Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Picture Display Inspiration

So now that I have successfully bored you all to death with my personal photo montage, I thought I would at least bring to you some design inspiration in the form of creative ways to display these photographs. Hopefully some of these images will inspire you to dust off those old photo albums and proudly display some of the treasures that are hidden inside them!

Both images from Smile and Wave

Heart display - featured on Cookie Magazine online, Photo Wall - featured on Remodelista

And of course Pottery Barn has a knack for displaying frames.

Extra Special Types Of Pictures

Do you ever find that there is a certain type of photo you just have to get when you have your camera out? Maybe it is a shot with your best friend. Or maybe it is a picture of your cute shoes. Whatever it may be though, it is something you see as "special" and something that you think deserves the opportunity to be remembered through a photograph. So for the last collection of my personal pictures, I thought I would share with you all my go-to types of favorite photos.

There's the kiss on the cheek pose.

The "Cheers" we're celebrating something pose.

The "I'm wearing something ridiculous and totally out of place" pose. This one just always begs for photographic documentation... at least in my mind!

The tongue sticking out pose. This one's a classic in my book.

The let's shove every inanimate object we can into one frame so as to accurately capture the "mood" picture.

And last but not least there's the "Wait we are actually ALL together! This rarely happens!" group shot. Which of course is then broken down into girls vs. boys, and ensued by utter chaos.

So now that I've given you an extensive peek into my vast collection of personal photos (probably more then you ever wanted to see!), I hope that you'll take this opportunity to look back on, and enjoy, some of your own personal photos.

Favorite Photographers: The Girls

Next up for favorite friend photographer is Rebecca! Rebecca's style is sweet and romantic, and she loves trying to capture the quintessential "perfect moment". Her photos are dreamy, sometimes a little out of focus, and oozing with passion and emotion. Not only does she have a great eye, but she is also incredibly adept at catching the feelings of a moment. Even though Rebecca excels at taking all types of photos, her absolute favorite to snap is the candid.

One never knows when Miss Rebecca might snap a picture...

... but many times we are also set up for a "faux-candid photo shoot", in which moments like these are captured! We totally look like we're having fun, right?!?

One can always count on an absolutely gorgeous (and frame worthy) photo to come from Rebecca's camera, and more often than not there is even a cute candid in there too (real or fake!). 

Next up is a trio of photographers, my friends Sarah and Gina, and myself! Individually our photographic styles vary, but in an AHA moment (otherwise known as "OK we just did a tunnel run AND we have our cameras! Now what randomness can we get into?!?") we decided to create our own unique "together style." We dubbed it the "Random Photo" (we are so clever huh!?!). While none of these photos are exactly of the "keepsake" variety, they are ALWAYS good for a great laugh, and they remind us not to take life too seriously. 

The start of it all. 

There are plenty of odd things on our college campus just begging for "Random Photo" ops.

Our other friends quickly caught on to this great photographic style. 

The "Random Photo" takes the boring everyday stuff we see all the time, and creates something fun and original... because memories can really be made anywhere at anytime! 

Favorite Photographers: The B-Man

For those of you who don't know this about me, let me just tell you now... I LOVE pictures! I also love taking pictures! In high school and college I passed a good chunk of time in the dark room, letting my creative mind wander, and along the way I managed to accrue a group of friends who love pictures and photography as much as I do. Because of this, needless to say, we are never without good photographic coverage of an event! The best thing though, is that we each have our own personal photographing style. So in honor of this I thought I would roundup some of my favorite pictures, from my favorite photographers. My friend photographers that is! 

First up is Brant! Brant has the most unique style of anybody I know (in general he simply holds the camera at some bizarre angle and snaps away without ever looking through the viewfinder), but my most favorite thing about his style is his amazing ability to capture the spirit and soul of all of his subjects. He generates pictures that are energetic, fun, and happy! And like many other "great" photographers Brant also has certain areas that he specializes in. 

Like the walking shot, and the "Are we having fun yet?" shot!

Brant has the talent of being able to bring out the goofiness in everyone, and thus many of his pictures wind up being an expose on the most ridiculous faces ever! But unfortunately he does have one downfall as a photographer, he is NOT to be trusted with taking the "group photo", because the results while entertaining, are never frame worthy.

You'll get shots where nobody is paying attention...

... or where the subjects aren't in the frame...

... or where nothing is centered, and only one person looks "nice"!

I always love Brant's pictures though, no mater how crazy and ridiculous they are, because he captures the best in everyone!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Today's roundup (besides being a bit late to grace you all with its presence!) isn't exactly a design element, but it is something that the majority of us use to decorate our spaces, and it's one of the key elements in turning a house into a home. What is it you ask? Why it's none other than the personal picture!

These special pieces of paper allow us the rare opportunity to go back in time, even if it is just for a brief moment. With the push of a button our memories are magically transformed into something tangible that we can see and hold (and remember forever). And so even though we can't physically relive the past, we can at least freeze a moment of it in time with the use of a camera, thus allowing us to look back and smile.

Before, During, and After: My Tattoo (Fall 2002)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

And So It Begins

I meant to write this post far before I ever actually posted anything about The Apartment, but I was overcome with excitement due to the completion of my bathroom makeover that I decided to go out of order. Oh well! Consider it like having dessert before the main meal! You got to see some of the goodies (i.e. the bathroom before and afters) before actually having to deal with the boring stuff (i.e. the nitty gritty details of the actual apartment!).

The Apartment resides on a busy street in the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, just down the street from the Brooklyn Flea, and nestled in between a laundromat and a bagel shop. While my roommate (Jenna) has lived here for several years, I am just now beginning to call this place home. Earlier this Fall I decided it was time for a change of scenery, and thus with many teary goodbyes, I packed myself up and made my way to The Big Apple! It's been a big adjustment, and I am by no means "settled" yet, but I am loving the fact that there is so much to do right outside my door. 

You may think that since my roommate has been living in our apartment for a couple of years now that we would be all set and decorated... but it's quite the opposite actually! When Jenna's last roommate moved out he took with him all the furniture (it was all his), thus leaving us with one VERY EMPTY apartment. While it has been slow going furnishing  our space (unfortunately we are not made of money... *sigh*), we are loving every minute of having a clean slate to work with. 

We are lucky in the fact that The Apartment is what one would call a "huge space" when talking about NYC apartments, complete with four closets (one of them being our own "Harry Potter closet" - as in the cupboard under the stairs!), and TONS of natural light. It's also ridiculously close to many subway stops and Manhattan, but unfortunately, we are stuck with some rather loud and obnoxious upstairs neighbors who fail to have ANY respect for the rest of us who live in the same building. However, it's a small price to pay for such a great apartment in such a great location!

So since the main purpose of this blog is to keep my friends and family up to date on the goings - ons in my new life in the city (of course it also serves double duty as my "design journal" - i.e. the place where I can store all the pretty pictures I come across on the web), be prepared for many a post on The Apartment!

Roomies! Me and Jenna (Oct. 2009)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HTML Genius? I Think Not!

A couple years ago I was bitten by the blogging bug, and I must say it is something that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE! I love being able to unload my creative writing passions on many an unsuspecting reader! Around the time that I was in middle school I realized that I love to write. At the time (and at my school) this was very much encouraged, but by the time I hit high school and college, this proved to be a bit of an issue, as I would routinely be awarded with papers and tests that said "Great job... but next time try answering the question!". Whoops! Instead of actually writing about what was expected of me, I would instead eloquently spin a story of my own works, only quasi relating to the subject matter at hand. However, once I discovered the blogosphere, my creative writing juices once again started flowing, and I realized that there is a whole realm where I can let my thoughts go crazy!

When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to do more then just share with my audience my writing, I also wanted to share with them my overall creative vision. In my mind Swoonette had a very specific look and feel, but it was something that I could only define in my head. So, because of this, I took it upon myself to actually create my own blog design! I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing when it comes to HTML and CSS, however, I was convinced that I would be able to work some DIY magic spell and have a close to perfect end result. So now, after many trial and error moments, I am pleased to say that I was able to turn a very blah basic Blogger template into the vision of my dreams, and what you see here today at Swoonette! Of course I'm no professional, and I know that a true web designer could really amp up my blog design and add all the bells and whistles that I really want, but I feel so proud of myself to know that even though my design is simple, it is EXACTLY what I want... and I did it all by myself!!!

From the standard Minima Blogger template... the Swoonette blog design!

So... Swoonette says:

  • If I can do it, so can you... so have no fear
  • Prior experience in web design is not at all necessary... I have none! (of course it would come in useful, but then where's the fun DIY challenge in that one... hehe!)
  • Don't start entirely from scratch (you'll only find yourself wailing in despair), instead pick the plainest template you can find (or for an even easier time, a template that is already very close to what you would like your end product to look like!)
  • Be sure to continually save and download copies of your template as you make changes to the code (I failed to do this many times, and thus had to keep recreating my blog from start... no fun!)
  • Sketch out on paper, or in Photoshop, a template of your ultimate design, it will help you stay organized and serve as a visual checklist of pieces you've already coded or have left to work on
  • If you can think of it, chances are there is a tutorial for it... Google is your best friend (I actually never once cracked a book for help!), everything you will probably need is right on the web
  • If possible gather your friends to have them "test" out your design on various browsers, platforms, and screen sizes (there is still a hiccup in my blog design, as the footer doesn't appear quite right for my Internet Explorer viewers... sorry everyone... but it's such a minor detail I was willing to let it slide)
  • Most of all though, just have fun, and let your creative juices flow

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not Your Average Chandelier

Typically a chandelier is viewed as a purely functional source of lighting, used for creating visibility over a larger table, and defining a more formal eating area. However, nowadays design junkies are taking it upon themselves to break this stereotype, and they are finding new and unique places to hang these gorgeous lamps. And because chandeliers now come in such a broad range of styles, you can easily find one to place in almost any area of your house. Chandeliers aren't just for the dinning room anymore!


Photo Credits (Top to Bottom, and Left to Right): Kitchen - Unknown, Bedroom - Turquoise, Laundry Room - Saucy, Nursery - featured on Parents Magazine online, Bathroom - Country Living, Living Room - Unknown

Chandelier Roundup

I'm a bit of a daydreamer, kind of girly, a hopeless romantic, and drawn to things that sparkle. What design element fits in perfectly with all of these things? Why the chandelier of course! Chandeliers are elegant and glamorous, and they come in so many shapes, styles, and colors that there is one out there for everyone, no matter what your budget! However, for this post I didn't want to just roundup a collection of purchasable chandeliers. I wanted something a bit more interesting and personal. So instead I hopped on over to Flickr, to check out people's real life pictures. There I sought out some of the most inspiring and gorgeous chandeliers that I could find. To me chandeliers are not just about looking pretty, they are also about evoking a special feeling or emotion, and I think that the pictures I found do just that. These are the chandeliers that fairy tales are made of!

 Photo Credits (Top to Bottom): Sarah~Peters, Christine&Eric, Edward Willett,

Vampire Weekend

Oh Vampire Weekend. How I do love thee, let me count the ways. Everything about you is so swoon worthy, from your amazing music to your cute quirky band members. Heck, even your album cover sets my heart aflutter. So because of this, I thought the image below would be the perfect way to introduce this week's roundup. The chandelier! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tweet Tweet

So... even though things are currently a little slow here at Swoonette, I've gone ahead and set up some helpful tools so you faithful readers can stay up to date! Swoonette is now on Twitter! So if you desire, feel free to follow me! Also if you ever want/need to get in touch with me, Swoonette now has email! Feel free to drop me a line at:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Scrub a Dub Dub

I know it's odd, and I feel a bit awkward admitting this, but the bathroom is actually my favorite room in a house. I think that my love of the bathroom started due to the fact that I LOVE taking a nice hot bath, being surrounded by candles, and enjoying a good magazine and a glass of wine, but that is not at all where my bathroom love ends. To me the bathroom is like an escape, and I like to make it as serene and calming as possible. It's a place where you can sneak away from everything else in the world (and for the most part no one else is going to bother you in there as long as you have the door closed!), relax, and think about whatever is bothering you, all while being surrounded by the soothing sounds of the water and the comfort of the hot steam. 

Upon moving into The Apartment I announced to my roommate that the first thing I needed to do was to decorate (and clean) the bathroom... before we tackled any of the other rooms! Unfortunately the bathroom was also the room that needed the most work. So with a few IKEA purchases under our belt, some paint, and the help of my dad (a.k.a. Handyman Larry) the bathroom has finally come together! There are a few more things that need to be added, like artwork, but for the most part it is complete and I am content!



But... my favorite part of the whole bathroom is the goodie basket that sits right between the tub/shower and the toilet. In it is almost everything you (or a guest) might need. The basket has plenty of towels, extra toilet paper, magazines, air freshener, and it's all right within arm's reach!


Sad Sad (Computer) News

Although Swoonette has only just begun, it is with sad news that I must say that this blog is already on a bit of a break. Over Thanksgiving, while we were all enjoying some yummy food and wonderful company, my computer decided to take a vacation of its own... and unfortunately it has decided NOT to come back! I was hoping that my computer's issues were minor, however, after visiting the friendly peeps over at the SoHo Apple store I'm afraid that it is more of a major disaster. So while I mourn the loss of my computer golden child, and do some research on what my next technological move will be, the posts here at Swoonette may be a little bit haphazard. Luckily I have my old trusty iBook to work off of until I decide what to do next, but unfortunately slow and steady doesn't necessarily win the race when it comes to blogging! So blog land if you can just bear with me for a little bit of time, I promise that once I get my computer woes figured out, that I will be back to bringing you some beautiful design inspirations!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Save The Tureky"

Unlike any other holiday, Thanksgiving always seems to bring about only happy memories for me. I can think back to amazing moments spent with friends and family, and there are plenty of inside jokes ("Save The Tureky" is just one of them!) and entertaining moments from Thanksgivings past to fill my day with joy. When I was growing up Thanksgiving held an extra special place in my heart though, because not only did I get one fabulous Thanksgiving with my family, but I also got another amazing Thanksgiving with my school

Long before my school grew to what it is now, we had one very special holiday tradition that us students looked forward to all year... our Thanksgiving feast! The preparations always started weeks before the actual holiday. Giddily all of us students crafted ourselves a special placemat (a highlight to the school year), and came up with the Turkey Day menu (each classroom was responsible for cooking at least one item). The few days before the feast were spent with all of us cleaning, chopping, and cooking. Come time for the day of our actual celebration, we would come to school all dressed up, and grinning from ear to ear. Goodies were exchanged with the other classrooms, so that everyone had a little of this and a little of that to feast upon, and then we would sit down to eat. This tradition, while painstakingly labor intensive for the teachers, was something so meaningful for us students. There was a huge sense of community and independence that was created by not only being able to cook our own food from scratch, but from also getting the opportunity to share these yummy treats with our fellow schoolmates. I wish that this tradition still lived on for the students that are there today, but I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in it for so many years. Thanksgiving is all about sharing our blessings (even if they are small) with one another, no matter how different we all are. I'm not sure that I ever would have learned the true meaning of Thanksgiving without this tradition, and for that I am forever grateful. I learned about Thanksgiving in the best way possible, by experiencing it. 

So to all of you out there in blog land, I want to wish you a very very happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with loving family and friends (and some yummy food too of course!). 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One More Window Seat

And here's one more... just because! Don't you just want to escape there?!? Happy daydreaming!

Photo via Purple Area

Window Seat Roundup

If I had to chose just one design element that I covet the most, I think it might have to be the window seat. My love of them started sometime around the time when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. My best friend at the time lived in a 200 year old house, and upstairs in the hallway there was an almost daybed sized window seat nestled into a cozy nook. It was surrounded by beautiful dark wood, and a set of built in bookshelves that were filled to the brim with all sorts of different books. Many a time our playdates would at some point come to us plopping ourselves on the cushy window seat, gazing out the window, and having girl talk. These were some of the best moments... and since then I have always wanted a window seat of my own. I can think of nothing more magical then curling up on a rainy day with a warm blanket, while being surrounded by soft cushions, and daydreaming the day away. Pure bliss!

Photo Credits (Top to Bottom, and Left to Right): House Beautiful, CoopTours, Unknown, Southern Living