Inspiration  A Week of Fun in San Francisco!

Hello!  I just returned from another great trip to to beautiful San Francisco, where I was tagging along with my husband on his business trip.  We combed the city–walking everywhere and ducking down streets and through neighborhoods until our feet ached. After three trips in one year, I have a lot of great things to share!


map photo from Maker & Moss 


I recommend several great websites and blogs for tips on where to go around the city: Victoria Smith, SFGirlbyBay 24 Hours in San Francisco, and Grace Bonney’s Design Sponge SF Design Guide.  I also refered to the awesome SF Gate, and Eater San Francisco constantly to find out about neighborhoods and restaurants.  (The above map can be found at Maker & Moss in Hayes Valley.)


Inspiration  DIY Lego Counter: Homage to Childhood & the Playful Adult


When it comes to gorgeous color and playful design, there is no one who can do it better than Tami Rodrig of Happy Art Studio.  Mixed media is her game, and she continues to broaden her palette from painting, tiling, sewing, collage, jewelry, and now to include Legos!  You may know Tami for her joyful jewelry collection (read more here), but as you can see, there are no limits to her creativity and imagination with color! 


Inspiration  Primo Podcasts for Makers & Creative Entrepreneurs

Hello!  Today I am excited to share with you my favorites podcasts!  Some are for entrepreneurs, some for creatives, and some just for fun!  No matter how frustrating my day might be, when I listen to these awesome podcasts I feel productive and uplifted.


My two favorite shows that provide me insight and inspiration every week are After the Jump, by Grace Bonney, the amazing DIY Design Blogger, and The Lively Show, by Jess Lively, and creator of Living Life With Intention Online.  But there are so many….





The Lively Show by Jess Lively.  This year I discovered Jess LIvely and her wonderful interviews with (mostly) women who talk about the pursuit of joy and fulfillment in life, work, love, and family.  Jess talks about vulnerable topics that so many women deal with, related to self image, productivity, morale and finding lifetime happiness.


I recently also took Jess Lively’s fantastic course, Life With Intention, which is an online course that helps to identify what our values are, and build a life that is intentional and value-driven, for joy, balance and fulfillment.  It is a great course, and you can repeat as many times as you like!


The Art of Simple by Tsh Oxenreider.   A great podcast of conversations about “everything else”, including food, travel, family, working at home, music and living simply.  I really like this when I am taking a break from thinking so hard!  (more…)  

Inspiration  Color Trip with Peach and Coral

Ever since my childhood bedroom was painted peach, I have loved the glow and warmth peachy coral colors add to a room. This week I pairing my peachy coral pillow collection with some of the gorgeous pillows from Caitlin Wilson Textiles, as well as some finds from Serena & Lily and Mokkasin.    



Inspiration  Cheeky Monkey Home Does Turquoise & Greige

This week I am pulling together the things that I love the most from my favorite designers, and pairing them with Cheeky Monkey Home pillows. Turquoise is fresh and vibrant, and I think it is especially beautiful set off by a warm beige-grey (“greige”).  As you can see,  a strong color identity can be all you need to unify a huge range of style and texture in your decor.



I love Caitlin Wilson’s textiles and home decor.  She is amazingly talented, successful and prolific (and so young!).  Her newest collection of rugs seem inspired by her international travel, and I love how they pair with so many Cheeky Monkey designs.  I have also been eyeing everything in the new Serena & Lily catalogue, and especially this gorgeous Palmetto wallpaper!  It feels rich, Indian, and very handmade to me.  


Inspiration  Wonderful Wallpaper & My Search for Stairwell Revival

This summer I am making a few small changes to my house that I hope will have a big impact.  It has been 9 years since we bought our old Victorian house (circa 1905) and we have not done much besides maintenance since our initial rehab.  Things are looking a little tired, and I am looking for a refresh!  In my search for wallpaper for our front hall staircase, I fell in love with some amazing designers!


The first thing I did was summon my wallpaper collection on Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite wallpaper designers who are doing interesting and very unique work.  I really love designs that show the artist’s hand and feel like a work of art—the way art deco designs and Indian block printing allow you to feel the direct nature of the making.




Inspiration  Oh How I Love You, Blue & White

There is something so totally classic and crisp about the combination of blue and white.  I have been collecting images to inspire some new pillow designs, and just love the way they all look together.  Stay tuned for some great new Cheeky Monkey Home pillows in blue and white this summer!


1.  Fair Isle Poncho by Saartj    2.  Mosaic Cat Mask by Professor Tiny on Etsy   3.  Koi Fish Print by Linocut Heaven on Etsy   4.  Striped T Dress by Sailor Rose   5.  Cobalt Blue Otomi Pillow by Casa Otomi on Etsy   6.  DIY Bleach Printed Napkins  by Paula Deen   7.  Paper Twist Ties  by Green Ridge Designs on Etsy   8.  Hippos Eco Throw in cobalt & white by Happy Habitat

Inspiration  Four Favorite Design Blogs for Mom

A quick note this week to share some of my favorite daily reads with you.  Four blogs that give me constant inspiration as a mother and in my work as a designer:  Design Mom,  Handmade Charlotte, Babyccino Kids and Culture Baby!   If you don’t know them yet, I highly recommend checking them out!



Inspiration  Amazing Maps for Kids – A World of Learning!

I have a special love for maps—old maps, new maps, and especially beautifully illustrated maps.  I love the colors and the line quality, as well as the wonderful symbols and seafaring lore that adorn some of the older designs.  Maps have been the inspiration for several of my mural projects (and upcoming pillow designs for 2014!), so you can understand why I snapped up this incredible map book as soon as I saw it at the bookstore!




Inspiration  New York City Surprises

We were in NYC last weekend as a family, and I cannot wait to share with you some of our discoveries.  My husband and I try to sneak away to the city at least once a year to go the galleries and museums, but this is the first time we have taken our two boys (ages 8 and 10), and it was a different kind of trip!  (Not bad, just different!)


First, we learned that there are 21 playgrounds within Central Park, as well as a carousel and paddle boats for warmer days. Each playground is special and unique, in its design and setting, not to mention the wide variety of materials used that distinguish one from the next.  Check out the Central Park website where they have tons of information and a great interactive map!  Kids can get overstimulated and exhausted by the hustle bustle in the city, and a playground is just what they need to relax and let off steam.


On our way to the playground, we stopped at the Central Park Zoo (despite my eight year old’s desperation to get to the playground NOW).  Just as we arrived, we saw the most incredible display of sea lion behavior we have ever seen!  It was feeding time (just lucky) and we watched a 20 minute “show” as the seals performed adorable and amazing tricks to charm their handlers.  You can be sure that our future zoo visits will be centered around the sea lions’ dining hour! Central-park-zoo-seals