Springtime in The Grove

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On Saturday I met my friend Madi at RISE Coffeehouse for lunch and wandering around the The Grove to be self-indulgent and take photos. :) Haha, we both enjoy cute coffee places, neighborhoods with murals, and always trying to get the best instagram photo so we’re pretty much the perfect match. It’s a special relationship when the other person not only doesn’t judge when you ask them to take a photo of you in front of a pretty colored wall, but gets excited and asks to get a shot of your shoes next to the bag that matches.

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The Grove is a fun little business and entertainment district along Manchester between Kingshighway and Vandeventer in St. Louis City. There’s lots of great independently owned businesses, retail shops, bars, and restaurants–Sweetie Pie’s is located there if you’ve ever seen their show on Oprah’s OWN network! It’s a vibrant LGBT neighborhood and is also home to the best gay bars and drag shows in town.

In spite of all its progress, The Grove is unfortunately still home to a lot of vacant storefronts. St. Louis City has lots of areas like this, but there are enough passionate people around who are dedicated to making progress. I’m super optimistic about its future! Urban Chestnut just opened a stunning, gigantic brewery and beer hall there and the shiny new IKEA store is opening just around the corner.

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Dress: ASOS | Tennis Shoes: Keds | Watch ℅ JORD | Backpack: F21 | Buttons: Button Booty

In true Michelle fashion, I spilled coffee all over myself while raising my camera to take a picture. I ran to the closest bathroom and I guess dunking myself into the sink worked because you can’t even tell. Great job!

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All irritating self-deprecation aside, it was so nice to get outside and soak up some valuable spring sunshine. It was still a little chilly, but that’s what coffee’s for, right?

I love how quintessentially spring this casual little ASOS dress is. It’s like a big, comfy baseball tee and I love the freckled texture of the cream-colored fabric. Here’s hoping I can ditch those tights ASAP! xo

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links to some specifically pictured items that I own and love. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.

Drawn: Arcade

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I’ve been working on this on-and-off for about a month. Digging in when I really felt like working on a more complicated piece. This year I’d like to try and focus on some illustrations that feel “bigger” and like they tell a story.

I love the bright colors and crazy shadows bouncing around in a good arcade scene. I let loose a bit, experimenting with brushes and colors. It’s another resolution of mine to keep pushing past my instinct to use lazy, literal colors.

I’ve been blowing off the dust on the tumblr I use for my illustration work this week, too. You can follow along here!

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I used some of these fashion editorials as reference and inspiration. Aren’t they fantastic? I just want to capture more of these moody, neon feelings. So rad.

GIVEAWAY: JORD Wood Watches [CLOSED]

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I’m so excited to share this awesome giveaway with you guys today! Yesterday I shared photos of my beautiful JORD watch and now you have the chance to win a $129 gift certificate + free shipping for your own watch!

I love that it’s a gift certificate because you can either choose one of the 2 styles in 4 color combinations that cost $129 or under OR you can put that towards a fancier style! I love this Sidney watch in Maple and rose gold!

You have one week to enter. The winner will be notified Monday morning, March 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given free product in exchange for this giveaway. The winner will receive their $129 gift certificate and free shipping from JORD directly. 

OOTD: Dressing for Spring with JORD

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Wood Watch ℅ JORD | Moonbeam Necklace: Miriam Designs | Geometric Wood Necklace: Fable and Lore | Linen Tunic: Eileen Fisher | Boots: ShoeMint | Crossbody Bag: Michael Kors

How beautiful is this wood watch from JORD? They’re another fabulous local(!!!) company that reached out about collaborating and I enthusiastically agreed. I’ve been impressed with JORD from the beginning. Their watches are all STUNNING, especially in person and the customer service has been flawless throughout the whole process. They even have a live chat rep available to answer any questions. I needed to add another link to my watch–which was included–and being able to ask a real person exactly what to do was so convenient.

I love the androgynous styling of all their watches–Andrew and I have been fighting over this one! Haha, I think I may buy him one for his birthday this year. I chose the Ely watch in maple. It’s really lightweight and easy to wear! It’s a beautiful, neutral texture that seems to go with any outfit. l really love it.

PLUS I’m really excited to host a JORD Wood Watch giveaway this week! The giveaway post will go live tomorrow morning so check back! :)


Disclaimer: I was given free product in exchange for this post, but the opinions shared are entirely my own and based on my personal experience.
This post uses affiliate links to some specifically pictured items that I own and love. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site. 

Green With Indie 2015

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@perennialstl

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Green With Indie is one of my favorite local craft shows! It has an eco-friendly focus and always features a great group of vendors, plus it’s located in Webster Groves which attracts a wonderful crowd of shoppers. Webster residents love any arts and culture event and they really show up, which is awesome! :) The weather was lovely and I had my most successful GWI yet!

Over the winter, I was kind of hoping to hide away in a creative cocoon and emerge at GWI (my first show of the year) as a fabulous crafty butterfly with tons of new items and a beautiful new display. While I wish I would’ve gotten more sewing and jewelry making done, I did debut my paintings and several new prints–including that fancy gold foil one! So shiny! Haha. I also got my pegboard display figured out and looove the way it turned out! I’m definitely feeling more inspired by the way my booth looks.

This year I’d love to narrow my focus a bit and concentrate on products that represent my best. I know I spread myself a bit thin now by doing too many different things at once, but hey, this is my creative outlet where I encourage myself to try new things and see what sticks.

Unfortunately, that means I spend money on lots of different supplies for different things. I don’t just buy illustration supplies, but jewelry making tools, and sewing supplies. I don’t sell tons of any one thing, so my profits don’t do much more than break even because I can’t buy huge quantities of supplies. I’d love to get more serious about the business side of things in 2015. I finally caved and bought a bookkeeping service and it’s already motivating me to focus on the decisions I’m making in more practical way.

I’m going to try and take photos this week to do a big remodel of my Etsy shop, so look for new prints and jewelry soon! I’d also like to set up a new, independent e-commerce site this Spring. I’m definitely on the “Etsy is a giant bummer now” train and I’d like to start distancing myself from them.

Drawn: Lauren of Daisycakes Creative

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My latest portrait commission is for Lauren Dee of Daisycakes Creative! Lauren provides lots of services for her clients including writing, editing, and proofreading. She wanted a portrait that reflected her business and its name.

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Lauren was one of those clients who had a pretty clear vision for what she wanted. She loves yellow and blue, chevron patterns, and wanted to make sure to reference her love of books. She also wanted some kind of daisy border or frame. The composition pretty easily built itself!

She really responded to the second sketch with the circle of flowers and suggested a chevron pattern for her shirt. I wanted to make sure the book was a title that reflected her taste and personality–Pride and Prejudice it is! A girl after my own heart. :) I had to play off of Jessica Hische’s cover design because really. So gorgeous.

FF41: Aidy Bryant x Dusen Dusen Home

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This week Design*Sponge announced a collaboration between perfect angel baby, Aidy Bryant and Dusen Dusen for their first home collection, debuting Fall 2015. I had hearts in my eyes immediately and want to share this news with the world!

I’m obsessed with Aidy. Not only is she hilarious and charming on SNL every week (I legitimately listened to Back Home Baller at least once daily for two weeks after it came out) but she has adorable personal style. Her instagram is my happy place.

Dusen Dusen is also a big crush of mine. I love their fun color palettes, simple shapes, and whimsical patterns. Everything they make feels so fresh and fun. I often feel such serious, melancholy vibes with high end brands, but Dusen Dusen girls look so carefree. They definitely have an easy-going attitude and a sense of humor. Like, “I care about looking cute, but don’t take fashion so seriously, man!” No pretension.

I’ve mentioned that I’m so into interior design inspiration lately so this pairing is my dream come true. They suit each other so perfectly! Now if only I could afford any of it! Haha.

Photographs by Brian W. Ferry, via Design*Sponge

Paintings

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I’m not necessarily a creature of habit. I enjoy multitasking and dabbling in many different jobs and tasks at once. It keeps me on my toes and engaged. Apparently I’ve been working at my computer too much lately because a switch flipped in me, just needing to get messy with my paints and hands.

I’ve been having fun making some really self-indulgent things and messing with layers and textures. Some of these are still in progress. I hope to have a nice little gallery of original work for sale at Green With Indie next Saturday (YIKES!)

I mostly use acrylics on canvas because I always have them handy. I like the flexibility of acrylic. I can use thick layers of paint and smear and blur or I can use thinner coats and let them dry quickly so I can go color crazy without getting muddy. It’s a great paint when I’m craving some instant gratification and just want to churn out a finished product.

New Hair

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Ta-da! I’ve had basically the same hair style for like 6 years now. I have no idea how that happened. I used to switch it up more often in college, but you know how it goes. I feel like every girl goes through a “I want long princess mermaid hair!” phase. My last one just lasted a bit longer than I expected.

I asked the crazy talented Kristen Linares to give me a shorter, light, fluffy cut with a light pink, ombre kind of thing. I tried to go in with a vague idea so Kirsten could just do her magic. I looove the end result! I can stop playing with it! :)

Drawn: Lauren & Jeremy

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Lauren was one of the first bloggers I really fell in love with and I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with her a few times. We bond over our mutual love of good food, good drinks, cats, and handmade stuff. She’s fantastic.

I was so excited when she asked me to draw a portrait of her and her lovely boyfriend, Jeremy (plus her perfect kitties) for Valentine’s Day!

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I wanted to have fun with lots of bright colors and incorporate little details personal to them. Lauren makes amazing pom-pom headbands, so I had to include one of those! The banner has a latin phrase that’s meaningful to the two of them and her yarn brooch was another requested personal touch. I’m really happy with the final product and think I managed to capture them well–the best test for a portrait!