The Creative Home | A Young House Full Of Love (and Art!)

When I first thought about this series for the blog, my friend Taylor’s house was one of the ones at the top of my very first list of people whose houses I wanted to photograph.

A few notes before we “begin the tour”. Taylor has an eclectic mix of art throughout her home. Every time I’m at her house, I notice a new piece. She also pairs things well… a throw and a pillow or a picture frame and a book or even as foundational as rug and tile. Take a minute to notice her groupings, her pairings and her pattern combinations. Third, notice her paint colors. Taylor uses neutrals with a kick throughout her home – and even notice the colors of her ceilings, and her “risky” choices. This home is about paying attention to the details, with the end result pulling together a beautiful bigger picture that is the Young home. If you ask me, this home is a work of art in and of itself!

Who lives here? Taylor and Matt Young. Taylor is an 8th generation Andersonian. Matt is from Troy, SC. They both love the community, the Lord and their family, especially their two-year-old son, King (named after Taylor’s maiden name) and there sweet pup, Flippo.

When was it built? The house was built in the early 1990s, but we gutted it and di a facelift with the hopes that the outside would look like it had been there since the early 1890s. We really wanted that old farmhouse look. In fact, it actually sits on old farmland and used to have an old farmhouse sitting somewhere near the existing house.

When did you move in? 3 years ago this past August

How many square feet is it? 3200

What’s your favorite room? (Powder room, right?) Yes, I love the powder room. I love the guest bathroom, too. Lol, must love bathrooms. But really, I think I like those best because I wasn’t afraid to take risks with paint colors, tile, etc….

Any favorite items? My hand-picked original art, my mantel beam, Anthropologie soup tureen.

A favorite piece of furniture? Antique chairs that came out of the old Sullivan-King Mortuary downtown (that I refinished and recovered). I also love our front porch swing. it was my grandparents’ swing. (see photo at the top of the post)

How would you describe your style? Eclectic-traditional with hints of Asian and tribal styles. If I had to pick one store to furnish my whole house it would be Ballard Designs.

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{Welcome to the Young’s}

I’m pretty sure I have only ever entered through the side door, which brings you in through the laundry/mud room, which also has half bath across from the interior entry to the garage. This mudroom area opens up to a great room.

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I LOVE the piece of art in the upper left of the above photo!

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Taylor is tailored. Always put together but never, ever pretentious. The evening I came over to photograph was also an evening we were having our home group – basically a not-on-Sunday “Sunday school” group of amazing peopled we do life with…. Taylor had put together Arnold Palmer’s in honor of awesome A.P. who had just passed. {Moment of silence for golf’s greats.}

And P.S. how gorgeous is her countertop???

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Again, I love Taylor’s textures and pattern pairings. The photo above is a nice little panorama.

Behind the wall with the oven sits the Young’s dining room:

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Don’t miss the birdcages on the end of the kitchen wall.

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Looping back into the kitchen through the doorway to the left, we’ll pass the stove and turn left to one of my FAVORITE surprises at the Young Home…

This amazing spice cabinet between the pantry and powder room…

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WHICH IS ALSO A SECRET DOOR!!! Yes. That’s right. A secret door. It goes to their bedroom. But first we’ll pop into the powder room.

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My camera skills are lacking in photographing narrow rooms like Taylor’s powder room, so I wasn’t able to get a great picture of the sink area without myself in the photo, but it is this great boxed mirror. I love her color choice and penny tile in the powder room.

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Alright, let’s sneak through the spice cabinet into the master bedroom. Just inside to the right is the master bath with a separated sink area and shower/toilet area. Again, love her pairings and textures…. and that sweet picture of King above the hand towel.

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One thing I have not yet pointed out is the subtle color in the ceiling paint.  Taylor strays away from everyone-has-it white and goes with a cool, comforting, very pale blue. I also love the accent wall by the front door straight ahead (photo above), as well as the french doors opening up to their bedroom.

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A can’t miss sweet face greets you inside the front door at the bottom of the staircase.

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…and notice that wall waiting at the top of the stairs. The sitting area at the top of the staircase is hands down one of my favorite spots in the Young home.

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Upstairs to the left is King’s room. Masculine, but still sweet, it’s decorated with several pieces of animal art, and a neutral pallette. The giraffe parent and baby in the photo below is actually a painting of baby Kiko from the Greenville Zoo. 

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I love King’s little airplane bathroom. My super creative friend did an AH MAYZ ING job with her son’s first birthday, which was also airplane themed. One of these days I’ll get some pictures from her and blog about the event!

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The guest room sits between staircase sitting room and the bonus room. It is a perfect sizes for guests with a peaceful color palette.

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One of Taylor’s bolder color choices resides in the guest bath with its navy blue walls. Light tile and a trio of Asian prints make this a statement bathroom.

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The bonus room sits just beyond the guest bath, with a warm, come-in-and-stay-awhile feel.

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A little collection of art hiding up int he bonus room. I love, love, the figs.

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Nestled back in the corner (love this door too, by the way) is a sweet little office space. 

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Just outside of the office is a table and a play area for King, and another staircase which would lead you back downstairs into the great room….

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And that, my friends, is the Young home! See what I mean? Love this creative space. Thank you for joining The Creative Home tour, and a special thank you to the Youngs for opening their home!

I’m already excited about my December house, and I have two more houses I hope to get down to the beach to photograph soon! I was supposed to go down for a short visit a couple of weeks ago, but Matthew disrupted those plans.

Sidenote: as this post goes up, many many South Carolinians in the Low Country and Coastal areas are recovering from Matthew or dealing with the flooding that occurred as the waterway crested yesterday. Keeping y’all in my prayers!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! See you soon!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

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Notable Quotes from #BlogHer16 | Experts Among Us

Happy Monday!

I’m still digesting the massive amount of information from this past weekend (and recovering from cross-country jet lag), but running through a first pass at my notes, I thought it only fair to share my favorite quotes from some of the fabulous people I was surrounded by this weekend. From bloggers, to celebrities (turned bloggers), to accidental activitists, moms, and makers or all of the above…I was inundated with brainfood all weekend. I will definitely be writing more about it, but here are my favorite quotes from #BlogHer16:

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“I wanted to do more.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar, on why she started FoodStirs.com

“I went from being an awkward child to an awkward teenager to an awkward public adult.” – Mayim Bialik

“We are the makers and the makers are who make change.” – Aisha Tyler

“If you spend your life worrying about your legacy and what you’re trying to do, you’re going to miss the moment.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar

“As bloggers you have a platform, use it. You don’t have to change the world, just change something.” – April Reign

“The investors don’t decide whether or not you get to build your business. You decide whether or not you build your business.” – Adda Birnir

“I don’t think – ‘Am I being authentic?’…I just do my life.” – Mayim Bialik

 

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“There is power in knowledge.” – Sheryl Crow

“The point is not to make science sexy. It is to make science for everyone because IT IS for everyone.” – Mayim Bialik

“I’m happy to say I made it to TV, and I didn’t do it in a bikini.” – Heather Hardy

“Hollywood is not as progressive as it likes to think it is.” – Matt McGory

“Failure is just your first attempt in learning.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar

“We have to be putting ourselves out there and standing in the way of issues.” – Matt McGory

“The world gets really, really big and really, really small with every passing year.” – Mayim Bialik

 

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“I like to surround myself with people I can always count on for advice.” –Kim Kardashian West

“Build your own business. Build your own culture. Build something great.” – Sallie Krawcheck

“Failure is just your first attempt in learning.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar

“Meditation is a practice.” –Sheryl Crow

“Deciding to join the military is one of the most intentional choices a person can make in this country.” – Barika Edwards

“People don’t connect to perfection. Vulnerability is powerful.” – Courtney Nichols Gould

“Our show is about outsiders and underdogs…our show is a show about people who are different and EVERYONE has that experience.” – Mayim Bialik

“We have to have peace within ourselves…sometimes in means being quiet without iPads and toys and stimulation.” – Sheryl Crow, on parenting

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“The decision to dress modestly does not mean we are oppressed or dull… [It is] the choice to define beauty in our own terms.” – Zahra Aljabri, Founder Mode-sty, Winner of the 2016 “The Pitch”

“I wasn’t put on this Earth to win an Emmy. The reason I do what I do is to find my purpose on this earth, not to look pretty on a red carpet.” – Mayim Bialik

“Learning to do it yourself is incredibly empowering.” – Adda Birnir, on any skillset, Founder of Skillcrush

“Being empowered means seeking…” – Sheryl Crow

“Remove your ego to get to where you want to go.” – Terri Trespicio

“You want to do your friend a favor? Buy her a massage.” – Lucrecer Braxton, On friends asking for business favors

“What is the road to invention? Creativity.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar

“The retirement savings crisis in this country is a woman’s crisis. Why? Because we live 6-8-10 years longer than them  and we make 2/3 of what they do.” – Sallie Krawcheck

“People keep saying, why are you talking about so many things? Because I think about all of those things – because I’m allowed.” – Mayim Bialik

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“I’m a crunchy, hippie, granola Mom.” – Mayim Bialik

“You need to believe you are good enough.” – Lucrecer Braxton

“Sometimes we have to go through a pretty big upheaval to get to Hope.” – Aisha Tyler

“You are enough just being you.” – Lizzie Valasquez

“Moments lead to forever, not expectations.” – Michelle Dowell Vest

“We may be ignorant about a cause until it becomes personal.” – Jurnee Smollett-Bell

“As allies we have to be ok making mistakes because we are going to make mistakes.” – Matt McGory

“Stories of failures will make us far less fearful of them.” – Samantha Skey, on failure as a learning tool

“I’m here because I didn’t want to wait for someone else to tell me I can be and say and create who I am.” – Aisha Tyler

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“My whole thing is non-judgementalism…if that’s a thing.” – Kim Kardashian West

“No one knows what to do with me. It’s the story of my life.” – Mayim Bialik

“I have evolved into an accidental activist.” – Lucy McBath, Mother of Jordan Davis who was shot and killed for his music being too loud in FL.

“A lot of times when I get out there and say things, I’m starting a conversation because people have no idea that things are even going on.” – Heather Hardy, on equal pay for women in sports

“That’s the difference in making your own video…false eyelashes.” – Mayim Bialik

“Our intentions don’t necessarily matter…the small things add up and create the culture that makes certain behaviors acceptable.” – Matt McGory, on being aware of our actions & attitudes

Such. A. Fantastic. Weekend. More later as I process through the information! Best wishes for a creative week!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

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Summer Reading | Blogs For Your Break | July’s Sum Sum Summatime Playlist

Hi!

Has it already been a month  since we chatted in anticipation of summer?

I hope you are soaking up the sunshine and finding ways to savor this season.  If your regular routine doesn’t see much of a beat and rhythmic change, or it’s unlikely you will burn through your reading list while relaxing on the beach, don’t sweat it and fret not my friend! Steal some sunshine on your lunch, and take your break with a good blog post read.  I’m sharing my recent favorites by a few of my favorite bloggers.

Happy Reading!

 An Apology to LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters from a Theological Conservative

Sammy Rhodes

I started following Sammy on Twitter years ago for the jokes he shared in 140 characters or less.  I read his writing now, and I am challenged and encouraged in the best of ways.

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Learn the Spiritual Practice of a Good Laugh

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall’s blog is a place of healing and hope for those experiencing grief.  I love the medicine she prescribes because it most always includes laughter.

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 How One Word Can Change Your Life

Rachel King Batson

I spoke with my friend Rachel earlier this year about how one word can change your life.  She wrote about it here.  Will it change yours?

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 What is Inner Sobriety?

Seth Haines

Seth’s book, Coming Clean, is the book my heart did not even know I needed.  At first glance, it’s a diary of his first 90 days of sobriety, but sweet friends, it is so much more.  His reflections are honest and raw, and his southern tone and storytelling is captivating.  This book changed me. Read his blog to learn more.

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DotheadshotDorothy Camak makes her #inreallife home in Greenville, South Carolina—a little southern city that has stolen her heart. Online, Dorothy makes her home at www.dorothycamak.com. She is fascinated by the connecting power of conversation. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as these conversations become a new Podcast series launching soon!

Enjoy’s July’s Sum Sum Summatime Playlist courtesy of our musical guru Mel! Follow theoliveshoe on Spotify to keep up with new playlists as they come out each month, and you can check it out this month’s by clicking the image below:

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Past playlists:

Melissa Aronson (a.k.a. Mel – our Olive Shoe Musical Guru) is the mother of two, a music aficionado, and a free spirit. She works full time at a financial investment firm in Greenville, SC. She loves live music, collecting Vinyl, and musical instruments, concert posters, and going on adventures with B&B. Follow her on Instagram.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2013-16 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a creativity crusader, artist, stationery & graphic designer, planner extraordinaire, and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Reads by Dorothy:

 

Wedding Wednesday | Caricature Wedding Invitation Suite

Happy hump day y’all!

A unique couple, who happen to be very dear to my heart, trusted me to take their vision of their perfect wedding invitation suite and turn it into printed paper goods. We started with a digital engagement announcement last fall, followed by a save-the-date, and finally their wedding invitations this spring. They wanted something a little different for each piece, but by carrying the fonts and color scheme through the entire set we were able to turn them into a matching suite.

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Here are the results of their ideas and my work:

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{Digital Engagement Announcement for Social Media}

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{AJaye & Matt’s Save-the-Dates}

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{AJaye and Matt’s Wedding Invitation}

Halperin-Jordan_RSVP_by_LACJAMES-01-01{AJaye and Matt’s RSVP Postcard}

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{AJaye and Matt’s Decor Statuette}

I absolutely love designing one of a kind invitations, and this wedding suite stretched my skills and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I loved working on it, and loved celebrating the marriage of this awesome couple on May 14th!

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{Van and I with Mr. and Mrs. Matt Jordan at their wedding on May 14th (above) and ours last April (below) celebrating LOOOOVVVVVVEEE}

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The Olive Shoe is now booking 2017 brides and grooms for custom wedding stationery. To read reviews from past clients, click HERE. If you’re interested in custom stationery design for your wedding, please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com or give me a call at (864) 221-6554 for a custom quote. I would love to talk with you about your dream wedding stationery via phone or in person. If you are a recent bride, photographer or event planner and would like to submit a wedding to be featured in The Olive Shoe’s Wedding Wednesdays, please email me for details!

Sidenote: AJaye’s gorgeous hair and makeup by my fabulous friends at Backstreet Beauty Salon in Anderson, SC.

Thanks for stopping by!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Goods | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a creativity crusader, artist, stationery & graphic designer, planner extraordinaire, and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Wedding Wednesday | 9 Ombre Decor Ideas

As I said last week, I love weddings. I also love color. I tend to stay more toward the classic side of things in terms of fashion and personal style, so I haven’t rocked much ombre in recent years – maybe since my Hyper color t-shirt in the 90s actually… BUT I have seen some pretty cool ombre details in my wedding surfing. I also think, trends used sparingly can be VERY effective and impactful, not only in weddings, but in design, personal style, home decor, etc. It just takes a little creative thinking :).

One of the things I like about the ombre look is it reminds me of watercolor – which I absolutely LOVE. I use a lot of the watercolor effect in my stationery designs, like this wedding suite:

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But back to ombre…here are some great wedding details & decor I ran across, starting with these ombre bridesmaids:

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{Ombre Florals on Brit + Co}

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{Gorgeous Runner – and other details from this wedding – at Grey Likes Weddings}

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{Yellow Ombre Ribbon Treatment | Weddbook}

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{Purple Bohemian Wedding Cake | Deer Pearl Flowers}

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{Ombre Centerpiece | Brides.com}

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{Pink Ombre Escort Cards | 100 Layer Cake}

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{Mint Ombre & Gold GORGEOUSNESS | Style Me Pretty}

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{Fun Ombre Favors | Southbound Bride}

The Olive Shoe is now booking 2017 brides and grooms for custom wedding stationery. To read reviews from past clients, click HERE. If you’re interested in custom stationery design for your wedding, please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com or give me a call at (864) 221-6554 for a custom quote. I would love to talk with you about your dream wedding stationery via phone or in person. If you are a recent bride, photographer or event planner and would like to submit a wedding to be featured in The Olive Shoe’s Wedding Wednesdays, please email me for details!

Thanks for stopping by!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Goods | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a creativity crusader, artist, stationery & graphic designer, planner extraordinaire, and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Happy Friday! Creative Collaboration, A Makeover and New Product Launch

Happy Friday All!

It has already been an exciting year, and holy moly it is FEBRUARY!!! WOW!

Hope everyone is having an amazing 2016 thus far. I know we are truckin’ right along over here at The Olive Shoe. If you noticed different names at the end of some posts, it’s because there are several people writing for The Olive Shoe these days as the blog continues to turn into it’s own little mini-magazine on a crusade for creativity in every day life!

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LaurenCop and Mae Mae have been publishing some awesome articles full of creative inspiration, and we’re working on an editorial calendar to keep them coming all year long!

For more information about LaurenCop click HERE.

For more information about MaeMae click HERE.

Additionally, my dear friend Dorothy Camak and I have been up to some FABULOUS creative collaboration. After being introduced by mutual friends last year, we instantly clicked and have enjoyed regular #inreallife lunches and planning sessions both to socialize and bounce ideas off of each others’ creative brains. We recently recorded a podcast together for her soon-to-launch podcast series, so KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN y’all. Convos2Connect is coming soon, and I am pumped to be a part of her exciting new adventure. She is also gracing the web-pages of The Olive Shoe monthly this year with her fabulousness like this post on Creative Ways to Cultivate Your Prayer Life.

Through our conversations that cultivate creativity, we have collaborated to create some exciting new products to inspire you, promote her mission, beautify your walls, and cradle your coffee and tea…available both in my Etsy shop and hers as well: ShopDottie. Mugs and prints will soon be available at my booth in Remnant’s as well!

Through growth, collaboration, and reflection, I am constantly planning ahead and looking back at this point in this little adventure called The Olive Shoe. As the brand grows (and so does my experience and knowledge), there are always areas for improvement. That being said, I’ve decided to update the logo – something that has been on my mind for a bit now, so I hope you’ll all bear with me as I get everything changed over! It’s definitely a process.

However, I am so excited to unveil the new logo…AND a brief history and evolution of The Olive Shoe:

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If if you weren’t already aware, the ACTUAL olive shoe is a serving dish that my Grandma Mense gave me some years ago…you can read more about it HERE.

In addition to the new mugs created in collaboration with my friend Dorothy, I’m now offering another new mug as well for all you creativity crusaders out there. It can be purchased on Etsy as well, and ships within about a week of purchase:

Happy Friday, and enjoy your weekend!!! So much more is in store for 2016!!! It’s going to be an exciting year!!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Some of LAC’s most read posts:

PLOP DOP | 7 Action Words for Goal Setting | Resolutions for the Creative Entrepreneur (a.k.a. me)

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{ Perfect Welcome 2016 Photo Borrowed from Feast and West }

Happy New Year!!

Holy moly it’s 2016! How did that happen? 2015 was a pretty phenomenal year. I got a new husband, a precious (and very energetic) pup, a new bike, my first sleepover with my nieces, and an AMAZING Clemson football season. It was a year filled with faith, family, new friends, old friends, good friends and lots of love. Van and I made it through the first “blending of the holidays”, and although we were both EXHAUSTED after all the traveling, too much good food, and fellowship with family and framily, we know we are indeed so very blessed.

{ theoliveshoe’s #best9 from Instagram}

The year 2015 was a monumental year for The Olive Shoe. On December 23 the blog tipped over 50,000 views for the year, and saw nearly 40,000 unique visitors in 2015 alone thanks to a few posts that went viral on Pinterest. In 2014, there were a meager 4,188 views and 1,922 visitors, so 50,000 was quite a jump! I am so thankful for the support and encouragement from my close friends and family as I have embarked on this adventure…I cannot even begin to express my gratitude!

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In 2015, I designed more than 100 new pieces of stationery including over 30 Christmas cards and new 5 wedding suites. The Olive Shoe, which started as a seed of idea in 2007, turned into a doodle in 2010, a blog in 2013 and a business in 2015. It has been quite a ride already, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.

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In June of 2015, I designed a few graphics to float on social media in support of the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston which turned into a completely unplanned fundraiser via t-shirt sale… In December, I sent a check for $1,000, 8 t-shirts, and an archival print to Mother Emanuel. The multiple request to turn the graphics into t-shirts inspired me to expand my product line beyond stationery and there will be additional Olive Shoe apparel and gifts coming in the future!

Check to AME

I also introduced the Olive Shoe Organics last fall – a small, handmade, homemade line of body products with organic and natural ingredients and essential oils. In November and December I made over 200 lip balms, 40 sugar scrubs and 55 lotion bars, plus a small batch of body butter…more goodies coming in 2016!!

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So what the heck is PLOP DOP? Well, it’s an accidental Seussish anagram I discovered when I was thinking about my resolutions and goals for the coming year. When I started listing my goals and resolutions for the new year, I wanted them to be big-picture words that smaller goals throughout the year could fall under. The result: seven action words. I didn’t even have to change the order after I wrote them the first time, so I guess it’s fate. So…..WHAT IS PLOP DOP? Well, y’all, here ‘tis:

Practice. Learn. Organize. Plan. Do. Observe. Pray.

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PRACTICE.

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{Image Credit : Chobiwala}

Every. Single. Day.

I want to practice more often than I did last year. I will stretch my skills, expand my knowledge, make practicing a habit. I want to hone my craft, funnel my passion, continue to dream, and strive to follow my ambitions.

How? I will sketch more, draw more, write more, design more. Take stock photos in my front yard, around town, or stop the car in my travels to take pictures on the side of the road. I will plan better, dream bigger.

Practicing allows you to work on specific skills one at a time, or all together, in increments. No expectations, no deadlines, no one to compete with but yourself. Practicing allows you to work completely freely, one small piece at a time.

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LEARN.

I am a lifelong learner. One of the things I loved about teaching preschool (a mini-career that I had while I was finishing my degree), was how inspiring it was to watch my K-3 kiddos soak up information. Two, three, and four-year-old children are the most amazing little sponges that are just yearning to learn.

When I’m inspired by something new, my inner-preschooler comes out. I cannot get my hands – or brain – I guess, wrapped around enough information fast enough. I soak up any new information I can find and can’t wait to learn more.

I did soooooo many new things in 2015 that I was forced to learn new things just by sheer necessity. The Olive Shoe was driving itself – based on customer requests and inventory demands, and I was honestly, just keeping up. Now that the dust has mostly settled, I’m reflecting on how I could have improved the processes, and what I need to have in place for the coming year. As a result, I am researching new things about growing my small business that I hadn’t previously thought much about and LEARNING. SO. MUCH.

One of the things I stumbled upon in my research is this article, How I Started Making Full Time Blogging Income from byRegina.com which inspired me (as I fell in love with pretty much everything on her site) to put together this list:

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ORGANIZE.

Here is what I would LOVE my office to look like:

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{This is actually blogger Monikka Hibbs’ home office | Click HERE to see more of it }

or this…

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{Office Tour from Inspired By This}.

…but sadly, here’s more along the lines of what my office is looking like these days:

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{Borrowed from this article on Hoarding Signs on the Huffington Post}

This. Is. A. Biggy. A big biggy. I’m in dire need of some serious organization. Time poverty, faster than expected growth, and a slight tendency in nature toward the messy side of things have created a disaster, known as my office, which currently looks like a hoarder lives somewhere in there.

My office, which is also our garage, fondly referred to as “the craft room”, is really quite scary at the moment. November and December were simply overwhelming, and it was all I could do to keep up with orders and get things out the door – A HUGE, HUGE blessing for which I am so very thankful, but was not fully prepared for. As I struggled to keep up the momentum as The Olive Shoe grew last fall, something had to give…what lost priority was keeping my office organized and staying on top of cleaning chores (most specifically our laundry) at home. The laundry has nearly recovered, but my “office” is a lonnnnngggg way from back to ship-shape.

I have big plans and a vision for a creative space that is stylish and functional, welcoming to clients, and a room where creativity comes alove, but right now it looks like a disorganized storage unit with a desk, computer, and easel somewhere in the middle.

Major challenges I’m currently facing include:

  • Storing shipping and packaging supplies
  • Cataloging stationery and portfolio samples
  • Storing and organizing canvases (both blank and finished)
  • Organizing paperwork including invoices and other business documents

This item is HIGH PRIORITY on my resolution and goals list sooner than later. Especially since our book club is reading Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for our January book. {Our entire book list for the year can be found HERE}

Plan.

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{Pretty planners from The Blog Market}

I will plan better this year. I will use last year’s mistakes, mis-steps and hiccups to make 2016 a better and brighter year. I think planning and analyzing are invaluable and often get overlooked and underused especially by those who label themselves “creative” (at least for me). I am a list maker, so I have lists everywhere, inside cabinets, in my brain, on post-its, on refridgerators, in my phone… but part of planning is putting lists to work, so I will continue to make my lists but I will PROACTIVELY put them to work for me.

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I PLAN to make a conscious effort to spend an adequate time both planning AND creating.

Plans include:

Do.

How DO you DO?

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There’s practicing and then there’s doing. I think practicing is honing the skills you need to do whatever it is you do, and doing is using all of those skill sets to, well, do whatever it is that you do best. Writing blog posts…or poems…or novels. Making crafts. Sewing garments. Painting paintings. Designing buildings. Running marathons. Taking Photographs. ACTUALLY FOLLOWING WHATEVER DREAM YOU DREAM when you’re procrastinating what you don’t really like doing.

I have a confession to make. I have turned into a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd. Van and I saw the new one on December 20, and now I can’t believe I have to wait 2 years for the next one. Thankfully we bought the entire series, so I am getting caught up on all of the old ones…I had never seen the very first one, err 4th one…the one that came out in 1977. As such, in line with my “DO” action word, I’ve created this new art print. There weren’t any lady-like versions out there, so I made one. As a thank you to EVERYONE for making 2015 such a wonderful year, enjoy 50% OFF everything in my Etsy shop using the code “PLOPDOP16” until January 31, 2016.

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That said…

I CAN’T WAIT TO “DO” THIS YEAR!

I have so many ideas. So many plans for things I’m going to create. Ideas for new stationery. Paintings I want to paint. Thoughts on possible new products. The possibilities are endless. Bring on 2016!

Observe.

Observation is an incredible tool, especially for someone like me who is a super visual learner. Often in new situations people think I’m shy – not because I am, but because I prefer to observe my surroundings before I jump in and participating. Observing makes me more comfortable with the unknown. I will take time this year to actively observe, and use that information to allow me to grow and stretch.

Some tips on observing as a tool for growth:

  • Follow people you admire on social media.
  • Talk to people who do what you do or do things related to what you do. Some of my best brainstorming ideas with my new friend Dorothy at our almost monthly #inreallife lunches. One creative mind going full speed ahead in brainstorming mode is pretty crazy but two??? AMAZING IDEAS CAN COME OUT OF THAT SITUATION!
  • Read up on companies you want to emulate. Talk to the people who work for them. Observe how they do business.

For example, Feast and West, a blog I recently discovered, featured Jayme Hennel in one of its most recent posts. Jayme is a stationery designer with an illustration style similar to my own, so of course it caught my eye. I enjoyed reading about Jayme’s company and how she does what she does. We can all learn from each other right?

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{Dream Jobs : Q&A with Jayme Hennel of Hennel Paper Co.}

PRAY.

Finally, give God the glory for your gift. I probably should have put this one at the very top, because this should be numero uno.

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I recently completed my largest acrylic painting to date, and largest commissioned work, ever. It was a 36” x 48” canvas, which may not be that big to some, but to me it was GINORMOUS. It takes a lot of paint to cover 1,728 square inches. I even had to order a new easel because the one I have been using, which happens to be my Granny’s, wouldn’t accommodate that large of a canvas.

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{Joy in Color, Acrylic on Canvas by LAC James, 36” x 48”}

So when I had rolled the ideas around in my head, and sketched my ideas for this big ol’ painting, and was ready to REALLY get started, I got to work. I put on some tunes – I can’t paint without music…my college roommates will attest to this. I spread out a drop cloth in our living room, unpacked and put together my new easel, and set up the canvas. I got all of my paints and organized them by color so I could grab what I wanted. I got out my favorite brushes, got my spritz bottle, my water cup, put on some crummy clothes, and for the first time before painting ever, I dropped to my knees. Literally, right there on my living room floor in front of the easel. Head down into child’s pose and all.

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A very specific prayer popped into my head, so after I prayed on my knees on the floor in front of that giant canvas, I wrote it down and when I would get hung up on the panting I would just re-read it. I will rewrite it in non-chicken scratch one of these days, but it went like this:

Our Father in Heaven, thank you for this day and your many gifts.

Let your work be done through my hands.

Help me to bring joy and creativity to the world through design and color and art.

In your name we live and pray, Amen.

You see, my artwork may come through my hands and head, but I am just a vessel. People regularly ask me how I do what I do, and I’ve always just kind of shrugged and said, “I just do it” or “I don’t know; it just shows up on the {paper/screen/canvas}”. The truth is, it’s God’s work. I’m just so thankful I get to participate!

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So those are my words:

Practice. Learn. Organize. Plan. Do. Observe. Pray.

I plan to be mindful of them all year and practice them as often as possible.

Happy New Year! Looking forward to an amazing 2016!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

 

 

The Mother Lode (75+) of Tools, How-Tos, Worksheets and Resources for Building Business, Blogging and Creative Entrepreneurs

I am on a mission….a creativity crusade…to be the best, most creative version of myself that I can be. Every. Single. Day.

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The Olive Shoe, my little dream that just keeps turning into my #inreallife and online reality a little bit more every day, is the living, constantly evolving, hobby turned tiny small business that embodies my crusade.

The Olive Shoe exists to encourage creativity in everyday life by and for everyone, celebrating milestones and little moments, and by offering inspiration, lists, life hacks, DIY tips, How-Tos, Continue reading

50,000 Views | A Big Ol’ Thank You, Merry Christmas & A FREE Printable

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This morning, The Olive Shoe tipped over 50,000 views and 36,000+ unique visitors for the year. Considering the total views for last year were 4,188…this is kind of a big deal.

I just wanted to take a quick minute in the midst of the hustle and bustle this week to thank each and every one of you who have placed orders, read the blog, sent feedback, hung in there through growing pains as I worked out (and am still working out) kinks in my processes, given me ideas, high fives, hugs, words of encouragement, and supported The Olive Shoe this past year. It has been a big year of growth, learning, writing, and LOTS OF PROJECTS!

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As a small token of thanks, please enjoy this free printable (a great last minute hostess gift!)…

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{Click Image or HERE to Download Free Printable}

In this joyous season, I would be remiss if I did not attribute this year’s success to the big guy upstairs…there have been days I’m pretty sure the good Lord made minutes longer for me. To God be the glory!! I am indeed so very blessed. It has been quite an amazing year.

A very special thanks to my amazing, wonderful, supportive husband who has put up with our kitchen turning into a laboratory, filing cabinet, and post office at various times this year and for encouraging me to pursue my dreams. He has cheered me on, stamped letters, packed packages, and stood by me the whole time. A GIANT thanks to my sister-in-love, Lauren, and my sister from another mother, Amanda, who have jumped on board as FABULOUS featured writers this fall, my parents and especially Mom for answering many back-to-back phone calls, listening to me ramble about ideas, dropping everything to drive up and help midway through this holiday season, and for just being some of my biggest cheerleaders…and a special thank you the ever charming Dorothy Camak who inspires and uplifts me at our (almost) monthly lunches. This year would not have been the same without any of y’all!

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Lots of fun things are in the works for 2016 – new features, new products, two new online locations – The Olive Shoe was recently approved for both Amazon Handmade and Creative Market, so those stores are coming soon, and LOTS of new creative inspiration! I hope you’ll join us for the great adventure. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making 2015 so blessed and busy! May your holidays be filled with love, joy, and creativity! Merry Christmas!!!

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For More Holiday Ideas & Inspiration from The Olive Shoe, check out one of these:

 

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!