January 31, 2013

be mine

Valentine's Day is around the corner and I would bet that it hasn't crossed my hardworking hubby's mind... yet. So, I'm being very subtle by posting my little wish list ALL over the internet. Mmmkay? Some of these items have been in my wish list for a little while and some are newbies. I tried to stay very cost conscious with some under $15 and a couple around the $50 range and one sneaky exception! See if you can find it... gimme.

Number one might be in my cart before Valentine's Day because this is such a good idea. I used to journal all the time - pages and pages about boys and blah but as we all know in our late 20's "ain't nobody got time for that". A sweet one liner every day is perfff. Loving the rhinestone studs in rose gold (edgy and chic) and I will have those leopard pillows on my couch ASAP. As they say, "I've never met a leopard I didn't like" (me and Snooki both, ugh). Will post some Merrick Jewels Valentine's goodies later this week. Smooches.

P.S. Someone make me those Geronimo heart balloons. I'll be your friend forever. :)

1. one line a day 5 year journal - Urban Outfitters/Amazon 2. Vince Camuto rose gold rhinestone pyramid studs - Nordstrom 3. Geronimo heart balloons - DIY at Hobby Lobby 4. sea urchin gold sculpture - Pieces 5. velvet leopard throw pillows - Arianna Belle 6. Karen Walker sunnies - Shopbop

January 29, 2013

continuing education

If you follow me in Instagram {MerrickJewels} you'll notice that I posted this picture last night from my day long jewelry class extravaganza. This time I'm not the teacher (like my jewelry classes at Safe Haven) but the student. There's something to learning new techniques that is so intimidating at first but invigorating once you dive in and get your feet wet. 

Small business owners and artisans - *note to self*. 

Now I have millions of ideas buzzing around in my head {a creative high}.

While at the University of Texas pursuing my art history degree, my mother insisted that I at least dabble in the jewelry metalworking class in the fine arts department at least while I was there (her knowing that jewelry was on the radar screen but not in the forefront and me thinking I wanted to own my own art gallery like Charolette in SATC...

but in reality I might have ended up like those caddy girls in Bravo's reality show "Gallery Girls" no thanks)...

I passed seeing as I couldn't fit the studio time into my busy junior schedule and focused more on being some frat guy's girlfriend (hehe my husband, Ryan) and attempting not to fail french. Je ne sais quoi... what I was thinking.

Now a bagillion years later here I am kicking myself and wishing I would have taken those classes. But better late than never dad gum it. Who am I kidding, 28 is not late... just seems late in hindsight. The exciting part is that I'm hoping to add some custom Merrick Jewels metal pieces to my designs. And who knows - when someone asks me if I made my WATCH... next time I might be able to say yes. 


January 22, 2013

scoring j.crew

Every girl loves to share a new fashion find and scoring a great deal on an item she has been coveting. I just have to share my J.crew finds and deals that I came across this weekend! Beware, girls get excited about sales and clothes and clothes on sale so there are a lot of {!!!} in this post!

I absolutely died over the image above and will get back to its amazingness later in this post.

First of all they are having a 50% additional mark down on sale items making everything extremely affordable (almost stealing) and a great way to inject some color into your wardrobe. Their color combos/shades have been amazing as of late, no? Shopping the sale I came across the cafe capri pants in navy tweed - one pair left which happened to be in my size.

j.crew cafe capri pants in navy tweed - but please buy then in store for extra savings!

I've seen the pattern pants trend prancing around all fall/winter and not knowing quite how to process it I let it pass me by until now.

images from Pinterest

So, the pants were marked from $148 down to $29 and then take an additional 50% off making them $15. I could have a meal that is more expensive than these festive pants so in the cart they went!!

Second item is one that I've been watching online for a while in hopes that its $245 price tag would drop. Seeing as Texas weather is like a a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get {har, had}, I've been needing a "inbetweener" coat - a coat that I can wear that's not a long fancy coat and not a tedious ski jacket to go check the mail (zip liner in, put arm in sleeve, fleece liner cinches up near elbows, fishing for lost fleece sleeve... you get the drift), hop over to the grocery store etc. yet still look chic. Enter wintress puffer coat...

While browsing the sale racks in store, I spotted my beloved puffer poofyness in my size. Score! Yet still full price. Not score. Knowing that it was on sale online for $189 + 30% off I asked the attendant if they would honor their online price since they didn't have my size online. She said she would ask the manager. Doesn't hurt to ask right? Fingers crossed, fingers crossed. She comes back and says that he will honor the sale price and then take 50% off because of the in store sale! Whaaaa!?!? I'm in a time warp - it must be Christmas or my birthday or something!??! So, this warm wonderfulness came home with me for under $100. When you put it on it's like a cup of hot chocolate giving you a hug, that good.

My last j.crew score comes from drooling over the first image in this blog on my pinterest. This is fabulous casual yet statement look with all the right elements rolled into one. So I'm going over in my head if I have the ingredients to make this bangin' recipe happen. 

- statement jewels, I happen to know a jewelry designer *wink* {check} would also be great with these earrings or this necklace
- classic denim shirt Ralph Lauren or a lighter chambray color {check}
- bold sunnies {check}
- desolate yet perfect sandy dune with soft cloudless sky... err will work on that
- art nouveau patterned yellow scroll shorts {NEED} 

I have hardly any yellow in my wardrobe so this would be an educated purchase. That legitimizes it right?

Scouring online, looking in stores... they are nowhere to be found. Finally, I called up ole j.crew - maybe Jenna Lyons would answer? and asked for a nationwide product search. Apparently they are sold out online but haven't hit all stores yet so there's a good chance I could snag up my size? J.crew emails you when they find the item you have requested and 12 measly hours later they found my size and have shipped the shorts. Hooray! Get ready for these shorts this spring/summer people. It's going to be awesome. 

Moral of the story/blog... ask and you just might receive, seek/search the vast inventory of j.crew and you might just find a sold out item, knock on door of a j.crew store and check out their 50% off sale! :)

January 17, 2013

DIY entry makeover

Everyone knows that the foyer or entryway sets the tone for the impression of the house. It's the introduction to the book, appetizer to the main course, the previews before the main feature. These pics (plus a handful more) have been lingering around my Pinterest for a while.  Taunting me... yeah, you know you like the way we look. Think about how good you'd feel walking around in this space. Mhmm. Right now our entry way is incredibly small and incredibly depressing. If my husband thinks it lacks a sense of style we know we're in trouble and something needs to change ASAP. Granted it's not totally offensive but with the upgrading of the rest of the house this is a place where it's time to have some fun (wide bold stripes, animal print, chevron floor - you get the gist). Sooo, outdoor slate tile and textured walls - see you on the flip side. 

womp, womp, wooommmp

Here's my plan. Husband doesn't take me seriously on these projects until it gets real and I actually break something and he has to fix it. Ok, and I help big time, don't feel sorry for him. :) One day during our Christmas break I just couldn't stand the sight of that little black textured hole of despair and had to do something, fast. Rman was watching a movie so I knew I had to take it into my own hands. "I'm going to just start taking off the trim in the foyer, mkay?" He might have just been dismissing me so I wouldn't keep interrupting the long dramatic scenes in Lawrence of Arabia but he answered a hesitant OK back. 

The verbal seal of approval, it's show time! BANG, BANG, BANG... I'm attacking the molding and baseboards like it's my job. Besides I'm a pro - I watch HGTV and DIY network all the time. Expert status people. Husband saunters in later and seems to approve. And having nightmares about the last time I tried to take the texture off of our guest bathroom with basically a tiny scraper and mostly my fingernail, it sucked away days of my life but I'd tell you it was worth it, needless to Rman is always looking for a more effective method to "get er done". Engineer stuff. He busts out a heat gun and we watch the texture plus two layers of teal floral wall paper peel away. 

that's one good man right there, key to my heart

It's still going to be a process to melt off the texture on the entire entryway of doom but again I'll tell you it's going to be worth it. It's kinda like what my mother tells me about having a baby (no experience here) that when you're doing it it hurts like hell but after you forget all about the pain and enjoy the end product and would even possibly think about doing it again and you think that you're losing it. I'm on my second texture scraping baby. I'm registering for a bottle of wine, massage for the tired shoulders, and maybe even a manicure that I'll never get. I've got working hands. 

Next comes the power tools. Rman's specialty. 

floor be gone - word to the wise don't put that cheap natural stone down in your house, it's impossible to sweep and mop

I found these wonderful 24 x 12 in. tiles at Lowe's and I'm hesitant to tell you guys because I want them ALL for my house. They are ceramic tiles that look like natural limestone and so inexpensive ($2.00 a tile I believe). I think it cost me $90 in tile for the whole foyer. These tiles are smooth (prime for the sweeping) and timeless. We put them in a subway pattern. 

dry run

 measuring it up

voila! beautiful museum style floors - I love

Here's what I envision for the walls. The entryway leads into our formal living room which is Sherwin Williams collonade gray so I would carry the gray into the foyer with a bold wide horizontal stripe. Now I can't decide if the other strip color should be white or a darker gray. This is open for discussion. Thoughts?

also love the look of a gallery wall on a wide striped wall, adds some interest

with a more modern sleek lighting fixture

or I could always go bling :)

The point for this renovation is to make the entryway have more visual appeal with inexpensive upgrades. I'm not sure how long we are going to be in this house so I wanted to choose things that I would enjoy in the meantime and not scare and actually attract potential buyers for the future. 

What do you think of this renovation?

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January 07, 2013

drooling over Downton

Growing up as child sheltered from all the wonderfulness that is cable TV (shakes fist at parental units and asks why, why, WHY?!?! {in jest, mom, in jest}), I was stuck with about eight watchable channels in the north Texas area. In my middle school years, my shows ranged from Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Step by Step, Sister/Sister, Boy Meets World... you get the drift or maybe you don't because you were watching the Nickelodeon channel and knew what MTV was when it was actually playing music videos (why, why, WHY!?!?). Tragedy. Well, when there weren't any good shows on guess what... I'd have to drift over to the educational channel, 13/PBS, and watch british comedies. Either that or infomercials on a new Boflex. Now it's time to feel sorry for me.

My parents boiled over laughing at shows like Faulty Towers, Are you Being Served?, Keeping up with Appearances, and of course Mr. Bean. Let me go off on a tangent for a second and tell you this about Mr. Bean. One would think that when becoming Mrs. Bean and having a real life Mr. Bean my Mr. Bean would love Rowan Atkinson's simple minded character. Exhibit A:

However, as we have come to conclusion by many tries is that my Mr. Bean is NOT a fan of Mr. Bean. So don't ask. :) 

Anyway, having being brought up on british comedies being a fan of Downton Abbey is a given. With the premier last night, we were glued to the TV in anticipation of the fashion, relationship toils, and drama galore. I do have to say that I believe that Shirley MacClain's outfits really brought it and even out shined the ever popular Countess of Grantham, Dame Maggie Smith. I do love her one line zingers... "What is a weekend?"

see what I mean...

love Lady Mary's headpiece for her wedding

and of course the beautiful grounds

Do you watch Downton Abbey? What did you think of the premier?

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January 03, 2013

new pieces, new projects, new priorities

Wow, now that was a great staycation. I was MIA for what seemed to be weeks with no posts and hardly any activity in the studio. Once you put the guilt aside (I could be doing this, I should be doing that), taking a break from the daily grind is so beneficial - a great way to clear and rest the mind for more creativity to flow. I'm ready to work with a new palette of colors and materials. Yipeee! I was also ecstatic to see a full page spread 360 West Magazine  of our vintage chain and malachite bib necklace. So very rich.

As most of you experienced, we had a white Christmas in north Texas! I am always in awe of how this manages to happen what seems like every Christmas despite our very warm beginning to the winter season. Santa, is that you? The snow flurries were beautiful. Our relatives from Nebraska were expecting a break from snow but I believe they brought it with them.

For New Years Eve we did something that we have never done before and I'm in love, we stayed in. It was so amazing. We ordered some of my favorite take-out from the Chinese food restaurant in a gas station (don't judge, it gets great reviews on urbanspoon and I haven't died yet :), plus have any of you been to Chef's Pointe? I guess that's just how we do here in Texas) popped a bottle of bubbly at midnight and watched a marathon of our new favorite show till 2am. Completely blissful. And to boot I got up the next morning before 10am and ran 7 miles for my half-marathon training. This just does not happen people.

I'm very eager to see what 2013 will bring my business, family, and friends. Cheers.

Oh, and how could I forget! What's time off without starting another house project?? Some would argue otherwise... :) What is that I see?? A foyer reno?? Stay tuned for inspiration photos that caused this mess.

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