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Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 26 at 8:30 is Earth hour. In light (pun intended) of recent events in Japan, I think it's a good way to allow the planet a little time to recharge and allows you to think about your impact on this planet. I do my best to recycle and reduce my use of plastic and other contaminants but I know I don't do as much as I could. So tomorrow night I plan on relaxing to the glow of candlelight. My favorite candle ever is the Capri Blue volcano candle. I get mine at Anthropologie but have seen it elsewhere in random places. It's amazing, trust me. It's an exotic fruity smell in a beautiful recycled cobalt blue container (also comes in some other colors but blue is my fave).
If you want some tunes to go along with your relaxing evening, try something jazzy. My three favorites are: Madeleine Peyroux, Keren Ann and Melody Gardot.

Image from Anthropologie website

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yeehaw for Baby Cowboys!

While I have been mostly concentrating on the invitation side of Fanciful Ink lately, I have not forgotten about my love for designing fabrics. My mother recently had a chair upholstered in my "Sunny" fabric, which can be bought on Spoonflower. I have a few designs for sale on the site. You can pick your yardage and fabric weight and see what it will look like in the preview. Fabric swatches are available if you are just thinking about a certain fabric as well. The fabric I have ordered has been quality!
There have been many contests on Spoonflower and recently they joined with Michael Miller Fabrics to create Project Selvage, a design contest for a baby boy fabric. The winner gets their own contract under Michael Miller Fabrics! So this could possibly be my big break or could simply be another fabric design for me to sell on Spoonflower! Either way, I am pleased with my "Baby Cowboy" fabric. Of course I think it would be much easier to design a baby girl fabric, but I love the challenge of the baby boy.
I chose to keep the traditional light blue, with a slight undertone of gray in it. I paired it with a navy and kelly green. I knew I wanted a cowboy theme but didn't want to just place cowboy items strategically in my artboard area. So I chose to make medallions of three layers: the inner layer has a either a sheriff's badge, cowboy hat, boots with a spur, or a horse. I got stuck after the first three items and needed one more thing to complete the row. A horse of course! Every cowboy needs a horse! The next layer has a ring of green and navy horseshoes, followed by the outer ring being the white and navy rope. I plan on doing some coordinating fabrics to go along with it in the future. I love how it turned out and hope that someone loves it for their little boy as well!
This fabric is not yet for sale, but if you're interested don't hesitate to let me know!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Statements & Stripes

I have come to realize that I love bold stripes. Forever 21 recently hosted an online charity for Japan, donating 100% of sales for that day to the country. So I thought that was a perfect time to spruce up my spring wardrobe and help give. The majority of the things I was drawn to was stripey and fresh. Stripes are a little more demure and sophisticated, thankfully not as perky as polka dots.
I then read some posts over on the Table Tonic blog and loved Louise Bell's adorable blue striped shirt and bold red necklace. I was inspired by her pairing of statement necklace and stripe in my own outfit today, thus sparking this post (I have a black and white striped top from Forever 21 and a white and mint necklace from Anthropologie, both long gone on their sites).
Be bold this week!
Above: ModCloth Candied Comfort Sweater and Fossil Celery Butterfly Necklace Images from ModCloth and Fossil websites.

Don't be afraid of color in your bold pairings! This Urban Outfitters Pins and Needles Striped Chiffon Blouse would look very crisp next to Anthropologie's Spectrum Frenzy Necklace.
Images from Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie websites

The free pattern in Forever 21's Sublimated Brushstroke Top has a tribal vibe next to Anthropologie's Serengeti Beats Necklace
Images from Forever 21 and Anthropologie websites

For a softer touch, Lulus Italian Creme Soda Strapless Dress looks lovely with the ModCloth Lacey Treasures Necklace and would be perfect for a tea party in the spring or summer.
Images from Lulus and ModCloth websites

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cobalt & Yellow

Happy Spring, everyone! I received a photo from my mom yesterday of a trash to treasure chair. She found a nasty little chair a long time ago and finally decided to put it in the sunroom, which is bright and sunny. However, in its nasty condition, that would have just been gross. Since her color scheme is yellow, cobalt and red, she painted the arms and legs of the chair Paddle in the Eddie Bauer Valspar line and reupholstered it in my "Sunny" fabric. It turned out so good! I have not seen it in person but I love the little guy. She and I both think that Laura Trevey's Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab would look lovely over the chair in the empty wall space and would complete the tropical theme of the room (more on that later!)
To buy the fabric, click here to purchase specific weight and yardage from Spoonflower. It's also available on a slightly smaller scale in brown, called "Earthy" and can be custom colored if you so desire! Just comment below or contact me at Fanciful Ink.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sail Away!

Sea Bags is my new favorite website this week. This photo makes me desperate for a beach right now and this adorable tote! All photos in the post came from the Sea Bags website, so fresh and clean and beachy! Kudos to their photographer.

Imagine it was summer and you were on a body of water amidst a myriad of boats, all different. How many of those boats have beautifully colored sails in your mind? Probably many if you were like me or were inside my mind right now (side note, I watched Inception last night and considering the weird dreams I had, you probably don't want to be in my mind. I might be dreaming right now...but since I didn't understand the movie that well, I have no idea). I love to see sailboats with their sails displayed, whether the colors are rainbow-bright or a stark white. I love sailcloth for its vintage quality that harkens shiny wooden ships and sprays of sea air. Every time I see a sailboat, I for some reason want to go to Maine because I think that's where all the pretty sailboats go.
Another advantage to sailcloth, besides being the epitome of nautical, is that it is a durable fabric. If it can withstand crazy winds and water, surely it can withstand wherever you plan on taking it. I scoured Sea Bags new 2011 Spring line and picked my favorite bags for summer. I am currently on the search for a durable and fashionable beach bag that I can keep for a while. My adorable straw and red bag is slowly coming apart and is really small for a beach bag. Thus began my search for the perfect beach bag. Can you tell I'm ready for warmer weather and water? Sing a sea shanty while you browse.

I love the complete nautical feel of the Layered Stripes with Red Anchor bag, with the horizontal blue stripes and giant red anchor. It just needs to be on a sandy beach to be complete.

If you do go to Maine to gaze at the sailboats on the horizon, take this Maine Tote with you.

I love the modern glam of the Metallic Stripes bag. It would be lovely glinting in the sunlight on a California beach. You might even become just as golden as the stripe! (I would be worried if you became silver like the other stripe. Just please wear sunscreen so you don't look more like a lobster and cause damage to your skin).

The Whale Tail Tote is just a little bit sassy and in the pink color, reminds me of the preppy Vineyard Vines pink fishy.

The subtle white looks so fresh in the summer, especially next to colorful bikinis, beach towels and umbrellas. (Look for an all white post soon!) Stars always speak summer to me as well, probably because of our nation's flag and the celebration surrounding America's freedom. The White on White Star Tote would be a perfect accessory to take along to a summer barbecue.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wood Grain Inspiration

Back in February, I made a custom Valentine for my next door neighbor in my hometown. She wanted me to do something unique and special for her outdoorsy boyfriend. It's hard for me to believe she's so grown up! So, inspired by young lovers carving their initials in tree trunks (if I'm being honest I was thinking of that scene in Disney's Robin Hood where RH+MM initials are carved in the tree and Maid Marian is telling those cute little rabbits about her love for Robin Hood. I digress), I created a wood grain effect and "carved" the couple's initials. Looking back on the design, this led me to think about the raw beauty of wood grain and I began my search of finding some interesting wooden pieces worthy of calling attention to.

Urban Outfitters has a beautiful vintage-looking Wood Jewelry Cabinet that would be striking in room with pale earthy colors and this Trompe L'Oeil Floor Mat Photos from Urban Outfitters site.

This odd little Wood Grain Style Qee is definitely a cutie even if he isn't very cuddly-looking. Photo from Toys R Evil site.

I imagine this Wooden Mouse by Yanko Design to sit regally on an oversized mahogany desk in a home office. It's almost too pretty to use! Photo from Yanko Design site.

I have been seeing a lot of laptop decals lately adding a lot of personality to computers. This laptop decal would look great with the wooden mouse. It makes an otherwise sleek and modern Mac feel rustic. Photo from SistersDecal on Etsy's site.

This was so cool, I couldn't leave it off. This Steampunk Webcam takes Skyping to a different era. Photo from blobson on Etsy's site.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Seeing Pink

Every girl needs to know these things. Book from Anthropologie.

For the past week, I've been away from the blogging world due to the dreaded pink eye. It's miserable and gross and for someone who prefers contacts to glasses ten times over, it's pure hell. Mostly because I can't see a foot in front of me without aid of some sort of lens. Unfortunately, it has mostly been by the aid of glasses this week. If only they had been rose-colored glasses, I might have enjoyed them more. Alas, they are teal frames and clear lenses. At least it inspired this post!
Normally, I have an aversion to pink since I have blonde hair and light eyes and fear that wearing Pantone's lovely Honeysuckle hue for 2011 will make me look a bit like Barbie (or probably Skipper rather since I am short). However, I have found myself liking a paler, blush tone of pink lately and even realized when it comes to pink, I only have this one ethereal tone in my closet. I think blush is a grown-up alternative to the prettiness that is pink.
Here are a few adorable, girly, sophisticated pink things that really make me want to go to Paris for some reason now. Probably because of the frilly dress and macarons.

I can't help loving Moroccan inspired items. This lantern with pink glass is fresh and modern and very girly. It also comes in equally pretty blue and green from Anthropologie. Photo from Anthropologie website.

Even the flavor of this macaron sounds delicate and pretty: Vanilla Rose from Panna Dolce. I plan on making a little stop at Whole Foods to find these. Photo from Panna Dolce website.

Made with fruit juice and sparkling water, Izze esque is a lower calorie drink. I think the Black Raspberry flavor sounds delectable. Photo from Izze website.

Drink your Izze esque, eat your vanilla rose macarons and read your book by pink lantern light while wearing this floaty pink number from Lulus. It will make you feel like a sophisticate. As long as you avoid pink eye. That is not elegant in the least. Photo from Lulus website.

A Stylish International Women's Day

This necklace is one of my favorites from 31 Bits and is made from paper beads and Ugandan fabric. Be sure to read the story! Photo from 31 Bits website.

Being able to explore a few places in the world mostly during my college days really opened my eyes to new cultures and the beauty of hand-made things. I have various little baubles from places around the world like China, Morocco and Belize. Each one I treasure because of the experiences associated with it. One of my most treasured pieces is a necklace from a girl named Nadia in Morocco. She gave it to me off her neck so I would always remember her and the friendship we formed during my two weeks there. There is nothing better than having something from a period of time in which your destination was exotic and unforgettable.
Women for Women International is a wonderful organization that helps women in wore-torn countries get back on their feet by spreading a little beauty in the world through handmade wares. I believe it is our duty as Americans to support our fellow sisters around the world so that they can grow and prosper and make their countries one step closer to being economically better.
Today is International Women's Day and I challenge you to make a small (or large!) purchase or donation. You can have a little bauble of beauty from someone who strives to see beauty in everyday life. Your life and theirs will be significantly richer for doing so.
I chose some of my favorite items from the Women for Women Working partners listed on the Women for Women site.

This Mother Africa tea towel was handmade in Egypt and is sold through Global Handicrafts, a Women for Women Working sponsor.

I love these waxcloth aprons from Uganda via Global Girlfriend, another Women for Women Working sponsor and great website for stylish accessories made around the world.

This Prosperity candle can do so much more than add ambiance to a room. The candles are made by Iraqi women and "symbolizes the dreams of women who are rebuilding their world." Your candle comes with the name of the Iraqi woman who made your candle as well as information on how to connect with her.

I'm a huge fan of Kate Spade although now I love it more because of her efforts to support Women for Women as well. This bag was beautifully crafted (along with jewelry) in Rwanda. These items will brighten your day and days to come for the women who made them.

Each photo courtesy of their respective websites.

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