Home Inspiration: Books

Monday, September 26, 2011

 How was your weekend? I hope it went well! I had an amazing weekend, with lots of sleeping & got a lot of thrifting & crafts done. Posts to come! This weekend I made some amazing things out of old books & it got me thinking about decorating with books. Stacking books or magazines is a very inexpensive way to decorate! And in my personal opinion, it makes your home look cozy and refined... not to mention it makes you (the home owner) look interesting and smart! What do you think? Do you like when people decorate with books or would you rather keep them in a bookcase?

I'm going to start using books to decorate! I like the way it looks -  All I need to do now is start collecting books from yard sales & thrift stores & start stacking!

Image Sources {1, 2, 34 }

What's That on Your Face?

Friday, September 23, 2011

About a month ago my cute hubby decided to grow a beard. Which oddly, I'm all for! I think they are super hot!  This picture up above is of him one week after the decision was made. It's now been over a month! Just imagine what it looks like now!! 

What do you think? Do you like beards? I know a lot of people who think they are just a fad. Maybe, maybe not! All I know is they look good!

Unfortunately I do not have proper sources for all the images. Please let me know if you do!
Image Sources { 1234 , 5}

Lovely Places

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When it comes to creating. I feel like a lot of us don't know where to begin (myself included). We see so many beautiful and charming ideas. But in terms of actually learning and doing these things, I find it pretty hard to actually follow through. I also find that I often get overwhelmed with ideas. So what do you do in these situations? How do you deal with so many ideas & projects, but so little time? I need some advice!!

Perhaps I should make a list of all the things I want to learn? What do you think? Kind of like this chica here.

This week I have found so many blogs of over-achieving women. Who create & create, the way I want to do. You can find these lovely peeps here, here & here. I love how there is no limit to what they create.

My favorite of these lovely places is Wilkstenmade! I love these amazing women's style & I love how they share what inspires them. Then to top it off, they create Uh-mazing things!

Crazy Week

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hey Friends. How's your week going? I want to apologize for my absence the past week. I had an amazing week with my husband, family & lots of friends. We ate lots of food, spent way to much money & didn't get any sleep. But it was well worth it! Oh, and sometimes I don't plan too far a head for my blog. (Something I need to work on). Here is the past week in my eyes.

Have you guys been following fashion week at all? How do you like it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Curtain fabric

Friday, September 16, 2011

I love the house I am living in right now. I can see myself in it until we are able to buy our own. It was built in the 1920's & has amazing windows, doors & the kitchen is to die for! The other best part of being in this house is I feel like I can finally start decorating the way I want to. So recently I have been searching for styles that suit me & my husband. It's not very hard, really. He likes modern, clean cut lines & I like eclectic with lots of patterns & colors. Fortunately those two styles are very easy to mix.

I've been thinking a lot about curtains for my living area. What kind of color & pattern I should get?  I will for sure be making them myself (saves lots & lots of mullah!) Do any of you know any places to get great fabrics? I'm still not sure on the color either. We have tans & blacks right now, boring I know! That's why I need some color!!! Help!

Music Finds

Monday, September 12, 2011

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent the weekend out of town visiting a great friend who just got home from fighting in Afghanistan. It was so great to spend time with him & other great friends. How did you spend the weekend?

While out of town we spent Saturday night at a concert. Which reminded me how much I love concerts! I used to like going to concerts before I met my husband, but not the same way I love them now. Drew introduced me to the value of concerts. He taught me how to really listen & learn to love new music.  Before, I went to concerts to hear the one song I knew & didn't pay attention to much else (it was pretty lame & a waste of money)! I want to encourage all of you to do the same if you don't already. Go to a few concerts with bands you don't know very well, or even at all. Local shows are a great way to do that. Not only will you most likely find a great new band to jam out to, but you will have one hell of an experience. Open your mind to music! I'm so glad I did!

Here is a playlist of a few of the bands that I have learned to love! I hope you enjoy.

Make it Count

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Blustery Day

During the Labor day weekend, my hubby & I decided to go on a Sunday drive up the canyon & have brunch. We set off with our camera, wallet & some Sunday appropriate Nat King Cole. This was somewhat of an exploration because neither of us had been up this canyon before. The drive was beautiful, but not like most canyons here in Utah. There were a lot of homes & no hiking areas. It was the strangest canyon we have ever been to. Needless to say, we couldn't take the killer photos we planned on because there were no hiking areas. Instead we saw some killer hills (Sound of Music style!) & we decided to take some photos none the less. The problems just continued with an extreme amount of wind! Oh well, we sure did have an adventure!

Lovely Places

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today I needed a pick-me-up. So I started out my day with a paper cup full of coffee & smiled a lot. Then, I did what I should do everyday. I worked really hard at work! It feels really good to get a lot done. After I got off work, I walked home. I love that I know how to cheer myself up & that I can turn a crappy day into a beautiful one. How do you cheer yourself up?

I hope these do. You will find them here . They seem pretty simple to make. One day, I think I will try this out.

I truly want to learn how to embroider. Can anyone give me any tips?

Want some more pretty embroidery? Check out herehere, there & maybe this one too!

Summer Hash Recipe

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If you didn't hear the news, I have officially dubbed this month as Culinary Challenge Month. In order to get my cooking skills up to parr. One week down & it feels great! I'm putting one foot in front of another in order to learn what every wife should know! So I started out light, with two not-so-hard recipes.

First I made a delicious smokey summer hash, with veggies & bacon. (Everything is good with bacon, unfortunately). It had potatoes, zucchini, onion, bacon & corn, sprinkled with paprika, it had a late summer taste.

Difficulty:   Easy
Taste:   I would rate this bad boy 8 out of 10. I would definitely make this one again.

The second recipe I made this week was a chicken corn chowder. The days are starting to get colder & I could feel it in my bones. So I set off to find a great corn chowder recipe. Unfortunatley, this corn chowder was not as creamy as I like because it used condensed milk instead of whipping cream. It also had way too much thyme, but that's an easy fix. I think next time I will go with a different recipe.

Difficulty:   Easy-ish
Taste:   3.5 out of 10. I wouldn't make this recipe again.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to be making this week. But this week I will be making 2 new recipes & a dessert! Wish me luck.

This Weeks Finds

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Every time I go thrifting, I try to go with a clear mind. The reason for this, is that I used to go with my heart set on finding a certain something. I would see what everyone else was finding & was determined to have the same success. However, this makes the process frustrating & I would leave feeling discouraged. After I began to go without any idea of what I could possibly find, did I really start to find treasures. 

This week I found a few fabulous finds, to help with some projects I'm working on & some great clothes. All these for a whopping $13. Here's the breakdown. I bought two candlesticks for a Christmas DIY project that I will be undertaking soon. I think the silver is going to fit in nicely with the sequins & the rest of my planned Christmas decor. (Yay! It's gonna be my first Christmas at my own home & as a married woman this year!) They cost me $0.50 a piece. 

Next, lets talk about the Toulouse Lautrec print.  When I came across this, I literally started jumping up & down. I have always wanted this Jardin de Paris print. Why? You might ask. It's just a silly print that everyone & their dog has. First, I have always loved this print. You can't blame a girl for following her heart, even if she's following the crowd too. The other reason is somewhat sentimental. When I was in my teens & struggling the find my identity. (You remember this time in your life don't you?) I was having a hard time making friends who liked me for me. Then one day, I made a connection with a group of girls that accepted me, quirks & all. I finally felt like being myself was okay & I was finally happy being me. At one of my friends houses hung the Jardin de Paris painting & also Singing Butler (which I hope to add to my collection too). I love both of these paintings because they remind me of when I found out the people who truly matter in your life, are those who love you for who you are. The print cost me $1.00.

I found a neat hand made & hand designed clay pot for $1.00. I'm going to plant my succulents in it for the winter. 

Lastly I found some great clothing! I found a great chunky knit sweater for the fall & winter. I love the chunky style. I bought this for $4.00. Next, I found something I have been searching for, for longer than I can tell you. An amazing silk button up (with silver buttons! Eeep!) I love when women wear an oversize silk shirt. They look so classy. This shirt cost me $6.00. 

Here's some of the silk shirts that look & fit very similar to my new navy one! 

Image sources {Cream, Tan, Olive, White}

The New Morlee

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hello readers! I have some exciting news to share! After some time to think, create & design, I have decided to update Morley. The new look & content of Morley will be released this next Monday, September 5. Please come check out the changes, here any time Monday.

So why am I updating? I started Morley Floral as a blog to show off my love & development in floral design & to try to market myself as a florist. At first I was still learning & I already felt a crazy connection to the floral & wedding industries. My friends & family were showing me immense support in my designs & I was already getting paid for putting arrangements together. I felt like flowers could be a creative outlet for me (a life goal of mine is to make money from creating beautiful things). However, after about 2 months of trying to promote my floral designs, I came to two important conclusions.

First, this blog was not generating any additional marketing towards my floral arranging. The people who were looking at my blog were the same friends and family who were showing me support in my pursuits. Although I love these people more than anything, my blog was failing at reaching my goal of generating additional marketing.

Secondly, I have my feet in too many creative areas to put my sole focus on only flowers. Let me explain. After struggling to bring my readership up, I stumbled on a very influential article about blog content. There were two things that really struck me.
    1. If you are not hitting your niche market, change something.
    2. Evaluate your blog and learn from the past.
So that's what I did. I looked at my comments & post traffic. I asked myself: "Where do you get the most traffic from? What posts have produced the most views and comments? Who is reading your blog?" I made changes based on what I found. Unfortunately, my flower posts were not generating as much traffic as my other creative posts. It seemed I was not reaching readers who cared about floral design, but rather those who love to be creative, just like me. So I made the decision for change. (If you love blogging & want to get your readership up check out this article & many more helpful articles here).

I decided to update the content of my blog to better fit the people who read Morley now & in the future. Luckily this won't be hard because it gives me the freedom to write about more than just flowers. Morley will now be my blog about my learning, struggling & development in creating beautiful things. I want to share with you my readers, our love for creating.

I hope to see you all Monday! I'm really excited to show you what's new & I'd love to hear what you think of the changes!

Inspiration Overload

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's all be honest. There would be no art without  inspiration, right? So, thank goodness to all us creative peeps, there are so many means of inspiration. The wide distribution of books & magazines, the amazing architecture & nature around us & of coarse, the web. Not a morning goes by that I don't check up on my favorite blogs, pinterest, tumblr & instagram. There are millions of inspiring images circulating & sometimes my mind can't get enough.

So here's the question. Can we get too much inspiration?

The past two weeks I have been in a creative block. A very frustrating creative block! There are so many things I want to do, but simply can't. Has this ever happened to you?  I told Drew about my frustration & we started brainstorming what the problem might be. Only after I explained my daily regimen of looking at hundreds of images, the decision was made... I was having an inspiration overload.

My husband is a musician & explained how this used to happen to him frequently. When he writes songs, he often listens to a couple of songs to get his creative juices flowing. But in the past, two or three songs would turn into fifty. He explained how this overload of ideas & styles would just leave him confused & frustrated. He would completely forget the direction he wanted to go when he first sat down to write & his song would either be a jumble of nothing or he would give up entirely. After he started limiting the number of songs he listened to while writing, he began writing the way he wanted to.

The same goes for any other creative field. There is a point of too much inspiration! My solution, limit the time spent looking at images in one sitting. That way, my mind is not overwhelmed & can think clearly about what it's seeing & turn that into inspiration for my own work.

I must acknowledge that everyone is different. What do you need to do for inspiration? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." -Einstein

Lovely Places

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Boy do I have a treat for you! No, literally...

Every week on grocery day, I sit down and plan my grocery list. And every week it's pretty much the same. The problem is I am not an amazing chef and my husband is really picky, so I'm pretty nervous to try new recipes. I keep on making the same things, week after week. Tacos, hamburgers, fettuccine - pretty basic meals. So today, in honor of a new month, I decided this month I'm going to make 2 new recipes a week. This will help expand my cooking skills (and hopefully the hubby's taste buds)!

I officially dub September as Culinary Improvement Month.

I'd love it if you would join me. You might take up the Culinary Challenge if you love to cook or need to learn some new skills like me! Either way, if you have any winning recipes that I need to try, I'd love if you would send them my way!

To help me get started I found a few pretty amazing sites here, here and here.