Creativity

Pretty Letters

andrea

On a recent Friday morning, I was treated to a lovely chalkboard lettering class with Kristara along with some darling blogger friends. Her Houston calligraphy studio is located in an gorgeous building filled with inspiring businesses on Spring Street. Just walking in, you are sure to feel more creative! And her space is just adorable – filled with sweet little touches that make you feel right at home (if you live in a home filled with well-curated lovelies, that is!) Her walls are adorned with her incredible work, like the adorbs invitations pictured below, and I was immediately smitten. If you’ve been to the Lululemon store in Highland Village here in Houston, you’ve likely seen her work, as she does the art on their chalkboards. And for daily doses of her beautiful lettering, follow her on Instagram here.

lovely lettering

As we walked in, she offered us coffees, mimosas and sweet treats. It was a definite blessing for this mama after a harried morning of trying to get the littles to school on time. After some gabbing and catching up with friends (and commiserating that getting up this morning was super hard after a late evening out at the A Couture Cause event the night before!) we sat down at a pristine white table that was accented with simple, yet beautiful flowers, chalk and chalkboards with each of our names on them. Tres chic!

To begin with, Kristara is incredibly sweet, very patient and totally relatable, which makes the class super fun. First, she went over some lettering styles and examples with us. She demonstrated tricks and tips and also gave us a handout with the information so that we could focus on having fun and experimenting during the class. I love the “But first, coffee” design she did below. (Please note the artsy photo my darling friend Candace took of me taking a photo of the chalkboard!)

but first coffee

After the examples, we went to work creating. We started out with chalk and in the end, those who wanted to make their designs more permanent used a chalk marker (which is still removable) to make the chalk art last longer. I practiced a few things, but erased them before I took photos, much to the dismay of my table mate, the always-adorable style blogger, my friend Carly, who thought they were way better than they actually were. (Must have been the mimosas talking!) Turns out, I’m more of a perfectionist than I thought and chalkboard lettering is harder than I thought! It sure was fun, though, and I’m excited to practice more at home on the chalkboards she gave us!

Kristara does hand-lettering, so you can hire her to address your next batch of party invitations for a beautiful touch. She also teaches calligraphy and brush lettering as well, so no matter what your style is, you’re sure to find something to inspire you in her class list. I cannot recommend her classes highly enough – especially if you go with a friend (or several.) You are sure to have fun indulging your creative side in her precious studio!

 

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Which Lovely?

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If you know me well, you know that I adore my Day Designer. (Even if you don’t know me well, you may have read about it here on the blog!) Whitney English and her Day Designer have been keeping me organized, in lovely fashion, for the past year. Alas, my current book is nearing the end of its calendar life, but fret not, as there are new (and improved!) editions available for this next one.

On the upside, the new covers are gorgeous! On the downside, the new covers are so gorgeous, that I’m having a hard time choosing one. The August editions launch tomorrow and these sweet lovelies tend to sell out quickly, so there’s no time to delay in my usual “analysis paralysis”, so I’m turning to you all for advice. Which one should I purchase, friends? It’s a year-long commitment, so I’m going to need your help!

The three cover options are below. (And all images on this post are courtesy of the Day Designer website – aren’t they beautiful?) Which one would you pick? And which would you recommend for me?

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Hello, lovely!

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Form follows function – that has been misunderstood.
Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.- Frank Lloyd Wright

I like things to be organized (though I don’t particularly like to do the organizing!) I also like things to be beautiful. When those two features merge into one item, joy ensues. I recently found the Day Designer, a beautiful labor of love from the talented Whitney English. Spurred on by her own frustration with planner products and entrepreneur organization challenges, Whitney set out to make something better. After loads of research about productivity and branding, the Day Designer was born.

I have to admit that the beauty side of this planner is a major draw for me. I’m far more likely to sit down and plan out my week/month when the process is lovely and fun. This planner has luxuriously thick, beautiful paper, a shiny spiral binding and beautiful gold metal corner details and a fun black and white stripe pattern that makes it ultra-chic. I love seeing it sitting on my desk and look forward to writing in it and planning with intention, which is a half the battle for me. The day pages just make sense. With an hourly agenda, a to do list, top three to do prompts, notes, a section for gratitude and an inspirational quote for the day, the page helps you organize your top priorities and visualize those alongside your schedule and longer priorities list. Having written things down this way for a month or so now, I realize that my to do lists are WAY too long (read: unrealistic) and I love being able to write them down on future dates and put them out of my sight and mind until the appropriate day so that I can better focus on what I need to be doing today.

Not sure the Day Designer’s page style is for you? Whitney is kind enough to offer a free download for you to try it out before investing in one. (Now, that’s a woman who is confident in her product.) I’m really loving mine – and the private Facebook group that you’re invited to when you own one, in which people post myriad ideas for better organization and using your Day Designer in the best way possible for keeping overwhelm at bay in your own life. So, hop on over to Whitney’s site and take a look around. My guess is that you’ll love her sophisticated, gorgeous (and don’t forget functional!) products as much as I do.

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Grab yours here…

Holiday Cards and the Custom Experience

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IT’S FALL Y’ALL!

That saying always cracks me up.  Perhaps because it’s in part cheesy, perhaps a little cheeky.  I mean, can’t you just hear it rolling off the tongues of every stereotypical, big hair, big drawl southern Texas lady? Or perhaps its just because it adds a little humor into a season that often proves stressful.  If you are anything like me, Fall is blindingly busy.  (I think we can now say that about every season.)  But Fall tends to accelerate at a pace that seems faster than any other…most likely due to the fact that you now see Halloween and Christmas catalogues arriving by mail in summer, and holiday lights going up in September.  Each season that arrives seems to focus on the next season.  It becomes increasingly important for us, and for our families, to try and slow down. (more…)