Michael Cina Art Pieces on Fab
Fab was such an addiction a few years ago…and still kind of is. I’d have to say it’s probably the best place online for gifts, apart from the popular event-based sale site Touch of Modern or maybe even Spencers. Fab though has its own personality, combining a wide range of pieces together in one place to fit any purpose or mood by a multitude of ridiculously creative artists, whether they are painters, interior decorators, jewelers, clothiers, you name it. I’ve become quite a fan lately of sites that combine artwork with pieces you can use everyday, like clothing, bedspreads, pillows, cellphone cases, etc., such as The Coterie and Society6. Fab also offers several pieces like this, and the latest I’ve been drawn to is a collection of bed, bath and personal accessories featuring the amazing abstract art of Michael Cina. I love abstract art because they fit so well with a mood, or whatever a viewer might be feeling while looking at it, and a lot of it can be up to interpretation. Michael’s background is influenced by minimal and visual narratives, using graphics to communicate mood or emotion. I love the colors in these pieces, as if he was illustrating a song while creating them…Fab even states that his work is often done in “response to an emotion or sound” and is rooted in the music and design industries. I thought so before I even read about it. Check out some of these amazing items below!
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Star Wars Merchandise Abounds
My very first memory of Star Wars was wandering around Disneyland’s Tomorrowland at night along with my mom, dad, sister and great aunt. I remember how magical it was, and for some reason I remember this over any of our daytime antics in the park. I remember the Electric Light Parade, fiber optic toys, and all the spacey goodness of that night. Perhaps it hinted towards my future love of nightlife and electronic music? Who knows…but my love for anything science fiction still lives on, and the thought of Star Wars is still quite nostalgic to me…along with Star Trek and the old, original WAM POW BAM Batman series. When I was in high school, Star Wars Episode I came out, and I obsessively saw it 7 times with my pals, no matter how much so many of my “cooler” friends said it sucked. I’ve never been much of a movie buff, and I get super antsy and have always had a tough time sitting through movies and most TV shows. Still to this day, there aren’t many things on TV or on the big screen that can capture my attention for very long. Star Wars has always captured my heart, and I’m not the biggest nerd, so no matter what criticism anyone ever has to say for any of the new movies that come out, I’m pretty much always game!
With the next movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters in December, retailers everywhere are picking up the hype with unique and fun merchandise which currently are flying off the shelves! I had actually forgotten about the new movie coming out (I know, how COULD I??) until I started to notice all of the themed merch flooding my inbox. IGN, as well as many other major news outlets, covered Disney’s live unboxing event on Youtube earlier this month, which revealed an abundance of new, shiny goodies for millions of drooling fans (links are at the footer of this post). I also saw several sales at Touch of Modern and even a really neat Etsy shop for various items, so I figured for a fun Friday post, I’d make a collection of my favorite bits. I LOVE the LED Lamps at Touch of Modern, as they remind me of my Tomorrowland adventures as a child, and perhaps the most exciting of them all here is the BB-8 app-controlled droid by Sphero…a friend of mine got one of her own and I was feeling a little green envy popping up over her Facebook posts! I’m totally coveting the Darth Vader Tattoo Wallet by Loungefly above, and I always love vintage wall art, so the work by Lynx Collection on Etsy is super cool. The X-Wing Starfighter and Millennium Falcon drones look like a lot of fun to play with as well! The cool thing about Star Wars is that it brings out the kids in all of us…and lets the nostalgia flow!
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Lake view from the Tahoe Rim Trail
A Much Needed Vacation in Tahoe
In case anyone was wondering why there were no posts on Wednesday and Friday, it was because I was taking a MUCH needed break! My hubby and I headed up to Lake Tahoe for the week and took in the views and fresh mountain air with some hiking, jet skiing, a little gambling of course, and exploring the beautiful Heavenly resort which we both hope to return to if and when California gets a significantly snowy winter again! Both of us have been to the snow numerous times, I had been to Tahoe once to snowboard (Northstar and Mt. Rose), but he hadn’t been up here at all. I hadn’t seen it in the summer, so really this was kind of a first for us both! I had thought about making a post at the beginning of the week to announce my absence but I thought ah heck…the break was needed so bad and I had so much to do leading up to it that I figured it would be good for me to just not worry about it. Also, I had my STRÖM review on Denimology and I didn’t want to wait much longer than Monday to post it since it actually had gone live on Friday.
On the last day of our vacation, I was also very pleasantly surprised to find my piece about my denim obsession published on The Jeans Blog! This awesome UK-based denim blog is the work of Lorna Burford of Raindrops of Sapphire, which is the blog that inspired me to start my own after beginning reviews for Denimology. Lorna is also the editor over at DenimBlog, which, along with Denimology, was my source for reviews before I would purchase my own jeans many many years ago! Lorna had contacted me to write a piece for her Denim Tales section on The Jeans Blog, and as life would have it, many things got in the way and it got put aside until I took a few days off from work a few weeks ago and got it done. And here it is! I am so stoked about this, and it just goes to show one of the things I love about blogging and bloggers…many out there are very kind and more than happy to help each other, and even collaborate at times! So thank you Lorna! You can check out my piece here!
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Sunday Funday at Monterey Bay Aquarium
So today’s post is going to be a little different, since this weekend was my mom’s birthday weekend, and the family drove up the coast a bit for something that’s bit a bit of of a fixture in my childhood life…Monterey Bay Aquarium! It’s been so fun over the years to watch it grow, improve and expand so much with their wildlife rehabilitation, education and exhibits themselves, from the first time I saw them on a classroom field trip up to today. The last time I was there was a few years ago, but it had been a long time for my parents! The aquarium might be famous for its towering, two-story kelp exhibit with twice-a-day-feedings by a scuba diver, but I think over the years the shining star has become the jellyfish exhibits! There is a standard one that fits in with the overall aquarium theme, but on the opposite side of the building there is a truly trippy standalone exhibit which I feel could be a nightclub, easy (that’s me enjoying it above)…all I could think of was adding a DJ booth and dancing away. I can’t help myself sometimes. Unfortunately though, this is a temporary exhibit that closes September 7th! I’ll miss it, but it will be exciting to see what else ends up in that area. I think it’s a great idea to have different kinds of exhibits rotate though there to keep things fresh. This is definitely not your ordinary aquarium…they keep things fresh and beautiful so you always want to keep coming back!
What a day though, and I figured this would be a good post to break up the others to say a little more about myself and the things I enjoy. To keep with the theme of the blog though, I found it pretty amusing that I was wearing pretty much *all* American Eagle Outfitters, from head to toe. I’ve been a fan for too long…Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos! I tried to get a little creative with these instead of just documenting the trip, and there were so many more. These are just my favorite ones! I hope this inspires a trip over there for some of my readers…it is well worth it.
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Favorite Finds from Etsy
As I’m sure many of my readers know by now, I am a huge fan of Etsy. I love the big brands…they are fun and exciting and all, but I really have a high respect for the struggling independent artists and love to give them exposure and support as best as I can! I have purchased many items on Etsy and am always super impressed by the obvious quality and love put into them. I’ve favorited so many items and shops on Etsy and continue to do so every day, even though I know there’s no way I’ll ever be able to get to all of them! So I figured for a fun Friday post I’d make a collection of some of the cool items that have been hanging out in my Etsy favorites for awhile. Many are clothing items (mostly from artists who craft with organic cotton, bamboo or hemp), but there are several gift items in there like jewelry, posters and more. I think I might do this on a regular basis with other items I obsessively bookmark, not only with Etsy but in other online shops as well…now that I’ve discovered this neat little slider plugin! You might recognize some items that I’ve blogged about before (like MeDusaBrand) and they were definitely special enough to me that they needed to be mentioned again. So without much more ado, I hope you enjoy my little culmination of twenty (oh there are many more) of my favorite finds from Etsy!
Denim Surfboards by 3×1 and Token
It might be obvious right now that I appreciate just about anything made from denim…the fabric is so versatile it’s easy to expand it over to furniture, sunglasses, art, watches, shes, and many more, as I illustrated in a post this February! The list seems to go on and on and I thoroughly enjoy seeing innovators get creative with denim. While perusing Rawr Denim, an online blog for everything raw and selvedge denim, I ran across this neat little item: selvedge denim masters 3×1 are currently showing us just how radical you can get with the fabric, teaming up with Token Surfboards to celebrate a new store opening in Southampton, New York. Each board is handmade and has selvedge denim insets from 3×1, some complete with some really neat fraying effects! Buyers can head to the Southampton store for a custom board, with the options of board shape, size and style of denim. According to Observer, these boards will take up to six to eight weeks to be made, so anyone without specific custom preferences can choose from three premade boards right from 3×1‘s online storefront. There was a time when I thought I would get into surfing…even went for a brand new board, but failed pretty miserably…these kind of tap back into that old desire to hit the waves! Although, I think I’d be too afraid to use and abuse these…especially for the price—these special items start around $2,250.
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It wasn’t very long ago that I wasn’t much of a fragrance person…I’d only use scents for special occasions. But, as I recently wrote in a post earlier this month, there’s one brand that’s changed my mind…Harvey Prince! I posted on June 15th about their many mini rollers, which are awesome little samplers (or collectibles), of each of their best fragrances. As previously discussed, I’m subscribed to their newsletter, and every so often Harvey Prince sends out offers for these little rollers to get one pretty much free—you just pay shipping! I love their fruity, refreshing scents and best of all, all Harvey Prince fragrances are 100% cruelty free, with no animal ingredients or derivatives. They are also free of toxic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, GMOs or triclosan. I made up quite a collection but there was one I was still missing…their Signature scent! Harvey Prince was awesome enough to send me one to fill in this vacant spot on my bathroom shelf, and I’ve got to say it turns out to be great competition for my other two favorites, Ageless and Sincerely. Keep on reading to find a special offer I’ve included for my readers, also thanks to Harvey Prince, for a free Signature Mini Roller so you guys can all try out this marvelous brand for yourself (just pay shipping)!
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Denim School Dreams and DIY
The more I usually fall in love with a hobby or special interest, the more I want to see behind the scenes…get hands-on and dirty with it, or learn how to make my own. Especially with denim…when I first heard the story of Frankie B’s founder starting her business by sewing jeans for her friends in her attic, I felt the itch. That was many many years ago, and I still get held back just because I took one career path, and know very little about textiles. Growing up, my mom would always hand me denim scraps that I’d sew into clothing for my Barbies or even into little handbags. I have a pretty decent knowledge of sewing, but still, my knowledge is limited. If only I could clone myself and head back to college, right? I can’t see myself stopping what I’m doing now. One of my favorite denim blogs, The Jeans Blog, recently posted about something special for denim enthusiasts out there…a chance to learn first hand how denim is created and how to make your own. PRPS founder Donwan Harrell graduated from VCU in Richmond, Virginia as a fashion design student, and didn’t emerge with a whole lot of knowledge about the denim industry. This is pretty inspiring to me, considering how huge PRPS now is! He has recently instituted a program at VCU, called Jeanology, to teach students all about the denim manufacturing and washing process, something that he most likely would have participated in during his days as a student. How amazing is this? Ok so first…I need to clone myself, and second, I need to move to Virginia. Problem solved! I would LOVE to be able to do this!
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In Love with Harvey Prince Mini Rollers
When I first joined Birchbox several years ago, I just figured hey, a box of awesome samples to my door every month for just $10? Awesome. However, It’s been a lot more than that. I’ve been dedicated the awesomeness of Amway’s Artistry makeup and skincare line for its high quality in terms its organic, pure and eco-friendly ingredients (no fillers) made right here in the USA, as well as the amazing work its done for my skin and the fact that it’s eliminated the need to ever worry about touching up my makeup throughout the day. But due to the obvious nature of this blog, I love discovering what else is out there! I’ll always stick to Artistry but it’s so fun to me to see what everyone else is up to.
Fragrances for me haven’t really ever been a huge thing, as I normally just saw them as one more step to remember in the morning…and I really only used them if I was to go out at night. I admit I do have and love Lady Gaga’s and Rihanna’s perfumes, but I only used them for special occasions and thought they were a bit too strong and possibly too processed for daily use. Birchbox introduced me to Harvey Prince, with my new favorite scent, Journey (now renamed Sincerely). Harvey Prince fragrances are made in the USA, are 100% cruelty free, and include zero phthalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, propylene glycol, GMOs, or triclosan. They are also rigorously tested, adhering to the very strict rules of the International Fragrance Association for toxicity and allergins and are created using the finest essential and natural oils from around the world! You can smell the quality of these scents…each one is flirty, fresh and contain hints of all sorts of different fruits, flowers and spices. I subscribe to their newsletter, which offers a free mini roller of each of their most popular scents every now and then (with the deal being to only pay shipping). Since I don’t use a ton of perfume and I love variety, I loved this idea, and jumped at each one of these chances to have a little bit of every Harvey Prince fragrance at my disposal every morning! It’s also awesome that every purchase has included a sample of another one to try out. My favorites so far are of course Sincerely, and Ageless, which has a delicious touch of grapefruit, and I LOVE grapefruit! Check below for the others that I’ve accumulated and now use on a regular basis!
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Society6 and The Cotery for Independent Artists
I always appreciate the local artists…big brands are fun and nice and all, but what about the little guys? It is ridiculous how many extremely talented souls out there who are fighting for recognition, but competition can be bloody and gut-wrenching out there. When I started this blog, I thought I’d focus purely on my love for denim and a few of my top favorite contemporary brands, but I’ve always had an appreciation for the lesser known talents and the overall theme of this blog kind of fell into place once I realized how much I loved having at least a little power in my hands to get their names out there.
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