Dates on the Cheap: #2

Okay friends, when I came up with the idea for this mini-series I thought, “Sure, cheap, fun, creative date ideas will be a good thing to blog about. Let’s make this happen.” What I am now realizing is I LOVE THIS SERIES. Like for reals. Not only do I have an excuse to try out a bunch of new ideas and places but I also get to bring my PIC [partna in crime, aka Ian] along for the ride. My blogging buddy Alyssa from All Things Beautiful decided to linkup with the series too [so check it out!]. I’m thrilled because now we have both east coast [I’m gearing up for wintery dates] and west coast [she’s enjoying the amazing weather…I’m a little jealous] date ideas!

dates on the cheap series by bedsidesign

Where did we go on our next date? We both love beer, Syracuse, and affordable dates. That’s why we picked a local brewery’s free beer tasting! Yes, that’s right I said FREE. I can’t believe it has taken us 2 years to check out Middle Ages.

Dates on the Cheap

We were able to try out all the beers that they had on tap and relax. It was great for two people [like us] who are comfortable holding a conversation, but it would also be a great first date because you can try new things together. Plus, did I mention it was FREE?!

Middle Ages Brewery Syracuse NYWe didn’t take any pictures inside because we didn’t want to operate any machinery while drinking. Make sure that if you go on one of these dates you take a cab, walk or other transportation since I do not endorse drinking and driving. Also, since it is free please give a generous tip to the happy people working there. After we left Middle Ages Ian looked at me and I knew what he was thinking. He blurted, “Yeah, let’s do this every week.” And that’s how traditions are born.

Search the local breweries in your town or city to see if they offer a free tasting and check it out!

Looking for other cheap date ideas? Why not take a photography date?

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Happy Branding!

What’s all this about branding?

From all the research that I did prior to launching this blog I knew that “branding” was key. It was a bit difficult to create a brand on something so newfluid and unpredictable. Like I shared last week all I had was a simple idea. That made it kind of hard to “brand” myself. Plus, I’ve never like labels.

In high school I was the kid that was obviously part of one clique by the way I dressed, the music I listened to, and the things that interested me [mostly art, design, fashion, and music…wow, not much has changed]. But, even though I clearly belonged to one group I was friends with people outside of that little circle. I loved hearing other people’s perspectives, and learning new things.

I think it has taken me this long to figure out the direction of bedsidesign because I didn’t want to be exclusively confined to one idea or theme and close myself off to other bloggers and readers who have different thoughts and opinions. I’m a pretty eclectic person, and I still hope that will translate into bedsidesign being an eclectic place. I want to cultivate a place where I can bring up a topic and we can engage in a conversation together.

bedsidesign refocus branding + redesign

When figuring out branding one of the most common questions I see are “who are your readers?” or “who do you want your readers to be?” If I’m really honest with you I think you are an eclectic bunch. Yeah, that’s right I said it! I have fellow bloggers, shop owners, Syracuse folks [holla!], family [thanks for the support!], friends who are loyal readers, and then a random pinterest user here and there [YAY & welcome!]. I have both male & female readers. It appears to be all ages too. I want my readers to be you! I love the diversity. Diversity makes me happy.

Let’s have a side conversation for a moment. While contemplating all this branding stuff I found some sweet irony. It’s no secret that I have tattoos and that I love them. I find it funny that I can be so sure, so relaxed, and so confident when it comes to “branding” myself forever. Yet, I worry about color choices for my brand, whether or not the placement of this or that is just right. I was so baffled by this that I branched out to the twitterworld and sent my 140 character question out there, hoping to hear something to settle my nerves. I loved this response from Alyssa: “Decisions about tattoos rarely involve anyone else but you. They aren’t marketing. Branding considers other people.” How perfect is that? And since we are on the topic of tattoos here is the big tattoo reveal. The first week I joined the Be Happy Linkup I mentioned my love/obsession with sea otters. Hello happy critter! The tattoo is healing right now, I’ll make sure I update you all when it is ready for a photo shoot!

Christie Jones sea otter tattoo by Resurrected Tattoo

Let’s return to the topic at hand. I am in the process [since I refocused] of streamlining this blog and amping up the content. I know those two things sound like opposites but in a few weeks I’m hoping it will all make more sense to you. I believe that original and unique content is key and I will be gravitating more into that direction. Don’t worry, the party will continue and my hope is that as I am more focused you will enjoy this here blog a little bit more.

The Happiness Project linkup

Join the linkup!

DIY: 2013 Geometric Calendar

Before we know it 2013 will be here. In an effort to be prepared for the new year I would like to share a simple & quick [took me all of 10 minutes] DIY geometric calendar. We are working on our office and I’m sticking with a black and white theme with metallic accessories. I fell in love with this 2013 printable calendar from Natasha Mileshina‘s etsy shop. The first step would be to purchase the calendar.
geometric 2013 calendarOnce you have the calendar you can print it out. You will also need to gather some supplies.

supplies to make a DIY calendar

Cut the calendar months into the size that you would like. Use the ruler to keep your cuts straight. Secure the calendar month to the cardstock with strips of electrical tape [washi tape will work too]. I wanted the tape to look a bit more thrown on together but you can use precise pieces if that’s more your style. Use both sides of the cardstock to conserve paper. I put Jan/Feb on one, March/April on another and so on.

DIY geometric calendar

Look at all the shapes! Once you tape all your months together use your lil binder clip to fasten them together. Behold:

DIY geometric calendarIt is as simple as that! 2013 you lookin’ so fly!

P.S. If you make one I would LOVEEE to see it.

Color Emphasis: KELLY GREEN

I love the color green. I specifically love kelly green [maybe it’s the Irish in me]. I think it is super classy and versatile. Today we are playing a little “this or that” as we gear towards winter. Which ones do you prefer?

a round up of kelly green items[ one | two | three | four | five | six ]

You can pin your favorite color emphasis board, and feel free to leave a comment on facebook for the color that you want to see featured next.

 

IN LOVE: Budget Wardrobe

Over the past few weeks I let you in on my not so little secret that I am NOT a high rolla. My husband and I both work part-time so you can only imagine that our budget gets pretty tight [but we totally manage]. I don’t want you to think I’m super rich, and can throw my money wherever and however I want to. I think that’s an important fact in a blogger’s life because often times I suggest things that I like. The truth is, sometimes they are out of my own personal budget. I’m trying to keep it real here at bedsidesign and so today I am letting you in on one of my own personal projects. You see, I mentioned Thursday that I am not a fashion expert. Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes but often the cost of them makes building a wardrobe feel like daunting task or unattainable goal. Today I’m here to say, it can happen on a budget! [Imagine me doing a little dance and waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care!]

I wrote out a list of classic items that I need to fill up my closet and are versatile. I work from the list every time I go shopping and it helps me stay focused. Behold the 12 key items to building a Christie Jones-esque wardrobe…the best part is no item is over $50 and hopefully you like some of them too:

in love: building a classic womens wardrobe on a budget

[ one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve ]

The top 12 items on the list: A snazzy blazer. A killer party dress. A classic chambray shirt. Standard v-neck tee. A fancy button-down. Comfy cords. Sexy black jeans. Dark-wash skinnies. A pretty belt. Oversized boyfriend watch – this baby is only $16.99! Let’s face it, I live in Syracuse…glittens are a must [mittens + gloves]. Black loafers with a tiny heel – I love being short and I’m not really into wearing heels all the time. Numbers three – four, and six – eight are crossed off my list – hooray! Now I’m just working on building in the rest of the pieces…slowly but surely. What are your wardrobe must-haves? Do you work on a budget?

Don’t forget to check the pinterest board when you can repin your favorite items!

UPDATE: I mentioned in a comment that the black loafers would look awesome with ban.do shoe clips. Well Erin from artsocial included them in her black & white IN LOVE roundup and you have GOT to check them out.

Also, I peaked into a local thrift store today looking for a credenza. I did not find one but I did find a $7 black blazer with white trim….booyah! Crossing #1 off the list.

Prints + Patterns + Spaces: Handwritten

In this digital age something as simple as anything “handwritten” can be artsy. I’m okay with that. I love that everyone has their own flair and handwriting style. Do you prefer typing or handwriting notes? Does anyone still keep a journal? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
a collection of handwritten items

[ one | two | three | four | five | six | seven ]

 I think handwritten notes are romantic. I think the unique and personal touch of something that you write adds to the romance of things. Speaking of romance, I have to say I am thrilled to say that #1 & 3 are from an entire Etsy site based off of Jane Austen-inspired items. They even have hand screen-printed t-shirts that say “I am Mr. Darcy” how awesome is that?

I’m also thrilled to announce that I was named the “Blogger of the Month” for the month of November on Sworley Thoughts. Pretty exciting! OH, and I’m going this afternoon to get a very special tattoo…stay tuned for pictures! What are your plans this weekend?

A Little Soul-Searching: Refocus

When I created the monthly goals for my happiness project I didn’t realize how much of November would be spent “soul-searching”. Before I launched this blog I brainstormed names, design concepts, blog content and thought about the type of blog that I wanted to produce. I’ll admit, in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I knew the general things – like how to create a post, take and edit some photos and thankfully knew my way around social media. What I didn’t know was how to produce content on a steady basis, whether anyone would even read my blog, and where it would take me. All I  had was an idea of inspiring others and I ran [or in reality crawled] with it.

Saturday was the “Finding Your Blog’s Voice” topic for Blog Brunch. This couldn’t have come at a better time. It always makes me happy to connect with people pursuing their passions [hello Be Happy linkup peeps!]. It is great to be inspired by others. I’ve also realized where I may fit in this great big blogging world. I’m not a fashion expert, an interior designer, a high rolla blogger with a huge wallet [more on this soon], someone who lives on the west coast [lucky you if you do!] or in Manhattan or Brooklyn. I’m not overly girly, but I love to paint my nails and wear sparkles. I am a tattooed lover of minimalist design [be it letterpress or interiors] who has to work a day-job. I desperately want to cultivate a place to share what inspires me and hear what inspires you. Is that okay? Will you journey with me?

Join the Be Happy crew!

Local Peek: Tonja Torgerson

The Local Peek series is branching out. It will not only feature awesome shops, handmade items but also artists and anyone else contributing to the community in Syracuse. If you want to be featured email me at bedsidesign [at] gmail [dot] com with “Local Peek” as the subject.

Tonja Tongerson, a local artist who creates phenomenal portraits is with us today. Her portraits “deal with the reality of illness while balancing a thin line between expression and discretion. While these topics could be divisive, the use of color, humor, and childish aesthetic keeps her work welcoming.”

local syracuse artist

What’s your favorite thing to do in Syracuse?
I love to go on walks. I experience a city much differently on foot than when I am moving fast on a bike or in a car. When ever I visit a city I try to cover as much ground on foot as possible. Syracuse has some great hidden nooks and paths that are fun to try to find on long walks.

Why do you create art?
It really doesn’t seem like it is an option anymore. There was a time when I was an undergraduate that I questioned being an artist and spent a few years looking for a different career path, but I never found another avenue that I enjoyed as much. So I buckled down and committed to making art. It is what I really love to do and I hope that it is meaningful to others as well.

local syracuse artist

Can you share a recent favorite read or find?
I feel blessed to have lived in Minneapolis for so long and to be aware of all of the amazing music that is constantly bubbling up from that city. Whether it be Haley Bonar, Rogue Valley, Total Babe or Dark, Dark, Dark- there are tons of musicians rocking the Twin Cities with really unique, amazing sounds. It’s always great to be able to put on their music and feel like I am back home.

What is an interest, or something you’re passionate about?
It is really important to me that I have a garden every summer. I grew up on a farm, my parents were sort of ‘back to the land’ folks, so I always spent time tending to plants and growing vegetables. It doesn’t really feel like spring to me until there is soil under my finger nails and I am scattering lettuce seed. This summer I had my first community garden plot in the Westcott neighborhood, which was awesome and much better than trying to have a million pots on a front porch!

local syracuse artist

What is on your bedside table?
My bedside table is an unholy mess. I am finishing up my final year of grad school and at this point in the semester things have really started to pile up. My studio has begun to spill into my apartment, so there is art and school work everywhere. I don’t even want to look at my bedside table, but I can tell you every inch of it is covered with a whole smattering of things.

What are five things you couldn’t live without?
-My computer. With both art and school, my computer is absolutely essential. It’s my sketchbook, my process to build up layers for prints, and the place I store all the documentation of my artwork- I use it in all the stages of my studio practice.
-A good audiobook/podcast. I like to listen to books on tape when I am working in the studio. It helps me focus and prevents me from getting bored when I have to execute the tedious parts of a project (like painting stripes on a dress for weeks). Plus it’s the only way I have time to enjoy a book right now, so it’s awesome multitasking.
-A studio space. I spent a year trying to make art without a studio and it was really rough- I had to dramatically compromise what I could make. Since then I have had a range of studios; from basements, to (nearly) unheated studios during Minnesota winters, to great warehouse spaces filled with super talented artists. It’s been really important to me to have a space separate from my living quarters. It allows me time away from the work so I can come at it with fresh eyes. Plus, I am a printmaker- so making art tends to be a messy process.
-Coffee. I spent years working at a coffee shop and so coffee became an integral part of my life. I have always tried to live within walking distance of a coffee shop. One of my simpler joys in life is waking up, taking a walk with my husband and getting coffee along the way.
-Pinball. I am a huge nerd for pinball.

Thanks for inspiring us today Tonja. See more of her work here.

Color Emphasis: Chrome

We are talking about chrome today – nope, not the browser. You might be thinking, “more metallics? Christie, are you obsessed?” and the answer is yes. I sure am! I love the way that metallics pump up the drama and take on a modern look in a second.
metallic chrome color roundup

one: I love arching floor lamps and this one stole my heart. Not only is is metallic but the shape and size are exactly what I am looking for.

two: I instantly feel classy when I paint my nails. Have you seen all of those chic chromed-out nails on pinterest? Totally glam.

three: Why not make your iPhone super flashy? It could probably double as a mirror too!

four: Duck tape. Hello craftiness potential!

five: Old school style. I love this watch.

six: One of my “adult” goals is to have a closet with matching hangers. These feel uber sophisticated.

seven: Trash doesn’t have to bring you down. Cover it in a shiny container.

eight: This is GENIUS. Do you know what it is? Yeah, it’s a ring holder. Way too cool.

What do you think of chrome? Would you decorate or wear it?

IN LOVE: WARBY PARKER

I’m so excited to start sharing the things that I am IN LOVE with directly with y’all. It was a total blast collaborating with Erin from artsocial. I encourage you to check out her bloggy, she’s sharing some sparkly ban.do goodness today.

I’m in the market for a new pair of spectacles. Ian purchased a pair of Warby Parker glasses about a year ago and they are still my favorite. Not only do they create amazing designer styles but their mission instantly sets them at the top of my preferred list. For every pair of glasses purchased they provide a pair to someone in need. I can totally get down with that. Behold, my top picks [honestly this was so hard because all of their styles are awesome]:

Winston: They had me at straight browline. These are by far my favorite. I’m desperate to try them on. Oh, did you know they offer home try on program?

Begley: I think the Begley is beggin’ for me to try them out. What do you think?

Fillmore – Tennessee Whiskey: Okay, these glasses are so sweet. I’m definitely IN LOVE with these bad-boys. They totally remind me of something Bondurant brothers from Lawless would wear.

Fillmore -Hazelwood: A little more feminine, I love the coloring in these.

Waldo: Where would we be without Waldo? I love the nostalgia behind these rims. It’s okay to be a little bit nerdy.

Benson: Minimalistic, clean-cut, and to the point. These frames are on point.

Miles: Maybe I’m drawn to these specs because my friends are planning on naming their baby Miles, or maybe it is because they are stylish but not over the top. Either way, they look pretty classy.

Everett: For when I want to feel like a diva but look like a rock star.

What is your favorite style? I need to narrow it down to 5 to try on. Which ones do you think I should try?

Feel free to follow the IN LOVE pinterest to see what I’m falling in love with next.