blog

  • changes.

    Hey there. So, yeah, it's been a minute. I'm starting to get my act together. Sorta. The biggest change around here is that I started drawing again. Turns out, the peoples seem to like it. I'll be selling my new birch rounds (and prints!) at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. If you're local, you can RSVP here. There will be a whole bunch of awesomeness. After the fair, I plan to open an online shop. I know some of my virtual friends have been asking, and I thank you for your patience. This is all long overdue, but I'm getting there.

    You can follow my progress on Instagram. You can also view more of my birch rounds in my portfolio.

  • samuel turned two.

    He's two! Man, it's true that they grow up fast. Those grownups weren't lying. I didn't think Laura and I were going to be able to top last year, but what you are about to see is sweet, sweet victory. I am so pleased with how this party turned out. It's adorable, fun and has the greatest pops of color. Laura's home has the perfect, neutral palette to really let the decor shine.

    These hats were really fun to make. We used this template again from Oh Happy Day and I just randomly hand-cut the spikes for a little extra fun.

    Aren't you just dying over how cute these dinosaurs look in handmade party hats? I am.

    Laura glued plastic dinosaurs to the top of baby food jars and spray painted them in orange, teal and lime to match the party. We filled them with "dinosaur eggs" and each guest took one home along with a bag of dinosaur cookies. Adorable and yummy, a great combination.

    I love the way my dino illustrations look cutout. They brought the party to this mantle for sure.

    I have to be honest, I really had no idea that those "prehistoric rocks" were edible. Laura's Mom started to eat some and I instantly freaked out that she was going to choke. Turns out, they're chocolate. Hilarious.

    The cake was made at a local bakery to match the invite I designed. And those adorable dinosaur cookies were made by Laura and her mom. They are becoming cookie decorating professionals.

    I think what really made the party extra special this year was Samuel. He understood what was happening more than last year and was so excited when he entered the room. He kept saying, "I got ba-woons" and "I feed T-Rex". It melted my heart.

    So, what do you think? You want to have a dinosaur party now, don't you? I thought so.

  • dinosaurs like to party.

    These dinosaurs are ready to party. Next Saturday, my friend Laura's son, Samuel, will turn 2. We are celebrating in style. This is just a taste of how cool this party is going to be. Last year, we decked out his first birthday with an adorable woodland theme. I have to be honest, I didn't think we could top it, but how freakin' cute are these dinosaurs in hats? The answer is VERY. I had so much fun creating the T-Rex illustration and the invites (top image).

    Get excited. This party is going to be awesome. I'll share the entire party next week. Yay!

  • on turning 30.

    So, it happened. I entered my 30s this past Friday. The truth is that I'm OK with it. When I turned 29, I had a moment of panic. How could it be possible that my next birthday would be my 30th? As if I were timeless or something. However, as the year progressed, I became more and more comfortable with with the idea. I mean, it's not like I have a choice, right? We all age. Obviously. I would take this age over being 20 any day. The amount of insecurities I felt at that time were ridiculous. It's not as if all of a sudden I have none, but everyday, I feel more and more confident in the person I am. It's nice. Bring it on 30. I'm ready for you. I truly believe it's only going to get better.

    Black & white image found here. Design by me.

  • make this. drink this. no. 1.

    Hello, you. I decided to start a new column. It's called "make this". Yay.

    The details are simple. I'm not a chef and barely even a cook, but I have a new found love for being in the kitchen and decided if I found/created a recipe I like, than certainly you can make it, too.

    Today's recipe is majorly basic and I'm probably late to the party, but are you putting cardamom in your coffee? No!? Well, tomorrow morning, do yourself a favor and try it. I'm addicted. You'll have to use some trial and error to figure out how much you like, but for myself, I found that the more I use the better it tastes.

    There is a legit recommendation of how much to use here.

    Happy drinking!

  • hello, 2013.

    It seems I'm late to the party. Everyone was posting their reflections and resolutions yesterday. But hey, I've always preferred to be fashionable.

    So, let's get down to business, shall we? Here are some goals (in no particular order):

    1. Coffee. Write. A Page a day. Get dressed. I suppose some explanation is required here. Basically, I need more structure. Now that I am only working (in an office) a few times a week, I often have trouble getting the day started. So, this is my new plan... I will write every morning. First thing. The idea is simply to write whatever comes to mind. Next, I will do my #apageaday2013 "drawing". I will fill one page (of this gorgeous notebook) with a drawing, pattern, doodle, whatever. I just want to spend some quality pen-to-paper time and step away from the computer. Lastly, get dressed. This is obvious, but I say it because I often spend the day in my PJs. Sometimes, I change into daytime PJs (which turn into nighttime PJs) and I want to stop doing so. I think the simple act of getting dressed will help get my day started.

    (Note: You can follow my #apageaday2013 journey on instagram here.)

    2. Replace bedtime TV with reading. I already started! I'm currently reading this and so far so good.

    3. Blog. Last year, I started worrying too much about blogging everyday and having a specific schedule. Well, that clearly didn't work out. This year, I simply want to care about the content. Quality over quantity.

    4. Put myself out there. I quit my job in 2012 and I need to continue to build my freelance clients. Part of the reason I love Detroit so much is that if you want to be a part of something, you can be a part of it. There's no "it list". I want to become a bigger part of this community and collaborate and create.

    5. Finish my online portfolio. Because frankly, it's quite ridiculous that it's not done already.

    6. Open my Etsy shop. I have ideas people and in 2013, they will be brought to life. I also want to be a part of this. I can do it!

    7. Cook and bake. I started doing this quite a bit (for me anyway) at the end of last year. I want to continue to learn and try new things. I also want to share this new found love with friends and family. I'm starting this weekend with my first official dinner party.

    8. Start a record collection. Simply because I've always wanted to and because it's more romantic to listen to records.

    But really, I just plan to take it day by day and try not to be so hard on myself if each one isn't perfect.

    Hello, 2013.

  • the heidelberg project.

    The Heidelberg Project is a hidden gem in Detroit. Well, it's not exactly hidden, but it's definitely off the beaten path. A few weeks back, my friend had a visitor from Greece/Germany who wanted to see it. I was more than happy to take him. I have been a handful of times, but it had been years since my last visit. It's always nice to rediscover something in your own city.

    You can read all about what The Heidelberg Project is here and if you ever visit Detroit, make sure you pay it a visit. There's nothing else quite like it.

  • photos and cards and such.

    A few weeks back, Amanda Jane Jones emailed me and asked if I could be a part of a photo shoot. I said yes for multiple reasons, but mainly because I was excited to finally meet her in real life (!). Folks, let me tell you, she's a doll.

    She is teaming up with MammothBooth and Dose Market on November 11th for a Holiday Card Pop-Up shop. If you're in Chicago, you should go!

    These are some outtakes that made me smile. I asked my buddy Gordon to come and be my "plus 1" for the evening. He's a trooper.

    For more information on the event and to see more (adorable) card designs, visit Amanda's blog here.

  • brooklyn to detroit. the end.

    That's it. It's over. Me sad. My flight left in the afternoon, but I didn't really do anything besides drink coffee, walk Sarah to the subway and pack. If it isn't clear by now, this trip was for serious amazing. I'm still inspired. I'm sad it's over, but it's exactly what I needed. I plan to pay attention to the details and do something. Make something. Be proud of myself.

    I did make one last stop at The Brooklyn Kitchen for a special present. They had this sign by the register and it made me smile...

    It's a perfect ending. It really represents how I feel after this trip.

    On a serious note, my heart goes out to all that were effected by Sandy. Stay strong, my friends.

    The end.

    xo - Melissa.

  • detroit to brooklyn. day 6.

    Day 6. My last full day. Sigh... Today, I walked and walked and then walked some more. I pretty much had to fly solo for most of the day, but I was OK with that.

    My first stop was Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop. Holy cow. HOLY cow. Red velvet magic. I wanted one of each. So, so good.

    I took the subway to Bryant Park to stop at Kinokuniya. Oh man, I wanted to buy so many things. After this, I just walked and shopped and ate yummy things. It was nice to just wander and pop into stores when I saw something interesting. I ate too many desserts and drank too much coffee. It was brilliant.

    I ended up at ABC Carpet & Home. And man, can I have all of the things? Or, can I just move in? That store is wonderful. So, so glad I remembered to stop by.

    When Sarah got off work, we met up at Num Pang. Do yourself a favor and go there. Now. Also, can I come? Seriously yummy stuff. I had some amazing corn on the cob, too. Anywhere that has sriracha on the table wins my heart.

    Sarah and I went home after this to chill and watch TV. It was the perfect ending to my day. I know that might seem lame since I was on vacation, but I never get to just sit and watch TV with my best gal.

    Did I mention I walked a lot?