Aug 30, 2011

Trendy Tuesday - Brass/Gold

Well, I never thought I'd say this. NEVER. But....{breathe. pause. breathe again}.... I think brass/gold is making a comeback. And I kind of like it.

I've sworn by silver practically my entire life. Come on...What's not to love about silver? Not only does it go with absolutely everything, but it's classic, clean and just my style. But recently, I've noticed people shifting subtly towards a brass/gold look. I'm not always crazy about it, but I'm liking it more than I expected to and can definitely see myself incorporating it into my own home one day.

Check it out for yourself. What do you think?

1. Entryway 2. Big, Bold Mirror 3. Brass Bracelet 4. Kiss My Brass Shelves 5. Drawer Pulls 6. Bed 7. Cake (cause I put one on every Trendy Tuesday!) 8. Baby Got Brass Back Chairs 9. Brass Chandy

Aug 24, 2011

Ella's Eyes

In one of my last posts, I wrote about how I was going to try to ignore my fear of failure and just start taking pictures without caring how things turned out. So yesterday I broke out my camera and my 18-135 mm lens to take some photos.

I had been planning on it all day and as I drove the 10-minute commute home to my puppy, hundreds of ideas for the afternoon swirled around my head. Flowers, grass, babies, home decor....

I couldn't decide. I clicked on my turn signal to turn right into my apartment, my indecisiveness kicking in -- and that little voice whispering to me that I'd had a long day and that there would be better things to take photos of tomorrow. That today was just a day with nothing to photograph; no babies. no flowers. no sunshine.

I walked inside my dark apartment, slinging my heavy purse onto the couch and, ignoring the complete mess that my apartment currently contains, walked to get Ella out of her kennel. 

Ella spends her days in the closet in a kennel. Maybe you are judging me for that right now, but I am trying my best to make this blog about the truth -- even if I might regret it later. So, yes. I keep her in the closet. But it's cozy in there - If she barks, which she rarely does, she won't disturb the neighbors. And she likes her kennel, quietly slipping into it each morning before I head out to work. 

As I was unlatching the door to Ella, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to spend a day there. Wonder what she sees and how it feels. And this thought sparked an idea. I would photograph through Ella's eyes. And thus, yesterday's photos:

My favorite picture I got was the last one. Exactly what happens every morning when I'm getting ready for work, scrambling around with shoes half on and my hair still pinned up and waiting to be straightened and acceptable enough for society. I love that Ella managed to get into the shot, and that you get a glimpse into her actual point of view -- crouched under the bed, safe and sound from all the chaos of the world.

 Hope you enjoyed seeing the world through Ella's eyes. Happy Wednesday.

Aug 23, 2011

Trendy Tuesday: Pinwheels

Pinwheels are showing up all over the web and I am loving it! What a fun little shape that totally reminds  me of childhood, creativity and fun! I've been seeing them for awhile on some of my favorite wedding blogs, and it seems like this is a trend that is quickly spreading to other outlets. Some unexpected places are in nurseries, cake shops and even fabric stores. And I'm loving it! I think they're a great way to bring pops of fun color into a otherwise neutral space, and a way to just shout PARTY at the top of your lungs! So look around: have you seen any pinwheels lately that you might have overlooked?

1. Quilt  2. Pinwheel Presents  3. Cupcake toppers  4. Baby Mobile  5. Invitations  6. Party-time Cake! 7. Bouquet 8. Pinwheel Earrings 9. Pinwheel stocking

Aug 22, 2011

Longest Post Ever

Blogging has been something that I've been passionate about for quite some time. Some of you may be surprised to know that this blog was actually my first, started in 2009. I was a junior in college (I think?), and was surrounded by sorority girls and fraternity boys on a large campus where I was just one person. I wanted a place for myself, somewhere I could stand out, where I could share my thoughts and views with the rest of the blogging world. Very quickly I learned that my life really wasn't that exciting, and after a few posts, I stopped.

A few years later (or maybe only one) I started a new blog for a new project: learning how to make and decorate cakes. I was yearning to be different, and to have a hobby that people were impressed with. I wanted to be popular and fun, and I also wanted to express my creativity in a new way. The fact that I have an extreme sugar tooth really didn't help either. So as a New Years Resolution, Kati's Cake Project started. A blog about cakes and sugar and whipped cream. Colors and messes and adventures.

I had been told that a blog needed one TOPIC in order for it to be successful. And it was true. After only a few months of blogging, I had a small following. People would stop me in the grocery store and ask if I was buying stuff for my next great creation (which I usually was). Strangers would get my phone number from a friend of a friend of a friend asking for cupcakes for their daughter's third birthdays. People at tailgates stopped by my cupcake tower to ask where and how they could get their own razorback cupcakes. It was exhilarating to be the center of attention and to finally have a talent that nobody else had and that everyone else wanted.

I really liked that. 

I loved getting an idea and sketching it out, icing colors drawn out in different colored pencils. I loved going to Van Ness, a local cake supply shop, and picking out the different tools I would need to complete a difficult request. It was exciting to have a challenge and to figure out how to solve it, while meeting a deadline and making someone's day.

But I hated the in-between. Between the planning and the delivering, there was angst and frustration and stress. Many cake-baking nights were filled with tears and a feeling of defeat, even before the cake was done. John and I would argue about whether or not the fondant was straight, and I'd get frustrated and want to heave the entire thing out the second floor window of my parent's kitchen. It was hard and after about a year I just decided it wasn't worth it anymore. It was no longer a great creative outlet. It wasn't fun. It was a chore.

**a few of my favorite cakes that I made. :)

So I quit my blog and I quit cakes and I just relaxed for the first time in months. Life moved on, and for the first time in ages, I was able to start the process of growing up - something I'd longed for since high school. So I got a dog. I moved out of my parents house. And it was wonderful.

And then the inevitable happened, as it always does. I missed it. Not the cakes, but the outlet. I missed people reading my blog and seeing my pictures, and I missed having something fun to learn and to master. I'd never stopped reading other people's blogs and I wanted to have that too. So I decided to start up this blog again, to let it be reborn and to start fresh. No, I wasn't sure what my subject matter would be. I'm still not sure. But honestly I don't care.

About six months ago I started getting really interested in photography. I fantasized about it, read blogs and tutorials, anything and everything I could get my hands on. In July, I finally decided to buy my first DSLR camera. I remember going in to buy it and being so scared about this momentous purchase I was about to make, knowing that once I handed over my card there would be no going back. No changing my mind. It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time.

I have loved my camera since the moment I took it out of the case on the ride home that day and took a photo of John's car dash. Finally being able to achieve the blurry background (which is done through aperture) filled my body with tingles of excitement about the future. I couldn't wait to shoot anything and everything: my dog, my shoes, food, coffee, the sidewalk, a train. Anything and everything looked better from behind my camera.

And then I decided to be adventurous and take a friend out for a photoshoot. And it's here that I'm going to share a little something personal with you. Something I haven't really admitted to anyone - not even to myself. During the shoot, I felt awkward. I didn't know what to do, what to say, how to get the look I was wanting. After 30 minutes or so, we decided to call it a night, and I was relieved that it was over - anxious to get home to my computer to see what I had captured. And when I got there, it wasn't bad. There's lots to work on, sure, but it. wasn't. bad.

And then nobody really said anything about it. I could tell that my friend was embarrassed about the whole thing and that I had failed to make her see how gorgeous she is. I didn't have the same "gift" I had had before with the cakes -- the ability to just DO what I saw myself doing, achieving what I set out to achieve. Here, I hadn't done anything new or exciting and even though I had read and written and saw and observed, I had failed. I was not a photographer, no matter how badly I wanted to be.

Since then, I've been hesitant to pull out my camera. Hesitant that I'll have the same feeling of failure, that I'll be unable to capture the moment quickly enough to grab a good shot. I've been dying to take some photos of babies and dogs, because they're the only ones that won't be embarrassed or ashamed of how I make them feel or look. And if the photos aren't good, nobody has to know I even took them.

That's how I've been feeling.

But today I read this on one of my all-time favorite blogs. And it inspired me.

"Many of you have commented that you just bought your first DSLR camera, but that you are not a photographer. Guess what? You are. If you are taking pictures, you are a photographer; if you are writing, you are a writer; if you are hitting "publish post," you are a blogger. I am not afraid to take bad pictures, to publish fuzzy ones or to write something I might later regret. And I think this is the best advice I could give. Don't be scared. If you love doing something, do it. Learn it, stand by it, put yourself out there. You will fail. But you will swim again..."

THAT, my friends, is why I love blogging. And why tonight I will photograph even the smallest of things, and if I do fail I will indeed try, try again.

Happy Monday.

Best Snack Ever

Hello all! I wanted to share with you one of my favorite snacks EVERRRR. It's made with some honey graham crackers and milk. That's all.

My mom used to let us eat this as an after-school snack and Marinna (my little sister) and I would devour it. There's just nothing better than a simple, good for you snack :)

The best thing to do with the graham crackers is to dip them into your glass of milk and just wait...wait...wait...until they're RIGHT about to fall apart. And then eat them and they just dissolve in your mouth. Ahh!

Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Aug 16, 2011

Trendy Tuesday! Aqua & Red

Trendy Thursday is now Trendy Tuesday (it has a better ring to it, don't you think?) ... so today's trend is aqua + red. It's popping up all over blog land and the combination seems so fresh and invigerating! It sure does have that pop that we need and desire. So, without further ado....

1. Twinsies Bedroom  2. Anthropologie Vase  3. Baby Bow  4. Aqua&Red Outfit  5. Cupcakes  6. Wedding Party*  7. Burlap Baggie  8. Dining Room  9. Pillowcase

After making my trendboard, I realized it kind of reminded me of a certain someone who brought this color scheme into the spotlight YEARS ago. Funny how things just go around and around the circle of life.

* unknown source

Aug 14, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

We went to the dog park this weekend.

...Ella was so excited to be getting in the car, excited to be going anywhere as long as it was with us. She stuck her head out the window and you could just feel the joy seeping off of her as we drove to our destination.

She hasn't quite caught on that going to the "dog park" is just for her. A special treat where John and I can enjoy seeing her play and romp with the other dogs, and where she can run as fast as those little legs will carry her. 

**John enjoyed a special moment with Ella's new friend. 

The dog park is like a magical oasis, a world separate from that which we live in. Dogs are allowed to roam free and to play with whoever they want. The people are the ones who get to sit back for once and watch them have all the fun.  

Inside the trees lies a great place to meet new friends - other dog mamas and papas who share advice and stories about their dogs with the same amount of interest and enthusiasm that John and I have for our own pup. Because after all is said and done, these are our family members. Our babies

And really....what could be better than that?

Aug 12, 2011

Day 2 - Up High

I know one might interpret "up high" to mean "taken from a high distance." Heck, that's what I intended it to mean when I made the list. BUUUUTTTTTT things sometimes change on ya. In this case, I had an awesome picture I took of some storm clouds right before they let loose on downtown Little Rock. So I figured I'd rather post a freaking awesome picture (complete with the three tallest buildings in LR) than give you some crap I took just to fulfill the day. So there you have it. Day 2.

Please note that days 3 and 4 will be posted Monday cause I don't blog on the weekend!

Aug 11, 2011

Trendy Thursday - Chevron

Almost completely forgot that today is Trendy Thursday! Today's trend is CHEVRON. Also known as to-die-for! It's popping up all over the blogging/pinterest world so I thought it'd be great to share with you guys today! Enjoy!

Day 1- Self Portrait

Self portrait.

Have you ever tried to take a good picture of yourself? How about a good picture of yourself with a REALLY heavy camera? It's hard! I took about 45 minutes to take pictures of myself and came up with maybe two that I sort of liked. This was one of them. Taken after a long day's work, I am on the floor of my living room. It was the closest I could get to natural light, which is streaming in through the sliding glass doors that lead to my patio.

I decided that the picture would do better in black and white, even though I haven't quite found a good way to do black and white. Still working on that.

See you tomorrow for Day 2.

Aug 9, 2011

30 Day Challenge

I've been having a bit of a hard time coming up with stuff to take pictures of lately. I want to focus and become good at photographing people, but I think it would be good for me to practice on other stuff, too. One day, while surfing pinterest, I came upon a 30 Day Photography Challenge someone had made. I thought it was a great idea, and I even pinned it. But then I decided I'd like to come up with my own. One that had some things I could have fun with that would be different than just the regular stuff; that could be interpreted any way you wanted. So here's my list. This should be interesting. Day 1 begins tomorrow.

Aug 8, 2011

Blast to the Past

I'm a graphic designer at a marketing firm in Little Rock and I love it. In fact, I've wanted a job in this industry since 2006, when I declared a major in Advertising/Public Relations and a minor in Art. I knew that this was what I wanted to do. It's funny to think how little I knew about the industry when I made that life-changing decision.

After studying at the U of A for a few years, it was time for me to get an internship. Heavens knows I needed the experience so I put together a few things I had done from art classes and applied. And applied. And applied. And I got a lot of no's. 

But, I got one yes. And that, my friend, has made the world of difference.

The summer of 2009 I interned at Stone Ward, and agency here in town, and I loved it. Looking back, I didn't know anything about anything back then. Luckily, the staff took their time with me and taught me more than I could ever fathom. 

You might be wondering what the heck I'm jabbering about so I'll get to the point. There were 7 other interns with me at Stone Ward and we had our own client: Arkansas Sherrifs Youth Ranches, an organization that provides a healthy home to kids who come from abuse and neglect. Being the Art Director Intern, I got to design a website redesign for them, which looked a little something like this:

My design: 2009
As you may have figured out by now, I finished my internship a long time ago. Two years, to be exact (which is crazy and makes me feel so old). It's incredible how fast time goes! Anyway, about a week or two ago, I found out that Arkansas Sherrifs Youth Ranches had finally upgraded their website. So, two years later, here it is:

Website 2011

Definitely some similarities, which makes me really happy. I found out after I'd designed the first one that a lot of the elements I brought to the table really wouldn't work unless they did flash, so I'm just happy they stuck with the general idea of the design.

Anyway, happy Monday!

Aug 5, 2011

Fix It Friday

I've kind of dropped the ball on Fix It Fridays so let me explain: I was primarily going to do that while I waited to get a camera. Now that I've got one, it didn't seem necesary to fix other people's pictures when I could do my own! But now that I'm at my parent's house for a little longer (until this weekend) I figured I'd give you guys another taste. This isn't going to be a regular thing though. You've been warned.

Here's the original:

And after my edit:

The main things I did (besides cropping the picture) were fixing baby's skin so that it wasn't as blemishy and upping the color of the green blanket and his pretty pink lips. I also added a warming filter to give the photo a little bit of life. Love that! The best part about this picture: it was easy!

Aug 4, 2011

Trendy Thursday - Navy

I've recently found myself falling head over heels for NAVY. I've never really been a blue girl (I've always leaned towards yellows and pinks myself) but that navy has just been calling my name! One thing I'm loving about it is that it seems to go with just about everything. No wonder our dark blue jeans are such a staple! Here are some navy things I've been loving on lately:

1. Navy shoes* 2. Short Navy Dress 3. Navy bedroom 4. Kitchen wall 5. Pillow 6. Chiffon dress 7. Wedding cake* 8. Navy couch 9. Navy barnyard lamp

I blame it all on Kate.

*Unknown source

Aug 3, 2011

The Next Nancy Drew

The older I get, the worse my experiences with bugs gets. Last year, when I started my job, I had a roach crawl across my bare toe. **Shudder** It still gives me the ibbie-jibbies. And then, a few weeks ago, a beetle got stuck in my shirt between my skin and my bra. Imagining me freaking out? You should be. That's kind of what happened...on the side of the road...while teenagers were driving through the fated parking lot where I sought my refuge. And yes, I was practically ripping my clothes off to avoid contact with said beetle. But that's another story.

TODAY, I was welcomed at work by a gigantic spinely spider. Yes, I am making up words like spinely. Just say it. Doesn't it describe this spinely spider pretty accurately?

I included my finger for reference of the size of the beast.

I decided I would leave it alone for awhile and let my coworker, "work-Jon" (whose name allows him to not get confused with "boyfriend-John." Because for awhile there the rest of the team wondered why I was going to dinner with Jo{h}n. I guess it wasn't obvious. ANYWAY>>>>) So I left it there to sit and reflect upon its life and its impending doom.

But then. Then, it made the wrong move. And by that I mean it MOVED. Being alone at the office, I had to kill it so I squeeled manned up and hit the sucker with some posterboard. BAM!

After later reflecting on the spinely spider and laughing at its enormous size and my intense bravery, the subject reappeared in my day. As I was working, my boss came in holding a paper towel. And then an intern came in, holding her camera. I knew something was up...This is what unfolded:

In case you couldn't figure out what was going on on-screen, here's the low-down: Mark came into the room intending to freak me out by throwing the "spider" on me. I caught on (cause I'm smart like that) and told him that he better not! THEN I realized he had a paper towel - I had wadded up Mr. Spidey in a tissue paper so I declared that and Mark's quest was ruined.

I'm the next freaking Nancy Drew.