Category Archives: Inspiration

Excuse Me While I Redecorate



Hello My Loves. There’s a bit of change happening around my piece of the interwebs. As you probably know, I have taken a few months off from blogging. I even toyed with the idea of closing down the blog completely. Clearly I decided against because I love truly blogging and talking to you about design. In truth, I needed those months off because I lost myself and my inspiration. Every time I typed i felt more and more like something special, maybe my spark was missing from the screen.


image elle décor via pinterest.

So instead of closing down the blog or changing the address, I decided to redecorate my webspace. You will continue to see tweaks here and there to the site. It will also take me a little while to get my new content up and running, but for the first time, since I moved to NYC I feel like I have my voice back. I will spare you the details for now, but just know that I got a little beat up  in which my creative spirit struggled to recover. Not a good space to be in, but it helped me determine my worth as a designer. What followed was a resurgence of new ideas and exciting creative projects seemed to come of it.


image vis the glitter guide.

I can’t share everything…but it encompasses my love of art and design in a fun way that I didn’t imagine. To celebrate, I’m redecorating!!!

In Defense of Beyonce’s “Life”

I know it’s a random post title and Beyonce doesn’t need any affirmation from me, but bear with me for a moment. Beyonce as a public figure stirs up a lot of thoughts in my mind. I literally see news about something in her life everyday on the Brooklyn news which for me makes her fame and persona inescapable and slightly annoying. And as much as I love her music, once it catches on I hear it everywhere, which is why I’m usually about 2 years late downloading her albums though somehow I still know all the words. Go Figure. I’ve even had to semi retire my Freek’um Dress(es).

Because of that same bit of overexposure, I was a little reluctant to watch her documentary, “Life is But a Dream.” I don’t EVER deny her as being a musical talent. I, mean I have seen her in concert. That, folks is a SHOW. But the Promos for the doc, left me a bit underwhelmed. However, after reading several posts and articles about how she didn’t reveal anything and people saying she was weird but at least she curses, I decided to look at the movie for myself. I found both the posts, the people and I as someone prejudiced against her, wrong. While there was minimal gossip exposed (this was not an E True Hollywood Story or VH1′s Behind the Music), when it came to Beyonce the artist and business-woman she laid everything bare (without being weird).

Watching her documentary was enlightening, not because she is a world-class entertainer, but because at the end of the day she is both an artist and business-woman. Though the Dynastic wealth of the Roc may currently elude me, creativity and the struggle it brings with it do not.  Do you know how hard it is to be both artist and business woman? Not to mention that she is a wife, sister, aunt and daughter. Those titles all come with different responsibilities. Like many people, she’s made professional sacrifices sometimes at the cost of her personal relationships, but always in an effort to find her own independence and truth as an artist. I find that willingness to be so true to oneself to be admirable even though you see a bit of her questioning its worth in her eyes.

In viewing, “Life”, I saw the dichotomy between her work; as she writes and sings in the studio,where she artistically feels most at home, versus the business side as manages herself, declaring how things should be for a performance. Though this space is where she seems less comfortable this is where I saw the most growth. At one point during the doc, she says, “Why do I feel like no one is listening?” I uttered those same words on Friday at work. And guess what? In both cases, no one was listening to me or Beyonce. It was good to see that she too, struggles with being both shot caller and artist, as she lets go of being nice in an effort to be clear and direct when it comes to saying what she wants. She talks about the valuable lessons she learned about work ethic, drive and artistry from those most important in her life, including her father and Jay-Z just as easily as she speaks about needing the support of women, trusting her instincts and the injustice about being a woman in a male-dominated evironment. Yeah, she’s Beyonce and all, but I am sure someone has tried to talk down to her a time or two. And don’t the best lessons in life and business often come from those we look up to?

Like many women artists, balance feels hard to maintain. We want to be true to ourselves and art yet composed and respected in a room full of business people. Many of us struggle to say or ask for what we really want, whether it be money, the corner office, or a promotion, but somehow we find the guts to do it it anyway. In life we aim to not let the art consume us though it is an extension of our inner selves. In work , we as women want to channel our personal power, be respected for our talents and strategize our next steps by using our best business minds. And as we witness with in Beyonce’s “Life,” that work space can be equally lonely as we sometimes find ourselves competing with one another for no reason well as deeply fulfilling as we build and lead fantastic teams and inspire other women to follow our lead. While I don’t want to be Bey any more than when I started watching the doc, it’s nice to know, in art and business, creatively speaking, we share some common ground.

Now, I’m off to download her album. You know the one from 2 years ago.


A Tuesday Texture Swoon

Since I’ve taken up crochet with a newly-minted verve,  everything for me is about texture and exploring the complexities of yarn. Oodles and oodles of yarn.

{images via nancy flowers, the lane & dustjacket, items by designbird}

I am finding that my explorations in craft and yarn are beginning to inform and inspire what and who I am drawn to in design. That, my friends, is an fun turn of events, for my never-ending design adventures.


Paris When It Snows

Post Blizzard NYC, reminded me of Paris. Evidently is is a rare occurrence for it to snow in Paris. Lucky for me, while I was there it snowed for about 3 days. It was lovely even if a bit treacherous as I slid around the city trying to get from point a A to Point B.

I’ll take Paris in the snow any day.

The World As I Pin it: Dip-dyed and Drenched

Hi Everyone! I hope you are doing well. I thought I’d pop in to say hello to my faithful readers. I haven’t written in a long while because frankly I needed a bit of a blogging vacay. Things have been amazing at work, but I found that I needed to put a lot more energy there.  Plus, as usual I have a few tricks up my sleeve, including planning a blog redesign and a secret project.

Anyhoo, I just got back from Paris and Lyon, where I did some amazing studio and workshop visits to more than a few French artisans and attended Paris Deco-Off and Maison et Objet. It was the best trip I had ever taken to France. And would you believe all I did was work?!  OK, I participated  a lot of good gastronomy too, but even that was work related.

I will  show and tell you more about the trip later, but for now I wanted to share a few pins that have been inspiring me lately. I’m in a print and pattern type of mood, but it’s something more relaxed, a little lazy, if you will, a whole lot of bohemian and maybe a touch of French.

Something about being dip-dyed in organic patterns or drenched in sexy florals has my heart aflutter. Doesn’t it seem like a good way to live?

See these pins and their sources here and follow me on pinterest @jesswonderland.


Monday’s Musings: Alone in the Kitchen with A Strawberry

A couple of weeks ago I had pretty much taken a subbatical from my kitchen. Not easy to do, when I have to walk through it to get to my bedroom or my living room. After using it steady for months, the place where I found solace, became the most neglected room in my apartment. Honestly I couldn’t remember the last time I really went grocery shopping and I LOVE grocery shopping. A semi-domestic goddess at best, I come from a large cooking and baking family where the the kitchen is the heart of everyone’s home, but I found that my heart was no longer in this place that I once loved so much.

This brings me to today’s muse, Hannah Queen, the talented  photographer , baker and blogger from Honey and Jam. I don’t how I landed on her blog, but what it’s important is that I got there.

In heart of my kitchen-avoiding slump, Hannah’s recipe for a Honey Balsamic Strawberry Galette got me back into my kitchen without any hesitation. I went grocery shopping for a few items, prepped my ingredients and the next day I promptly made this galette very early on a Sunday Morning.  In those early hours, the city was quiet and it was just me  in an apartment that smelled like a berry-filled heaven. It was the creative, meditative and healing experience that I needed. I made a cup of tea and cut a slice, bit into it and loved it. I felt like I had found the something that was missing, making peace with my kitchen. In fact, next on my list is Hannah’s Lemon Cake with Black Tea Frosting.


all images via honey and jam

One day last week, I came home, having convinced myself that I was too tired to cook. But then something magical happened, I found myself cooking one of my favorite stovetop dishes  for dinner. Being in the kitchen felt so right, that I soon forgot that I was “too tired”. I figure that If I continue to peruse Honey and Jam, I will be back to my old self in no time.

For more  of Hannah’s photos, check out her Etsy site.


Monday’s Muse

After watching the Halston documentary, Ultrasuede, I’ve grown increasingly fond of the fabulousness that is  jewelry designer Elsa Peretti, especially images of her from the 1970′s. In a funny way, with her combo of stylish ease and oversized frames, her look reminds me of  the style my mom and her sisters had in the 70′s. It’s clearly something that I have always loved.

{images via pinterest}

See what I mean… FABULOUS! She’s trained as an interior designer (which means I already have a soft spot for her talent), but clearly she’s living proof that a designer with vision can create anything.


{The Petal Pusher} Herbal Essence

Happy Friday All! As promised, Tina’s back with a bit of Herbal Essence. Enjoy! 

Confession #72:  I am an herb waster.  Yes, I am.  Don’t you hate it when the recipe calls for sprigs of fresh mints or rosemary, the rest of the bundle that you must purchase from the market (because, admit it.  Not all of us have a green thumb.) gets stuffed in the fridge left to DIE!?

I’ve found many variations of it on the blogosphere on adding herbs to floral arrangements.  What a brilliant idea!  Bringing closer two of my favorite things, food & flowers!

I decided to do all my gathering for this occasion at the Union Square Greenmarket.  I love the farmers markets this time of the year, it’s filled with spring and summer fruits like the strawberries and blueberries and an abundance of fresh vegetables and spring flowers.  And of course lots and lots of herbs.  There were lots of the usual suspects and lots of unfamiliar, interesting and supposedly delicious vegetables.

So I picked up some lavender, mint, rosemary, oregano, basil, lilies, flowering sage, snapdragons, peppergrass, garlic scape, spray roses and the always sunny sunflower.  I decided to go with the country chic route with most of the herbs that I found.  It just seemed so fitting.

Snapdragons paired with oreganos, sprinkle with some peppergrass and garlic scape and volia!  Or you can simply dress it up with combinations of spray roses and the lovely mint in a beautiful silver vase.  It not only makes it more grown up, the mixture of the sweet smell of the spray roses and the ever so fresh mint is delightful!

The small bundle of bouquet consists of basil, rosemary, lavender, sage and spray roses will be living on my bedside table.  Waking up to the aroma of this herbal blend in the morning is what I imagine waking up in Provence to be like.  Ah…  A girl can dream can’t she??

If you missed June’s entry in the Petal Pusher series, click here.

Creative Studies

Hi Everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend!

I have a confession–I have been distracted from blogging lately. This summer, my job is paying for me to take an intensive web design class and for the first time in a LOOOOONG time I actually have homework. In fact, I spent the whole weekend, working on my sketches for my site. No really, the entire weekend. Anyhoo, I thought I’d share some of the visual inspiration for my project.

{all images via pinterest}

I love that creative projects begin the same way because it has made the whole process of thinking in code and visually more approachable.  These images also helped me move through a BIG creative block (Kanye’s 808′s and Heartbreak and M.I.A Kala albums also helped). It also helped when I saved over and lost my initial design sketch. Yikes!! And you know what?! I didn’t freak out about the latter, because I  was over designing and wasn’t loving the first try and actually came up with a better idea. FYI, that usually happens when you think you’ve encountered a crisis; amazing things happen. Anyhoo, tomorrow I present my them at critique. Fingers crossed.



Herban Outfitting

Hello Friends…I hope you had a good weekend. In the states, it’s after Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer. With so much time spent outdoors this weekend, I decided to make this a special gardening week!

True Story: I harbor a not-so-secret fantasy of having my own farm. I’ve been talking about it for years (and a pickup truck to boot) to a few friends and family members. However, feeling as though I didn’t inherit the green thumb from my mom and my farm-owning great-grands, I approach few things with as much trepidation as I do plants. I have killed a few plants, people, a few. This weekend, I said “HA!” in the face of fear and bought some yummy herbs for my window sill.

Yeah I got this. Right?

I totally do. Here’s the gardening addition of  ”What’s in My Bag.”

These are my supplies for my  little adventure in indoor gardening. Also, can we talk about the bag for a sec? I got it as ICFF last weekend and it carried home everything I needed for planting, including my organic potting soil. It was awesome. Oh, yeah, and I’m keeping a little gardening journal. My high school science teacher would be proud but it is years too late for that extra-credit I needed.

Oh, I’m being quite rude. Let me introduce my lovers. Say hi fellas!

Aren’t they pretty? A few of them I’ve been told will be hard to grow indoors. Actually, it was more like, “Man I hope you have a sunny window for that lemongrass,” followed by a sad-eyed head shake. Me: “Whatever, I’m a warrior. I harvest the sun.” By the way, a leonine sense of false confidence will get you everywhere. Especially with plants and people.

See the boys are very happy. So am I. Next stop urban farm (or community garden). By the way, shout out to the kind man who talked to me for 20 minutes about his gardening life. He convinced me that I do, indeed, have a green thumb. Thank you. Oprah was right; we are each other’s angels. I hope you bought that celery, sir.

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