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GETTING ORGANIZED: THERE WILL BE ANARCHY

One of the most crazy things people ask me is, “How do you do it all?” — to which I roll my eyes, and think… surely I’m not giving anyone the impression that I’m super put together and accomplishing tons of things. I’m definitely NOT doing it all. However, I’m definitely a “DOER”. I wake up in the morning with a list on my mind. I’m convinced this has everything to do with my genes, and almost nothing to do with organization.

Let me be clear — I LOVE ORGANIZATION. I’m a huge fan of it. I’m just not very good at maintaining systems for a long time. I’m just like everyone else. My organization tends to peak in January, and then usually spends the rest of the year on a slight downhill slide. It’s just life. I’m running a company (that requires a TON of organization) — I’m raising kids (more schedules & maintenance) and I’m married to a BOY (who organizes never, dusts never, and resists being organized just to drive me crazy.)

So, how do I get things done & keep it together? Well, I have help. I use a lot of tools* that make my life easier. I am constantly recreating and refining my systems. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I struggle to keep the house put together, especially on work days. I don’t get a nice dinner on the table EVERY night — although I try. I’m not immune to the pressures of comparison. I see people who are doing more with their businesses or blogs, and I get a little frustrated and wish we were further ahead in our plans and closer to our goals. I am learning to understand that we all have different cards we’re playing. I’ve got it easier than some, and harder than others. We do the best we can with what we’ve got, and we’re always trying to do better.

I think you have to accept that a certain amount of chaos, especially when you’re self-employed and raising small children is totally normal. You have to redefine what DOING IT ALL means, in the context of your own life, and your own skill set. I say all that to say… there will be anarchy. Total insanity that is just out of your control sometimes, and you just have to accept that it’s the nature of things. Don’t give up trying though. I am certainly not trying to DO IT ALL. I’m just trying to do SOMETHING positive with the time I have.

* I use a TON of different tools and organization systems for work and home. Would you guys like to hear about them?

2013 CALENDARS

They are here! I’m getting my proofs today for my 3 new calendar designs. I’ve been contemplating making prints for a while, but I was inspired by the Design Crush calendar swap to create my own version of the one year calendar. Each calendar is 13″ x 19″ and printed on 100# archival quality paper and will sell for $20. Each print is signed & numbered by yours truly and at the end of the year you can snip off your calendar and frame the 12″ x 12″ print.

I created these limited edition calendars to sell at my two big events this year, the Mayfair Heights Merry Market (1 December – details here) & Deluxe Oklahoma City ( 8 December – details here). If you’d like to purchase one of these calendars, please visit one (or both) of these fantastic local events. I have waffled on offering these online simply because of my hectic event schedule, and also because I want to be sure that I can find a cost effective & easy solution for shipping that doesn’t involve rolling them. I’m still trying to work that out. I’ll keep you posted.

REVELRY ABSTRACT PAINTING

A bit of spring to brighten your walls. At  24″x30″ this piece is large enough to make an impact on it’s own, but small enough to work in an entry way or atop a mantle. Right now it’s cheering up my studio and reminding me that colorful bright days are just around the corner.

SPRING SUMMER COLLECTION 2011

Well, I’m very excited to share with all of you about a project that has been in the works for almost 6 months. I started working on some clothing designs back around the holidays using some antique doilies given to me by my mother-in-law. I knew I wanted to use them on tees and dresses, but I wanted to do a unique layout that had to be hand screened. I talked to the brilliant guys at Headdresses about my ideas, and they helped me create this first collection of tees and dresses.

I am proud to say that everyone who helped make this venture possible is local to OKC. My screen printers: Headdresses Handcrafted Goods, my purse manufacturer: Jamie Palerino, my purse embroideress: Adaiha Covington, my models: Keri Monier, Kathleen Shannon, and Taryn Evans, my friend Kaleen Ezelle of Wild.Flower (who provided cute cardis for the shoot) and my photographer: Lacy Hammack. These people are all my friends and have been indispensable to me during this process. Thank you to all of you for the hand-crafted love you’ve shown to my products!

My collection is available for consignment, wholesale, and retail purchase. I will be listing all these items in my Etsy store, and hope to be placing them in a few local boutiques. Contact me at erin{at}pippinandpearl.com if you are interested in carrying these Pippin + Pearl Products.

DIY ROUND UP: ANTHROPOLOGIE-INSPIRED NECKLACES

There is a fine line between inspiration & copying/making a knock-off. Let’s cover that first, shall we? If you make something EXACTLY like something you see in a store, and then try to sell it to others  claiming it came from that store, or saying that you thought of this brilliant idea all by yourself, then it’s a lie. And we all know lying is wrong. HOWEVER, if you see something in a store that you admire, you use your own resources to create something similar, and then wear it yourself,  giving credit where it’s due, then it’s no lie. It’s yours, you made it, and you’re not trying to claim anything about it that isn’t true. So, be inspired by these DIY ideas {that were inspired by one of my favorite shops, Anthropologie}  and make something that’s unique, just for you! {or a friend. It should be noted that I LOVE HANDMADE PRESENTS. Charm necklaces have always been a great way to display a whole cluster of fun items, especially when they have meaning for you. I have been putting aside pendants and things that I really love for a while with the intention of making a necklace for Elise to wear one day, and I love the timeless look of this project.A necklace like this would be a fantastic way to use vintage brooches, or even clip-on earrings. I love the idea of wearing something ornate with a really simple dress. Statement necklaces are still a big trend and according to fashion spreads for Fall 2011, they aren’t going anywhere for a whileThis project doesn’t actually show directions, but the supplies are easy to find and something so simple wouldn’t be hard to figure out. I have been experimenting with recycled tee strands and wooden beads for a couple months and have been making all kinds of fun necklaces for DNA Galleries in the Plaza District. I hadn’t even thought of doing something with plain colored beads, but now I may have to experiment a little more. Pretty!If you live in Oklahoma City, I’d like to encourage you to check out LIVE on the Plaza tonight.  This fantastic community has an art event every month. We love going down to hang out with friends and see all the amazing stuff going on down there. Hope to see you there!

1 YEAR BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!

One year ago I was scuttling about town trying to get everything in order for Pippin + Pearl’s grand opening. We had a great time setting up shop last year, and even though we decided not to stay in that location, we had an amazing time and met so many wonderful friends. So, here we are, one year later and Pippin + Pearl has become a very different animal. I am on the verge of launching a small line of tees, dresses, and accessories and I’m blogging for you wonderful people daily. I’m helping fellow artists build their brands, design their websites, and fulfill their goals, something I consider to be my greatest privilege. I am having the time of my life creating art and connecting with all of you marvelous people.

So, on Pippin + Pearl’s one year birthday, I’d like to host this giveaway for all of you fantastic friends who made this last year so amazing. On MAY 1ST, 2011, I will be giving away:

{1} CUSTOM 18″x24″ ORIGINAL PAINTING (similar in style to the painting below, customized in the winners choice of palette) acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas. Shipped via USPS anywhere in the continental U.S.

I GIVE YOU PERMISSION

I was out to lunch with one of my freelancer friends the other day (the wise & witty Kathleen) and we were talking about design projects that we have on our respective plates. It’s fantastic to talk about creative ideas with someone who is also running a business. When we do get together, I always get a new perspective to chew on afterward and this day was no different. After my expressing frustration about my own creative journey, Kathleen commented that she’d always had a “permission giver” in her life. In her case, it was her mother. Her mother encouraged and enabled Kathleen to express herself creatively in all realms of her life, without judgment. This idea really stuck with me. {Kathleen noted that she first heard this concept from Kate Bingaman Burt, a talented writer & illustrator who touts the importance of finding people in your life who inspire you and give you permission to be creative.}

First of all, maybe everyone doesn’t place the value on creativity that I do, but I happen to think it’s important to create. I meet people sometimes who tell me, “I’m not creative”. Every day people make millions of decisions about how to cook a meal, how to dress themselves, and maybe we all have guidelines, but everyone does it in their own unique way. So, EVERYONE is creative, in some way, big or small. Secondly, I think that it requires bravery to say that you are a creative person. Unfortunately, maybe some people haven’t been encouraged creatively. Maybe they tried drawing in school and were told they didn’t have talent, or maybe they tried writing a poem or song and were criticized by people they trusted. Or worse, maybe they just experienced ambivalence from their chosen audience, and that devalued their idea.

As an artist, I put my feelings, thoughts and ideas out for people to criticize all the time. It never gets any easier to hear someone tear them down, or say they aren’t good enough. However, I have to give myself permission to be creative, and to be brave about those ideas, because the journey is so vital to my growth as a person. I have to give myself permission to be creative, and to keep trying new ideas, in spite of my own concerns that I might fall short of someone’s expectations. Over time I’ve gotten more confident about my ideas and I’ve been fortunate to meet people who inspire me and give me the encouragement I need to continue being an artist. So, for the people who don’t have a “permission giver” yet, here is a permission slip, just to get you started.

BE MINE, VALENTINE

I have a lovely post almost ready to go about my VINTAGE GLAM influences, but alas, I am waiting for my mother to send me a VERY illustrative photo that she has in her possession. So, that post will have to wait until tomorrow.There are some who hate Valentine’s Day and all it stands for, and I think I was one of them for many years. I never had a “love” on Valentine’s Day (although I did have a stalker once, but leaving me vampire novels and creepy love notes about our eternal bond is really more scary than romantic. Stalkers take note…) It wasn’t until I met my husband that I actually had a valentine from a man I loved, and boy did it turn me around. Plus, I think there is something really positive and exciting about taking a day to declare your love for someone. Or something. (Can you ask a pair of shoes to be your valentine? I would.)We celebrated early on Saturday night with a lovely dinner out. I wore my latest thrifty find — a frou-frou party dress I found at a 2nd hand store for $8. Not too shabby considering how fancy-pantsy I felt in it! My belt was a vintage ’80s stretchy belt that I styled with one of my favorite sparkly brooches, and a fascinator/pin that I sometimes wear on my head. I like to mix it up. 😉

For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband got me a beautiful necklace made by local artist, Anna Chakola Ramsey. It’s a natural emerald encased in gold and I think it’s simply the prettiest thing he’s gotten for me (beside’s my engagement ring) and I can’t stop talking about it. It’s really special because it’s my birthstone (and my daughter’s since she was born on my birthday!) and I’ve never had a piece of birthstone jewelry that I really loved. Anna makes some gorgeous accessories and I definitely recommendAll those years I was busy hating being without someone on Valentine’s Day never got in the way of my hoping to find the right person to spend the day with. So if you’re spending the day solo, take some time to treat yourself right. Buy a pretty gift for yourself, pamper yourself, and make a grand gesture of love for yourself. It’s better to be alone, then spending the day with a jerk-face who isn’t treating you right. 🙂 Or your creepy vampire lovin’ stalker. I speak from experience.

ERIN COOPER

My name is Erin Cooper. By day, (and night sometimes too…) I’m the design brain behind CooperHouse, the small creative studio I run with my husband, Tim. When I’m not designing, or consulting on branding conundrums, I’m usually working on a painting or wrangling my two little redheaded daughters.

I started drawing & painting when I was a girl growing up in the Northwest. I’m from a fishing town called Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast, but as an adult I’ve lived all over the US. A few years ago I followed my husband to his boyhood home in the tornado alley, Oklahoma City. We bought a cute little house, with an office for him, a studio for me, and started our company together. We wanted to build a business that would allow us time to pursue our creative endeavors and spend lots of time with our babies.

On Pippin & Pearl you’ll find my art, design, bits about my life & family, and insights about my work. I hope you’ll stop by for a visit occasionally and pop into my shop for a look at my latest artwork & prints. I’m not currently accepting sponsors, but I’m always interested in meeting new creatives, so drop me a line.

I love reading comments on my blog & I try to respond to everyone. You’ll find me on Twitter pretty regularly sharing my day to day activities & random snarkisms with my friends. I post a lot of pictures of my kids, so if you’re allergic to babies, my Instagram will give you hives.

ART: DANA OLDFATHER

Hello there! I’m kicking off this new year with some AMAZING art from Dana Oldfather. I saw these top two works pinned last night by Design Milk and immediately fell down the Dana Oldfather rabbit hole. Her work is fantastic. I love the juxtaposition of her graphic style and flowing watercolor. Go check out her massive portfolio which goes all the way back to 2008. It’s all just wonderful work and very inspiring.