Friday, June 29, 2012

Shopping Local

Today was a little different for me.  I went to 3 local spots.  Shopping local is the best thing ever.  You help small businesses, you help your city, and hopefully you get great service. 

I love Pack & Paddle.  I love the owners, the staff, the service, the products, and whatever else there is to love about them.   Pack & Paddle feels like a home away from home.  If you have never been, seriously, do yourself a favor and go check it out.   They have more than just outdoor gear and equipment.  Ladies, they have shoes, cute purses, jewelry, dresses, etc.  All of their items are top quality and worth what you spend. If these guys ever decide to put a table and chairs in there, I'd probably never leave.   I wonder if I could talk them into it?  

Next, I went to check out the soft opening of The Lab.  It's a new hot spot in River Ranch, that sells coffee, tea, and sweet soft serve  (a mix between ice cream and gelato).  Be warned, don't go looking for strawberry, chocolate, or any classic sorbet/gelato favors of that sort!  The Lab's concept is exactly what the title says, the favors you will find are out there.  I choose the Lucky Charms flavor, and it did not disappoint! There was a watermelon mint, skittle flavors, and much more.  Now on the coffee part, it seems to be a 180, and he is going for a purest point of coffee.  

Part of what I love about local spots is the interaction with the owners.  I had a chance to speak with Thomas Peters at The Lab.  I really wanted to know if the black board walls were going free to draw on.  He and his wife are not completely sure yet, if it will be public domain or if they will just have an artist draw on and then seal them.  They are planning to have a small area, instead of a cork board, a chalk board.  So music shows, events, etc can put their information on there to share with the public, which I think is very cool.  We spoke for a while and I eventually asked if he'd be interested in meeting for my 30 Coffee's with 30 People project and he said yes.  So that will be coming after his grand opening of The Lab.  So if you have time swing on by for a cup of joe or ice creamy/gelato/sorbet goodness.

Finally, I remembered that Philippe's Wine Cellar, had a wine tasting going on and on a whim decided to pass by.  Of course I got the "can I see your ID" process.  Philippe himself carded me and joked around all in good fun.  I ended up speaking with the distributor from New Orleans, very nice man.  Found out how he started his business, and what brought him to that point.  Then went along to talk to one of the employees about a particular wine.  Well turns out, that was Sebastian, Philippe's first of two sons.  I found out that the whole family works there.  I love when business' are a family affair, although I'm sure there is struggle in that as well.  I also spoke with several others in there tasting wine.  Overall it was a pleasant experience, and something different to do.  

Paint n' Stitch

 All my life, my mother has cross-stitched.  That's the tiny millions of X's that make up a whole piece of work.  She's done dragon flies, a hurricane map, bass fish, you name it.  So at a young age, I also wanted to try and learn.  She bought me the tiny ones at first to learn and eventually I've done my own big pieces.  All of which I still have today, and cherish, because they take A LOT of time.

The other day I was thinking how I hadn't cross-stitched in a while.  I just starting thinking, why not mix paint and my knowledge of sewing.  Below is my first attempt at mixing painting and hand sewing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coffee Date 1 - Aileen Bennett

Coffee Date 1
 for the 30 Coffee Dates with 30 People Project


Aileen Bennett - Creating Clever

When I first met Aileen it was at a NYE party.  She was very friendly, funny, charismatic, and of course, English.  Later I was told she was the mastermind behind the Do Good Project.  Then I found out she was a writer, blogger, business coacher, speaker, designer, do-gooder and much more.  I enjoy her daily clever blog and I promise you will too.

I've just filled my belly with delicious Carpe Diem gelato, then Aileen comes in with a warm smile and greets me with a hug.  What a wonderful way to start a coffee meeting.  This is exactly how the meeting continued, wonderfully.  She is one of the most geniune people I've ever met. She's a great example of where I'd like to be later in my life.  I don't necessarily mean, speaking, coaching, blogging and such.  I mean that she is happy, she knows who she is and loves what she does.  That's all I want out of life and I am willing to put in the hardwork to achieve it.   

I have always thought, how does anyone only do one thing all day everyday and not go crazy or get bored?  Aileen is proof that I don't have to do that.  That is the beauty of this century, I can do many different things and she encourages it.  Whew, that's a relief!  So it possible to be a designer, artist, painter, photographer, crafter, all in one.

She asked what my dream job and I gave her details of things I'd like.  Then I thought, if I could learn all kinds of new arts and crafts, that be any awesome job.  I get paid to play, experiment, learn and challenge myself, who wouldn't want that? 

We moved on to the topic of business cards, and examples of how people have gotten creative with them.  In particular we spoke about hers.  She has several, check them out here.  She has a blank “thank you” card, which she said is perfect for writing notes when giving to someone.  She has the “Let’s have coffee” card, in which she simply needs to hand to someone.  The reason she handed you the card is right there in your hand!  These work for what she needs them to do for her.  Now I am thinking to myself, "hmmm, what do I want MY business cards to do for me."  I have had trouble in the past designing a card that I felt represented everything I do.   So it's time for me to get my hands dirty and creative and really explore with business cards more.

We are all brands, she said, our actions represent who we are and what we are selling (or not selling).  An interesting concept, with which I agree wholeheartedly.  Aileen believes in helping people.  "Why wouldn't I want to help you?" she says.  It's true, and this is part of her brand.  Otherwise, why would she be sitting with me for coffee?

So she's left me with lifted spirits, new knowledge, and some confidence for my future.  So excuse me,  I have some more experimenting, designing, and research to go do!

Good Daily Life Advice

 An email sent to be my by a family member.  It's cute so I'm sharing. Enjoy.
  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, 'I love you ,' mean it.
  5. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk..
  15. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson!
  17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone.  The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Reaux Photo

A while back, I stumbled upon Laura Reaux's photography.  She made a new fan that day.  I love her work, and her style.  She has the type of photography I enjoy, natural posing while using available light to show its potiential.  Seriously, she's got skills. 

I say she, but in fact, it is now THEY.  Recently, she joined forces with her husband, Jeremy, and became Reaux Photo.  They are a super cool young fun couple with lots of talent.  I'd definitely hire them to photograph do my wedding day in a heart beat.  Maybe one day ;)

So last month, I asked Laura if she would go for a trade, and to my luck, she was totally game.  Traded photography for custom painted TOMS.  She decided she wanted feathers incorporated, but besides that gave me free range to paint as I pleased.

Here are the shoes I painted for her.

I had the pleasure of meeting both of them, along with their adorable twins at the shoot.  Laura is so easy going and sweet.  So comfortable to be around, and at the same time kind of silly (in a best of ways).  She made me laugh and I had a great time.

Here are some photos from the shoot.

I am so happy with how they came out!  Now I just need to update my profile photos, and bio's on....everything!

So go check out their work, Reaux Photo.  They have a Facebook, stop by and say Hi!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Schwinn Stingray Bicycle Seat

SO excited.  I recently bought an old Schwinn cruiser bike.  Now I am going to fix it up, get it painted, and looking awesome.

(Day I picked it up)

This is the seat before I started.

The seat had this metal plate so I took that off, so that I could peel the vinyl off.

Without the vinyl.

After I peeled off the first layer of foam.  Now to get the rest of this foam and rust off.

My dad has a bead blaster at work, so he took care of the next part for me.  Look how nice it came out!

Now for two coats of Rustoleum for protection.

Next, spray adhesive and foam.  Based on what I saw when taking it apart there was two layers of foam. The first cut of foam just fits on the top.

The second wraps around the edges. I put spray adhesive all on the sides to help it stay and clamp it down.


All done with the foam part.

 I went to Hancock's Fabrics and picked out a vinyl material I wanted.

Repeated the same, using spray adhesive to help it stay in place.


Once this part was done, I went back to the shop and put on the other plate that fits under this one.  Here are the final photos.

If anyone has any questions about what I did feel free to email me and I will help as best as I can.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sleepy Robots

Lisastarchild of SleepyRobot13

Surfing on Etsy, I stumbed upon these adorable polymer clay Robots.  Seriously, who wouldn't want one of these?  I think she has a great idea and talent.  I wish the photos she had were of higher quality that really showed off her work.   These have great potential, I hope to see her work grow and expand.  More photos here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Think Happy Be Happy

Last night I felt like painting something.  I wanted to paint a positive saying so I chose "Think Happy Be Happy."  Dexter liked this idea as well.

Yay for positive sayings!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monsters & Kids

Barbara Ana - "Sit"

I love this so much.  Monsters and little kids are such a great combo.  Reminds me of Monsters, Inc, it's so cute.  Also made me think of this artist, love her work.

Obsolete World

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

30 Coffee Dates with 30 People

The Idea
I heard of the idea of 50 coffee dates with 50 people from my sister-n-law and fell in love with this idea.  She and I have both recently started our own businesses.  She is a CPA (Magen at Book-it Accounting), where as I am an artist.  We have both been consuming information about running small business'.  So we often share what we are learning and finding that can help or interest one another.  One article she read about was this, and shared with me.  It sounded like so much fun to do and a great way to get out to meet others. 

My interests are to meet people who are successfully creative and/or small business owners.  By creative, I do include artists, designers, architects, musicians, cooks, writers, and anyone involved with these creatives.

My intent is to learn, share thoughts, experiences, and meet awesome interesting people in the process.  I am a firm believer that you learn way more by interacting with people than in a book (or at least I do).  In college, my fellow students were also my best teachers.  

(Side note - I am not trying to sell a product or anything of that sort)

I plan to start with a few people I admire and consider successful.  Some of these dates will include 30 minute face-to-face coffee dates as well as online Skype meetings.  From these people, I will ask for any recommendations to lead to more coffee date opportunities.

I decided to start with 30 coffee dates with 30 people,and see where it goes from there!