Random Weekly Roundup #2

After a scorching week in Columbus, here are a few things that have been on my mind and getting me through the heat...

1. Pointed Flats

The way cooler cousin to the ballet flat, pointed-toe flats offer the instant sleekness and elongating effects of a heel but in a much more comfortable format. They're also incredibly versatile- they look great with anything from slouchy cargos to a cocktail dress. And I love the witty retro quality they give to an outfit, automatically upgrading whatever you're wearing. Check out these awesome finds, all from Piperlime, ranging from the ultra-luxe to the super-affordable.

Week2_Flats

Clockwise from top center: Iva by Rebecca Minkoff, $225; Ashley by Mia, $49; Easy Does It by Chinese Laundry, $59; Ella by Steven by Steve Madden, $89; Audrey by 10 Crosby Derek Lam, $295; Avery by 10 Crosby Derek Lam, $295; Pippa by Loeffler Randall, $350; d'Orsay by Jenni Kayne, $450.

2. I Might Have a Crush on A Beautiful Mess...

So I featured their app on last week's roundup, here, and I'm beginning to feel a bit like a stalker, but they just keep doing great things! Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess are releasing a photo idea book  "full of tips, challenges and inspiration for photographing everyday life." As someone who has taken more pictures in the past couple months of blogging than in the past two years of life, I'm so excited to see what brilliant ideas the girls have to offer!

Week2_Book

The book doesn't come out until August 13th, but is available for pre-order at AmazonBarnes & Noble and IndieBound. It also features a 30-Day Self-Portrait Challenge, which the duo is offering right now as an Instagram challenge (#ABeautifulMess). The challenge started on July 16th, but you can jump in whenever, and at the end of the 30 days, a few lucky participants will win a signed copy of the book! Count me in!

3. Major Karen O

When I tell you I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I mean I LLOOOVVVEEEE the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And not to discredit the band, but I'm in it for Karen O, 100%. And with the band's latest album, Mosquito, it seems her style has evolved into a new and even more wonderful entity. Karen O's long-time costume designer and friend, Christian Joy, has created a look that seems to be the embodiment of both Elton John and Grace Jones, infusing Miss O's signature punk/grunge look with a new element of psychedelic pomp and circumstance, like a glittering rock majorette. And I salute!

4. Illustrating Beauty

So one of the hats I wear in my life is that of a costume designer, and when I was in school for design, I was cranking out watercolor illustrations like it was my job...which I guess it was...and is. Anyway, it's something I really love to do, but anymore I find myself painting only when I'm on a strict deadline given to me by someone else. Well, I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to become more disciplined in practicing art just for the sake of creation, rather than assignment, but I've been having a hard time, as it always seems to get pushed back behind more realistic life issues. So this week, I'm admiring (in a slightly jealous way) two of my current favorite illustrators, hoping that it might inspire me to make some paintings of my own this week. (And if I do, you'll be the first to know!)

First up is Jessica Durrant of Jessica's Little Shop of Illustrations. I stumbled upon her Etsy shop about a year ago and was blown away by the beautiful simplicity in her fashion illustrations and the wonderful quality of her colorful nature portraits and scenic watercolors. (Click images for purchasing link.)

And my newest favorite is Kari Herer of Kari Herer Photography. Using a mixture of custom illustrated artwork and still life photography, Kari's work, especially in the Flora and Illustrations series, is something I have never seen before. I'm dying to purchase one of these pieces, which are beautifully classic and entirely innovative at the same time. (Click images for purchasing link.)