it's that time of year again, at least for me, when changes happen which include a need to go through the closet. however, this time there was a need for a more drastic go-through. this can be difficult. i must say, i took a deep breath and tried not to think too much about it. getting rid of clothing and accessories can be tricky. a. you become attached to certain pieces (like your favorite black cardigan that now looks kind of coal) and b. there is always that little voice in your head murmuring how you might need this after you'll have tossed it. well, i shut the voice up, took a deep breath (as said before) and got rid of everything i hadn't worn in over a year. i read it somewhere, and it turns out it is a brilliant tip.
here is what i kept:
classic pieces which hadn't faded under the course of time,
work-out clothing (i didn't have much to begin with)
my vintage pieces
anything silk, cashmere (or any other luxurious fabric type)

nonetheless, there are also items which you just love, and all they may really, truly need is a tiny little fix that will give them new life. this is when your crafty side can come in handy.
Upcycling buttons with beads
i've had this beige cardi for countless years, and it still looks like i bought it yesterday, and goes splendidly with so many outfits. well, the buttons were starting to give in as they were looking pretty faded too. all it took was a few pretty, glass beads. not to mention that the splash of color really made a difference.
Upcycling with trimming
if an item is layered, and one of the layers is slowly giving in, before you toss it consider if one can be removed and what you can do with the remaining piece. i took the thinly knit top layer off of this spaggeti string blouse and added some trimming on the bottom and on the straps. it looks like a whole new shirt. additionally happy point: the bottom layer (now new shirt) was in a more superb condition than i ever thought.
{click on for more tips}

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it is a bit embarassing to think how long it took me to do this, but this summer i gathered a few friends and took everyone to the cloisters. it was a first for all of us. it is often the case when you are somewhere, there is a place you want to visit so much and yet for some reason life keeps getting in the way and you end up constantly postponing. this time i stepped my foot down and it was the best decision. i already knew that of course, but still.
when you get there you walk through a park in order to reach the museum. the view is captivating. the water is at your feet separating you from the other side as you walk underneath tall trees with wide leaves. make sure you go on a day with a lovely breeze because the air is scented with lavender and thyme. the cloisters are also famous for their gardens. they plant wonderful things and maintain a beautiful landscape that of course goes so well with the medieval atmosphere. 
as soon as you reach the old french monastery, you are enwrapped in an atmosphere of history and art.
The Cloisters Museum
the visit begins with walking through the chapels. they have been designed in a way which seems stripped; the very fact that reminds you that you are in an exhibition space as much as an old sacred space. 
Medieval Stained Glass Window 15th Century
there is a wonderful collection of stained (painted) glass and windows spread out around all of the complex.
soon, you reach the luciously planted, peristyle courtyard. this is a wonderful break before moving on to the rest of the rich collection. the courtyard itself holds many treasures as well. one that held my attention a little longer was a large candle holder.  
Iron Candle Holder
another design aspect of medieval art and architecture which fascinates me is the use of animal and human forms in decorative sculpture. every one had a meaning and intention. the most interesting to me are green men, a mysterious sculptural element of either foliage turning into man form, or human faced oozing flora. there is not much bibliography on the subject, and it lacks the rich references such as bestiaries which makes them all the more fascinating...
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until the time came to actually put an effort in designing a resume, be it for my academic pursuits or professional ones, i had not realized that most of my volunteer work had evolved around sales and fund raising. it really hit me this year while volunteering for a local festival. naturally, i got down to thinking what the main things i have learned from all of these experiences were and how they can help not only others but our every day life in general.
National Museum of Ireland Entryway
* gratitude.
remember how our parents would teach us "always say please and thank you" when we were wee? well, there is nothing quite like showing your gratitude to those taking part in the fund raiser you work for. do not neglect to consider the occassion or event and design the most sweet yet professional way to show your donors your appreciation no matter how large or small.
saying "thank you" makes you more human, more approachable, and those helping you will feel more welcome and appreciated. is there anything better than making someone feel nice?

* organization, organization, organization
many people, for one event, on many different aspects of it - things are bound to get tricky and complicated. ideally, you can try to organize groups based on functions and each person's talents. for example, dividing people into groups of functions could mean one group for anything that has to do with food and drink, one group for communication and another for sales and events. by dividing things into smaller functions solutions and preparations can take less time and communication can be made a little easier.
by observing functions like these, you learn a lot about how companies are often run. also, non-for-profit experience is very different so here you get quite a taste.

* communication is key.
i mentioned before, communicating can get tricky, and it is inherently linked to organization. but what happens with communication with people outside the event organization?
experiences with fund raising can teach you a whole lot about various aspects of it. from the decision on a date and designing the invitations, to the aesthetics of the entire event and personal communication with invitees.
while marketing has become unecessarily stigmatized as a term, there is a lot to learn from non profit promotion.

putting yourself aside.
one of the biggest things i was taught from these experiences is that when you have a dedicated cause it helps motivate your work. when the time comes to handle tricky situations, be it an ill intended visitor, or an order which didn't arrive on time, this cause is what you use to keep going. i find it also helps to observe those above you especially someone you admire a little more, how they handle people and situations and learn from them. in other words, if just the cause isn't helping, look at it as a good chance for first-hand learning from others and from yourself by observation.

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happy monday y'all! i thought you might enjoy a little something design this morning.
just last night, while doing my five minute feed-check on pinterest (i have a program now so it doesn't get out of hand) i came across the coolest, most awesomest project by an illustrator named james gulliver hancock. james is an australian, as his profile states, who now is based in brooklyn, and runs a website titled "all the buildings in new york".
this fantabulous website is exactly what the title implies; namely, it hosts the beautiful, and impressively detailed illustrations of buildings in new york done by the artist. you can also search the website, as it is ultra organized, by building type, and also by area and neighborhood, which makes it all the more approachable. looking for your favorite ones instantly becomes a game. there is also a tab labeled "map" where you can see the buildings as pin points on the map of new york.
though much motivation to go about discovering the city isn't really needed, this blog will definitely get you all excited...or in the least the mini design geek within you.

his online portfolio
the buildings website from where the image is borrowed
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hello everyone, and happy friday night.
you didn't think i'd leave you without our weekend link fun did you?
before anything else, and after welcoming you yet again, to my newly designed blog (i am so excited about this), i would like to wish you all a very....
Friday postcard
next week, i have saved an interesting topic to speak with you about. hint: it concerns working for fundraising. i'll also share some artsy things with you that i have been saving for a while.
until then...

*there is a remarkably expensive chocolate that looks as good as a painting. in fact, it is decorated with edible crayons and paint.

* if you are not a big fruit person like i, but really need to add more to your diet. if also, you are a sweets person, but need to find healthier alterantives to satisfy that need, you will really like these fruit leathers!

* do you know "the snail" by matisse? it is a beautiful, vibrant painting full of movement. here is a tile project in a home inspired by this painting. the result is beautiful.

* astoria has a lovely, and truly french café and restaurant that i seriously advise you to visit if you're around. i guarantee a delicious experience. so far, i have been there twice.

* for those of you with an extra interest in art. i have been flirting with these informational podcasts.

* my brother brought the coolest thing to the pad today - chocolate mint. it is an actual plant, and it smells as scrumptious as it sounds. here is how you grow it (super easy).

happy, happy weekend to all and i look forward to next week with you all!

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it has been very, very warm these days in new york, which calls for large amounts of sorbets and my favorite minty lemonade
Mint Lemonade
the ingredients are simple:
mint leaves
sugar to taste
making it takes about 5 minutes, maybe less if you're stronger
{click on for the rest of the recipe}
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hello everyone, and happy new week!
i can't believe it is august already. summer is really flying by me this year, but i suppose that is the case when there are many things happening at once. one of these things are probably something you have already noticed; our appearance changed!
my fabulous, programmer, brother and i had been working on the redesigning of the blog for quite a while, and just this saturday he got to publishing it. there are some few minor details that are still being worked out, but i am so excited. i hope you all enjoy it as much as i am.
It's still Summer Sketch
staying on the subject of august, save the dates for the 9th which is national book lovers day. we are huge book lovers here aren't we?
also, save the 10th which is national s'mores day 9as if i needed an excuse)! um... yum! for those of us who can't build a bonfire, i am not ashamed to admit i will be using my stove top.

for those of you who may have been thinking of going to the movies (it's an august thing for me - odd i know) this sweet and funny film is coming out, and if you are up for something less comedy but equally touching, you might like this one.

we mentioned summer, and our love for books, which also include children's books; so for all of you who have grown up with madeline, you will be happy to know that the new york historical society all through august until mid october will be hosting an exhibition about madeline and her creator. i was surprisingly late to hear about this, but will definitely be going soon!
 xoxo everyone. it is good to be back!
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