Monday, December 27, 2010

A New Design for the New Year!

Hello and Welcome to the newly redesigned EV Photo Chic blog.  I've been working on creating a new header and background design for a while, (mostly while on my lunch break) but here is it!!  What do you think? I'm working on adding more to the blog as well such as pages and other fun things to browse through.  I'd love to hear what else (if any) you'd like me to include.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happiness Is....

* creating a DIY holiday
* spending Christmas with my best friend
* taking a week off to unwind and nest
* hosting dinner/cocktails for friends and family
* creating new memories
* thigh high socks
* creating photo calenders as gifts
* being so blessed to have a home, health, and family
* getting a great Groupon deal
* waking up to sunshine
* seeing where a little creative inspiration can take you
* growing out my hair
* paid time off
* making gingerbread cookies and royal icing from scratch
* decorating my first REAL Christmas tree
* comfy cozy nights on our new couch
* year end bonuses!
* ice skating on my Birthday (I'm turning 29, eek!)

What is happiness for you this holiday season? It's fun to look back on the years, here is my post on happiness from 2008 :)

I am taking a staycation for the next week and a half.  So I will be back to blogging next year :)
Thanks for tuning in this year,  and thank you for all your positive words. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One to Watch

If you're looking to take a break from holiday favorites, then head to the theaters to see this psychological thriller Black Swan. Natalie's character, an obsessed ballerina seeks perfection but at what price? You'll just have to find out! Since most of the scenes are shot with a hand held camera, there's a realism factor, meaning you feel like your actually on stage with the actors as they dance. I my opinion, it's a must see on the big screen! It's up for at least 12 nominations, so I can't wait to see how many awards they take home. Are there any movies out now that you could recommend?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Today I Want: Scrapwood Wallpaper

What I wouldn't give to have all my walls covered in this perfectly un-perfect scrap wood wallpaper. I secretly want to live in a cabin in the city and this would just make any cabin like renovation much more doable, no?! Sigh... it's way out of any price range I can afford for paper. But a girl can still daydream!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home Happenings

Happy Monday to you all. It felt great this morning to stretch my legs after spending a much needed weekend mostly at home. And for great reason too, our couch that we've been much anticipating has finally arrived!! Joe and I love it and after being without a comfy place to unwind at the end of the day for weeks now, it's a much needed piece of furniture especially around this time of year. The only changes I made in the solid pillows was a switch in color. I traded in the turquoise for a chartreuse pair. I love the pop of color against the charcoal gray couch.

I also treated myself to a sheepskin throw I've had my eye on for a while. I love the soft comfy texture against the Herman Miller chair.

Oh and a little greenery on my kitchen window sill is well on it's way to sprouting. I planted these paper whites a few weeks ago and am enjoying watching them grow a little more each day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

After the Gift Wrapping is Done...

I hope to be doing more of this real soon! Happy Friday to you all! I'm taking a half day from work today but just wanted to share with you some inspiring needle work from textile designer Karen Barbe. Her blog is so calming to scroll through, it makes me want to hibernate with my sewing machine for a week. It's been a while, but I feel like this time of the year just brings the sewing out of me. What kind of creative project is stirring in your brain this time of the year?

Photos by Karen Barbe

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie Exchange

Every year (for the past 8 years) the women in my family get together around the holidays to share in one another's favorite baked goodies. For my cookie of choice this year I decided to tackle the gingerbread variety. In part because I love anything with ginger in it and my favorite part is the decorating. I used this recipe from Martha Stewart, because one it calls for fresh and ground ginger and because I loved the photo as a source for decorating inspiration. You can find more if you pick up this months issue of Good Housekeeping too :) I decided to make and bake the cookies at my place so that we could relax and really enjoy decorating them the next day together. Today I have for you some of the cookie exchange highlights.

Scalloped graphics provided by Pugly Pixel.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Guest Blogging Today...

Come check out this quick and crafty DIY I put together for blogger gal Courtney over at You Will Won't You? For those of you who don't know Courtney and I go way back. We went to the same grade school and even had a class together at Columbia College in Chicago...yep! Head on over to her blog to start crafting your own paper doily snowflakes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

There's an App for that

Thinking about sending a festive electronic holiday message as an alternative to a traditional card? Consider downloading this greetings app designed by Cartolina with pretty vintage themed designs. Great to send those you love a little good cheer, for holiday invites, or just to simply say hello! How cute are these, really!? Wouldn't you love to receive one in your in-box? Pretty and high-tech, I love it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekly Roundup

Happy Friday everyone! This day couldn't come fast enough for me. I have so much to do, so many things dancing around in my head. Tonight I am making gingerbread dough so I can relax and take my time decorating them tomorrow at my family's annual cookie baking exchange. I'm so excited and will try to take photos of the event, if my hands aren't to covered in icing. I know I promised you to show you what I'm crafting up with my thrifted sweaters (and am also in the works to complete those tonight too!) To help keep my spirits lifted today at work I've been listening to this jazzy take on Christmas songs. I highly recommend playing it in the background as you work through your day today :) Happy Friday, cheers to a great weekend!


Thursday, December 9, 2010


Snap, print, cut, fold, sign..sigh. That's pretty much how my night went last night all while watching Top Chef All Stars. Creating our holiday card was super easy and fun thanks to this free hand drawn card by mufn. I printed them on Epson matte photo paper and they folded awesomely! For quick color prints I order through snapfish. What I like about them is that I can pick them up the same day at any participating stores (i.e Walgreens or Walmart) or have them delivered. If only everything on my holiday to-do list could run this smoothly :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Gift Wrapping Freebies

Image via coco kelley

Are your presents starting to pile up in your designated hiding spots (mine are under the bed) because you haven't had a chance to pick up wrapping paper and/or gift tags? Well fret no more. All you need to whip up these lovelies is a color printer, scissors and tape. I've been collecting so many wonderful freebies via blogland and here are some of my favorites. Time to start wrapping!

Wrapping paper from love mae

Holiday tag set from Creature Comforts

Gift tags from Martha Stewart

Gift tag sets from West Elm

Happy printing :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Ramblings

Good Monday morn to ya! How was your weekend? I had one of those partly random kinda weekends where you run into friends you haven't seen in a long time and where you make plans on a whim. All and all a very fun and fly by my seat kinda weekend. And what completed my weekend happened last night, while I was unwinding, I was gleefully enjoying all the handmade holiday decor around my pad.

Yarn Wreath I made for craft night last year.

Noel Frame made this holiday.

I also started this fun crafty project yesterday and am excited to share with you what I made out of these thrifted holiday sweaters. (Hint: I am making three of them that will be displayed on the staircase and it's one of my most favorite parts of Christmas Day. More details to come soon :)

Thrift Store sweaters, washed & dried!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Happenings

If your in the Chicago area this weekend and are looking for great gifts for yourself or loved ones stop by the 5th annual Renegade Holiday fair to nab some sweet wares. I'm not sure if I'll make it, but I'm going to try to swing by perhaps on Sunday afternoon. Here's hoping :)


Do you have friends and/or family members who call December their birthday month?
Another gift to add to the list, right? I of all people really understand the frustrations that come along with having a birthday during the busiest time of the year, but can you top being born on the day after Christmas? I sure can, because I am one of them! On the day when most people are recovering from holiday travel, overindulgence of all sorts and or just want to hit the stores to stock up on after holiday merch- it's hard to get people to come out and celebrate your birthday.
But for the past several years I've spent the most memorable birthdays with the people that know me the best. Last year we met up for breakfast and then went ice skating at Millennium Park. If there's enough snow this year, I'd like to go sledding!

Anyways, I digress. Like I've mentioned before I'm making all my gifts this year and birthday gifts are no exception ;) So I thought it would be fun for me to share a gift I completed recently for my awesome stylist/graphic designer friend Jill. She's not very internet crazy (I don't even think she knows I have a blog), so I know I will not spoil the surprise for her. I've been craving to make one of these deer head silhouettes that I've been eyeing all over blog land. But I also know that this would be right up Jill's alley too. They are so easy to make that I even made one for myself. So here is a quick tutorial on how to make your own.

Start out by finding an image of a deer head. Print and cut it out. Next select the paper you wish to cut it out on. For mine I used wood grain contact paper I had on hand but for Jill's I decided to go with something a bit more girly. I used a sheet of Martha Stewart craft paper.

With an exacto knife carefully cut around your template and use craft glue to adhere to your frame of choice.

To finish off my deer I mounted it onto a piece of light gray fabric and placed it in an old wood frame. I cleared out a good spot to hang it using these, next to some old black and whites from the good ol'college darkroom days.

For Jill's, I mounted her cutout onto the same light gray fabric and framed it in a faux wood sewing hoop I found at the local thrift shop. I hope she likes it almost as much as I enjoyed making it for her.

Happy winterful Friday to you! Stay tuned next week for more budget friendly DIY's and a guest post over at this awesome ladies blog :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Nice Break

While I enjoy listening a local radio station (93.9 The Light FM), this time of year because they play Christmas music 24/7 up until Christmas day, even I (the holiday fanatic) have my musical limits. Enter this 5 track digital album by Jeremy Larson - Fort Christmas and my spirits are still lifted with an added hint of indie holiday cheer. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello December

I've missed you and all things that revolve around you like hot chocolate, ice skating, Christmas tunes, pine trees, walking on freshly fallen snow, skiing, baking, decorating, and most important spending time with family. Yes, I admit! I am a holiday junkie!! Although nowadays I choose to make my gifts instead of buy them. And speaking of gifts, I wanted to share with you a special one that I started putting together this week. Who wouldn't enjoy reliving a moment in time each month for the new year? I bought this DIY mini desk calender kit from the awesome paislee press. For $4.99 you get 12 layered templates (sized 4 x 6 & 5 x 7) one for each month as well as at a glance calender of the entire year . With easy clipping masks, inserting your own photo is a breeze! Plus with convienent photo sizes you can easily print them at home or send the files to the printer of your choice. The hardest part is deciding what photo to use for each month. I can't wait to start printing these babies out on my Epson. But mostly I can't wait to see the look on my family member's faces as they look back on some of our favorite family moments.

Example of Feb month. Here Sam's eyes do all the smiling.

At a glance for the year. Isabella in a most relaxed moment.

As an extra special bonus, this kit also includes pretty packaging to really make your give shine!