Thursday, March 17, 2016

Poster Board to the Rescue!

Today's #MarchMeetTheMaker is photography, which I thought was a great theme. Product photography is something I've struggled with for years. I had the good fortune to befriend many photographers in college who taught me about composition and editing, and I like to believe I have somewhat a good eye . . . but in the world of products? I have no clue!

So, recently I invested a few bucks in a couple sheets of poster board and I've been making photo studios all around my house. I've also been making use of some nice natural textures, like our wood floors, seats of our dining room chairs and various trays (see below). Of course, the only catch is you need natural light and to be in the right room at the right time. But, I think I'm finally getting a hang of it. 

after photo here
Our guest room is painted yellow. That plus the morning sun bouncing off the neighbor's white siding is a perfect concoction for nice photos.

after photo here
One of my go-to's is the landing for the back entrance to our house. Looks a little shady - and is definitely cold in the winter, but it does the trick every time. As long as the dryer isn't on ;)

after photos here, here and here. oh and here!

This trusty bamboo gift came from our wedding registry, but I think it's been used in more fairview place photo shoots and brooch transporting than for kitchen needs.

after photo here

My favorite chair was the scene recently when I caught some innocent light coming in our living room very early one morning before work.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Brand!

I've decided it is time to focus on fairview place. Hopefully that's been a little obvious already. Everything just needed a face lift, cleaned up and simplified. I needed to give the brand the attention it deserves. So, I give you the new logo.

And the new emblem.

Although the paint chip business cards were a huge hit, I just received my new cards and postcards in the mail. Previously I had designed, printed, cut and assembled all my marketing materials. While it was cute, it was also very time - and space - consuming. I'm simplifying by using my business card as my tag, and possibly the postcard in some tagging fashion as well.

The next big step is to get the Etsy shop back up and running. I've made my photographing process very straightforward and am working on launching later this month with a small collection of my best sellers. 

So, some really exciting stuff going on around the shop. I hope you'll stick with me along this inspiring journey!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Raw Materials

stems, sprigs, foliage or "garnish" and I think I'll start calling it.

I'm participating in the #MarchMeetTheMaker Instagram challenge and today's theme is raw materials. My collection of materials has become pretty extensive over the years, since I've pretty much tried every craft project under the sun. But, I'm pretty proud of it.

buttons galore! aren't they beautiful?

Years ago estate sales and flea markets became my number one shopping choice. I scored loads of vintage buttons and fabrics. I once found the mother load of antique silk and paper flowers, along with rare and expensive branches and other foliage at an estate sale just down the road. I still have ribbon and bias tape from my grandmother (and friends' grandmothers), and lots of other special findings that make fairview place creations truly one of a kind.

all the bases to my accessories.

Now it's not to say I still use Michaels and other craft stores for some materials, but it's mostly for the brooch backs, elastic, and other accessory bases. I really strive to make sure no two pieces are ever alike - unless of course that is what is wanted :)

ribbon, bias tape and feathers for brooches and the twine for wrapping the bouquets.

Hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek at the materials I use. Follow along as I post all month for the #MeetTheMakerChallenge over here.

and last, wool felt of course!

Salad Sunday

I've been trying some new salad recipes in attempt to shed the winter weight I picked up in the last few months. I thought it would be challenging to jazz up the same old salad routine, but of course Pinterest came to my rescue and my salads have been quite interesting this week. For this kale salad, I'm totally digging the curry and honey dressing and will definitely make it a regular on the menu. 

What you need:
1 bunch kale
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
4 mini yellow, orange or red bell peppers
2 green onions, diced

for the dressing1 tsp honey
1 pinch paprika
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

What you do:
1. Mix everything for the dressing in a glass shaker. Chop the onions and add to the dressing to marinade. 
2. Chop the peppers in rings. Cut the ribs out of the kale, and chop the remaining leaves. Combine in a large bowl.
3. Drain and rinse the chickpea then add to the veggies. Pour the dressing over the salad and season with salt and pepper. Eat right away, or let the dressing soak in for a few hours for a better taste.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ask and you shall receive.

The only request I had for our California itinerary was to see a Flower Market like this:

My sister, who was our very own personal tour leader for the trip, responded with “I’m totally in.”

Boy, did she deliver. She found The Original Los Angeles Flower Market, located at 754 Wall Street, in downtown LA. For just $1 (on Saturdays), you could peruse the hundreds of vendor stalls with absolutely stunning botanicals. It was remarkable to see so many types of flowers I have never seen before. And finally get to drool over these marvelous blooms in person, instead of just Instagram.

I've taken a stab at some of the flower names, but maybe about 20% are actually correct? Feel free to chime in with edits at any point. 



Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Eucalyptus Silver Dollar


Heliconias, Bird of Paradise and Gingers (the bizarre basket cone)


Mixed Bouquets

Seeded Eucalyptus (top left)



Bottlebrush plants




Ornamental Cabbage


Green Rosette Red Cone 



Monday, February 29, 2016

Self Portrait: February

There were a many highlights of February, but of course one stood out among the rest: Girls Weekend. Obviously vacations are needed every once in a while, but this one was needed for so many reasons. 

First and foremost, I needed a serious recharge. My day job has been exceedingly tough lately. That burnout feeling was starting to creep in, and once he makes his appearance it's hard to come back without a major change and/or reset. The warm California sun, fresh Pacific air, early nights to bed, walking, running and biking was enough to revive my mind and body to that happy place again. 

New insight. As a designer, creative, maker, doer, you’re a constant sponge of the world around you. I'm lucky enough to live in an energized art community, but a week in another area with a BOOMING art scene at every corner creates a whole new inspired agenda.

It was amazing to another chance to visit with my Great Aunt Eileen, who has been an inspiration to me and my sister for so many years. From the time she spent as a Navy Wave (US Naval Woman's Reserve) to overcoming a harsh marriage, moving across country in her Buick Skylark convertible with a friend to becoming a successful artist and teacher, photographing Tyrone Powers and marrying the love of her life at 40 years old, this woman gave new meaning to courageous time and time again. On the cusp of her 96th birthday next month her mind wanders, but her one-liners and charisma still shine through. 

As every year passes, life fluctuates in its complexity. A time or specific matter seems so significant one year, but so very trivial the next. Having this time with your loved ones is what it’s all about. Build memories. Treasure your sister’s amazing city navigating and planning skills. Listen to stories. Encourage your Mom to ride a bike (but not in traffic). Act a little weird. Indulge your inner foodie. Do the things that bring you the utmost joy, because 96 will be here before we know it.

Friday, February 26, 2016

February Project Log

New South Home is a one of my favorite jobs. 
Not only because the end product is always so beautiful, but the women behind the company are a delight to work with and are truly dedicated mothers, friends and hard-working entrepreneurs! If you haven't seen their lovely home goods, be sure to check out the link below.

{New South Home // 16-page print catalog // design, freelancer}

No job is too big or too small.
If you have graphic design needs you'd like to talk about, shoot me an email here.