Inspiration vs Copy January 26, 2012 All of the intellectual property talk generated by SOPA and the award season gowns made me start thinking about how I’m a big fan of protecting IP but where exactly is the line? I’m not a fan of the exact replicas that appear after a major event where you can get the copy of the gorgeous Oscar gown for $150 bucks but I love seeing how that dress can inspire others to do something similar that’s all their own. I have a couple of exceptions that make me feel like I’m walking pretty close to the hypocritical line but there you go. I don’t have issues with craft projects where you make your own version of whatever it is. The same with creating your own inspired versions of high end art, design, etc as long as you aren’t reselling it but purely for your own individual purposes. I’ve attached images of what really got me thinking about this. This is the super fancy Cartier bracelet of my dreams. Gold encrusted with gems that’s over the top but still elegant and timeless. image here This bracelet is an enamel animal bracelet I saw on Zulily that is probably not timeless and elegant but I love it and find it fun and interesting. It’s also a much better price point at $11 and still hits the spot for a fantastic bangle. It’s also not trying to be the Cartier bracelet but a fan piece to add to your wardrobe which is perfect for me. Image from Zulily As an artist, I try to remember my vision even when inspired by other pieces and artists. I try not to get too close to the original but it can be tough. All I know for sure is I can’t wait to get my bracelet and have some fun with all of the accessorizing. New Shoes: Huspuppies! January 15, 2012 For Christmas I got a gift certificate for the mall along with some Christmas $ from my parents. Both of them were burning a hole in my pocket so Rolland took me to the mall this weekend just to shut me up! I’ve been seeing some super cute loafers and flats and scoped out the shoe dept at Nordstrom’s. I saw these and immediately fell in love. After ponying up an additional $10 bucks these babies were mine! I love the style and the packaging is fantastic. Can’t wait to try them out. Rolland pointed out the only flaw that I can’t really reach the bows to tie with the super pregnant belly. I may have to look for work volunteers! Sunday in the Kitchen January 15, 2012 I spent some time in the kitchen today and made a new batch of spicy rosemary nuts from the Barefoot Contessa. I up the heat factor by using habanero powder instead of chipotle powder. More of the snacks were requested by the husband and his coworkers. We’re having Italian for dinner and I love garlic bread but wanted to find an easy recipe to make the french bread myself. I found this one on food.com and so far it was easy, smelled great and looks good. I won’t know until a little later how it tastes. I have high hopes since it really was super easy and could save a lot of $. Last up for tonight is fried mozzarella balls and tomato dipping sauce as an appetizer prior to spaghetti. I’ll have to snap some shots if it works out well. I’d post the recipe for the mozzarella but Pinterest is down. Even though the baby was going crazy playing earlier, at least that makes it sound more whimsical than just beating the crap out of Mommy’s internal organs, and I desperately wanted a nap I’m excited I managed to get some kitchen time in. I’ve missed my fancy measuring cups and kitchen aid mixer. It’s also been fantastic to have a fire in the fireplace and football in the background. Perfect Sunday. Nursery Pictures January 15, 2012 I finally took some pictures of the nursery. It’s pretty much done but I’m thinking of totally reorganizing the baby clothes. The dresser is pretty crowded and the closet is fairly empty so it needs a little balancing. Most everything in the nursery was on sale or something we had with a few exceptions. This is the corner by the closet door with the cute girl version of the iconic cat clock. The doll is one I made inspired by Lisa Kaus. Both of which use to live in my studio but look great in here. I wanted her to have a few things Mommy made from the very beginning. The ottoman and glider are two exceptions. The glider was on sale at Potter Barn Kids but was still pricey with the shipping and slip cover. The ottoman was custom made and ordered through a friend. Even being custom, it was 1/2 the price of the matching ottoman from (PBK) and has a lot more interest. It’s big enough to act as a table for her when she’s older. The picture behind the chair is one of my favorites and I got it on Etsy. The dresser is an antique that was once my great-grandmother’s. Now it’s made fancier with knobs from Anthropologie. The two top ones are sparrows in pink, blue and white. The others are pink crystal daisies with gold centers. Love them. The picture above the dresser is a photo taken by Wendy Bix. I was super lucky and won mine via a twitter giveaway but you can pick up your own from her Etsy shop. The bunny box is awesome and I need to get a better shot. My friend Randall bought it for her when we were shopping the Christmas sale at Anthropologie. The retro fan was also moved from my studio to her room. Love the aqua against the pink and white. Her crib was a PBK sale with sheets and monkey (which won’t be in the crib when she is until much older) were shower gifts. The changing table was a super discount via PBK kids that the husband found fairly early on in the nursery development. The changing pad was a gift from my Mom along with a pad cover. This one in polka dots was a shower gift. Still need to organize the diaper and baby paraphernalia that’s squirreled away in the baskets but it’s fantastic that the basket holds the all the clutter. Bookshelf was moved from the studio and is filled with a mix of new and existing items. Her Aunt, a librarian, is building her quite the library with a few additions from friends, grandparents and some of my favorite classic mythology and of course Harry Potter series. I had a couple of these prints in my studio and am crazy about them and new immediately I wanted them in her nursery. I ordered the bubble gum pic to create the triptych and the husband did a fantastic job of hanging them. The Black Apple has some great series images that could fit into all kinds of themes (which I seriously avoided since I knew I would take it way too far). Her circus images are fantastic. I hope she likes it and I don’t immediately turn her off of pink and all things girly. :O Baby Shower in Missouri January 9, 2012 My family threw a fantastic baby shower for me in Missouri this weekend. Anita, my sister-in-law, coordinated with my Mom to get it set up with all kinds of tasty goodness and invitations on both sides. Everyone went way beyond in the planning and it was gorgeous. Anita also acted in the role of waitress making sure everyone had everything they needed – she’s much nicer than me. I would have self-service all over the ladies. It was also our last road trip pre-baby delivery. I hadn’t had any issues with swelling until the 6 hour drive from here to Springfield. By the end of the day I had definite cankles and it was seriously unattractive and generally unpleasant. No more long road trips until Sophy can ride along outside of the womb. She does seem especially displeased with road maintenance in southern Oklahoma so if someone could get on that it would be great. Back to the shower. I clearly had a good time since these were the only photos I took. Luckily my sister-in-law, Sandi, is a fantastic photographer and she was all over it with the picture taking. I’ll do more photos when she’s gone through the 300 she took! It was mostly a family shower and a little mini-reunion for my husband’s family and everyone was fabulous. They seemed to have a good time and awed appropriately with all the pinky goodness. This kid is set for a long time! My plate of goodiesThe sagging presents table! Everyone was incredibly generous and I’m a little teary at how happy everyone was to celebrate us and the baby.I was in love with this mural on the wall at the tea room where we had the shower.Little festive goodness in the form of vines, twinkling lights and chandelier.The table that greeted the guests. My Mom had a fantastic idea of having folks address their thank you cards when the came in making it super easy to get those suckers in the mail. She also had everyone wrote a note on little onsies that were clothes pinned to the cake table with miniature pins. Super cute.Gorgeous cake my Mom made. Dad had to do a little baby decapitation but it was totally worth it in the cuteness that resulted. Now we’re going to get started on washing all the baby clothes and seriously getting ready for her arrival including bag packing. Luckily we bought her outfit for coming home a few weeks ago so the big decisions are all done. 🙂 2012… the Mayans can suck it January 3, 2012 I’m not all about the resolutions but a new year does seem like a good time to take stock of what’s important to you. (At this point, I’m hoping to get it done prior to the end of January and that’s looking ify.) What do I want for myself, for my family and for the future in general? So I’m starting my list and see how it goes. 1. Deliver a healthy and happy baby girl. Work out a routine that’s good for all 3 of us (and the fur babies)to keep everyone fed, clean, sheltered, etc. 2. Do a better job of keeping connected with friends and family. These are all people I love and care about so I should let them know and do my part in continuing to maintain the relationships. 3. Spend more time in the kitchen and housekeeping in general. I’m not wanting to become a domestic goddess but I’d like to be more aware of what we’re eating, keeping the house clean (especially with the new baby) and what we use to keep it clean for everyone’s improved health. 4. A little more spinach reading to go along with all of my fiction. I’ve collected a fair amount of non-fiction that I’m always meaning to get to but I want to make an effort to actually work some in. I recognize this is a little crazy with a new baby but I live in hope. 5. De-clutter, de-clutter and then de-clutter some more. I want to clear out all of the old and make room for new in the house. Also, it keeps everyone a little more settled when the house is clean and relatively clutter free. 6. Making a priority of healthy eating and exercising. Post-baby I want to work hard to get back to the progress I was making in terms of maintaining my weight with steady loss and improved exercise. I never thought it would happen but I miss jogging on the treadmill. I’m pretty happy that I have not overly enjoyed my pregnancy (as Dr.Garner puts it when folks over indulge) and have gained a healthy and realistic amount of weight. I’ve added in a little more chocolate to my everyday meal plan but also more awareness of snacks and healthier eating which sort of offsets the additional dessert. 7. Optimistic and sunny are not words that are generally used to describe me but I’d like to be a little more positive in my approach to the world. I don’t want to raise a cynical and jaded baby right from the start so it’s kind of exciting to start looking at things from a new perspective. 8. Figure out what makes me happy and do more of that. Fairly straight forward once I decide what I really like vs what’s just become a decent routine. Much to my husband’s dismay reality TV may stay. 9. Better control on our finances including a real budget. We’ve already made some pretty good strides here but I see a few more cuts in our future. I watched one of Suze Orman’s shows (limited options at 2am) where she told a couple they should pay for their child’s college but don’t let the child know this is an option. They have to work and show they’re serious and at the end just pay off her student loans. I kind of love this approach and want to be in a position to do that. 10. Make more art. Any kind of art. I think this will be a great time to bond with the kiddo once she’s old enough to hold a crayon. There were always craft projects in our house and makes you a little handy when you grow up and would love to have that with our daughter. I would also love to work in some art classes/retreat but will need to figure out how that works with the baby and the budget. 11. Budget in some serious travel plans for the family. We both love it and don’t do enough but we definitely want to make it a priority and would love to do some RV trips to some national parks. These may be pre-planning for beyond 2012 but it makes me bizarrely happy to read travel books, maps and plan itineraries. 12. Remember to be grateful. No matter how bad the day gets, there is a lot for me to be thankful for everyday. Fantastic husband, baby on the way, great family and we both have good jobs with benefits, etc. It’s easy to take it all for granted but I don’t want to and I want to do more to give back since we’ve been seriously blessed. I’m going to call it a day at a list of 12 since this post has dragged on for nearly a month and already feels crazy ambitious but this year is already pretty awesome as we’re now seriously approaching delivery day. I hope you guys are still working on your resolutions or just have amazing weekend plans! Happy New Year January 1, 2012 I’m most thankful for my husband and our baby (she’ll be here soon!) in 2011 and in 2012. I hope 2011 was everything you wanted and 2012 brings you more! … and without the mustache because the mustache is weird. Happy New Year!