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Creature Comforts Has Moved

Hi friends! Earlier this month I was thrilled to announce a brand new online home for Creature Comforts! Unfortunately due to an unforeseen technical glitch with the old site's feed, many of you may not have seen this announcement (such a bummer)! I'm really sorry about the mix-up and would love to invite you all to come on over to visit the new site today.

If you previously subscribed to Creature Comforts and would like to continue to receive updates, please note: you will need to resubscribe to the new site's feed!

Since Google Reader will no longer be active/in existence in a few months, I recommend using rss readers like Feedly or Bloglovin (you can follow Creature Comforts on Bloglovin here).

Alternatively, you can add our RSS feed url to any other feed reader of your choice

The old feed was unfortunately left behind in the move, and there is just no way around this little roadblock. I apologize for the hassle, and do so hope to see you over in Creature Comforts' new virtual home. xox Ez


Three Things I'm Loving Right Now

Friends, I'm busy as a bee working on something exciting that I can't wait for you to see later this week. So in the meantime I'm just popping in quickly to share three things I'm loving right now. Have a beautiful Tuesday! xo Ez

1. I love the luxe simplicity of these leather Envelope Card Holders from ANVE (via)

2. I'm swooning for the branding /packaging of Old Salt Merchants. With products like Lime Slice Sugar, Sea Smoke Salt, and Rum & Cola know you're going to end up with something as good as the presentation makes it look.

3. How brilliant! A DIY Decorative Mirror created out of an ugly thrifted painting! You have to see the tutorial on My Sweet Savannah for the surprising "before" shot. (via)


Color Inspiration: 04. 01. 13

Gorgeous magnolia blooms photographed by Yvonne Kone (via)


Progress Report: Skillshare Illustration Class

You might remember the post that I wrote over a week ago about the Skillshare class that I had just signed up for. The two-week long session (now almost over) titled Digital Illustration: Communicate with Color, Pattern, and Texture, has been lead by the talented designer / illustrator Brad Woodard. I went into the class with no abilities in the Adobe Illustrator program whatsoever. I've quite literally opened my ancient version of the program about three times in the past five years...attempted to draw something as basic as a straight line, only to be immediately baffled and scared away by how nonsensical it appeared to be.

But since Illustrator is something that I've always wanted to learn, I decided that this class could finally be the perfect opportunity to dig in and see how far I could get (even though I've been secretly terrified of making a fool out of myself). I do have to add, that my self-taught (sufficient at best) knowledge of Photoshop has most definitely been a huge asset to me over the past week of class, since a lot of that program's functionality behaves similarly to that of Illustrator. Even still, it's been a huge challenge...and I've loved it!

Click image for a larger view

The class assignment was to draw our own personal interpretation of either the word "loud" or "quiet." Can you guess which one I picked? I've followed all of Brad's lessons (taught by video) and explored all the resource links he has shared, and have gotten as far the illustration at the top of the page (a fully colored piece with no texture). There has been a lot of floundering for me along the way, but my fellow Skillshare students (who come from an awesome array of backgrounds and experience levels) have been more than willing to share helpful tips and tricks to keep me going. That paired with some serious gems of wisdom tucked inside of Brad's videos have left me with an overwhelmingly positive takeaway from the class.

Unfortunately it seems that my lack of Adobe Illustrator skills may have finally posed a roadblock too large for me to overcome. After spending hours trying to get my decrepit Illustrator program to mirror the steps that Brad demonstrated for the creation of custom textures and patterns, I've realized that it is probably not going to happen. I'm truthfully really sad to get this far and then not be able to complete the rest of the assignment. Applying texture/patterns to my illustration was the part I have most been looking forward to. Obviously my piece would have also been improved upon through this final missing that's a bummer. In any event, I will keep trying (maybe I'll get lucky)...but even without the icing to my virtual cake, I still cannot more highly recommend Brad's Skillshare class. It was incredibly wonderful, inspiring, and more than worth the measly $15 I paid for such a massive amount of learning! If you missed taking the class this time around and were interested, be sure to head over and sign up for his next session. You won't regret it! xo Ez

P.S. You can see illustrations from students who took this session, right here. There is some really wonderful work to be seen.


Testing Testing: A DIY Wedding Bouquet for my Sister

Over the past few years I have been blessed to see two of my six little sisters get married. I am from a family that appreciates getting as much out of a tiny budget as possible (that's probably why I like to DIY so much), so to help my sisters cut down on expenses I served as the photographer for both of their big days. However, as much as I love taking thing I've learned is that I am just not cut out for the high-pressure world of wedding photography! Phew!

This summer my family and I will celebrate the marriage of a third sister (hooray), but this time around I'll be helping out with the floral arrangements (I might sneak in a few photos for her too...but not as the official photographer—thank goodness). I haven't worked with arranging live flowers very much, so over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to soak in as much insight into the process of bouquet / floral design as I can. Since I've been browsing around for whatever knowledge I can gain and finding a few helpful things along the way, I thought that today I'd share the best sources that I've discovered so far with you all. I hope that if you ever find yourself wishing to create a DIY wedding bouquet, that these links might take some of the headache out of the researching process for you:

My sister first started off with a purple and white color palette (you can see my Pinterest inspiration board for her here), but we recently decided to shift the theme to include some soft peachy colors for a day that has more of a relaxed "walk in the garden" feeling about it. Before we changed the palette, the lovely Maddy from Somewhere Splendid was kind enough to put together a couple of beautiful arrangement ideas to inspire my sister. They are part of her Blooms on a Budget series and are gorgeous! 

This is the bouquet that is currently serving as inspiration for my sister's wedding arrangements and decor. The versions I came up with here were limited by what was available in stores (since I was only practicing and didn't want to spend too much money hunting down specific blooms). Even still I learned a lot by just practicing with what I had...

Firstly, it takes a lot of time to prep everything (removing leaves, wiring blooms, etc.) but it's worth it to have everything prepped before you start arranging. Here the flowers are in my kitchen sink, soaking inside a pot and a glass measuring bowl (whatever works, right).

Check out how messy all the prep is! Not pictured...a pile of greenery 10 inches high!

Click on the image for a larger view

I used ranunculus in this bouquet, and they are gorgeous, but I'm not sure if they will work during the Summer season because of how delicate they are. However if I do end up using them I've now learned how to wire them and make them much more sturdy! Just insert a floral wire inside the hollow stem until it begins to pierce the head of the bloom, and trim the excess wire at the base of the stem. Voila! The blooms can even be gently bent into the direction you want them to face because of the wire hidden inside of them!

I know I want to work with a different kind of greenery (mine here had bug holes since I just picked them off a random tree). I'm thinking of using Dusty Miller, Lamb's Ear, and/or Seeded Eucalyptus for her actual arrangements.

Here's how I started the layering several different blooms on top of a few greenery sprigs.

I continued to build onto the bouquet with additional flowers...adding three at a time and then rotating the arrangement slightly before adding more, so that I could evenly fill in the entire piece.

Once I was satisfied with the overall design and fullness I wrapped the stems in floral tape.

Lastly, I wrapped the stems in a natural-looking ribbon and added decorative pins for embellishment. The pins are pretty, but I will probably want to find something less sharp (maybe applied with a glue gun) for the actual wedding.

I think the bouquet and boutonniere / corsages (below) turned out pretty well for my first time! The one truly tricky thing that I'm worried about is that my sister is on a very tight floral budget (you might cry if I told you how small), so one of my biggest challenges will be completing arrangements for the huge wedding party plus all the family members (and honorary bridesmaids) that she has on her list without sacrificing style. Trust me...I have even considered buying roses from the wonderful vendor at our local farmer's market and blooms from Trader Joe's to pack in my suitcase when I head to Michigan for the ceremony! We shall see.

If you have knowledge in the world of floral design that you would be willing to share, I would love your help! I received a ton of wonderful feedback over on Instagram when I shared the photos of these arrangements that I snapped with my phone. So fantastic! I never cease to be humbled and amazed by the wonderful community we share together! xo Ez

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