five things friday #6

A full week, full of good things.

My favorites: 

1. blog sugar & meeting people & learning so much. I talk more about it here and you can read others' blog sugar stories over here :)

me & jacqui of baby boy bakery
(jacqui's rocking this headband. she was such good pr for my shop) :)

me & jenelle of rellas bellas
2. seeing my hubs & puppy when I got home from cali. I missed my two favorite boys :)

3. sunshine + fall. It's been gorgeous with just enough crispness in the air. Is it fall where you are yet?

4. feeling inspired to sew + create! I have so good projects that I've started... and I think that the next few weekends I'll be finally finishing them

5. meeting up with Erika of Stitched Simplicity to meet Grace Bonney of Design Sponge. She's adorable, if you were wondering.

5 favorites around the interwebs

1. obscure life lessons on nice girl notes. you know you have 'em too.

2. sunday crossbow-- her haircut and her PUPPY! (going through a should-i-shouldn't-i cut my hair phase)

3. if you wouldn't blog for free-- why would you blog for money? a good thing to think on. :)

4. i read books but the nester turned them into beautiful pieces of art. <3

5. happy 4th blogiversary to young house love! (the very first blog i started reading) they share some great bloggie tips :)

have you seen something online that you love lately -- on your blog or somewhere else? send it to me or write it in the comments. i'd love to include it next week!

p.s. happy friday! if it's your weekend, i'm hoping that you get time to yourself, time with the ones you love and some time to do what you love. 

xo, erika
linking up!
Aisle to Aloha


guest post: photo wall from she's crafty

 photo walls are everywhere... 
here is one take on a photo wall from one of my lovely lovely sponsors. enjoy!


Hi there Rouge and Whimsy readers! I'm Laura Kate of {she's crafty} and I'm so excited that Erika invited me to do a guest post on her blog. As a girl who lives in a tiny (and when I say tiny, I mean ridiculously small) flat in London, I am always excited by decorating ideas that I can *do.* Especially as a renter. I can't paint. I'd love to knock half a wall down by my kitchen. And the carpet really is boring. But these things I can't do much about. Thankfully, my landlord has no problem with picture nails. My favorite decorating solution? Photo walls. There are a lot of ideas out there on the subject. Some good. Some less than good. Today I'm going to share with you my tips on creating a splendid one. I hope you enjoy!

living room photo wall 1

the main photo wall in our living room

When it comes to creating your own photo wall I say this: learn to make choices. My home has 3 of these walls. 2 large and 1 small. The 2 in my living room share the same concept/theme and aesthetic (and use all the same type of frame), while the other (in my entry hallway) does its own thing. I feel that photo walls work when you either match like with like (as seen here) or completely mix and match (as seen here). Both those walls are vibrant, even though one is completely without color in both photos and frames. It's all about how you roll with it.

back wall

a small wall behind our couch has only a little frame cluster but sticks to the same aesthetic of frame type and non-people photos as the main living room wall
My 2nd tip is to go with a theme for your photos. My main squeeze (lovingly referred to as The Scot for those who might not follow my blog) and I decided that our living room would be home to our photography and mainly that from our life and times together. No people appear in our living room photos, save for an arty shot of our shadows in the snow. Do we dislike the people in our lives? No! Of course not. But we decided more to focus on places and the feelings and thoughts and memories they evoke. As I write this post, I'm sitting on my couch facing our main wall o'frames. At a glance I remember being kissed on top of Rockefeller Center, being rained upon as I first discovered Scotland, the seemingly endless sunny summer I first moved to London, and a funny incident in the gift shop of Windsor Castle. Photos take you back. I love this wall I found that both mixes everything up (with frame types/styles) and yet sticks to a theme (family photos). It works.

entryway wall

the photo wall in our entry hallway is all about friends, family and funky frames
If you decide to create a wall like this in your home, I give one big suggestion: PLAN. Plan out your photos. Plan out your frames. Plan out your space. I used the floor of my hallway to lay the frames on the floor in the same layout I planned on using before I hung them on the wall. And I measured. So I knew more or less what I was working with. In my living room I made sure to keep things equidistant from the edge of the wall on each end and have common top and bottom edges overall, even if it's not clear at first to the naked eye. Let it breathe. Give it space. I saw this wall plan and just wanted to give those frames some room to move. The eye gets overwhelmed when there's no white space (or blue space or yellow space or what have you) to process images.

main wall detail

Whatever you do, HAVE FUN! Remember, your photo wall is for you and your family or goldfish or boyfriend or girlfriend or cat. Simply for whoever lives in your space with you. Or simply for yourself. Sort it. Plan it. Love it. I hope you've enjoyed this guest post. Thanks again Erika for having me!

thank you laura kate!

p.s. giveaway winners! simplysara you won the earl-leigh giveaway!
and Nay you won the polkadot pretties giveaway!
check your email! :)



blog sugar in one word: enouraging.

in another word: scary.

yes, I was nervous to be there in sunny So Cal unsure of who to talk to, how to talk to anyone or take photos or even get the nerve to go up to someone.

and I'm not even that shy of a person... but something about not really knowing anyone, being the only Seattle blogger, a newbie-ish blogger, scared me just a little. (or maybe a lot.)

but I would go again in a heartbeat for the words I heard and the people I met.

Here's what I want to share with you.

- You are unique. No one else has the talents that God has given you and no one else will be the kind of blogger you are. So there's no need to compare-- you are filling the void in the Internet that no one else can fill. absolutely no one.

- And because you are unique, embrace it. Be yourself, be real. Blog from your heart, blog what's real and be the blogger that you would want to connect with, the blog that you would want to read.

It's incredibly freeing to embrace who we are created to be. I am not always good at it-- I doubt a lot, I wonder a lot, and I get scared of what others will think of me.

We, as bloggers, have been given a gift-- a gift of communicating and crafting and whatever else comes with it-- and this is no gift to be taken lightly.

I am incredibly thankful to have the time at blog sugar to be reminded of what's important. I hope that in this post I can remind you who are bloggers of the same thing.

But if you ever need encouragement or anything else, shoot me an email or tweet. :) Turns out its not so scary to talk to (and even meet) other bloggers.

What's been encouraging you lately?

xo, erika


san diego [photo heavy]

I can't help but say San Diego the way Will Farrell says it in Anchorman. "San Dee-ah-go."

I won't write his other name for it ;)

I've been getting the grand tour of the city with my best friend (she posing below). It's been perfect. 

some day I want to spend the morning playing chess at a coffee shop.


five things friday-- on saturday

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but hey, I'm in San Diego and just embracing the surfer-dude lifestyle.

Well not really, but sometimes real life happens-- planes get delayed, dinner dates are made and movies are watched.

my five things this week:

1. Being home sick Monday-- sounds crazy but I rarely just c h i l l and although I felt pretty yucky, I watched a lot of HGTV and slept even more. I attempted to work on some things for the shop... but it didn't happen.

my sick hang-out area :)
2. my pup. He cracks me up. Especially when he hides his bones in weird places like under my kitchen rug.

3. Thinking about fall and winter and how I can finally hibernate and get all the little projects done that I want to get done. Part of the problem of Seattle is that summers are so gorgeous (and winters so crappy) that you feel guilty for doing things inside. Basically I've been creating a fun to-do list that I can't wait to tackle in November.

4. San Diego and being with my dear friend Betsy. I love that we pick up so easily from where we were when I last saw her. I am beyond grateful for her friendship.

5. Today-- Saturday. While Betsy has some clients (she's a music therapist) I went to Balboa Park and just soaked it all in. I need to remember to take time for myself to do that-- to just be.

5 Links--

Ok so these are a little self-serving this week... 

1. Check out these two giveaways on my blog-- one from Polkadot Pretties and one from Earl-Leigh Designs. They're open until Monday and Tuesday, respectively. :) go enter!

2. My guest post on one of my favorite blogs: Yellow Heart Art. I talk about crockpots.

3. Little interview on Lollipops. :) [the giveaway is closed, sorry]

4. 5 Tips on Photographing Your Home on A Beautiful Mess. Basically I'm obsessed with home tours and these are great tips for making the prettiest ones :)

linking up!
Aisle to Aloha


that time i had a mustache

I thought my title would sound a tad more interesting than PNW Blogger Meetup recap...

plus it's the truth. I did wear a mustache, as did many other people. But before I get to the 'stache, let me explain why...

I woke up Saturday with the head cold from you-know-where.  I was flat on my back, nose stuffed up, body aches, sore throat sick. But I was so excited for the PNW Blogger Meetup and made the executive decision that there was no way I could miss it.

So I took cold medicine, showered, took more cold medicine and drove on over to West Seattle where we met at a pizza place.

While I didn't get to talk to everyone, I did meet the multi-talented Moorea Seal, and finally met the other crafty Erika in Seattle from Bird E Studios (she spells her name the same way I do with a k, which is, of course, the only correct way to spell Erika) as well as meetup hostesses Mandy of Harper's Happenings and Chelsea of Paper Mama.

[via Jessica May Photography]
You can hardly tell I am so ill. I'm talking to the other Erika, at right, here :)
[via Jessica May Photography]
Prizes! Yay!

[via Jessica May Photography]
Pizza-- even better!

And I posed for some photos in the photo booth.

[via Jessica May Photography]

It was a great event and my only regret was that I wasn't able to talk to everyone...

that and I ended up getting more sick Sunday and Monday.

Worth it in the end. Right?

Right :)

p.s. I'm on my way to San Diego today! Going to see the best friend and then heading up to Blog Sugar on Sunday. It may be the best weekend ever.

xo Erika


giveaway from earl-leigh designs: closed

Two giveaways in two days? I know-- you guys are pretty lucky :)

introducing Earl-Leigh from Earl-Leigh Designs.

Who are you? I am a Southern wife and puppy mama! I overindulge in the word "y'all", cupcakes and glitter. When I'm not  hanging out with my hubby Mike, I'm hanging out with my buddy "Singer." I'm planning to finally open my shop in time for Christmas...my favorite holiday! 
Mike and Me
2. What is your blog and shop about? My blog is a little random, like me. I share DIY tutorials, updates on my life (like when I thought there was a mouse in my apartment) and my products. I'm really excited to be working with a designer to get my blog and Etsy shop ready. I'm currently working on some lovely wristlets and bibs for Fall/Winter 2011 and am too ready to show everyone!
DIY Owl Ornament
3. Tell us about your home town: I live in Columbia, SC where it is "famously hot". Really y'all, the wind does not blow here. We stay in the news a lot thanks to our fine elected officials so I guess we're hot in more ways than one...thanks Mark Sanford. 
My friend Amanda is an amazing photographer!
  4. What is your best quality? I'm very resourceful. My husband rolls his eyes when he hears "I can make it work," but 9 times out of 10...I can! Do you have an old sweater, a squeaker and some type of batting? You do? Well that means you also have a new squeaky toy for your pet!

5. Best bit of advice you ever received? Only you can make your dreams a reality

I love her tutorial for the dog toy... I know I need to do that for my little fur monster!
Want to get a sneak peek of Earl-Leigh's shop? She's giving away an adorable zipper pouch!

Wanna win? Simply comment that you follow my blog and Earl-Leigh's blog

Extra entries:
1. Follow Earl-Leigh and @erikalc (me) on Twitter
2. Tweet about the giveaway: I entered to win a zippered pouch from @EarlLeighDesign on @erikalc's blog!


giveaway from polkadot pretties-- closed

I'd like to introduce a little giveaway from one of my lovely sponsors Claire from Polkadot Pretties.

She's from the UK and I honestly wish we could hear her accent as she answered my questions. I'm just going to imagine it in my head. :)

Who are you?

I am a SAHM to 4 beautiful girls; my youngest was born in January 2011 6 weeks early. i love sewing, making pretty things, buying fabric, CSI and Polkadots.

Tell us about your blog and shop!
I blog about sewing, motherhood and pretty things. I hope that my blog helps to inspire people to achieve their goals. As well as learn to sew with my tutorials.

My shop is home to my lovely sewn products, ranging from pencil cases, zipper pouches, buntings and mug rugs.

Where do you live?
I live in South Yorkshire, England.

What's your best quality?
This is tough. I would say “multi-tasking." I constantly juggle childcare, chores, sewing, blogging ect. My girls said; loving, caring, cooking and cleaning!!

Best bit of advice you ever received?
Just be yourself, and others will love you for who you are. 
Lucky rouge & whimsy readers have the opportunity to win a Polkadot Pretties zipper pouch!

Go check out the Polkadot Pretties shop and tell me what your favorite item is. You must be a follower of Rouge & Whimsy 
extra entries:
- heart Claire's shop Polkadot Pretties
- tweet about this contest with this suggested tweet
I'm entering to win a ruffled pouch from @polkdotprettie on @erikalc's blog! 

this giveaway will be open until next MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26. good luck! xo


home tour: my kitchen

welcome to my little house.

for the next few weeks I'm going to show off some parts of my house. It's far from perfect and I'm far from done making it exactly how I want it.

my kitchen doesn't have a lot of drawers-- this little buffet is perfect extra storage. from amazon.com; little paper organizer is from TJ Maxx

vintage glass dish- perfect for keys. a gift from my mom

the calendar-- an attempt to be organized. :)

I love vintage mason jars-- especially turquoise glass ones
my chairs-- once a boring wood color, now spray painted blue. see tutorial here
do you see that little metal chair to the left? it's most adorable beer bottle opener ever. 
from anthro of course :)

happy white canisters from crate & barrel
built in china cupboard with vintage teacups from the husband's grandma :)

what does your kitchen look like? the kitchen is one of my favorite parts of our little house and the husband and i spend a lot of time in it. :)


squirrels- the new owl

My mom loves squirrels.

Not the actual squirrel but the cute etsy version of squirrels. Let's be honest, real squirrels are like rats with fluffy tails and they completely overrun neighborhoods (especially here where I live**.)

But silhouettes, artsy and stuffed squirrels are cute. And perhaps, they're on the way to replace owls. Or maybe foxes are doing that, or hedgehogs...

My picks:

Screened pillow by erinflett

bon-bon & belchick tweed squirrels by sleepyking
squirrel locket by silkpursesowsear

tiny coin purse by msnizbit

** on my college campus squirrels were completely brazen crazy animals that leaped out of trash cans and threw nuts at people. I've heard reports of squirrels running up people's pants legs and chucking beer cans... but that sounds a little extreme.


five things friday

This week was super busy at work and I'm terrible at going to bed on time.
Lack of sleep + lots of work = crabby erika. (oops)

But I can still count five (and more than five) things that I am thankful for this week:

1. date night with the husband at a fancy-schmancy restaurant (yay for gift cards! we ordered a LOT of food.)

2. next week I'm going to blogsugar! I am nervous. Meeting famous bloggers in person? Butterflies.

3. but before I go to blog sugar, I get to see my best friend (and one of my most dedicated readers) in San Diego. She just posted wedding photos, and maybe they made me tear up, just a little (with happiness of course).

this is us :)

4. husband packed a lunch and came to visit me at work! A+ for excellence, husband :)

we ate on my work's patio. a 17th floor oasis

5. starting small group again, as well as restarting our addiction to youtube & cheap red wine again. ;)

things I <3 around the internet this week:

1. my mom is a huge design blog reader and she sent me this gray & orange nursery by with two cats. amazing.
2. design sponge before & after: sunny bedroom redo (squeal)
3. this sweet potato "pasta" recipe  from beth on dot in the city
4. living in love blog entry. do you follow erin? you should. she is hil.ar.ious.
5. ah i so LOOOVE vintage enamel brooches right now & this guest post tutorial on a is for ampersand is gorgeous.
what did you love this week? and better yet, what are you going to love THIS WEEKEND?

my weekend involves....

a seattle blogger meetup!
a photo shoot of some new stuff for the shop

annnnd sleep. lots o' sleep. it's needed :)

linking up!
Aisle to Aloha


september sponsor roundup

I am beyond thankful to begin my little foray into sponsorship on this blog with some lovely ladies who agreed to be test subjects as I figure out how to best create a sponsorship program.

Here they are-- my darling NEW September sponsors answering these two questions:


blog - facebook - twitter
1. I started blogging because my son was diagnosed with craniosynostosis at 2 months old and I wanted to document the process and keep my family and friends updated--it has since then, turned into something much more! 

2.  Best thing to do with fall leaves is photograph them! Come visit and link up every week at my "Photo Friday" link party where I document my journey as a newbie photographer and we share tips and tricks for getting great pictures!
blog - twitter
1. I've  always loved sewing and had a desire to share my craft, but was afraid to do anything to make  something of my passion. After reading so many inspirational blogs and making wonderful bloggy pals, I  decided to just give it a go!

2. The  best thing to do with fall leaves...put them in front of my dog.  Seriously! She LOVES to crash through them for some reason. The ground  can be clear ahead of her but if she sees leaves, Ms. Shira is heading that way.

blog - shop - twitter
1.  I started my shop after I started making a few bibs for my son. One thing led to another and  before you know it, I was taking IndieBiz3.0 which encouraged me to start a blog! 
2. The best thing to do with fall leaves? Smell them. Is it weird that I love the smell of fallen, decomposing maple leaves?


blog - shop - twitter
 1. I started blogging to journal my journey through learning how to sew, talk about my experiences as a mum (of 4) and my love of petty things. Inspiring comments left by other bloggers, inspired my to start my own etsy shop.
2. My girls would say jump in them; I would say make a pretty collage.

blog - shop - twitter - facebook
 1. I got into blogging as a way to express myself outside of my 9 to 5 job, as well as to build a feeling of a crafty community. My shop came out of the same feeling that I was happiest when I was creating things, and should really make that a focus in my life.

2. Best thing to do with them is all of the above! Step on 'em, jump in them, and definitely shuffle your feet through them and throw 'em at each other! And then when you're tired, collecting the prettiest ones and pressing them or sealing them between wax paper sheets seems to be the thing to do!


blog - shop - facebook
1. I love to knit and sew and then I found Blythe. So I combined my hobbies into a shop. My blog is older than my shop and has evolved from just documenting crafts, to a fun blog about crafting, dollies, food, travel, and general fun!

2. I LOVE to jump in fall leaves. Sadly, London lacks the beautiful colors that I got used to growing up in the midwest. :(

blog - shop - twitter
1. Boredom, honestly. Well, that and the want to document my crazy leap into self-employment.

2.  Take pictures of my dogs playing in them. Otherwise? I'm not a fan.

I like them.
And I hope you guys do too and send them some love.

You'll see a bit more of them too before the month is over. :) It should be good.

happy thursday-which-means-it's-almost-friday!

xo erika

(I live for weekends.)
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