Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sweet Photo Challenge

Today I am linking up with The Paper Mama's photo challenge.  The subject this week is "sweet."  

I made the dogs ice cream a few days ago and captured this photo of Gordita licking the sweet potato-peanut butter ice cream off her lips.

She was a happy pup.

In other news....the weather is perfect here this weekend ~

You guys should probably come visit me in San Diego.

Happy Saturday!  

Friday, June 29, 2012

5 things friday

Hey, it's Friday!  And next week's a holiday week so it kind of feels like today is a holiday.  Or is that just me?

**Once again, you guys gave me the best book recommendations.  I tried to fill up my library hold list but I am delinquent {lots of fees}.  A mean notice popped up online and it said I have to go the library to get everything sorted out.  I am scared.  Librarians are pretty scary.  I plan to stop by next week....wish me luck. {The funny thing is, I only owe like $6.  So much fuss over $6.}

**All you San Diego and SoCal friends ~ enter this Photo Session giveaway. Your chances are pretty good and Lauren is a super talented photographer.  

**I put lots and lots of new earrings and rings in my shop this week.  My favorite are the new Full Bloom Rosebuds.  They are pretty much the perfect size {not too big, not too small} and they come in the best colors.  

**If you're a handmade seller, summer can be a slow season.  Julie of Julie Ann Art wrote a great post on ways to take advantage of a slow period. Don't sit around waiting for sales ~ go do something!

**Another post I really loved this week was this one on learning how to be quiet from Srsly Liz.   It was so well-written and touching.  

That's all for now ~ I hope you all have a fun friday!  Is it hot where you are?  It is a comfortable 75 degrees here. Really too nice.  No one deserves this weather. 

p.s. I miss painfully hot and humid midwest summers.  Anytime I tell anyone that, they think I'm let's just keep it between us.

Rouge & Whimsy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thrifting Thursday

Last week's thrift trip produced the best chair ever as well as a few other pieces.

One of the other pieces I found was a perfect {vintage? I don't know for sure.} yellow shelf for $2.

This shelf was a prime example of thrifting luck....just when I stop looking for things like shelves, the perfect one falls in my lap.  Or in this case, at my feet as it was on the bottom of another shelf.

I didn't really need a new shelf but god knows that has never stopped me before. Plus, I can always use it in future displays for craft and art shows. And it was $2 so I pretty much had to buy it.

In addition to the shelf, I also found a bunch of these jars for $0.90 each.  I am always in need of more jars.

Have you found anything good lately??

Linking up with The Blue Eyed Owl.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Whatcha Readin?

Ever since my nine month old TV died {thank you disposable everything made somewhere a million miles away} I have been doing a lot more reading.  I guess the tv's premature death was a good thing :).

Last month I read Andy Cohen's book, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture in less than 3 days.  It was so good.  I devoured all the Bravo tidbits.  This book is a must for Bravo fans.

I love the Victorian era and am a junkie for period dramas, so I was pretty excited when I saw The American Heiress at Target.  It was in a little section of books by first time writers.  The review on the front even says it's meant for those in Downton Abbey withdrawal {Target knows me SO well} so I was excited to get home and start reading.

It was...ok.  I definitely didn't hate it and it kept my attention but it didn't wow me.  I thought it was a little predictable.  I don't like to be too critical because I cannot even imagine how much hard work the author put into her first book.  I am sure it was a labor of love.  Plus, who am I to judge?  I have never written a book.  Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

In anticipation of the new movie, I am re-reading The Great Gatsby.  I pulled my copy from college off my bookshelf and immediately started reading the notes I wrote all over the first few pages.  

I am only a few pages in but I hope to finish it this week and move on to another book.  
So....what do you recommend?  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I will know I have made it when....

Do you have a wish list?  I do, but I call it "I will know I have made it when...." list.  The list is slightly superficial.  No need to get deep here, people.

I will know I have made it when....

I have two bathrooms in my house.  I am pretty sick of sharing a bathroom.

I have a second car.  Nothing fancy.  I just want a pick-up truck so that I can become an even bigger thrifted furniture hoarder.

I buy my clothes at Anthropologie and J.Crew {not just sales} and not consider the cost.  Actually any store's not on sale items would be quite the accomplishment.

I only buy organic everything.

I can speed and not concern myself with the cost of all the inevitable tickets.

I have a backyard big enough for my dogs to run.  It is so pathetic to watch Finn attempt to get some speed and then have to turn and run right back to me.

I don't need my own plane {unless it's Airforce One, I am a little scared of private planes} but I will fly first class on any flight longer than three hours. Or just any flight.

There is a song called You and I by Ingrid Micahelson.  It used to annoy me but one day it got in my head and now I kind of like it.  It's a cute song and totally goes with the theme of this blog post ~ enjoy and have a good day!

What about you?  What {somewhat superficial} items are on your "I will know I have made it when..." list?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Photo sessions are the best

Before I got involved in this whole online selling/blogging business I didn't care much about photography. I used my little camera in auto only and took pictures at night...with flash.  I know.

The more I engage in photography by practicing, researching, and trying out different techniques the more I love it.  By photography has improved by major leaps and bounds the past two years.  Despite my decent photo skills, nothing beats a professional photo shoot with a really awesome photographer.

If you have never booked yourself a professional shoot...or if the last time was your wedding you might want to change that :).

Today, the talented Lauren Nygard is generously giving one of you lovely readers an hour long session with someone you love plus a 16x20 gallery wrapped canvas.  

I am pretty jealous of you guys - Lauren is one talented lady!

Lauren is located in the San Diego area so in order to qualify for this prize, you must either be here or be willing to travel to her location.

In order to enter, just fill out the form below ~ 
Good luck and happy Monday friends!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend = Productive

The best word to describe my weekend is productive.  I got so much done and it felt great.  While I do love a fun and relaxing weekend, I usually end up with needless Sunday night anxiety if I don't check almost everything off my to-do list.  

No anxiety this Sunday.  Win!

Saturday I gave each of my dogs a haircut and a bath.  Gordita actually growled at me!  She has never, ever done that. I think she was annoyed with my slowness while cutting her hair.

After the dog grooming session, I cleaned and organized my entire garage.  I actually vacuumed it too.  Craziness. 

My studio also got a cleaning slash re-organizing.  My new thrifted yellow shelf is basically perfect.

I finished two small diy projects I have been meaning to do forever.ever.  And I did four loads of laundry.

Saturday was pretty much the most productive day of my year thus far!

After all my hard work, Neil and I went to the Street Fair in OB.  It was sunny and warm and packed.  I ate fried cheese curds straight from Wisconsin, a chicken taco, and drank a few too many beers.  Success!

Today I worked at Noon {the cutest shop in San Diego!} and am heading to bed early.  

{Acute} for sale at Noon.

It was a great weekend.  I love summer.  I really do. 

How was your weekend?

{All photos from Instagram ~ find me! @AcuteDesigns}

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekend Flash Sale

Offer valid in the {Acute} Etsy shop and ends midnight Sunday, June 24th.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

4 things friday

Happy Friday!  Sorry, just four things today.  My brain is tired and that fifth one is not happening.

**I am definitely sold on the maxi dress trend and I think I might try to make my own.   Realistically, I will spend $10-$20 on fabric, get frustrated, give up, and go to Forever 21.  But, right now I think it might be fun....

I like this tutorial and this one.  They both seem doable.

**Looking for something sweet?  Try my peanut butter dark chocolate rice krispie treats.  Warning, they're addicting.

**These bottles from Anthro are really pretty.  I have an idea to diy some.  It may or may not work.

**Have you guys seen the show Girls on HBO?  I recently watched all the episodes on HBO Go.  It's good and funny.  I enjoy it but I do feel a little old watching it.  

The girls on the show are all in their early 20s so they are definitely a generation behind me.  When I was enjoying my first year {jobless} after college, I didn't have Facebook or an iPhone or even a laptop to entertain me.  

I just watched talk shows all day and borrowed my roommate's laptop to check my email and hope that maybe I could get an interview for a job I could have managed when I was 14.  Life was good :).

Anyways, I am rambling.  The show is good, check it out and let me know if it makes you feel old too. 

What are you up to this weekend?  

I plan on bathing my dirty pups, running some errands, and relaxing.   Hope yours is a good one!

I am linking up with rogue & whimsy for friday finds and favorites!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thrifting Thursday

I did a little thrifting today with my friend Amanda.  I found a few things - jars, a bowl, lace, and a cute perfect-shade-of-yellow shelf {all for $19}.

While all of that was awesome in itself, the absolute best part about our thrifting trip was a consignment furniture shop Amanda knew about.  I had never been there but I think it might be my new favorite place/best friend.  

I found this chair - vintage, mint condition, and only $59.  I know, I know. 

The store was FULL of furniture I could have easily taken home if I had a big car and no budget.

Unlike the majority of secondhand, thrifted furniture I bring home, this piece needs no work.  And it's a pretty soft shade of gray ~ one of my favorite colors.

Can you count the three chairs in this shot?  I have a chair problem.

Finn completely photo-bombed this picture....

The dogs always give my thrift finds a sniff test.  This one has surprisingly very little smell.

What have you found lately?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh, hi summer

Summer is here ~ yay for my favorite season!

This summer I plan to...

Drink lots of these cocktails.

Go to the beach at least once.  We live 15 minutes from the beach but we never go.  That should probably change.

Sit outside and read....without a phone two inches from my hand at all times.

Visit family and friends in New Orleans, Chicago, and Ohio .

Prepare my Fall/Holiday line and schedule a photo shoot with this girl and this one

What do you have planned?

Handmade 101: Imitating is not flattering

Everyone knows that saying "Imitation is the best form of flattery."  

When it comes to this business - nothing could be father from the truth.

Having similar products or services is the nature of business in general.  Everyone finds inspiration in different places and a lot of us find inspiration in the same places, hence you see similarities in the handmade world. Similarities are fine.  They are expected.  

Blatant copying is not fine but sadly it has become commonplace.

I know I have talked about this before and I don't want to sound like a broken record...but twice in the past week friends of mine told me about copying issues they are having with other handmade artists/bloggers.

I DO NOT get this.  How does anyone expect to build a lasting business if all they cannot generate their own ideas or content?

We need to support each other.  Not take from one another. 

I sell everyday jewelry, hair accessories, and bridal pieces.  I am definitely not the only person who does this and I know that the competition in the niche is pretty fierce.  

So what can I do about it?  I have a choice - I can find successful artists and copy what they're doing in the hopes that I might find some success OR I can formulate my own ideas, create new designs, and reach out to these successful artists for advice and support.

I choose to do my own thing.  I am not the most successful but I truly believe that in the long run, my business will last.  That person over there who is copying someone will always feel like she is trying to keep up.

I also choose to support others in this business - whether we are in the same design niche or in completely different ones.  

As handmade artists and small business owners we have the ability to create a different type of business culture.  We don't need to follow the standard big business rules of fighting the competition in every possible way.

What kind of business owner do you want to be?  One that is successful and respected or one that is successful due to shady practices?

Doing the respectful thing means success is often harder to achieve.  But when it finally comes, you and everyone around you {don't think we don't notice the copying!} will know that this is the kind of business owner we want in our economy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Great Gatsby

Is anyone else ridiculously excited for the new Great Gatsby movie {set to release around Christmas}?  I got chills watching the trailer.  

I definitely need to re-read the book before the movie comes out.  I think I last read it over 10 years ago...way too long!  If you have never read The Great Gatsby, do yourself a favor.  It is such an American treasure.

Weekend Fun = a blogger lunch, sheep, and fair food

This past weekend was really busy and also really fun.

 I was having a really good hair it was necessary for me to stand in front of the mirror and take photos.

Neil took these.  He told us to "look natural."

Gordita is so over it.

I got this dress on sale at Target for $12.  It is very un-me.  I rarely wear bright, colorful, pattered clothes.

Finn never takes a bad picture.  Never.

Sweet chunky monkey.

Saturday morning I drove up to the OC to meet up with two blogger friends - Tammy {who I have met a few times and is more of a real life friend than just a blogger friend nowadays} and Julie {who I have never met before, but have "known" online for a while}.

We had so much fun eating and talking about blogging, handmade businesses, Southern California, and more.  Tammy was her usual awesome self and Julie was really nice and...well, real.  I love when I meet people who are  genuine.  Nothing better.

After lunch I headed to Whole Foods to pick up some gluten free beer {not great....but not bad}.  Side note - the Whole Foods in Orange County is the biggest Whole Foods in the world.  Why is everything there SO BIG?!  It freaks me out.

Anyways, Neil and I were staying in Orange County Saturday night because the kids gaelic football team he coaches had games Sunday at the Irish Fair in Irvine.

Saturday afternoon/evening we sat by the pool with other friends involved in the football.  Neil drank his gluten free beers and I drank berry margaritas and white wine spritzers.  Both are gluten free...right?  I assume so.

Sunday was the fair.  It was HOT.  Neil got a bad sunburn despite his SPF 70 sunscreen.  Gotta love that pale Irish skin.

I watched some football, ate some fair food {hello funnel cakes and hotdogs...not quite gluten free but fair food is worth it}, and spent most of my time by the sheep herding exhibit.  Nothing cuter than sheep.  And dogs.  And sheep and dogs together.

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2012

WANT: Maxi Dress

I have been wanting a maxi dress for a while.  Since last summer.  I don't own any and am a little scared to wear one.  I am not totally certain as to why the maxi dress frightens me but I assume it has something to do with the fact that I often look and feel pregnant when I try one on.

Not that I know what it feels like to be pregnant but I figure there is a lot of flowy fabric-ey clothes happening when you're pregnant.

I am going to take the plunge and buy one of these.  The ModCloth one {bottom right} is my favorite but of course the Forever 21 {bottom left} one is the cheapest.  Hmmmm...what to do?

I also like the two from JC Penney {seriously, JCP - who knew?} but both look heavy.

Do you own a maxi dress or are you also scared of them?  If you do own one, where did you get it?  Does it make you look and feel pregnant?

I know, I know.  Deep questions on a Monday morning.

Top Row: JC Penney ~~ JC Penney 
Bottom Row:  Forever 21 ~~ Modcloth 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sponsors and Giveaways

A few changes to sponsorships, giveaways, etc.  

You can still purchase the XL, Large, and Small spots here and I have added in a space for swap ads.

I am going to do a limited number of swaps each month.  If you're interested in swapping in, please email me and I will reserve your spot for July.

I welcome guest posts.  I love to do them on other blogs.  They are a great way to gain exposure to new readers.  If you have an idea for a post - please email me.  I would love to have fresh content here!

Finally - giveaways.  I love to enter them and enjoy having them here on {Acute} but I have decided to limit them to things I really, really love and want.  Or things I already own and love.

Last summer, I did a new giveaway each week and gave away some of my favorite products.  These were some of my favorite giveaways.  Each week I was giving one of you lovely readers something really awesome.  Giving really can be as fun as receiving.

So, look out for more giveaways from me and from my XL Feature Sponsor just not lots and lots of them.  I don't want my blog to feel like a gameshow :).

If you have something really awesome to give away, I would definitely consider it - just email me.

If you have any questions or are interested in partnering up in any way, I would love to hear from you!

Designed by Jackie Ayr