Lisa Vanin


Lisa Vanin‘s paintings combine the natural world with a touch of the macabre, usually through the presence of a snake or a skull or three. Each piece sets a melancholy tone that leaves me wondering more about the circumstances surrounding it all. Don’t miss Vanin’s (super affordable) ceramic snakes or metal pins either.

Shop Lisa Vanin’s work







Top 40 Posts Of 2012

A few weeks ago I was taking a look through the past year in posts and decided to put together a Top 40 collection for 2012. I had hoped to spread it out over a few days and organize everything a bit, but a family death and extended stay in Pennsylvania over the holidays set me back and I had to lump it all together. Thank you so much for continuing to help make this site such an amazing part of my daily life – here’s to 2013!



15 Chances to Find Your Ultimate Mac + Cheese // Day to Dinner to Party // New Addition //
Berry Lemonade Vodka + Homemade Blackberry Vodka



B-B-B-Buffalo // Best Word Ever // Campfire Cologne // Celebrated



Coriumi // Popsicles + Poptails – Take 2 // Little Corners // Courtney Martin



Electrolux Design Lab // Mojito Madness // Top Knot // Fluffy Raspberry Mousse



You Can Do It: Create a Gallery Wall // What I Learned: Alt 2012 // HP Designer Matchup //
Luxe Liquors



You Can Do It: Golden Glass Bottles // I Like Notebooks And I Cannot Lie //
Mixtape 17: Where All Your Girls Are Pretty // Mobile Foodie Survival Kit



Mosantimetre Turkish Coffee Pots // Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats // Pete //
Paper Sculptures



Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie // Magnetic Wallpaper // Sigils of the Houses of Westeros //
Wall Tape



Song Map // Dream Thanksgiving // Paper Flowers // Tiffin Lunch Kit



Tobias Tovera // Urban Geodes // Mighty Summit 2012 // Camp Brand


HP Designer Matchup – The Reveal


It’s here! The final reveal of the HP Designer Matchup! Thanks to you all for giving Sarah of Cursive Design and I your input for the design of our reversible Art Deco Collar, here’s the end result after her sketches with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and the HP TouchSmart.



This reversible collar necklace is inspired by geometry, versatility, and a subtle but whimsical color palette. Side A features hand-dyed silk and brass shapes cast from vintage pieces of glass from the Art Deco period. Side B features buttery soft lambskin and simple geometric pieces of brass. It’s a piece with many option as to how it’s worn and in that sense, can go with everything. Cursive Design is about creating playful and clever pieces of jewelry that can move with a woman’s ever changing wardrobe.



We showcased our necklace, along with the four other pairs of bloggers and designers and their creations, on the rooftop of the Mondrian SoHo last Thursday during New York Fashion Week.




Note to self: Make plans to stay here. Wowza.



Bauhaus Leather Gown by Jaime Derringer of Design Milk and Mila Hermanovski

The Bauhaus Leather Gown is made of leather, mesh, and jersey. The readers of Design Milk voted on the material and art movement which became the inspiration behind the design. Out of the five designs sketched, the Design Milk readers voted the Bauhaus Leather Gown as their favorite. While researching the Bauhaus era, the paintings of Moholy-Nagy resonated and inspired the creation of the gown.



Rebrew by Megan Reardon of not martha and greypants

Neon (Ne) is born in the night sky’s exploding stars. One of the universe’s most abundant elements; it is one of the rarest found here on Earth. Yet, neon ties us to favorite past time memories. Rebrew: Connecting our heritage of the hand-forged glass bottle to our un-voyaged future(s) across the horizon.



Fashionable Floral Wallpaper by Jeanine Hays of AphroChic and Emily Henderson

Inspired by the modern floral designs presented by Project Runway Season 10 designer, Ven Budhu, the Fashionable Floral wallpaper design takes a fresh approach to floral patterns and traditional English wallpaper designs. Just like on the runway, oversized blooms make a bold statement in this energizing print.



Glo Planter by Capree Kimball of Curbly and TUG Studio

Life is a lush garden of possibility. Dont’cha think gardens and possibility look better with soft lighting? Look your best during outdoor festivities with Glo Planter! As Capree Kimball’s fans at Curbly voted, TUG Studio responded with their trademark enthusiasm. This planter was made from upcycled, recycled, and repurposed parts – even down to the concept of the soft glow immortalized by Cybil Shephard in Moonlighting! (pun intended)



You can even check out a short video of us all talking about our creations (in 90-something degree heat on a rooftop).



We shacked up at The NoMad Hotel in midtown, and I can’t recommend this place enough. There was even a claw foot bathtub in my room that overlooked Broadway. Everything about it was so good, from the individually designed room to the two bars.



While in town we also had the chance to attend the Project Runway 10 Year party at Lord & Taylor. I love a good opportunity to get sparkly!



A huge thank you to Sarah Fox of Cursive Design for partnering with me on this project, it was an honor to work with such talent! Thank you also to Jaime Derringer of Design Milk and HP for including me in such a fantastic collaborative project.


Disclaimer: HP provided both me and Sarah with a TouchSmart PC and Adobe provided Photoshop CS6 for use. All participants received a trip to New York Fashion Week. All content and opinions are my own.


HP Designer Matchup – Week 3



Say hello to Week 3 of the HP Designer Matchup, only one week left until the final piece is revealed! Last week you voted on the design of the necklace Sarah of Cursive Design is creating for New York Fashion Week, and the landslide winner was Collar Ornate!



Over the weekend Sarah worked on mocking up the piece to see if the weight felt right to wear, she also got together the vintage glass pieces and sent them off to be cast. And then there’s the dyed silk pieces which are in testing to make sure the colors are absolutely perfect. Guys, there is a LOT that goes into creating a piece of jewelry!



Sarah decided that the more functionality this necklace has, the better. (I happen to agree!) So one side will feature leather and the other silk. Here are a few sketches she whipped up using Adobe Photoshop CS6 and the HP TouchSmart. I’m so in love with where this collaboration is headed.




There’s only one reader participation poll left, this week you’re choosing what we’ll name the necklace! The poll will be open until Thursday, August 30, 2012 at midnight CST. Stay tuned next week for the big reveal!!


Disclaimer: HP provided both me and Sarah with a TouchSmart PC and Adobe provided Photoshop CS6 for use. All participants will receive a trip to New York Fashion Week. All content and opinions are mine.


HP Designer Matchup – Week 2



We’re one week into the HP Designer Matchup and it’s getting more exciting by the day! Last week you voted on adjectives that would influence Sarah Fox of Cursive Design as she brainstormed ideas for the necklace we’re creating to reveal at New York Fashion Week next month. The top three chosen words were geometric, edgy, and colorful (good choices if I say so myself!). Sarah used hand sketches, Adobe Photoshop CS6, the HP TouchSmart, and mad skills to come up with these four final design options! (Psst… pay close attention because you’ll be voting on your favorite. Poll closes Friday, August 24, 2012 at midnight CST.)






Here’s what Sarah had to add about her design process:
I do quite a bit of sketching while I design. For me, it’s an exercise in thinking and brainstorming more than a technical sketch. Right now, I’m determining the color pallete and shape(s). It’s shaping up to be a collar and, bonus: it will be reversible! A colorful silk print on one side and leather on the back. 


Disclaimer: HP provided both me and Sarah with a TouchSmart PC and Adobe provided Photoshop CS6 for use. All participants will receive a trip to New York Fashion Week. All content and opinions are mine.


HP Designer Matchup Challenge


Any chance you remember the HP/Project Runway Challenge I was a part of last summer? I hope so, because this year’s HP Designer Matchup Challenge is going to blow it out of the water. Why? (I’m glad you asked.) Because not only do I get to partner with one of my very favorite jewelry designers – Sarah Fox of Cursive Design – but I also get to involve YOU. That’s right, Sarah and I will be involving you in decisions from the direction of the jewelry piece she’ll be creating to reveal at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) right down to its name. Fun, right?



So, have you met Sarah? She began Cursive Design back in 2007 in her Chicago studio. All of her pieces are inspired by color, juxtaposition of materials, and moments found in nature. (Her North Dakota upbringing has a bit to do with that last part, I’d be willing to venture.) Sarah’s work is always unpredictable and balanced, and always growing by leaps and bounds. Earlier in the year Cursive even had a line at Anthropologie, each piece of which was made by hand just like everything Cursive sells. Quality is obviously key. Secret Bonus: It’s always been one of Sarah’s dreams to have her work at Fashion Week.



Over the next few weeks the two of us will be collaborating on the creation of a necklace that will be revealed during NYFW in September! We’ll be using the latest HP Touchsmart PC and Adobe Photoshop CS6 to sketch our options and move through the process, and of course you’ll get peeks here and there of where we’re at in the mix of things. The end result will be a necklace that Sarah creates from the drawings, and which will *hopefully* be available to you for purchase sometime in the near future.

Your involvement starts right here, right now. Sarah and I have compiled a list of adjectives as a jumping off point for our necklace-creating adventure, we just need some help narrowing it down. What sort of piece do you want it to be? Edgy, patterned, monochromatic? It’s all up to you! The survey will close Friday, August 17, 2012 at midnight CST.



Disclaimer: HP provided me with a TouchSmart PC and Adobe provided Photoshop CS6 for use. All content and opinions are mine.