A little magic

Style File and Inspired

Hello and Happy Valentine's Day to you! I hope you are loving yourself and treating those you love to something a little extra special today. I, for one am in the right business to be on team Valentine's day, but even if you roll your eyes at the thought, you have to admit there is something a little bit magic about everyone going a tiny bit out of their way in the heart of winter to let you know they think you're swell.

I think YOU are swell and to prove it I am going to share a little treasure with you. 

Sticks and Stones is a new line of beautiful handcrafted tiny magic things created by my friend and design wunderkind Sarah Foelske. Sarah has worked professionally as a graphic designer since we both left University of Kansas, ahem, some years ago and chances are, you've seen a billboard or a magazine spread that she has been part of. 

Growing up in Boulder, CO, "a little bit hippie", Sarah believes in the healing power of crystals, smudge sticks and spirit animals, but as a world class designer could never get her head right on how these things are packaged. So she set out to change that and to teach us a little about what the Shamans know. 

Sarah has created little energetically aligned collections of talismans, stones, crystals and smudge sticks with hand painted feathers and hand-dipped leather pouches that speak to a little of what we need in our lives. Making a little bit of magic a little more accessible... and pretty to look at too!

The new mamma in me has her eye on "The Protector", but naturally I am drawn to "The Creator" as well... I guess we are never just one thing. 

I found these so lovely and fresh that I just had to share them with you. I hope you love them, and if you do, Sarah has been kind enough to offer you a special coupon code for free shipping (S&S is based in Canada) just enter CURLYGIRLLOVE at checkout. Shipping may take a couple of weeks.

Would love to know what you think! Which one would you choose?

xo

By Leigh 02.14.2014 – 2:57 pm

2 Comments

A room for adventure - Nursery styleboard

Style File and Sketchbook and Inspired

1.)Swinging Stripes Curtains ~ Anthropologie

2.)Baby Giraffe Pring ~ The Animal Print Shop

3.)Pom Pom Pillow and Tassel Pillow Case ~ Anthropologie

4.)Pom Pom Throw ~ Marmalade

5.)Jenny Lind Crib ~ Diapers.com

6.)Stuffed Walrus ~ Cate & Levi

7.)Gold Zebra ~ Near & Deer

8.& 11.) (oops!) Canvas Bushel Basket ~ Steel Canvas Company : Use coupon code CURLY on their site for 10% off of your order!

9.)White Leather Pouf ~ (similar) Land of Nod

10.)Circus Letters ~ Saddle Shoe Signs: Use coupon code CURLY15 on their site for 15% off your order of custom letters!

12.) Thomas Paul Elephant Pillow ~ Houzz

13.) Kaleidescope Rug ~ PBTeen

14.) "Parades" Art Block ~ Curly Girl Design

15.) Flea market dresser that I painted ~ similar here

16.) Knobs ~ Anthropologie

Hello! I figured as it is my first real day back to work, and our first day with our new Nanny I would distract myself from the over-thinking that is inevitable by finally sharing Ruby & Graham's nursery with you! Leaving my babies with someone new for the first time (even though I am working from upstairs right now...ahem, baby steps) is making me not just a little bit sad. It is also not just a little bit wonderful. 

It's both things. I loved being home with my babies every day, but I have been itching to get back to work, bursting with creativity and facing a to-do list for this year that is miles long. Baby steps. Man, that should have been my phrase for the year. 

But speaking of babies... I loved putting this room together for my littles. It is a pretty small room and when we found out we were not having one but two I had to make the most of every square inch. Every little space is an opportunity for storage. Being in a renovated attic space also gave us sloped ceilings and knee-walls which, made decorating with art a challenge. With a girl and a boy, who will share this room until they are 35 (what?) I had to go gender neutral, but that of course does not mean that it has to be yellow or green! Heavens!

I opted for a bright color palete on a very neutral backdrop. I wanted a space that spoke to the adventure I want for them, and the places in the world I hope to see with them. I wanted it to seem eclectic and magical and full of critter friends. That was a tall order for a little room, but I think we did all right.

My mom helped me make, or DIY a bunch of things for this room, we Craigslisted the dresser and repaired and painted it, painted stripes on baskets from Marshalls, made IKEA media cabinets into window seats, sewed crib skirts and made and framed artwork. But I also had so much fun treasure hunting and found some things I am excited to share with you. Some of the makers of these things have even been so nice as to make a special coupon code just for you! So make sure you hop on over to their sites and check them out!

I would love to know what you think!
xo

By Leigh 02.04.2014 – 3:40 pm

11 Comments

January 2014 Sneak Peek #4 - Last One!

The Biz and Sketchbook

Good morning from rainy Atlanta! Here is the fourth and final new addition to our line this January. It is a little do-over, a little face-lift, a little make over for a card that has been in the line for over 10 years. 

When I first wrote this card, a million years ago, I was a young art director at an advertising agency in Boston making little post cards for my friends in my spare time. I was living in a new city, only really knew a handful of people and was exploring the possibilities of my life. I had luxurious amounts of time to daydream and scheme and think about what it was that I was supposed to give to the world. I was also poor as dirt, so I had to keep myself entertained.

This card was about what it takes to make a dream work. 

As I sat down to re-work the visual on this, now 11 or 12 years later (gulp) it became about something much different. I began to think about what it takes to make relationships work. Marriages, friendships, family connections, and now motherhood. Those are the really important things. So are dreams, don't get me wrong. But in my life, relationships are the things that have required my best stuff. 

Heart and soul is a lot. Plenty in some cases. But the love, risk, forgiveness, openness, communication, pluck, and stick-to-itiveness that real connections require (just to name a few things) is no joke. But nothing is more worth it.

This should still be about what it takes to make dreams work. My dreams, though, right now, involve a village of lots of happy healthy relationships. They take every last thing I've got. And they should. 

Would love to know what you think! 

xo

By Leigh 01.11.2014 – 9:57 am

10 Comments

January 2014 Sneak Peek #3!

The Biz and Sketchbook

Good morning!! Here is the third installment of our January release for your swooning pleasure! For those of you wondering, these will be up on our website around the beginning of February and wholesale customers can order them right now! In fact, some of your favorite stores are ordering them as we speak since I am writing to you from the Atlanta Gift Show. 

I know, whoa. 

Anyway, I am being fresh as a result of too much fluorescent lighting and recycled air. 

This one makes me very very happy. Not only because it features my beverage of choice, but because it was made for a very special, very sparkly lady. Emily has worked for Curly Girl for over four years now and is quite possibly the most effervescent person I know. Everything about her sparkles and where that might be totally annoying in some people, it is so authentic and contagious in her that you can't help but get a little on you. I appreciate Emily for many many things, but her ability to put a little shine into anything she does is worth a toast...or two. 

So, this one goes out to Emily and all of our glitter girls. Sparkle on!

xo

By Leigh 01.10.2014 – 9:51 am

4 Comments

January 2014 Sneak Peek #2!

The Biz and Sketchbook

if you are anything like me, you have been lucky enough to come across a few good dames in your day. I have a collection of dear friends that I am so proud to know and have on speed dial.

They are beautiful, strong, intelligent, mostly hilarious women that are all very down to earth...and a tiny bit nutty. I think that's what I like the most about them. 

Rare birds all around. 

I have decided to celebrate this quality with this new addition to the line. Stay strange and wonderful my dears. 

Have a rare friend you need to send this to?

By Leigh 01.09.2014 – 8:41 am

2 Comments

January 2014 Sneak Peek!

The Biz and Sketchbook

It's that time again! Time for tradeshows and travel and razzle and dazzle on the business side of things over here. It always seems to bring the 'vacation mode' of the holidays to a screeching halt and snaps the new year into something of a sharp focus. We have so much to do! Only 12 little months to do it! 

Some day I will be the kind of business owner and boss that thoughtfully plans out our next year's goals and schedule a tidy few months before the end of the previous year. My staff will take comfort in knowing what lies ahead and where we are going to put our collective energy, and feel secure that the new work will flow from my studio in a tidy and timely manner. Until that day, I am the business equivalent to the pop tart that you eat in the car on the way to school while you finish getting dressed in the car. 

Or something like that. 

I hope that it is one of my more 'charming' qualities. 

Alas, this release made it to the printer just under the wire. And by just under the wire, I mean late. 

That does not make me love them any less, and frankly, I think I do some of my best work under pressure.

This one was obviously inspired by recent additions to my life. Like many things, I couldn't have written about it until I lived it. This is what I want to tell my babies about how glad we are they are here and how we feel like we pulled them right out of the stars in the sky.

This one is for Graham and Ruby.

xo 

By Leigh 01.08.2014 – 9:17 am

10 Comments

photo via Pinterest

New Year. New Word.

journal

Happy happy New Year! I hope that it has been treating you well these first five days and you are feeling off to a good start! I have been enjoying a little mini-break from the computer as I gear up to come off of my maternity leave and go headlong into a new year at work.

This year will bring the totally new experience for me of being a working mom and a business-running mom. I have been thinking a lot about that as I decided on my word for this year. How do I want to handle that? What are my goals around that? Will I be able to pull it off? Am I prepared? Can you ever be prepared? What will have to be moved to create space for all of this? Mentally, physically, emotionally....spiritually? Where will the space come from?

I love love love my job. It truly is my first baby (don't tell Lucy) and I have worked so hard to build it and put so much on the line to maintain it, and frankly, have more than an handful of people whom I love dearly depending on me to keep making this work in a great way.

And as you might have assumed, I love love love love my babies. I want to be with them every moment (well, not EVERY... but almost) and they have already changed who I am in a profound way. I cannot wait to see how our lives unfold and who they become each day and at the same time want to stop time immediately and just hold them and hold them.

The good news is that I have worked for over 10 years to set up my life and my business in such a way that I can have an enviable amount of flexibility around work and being home with them, but the reality is, that the things that thrive, are the things that get your dedicated focus. Therein lies the pickle.
I am not the first, nor will I be the last woman to have this conversation with herself. To ask herself what is most important. Nor am I the first or last person to decide that "both" is the answer.

And so, I have chosen to "Steep" in it this year.

To steep, to soak in, to soak up, to make stronger by being immersed in or together with something. In other words, this is the bed that I have made, and I intend to lie in it.

I want to soak up every moment I can with my babies and my family and all of the creativity that that brings to my business. I want to sit still for a moment in my business and not do anything major this year, like move, or change warehouses or open up shop. That doesn't mean I don't want to grow or grow my business, that will happen anyway.  But I want to hunker down and do what I do best and get better at what I don't. I want to gather my rosebuds for a moment and get stronger for it. 

That's a whole lot of idioms to explain one point. I want to do less, in order to be more. 

So that is my word for the year. I can't wait to see what comes of it... the universe certainly took my 2013 word of the year quite literally...who knows where this one could land me.

What's your word this year? 

xo

By Leigh 01.06.2014 – 4:29 pm

6 Comments

Sweet Dark & Salty No-bakes

The Dish

Hello pigeons! You are probably out and about getting all the things you need to get done, done and if you are anything like me, are feeling the squeeze of having SIX fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. 

SIX. 

I was just getting over the injustice of daylight savings time. 

SO, the extravagant amounts of baking I had hoped to do and the festive but casual gift wrapping while sipping cocoa and cooing at my babies is not exactly going to plan. 

I am going with plan B. It's going to be a very merry no-bake Christmas around here and I am not sorry.

These no-bake bars are just like I like things. Sweet, dark and salty and er, easy as it were. 

I like to use JIF Natural (all the goodness, not the sugar) and Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate chips. I think the dark chocolate is a little less sweet making the balance of these just right. 

Peanut butter Pretzel No-Bakes

You Will Need:

1 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature

2 1/2 Cups plus 1/2 Cup of salted pretzels, crushed into crumbs

1 Cup confectioner's sugar

1 Cup plus 1/4 Cup smooth peanut butter

1 1/2 Cups dark chocolate chips 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Line a 9x13" baking dish with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

In a mixer, mix together 1 cup of peanut butter and butter, mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar and pretzel bits and mix until well combined. Spread mixture into bottom of pan and smooth out evenly.

Combine remaining peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until combined and smooth. Once well mixed, spread the chocolate layer over the peanut butter in the dish and smooth out evenly. 

Top with remaining 1/2 cup of pretzel pieces.

Refrigerate for at least an hour, before cutting into bars and serving. Can be made ahead and frozen (cut them into bars first then freeze)

Careful, these are addictive!

Enjoy!

By Leigh 12.19.2013 – 2:03 pm

1 Comment

‘Dear Santa’ - My Christmas Wish List

Style File

Hello Hello!! Greetings from crazy-ville! This time of year is always total madness and this year is no exception, with the small added detail that we have now added two tiny people to the mix. I love every crazy minute of it though (okay, maybe not EVERY crazy minute but let's say 8 out of 10...) and having the babies has only added to the magic of the season and they don't even know about Santa yet! Twinkle lights all around!

I clearly got the two biggest and best gifts a girl could ask for this year already, but in the interest of putting together a little wish list for family and letting you know what's on my radar I thought I would pop in and post my own. This year is a bit tough because clothing is really not an option as I still don't fit into anything right and I am just feeling like I don't really need much more than time. Time to work out, time to take care of myself, time with family and friends, time with my husband. That is the most expensive thing on my list at the moment. 

There are a few things here that I have wanted for a long time (Prairie Underground Hoodie, Salt Box) a few replacement items (pie weight, lotion, Hunters) and a few things a girl can dream about (Lullie Wallace, jewels, and the time to do just about anything) But here they are in no particular order. 

1.) Bare Escentuals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer this is my daily. I plow through it and can always use more. It is light, and not greasy and I happen to just love all the products that BE makes...this is as excellent as the rest. Also available at Sephora.

2.)Pie Weight Disc from William Sonoma I have been using up our dry rice to par bake piecrusts for way too many years now. I have never liked the idea of pie weights because I just imagine me trying to get them back into a container after using them and dropping them all over the kitchen. The "Three-Stooges" like physical comedy that is sure to ensue is tempting, but I think I would rather not take my chances. Then I found this. Genius. 

3.)Prairie Underground Prairie Hoodie I have wanted one of these for as long as I have known about them but could never justify buying it for myself. It is perfect for my current lifestyle and is a great transition piece as I come out of maternity into mamma-hood. Attention Santa: These are available LOCALLY at Helena's and Nomad I like the grey and the purple-ish colors and need a size L.

4.)Flowers for Amelie by Lullie Wallace I am completely smitten with artist Lullie Wallace's flower paintings. Her grasp on color and texture hits me right where I live and I would love to add this to my collection. My other current faves are the flowers she painted for Patsy & Lola. 

5.)Project Life Kit I have decided that I would like to give Project Life a shot for the kid's first year and this is where I start. Studio Calico has so much fun stuff for this project that it is bound to inspire me to give it a couple of minutes a week! 

6.)ZouZou Drop Earrings from Anthro Jewelry is my sweet spot and I find these statement earrings especially sweet. 

7.)Bee House Salt Box this beautifully designed salt box is also beautifully functional. Friends of ours have one by the stove and I constantly wish I had one by mine. Attention Santa: Also available locally at Black Ink

8.) Hunter Huntress Wellies in High Gloss Red I love my Hunter Classics, but I think it's time I upgraded to red and shiny. Also, if I am being honest, they are feeling a little snug. Not sure if my calves grew or what, but this extended calf style will make sure I am able to get my skinny jeans AND my feet out into the rain. Attention Santa: size 9

9.)Time Hours have become a precious commodity and time for self-care is especially rare. It's the first thing that we get rid of when we have to care for someone else (or a couple of someones) but that is a faulty system. In order to give the best of ourselves, we need to remain our best selves. I would love a couple of hours here and there to work out, do yoga, get a hair cut, think, breathe, you know stuff like that. 

10.) 3 x 4" Card Cutter to help with my Project Life project. And so I can make everything I can get my hands on 3" x 4".

That's it! Well, that, Ryan Gosling and world peace. But you know, baby steps. 

What's on your list??

xo

By Leigh 12.17.2013 – 10:31 am

2 Comments

12 Days of Giving ~ Day #12

The Biz and Sweetheart Sponsors

Welcome to Day 12 of Curly Girl's 12 Days of Giving! Each day, starting December 1st, a new gift will be opened and our fans can enter to win something marvelous!  It's all a surprise, so no skipping ahead (I know, the anticipation!)


Our gifts come from a variety of amazing people, doing amazing things! Each is a friend of Curly Girl, and we hope you will love them too!


Today's Giveaway is: Our favorite plush Shopping Tote inspired by the 'Packed Up Her Potential' card!

Potential looks great on everyone, don't you think?  With wide shoulder straps and plush material, this tote is everything you need in a stylish shopper!  All the gals in the office have snagged one of these up, and we think you should too!  

on Facebook | Enter to Win!

To enter the contest, there are a few things you've got to do!

First: You must like Curly Girl Design on Facebook!

Second: On our Facebook page you'll see a tab that says 12 Days of Giving at the top of our Timeline.  Click it!  Open today's date, click 'Enter to Win!' and provide a valid email address.  That's it!

Third: You must like the Sponsor of the gift you are trying to win on Facebook! No worries, there will be links in each gift so you know exactly where to go!

Fourth: Share! Ok, this isn't required, but it is a fun event, so why not?!


Fine Print:

There are no substitutions or exchanges for prizes. On days where there is more than one gift to receive, items will be issued to winners at random.  Many gifts are time-sensitive so please check email and Facebook for winner announcements so we can get your mailing address.  That said, do not publicly post your mailing address! We will get it from you via email.  Questions about the contest or our wonderful sponsors? Email us at lauren [at] curlygirldesign [dot] com!

By Leigh 12.12.2013 – 8:38 am

0 Comments

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