B

2015-02-02-20150202-Capture0015 I find it extremely difficult to write anything that is fitting for the best man I know. The amount of love and care I share with him is immeasurable. A year ago, I was shy (and admittedly shaking) when I gave him his birthday card I had made the night before. The card was a simple gesture of friendship, but little did I know, I would be receiving a card on our first date several weeks later. Each day since, I've grown more smitten than the day before. Everyday I am excited to share in conversations about our interests, passions, wonders, fears, and day dreams (and silly singing duets and have dance-offs too) Every day I am proud of how strong, brilliant, and meaningful he is. And everyday we smile at each other with hearts in our eyes, never ceasing. Celebrating B this week will be the greatest joy, but it will not come close to expressing how much joy I am filled with to call him my best friend.

Happy 25th Birthday, B. I love you more.

(Oh yeah, and he puts up with my ideas like this thumbs up photo which is also really amazing.)

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wandering Austin

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventurecoloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

Time continues to fly by as B and I live in Austin. It seems like we’ve blinked and now we’ve lived here over 6 months, even more excited B and I are close to celebrating our one year of being a couple! Since living in Austin we’ve had the best time exploring our new home, however we noticed we had not explored a few quintessential Austin places yet. So we made a plan!

B and I dedicated1–2 days to explore Austin and document the day’s findings with photos. Then we printed our favorites as a Square Print Set from Artifact Uprising!

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

On a rainy Saturday morning we grabbed coffee at one of our favorite local spots, Figure 8. We made a list of places we’ve wanted to go and places we’ve heard great things about, we even asked the baristas and people in line for their recommendations. At the end of the list, there were simply too many good Austin eats to try and not enough time or space in our stomachs to try them all so we focused more on sites. Unfortunately, all of the places were outdoors so our adventure was pushed back until Sunday. However, Sunday the sun was shining bright; our adventure day was finally here! We packed our camera, and sunglasses, and headed out the door for almost the entire day.

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

Some of the Austin places we explored included:

  • ‘Greetings from Austin’ on Annie St.
  • ‘I love you so much’ street art at Jo’s on S. Congress.
  • Downtown and the Capitol building.
  • Castle Hill (The Hope Gallery).
  • Lady Bird Lake and Lamar pedestrian bridge
  • East Austin Succulents

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

Narrowing the several hundred photos we shot down to our favorites took a little time, but we both had clear favorites. Once we decided on our the set the rest was easy through Artifact Uprising! Ordering our Square Print Set on the website was simple and quick. The prints are 5" squares with a small white border on semi-matte paper. We didn’t have to worry much about the color calibration of monitors, screens, or printers; the prints’ colors looks exactly as they do on our Macs and iPhone screens.

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

Our prints are now hung by DIY gold color block clips in our home; I smile each time I catch a glimpse of them. Thankfully, B is fantastic and spaced out the whole grid evenly, so it doesn’t drive us both crazy.

Going on these little adventure will always be one of my favorite things to do with B. I’m lucky to spend these days, in a spectacular city, with my best friend.

coloregrace- Austin Artifact Uprising adventure

photography by Bruce Layman and Colore’ Lincoln

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Artifact Uprising. I received a product to review for this post, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands I believe in and that keep Colore’ Grace abundant.

the cool boyfriends guide to gifts

the cool boyfriends birthday gift guide B’s birthday is just two weeks away! Most girlfriends would be scrambling to figure out what kind of gift would be most appreciated and loved from their boyfriends, but not this girlfriend. I never have to worry. Even when B and I were only friends I knew he had impeccable style and was very specialized about the items he liked. Simply holding a conversation with him exposed me to many wonderful brands, and he informs me on a daily basis.

Last spring he would strut into the shop a few times a week wearing his double-breasted navy blazer; he would carefully place his Clubmaster’s into his breast pocket (if their wasn’t a pocket square folded and tucked that day); and unpack multiple pens and notebooks to show the shop girls. It was one of these afternoons when he presented the Hi-Tec C during show-and-tell, which I instantly fell in love with and now use as my daily pen. After we started dating, my understanding for his style grew from being only about his well-tailored look and addiction to pens, into much broader categories.

I’ve learned most of the names of the raw demin, Horween leather goods, and obscurely named (and sometimes Japanese) pen and ink brands, but I still get lost in translation from time to time. Luckily, we are both honest about the items we’d love for our birthdays, so I never have to worry about gift-giving between us. The gift is always an item the other person already loves and will get a lot of use out of. B has already been enjoying his new Filson bag for a few weeks but here are a few more items that were in the running. I’d like to present what I call ‘the cool boyfriends guide to birthday gifts’.

peeks into our home

coloregrace and Bs home B and I have officially lived together for six months. Time continues to fly by. And we both continue to be amazed at how happy we are here. It has been so fun learning to cook together (and I’ll add that we have been making excellent dinners for the last week), running errands on the weekends, constantly rearranging our furniture, and mixing up our growing print collection. Since it is our first home, it has been quiet the process to arrange our things exactly how we like them, add a few new pieces in, and declutter items we no longer need or use. In the future we hope to keep a minimal amount of things, however we will keep all of our art prints. Today I’m excited to share a small peek into our process of building a home at 6 months.

This corner is a recent favorite of ours. I’ve had this vintage green chair since I was young, and I’ve always loved it. We’ve enjoyed keeping a few succulents around to bring some life in, and occasionally we’ll bring home a few hydrangeas because they’re my favorite. Our two large prints were framed and hung last week. The left print is from a recent AIGA lecture we attended called Print Matters, and the right is A Visual Compendium of Cameras from Pop Chart Labs.

coloregrace and Bs coffee tablecoloregrace and Bs home little bar

Our oversized wooden coffee table serves us in more ways than one. We like to keep these books on the table to flip through, but they often get pushed aside for work, yummy food, and sometimes photos. Right across the coffee table, we have a tall bookshelf/entertainment center with a low shelf that serves as our bar. We like to keep Gin, Bourbon, and a Malbec or Cab Sav stocked up; the Vodka is simply there as a bar staple. The glass and gold leaf sign behind hung in the doctor’s office of B’s great-grandfather, he saved it from the recycling bin before the move.

coloregrace-2311-officecoloregrace and Bs home office

Finally, our office, which is actually the dining area in the floor plan, is where we spend the most time. About two months ago we bought our giant white desktop which gives each of us plenty of space to spread out all of the paper and pens we wish. Behind us we have shelves that allow us to rotate our prints around occassionally.

We are truly enjoying building our home in this apartment. It is ever-changing, evolving, and so much fun.

coloregrace at home

common hobbies

coloregrace works best with B A great percentage of our nights at home consist of us hunched over with pens and paper scattered across our 78" white desktop. Of course working side by side is how B and I became friends almost a year ago (whoa), but I believe we thrive because of this common hobby. I feel so fortunate to have found a friend to not only work by my side, but also one who encourages me to grow. One of my favorite parts about this common ground is that we both know what it takes to succeed. We can bounce ideas off one another, collaborate ideas, or be inspired by each other. Its fun to share new instagram accounts we’ve found, discover different markers to try, or share all of the writing utensils we already have organized around the office (which is enough to completely cover said desktop).

I’ve thought a lot about how I enjoy sharing this hobby with B, and I’ve wondered about other couples who experience the same joy of being a creative team. I want to hear about their story with their hobby. You’ve already heard from the calligraphers-in-love, but I want to hear from the photographers, graphic designers, painters, musicians, and more! During the month of February, I’d love to share your ‘love of your hobby’ stories. So, I’d like to make this a SHOUT-OUT.

If you and your love share a common creative hobby, I want to hear from you!

  1. How did this hobby become part of your relationship?
  2. What is your favorite part about having this common ground?
  3. Is this something you enjoy weekly/monthly/yearly together?

If you’d like to tell me all about it, please answer these few question together, share a photo of the two of you working together, and email me at hello@coloregrace.com.

I’m excited to hear from you!

weekend in Austin

greetingsfromaustin1Hello hello! Over the weekend I conquered the 6.5 hour drive down to Austin for a little exploring. It was my first time to take a road-trip by myself, and I was so nervous, but I'm happy to report that I did great! The drive is actually very simple, yay! Once I got to Austin, I had time to kill and was lucky enough to find a Madewell store. Since I've always had to order online, I had to go in. After trying on a few items, I've come to the conclusion that most of their clothes are made for tall skinny ladies, not like myself, but I was happy to find this comfy grey dress! hopdoddybrewandbrewOver the weekend, we explored many lovely places and ate a lot of delicious food. Thursday night we had burgers and drinks at Hopdoddy. Friday I ventured out to find Wright Bros. Brew & Brew to sip coffee and do a little work. I found an Austin gem, Mockingbird Domestics, a local home good store. B and I were excited to find a giant art supply store in north Austin, where we found a few things we "needed". haha. It's dangerous when two calligraphers go to the art store together. mimosaI loved driving around and getting to know my way around Austin. I was so inspired by everyone walking around, having fun, and being themselves. Every one is so different but all commonly weird in their own way. There are so many places to go and things to see. Of course we will both have to get adjusted to the heat and humidity, but thankfully most places you walk into are heavily air-conditioned to cool you down. By Sunday morning while we were enjoying these lovely tiny mimosas at Hillside Pharmacy, I acknowledged the fact that every time we ate a meal I was telling Bruce that each place was my "new favorite". haha. I'll figure it out after months or maybe years of research.

It feels strange to know that I only have two weeks left in Oklahoma City. They're going to go by so fast. Now, I'm off to begin organizing and packing! Does any one have great packing tips?

 

we're moving to AUSTIN, TX!

austinheader Announcement! Bruce and I are moving to Austin, Texas! I'm extremely excited to be making my first big move, and I'll admit a little afraid too. It feels strange to me that I'm now old enough to move to another state without my parents. Growing up, I always dreamed of exploring and living in new cities, and I am grateful to get this chance. Since I've recently graduated I feel like this will be a wonderful opportunity for my career. I'm excited for all of the new opportunities I will have in Austin. That said, I'm extremely sad to be leaving my sweet shop-mom, Susan, who has always pushed me to follow my dream, and my shop-sister Sami, who is one of my best friends. They're the best bosses a shop-girl could ever ask for. Of course I'm going to miss my parents and all of my other sweet friends too. But, I'm seeing this as a the perfect chance to get all of my addresses up to date so I can send a lot of lovely snail-mail!

When Bruce asked me to move with him, my gut told me to go for it. So I am. Even in seconds when I doubt myself, I know I'm brave and I know how much I want this. I love him, and he loves me. I cannot wait to explore a new city with him and grow with him.

So readers, get ready for a lot of posts including but not limited to: moving highs and lows, apartment styling and restlying, Texas exploring, bohemian fashion, new yummy foods with Texas beer, us keeping Austin weird, new jobs and experiences, and a lot of new inspiration.

As of right now, we are planning to move in July. Yes, of course when it's getting really hot. EEK! It's only a month away! I'm really excited for this advernture!

POST-GRAD LIFE- The Huey's feature

snoconeheaderOklahoma City is warming up and starting to feel like Summer! I am searching for a new swimsuit, sandals, and many flowy brightly-colored sun-dresses. I’ve taken layers of blankets off of my bed. I wake up ready for iced coffee every morning since I’ve been a working night-owl the past several days. I’ve been driving with my music loud and windows down. I feel all of my allergies attacking me and there are bugs out everywhere. Ah, summertime. at the truck The first week after graduation I still was in a weird haze of feeling like I had a million tasks to do for school; my brain would not relax! I was constantly searching for the next assignment to work on, but there are no more assignments (for school anyway). Now, without the guilt of having school assignments to complete, I can fully enjoy a snocone date and start enjoying my post-graduation life!

My favorite place to get snocones in OKC is hands-down Huey’s Shave Ice! To quote Bruce, it is “the happiest little blue truck there ever was”. He took me to Huey’s for one of our first little dates and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I knew he loved it too when they greeted him by name. HA! Huey’s is owned by a sweet married couple, Lauren and Jamie. They are super nice to talk to and love having regular customers. summer love To find where Huey’s is going to be located, check @hueysokc on Twitter or Instagram. The little blue truck travels to different places throughout the Oklahoma City area and has the perfect selection of unique delicous flavors. Bruce’s favorite is ‘the 405’ as the ‘big daddy’ size, which is guava, redbud, ice cream at the bottom, and sweet cream on top. My favorite is the ‘Summer Love’, which is passionfruit, mango, and redbud. Mmm! eating B being cute Going to eat Huey’s with Bruce is just as sweet as the snocone. I am already loving my summer with him. No matter where we go, or what we do, we are always having fun and laughing.

In the past week he has been tremendiously patient with me while I’ve been getting into a groove of prepping blog posts, scheduling photo shoots, organizing my future ideas and goals, and setting up my new website. (What do you think of my blog’s fresh look?) I love dicussing what steps I’ll take next or how I can achieve a big goal I’ve set for myself with Bruce. He is constantly pushing me to believe in myself and do amazing work he knows I can do, even on days when I feel the worst. With his encouragement, I can’t imagine where I’ll end up but I know it will be great. He is confident my daydreams will soon be reality and I’m slowly starting to believe it too. I’m so thankful for him.

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Ending the summer day with Bruce and a Huey’s is perfect. Here’s to many more snocones.

Dress old Anthropologie / Necklace Anthropologie / Tote Madewell

(Photos by Bruce Layman for Colore’ Grace.)

blog meet B

Blog meet B. B

I would like to take a second to introduce you to my boyfriend, Bruce.

A few months ago I met him when he came in to buy a new pack of Field Notes (specifically the Red Blooded pack) from Chirps & Cheers. All I remember was noticing him sharply dressed in a tie and blazer, Sami telling him about our then up-coming calligraphy class, and not speaking to him at all.

Fast forward several months, and our mutual love of pens and paper doesn’t even slighty cover our compatibility.

B is a calligrapher, a writer, a to-do list maker, a note-taker, and a self-declared pen-addict. He is a photographer, a traveler, and an excellent brunch, lunch, and dinner date. He is a swimmer, runner, and cyclist. (He has been training to run the half marathon this Sunday. I can’t wait to go cheer him on! GO B!) B raps, sings, drums, and dances with me. He is a gin drinker, beer-lover, book-reader, and Vivid Colore lover. He is an iphone user, a nerd, a goofball, and a gentleman. B loves pineapples as much as I do. B is extremely well-traveled, well-spoken, and well dressed. He supports, inspires, encourages, challenges, and loves me.

We’ve already had many fun adventures together, but soon I’ll start sharing some here. Get ready for sno-cone dates, weekend roadtrips, art museums, polaroid dates, and many other big adventures.

I am so incredibly happy.

P.S. B is also my editor. Thanks for being a brilliant editor, B! 

Calligraphy class 2

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Over the weekend, Chirps & Cheers was delighted to host a total of five more calligraphy classes taught by Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye. I took her beginner class a few weeks ago (which seems like yesterday) and I was thrilled to take class again! She began teaching classes on Friday afternoon and was a total rockstar until Sunday afternoon. Since I was working at the shop during most of the classes, I got to help her set up her adorable color coordinated supplies, clean up afterwards, and run a few errands for her too. I love getting to talk to Lauren in between classes, and getting to know her better. She's so humble and easy to talk to, meanwhile she's an natural teacher and talented artist/business owner!

supplies

After seeing many groups of excited students in their classes, by Sunday I was extremely ready for class. In her advanced classes Lauren teaches uppercase letters, numbers, mixing gouache for colored ink, and some technicalities for connecting letters. She set us up with another set of supplies to take home too! Side note: I really need to get some of these giant sticky-notes for my desk! & even though we weren't using black ink during class, she gave us some for extra practice! I was excited to get another oblique pen and a few new nibs too. I've been practicing so much that I've already gone through a nib!

hands(Here's a Instagram photo Lauren took of Bruce's and my hand while practicing. Please excuse my awkward practice letters!)

All of my fellow classmates had taken her beginner class last month, so when we got together again it was like picking up conversation where we left off. Our class was so much fun! We talked about blogging, bloggers, local restaurants (especially burgers, which then made everyone want a burger!), and a lot of other things I can't remember right now. At the end of class we discussed going out for burgers the next time Lauren's in town! How fun!

doubleAfter class, I asked Lauren about her journey into being a full time calligrapher and she gave me some tips on starting up. In the creative world its easy to view others as simply competition, but in my experience so far (not to  jinx myself) the creatives I've met have been so encouraging and willing to help each other. Lauren's biggest advice to me was simply this: Work hard and be nice to people. She also said to work my ass off, but for instagram purposes we went with this simpler message. When I meet people like Lauren, who have worked hard and get to do their dream job everyday it inspires me to work harder for what I want. Although I know it won't happen overnight and I'm going to be working long hours for awhile, I'm excited about following a dream no matter how silly or unrealistic it seems. Its sad that I'll have to get a "real job" after graduation, but I plan on taking my job as a blogger, crafter, and calligrapher just a serious as the "real job" & I'll be having fun while doing it! I'm so terrified and equally excited about the next few years of my life.

Next Thursday night we're hosting an open calligraphy night in the shop and I'm pretty excited to sit with friends while practicing my lettering instead of watching all seasons of 30 Rock for the third time in a row. ha!