poe
-Watch : Hocus Pocus (obviously), Casper, The Witches, The Addams Family, and pretty much anything ever made by Tim Burton, but Frankenweenie in particular.
-Little kids in costume. Seriously there is nothing cuter. Except for maybe that cat with bat wings at the top of this post.

+ Hear
-the scratching of branches on the windows during a windy night

-creaky wooden floors
-a dog barking on a far away street
-a cat purring
-the hiss and crackle of a fire
-the hollow thunk of a jack-o-lantern when you've gotten all the seeds out

-currently the Coraline soundtrack is on repeat in my office (which is also an appropriately spooky movie if you’re interested)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday my dears! 

Sorry, not much happened on the old blog this week.  Every night when I got home, the siren call of my comfortable bed was too strong to resist.  

But anyway. I’m really excited about this weekend. I’m going down to Indianapolis for a completely stereotypical and cliché girls weekend with friends. I mean, we probably won’t braid each other’s hair and talk about boys, but we will definitely drink lots of tea and go shopping and maybe even knit a sweater or two. Ok probably not the knitting. But I will let you know.

To make up for my lack of attention to you, here are some links I enjoyed this week:

+ I’m trying to think of a clever Halloween costume for the get together I’ll be attending next weekend. The best thing I've seen so far is this cloud costume. But making a me-sized version would take way more time and material than I’m willing to put into it. Plus I would probably end up looking like an elephant-sized dust bunny and not fluffy & adorable like the girl in the picture.

+ One of my new favorite websites is The Jealous Curator. If you like the weird and wonderful world of art and design, you should check it out. I discovered the art in last week’s WW post on embroidered photographs on The Jealous Curator.  To get you started, take a look at this post on the awesome photographic installations of Rune Guneriussen

+ A recipe for three-layer peanut butter pie. Um hashtag, not for dieting. (via You Are My Fav)

+ I'm a huge fan of the paint job in this room. Half color walls, even over the trim and the door? It's madness and I love it! 

+ All you Instagram-ers out there, I know you love the shots you take (otherwise, you wouldn't be filling up my Facebook and Twitter feeds, right?). Did you know there are some fun things you can do to display your favorite filtered images outside of the internet? Make magnets, or photo strips, or my personal favorite, mini canvases.

+ And as always, a song for you:  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Weekend

Hooray, hooray the weekend is here again! Tonight my cousin Jami comes into town and I'm excited to spend the next couple of days catching up, shopping, and hitting up the local chocolate factory with her. Do you have anything exciting going on?

+ Nerdy 90s kid flashback of the week: If Pokemon were drawn by Tim Burton

+ Loving all things bamboo for the kitchen. How about a brightly colored tray for your kitchen table?

+ Beautiful wool and leather scarves on Etsy. Inspiration for learning to sew...

+ Tweets from an Honest Toddler. So so hilarious. (Thanks for the #FF tip, Amy!)

+ A new song from A Fine Frenzy (currently free on iTunes this week only!)

+ A sharp and witty short story: The Big Nap. This ain't your grandma's playground.

Ok, you crazy kids. Go out and play and I'll see you next week, alright?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Ok I'm totally cheating by using words, but I'm just bursting to show you these amazing embroidered photographs by Maria Aparicio and friends. The pictures by themselves are wonderful but the thread just adds a whole new flavor that I'm really digging. I would love to have a wall full of her prints.

All images found on her flickr (and loads more, go have a look!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hot off the Press

We've reached that small lull between the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday season. It's that sort of confusing time when you need a sweater in the morning but it's too hot for one by the afternoon.  I'm not quite ready to give up watermelon and corn on the cob but I'm also very much in the mood for hot chocolate and pumpkin-flavored everything.  I used to think this was rather a dull time of year but there is plenty out there to keep us busy in the interim. October has just begun and so far, it's been one big parade of shiny new things. For example:


Dance and sing! Zara Home has finally come to the U.S., online! All those lovely linens and dinnerware that I looked longingly at on a trip to the Passy Plaza in Paris, I can now look longingly at from the comfort of my own home. I'm already obsessed with this tea pot.  Someday I'll have a house. Someday...


sated magazine releases their second issue this month. I finally got around to ordering the first issue, which is dedicated to maybe the best thing in the whole entire world, dark chocolate. I can't wait to try the ridiculously decadent recipe for Earl Grey Dark Chocolate CupcakesSwoon.


J.K. Rowling's new book The Casual Vacancy is out now. IknowIknow it's not going to be like the Harry Potter series (not even one single house elf reference, quel dommage) but she's such a brilliant story teller, I'm eager to see what else she can do. Has anyone read it yet? Dare I ask...did you like it?


I love Target more than a person should love a store but I can't help it. Target is the peanut butter to my jelly. Specifically when I need to make a sandwich and I've run out. They have everything I need and want in my life. Ever since they've been doing limited edition designer collaborations, they've been even more my favorite thing ever. This month they will release details of their biggest collection yet: a collaboration with Neiman Marcus aaaaand TWENTY-FOUR amazing designers, including (but definitely not limited to) Diane von Furstenburg, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, and Marc Jacobs. It launches December 1. It will be absolute madness. And I can't wait.


Ok, the iPhone 5 just came out (oh the feeding frenzy!) but that's not all Apple's got cooking lately.  They have not officially confirmed it, but there's talk of an iPad Mini debuting just in time for the holidays. Personally I think it's ridiculous, since if you want a smaller iPad, why not buy an iPhone, or an iTouch? But then again, I never saw the point of the iPad in the first place so I'm not one to make that call.  It just seems so unnecessary. What do you think about it? 

The long-awaited Mumford and Sons sophomore album, Babel, was released last week.  

Every time I listen to it, I want to grow a beard, put on a flannel shirt and march purposefully through an open field, banjo in hand, gustily singing about being a hopeless wanderer.  "Don't hold a glass over the flame, don't let your heart grow cold, I will call you by name, I will share your road." I HEAR YOU, MARCUS MUMFORD. You just keep weaving that magical tapestry of song. We will nod and sway right along around the bonfire.

So...any new things tickling your fancy these days? 
No seriously I'm asking a question. And I took off the word-verification on my comment box so you actually have no excuse not to answer.

Image Sources:
(1) Vernon tea pot / (2) sated magazine / (3) The Casual Vacancy / (4) Target / (5) Apple logo / (6) Babel cover

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Oh Friday evening, you beautiful creature....tonight is rainy and the thermometer has dipped below 40 but I'm snug inside, winding down after a pleasant evening hanging out with my brothers. Any thoughts of productivity flew out the window as I fought traffic for an hour coming home in the rain. With the vegans out of the house for the evening, we had pizza and laid around like slugs and it was totally awesome. I'm pretty sure tonight's choices undid all my healthy habits from this week but my sweatpants aren't judging me right now and neither should you.

This is my last free weekend for awhile so my goal is to get at least two of my projects finished. Sounds reasonable but if you know me at all, you know that's kind of ambitious. Purely because that would mean giving up one or two of my approximately eight weekend naps.

....I just love naps.

Anyway, in the vein of A Cup of Jo, here are a few links to keep you inspired this weekend:

+ For all you pumpkin lovers out there, Sarah Hearts rounded up eight of the best pumpkin recipes.

+ Though email and text messaging is much faster, you can still send a telegram for old time's sake, to anywhere in the world! This pleases me immensely. Someone will be getting one from me very soon. :)

+ Gorgeous sculptures made out of sea glass by Jonathan Fuller

+ One of my favorite Bon Iver songs. Warning: it may or may not cause you to gently weep.

+ 20 people you will meet in your 20s (via Rainy Saturday)

+ A yummy-looking, simple recipe for peanut butter & honey granola

So tell me, what are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Glimpses

I feel like I have a million and one projects going on right now and in true Ellie fashion, none of them are completely finished.  Aside from my attention span problem, I'm having so much fun creating and being inspired by other people's creations.

Since none of my projects are ready for a full blog post, here are some glimpses of the things I'm currently working on:

:: Editing pictures from a sunrise photoshoot last weekend

:: Building a nightstand with my dad 

:: Redoing the vintage dresser I got from Craigslist ages ago (seriously it is taking me forever)

:: Making chocolate lava cakes for a belated celebration of my mom's birthday

 :: And of course, the ongoing bedroom overhaul (both of the furniture projects are part of this)
(the display on top of my bookshelf)

(I have a grey and white striped body pillow acting as a headboard until I have the time to buy/make a real one.)

My priority is finishing the edits to the wedding photos, of course.  It's taking me awhile since it I'm still grappling with Photoshop.  I've never used the full-on creative suite version and I'll be the first to admit I'm in a little over my head.  But until I learn how to make action sets to batch-process photos, I'm just going to keep plodding along, one photo at a time.  In the meantime, if anyone's up for a few tutorials via Skype, I'm fully available! :)

So what have you been creating lately? Tell me all about it!

Hello October!

Hello friends,

How have you been lately? It feels like we haven't talked in forever! 

Well with a woosh and a bang, fall has settled around our ears. It snuck up so quickly this year, like one day the earth woke up, stretched, sneezed, and suddenly the leaves had burst into red and gold. And I am fully on board.

Between work, my photography, and a few projects at home, I have been lax in blog updates. But today is the beginning of No Excuses October! (not actually a thing, I just made it up, ok. for instance let's gloss over the fact that it's actually October 2nd, but whatever, no excuses.) To start this month off right, let's put on a little music, shall we? Here's an old favorite I dusted off just for you.

(Can we talk about how much I love this music video? I would make a synchronized fireworks show in my backyard in a heartbeat, if I wasn't 100% sure I would inadvertently lose a limb doing so.)

Hope you are having a lovely week, we'll speak again soon.



(lovely October illustration by Kelsey Garrity)

design + development by kiki and co. creative