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Monday
Oct152012

What I Am Passionate About...

Each capture is a snapshot into someone else’s world. And it’s powerful, to hold the very things in your hands that someone else once cherished. Moments, people, great loves, celebrations, the little pieces that make up someone’s life. The privilege of granting you access into these lives is not one that should be taken lightly. Or at least I don’t think it is. You become a keeper of these moments, even though they were not originally yours, and as keeper your responsibility is consideration. Who were these people? Where was this landscape? Why was this moment so special to someone? Because the people of the past are just like you...they were people. They had a home, they loved someone, they had friends, they had favorite things to do on weekends. To me, these old photographs are a reminder that life is simple and the things that are truly important are universal to us all. So I take a minute to stop and consider the lady in the floral dress or the picturesque lake that someone captured so pristinely. They will live on a bit through me and as I consider them, hopefully it will remind me to take better notice of those around me in the present. 

The Blogging Your Way Bootcamp e-course presented me with the question: What are you passionate about? I decided to tackle the question in a post and share one of my many passions. Photographs are some of my most cherished possessions including vintage ones of people I don't know and places I've never been. I scrounge antique stores for them. I dig out old family albums for them. They inspire me. They make me think about the past and history and how things from long ago can still be relevant in my life, in everyone's lives. What are you passionate about? Does history inspire your creative spirit just like me? Do you also collect old photographs of people you don't know and places you've never been?

Wednesday
Oct102012

A Catalyst

Sometimes when you fall out of routine and slowly loosen up on your responsibilities, it is just easier to stay in that new state. No routine, no obligations, sounds pretty carefree, right? Not necessarily. I fell out of routine with this blog during the summer and the hardest part was doing what I'm doing now...simply writing. When I created that new world for myself, a world in which I didn't need to blog everyday or check in with comments or tweet to followers, I slowly was amassing this mountain of a roadblock between the problem (more about that in a minute) and the solution (dealing with the problem by posting). At first it felt good to not have that responsibility but quickly that morphed into feeling crummy about myself (I'm lazy, I have nothing good to say, What else are you really doing that is so important?) Not blogging wasn't really the answer and I didn't feel great about it but it was still the easier path, the road of least resistance. How many of you are familiar with this road? I'm not proud to admit it but this lack of action has been my way of dealing with some issues in the past. What I can be proud of, is that today I'm changing that by showing up here.

So what is this mountain-sized problem that I was faced with this summer, that I am still facing now? Inspiration, motivation and passion! I fell out of love with my blog this summer and it became something I was forcing myself to do. I started my blog at a very impressionable time in my life and I have changed so much since then. My goals as a creative soul, as a human being, as a maturing adult are growing and adjusting and that means this blog is going to grow with me and become something different. I think during this summer I was a little scared to change it and also confused about how I was exactly going to change it. Why alter something unless you have a crazy, new, amazing idea right? Wrong. I post here to help myself grow, to help identify my inspirations, to act as a visual storyboard for the creativity brewing within. If this is a dormant space, I too feel a bit dormant.

For weeks I have been meaning to blog, to get back into that old routine. I just needed a catalyst. I knew that once I started sharing again, my problem would slowly start to work itself out naturally. This week I started a blogging e-course to help reinvigorate my creative soul. Holly Becker, the writer behind one of my favorite sites Decor8 also teaches a blogging bootcamp called Blogging Your Way and I have always been intrigued when I heard it mentioned across the blogosphere. A few weeks ago a reminder for her latest course showed up in my inbox and I jumped on the opportunity. It was the sign I needed. Let's get back into this! It was my catalyst and I'm hoping that the work I put in here will be a discovery into my new inspirations, motivations and passions. Lauren Elise Crafted may change a bit in this process but after writing this post, that change is no longer worrisome to me. My blog should reflect me. Moving forward, the road isn't exactly clear but I must say I'm excited for the journey. If you choose to tag along, I hope we can share and encourage each other.

The images are a few shots I took this morning of my desk. I recently reorganized my room and am in the process of hanging artwork and surrounding myself with my most treasured items. The goal is to keep the things I love nearby so that I can draw inspiration from them when I'm feeling unmotivated.

P.S. Thank you for bearing with me. I know this was a long post but it feels good to be open and honest.

Monday
Jul162012

DIY Project: Ombré Tablecloth & A Spray Bottle Dye Technique

Happy Monday blog friends! How was your weekend? I'm kicking this Monday off with a DIY project. Last week I shared my summer outdoor entertaining tips which featured this ombré tablecloth:

I created the ombré effect myself on canvas dropcloth purchased from Home Depot. Dropcloth comes in a variety of sizes (this one was 5'x5'), all readily available at local home improvement or paint stores. It is inexpensive and very durable, ideal for outdoor conditions.

You can achieve the ombré effect in various ways, usually it involves dipping fabric into a bucket of dye. I wanted to eliminate the bucket and come up with something easier. I created this blue tablecloth with nothing more than a spray bottle, water and some fabric dye. I saw results immediately and had a lot of control over how light or dark the pigment would turn out. The dyeing process is quick and then you just need to wait for the tablecloth to dry in the sun.

Want to see all the steps in perfecting this ombré technique? Check out the full article and all the pictures on Houzz:

Make a Fashion-Forward Ombré Tablecloth

The dropcloth I purchased was lined with waterproof plastic on the back. I thought this built-in feature would be handy if the dropcloth were used as an outdoor area rug. Keep it poolside, a place for everyone to relax and grab refreshments between dips in the swimming pool. 

What DIY creations have you been working on this summer? How have you implemented them into your summer lifestyle? My family eats outside a lot so these tablecloths are perfect for setting up a quick and casual dinner.

Have a great week!

Sunday
Jul152012

My Week Through Instagram: Week Twenty-Seven & Twenty-Eight

Here is post two today: this time I'm recapping weeks twenty-seven and twenty-eight of my Instagram photos. I am so excited to be more than half-way through this project of a photo a day. And I haven't missed a day yet so I'm proud of my progress. Are you doing any kind of daily photography project? How is it going so far?

Sunday: These pink blooms are prospering this summer. The trees are all around my neighborhood and a few are in our backyard. It's like springtime in summer.

Monday: A morning cup of chai tea. Yum.

Tuesday: I go through cycles of what I enjoy for breakfast. Right now I'm loving vanilla greek yogurt and granola. The cute Anthro bowls make it even more enjoyable. 

Wednesday: I shared this DIY project on the blog, a how-to for making your own gold air plant terrarium.  It is super simple and air plants are the easiest things to care for.

Thursday: We watched fireworks from our house this year. One show we could see from our front yard, another show from our deck in the back. I liked this shot of a single firework with the street lamps.

Friday: Spent the evening catching up with an old friend that I haven't seen in years. This included live music at a local outdoor music festival. It was my kind of evening.

Saturday: Someone has a sweet, old yellow Volkswagen in my town. Lucky!

And now for week twenty-eight:

Sunday: My teacup when it's all gone.

Monday: I love our local library. Actually I'm quite partial to all libraries. They are so special to me. And I love the smell of old books. Is that weird?

Tuesday: I picked up the classic Walden at the library. I have never read it. So far the pages are enlightening and quite the inspiration for a simple and natural life.

Wednesday: My Mom found this set of notebooks with this cute leaf graphic and she let me have one. I will always take a fresh, new notebook. I am a bit of a notebook hoarder actually. I have a handful in my desk that have yet to be used. A crisp, new notebook holds such possibilities don't you think? It's kind of magical. It is just waiting for you to fill it up with treasures.

Thursday: Brother came home for a few days. Whenever he is here the house is filled with music: he sings, plays guitar, standup base and piano. It is beautiful and comforting. I like having him home even if it is just for a bit.

Friday: Washi tape! This is just a small part of my ever-growing collection. My friend Nic just recently discovered how fabulous it is and now he knows how addicting it can be. Do we need to form a washi support group?

Saturday: I visited Unique LA's summer show yesterday in Santa Monica (fantastic show as usual!) and then got an early dinner with David (brother) in Silverlake. He is looking for an apartment out there currently. We stopped in at Food+Lab on Sunset. Perfect restaurant, my kind of place. Simple design with some industrial details, welcoming vibe and delicious food. Be sure to visit if you're in the area.

So that concludes my month-long recap for today and now I'm all caught up.

Like my pictures? Want to follow me on Instagram? My username is laurenelisecrafted. Or see all of my pictures on the computer through Followgram. 

Sunday
Jul152012

My Week Through Instagram: Week Twenty-Five & Twenty-Six

This Sunday I have a lot of recapping to do so bare with me! This year I challenged myself to post a picture a day on Instagram, a personal project to document my life and the things that inspire me on a daily basis. If you follow along here you've probably already seen my weekly recap posts. This summer has not been the most productive in terms of blogging (I'm sorry to say...life is keeping me busy) and I haven't shared a recap post here on the blog in four weeks. That's an entire month! Today I am going to get back on track and share my Instagram photos from the last month, weeks twenty-five to twenty-eight.

I'll start if off with week twenty-five:

Sunday: Cute red & white checkered packaging on my sandwich.

Monday: Summer started to finally heat up and we had our fans on full-bore.

Tuesday: This marked the first day of our road trip. We vacationed in Denver for a few days, stopping in St. George, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado along the way. We pulled over in Vegas for a quick break and I snapped this shot of the sunset and skyline.

Wednesday: Somewhere in Utah on day two of our road trip. The rock formations in Utah were gorgeous. It was such a site to see and definitely something different from the scenery in Southern California.

Thursday: Who knew I was to find my dream home in Grand Junction, Colorado? We took an evening stroll through this historic downtown neighborhood and it was full of charm. Not only is this house mint in color but it has that lovely scalloped woodworking detail.

Friday: Spent the late morning and lunchtime meandering through Washington Park. This is a great neighborhood in Denver with a lot of historic homes and shady overgrown trees. It reminded me of some of our old streets at home. There were quite a few geese and ducks sleeping in the shade and getting cool in the lakes. The temperatures were pretty high.

Saturday: Took a quick jaunt to Boulder, CO to see an art market put on by my friend Nic. Found this inspiring tile floor while waiting for lunch.

And now for a roundup of week twenty-six:

Sunday: A favorite stop along the road was Frisco, Colorado. It was small but it had a charming downtown that ended in a scenic marina and lake. It clearly was a destination for vacationers looking to escape the Denver heat. We stopped there on the way to Denver but then returned on the way back because we enjoyed it so much.

Monday: Another capture of the impressive rocks in Utah. It was incredibly windy at this rest stop.

Tuesday: We made it home on Tuesday but these violet flowers were a sweet surprise I found while in Frisco.

Wednesday: In the evening I visited a local wine bar with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. Nothing beats sharing a glass of red with good friends.

Thursday: I picked up some strawberries at the grocery to try out a strawberry margarita recipe. They were perfect and sweet, just like they should be.

Friday: My family clearly couldn't get enough strawberries so we opted for the three-carton bundle to get us through the weekend.

Saturday: Revisiting pictures from Denver. This one was taken along the river at the new park there. Those colors in that sunset are something.

Follow me on Instagram if you like. My username is laurenelisecrafted. Or see all of my pictures on the computer through Followgram.