Friday, January 29, 2010

it's carnival time!

i'm pretty much the biggest nerd ever. hah!

em :]


if i temporarily re-opened the etsy with a slew of new and fun items, would you guys...

spread the word?
tweet and/or blog about it?
actually buy any of it?

i'm thinking new paintings, handmade cards, fabric art (like the piece behind me in the photo above), pillows, a few other fun things...i'm in need for some serious fundraising and i figured maybe this might be a good thing...maybe? leave some feedback and let me know.


still coming back later with the promised post :]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

in honor of champagne thursday...

found via weheartit

spending the day enjoying champagne thursday and wrapping up some paintings. :] good day? i think so!

i've been sick over the past week, which is why you haven't seen much of me lately :/ however, i think i've finally kicked this thing, and i plan to be back on schedule tomorrow! here's what to look forward to...
tomorrow: photobooth friday and the giveaway winner announcement :]
the weekend: a few fun posts here and there
monday: next edition of meet me on monday...kimi! :]

i hope everyone enjoys their thursday! :]

Sunday, January 24, 2010


winners of the mardi gras giveaway coming sooooooon! if you haven't entered yet, i'll be generous and give you ONE LAST CHANCE :] click here!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the best wednesday night everrrrrrr..

best wednesday night ever...for reals :]


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

meet me on...tuesday?

so, as you can tell, meet me on monday is being posted on tuesday this week...i spent time with the guys from highschool last night, as one member of our group moved back to new york without further ado, here's this week's featured blogger :]

tell us a little about yourself...
the name is erin sunday, and i'm 24 years young. my hometown is technically rockford, il (i moved around a lot), but i have currently found a home in springfield, mo

what is your favorite craft?
probably crocheting right now. it is a new craft i am learning so it's incredibly fun for me!

if you would only have one outfit to wear every day forever, what would it include?
oh geeze! i am really bad at this sort of thing! i LOVE to play dress up so i would probably wear something incredibly fun and maybe a bit out of the ordinary. let's see, let's see..out of the stuff i have? since i am currently growing out my hair, i hate it. haha. so, i would hide it, most likely, under a hat of some sort. very little makeup, but enough to accentuate my eyes (my favorite feature about a person). i would wear a tank top tucked under my favorite vintage red skirt (it's corduroy!). since it is soooo cold out right now, i would definitely wear a cardigan with it (grey). grey with white polka dot tights would cover my scrawny legs and i would warm my feet with black knee socks and my black cowgirl boots. crazy? why, of course! :] i wore something similar in this photo:

how did you get started in photography?
i feel like i really got started as a child, when i was more of a model than a photographer. i have four sisters and we are close enough in age that we all wore matching outfits most of the time. every chance we could get, mom would pack us into our van and drive to different parks and whatnot. once we got there, she pulled out the disposable camera (all we really could afford at the time) and snap away! i remember always wishing to have a camera of my own. i didn't really make the commitment to pursue photography until about 5 months ago. however, i feel as though photography has always been a part of me; something i have yearned to learn and play around with.

what and/or who inspires you?
oh gosh! this is a never ending list that literally grows everyday. i will keep my sharing to just 4 individuals.

first and foremost, will vastine. big surprise, huh? haha. this is not just because he is a talented (CUTE) photographer. he is the one person who has consistently encouraged me to be myself, whoever i decided that was. we've been dating just under 2 years and in that time, he has ridden one heck of a roller coater ride with me. i've lost my job, had some serious health issues, moved, experienced fear, grief, excitement, happiness, sadness and STRESS. will has been there for it all and, even cooler, has been excited to be there experiencing it with me. when i finally bit down and made the decision to pursue the possibility of making photography more than just a hobby, he was the first to offer encouragement and introduce me to a huge variety of different photographers and artists. this has helped as i have begun to find my unique style. most importantly, he's helped re-open my eyes, mind and my heart to the idea of making my life what it should be and going after my dreams, no matter the size.

second, zack arias. zack is an atlanta based editorial photographer who teaches workshops on a minimalist approach to lighting. he also has a great sense of humor and seems really down to earth. i have learned some great stuff from what he has taught, and i am sure that learning with never cease.

third, chase jarvis. not only is this guy a great photographer (understatement), but he has really inspired me wiht the concept that the best camera is the one that you have with you. he even has an iphone application and book to support this. enough said. consider me inspired :]

fourth, allister ann. this girl has such a beautiful eye, and her sight extends beyond the camera lens. she seems absolutely lovely and i hope to be spending some time with her soon.

my life in general serves as my greatest source of inspiration. i am so blessed with friends and family that give me the courage to rely on my creative side to help pursue my dreams. it is they who help shape the ideas behind every project i start and guide the steps toward each accomplishment.

what or who prompted you to open an etsy account?
it was a combined effort of will and myself, i believe. after sharing that i was thinking about it, many crafting friends encouraged it.

what was life like growing up with quadruplet sisters?
it was pretty much the same as growing up with any other siblings. i guess it was cooler. i don't know. i am only 20 months older than the sisters, so it was something that never really changed. i was used to having them around. it was my "normal". although, i am incredibly thankful for it. imagine picking your 4 favorite people in the whole world to live with. that was my childhood. i couldn't possibly imagine being an only child! i would be incredibly lonely. my sisters are amazingly pretty and creative and SO DIFFERENT! it makes my life incredibly beautiful and fufilled.

what album or playlist is on your ipod right now?
the XX. i love how simple their music is. it has such a good groove to it. right up my alley for sure!

describe your style
i don't know about fashion style, but...uh...ask me again in a couple of years. ha.

i guess the best way to describe my photography "style" is to describe my favorite way to take photos. i continue to dream. i strive to encourage dreaming and making dreams come to life. so, i love when people share a bit of themselves or dreams they have with me and it turns into a great photo shoot idea. i love to create a whole world in each photo i take, whether it be over the top, make believe, more traditional, whatever. i just want to go all out to make it something that draws you in. i also want for the concept or setting i use in photos to be an idea at least partly from the person/people in the photos. this allows them ot have an ida in their mind already and makes them more comfortable to get into what we are doing. my favorite shoot to date is a mother-daughter shoot i did with my friend, katie, and her daughter, hope. they turned out so great that hope squealed when she saw them! :] i am always up for shooting many types of photos, whether it be basic portraits, more fashion-esque, boudior, or conceptual photos. i love photography and am in the process of figuring out my style, so i would like to try a bit of everything to help me figure out what to tell you the next time you ask this question. :]

so you're a marine, huh?
yes, i am a former marine. i spent 2 years and 8 months in the marine corps, and it was one of the best decisions i have made in my adult life. unfortunately, i was injured and was discharged in june of 2006. i was incredibly disappointed at the time to find out that a career was not in the cards for me. however, i am thankful for the life that has erupted from the end of my time with the military.

what is your biggest goal for 2010?
since getting out of the marine corps, i have endured many "issues", as i will call them. while i do truly believe that everything i have gone through, and still go through daily, will make me a stronger, better person, i say that currently through gritted teeth. i won't lie, my life is not perfect and it won't be for quite a while. 2009 kicked my ass! 2010 is not starting out very promising either, but i refuse to be defeated!

i am working extremely hard to get to a point where photography and etsy are my main sources of income. will this happen in 2010? i have no clue. i will be happy if, in this year, i can continue to grow the shop and my photography presence to where i see a real improvement.

i want to continue working with elsie at red velvet art. i love her and i love working there. she has offered so much to me in the opportunity to work with her. i am not sure if i will ever want to stop helping encourage that wonderful business.

so i guess i have said all that to tell you that my biggest goal of 2010 is to be able to stand on my own feet and to gain balance again.

here's where you can find erin:

thank you so much, erin, for sharing with us this week! leave erin some comment love! :]

if your interested in being featured in a future meet me on monday post, email me at emjay0121(at)gmail(dot)com :] there are still 2 spots open for february.


Monday, January 18, 2010

calling all home decor junkies...

ok. here's the deal. i have been looking - nay, desperately searching- for the perfect shade of aqua for my bedroom for almost a year now. actually, it's not even aqua really. it's the most difficult color in the world to explain, but i'm going to try...

it's vintage aqua, antique blue, duck egg, blue-green-grey.

yeah, i wouldn't understand that either. maybe i should just let some photos do the talking...

(all photos via google image search or weheartit)

now do you get the picture? my question is this: why is it so hard to get the perfect color out of my head and into a bucket of paint? i have literally gone through ten sample cans of various shades of blue-green-grey from lowes this week's all i can do not to throw up my hands in defeat! sigh... after hours of research tonight, i have found a few colors from sherwin williams that i will try this week. we'll see how that goes.

on a brighter note, i hit a huge sale at target and got all new bedding for 50 bucks! i got two new pillows, two sets of sheets, three sets of pillow cases and a new comforter :] pair all those the white waffle and blue deerskin blankets i already own and voila! a new look already.

the lighting is horrible in this apologies.

so if any of you have painted something this color, or know someone else who has painted something this color, oh won't you pleasepleaseplease suggest some paint options? i'd love you forever...really i would!

i'm off to dream of pretty white linens enveloped in dark wood tones and stormy blue-green walls...goodnight loves


Saturday, January 16, 2010


i almost forgot photobooth friday! (well technically it's already early early saturday morning around these parts, but we won't tell anyone, will we?)

ps, have you entered the giveaway below yet? you should!!!! hehe


Friday, January 15, 2010

it's that time of year again...

ahhh, mardi gras...
before we get started, i created this mardi gras playlist for you to enjoy while you read :] click know you wanna!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

there are three types of people in the world:

1. people who live in louisiana - these people have been gearing up for this since the day after christmas. while most of the world is focused on ringing in the new year, as soon as the red and green gift wrap has been put away, us louisianans start seeing purple green and gold. mardi gras is the only holiday on our minds...we start planning the upcoming season's crawfish boils, checking the price of live crawfish EVERY day, until they dip below 2 bucks a pound. we start letting out the wasteline on our favorite pair of pants in anticipation for the amount of king cakes we'll be eating the next few months. we start requesting vacation time off for parade days, and start stockpiling the liquor cabinet for "the big weekend".

2. people who have moved away from louisiana - these people are the ones who, as soon as christmas is over, start kicking themselves in the rear for ever moving away from this wonderful place. what person in their right mind could experience the months of january, february and march without crawfish, king cake and parades?!? it's a mystery i will never understand.

3. finally, we have the rest of you folks...those who have been in the dark their entire lives. those who have never seen the light. those who have never tasted the sweet and delicate taste of that beloved pastry. have never felt the warm juice from a crawfish head rolling down their elbows...never had their sinuses cleared so quickly by that delicious red pepper...for these folks, i make this post.

now for a little history lesson :]

mardi gras (pronounced mah-dee gra) can be traced back to medieval europe. the name means 'fat tuesday'. it was brought to the states by the french-canadian explorer, Jean Baptiste le Moyne Sieur de Bienville in 1699, when he landed on a plot of land about 60 miles south of new orleans. he named the place, "pointe du mardi gras". (he also discovered mobile, alabama, which for those of you who didn't know, was the original capitol of louisiana :] ) to celebrate the french holiday, he started secret societies, which are known today as "krewes" (pronounced like crews). the first secret society was called masque de la mobile and lasted from 1704 - 1709. in 1710, the boeuf graf society was formed, and held the first mardi gras parade, with the first mardi gras float made from giant bull's head, pushed along on wheels by 16 men. crazy, right?
so in 1718, jean baptiste discovered new orleans, and by the 1730's, the holiday was being celebrated openly in the city and surrounding areas, but not in the parade form that we celebrate today. then governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuill established elegant society balls, which are still held today.

by the late 1830's, new orleans street processions where a prominent way to celebrate the holiday, with masked carnival goers parading in the streets and horse drawn carriages and such. at this point, the celebrations became more organized, and local newspapers started printing events related to the holiday in advance.

in the 1870's, the third krewe was established...The Twelfth Night Krewe. this krewe established the first mardi gras "throws" (beads, dubloons and such that are thrown from floats). later that decade, a group of businessmen established a King of Carnival, Rex, to lead the first daytime parade. the Rex parade was where the colors of mardi gras, the mardi gras song and the mardi gras flag were introduced.

during the 1870's the governor of louisiana signed the mardi gras act, making it a legal holiday in our state. all government offices and schools close for lundi gras and mardi gras (monday and tuesday :] )

nowadays, mardi gras is a 5 day long celebration, starting on the friday before, extending all way until midnight on fat tuesday. once midnight hits, mardi gras is officially over and the streets literally shut down. during the parades, people will literally do just about anything for beads, because, well, as we all know...the bigger the beads, the better :] really, you just have to experience it to understand it...i think it's something everyone should do at least once.

here's a little mardi gras eye candy for you...

if you want the folks on a float to throw you anything, you have to say these words

brass bands are EVERYWHERE, playing zydeco and jazz

beads are a big deal. the bigger the better. :]

the french quarter is so beautiful, especially when decorated for mardi gras!

that giant head above is Rex, the King of Carnival

so now that you all have a little understanding of the holiday (sorry for the boring history lesson), let's talk about king cake! this history lesson will be much more fun, i, there's a giveaway at the end! :]

the history of the king cake began in 12th century france, where bakeries would bake a cake on the eve of january 6th, to celebrate the visit of christ by the three kings. a small token was usually hidden inside of the pastry as a surprise for the finder. the cake is generally oval shaped (imagine a racetrack), and is similar to coffee cake dough, laced with cinnamon. the dough is rolled out into a long tube, then shaped into an oval. a small plastic baby is inserted into the dough as the "token" spoken of earlier. it symbolizes baby Jesus, and how difficult it was for the wisemen to find him. once the cake is baked, it is iced and sprinkled with a thick layer of granulated sugar, usually colored in purple, green and gold. the best king cakes are filled with your choice of filling. my favorites are strawberry and cream cheese, apple, chocolate and coconut, and praline :] there are hundreds of traditional flavors to choose from, and most bakeries offer a special flavor specific to their bakery.

in the 18th century, french settlers brought the custom to louisiana. the first king cake of the season was served on january 6th. whoever found the baby was allowed to choose a mock court, and were required to host the next king cake party (parties were held weekly from january 6th until mardi gras). in the lat 1870's, the Twelfth Night Revelers held their balll with a large king cake as the main attraction. instead of choosing a sacred king for the ball, they used a bean in the cake to choose the queen. this tradition is carried on to this day. now, a large wooden replica of a king cake is used, with various small drawers along the lower layer. all the girls at the ball open a drawer. if they find a silver bean, they are a member of the mardi gras court, and if they find the gold bean, they are the queen.

now, when your eating the cake with friends and family, it's tradition for whomever finds the baby to buy the next king cake :]

so, in honor of this holiday, and the traditions it includes, i am giving away a king cake :] the winner will be chosen one week from today. i will order a king cake in the flavor of their choice from my favorite local bakery, and ship it to the winner, along with some other fun mardi gras staples. everything you'll need to celebrate the holiday wherever you are :] this is my way of sharing my family's heritage and my state's legacy with you wonderful folks out there! to enter, leave a comment telling everyone something cool that is specific to where you live, sort of like mardi gras is to louisiana. :] tweet about the giveaway (be sure to use @emjay0121) for a second entry, and for a third, blog about the giveaway and leave a link in the comment section. i look forward to hearing some of your stories! :]