Category Archives: News

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello friends! Happy Friday and Happy Valentines’s to you. I hope you are surrounded by the people you love. Hubby and I are going out for a much needed date night. Can’t wait to get all prettied up and sip a fancy cocktail.

I did splurge yesterday on a little gift to myself – this book – and I’m so pleased I did. I’ve already devoured half of it and I’m loving every page. If you were a fan of Eat, Pray, Love then you will LOVE Paris Letters by Janice Macleod. I’m so tickled with the book that I just subscribed to receive one of her magical, illustrated letters from Paris via her Etsy shop. Anyways…had to share this with you!

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 4.23.35 PM

Okay I’m off to get ready for my date….it takes a while these days! ;)

Much love to you all,

Ivy

P.S. I’ve been doing a ton of art so I promise to share more of it next week! More vintage treasures to show you too!

3 Comments

Filed under Books, favorite things, Love, News, Paris, photography, Still life

Art Night

Hello! How’s it going? Hope all is well in your world. My family enjoyed Halloween and now we are on the fast track to Christmas. This time of year always seems to zip by doesn’t it?

Many months ago, I imagined myself hosting an art night. A small gathering. Maybe 6-8 women, around my dining table, all creating. The idea both thrilled and terrified me. I talked about it with several friends and received gentle encouragement to do it. So finally, it happened. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out invites and began the planning of what this night would look like. I wanted to provide lots of fun art supplies, an inspiring atmosphere, delicious snacks and wine, of course!

My formal dining room is rarely used so it was a delight to move right in and create a playful, creative space! Stringing up bits of colorful ribbon in my crystal chandelier gave the room a whimsical feel!

art night1

I covered up the table in brown craft paper and draped the dining chairs in vintage bed sheets that I found at Goodwill.

room

To provide a little more structure for those that wanted it, I set up a still life in the center of the table.

artnight2

and spread out inspiring art books

artnight4

artnight7

girl

still life

Each lovely lady got a journal with their initial on it and a pencil as a little gift from me. I love having lots of pretty journals around to jot down thoughts and ideas.

journal

A colorful, vintage tray and a bouquet of vibrant flowers in the corner created a sweet little wine bar. The guests each brought a bottle of something to share.

artnight5

Once the table was set, it was time for me to pull out all my art supplies and display them for my guests! The ART BAR was born!

art bar sign

artbar2

artbar1 artbar3

Then came the food! My dear friend Katie is an amazing cook and she volunteered to do all the food for the evening! LOVE HER! She did an incredible job…creating a 98% gluten-free spread of delectable dishes! (I apologize for the dark quality of the pictures…my low-light photography skills need work!)

food2

This creamy brie, drizzled with a warm brown sugar, butter and walnut sauce was a huge hit!

food1

These gluten-free cookies and pumpkin cake were completely addictive too!

desserts

food 3

food4

laughing

As the night began and my guests mingled and delighted in all the gorgeous food, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach begin to settle.

Once everyone had a plate of food and a glass of wine, the ladies took their seats and I spoke (rambled) about the intention of the night and why I had wanted to do this. My heart-felt desire was to bring women together, to connect, share, grow, create and maybe even try something new. Art can really freak grown-ups out and I want to start breaking that down. I believe art is for everyone and that it is NOT about the product but the process. I believe Art can be healing, transformative and teach us a lot about ourselves. I believe that creating is something we are hard-wired to do.

After I briefly explained the different art supplies, the ladies bravely got straight to it. I was so worried that someone would become overwhelmed and shut down but nope, these girls boldly experimented and began creating! I was honored to look up from my place and be surrounded by these women who were all willing to be vulnerable with me and get outside their box.

art table 3

art table 2

There were several moments that night when the room fell silent. At a dinner party…that could be a disaster but at an art night…it was magical. Everyone was in their zone; concentrating, relaxing and centered in their creation. Loved that!

workspace

art table

All in all, it was a wonderful night! I can’t wait to do it again! Next time, I would like to guide everyone through a specific collage/mixed media project! I truly learned a lot about myself by doing this. I was scared but sharing my passion with others was so worth all the nerves. Thank you to my incredibly gracious guests for being so open and supportive of me. And of course a HUGE thank you to Katie for all the outstanding treats!

I highly recommend trying this out with your friends, family and neighbors. Gather up all those art supplies, share and explore your creativity!

xo,

Ivy

15 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, entertaining, Food, Home, Learning, News, photography, Stories

Artful Blogging Feature

Hello! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Today, I wanted to share the news that the new Artful Blogging is out and my blog is featured within its beautiful pages! I’m overjoyed and very humbled. I’ve loved this magazine for years and this past January I declared to the universe that  – “One day, I will be in this publication!” It sounded so bold then and I hardly believed it but today I am so very proud to be listed among the amazing blogs in this issue. It’s an extra fabulous bonus that Claire’s portrait made it to the front cover!

artful blogging 2013

artful blogging2

As soon as I heard the magazine was out we ran over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy. It is a total trip to open a magazine and see your work inside. It is especially wonderful to see the portraits I took of my children!

artful blogging3

artful blogging5

This issue is brimming with beautiful blogs and gorgeous images. Check out these lovely blogs that caught my eye…

The Simple Life

Two Tarts

Timewashed

Now go out and get yourself a copy or you can order one here. Make a cup of tea and enjoy all the beauty within!

xo,

Ivy

11 Comments

Filed under magazine features, News, photography

Home again

Hi dear readers! Yes, I am home from beautiful Sydney and I’m still trying to take it all in. It is always a bit surreal when one day you are in another country and the next you are in your own bed. Always trips me out a bit. We actually got home a week ago but my family stayed on to celebrate Grace’s 7th birthday…so…this is my first chance to sit down and post.

I have dozens of photos and I promise not to unload them all at once but I thought today I would just share some of my favorite Instagram shots from the first day of our adventure.

sydney 1 text

We landed at 6:07 am. Bright and early!  After enduring all the fuss of customs and luggage wrangling, we jumped into a cab and headed to the Four Seasons Hotel. Even though I was exhausted, my heart was beating fast with excitement! I was actually here. The view from our room brought me to tears. Of joy.

sydney polaroid 3

Like good little travelers, we resisted the urge to stay in our room and sleep and instead went for a brisk walk in The Rocks district, discovered a sweet cafe, downed a few coffees and a tasty breakfast.

sydney polaroid 1

sydney polaroid 2

The feeling of being back in Sydney was rather indescribable. Surreal, bizarre, overwhelming, exhilarating. I was overcome with gratitude that somehow, in a matter of a few days, my dream of returning to my birth city had been actualized. I was in Sydney, with my beloved husband, staying at a beautiful hotel and only hours away from seeing my childhood friends. To quote my dear Aussie friend Jo – “I was completely spun out!

After a very short nap, we got up showered and felt somewhat human again. We had to seriously rally because we were off to the Opera Bar for sunset drinks with my mates!

sydney polaroid 4

The Opera bar was swarming with people, all taking in the gorgeous view, the warm sun and of course the lovely drinks. I scanned the hundreds of people looking for familiar faces. The butterflies in my stomach raged and my trembling hands were doing their best to steady a glass of white wine. I was nervous and excited at the same time. What would it be like to see these girls after 19 years!?

Just when I thought that perhaps we arrived before them, two hands fell on my shoulders and spun me around. In front of me was two of my girls. Claire and Natalie. We screeched, laughed and embraced in one hysterical mess. I’m sure we looked crazy but we didn’t care. Before I knew it, another two friends arrived with bottles of bubbles, warm hugs and endless giggles. While the champagne flowed, we caught up with one another like no time had passed at all.

sydney polaroid 5

The night unfolded beautifully! We ended up at a sushi place where we were joined by another friend. Chris celebrated his birthday there – the actual day had been lost in time when we crossed the date line!

sydney polaroid 6

After that we meandered the Rocks, linking arms, sharing stories old and new and laughing about high school memories. My heart was flooded with happiness.  It felt good to be home.

Sydney polaroid 7

Okay more to come – I will break it up a bit so I don’t bore you to tears – I promise.

What have you been up to while I was away? Anyone else travel or start a new Spring project? Do tell.

xo,

Ivy

6 Comments

Filed under News, photography, Stories, Travel

Hello, Sydney.

il_570xN.295996781{artwork via here}

Hi there my lovely readers!

Well, I have some exciting news to share with you today – we are leaving for Sydney, Australia on Thursday – yes, as in two days from now!! A last minute opportunity landed in our laps yesterday, when one of my hubby’s clients invited him to an executive retreat in Sydney. Well…as many of you know, that is my birthplace and there was NO way in hell that I wasn’t going with him. So we scrambled and made arrangements for my parents to fly in and take care of the girls! I’m in total shock!

I’ve gotten in touch with several of my childhood friends, so I hope to meet up with them and catch up! I haven’t been back since we left in 1994!! I was in the 11th grade. It was so hard to leave all my friends but at the time we kinda idolized America and I had fanciful notions of becoming a cheerleader, dating a quarterback and going to Prom! ha! Things didn’t quite pan out like that…

Anyway, I have always wanted to go back and visit so I feel incredibly grateful for this chance! I will be taking tons of photos and hope to post a bit while I’m there!

See you when I return from the land Down-Under…

xo,

Ivy

8 Comments

Filed under Etsy, News, Travel

Blog Design Mood board

Hi friends. How is your day going? So far so good over here. I’ve already done my homework for my Blog boss e-course, which I’m excited to share with you. We were assigned to make a dream blog design mood board. I started it yesterday and could not stop till it was done. I’m so excited to be actively  re-designing the blog and finally making the transition over to a WordPress.org. Don’t worry, I will let you know when it happens so we don’t lose track of each other. It’s time for Gracy & Ivy to graduate to a new level. So here’s my mood board…

Dream blog mood board

Let me know your thoughts. Nothing is set in stone at the moment and I may even make another board to play around with some more ideas and different colors.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

xo,

Ivy

17 Comments

Filed under Blog Boss, mood boards, News, photography, Thoughts