Category Archives: personal

product photography 101

dabble-product-photo-1

This past weekend, I snuck away from my work to take another (I can’t get enough!!) great Dabble course, beginning product photography taught by the awesome photographer, Erika DuFour. The class consisted mostly of entrepreneurs seeking tips on photographing their items for Etsy, Ebay, etc. It was so great to meet these talented people and discover new shops (more on that later!), it’s so encouraging to see the ever growing entrepreneurial scene in Chicago, especially those selling really cute handmade items. By the way, the lovely floral arrangements I went nuts taking pictures of are by Cindy Schwartz. I couldn’t get enough of those flowers!

Erika was a great teacher, she made the whole process seem so accessible despite our using some high-tech, expensive equipment, she was very adamant about using what we have at home and improvising to get quality photos which was really refreshing, she didn’t once try to sell us on any high-end products. This experience also cemented in my mind the importance of professional photographers, they are worth every single penny people!

My favorite part of the whole process? Erika’s awesome studio! I’d love to go back someday and take more pictures of that space, it was that great.

dabble-product-photo-2

Thanks again Dabble and Erika for such a wonderful class! Stay tuned, my next post will include the studio photos I snapped. Happy Monday!

plant lady, here

planters

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Here’s one from the “duh, everyone knew that, what took you so long to figure it out?” department, but hey plants sure do transform a home, don’t they? My husband and I went nuts the other day and brought home some plants. I cannot believe how nice it is to be surrounded by these green beauties, our living room smells great and I have someone to talk to when I’ve been staring at this screen nonstop and gone a bit loopy.

Of course, when you purchase plants, they come in ugly, generic pots so I’ve been on the hunt for pretty planters. Naturally, my first stop was Etsy and I found myself bookmarking a ton of real cute finds. Do you guys have any shops you’d like to recommend, I’m actually pretty excited about filling my home with unique, handmade planters.

cupcake decorating

cupcakes

This past Wednesday, Dabble held a special event featuring two awesome classes back to back, the first being cupcake decorating. I gotta admit, I was really terrible at the decorating part, a girl mentioned her fondant rose looking more like a succulent than a rose, well, mine didn’t even resemble a plant of any sort. Ha! Nevertheless, the class was super-duper fun and the cupcakes, which our teacher Meg lovingly made, were pretty damn delicious.

dabble-cupcakes

I have so much respect for all you bakers and pastry gurus, Cake Boss makes it look so easy (ok, not really), but boy, decorating those yummy treats is not easy. I’m glad that I make up for my lack of cupcake artistry by being a champ at eating ’em. Yep, I’m pretty tough to beat in that department.

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Oh and by the way, this class was held at Dabble’s new headquarters, a lovely office space in Enerspace Chicago, just look at all that lovely light and ample space! Congrats Dabble peeps, you guys rule! xo

winter

winter-roundup

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Here’s the thing, I love winter, I mean I reeeally love wintertime. You know all those talks of the wintertime blues and how to combat them, well, they don’t apply to me because I seem to be most inspired during this season. This is normally the time I’m inspired to stay home and try new recipes, the time I realize I need to get serious about a workout plan (desperately), the time I get serious about learning new skills, you get the picture. This isn’t to say that I’m a lazy, unhappy bum during the spring and summertime, I just really love winter and I thought the world should know.

calligraphy

dabble-calligraphy

Last night I had the chance to attend a calligraphy class hosted by Dabble and held at this charming little coffee spot. Our teacher Meg, who is sweet as pie, gave us some guidance and tips and then let us loose with our pens and paper in tow, as you can see from the photos above, we took our lettering very seriously.

Taking this class made me realize how much I miss using pen and paper, as a kid, I used to love buying loads of cute stationery and writing notes to all my friends. So, I’m adding something to my 2013 goals, practice more handwriting, even if that means using my new calligraphy skills on a simple grocery list.

fair isle work in progress

fair-isle

I’m really excited to show you the progress of my very first fair isle knitting project. It’s pretty exhilarating to see the colors and pattern come together. I apologize for the crappy pictures, I had to use my phone to take these as my “real” camera is currently keeping a friend of mine company on his trip to South America. I do kinda dig the messiness of these images though, as that is how this project feels, a bit messy with yarn all over the place.

kinfolk by birchhouse

kinfolk-birchhouse

images by birchhouse

Back in November, I mentioned attending the Kinfolk satellite dinner in Chicago with Anni and am so pleased that the talented photographers behind birchhouse have posted the lovely pictures they took of that night as they captured the magic pretty damn well.

Birchhouse, I love, love, love your work, I’m excited that you have a Chicago connection! Also, someone please, hurry up and host another Kinfolk satellite dinner because I’m itching for another night of good eatin’ drinkin’ and hanging with awesome people, especially my girl, Anni.

seed cowl

seed-cowl

Finished this ridiculously easy cowl a few days back and just got around to snapping a few pictures. I’ll admit, when I first purchased this yarn, I thought it’d be predominantly black, as the knitting progressed I realized the green was definitely the most prominent color. Not what I expected but I still love it.

Gathering inspiration for my next project — gloves, most likely fingerless gloves. Slowly but surely I’m working towards someday knitting a sweater but one thing at a time.

it’s here

happy-2013

In 2012 I saw my first year of wedded bliss, I took on some freelance work that led me to some lovely and talented people, learned how to knit, started collaborating with Anni and Dabble, was featured on The Everygirl, did a few guest posts on Breanna’s blog and met some amazing Chicago creatives.  2012, you were good to me.

In 2013 I hope to advance my career (I should probably start by working on my portfolio), knit a sweater or two, take on a complete weaving project, take a lot more pictures, work on more projects with Anni, do more yoga and connect with more Chicago bloggers/creatives.

What do you hope for in 2013? Happy, happy new year to you all!

ben fiess at iko iko

ben-fiess

ben fiess ceramics via iko iko shop

While we are on the subject, Santa, if you do in fact read my blog, I wouldn’t mind these babies under my tree as well. Got it? Good.