Brilliance :: New Dress A Day

I recently came across the New Dress A Day blog and had to share.  This brilliant idea came to Marisa, a young woman entering her 30's, who found herself wading in what she called "a personal creative-funk-crisis".  To get herself out of the rut, she decided to stop shopping for an entire year!  I know what you're thinking ladies, "yea, that would make a girl feel better alright...in OPPOSITE WORLD!"  But that's just what she has been doing for the past several months--forgoing the traditional clothing shopping.  Instead, Marisa is only buying vintage/pre-worn clothing and only allotting herself a budget of $1 per outfit, per day, which she then transforms (with the help of her trusty sewing machine and some sharp shears) into chic, current, fashionable garments, giving each old outfit a new life.  That's it.. 365 days, 365 "new" outfits, for 365 dollars.  That's definite brilliance if you ask me!

Here are just a few of my favorite transformations.


So clever, right??  Makes me wish I could sew!  Now go visit her blog for some inspiration!  :)


Featured Artist :: Lionsgate Designs

I was perusing Etsy one day (okay, so that's every day) and discovered Lionsgate Designs, home of the most beautiful and unique bridal bouquets I've ever laid eyes on.  And if my husband and I ever get around to having a "real" wedding (we kind of eloped) or formally renew our vows, I may have to walk down the aisle with one of these beauties.  They're just bursting with color and life, just like fresh flower bouquets, but unlike fresh flowers, they'll last forever!  The artist behind these gorgeous arrangements is Marie Jenkinson, who has been in the wedding business since 1990.  Outside of creating her one of a kind bouquets, she has designed and built some incredible homes, two of which have been transformed into perfect wedding locations.

Read on to find out more about Marie's inspiring work... and how she discovered that her wedding venues are haunted!  Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!  *cue sinister laugh*

.......................... the interview .........................

A random fun fact about yourself:
I have a degree in design and love to create just about anything. I have designed and built several unique houses, 2 event venues, remodeled several other houses, designed hundreds of weddings, designed and created wedding brooch bouquets and jewelry and am currently buying, staging and flipping houses in Palm Springs. I love auctions and buying and selling things on eBay. I also love antiques and anything odd and unusual and therefore really like to go "picking." I also love to cook. In the end, pretty much anything that is creative. I also really want to have a reality TV show about my business, as our staff is crazy fun, our clients are really interesting (both in a good and bad way) and would make for great TV watching - sort of Designing Women meets Deadliest Catch.

Another thing you might find interesting is that our two event venues are haunted - and I mean really haunted - we have had 2 local TAPS family members do 2 investigations each and have gotten TONS of cool evidence - you can see 2 short youtube clips at the links below. Jason and Grant, from the TV show "Ghost Hunters" are scheduled to come out and do an investigation next year - very excited!

(Be sure to visit the links!  Aside from the scary ghost sounds, you can also see images of the gorgeous venue!)   

The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
wedding, designing and colors

What's your favorite read of all time?
Michael Crichton's Sphere - I couldn't put it down.

Any guilty pleasures?

shopping on eBay and watching cooking shows on TV

If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
Right where I am sitting now.

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
Very fun, busy and creative. Sometimes requiring juggling several things at one time but always new and interesting.

How long have you been at it?
In the wedding business it has been 20 years.

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
A talent to start of with for sure, but with a LOT of practice to become any good at it.

Do you dabble in any other forms of art? 
Oh heck yeah! You name it, computer design (as in ad layouts, business cards, web sites, etc.), photography, interior design, architecture, wedding planning, my new brooch bouquets of course, cooking, etc.

From where/how do you find inspiration?
There is inspiration pretty much everywhere as long as you keep in the front of your mind that you are looking for something to trigger that new thought. Sometimes it is just the color combination from something I see on TV or on line that gives me an idea. The secret is to stop and look at whatever you think is beautiful and think (sometimes out loud) how can I put that into what I am working on? Watching creative contests on TV is one of my favorites, like Top Chef or The Next Great Artist shows where you can sort of do the challenge with them and see where it takes you.

Share something about your creative process that most people wouldn't know. 
I often wake up with a good idea, or early in the morning when I am sort of awake and my mind is relaxed I will start to think about a marketing plan or project and that is when I get some of my better ideas.

What was your most memorable creative experience?
When I designed my current home which is a 100 year-old horse barn with a silo that my husband and I renovated and added on to, to create a very unique home. There are clear glass floors in the different levels of the silo so you can see all the levels from each floor. We incorporated a 200 year-old staircase that came from the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires Argentina. There is a four car garage with a deck on top that has a moss rock water fall wall along the entire back and a water fountain that has natural gas so you can actually light the water on fire - really great for parties.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
Sometime I take on too much and get a bit overwhelmed. I just have to stop and deal with one thing at a time and try to get through it.

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
In 1995 when I was trying to get funding to build out 2nd wedding venue the bank we were working with really messed us up and we lost the loan which cost us over $150,000 and pushed our building schedule back over a year. That was a very bad year for me.

What is your formula for success?
Keep a positive outlook, try to find the good side of everything and it is okay to ask for help occasionally. Also to always be looking for how something can be improved to be more efficient, marketed better, given a fresh look, etc. Never feel you are totally done with something because everything can be made better at some point.

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
I guess the first year we made more than 1 million dollars. But I have always felt rather successful because I have a job/business I love to do every day, I love our staff, my husband, son and home, so that is truly what is success . . . but having a good income and creating jobs and careers for other people is pretty cool too.

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Do something different! Whatever it is that got you stuck, change it! Either take a drive, walk around the neighborhood, take a vacation, watch inspiring TV or a book, but just do something different to break out of the funk and put yourself in a position where you can get some inspiration you weren't expecting.

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Cooking and veging in front of TV or reading a book on my deck.

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
The general manager of eBay

What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
Anything wedding or jewelry

What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
The It's Raining silver slider ring by Mujoyas

And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist, what might this be?  

It looks like passageway into another universe - I like sci-fi shows :-)

.......................... end interview .........................

You can visit lionsgatecenter.com for more info about her work and wedding venues.

Marie, thank you so much for sharing a little bit about yourself and your work with us!


Sneak Peek :: items in the waiting room

Just wanted to share some snapshots of just a few of the many new items just waiting to be listed...

My signature "Trickle" necklace featuring African Opal

My signature Wrap and Thread Necklace featuring Sunstone pebbles
A wire and chain wrapped Chalcedony pendant accented with Moss Green Apatite
A simple wire wrapped glowing Green Onyx drop on an oxidized sterling satellite chain

But realistically, these may never see the light of Etsy because I'm so busy prepping for 3 upcoming shows!  I'll be at the Zona Rosa Art Festival in Kansas City (Sept. 17-19), the Longview Art and World Music Festival in Lee's Summit (Oct. 1-3), and Haute Market in Overland Park (Oct. 7).  Both art festivals are 3-day shows, so I'm a little nervous about whether or not I'll have enough inventory.  So I'm just creating away, every waking second I have to spare (which isn't much).  I guess it was a blessing in disguise that my first art fest was rained out and I have a lot of pieces left over from that show.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Maybe a few sneak peeks here and there.  Til next time!

[oh, and tune in tomorrow for a brand new Featured Artist!]