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Click: iPhone Photos Every Day

Just a little over two weeks ago, I launched a project for myself to try and stop and take note of something in my daily life, each day. My tool is my camera phone (I have an iPhone 5, thanks to a tech-savvy husband) and I’m grateful for the awesome technology I have access to, as well as all the little pretty things that exist in my daily grind so each day I’m snapping at least one pic and sharing it. At a little over the halfway point in my challenge, I updated a page here with all of the daily pics, but below I’m shared a few of my favs so far.

Join my over on the Pinterest, the Facebook, or the Twitter where I’m posting them each and every day!

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyMy daughter’s little feet. Well, at almost 7 years old they are becoming quickly less little.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyAre those purple square totally out of control? Out local Farmer’s Market is amazing.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyMy baby, just a little longer. He is sucking on his two middle fingers (as he always is) in case you were wondering. Blankey is a family member, here.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyHomemade egg challah. Mmm.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting SunnyWhen she wanted to try calamari, I thought she’d stick with the chewy ring-style ones. Nope. The little tentacle-style ones were her fav and were promptly devoured.

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny

iPhone Daily Photography Project Update | Painting Sunny I’ll update the full gallery page when the project is over, and give ya’ll a head’s up! Thanks for sticking with me, and please share your own photo challenges! Anyone else impressed with purple produce? Have a kid that will eat on the wild-side?

Xoxo, Dani

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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A Mid-Century Modern Mood

It has been a long minute since we have had a mood board up in here, and as I have been spending some time daydreaming about the day I can design a whole living room for myself and freely DIY/buy/magically procure everything I want for it, I thought maybe we could wistfully daydream together. And lately, I’ve been in a very mid-century modern mood.

In case you are curious or just a mega nerd, “Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.” – brought to you by Wikipedia.

If I could wave a magic wand, this would be the result:

Mid-Century Moodboard | Painting Sunny

  1. Mid century modern custom address sign by Daddy’s simple signs, $75
  2. Bentwood Pendants by West Elm, $168
  3. Mid century poster print, MIES’S PIECES geometric shapes, artists giclée print by visual philosophy, $24.99
  4. Spectral Floor Lamp by inmod, $430 (on sale)
  5. Mid-Century Danish Modern Dresser by Revitalized Artistry, $975
  6. Madeline Chair by Urban Outfitters, $379
  7. Martini Side Table – Silver by West Elm, $149
  8. Sheepskin Rug, Ivory by Pottery Barn, $79-$179
  9. 2-piece dahlia candle-holder set by CB2, $19.95
  10. Danish Modern Side Table by Urban Outfitters, $179
  11. Jester vase by CB2, $49.95
  12. Night and Day Convertible Sofa by Urban Outfitters, $649

My partner-in-all-things-life is very much into clean, new, modern design while I like to blend that pretty evenly with eclectic, vintage pieces. Mid-century and Danish modern design is one place I think we could meet in the middle, so I’ve found my eye catching on it more and more as inspiration.

Are some of the items above major-splurges? Yes. Obvi. My budget could not stretch to create this room, but a girl can dream! In reality, there are some steals linked up above too (like that almost-too-cool giclee print) and for the rest I would DIY or bargain-hunt to find similar looks.

Need more inspiration? Books are a good place to start.

Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details by Bradley Quinn

Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors by Michelle Gringeri-Brown

Charles & Ray Eames: 1907-1978, 1912-1988 Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism by Gloria Koenig (this would make a gorgeous coffee-table book!)

Some other inspiring articles & round-ups include…

the nest’s Mid-Century Modern Decor Finds Under $200

Dwell’s Mid-Century’s Greatist Hit’s

HGTV’s Add Midcentury Modern Style to Your Home

Anyone else feeling the Mid-Century Modern Vibe? Kinda think Danish people must be really cool? Surprised that Urban Outfitter’s furniture had such a classic look?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.

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iPhoning It In: Embracing My Camera Daily

I’m making an effort to let go a little bit. You know – relax, and more spontaneously admire things around me.

Daily iPhone Photography Project: eight eight thirteen | Painting Sunny

I love creative forms of expression if you haven’t noticed. I can, however, get hung up on worrying about something being “ready” and “high enough quality” to be worth the effort and to share with others. Is a painting really finished? Is a photography pretty enough? Is something composed uniquely or contrasted enough? It never feels like it. So I’m about to do a little project to “let go and let blog” by each day taking up my iPhone and capturing a photo of something around me.

Above is the very first one, taken yesterday evening as flash floods came down in our area. The drainage outside of our apartment is not quite holding up to rain lately, and as I watched the water flood up over the back patio and sidewalks, I thought about how grey and drizzy the rain was as it threatened to spill over our door-frames and onto the carpet; but how cheerful the children’s toys and scooters and wagons looked sitting outside, and how grateful I am that those things are in my life.

So, here’s the gist. Every day for 30 days I’ll snap the pic, and will post it to my Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest locals. I may edit the photos a bit in trusty Photoshop (things can’t be all crooked, yo) but I promise not to Instagram it or use a filter. Nothing against Instragram – I’m just challenging myself to let things be, just a little bit.

Being a research nerd, I thought I’d round up a few inspiring iPhone photogs and websites, so why not check them out?

Brock Davis’ 2012 iPhone Photography (Yes, I also mentioned him here)

Chase Jarvis’ Photography Blog and his book about it

iPhoneography, an iPhone Photography Blog

National Geographic’s Tips For Better iPhone Photography

Y’all need to hold me accountable, so please share your own camera phone adventures, times you just throw in the towel and call it good enough, ideas for relaxing a little and enjoying the ride…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.

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The Recently Rundown: Ithaca Art Market, Whirlwind Family Visits, Prepping for 1st Grade

I know, last week I was totes not around much and everyone was asking “What is up with you, giiiiirl?”

Okay, I promise if we were living in a 90’s sitcom you would have been asking like that. On a plastic neon land-line phone with one of those curly cords. Does anyone else really, really miss TGIF at the end of a long week? Or remember Must See TV? That was awesome. Sigh.

Anyway, nostalgia aside – we had a lot going on! Prep yourself for some photos. First came the Ithaca Artists Market which was my first since moving into town, and I went there solo. It’s weird being alone when you are used to having little tykes with you constantly, but kind of liberating.

The Steamboat Landing here in Ithaca is an awesome location used for the Farmer’s Market and other events. See how pretty and spacious it is?

Ithaca Art Market Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyI didn’t want to be a creeper and have to get into that whole “I totally have a blog and am legit. Really, please don’t escort me out” situation so limited my snooping around and photo taking. These are all iPhone pics, so bear with me!

There were a few local artists that, whether or not their wares were my particular style, I was seriously impressed with. Behold…

Ithaca Art Market Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyI researched them a bit (again, I promise I’m not a creeper. My argument is becoming less convincing, isn’t it?) and this artist is a local by the name of Sally Dutko who specializes in fiber arts. They were colorful, original, and whimsical. Her website is linked right here. Check her out! BTW, she has no idea who I am – I just liked her work, I’m not paid or perked or affiliated with any of the artists. Well, besides living in the same town.

Ithaca Art Market Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyThese pieces by Spirit And Kitsch also caught my eye as being fun and fresh and something unique in the crowd of stalls. Her website is linked right here, and her name is Alice Muhlback.

The one that took serious restraint not to go on a spending spree was this one…

Ithaca Art Market Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyI thought of Sherry at YHL and her ceramic houses. I think these trees and delicate vases are equally awesome, and love that they are made by a local artist too. I did some digging and believe the artist is named Matthew Glaysher, although he doesn’t appear to have a website. Matthew, if you are out there – you blew my mind.

What else has been going on? Well, prepping this kiddo for her 1st grade!

Prepping for 1st grade | Painting SunnyThe summer can fly by, and I don’t want her getting too rusty with her academics. So, when I spotted these worksheet books at Dollar Tree, I nabbed one subtraction, one addition, and one language arts book for $1 each. Obviously, since it’s Dollar Tree. All three of them are First Grade level, and I’m tearing out one sheet from each, which makes three per day, for her to do. And they are double-sided… so she has her work cut out for her.

Prepping for 1st grade | Painting SunnyEven if they aren’t chosen by her actual teacher and may not be perfect, I think it is helping her get back into the habit of sitting, focusing, and thinking about these topics. She has surprised me a couple times with what she can do, and a couple other times I realized how much a kid can forget over the summer! It’s a long three months, yo.

Next up was a whirlwind family visit with Grandma June and Aunt Norma! The kids were beyond excited. The delight when they saw their Grandma and Aunt was evident. These are some of their fav people in the world!

Family Visit Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyIt was quite the visit. Above you can see the crew at the Syracuse Zoo, and they had a blast!

Family Visit Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyThey also hit up the Sciencenter here in town, which I don’t have a convenient pic of but they reported was spectacular. They also spent an afternoon at the Taughannock State Park at the beach, and apparently never tired of filling and emptying their little pails. So glad the weather was warm enough!

Family Visit Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyFood is always a big deal with kids and whenever fam is in town, right? I’m pretty sure the above pic was taken at Ithaca Bakery, but I wasn’t there so could be wrong!

Family Visit Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyWe all got together for dinner at a local restaurant called The Nines and it was so pretty out we ate out on the patio. It used to be a firehouse and now is literally next door to the firehouse, so it is a great location for a 3 year old to hang out just in case something exciting happens! We didn’t catch a glimpse of any firefighters or big red trucks, but might head back sometime during lunch on a weekday, just in case. The pizza was awesome. We are in New York, though… so shouldn’t expect any less.Family Visit Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyThese kids know how to eat.

Anyone else showing off local restaurants to family? Wishing they could fill their whole house with local ceramics? Just love pizza?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


Canvassing The Area (and Painting Big)

Yeah, it has been a minute since I painted big. For the record, I do have my BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (that is a real place, I swear) so did my requisite large-scale drawings and oil paintings, but time flies and I’ve turned to more convenient, portable, and economical mediums. But then… we  got big walls.

Our new apartment isn’t grandly spacious, but it does have comfortable-sized rooms and that includes comfortable-sized walls. The layout of our last home meant the sofa was oriented in the middle of the broad living room, making it a space-divider. This home puts the sofa against the wall, and that big old blank beige area was glaring me down.

So, I did something about it.

Painting Big | Painting Sunny

FYI, that watermark is a watermark and not there in real life. There is also a bit of a glare in the photography I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of, so just went with it. Yes, I spent this weekend covered in glorious paint! I may be a little rusty, so it may not be perfect, but I enjoyed myself and the living room is a little brighter and bolder now.

Would you like to see that in situ?

Painting Big | Painting SunnyTo start, I gathered by trusty stash of supplies. Let’s pretend it isn’t a hot mess, alright? I once worked with someone who said “hot mess” about fifty times a day, and it sounds like it would be annoying but I actually really enjoyed it, and every once in a while I like to find a way to work it into conversation. Like now.

Painting Big | Painting Sunny

You will notice a can of latex house-paint in that pile of stuff. Yes, the darker areas of the final painting are from this nice muted navy blue paint I already had on hand (more on that project coming someday soonish) and it was an affordable way to cover some of the canvas and create a nice dark base, so I began the painting by shading in some areas with it in a way that felt composed, to me.

Of course, I needed a big #%$ canvas. To the other art school brats professionals out there, I do understand that the proper way to go is purchasing the canvas and quality stretcher bars separately, stretching it, and applying the layers of gesso myself. However, I was just looking to get my feet wet and warm up a bit. I wanted a gallery-wrap canvas (it is deeper so looks better without a frame and sits a little more nicely against the way, in my opinion) so I headed to my local Micheal’s armed with a 40% off coupon and left with this canvas for about 50 bones. Yes, that is a lot of cash to me too, but for a large canvas I’d consider it reasonable. The quality felt alright too for a pre-streched canvas, so I was on my way!

Painting Big | Painting SunnyOh Paloma, why do you crave attention this way?

For those of you curious about what the back of a gallery-wrap canvas looks like (as opposed to a traditional back-stapled canvas) here is a quick shot of it:

Painting Big | Painting SunnyThere are two new supplies I also grabbed at Michaels, and one was a bit of a splurge for me. Spoiler alert, the splurge was the paintbrush. I didn’t have a big enough brush to comfortable work on this size of canvas, and I also didn’t have a nice filbert. It was a perfect storm, and I bought this baby. Isn’t she pretty? Don’t worry, those clean white bristles didn’t stay that way long. The paint was due to my craving for a gold, and my dislike of my current gold acrylics.

Painting Big | Painting Sunny

Did I say acrylics? Yes, I did. I’ve painted with watercolor, acrylics, oils, egg tempera, milk paints, and probably other mediums I’m forgetting. At this point, I don’t have a studio area and am using my kitchen table. With small children around. It is a challenge, people. So, I choose to use something that dries quickly (so my kitchen table can go back to being a kitchen table), is non-toxic for the kids and pets around, and is easy to clean up. I’m a bit messy. I do hope to get back to other mediums someday, but right now I’m happy to work with what works for me.

Want to see some detail shots?

Painting Big | Painting Sunny

I didn’t mean for it to be quite so red-white-and-blue but I’m cool with it.

Painting Big | Painting Sunny

 It isn’t perfect, but it was fun and got my feet wet. I’m hoping to do another one soon for the bedroom wall and am thinking of trying a bit more bold of a color statement. Get excited, people!

With our current rental having all-beige walls, I’m hoping to frame out this canvas and some other ones with some natural wood frames at some point, but as framing costs some serious mullah it will either have to wait or I have to DIY it.

Anyone have some awesome DIY-canvas-frame tips? Want to loan me a circular saw in case I ever get around to it? Itching to paint on as big a surface as they can find? Say “hot mess” a lot?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

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Pin-Fail: Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Are Cute If Your Kids Aren’t Afraid Of Dirt

You may recall this past week, when we happily celebrated Grandma June’s birthday after she arrived from the long 1/3-cross-country drive. I really enjoy DIYing something personalized for a birthday, and so even though we were in the midst of boxes I was inspired to make some cute, trendy, chalk-prop photos of the kids, just like these:

Look at those adorable and well-behaved children and the sweet little chalk sketches. Awww. Easy, right?


Really, really wrong.

Lest you have begun to think I totally know what I’m talking about and spend my days happily baking and crafting… this was the best I got:

(Disclaimer: the sidewalk was not hot at all; it was bright out but cool. I promise I wouldn’t make them lie on hot cement even for the sake of DIY… they just didn’t want to lie flat on the ground in case it was dirty, and weren’t sure what to do with their arms.)

Pin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting SunnyPin-Fail... Sidewalk Chalk Photo Props Clearly Did Not Work For Painting Sunny Granted, the sun was bright, so halfway through I realized I would get less-squinty photos if we moved to the shade… but the sunlight clearly wasn’t the problem. They both just didn’t want to lie down flat on the ground, which was sorta necessary for the little photo op to work. Oh well, they can’t all turn out, right?

Also, the scooters were there because I thought I could position them so it looked like the kids were riding on them. Not like they had just toppled from them onto hard pavement. Not quite the effect I was going for.

Anyone else having a total pin-fail? Have kids who don’t want to touch the dirt on sidewalks? Realize your kid’s fake tattoos that just will not fade probably look weird in pictures? Tell me I’m not alone! It seemed like a good idea, right?

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Art that is Weird and Cool (and now I’m a little inspired)

While my own work has hit a predictable roadblock (like, my art supplies are literally packed in boxes to be moved… underneath other boxes) at least I can stop and take a moment to wonder at what others are creating.

I recently discovered The Jealous Curator. This girl has some mad good taste, and is a one-stop-shop for inspiration and pretty things. I was unsurprised to read that she contributes to SFGirlByBay, which is obviously amazing and a permanent blog roll fixture over here. Check out her Girl Crush Tea Parties, too.

If I had a tea party, she would totally be invited (I’m not quite sure what her name is, though… I haven’t had time to creepy online stalk her yet). Probably along with Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess and Sherry from Young House Love and Rebecca Skloot and… okay, that already sounds random and a little unpredictable so let’s just stop there. Art That is Weird & Cool Curation | Painting Sunny

So, in homage to her I have put together my own little list of artist’s I’m jealous of and/or crushing on:

1. Beth Galton’s Conceptial Food Photographs

Beth Galton's Conceptial Food PhotographsSource: Beth Galton

Beth Galton's Conceptial Food PhotographsSource: Beth Galton

Literally, food cut in half. There is something so simple and clean about her photographs, and the classic foods represented.

2. Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland

Kirsty Mitchell PhotographySource: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

Kirsty Mitchell PhotographySource: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

These are so saturated detailed… It’s sci-fi, fine art, and fashion all rolled into one. The story of how she was inspired as well as how she managed her budget is intriguing, as well.

3. Cecelia Webber’s Human Body Art

Cecelia Webber's Human Body ArtSource: Cecelia Webber

Cecelia Webber's Human Body ArtSource: Cecelia Webber

Okay, how amazing is that flower made out of legs? Did you realize it was legs at first? The composition of these, along with the perfectly perfect hue’s mean I could stare at her photographs for hours.

4. Brock Davis’s iPhone Photos

Brock Davis's iPhone PhotosSource: Brock Davis

Brock Davis's iPhone PhotosSource: Brock Davis

The humor that is evident in many of these photographs is what draws me to them. When combined with his sense of composition and eye for catching tiny and subtle details, Brock Davis is someone I wish I could get coffee with.

5. Anastassia Elias’s Rouleaux

Anastassia Elias's RouleauxSource: Anastassia Elias

Anastassia Elias's RouleauxSource: Anastassia Elias

This are whimsical, sweet, and make you think the artist must be… well, a very unique person. My favorite part = the impact the different lighting can make in the various rolls.

For more blogs I obsess over regularly visit, check out my shout-out list of Blogs To Love, right there to the right —>

Anyone else enjoy art made from toilet paper rolls? Craving a jelly doughnut now?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.