Fourth of July Inspiration

Almost every year my family spends The Fourth at our lake house enjoying homemade ice cream, good food, and fireworks! This year we are lucky enough to be carrying on the tradition (I missed out last year because I was in Italy with Sophie), and I can't wait! In anticipation I gathered some of my favorite Fourth of July inspiration. (I couldn't help but include two ideas from Think.Make.Share. and The House that Lars Made, I couldn't choose just one!) I hope you find a little inspiration for your celebration this year. Enjoy!

Letters Are Lovely | Fourth of July Inspiration

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The Spark and The Grind

Happy Friday! I just finished reading The Spark and the Grind: Ignite the Power of Disciplined Creativity by Erik Wahl. Lisa Congdon recommend it during her CLS talk (along with a few other books I hope to read soon!) so I was especially excited to dive in. Erik recounts his own personal journey in moving on from the end of a corporate career into live performance painting. He believes that:

Ongoing, original creativity requires the spark and the grind: the initial flicker of hope and the work to stoke it into something that changes the game. Always both, never just one.
— Erik Wahl

Most people have one phase that they are more comfortable operating in. Either you find great joy from igniting ideas but have trouble taking the time and doing the work to bring them to life, or you work for the sake of working, and don't always see all the opportunities and possibilities. I took tons of notes while reading, and it would be difficult to share all the tidbits of wisdom I gained. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and notes, but I highly recommend reading the entire book yourself!

One of the concepts I was at first resistant to was the idea of attaching yourself to your work. I have sometimes thought it is necessary to have hobbies and interests outside of your actual job, but came understand that Wahl's perspective is that you should attach yourself to everything you do and allow that to inform you work. 

Each day is a day to create. Period. Constant creators see life as simply as that.
— Erik Wahl

After finishing this book I am inspired to seek creativity in all aspects of my daily life, to remain open to the possibilities (especially when I know that I am more typically a grinder), and to keep creating. This quote from the end of the book is really the best way to summarize it:

We can theorize all day long about theology, politics, creativity, and social change. But the rubber meets the road in practice, in actual encounter with real life. Too often our lives are small and circumscribed, structures to protect us from anything unfamiliar or unknown. We fight not to appear foolish. Stop fighting that fight. Let go of your self-consciousness and fear of humiliation. There are far greater things to lose than a little ego now and then.
— Erik Wahl

Richmond, VA

Hello, friends! This past weekend I spent a few days in Richmond, Virginia visiting my cousin, Liesel. I didn't take too many photos, but wanted to be sure to document my favorite discoveries. Here a few snapshots and then some recommendations if you find yourself in the area! Enjoy. 

Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond, VA

Quirk Hotel

We spent my last evening in town at the Quirk Hotel Rooftop bar! It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The hotel is beautiful and the view of Richmond is spectacular. (If you are lucky enough to get a beautiful sunset like we did it's the cherry on top!) Take a peek at Coco Kelley's post for even more information and photos. The pink accents, quirky artwork and general attention to detail make the space. 

Letters Are Lovely | Richmond recommendations
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond recommendations
Letters Are Lovely | Richmond recommendations

VMFA: Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit

I love visiting art museums when I travel, and I highly recommend the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. If you find yourself in the area before September the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit is stunning. I loved learning about how influential his career was, and seeing his designs, moldboards, and costume jewelry in person was very inspiring. They also have a lovely cafe and outdoor space to work and relax. Friday evening happy hour was also very popular! 


Food and Drinks

Richmond had so many wonderful places to eat and go out, I think that would be one of the most fun parts of actually living in the city. Below are a few my favorite restaurants and bars I tried, as well as the winery we went to outside the city on Saturday afternoon. 

Letters Are Lovely | Richmond recommendations

May Around The Web

May is one of my favorite months of the year, and my allergies haven't even been quite as terrible as normal! This month I traveled to Chicago for a work event, tried a Soul Cycle class, attended Hallmark's Creative Leadership Symposium (and a Gemma O'Brien Meet & Greet!), spent Mother's Day in KC (complete with a delicious lunch and the Symphony Designers' Showhouse), watched my youngest sister, Grace, graduate from sixth grade, participated in a piñata making workshop for one of #My5Days, marbled paper with my team at work, and continued working on Mother's Day 2018 cards!

Looking back, this month was filled with some pretty special opportunities and lots of making. One of my favorite parts of these posts is thinking back on what I accomplished during the last month, and of course seeing what inspired me. I have been constantly impressed by Nick Misani's Fauxsaics. They are stunning! If you haven't already seen them be sure to take a look. I noticed on Instagram he might be teaching a class to share his process, which would definitely be something I would need to sign up for. Here are some of my other favorite finds this May:

Until next month, happy reading!