Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Note of Thanks

I just wanted to make a quick post to say thank you.  Thank you to my family and friends.  Thank you to my mom for her love and guidance.  And a special thank you to Jason for his encouragement and support.  My art is an important part of me, and these special people inspire my art, therefore inspiring me.  xoxo

Monday, February 27, 2012

Art for Everyone! Yay, Art Journaling!!!

How cool is this?!  My eyes are overwhelmed!  My brain is on overload!

I just love art journals!  

You can do and say whatever you want and you can choose to share it with others or keep it all for yourself.  It's like this safe place for you to experiment and just reflect, get your thoughts, ideas, and feelings down on paper in all sorts of ways. A place all your own.

art journal page by Traci Bunkers
I have always loved to journal and to sketch.  Recently, I have gotten very into art journaling and I think that it is a tremendously beneficial pastime.  It feels very freeing compared to my usual minimalistic and finite artwork.   I feel pretty passionate about art journaling as a therapeutic creative outlet where you can splash around color and images.  Hopefully in the future I will get to teach a class on it.  One of the prominent art journalists that I find inspirational is Traci Bunkers.  If you are looking for a way to be creative (even if you think you aren't a creative or "artistic" person) then I encourage you to check out some of Traci's journals here on her Flickr photostream.  I've posted some of her journal pages to give you an idea of what art journaling is.  As I finish some of my own pages perhaps I'll post them here to further inspire you!  Grab some gesso, paint (acrylic or watercolor), crayons, pastels, markers, stamps, pictures, gel pens, and glue, and

gEt JoUrNaLiNg!

art journal page by Traci Bunkers

Friday, February 24, 2012

Too Cool For School

Happy Friday everyone!  February, overall, has been a good month, but after the rainy mess that was today I can't wait for sunny weather!  Found this photo of Riley last summer.  He can't wait either!  Have a good night!  :)

Day-cation in the Country

J and I decided to take a spontaneous drive.  With all of the craziness that has been happening lately in our lives, between apartment craziness, job craziness, family craziness, even city craziness with three blazing fires in one week, we were in desperate need of a "day-cation".  (Did I just make up a word???)  We spent our afternoon/evening in the artsy Lambertville, NJ and then walked over the narrow bridge into New Hope, PA.  We had both been there numerous times before, but it was nice to go together for the first time.  What a change from New York City!  The place was practically dead!  It doesn't truly come alive until the spring/summer time, so we had a nice and quiet evening.  We finally settled on this place called Bitter Bob's BBQ and Comfort Food.  That sounded about right.  After all, we've been hitting the gym pretty hard (sorta... ha) and grilling veggies for dinner (kinda... ha ha), so what better way to celebrate than with good ol' fashion R-I-B-S?  ;)  We had a real feast!  Exactly the comfort food that we needed!  The ribs weren't the absolute greatest, but they got the job done with two very different sauces to keep your taste buds interested.  The ribs also came with an amazing side of sweet potato fries!  After a night in the country we headed home, and I have to say, it was nice to come home to the chaos of the city, fire truck sirens and all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organize Your Financial Self, Today!

Today was an errand filled day.  J and I organized some more of my stuff at the apartment.  I can't wait to finally get everything totally cleaned and organized!  We have most of our furniture in order, but we have big plans for one part of the room!  I'm going to set up my art corner on one side so that I can work on drawing my illustrations and editing my photographs, on designing for my line of tote bags and for writing blog posts!  :P  The other corner is going to be the music corner where J is going to set up his keyboard, guitars, and recording equipment.  I'll feel relieved when it all comes together.  :)  I'll also post pics when it's all done!

It really was the perfect day to run errands and visit some family.  The weather was so warm that I went out with a light jacket!  It felt like springtime!!!  One day this week is going to be even warmer, in the mid sixties!  Can you believe it?!  When the weather starts to get warmer like this I start thinking about cleaning.  I go through this spring cleaning phase where I have this urge to completely re-organize my closet, the kitchen, under the bathroom sink, everything.  The scariest thing to organize however, is financial paperwork.  Never fear!  With tax season upon us, I'm going to help you out, my friend.

Read on for five easy steps to get your financial self in order this month!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phenomenal Music

Last night J was practicing some songs on the guitar.  He sang and played a few songs while I sat and worked on a post.  There is nothing like music to get your brain flowing.  I've actually read that certain music, classical in particular, helps your mind develop in beneficial ways.  I guess that could be true.  I definitely think that learning music helps your brain develop and utilize parts of it that you don't usually use, which in turn makes you smarter.  Music is a unique combination of logical and creative/emotional, of literal and abstract.  I've read that people only use a tiny portion of their brains.  Imagine what would happen if people could use their whole brain?!  It reminds me of that John Travolta movie, Phenomenon.  He gains complete use of his brain and is actually able to move things with his mind!  Of course it isn't all rainbows and butterflies since his character dies in the end (Sorry for the movie spoiler, but it's an old movie!), but imagine having that kind of "brain power"?  Whoa, watch out.  Well, until I reach Phenomenon status I'll continue to listen and enjoy being serenaded.  What girl wouldn't love that?  :)

A Runway Basics Breakdown: Pastels!

The weather has been deceivingly mild in the city this winter.  After one freak snowstorm in the fall it's been relatively smooth sailing.  Yesterday was almost spring-like.  Today, not so much.  The sky was a dark foreboding grey and the wind was howling like a pack of coyotes, slamming against my windows.   I went to walk Riley and I practically blew away.  However, it did get me thinking about spring more seriously.  Wouldn't it be nice to wear something cheerful and light for a change?  As much as I love autumn clothes and accessories, I have reached the point where I am ready for spring fashion.  (Sorry macho men, this is where this post goes girlie...)  One trend that I have noticed all over the spring runways is pastels.  Now for the dilemma.  How does one beyond the age of six wear pastels without looking like an Easter egg wannabe?  Time for a runway basics breakdown:

Monday, February 20, 2012

That's A (Turkey) Wrap, Folks!

My good friend Anne came over for a surprise lunch today!  It was so great to see her and catch up.  She always makes me laugh.  :)  It was especially great to see her face when she opened up her package today!  Anne was one of my first bag purchasers!  She ordered the "Orchid Dream" tote bag and she was so excited to finally get it!  (If you are interested in ordering a bag, click the Shop link to check out the different designs.  New designs are being posted all the time so check back frequently!  Two more summer designs are in the works and should be up soon!)

J made us turkey wraps for lunch and we watched episodes of Finding Bigfoot.  Has anyone ever watched this most ridiculous show?!  Animal Planet runs this show and it's hilarious.  Bobo and gang don't just suspect that Bigfoots (Bigfeet???  HA!), or sasquatches, are real.  The know they are.  They claim they know what they eat and their behaviors, they are so convinced and comfortable with the idea that they have casually resorted to calling them "squatches"...  I don't know about this.  The funniest parts of the show are when they go out at night with night-vision cameras and thermal cameras and do "squatch" calls.  J and I sometimes practice squatch calls in the car (Don't judge!) and, not to brag or anything, but I have mastered the whoop call quite nicely.  J is a pro at the Ohio call.  After watching the show marathon today during lunch I may be a believer now...  Maybe...  My mom lives in this wooded area...

...I better go warn her...

"Orchid Dream" Canvas Tote Bag (see Shop link)

If You Like What You See...

...Then follow me!

Hello readers!

If you are reading my blog and you find yourself coming back for more, then follow me officially at Bloglovin' and on Google's blogger!  The links are below!  Thanks for your support!  :)

Head Banging in Hackensack

I think the title pretty much sums it up.  Big Convention = a bloody good time!

Check out the calendar for the Crow's Nest in Hackensack here so that you can see Big Convention for yourself!!!  They will be there next on April 14th, and every other month for the whole year!  Be there or be square.  I mean, would you really want to miss this action?...

Big Convention (Jason) - "Use Somebody" - Crow's Nest Gig

Such a sweet angel voice...  haha Check out J.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I am obsessed with my dog, Riley.  There is nothing and no one cuter than Riley.  Admit it, okay?  Just look at that face.  I think a lot of people obsess over their pets.  I think it's a normal obsession...

J has a different obsession lately, and it starts with MW3... and ends with MW3 (and usually at around 2AM).  At least he is practicing some hand-eye coordination I suppose... and at least I can get some good sketching practice in.  It's about the only time he will sit perfectly still for hours with what I like to call 'TV face'.  Apparently, this is a common obsession for the male population.  Does your guy play this game, too???  I don't want to make it sound like this is all J does, because he is crazy busy with many other passions and with work, but he loves playing this game with his friend who moved to Tennessee.  I guess that's a silver lining.  It's like a really cool long distance phone call.  If you want the full experience of MW3, too, invest in Turtle Beach headphones (as modeled by J).  :P

When our obsessions combine...

Comfort Food

Every now and then don't you just crave bad food? I don't mean bad TASTING food. I mean bad FOR YOU food. The food that tastes so good and thick and creamy and heavy that it can't possibly be good for your health. That was my Saturday night. J was getting over some ailment and I was in desperate need of R&R, so we decided it was a good night to cook some bad-for-us food. He made a delicious meatloaf (which was half beef and half turkey, so I guess not all THAT bad...), and I decided to make baked macaroni and cheese! I found this recipe as inspiration, but it was more of a starting off point. Breadcrumbs, spices, eggs, butter, cheese, pasta shells, PRESTO! After about an hour, it smelled amazing and tasted even better! I think the secret was adding in some smoked gouda cheese into the mix. Yes, that was definitely it. Smoked gouda makes everything better. :)

Read on if you want to see pictures of the end results!  If you know me (and my history with cooking) you know you want to read on.  I'm actually becoming pretty gourmet.  Prepare to be amazed!!!

Into the Wild

Yesterday we had errands to run, but as we drove around I managed to snap some of these interesting urban shots. (And one pic of my awesome plum colored bag! Isn't the color divine?  I couldn't resist randomly throwing that in there.) :) I just loved how dramatic the sky looked, and there is something about the boats in the water in front of the skyline that I thought was fun. The graffiti on the truck, although illegal, was pretty cool, really vibrant. However, there were some questionable and laughable moments on our drive...

Read on if you want a good laugh!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Post Superbowl Madness!

Watching the Giants beat the Patriots this year and winning the Superbowl was a tremendous experience! I didn't make it to the parade, but I did manage to find my way to MetLife Stadium for the celebration. It was an incredible experience being surrounded by the crazy hollering fans, hearing the "movie"-like music playing as they ran the trophy around the stadium. I got to sit wherever I wanted, no assigned seats, no ticket needed, no frisking me at the entrance. I just strolled in with the rest of the herd and enjoyed the flying confetti and the jumbotron. Here are some pics at the stadium so you can relive the moments!!! :)

Nikki's Scrapbook!

Welcome to Nikki's Scrapbook! Here you can sneak a peek into my life, passions, musings, inspirations, projects, travels, and adventures! Thanks for reading!