COLOR DREAMS: inspired by gems & minerals

Images of gems & minerals get me every time. There is a mysterious magic in the natural world that opens my mind to possibility. The color and texture that occurs is better than anything we could dream up, which is why nature is where I end up whenever I feel stuck or uninspired. 

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This photo by Mackensey Alexander is luminous. I love when events incorporate personal meaning and connections into their details. This shoot featured on Swooned Magazine is soft, mystical and enchanting. These vendors have shown what can happen when you embrace what makes you unique and different. Rock candy cupcakes. Subtle, yet gorgeous, colors and textures. Florals that can be dried and last a lifetime. I know it's not the traditional voluminous gown, with feminine touches and overflowing vases of blooms, but I really dig this one.

Do It YOUR Way

If you've been following along with me for any amount of time, then you already know that I lean away from societal norms, pop culture, and the like. Yet there is someone I have been incredibly fascinated with lately that made me pay attention for once. That person is Sia.  Like the vast majority of people I've talked to, I thought her masked elaborate performances were a creative solution to intense stage fright. And I admit, I was so excited about this possibility. But then I read this interview, in which she basically says she does it because she feels like it. And I thought, isn't this an even better reason?

Sia is highly against fame and generally avoids public appearances of any kind. Yet she's incredibly well-known and is the mastermind behind so many current musical greats. So why do I admire her so much? It's because she does things her own way. She is quirky and strange and not at all a model of what society considers normal, and yet she stands out and perseveres. What's even better, is that in doing what works for her, she is supporting other members of the Arts community including dancers, stylists, and set designers and bringing more awareness to the artistic aspect of her work. I absolutely adore this about her.

There are difficult and often uncomfortable barriers to overcome with any career, but the one thing I would love to remind myself and others, is that you can do what you want to do in your own way. No matter what personality traits you have or don't have, I guess I just hope that everyone enjoys who they are in what they do. We each have our own unique experiences, knowledge, and journeys and I want to focus on using those as strengths instead of focusing on how we can change intrinsic aspects about ourselves. The beauty of the world today, is that we don't have to fit some pre-determined mold of what our career looks like.  Every day more and more people are choosing to create a path that works for their unique circumstances. 

I will leave you with this video of Sia's Grammy Performance and a question: Are you doing what works for you?

Prop Recipe No. 4: OCEANIC LIFE

On Tuesday I shared inspiration for Prop Recipe No. 4: Oceanic Life. Today, I'm sharing the actual recipe! For this oceanic inspiration, I wanted to focus on the beautiful shades of white, pink, purple and silver found in barnacles, anemone and the fleshy interiors of mollusks. To create this look I would use translucent displays in shades of purple and pink combined with harder textures found in rocks, shells and petrified wood. To give this a more refined finish, I would layer in beautifully tarnished silver items and if you wanted to take it a step further, backdrops in fabrics with subtle swiss dots or a gauzy appearance would help create the right atmosphere. These pretty colors paired with such intricate textures would be such a pleasing palette for all the senses!

Prop Recipe Inspiration No. 4: OCEANIC LIFE

"Come with me, my love, to the sea
The sea of love
I want to tell you
How much I love you
And I'm drowning in a sea of love"

Tom Waits - Sea of Love

Coming out of a crazy Valentine's week and also the intense cold we've been having has had me dreaming of a seaside getaway. The sea has so much rich inspiration, but I kept thinking about the subtle color variations and amazing textures found beneath the ocean's surface. I have a hard time reigning in the color at times, so for this week I wanted to keep things minimal and focused.

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Adventures with Friends

Do you ever want to get together with friends and tend to hear the words "let's get drinks!"? I have to be honest, as someone who hasn't drank alcohol in over 3 years, this is always the last thing I want to hear. Don't get me wrong, I don't have an issue with it but sometimes it's nice to have another option available. So today, I want to share a few ideas for a nice friends day out that doesn't require going to the bar!


How cool would it be to learn how to arrange flowers from the pros, and have a beautiful arrangement to take home with you at the end? Forget Me Knodt in Uptown offers a variety of classes from floral design to terrarium-making and they're also BYOB, making it fun for everyone. I think this would be a really fun bridal shower idea!


Sprout Home offers terrarium workshops for the avid plant lover. This one is definitely high on my list, because a lot of my friends are also addicted to acquiring green friends and enjoy digging around in the dirt.


Ever want to learn something new but don't want to do it alone? There are so many places around Chicago that offer drop-in or group classes. Penguin Foot Pottery has some great open studio options for learning how to make pottery, and Lillstreet up in Ravenswood also hosts many cool classes for creatives.


This one might not be for the faint of heart, but the Chicago Trapeze School offers classes using the trampoline, silks and trapeze. I think it would be a cool way to try something new and test your boundaries if you're feeling adventurous!  If you prefer to work out with friends, ClassPass in Chicago is a great way to utilize a variety of classes around Chicago!


Whether you're into plants, pets, kids, the environment or politics, there are so many great organizations around the city eager for volunteers. PAWS Chicago is an amazing organization cares for animals in need of homes, and the Garfield Park Conservatory is also usually looking for extra hands in their gardens and programs.