Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Friday + Happy New Year!!!

Woot!  It's New Years Eve!   For me, that means I get to go to a big party and dance 'til I drop!   For one of the brides I've been working with, it's her wedding day!  She's getting married at the beautiful Milwaukee depot in Minneapolis at midnight!  I've been working with her over the past couple months and did custom design bolero jackets for her and her five bridesmaids.  She's promised to send me some pictures and I can't wait to see them and post them here!  

While New Years Eve is obviously a time of celebration, it's also a time to reflect on the past year.  I have found myself thinking about what my goals were a year ago for Uptown Urban Craft, and how those have changed in the ebb and flow of 365 days.  I feel like I have a better understanding of what works and what doesn't, what I enjoy working on and what I really don't.  I've been trying to answer hypothetical questions like, "If finances didn't matter, what would I spend my time doing?" or "If I had to narrow my business to one thing, what would that be?" and "In an ideal world I would spend all my time doing _______".   In answering these questions I've made some new goals (or resolutions, har har!) for myself and for Uptown Urban Craft.  I won't say much at the moment since my brain is still tinkering though things but I can announce now that I will be phasing out the baby/toddler line of Uptown Urban Craft.  There will still be some new items added to the website and Etsy shop but only for the next 6 months or so. 

Okay, enough serious stuff!  It's almost party time, and with that in mind here are some inspiring images that represent the word "celebrate"!   Enjoy and have a very very happy new year!

...And I couldn't talk about celebrating life without including a little "Auntie Mame"! 

Of course if you party too hard you'll have to be carried up the stairs...
And put to bed in your best Channel. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wedding Stationary from Etsy!

It's been quite a while since I did a stationary post.  You all know I love Etsy and so today all the stationary I'm featuring is available to purchase from an Etsy artist!  Remember that when you buy something on Etsy you are not only helping to support an independent artist but also helping a whole community of artists and designers creating unique handmade goods and striving to work for themselves and earn a living wage to boot!  So with that in mind here is some very stylish wedding stationary!

Modern Dots invitation by Shine Invitations

Modern Logo Invitation by Shine Invitations

Invitation suite by InvitingMoments   
Vintage Ticket Letterpress Invitation by Letterbox Ink

Modern Block Invitation suite by RubyPress

Monday, December 27, 2010

Picture of the Day: Audrey Hepburn as photographed by Cecil Beaton

Welcome back from the holidays, I trust you all had a good time.  One of my favorite gifts was a book about Audrey Hepburn given to me by me little brother-in-law.  As soon as I opened it I was taken aback by the beautiful photographs, including a couple of her wearing the creations of one of my all-time favorite costume designers Cecil Beaton.  Cecil Beaton was also acting as the photographer which explains how he could so perfectly capture what was, after all, his own artistic vision.  Prior to his career as a costumer for the stage and screen, he worked as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue, not to mention that he frequently photographed the British royal family. 

The photograph below features his work on the film My Fair Lady and is a stunning example of both his achievement as a costume designer and a photographer.  Rarely do you see such wonderfully detailed documentation of costume design of this era. Notice the trueness of color.  Most costume designs at this time were photographed in low-focus black and white.  Another interesting note, Audrey never wore this costume in the film, instead wearing the now famous black and white ribboned dress.   This costume, fabulous as it is, was passed off and worn by an extra in the Ascot race scene of the film.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Friday + Merry Christmas!

Happy Friday everyone and to all a merry Christmas Eve!  I'll be out of town for a long weekend visiting family so this is probably my last post until Tuesday.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if you've got lots of snow falling like me, a safe driving one.  I'll leave you with a collection of the coolest holiday store window displays.  When I used to work retail I loved doing window display, but of course I was never allowed to do anything as elaborite as these beauties.  Enjoy!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Madness

On Saturday we hosted our big Christmas party for all of our friends.  It was a smash success and good times were had by all!  Even though the real Christmas isn't actually for a few days, since we party-ed hardy, I almost feel like it's over already.  I find I've been skipping ahead in my mind to New Years (and the inevitable resolutions) and to all that the next few months have in store.  In Minnesota that means we have almost 3 more months of snow to look forward to.  We have already had the 5th most sever blizzard in MN's recorded history, plus another smaller one.  The snow banks are over 4 feet high, roads are narrowed and tricky, and my back is sore from all the shoveling.  In short, I've acquired winter madness early this year!  Typically it's mid-January before my craving to travel to warmer places sets in, but it's hitting me hard right now!  I wont spill the beans, but there's been chatter between the husband and I about the possibility of a trip far south to warm sandy beaches!   With that in mind, here's some eye candy to help calm your own winter madness and to inspire the travel bug.   {images via Design is Mine}

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fashion Sketches by Leanne M.

Periodically I click over to Leanna Marshall's blog page, Leanne M.  You might remember her as a contestant on Project Runway.  Well now she lives in NY and does a lot of design work for individual clients.  (Pretty much what I'd like to be doing, minus the NY part.)  Anyway, I love popping over to her blog now and then because she really gives you a behind the scenes look at her work process, instead of just showing you the perfectly finished garment.  Recently she posted some photos of fashion sketches she's done, including a fantastic mixed-media sketch using some scrap silk.  If you're lucky enough to see it first, you might even be able to purchase once of these little works of art in her etsy shop.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  Boy the week went by really fast!   Tomorrow we are hosting our big Christmas party for our friends (30 guests for dinner!  Eeep!) and so in all my preparations I've got red & green on the brain.  But in case you're getting a little sick of that at the moment, enjoy this lovely aqua bathroom by Lisa Tweed.  Wouldn't you just love to take a soak in that tub with all this cold snowy weather out?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Wedding Inspiration

It's undeniable, our thoughts are on the upcoming holidays and not so much on weddings.  But many couples opt for a December wedding or even a New Years Eve wedding.  With that in mind, here's some inspiration for a not so summery wedding.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday all!  It looks like we are in for a little blizzard this weekend so I had better start in on my holiday shopping this morning before the roads get nasty.  I haven't even started buying gifts yet and I've also got the menu for our holiday party to finalize.  Hope you all have a nice weekend of pre-holiday prep, relaxation, and staying warm & cozy! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Design Trend: Triangles

Okay if you haven't noticed the whole triangle graphics trend by now you've probably been living under a rock somewhere.  They are all over the place, in fashion, interior design, graphic design, stationary, even jewelry design.  Here's a round up of some of my favorites! (click to enlarge)

A Fine Fete Necklace from Anthropologie.
Artwork from Greg Lamarche.
Wallpapered room found thanks to Design for Mankind. + Dolce & Gabbana Geometric Print Dress

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting Into Holiday Mode

So my life the past month has been so consumed with preparing for the No-Coast show that many things got pushed aside, neglected, suspended, forgotten, or otherwise just didn't happen.  One of those things was my daily blog roll and after getting back to it yesterday, I realized how much I really missed my morning ritual!  In addition, I wasn't allowing myself to start doing holiday stuff until the show was over (which was a tough rule to follow!).  So now I am happily getting into Christmas mode full force!  Last night we got our Christmas tree, a beautiful frasier fur that smells amazing, and I've downloaded a plethora of unique holiday albums including a Best of Motown Christmas.  It's pretty good except for a really unfortunate track of Stevie Wonder singing Ave Maria, featuring a harmonica solo!   I'm also trying to get all the plans together for the holiday party we are hosting in 2 weeks, including mulling over ideas for my par-tay outfit.  One of my favorite blogs, Design is Mine, had some awesome suggestions for the perfect party ensemble! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winding Down After No-Coast

Good morning all.  Bet you're wondering how the big weekend at the fair went!  To sum it up in one sentence, it went well but not as well as I'd hoped for.  The biggest bummer was the snow storm that came just as things were getting set up on Friday!  It was not exactly fun hauling in load after load in that.  By the time I moved my car (about a half hour after the show started) the roads were really bad which kept people away I think.  Saturday started out a bit poky as well but by the afternoon was pretty busy.  It was great to interface with the public, vs. just selling online.  It was like a study in sociology, watching what people were interested in (or not).  My booth looked pretty stellar after a bit of rearranging.   I talked to a lot of local brides about veil and bolero orders and I met some great vendors too!   

All and all, I'm glad I did the show... but I'm also glad I don't do craft shows on a regular basis!   It was just a crazy amount of work making enough inventory to fill out a booth, and I keep plenty busy just with my normal work load.   I still have to finish unloading the car today and find a place for all the left over merchandise, but I'm slowly winding down and getting back to having a life in addition to a business!  ( I even managed to bring up the Christmas decorations from the basement yesterday!)  And that feels pretty good!