Marvelous Monday – qARt Code Project


Marvelous Monday qART Code Project

Those that have been living here in Raleigh, NC for a while have seen our downtown area go from “hide your kids, hide your wife” to “there is so much to see”! I love a bit of adventure, but even I stayed away when I first arrived back in 1998. The Raleigh qArt Code Project  is one of the examples of how far we have come!

What is it? 

Wouldn’t you love to know what the meaning behind a work of art was or to hear directly from the artist what their inspiration was? This project allows you to do just that!

Visitors to a dozen sculptures and other works of art around the city soon will be able to get the inside scoop on each with just the touch of a button on their smartphones.

At each site, visitors will be able to scan a “quick response” code, more commonly known as a QR code, which will lead them to additional information about each work of art, including maps, photos and videos. – North Raleigh News

Who created it?

The qArt Code Project is a collaboration between the Raleigh Arts Commission and the N.C. State College of Design Advanced Media Lab.


Copyright Richard Byers Photography

Even if you aren’t from Raleigh, I encourage you to explore your city and dare to dream of how amazing and different it could be!

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Design Spotlight – 1st Friday Gallery Walk


Design Spotlight 1st Friday Gallery Walk

I have been visiting Raleigh’s 1st Friday Gallery Walk for about 8 years. I don’t make it every month, but I always find some new gallery to check out when I go. There are a few that I just can’t keep from visiting regularly. First Friday Gallery Walk is held the First Friday of each month. Each gallery has slightly different hours, but the majority of the exhibits and specials run from 6/7pm through 9/10pm. If you definitely want to make it to a certain gallery, I would make sure to be there before 9pm.

If you are a super planner like myself, you might find the list of galleries and restaurants a bit daunting. If you just don’t know which ones to check out first, I would suggest that you do just one thing: pick a downtown restaurant that you have been meaning to check out and then go see the galleries near there. Assuming you live in Raleigh or can visit regularly, you’ll be able to check out others in the next few months.

I keep an Evernote list with galleries I’d like to check out, so each First Friday, I just consult my handy dandy list. It sure beats stressing out when you’re trying to figure out the best place to park! I would also download this handy dandy .pdf with all of the participating galleries, restaurants and retailers!

 Fayetteville Street Area

        • Parking Find a spot on the street or park in deck @ Alexander Square (120 S Wilmington St)
        • Eat At Siti, Beasley’s Chicken & Honey or Capital Club 16
        • Retail Store: Stitch | Holly Aiken I have been a long time Holly fan…since we carried them at Dilly Dally (a baby design boutique) about 10 years ago. She ALWAYS has PBR in a big ice chest (which is why my husband agrees to go with me at all) and a new local artist on the walls.
        • The Mahler Fine Art This is one of the places that I come back to time and again. Probably my favorite.

Mahler Fine Art Gallery

 Moore Square Park

        • Parking Find a spot on the street or park in the Progress Energy deck above Calavera
        • Eat At BuKu or Calavera
        • ArtSpace The artists in here are amazing! There is always an exhibit on the first floor that expands your idea of what “art” really means.
        • Blake Street Shops I think Blake Street might be one of my favorite little streets. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed!
        • Lump I haven’t been, but I’ve heard good things.

@ ArtSpace - Incarnation Copyright Linda Ruth Dickinson

Nash Square/Warehouse District

Performance just outside of DesignBox


        • Gallery C In addition to Matisse and Picasso, they have amazing contemporary artists on the walls and bits of furniture for sale. All reasonably priced.

Happy Hunting!

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I Covet…Vintage Shopping 101


I Covet…  Vintage Shopping 101

I’d like to welcome my little sister Lindsey Crawford to the blogosphere! She has always been a bit of an inspiration – especially in her fashion choices. I’m a bit of a “does it look good”, “does it fit” sort of gal…Lindsey pushes the boundaries of what is expected and always finds a new way to simultaneously keep up with the trends AND look completely unique. And without further ado, here she is!

Lindsey & I out dancing!


Vintage House Dress


Vintage shopping can be a little overwhelming. With the large variety of materials and assortment of colors, it’s a difficult task to sort through all of those “old” or “used” pieces just to find one or two treasures. But take it from me, the digging is worth it and can even be fun if you have the right mindset. That’s why I’ve put together some tips and ideas to help on your next vintage adventure. You will find some great items for you and your home. Happy Hunting!      -Lindsey

Before you go:

Do some research and find a few boutiques in your area.

Make a day of it and plan to hop around to one or two, even three if you have time.

Don’t rush. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time at each store. Vintage shopping usually isn’t an in and out kind of experience.

Keep an open mind. Sometimes you will walk out with nothing, other times…well, you might have to break out the credit card. Just remember to go back at a later date. Buyers change their stock constantly and are always getting new, interesting items from estate sales- you never know what you will find.


While you’re there:

Take your time and enjoy the experience. Sort through each piece taking the time to look it over. Check out the unique details of the garment- the fabric, stitching, buttons, the cut, lining, etc. Believe me, I have fallen in love with a button more than once.

Go hands free. It’s much easier to peruse if you can use both hands. So grab your cross-body, pull your sleeves up, and get in there.

If you like it, try it. Don’t be deceived by a piece that might look a little too small or even too large. The cuts and materials that we’re used to seeing today are very different than vintage pieces. It might surprise you and fit just right, or with the addition of a belt may accent your shape perfectly. Really though, what’s the harm in trying it?

Fall in love. Take note of the quality of the fabrics, stitching, the unique shapes and colors that you can find. Also, keep an eye out for jewelry as this is a great place to find affordable but timeless jewelry rings, necklaces, everything bling.

Get granny chic with it. Be creative with your style and don’t be afraid to tap into your inner lady. A lot of the pieces found in vintage boutiques these days are from the 50s and 60s, when women dressed to impress 24/7. There are lots of ways to express your femininity and what better way than a delicate piece straight from grandma’s closet.

Fur. Speaking of grandma’s closet, you will definitely find some fur in there. Some of the best and affordable fur coats (faux and real) can be found in vintage stores.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Vintage shopping is another way we can reduce our carbon footprint and wear pieces that have already been produced. Why buy from the “fake vintage” stores and walk out with overpriced high-waisted trousers that are made in China, when you can have the real thing for half the price!?

Don’t know how to wear it? Check out some shows/movies: Mad Men, The Help, Breakfast at Tiffanys. Suggestions: mix something old with something new…there are no rules!

P.S. Some of Lindsey’s favorite Vintage Shops:

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Marvelous Monday – My Transformative Weekend!


Marvelous Mondays My Transformative Weekend

I have been a bit all over the place recently. Tulum, Mexico the week before last, Kure Beach, NC this past weekend and heading to D.C. this upcoming weekend for my little sister’s move. I’m definitely ready for a change of pace but I am coming to the realization that I get more done the busier I stay. This weekend I went to a retreat with Crissy and some of her other clients in Kure Beach. It was a truly transformative weekend!

This weekend felt a bit like the final stroke in my painting. I’m finally able to stand back from Crissy’s teachings at Holistic Restoration and see the whole picture. I know that I will never be done working on myself, but I have to rejoice in this small accomplishment. I am now concentrating on taking the concepts into my everyday life. It was amazing to meet such awesome ladies that are also working on themselves. If you are looking for an amazing artist from NC, Kim Bardill is your lady!

Copyright Kim Bardill Art

 6 Things That I’m Putting Into Practice (summarizing Crissy’s teachings in my own words)

  1. Your Emotions Are Your Own Responsibility. No one can make you feel anything. If you are hurt or  feel that you were treated poorly, this is simply a reflection of some unspoken agreement that you thought you made with that person OR it is an opportunity for you to speak up for yourself. I get the most upset about situations in the past when I haven’t taken that opportunity to speak my truth.
  2. Writing Down Your Vision Helps To Create It.  It is difficult for most of us to hold the essence of what we want to happen in our minds over and over without writing it down. If you write down your 30, 60 or 90 day vision, you’re more likely to reach it (or something better).
  3. If You Focus On It, It* Will Happen.   I am taking Crissy’s advice and reading my Vision Statement in the morning after I wake up and just before I go to bed. Keeping this information in the front of my mind will help me to see the opportunities that arise throughout the day that I might have otherwise overlooked. It’s just like when you get a new car that you’ve never owned before. You start noticing that EVERYONE seems to have the same car as you – but you never noticed it before! We just need to wake our minds up to the opportunities that are right in front of us. *or something better
  4. Waking Up 30 Minutes Early Makes All The Difference. I came across this on my own. I am your classic night owl, not wanting to miss anything that’s going on…and then sleeping in to the very last minute. All before I have to crawl out of bed in the morning and proceed to sprint. If you’d said a year ago that I would be excited to see a sunrise or that I would enjoy having extra time to make a delicious breakfast (and eat it) at home before work I’d tell you that you were NUTS. Since I’ve been practicing this, I’ve noticed that it sets up my day for success in a way that nothing else does. I’m not making decisions out of time restraints, I’m making the best decision for me at the time. I bet if you try this out for a week (you’ll have to force yourself to go to bed early enough to get the proper hours of sleep), you’ll see the fruits of your labor by the end of the week!
  5. Everyone Is Basically Good. I have always felt this to be true. Sometimes when I would live in my habitual victim stories, I would think that someone wasn’t a “good person”, but I now realize that they were just making me uncomfortable by making me feel like I needed to speak up for myself. We can’t all be from the same “tribe”, so if you expect something of someone, you have to communicate that. Example: My parents have always made a big deal out of birthdays. When I met my husband, I didn’t understand why he wasn’t making me feel as special as my Mom does on my special day. His family doesn’t do birthdays in the same way that mine does (and he doesn’t care if people do much for his), so we had to communicate about this to understand what we both wanted.
  6. Live (And Rejoice!) In The Now. If you look at everything that happens in your life as an opportunity to learn, you will realize how amazing (and often how funny) this world is. You’ll also realize that you are coming across the same issues over and over until you deal with whatever it is.

I’ll leave you with a beautiful picture from my morning sunrise run on the beach this past Sunday morning. It started as a yucky day and turned into one of the prettiest days this month!

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Design Spotlight – Julie Livingston Photography


Design Spotlight Julie Livingston Photography

It was just one of those days where you go from one site to the next to the next and have no idea how you got there. That’s what happened when I found Julie Livingston Photography. It was meant to be, because a month later I was meeting with Julie to take photos for my blog!

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Not only is Julie completely talented, but she is a Carolina girl, born and bread. She’s one of those women that you can just tell you’d be lucky to be friends with right from the start. After getting to chat with Julie for a bit, I learned that she has a background in Studio Art and Historic Preservation from one of my all time favorite places to visit – Charleston. She began her career in Interior Design and originally used photography as a side hobby. It wasn’t long before she realized her true passion – telling people’s stories through her photos.

She started Julie Livingston Photography with her first wedding in 2007 and has been a busy lady ever since! If you are already married, don’t fret – you haven’t missed your chance to work with her. She can help you with your portraits, engagement, family and interior photos as well.

Julie moved to Raleigh, NC in 2009 and has worked with some gorgeous women over the years. One of her current ongoing projects is working with Vestique to produce their look books – in addition to designing their stores! It is such a great shop, locally owned and super chic!

Ok, enough babbling and down to the pictures!

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography

Copyright Julie Livingston Photography


Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.
-Coco Chanel


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