Monday, January 30, 2012

January Recap

January is almost over! That mean's we're one month closer to spring. The cold, grey weather here in Portland has taken its toll and I can't wait for warmer weather and sunshine. Here a few photos I took (with my iphone) this month. 

My roommate and I hosted a breakfast + cartoon party with friends. We all wore our pajamas and watched all our favorite cartoons from when we were little.
My friend, Cynthia showed me her amazing vintage poodle collection.

 My friend Zerrin hosted nail art parties.. Check out her amazing skills!
 We also had fun making shell art! Best dollar store craft EVER!
 This is one of my favorite quilts made by my Gramma.

Other fun things I did this month:
• Painted 4 portraits of amazing women (1+2, 3, 4).
• Shared my Lisa Frank collection.
• Added new Valentine Cards to my shop.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Spirit Friday

Sources clockwise: bornbeforethewindbonfairesravenwillowmoon

This is what January feels like...

This weekend I am helping my mom host my sister's going away party (she is moving to the east coast to work as a nurse in the US Navy), making art, and playing music with friends. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fashion ♥

I am absolutely smitten with Sessun's Spring 2012 Lookbook! The bold colors & retro style are just gorgeous!
By Sessun. Found via Miss Moss

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sheroes: Janis Joplin

SHERO: Janis Joplin 
LIFE: January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970
FAME: Dubbed the first Queen of Rock and Roll.

GROWING UP: Janis grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton in Port Arthur, Texas. She sang in the church choir and was also a painter. Growing up in Texas was a real struggle for her, as she didn't conform to the mold of a typical young woman of the 1950's.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1950 Janis joined Bluebirds, junior Girl Scouts.

LIFE AS A MUSICIAN: In 1966 Janis Joplin moved to San Francisco where she joined the band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. During the summer of 1967- the summer of love- the group had a breakthrough performance in at the Monterey Pop Festival, where Janis belted a version of Big Mama Thornton's, "Ball and Chain" while the world watched in awe. 

"Playing is just about feeling. It isn't necessarily about misery, it isn't about happiness. It's just about letting yourself feel all those things you already have inside of you but are trying to push aside because they don't make for polite conversation or something. But if you just get up there — that's the only reason I can sing. Because I get up there and just let all those things come out." - Janis Joplin

Like most musicians during that time, Janis was a heavy drinker and experimented a lot with drugs. While recording her last album, "Pearl" in October of 1970, she overdosed on heroin in a motel in Los Angeles at the age of 27. 

DID YOU KNOW? Pearl was her nickname known amongst her friends.

LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Janis paved the way for women in Rock and Roll. In the 1960's, women struggled to fit into the counterculture as many doubted they could play with the boys like Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and Santana. Janis Joplin's voice was considered a force of nature. 
AWARDS: Janis Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Free Spirit Friday

♥ Link Love 
• I've always been a fan of Jessica Hische's work. I just love that she's posted her high school art portfolio online!
• I need to start saving up for a this fancy watercolor set.
• I recently discovered the blog of my favorite comic book artist, Lynda Barry. Check out The Near-Sighted Monkey.

Happy Friday everyone!
♥ Rachel

Shop Update! New Valentine Cards ♥

Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to announce that my new Valentine cards have just been added to my Etsy shop! These are a smaller A2 size card and are perfect for sending to friends and family. I had a lot of fun creating these designs, so I hope you love them as much as I do!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sheroes: Lillian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth (b. 1878 d. 1972) known as the Mother of Modern Management, was an American psychologist, an industrial engineer and one of the first working female engineers to hold a Ph.D. Both she and her husband, Frank, were industrial engineers and partners who specialized in time-and-motion studies and pioneered industrial management techniques such as job standardization and incentive wage-plans. Lillian combined her perspectives of an engineer, a psychologist, a wife, and a mother to show her field the importance of the psychological dimensions of work.

In addition having their own careers and business, Lillian and her husband had 12 children together. They applied their rules for production-line efficiency to the way they ran their home and family. The book, Cheaper by the Dozen was written by two of their children about their experiences growing up in such a large family.

After Frank's death in 1924, Lillian became head of the business as well as the family. She was a pioneer in streamlining kitchen design, contributing such innovations as foot-pedal trash cans and storage shelves on refrigerator doors. She was also a college professor and an internationally known management consultant until her death in 1972. Her life and work totally contradicts the conventional notion that a woman cannot combine raising children with a successful career.

Resources: csupomona.edusdsc.eduRemarkable American Women, Life Magazine, 1976.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Young At Heart: Lisa Frank

Some of you may remember my Young At Heart feature from last year (I did two posts, one on Figment the purple dragon and another on Rainbow Brite). For those of you who are new readers, Young At Heart is a feature where I share a favorite toy from my childhood. My mom and grandma save everything, so I still have all my favorite toy collections from when I was little.

Today I wanted to share my Lisa Frank collection. Ask any girl and she will know all about Lisa Frank's products. Her art is bright and colorful and features rainbows, puppies, unicorns, lipstick, ballerina bunnies, and tons more colorful cuteness. I remember having a massive sticker collection in grade school and would always choose the Lisa Frank notebooks when my mom took me shopping for school supplies.
As an adult, I still love Lisa Frank and even still buy her products (they've become a guilty pleasure of mine). For Christmas, my lovely sister got me two vintage Lisa Frank poster books full of all her earliest art from the 1980's. 

You can find these poster books at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Spirit Friday

Sources clockwise: bornbeforethewindwhisperingwindxd-h-a-h

Jon Huck photographs people with their breakfast and it's SO interesting!
Tattly is making some cool designy tattoos.

Happy Friday the 13th!
♥ Rachel

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life lessons from a former Girl Scout

Recently I've been thinking a lot about how my experience in Girl Scouts has helped shape who I am today. Above all, I think Girl Scouts taught me to have confidence in who I am and what I do. It helped me believe that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it. I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 Girl Scout lessons that I learned in grade school and continue to use as an adult. 

#1 Be Prepared.
This is the official Girl Scout motto and an extremely valuable lesson to learn. Being prepared requires you to really think about what you are about to do and plan ahead. Whether I am vending at a craft show or going out dancing, I always try to 'be prepared' and think about the things I may need while I'm  out. That way I don't get stuck feeling too cold or too hot, out of cash or wearing the wrong shoes. 

#2 Do A Good Turn Daily.
The official Girl Scout slogan, Do A Good Turn Daily means do something nice for someone else every day. Getting in the habit of thinking about the needs of others is, of course, a necessary and much appreciated skill. My mom was my Girl Scout leader growing up and I remember she always stressed that we should do something helpful or nice for people without being asked. If you see a dirty kitchen floor, grab a broom and sweep it up. If you have a friend who's struggling with something in their life, offer to help! Having the ability to anticipate the needs of others and offer to help is something I try to aspire to.

#3 Be A Sister To Every Girl Scout.
This is a big one; a lesson that I think is probably the most valuable. Be A Sister To Every Girl Scout means sharing, trust and friendship among women. Learning this lesson as a young girl is what I think helped my sister and I get along. Don't get me wrong, we still had our normal sibling fights, but growing up we shared everything and did everything together. I don't remember ever feeling threatened by us doing (and even wearing) the same things. In our society, I think women are more often encouraged to compete against one another, especially in our world of the internet and reality television. But friendship and cooperation among women is an extremely powerful thing. Together, I believe us girls have the ability to create magic, inspire others and even change the world!

#4 Use Resources Wisely.
Use Resources Wisely means to be conscious of what and how much you consume or throw out. As a human and citizen in our world, I think it is very important to consider our environment and do our part to keep our planet clean and beautiful. This means getting in the habit of recycling, not littering or taking more than you actually need. Above all this lesson taught me to love and respect our our Mother Earth and truly appreciate the beauty of nature. 

#5 Make The World A Better Place.
Making an impact on our world can seem like an impossibly huge task, but I believe it's the little things that really make the difference. Just taking the time to reflect and think about what you do before you do it, is an invaluable skill. I'm a big believer in 'thinking before acting'. If you are able to step back and consider how your actions will affect those around you, you are more able to make good decisions that can help and inspire others to do the same. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


Some of you may remember the two Sheroes posts I wrote last year about Amelia Earhart and Lucille Ball. Well I've been wanting to continue writing more posts about inspiring women in history and have finally felt motivated to start again! 

I found an amazing issue of LIFE magazine at my grandma's house a few months ago. The entire issue is devoted to remarkable American women from 1776-1976. I've been pouring over it, reading about the amazing lives of many women I've never even heard of before. Discovering that magazine is what really inspired me to continue featuring Sheroes on my blog! To add a creative element, I am also painting a portrait to pair with a short history lesson of each noteworthy woman.

When deciding who to paint first, I went back to Amelia Earhart (You can read about her history here. ) I haven't done much watercolor painting in a long time and haven't drawn people since I was in college, so this is definitely a challenging, fun new project! 
For my next featured woman, I chose Julia Ward Howe

Born in 1819, the daughter of a well-to-do banker from New York City. At that time, the education of women was very limited. As a child she taught herself, reading from the library her brother sent from Europe during his travels. In 1843 she married Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, a physician and reformer who founded the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts. He frowned upon Julia's literary ambitions and forbade her from working outside of the home or being anything more than a traditional housewife. After 20 years of marriage, Julia confided in her diary: "I have never known my husband to approve any act of mine which I myself valued."

Despite her husband's rigid opinions, Julia became one of the most celebrated women in America. In 1861, she was inspired to write, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" after she and her husband visited Washington D.C. While watching Union troops singing the song, "John Brown's Body" a friend urged her to write new words for the old tune. Her new song, Battle Hymn of the Republic lifted the hearts of many and transformed her into a permanent symbol of patriotism.

After the war, Julia focused her activities on pacifism and women's suffrage. In 1870, she was the first to proclaim Mother's Day. She was also a co-editor and writer for The Women's Journal, which lobbied for suffrage and human rights. After her husband's death in 1876, she founded the Association of American Women, a group which advocated for women's education. In addition to her reform work, she also wrote travel books, children's fiction and music.

Resources: Wikipedia,, Remarkable American Women, Life Magazine, 1976.

I love reading stories of women who are strong enough to stay true to themselves despite living in a society where their efforts are strongly discouraged. The courage to rise up above the norm, accomplish great things that spark change in our world is in my opinion, inspiring.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Free Spirit Friday

Free Spirit Friday is back! I've been debating whether or not to continue this feature in 2012, but decided pairing three found images together is a lot of fun! I like choosing images that together create a mood or even suggest a story. 

Just to switch things up a bit, this year I'll be pairing FFF with some of my favorite links and other things I discover throughout the week. Starting things off..

• Girl Scouts has declared 2012 the Year of the Girl a celebration of girls, recognition of their leadership potential, and a commitment to creating a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals in support of balanced leadership in the workplace and in communities across the country.

As a Girl Scout Alumni, I'm excited to see what the organization can accomplish on their 100 year anniversary! It's got me thinking a lot about what Girl Scouts taught me and how the experience has shaped who I am today (I'll be posting more on this soon....)

• I've signed up for this class and am excited to learn more about creating repeating patterns.

• I'm reading a lot of Rookie Mag these days. I may not be a teenage girl anymore but find myself still interested in teenage-girl-stuff :)

Have a great weekend!
♥ Rachel

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