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You all read this article about the ‘Busy Trap’ that came out a while ago, right? Well, this year I’ve been consciously trying to get rid of the word ‘busy’ from my vocabulary. When someone asks me how work or life is, I really try my hardest not to say ‘busy’ anymore. Let’s be honest, everyone is busy. And no one is so busy 24/7 that they don’t have time to catch up on Netflix, take a Buzzfeed quiz every so often or obsessively follow all the updates for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight (I can’t help it… I’ve become obsessed. It’s such a sad and intriguing story).

My endeavor to not use the word busy has been going ok, but the problem is, sometimes the words I end up using are just as banal and not descriptive at all. “It’s been going ‘good’, ‘awesome’, ‘great’, ‘ok’, ‘terribly’”… I need better ways of answering the question of how things are going. But then again, are people actually asking me because they want me to give them a descriptive answer or just because it’s the polite, obvious thing to ask anyone in a conversation and they just want a one word answer? Nonetheless, “busy”—be gone!


When I was in Santiago, I went to go see one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, La Chascona. The place was amazing. He loved art, the ocean, architecture, collecting odds and ends, and being inspired by his surroundings. He was friends with artists, writers, politicians and a lot of really interesting people. Entertaining his interesting friends was his M.O. and he even had 2 entirely separate bars in his house—is that brilliant or what? He believed that to do interesting work, one needed to be surrounded by interesting people and interesting things. His house is filled with his shell, glass and furniture collections, works of art from his famous artist friends, and tokens from each of the places he has visited throughout his life. Truly a labor of love.

The idea of surrounding yourself with interesting people and things really resonated with me throughout the trip. I thought about how the objects and people we surround ourselves with effect our everyday and creatives lives. While I’m all for the home goods, furniture and trinkets that we get from the stores that we tend to frequent, I dream of one day having a house that’s filled with objects from my travels, objects that have a story, and special objects given to me by my friends. I want my home to be a place that inspires conversation, thought, and interesting creative work. I know it’s a no brainer that most people tend to surround themselves with things they like and things that have meaning, but I want to start doing it with more intention. My favorite things from Chile are probably the rocks I picked up (for free) that came from each of the different hikes that we took. And the ceramic pig because he’s making the McKayla face— he’s irresistible.

 


 

I hope 2013 treated you well. I’m grateful and thankful for a wonderful year where I learnt, worked, traveled, danced, slept, sweat, froze, blogged, designed, instragrammed, explored, ate, drank, worried, thought, smiled, laughed and loved a lot. No complaints over here. Onward to 2014! Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

 

 

Unlike previous years, I didn’t get a chance to make and send out holiday cards this year. Consider this my holiday greeting to all of you. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Cheers!

Last week I was kindly nominated for a Liebster Award by Archana at My Socal*d Life. The Liebster Award goes like this: A blogger comes up with a list of questions, and then nominates other bloggers to answer those questions. Then each of those bloggers comes up with a list of their own questions and nominates several other bloggers to answer them. Rinse, repeat. Make sense?

Take a look at the questions Archana asked me and my answers:

 

And now it’s my turn. I nominate Pinegate Road, Note to Self, Jen Serafini, VMac & Cheese, Breanna Rose, and Dreams + Jeans to answer the following:

1. Spring or fall?

2. Your quirkiest habit?

3. Hour of the day you are most productive?

4. What’s a reoccurring dream you have/have had?

5. Heels or flats?

6. Something your readers may not know about you?

7. One person you want to meet—living or dead?

8. The fashion trend you’d never be caught dead in?

9. Once piece you’d give your 13 year old self?

Be sure to check out all the blogs I mentioned above—they are all super talented ladies! Have a great weekend!

I’ve got something special here on the blog today—my first giveaway!

A good friend who I worked with back in my agency days opened her own online home goods and accessories shop, Someware Goods, and it’s pretty incredible. Her first line of items is sourced from Columbia and Peru and everything in her shop is handmade, original and completely delightful.

From Giselle about her line:

The main inspiration for founding Someware came from my love for travel, design, and the cultural experience of where the two intersect. I wanted to start a business that would give me the freedom to travel to amazing places with a meaningful purpose and to create a brand that would allow me to play different roles in the creative process. The aim was to be able to be playful and colorful as I’m telling the story behind the products and to produce the type of unique handmade housewares that I love.

Keep reading to find out about some of Giselle’s habits and routines that keep her ticking as a creative, and how to enter the giveaway to win the amazing Sundays Market Bag below!

 

 

 

1. What is the first thing you do everyday when you wake up?
I make coffee. I literally start waking up as I’m brewing it. It’s silly, but I find a lot of pleasure in drinking that first cup of coffee of the day.

2. What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
I either watch or read something. Especially after a long day of work I like to do either of those things to feel 100% relaxed and ready for bed.

 

 

3. It’s noon on a wednesday afternoon—what are you most likely doing?
That’s when I usually start thinking about what I’m going to do for lunch. But if I’m not eating, I’m either freelancing or working on the online store. Right now my schedule varies a lot, which is a good thing. It keeps my work days exciting!

4. It’s 9pm on a thursday night— what are you most likely doing?
I’m probably heading back home after meeting with my home group from church. They’re all amazing people and I really look forward to those nights. There’s a great family feel in the group, which is so important to find specially in a city like LA where people can live very separated lives.

 

 

5. What hour of the day are you most productive?
I’m usually at my best in the mornings. Even though I find it extremely hard to get out of bed, I force myself to wake up early everyday. I know that my mind will be clearer and I’ll be able to tackle more things with a fresh eye.

6. What is the one habit you are working hardest to change?
I’m trying to become less dependent on the computer. This year I started taking a surface design class to do more hands-on creativity. I love the process of drawing and painting patterns and I find that my work benefits from trying different methods outside from what I can produce on the computer.

 

 

7. What is the best habit you have developed as a creative?
The best habit has been to lose fear of starting a project or executing an idea. I’ve learned that the process of trying to make something happen is always extremely rewarding even when things don’t turn out the way you expect them the first time.

8. A lot of creatives wear many hats and don’t have fixed schedules. What are some things that are daily “must-dos” for you?
+ Wake up early (Mon-Fri)
+ Have a cup of coffee in the morning
+ Do something active either before or after work

9. To achieve optimal creativity, I need….
+ A work space that is calm and peaceful
+ Good music
+ Exposure to cultural events (Music shows, movies, openings, etc)
+ Interaction with nature

 

This giveaway is over!

To enter the giveaway:

Visit Giselle’s shop and let us know your favorite item in her shop in the comment section of this post. Since the Sundays Market Bag the perfect bag to take with you to the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday, also tell us what your favorite Sunday activity is.

The giveaway will be open until 11:59am EST on Friday, October 25, 2013 and the winner will be picked by random number generator and contacted via email by October 29, 2013

Only one entry per reader and a valid email address must be provided

Valid only to US residents

 

 

I got back to New York after a wonderful week of friends, family, birthdays and weddings, and the plan was to dive right back into a regular blogging schedule. But the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and blogging has gone a bit out the window for the past few days. I try to make blogging a priority, and I tried to fit it into my schedule, but it just wasn’t happening. At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do, right? Hopefully, Stella (Rashi) gets her groove back ASAP.

 

Exactly one year ago, I published my first post here on Bucket of Squash. Man, a year really flies. I can safely say since starting this blog, my creative life has changed for the better.

I’ve creatively achieved more this past year and feel more fulfilled than I did for the first few years I’ve worked as a designer combined. I have a few hunches on why this is.

Blogging has given me a creative confidence I didn’t really have before. Sure, some if it comes through validation via emails, tweets and comments about what I’m working on and posting, but simply put—I’ve become a better designer and professional in the past year. Blogging forces me to produce on a regular basis, whether it’s a new graphic treatment I’m playing around with, advice I want to share with other creatives, or a new artist I want to share. In following the advice of wise Ira Glass, the bigger volume of work you produce, the better you are going to get. Sure, there are stretches of days when I don’t have time to post, feel too pressured, or just don’t have anything to post, but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to keep this up consistently for a year.

Even more importantly, blogging has forced me to open up about my design process, inspirations, and life and it’s helped me create creative connections I didn’t have before. It’s introduced me to a world of insanely talented, supportive people that inspire me everyday. The connections I’ve made have manifested into friendships, collaborations, and good conversations. There is an amazing creative community out there on the internet, and I feel lucky to have dabbled in it over the past year.

I believe in celebrating all milestones in life, no matter how small. Tonight I plan on toasting to the 130 posts I’ve written in the past year, and the desire I have to keep this baby going for another year!

Thanks to everyone to has read, commented, shared, or reached out because of Bucket of Squash!

 

Happy Friday party people! And yet another week comes to an end. I hope this week was productive, fun, and wonderful for everyone. You know what’s even more wonderful? Today is Friday and tomorrow is Saturday. Have a great weekend!

I leave you with some of the best things I saw on the internet this week:

+ I love me some Malcolm Gladwell.

+ How to respond when your clients think you are too expensive.

+ How did I never realize how fashionable N*Sync was?! Hilarity. (Thanks Breanna Rose!)  

+ These Botany and Entomology posters by Daniel Blackman are wonderful.

+ I may hate numbers as much as she likes them, but Marissa Mayer is one inspirational woman.

+ I’m in love with this Anthropologie dress. Too bad Anthro can never fit me quite right (not like that will stop me from trying this baby on).

 

 

Elie Saab has the most amazing couture collection. His gowns take my breath away—not that I’ve ever come close to wearing one. I recently helped out at a Poppies & Posies wedding, and the bride was wearing the most amazing turquoise Elie Saab dress. Besides the fact that it’s stunning in its own right, I think the dress appealed to be because I can see it totally fitting into a modern Indian wedding. It’s probably one of the most incredible wedding dresses I’ve ever seen and I had to share it.

 

Photos by Les Loups