Friday, July 24, 2009

The Evolution of Branding & The Psychology of Color

When I first started my business, I had this idea in my head that I had to have sleek, minimal branding, to be taken seriously as a designer. I was stuck on black and white and was insistent on using brands like Marc Jacobs for branding inspiration. See the Marc Jacobs, be the Marc Jacobs! So for 4 years, I went with the black and white thing, and wouldn't budge. People told me to try color, but of course I wouldn't listen, I'd just think to myself "Marc Jacobs". I even went out of my way to have a sleek website designed, which was mainly black. I thought, "Oh, so edgy and professional!". I was convinced I had my whole branding thing figured out and was good to go, ready for the big time. 


For some reason I refused to give any attention to color and the whole psychology behind color. But why? Why have I been SO resistant!? Everyone knows that human beings react to color emotionally, they are more captivated by color, and it even can trigger other senses and memories. All good things if your wanting to make an impression on someone when your branding! Color has a larger impact on us than we think. Even now when I see a certain shade of orange, I subconciously think of Etsy. It's totally involuntary at this point. So why not try to use color to your advantage? Oh! Here's a great article on the Psychology of Color by the way!

Here's the thing. When you WEAR color, your more approachable, appear more friendly, confident and outgoing. I'm pretty sure this would continue into branding and marketing as well. I feel like it's so clear to me now! I have developed an elegant but, cheeky, and whimsical style to my work, color is the perfect compliment to anything cheeky and whimsical...right? What's taken me so long to embrace color? The world may never know...but it's certainly time to change all that.

 Finally, in the last, hmmm, well I'd say, 6 months or so, I've opened my eyes. I've started shooting my product shots on a carefully chosen array of vibrant hues. I'm working on introducing color into my branding, into my Etsy shop in general, and into my packaging. Unfortunately, I'm not a graphic designer so all these things are gonna have to happen in baby steps, even though I'd like them to just remedy themselves when I snap my fingers...but it's coming along, slowly but surely. That said, I have totally felt that my switch over to color has been great for business thus far, especially on Etsy.

Anyway, here's one of my baby steps. I originally had these simple earring cards printed in black and white...snooze. I find them much more attractive with the color added to them now. I'm feeling the color vibes, and they feel mighty fine. Now, I just need to try to incorporate color throughout my branding and marketing attempts across the board...workin' on it people, I'm workin' on it!

So, how do you feel about my change over to the world of techni-colored earring cards? How do you feel about color? What colors make you feel warm and tingly inside? I'd love to know :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Exercise in Relaxation and Self Preservation...

There's absolutely nothing like the feeling of "home" you get when you can lay in bed, in the dark, and listen to your favorite song. For me, this is what my life is all about. Remembering who I am via some of my favorite music is my personal favorite way to relax and get centered when I'm feeling "me" starting to slip away in the madness of owning my own business, the rat race on Etsy, and the seemingly never ending piling up of bills. Sometimes I just need to escape to "my" place, where I feel untouchable and safe. This is how I get there...

Take a listen to one of my all time favorite songs, "For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti" by Sufjan Stevens. Enjoy :)

P.S.- Isn't this picture so fun? Took it the other day just for kicks, and ended up loving it. Holding onto the sun :)

How much is that Froggy in the window???

During a fierce thunderstorm not long ago, I was sitting in my basement, plugging away on my laptop. My basement has full sized windows that are dug out, kinda creating a huge "flower box" of sorts. Unfortunately, it more often traps small animals than it does flowers, and creates a bit of an observation for whoever is in the basement. Cool for me, not so much for the tiny trapped dudes I'm viewing though.

Anyway, as I sat in the basement, a flash of lightening caught my attention and I looked out the window...

When I looked, I was greeted by this little Froggy/Toad fellow, clinging to the bottom of the window. He looked to be in a desperate panic, although it could just be that I'm not really all that knowledgeable about Frog/Toad facial expressions. But his tiny toes were so cute that I couldn't help but grab my new macro lens and take some shots of the little man through my dirty window in the rain. After the storm I helped him out, although I'm sure he will inevitably jump back in. And when he does, I will be there, watching him. I think I'd like to name him Sampson.

It's really too bad that these window boxes only seem to trap frogs and moles...they would be far much more useful if they trapped...Gerard Butler perhaps?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Ode to Friends, Product Photography and Apple Jacks

Today's Lesson : It's good to have friends. It's even better to have friends who are fellow designers, photographers, and artisans, with whom you can identify with, commiserate with and from time to time help each other out professionally. This is my story about how I overcame a funky rainy day, and the temptation of syndicated TV, to aide in bettering the business of one of my best jewelry biz buddies...

Unfortunately, when I awoke this morning, the day was already dreary and saturated by rain. I really hate mornings like that, don't you?  Mostly because I can never get myself going and I inevitably watch My So-Called Life re-runs all day or listen to music while laying in the middle of the floor in my living room, avoiding the shower and the rest of the world. This morning however, I knew I had a lot to do, and I was on a schedule. No messing around. No funny business. No My So-Called Life or Jordan Catalano. I needed to just suck it up and get working! Well, that's all fine and good in theory, but all the willing in the world won't motivate me if I'm in the midst of a rainy morning funk...I need a little something more...

Luckily, my sister has been staying with me the past few days, and with her, came a lovely box of Apple Jacks, which I had been resisting since their arrival a few days prior. I looked at the Apple Jacks this morning and decided, TODAY was the day I NEEDED the Apple Jacks more than ever. I was Popeye, and those Apple Jacks, were my canned spinach! The perfect brain food to kick start my day. It also kicks my problem solving skills into gear as I must always eat the Green Jacks with only Green Jacks, and the Orange with the Orange, weird I know, but if you haven't already come to the conclusion that I'm a weird one, today might as well be the day. Anyway, I enjoyed a bowl of Apple Jacks and thankfully, the 67000g of sugar it provided was just the thing I needed to kick myself into gear!

First on my agenda was to do some product shots for my dear friend, Allison aka RockLove, whom you met in an earlier post. I offered to work on shooting some of her jewelry for her while she frantically preps for her participation in the Teen Choice Awards gifting suite! We're on a bit of a time crunch so I knew I had to do it fast, efficiently, beautifully, and keeping within her darker, edgier, steampunkier kinda style. Needless to say, it is a departure from my own cheeky whimsical style. The shots above are a sampling of what I came up with. You like?

I gotta say, I am loving my new Tamron 90mm Macro lens, after taking shots of RockLove Jewelry all morning with it and coming up with gorgeous results, it's made me want to go back and reshoot all my product photos! Gahhh! That will be a lot of photo's to take, I will need to block out a full rainy day for it, and 2 boxes of Apple Jacks! Anyway, I love the shots I ended up with for RockLove, and I hope you do too! Oh yes, by the way, all these images are unedited so please excuse any imperfections :)

In conclusion I'd like to say, never underestimate the power of your favorite sugar loaded kids cereal and friends. You never know, they just might save your day too :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Interpol & Inspiration

"If time is my vessel, then learning to love will be my way back to sea." -Interpol

I've loved the band Interpol for, well, a long, long time. There has always been something about their sound that could really stir things up inside me and help me to create, especially their first two albums. As I've said before, inspiration does not come easy for me, so when I find a bit of music, a movie or maybe even another designer who can manage to make me break out of my uninspired shell, I latch on.

Even though it's only mid- July, I am steadily preparing for what I hope will be a busy and successful Fall and Holiday Season. I'm working out new seasonal designs and tweaking new fall line concepts daily at this point. So much so, that I'm really itching for the crisp clean and nostalgic air that comes to NY every Fall. I will still enjoy the remainder of my summer, stocking up on sun and laughs, but I won't be sad to see the change of seasons.

For me, Fall and Interpol go hand in hand, but I'm not totally sure why that is. I think it has a little to do though with all of the crisp Autumn nights I spent on my rooftop terrace 40 stories above Manhattan, listening to Interpol on my trusty iPod, sketching, and taking in the city lights. I never tired of the view from that terrace, and anytime I think of it, and of Interpol, I miss my days in New York City more than ever. Maybe one day I will go back, but for now, I have work to do here in Saratoga Springs. I will be posting some pics from my NYC days soon, of my INCREDIBLE view. I'm telling you, it is...well, inspiring :)

Here's one of my favorite Interpol songs, "C'mere", Enjoy!

more about "Interpol & Inspiration", posted with vodpod

Friday, July 17, 2009

Meet Marley...

Earlier in my blog, you met Macy, one of my 3 dogs. Today, you will meet, Marley, the middle child :) I adopted Marley on the same day I adopted Macy from my local Pet Smart ASPCA Adoption Day. She also came from Tennessee with Macy, but was a little bit older, and maybe even a little smellier than Macy too. She is a Lab Mix, but the vet says she looks like a Tennessee Bird Dog, which would make sense, and she certainly has the speed and agility of a bird dog. Marley has always been a little goofy, from the day she came home she would bound around clumsily and we lovingly call her Marmaduke. 

Poor little Marley had a nasty case of worms when we took her home but after a few weeks that was all taken care of and she was in playful puppy mode 24/7. She loves to sprint around in circles, weave in and out of trees, and giving hugs like a human. Oh, did I mention that Marley is one of the most chatty dogs I've ever met? She talks to the other dogs in a way I've never quit heard any other dogs communicate in my life, sometimes I swear she's about to start making sense! Also, Marley doesn't fully understand that she'd no a lap dog, as she is the largest of the 3 dogs. But, we play along with it, and let her sit on top of us despite her size. 

The picture on the top right is her as a puppy, the others, are my little Marley just a couple days ago at 1 year old. She's a sweetheart and a cuddle bug, which luckily overshadows her constant barking. 

Stay tuned to meet Mel, the eldest of the dogs, the smallest and the anointed queen of the house!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Giveaway Alert: Teapot Stud Giveaway @!

It's finally here! My very first SUMMER GIVEAWAY from the new collection of simple silhouettes! You could win your very own pair of my charming little Tiny Teapot Stud Earrings at! These are a $44 value, so that makes THIS a very desirable giveaway to enter! Check out for more details on how to win :) 

Don't miss out on this kiddies! The teapot designs have been quite a hit since I've released them! You can find the other Teapot variations HERE! In fact, you can see the mama teapot necklace design featured in THE STORQUE @! Read my Love Letter To Etsy, in response to being included in their haunting Alice In Wonderland themed spotlight :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Etsy Lust Series #2: Jellybeans

Here we go with the second installment of my Etsy Lust series! This time around, I am lusting after gorgeous unique artwork by Jellybeans! The artist behind Jellybeans is Angela Vandenbogaard, and she has made quite the impression on me! In fact, I'm scrambling to rearrange my wall art to find a suitable place to display a collection of her work!  

Her art is chic, sophisticated and playful all at once, which is something I just cannot get enough of lately! You can visit her Etsy Shop right here! The style of all of Jellybeans artwork is so uniquely Jellybeans that I can honestly say, I've never seen anything like it! It's so polished, so vibrant, so fun and  so effortless looking!  It's that seemingly effortless look of her watercolor art that simply just makes me green with envy! There's really something to be said about an artist that only need's a few simple shapes and colors to convey their vision successfully. 

Angela's artwork doesn't take itself too seriously, which is something I've never been able to digest well when it comes to the art world so I love when I come across art thats beautiful but still easy going and fresh. Usually, in the Etsy Lust series I highlight one or two items from the shop, in this case, I simply cannot pick just a couple favorites so I've chosen a sampling of her work that I think is most representative of the style that is Jellybeans! Enjoy the gorgeous art of Jellybeans aka Angela Vandenbogaard and grab a print of your very own! Don't forget to also check out her blog, and enjoy being a fly on the wall in her very fun world of art and dumpster diving bears!

Hurry Up and Wait!

Wow. This is where I live...can you believe it!? Sometimes I can't even wrap my head around the amazing beauty I'm lucky enough to live amongst! I count myself a very lucky girl.

But ya know... your own business, like I do, can often super saturate your life to the point of insanity and sometimes suck the fun right out of, well, everything. What's my remedy for the " I can't think productively for one more second, or I will scream" Blues? Clicking off my Blackberry, shutting down my MacBook, packin' up some snacks and beverages and stepping outside to enjoy beautiful Lake George. We are so lucky to own a little piece of this lake, rightfully considered by many as "The Queen of American Lakes". 

So off I go, to enjoy this sunny Sunday, and ignore everything to do with my business. Not to worry though kiddies, I will be back later tonight with a new Etsy Lust feature! In the meantime, read up on my first Etsy Lust feature or my ode to a great Etsy talent and friend, RockLove. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcome to my childhood...

When I was a kid, my family kinda lived in the boonies in relation to ,well, everyone else. This meant that we kids, had to entertain ourselves for the most part. And entertain we did.

My siblings and I spent countless days and nights dancing around in our sunroom, which housed my parent's stereo system and was just a couple steps from the kitchen. "The Obvious Child", by Paul Simon off of the Rhythm of the Saints album, was one of our favorites! I can still see it now, Mom or Dad standing at the sink washing the dishes after dinner, while the 4 of us kids dancing wildly to the infectious rhythm, of the saints :) Every once in a while one of us would get a little overzealous with our dance moves and skip the album. We'd pause for a moment, for fear that we *might* get in trouble, and then swiftly resume our dance mania.

It's funny how as I get older, it's not the fun Rainbow Bright birthday parties, my extensive My Little Pony collection or crazy family amusement park trips that I look back on so fondly, it's the moment's like dancing around in that sunroom, with my brothers and my sister, on a random summer night, that really makes me smile. Sometimes, my heart aches for those days, but I'm not worried that I'll ever forget about them. Ever. :)

more about "Paul Simon - The Obvious Child", posted with vodpod

Summer Snapshot of the Day

Here's a quick shot I snapped of Lucie, after a long day at the beach at our summer home in Lake George. She's a tired little chicken nugget but she's too cute to resist photographing! I love the candid feel and complete innocence of this image! Maybe in 20 years, she'll be able to appreciate all the photos I take of her and forgive me for always invading her personal space. I'm sure there will be more shots of my little buddy throughout the summer because were pretty much together 24/7, despite the fact that I'm not her mother...Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Recipe Vault: Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

As promised a couple days ago, I am sharing with you all my scrum-diddily-umptious recipe for Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (I always keep my promises)! Mmmm mmm mmm! I'm telling you, these are to die for! They make a great appetizer for cocktail parties, a yummy side dish, or even the main event of your meal! They are fully vegetarian and 100% delish! Enjoy!

~Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms~

12-14 Extra Large Domestic Button Mushrooms (fully cleaned)
1/4 Cup Chopped Scallions
1/4 Cup Butter (Note: This is A LOT of butter, I typically make it with 2-3 TBSP's at most)
1/4 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese (a moderately priced cheese is fine)
2 TBPS Fine Dry Breadcrumbs (seasoned or plain, it's your choice)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove stems from mushrooms, leaving a nice little cup. Chop the removed mushroom stems and saute with scallions in butter until tender but not brown. Stir in crumbled blue cheese, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Fill mushroom caps with mixture and top with a light sprinkling of more breadcrumbs . Bake @ 350 degrees for 12 mins.

And whaa-la! You have finger licking stuffed mushrooms! This recipe can easily be cut in half, or doubled, tripled etc. Oh yes, by the way, the picture is of the mushrooms before baking, once cooked they will be darker and a little bit bubbly :) Enjoy with a nice cool glass of Pinot Grigio, I recommend Santa Margherita :) Hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do!

Attention, Attention! Giveaway @ Nest Blossoms!

Love free stuff? Who doesn't!? Love Handmade jewelry? Who doesn't!? My pal over at Nest Blossoms is running her very first blog giveaway! You could win one of her lovely hand stamped sterling silver rings and maybe a bag of Skittles if your super nice! Check out her blog for details on how to win this excellent summer giveaway!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

World, Meet RockLove...

I think it's time for all of you lovely people to meet my good buddy, RockLove, also known as Allison! She's talented, she's genius, she's makin' big moves, and, did I mention she's a total vamp? No doubt about it, Allison Hourcade of RockLove is the total package and then some! Her jewelry is edgy, unique and highly stylized and she herself, bleeds with alternative scene style that I could only hope to one day be cool enough to pull off (all jewelry in these photo's is RockLove, by the way!).

  RockLove Jewelry is hand carved and cast in NYC by the original RockLove herself, Allison. Her carving skills are thanks to a combination of her natural artistic ability and an old world apprenticeship she was lucky enough to experience in Italy. Beyond her artistic talent though, Allison is truly one of the most driven entrepreneur I know! With a steadily growing roster of celebrity clients, invites to some of the most sought after vending opportunities and a growing fan base of her own, she is seemingly unstoppable! Her hustle, determination and her unique sense of design have allowed her business to steadily climb the ladder of success! At this point, it never seems like Allison is in one place for too long. She's flying from east coast to west coast and back to vend at special events and festivals like Ink N' Iron, teaming up with the brains behind Repo! The Genetic Rock Opera and designing a limited edition scalpel necklace for Repo! fans, and she will soon have the pleasure of vending at the SWAG/Gifting Suite at the Teen Choice Awards. If this girl isn't headed to the top, I don't know who is! She is a true testament to hard work and dedication, proving that the little guys CAN make it to the top, and on their own terms! 

But beyond all of her gorgeous jewelry, her sick talent, her impeccable business sense and her seemingly never ending triumphs of the indie design world, Allison is a sweetie with a big heart who is always eager to help out her friends. To me, thats the best part about her! Well, aside from her amazing work! Take some time to get to know Allison and RoveLove Jewelry at her ETSY Shop, her Official Site or her Blog! Oh, and tell her Ashley sent you :)

The Macro Learning Curve

Spent some time today shooting around with my new Tamron 90mm Macro lens. I've never used a Tamron lens before and I've never shot with a Macro lens before and it certainly takes some getting used to. I could feel myself getting frustrated at the beginning but just tried to remind myself that everything worth doing, takes a little time and effort! So despite my initial frustration, I walked around searching out flowers, and berries to snap away at. After a couple hours of shooting and then editing through my photos, I came up with these 7 images that I really liked. There are a few others I like as well, but these are my favorites! As I said, it was my VERY FIRST time shooting with a Macro lens, so I am still learning, and I was too lazy to set up my tripod so these are all hand held. 

What do you guys think? Anyone that is photo savvy, or knows a thing or two about Macro photography, feel free to leave some tips for me in the comments area, god knows I will need them if I ever want to progress :) Stay tuned for the Stuffed Mushroom recipe I promised you guys a couple posts ago :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Love Letter To Etsy: Thank You for Storque-ing me

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder." -Thomas Haynes Bayley

Dear Etsy, it's clear to me now that you really love me! Sometimes you ignore me, and try to make me jealous by paying attention to everyone else, but now I know it's because you really have a big crush on me! All those times you refused to put me in the Gift Guides, and all of the times you passed me over for Front Page selections, you just didn't know how to express your feelings! I'm so glad that youve been able to find the words to tell me how you feel. Thank you for putting me in a crazy cool Spotlight article in "The Storque", it really shows me how much you care. But please, don't ever cheat on me, because you know I'll find out! Etsy...I love you too. Love, Ashley :)

On a more serious note, thank you Etsy for showing me so much love and including me in your extra super cool "Alice In Wonderland" based Storque article, "Camera Obscura: Jan Svankmajer's Alice in Wonderland"! I'm so excited to see my teapot necklace included in such a fun and stylized article! I am so lucky to be included and am beyond stoked! Here's hoping that our relationship continues to move forward on this road of mutual love and respect :)

Please take a minute to check out the Spolight article in The Storque, inspired by Jan Svankmajer's "Alice" and watch his video, as well as check out all the Alice inspired selections chosen by Etsy! Well, what are you waiting for! Check it out!

Happy Birthday, To Me!!!

"Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." ~Chili Davis
Yesterday, July 7th, was my 25th Birthday. I woke up at my parents summer lake house on Lake George and was greeted by my Dad's patented post-it note birthday message on the fridge. He has a thing for writing notes on post it's and leaving them around for us to find. Although most of the time they read something like "Don't forget to put out the trash!" or "Went to go play Golf", but today, it was a note just for me :) I did my best to ignore the MJ headlines on TV, and the memorial service coverage, as not to put a damper on my day. Instead, I danced around to "Black or White", "P.Y.T." and "Man In The Mirror".

It was a low key kinda day, as I was a little unsure of how I felt about turning 25 so I didn't feel much like making a big deal out of my birthday. Never thought I'd care about getting older, until one day I realized, I'm getting older, then it started to freak me out a tad bit, haha. The weather was stormy and it wasn't a particularly good hair day for me but that didn't bother me any. I spent the whole day with my family, lunching at the Olive Garden, where I enjoyed some yummy Portobello Mushroom Ravioli, then a stop to a local camera store where I picked out my birthday gift! 2 brand spankin' new lenses for my dSLR! After spending about 3 hours in the store I settled on a Tamron 90mm Macro lens and a cheap Canon 50mm lens to play around with for the summer. Love them both for different reasons, but haven't had much time to play with them. No worries though, I will be sure to post my new lenses and sample shots soon:)

My wonderful Mom prepared a delish birthday meal for me with some of my favorite's, including my absolute favorite, Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms! Mmmmmm! It's my grandma's recipe and it's to die for! If anyone wants the recipe by the way just leave a comment and if a few people want it, I will post it up on the blog :) My birthday cake was a homemade Strawberry Shortcake with locally grown Fresh Strawberries! So good that it made me wanna slap my mamma! But, I hugged her instead :)

I always look forward to my birthday because I know it's one day of the year that my brother's are willingly nice to me :) I had a great day, and am getting used to the whole being 25 thing. I have a sneaky feeling that my 25th year just might be one of my best yet!

Summer Snapshot of the Day

Is there a better combination than kids and dogs? This shot is of my little bud, Tommy, sitting on his mom's pregnant belly and playing with my puppy Mel, a little miniature dapple dachshund. You will meet Mel in a later post :) I'm thinking maybe I need to send this shot into Pirate Booty and see what sort of yummy swag we can wrangle :) Pirate Booty really is yummy, the Caramel is my personal favorite!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Anchors Away!

It's summer time, and what's more fitting than a cute nautical accessory like this brand new Nautical Anchor Silhouette Necklace($44.00) , done in sterling silver, from my Simple Silhouettes collection! Perfect for daily wear, and great for anyone who loves sailing, beaches, pirates, the ocean, or water in general! I will surely be wearing one while sunning myself on my dock, on beautiful Lake George, while I sketch away in my idea log and plan for seasonal Fall and Winter designs! It's the beginning of July and I'm already thinking about Halloween and there something wrong with this picture?

Etsy Lust Series #1: Rollandtumblepress

Since opening a shop on, Etsy has become a large part of my life, maybe even a strange obsession. I'm always trolling Etsy late at night for my next "gotta have it" find.  I love buying gifts there, picking up unique art prints to decorate my home, and even order a handmade treat or two from some of my favorite sellers. As I embark on this blog journey, I will be highlighting my favorite Etsy Items in a series I like to call, "Etsy Lust". Sometimes I will choose a theme, but for the most part it will just be whatever item I am particularly lusting after at that time! This post marks the first in a series of many :)

First up, we have a gorgeous handmade vintage style letterpress art print made by Rollandtumblepress ! The "SMILE Letterpress Poster" is an overall win in my book, and at only $20.00, it is hard to pass up. Each print poster is hand printed on a rolling press, from a hand illustrated and carved print block! I love the subtle color in the print and the simplicity of the vintage style illustration of a camera. I'm currently trying to make room on my walls for this print, matted and framed. Check out the rest of the Rollandtumblepress shop at Etsy for more fun and unique prints. They all have so much character, can't wait to get my own!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Snapshot of the Day: Meet Macy

I would like to introduce you to Macy, my little black and white Rat Terrier/Lab mix.  She was adopted early last September along with another puppy (who you will meet another day) from my local Pet Smart ASPCA Adoption Day. She was a street dog, born on the mean streets of Tennessee, and shipped up to NY by way of a funky, smelly ASPCA truck. How do I know it was stinky? On the day I met her, her stench stung my nostrils and made my eyes water, but I was able to overlook the funk because of her "Please love me" face. She was originally given the name "Callie" by the shelter, and was also with her brother "Caleb" (who was adopted before I got there) but we quickly changed her name, and of course, gave her a much needed bath. The little peanut was only 7 weeks old when we took her to her new home with us, and was very shy, she preferred to always be standing right under foot anytime we ventured outside, but it didn't take long for her to perk right up! She loves treats, walks with her siblings, belly rubs, kisses, laying like a frog, shredding her dog bed, leaping over the back of the couch in one smooth bound, sitting at the kitchen table like a human, and sleeping sitting up. Anyway, this Summer Snapshot of the Day is of my sweet little Macy, at almost 1 year old (her birthday is July 15th), and lucky for me, she loves the camera! The picture was taken at our lake house in Lake George, NY, after a morning walk. Enjoy!

Gemstones Galore

Thought I'd post a few new pieces I've recently listed in my Etsy shop. Juicy gemstones are an addiction of mine, it's not ever safe to leave me unsupervised at a Gem show, and these pieces are the result of my addiction. Going clockwise from the top left we have... 1Tiny Pearl Drop Necklace, YOU CHOOSE from 5 Colors 2. Pink Topaz and Ruby Hammered Silver Circle Necklace  3. Slate Blue Mystic Quartz Accent Necklace 4. London Blue Topaz, Swiss Blue Topaz and Chrysoprase Hammered Silver Circle Necklace

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Horse Feathers and Lemonade

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. " ~Berthold Auerbach

Just when I thought modern day music was going down the toilet, an Etsy friend of mine (who's Etsy shop filled with lovelies and photography can be found here) introduced me to what has fast become one of my favorite bands. The band is called Horse Feathers, but don't be distracted by the quirky name, they aren't to be lumped into the emo-crap bands who hide behind strange names to look more off beat and hip. Horse Feathers is good, clean, salt of the earth kind of music. Unapologetically making use of  instruments like banjo's  and mandolin's in such a non stereotypical way that it really impressed me right off the bat. Whoever is the pianist of the group, really needs a round of applause as well. They are  what I like to call indie acoustic folk, but really, their music needs no label, as it speaks for itself.

 Their album, "Words Are Dead" has been occupying my iPod and my headspace for a solid week now and I've felt more creative than ever. There's nothing like finding an album, or a band, that really puts your soul in a place of clarity. For me, this is a big deal, as I am not particularly very easily inspired. Check out the tracks "Falling Through The Roof" and "Dust Bowl", two of my personal favorites, for some goose bump inducing discoveries.

 Their sound is much like Sufjan Steven's, Zero 7 and Iron & Wine, but not without it's own unique attributes. I'm so excited to have new music I could just do a cartwheel! Or...maybe that wouldn't be such a great idea, ya know, for my own safety... I can't think of a better summer sunday afternoon than laying in the sun, with some lemonade (maybe spiked?) listening to my new best friends, Horse Feathers.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.  ~Moshe Dayan

The 4th of July is here, and I, am ready! Ready for what you ask? Ready for the tasty Red, White and Blue treats, ready for firing up the grill, ready for the heart warming noise of a crowd of people engaged in a simultaneous laugh, ready for Fireworks, Sparklers and a sunset boat ride on beautiful Lake George. I'm ready to feel for the first time in a few years now, truly proud of my country and the direction it is headed, and proud to call Barack Obama my president on this merry American holiday. Is there anything better than 4th of July? The one day a year we all have an excuse to stare at the sky, and remember what it feels like to be a awe struck child and appreciate the little things. Happy 4th of July to you all! 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic...

Loved shooting my friend McKenzie for some promo A.N. Original Jewelry material. These are just a few shots that I really thought showed how exotically beautiful she is whether shes trying or not, nevermind the jewelry, these particular shots are all about her!. So much fun to shoot with friends! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Snapshot of the Day

Be intent upon the perfection of the present day.
-- William Law

Aside from jewelry and maybe chocolate covered gummie bears, I think photography is my one true love. I have always secretly dreamt of turning my passion for photography into a full time career. There's nothing I love more than falling into the background of a party and snapping away candid shots, crawling around on the ground with kids and dogs to get the perfect perspective, or spending a day with one of my lovely friends capturing their unique beauty and personalities on film. Though out the summer I plan to post some of my favorite photos I've taken both professionally and in my own personal life and give you a small window into my life and have an outlet to show the images I am so proud of! This particular picture is of my best friend, Lucie, affectionately dubbed, Suessie John Jones.  Enjoy:)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Etsy-Chic Decor : A Study in Black and White

Theres nothing like having a vision of what you want an empty room to look like in the future and then seeing the *pretty much, kinda sorta, but will never really be "finished"* finished product! When I first moved into my new apartment I knew I wanted my spare bedroom, which does double duty as a guest room and office, to have a fun and chic theme that made me *want* to be in there to get work done. However, it's a fine line to walk between making the space gorgeous visually but still functional as an office space that doesn't distract TOO much. My solution? A Black and White themed room! Chic, stylish and amazingly inviting in my opinion. And more importantly, affordable! I decorated the walls in *mostly* Etsy artwork, I'd say a solid 2/3 of the artwork I purchased on Etsy , some of it I made myself, and a couple things I got for a steal of a price for a couple different stores like Target and Marshall's ( THE BEST places for chic updated decor on a budget! I'm always buying nice black wall frames with mats from A.C. Moore when they're on sale, they look so chic! Anywhoo, enough chatter, I might as well just show it off! I don't think the space will EVER be finished, I plan to add more and more black and white artwork as I stumble upon it, and of course, still have to get up my fabulous window treatments as well! I will link to the Etsy artists who adorn my walls as well...

Seedling Accent Pillow: Miso Decor

Two Silhouette Prints: Vol. 25

Elliot Smith & Andy Warhol Prints: Lake Illustration

Typewriter Print: Lou & Lee