First Summer 2012 Sneak Peek!

Sketchbook

Ever heard that phrase "I am so far behind I'm ahead of myself"? Or did I just make that up? Well, either way, I got so busy working on my art deadlines for May, I made an extra one! Sadly, this one will have to go into the July release (I will remind you) but I still wanted to share.

This reminds me of the time in high school when, at a swim meet, I was swimming the 500 freestyle for the first time (and last, I was an IMer, and it was best I stuck with that) and I swam four extra laps. FOUR EXTRA LAPS!!! During a SWIM MEET!! I had already done 20 laps and was in the zone (or delirious)....people were yelling for me to stop, all the other swimmers were finished ... my Mom was cringing in the stands...it was pretty bad.

The beauty of this over shot is that I am not embarrassed or exhausted! I am just, ahead of myself... which I have to admit, is a new feeling.

This one goes out to good moms everywhere (especially mine!) and in particular to my good friend Ali and her new little boy Oscar. Welcome to a whole new 'everything in the world.' Love you guys!

Would love to know what you think of the new releases!

xoxo

By Leigh 03.27.2012 – 9:01 am

14 Comments

Spring 2012 Sneak Peek #6!

Sketchbook

Happy Monday! I hope you all had wonderful fun-filled or at least productive weekends! Mine had just the right balance of celebrating (a friend's birthday), catching up (on sleep) and being productive. Oh! AND watching the Jayhawks eek their way into the Final Four! (yes! we are still watching basketball...but on the couch together...)

I finished up this piece this weekend and I am just in love with her and her inner tube!

The concept of "being where you are" has been coming up a lot for me lately. In my own life and in conversations or experiences with others. I have been thinking on it a bunch, and wanted to put this out there as a lobby for all of us to take a deep breath, and a look around, and allow ourselves to feel the little successes in our lives.

This is not a 'get a ribbon for showing up' conversation, but more a recognition that sometimes, just getting out the door with all of your clothes on and showered is a little victory. That all the things that you think are getting in the way of where you are going, are things that require your energy and attention and are real. Showing up for them is a success too. That each of the steps on the way (even if it is a step back), is a step for a reason, and being present with it is worth it.

We have visions for ourselves and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "make it", "be it', "do it already", and while some of that is good and motivating, sometimes we need to get really honest, and really ok with being right where and what we are. That is how things are done authentically, and that is how things will feel the best. And that is something to be celebrated. And something to be happy about.

Being where you are is very different from being who you are, but not often less complicated.

So, this one is for all of the little steps and little victories.

xoxo

By Leigh 03.26.2012 – 10:14 am

9 Comments

A do - over and sneak peek!

Sketchbook

Hello lovelies! I have been in studio most of this week working on an art deadline. Sorry if I have not returned an email or a phone call or if I was supposed to be somewhere and forgot. I am pretty locked in when I am in here, which is good, but it can make me very anti-social.

Over the past year I have been working on re-vamping some older Curly Girl pieces. I still love the sentiment, but the image doesn't feel current anymore to me, or I just think it could be better. Over the years, my illustration style has evolved, the brand has grown and the applications for my art are different. I want to keep things relevant and fresh, and the beauty of working for myself, is that I have the freedom to do something over and give it new life. Instead of a piece getting discontinued and sent into the archives, I get a chance to give it a little make over and re-introduce it to the world as I see it today. What a treat!

I made the first version of this card before it being a greeting card was even a thought in my brain. Before I even dreamt of making art for a living, starting a greeting card company or (gasp!) running one. Before I knew how to do any of that and way before I thought I could do any of that. To be honest, before I even wanted to do any of that.

I made this in 2001, sitting on the floor of my first apartment in Cambridge, unemployed having been recently laid off from my first big job. I was making post cards for friends and this was the second one I did. It has now been for sale in the Curly Girl line for 9 years and actually still sells quite well!

Even though it is still one of our great sellers, I wanted to give it a re-do to make it more contemporary, and more in line with my current style.I also wanted to update the sentiment so that it wasn't just about 'she' anymore. It needed to be brighter, and more energized and just a little bolder.  It is, after all about enjoying the finer things of life with the finest things in life...good friends.

I love how the new one turned out, I love the kind of day they are having...let me know what you think!

xoxo

By Leigh 03.23.2012 – 12:12 pm

15 Comments

Habits of Happiness

Habits of Happiness

For a while now, my friend Lacy and I have been chatting on the topic of "happiness". What is it? Where does it come from? How do we get more of it? What makes us really happy? What makes one person a "happy person" and another not? The questions are endless, but the research, it turns out, is fun! We have in no way become experts, but have learned one thing: Happiness is, among other things, a practice. So like anything else we want to do better, we must make it a habit.
Lacy has been 'practicing' for a long time now, and I feel she has a lot to share on the topic. So when I decided to start this blog, I asked her if she would do regular guest-posts to talk about it. I plan to make a habit of reading them. xoxo, Leigh

Jump, Leap, Trust.

Hi all! Lacy here!

There’s a story that I sometimes read to my clients about jumping into the void. The message is that we think life is when we’re on solid ground but really, in truth life happens in the moments where we’re in the air leaping between the two places. When we can come to realize the impermanence, the illusions and reality of change then we’re free to experience life in a whole new way. For some it’s just a concept to entertain for others it’s a way of life. You get to choose where you land on the spectrum.

What I know of happiness is that it’s about finding it in all places, especially the places called transition. 

Happiness is a muscle that you exercise and a way of thinking that is not only practiced with diligence but also a healthy sense of humor. Transition is one of those special places that can either be wrought with angst or filled with head shaking, belly busting laughter. When you get to that place in your life remember that you get the choice to plant your feet firmly and not budge or to be flexible… to jump, leap and trust.

Here's to jumping right into the void!

 

Lacy Young is a professional happy person. You can find out more about her on her blog.

By Admin 03.21.2012 – 12:24 pm

8 Comments

Photo by Dawn Anderson

The Little Dance

journal

For those of you who know college basketball, all I need to say is that it's March 15th and we are still playing. For those of you who don't... that's kind of a big deal.

My husband is an assistant coach for MIT Men's Basketball team. If you didn't know before now that MIT had a basketball team, you are about to.

For the first time in the school's 100+ year basketball history, the team is headed not just to the NCAA tournament, but to the Final Four. Having only lost one game all season they are leaving Cambridge for Salem, VA with the best record in the school's history and a chance to make history again by bringing home the Championship. You are about to see them on ESPN, hear about them on NPR and maybe even Sports Illustrated. With headline's like; "MIT Who?" and "Revenge of the Nerds!". They are about to show folks how it's done.

The stories will talk about their incredible record and team of talented athletes that also happen to be engineering whiz kids. They will talk about how they have to balance the intense workload of their classes with the growing intensity of the season, and how these student/athletes are the future leaders of America. They will talk about excellence, and they should.

What they won't talk about is integrity. And they should.

One of the single greatest virtues of this program is the integrity with which it is run, and if you have been watching the news lately, or know anything about collegiate athletics, you will know what an enormous feat that is these days. From the Head Coach, Larry Anderson, to the coaching staff, to the athletic department, this program is squeaky clean and earning what they get every step of the way. There are no athletic scholarships at MIT. You have to GET IN to MIT on your own, then you can play basketball. There is no 'athlete tier' grading or class schedule either. They have to go to class and make their grades just like every other brilliant kid on campus. Sometimes having to take a test the morning of a game and always studying into the wee hours after practice. There is an in-it to win-it attitude that is built the old-fashioned way, with sweat, dedication, passion and hard work. These guys bust their butts and I couldn't be more impressed.

So, if you have a spare favor with the basketball gods to call in, use it on the Engineers (our mascot is a vicious looking beaver...nature's engineer. I'm serious). We are also accepting crossed fingers, toes, prayers, traditional dances and good ju ju.

No matter what the outcome, congratulations Coach! You guys earned this and we are so so proud of you!

See you in Salem!

xoxo

Great Photo by: Dawn Anderson

By Leigh 03.15.2012 – 1:47 pm

8 Comments

Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Outstanding in the Field

Photos and Gypsy Soul and journal and The Dish

Hello!! I am back from a little vacation having achieved a dose of much-needed R&R (and a tiny amount of sunshine!) on the beautiful island of Oahu. I am getting caught up here at CGD and Marmalade (back up is the price one must pay for said R&R...) and feeling a little bit more like I know what day it is again.

While I was in Hawaii, I was treated to some of the most lush and incredible landscapes I have ever had the privilege of laying eyes on. I was also able to enjoy some of the magnificent fruits and nuts and fresh delicious fish that are so readily available there. Eating wholly and locally is a growing passion of mine and the more I learn about food, the more interested I become in the people and places who grow it.

For a few years I had been reading about what Outstanding in the Field was doing, and how they were growing and I was dying to get to one of their events. So last year, for a friend's 40th birthday, we treated ourselves (and her) to what would end up being one of the top 5 favorite things I have ever done.

You would think hosting an intimate dinner for 200 strangers in an orchard or on a beach or in a pasture would be something of a fiasco, but with almost 10 years of experience putting these dinners together, the team of food gypsies at OIAF is a well-oiled merry-making machine. The recipe is simple: 1 local farm + 1 local chef (or restaurant) + 200ish local food lovers + a sky full of stars = an evening to remember!

Using only local (most as local as a few feet from your chair!) ingredients and providers and the vision of a local chef, the dinners have garnered something of a cult following. In fact, the night we were there (at a peach orchard in New Hampshire) we met people from all over the country who had made an OIAF dinner part of their yearly travel. In fact, while we met lots of first -timers like ourselves, I was amazed at the number of people who had more than one or two of these under their belt!! OH! And about that belt... mine had to be loosened!! The food was nothing short of divinity. From the local oysters to the peach pork tenderloin...even the wine was made by one of the families in attendance!

When we first arrived on a late August evening, we were loaded onto a little tractor-tram and wheeled through the grounds of the peach farm. It had been raining off and on most of the week, and there was some speculation that we would be under a tent instead of the night sky so we wore our wellies and each brought a plate from home as instructed. Once we arrived at the site, there were sparkling peach beverages, fresh oysters and the afternoon sun graced us with her presence. We chatted with other guests and heard a little OIAF history from founder Jim Denevan. The staff was super friendly (and relieved that they had made a game-time decision to not put up the tent!) and seemed just as enchanted as the rest of us with this glorious evening.

After awhile we were piled back onto the tram and ferried into the peach orchard where we came upon the most incredible thing I have seen (in all my days of catering and doing events)...what seemed to be a single long table snaked down a row in the orchard stretching farther than they eye could see set to the decks with service for a 5 course meal! I am pretty sure I made an audible squeal. We ate family style well into the night and left full, newly minted lifers. I (heart) OIAF 4-ever!!

Locations and dates were announced on March 1 on their website. Tickets go on sale on the 20th. TICKETS SELL OUT FAST so you will want to be poised at noon on the 20th if you want to get them. I may have to call in sick that day....

It is a bit of a splurge, but I promise you will not have a more magical dinner with 200 people you have never met before. You will also leave with a renewed awareness of the bounty around you and what the earth has to give in your area. You will also get to enjoy the creativity and genius of a chef in your area that has a passion for that bounty. It is all in all good soul-loving stuff that I couldn't get much more enthusiastic about.

Follow them on Twitter for updates and let me know if you end up going (or have been) ! Coach and I are gonna put our finger on the map this year and try somewhere new!

xoxo

By Leigh 03.13.2012 – 3:03 pm

2 Comments

Sponsor Spotlight: Forgiving Works

Sweetheart Sponsors

Hello All!! I am thrilled to introduce you to one of our newest Sweetheart Sponsors, Lettie McArthur from For Giving Works. Her breathtakingly soulful handmade jewelry speaks right to my gypsy soul and I just know you are going to love it! Please take a moment to visit her shop and blog and tell her I sent you. You will not be sorry! I asked Lettie to tell me a little bit about her company  and here is what she had to say:

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I make one of a kind jewelry - each piece is inspired by a vintage pendant or an artists charm.  The name For Giving Works was inspired by a story of forgiveness between two friends but it has evolved into a story centered around forgiving myself.  Too many years were wasted dwelling on what I believed to be my shortcomings - when I chose to forgive myself for what I considered to be my faults I found that they began to work for me instead of against me.  Forgiveness is magical....
 
I work out of my home in Vidalia, GA.  Most of my work is created while I sit on my porch.  I live in the woods in a small town and have learned to live globally by connecting with other artists from around the world.  I love that I can live beyond the city limits - so to say.
I have met many artists in other mediums and enjoy connections with them.  We share ideas and promote each other in a variety of ways.  Many have become close friends and I love them though I may never get to share a hug with any.....
 
I was inspired to find a business that I could do from my home  - I needed to bloom where I am planted.  I found that I had all of the "seeds in my packet" to do it - once I let go of the negative stuff that I had allowed to creep in.
 
My background is in Interior Design.  I started my career in Atlanta doing commercial design with a specilization in hospitality  - resorts and hotels, etc.   While working in Atlanta I met my husband Reid - a veterinarian - and we moved to Vidalia.  Reid grew up on a farm and we live in the city that is closest to it.  I grew up in Texas.
 
For Giving Works Jewelry has been in existence for about 2 yrs.  I work with anything thing that inspires me.  All necklaces are hand knotted using silk cord which gives them a wonderful movement unlike jewelry that is strung on plastic coated wire.  A friend of mine has called it "jewelry with intention" - I love that.  Most pieces find a home through a remarkable story or coincidence - many of these "god winks" I have shared in my blog.

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Visit Lettie's Shop and her Blog or stop by and say hello on Facebook! Thanks for supporting these amazing sponsors!

 

Think you have something the Curly Girl World needs to know all about!? Would you like to become a Sponsor? We are growing fast and have some spots left at introductory rates. Contact: emily@curlygirldesign.com to learn more.

By Leigh 03.09.2012 – 1:54 pm

1 Comment
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