Time to Escape...

We're headed to the Cape for a whole week.  It's become a tradition that we go for the fourth of July, and I have been looking forward to it since the weather warmed up.  I'm looking forward to spending time with my family, having a lobster roll, and swimming in the bay.  I hope you all have a great weekend!


Friday Photo

Last night I hosted book club at our apartment.  I made panzanella salad, which is one of my favorite summer salads.  I took this picture before chopping up the tomatoes and peppers.  I love how vibrant the colors are.


Sarah LaFleur of Mémé LAFLEUR

Sarah LaFleur is the woman behind Mémé LAFLEUR, a collection of dresses designed for brave women (which you may remember I wrote about here).  Sarah is definitely a brave woman, and I thought it would be fun to get to know her a little bit better!  I hope you enjoy meeting this inspiring woman as much as I have.

Where did you grow up?  
Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan.  And a bit of Washington D.C. and New York in between.
What did you dream of becoming when you 'grew up'? 
The first female Prime Minister of Japan. Considering the country has, on average, a new prime minister every 6 months, this is looking slightly more promising than my other pipe dreams!
Where did the idea for Meme LAFLEUR begin? 
To tell this story truthfully, I'd have to go back to when I was seven, when I used to watch my mother dress for work. I thought she was the most powerful woman on the planet, wearing her brick-red lipstick and her tailored suits from Paris.  Fast forward twenty years, I had my dream job at a management consulting firm in New York, and well, I just didn't feel like that powerful woman in my poorly tailored, ill-fitting clothes. So I decided it was time to change: eradicate the pantsuit once and for all, and create a line of beautiful yet professional dresses.It was important to me that the dresses had all the qualities of a designer dress, but remained affordable. So I partnered with designer Miyako Nakamura, who had previously worked with Zac Posen and Jason Wu, sourced all fabrics from Italy and Japan, and made the garments right here in New York City.  We only sell directly to customers through trunk shows (and, starting September, our website), and that is why we're able to keep our prices affordable. A dress that is made with the quality and care that we put into it could easily be priced at $1000 at another brand.
Read the rest of the interview after the jump to find out how starting a business is like the movie Cool Runnings!



From my sketchbook: dreams and memories


Color Study: Orange and Lavender

This week's color study pairs orange and lavender hues together.  There's something very fresh about this combo.  It's bold and energizing - perfect for a summer day.  


Roundup: Best of Storage

We've been cleaning our apartment, and having the constant struggle of too little storage.  I should not be complaining as we used to live in a 400 square foot apartment in Hell's Kitchen.  We now live in a pretty spacious two bedroom apartment in Park Slope.  Our closet situation though is very limited though.  I really struggle to find storage pieces that I like.  Right now we have miscellaneous baskets as well as some canvas bins from Muji (similar to the one shown below from The Container Store).  I've been looking for some new options, and here are my favorites:

1. Senegalese Storage Baskets in Blue from Serena and Lily
2. Pandan Bin in Metallic from Serena and Lily
3. Mountain Peaks Bath Basket by Lovell sold at Anthropologie
4. Mountain Pandan Bin in Natural from Serena and Lily
5. Natural Canvas Box from The Container Store
6. Checker Storage Bushel from Hable Construction

Weekend Escape

Saturday we visited my little sister who lives in New Haven.  We went to a nearby beach and it was such a nice afternoon!  I'm counting down the days until I am back at the beach this weekend.  We're going home to the Cape for a whole week.


Friday Photo

Last weekend our good friends had a housewarming party in their backyard, which had recently been redone.  It was the perfect way to kick off summer.


India: Taj Mahal Floor Patterns

I've got a few more pictures this week from the Taj Mahal.  The tiled floors are truly amazing.  Depending on the angle you're looking at the pattern changes.  The architecture is really unbelievable.



From my sketchbook


Artist Spotlight: Clare Grill

Today I wanted to share with you a post on the talented artist Clare Grill.  I have been a fan of her paintings for a few years now.  The sense of nostalgia and memory in her work really appeals to me.  Clare has been kind enough to answer some questions about herself and her work.  I hope you enjoy learning more about her as much as I have!

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and have lived in NYC for the past 9 years.  I moved here to go to grad school at Pratt and have been here ever since. 
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
I'm from a family of 5 kids, all really close in age, and have an extended family of I believe 137.  Huge Catholic families on both sides.  I've moved away, but family and home are on my mind, always have been.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about my generation’s relationship to a sense of tradition and place.  We all come from somewhere – a room that has smells in the couches and carpets, little tears in the wallpapers, cracks in floorboards, scars on the oven.  We grew up and we moved away from these places.  And the farther away we get, the more urgent it seems to wonder and learn about where and from whom we come.  So we knit, we sew, we cook, we plant, we brew, we bake, we make pinch pots and pies.  We do things that mean we live somewhere.  My generation is rediscovering a sense of place through handmade, domestic traditions.  We are re-rooting through making.  I too want to make something both traditional and brand new.  So I paint.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration all over the place!  In my things, in my ancestors and their things, their clothes, their stories, in houses, in songs, on the radio, in art, in paintings, in how oil paint can at once be glass and smoke and wax and leather and yarn.
How do you stay creative?
I just live my life.  But I'm not always creative!  This is why sometimes I just wait and look and stretch linen and think and look and wait some more.  Patience seems to me really important in a studio.  And I go to the museum!
Read the rest of the interview after the jump...


Urban Gardening

We recently repotted some of our plants.  It's not the easiest thing to do indoors and keep clean.  While we did end up with dirt all over kitchen, I think our plants are happier now.


Friday Photo

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge

So, Tell me About Yourself

I’ve been wondering about you – yes you! My readers!  Alex of Dreams and Jeans and Mackenzie of Design Darling, have both recently posted questions for their readers to answer and I thought it would be fun to do as well.  I’d love to know more about you all!  So, here goes:

Current Location:
Day Job:
Childhood Dream Job:
Favorite Color:
Last book read (and enjoyed):
Something on your bucket list:
Favorite weeknight dinner food:
What you’d like to see more of on my blog:


Here are my answers:

Current Location: Brooklyn, NY
Day Job: Design Director, Textiles
Childhood Dream Job: To be a painter like Monet and Van Gogh
Favorite Color: tomato orange
Last book read (and enjoyed): Deluxe: How Luxury Lost it’s Luster
Something on your bucket list: To visit the dessert and the Grand Canyon.
Favorite weeknight dinner food: Anything my husband makes! He is an amazing cook.
What you’d like to see more of on my blog: I’d like to see more of your comments! :)

I hope you participate as I can't wait to learn more about you.  Thank you to Mackenzie and Alex for this great idea!


India: The Taj Mahal

This afternoon I thought I would continue on the escapism theme and share with you some old travel photos.  On one of my trips to India I was lucky enough to make it to the Taj Mahal.  I have to tell you the trip there was pretty stressful (a long story in itself) but it was definitely worth it!  There are many things in life that don't live up to the legend or the hype, but the Taj Mahal is more spectacular than I had imagined.

See the rest of the photos after the jump...

Safari Roundup

Do you have summer vacation plans?
This week I felt in need of a bit of an escape.  While I won't be going anywhere exotic, I thought it would be fun to pull together some safari inspired product.  I like the idea of mixing neutrals and natural materials against these bright pops of color.

1. JR by John Robshaw Twine Clay Decorative Pillow
2. Leopard La Pochette by Clare Vivier for Of a Kind
3. Clare Vivier Neon Stripe Flat Clutch
4. Savannah Story Bust, Rhino from Anthropologie
5. Holst + Lee Two Strong Multi-Strand Necklace
6. Woven Glassware set from West Elm
7. Holst + Lee Collar with Stones
8. Harbor Coffee Table from Anthropologie
9. Batik Fork & Spatula Serving Set from Leif
10. Yarnz Printed Cotton Scarf
11. Robinia Pot from Anthropologie
12. Distant Lands African Bangles from Leif



Almost six months ago, I read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.  This book is a personal account of what happened to a family during Hurricane Katrina.  It's well written and in fact a quick read, but the story is not an easy one.  When I started this book, I had some ideas of the difficulties this family would face.  I remember watching the news and keeping up peripherally with what was happening; however, I was shocked when I learned what this family and in particular this father endured.  Zeitoun was one of the best books I've read in a long time, and the real life story has really stuck with me.  What was the last book you read that stuck with you?


Another messy page from my sketchbook


Color Study: Purple and Green

This week's color study explores the colors purple and green.  When I picked flowers from my Mom's garden for the purple color study, I got the idea as the green grass really made the purple pop.  Be sure to check out Brynn's blog to see what she and the other bloggers have done with this color combo.


Designer Spotlight: Stone Textile

I wanted to preface this post with something I’ve been thinking about.  One of the things that I love about blogging is that I have been able to connect, either online or in person, with so many talented and driven individuals.  I’ve been thinking about what I want this blog to be, and in addition to sharing things that inspire me I want to introduce you to people that inspire me.  So, you’ll be seeing a lot more spotlights on artists, designers, and creative business owners.  Now, let’s get going!

I met Elizabeth Mollen, the talented woman behind Stone Textile Studio, when she was in town for Blogfest.  I have been a fan of her collection since I came across it in Rue Magazine.  She has been kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her beautiful lines of textiles.  I hope you all enjoy learning a bit more about her.

One of my favorite pillows from your collection is the Tuxedo Pillow – it is classic but modern.  Can you tell me a little more about the inspiration behind this design?
The Tuxedo Pillow is a favorite.  Last fall, while I was designing this collection, we were traveling all over the country to our friend’s weddings.  I felt like my husband lived in his tuxedo.  So, I guess you can say the idea behind this design came from him and his fall uniform.  I also love the look of elegant and well-tailored sofas - the "black tie" of sofas.  I wanted to create an accessory that would complement that "black tie" look but still remain comfortable. I was so honored to receive my first piece of press when the editors at Rue Magazine featured it in their Anniversary Issue.

Below is an image from Elizabeth’s inspiration board for the first collection:

Read the rest of the interview after the jump...


Friday Photo + Guest Blogging Posts

This week we were expecting it to rain the whole time, but luckily the sun came out!  I just love how green everything is this time of year.  I took this photo in the park in DUMBO.  The camera distorted the image slightly, and I love how it came out - a little bit of a surprise.

On a side note, I've been guest posting on a few blogs this week.  In case you want to check them out here's what I've been up to:
vmac + cheese:  I've created a color study on copper and orange.
Julip Made: Julie asked me to participate in her series 'If Bloggers Ruled the World.'
The Forgetful Wife: I'm sharing a walk through Brooklyn as part of Kate's series 'A Life in Pictures.'

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Online Magazines: Sweet Paul and SisterMAG

In the past week or so I've discovered a few new (to me) online magazines.  Sweet Paul magazine has been around for a while, but I've only just hear of it.  I am now a bit obsessed with Lynda White's ceramics, which are featured in the newest issue.  Also, the recipes look pretty amazing - I'm a big fan of linguine and clams.
I also recently heard about SisterMAG via Blog Brunch.  SisterMAG is chock full of content!  I've got to go back and spend some time reading through it.  This magazine is created by two sisters (and a bunch of interesting collaborators) and covers topics a wide range of topics including: careers, technology, trends, traveling, and DIY projects.  It's a magazine for the modern, independent woman.
There are so many good online magazines now - which ones are your favorites?


London Part 4: Hyde Park

When I was in London I stayed right near Hyde Park.  I was completely exhausted when I walked back to my hotel through the park, but still felt a bit enchanted by the lush greenery.  The sky was gray and about to storm, and the greens felt even more vibrant against this backdrop.  I hope you enjoy this last look at my London trip.
More photos after the jump...