This past Monday marked the Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year, making it officially the Year of the Monkey.
If your birth year coincides with the monkey, you are thought to be intelligent, clever, and one of the most innovative personalities within the Chinese zodiac. Those are traits of the monkey personality but, since it’s the Year of the Monkey, they are also the overall theme of the year. According to tradition, that means 2016 will be an energetic and auspicious year full of reinvention for all of the zodiac signs.
To celebrate, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite designer items featuring this year’s monkey motif.
Happy hump day, pals! Does anyone else feel like they are in a perpetually frozen state today? I can’t complain much since it’s been such a mild winter, but man, I can’t wait until all work is done today and I can curl up in a blanket and watch Pretty Little Liars. Goals, right?
And while we’re at it, why not cozy up with some hot new links? These internet finds are my favorites of the week. Enjoy!
1 I thought this DIY Wooden Bead Chandelier was gorgeous, but the best part? The supplies are pretty inexpensive and the process seems really simple. (A Beautiful Mess) | 2 I may or may not have become hypnotized while looking at this list of the most beautiful cinematic shots in movie history. (BlazePress)
3 These incredible images by artist Pablo Thecuadro are made using a simple utility knife on editorials and photographs. They’re pretty mesmerizing. (Honestly WTF) | 4 The Laney Boggs of cabinetry- you won’t believe how chic this dismal piece became with just little makeover. (Apartment Therapy)
With just one week until Valentine’s Day, love is definitely in the air. But I really appreciate love-themed design all year round, don’t you? I mean is their really a time when a graphic heart motif or a cheeky love print is not welcome? I don’t think so.
Check out a few of my favorite love-themed items and then keep reading for a dude-approved playlist perfect for a V-Day dinner night in!
Zach and I started dating way back in the era of the mixed CD, and boy did he nail the romantic compilations. Anyone who knows him can attest to the fact that he probably knows more about music than 99% of the population, so I’d thought I’d tap into the master source for this month’s playlist. I specifically asked him to come up with some romantic-themed songs that were also masculine, too. And maybe one of these is more about heroin than love (I’ll let you figure that one out), but I think he really got the mood down. Here’s what he came up with…
Hey internet friends! Thanks for checking in for this week’s links roundup. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving lately.
1 Artist Malu Stewart blend the worlds of fine art and crafts by taking pieces like well-known Monet works and reinterpreting them using everyday objects, such as pipe cleaners. It’s kind of mesmerizing. (Design Sponge) | 2 From the artful cookies to the bold color palette, this rosé soireé is such a great party idea for a Galentine’s Day party or even a bridal shower. (Style Me Pretty)
3 I don’t know if I’ve been living under a boring, sprinkle-free, non-magical rock, but I had never heard of unicorn bars before seeing this post. I mean, are they a thing? I don’t know, but I’m a believer regardless. Don’t they just look like sweet sugary heaven? (Cookies & Cups) | 4 I love this idea from one of my favorite art blogs. If the start of February has you stepping back and reassessing your goals for the new year, this idea of sketching or collaging your intentions might help to reinvigorate them and refocus yourself. (Alisa Burke)
5 And finally, the perfect Valentine’s date night look. 😉
As a blogger and designer, I’m very comfortable working alone, but that’s not generally how my best work, or even my best ideas, come about. That’s why it can be especially important to push myself outside of the happy hermit walls that surround my comfort zone to reach out to other creatives for networking and collaborations.
If these things don’t exactly come naturally to you, I hear you. Networking can feel forced, awkward, and uncomfortable. And it’s something on which I’m constantly working and trying to improve. That’s why I’m sharing these tips that, as an introvert, I’ve found especially helpful for whenever you are trying to make connections and expand your creative team.
Think Outside of Yourself
When networking, the thought process often revolves around filling a personal need and bringing more people into your squad. However, if want to expand your reach, you may want to consider the opposite perspective and look to join someone else’s team instead. If you can check your creative ego at the door, you will likely gain new ideas, new methods, and new connections that you never would have otherwise. The ego isolates, but humility connects.
Similarly, thinking outside of yourself can help to ease nerves. When my nephew was nervous about starting kindergarten and having to make friends at a new school, my mom gave him some great advice that stuck with me. She told him to look for someone else that seemed nervous and focus on being nice to them and helping them feel better. That same advice can be applied to adulthood nerves as well. If you’ve been wanting to pitch an idea to an editor or reach out to someone you admire about collaborating, don’t focus on your own nerves or perceived inadequacies. Think about the potential value you can offer to them. Instead of asking for a favor, outline what you can bring to the table and how you can make their life easier. Consider the notion that you might be exactly what they’re looking for to fill a need.
Watch for Bright Eyes
Having talent is great but collaborating with other talented people is even better. Invest your time into finding and hanging out with people whose talents, interests, and goals are in line with your own. They will not only be able to help you when you need inspiration and advice, but will hopefully motivate you to push harder and go further than you would solo.
Furthermore, you know that thing that you’re so passionate about? If you see someone else talk about it with the same fire in their eyes, invest your time into this person. Sharing a vision and drive regarding the same topic is a rare bond that should be held onto tightly. If you aren’t sure where to connect with others of similar interests, consider online groups, blogger meetups, creative courses and other places that driven and brilliant people like yourself will likely be. And never underestimate the power of volunteering. Some of my most valuable connections have been made through volunteering for someone I admire and giving it my all. It gives them a chance to see your eyes get bright about their work and solidifies you as a strong asset to the team.
Find Your Yang
Keep an open mind when it comes to connecting with different types of people because it is oftentimes a personality that is opposite to your own that will make for a very productive pairing. If you’re a visionary, team up with a practical doer. If you prefer to work behind-the-scenes, team up with someone outgoing with PR savvy.
Take advantage of what you can learn from someone who works differently than you. It may take effort to understand different communication and work styles, but it will pay off in the end. And similarly, try to bring your own unique vision and experiences to the partnership. Whatever makes you “weird” is often one of your most valuable qualities. Cookie-cutter people seldom change the world.
Do you have any tips for growing your personal network? Let’s talk making connections in the comments!
I’m really excited about this new post series, which I intend to be a weekly space to share what’s been inspiring me creatively as of late. I’m currently loving all things iridescent. The pretty candy-colored rainbow effects make me think of everything I loved as a child and make me want to create so many wonderful, magical things.
Wow! I have had a tech-disaster of a week. I haven’t posted since last week’s roundup because I was dealing with server issues. I wasn’t able to login to my site or even load the page. Any bloggers/site owners out there who are fellow DIY tech novices, you know how crazy frustrating and complicated site problems can be. I believe everything looked normal from the reader’s end over the past few days, but if it hasn’t I apologize. Everything should finally be back to normal now, so I guess that means it’s time for some links, right?!
1 I never get sick of the surrealist trend and I thought these DIY eyeball placemats and hand napkin rings were such a great take on the style. Wouldn’t they be great for an art-themed party? (The House that Lars Built) | 2 And while we’re talking about art parties, how about serving up these DIY spiked lollipops? I love how they look like beautiful ink swirls. (Sugar & Cloth)
3Beginnings is a great New York Magazine feature on the breakthrough moments that led to major success, from actors to musicians, chefs to political speech writers. It’s enlightening to hear their thoughts, feelings, and insecurities before it all clicked. (NY Mag) | 4 Helene is one of my favorite go-to blogger gurus, and I love that she’s sharing an insight into how she organizes her planner and her life. (Helene in Between)
5 Paris Couture Fashion Week is halfway through. Meanwhile I’m in Ohio, dreamily looking at street style and highlights from the shows. (Chanel, with its futuristic hair twists and sensible wedges, seems to already have a lot of buzz). For fellow long-distance admirers, this compilation, Paris, In Movies, by Candice Drouet, pretty much makes it feel like you’re there… sort of. (Vimeo)
Happy humpday, pals! I know most of you are smack dab in the middle of your workweek grind, and you know what? You deserve a reward. Preferably in link form. Here are my faves from the past seven days. Enjoy!
1 Are you excited for the Who What Wear Target collection hitting stores on January 31st? I am! The collection, inspired by high-fashion streetwear, comes in sizes 2-26 and features some incredible prints, textures, and accessories. I’m loving those architectural bags! (Who What Wear) | 2 This article is in Spanish but the provocative art and design in this London flat speaks the international language of cool. I’m beyond inspired. (Nuevo Estilo).
3 Have you been looking for a reason to spend an hour of your day today scrolling through gorgeous cakes? If so, these masterpiece creations by Russian cake god, Tortik Annuchka (@tortikannuchka), will be your new obsession. (Instagram) | 4 Oscar season is officially upon us (yay!). I loved this look at the intentions and efforts involved in the statue-winning film sets of Oscars past. (Domino)
5 Have you seen the new photo-editing app, A Color Story, from the girls of ABM? I’m pretty stoked about the Flare & Bokeh package. Here’s a look at what the app can do. (A Beautiful Mess)