These diptyque paris candles will be a favorite of 2013. At my Christmas party this year one of my close friends bought me a little gift: the Amber Oud Mini Candle (part of the 2012 Holiday Collection) and an amazing hand-made wreath for my door! All in all it was the the best scented gift I've ever received. Going into the new year I recommend purchasing some of these little beauties as a new accessory to your home, or simply as a way to clear the old air and bring in the new scent of 2013!
Hailing from America’s heartland, singer/songsmith/superhero Aaron Lee Martin has an indomitable passion for music. Whether he’s onstage playing for packed house or in a tour-van sharing new material with a couple adoring fans, he exhibits the same raw emotionalism and devotion to his craft. Freighted with country/folk arrangements and heartrending balladry, Aaron’s music builds on—not belabors—familiar American themes. With matchless vocals and poignant lyrics, he delivers love & loss, life & death, in equal doses, while sidestepping sentimentality—and managing to have fun in the process (Kansans are a rowdy bunch!). Though he’s toured extensively (playing festivals, barrooms, and coffee shops across the country), Aaron rarely turns down an opportunity to play—not because he’s desperate, but because he desperately loves what he does. Already he’s got two full-lengths and a Christmas album under his belt (preview/purchase here), but whether you’re a longtime fan or a new convert, you can rest assured—the best is yet to come! Here is a sample of Aaron's solo Album available for purchase:
LWF: How long have you been writing/playing music?
ALM: The cliche' answer...more or less my whole life, ha. I remember writing cheesy love songs when I was 8 years old. Now I just write cheesy love songs while I'm 28 years old. But I have always loved the idea of putting my thoughts to melodies and have always loved the way that words can rhythmically fit together like puzzle pieces.
I started out on the drums, but quickly realized that it was not the most conducive instrument to write songs on as a singer/songwriter, though I feel like it immensely helped me to establish a sense of rhythm. One day, I picked up my dad's acoustic guitar and started picking out London Bridges on the bottom E string and found out that playing by ear was something that came natural to me. He showed me a few chords and I just kinda taught myself from there. Fast forward through my bleached blonde teenage years of awkward music selection and fronting alternative/rapcore bands, I discovered that I really loved folk music.
I think I finally found my voice in the singer-songwriter/folk genre, not only audibly (a little less Scott Stapp and a little more Aaron Lee Martin, ha), but lyrically. Over the last 7 years, I've acquired a banjo, other various folky instruments, and somehow figured out that I can fit my foot inside a tambourine...so that's fun! Yeah, long answer to a short question.
LWF: Where do your songs come from? Take us through your creative process…
ALM: My songs usually come from whatever I am directly or indirectly inspired by at the time. Sometimes it's sunrise, sometimes an episode of Lost. Sometimes it's pure fiction and sometimes I'm letting myself be as vulnerable and naked as I can be, while still keeping my clothes on.
I believe there is a song for every season, emotion, victory and failure that we have. I've found that it's the usually those things that are the hardest to face and reveal about yourself, but somehow still muster up the courage to express, that people seem to relate to the most. It allows a sense of freedom for people to accept who they are and can help us to be conscious of the fact that none of us are truly ever alone.
As far as the process goes, there is no rhyme or reason. Songs come to me often when I'm driving or in the shower, ha. I just usually hit a point where I realize I'm going crazy because I'm not writing or playing, so I write something...and then realize I am still crazy, ha.
LWF: Who or What inspires you?
ALM: Oh, I guess I partly answered this question in the last question, ha. But as far as the "Who" goes, I'm greatly inspired by a handful of authors, namely Steinbeck, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Thoreau, Chekhov, and Bradbury. The intellect, wit, romance, and honesty these guys bring to the table absolutely blows my mind!
I'm also a pretty big fan of Pete Seeger. He taught me that one voice, as well as many voices united as one, can do an awful lot to stir up things and cause genuine change and compassion to occur.
I also draw inspiration from biblical poetry (psalms, proverbs, lamentations, ecclesiastes, etc.). There are quite a few biblical references and connections that can be found throughout my music.
Aside from those few things, I'm sure there are a million other things that inspire me, but brokenness and vulnerability will stir my soul every time!
LWF: Anything new in the works?
ALM: Yeah, I have plans for my next 3 releases, 2 eps and a full length. They are titled "Blessings and Curses" "Vanity of Vanities" and "The Garden" and they will be released in that order.
I'm actually in the process of recording "Blessings and Curses" and I'm hoping to release it by early Spring. Here soon, I'll be setting up a Kickstarter to help fund the album, so if you feel like supporting, please be on the lookout for that at http://aaronleemartin.com/
ALM: Well, when I'm home I work carpentry. Not very good at it yet, but I enjoy learning. And I just started doing yoga. Not very good at it yet, but I enjoy learning.
Ha, I also enjoy connoisseuing various things or at least pretending like I am a connoisseur. (yeah, I know connoisseuing is not a real word, but I like it!) Making up words. And traveling. But I'd say my most fulfilling times are either spent enjoying community living with trusted friends or being completely alone in nature just absorbing and living in the moment as much as I can. This last summer, I had the best of both worlds. I was housesitting with some of my closest friends on some acreage in Central KS, with rolling hills and around 10 buffalo roaming free on the property. We spent our days gardening, taking care of puppies and riding bikes down hilly dirt roads. Most nights we'd cook a family dinner and eat together. After my roommates went to bed, I'd usually stay up until 3:00am sitting out in the front yard, listening to the coyotes and watching the stars. This was a small dose of heaven for an extroverted-introvert, such as myself.
LWF: (bonus question) What is your beard made of?
ALM: The blood of 10,000 angry Irish Men; The colors of a Kansas sunset; The aroma of cloves, soured milk, tobacco and whiskey; and snakes, snails and puppy dog tails! Oh, and I have a white patch too.
This is the first of many posts to come, I am so excited to be on board as a contributor on Inspiration Den for 2013! In light of the Ignore warningholidays, and all that surrounds them, this post will be a little different than future posts. Where in the future I'll be focusing on what's trending in fashion + home, this post is more of a fun look at the current holidays, and gathering some inspiration for them. Both On (fashion) + In (home). Can't wait! xxoo - Ashley
I've been thinking a lot about what I'll be wearing through the holidays this year - it seems like a good idea to end the year with some glam (it nothing else, it will make me feel a little prettier!) Tis the season for parties + getting dressed up, plus we'll be having lots of company. I'll be pulling from what I already have in my closet, maybe just adding a new necklace or patterned tights. And I don't know about you, but I'm loving all the gold & bronze I'm seeing, they have long been favorites. Here are some of my "on" inspirations for this years glam holidays:
In contrast to all that glitters, I'm wanting a little more earthy look to my home. First, with having company, I won't be able to change the overall decor too much between Christmas & New Years. The tree will still be up, and the subtle browns and greens with it. My only areas to get really creative and different will be the table, buffet, and maybe ceiling if I'm feeling especially ambitious!
Hope that you all have a fabulously inspiring holiday season. xxoo
I hope everyone loved the new Cloud Parade video, I thought it was gorgeous! All involved really did an amazing job! As you can see by that awesome video everyone at Cloud Parade work their tails off so I thought it would be fun to share some photos of Candice and Molly and give you a little glimpse of what goes into making CP which usually consists of Early Mornings, Coffee, E-Mails, Networking, and late night work parties! To see more from CP check out their Instagram!
Cloud Parade does tons of research to find the raddest, hippest vendors to be apart of Cloud Parade so we thought we would take a mini road trip and check out UNIQUE LA! It was so inspiring, I LOVE handmade, local art so this was right up my alley. I was able to stop by the Honey My Heart booth but sadly missed Jella and hope to see her at the next Unique LA, I had a wonderful cup of coffee by the Handsome Coffee Roasters of whom were very dapper fellows, Discovered some new favorite stationary shops like Cardtorial + Sable & Snow, and lastly so excited about this super awesome store called Biddy Bopp Shop who have some of the most amazing masks I've ever seen! These little beauties would be perfect for that quirky/unique wedding photo opp!!
Thanks Candice & Molly for letting me feature you lovelies!
Check out Cloud Parade + tell all your friends about this hip, new, wedding marketplace!
Cloud Parade is a marketplace for any couple to design and purchase their "HIP," "RAD" wedding and its launching today! If your a Bride, Groom, Bridesmaid, Groomsman, or your just a wedding enthusiast (like so many of the amazing vendors featured on Cloud Parade) then you'll LOVE what your about to see! CP allows anyone to search by color, style, or product, to create a wedding that reflects you and your fiancé's vision perfectly. You can literally look up PINK - INVITES - BOHEMIA and find that exact product! The following video explains what I mean perfectly!
Inspiration Den is all about inspiring the masses with the art of others, to create a diverse, creative community, and I think CP really exudes that! I hope you enjoy their answers to my questions below!
LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber Dunstan) CP: Cloud Parade (Candice Becklund) LWF: What does inspiration mean to Cloud Parade? CP:Being inspired means you are not stuck in a box… Being inspired is freedom, a way to be You! Cloud Parade is just that, its a way to be inspired with the one you love (your fiancé). on Cloud Parade you can shop and design your wedding all in one spot. Cloud parade thrives on the word "inspiration". LWF: Give us 5 words that best sums up CP. CP:Hip. Wedding, Marketplace. Design. Rad. Shop.
Candice & Molly of CP
Thanks CP for letting me feature you today!
Stay tuned for tomorrows feature, A day in the life of the CP girls & a fun/inspiring day at Unique LA w/ Candice! Also don't forget to refer CP to the rad vendors you know who are looking to set up a shop!
We are all inspired by so much in life... Nature, Art, Fashion, People, Conversations, Love, Music, Books, Movies.... I love being able to dabble in all areas, and this feature is especially exciting because not only is it inspirational but also motivational and uplifting. Darling Magazine is all about the art of being a woman. I think in today's society we put a lot of emphasis on the wrong things. Instead of focusing on being a size zero or having the biggest house, why don't we focus on how we can make a home with people we love, living a healthy lifestyle, being thankful and staying positive. I love how Darling Magazine focuses it's attention on how "All women are beautiful, exceptional, and here for a purpose". You'll find many pieces of new design, photography, artists sharing their work, DIY's, and Fashion Pieces, within the pages of this publication--not to mention the quality and look of the letter pressed cover, the texture of the paper, and the size (makes for a year round coffee table book). All that to say I'm very happy to have been given the opportunity to interview the editor in chief of Darling Magazine Sarah Anne Dubbeldam.
LWF: Little Woodland Friend (a.k.a Amber Dunstan)
DM: Darling Magazine (a.k.a Sarah Anne Dubbeldam) LWF: I've ready your Mission statement and am so Inspired by it, can you tell me why your team is so passionate about embracing the art of being a woman? DM: In our modern world, we feel like there is little guidance for young women on how to grow into a mature, wise woman. Much unlike our grandmothers' generation where women were taught etiquette and mentored in endless skills, many of us are in the dark on how to behave and function healthily as a woman in relationships, at work, or in the home. Much of the advice out there is shallow, or frankly, bad advice. We feel that women need a "modern guidebook" on how to know themselves, make wise decisions, and function in relationships with integrity, self-esteem, grace, and character. LWF: How did Darling come to fruition? DM: I was really inspired by author Wendy Shalit and her book, “A Return to Modesty,” which is a fascinating exploration on the state of the modern woman, men, chivalry, modesty, and sexuality. After experiencing personal and relational difficulties myself, and observing many women around me struggling with dating, emotional baggage, self-esteem, body issues and life purpose, I wanted to create the magazine I wish I had during the formative years of my life. My friend and Co-Creator of Darling Kelli Lane and I spent two years developing the foundation of Darling, then recruited six more girls to join us for weekly meetings of content development for another year; then we launched the website on 11.11.11, let that build for around 9 months, and put out our first print issue in September 2012! Now we have over 75 contributors in the U.S. and several countries around the world, and are currently selling Issue No. 2, available this December. LWF: How does the Darling team get inspired daily? DM: We are constantly intentional about having deep conversations and asking good questions of other women in our lives. We feel that women embody a special sensitivity to the world around them, and therefore can speak well to issues currently going on in culture and the world. In asking our friends what they feel are the pressing issues of the day, we come up with content for the magazine. In order to come up with photo shoot ideas and other visual inspiration, I personally also read a lot of books (mostly fantastical fiction-type stories mixed with women's issues books), watch a lot of movies, and get out in nature to be inspired by the stillness and beauty of the world. LWF: Any other thoughts you would like to tell our readers? DM: If you have a dream, go for it! If something burns on your heart, don't ignore it. Pursue what you have to in order to make a change in your small corner of the world. Also remember: Only action is real, and ideas belong to the people that execute them, not talk about them. Lastly, don't be afraid to fail. If you do, you will only learn—as often our failures lead us to our greatest successes, and mature us to become the person we need to be to handle the dream that will succeed. Lastly, you are beautiful, talented and unique. No one can make the difference that you can. Know your worth and speak worth into those around you! Thanks Darling Magazine for the amazing interview! If you've fallen in love with Darling Magazine like I did and want to see more you should check out their website and order yourself this amazing Winter Issue (makes a great gift!).
I'm so excited about this feature on Ashley of Lovelock & Co.. Not only is she a talented blogger & photographer, but also our newest contributor!
I thought you all would want to get to know her a bit so I asked her if she would write a piece on who she is, what she does, and what inspires her. Stay tuned because Ash will be posting new pieces on Inspiration Den every couple of weeks, everything from Fashion and Design to pretty much anything that inspires her.
My biggest inspiration has always come from the idea that things don’t have to be unlovely. I’m sort of a reactor - if you say it’s ugly, I’ll want to show you how it isn’t or I'll work on improving it until it isn’t. I love the potential in everything. A house or person doesn’t have to be naturally glamorous to look the best they themselves can look – you can make improvements on anything. On the opposite side of things, I also think it’s also important to be content with the unique imperfections that come along with design or photography. Work with what you got, right?!
LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber Dunstan) AW: Ashley Wingo (Lovelock & Co.) LWF: Who are your favorite designers? AW: My long term love has been Ralph Lauren (literally since I was a kid). More recent crushes include Kelly Wearstler + Victoria Beckham. I find that I’m not really ever “sold” on one specific person or all their work – I just appreciate or are inspired by different aspects about each of them. LWF: How do you juggle a family, photography business and blogging? AW: Honestly, I don’t sleep enough! I try to just focus on one thing at a time, during the weekdays, it’s mainly just the kids + the personal blog, I work every night and weekends on the business. It’s definitely juggling, and tiring, but so worth it.
LWF: What is currently your favorite outfit & piece of home decor? AW: My emerald lace dress + glossy black pumps. (Ironically I bought it about 4 days before Pantone’s announcement.) For seasonal home décor, it’s my Christmas tree. It instantly upped that feeling of home. Besides the tree, I kinda have a chair obsession, and my pair of wingbacks (ironically also in emerald) definitely fits the bill of “favs”.
Thank You Ashley for sharing with us, I LOVE those antlers & wingback chairs! Can't wait for further entries from you! You can also follow Ashley of Lovelock Here. We are always interested in getting feedback from our readers on Inspiration Den, let us know if there are any topics you would like us to cover, or if you just have a simple comment go ahead and post below or email us and we will get back to you.