I Love Contemporary Macrame Designs

Get this DIY set at Wool and the Gang!

Get this DIY set at Wool and the Gang!

As a kid I remember my mother having quite a lot of craft projects she was in the process of completing. My mother was always into making/reworking things, cooking, gardening, crafts. I distinctly remember a 70s mushroom rug she made that I would die for today, macrame tapestries and planters, layered candles with a 70s color palette. Of course when I came along things took a more cartoon-y feel with care bear pillows, pastel bunny paintings and bright rainbow everything. I didn’t appreciate all of the 70s beauty as a kid because I had been jaded by the bright rainbow hues I had grown accustom to being surrounded by. I despised quite a bit my polkadot brown, orange and yellow mushroom bed skirt, the psychedelic carpet, the orange velvet chairs. I started to hate brown, orange, yellow, green and red. I steered from the palette and wanted nothing more than bright pops of color, neons and pastels. I proceeded to cover myself and my room in these colors. I absolutely gagged at macrame; the hemp-y natural browns and mustard owl tapestries.

I partly feel that the time (1980s) I was born (both design wise and technology wise I lived in both worlds, pre-tech natural and post-tech digital) is one reason I have a constant battle going on within my brain of palettes and designs for my personal projects and home decor. Do I stick with 60s or 70s hues and keep loading my shelves with vintage, psychedelic beauties? With mushrooms and daisies? Do I cut back on the brights and pastels? Do I lean more towards my preference for modern Japanese-esque decor or my appreciation for the antique and ornate French decor? Do I engulf my home in the modern, minimal Swedish designs or run to the psychedelic bohemian love nest with drapes, floor pillows and tapestries? Will it ever just work together? If you know me you know my closet is the same. I do not and have not ever “matched.”

And here I find this visually-overloaded attention deficit again.. I have such an appreciation for crafts and handmade goods. I cannot seem to stick with crochet, knitting or sewing long enough to decide “that’s the one!” and so here I find myself admiring macrame and wondering why I once despised it when now I cannot imagine a better “fun” goal than taking on a project such as making a macrame chair or an advanced tapestry. This came about as my love of gardening has grown and expanded to the point that now I have plants here I cannot keep outside because of this (WACKY) Indiana weather. All of these plants would love being hung from the hooks in the dining room while the color pop of a macrame string excites me to a point I can hardly communicate. It’s likely because of the macrame goodies you can find on a quick google image search, the kind of search that sends you into a rabbit hole of, “I HAVE TO BUY, OWN OR MAKE THIS. It is my destiny.” So there I am. Color charged and obsessed. As obsessed as I still am with my recent hobby of raising chickens and learning enough about wood working to build a colorful coop with my husband.

What new craft or hobby are you finding interest in? Can you relate to the inability to pick one and stick with it? Are you always wanting to do more?

Photo from A Beautiful Mess Blog

Photo from A Beautiful Mess Blog

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Get this beauty at Niroma Studio

Get this beauty at Niroma Studio

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Macrame Tutorials

  • Macrame Cushion (complete with pompons!)
  • Macrame Straps for Tube Top
  • Macrame School
  • Macrame Wall Hanging
  • Macrame Plant Hangers
  • Wool and the Gang Tutorials
  • Benefits of Hiring a Boutique Marketing Agency

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    Recently we’ve hired a Design-Savvy, Bilingual, SEO and Digital Marketing-Specialized Sales Representative for Miseducated. She has expertise in Marketing and Business Planning & Development. Her name is Luzmary Villegas and she will be featured here on our team page. She’s very easy to communicate with and inspires our clients to achieve new success and business goals through marketing plans with an exceptional rate of return. If you would like to contact her about her limited specials above please let us know.

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    Recently, while I was spending an extensive amount of time writing a very detailed social media marketing plan for a new client, I realized I cannot be all places at once so delegation to someone you’ve grown to trust and have seen their success with clients is key. Looking forward to continuing to work with her.

    Are you still looking into having your brand or website redesigned or marketing plans developed for your business growth? If so you might have considered whether you should stick with your in-house positions or if you should pair with a boutique agency or a large-scale agency.

    If you’re looking for a more personal, hands-on approach, then a boutique agency may be perfect for you. Curious why? Here are some positive points regarding hiring a boutique agency to help you achieve the business growth you desire:

    1. One-on-one, Specialized Attention

    There are less people to fool with when working with a small team and a more one-on-one approach to working with you. The ones you work with at the start of developing your goals or plans are the same who will work with you to design and complete the project. You’re also likely to have access to the head of the agency and you won’t need to be explaining yourself multiple times to multiple workers. That means getting more of the individualized attention your project needs.

    2. More Budget-Friendly

    With a smaller boutique agency, there is often lower overhead cost, cost to run the actual facility, and pay a smaller amount of employees to pay. This means clients will end up paying solely for the actual services and no additional management or booking fees. Boutique agencies also tend to look for creative ways to complete a project for less money than a large agency which doesn’t care as much about staying within a limited budget.

    3. Quicker Delivery

    Smaller boutique agencies can give clients a much faster turnaround time because they’re handling fewer projects and managing fewer clients. A team at a small agency is driven to work hard to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Also if you tend to have changes or need a past project reworked, you’re given priority because the request does not have to go through so many hands.

    4. Personalized Designs

    There is no middle man between you and the designer, so your ideas will go straight to the person creating your materials. This gives you the chance to discuss ideas and get a more personalized experience.

    5. Attention to Detail

    Designers at a small agency will handle your project as if it were their own, making sure that every detail is perfect. Why? Because they have the time and flexibility to do so.

    6. Up On Latest Marketing Trends

    What in-house employee or business owner has time to read up on all the latest social media, SEO, content marketing, web development breakthroughs and branding news? Usually they are so buried in day-to-day tasks, there is no room to grow, change, and evolve. Marketing and design isn’t their main focus as it is being the sole job of the agency. The majority of reputable marketing agencies take education and staying up to date with improvements very seriously. We invest time into keeping up with the latest trends, programs, tools, technologies, and strategies to serve you better. We spend our own time (off the clock) learning how to use new resources, without charging you for the time. The smaller agencies mean more knowledge about all of the services and products offered as well as being well versed in how to personally launch your business or brand. This is our passion, let us show you how we can support you.

    Mew for Today: Dreaming of Spring POP Decor

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    I got the idea to do the following little survey via another lifestyle blog and I thought it was perfect for quick posts with current images you’re inspired by. I can be a big rambler and I thought it was concise and a great way to interject some gorgeous visual inspirations with a little blogger personality. What do you think? I hope you try it as well! I’m going to add a new post full of writing prompts next~ stay tuned xx!

    Mew for Today

    Listening to… Dr. Phil question a married pastor, who has been cheating on his wife with strippers, while I do design work and blogging. How embarrassing! You caught me off guard!

    Loving… STRONG almond flavored coffee from The Fresh Market, Chicago Mix that our amazing friends Chip & Kim gifted us on our game night AND ban.do‘s new goodies, Ahh!

    Reading… the Radical Self Love Almanac by Gala Darling ~ the design is adorable and The Secret as usual (have you tried the app?).

    Wanting… to decide what color to paint our bedroom and hallway walls! I’m leaning towards gray but green keeps creeping in… I’m also really excited to see my husband when he gets off work.

    Watching… We’ve been obsessively watching Game of Thrones every week and Fear the Walking Dead. I also, as you know, occassionally enjoy listening to reality tv while I work. Ack! Don’t judge me too harshly..

    Wearing… black black black, geometric leggings with raised black designs and a black sequin bralette with plastic wrap on my head because I’m re-dying my hair blue & pink!

    myself & my bf lauren in NYC last week~

    myself & my bf lauren in NYC last week~

    Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ, NYC

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    A lot of amazing artists are participating Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ which is located in Grand Central in New York City! The artwork is currently available in store and via contacting the store, ask about the list of artwork here: customerservice@piqproducts.com. We were all asked to select a Sanrio character from a list of most of the characters they’ve ever had! I somehow got Sugar Bunnies even though I was invited late. I was more than happy to join in.

    I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

    I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

    Some of my favorite pop surrealism artists had work in (including Toki Doki) and there was a lovely graphite drawing by Camilla D’Errico (favorite) and a cute dinosaur work by Mab Graves.

    Not only is there rad artwork but there's also cute toys and goodies!

    Not only is there rad artwork but there’s also cute toys and goodies!

    My phone very sadly was dead by the time I got to NYC (I flew in 2 hrs before the show) so all photos below are by Clutter Magazine. Check more photos on social media with the tag #piqhk99 !

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    This is the work I made -- I got the Sugar Bunnies!

    This is the work I made — I got the Sugar Bunnies!

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    Photos above by Clutter Magazine.

    The Low FODMAP Diet Helps With Bloating

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    First of all, I’m sure we can agree that diet fads are usually lame. They have little to no health benefit other than the diet-marketers making money and you being attracted with unrealistic body expectations and weight loss dreams. However this diet is not about losing weight.. it is a diet specifically helpful for those who struggle with painful bloating, IBS, sensitive stomachs, prior intestinal surgeries (ding ding!!) and other digestive issues.

    After my emergency surgery in October of 2014 I couldn’t eat most things… my small intestine was healing and painful. However because of this, when I was physically able, I had an urge to eat EVERYTHING. I ate ate ate and especially loved sugar and carbs. I have a serious sweet tooth. My tummy did not like this.. it was more sensitive than ever and it began to look like I had a beach ball under my shirt, even more so around “that time of the month”. My whole body was relatively thin other than this big bloat! I even had people asking if I was pregnant AND touching my belly when I was out.. how embarrassingly terrible!

    So my doctor had given me this diet and at the time I was just not interested. I didn’t have hope my stomach could change after this intestinal resection. I tried the medication and it worked a little bit but not to the extent I was hoping to relieve of this bloating and pain. After trying to do things my own way I finally realized I MUST try this diet regardless of how hard it would be. After that, I noticed a gradual change even within a week. I would wake up and my stomach would be flat, no bloat. I would go through the day and although it was hard to avoid bread and cake I continued to feel like I was not struggling with bloat! Hurray! Not only that but with increase in low fodmap foods I have been losing the extra weight I put on when I was eating unhealthily. I attribute this to eating healthier and exercising.. which are the only things anyone should be doing to get in shape. Starving yourself, trying fad diet pills, etc are likely just quick fixes and are not improving your health!

    So what do you eat (and avoid) on the low fodmap diet?

    FODMAP List

    Oligiosaccharides

    Avoid: Garlic, onions, wheat, leeks, nectarines, barley, rye, lentils, pistachios, kidney beans, chickpeas, broccoli
    Eat: Quinoa, rice, corn, potato, buckwheat, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, bok choy, cucumbers, endive, tomato, zucchini, gluten-free products

    Lactose (Disaccharide)

    Avoid: Milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
    Eat: Feta, cheddar cheese, parmesan, lactose-free dairy (or lactaid), almond milk (ensure inulin is not added ingredient), plain lactose-free yogurt

    Fructose (Monosaccharide)

    Avoid: High-fructose fruits and foods like apples, mangos, honey, asparagus, pears
    Eat: More evenly distributed fructose/sucrose fruits like bananas, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries

    Polyols

    Avoid: Avocado, mushrooms, cauliflower, prunes, peach, cherries, blackberries, sugar alcohols (often in candy like: xylitol, sorbitol), molasses, watermelon
    Eat: Honey dew, cantaloupe, raspberries, stevia, white or raw sugar (limited), pure maple syrup

    Many of these foods should not be completely excluded, as they can be good for you if you’re not sensitive to them. On a low-FODMAP diet you aren’t eliminating these different types of carbohydrates completely—just reducing them — so if you slip-up it’s not the end of the world, keep going.

    Some Go-To Recipes

    Because the rest of my family is not really low-fodmap and eats bread, noodles, fruits and veggies that are high fodmaps.. I get major cravings. Some things I can make for them that they don’t mind: fried chicken with corn flakes vs crackers, noodles with rice noodles, homemade pickles (remember garlic and onion are very bad for fodmappers and that stinks!!). As usual my recipes are not exact measurements because that’s how I cook (by sight and feel).

    Grilled Cheese Quesadilla

    • Corn (gluten free) Tortilla
    • Cheddar Cheese
    • Tomato (love grilled cheese with tomato!)
    • Dollop of non or low lactose plain yogurt on top
    • Directions
      Place the tortilla in a greased pan or on griddle that’s on medium heat. Put some shredded cheese on top and when it melts place a slice of tomato on top, fold in half, top with a dollop of yogurt.

    Fried Chicken

    • Corn flakes
    • Bit of Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Egg
    • Thawed Chicken
    • Directions
      Oil for frying (olive oil + bacon grease for flavor!)
      Heat oil to high heat, dip chicken into beaten eggs and then into crushed corn flakes mixture (with corn starch and salt & pepper). Turn chicken when browned. Remove when internal temp is at least 345 degrees Fahrenheit.

    French Toast

    • Gluten free white bread
    • Splash of Lactaid Milk
    • Egg
    • Vanilla
    • Cinnamon
    • Maple Syrup (actual maple syrup, not the sugary brands of syrup)
    • Directions
      Dip bread into the milk, eggs and vanilla. Heat in greased pan or on griddle until lightly browned on each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a bit of maple syrup.

    Snacks

    • Rice cakes + peanut butter (check ingredients!) + banana slices
    • Plain potato chips (you can haz!!)
    • GH Cretors Chicago Mix (a serving takes care of sugary cheesy cravings!)
    • Corn chips + cheddar cheese + jalapeños + oven/microwave to melt cheese + no/low lactose dollop of yogurt
    • Banana + lactose free vanilla yogurt + sprinkles of raw sugar + thin popsicle stick + freeze for 1 hour = banana pop (my kids LOVE these)
    • String cheese stick
    • WOW Baking Co Lemon Burst Wheat & Gluten Free Cookies
      These cookies have no high FODMAPs! They also make other flavors but the only ones that might be ok are Snickerdoodle and Peanut Butter however I haven’t checked them!
    • Snack Stops: Target, Fresh Market and Whole Foods have a bunch of snacks made for those of us on restrictive diets if you look around and check ingredients! Gluten and dairy free have been more and more accepted in other grocery stores, as well.
    • Peppermint and Ginger teas (if you sweeten use white or raw sugar, not honey) are always a good idea for your tummy!

    bagged-lemon-burst GH CRETORS CHICAGO MIX yellow gluten free cake mix

    Those should give you a few ideas! For instance you can fry eggplant for eggplant parm with the same mixture as the chicken above but remember to make your own tomato sauce because garlic and onion are in most or all tomato sauces! You can also substitute spaghetti noodles for rice noodles (MAI FUN).

    As you see above, I found a new favorite dessert/snack food that doesn’t cause me bloating and doesn’t have any major offenders in it: GH Cretors Chicago Mix! This is really a treat because most candy popcorns I found had at least one big bloat-inducer or just left me feeling those same bloated feelings. It takes care of all of the cravings in one bag.

    More Tips

    Differing Information

    You might notice after exploring low FODMAP food lists that many different doctors and people disagree on foods. I find the best thing is to check Monash University‘s app list then to read about the ingredients myself if I’m not sure in a store. It takes some getting used to and it’s confusing and tough at first but it starts to make sense soon! It’s easier when you’re going and getting more accustomed to listening to your body (belly) and what things bother YOU!

    Spices

    Beware of SPICES! Although all spices except for garlic and onion are fine many spice mixes (including yellow curry!) have onion and garlic IN them. This includes broths. These two flavorful guys taste SO GOOD but cause me a lot of discomfort especially on this diet.. I notice very quickly if they are in something after I’ve cut FODMAPs down/out. So be sure to look out for them. Green onions (scallions) and chives are safe if only the green tops are used and they’re used minimally. So your cherished fried rice and noodles can survive as long as you skip the bulbed onions and garlic!

    How Long?

    If you decide you do want to adopt a low FODMAP diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. If you can, try to commit to the diet for at least a month before you determine if it’s beneficial for you and your digestive system. It’s best to keep a journal (I have one on my phone so I can always easily write notes about foods) along the way to document changes and reactions to foods. I find even low FODMAP foods can give me bloating and some high FODMAP foods won’t! It’s a good idea to keep it handy.

    Introducing FODMAP Foods

    Also after you try the diet for a month you can start to introduce new foods you used to love by eating one a day or so and see how they affect you. You might be skipping on something that you find you can eat with little discomfort.

    FODMAP Friendly Sites

    If you decide to try the diet, let me know your experience and if you need support! I’ll be sure to update about my journey more in the future. xo

    I Love Tea Packaging & Brand Design

    Tea is one of those amazing things that I can imagine will always be around as long as humans are. The trend never dies with tea, it only seems to grow as it slowly infects more generations. My daughter, 5, loves tea. She loves “plain ole green tea” and lightly sweetened dessert teas. My kids beg me most to have tea parties when we plan special “mom days” while dad is going to be away. Tea parties for us mean a big pot of tea, cream, sugar, a dessert and a tea sandwich. They love it more than Chuck E. Cheese! What is it about tea that’s so magically comforting and whimsically soothing?

    One thing I’ll admit is I also love tea packaging. Someone has decided that many tea packages will appeal specifically to me as a person. To the point where I buy tea tins even when I have no idea what the tea will taste like.. and when I buy my staple teas or loose leaf teas I put them in prettier tins. I could ooh and ahh at tea tins all day so I decided we should do it together. Tea packaging inspires me and often finds it’s way into my brand inspiration boards (we spoke about before). Does it inspire you?

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    It’s Time to Prepare Your Spring Promotions

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    Promotional Spring holidays are approaching fast! (You can find our promotional cheat sheet here!) Are your email campaigns and social media promotions prepared for the marketable holidays in March and April? (Women’s History Month, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, Easter, April Fools Day, Earth Day and Prom?)

    Email marketing allows your virtual message to land straight into a client’s inbox. For the best rate of return it’s best to target inboxes 3 – 4 weeks prior to the holiday you’re marketing (unless your marketing team is ok with quick orders!). The premise is simple, the more people that are aware of your Spring offers, the more you are going sell.

    Create a Strong Campaign

    That means the right offers, the right message, and the right theme and imagery. A on-point layout and grabbing headline with attractive images increases open, click-through rates, likes and client interaction.

    Share Your Campaign

    Your business isn’t done after the email! While preparing your email campaign for send-off you can share your specials on all of your social media channels and on your website. Email campaigns and social media campaigns work best together!

    Don’t Forget Reminders

    Email 1: Initial offers and sales.
    Email 2: Remind clients about your offer.
    Email 3: Remind clients that they have 24 hours to still get your offer!

    Social Media Reminders

    Post 1: Ask fans to join your email list to get a special offer.
    Post 2: Remind fans they still have time to get your holiday offer.
    Post 3: Post an image of you and your staff to your Facebook Page with a Thank You!

    Need a Promotion?

    Need a Spring promotion and haven’t planned it yet? Let Miseducated help you maximize your campaign returns. You can take a peek at our pre-made email and social media campaigns here or can book a custom project (using your own imagery!) by contacting us. If you’re not ready for the full-time job of promotions, we would love to take over your marketing so you can get back to running your business! Don’t miss out on another revenue-generating opportunity.

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    The Start: Brand ID Inspiration Boards

    Let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very fine place to start!)… So when starting most projects I prefer to create (with my client or coworker) an inspiration board. Which usually translates into a 5-6 page PDF booklet with imagery, colors, patterns and elements that myself and the client have selected to communicate their brand, project or idea. For brand identities this is the very first place I start (after you fill out the new client questionnaire of course!) and it ensures we’re both on the same page as far as design goes (and I’m a very visual person, aren’t you?).

    Here are a few inspiration boards I’ve done in the past (I haven’t gotten to work with any clients who favor pastels yet! I’m waiting.. Is this you?).

    Brand IDs

    Canary Rock (1 page)

    Canary Rock (1 page)

    Polished Perfect (1 page)

    Polished Perfect (1 page)

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