Our Trip to Michigan // La Grande Vitesse

As a part of our Michigan trip, we headed to Grand Rapids not only to see a sculpture by my favorite artist but to check out Zach's old college and Kendall College of Art & Design.  It was a pleasant day filled with iced coffee & turkey BLTs on naan in one of the campus cafes.  We walked around the city until we stumbled upon La Grande Vitesse, a sculpture by my fave artist Alexander Calder.

This giant bright orange sculpture, or stabile (counter to his mobiles - my fave!), is located on a large concrete plaza near the city hall building.  It is super awesome from all angles!  The photo above show the common view taken for postcards, etc.  In addition to the top image, here are some other views:

I love how the sculpture changes as you move.  A sort of stable mobile.....you are the one moving.  Pretty nifty.  
This was one of my favorite days.  We ran into Zach's uncle on the plaza as well.  Since Zach is growing a lumberjack beard, his uncle didn't even recognize him!  After we took these pictures, we headed to Kendall College of Art & Design.  We forgot it was like a Tuesday though, so we almost interrupted a critique in progress right in front of the ceramics studio.  I was sad that we didn't get to tour more, but it's a pretty cool place.  

I think I have a few more Michigan posts for you through April & it's been super nice to be able to have an outlet for all my pictures! I hope you've enjoyed seeing a bit of Michigan too :)


Fan Fridays // Thrifty Finds

Since Zach & I got back from Michigan I've been dying to take pictures of my fave finds yet!  Unfortunately with my 9-5 office job moving offices, I've been so tired every night this week to even think about photographs!

I am so glad I found a man that love thrifting & antiquing.  The only problem? Zach likes 20's-40's and I like 50's-70's.  In order to see what our future house may look like, we often go through furniture aisles while antiquing (& in general) and ask each other what we like.  When we find something we agree on, we make a note because 9 out of 10 times we won't agree! I've found myself taking pictures of things in stores that I like that I think he may like....so far no luck!

Some fave thrift finds from around the web this week:

This cute little doggy holder thing that miss Kaylah found at an Estate Sale! I need one of these for my office! Gah, I can not stand the cuteness.  Peep the whole post to find the rest of the awesomeness!

These awesome salt & pepper shakers on My Paper Crane.  My room mate in college used to collect S&P shakers.  Every time I see a pair I think of her.  (Hello Nance-pants!)

This super rad DIY by mr. Kate on Hello Giggles.  Totally take some thrift store bags & spruce 'em up.  Did you know the secret is acetone?? I totally have some bags that I need to do this too.  If I only had the time :(

In other news (news I am not a fan of) I got ripped off getting my car inspected the other day.  My lovely boyfriend was so kind enough to take my car while I was at work.  He told me when I got home it was $72 bucks!  They said I had lights out & things here & there they needed to replace.......needless to say, I don't really believe them! Oh well, it's all done now...

I'd like to know what states in the US have a state inspection required each year.  Virginia is the only one I've heard of!

What are you loving this Friday? 


Pinterest Color Palette // This Week

I decided to mess around with the Pinterest color palette tutorial I did a while ago & see what my colors were for this past week.  I see I did still stick with some neon colors like that green-citron color.

It's pretty fun to do this once in a while to see what colors I am digging.  Usually I come up with something unexpected.  When I first did the tutorial, I could see that I tended to like the same color schemes either when pinning or actually creating my color palettes.  The same themes sort of jumped out at me.

I think I'll continue to do this (or try to continue this) over the next few weeks to see what happens.

Edit: I was looking through my nail polish colors & found that I have nearly this exact same palette!

ps.  April's newsletter is almost finished.  Don't forget to subscribe for some super awesomeness!

Have you tried the tutorial? Did you notice a color pattern?


It's a bit late but.....

Wanna swap??
shoot me an email fivesixteenthsblog@gmail.com

I've still got some spaces left over there in the side bar.  I am gonna rearrange it coming in April & then hopefully open up for real sponsorship in May! woot woot!

Happy Wednesday!

you can also get involved on Five Sixteenths by doing a guest post either separate or with an ad swap! Check out the guidelines here.

Guest Post // Being your Best

Today I'd like to introduce you to Sarah. She is working on a really inspiring way of life & is here to tell you all about it! Her blog is filled with weekly mantras & plain old awesome stuff. Below you'll find her current goals & how she's working towards them. Her advice for unwinding after work is amazing. Even after she breaks down her day, I don't know how she gets it done!

Hey there – this is a guest post by Sarah from Happy Go Lucky! I blog about DIY projects, Etsy lustings, Mantras and any other things that pop into my head.

Feel free to head over and say hello!

I am very honoured to be providing a guest post for the lovely Moe – I really enjoy guest posts and I find they really make me think – much more so than posting for my own blog in some ways. Every single word is poured over that little bit more, and the perfectionist in me LOVES that!

I have recently been taking part in a project called The 30 Day Reinvention Programme, run by Paige Lysight. It has been an interesting experience and I feel I have learned a lot of things about myself in a lot of different ways. A lot of what I have realised is that in fact I am on track to achieve my goals so far – and the work from the programme served to reinforce that. Some of the things I have learned have been surprisingly small but astonishingly effective and useful. (You can read more about my adventures with the programme here.)

I am keen to explore new ways to help me be my best and achieve the things I want to achieve. I started off my blogging journey and indeed my self improvement journey reading The Secret and trying to apply that mindset to my life. I’d say that this thirst to do more and achieve more has been a by-product of getting involved with these theories and of engaging with lots of projects over the past 4 years. Before that I was very much stuck in a rut and felt that nothing could be changed. Nothing would change. It feels much better to now know that I can change whatever I want. All I have to do is to want it, visualise it, work towards it and it will be mine. (Cue evil genius laugh here).

So – what are my main goals at the moment? Here they are in a nutshell:
  • Keep training and get to my goal weight.
  • Continue to work on and make a success of my blog and Etsy store.
  • Make a success of my Debt-Free ASAP plan.
  • Complete my novel “Snapshots of  Sophie” and submit it to agents.
  • Crochet blankets for my house.
  • Learn to produce digital art work on my new tablet.

I feel as though I am on track to achieve these goals. The top four are my core goals I think. The others are more projects/hobbies to keep my creative juices flowing!

So, what does a typical day in my life look like? How do I fit in all of this working towards goals around a full time job? I’m so glad you asked that – here’s a day in the life:

5:45am – Woken by gradually increasing light and sea sounds from my sunrise alarm clock (much less stressful than a traditional one - I’d recommend one if you haven’t tried them before!)

5:55am – Tony Horton’s Ten Minute Trainer. (Now this man is an evil genius).

6:15am – Shower and dress.

6:35am – Breakfast with MHI (My Handsome Irishman).

7:10am – Leave for work (with a nice big cup of coffee in the car). My journey to work takes roughly an hour, so I have done everything I can to make that time less stressful. I have a tape adaptor plus my MP3 player full to the brim with music, I have sunglasses to preserve my eyes, cereal bars in the glovebox in case I get hungry. I also drive to work via some lovely country roads with really quite special scenery. Every little thing helps when you’re driving such a distance.

8am-3:15pm – I work in a school, which is a pretty hectic way to make a living! If I get chance at lunch times or break I might check up on blogs or even squeeze in some extra writing but to be honest it’s pretty much full on throughout the day.

4:15pm – I arrive home. Cups of tea are drunk. Then I’ll make a start on either my blog post for that day, some writing on my novel (I really do squeeze that in wherever I can – I don’t have long stretches of time to do it in. I just fit in little bursts here and there), crocheting or crafting. At this point MHI is doing his P90X so I have the living room to myself. I also get something ready for our dinner. Usually lots of veggies and meat or a pasta bake. Something with some flavour and goodness.

6:30pm – Dinner has been eaten at this point and then I will go onto doing some of my favourite things. Reading blogs, checking out Pinterest, crocheting – whatever takes my fancy. I spent a lot of time last week in the evenings adding items to my Etsy Store. It really just depends on what is high on the agenda/to do list for that evening.

10pm – This is usually bedtime. I might read for a little (although sometimes my eyes are a little sore and I’m just not up to it).

And then we start again the next day!! So, that’s my day. Fairly full on but worth it I feel. I certainly would never have been able to get up extra early for a workout or carry on working on stuff when I got home four years ago. My self belief just wasn’t there and my energy levels were very low.

You might be forgiven for thinking that I would be totally stressed after all of this and wouldn’t be able to switch off at all. That when it comes to bedtime my brain is all whirry and I can’t possibly sleep. Here are my top tips for making the transition from work to relaxation (and of how to make your out of work activities into your relaxation):

  1. Buy two different perfumes. I got mine from Next – lovely but not too expensive. Use one for work, and one for at home. When you first get them only spray your home perfume on when you are just about to get into bed. Do this for a bout a week. Then, when you have associated that smell in your brain with relaxation, spray some of your home perfume on as soon as you get in from work. You’ll be amazed at the feeling of relaxation this creates. After this point, everything I do seems relaxing. My brain is in relaxed mode.
  1. Pick activities you love. I really wouldn’t do all of this if I didn’t enjoy it – if it was a chore. Look forward to doing them. See them as your reward. I also find having a nice cup of Earl Grey Tea on the go whilst I work on my blog/writing/crafting works wonders for my relaxation.
  1. If you are having trouble sleeping at all – try these tips:

Well, that’s all from me for today’s post. I think I have successfully talked your ear off. Many thanks to Moe for letting me take over her blog for a day – I have really enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check out Happy go Lucky if you would like to read more.

Also, I’d love to hear about your goals and how you achieve them. How do you make the transition from work to home? How do you make sure you are fully rested each day?

Take care people and have a great day wherever in the world you may be.



If you would like to be a guest post on Five Sixteenths, please view how you can contribute here. You can also view past guest posts by clicking here


Collections // Gnome your Identity

I like to think of myself as an all around collector.  I love things that have once been owned by others or things that create a sense of nostalgia.  So I find my self just collecting old things with out a specific theme.  While contemplating my collections, I decided to look deeper into my gnome collection.  I don't have too many but I have two distinct collections.  Well, I guess you could say three if you count my senior thesis.

I adore gnomes.  I love them so much I made them the center of my senior thesis project for my BFA.  I love them so much that I collect them when I can not resist them.  I get it from my grandmother, whose house & garden is filled with them.

One of my favorite movies is Gnomeo & Juliet.  I mean really, just the name is sooo cute.  When I saw it, I made that little face you make when you see cute babies pretty much the whole time.

The first collection of gnomes are my Chrome Gnomes.

First let me say that Zach does not approve of them.  Secondly let me say that sometimes I don't really care!  These are my two favorite gnomes & the only gold two.  The one on the right was purchased at Christmas Town in Busch Gardens.  Every year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg puts on a Christmas spectacular.  5 million lights lit a portion of the park up from 2 million the year before.  I don't think these were put out just for Christmas though as there were chrome gnomes of all colors.

The one on the left was purchased as a white piece of ceramic.  I believe it was part of bisqueware like in those paint your own pottery shops.  I painted it with gold craft paint & glitter.  This was the first gold gnome I owned.  I'd like to find more gold or chrome gnomes to continue on in this specific niche of gnome collecting if you will.

Next is one of my Smoking Gnomes.  I didn't choose to have two smoking gnomes (I use the term smoking very specifically here & you'll see why) but one of my friends in college was at a fair and found these post cards.  I framed them & stuck them in our downstairs bathroom.  They are hilarious.  Here's one:

They stare at guests using the downstairs bathroom.  It's pretty funny.  Right now they are both on the side of the room opposite the toilet.  I should move one to just above the toilet so ladies & gents a like will get a stare down they are aware of.

I don't particularly care for the traditional gnome but rather a modern interpretation.  I think the things we collect reflect a lot about us.  To me, collecting things means we want to identify ourselves a certain way & unite ourselves with others who collect the same things or share those same identities.  Yearning for nostalgia but presenting it in a modern or unique way allows us to identify our shared experiences.  Peep my artist statement if you'd like to know more about how I feel on identity.

Do you find yourself collecting sub-categories?  What are your thoughts on collections & identity?

Typical Work Outfit // Shape & Life

I sit behind a desk all day.  A very tiny desk.  In fact, we will be moving locations in the beginning of April where I will have the largest desk in the history of offices.  It is huge.  I will take a picture when we've settled into our new office.  But you won't believe it, I promise.

Since I sit behind a desk all day, no one really appreciates my shoes....except for when I stand up.  Some days I stand up & end up being a foot taller.  Since I am the first to come in no one really sees what I wear either.  And since I tend to wear creative outfits it's sometimes a fan fare when I step out from behind the desk.  Not to brag or anything :)

My typical outfit is a skirt/shirt/cardigan combo.  Since I am a rather curvy gal, I like wearing cardigans to break up my shape.  I also am all about skirts at the waist to give me more of a feminine shape.  I have really broad shoulders & a waist and hips that are about the same size....not the feminine shape I'd like to have!

These were shots I wasn't expecting to use! Zach was snapping pictures before I was ready! But they came out the best.  Look at him, taking candid shots!  So that is why my feet are doing the extreme pigeon toed thing & look like little nubs!  This is shot behind Zach's house on his back stoop.

But do you see (what I think) how the cardigan gives me a bit more of an hour glass shape? This really works with black cardigans but I think wearing other color cardigans works too.   I add a belt for a bit more interest & to really define my waist.  I don't know if these things are true in fashion, but I think they work for me!

skirt // thrifted
shirt // Forever21
belt // Target (from another skirt)
shoes // on sale from Khol's (I forget the brand)
black ring & necklaces // Icing's & Claire's
watch // Charming Charlies
cardigan // H&M
brown ring // Honeybean Boutique

Lately, Zach & I have been planning what we'll do once his lease is up.  Currently we do not live together (we only met like 6 months ago!) but we have been talking about it.  When we met it was like we'd known each other forever, so the normal idea of moving too fast didn't really affect us.  However, he is in the military & actually just ended his contract.  So, he's got to move back home or really move to Virginia in May.   If he moves back to Michigan, we'll be apart until we find a way to settle down or we work out how we'll make it work.  

I get down every now & then when I think about it.  I wish there was a certain formula we could follow for these sorts of things.  Being such a worry wart about finances & the like, I am super nervous for the future! 

Who knows.  You gotta take it one step at a time right?


Make it Monday // Opal Manicure

My sister's birthday is in October giving her Opal as a birthstone.  I've always be jealous since mine is a blue stone for December.  You may remember a Christmas post from last year where I asked Santa for assorted rings.  I ended up getting a lovely opal ring ring from Zach for Christmas.  Ever since then I've been obsessed with mimicking the opal stone in a manicure.

I was inspired by this something I found a while ago (around Christmas time) where there was glitter under red nail polish.  It was pretty cool for the holidays but I was instantly reminded of an opal stone!

I've had one attempt before that didn't turn out too well.  It wasn't opal-y enough.  The glitter nail polish I used was silver & holographic where as this polish has opalescent glitter.  To give it a 3 dimensional look, I put a few coats of an opalescent polish in between glitter coats.  This type of manicure works best with a translucent polish.

I love the glitter in the Essie polish.  It isn't round like in other glitter polishes.  The glitter is actually like flecks.  It makes the manicure mimic the actual opal stone. It is gorgeous!

To create this look I used Mint Dream by Pure Ice & Essie's Shine of the Times.  I hadn't ever bought an Essie nail polish before.  I was in fact just introduced to the brand.  This nail polish is really nice!  I do have one that is a nude shade (I forget the name) & I really like the coverage of the polish.  I guess that's the right way to put it? It's not cheap looking & it looks nice!

This Pure Ice brand though, in Mint Dream, I did not like.  I couldn't find the polish I wanted to use for this when I went to do the manicure.  The one I wanted to use was the Sally Hansen brand that I'd used before on the failed manicure.  This opalescent color by Pure Ice just looked a bit cheap.  It just didn't apply the way I would have liked it.  This however looked like a better opal option.  The translucent-ness was perfect for this manicure though.

Any way, this manicure was the first part of my Michigan trip:

Mint Dream & Shine of the Times, plus my favorite no chip top coat/base coat combo from Icing by Claire's made a great opal manicure.  To create the perfect opal stone effect, I did a layer of Shine of the Times between the Mint Dream.  This layering mimics the stone by giving it a multidimensional appearance. 

The process is: base coat-Mint Dream-Shine of the times-Mint Dream-Shine of the Times-Top Coat
(make sure the layers dry!)

I took it off & swapped it for a super neon green in the middle of the week, but I will definitely go back to this another day.  It would be perfect for a wedding if you were the bride or bridesmaid!

Have you done anything experimental with nail polish? I think it's a pretty creative medium!


Sum Up Sunday // Winery Tour

This is a late Sum Up Sunday post but while I've come out of my Margarita-ness to watch a few new to me Dr. Who episodes on Netflix I thought I'd share with you some horrible photos for the Williamsburg Winery Tour we went on.

Williamsburg Winery

A few friends came in from out of town & we used a super great Groupon deal for a winery tour.  For about 5 bucks a person, (there were 8 of us!) we got to take a short tour & taste about 6 wines.  I really found out that I do not like red wine but really like Riesling.  I know nothing about wines, but I sure learned a lot about aging & fermenting, etc.  It was nice.

I tried to get pictures inside but they all turned out horrible.  First we watched a video about Virginia's attempt at wine making in the past.  Then we headed into a great hall type of deal where they have dinners & receptions.  (It was beautiful!)  Then we headed down into the cellars, learned more about the bottling process, & finally the tasting.

Then we hung around outside. Did you know they only use the barrels for the wine 5 times? The first two are for reserve wine & the the last three are wines you'd buy regularly.  Red stays longer in the barrels than white (white is only in the barrels for I believe up to 8 months, it might be only 3 though).

These barels didn't have anything in them, they were just outside the winery.
It was a lovely weekend filled with wine, bowling, & mexican food.  I also got some semi good news.  Zach may not have to leave in May once his lease is up.  He may be able to stay here for a little while longer.  I really hope we can figure out what we are going to do, because this whole being separate thing is not looking to be fun!

What did you do this week? Any good company to talk about ?


Our Trip To Michigan // Lake Michigan

Alright, first - I don't believe Lake Michigan is a lake.  I don't care what you say, you can not convince me.  The lake's I am used to have ends....they have shores you can see from no matter where you are.  They don't go on & on & on & on for ages & trick you into believing they are lakes when they are actually seas.  I don't care if there's freshwater, I don't care one bit: it's a sea, an ocean even, & you can't convince me other wise.

First, the walk up to the beach was just breathtaking.  I used the pixlr.com Pilxr-o-matic desktop download to make this photo a dreamy piece of heaven.  Zach's grandparent's house is pretty close to the lake, so he mentioned that usually we'd just walk down there.  He had this entrance in mind though so we drove & parked.

When I cam up on this little bit of sand & water, I was so surprised to see how large the lake was.  I mean, that is literally a beach that a zillion people could sit on.  I can just imagine summers here.  This takes lake side to a whole new meaning!

I mean just look at this, lakes don't have waves like this:

Zach walked around picking up rocks & bits of sea glass for me.  We even found ones with bits of fossil in them.  He was really excited to show me.  I've since made a few keep sakes that I'll share with you here shortly.  We ended up walking quite a ways down the beach before we turned back.

Our Loot
I have always been a fish.  I grew up with a pool in our back yard & summers at Lake Gaston.  There hasn't been a time I've not known water.  My grandmother, who can't swim, taught each of us three grand kids how to swim in her pool.  Up until college, I'd never spent a summer away from water.  It was heart breaking to know that working up at school durring the Summer meant only having small fountains to dip my toes in.  Then, when I graduated & moved in with my BFF, I didn't even have time that summer to go to the pool or water park & was only able to sneak off for 2 days to the lake.  I was devastated to know that in this job climate, I may never be able to have the luxury of taking a dip whenever I wanted.  The summer of 2011 was spent working & sleeping.  I had two jobs at one time, then just one, then two again.  When I finally settled down to where I am now, I was able to sneak away to Lake Gaston for Labor Day.
With the prospect of moving to Michigan a big reality for me, I was saddened about having to leave the Atlantic coast.  (Beaches have never been my fave, I don't really like sand).  Being terrified that I may never be able to swim during summers or having to take a planned vacation to the water, I was a bit skeptical of Michigan.  But after seeing not only the pond in Zach's parent's backyard but the giant Lake Michigan, all my fears were put aside.  So, if I have to (lol) I guess I'll move to Michigan. They also sell sweet tea here & Shock Top, so I'll be totally set!

This had to be my favorite day out of the whole 10 day trip.  In fact, Zach taking me to the lake the first day must have been his evil plan to sway me into moving to Michigan.  He knew I couldn't say no to water.  Hell, even walking a long the banks of the pond in the back yard I could feel the pull of the water.  I wanted so desperately to dip a toe in.  I knew, even though the weather was nice, that the water was still freezing.

So perhaps I'll be spending Summers lake side to that sea or whatever it is, yearning for the coast.  

Have you been anywhere & fallen in love with the scenery?


Fan Fridays // Branding

I've been on the track of cohesiveness for quite a while now.  Ever since I bought the PR book from Kaelah (no lie, best money ever spent. Better than those books your are supposed to buy for those sorts of things) I've been trying to create a better brand for myself.

I've been focused on the blog, the shop, the artist website, & not into my ceramic work (where it especially belongs!).  I think I've found my style if you will that I want to repeat through the rest of my work this year & into the future.  (I'll do a post on that later) (there are too many parenthesis in this post)

 So while poking around on Hello Cotton & Pinterest I found some really freaking awesome branding/marketing/shop/blog ideas that I was totally loving this week:

First I was so inspired by Kaylah of the Dainty Squid that I immediately began searching for more fun things to throw in with orders from the shop:

Check out the super dooper DIY here on her blog.  I can't wait to try this out for the Five Sixteenths shop!  To which I'll be adding some ceramic pieces soon, too!!

This really cool polka dot paper DIY from Oh, Hello Friend is a super great way to create a look for your booth, your pictures, & your packaging.  Consistency is the key & I am totally lacking on that in the photography & packaging aspect.

This post has awesome ideas for sticking your name everywhere! Using printable stickers from an office supply store & your circle craft punch, you can create labels & seals for all sorts of things.  Found via Design Aglow.  I am always finding that there is something else I need for the shop.  Stickers, tags, labels, anything that I don't already have made.  Making a list of these things would probably help!

Unique business cards are also a great thing to have.  Balancing something unique (like a brightly colored business card) with branding you already have may give your look the pop it needs.  You can view the post about these here & also pick up something letterpress printed from Oh Happy Day!

Maryam of Pamplemousse1983 pinned this awesome craft booth inspiration.
I did a quick search of Branding Kit & found this awesome option (with a limited license for use) for $10
Also you can search on Etsy for some awesome blog designs & branding kits.  

I am hoping to get some more designs in the shop here soon but right now I think I am going to photograph some pottery & get that listed. 

Do you have any goals for your brand? Are you cohesive?