Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lovely DIY Designs: Week 5 - Dry Erase Boards

Hey y'all!  It's week 5 of Lovely DIY Designs.  Each week, either my blog friend Heather of {just.lovely.things} or myself take one of our diy Pinterest pins and bring it to life.

We call it using our Pinspiration.  Check out week last week's tutorial over at Heather's blog.

My pinspiration this week:

{original source/post here}

Every night, before bed, I take my boring, plain white dry erase board off the wall and write my to-do list for the next day.

My to-do list is more like a schedule.  I write out what I will be doing every hour.  I know that might sound a little neurotic, but making lists and plans is something I really enjoy doing.  Plus, when I have everything written down, I have no stress.  When there is a plan laid out, I know I will get everything done the next day.

When I saw the {above} pretty dry erase board tutorial, I knew it was a must do project.  It looked super easy and something pretty would make schedules even more fun. {If that's possible.}

What you will need:
-a large picture frame {I bought two 11"x13" frames on sale for $6.50/each}
-a piece of fabric or pretty paper that is large enough to fill the frame {I used a vintage pillow case that I bought for $0.50 at the thrift store}
-white or cream colored card stock {if your fabric is thin}

Step One:
Since the pillow case I was using for each frame was fairly thin, I covered the back of the frame with two pieces of cream card stock so that it wouldn't show through the fabric.

Step Two:
Cut your fabric or pretty paper so that it fills the entire frame.  I cut my fabric about 1/2" longer on each side and then tucked it in around the back.

That's it!  Easy.Peasy.

I am going to use one for my daily, hour by hour schedules and the other as a week ahead type planner or for general notes.  Like I said, I love lists.

I feel so organized and I have something pretty to look at - win.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekend Wear: Printed Skirt

A few weeks ago, I came across a clothing site called eShakti.  At first glance, this clothing site was like many others - affordable, trendy clothing.  

However, when I looked a little closer, I realized the difference of eShakti...they let you customize the size of just about any piece.

Yep, that's right.  If you don't fit into a traditional size you can customize your size by entering your measurements.  I love this idea.  Even though I usually don't have a problem with a traditional sizing chart, I the option.  Options are a girl's best friend, right?

For some reason, this graphic print skirt caught my eye.  If you look closely, there is pale blue and brown in the print.  I love when black and brown come together so well.  

I am not one to wear crazy prints so I guess this was an attempt to step out of my comfort zone...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Have you seen....

EmersonMade's new fall pieces?  

These are some of my faves:

As always, I am in love with everything.  Especially the olive green coat.  I need it.

Slow Growth

{Image via here}

Sometimes I sit around and partake in the futile task of worrying about my business.  

Usually this worry has to do with growth.   I worry that my business isn't growing fast enough.  I wonder when it will be at "the" point.  The point where I stop worrying.

There are so many examples of blogs, small businesses, etc that are overnight success stories.  Or at least "success in one year" stories.

I love hearing and reading about these stories.  They make me a bit envious.  And excited.  The potential of crazy growth excites me.

The excitement is what keeps me up at night...writing blog posts and designing and creating.  The excitement is wonderful, but then worry creeps in.  Why is my business not an overnight success?  I have been at this almost two years {almost one year full time} and the numbers are increasing.  

Slow and steady.

The steady part I love.  The slow part is why I bite my nails.

All this has been on my mind the past few weeks.  I think it is because last fall I was preparing to leave my dreadful day job and venture full time into Acute Designs.  Now, it is nearly one year later and I am growing.  I am making money.  I am doing what I set out to do...just not quite in the grand scale that I imagined {yet}.

I am not afraid to dream.  And I am confident that big, major things will happen.  They might not happen tomorrow, but I will get there.  I wish it would happen tomorrow but I hear that patience is a that I should probably practice more.

The idea of slow growth was weighing me down last week and then I happened upon an Ira Glass quote on the blog, Sometimes Sweet.  And...I felt like all was going to be ok with my world.

I felt inspired and justified.  I felt ok with the growth of my potential.

This doesn't mean that I don't plan to work even harder to grow bigger and bigger, it just reminded me that overnight success if the exception, not the rule. 

Here is the quote {For those of you that don't know of Ira Glass, he hosts the weekly radio show This American Life on NPR.  It is only the best radio show in the history of radio if you aren't familiar with it, I highly recommend downloading a free podcast.  I am a HUGE fan of Ira Glass and his show.}

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me.

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap.  For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good.  

It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. 

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer.  And your taste is why your work disappoints you. 

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. 

We all go through this. 

And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work

Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. 

It’s gonna take awhile. 

It’s normal to take awhile. 

You’ve just gotta fight your way through." 

— Ira Glass

What do you guys think?  Do you worry about growth, or just go with it?  Too deep for a Monday :)?

The last line really spoke to me - I think so many people just give up but that will never be me.  If there is one thing I am good at it is persistence and follow through.  

Patience I need to work on, but persistence? I have got that one down.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Five Things + Happy Weekend!

It is all of a sudden the last weekend in August.  I have 9 million things that I said "will be done by the end of the summer."  And, my brain has always considered Labor Day to be "the end of summer."

So, I guess this means all next week, I will be working 15 hour days {I like to sleep 9 hours a night...}.   If I am good at anything it is follow through with a dash of procrastination.  I always do what I say I am going to do, I just leave it to the last minute...I guess I work better when my back is against the wall.

Five things that caught my attention this week:

1. Did you see Diana {from the exPress-o blog}'s post about Ireland this week?  Even though the holidays are months away, it got me dreaming about my next trip to Ireland {my husband is Irish and all his fam still lives there - so we are the lucky ones who get to visit once or twice a year}. 

I have started looking at a few things I have yet to do/see in my past eight trips.  I have also started thinking about all my favorite places {mostly food related} and  I will share with you all "my Ireland" in a post next week.

2. Did you see both Kendi {of Kendi Everyday} and Rebecca {of The Clothes Horse} sporting Acute Designs accessories this week?  They both looked amazing as usual and I was so happy to see my designs grace their outfits.

Rebecca wore this gorgeous shimmering headband and Kendi wore these coral earrings

3. Over on Cup of Jo, Joanna wrote about how age differences.  How much older or younger would you go?  My husband is 15{crazy} years older than me and I never would have bet on that large of an age difference - but if it works, it works.

The worst was a few months ago when someone asked if I was his daughter.  Not jokingly, in all seriousness, that was asked of us.  Seriously...I should wear more makeup or something! 

4. Have you seen my new bridal pieces?  You can check out most of them on the Acute Designs Facebook page.  A few are now for sale in my Etsy shop and I plan to list the rest this weekend.  I am really pleased with the photos and the up is my fall line {which needs to be done by the end of August - eek!}.

5. Don't forget to enter my Noon Jewels giveaway. Winner will be announced on Friday along with my final Summer Giveaway, which I know you will LOVE.

Enjoy the final weekend of August! xoxo

Friday, August 26, 2011

Summer of Giveaways: Noon Jewels

Noon is by far one of my favorite local companies.  They have two shops in the San Diego area where they sell their handmade jewelry and gorgeous paper goods.  They also sell an array of other handmade goods {including Acute Designs!}.

If you are in the San Diego area, be sure to stop by one of their stores {Ocean Beach and Solana Beach}.  You will

If you are not in San Diego, you can view and buy all of their products on their website.  Be sure to check out the online sale section, which is always changing and always full of amazing deals.

This week, I am super excited to share give one of you a pair of earrings from the Noon Core Collection.  

Beyond their Core Collection, they also have a Swarovski Collection which is stunning.  The earrings come in so many colors, sizes, and textures, that once you have one pair, you will become an addict.  Trust me...I have seen it happen!

In order to enter, you must be a follower of this blog and visit Noon's site and tell me which pair of earrings from the Core Collection is your favorite + if you would want gold or silver.  {All their jewels are made with either sterling silver or 14k gold fill...which means they are made to last.}

Extra Entries {please leave a separate comment for each that you do}:
-Like Noon's Facebook Page
-Follow Noon {@noondesigns} on Twitter
-Follow me {@AcuteDesigns} on Twitter

This giveaway is open to all readers - U.S. and international.  Winner will be announced Friday, Sept 2nd before 10am {pacific time}.

Shop Kempt Winner

Congrats to the Shop Kempt Giveaway winner!  

If this is you, please email me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bridal Look Book - A few of my faves

I received my photos from the lovely Camille yesterday {she is working on her website - I will link to it once it is up and running} and was so pleased.

It is so fun to work with a young, talented, creative type such as Camille.  She is still in college and totally has her shit together.  If I were half as together when I was her age, I would probably be out of control successful right about now. 

{There is no way to quantify that, so you will just have to trust me. } 

{I just realized that I typed "when I was her age" and now I feel old....}

Anyways, here are a few of my favorite shots - they were designed and created with brides in mind, but some could carry over into every day life.

The entire collection will be listed in my shop by next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lovely DIY Designs: Week Four

Four weeks already?  Crazy how fast time has gone.  And even crazier than August is almost over!

This week is Heather from {just.lovely.things}'s turn for some Lovely DIY Designs.  Pop over to her blog to see her simple and fun crepe paper creation.

And, if you are new here check out weeks 1, 2, and 3 of Lovely DIY Designs.  

We are seriously making some good use of our Pinterest boards {follow mine here and Heather's here}.

Warning: This is not a dress

While on vacation in Hilton Head, my mom, sister, and I spent an afternoon shopping in a cute little town called Bluffton.

At first glance I didn't think the city would have much to offer, but I was wrong.  Lots of cute shops, pretty churches, art galleries, and a fun town tour on a golf cart.

While shopping, I bought a red something....I figured it was more of a tunic but that I might be able to wear it as a dress on a super hot day.  

When my mom saw me attempting to wear it as a dress, she informed me that it was in fact not a dress and that I needed to put something on underneath it.

I will admit, she was right.  I ended up pairing it with jeans and wearing it as a bathing suit cover-up the rest of the week.  It was pretty much perfect for the beach.

Red is so not normally my color, but I love this tunic/cover-up/non-dress.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tree Branch Art: Guest Post with Allison of Crafted Love

Today I am excited to share with you guys a guest post from Allison of Crafted Love.  This tree branch art tutorial is so simple and fun and the end result is a beautiful, modern piece.  I just love it.  

Hello there! I'm Allison Kaye from Crafted Love. I'm a twenty-something design student who loves anything creative and handmade. I'm here to show you a super simple art tutorial that is sure to brighten up any room in your house... anyone can do this, I don't care if you can paint like Monet or a kindergartner, this project is for you! Take a look...

Step One: First, you need to gather up all your supplies. For this, you will need a canvas [or two, or three] I chose to use three separate canvases for a different feel. It doesn't matter what size you choose, anything will work. You will also need paint, brushes, painter's tape, a tarp or trash bags, and scissors.

Step Two: Lay down your tarp or trash bags so that you don't get paint every where. Start by brushing a base coat down all over the canvases. You could skip this step if you want the branches to be white but I wanted them to be a cream color. Allow that to dry for a few hours.

Step Three: Using the painter's tape, make long strips across the canvas and cut smaller pieces so it begins to look like branches. Make sure it's pressed down really well so that paint doesn't get under it as much as possible.

Step Four: Using three different paint colors, paint sections of the canvas in different colors. It doesn't have to be symmetrical. In fact, it looks better if the sections are uneven. Let that dry for several more hours.

Step Five: Once the paint is completely dry, remove the tape carefully. You should now have a canvas full of tree branches! Some of the paint will inevitably get under the tape but it just gives it a bark-look and looks natural. You could stop at this point, but I'm going to keep going.

Step Six: Take your canvases outside and put the tarp/trash bags on the ground. This part could get a little messy so I don't suggest wearing your favorite flats like I did :].

Step Seven: Using an accent paint, flick paint all over the canvases. This will give it just a little bit of texture and make your masterpiece even more intriguing.

Step Eight: Let it dry and then hang! You are now an artist!

If you love this DIY you can find lots of other craft tutorials on my blog as well as another really easy piece of art for your home. I love making new blog friends so don't be afraid to say hi!

Designed by Jackie Ayr