Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Etsy Artist Finds...

I have 2 boys and a husband so life around here tends toward the masculine. I like it though. You can't beat a little orange and grey combo. Ezzie's backpack is orange and grey camouflage-he loves it. He's been wearing it all over town and out playing in the yard,hiding in the bushes, doing a little covert black ops-shooting at the neighbors and such. I tried to explain to him recently that "it's kind of frowned upon" bringing a rifle to school even though it's not real. He was like "WHAT?WHY?"-lol-He's 5.

 All rampages aside I found this cool shop Edubarba (from Sevilla,Spain) while stalking the fave shops of my fave shops on Etsy. You know how is right?! I love the colors, lines and uniformity of his work. I've always liked technical drawings, charts and scientific illustrations. Some of his pieces have elements of that and remind me a bit of my old college notes from anatomy class. I also love the graphic calendars-they would make a great gift don't you think? Just a thought.

His prints are simple and cool--Just perfect for any big boys room!

(This shop went on vacation today-but be sure to browse his sold section and add him to your faves-if you like!:)

Check it out....


Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Inspiration...organization

It's almost back to school time and I really want to be organized.  Ezzie will in Kindergarten this year-so it's my first experience with kids going to school. I wouldn't say I'm panicked-but maybe a little anxious.

One of things about this house that I have a hard time with is the lack of storage space and the awkward entry points. I function better when the house is clean and organized and that is a challenge in this space. Our home is a charming, 1940's cottage style house with lots of character and possibilities. You know what that means right? It needs some work. (I am still working on stairway project catch up here.)

When you walk in the front door there is a tiled area and another door in front you that leads to the (carpeted) living room. The problem with this is that it is small and when the door is open the coat and shelf are behind it, so you have to squeeze in and shut the door to hang your coat and kick off your shoes. If there are 2 or more people-forget about it. I mean we try but it ends up getting piled up with shoes. Plus it isn't insulated and we live in Northern Michigan-you get the picture.

The other way to enter our house is through the garage. This is how about 98% of the people that visit us come in. I cannot tell you how much I dislike this. it's buggy, dirty, and because of the position of the house to the lake-the wind blows directly toward it. In the  the summer it's dusty, fall fills it with leaves and last winter snow drifted to 4 feet out there. I have rugs out there but it needs some attention.

The garage is small-too small to park in. Except for maybe a 2 door Jeep. The reason I know this is because my husband has a 1974 CJ5 project jeep that he pulled into the garage last winter and spray bombed-that's right-spray painted INSIDE!

Sounds ghetto right? It is. We've been having the same disagreement about this space since we moved here. I want a MUDROOM. Not huge-just a clean-non-garage, tiled, drywalled, walkway from the door of garage to the interior door of the house. It doesn't even have to be insulated-just leaf and bug free. Is that too much to ask from quite possibly the handiest man on planet earth? He won't budge though. He says I'm trying to take the garage away. lol-tune in for more as I attempt to Jedi-mind-trick him into thinking it's the best idea he's ever had!

The point is- mudrooms are cool, look nice when you come into a house, help keep you organized and I want one. Here's a few elements that I feel are essential...somewhere to sit or throw your purse and keys, boot tray, hooks, bins, an outdoor rug, shelves and cubby space and a recycling area.

Hope you like...

a. Lyckhem Occasional Table-IKEA-$129
b. Assortment of boot trays from Gardener's Supply
c.  Logan Storage Bench-Home Decorator's Collection-$249
d. TubTrugs-plastic storage tub-large-$15.99 (I have some of these and LOVE them!)
e. Shaker style peg hooks-Peg and Rail
f. Indoor/Outdoor
 g. Clip 9 Hook coat Rack-$29.95-CB2
h. Indoor/outdoor rugs-Dash and Albert
i. Flip top trash can for recyclables
j. Assortment of baskets and storage bins-The Container Store

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jen's Art Additions...

I've been running around like a crazy person lately! I'm doing things I like at least. A while back I told my readers that Area Fare is  on kind of a lightened vacation mode and when school starts up I'll be blogging again most days of the week. I've really been missing all the home fashion things I've not been reading up on...sigh. In the summer I just wanna have fun outside with my boys. It's hard to think about home decorating too because I've been running so much-to the beach, camping, BBQ's and trips out of town. I can barely keep the house clean much less decorate it! :) I've found that taking the two tornadoes (Ezzie and Roo-Roo) out for the day is the best strategy.

The mural at All Saints is really coming together. Open house is Tuesday so it's got to be done this weekend for sure. Then I start painting the windows over there and after that (hopefully) I'll be able to dedicate more time to my Etsy shop and some new artwork and designs.

Here are two things I've accomplished recently...

Modern ABC-this one is mostly finished-just have to do some practice prints to make sure the colors are true after being printed. Then it's going to be in my shop. Have a look...

And this one is conceptual right now but I like it. I'll probably do a variation of this one with some different fonts. I painted the background on this one. Started out black-and I kind of like the whole B&W thing. Added some color later-It's turning out cool don't you think?

Well I'm off and running again...checking out a resort in southern Michigan.

Have a lovely weekend! Bye-Bye!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Again...

I'm back from another camping trip. It was relaxing and fun. The weather (mostly) cooperated, just a few little patches of rain. We used that opportunity to nap, play cards and generally just lay around-it was great! We went to a place called Clear Lake-and it was just that. We kayaked around the lake, swam with the boys and explored the ample forested trails. Our 5 year old loved it-he was playing army in the woods behind our site all weekend and both boys were as dirty as can be! We even saw a bald eagle on our way back from the little store, it was just sitting on the side of the road. We slowed down because someone had pulled over to check out what we thought might be a turkey-ha city folk-and there he was. It was pretty cool.

So that's where I've been. No internet, no cell phone reception-well perhaps a scant email here and there but that's it! One email I did get was from my good friend Ann. She's a northern Michigan girl I met in TC while working at Grand Traverse Resort. She was in college then at Western Michigan University-studying to be a graphic designer. She was always so creative and one of the funniest people I've ever known!

She's all grown up now and living in Seattle with her beau Bart-their little apartment was featured on Apartment Therapy not too long ago-check it out here. She is working as graphic designer out there but on the side has been working on her small business called Iva Jean.

She entered a contest on the Daily Candy website called 2011 Start Small GO BIG! If selected the small business owners win a trip to New York to meet the likes of Jonathan Adler and Sara Blakely founder of Spanx)-who'll help mentor her and give her some major press-it's an awesome opportunity. She has been selected as one of the 3 finalists in her category-Fashion. Her company Iva Jean is a lifestyle bike fashion start-up, and her debut item-the Rain Cape-is super cute!

Rain Cape-$240 from Iva Jean

Vote for Ann once a day on the Daily Candy site until September 14th-the Winner will be announced September 16th!

Good Luck Ann!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jen's Art Additions...and some other stuff

I've been slacking again this week...I know! My husband came home from work and we've been hanging out doing family stuff and enjoying the weather. He works away from home for a few weeks at a time, then comes back for a few weeks, and so on. Whenever he comes back I get knocked off my schedule a bit, making more elaborate meals and conceding the "good" computer! lol! Anyway, I thought I'd share a few family moments I took of my boys this week and some of the progress I've made on the mural at All Saints Catholic School....

I took Ezzie, our oldest son, over to Traverse City, MI to pick Emm up from the airport. We had time to spare so I swung into the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for a walk-thru. I used to work there back in the day (pre-child era). He thought it was awesome and it was cool for me to check out the ol' stomping grounds. We even snuck into the employee area and up the elevator to the 17th floor(top) where I used to work. It's glass all the way around and you can see for miles. The resort is situated on the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan-it is spectacular from up there! Gorgeous green rolling golf courses, trees and water as far as you can see. And some of the best sunsets ever!

16th floor restaurant GTR&S Aerie

spiral staircase 16th floor-Aerie Restaurant

view of the "Tower" GTR&S

view of the tower and golf courses at GTR&S

lobby bar GTR&S

bar on the 16th floor-Aerie

little EZ on the spiral staircase.

Ezzie's fave part was a trip to Dylan's Candy Bar, located in the gallery of shops on the lobby level. It is the brainchild of  candy lover and daughter of Ralph Lauren-CEO Dylan Lauren. Need I say more...

Here's a few pics of the boys at the beach back in Alpena(where we live). We rode our bikes down to beach park about a mile and half from our house. Had a great picnic lunch in the pavilion and then let the kids frolic in the sand. It's been fun!

Little Lucky Ez...

Roo and Daddy

Here are a few pics of the mural from the Catholic school. This is the first mural I've ever done-lol-but it's turning out cute right?

And lastly-Check out these stamps from the USPS-I picked these up yesterday-I mail almost nothing with stamps anymore, but it's good to have some on hand. I hung these on my pin board I liked them so much....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pretty spaces....

I love to look at other peoples work spaces. Studios, shops, drawing rooms,whatever. Fill a space with wrapping paper rolls, cards, ribbons, buttons and other crafty, pretty things and I'm a fan. Anyway, I found myself looking at a tour of a cute little bridal/studio/shop in NY called-Papel New York.(this site is under construction right now). I knew I would like it when I spotted my favorite papers from Elum and Snow and Graham hanging on the wall in rolls! I always dream of having a gorgeous craft room with pops of color everywhere and a spot for rolls of gift wrap-lol-what on earth I would do with that I don't know-but I want it!!! Here are some pics...

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's a good day...

I'm starting to feel better (came down with a summer cold over the weekend). The breeze is cool and blowing the drapes around this morning, I love that. Just sitting here sipping a bit of tea with honey. Soon I will pack the boys into the bike trailer and ferry them down to the farmers market for some yummy veggies. I've got a hot tip about some scrumptious garlic and I've gotta get down there and get some for myself! 

Make sure and check out the latest issue of  Ivy and Piper magazine out today...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Something to look at...

I found these yesterday and thought-"that is so cool". These little paper cuts are from French artist Anastassia Elias. There are many more to look at, so head over to Behance Network and check it out!

Here's a little look...

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Little Shopping...

I'm heading over to All Saints school to get some work done on the mural today and (hopefully) finish that up this week! I'll post some pics of my progress too- so watch for that!

Today I'm posting a couple things I like from Fred Flare. If you haven't heard, it's a quirky little shop with gifts that are sometimes downright ridiculous! Perfect for finding fun kid things or something useful yet unique for a hard to shop for teen or even teacher! Personally I love all the little Matroyshka doll merchandise and the retro iPhone4 cases are a hoot!

Have a look...

A. Feathered Friends Pocket Planner-$16
B. Measuring Cups & Spoons in assorted shapes-$12-14
C. Panda Skillet-$34
D. Russian Doll Nesting Containers-Set of 3-$20
E. Vintage Camera Pencil Sharpener-$18
F. Gin & Titonic (Ship and Iceberg) Ice Cube Tray-$12
G. Vintage Snoopy Lunch Box-$15
H. Matroyshka Carafe Set-$24

Friday, August 5, 2011

Have a great weekend...

My little boy turns 5 tomorrow and there is much to do! We have a great day planned including a birthday party, complete with mini golf, bumper boats, go kart racing, chocolate cake, and transformer stuff! Whew! Have a great weekend!~

I'm leaving you with some images from the cute shop Darling Clementine.

Hope you like...