Where the Pretty Things Come From... | October 09, 2014

I make a lousy house-wife.

I have a very limited repertoire of dishes that I can cook and invest very little time in improving my culinary skills.

Also, I think I'm allergic to manual labour. Whenever I clean the house I fly into a tiny rage that elicits a stream of unladylike cursing and a tendency to snap at unfortunate bystanders.

We have no children (bar a fur-child). In fact, having a child seems like the scariest thing in the world to me and I often wonder what all the fuss is about.

Instead, I spend my days obsessively nurturing a slightly unorthodox lifestyle- one where I provide a kind of nourishment through art and design rather than homemade lasagne. I litter our home with colourful and, oftentimes, childish knick knacks and plan the aesthetics of dinner parties with infinitesimal detail.

I struggle daily with trying to eke a living from a creative existence. And in the process, I've converted our living/dining room into, what appears to be, a messy snapshot of my brain. Piles of colourful props and remnants of paper, twine, glitter and sequins are constantly scattered across our dining table. Bright pink IKEA boxes line the walls in my attempt to curb the ever-expanding chaos.

And yet, despite lacklustre domestic skills, the ostensibly frivolous nature of my interests and a creative anarchy that threatens to consume us whole, my husband still loves me (!) and seems genuinely in awe of what I do. He says I make this house a home, albeit, in my own peculiar way.

For me, collecting, composing and making pretty things is the only truly successful way I've learned how to communicate myself to the world. Where others are articulate, social creatures who use themselves as a canvas to express their art, I prefer to hide behind these things that I make. It's just who I am, and with all the faults and limitations it presents in the real world, I am slowly learning to accept and even embrace it. 

I seem to be creating this home, and this blog, in an effort to communicate only the beautiful parts within me and, perhaps, with a belief that somehow this will banish the wealth of darker, messier and far less glamorous traits; to show others that although I may verbally stumble through a sentence or carry myself hesitantly, averting my gaze and swerving from the reach of friendly strangers, that there is something in this world I am capable of contributing... however tiny and frivolous it may seem.

Thanks for listening :)

P.S. I am attempting to spend a bit more time over at Instagram lately.... Please follow me if you're interested in keeping up with the visual frivolity!

XO
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posted under: Bits of Happy, Blog Stuff, Our Home, storytelling, Sukie

Vote for me! | August 27, 2014

So, in a kind of awesome and somewhat surreal turn of events, I've been nominated for this year's Cosmopolitan Magazine 'Fun Fearless Female' Award in the Social Media category. 

Admittedly, I was a little nervous about how to approach this post. I'm generally not one for the blatant 'Vote for me!' spiel. However, I think this nomination is actually pretty darn cool so, to heck with with subtlety- 'Vote for me!!(please).

I'll love you forever.

Also, make sure to take a gander at all of this year's 80 amazing nominees! Voting closes on September 15. (EDIT Aug 28: You can vote up to three times per day!)

And thanks to Cosmo for the nomination! I'm exceedingly flattered. :)

XO
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posted under: Blog Stuff, storytelling

Mixed Bag... | May 26, 2014

So recently, I lost my mind a little and went all housewife-y. Of course, not just ordinary housewife-y but full on Martha because, you know, '10' is my only gear.

Apart from going into psycho-organiser mode- cleaning kitchen cutlery drawers and the like- I started making extensive wishlists for each room. The goal- to improve efficiency, tidiness, functionality, comfort and beauty of each room. (Hello, my name is Amy and I am a nerd.)

In addition, I started making a wishlist for items for a fictional dinner party that may never actually eventuate.  

Now, this may all seem eerily akin to the refined art of procrastination, however, I have definitely found that having a house that is in order, results in a much clearer mind (and, yes, a much prettier house).

Speaking of pretty house things, here's a round-up of some beauties I've had my eye on recently:

lamp | artworkshopper |  ceramic plates |  amber abode sculpture | ceramic tumbler | chair or replica  | planter | dog bed 

XO
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posted under: Artwork, Gift Ideas, Home Décor, Mixed Bag, storytelling

Donut Printables on Oh Happy Day | February 18, 2014

Argh!! I know, I know, it's been a whole month since my last update! Just checking in to say I'm not dead. In fact, I'm incredibly excited because I've been secretly working on a brand new project. It's gonna take some time to get up and running so please bear with me and my spotty posting efforts!

In the meantime, check out my latest printable for Oh Happy Day- Donuts!! Go download your freebies now!

XO
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posted under: Blog Stuff, Do It Yourself, Free Stuff, Gift Ideas, Kids, Oh Happy Day, Parties, Stationery, storytelling

Organised Chaos | January 08, 2014

Just a random jumble of happy snaps to kick off the new year...

Organised Chaos- the state halfway between a complete mess and perfect order- is an acceptable place to reside... 

My 92 year old grandmother unexpectedly attended our Christmas family do. Still a twinkle in her eye...

Prep for a holiday 'Oh Happy Day' project shoot...

A rug for the wishlist. From Weylandts...

Christmas decorations for a family do at ours...

Organised Chaos...

A much needed post Xmas-day nap...

Tasty meal at the Weylandts Kitchen...

Organised Chaos...

Organised Chaos...

Our living room- still a work in progress...

Another event (Xmas) brings forth yet another Sundae Bar. Naturally...

Organised chaos. (Yes, I have a lot of stuff)...

Happy New Year! x

XO
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posted under: Bits of Happy, Christmas, Entertaining, Happy Workspace, Holidays, Home Décor, Our Home, Parties, storytelling

Holiday Tags and Wrap on Oh Happy Day | December 19, 2013

Christmas is just around the corner. Have you left absolutely everything to the last minute like my silly self?

With my latest post for Oh Happy Day I decided to take a somewhat untraditional approach to holiday gift wrap. I was actually really inspired by some aqua and cream sari rope which I picked up recently from the Rabbit & the Duck stall at The Big Design Market. It's funny where inspiration strikes...

We're hosting the family Christmas this year at our place, for the first time ever! Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first because we have some big shoes to fill... then I remembered that I shouldn't even attempt to emulate past Christmas gatherings. Instead, I should create the event in my own way. And so it shall be a very 'Amy' Christmas. :)

This project has inspired the colour scheme for the day. I'm really digging the touches of neon and the quirkiness. I hope you like it too :)

To grab your set of free tags and wrap printables, check out my post at Oh Happy Day.

XO
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posted under: Christmas, Free Stuff, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Oh Happy Day, Stationery, storytelling

Etsy Christmas Popup store in Sydney! | November 24, 2013

Starting this Thursday and running for 15 days, Etsy will be hosting their very own Christmas Pop-up store in Sydney! I'm thrilled to announce that I'm one of the guest curators! This shop is the perfect opportunity to stock up on one-of-a-kind, locally made gifts for Christmas. There will also be workshops and demonstrations with local Etsy sellers, plus other exciting events. If you're in Sydney you should definitely pop by!

Here are the deets:

Etsy Christmas Popup 
(Nov 28- Dec 12)
74 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW, 2000
Australia

For more info, please check out their website.

Also, don't forget, I'm still in the process of curating my own online page of Etsy goodies, so if you're in need of holiday gift ideas, check it out! Below is a sample of some my local and international product picks:

purse | vase | necklace | stamps

cards | twin peaks necklace | beaded necklace | rings

For the full listing- visit my page!

XO
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posted under: Blog Stuff, Gift Ideas, Holidays, storytelling

Where one of a kind gifts come from... | November 15, 2013

I'm really thrilled to announce that I've been invited to be one of the 'tastemakers' on Etsy's 'Pages' program! I have recently started my very own curation of favourite finds- just in time for the Holiday season! Be sure to check out my Etsy page for some great gift ideas and follow my page as I continue to share my finds. Also check out this cute Holiday video above from the Etsy team!

Have a great weekend folks! :)

XO
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posted under: Gift Ideas, Holidays, storytelling

'Typo' Desk Make-over! | November 09, 2013

So when Typo asked me if I would like a voucher to make-over my workspace, I said 'Duh, yes please!' :)

I'm a bit of a fan of Typo. You may have noticed some of their goods popping up in various projects of mine. In fact, every single time I use their legendary Eiffel Tower scissors in a shoot I get asked (by multiple readers)- "Where did you get those amazing scissors?". Actually, it's more like "WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE AMESOME SCISSORS!! ARGHHH!! THEY'RE SO CUTE, I'M DYYYYING!!!" Apparently those scissors have the magical ability to provoke mass hysteria. Go figure.

Typo have a lot of colourful and funky bits n' pieces but in the end I decided to keep the colour scheme simple with my workspace. Aqua is one of my all-time favourite colours and I'm a huge fan of using touches of gold. I just love the candy dispenser- completely necessary, right? ;-)

So here's the sweet part- Typo are currently running a competition where you can win your very own desk make-over! Simply send in a photo of your current workspace in order to be in the running.  The most 'tragic' of desks will win one of 3 make-over packages. The competition is open to residents in AustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaUSASingaporeMalaysiaHong Kong and Thailand. You can check out the details and enter right here

Happy weekend folks! :)

XO
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posted under: Gift Ideas, Happy Workspace, Stationery, storytelling

Too Fruity! | November 06, 2013

Neon pink stitching, bright and colourful paintstrokes, pvc covering, hot pink lining, velcro closure... when I saw this beauty by Tiff Manuell at Crate Expectations in Malvern today, I snapped it right up. Well, that's not true... I did spend some time umming and ahhing over which of her multitude of gorgeous clutches to buy!

You can check out some of her other goodies in her online shop. If you're in Melbourne, make sure to venture down to Crate Expectations and take a peek.

Now, to master the art of print clashing....

XO
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posted under: Fashion, Gift Ideas, Melbourne Chic, storytelling

Let's Get Silly | October 30, 2013

We're heading into the time of year that Australians commonly refer to as the 'Silly Season'. The Christmas and holiday season is when everything goes a wee bit pear-shaped.. but in a good way. It's my favourite time of year. Something about the mass festivity provides ample heart cockle warm-age. I find even the uber-tacky tinsel laden shop windows and garish clashes of red and green not only tolerable but, strangely, endearing.

I feel a particular kinship with the season. The truth is, I'm actually one big, fuzzy ball of silliness. Some may say, on occasion, a full-blown nut-job. If you ask why our marriage is successful, both Mark and I would wholeheartedly agree that it's the 'silly' factor. Mark and I are, basically, two over-grown children. 

However, I only really show this part of myself to my nearest and dearest. To others I resort to ridiculously unsustainable perfectionism in an effort to avoid criticism or confrontation. I have a pathological fear of making mistakes, especially publicly. You know, because then you won't like me and I won't be invited to your party.

One of my favourite apps ever is Unstuck- it's a brilliant little resource that, strangely enough, helps you get 'unstuck'. They also have an awesome newsletter which I find endlessly helpful and inspiring. This morning I watched this cute video on their blog where kids answer the question 'What does it mean to fail?'. First of all, WOW, some of them were remarkably insightful for their age. Secondly, it got me thinking about how all of us 'serious adults', especially those pursuing a creative path, should really just let it all go and simply be children again, especially in our professional lives!  By setting an atmosphere of sheer silliness could we possibly remove the expectation from others for constant perfection and remove the stigma against public failure? Failure is such a crucial part of our creative process, it should be accepted, and perhaps even applauded, just as much as our successes. After all, it's when I am at my most 'silly' and free from ego that I am at my most creative.

So I'm hoping all this sudden, uncharacteristic disclosure will somehow open a door for me to being a little more 'silly' in my work and more forthcoming about my creative process- during this silly season and, hopefully, beyond.  As I am writing this, I feel that familiar pang of doubt from the commitment it poses. However, I've putting it out there... and, well, if I fail at being publicly silly, then I suppose that's ok too. :)

In the meantime, check out this batch of holiday silliness.

XO
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posted under: Christmas, Holidays, storytelling

Oh Happy Day! | October 21, 2013

I was so thrilled with Oh Happy Day's Jordan Ferney told me she was coming to Australia (courtesy of Go Mighty) and throwing a party at West Elm in Melbourne! I was even more thrilled when she asked me to help out with some cute projects for the event!

Jordan asked me to design some bright and colourful totes, buttons and name tags and I was absolutely chuffed with how they all turned out! :)

You can see more pics of the fun and super-colourful event over on my blog post at Go Mighty!

XO
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posted under: Oh Happy Day, Parties, storytelling

Bits of Happy... | September 27, 2013

I am excitedly developing maybe 3 or 4 party-related projects for this blog concurrently. If my head was to explode (from sheer creative overload), there would be a glorious mountain of confetti, glitter and noisemakers in the middle of our home. Hmmm.. that actually sounds like fun.

Meanwhile, the anticipation of Christmas, and all the dazzling creative possibilities that it carries, slowly insinuates itself into my overly-wired mind, leaving an even greater trail of confusion and anxiety in its wake. 

Every so often, this happens. (Um... once a month). My impatience to see all my ideas come into fruition immediately, leaves me overwhelmed and, subsequently, paralysed.

I am then reminded- take things one step at a time. As much as you would love to rush headlong into every project and have everything done and dusted in one fell swoop, this is simply not possible. Take a break from looking at the big picture. Focus solely on the task at hand. It may be just a tiny, simple detail but it's a crucial one and it needs to be completed before you can move onto the next.

Sound advice. Wish I didn't keep forgetting it.

Much like the multitude of projects currently making noise in my head, I have recently been amassing a vast collection of props and craft materials. Currently homeless, they create one giant, albeit colourful, mess across my work/dining tabletop. I did, however, have the bright idea of storing my sequin collection in Happy Lab test tubes. Well, that's something at least. One step at a time...

Have a happy weekend folks! :)

XO
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posted under: Bits of Happy, Craft, Happy Workspace, storytelling

Cheeky Monkey | July 17, 2013

Our oddball rescue, Sukie, is a wee bit of an anxious pup (You may recall the Magic Carpet Ride incident).  Because of this fact, life is never boring with Sukie around. There's always a new quirk to challenge us and keep us endlessly entertained. 

So, here's the latest one...

Sukie is primarily an inside dog. When Mark and I go out, Sukie stays inside. Initially we tried leaving her in the backyard but she disliked it so much that she began associating the backyard with 'bad things' and refused to go out there at all, even just for a play. So, we relented. Sukie got her way and stays inside. For a long time, she seemed quite content with this arrangement. 

Recently, however, she's become a lot more comfortable around us and has started to push her boundaries. Even though she's happier inside, she doesn't like the fact that we leave at all. So, she developed a cheeky little scheme to keep us home. As soon as she spots our usual 'going out' habits like putting on our shoes or coats, she will ask to be let outside. She will then mysteriously disappear from view and despite our calls, will not come back into the house. We will then discover her hiding, guiltily, amongst the bushes; unwilling to move an inch. She knows that we won't leave until we get her inside!

It would be easy to get frustrated at this behaviour, but it's just so gosh-darn cute! 

The first, most obvious, tactic was to pretend there was a visitor and ring the doorbell so that she would come bounding inside to greet them. This worked a treat for awhile but now she's cottoned on to our plan and won't budge for ANYTHING!

A couple of Sundays ago, in a last ditch effort, Mark decided to grab our adorable 36kg 'scaredy-cat' from under the bushes and carry her in!

I was thrilled that I was able to grab a happy snap of this ridiculous sight! Mark, however, was not so impressed...

Ahh... the things we do for our dogs.

XO
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posted under: storytelling, Sukie, Sundayland

Lately... | July 04, 2013

...we've had our fair share of cold and foggy winter mornings.

Inside our home, however, I've been attempting to ramp up the colour!

My current decorating project- our living room- is progressing slowly at the moment. Not too long ago we incorporated an Indian sideboard, with which I am completely smitten!

I would love to create an artwork for above, but I'm struggling to decide what to do. I'd like to keep it simple, as the room is already flush with colour and detail. I think I might buy a huge blank canvas, stick it on top of the sideboard and just stare at it until an idea comes to me! Another option is maybe a large, simple black and white photo.

Among other bits and pieces, I would also love to find a beautiful pendant light to hang above the room.

It seems like every surface in my workspace is covered in craft punches, twine, glitter, washi tape, paper goods, stripey straws, jars, bottles, my printables.... you name it. Occupational hazard, I guess. 

Breakfast and snack remnants also add to the colourful mix... 

At least it's pretty clutter!

This morning, I caught a very cute moment between Mark and Sukie. It must be love.

As you already know, I'm a self-confessed bowl addict. This beauty, shown above, is my recent indiscretion (from Mozi). It was just too pretty to pass up!

Last week I showed off a good chunk of my collection. But, admittedly, it was a little tame in comparison to the pic above- a far more accurate portrayal of the size of the collection (and extent of my 'problem')!

I've been feeling a tad overwhelmed when it comes to my work, at the moment so, at the start of this week, I set out to get organised. I recently discovered that I was a 'pinball procrastinator'.

Symptons include:

  • Going off on tangents mid-task
  • Avoiding the hard stuff and tackling smaller, easier items to feel a sense of achievement.

Yep, that's me.

I decided I needed to learn to focus again so I downloaded the Simple Pomodoro Timer app to help me through. Basically, I write down a list of things I want to get done in order of importance. I then start the timer. While it counts down from 25 minutes, I work through my list without distraction. At the end of the 25 minutes, there's a 'ding' and I take a 5 minute break. During this time I can explore those 'tangents' that were attempting to entice me during the 25 minutes- things like Pinterest, sorting emails, reading blogs, a new project idea etc. At the end of the 5 minutes, another 'ding' and I start up the 25 minute timer again and continue through my task list. 

I've found this method really effective! The huge timer numbers, constantly flickering in the corner of my eye, creates a false sense of urgency. It feels like it's a race to the finish line- almost like a game! And the promise of the 5 minute break means that I still have the time to explore those things that are far more appealing than the task at hand. I'm ploughing through the big, evil 'To Do' list but also managing to explore new ideas and gather new information and inspiration for future projects. 

And that's all the news...

Happy Friday everyone ;-)

XO
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posted under: Happy Workspace, Home Décor, Our Home, storytelling, Sukie, Tableware

FREE Pie Chart Gift Tags | July 02, 2013

If you've been following Eat Drink Chic recently you'll probably have noticed that gift tags are a bit of an obsession of mine at the moment. I think it's because they're like cute little works of art. Simple in concept, practical and also an opportunity to explore all kinds of 'graphicky' goodness! 

Inspired partly by the colourwheel and partly by these awesome Pie Chart Stickies from Present and Correct, I set out to design gift tags in a similar vein. Above is what I came up with!

I recently used one of these tags to embellish a friend's birthday gift packaging. I also cut out little semi circles from some gold stickers to decorate the wrap. And just in case you're curious as to what was inside the package- it was a copy of The Hand Book and a set of nail art brushes which I picked up from Lulu.

Tackling some nail art has been on the bucket list for awhile, so I actually bought a copy of both the book and brushes for myself and for my friend! Of course, if I'm feeling lazy (a strong possibility), I might pop round to Trophy Wife Nail Art and just get them done for me. So many inspiring designs...

Read on to download your freebies!

Read More
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posted under: Do It Yourself, Free Stuff, Gift Ideas, Parties, storytelling

Random Lovelies.. | June 21, 2013

I haven't tackled one of these posts in awhile.... you know, the random mish-mash of details from our home. So I figured it was probably time :)

Firstly, my obsession with bowls has gone a tad out of control. What you see above, is not the complete collection, mind you. They're just so dang pretty. I can't resist.

I just need to find a creative way to display them all.

My latest weakness, however, is for pot plants. A growing collection currently inhabits the top of our bar.

Ok, let's face it, this is merely an excuse to collect interesting planters and feed my insatiable hunger for pretty ceramics. Shh... don't tell anyone.

I went to The Collectors Corner at Gardenworld earlier this week with the intention of buying an airplant. I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer variety. Who knew? I waded through hundreds of succulents, cacti and airplants and eventually (whilst on the brink of a head explosion) settled on the succulent below and the prettiest airplant I could find (far right on the bar).

Gardenworld is a plant-lovers paradise. For a mere dabbler, such as myself, it can be a tad overwhelming but still very much worth the visit!

And in other random lovelies...

Saturday lunch. Boiled eggs, spring onion, Simon Johnson mayo, spelt toast. Yum.

Oh, and my gift tag obsession continues... This time I'm using images from an old Ted Baker catalogue.

And it just wouldn't be right to not include a little 'Sukie' in here...

It's funny, the unique vernacular that starts to develop within a household. For example, Sukie takes meds each morning. To make these more palatable, we thickly envelop them in peanut butter. Mark has nicknamed her meds "Scooby Snacks". The mere mention of those words and Sukie becomes a frantic mess. Probably because he also lets her lick the spoon when she's finished!

Sukie, like most dogs, understands the word 'Walk'. So, to avoid any premature paw stamping, circular jumping, and tail wag action,  Mark has started to get creative when discussing the activity. Each time, he uses different code words. It started with "Are you ready to monkey the monkey?" but, in recent times, I'm pretty sure I caught him saying "You ready to hand-crochet the alabaster?". Go figure.

Do you remember when I bought this lovely print by Mia Oatley? I forgot to mention that I got it framed. Wowsers. How is it that the framing is about a zillion times more expensive than the artwork itself? Looks pretty though. I have yet to decide where to hang it...

And that's all the news! If you like this kinda jazz, visit Sundayland.

Happy Friday everybody! :)

XO
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posted under: Home Décor, Our Home, storytelling, Sukie, Sundayland

Sunday in Pictures | June 11, 2013

 

XO
5
posted under: Food, Melbourne Chic, storytelling, Sundayland

Our New Quilt... and Other Obsessions | May 23, 2013

Our bedroom, still very much a work in progress, has had a recent and super-colourful addition to it! This week I splurged on a gorgeous kantha quilt from The Family Love tree. It was love at first sight!

It's fun playing around with cushions and bed linen and seeing what interesting combinations I can come up with. Country Road have some fabulous bed linen at the moment. We're using their polka dotted duvet cover and striped cushion on our bed, currently. Still in the market for a bedhead and struggling to find one that I absolutely love. Also on the hunt for more exciting European pillowcases... Any suggestions?

Been a tad obsessed lately with bright abstract patterns and geometric shapes. I'm trying to incorporate them a lot more in my own designs.

I visited the Chapel St. Marimekko store, for the first time, on Wednesday. I was in absolute paradise surrounded by all the bright, bold and colourful patterns! I'm thinking of framing the front page of their brochure- the Sanna Annukka pattern is so beautiful! Their summer collection is really quite stunning.

I also stopped off at Dinosaur Designs. I'm so in love with their work produced in collaboration with Designer Rugs.

My favourite book at the moment is about Japanese textile designer Katsuji Wakisaka who, incidently, worked for Marimekko and produced some very inspiring designs.

Not long ago I picked up this Torafu Stamp Kit from Mr Kitly- having lots of fun trying to create patterns from the different geometric shapes.  I'm using neon stamp pads from Hero Arts. Would be awesome for giftwrap!

Happy Friday everyone! :)

XO
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posted under: Gift Ideas, Home Décor, Our Home, Stationery, storytelling

Bits from my week... | May 21, 2013

The planter collection is growing...

Pretty new top from Swan Emporium...

This is what my brain looks like...

Having some fun designing gift tags and wrap and embellishing with my Motex label maker. Collect your freebies inside this post!

What are you doing on that darn computer again? Gimme attention!

Received a bunch of red roses with the sweetest note...

Read on to collect your freebies!

Read More
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posted under: Do It Yourself, Fashion, Free Stuff, Gift Ideas, Home Décor, Our Home, Stationery, storytelling, Sukie
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