Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small Blogs: Blog In Focus - "DesignStylePop!"

Yea for small blogs! For those of us who blog because it makes us happy I think that is the most important reason for having one. We blog not to make loads of money or to gain a googolplex of viewers or fans but simply to celebrate the things that we enjoy in life.

I have a small blog. I like my little blog! Funny, the more often I post, the more I enjoy it! I blog because I love sharing and documenting which I find fun! I also love to peruse other blogs because I love being inspired and just seeing how other people live. 

"Small Blogs: Blog In Focus" will be a regular feature of my favorite small blogs, the hidden gems of the Blogoverse. They may be small in audience but large in passion about their subject matter!

My first small blog in focus is DesignStylePop!.

DesignStylePop! is from the creative mind of Rose Wood. Rose, who also is my sister, has always loved to read and write. She carries equal passion for design, style, and pop culture. I was very happy when she decided to venture into blogging because I have always been a fan of her writing which she does so fluidly and thoughtfully. Moreover, she has a keen eye for neat design and style and a vast knowledge of the pop culture world.

Below are a couple of my favorite posts from DesignStylePop!:

I love seeing Rose's kids (Milo and Stella) interact with modern day furniture. Somehow Milo and Stella make the furniture look that much more fun!

Stella & Milo sitting on "Urchin Poofs" by Christien Meindertsma.

Milo standing next to "Horse Lamp" by Front.

I highly anticipate Rose's on-going series of "Fave Celebrity Home Tour". Her latest celebrity home was Mark Ruffalo's house. His home is absolutely gorgeous! 

The Ruffalo's very comfortable Family Room. 

Bright and colorful sunroom. 

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into Rose's blog DesignStylePop!

Cheers to Small Blogs!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Work In Progress...Making an Eco-Friendly Backyard - Part 2

It's been about 3 months since our backyard's lawn was dug up and hauled away. Just last week we finally ordered our landscape rocks from the rock supplier Lakeside Decorative Rock (LDR). This small family-owned business had a great selection of rocks at prices about half that of other landscape contractors in San Diego County. I was very impressed by LDR's service which was both honest and courteous. In addition, they were very punctual with delivery of our rocks which arrived on time.

One minor setback we did have was LDR's large dump truck couldn't maneuver fully into our driveway due to our small, car-compacted street. So luckily they were able to leave the rocks partially at the beginning of our driveway and partially on the sidewalk and street. Of course we didn't want to leave the rocks out on the sidewalk or street so after many back breaking hours over a course of two days, Carlos and I were able to shovel and wheelbarrow the rocks into our backyard and all remaining rocks into the middle of our driveway.  

Thankfully our neighbor Colin (who is a general contractor by trade) let us borrow his wheelbarrow which I am totally in love with. That wheelbarrow is very easy to use, moves very smoothly, and made mine and Carlos's rock hauling time 100% faster. It's my new "it" equipment! But I will tell you, Carlos and I were very, very sore after each day of shoveling and moving rocks. But it felt so gratifying to know we did it all by ourselves. Fortunately, Paco and Tomás also helped us out a lot with raking and smoothing out the rocks in the backyard.

The newest love in my life, the blue "Jackson" wheelbarrow.

Our 5 cubic yards of Arizona River Rock.

We purchased Arizona River Rock, a natural river rock, about 1/2" to 1 1/2" size rocks which have a smooth finish and are easy to walk on. They are usually brown and gray in color.  We bought about 5 cubic yards of rock which is about 700 - 800 square feet of coverage. The total cost of the rocks was close to half the price of what we paid for sod back when we installed our lawn 9 years ago. I am happy that not only maintenance of the yard will be so much easier than having a grass lawn but we'll save on water too! No grass equals a more eco-friendlier outdoor living space.

All cleared up! The front of our driveway after two days of shoveling rock out of there and off the sidewalk and street.

Our remaining rocks in the middle of our driveway waiting to be added to the unfinished portion of our backyard.

A look into our backyard from our gate.

A closer look at where our future garden will be located.

Another view of our partially finished rock landscaping. To the right of the kids' swing set is the unfinished portion of our backyard. 

Not yet ready. The unfinished portion of our backyard lies right behind our small, detached garage. We still need to remove excess dirt, weeds, and lay more weed fabric down. After that we will add the remaining rocks.

Tomás enjoying the new backyard!

Tomás and Paco having fun and swinging over the rocky ground.

Next up: Starting our garden and finish adding rocks to the last part of our backyard. And after that, picking out some native plants to place in random spots throughout the backyard.

Thanks for stopping by! And stay tune for Part 3!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paper Doll Giveaway! Support Leukemia & Lymphoma Research

Would you like to support a good cause and have a chance to win one of my paper dolls?

My husband Carlos is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) through Team In Training. He is training to run in the 2nd Annual San Diego Half Marathon at Petco Park in March 2013. This is Carlos's second Team In Training fundraiser. His first was for the San Diego Triathlon Classic back in September 2012 and he raised over $4,000 through the generosity of family, friends, and co-workers.

My husband, Carlos, running a 5K benefiting LLS in October 2012.

Through this Paper Doll Giveaway, I hope through your generosity, to raise money (no matter what the amount) to support Carlos's efforts with Team In Training and especially to help advance research for a cure for blood cancer. 

LLS has helped many like our friend's daughter, Sophia.

Please visit Carlos's Fundraising page for more information about Team In Training and how to donate:

Carlos's Team-In-Training Fundraising Page

If you would like to participate, I only ask that you donate at least $1 to Carlos's Fundraising Page. Your donation is 100% tax deductible! To enter the raffle, please fill out the Raffle Giveaway box located at the end of this blog. 

This giveaway will start on Friday, November 15th and end on Saturday, November 24th. The winner will be able to pick any paper doll listed for sale in my Etsy shop Rock Paper Tekla. Thanks so much for your time and generosity! Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to Crystal & thank you to all who donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mermaid Love

"I must be a mermaid...I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living" 
Anaïs Nin

I really do love mermaids. These intangible, mercurial creatures are my muses when making my paper doll art. There are no rules and no limits to my imagination when designing my mermaids.

I was once asked in an interview on the blog "I Am a Mermaid" what the appeal of mermaids was to me and I simply stated,

"I am forever drawn to the ocean. I find the ocean mesmerizing, dangerous, and calming at the same time. Maybe it's the vast unknown that is attractive. So to me, mermaids embody the ocean and all its mystery, danger, and beauty. There's something about mermaids that is devastatingly romantic and elusive".

So when I sit down to make my paper dolls I mix a little of my hopeless romantic side with a bit of my love for haute couture fashion and the end result is always something different.

My latest mermaid paper dolls are my holiday-inspired creations. 

Mermaid Paper Doll 70 - "Chrysanthemum Joy"

 Mermaid Paper Doll 71  - "Blue Swan"

 Mermaid Paper Doll 72 - "Ghostly Sea Dragon"

 Mermaid Paper Doll 73 - "Red Barnacles"

Mermaid Paper Doll 74 - "Sweet Plum"

Of course, I especially love stumbling upon those unique mermaid finds that totally grabs my attention! One of the best places to look is on Etsy

Here are some of my favorite mermaid finds on Etsy: 

Mermaid Screenprint by Roddy and Ginger

Merbunny by Etsy seller Alexis Colbert 

Mermaid Rocking Boat by Enchanted Pumpkin Art

Better Than a Hoop Ammonite Earrings by Helena Bianca Studios. 
(I love these earrings! I can definitely see any mermaid wearing these lovelies!) 

There are also a handful of other beautiful mermaid paper dolls that I need to add to my own personal collection. My favorites from Etsy include: 

Old School Tattoo Mermaid Paper Doll by Leila of Illustrated Ink.

Mermaid Paper Doll by Celena and Martin of The Filigree

Mermaid Jointed Paper Doll by Five and Nineteen
I also love these Mermaid Costumes!

Kim Kardashian's Mermaid Halloween 2012 Costume (Photos: Getty Images)

Mermaid Child Costume (Photo: Parent Magazine)

DIY Mermaid Costume (Photo: Erika McConnell/Halloween Celebrations)

In addition, I had to share these absolutely gorgeous photographs by the talented Russian artist Nika Kurnosova. Her photographs with Olga Moskvina as the mermaid are like pre-Raphaelite paintings that capture the mystery and beauty of mermaid folklore.

 (Photo:Nika Kurnosova)

(Photo:Nika Kurnosova

 (Photo:Nika Kurnosova)

If there was any one place to shop for mermaid memorabilia, Mermaid Cove, located in historic Old Town San Diego, is the place to visit. I was in Mermaid Heaven stepping into their light-blue ocean store.

A peak into "Mermaid Cove's" store front window.

Day of the Dead mermaid plus other fun, quirky mermaid finds.

I love the mermaid bookends!

Mermaid ornaments galore!!! I know what Carlos will be getting me for Christmas!

Pretty mermaid purse.

A gorgeous copper mermaid weather vane that I love, love, love!

And that's my mermaid rap! Thanks for stopping by and go live deeply!