Save the Date: Art Fair Fundraiser

SAVE THE DATE!! – FRIDAY, MARCH 24th, 6pm – 9pm

Very excited to announce a fundraising shopping event to benefit Loom Chicago. Don’t miss the incredible vendors joining together for one evening to raise funds to support the refugee women of Loom. Many of the fabulous vendors are a part of my Women Who Make series. We wanted to put together an event to support refugees here in our community, and are thrilled to support this incredible group (scroll to bottom for more information about Loom Chicago and how to get involved).

Loom Decor Chicago

Lillstreet Art Center is generously hosting the event in their recently refreshed event space, Lillstreet Loft. There is no entrance fee and kids are welcome! 25% of all sales for the evening will go to Loom Chicago.

Below are some product photos from our fabulous vendors! You can expect to find wallpaper, art, textiles, rugs, scarves, clothing, kids clothing and plush toys, paper goods, jewelry, home goods and more!

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!

Michelle Starbuck Designs

The Clementine Studio

Argaman & Defiance

Wolfechild

Lifestyle by Ivory and Ash

Mocah Designs

Who is Loom?

  • Loom is a community of refugee women living in Chicago who weave together their creativity and cultural traditions to make and sell beautiful handmade products. These women have fled their country of origin because of a credible fear of persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, national origin, or social group. More information on refugee resettlement services here

What happens at Loom?

  • Loom provides opportunity, at a weekly workshop, to collaborate, develop new skills, earn extra income and be part of a community of creative, enterprising women. Through the encouragement of the group and skills learned, many women secure part or full-time employment in and outside of the fashion industry.

What is produced at Loom?

  • Loom artisans collaborate with local designers to produce a beautiful selection of handmade products such as jewelry, bags, and home décor. Artisans use a variety of techniques including indigo dye, crocheting, knitting, sewing, embroidery and weaving inspired by their cultural traditions.

How can you partner with Loom?

  • Spread the word by hosting a Loom Sales Event. Gather your friends in the Chicagoland community to share the stories of our refugee artisans and sell Loom products.
  • Help the artisans learn new skills by teaching a workshop in the areas of textile arts, financial literacy and business management.
  • Partner with our artisans to help you with a textile project either for a custom design or for your business needs.
  • For other volunteer opportunities, please send us a message with ‘Volunteer’ in the subject line. Thank you! 

Outfit to Room: February Edition

It’s time for a monthly does of fashion with guest contributor, Alyssa Doorhy, of CoChic Styling. Alyssa and I both love fashion and interiors, and thought it would be fun to see one of my interior designs translated into a seasonal outfit each month of the year. Did you catch January’s Outfit to Room? This February has been very mild here in Chicago, and I think Alyssa’s pick of this bedroom with floral wallpaper accent wall feels just right for that cool early spring weather.

bedroom with floral wallpaper accent wall

This room has wallpaper by Relativity Textiles, and was designed for lifestyle blogger Maya McDonald of Charmingly Styled. The color palette began with a red lacquered dresser Maya already owned (from another favorite vendor of mine, MegMade) and blue felt like a natural pairing to cool down the red. The rustic wood ceiling added incredible texture, and white bedding, hints of gray and gold complete the look! Here’s Alssya’s take on fabulous coordinating outfit.

You can find the pieces here: Top Jeans Earrings Bag Shoes 

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One Part Plant Book Release & Prop Styling Secrets

one part plant cook book

You guys!! I have a friend who is now a published cookbook author and I’m making her recipes in my kitchen. It’s SO COOL. Jessica Murnane can really only be described as cool. She’s a designer turned women’s health and food advocate, after her struggle with Endometriosis led her to completely change her diet and lifestyle. Then she started a health and lifestyle Podcast called One Part Plant, and that led to her AWESOME new cookbook ONE PART PLANT. Jessica and I met in 2014 (I think!) at a monthly dinner series she hosted in Chicago, and it has been so fun to watch her career take flight. Today I’m sharing an interview with the prop stylist who worked on the book!

Also, Jess has a book tour shaping up HERE. She’ll be in Chicago and lots of other cities too, so get in on that!

The lovely Jessica Murnane, eating those plants.

I was honored when Jess asked if I’d like an advance copy of the book. Women’s reproductive health, eating more plant-based foods, and gorgeously styled new recipes to try – YES please!  I know the amount of work that goes into well-styled photographs, so I asked Jessica if I could interview her prop stylist for this post. Lucky for us the talented Joni Noe answers my burning questions below. If you are a stylist or an aspiring one, make sure to check out Joni’s portfolio. She has worked for some fabulous brands and magazines. You can find more Joni and Jess on Instagram.

Photo credits: Nicole Franzen, Food Styling: Vivian Lui.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner Party Made Easy

valentine's day dinner party ideas

You know how everyone has that one holiday they are wild about? Well, for whatever reason I’ve always had a soft spot for Valentine’s day. Maybe it was my grandma’s vintage valentine display each year, or that I’m a sucker for love, or that I’m fond of the color palette. Whatever the reason, I love having an excuse to create a pretty tablescape and have some girl friends over.

My new dining room doesn’t hurt this holiday scenario, because the pops of blush are really working in the month of February. The full dining room reveal is still on hold until a few final touches are in place (ahem, marble fabric drapes!!) but these table shots turned out too pretty not to share! Here are some easy ideas for hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner party and creating an elegant (but actually really easy) table setting. Thanks to stylist Elise Metzger for helping with the styling and setting ideas!

This to-do list and shopping list should have you covered. With most of these items on hand you can set this party up in an hour flat (my secret is ordering out for the main course) I never said I was a chef!

TO-DO LIST:

  • Gather dish ware and sliver ware you already have on hand. Ideally white dishes or something that works with the pink or red palette.
  • A cloth table runner and napkins add an elegant touch. If you don’t have any on hand you can get inexpensive muslin from a craft/fabric store and quickly cut/rip your own. Measure out a generous 18 to 20 inches with a ruler, start your cut with scissors, and rip. It’s a super quick project and will give your napkins an unfussy edge.
  • Small bowls work well for floating single roses, add some tea lights too.
  • Check the grocery list below. You can grab lots of store bought items to make the appetizer, dessert and beverages for the night.
  • Order out for dinner and you are DONE!!!

Setting the table simply feels elegant with the addition of a cloth runner, napkins, wine glasses and simple decor like cut roses and tea lights.

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Women Who MAKE: Ashley Mary Art

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching I cannot think of a better month than February to arrive at an artist’s studio, and be greeted by an awesome pink door. Minneapolis based artist and illustrator, Ashley Mary, is one big-hearted and lovely lady! We hit it off immediately, and Ashley really dove into all my questions with such truthful and articulate answers. These monthly features are here to remind us all (myself included!) that we are not alone in our struggles as creatives or small business owners.

I’m grateful to Ashely Mary Art for opening her studio up to (pretty much) a stranger — look at all the beauty our photographer and fellow creative, Erin Francois, was able to capture! Enjoy the interview, and if you’re looking to visit Minneapolis yourself, don’t miss this city guide with some of Erin and Ashley’s favorite hometown spots.

Women Who MAKE Interview – ASHELY MARY ART

  • Name: Ashley Mary
  • Age: 32
  • Current title/company name: Artist, illustrator, designer, stylist
  • Years in operation: as a full-time freelancer three years, artist for nine

What are your first memories of making [art]/being creative?

A few pop into my mind. I had one of those spinning paper toys that you could drop the paint on and it would swirl and splash into a little design. Aging myself! I remember playing with that and loving the surprise of art when the paper stopped spinning. I was a big Lego kid too. I really loved crafts of all sorts: needle point, friendship bracelets, sewing things for my dolls, coloring, playing with boxes. I had a very large imagination so usually what I was making was a part of a larger story I was acting within like “house” “school” or putting on performances from my garage for neighbors who I served my mom’s LaCroix to. I was definitely a theatrical booger (and still am, keep me away form a karaoke bar).

How did your education or past work experience give you the confidence to go out on your own and become small business owner?

I only took a small handful of art courses in college, but it was going back to school at MCAD that changed the course of my creative life. I learned a whole new set of tools to bring my analog world into the digital. Learning tools like Photoshop and Illustrator have been game-changers for me. I used to do a lot of public speaking in my last job, it was very relational too, I got to listen to people’s stories a lot. And I think both of those skills make me better at marketing myself and working with clients to get them what they need. I’m not super shy and that’s helped me introduce my work to new people.

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Centered City Guide: Minneapolis, MN

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to be invited on weekend trip to Minneapolis, MN with some inspiring creatives and a few brands who care deeply about craftsmanship. Liberte´ yogurt hosted a weekend stay at the new Hewing Hotel in the North Loop district, and Faribault Mills gave our group a private tour of their incredible factory, which is about an hour outside the city. Midwest Living published a nice itinerary for an overnight getaway in the Faribault area, just as an FYI. And if you want to see pretty pictures of the hotel, fellow designer and blogger Sarah Gibbs, just posted some great shots on her blog.

I highly recommend taking the tour and visiting the factory store at Faribault (tours are on Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays – call to make a reservation in advance). The wool mill employs approximately 105 people, all working to make incredible blankets, and other wool products all made here in the USA. Its history began in 1865, the year Lincoln died and the Civil War ended. Faribault has a long history of making blankets for all areas of the US Military (more than 100,000 blankets during WWI), and had to close its doors during the 2008 recession. They have come back strong since re-opening in 2011, with many consumers now caring more about quality and USA made products. As you can tell, I’m a total fan of such a handmade and local product!

Hewing Hotel, photo by Sarah Gibbs.

Faribault Factory Store, Photo by Modern Midwest

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Design Blogger Conference Awards 2017

January 28, 2017 Interior Design 0 Comments

Hi friends and readers! I need your help and votes : )

I’m super stoked to be nominated in two categories at the Design Bloggers Conference, which is hosted in LA this year. This will be my first time attending the conference, and I’m not sure exactly how the blog got selected, but it appears to have been submitted, and made its way to the top for Best Writing on a Design Blog AND Best Design Blog Graphics, Photography, and Presentation. Holy cow, this is so awesome!!

There are going to be some amazing people speaking at the Design Blogger Conference 2017, including these well-known ladies who many of us love:

It would be BEYOND cool to win one of these categories and accept the award at the conference. Would you be so kind as to take a minute to vote for me? Follow this LINK and look for the red lettering that says ‘CLICK HERE TO VOTE.’ It’s a super quick survey monkey form, it will take 10 seconds maximum! Voting ends Feb. 17th, you only need to fill out the survey one time. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

XO – CLAIRE

If you are interested in learning more about conference check it out here: http://design-bloggers-conference.com/2017-speakers/

 

 


Women Who MAKE: Jane Denton Art

January 25, 2017 Interviews 0 Comments
jane denton art

Ah! Today’s interview gives me a huge case of wanderlust! New Zealand based textile artist, Jane Denton is our creative woman of the hour, and she is sharing her thoughts on creativity, craft and entrepreneurship. When I found out that Jane was living and creating her art in Wellington, the creative capital of New Zealand, I knew I had to reach out to her!

I was lucky enough to adventure and live in this visually stunning country in 2011. Luke and I had year-long working visas, and I had a blog back then too! I really wish I could link to it, but it was an Apple blog and doesn’t really exist anymore. A few old photos will have to suffice, and I’ve posted them at the end of Jane’s interview. Luke proposed to me in Wellington, and all of NZ holds quite a special place in our heart! I’m so happy to have connected with Jane, as her work is so modern and unique, and thinking of NZ brings back many good memories for us.

You may recognize Jane’s work from Emily Henderson’s adorable nursery, which is where I first saw her art as well. Here’s more from Jane and a look at her playful and colorful embroidery!

Photo credit: Tessa Neustadt

Women Who MAKE Interview – JANE DENTON ART

  • Name: Jane Denton
  • Age: 41
  • Current title/company name: Textile Artist
  • Years in operation: 5 years

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The Warwick Reno: KITCHEN REVEAL

classic black and white kitchen

Woohoo!! The big moment has finally arrived. It’s our classic black and white kitchen reveal!

Remember the before photos and the DESIGN PLAN?

Before. What can I say, there are many issues here. Linoleum floor, sagging counter top, stove has to be plugged in with an extension cord!

black and white kitchen design plan

Design board, see details linked in previous post.

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Fashion and Interiors with CoChic Styling

Hey there, I’m excited to share a new monthly post concept and my latest collaborator! Alyssa Doorhy is a Chicago-based stylist and owner of CoChic Styling. I love Alyssa’s approach, which is a combination of instilling fashion confidence in her clients, and showing them how comfort does not have to be sacrificed for style. Feeling like the best version of yourself helps in life and business, and I know I need help from falling into my ruts! Hello mom jeans (I’m not even a mom) and camel colored turtlenecks : )

I’ve aways been a fashion fan (the first two jobs I wanted as a kid were fashion designer or disney animator) and since Alyssa is steeped in clothing and fashion on the daily, I thought we’d dream up some fabulous outfits based on beautiful interiors, even using a few rooms of my own design. Bringing fashion and interiors together just makes me smile. Also, fashion informs me when I’m getting to know my interior design clients. I always ask them where they shop for clothing, and if they personally identify with any iconic brands, such as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Calvin Klein, etc. These distinctions let me know a lot about what they gravitate towards style wise.

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