Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Darlybird at Harmony for Spring!

If you live in Utah County, stop by Harmony in Provo to find Darlybird jewelry and vintage goods!


We just rearranged the whole shop for spring. Come explore! 




Harmony is located at
315 E Center Street, Provo UT

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Repost: Our Creative Home: the Hills


Originally published August 5, 2014.

Here at Darlybird, we are all about living creatively and colorfully. In our series “Our Creative Home,” we talk to some of our favorite creative friends to see how they encourage creativity in their homes and families! Today we'll be hearing from Erika Hill, Community Relations Coordinator at the Provo City Library (which essentially covers everything from event and exhibit planning to marketing and more) and wife to illustrator Brent Hill

Tell us about your family!

We’re two people (soon to be three!), two dogs, and a whole lot of comic books! Brent and I met at school (we lived in the same apartment complex), and were attracted to each other by the wall murals we painted outside our apartments: he painted Jesus walking on water, and I painted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming out of a manhole. After some obligatory bowling double dates we settled into a relationship where we did dramatic readings of Calvin and Hobbes comics and wrote each other silly cards.

That paragraph maybe makes us sound more creative and quirky than we are—we’re mostly just like you. We watch a lot of Netflix, we eat more French fries than are good for us, sometimes we take our dogs for walks they desperately need, and mostly we just try to have fun while doing the enjoyable and boring things that make up life.

 
How have you encouraged creativity in your home? 

There are so many ways I could answer this question that I’m not quite sure where to begin! I think that one of the biggest things we’ve done to encourage creativity in our home is to be enthusiastic listeners; so often people allow their creative projects to lose steam before they’ve even taken the time to share them with others for fear that they might look stupid. Once you take off the “I can’t do this” filter and find someone who can be enthusiastic about your ideas (be they a graphic novel about the lengths and means you’ve gone to in order to build your family or a comic book about child zombies looking for friends), you’ll find that your creativity has real room to grow and develop.

Also, sometimes our house is really messy, because creativity is messy. You kind of get in a rhythm and routine of figuring out what is important and what isn’t in terms of housework (tip: dishes are always important, because if you ignore them too long then things get stinky. Piles of books of reference materials can be left to themselves, but dishes must be dealt with).


Do you and Brent ever work on creative projects together? Tell us about that!

We work on projects together all the time! Brent has always been a kind of communal artist—when he was young, the thing he most loved to do with his friends was draw (well, there may have been some Transformers toys and video games too…). He still has notebooks and notebooks full of characters and landscapes that he and his friends collaborated on, making up their own monsters and worlds for those monsters to live in (as an adult, his favorite things to doodle are still monsters, which is sometimes distressing to the children who come over to see what he’s drawing during church…)


We started working together on projects very early on in our relationship; I studied film as an undergraduate, and I often worked as a production designer on student films. I knew he was the man to marry when the prospect of helping me construct a life-sized skeletal puppet horse excited him. We’ve worked on films together, painted a mural in my parents’ house, and for about a year we wrote a one-panel a day soap opera about a family with a soap company. We’re always thinking of new projects to do together; not all of them get past the planning stages, and some have gotten a bit stalled, but it’s always rewarding to create together.

by Brent Hill
What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle?

Again, I could answer this question a million (or maybe seven) ways, but I think my biggest advice is this: if you want to live a creative lifestyle, you need to find ways to establish small creative habits daily.

Obviously there are things about our lives that aren’t necessarily typical, but I think that one of the reasons that Brent and I have confidence in tackling bigger creative projects is that we’ve established small creative routines every day. For example, when Brent was teaching school, I made his lunch every day. Since we were still pretty recently married at that point, I thought it would be adorable to write a love note on his napkin. Then I thought for about two more minutes and decided that if a love note was adorable, a daily comic would be awesome! So (nearly) every day for five years I drew a napkin for Brent. Sometimes they were silly, sometimes they were sweet, and sometimes they were straight up crazy. The other day we were de-junking as we’re preparing for our new baby, and I found a bag of at least 150 of those napkins, and it was hilarious to look through them and see what a goofball I could be while making a sandwich at 6:30 in the morning. Now that I work full time and Brent makes my lunch, he’s taken to doing the same for me, and it’s great.

You don’t have to write elaborate napkin sagas in your life, but finding small ways to be creative every day helps condition your brain to see and think creatively, which builds confidence for some of those larger projects you might be inclined to tackle.


Any final thoughts?

Don’t be afraid to be creative! A few years ago I was doing some kinetic typography research and came across this video that features a quote by Ira Glass that really made an impact on me. You should probably just watch the video, but the gist is this: your first forays into creative work probably aren’t going to be that good. You might be disappointed, because your taste is good enough that you can tell they aren’t that good. DON’T GIVE UP!

I think that so often we use the word “talented” when we ought to say “practiced”; I think that Brent is an incredible artist, but he didn’t just wake up one day knowing how to draw. Brent is 31, and he’s been drawing nearly every day of his life for at least 26 years. He’s a talented artist, but he’s more than that: he’s a practiced artist.

You can be creative. You can do great work. Don’t give up, keep at it, and when all else fails, have cookies handy. When all is said and done, it’s a pretty rewarding life.

Even if the house is messy.

Thanks so much, Erika! Be sure to check out past Our Creative Home posts.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Proclaim your love in a HUGE way! (36" x 48" to be exact!)

I am a fan of the statement piece, the one thing in a room that catches everyone's eye first and that you cannot possibly miss. If you want to make a statement for Valentine's Day but don't want to break the bank, giant printable posters are a great option! (And super awesome, and I'm absolutely doing this for both my roommates and my man).

via Oh Happy Day
I usually get my posters printed at Fedex Office for about $6. A lot of Fedex Office stores are open late or 24-hours, so you can easily sneak out and have your poster printed anytime.

via Caravan Shoppe
A couple years ago I even printed a giant poster from a photo of my cousin and her fiancé and threw it up on our living room wall pre-celebration and she loved it. I love how Jules (below) customized a photo of her and her husband and made it into a statement piece above their bed.

via Joy's Hope
If you want to make it a permanent piece in your home, Jules' tutorial above is a great option. Otherwise, if you just want an easy decoration for Valentine's Day, you can print out the poster and perhaps make some heart garland to hang with it, put confetti everywhere, buy flowers for the table, and/or bake up something delicious for your loved one to come home to.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Repost: Our Creative Home: the Bakers

teaching {k} to crochet
Originally published on July 29, 2014.

Here at Darlybird, we are all about living creatively and colorfully. In our series “Our Creative Home,” we talk to some of our favorite creative friends to see how they encourage creativity in their homes and families! Today we're hearing from Allison Baker (or as you may know her, alipyper).

Tell us about your family!

We're a family of five! The Mr. and I met while we were both attending Brigham Young University and we've been married for 19 years. We have three children - {G} is sixteen, {I} is almost fifteen, and {K} is almost twelve. We're like most every family - busy with school, music lessons, sports, church responsibilities and a large extended family. The Mr. is an IT professional and for the better part of the last 19 years, I've been a stay at home mom. I graduated with a degree in Humanities from BYU and loved every single second I was in class learning about art, history, music, culture, language, and literature. 

I share a birthday with Martha Stewart (It's true! August 3rd). Like so many others, I was mesmerized when she burst onto the public scene in the late 80's and early 90's by her almost single-handed resurrection of all things domestic. Time honored traditions that were falling by the way side were meticulously researched, photographed and reinvented. I can't tell you how many cookies, cakes, and craft projects I tried to reproduce - all with varying degrees of success - from the pages of her early magazines. Whatever one might think of her as a person, I'm very grateful for the climate of respect she has cultivated for hand-crafters of every persuasion. I'm embarrassed to admit that she gave me permission to value the traditions I was surrounded with and I looked with new eyes on the incredible domestic heritage I had received from my mother and my grandmothers. Thank you for that, Martha.

Because I come from a large family, growing up if I wanted something I usually had to earn the money or make it myself. Often, this will get me into trouble because my first response to seeing something fantastic is to think, "Surely, I can make that myself for less!" The hours and hours spent figuring something out and the cost of wasted materials are often far more "expensive" than the original item. But, I am grateful for this attitude of self reliance and for the skills I have acquired along the way. The greatest gift I think my parents ever gave me was an old refurbished Bernina sewing machine when I was sixteen - which at the time I thought was the lamest gift in the world - with the injunction that if I wanted new clothes I would have to make them myself. They would provide the patterns and the fabric, but I would have to do the sewing. I still use that old Bernina today and I can not adequately express how deeply grateful I am to my parents for that gift.


{g} machine quilting
How have you encouraged creativity in your home?

My education and my natural inclination to want to create myself has meant that I really value the arts and the hand crafts. But that does not mean that I am always a patient teacher to my own kids nor am I ever excited about the mess that my kids creative endeavors often leave behind. I can hardly keep up with my own creative mess. So I am very happy to find them great teachers and fun classes to attend that are not in my own house. For many years my kids have gone to the same amazing art teacher - Andrea Jackman Rosborough. Recently {G} completed her first quilt after taking a class at Harmony with the talented Holly LeSu√©. We attend art exhibits at the local museums and the kids are encouraged to take classes at school that help them express themselves creatively. And sometimes I'm in the mood to teach my kids myself.   

How do you get your kids involved?

Sometimes my children are insistent and insert themselves into whatever craft or baking project I'm involved in - refusing to take no for an answer - and sometimes they could care less (or they know by the look on my face that they better not bug me until I'm done with what I'm doing :). Sometimes a craft activity happens organically around the house, but more often than not I have to consciously get them started on something. Often, craft activities are started because the kids and their cousins are driving us adults crazy. Perler beads, painting rocks, water coloring, modeling clay, or nature scavenger hunts are great craft activities with a large group of kids. 


art camp with andrea jackman rosborough
What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle?

If kids see creativity happening, they will naturally want to participate. If you value creativity, but don't have the patience for the aftermath - find great teachers and great classes for your kids! Talk about the arts around the dinner table. Attend museum exhibits and cultural events. Set aside time and space for the creative mess. 

Thanks Allison! Readers, do you (or a beloved friend who you'd like to push into the spotlight) have a creative home? Shoot us an email and we may feature you/them/everyone! (allie[at]darlybird.com)!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Darlybird & Flor de Luz Collaboration + 15% Off Flor de Luz!


We love Flor de Luz and the beautiful handmade goods that Nassari brings back with her from of Mexico. Just look at the vibrant colors in Rachel's blouse! The color is what attracted us to Flor de Luz, and why we wanted so badly to collaborate with them. It's the perfect springtime blouse!


We paired the blouse with some Darlybird earrings (two different pairs, as seen in the photos above and below-- both are coming soon to the shop!)


Nassari is generously offering Darlyblog readers 15% off of her entire shop with the code darly15. Jump on it, friends! (Side note, they just added little kids' rompers to the shop, and we're dying. So cute!)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Repost: Our Creative Home: The Lovelands

Justin Hackworth Photography
Originally published July 22, 2014. This was our first Our Creative Home post and it was with one of our favorite women, Alma Loveland of Ollibird and Caravan Shoppe. Tell us about your family! Mike and I are a pair of artists who are happy to be doing what we love. We are both artists, but focus on different areas, so teaming up has actually expanded what either of us was ever able to do alone. Before kids came along, we would make really creative gifts for one another, but SURPRISE, when kids came along, we suddenly had no more time or energy for extra creativity. We have our creative outlet at work, and once work is done, well, we're lucky if we have the dishes or laundry done on a somewhat regular basis (a 3-week laundry cycle is regular, right?). We have 2.5 kids: Oliver (5), Joan (3), and a baby boy due later this year. Parenting a 3 and 5 year old has its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh any of the frustrations.  How have you encouraged creativity in your home? I don't know if there is anything that we do to consciously encourage creativity. Our children are 3 and 5, and to be totally honest, activities like coloring, drawing, cutting, or crafting don't hold their attention for long at all. Without exaggeration, I think it's fair to say that we get about 3 minutes of activity, and 20 minutes of setup/cleanup. Although we are artists, our lives don't look like what is seen on Pinterest or parenting blogs. We're just pretty normal, trying our best to balance work and family. Creative activities can be as simple as hauling out the play dough, or letting the kids help make cookies.  That said, this summer I have a goal to make sure that we are regularly engaging in fun, interesting activities. One thing that I would like to do is have a simple science experiment every week. I think I can manage that (but ask me again at the end of the summer). So like we can start with Mentos and Diet Coke. Just a few minutes to put together, but something that is exciting to the kids, and makes them laugh and wonder about the world we live in!  How do you get your kids involved? My kids love to be outside and to explore. This also echoes the childhood that I had. When I think of my childhood, most of my memories revolve around the great outdoors! The times that I feel most creative with my children and most fulfilled are when we are outside and appreciating the world around us. This could be little hikes, collecting bugs or flowers, campfires, or kayaking (I even bought a kayak for my kids). I think that activity, curiosity, and exploration all help to foster creativity so while I'm not sitting down for craft time with my kids, they are still learning to look, and to see.  What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle? I have a pretty laid back approach to life. I think my best advice for others looking to live a more creative lifestyle is to eliminate the comparison to those around you, or to what you see on blogs, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. The most important thing that you can do is to spend time with your kids, and it doesn't matter if your activities look picture-perfect. 

Thanks so much for sharing, Alma! Readers, how do you foster creativity in your homes? We'd love to hear from you!