A giveaway!

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Haiku’s sturdy hand and travel bags are “poetically functional,” made to support an active lifestyle, whether at work, or at play.

Featuring the Cairn cross body bag, with it’s convenient pocket and convenient size, it’s the perfect take along accessory for your busy days or when you literally have a lot on your hands.

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The handbags are wonderfully sturdy and stylish enough to pair with everyday outfits. The Seattle based brand, while focusing on beautiful aesthetics, seeks to capture the beauty of nature all around us….in a bag!

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My partners over at Haiku are offering free shipping on all purchases of $100 or more, but but the Cairn cross body bag can be yours, in the color of your choice, for free!

To win, simply state your favorite item on Haiku and comment below. That’s it! A winner will be chosen on Monday. Good luck!

Update: Giveaway is now closed.

Happy summer

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Happy Monday everyone! Summer has officially arrived and for the past week, I’ve had allergies, a fever have been feeling overall under the weather, but now that’s behind me, I have another amazing post for you today!

As you probably know, Friday was the summer solstice, which means that it was the longest day of the year. Because I have become somewhat obsessed with Scandinavian culture and way of living ( in case you didn’t know), I thought I’d share an interesting cultural tidbit.

The Swedes, amongst many other Scandinavian cultures are quite enamored with nature. On the eve of the summer solstice, everyone leaves town, heads to the countryside to start the celebrations.

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An evening choc-full 0f gathering with friends and family, good food and coversation and dancing around the maypole and festive drinks under the midnight sun.

I love this idea of ringing in summer while appreciating all that nature, family and friends  has to offer. You can have your own midsummer festival as well, by making your own flower crowns and door wreaths.

Have you or do you celebrate midsummer?

My chat with Lani Imre

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I talked about Lani Imre a while back about her amazing graffiti artwork. She often paints on a large scale lending to very powerful images of femininity and beauty. Her  character are usually translated in raw imagery that is both soft and strong.

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I actually got a chance to speak with Lani about what inspires her artwork and here is what she had to say:

So, Lani, what inspires your lovely art?

Women are the main inspiration for my work and also my primary subject matter. I find women completely fascinating in their beauty and power and also in their vulnerabilities and intuition.

I am also interested in how women are viewed by society and how women choose to portray themselves. Of course, my paintings are also a platform for me to explore my own stories and emotional processing. Stylistically I have been very influenced by graffiti, street art, illustration etc.

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What medium do you use and what is your process in painting?

I paint primarily with acrylic and then oil but I do incorporate small amounts of aerosol as well. I start with a drawing of my image in which i perfect the lines and the “look” of my character. I transfer the image to the canvas and then the painting process begins.

I seldom plan out my approach to color. I let this unfold in a completely spontaneous way. I do have a process with paint but it would b hard to convey. I work color in no particular order as well as working dark and light in no particular order. But i do like to work a lot of layers when it comes to refining the facial features and giving the painting an overall quality of finish and depth.

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What advice would you offer to fellow artists and those looking to streamline their technique?

I find it hard to give much advice as an artist. I constantly feel I am in a state of growth and discovery with my own way as an artist and there is always so much more to accomplish! There is nothing easy about it, but the rewards are immense.

I think if you are an artist, it is something that chooses you somehow. Its something that you just want to be and do no matter what and there are an endless amount of approaches to sharing your vision with the world.

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I think the most important thing is staying true to yourself and only taking projects and commissions that resonate with you, inspire you on some level, and will take you in the direction you want to go. Also, pure resilience and stamina are handy attributes when it comes to completing projects and making your own work! Other than that, making sure there are times when you get out of the studio and are able to enjoy the company of other artists, cause that is where you will find the greatest support and encouragement for continuing to do what you do and never give up. 

If you are interested in seeing more of her beautiful work, you can visit her website or Facebook page.

Thanks Lani!

Summer

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I have a confession. I’m not a huge fan of summer. Like, at all. I don’t look forward to the relentless sunny days that leave me drained, the scorching hot weather or the type of weather that doesn’t really allow you to wear much other than a tank top and shorts. You’d think since I’m darker that I’d soak it all up. Haha, but no.  If you live in the south or in a desert, then you probably know what I’m talking about.

Usually by the end of spring, I’m ready for autumn and sweater weather, but since we have to take one day at a time, I thought I’d post some inspiring photos to help beat the dog days of summer. Hope you enjoy!

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Of course there are some redeeming qualities about summer- the barbecues, the beach, vacations so it’s not all so bad.

What’s your favorite season and why?