I took a day trip with the family over the weekend to Block Island — one of my favorite places in the world. It had been almost 6 years since I had last visited so I had a fun time rediscovering the picturesque Victorian main street and taking in the harbor views. I was happy to see that while some things had changed since my last visit, the charm of the island remained the same.
I snagged a copy of the Kate Spade catalog when I was in the store on Newbury Street this past weekend and immediately ripped out this page to tack up on my bulletin board. Their marketing campaigns always impress me and this one was no exception — it’s so playful and bright! Plus it introduced me to the bixby clutch, which just skyrocketed to the top of my lust list.
I’m looking to expand my art collection at home and need to fill in a few gaps to make the gallery wall of my dreams. So I’m putting the call out there, what are your favorite Etsy stores or online shops to source chic, inexpensive artwork? Do share!
Sometimes I forget that back when I started this blog, it was all about interiors. Now I’m posting about parties and fashion and food and beauty… it’s easy to forget your roots. Until of course, something inspiring comes along and I’m right back to where I began, writing about gorgeous interior design. Two rooms in the past week have made that inspiration light bulb flicker on. One by Nick Olsen for House Beautiful, the other by Tori of Sitting In A Tree Events — both are very different, yet both polished and feminine. Which is your favorite?
My long weekend hiatus turned into a full week off from blogging; sometimes you just need to step away from the computer to recharge. The past few days have been filled with relaxing, swimming, kayaking, and few cocktails for good measure. I’ve been snapping pics along the way, how have you been relaxing this summer?
As a blogger, my camera accompanies me on almost all of my adventures and being the accessory hoarder that I am, I’m thinking my Nikon needs a little more pizzazz. So, I’ve been researching some new straps to dress up my camera. Even if I’m behind the lens, I still want to look chic! Which do you like? Preppy, classic, or glam?
When I saw previews of the Fig. 2 Design greeting card line from the National Stationery Show I knew that I had to chat with designer and owner Claudia about her collection. With the launch of her online store this week, Claudia is stopping by DomestiKatedLife to answer a few hard-hitting questions about what inspires her and how she manages to celebrate events big and small.
So Claudia, how did you start Fig. 2 Design?
Claudia: Fig. 2 started out of coincidence. After I left my full time job as a graphic designer at a local studio, I had planned on continuing with corporate and small business graphic design projects. But I had done a number of custom wedding projects and thought it would be fun to do more, so I sent a local bridal boutique a post card with the hopes they would refer me to brides. Little did I know that after meeting with them I would walk out with a request to design an entire wedding invitation collection. I was so flattered and excited!
What inspired this line?
Claudia: The Fresh Collection wedding line is inspired by my imagination. I love to look at magazines and blogs that feature weddings, but I try not to look at any that feature a lot of paper products because I want to stay true to my aesthetic and not get too side tracked by what others are doing. So if I see that someone had a wedding on a farm and it was a small and cozy affair, I pretend I’ve been hired for that project and I design what I would have shown the bride and groom.
The Neon Card greeting card collection was inspired by a handbag I bought 2 years ago in London. I loved that it was a bright orange but didn’t realize it was neon until I used it for the first time. I got a ton of compliments on it and the next spring I saw another bag that had a touch of neon and fell in love with that one so I knew I had to use it on stationery. My style is fun and festive, but I also LOVE type and calligraphy so I came up with 3 series of cards. First is the Festive Fluorescents that incorporates confetti, pennants, and swirls. For the pattern series, I was inspired by one of my husband’s dress shirts. I love pattern but it has to be bold. That said, fluorescents aren’t for everyone, so I thought pairing the classic patterns with just a tough of neon and some fun phrases would suit anyone. For the final series, the calligraphy set, I collaborated with Michele of Meant to Be Calligraphy. We’d worked on a few things together and I knew our styles would work well together.
Your products are so festive; do you have any tips for how to throw a fabulous celebration?
Claudia: My best tip for a fabulous celebration is to be yourself! If you’re not comfortable, it will show. Concentrate on what you do best. Whether it’s making fun cocktails, killer flower arrangements, or amazing food. And definitely wear something fun and festive! Even if you have a simple dress, wear some fun accessories! I love big flower pins from Emersonmade, any of the cute sparkly goodies from Ban.do, or chunky necklaces from J.Crew or Anthropologie. And of course, fabulous shoes.
There are so many adorable cards in your new line, do you have a favorite?
Claudia: A favorite? Maybe the neon confetti! I love confetti! What’s more fun than colorful sprinkles? There’s nothing wrong with celebrating something every day. It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday, it could be as simple as enjoying a mani-pedi with my best friend.
Thanks so much for stopping by Claudia! You can check out these cards and more of her collection in Claudia’s newly launched shop: Fig. 2 Design Studio
I’m very excited to have some fabulous guest bloggers this week sharing summer essentials for their favorite travel destinations. Next up is Mae, one half of the blogging duo from Here In This House and she’s sharing her San Francisco essentials (I’ve always wanted to go, she’s convinced me a trip here is a must!); Welcome Mae!
It was three years ago this month that I moved from San Francisco to the suburbs of New York City. Despite growing up on the east coast, I have found that something about those ten years in the Bay Area has made me a California Girl. So as I get re-acclimated to life on the east coast (including easy access to bagels and having four seasons a year), I sometimes find myself dreaming of the old California days. On my imaginary journey on this (almost) summer day, these are some of my essentials…
WEARING LAYERS. First, you’ve probably already heard the quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” This observation on the local weather is pretty much on the nose. With fickle fog and quickly changing weather, San Francisco living demands layers of clothing to easily adapt to any weather condition.
GETTING OUTDOORS. San Francisco is blessed to have a diversity of environments within an easy driving distance. So it’s no wonder that being outdoors is a huge part of the culture. (One thing you can be sure of in summer is that you won’t be getting much, if any, significant rain to spoil the fun!) Some of my favorite memories of being in nature are hiking amidst the historical redwoods of MuirWoods or enjoying July 4th fireworks (in the freezing cold!) at ChrissyField. But my absolute favorite has to be TildenPark in Berkeley. Tilden offers not only the usual buffet of hiking trails, but also a petting zoo, carousel and miniature steam train ride for the little ones. In the summer, it can be a great place for spotting (but not picking!) wildflowers and having a picnic lunch.
There were a few things that I wished I had done before leaving, including one of the popular bike/ferry circuits. One option is to rent bikes and take the ferry over to AngelIsland for the day. Another option was to bike over the Golden Gate Bridge and then head to one of the many waterfront restaurants for drinks and/or dinner, like the ever popular Sam’s.
EATING GOOD FOOD. Since I have a deep appreciation for all things food, it should come as no surprise that many of my fond memories revolve around great restaurants and meals in the area. With such incredible access to produce all year-round, eating local and eating fresh becomes second nature. To name all my favorite places would take pages, so here are three that are closest to my heart. Just before we moved, I was able to spend long, leisurely breakfasts (usually the hearty porridge) on the patio at Boulette’sLarder in the glorious morning sun watching the tourists pass. The staff in this small cafe was always so friendly and warm. Breakfast at Boulettes was almost always followed taking in the hard-core gourmet eye candy in the FerryBuilding.
[L to R: The exterior sign. The restaurant’s namesake. The breakfast porridge.]
I would make any excuse to head over to the Cafe at ChezPanisse for Alice Waters’ famed cuisine (more casual and easier to get into than the fixed-seating dining room downstairs). And any errand, big or small, that brought me to that neighborhood (known locally as the GourmetGhetto) would require a stop at the CheeseBoardCollective. And while I’d shop for their cheese – because you must if you’re there — the draw for me was really their baked goods. Chocolatethings, zampanos and one of the Tuesday specials, Berkeleybuns, were not to be missed!
But the food I miss most of all is far more humble than these outlets of national renown. In a little town called Kensington, there is a little place called Inn Kensington. This was our Sunday staple: a place we could walk to, that we knew inside and out and where the owners knew our faces. In addition to the requisite eggs and other breakfast staples, they had amazing housemade whole-wheat toast, biscuits and hash browns. I loved that it seemed to only ever be filled by our neighbors. I’m not surprised to see that this hyperlocal institution is still there, even as businesses around them on the tiny Main St. have turned over. I dream, most of all, of one day getting back there. (I sure hope the biscuits are as good as I remember!)
Many thanks to Kate for giving me the opportunity to share my version of the Bay Area with you! It was such a pleasure to be able to revisit my essential spots from the area. But, as with any list, there are sure to be places that I’ve missed. What are your favorite haunts? Do tell!