Monday, December 8, 2014

Bookshelves + Pieces of Me

My love of books has existed since I was little and saw Beauty and the Beast for the first time and knew I wanted a library in my home just like in the movie. Ok so I don't exactly have a library of books on that level quite yet but I take pride in my three bookshelves and my growing collection of books. 

Other pieces of my life have begun to inhabit these shelves and you glance quickly at them you'll begin to understand a little bit more about me. There's a shelf dedicated to every french book I own and read in the last 4 years. Then I have an entire shelf with travel books, mostly Lonely Planet and Top10, bursting at the seems. My passport is well preserved in a glass globe on one of my shelves with my daily little plate of jewelry. Some of my most valued momentos from traveling reside on these shelves and growing my collection of books and memories feels amazing. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Maps + Feeling Like Magellan

For any gift I give, I always like to make it personal and creative. I stumbled upon this incredible book of maps at Paper Source and had a stroke of inspiration to deconstruct the book and take different maps and gift them for Christmas.

Each map is so incredibly detailed and beautiful that leaving them bound in the book just felt wrong. The illustrations are each so unique to each country and while the map can't really guide you through any country, it shows the diversity, resources and monuments found there. 

I thought it would be a lot harder to dismantle the book but it was fairly easy. I started with going through and using an X Acto Knife to snip the string binding throughout the book and then I used the same knife to then precisely cut the other pages that were glued and after 30 minutes I magically had 52 maps to play with. 

After taking apart the maps I had them spread out across my dining room table and for a few seconds I felt like Magellan because I imagined this is exactly what his desk looked like as he was exploring the world. Granted these maps wouldn't help me navigate through the coasts of Italy, I still am imagining I still am envisioning that this is how explorers felt!

Some of the maps I am thinking of spray painting and others I am thinking of putting pom pom fringe around the border as an homage to one of my favorite British artists Ann Carrington.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Passports + Momentos

On every adventure I've taken I always collect an annoying amount of small momentos from every city. The essential things I always bring back with me… regardless if my suitcase is already buckling… 
- Currency
- Ticket stubs
- Artwork
-Business cards
- Jewelry

I have different shoe boxes filled with momentos from every city I've been to. A bit excessive I realize that but I like to stay organized and then it is easy to go back and rifle through each box and find exactly what I'm looking for! I feel like it is important to keep these small things even if its something like ticket stubs from museums or cable car rides because you can always go back to them. 

Being able to finally scratch off my first country in Africa felt amazing! I am a very visual person and getting to scratch off each country is aesthetically pleasing and its just as gratifying as ticking something of a list of to do's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Market + Chicago

I haven't visited the Chriskindl Market in Chicago in probably 15 years so I thought it was time to pay this winter city staple a visit! Walking around the city is one of my favorite things to do so I was excited to have this adventure.

 It was an unusually warm night so we thought it would smart to go then… and apparently every other person had the same idea. The moment we stepped onto the Daley Plaza we transformed into bumper cars at a carnival. I would never say I excel at dealing with large crowds so this was going to be a challenge.  

The ridiculous amount of people did not stop me from enjoying and stopping to look at all the colorful and creative stalls that lined the plaza. We spent maybe half an hour walking around the market before we couldn't breath anymore and decided to take a nice walk around the loop and enjoying the holiday decorations around Chicago. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Spray Paint + Center Pieces

 Every year Thanksgiving is a fairly large production at my parents house with usually 25-30 people coming over. I always love Thanksgiving at my parents house because both sides of my family celebrate together and the food is something to never be missed. My mom always has her cooking techniques and dishes down to a T and so I always place myself in charge of decorating. 

I always love creating the center pieces for the dining room table. I will sometimes use pinterest to get inspiration from. Last year I spray painted pumpkins with different designs and patterns in a gold metallic finish. This year I decided to use squash and carve them out at the top and place tea candles inside. 

Then I had a flash of creativity and decided I wanted to spray paint leaves to make the centerpiece fuller. Luckily every winter my dad converts our basement into a greenhouse and provided me with a large variety of fig leaves to complete my Thanksgiving centerpiece. Since it is a no no to pick leaves off the trees and plants, I gave them a good shake and got to work spray painting them!

After 2 hours of carving and getting a little lightheaded from spray painting, my diy project was complete!