pretty little things

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Obsessed with this new dove gray chevron canvas I just bought.

Chevron is currently having a moment. It’s zigzagging it’s little self everywhere from clothing & accessories to stationary & furniture! Lucky for me because I love the simplicity and crispness of this classic geometric pattern.

After googling “how to paint a chevron pattern” I came across this post that gave me some tips to get started. I ended up using my own measurements and method though.

Here is what you’ll need. I picked up all of this at Michael’s:

  • 1 11×14″ canvas
  • 1 bottle of black acrylic paint
  • 1 bottle of white acrylic paint
  • 1 disposable cup to mix paint in [not pictured]
  • 1 sponge brush [mine was included in a brush kit that was approx. $5]
  • 1 pencil with a white eraser
  • tape measure [in retrospect a ruler would have been easier but i don't have one]
  • artist’s tape
  • scissors [not pictured]

1. Mark dots at 1-inch increments along the horizontal edge of your canvas. Do the same on the remaining three sides.

2. Take your ruler [i just used the tape, as you can see] and draw horizontal lines corresponding with each dot. Do the same vertically, creating a grid.

 

3. Pencil in dots where each line intersects like so. This will serve as a guide for where to place the tape for the pattern.

4. Cut a bunch of pieces of tape into 4″ strips so you have them at the ready. Then start chevroning!

Whew! Now we’re done with the hardest part. I started using the grid then ended up eyeballing it. It’s supposed to be a fun project so don’t get too stressed if it’s not perfect!

I folded my tape over the edges so it would form a nice pattern on the sides as well.

Can’t get enough of this pattern.

5. Run a credit card over each edge to be sure the edges are firmly on the canvas then paint* away. Don’t forget to paint the sides too. Let dry completely [or if you're impatient like me, speed it up by using a hairdryer on the lowest setting] and paint a second layer. Let dry overnight before stripping off the tape.

*For my dove gray color I mixed a LOT of white paint with a LITTLE black paint. As a rule of thumb when painting, a little dark goes a long way. It’s much harder to lighten up a dark color then vice versa so go liberal with the white and be more sparing with the dark.

{VOILA!}

 

… c’est magnifique. i hope this got your creative juices flowing. give it a shot!

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If you’re like me and wait until the very last minute to begin your Christmas shopping [next year i'm starting promptly after Halloween. i swear.], do not panic! All will be well, yes, all will be well because this year it’s Crosell & Co. [900 N. Michigan Ave., Level 5, Chicago] to the rescue.

Located right off the Mag Mile, Crosell & Co. specializes in eclectic, original, art-designed items. A variety of one-of-a-kind gifts, tableware, home furnishings, jewelry and decorative accessories line the shelves of this whimsical shop. Each treasure has been meticulously handpicked from artists and designers in New York, Paris and London and, of course, our very own Chitown.

One of my favorite items is the Fisherman Salt [pictured below] by Le Pere Pelletier [$26]. I love the rustic packaging and the salt itself is premium selected sea salt with a blend of herbs, peppers and sugars. It’s the perfect gift for the person who has it all.

Good luck with your last minute shopping everyone!

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Move over Topshop. Step aside Asos. There’s a new heir to ascend the British eTailer throne.

We’d like to introduce you to Very.com, your new one-stop-shop for affordable on-trend fashions for men and women. With speedy shipping + returns [both are free for orders over $98], over 400 brands and celeb partnerships à la Whitney Port [love her] you’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list this year [& maybe a little something for you too]!

To celebrate their stateside launch, Very.com has graciously offered navy + cream readers an exclusive opportunity to receive 20% off everything on the site. It’s true! Simply click on the image below [you'll be redirected], enter your email address and voilà! You’ll score 20% off brands like French Connection, Miss Sixty, DKNY and more.

Just a few things I’m currently coveting from Very.com…

{nude patent oxfords – $48}

{leopard clutch – $65}

{rust one-shoulder fringe dress – $60}

{printed blouse – $48}

Happy shopping everyone!

 

*disclosure: i received compensation for posting this advertorial, however the words & opinions expressed are my own. now what are you waiting for – start shoppin’!

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WHO Nike and AKIN

WHAT WE RUN CHI., a party to kick off the launch of the Chicago LunarGlide+3 & a preview of Nike’s fall collection before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

WHEN Saturday, October 1 [the day after TOMORROW!], 3-5 p.m.

WHERE AKIN, 2350 N. Clark, Chicago, 60614 [map here]

WHY Well, for starters:

+ Nike specially commissioned local Chicago artist Tara D. to design these one-of-a-kind LunarGlide+3′s.

+ Nike reps will be on hand to give tips on running in the rain, the dark, and in these chilly fall and winter months.

+ There will be complimentary food, drinks and snazzy giveaways [after all, it's Nike we're talking about].

+ You can get a sneak peek at Nike’s new Marathon Collection and fall running line.

Plus …I can hardly contain my excitement because the lovely folks at Nike are kindly gifting me a pair of these limited edition sneaks, yippie! I may not have a million dollars but I will have the coolest kicks in town! ‘Tis the little things in life my friends.

I plan to lace up my new LunarGlide+3′s for trips to the coffee shop, gallivanting around town, and maybe even once in awhile for an actual run. I’m thinking these are just the motivation I need to hit the lakefront trail when the temperature takes a plunge.  I can’t keep these lovelies all to myself!

I love the way Tara D. captured the spirit of the city, from incorporating the flag of Chicago’s color scheme to subtle details like adding CHI to the tongue.

[be still my heart.]

Even though I’m most definitely NOT running the marathon, I will gladly show my support [from the sidelines] by sporting my new sneaks. So Saturday, bring your friends … 2350 N. Clark … 3-5 pm … come run, come all!

 

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… I’d buy my soon-to-be niece [via my wonderful cuzzie & cuzzie-in-law!] these adorable, hilarious, over-the-top extravagant things. Because every baby needs some skinny Seven’s to tuck into a pair of miniature Frye boots, right?! The tiny things they make for the babes seriously kill me, especially the shoes. Oh, the shoes.

1. Primigi Kids Maglioncino Sweater [$41]

2. Frye Harness Bootie [$38]

3. 7 for All Mankind The Skinny Denim Leggings [$59]

4. Bonpoint Cardigan Milky White [$145]

5. Burberry Gathered Check Cotton Dress [$165]

6. TOMS Tiny Canvas [$29]

7. Tod’s Baby Gommini Shoes [$165]

8. Lili Gaufrette Infant’s Tulle Skirt [$79]

9. Petit Bateau Rain Coat [$116]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you know me, if you know this blog, you know that fall is my favorite season by far. I’m a fall baby, born in October and I associated the season with so much happiness and excitement. The beginning of a new school year, football, crunchy leaves, bonfire weather, hot apple cider…  Vince and I joke that if there was a place where it was fall year round we would move there in a heartbeat. As we all know such a place doesn’t exist, but perhaps the fleeting nature of fall is part of it’s appeal. We look forward to it, we celebrate it, and although we’re not ready to say goodbye… in the blink of an eye it’s gone. Mid-November creeps in and with it come those pesky winter doldrums. For that slim window of time though, fall was ours.

This is fall to me:

1. Aubin & Wills Calderwood Jumper, $236

2. Tory Burch, Clines Ballet Flat, $235

3. BDG, Plaid Ruana, $42

4. Mulberry, Small Baswater Satchel in Oak, $900

5. Caramel apple shout out!

6. NARS Nails in Sparkling Candy Apple Red, $17

7. J Brand, High Rise Flared Corduroy Jeans in Toffee, $225

8. Burberry Walking Umbrella, $250

9. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, “…signature espresso blended with the unmistakeable spices of fall – cinnamon, nutmeg, clove – smooth with steamed milk and topped with delectably sweetened whipped cream.” love in a cup.

What says fall to you?

 

 

 

 

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Today is my brother Evan’s birthday! Here he is. Happy birthday Evan!

 

I also want to highlight a wonderful campaign by SEE, my fave fave fave optical boutique. For each Monday in September, SEE will donate a portion of all proceeds to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. In an effort to raise awareness for this often “silent” disease, they will be distributing free ovarian cancer education kits in each store. They’re also selling exclusive t-shirts and teal bracelets [the official color of o.c.] with all proceeds going directly to OCRF.

SEE has 25 stores nationwide, for a complete list of locations click here. There are only [2] more Mondays in September so stop into SEE and purchase a pair of prescription or non-prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses today!

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… i thee swoon.

As previously mentioned [here, here, + here], my mom is the best. She is also a reader of this here blog and came across my post from april 12 ['tuesday trinkets']. What does this amazing woman do? She surprises me with the main object of my affection, the Eliza ring.

{nail polish: essie playa del platinum}

Don’t you just love it? It’s even cuter in person. We got our initials D [my mom] on the left & E [me] on the right with S in the middle [for our last name]. It’s a very cool feeling to have a future family heirloom that will be passed down through generations.

I also want to add the roses in the photo above [& below] are from the boy. We just celebrated our 4th anniversary! He’s the bee’s knees.

Here we are on a vacation we took to the Dominican Republic:

He’s quite strapping isn’t he? Handsome on the inside and out. I’m a lucky lady.

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My niece Catherine might be the only baby in the history of the world who didn’t go bananas on her first birthday smash cake. Not even close. She gave it a couple jabs and a few sidelong glances before deeming it perfectly uninteresting. It might as well have been a plate of brussel sprouts [actually, she'd probably enjoy that more].

[officially could not care less.]

The point is that the gal is selective – she knows what she wants. In turn, I knew I had to get her something extra special for her first of all birthdays, but what? I searched high and low until I came across this handmade jewelryon Etsy. The artist behind Jeneri Jewelry is based right here in Chicago – and whattya know – she’s originally from Cleveland too.

It was tough to narrow it down but I got Catherine the Near Your Heart necklace engraved with “M&C” and Madeline [my other niece and Catherine's sister] one with “C&M”, both in sterling silver. They turned out beautifully. Jen of Jeneri Jewelry is a tremendously talented artist who does it all. I truly love her pieces as they are each one-of-a-kind.

[my jeneri necklace i had made with my parents initials]

Jen was kind enough to take a break from her hectic schedule to answer a few questions I had about her designs, background and inspiration. Read on for an exclusive coupon code for navy + cream readers, and to hear more about what makes Jen tick…

[1] Jen, your jewelry is so beautiful and meaningful. What gave you the idea to start your business?

I’ve always loved jewelry. We moved from Cleveland to Chicago four years ago and I became a full-time stay-at-home mom to our son. I had always worked since the time I was 16, and found myself going a little crazy after two weeks. I was within walking distance [dangerous!] to a bead shop and decided to give it a whirl. I never wore any of my jewelry because I wasn’t really a “bead person”. A few months later I took an “introduction to soldering class”, and then the real fun began.

[2] What inspires you?

Simple items. I like meaningful pieces that can be worn everyday with a t-shirt and jeans, but special enough that you’d wear it to a nice dinner.

[3] We agree. What is one of the most unique requests you’ve received for a design?

A woman had me design a “tug” necklace for her boyfriend. She wanted a heavy choker with 3 circles integrated into the chain. She explained that it needed to be durable enough for “strong tugging”. I was too embarrassed to ask if it lived up to their expectations.

[4]  On the flip side, what’s the most popular item in your store?

Anything gold! I’ve seen a substantial increase in gold sales over the last six months. The “Near Your Heart Personalized Choker” has been especially popular.

[5] Can we find your pieces at any boutiques in Chicago?

Nope! The boutiques that carry my jewelry have all found me through my Etsy website – but none in Chicago yet! I can be found in Nantucket, Tennessee, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, and LA.

[6] Hopefully we’ll see you in stores here soon. So you have roots in Ohio and Chicago, like myself! What brought you to Chicago?

My husband’s job. I came kicking and screaming, but fell in love with Chicagoland and never want to leave!

[7] What do you enjoy most about your business?

The ability to create meaningful keepsakes, and the freedom of my own schedule. Professionally, I was an Audiologist [hearing & balance] for seven years before moving to Chicago. I enjoyed it, but didn’t have a passion for it. I truly have a passion for jewelry.

[8] Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Take a few business classes! All of my higher education was in health and sciences, and I desperately wish I’d taken some accounting/finance. Other than that, have passion for what you’re doing and always be open to trying something new.

[9] What jewelry do you wear on a daily basis?

1. Wedding Rings

2. Rosary Ring [I’ve worn this since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 yrs ago]

3. Max necklace

[10] What’s your idea of the perfect day?

Sleeping in. Eating anything I want without heartburn or gaining an ounce. Visiting with family and friends. Hearing my son laugh. Kissing my love goodnight.

~

Jen has generously offered the readers of navy + cream a discount code for her Etsy shop. Enter the code NAVYANDCREAM at the checkout to receive 10% off her entire shop. Jen’s jewelry is ideal for a birthday gift, an engaged pal, a new mom, an anniversary present… the sky’s the limit.  Thanks again to Jen, happy first birthday to my niece, and happy shopping everyone!

 

 

 

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