Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Forward: Peter Cottontail.

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo. di.

*image via 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make | Easter Art.

{This year's Easter cards purchased from Greer}

With the watercolor paints still out and me feeling an itch for a little Easter crafting, last weekend I played around with some cutesy sketches I could put inside each card to my family members for a little something extra.    

They are far from perfect, but I'll pretend that adds to their charm.  Sometimes it just feels good to create a little something (and I encourage you to do the same!).

xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary   

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lettering Love.

Because I'm a dummy who can never seem to do one thing at a time (to C's constant exasperation!), after signing up for PaperFashion's Fashion Illustration Class a couple of weeks ago, I then searched through Skillshare's upcoming classes, found Neil Tasker's Lettering Class, and signed up, even though the dates overlapped.  Dumb.  But also: fun!  I've spent my lunchtimes for the past 2 weeks either sketching pretty dresses or pretty letters (with middling success at both), so I think it was worth it, even though I'm super behind on making the above lettering sketch digital through Adobe Illustrator (it's hard!  for me!).

I have also learned a ton about lettering and design, and what once was a mild interest is now an insatiable appetite for good design, calligraphy, hand-lettering and font types.  So of course, I'd like to share some of that with you:  
xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary

Monday, March 25, 2013

Grateful | Mar. 25, 2013.

I am Grateful.  

A weekend of little indulgences to kick these winterspring blues.
Pictures of the Week.

 {Held true to my vow to buy lots of flowers & plants this weekend}
{Saturday morning tea in bed}
 {GLITTER!  Finished up my project for the PaperFashion Skillshare class}
{Yup, more plants & flowers!}

Links Worth Sharing.
Have a wonderful week.

xo. di.    

*images belong to Diane Crary

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Forward | The Groundhog Lied.

Spring has gone missing, people.  Seriously.  I need some tulips and daffodils poking out of the ground and some above freezing temps in my life.  I plan on spending a semi-ridiculous amount of money on plants and flowers this weekend for our apartment just to make up for it.  Give me flora!!!

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo. di.

*image via

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Funny People.

"I write to figure out why I am writing."
Judd Apatow to Chris Hardwick, The Nerdist Podcast, December 2012 

When I was training for our January half-marathon, I realized pretty quickly that podcasts were the way to go for my really long runs.  They had already been C and my go-tos on car trips (as our music tastes do not exactly mesh), and they were the easiest way for me to forget about the distance (and the pain!) and just keep running.  And well, I have fallen in love with comedy podcasts.  I have learned so much more than I ever thought I would know about the stand-up scene in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and what comedy, both stand-up and in tv and movies, is like today.  And my secret is that I am really interested and in awe.  I am so far from funny that learning how funny people think fascinates me.  So what are my favorites?  
I have also heard really good things about the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, but I haven't gotten to it yet unfortunately.  Have any other suggestions in this area?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Now back to Judd Apatow's quote up there.  In his Nerdist episode, he was discussing how it is only when he reflects back on movies he's made does he understand how he really felt during that period in his life.  He now realizes he may have been a wee-bit depressed during the making of Funny People (which: obviously!).  But even through blog posts and journal entries, I can tell far more about how I felt in that moment when I look back on them now.  If only we understood everything about ourselves in the present, right?     

xo. di.

*image by Rocco Malatesta Design 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Make | Faux Chalkboard Art.

We have this corner of our entryway that I've never felt was quite right.  When I first moved in, I chose a big black & white flower on canvas to hide the unseemly circuit breaker box behind it.  It was the meh-est of meh art, but it was cheap and did the job.  So I've been brainstorming ways to transform it for like a year (sometimes the mind takes awhile).  With the proliferation of chalkboard-everything, I struck upon an idea. 


3 coats of Martha Stewart's chalkboard paint later...

and the addition of a Shanna Murray decal (which I have been wanting in my home forever, so yay!), and we get the:


Simple, clean and sweet.  Perfect for the first thing we see when we walk in the door!  And while the chalkboard "art" may be a fake, it actually is a real chalkboard we can use for grocery lists and such.  

xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary

Monday, March 18, 2013

{Gratitude} Mar. 18, 2013.

I am Grateful.  

A super fun Chicago St. Paddy's Day celebration (they always are!) and a hangover-free Sunday (hooray!) filled with artistic projects (follow along on my Instagram), cooking an Irish meal and rewatching Game of Thrones season 2.

A couple of extras today:

(1) After a gentle push from a friend, I finally purchased (yay!) and now redirects there.  This should not affect anyone who reads my blog in Google Reader (rip) or has subscribed to my blog via email, though you can certainly update to!  If you have any issues viewing the blog after this change, let me know and I'll address it right away.  Unfortunately Disqus didn't handle the redirect well, so I'm still working on figuring out where my old comments went! 

(2) I also finally created an a spot of whimsy Facebook page and Tumblr.  As I get better at understanding the best way to use each of these pieces of social media, I'll try really hard not to post the same exact things to all!
Pictures of the Week.

{started watercolor practice as part of my fashion illustration class - it's fun but HARD}
{my favorite one so far}
{our glorious bowl of Easter candy}
{a few Easter decorations made it out this weekend}
{a Sunday St. Paddy's Day Guinness, of course!}

Links Worth Sharing.
Have a wonderful week.

xo. di.    

*images belong to Diane Crary

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Forward: Slainte!

Time to retire Winter Beauty for another year and Spring Forward.  Just in time for it to not be 80 degrees for St. Patrick's Day here in Chicago like last year, whomp whomp.  But that was once in a lifetime.  And with enough green beer, we shall persevere ;)   

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo. di.

*image property of Diane Crary, taken during our family's trip to Ireland in August 2008

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Point of View.

"There are lots of artists in the world.  But there's only one you.  And the only person who has your point of view is you.  If you decide not to make things, all you've done is deprive the world of all the stuff that only you could have brought to it."
-Neil Gaiman

I heard this quote of Neil's in the 2nd video of his "Keep Moving Project" for Blackberry (a very cool idea, if you're interested in his writing) , and I sat up a little straighter.  His words always inspire me (just do a search for "Neil Gaiman" on this blog for proof), but these were the words I needed to hear at that moment.  Sometimes you need a little nudge to keep going, whether that's writing this blog, starting my sketching (product of Day 1 above, eep!), thinking through career-related thoughts, and any of the million other little struggles that pop up in life.

xo. di.

*left image property of Diane Crary, right image via  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Season 6.

Now that we're just barely over 3 weeks away from the Season 6 premiere of Mad Men, it's about time I start naggingreminding my dear readers to watch one of the best (and my personal favorite) shows on television.  Let's start today, with the just-released Season 6 poster with a very cool backstory:

But as the show prepared for its new season, which begins April 7, its creator, Matthew Weiner, inspired by a childhood memory of lush, painterly illustrations on T.W.A. flight menus, decided to turn back the promotional clock. He pored over commercial illustration books from the 1960s and ’70s and sent images to the show’s marketing team, which couldn’t quite recreate the look he was after.

“Finally,” he said, “they just looked up the person who had done all these drawings that I really loved, and they said: ‘Hey, we’ve got the guy who did them. And he’s still working. His name is Brian Sanders.’ ”

Which explains how a 75-year-old illustrator living outside of Cambridge, England — highly regarded in his own country but little known in the United States — came to create the image that beginning this week will be emblazoned on buses, billboards, magazine pages, websites and TV. The ad, depicting Don Draper, the show’s lead character, in a vertiginous pose on a New York City street corner that seems to be collapsing on him like the decade he is living in, looks as if it has time-traveled from the pages of an old copy of Reader’s Digest.

“What it did was take me right back, about 50 years,” said Mr. Sanders, who added that he was familiar enough with “Mad Men” to be in a bit of disbelief when the show came calling for his drawing board and brushes. The impressionistic image he created uses a scumbled acrylic technique that in its jazzy, textured effects instantly conjures 1960s illustration.

via The New York Times, full article here.

So we have 2 Don's: one holding a woman's (Megan's?) hand, the other a briefcase.  One heading the right way down the "One Way" Madison Avenue, the other fleeing from it, where police cars lurk in the back.  Dang it Weiner, what does it mean?!

Hurry up, April 7th.

xo. di.

*image via

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I've been following Katie Rodgers' insanely gorgeous fashion illustrations on PaperFashion for some time, falling more in love with each new sketch while also being more than a little envious of her talent.  When Katie announced her first online class on Skillshare a couple of weeks ago, in a moment of insanityon a whim, I signed up.  The 2-week course just started yesterday, and all I've had to do so far is put together some inspiration (collected on my Fashion Illustration pinboard), but the next step is actually sketching - infinitely more terrifying.  Here's hoping I end up creating something worth sharing with you all.  Either way, at least I finally found my excuse to purchase Martha Stewart's Glitter Multipack (muahahaha).   

Gorgeous, yes?  If I've piqued your interest on the class, I think you can still get in on this session, and it should be available going forward as well.  

Wish me luck!

xo. di.

*images via Paper Fashion

Monday, March 11, 2013

{Gratitude} Mar. 11, 2013.

A little revamp to "Much Love Monday" debuts today:    

I am Grateful.  Completed a huge project at work last Friday and had a restful weekend to recuperate.

Pictures of the Week.

 {a weekend DIY project}
 {Saturday night "bling"}
{went for a retro-look Saturday night; ended up looking like a Mad Men extra (just a tad too literal, but still fun!)}
 {Sunday baking: scones}
{less than a week til St. Pat's!}

Links Worth Sharing.
Have a wonderful week.

xo. di.    

*images belong to Diane Crary

Friday, March 8, 2013

winter beauty: reading & writing.

From Nora Ephron's son, Jacob Bernstein, in his beautiful tribute to her, to be published in this Sunday's New York Magazine: 

"All her life, she subscribed to the belief that 'everything is copy,' a phrase her mother, Phoebe, used to say.  In fact, when Phoebe was on her deathbed, she told my mother, 'Take notes.'  She did.  What both of them believed was that writing has the power to turn the bad things that happen to you into art (although 'art' was a word she hated).  'When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it's your laugh,' she wrote in her anthology 'I Feel Bad About My Neck.'  'So you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke.'"

Read the full article here.  It's heartbreaking and lovely and makes me wish so much that she was still here, contributing more of her words to our world.  

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo. di.

*image via

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

{wedding} Great Lakes Love.

After about 6 months (!), of waiting to post a few of the professional photographs from my sister's wedding, I now get to because "The Yellow House Wedding" was featured on Great Lakes Love, a lovely Michigan-focused wedding blog, last week.  

See the rest of the beautiful post here.  

Not having any personal contact with professional photographers before my sis's special day, I didn't totally know what to expect from the wedding photographers, but they were incredible.  My sister and her husband are both so good at being open, honest and natural on a daily business, so mix that with the husband and wife team behind Andrew Williamson Photography and something really special comes out of it (which you could see coming after the engagement pics!).  

The icing on the cake was my sister's insistence that they have a videographer.  She realized first how important and amazing it would be to have captured the day in video form.  And Andy Owen of Owen Video seriously delivered:

xo. di.

*photography by Andrew Williamson Photography, video by Owen Video, first posted on Great Lakes Love

Monday, March 4, 2013

{mlm} mar. 4, 2013.

i like to use monday as a way to reflect on the previous week, to start anew, and to send a little love into the world.  won't you join me?    

today i am grateful for:

I already miss home.  And I am grateful for that.

pictures worth a thousand words:

{signs of spring}
{helped Mom make this gruyere and bacon tart via Fine Cooking}
{and this french toast casserole from my Mom's friend, nom nom}
{love my parents' winter tablescape left over from the woodland animal baby shower}

this week's blog love:
here's to another grateful and love-filled week.  

xo. di.    

*images belong to Diane Crary
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