Moody Monday: Winter Sun

Today, as I continue to celebrate Black History Month by finding truth and beauty in the Black experience, I find myself inspired once again by Zora Neale Hurston.

As a writer and anthropologist, she was insatiably curious and loved adventure. Zora reminds me a lot of the women in my family — she was classy, sharp-witted, didn’t take herself too seriously, but took pride in the things she was passionate about. Likewise, I can imagine my grandmother giving my mom and her sisters this same advice passed down to Zora by her mother.

Jump at the sun. We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.

For this week’s moodboard, I wanted to create a space that reminded me to focus on who I am and what I want, and most importantly, to keep it light.

winter sun moodboard
Romare Bearden, Thank You ... for FUML

Moody Mondays: Romare Bearden + Black History Month

Today’s moodboard is inspired by one of my favorite artists and a constant source of inspiration. Romare Bearden was a prominent African American artist, considered to be one of the best visual artists of the Twentieth Century. However, his talents and influence reached far beyond the arts world.

He taught himself how to paint, developing his craft while he worked as a social worker. Once established, his background in education and social work made him a powerful champion for the arts, especially in Harlem and among the African American community.

Because his works gloriously capture various facets of the Black experience and that of the African diaspora, I wanted him to be the first person I feature in my Black History Month moodboard series. Having spent most of my childhood experimenting with collage, his work has resonated with me since my first time seeing it at The High, in Atlanta. I’ve kept framed prints of his around as much as possible since then, and even designed my bedroom around the primary color themes he frequently used.

Which brings me to today’s moodboard:



Included in today’s moodboard is a fitting Quote of the Day as well:

You put down one color and it calls for an answer. You have to look at it like a melody.

Creation starts with just one stroke, and the rest is a search for balance and melody. I hope that’s enough to inspire you to get started on whatever you’ve been putting off. I have to get back to my Etsy shop and finish editing all the new listings I have in store for you this week!

I hope you enjoy clicking on all the fabulous finds over at Polyvore, and tell me what you think in the comments. Have a fabulous and colorful week!


quote of the day, anais nin, quotes about taking risks, personal development

Quote of the Day: Growth Means Taking Risks

Today’s quote is from another one of the most interesting ladies of the twentieth century, Anaïs Nin. Fearless, free-spirited and quick-witted, the author revolved her career and life around pushing boundaries — both her own and society’s.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

For Nin, who was curious, well-traveled and ambitious, the restraints of polite society and gender norms were stifling. She challenged notions of propriety, intimacy and justice in her diaries, novels and lectures. Her confidence in confronting life honestly and on her own terms can be an inspiration for those of us who are less sure of our own voice or direction.

While some of us may not personally feel held back by society’s expectations, usually our own perceptions of our abilities can be more damaging. Insecurity breeds bad attitudes, fueled by negative feedback loops which convince us that failing at any effort is worse than not trying at all.

We all have creative potential, but the difference between those who realize this potential and those who do not is sometimes just the willingness to risk comfort for growth. I’m not saying everyone has an inner Picasso, I simply mean that we are more likely to identify, use and improve our personal talents (whatever they may be) when we have the ability and willingness to step outside of our comfort zones.  We thrive when we’re okay with being bad at something or looking foolish long enough to adopt new knowledge, perspectives and skills. Getting to this point — just before you’re able to blossom — requires a well-nourished sense of curiosity and a childlike acceptance of our own shortcomings/ignorance. Only then can we push through insecurity and move toward self-actualization.

Of course, stepping out of our comfort zones is a privilege many don’t have. Having the internet at your disposal, having access to culturally-rich programs and institutions, being able to move with relative ease within your region or country are all luxuries to most people around the world. So if there is anything you could be doing to learn, connect or grow, then do it, even if only in the spirit of gratitude.


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, quotes about creativity, imagination, picture quotes, inspirational quote

Quote of the Day: Imagine Success

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

If the 20th century had an expert on the power of the imagination, storied writer, poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry might have been it. I still refer to the copy of The Little Prince I bought to brush up on my French after high school. It helps me remember the child inside, begging me to stop taking myself so seriously; urging me to see what could be instead of what always has been.

Confronting our problems as possibilities is an excellent start to bringing innovative solutions to life. With a little research and a lot of elbow grease, the ability to think creatively will get you far.

valentines day gifts, for her, peach and cream, etsy treasury, spring trends, original art prints, urban photography

Tuesday Treasury: Frosted Tips

More chic Valentine’s gift ideas for her and for home in today’s Etsy Treasury.

The warm peach/coral color used is one of my favorites to wear in winter to contrast with the sea of grey, black and brown outside. I hope you click through to the collection to explore the wonderful shops and artists featured — it’ll be worth your while, even if you’re just window-shopping for now.

etsy treasuries, valentines gift ideas for women, modern home accessories

My favorite piece is the mesmerizing pattern print done by talented duo Kati and Alan at Twamies. I’m also drooling over EVERYTHING at Imelda Shoes, and – as always – I managed to find a perfect offering from Mawusi.

The point is, there’s plenty more where these came from, so hop on over to the treasury and start exploring a glorious world of handmade and vintage.

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Quote of the Day: Think

Dr. King has a legacy of challenging people to be more than their nature; to turn the other cheek, to see beyond their own self-interest, to see the best in others — even our enemies and oppressors. I think of his words when I need to be reminded to check my anger, or when I’m ready to give into bitterness. On his holiday, I’ll celebrate his legacy — in part — by sharing this quote.

There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

I hope his words encourage anyone who happens to read this blog not only to think more and harder, but also to ask more questions. Often our unchallenged paradigms can land us into a rut or a fog. We can find clarity and solutions when we begin to see a problem from another point of view.

Let me know about a time when you found this to be true in the comments below.


aboriginal art, radiant orchid

Moody Mondays: Radiant Orchid

I’ve been wanting to use mood boards as a way of sharing color and inspiration weekly here. To kick off this new feature, I couldn’t think of a better color to feature than Pantone’s latest color of the year: Radiant Orchid. I immediately fell in love with this color’s boldness and brilliance, and thought it would make a perfect wardrobe staple or home accent. Here are my finds:


radiant 2014 moodboard

 Where you invest your love, you invest your life.

I chose this Mumford & Sons quote to include in the set because this year I want to focus on investing in the things and people I love most. For me this means creating more, exploring more and challenging myself more to share my work and experiences. Where are you investing your passion this year?

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Quote of the Day: Catching Creativity

Today’s advice for creative development comes from a man whose life is characterized by his unyielding curiosity and imagination. Albert Einstein’s genius was no accident. Though his early life was marked by failure, he nurtured creative habits that could serve anyone wishing to expand their expertise.

Chief among these habits, arguably, was frequently picking the brains of the best and brightest in his field. He regularly sought mentors and peers that challenged him and better informed his ideas and curiosities.

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.

This model is easy to replicate in any field, but don’t mistake shameless networking for productive, symbiotic relationship-building. Collaborate when possible, and stay on top of what’s being done in your field — support those whose work inspires you.

Pictured along with the quote is a blurry shot from Flux Night from 2012. Castleberry Hill’s annual block-party styled, public art event brings artists and residents from all backgrounds together. There are so many ways (and reasons) to build your own community around your craft. Share your techniques and experiences in the comments!


rod serling, creativity quotes, leadership, picture quote

Quote of the Day: Originality

Being like everybody is the same as being nobody.

- Rod Serling, writer and host of The Twilight Zone

For creative professionals, standing out from the crowd can mean the difference in turning your craft into a career, or a hobby. But being original requires more out of us than just being contrary. Simply rejecting something because everyone does/likes it is infantile. Knowing why a trend, technique or aesthetic doesn’t appeal to you is part of shaping your own voice and values.