7.25.2014

6 THINGS TO LOVE (ABOUT) THIS WEEKEND

happy friday morning, and almost weekend to all.
i am sitting on a bench in central park waiting for tge tours to start at the museum, wearing for the first time in a long time, a bright orange dress. whoever said that a dress can change how you feel was correct. there are other things that have resulted to a feeling of cheeriness this morning (including, the cool breeze), but this bright color certainly helps.
so if any kf you, like i, have been contemplating but not daring it, put on that bright piece and march yourself out to what i wish will be a spectacular weekend for you.

* here is a mesmerizing garden in paris inspired by the aesthetics of southern france that will mind-travel you.

* lush created this phenomenally blue looking soap with seaweed and lime to help raise awareness for ocean preservation. so basically, you get to do two goods, one to your skin and one to the environment.

* something very true, that we should always keep in mind.

* there is a greek festival in astoria till sunday, and we are on facebook! if you are in town pay me a visit (i'm one of the volunteers)

* a beautiful sea shell print for your pad that will make you want to go to the beach (although that is not something one would necessarily need too much inspiration for right?)

* also, here are 10 fabulous, free fonts!

i wish you all a fabulous weekend, and look forward to talking with you again next week!

xoxo

7.23.2014

THE NATURE ELEMENT

have you ever wondered how much we actually try to surround ourselves with nature?
practically everything around us has at least some inspiration from it, whether it is in the proportions of the design in a building or the leaf pattern on your mug.
nature in decorative arts has long been a fascination of mine. i found it striking to look through history and map how mankind integrated it into everyday life. from the ancient minoans, to classical athens, and from intimidating gothic to simplistic modernism.

nature has been used as a reference to the ideal and later on, during romanticism, as a reference to the high and virtuous. putting it in any kind of design and art would instantly implement all those values and concepts that go along with the impression of a higher cause. in simpler terms, natural references made something "better".
anyone even remotely familiar with gothic architecture, especially ecclesiastic, can recall seeing numerous patterns of foliage, existing or imagined, as well as human and animal forms also natural and super-natural. it is an entire vast field of its own, the one dedicated to studying, cataloging and explaining all of these patterns and their often times, mysterious meanings. it is fascinating to wonder how nature was used, and re-interpreted to convey messages to people of various backgrounds as well as their role in glorifying faith.
in modernism, there was a magnificent turn to praising nature, and even more so alongside technological advances. with the wide spreading of glass, steel and concrete, it became of importance to maintain a relationship with the environmental surroundings. le corbusier had firm beliefs in integrating nature to improve the health of residents, but also creating structures that elevated the building to the status of a well functioning mechanism. nature now became framed. it became the masterpiece of your interior.

these tendencies through art and design history are enriched even more when one considers the innate search for a connection to the natural environment. as cliche as it may sound, man does come from nature, and this more than anything else is what draws him, and ties him to it. it is not random, that how long we spend outdoors has a direct effect on our mental and physical health, as many research studies can show you.

moreover, it has become rather compelling to consider what our relationship to nature is today, and how we seek to integrate it into the visual part of our lives. as interesting as it is to seek and explain what the connection to flora and fauna was in the past through art, what it meant, and what differences it shows in life, culture and society through time; it is equally interesting to look for the similarities and truly wonder whether we have actually changed so much, and where.

do you like adding natural references to your decor? what floral patterns do you find yourself most drawn to?

xoxo

7.20.2014

BEACHY WAVES

in new york, summers tend to be particularly humid which means trouble in the frizz zone. if you have curly hair i am certain you can resonate with me. 
well, after a bunch of research, having tried numerous projects, and this habit of switching as many products to natural ones, i decided to give in and actually try a salt spray. i remembered how much i loved my hair after long hours at the beaches of those summers in greece, and that lavender is good for curly hair. so here i will share the final product i made after trying a couple of versions, and am happy with.
Salt water lavender spray bottle
you will need some lavender essential oil 
and the following ingredients:
What to use
a dark glass bottle (some people use plastic but it doesn't always react well with essential oils), 
some lavender and rosemary leaves, a teaspoon of grape seed oil (almond oil can work too)
a teaspoon of aloe (fresh is even better), a cup of water and a tablespoon of sea salt.
Sea Salt
in a little saucepan bring to a boil the water, salt, and dry leaves. this will create a salty, tea-like mix.
as soon as it cools a bit, mix in the aloe and about 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil. you can find that online or at whole foods.
finally, pour it in your bottle, and decorate it with tiny seashells if you wish.
Salt water lavender spray ready
if you are curious to see the results on my hair, feel free to click through.

7.18.2014

6 THINGS TO LOVE (ABOUT) THIS WEEKEND*

bonjour or bonsoir, depending on where you are, and happy friday!
how was your week?
for me it has been surely an interesting time, running around as we prepare for holiday catalogues, make new acquaintances, attend development seminars, and rigorously pursue new professional and academic routes. changes sometimes, though they add a bit more running around and effort to your schedule, can be great and leave a feeling of potential in the air.
anyhow, i would like to wish you all a lovely and sweet weekend. i would also like to thank you for bearing with me through this time, as my posts have become somewhat less programmed - you make this community come to life and that is something which can never be forgotten. it is the best feeling to get emails and comments, and i love responding to each and every one!

* this person creates photos of unexpected type and it is incredibly creative!

* this blogger did a witty six-part project on how to be your awesome self!

* thomas eakins took a picture of two pupils in grecian dress and it is as romantic as it sounds.

* i am currently flirting with this italian blog and this summery tutorial in particular. p.s. yes, i am also using it to practice my italian.

* this made me laugh. in fact, it does so every time i look at it again.

* i want this. period. only the most adorable swimsuit ever right?

have a spectacular weekend everyone, and see you next week!

xoxo

7.17.2014

NOT YOUR USUAL SUMMER READ

summer is a fantastic time to indulge in some reading. the day is longer and thus more full with activities and also opportunities to hide away in between some well written pages. when in uni, it usually meant catching up with bibliography that didn't get fully covered in the semester, but as boring as this may sound, it wasn't! there were subjects that we'd want to cover and read about but there just wasn't time, so summer was the best excuse. one such book, which i re-read one past summer was the "history of beauty" by one of my favorites... umberto eco. we've mentioned him again on this blog (only because he's so darn fantastic).
sure, this was excellent reference material. it provides a good walk-through of basic historical periods and their ideals of the concept of beauty. it discusses and makes you think about why this and not another standard, what is beautiful, and if ugly just another form of it. through this book you can get an initial (or even deeper) understanding and most importantly questioning, of what standards and ideas led to what ideals of beauty. you will notice details perhaps overlooked before, references to things expected such as the idealistic nature, or things unexpected, like the beauty in decay and morbid.

the author is a philosopher as well, so this questioning makes sense. his writing style is both academic yet at the same time exciting and engaging. it is written entirely in a way that will make you feel like you're on an adventure to understand some of the spiciest bits of history. additionally, it has a pretty rich collection of references in itself, quotes, excerpts and so on.

however, perhaps because it is written the way it is, because the subject is so controversial (after all will we ever know what beauty means?), and certainly because it takes you on a mental trip through various lands in different times, it is a fun read for the summer. it will cover that sense of wanderlust so intricately intertwined with warm weather and long days of sunshine. it will also cover a good bit of that giddy feeling you get when you learn bits of history that weren't in school books, and are a bit gossip-y. if there is one type of gossip i find even remotely interesting, it is the one that peeks into the lives of amazing people of periods i'll never live in.

quite a while ago, and well after this book came out, he published another one, "on ugliness". it has been on my radar for too long, but i will leave you with a review of this one for now.

what is on your summer reading radar? do you like to read outdoors?

xoxo

7.14.2014

WHITE BEAUTY

it has been such a long time that i have been on a quest for the perfect baroque-ish or victorian frame. i'd been wanting to create a small mirror and paint the frame in one color - white. just a few weeks ago, one such period frame fell into my hands, but it looked far from perfect. in fact, i was quite certain that it would not do at all. it may have been the very akward needlepoint in it, or the darkened details, and it was definitely the fact that the varnish was plastered (yes you read right). i knew it would be a pain to remove the varnish in order to be able to even begin to paint it, with all the dust it was to produce.
nonetheless, the frame came out wonderful, and with this post i wanted to share the steps and my adventures in refurbishing the questionable victorian frame.
Let dry and let's see what's next
by this point you may be curious what it looked like.
I got a frame
before anything, the object needs cleaning. at least mine did, and i dread to think where it may have been laying till it fell into my hands. after that let it dry of any windex and begin to take it apart.
first peel off the back paper (if any), 
Nails can be tricky
then begin to loosen the nails. depending on how old your frame is it may be fastened with staples in the back. you can do this with a flat screw driver, like in the picture.
save the paper so you can order, or look for a mirror, or even use it to measure a corck board and turn the frame into a pin board.
by the end of this it should look like this:
The naked frame
then, with fine sandpaper begin to slowly and gradually remove old varnish and paint. little corners will be tricky, if you have a tool gret, if not, cut the sandpaper into smaller squares and use edges to reach all the little corners. ocassionally stop to clear out dust, clogging will only delay the process.
you'll know when you're done, because it will already look so much better. afterwards you are ready to paint.
After scrubbing, begin to paint
i used acrylic because it is my favorite type of paint on small, scrubbed, wooden surfaces. feel free to use special wood paint. begin with very thin layers and do not dilute with water. i emphasize thin layers of paint because decorated frames as such tend to clog in the ornate corners.
Thin layers and careful with corners
 let the paint dry well in between re-paints so that you can be sure to get the most smooth and homogenous final color.
Apply another coat
in the very end, and after it has dried well, you can top it with a varnish. i personally do not like traditional varnishes, they are heavy, toxic and tend to discolor in due course. instead, water based matte ones are nice, will give a cleaner look and are reversible if you ever change your mind.

now, all we have to do is go out and get our mirrors!
i hope you enjoyed this week's upcycling project as much as i did. regardless of scrubbing and dust cleaning, it was entirely satisfactory to see the clean, white result!

side note: these larger projects are usually done a few months prior. this let's me test things and materials so i am certain what works best and what should be recommended.

xoxo

7.10.2014

6 THINGS TO LOVE (ABOUT) THIS WEEKEND*

happy almost weekend to everyone!
i am particularly cheery today, after a long tumultuous week, for it finally feels like changes are happening, the kind that make you nervous in a good way, and because friends long missed will be seen and hugged. it is the best thing catching up with people you miss.
anyhow, before i say anything else, i would like to wish you all a marvellous weekend full of the sweetest experiences!

this poster must be mine. this mug must also become mine. have you ever watched "gilmore girls"?

* this was the sweetest, and easiest diy i ever encountered - and your succulents will probably adore it as much as you.

* summer's favorite and ultimately versatile staple, and a million different ways to wear it. chanel dawned it, picasso loved it, and so do i :)

* the new york times went on a very serious escapade, in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie which is deliciously witty.

* love is telepathic. sometimes, little pieces of wisdom is found on the most uncanny spots in the city. this was in the east village, on the curb of a sidewalk.

* if you're in ny or planning to visit, this little museum is a gem worth a visit before hitting one of many great eating spots in the upper west side.

next week i saved a chic, summery diy from a recent antiquing adventure that i am sure you'll entertain, along with some other material, so be certain to tune back. till then, cheers to the lovely summer weather, the beautiful sun, and fabulous breezes that save us from the otherwise scorching heat!


xoxo