Tuesday, March 29, 2011

gathered: heaps of hearts

I've been working on putting together a column for gathered heart featuring lots of lovely things from around the web. As I was working on this particular post, I thought, what better title for this column than "gathered"? And of course, what better item to gather for my first post than hearts?

I've honestly never been a big fan of hearts. They generally seem too cutesy, girly, or overly Valentines Day-ish. I was very hesitant to name my blog after the shape. Lately, however, I've found myself drawn to them more and more -- specifically the non-pink kind. Perhaps it has something to do with being a newlywed... but here are a few of the heart-items that have stolen my own heart:

1. The dappled light shining through this simple garland from Oh So Crafty is oh so pretty.  2. I've been in love with these heirloom-quality heart measuring spoons from Beehive Kitchenware for over a year now, but I just can't bring myself to spend $44 on spoons!  3. My friend Abby can bake up a storm. And I want one of her super cute butter cookies asap.

Have you heard of the England-based company Bombus? They're doing great things with decoupage, vintage maps, and shadow boxes. I love the colors in this particular heart, and if you're feeling crafty, it would be a simple and fun DIY project.

1. The paper-cut details of Famille Summerbelle's Love Bug print are wonderfully graphic, especially that open leaf pattern.  2. This teeny heart pendant by Mon Cadeau is so delicate and pretty.  3. West Elm will donate a portion of all profits from their papier-mache hearts to the Hand/Eye Haiti Relief fund. 

1. Gigantic heart-shaped chalkboard from Urban Outfitters.  2. This paper heart- and moss-filled Gnome Home from Samantha Lamb has the feel of a terrarium without living plants (perfect for those of us with black thumbs.)  3. Share the love with one of these heart notecards from Hocus.

I realize I haven't written anything about the ongoing tsunami crisis in Japan, but my heart and prayers go out to those who are suffering and in need. I think it is amazing that so many artists and creatives have donated their time and talents to help, like This Paper Ship. 90% of the sales from their Cherry Blossom Heart print will be donated to the Red Cross's disaster effort in Japan. A beautiful print for a beautiful cause. Or, if you'd like, you can donate directly to the Red Cross here

1. I know this image made its way through the blogs this Valentines day, but these tiny heart cookies from Brooklyn Bride via Oh Happy Day are just too adorable not to repost!  2. The same goes for these DIY valentine pins from the Purl Bee - I love the hand-stitched detail. 

And there you have it, the first edition of gathered. I hope you've enjoyed it -- let me know what you think, or if you'd like to see anything featured in the future!

Monday, March 28, 2011

love and some verses

Just a quick update to say I DID IT!

Nine inches, six years of hair... gone. It's been interesting trying to adjust to less shampoo, less blow-drying, and using a flat iron for the first time in my life. I go back and fourth between loving and hating it (but I mostly love it.) I'm so glad I didn't wuss out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chop Shop

To welcome the warming weather, I've decided that I'm going to chop off all of my hair. Tomorrow.

(all images via IMDb because, let's face it, google-searching female celebs can get awkward in the workplace) 

Right now I'm leaning toward the bottom row styles (which, yes, includes Anne Hathaway twice. She's just so classy). The short, wavy style looks so effortlessly polished. I've been trying to grow out my bangs, but my opinion wavers between wanting them and wanting them gone. I still can't decide if I like the top row bang-sporting styles.

My college roommate, Keitha, used to take a pair of scissors to her hair whenever she was bored. I, on the other hand, have had slight variations of the same hairstyle for about, oh... 6 years now. It has always been parted to the left, hanging several inches past my shoulders with bangs of some sort. I'd say it's about time for a change. I've actually been thinking about cutting my hair for seven months. Daydreams of lightweight summery hair have finally given me the courage.  And let's not forget about the pretty hair accessories in the world right now:

1. Poppy hair pins from Much love Illy 2. Woodland Belle's wonderful tiny twig hair pins  3. MASSIVE hair rose from Trey & Lucy via Oh Hello Friend

Thoughts? Words of encouragement so I don't chicken out? It'll grow back, right?

Monday, March 21, 2011

She Sings of Spring

The sun is shining warm and golden, the air smells like damp earth, daffodils that I didn't know about are poking up in our yard -- it is officially Spring! Granted, the weather forecast for this week includes snow and the Michigan grass is still sad and brown, but I'm hoping it will be the last major frost of the season. Winter can be magical, but there's nothing quite like the renewal that Springtime brings. It makes me feel like anything is possible.

Are you familiar with the photography of Samantha Lamb? I came across her photos my sophomore year of college and have been in love with her work ever since. I've been reading her blog lately, where she writes about her artwork and her life at Early Bird Acres, an Oklahoma farm she recently moved to. She drives an old, lovely, chipped white chevy and bakes pies with heart-cut crusts on a daily basis. Her life is a "perpetual picnic" and she captures all the details with her camera. I'm so envious of it all!

Everything about the above photo sings of Spring to me -- sweet, soft grass and budding flowers, reading outside in the afternoon sun, bare feet, picnics with Christopher, wandering through state parks. I also realize how desperately my house needs a soft, worn honeycomb quilt! I may just enlist the help of my dear friend Sharon and make one of my own... my Springtime to-do list is stacking up quickly. Happy Spring everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

animal head vintage

I love etsy, but honestly, what creative with an internet connection doesn't? Today I found this wonderful vintage clothing shop, Animal Heads Vintage, through a few clicks on Oh Happy Day. The shop owner, Rebecca, runs the store out of her tiny SF apartment, and was recently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings. I can't get over how cute it is!

I'm not sure what I love about her shop more, the clothes or the artistic direction behind the photographs. All of her models wear paper-mache animal masks she bought on her honeymoon in Italy. A few of my favorites...

Clockwise from top left: 1. This 50s Black Party Dress reminds me of my roommate from college 2. Eventhough Spring is three days away, nothing is classier than a Cream Wool Coat   3. The eyelet detail on the 1960s Peach Lace Dress is amazing. So pretty and feminine.

I'm not usually fond of asymmetrical shoulders, but this Strapless Floral Tea Dress is gorgeous. The colors, the silhouette, the pleating. I want it. Too bad it has already been sold.

Of course, these images leave me wanting to draw girls with antlers dressed in pretty frocks. Not exactly original, I know, but I still love the concept. It's so difficult balancing a job, cooking/cleaning, and living with a husband that I haven't really worked on any art projects since being married. Perhaps it's time to change that...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello, Kitty.

Of course... now that the blog is up and running, things pick up at work and I have no time to post anything. I just finished the last design that has been sitting in a stack on my desk, so until the next project rolls in I'm free to roam the internet in search of heart-related items for my next post.

In the meantime, I thought I should introduce my blogging buddy, Ulia: (pronounced yoo-lee-ah)

Photo taken with Instagram for iPhone

On the day I don't go in to work (usually a Tuesday or a Thursday), I start my morning off right with oatmeal, coffee and blog reading. Typically you'll find my coffee on the right, and Miss Kitty to my left, sitting against my computer's heat vent. She also enjoys sleeping for hours in the sun, meowing loudly when Chris and I are trying to watch a movie, and hoarding bobby pins and rubber bands under the dining room table.

She also answers to: Ulie, Ulers, Skitty, Skitters, Skitterish, Kitterish, and Babers. I'm trying to get her to respond to "Kitty Perry" but no luck so far. It's a little much, I know, but we love her. I'll probably post way too many pictures of her here, but she's just too cute not to. Look at those little white paws. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

my gathered heart

Hooray! gathered heart is finally up and running! For those of you who don't know me, I'm Katherine Ross, a 23 year old graphic designer and illustrator from southern Michigan and (now) the author of gathered heart. This blog has been in the planning stages for a very, VERY long time and I'm excited to finally start posting.

Love What You Do print by the amazing illustrator Katie Daisy 

I'm starting gathered heart as my own online collection of art, design, vintage findings, crafting and DIY, personal musings, beautiful things and inspiring bits. Collectively, these are the things I love, gathered up in one place online - my gathered heart. The goal of this blog is not only to document and share the things I love, but also to inspire others. So many blogs have encouraged me in my pursuit of a creative life, and I hope the thoughts I share on here will in turn inspire you or brighten your day with something lovely.

When you stop by gathered heart, you'll probably find the occasional post on:
    • Cardigans, coffee, and color theory
    • Gorgeous homes that I wish were mine
    • Independent artists
    • My current illustration and design projects
    • How much I love my husband (and Tina Fey)

Don't expect to see:
    • Elaborate recipes that take 5 hours to prepare
    • "What I wore today" photos
    • Angsty poetry
    • YouTube videos that my dad forwards me

Though I obviously don't have any other posts for you to read just yet, check back often; I hope to update gathered heart three times a week at the very least. Have a happy Friday!