Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Postcard Collectors

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In Scotland we fell in love with several paintings at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Among many other artists, we were also able to see works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Monet. Not willing to spend too much money or sacrifice too much personal space on the train ride home, we decided to bring home post cards of our favorites as ‘souvenirs’. Then all of a sudden, we had a handful of postcards and a choice to stack them in a nice, neat pile on a shelf or display them somehow.  Display it is!

One of my very favorite wedding memorabilia were our RSVP postcards. We had our guests check yes or no (of course) and in turn write or draw messages of encouragement. I made all these into a cute book that I hope to always have with us.

427903_3741405863539_1404572106_nAnd I would love to add to our current postcard collection! If you have a hankering for snail mail, perhaps we could all be postcard pen pals? (Just let me know!) At any rate, I now have a fun wall of postcards with plans to expand as we continue to visit different places!

 

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The Potter Trail! | Edinburgh, Scotland

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Step out of Waverly Station in Edinburgh and look in any direction to see exactly what inspired J.K. Rowling to create the Harry Potter universe the way it is. The famous author still lives in Edinburgh and was at the Wales vs. Scotland rugby match in Edinburgh Sunday as we were walking around. No we didn’t spot her, but saw many rugby fans from both teams decked out in team colors. (So fun!)

But this post is about Harry Potter! Every turn, alley and hill is so beautiful. Edinburgh has this charming old town feel to it that leaves you awe-inspired. I did my fan-girl research and found some notable spots. (Pictured above is Advocate’s Close located on the Royal Mile. Walk down the steps and you’ll be led up the hill to Cockburn’s Street which is a gorgeous street as well.)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I had the most fun making these little punny valentines cards! I wanted them cheesy, colorful, and to match a personality, interest or job description! Each card took about 5 minutes to make (not including the tiresome job of searching for puns!) I mailed these out a couple weeks ago and I hope everyone thought they were as great as I did!

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Valentine’s Things
Valentine Puns
Coworker Valentine

 


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The Bucket List Life

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We are halfway into January and I couldn’t be more excited about the new year! When I think about what I want out of this year for myself and Taylor, one word really sticks out: adventure. I’m so ready to make 2015 a year of travel, learning and creativity.

Taylor and I love going on road trips and have taken one every summer since we’ve been married, so I know we are suited to traveling. We’ve enjoyed road trips all throughout the southern states, took a trip to Belize to visit Taylor’s dad, and (obviously) made the move to England for school. As we were preparing for our trip across the pond, so many friends and family would go on about all the places we could visit; London! Paris! Scotland! And I would respond with “Oh, definitely,” because, of course, right?!

But despite all that, despite the love of travel and the “For sure, we’ll be visiting XY&Z,” the travel bug didn’t hit me until this January! And once it hit, it hit hard!

 

Last weekend we decided to take a Saturday trip to London to visit a couple of the famous London monuments. We spent the morning visiting Buckingham Palace, seeing the gates, the Canada Memorial Gates and the Victoria Fountain. We then visited Green Park and Hyde Park, as well as the War Memorials and the Wellington Arch. The afternoon was spent at Westminster Cathedral and The British Museum. (All of these places were free!)

Being amidst so many amazing historical monuments was what had me researching cities and countries in and around England that night. There are SO many wonderful sights to experience, rich with history and beauty, and now I want to see it all! From the shores of Whitstable–just a short bus ride away–to the Carpet of Flowers in Brussels, Belgium. 2015 will be the year we travel!

Our ‘plan’ is to travel often and travel cheaply! We want to take many, many Saturday day trips to the surrounding cities. Traveling in England will be inexpensive and most of the sights we want to see are free. Then there are the ‘big’ trips. We don’t know how many we’ll be able to afford, but the price of a bus or train, or even plane, ticket from London to many other countries is so inexpensive, we really don’t have much of an excuse!

I’ve created two sort of ‘wishful thinking’ lists of places I’d love to see, most of which are incredibly viable options! Pinterest has made my dreaming incredibly easy with beautiful photos and advice all rolled into a simple Pinterest Board. I can add to it as I please! I’ve also started a list of goals at bucketlistly.com. This website makes it simple to create a ‘bucketlist’ of places I want to travel and things I want to do. I also enjoy Bucketlistly because, once I’ve achieved a goal, I share a photo of that goal and it’s added to my profile! You can see my ‘achieved’ goals here: My Life Visualized.

Yes, this will be our year of adventure! And really, so much more goes into that word. I’d like to work on my photography, I want to paint more, I want to venture into creating videos…I expect that word will fit quite nicely in 2015, and we’ve already started making it a reality!

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Canterbury Festival

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Last Saturday marked the start of the annual Canterbury Festival and we decided to visit the city centre to discover how it would unfold.

Basically the festival seems to be a wonderful way to highlight and feature all the fun art events, plays and performances that will be going on from now until November 1st—and beyond. From plays, comedy, choirs, concerts, art galleries—it’s all featured all around the city and brings quite the crowd.

The festival began with the Espression Arts Parade, which was an adorable crafty ‘parade’ of children and families followed by a school band and people dressed in renaissance clothing. Before we moved, Taylor and I passed by the Espression Arts cafe everyday on our way to the city centre where we gathered it was a coffee shop and art studio for families. We could see mothers and children painting or reading through the windows.

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We spent the rest of the day exploring the area more and finding a few more shops we knew we would frequent. We plan on heading to some of the many events featured by the festival, starting with a comedy act on Thursday.

However one reason we’ll be skipping out on some of the events is to make a day trip to London to visit a close high school friend and her husband!! They are enjoying the London sights as we speak and I’m so excited to take a short trip to visit some familiar faces!

A quick update: Our new flat is great! We’re slowly acquiring a few necessities, since the flat was essentially empty except for furniture. Taylor had to take a quick trip to a shop last night in the middle of cooking just to buy us a skillet! We’re still using paper plates and cups–early on I jumped at the opportunity to buy some cheap coffee cups and silverware, but haven’t found any plates, bowls and cups I like within our price range. Other than the bareness of our cupboards, we’re settling in quite comfortably. I (finally!) found an art store and bought some paints and large paper. My practical mind knows we can’t afford to outright buy every single thing we need (or want) for this flat immediately, so decoration comes last–(oh how our livingroom needs a rug and plant! That’s all I ask for!) But that won’t stop me from doing my best to make art on my own with which to decorate!

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UK Update | Two Weeks Down

 

The remains of Canterbury Castle

The remains of Canterbury Castle

Our life in the UK has become much easier as we’ve settled into a semi-routine, discovered our favorite cafes and met a couple people. While we have become more comfortable, there are still quite a few issues we are working to sort out, so there is still a feeling of restlessness between us.

Canterbury is a gorgeous city with lovely parks and historical buildings at every turn. We are still in awe that we live here! Canterbury is actually a very tourist/university-driven location, so us being Americans don’t cause us to stick out at all. Taylor has met Canadian, French, German and Bohemian students and teachers. Go to any cafe and the possibility of hearing at least two or three different languages around you is quite high.

Of course living in a tourist and college town does have its downfalls we will need to acclimate ourselves to, such as having droves of people visit the city centre each weekend and the normally peaceful evenings turning into loud nights each Saturday due to students.

We are currently continuing to live in our tiny flat, however we reserved a flat that will hopefully be ours very soon. Waiting on hearing back from the realtor is making us even more restless, but the flat currently has people living in it that aren’t due to leave until the 16th of October so we just need to be patient.

Thankfully our money situation has improved, as well.  We were able to sign up for a UK bank and received a debit card recently, although we’re being sparse with our money as we  want to have as much as possible in the bank ready to be delivered to the new flat if we are able to obtain it.

We have slowed down on being ‘touristy’ to save money, although we did visit the Canterbury Castle recently. We plan on visiting the gorgeous Canterbury Cathedral that I love snagging photos of, we just haven’t been able to make time to visit.

The Fun Stuff:

We’ve started drinking A LOT more tea. At cafes you get an entire pot of tea for half the price of a coffee, and tea bags are much cheaper. I love tea!

Though some groceries offer an ‘American’ section, we’ve yet to find one, although Uncle Ben’s ready-made rice meals are very popular over here.

Eating at restaurants is very different. We have had several meals where our waiter wouldn’t come back to our table! We would sit there not eating for 5,10,15 minutes to no avail. At first it was surprising and confusing until we realized that, unlike in America, waiters are not supposed to bring the check (or bill) until they are waved over. We are quite used to being handed the bill without asking for it, but it is considered rude to do that over here.

Slang and Phrases
‘You’re having a laugh’ -meaning – ‘You must be joking’
‘That’s not bad’ -meaning- ‘That’s good’
‘Quite good’ -meaning- ‘A bit disappointing’
‘Takeaway’-meaning-‘Take out’, ‘to go’, or ‘delivered’
‘Go to hospital’ – a normal phrase used instead saying ‘go to THE hospital’
‘Watch the football’ – as opposed to ‘watch football’ (without ‘the’)–and of course football is soccer
‘Redneck’ – they think it means anyone from the South!


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Journal Everyday Update – Week 1

8 days ago, I gave myself a little two week journaling challenge and wanted to  report back with the results!

I don’t know if this journal challenge has been a success or not….

I have successfully picked up my art journal every single day and drawn something! Yay!

I have also successfully managed to misplace my brand new writing journal. I mean…it’s somewhere around here. I wasn’t even using it. What! Why??

Oh well, I did give myself room for using whatever journal I wanted for this challenge, so art journal it is!

 

I’m very happy that I’ve managed to stay consistent with this challenge. I have always loved drawing, but I never cultivated my skills past eighth grade art class when I failed the class for not drawing the pictures the way they were meant to be drawn. (Seriously.)

With this challenge I find myself looking for my drawing ‘style’ as well as playing with lines and shadows. Some drawings I critique more than others, but I appreciate each of them because they each represent me attempting to learn something new.

Anyone else out there do any journaling this past week? I need tips on how to get started on a writing journal!


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Happy Blog-iversary!

Today is my ‘8 year’ blog-iversary. I wish I could say I had 8 years of riveting posts, but I can’t say that I do.

I’ve used this blog (under two different names) as a means to journal and share creativity. I haven’t always needed that outward form of expressing myself, so there are many empty moments through the archives. However, I thought I’d share some interesting times in my life as I go through college, marriage and career changes in the span of 8 (more like 5-6) years.

2009: One year into college, 2009 is the year I really start blogging!

I discover my love of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion and get my first non-restaurant job. 

I am faced with the horrible choice of being forced to get my first touch screen and data-mandatory phone! (Back when phones were phones)

I realize I want graphic design to be my career.

I made many, many t-shirt d.i.y.’s. This one is a dress from a 4XL t-shirt. 

I get engaged in a surprise photoshoot.

2010: The year I decided to link my Tumblr and Twitter to my blog and almost all my posts have NO TITLE. What an archiving nightmare.

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I realize what a hoarder I am

I get super into Photoshop (some more)

I made my brother this adorable Max from Where the Wild Things Are costume

I get into photography.

I get obsessed with fashion photography and move to Chictopia for. a. while.

2011: I graduated college (mid-2010) and move somewhere with no Internet until I got married so I

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Post about my bridal portraits

Self-designed wedding invitations

Getting Ready

My awesome wedding party

A beautiful ceremony

And the reception (that I starved at)

2012: Working at an exhausting daycare job and feeling so creatively unfulfilled, I began blogging again!

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I opened an etsy store selling vintage purses. This later turned into designing flyers

I tried blogging something more meaningful for the first time on the blog. (I’m still struggling with this, but I have so much to say these days that the hard topics must be given a voice!)

I got a job as a secretary which quickly moved into managing websites! 

I started noticing some sad realities in my life. Mainly the gradual decline of friendships and relationships. 

I tried my hand at d.i.y. journals!

2013: The year I blog fairly consistently! 

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I start (and fail to finish) and 365 day Photo Challenge

I tried (and fail to succeed) to organize my blog

I hint at all the friendship struggles I was having (but still try to remain positive and not get too deep)

I try my hand at recipes! Yum! & Coffee

I “win” a fun blogging award and answer questions about myself!

My husband graduates with his Master’s degree and I realize what that means for us

I finally get promoted from managing websites to managing and designing websites! Finally using that college degree to the fullest extent! Except, my creativity for blogging leaves me. 

I learn the hard way about friendships. And, of course, give a vague nondescript version of the story.

2014: After a short lull (only like 6 months, no big deal!) I decide to start blogging again! 

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I’m trying to find my focus for 2014. I love d.i.y. and photography projects, but I really want to try my hand at writing more serious posts. I’m a quiet person and have let that affect my opinions on topics, so as not to offend or hurt feelings, but I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep quiet anymore. I hope I can find my path as I begin this blogging thing over again. Every year seems like I’m starting over, because I’m just trying to find my way. Here’s the beginning: 1, 2, 3


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Shirt Designs

I wanted to post a few of the t-shirt designs I’ve created lately! I don’t take many custom orders because I do graphic design full time, but I love doing some just-for-fun designs occasionally!

shirtMy company put together a team for Relay for Life. We hosted a volleyball tournament to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In true Texas fashion, it was ‘cowboy’ themed.

shirt2I designed this volleyball shirt for the same American Cancer Society fundraiser tournament. The winners received this as a prize!

shirt1I created this shirt after my family asked for a Family Reunion shirt! The ‘roots’ are the names of my grandfather and great aunts and uncles and their parents.
shirt3A witty friend and her women’s softball team came up with this Miley Cyrus/Softball pun of a design. I was more than happy to bring their vision to life.