spring delights

sweet gifts from my bloggy friend, kerri!

With the nonstop rain over the last week, it has felt like an eternity since I have been outside!! There are, fortunately, some lovely things keeping me sane indoors. First, I recently did a total 'spring cleaning' overhaul and redecorated my room with new DIYs, crafts, art pieces, rearranged stuff, and the best part: decluttering! I threw out about 10 pairs of shoes!

Between Michaels, TJ Maxx and Whole Foods I have been very busy indeed with beautifying my living space. I scored this exquisite pink peonies from Whole Foods (only $12.99 - which I thought was at first expensive, but compared to other places around here, it isn't!) and they opened up BEAUTIFULLY in my window sill. I also have been getting through the chilly rainy days with lots of delicious candles and scents like lavender, hibiscus, and rosemary mint.

But probably the most delightful things here were a completely surprise snail mail gift from Kerri! She sent over a gorgeous tassel necklace and bracelet (she makes them herself - Kerri, where is your Etsy shop!!?!), fun birthday-themed treats (my b-day was this past April) and of course, our common passion, TEA. It was so sweet of her to send this over, and it really came in handy this week to get past the rainy day blues.

I am working on a few DIY projects and improving some crafts I recently bought at Michaels. I got a really nice linen board (functions as a cork board, but cleaner and more crisp) that I want to doll up with some of my favorite photos and some calligraphy work. I am also trying to fix up some shelves to put on my wall so I can start building some sort of gallery wall a la pinterest.

In the mean time, I'll be on the hunt for more peonies...

ciao! happy work week, all!



bag envy

Every once in a while I get the urge to browse for a new bag! I rarely splurge on handbags, because when I buy a bag it goes through some goooood usage, let me tell you. After a little bit of time though, the usual wear and tear starts to appear and it loses the appeal it once had...ah! I also hate to have a bunch of unused bags wasting away in the closet, so I only keep a few "in circulation" to avoid clutter.

My current bag (pictured) is my work bag and sometimes weekend bag. I looove it! It's a piece from Urban Outfitters, which I mainly bought for its deep and roomy pockets (I am such a fan of pockets). My only complaint is that it doesn't stand up straight by itself like a normal tote does. So it is a bit floppy, which is causing me to eye up the following bags (above) for a next potential purchase?! Honestly, these bags are mostly out of my price range, but it is fun to dream. And I am really impressed by the bags at Fossil! I love the mint colored cross body with the leather strap, it adds such a classic touch and could easily fit into any outfit.

As you may also see I loveeee bright colored bags, and all accessories for that matter. I wear grey and black and other neutral colors SO often, that I find that my accessories are often my only bright POP of color.

Hope you have an  a m a z i n g  week!

ciao, xo


insta-lately: @ataylorstudio

By the looks of these pictures in my phone, all things are either a) flowers, b) calligraphy or c) watercolors. Here's what is not pictured:

  • grad school woes: my stats class (final exam was last week, AHH).
  • my birthday! yay 26. i'm getting old.
  • AMAZING NEWS about S
  • some family hardships, sadly - but immediately in my life, all is well
  • a sweet birthday gift from my best blogger friend! more on this soon!
  • summer planning and travel dreaming
  • my 2nd ever newborn session - eeee!!!
  • getting hooked on the office (again, from the beginning)
  • obsessed over my new favorite snack: organic habanero bacon tortilla chips :) 
  • trying to be consistent by working out 5x a week and eating well (ahem, bullet point above...)

So today is awesome because it is Earth Day AND I have the day off. When does this happen!? An entire weekday Earth Day to spend outside? It is almost too good to be true. Being outside and hearing the birds chirp can do wonders for the mood.  I fully plan on doing this today! Everything outside is so refreshed and new. The fields I see on my morning commute are crisp and green, not a deep or rich green but a sprightly and fresh lime colored green that is newly reborn, grown, and springing to life. 

My birthday was good, too. I had some not so fun things to do (like my evening grad class, statistics, gahhh) but I was surprised with so many pleasant gifts and thoughts. S sent me flowers right to work - I love when he does that and how it embarrasses me (but it really doesn't, I love that kind of stuff). It was so sweet - I kept them at my desk all week and they are still kickin! After my class, I came home to a homemade Funfetti cake (my childhood favorite) and a sweet little party complete with party hats, balloons, and all of my favorite things. We had champagne, chips and salsa, and birthday cake all in the same sitting. It was the BEST, and so hilarious! My family and I had a great time being ourselves and laughing about nonsense. My brother will be home in just a few weeks and we'll all be reunited again.

Speaking of reunited: S is coming home!!! I will post more on this later, but I am thrrrrrilleddddd with the news!

As for A. Taylor Studio, I've been enjoying working on some calligraphy and photography projects in the last few weeks. Especially with calligraphy, I've been so pleased with how my practice has developed. An ideal Sunday morning now consists of a hot oolong tea and a clean piece of paper to practice some calligraphy on. I have been SO inspired and helped out by reading this blog,  which is a great resource for those still learning the tricks of the trade and which tools to use. I love the fine, delicate skill of being able to letter an envelope -  a skill that is unfortunately long gone for most of the world!

Right now I am off to do a little light spring cleaning and work out. Happy weekend and Earth Day! 

ciao, xo


fresh cut

Seeing the seed packets in stores all around has me dreaming of all the possibilities of potted plants,  rows and rows of sunflowers, vegetable gardens and herb pots. It's amazing what one little seed pack can do!  So with this exploratory spirit, I bought 2 packs of ranunculus bulbs to plant. Ranunculus are possibly my all-time favorite spring flower. They look like delicate, ornate crepe origami creations. With a color palette quite similar to watercolors, their petals are extremely thin and film like, but dense and layered like a peony.

They like cooler temperatures - 50 to 60 degrees is what I'll venture to say - and I have placed them in a sunny window.  They make beautiful cut flowers and apparently last longer than most.

As for this illustration, I plan on making this a beautiful note card or notepad; one thing I need to work on is creating pieces with more of a layered, splashy background. The angles in the vase are the ooooonly thing I'm not sure about for this illustration. Watercolors are all about that breezy, lightly painted look - working on improving that aspect of my watercolors is one of my creative goals for the time being!

ciao! xo