San Diego

11:00 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I recently took a look back at photos from our 2009 Honeymoon in San Diego. Suddenly I was seeing so much potential in them, and these are a few of my favorites. The above photos are from Ocean Beach. The last in this set is printed and waiting for a frame at our house.

We loved Ocean Beach! There are so many surfers, and with an excellent telephoto lens, we were able to see up close. I hope to find a place to hang this in our house, but for now it remains digital. (also at Ocean Beach)
Surfing is on my bucket list, but as soon as I stuck my toe in the Pacific, I chickened out. If you have never been in the pacific, it's least in May in San Diego it is!

rator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> This pier was a quick walk from our hotel. San Diego is GREAT for walking. We walked most places, and never broke a sweat. A couple of times we made a two mile trek to Balboa Park, walked around there, then walked the 2 miles back, and never sweat. Ever. By April in Houston I step outside and instantly sweat. These Wieses love San Diego!
And my favorite photo is below. I'm proud that I took it. This photo is a place on the edge of Balboa. I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of the city with perfect weather!


Merry Christmas!

10:00 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

The week after Thanksgiving, Dan and I went to downtown Houston to take some photos. We didn't get any variety in location since we were setting a tripod up far enough away that someone could grab it.
I always love photos in places with... "character"...
Some call them rundown, others think they may be a bit dangerous, but I love the juxtaposition of old rundown surroundings and intentional outfits. A dream of mine is to photograph a woman in a beautiful gown in a decaying building.
These are photos for Christmas cards. I love them and wanted to print a lot out, but alas, I do not want to see myself all over this house.

I hope you have a Happy Christmas and enjoy time with your family! Here is our Christmas greeting from the Wieses to you:


11:00 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I love the Christmas season! The lights, giving, and cool weather (sometimes) that make this season great! I especially love the break in summer heat that makes you want to sit close to your loved ones, and bundle up for a movie. Add a Caramel Macchiato to the equation and you have perfection!
With all of that said, I thought I'd share some of the Christmas decor around our house!


1:00 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

     We have a little photo station set up for those who visit us this Christmas season! I couldn't resist "testing" it!


Golden Jars - Create It Yourself

7:56 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

    Christmas is at our house this year, and we're super excited. To make it special I wanted to have    
    place settings for everybody. I've been saving glass jars and bottles for a while, planning to do 
    something with them, and I finally figured out the perfect use.
    Here is how to complete this project:
    1. Scrub EVERY bit of the wrapper and glue off of your jars/bottles. Hot water helps get 
    the glue off. 
          *Paint is not a cover up, if anything, it emphasizes any glue or wrapper left on the bottle.
    2. Once they're dry, use blue tape to cover areas you don't want painted. Some of my jars have 
    patterns, and I tried to make others look like they were dipped in gold.
    3. Paint.  (I used a gold metallic spray paint, but you can use whatever you want)
      - Cover a large area with plastic, because spray paint spreads especially when it's windy. 
      - Be sure to cover the opening of the bottle so paint doesn't get inside.
      - The first coat of spray paint should not be the last. Spray painting is better with multiple 
         thin coats. 
      - Wait 15 minutes between each coat, and let dry for 30 minutes before handling it.
    4. Remove tape once jars dry, and display.

    The photo above is an example of what happens when you don't aim.

This is not the complete place setting, but it is a complete jar.
Did I mention I'm excited about Christmas? I AM!


Photo Shannanigans

1:56 PM Mallory Nicole 2 Comments

The Wiese side of my family took photos on Thanksgiving day. I was put in charge, and super's fun designing something personal to you.

This is the final Christmas cards, though the colors are a bit washed out here.
Some of my other favorites are below.

My favorite part of the top photo is probably Mom and Dad Wiese.

Yes, my husband is the one doing some sort of weird "model" pose. If you were to expand this frame to the left you would see me making the same face as my SIL Amy. 

And last but not least, the Wiese brothers. This is my joke Christmas card, the Wiese brothers at their finest. This photo was inspired by awkward family photos. :D

Next week I'm going to make Dan take photos with me...using a remote to shoot. It'll be interesting...

Hope you had a Thanksgiving as fun as we did!


Happy Thanksgiving!

12:23 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

            This Thanksgiving, give grace, practice love and imagine peace.
            Hope you all have a splendid Thanksgiving with plenty of pumpkin pie!


A Quiet Focus

8:31 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I've been quiet. At first I was lacking inspiration and motivation, but since I've been illustrating. It's been good. I'm going back and forth on a poster design for making pumpkin pie. I have focused on illustrating the ingredients and have not worked on an actual design yet.

Yesterday and today I'm working on Christmas cards. I'd really like to design for specific people, but in the mean time I'll work on ideas in my head. I have a plan for my family's card, but I need to scope out a place for a photo.

Eventually I will show you a graduation announcement I created for a friend. I need to take some photos of it.

I hope all of you are getting ready for Thanksgiving and excited for a very full December.
Do you have favorite traditions?


To Belong

3:10 PM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

Today, I've been thinking about "belonging." I've had times when I felt like I fit perfectly, and times when I wonder if anyone can truly understand me. And I am sure that everyone has gone through this.
When I was in elementary school, I was pretty popular in my class but did not care, my only concern was imagining with friends. In Middle School, well, everyone was awkward, and I don't think I ever really truly felt like I didn't belong.
In High School I was fine, until my senior year when I slowly lost friends for reasons unknown to me. I found myself in tears with the feelings of loneliness. I'm not looking for pity, everyone has gone through it, and honestly, my life was not meant to intertwine with those girls any longer.
Generally, I felt like I had a place in grade school, and now I know it is because I was a complete reflection of my parents. I didn't know who I was separate from them, and a lot of that is due to my fear of being a nuisance to I was (and often still am) compliant and a dim version of myself.
College is the best time for self discovery! Being weird or quirky is encouraged by your peers, and I found plenty of life long friends there who saw a brighter version of me.
Now...well, I'm an adult. And often there are expectations about what an "adult" does and is. It doesn't escape me! It is funny that I feel the least comfortable with myself as an adult. In some crowds I feel like I'm "rebellious" with teal hair, and strange thoughts about life. In others groups of people I find myself in, I'm just normal.
In an attempt for creative inspiration I was listening to Vice Verses by Switchfoot. Some lyrics in "Where I Belong" say:

When I reach the other side/I want to look You in the eye/And know that I've arrived/In a world where I belong

It occurs to me that I'll never belong, because I'm supposed to feel out of place in this world.

I don't belong here.



Love and Stuff

1:09 PM Mallory Nicole 3 Comments

If you don't like "mushy" things...stop reading now. :D

Daniel at his Mustache themed birthday party.

Last night, as Daniel let himself give in to sleep, I found myself wide awake, captured in thought by an overactive brain. These thoughts were not worrisome, but pleasant...they were about my husband. So, I wanted to brag about him:
- For over a year at the beginning of our marriage, I brought work baggage home, and complained a lot...took out my frustrations on him. He was patient with me all of that time, never pointing out how flawed my response was to a bad work situation. Even now, when I apologize repeatedly for that time in our life, he will shrug it off as if it was nothing.
- When I make up songs as I go about chores, he manages to harmonize with me. I don't know's like he knows what I'm about to sing.
- Only two people express support of my art, and make me feel proud of it, and he consistently does that. As an artist you can be self-conscious, because there is no clear answer, but he gives me confidence and assures me that he is not biased.
- He graciously puts up with my obsessions...and they can change in a matter of hours. One day I can be obsessed with Abbey Lee Kershaw, the next morning babies, a week later Vampire Diaries (it's a guilty pleasure...) and suddenly I could not care less about those, and I'll be all about Blythe Dolls.
- Daniel never pressures me about a conventional job. He supports me completely (more than I do myself) in freelancing. And though he realizes that my imagination is large, he knows I have a grasp on reality and will find something more conventional when we need it.
- He's silly. And releases the silliness in me. And he laughs with me. Instead of giving my a "you're crazy" look, he goes along with it.

Basically, he's the most awesome person I know. And I need to find ways to pay him back for the love, patience and joy he gives me.

There is no haze clouding the reality of how amazing Daniel is!


French Fries & Fur Photoshoot

9:47 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I've been VERY quiet lately. I was busy painting a breakfast room, and sitting on a couch. :D
I found out the hard way that unless your walls are pure white, yellow is not an easy color to paint. My walls were already pretty light, so I thought I didn't need primer. Well, I did. So, always use primer while painting a light color!
The real reason I wanted to post today is because I had the opportunity to watch my friend's dreams come true. She is starting a vintage line and I got to help her with a photo shoot she set up. Be on the lookout for French Fries & Fur! Especially if you like to mix things up! The model she choose suits her vision perfectly and the locations were some of my favorite: Hermann park and Montrose. Some sneak peeks are below...just iPhone photos. Nothing fancy! And the photographer is awesome, too! Can't wait to see the editted film. Yes, she uses film! I'm in love.

Photos of Leah and her model & Agora Cafe


Textured Painting DIY

1:56 PM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

 I know...two DIY posts in one week! But it's been a productive week!

Some rooms have been neglected in my house. One in particular is the guest room, and we hate the idea that people stay with us, and the room has no mood whatsoever. With our state of finances, and the free time I am endowed with, I have to make decorations. FINE BY ME!
I wanted to create a geometric painting (it has no significance), but didn't want a flat piece. So i created some texture. Here's how you can do it:
1. Use a flat edge to spread spackle on your canvas. (A metal spatula is best, if you have one. I figured out where mine was hidden AFTER I applied spackle.) It's up to you how much or little you apply. Remember, the more you put on, the more little crevices you will have to work at getting paint into.
2. Once the spackle has dried (it should be white when it is dry), apply the background color. I used a heavy acrylic paint. The crevices will be difficult, make sure you take a small brush, if necessary, to fill in tighter areas.
If you're layering paints (as I am) it is important to remember that it is easier to cover light colors with dark, so paint the light color first. 
3. Let your paint dry really well. You don't want colors to smear together just because the base wasn't dry yet.

4. If you are looking for a more precise painting, draw out shapes you'll be using. I was really hoping for a specific sized triangle, so I made my measurements and drew them accordingly.
5. Cut out shapes.
6. Place cut out shape in desired place. Trace. 
7. Paint the edges first. If you are not adding texture, you can use blue tape to keep a straight edge. With all of the spackle on this canvas I had to just go very slowly, and embrace little mistakes.
8. Fill in shapes with paint. You may have to go over some areas again.

Now I have to get another canvas to paint and hang above the other lamp (not pictured). The guest room is getting a little more personality...we just need to invest in a comforter, instead of using a quilt that doesn't match!
Good luck painting!


Create It Yourself

7:43 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

My guestroom needed a little something. It has been neglected since I never use it. 

I used blue tape to create a grid on the wall. If you get 1 inch thick tape then that can be used as a spacer between the photos. Put two long strips on the horizontal and vertical center, and from there use small pieces of tape in between photos. Make sure you use lots of double sided tape so the photos don't fall...I've had to redo my wall because I didn't use enough tape.

I didn't want any sort of permanent fixture, because as more photos were taken I wanted to switch them out. So, I may end up putting photo corners on a poster board and slide the photos in that.

All of these photos were taken with my iPhone using Instagram or Hipstamatic. I love these apps...any time I can have the look of analog, I'm happy!


Photo Book

8:59 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I've never been one for photo least not the ones that photos slide in and out. It' s not the slide factor that bugs me, it's how they don't say much about what is in the photos.
Book cover - Photo from Smilebooth

So I'm creating a photo book of 2011. I don't want just photos, but what this year is like. What photos were "iconic," the goals we had for this year and anything that will remind us of who we were when we look back at this book in 2061.
 So, you can get them printed at blurb, with options for sizes and soft or hard cover. Obviously, I can't get it printed yet, because I still have 2.5 months left of this year. But it is fun to continue working on!
Most importantly, don't just let your photos sit on your computer forever, forgotten and lost!
Where is your favorite place to keep photos?


Time Well Spent

2:10 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

It is weird that going home by myself just made me feel like I was on Spring Break during my early college years. I didn't have to miss Daniel, because it was like being in another part of my life.
These photos are some of my favorite moments at home.
Photo 1: Never EVER estimate the will of Becky Buck (my mom); if she thinks something needs to get done, it will! In this case, a fake tree on this ledge, only reachable by one of those giant ladders, needs to come down. Of course, her thought is, those ladders are too troublesome to actually use. Solution? Tip over tree with 20ft pole. What you are seeing is what happens when you tip hangs upside down. And I'm smart enough to know that she'll drop it on my head if I get near it. So I just take a picture. 20 seconds after this photo the tree falls to the floor, almost flatting my dog, while my mom and I crack up at the clumsy take down of that tree. My dad rolled his eyes when we told him.

Photo 2: My dad looks like he's concentrating on something REALLY important. He's really just watching CSI.

Photo 3: Samson has no issue posing, much to the envy of my mom. I saw a basket, and thought "Puppy in a basket? Why not?"
Last week was full of pretty good laughs. My mom is funny!

I really look forward to showing you a couple of projects I've been working on!


A Glimpse of Truth?

4:38 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

 Often I cannot easily relay a dream to someone else, as I'm sure many have trouble, mostly due to being in one place, and suddenly we're in another. As I thought about it, I realized that our subconscious may be able to grasp a lack of time.

If God exists outside of time, if it is just part of the curse that man took when they fell in the Garden of Eden, then reality is eternity and a lack of time. Maybe our subconscious is the only part of us that can grasp this. Maybe our dreams are the only place where we can fathom things that rationalization hinders.

These are the thoughts that the name of this blog comes from.

By the way, I dream A LOT. I have a couple of dreams a night. Sometimes 4.

Do you have crazy dreams that you understand while having them, but the more you go through your day, the foggier they get?


On an Adventure

6:32 PM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

Oh! Hello! I'm currently in San Antonio! I'll be a bit sporadic this week with all of the box moving I'm helping my mom with. My parents are about to build a custom home, and are currently moving out of the house I lived in for the longest amount of time. It's weird...mostly because nothing about San Antonio will be familiar any more.

But I do enjoy giving my parents some quality time with me. Not that I'm the most delightful person, but my parents seem to favor me. Weird.

I did have a thought this weekend, and I'm curious to hear what you guys think, so I'll be posting it later this week!

Think positive this week! Give a compliment to someone who doesn't normally hear your accolades! 


Running Thoughts

8:52 AM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

Looking for a job these days is hard enough, but when you decide to become a freelance designer you can be at a loss. How do you find contract work when your one of your previous employers is asking you for volunteer work, and the other doesn't pay vendors? How do you use your contacts when you mostly know teachers? I'd be lying if I said I have complete confidence in what I am attempting. I have goals for the next year: buy a car, go to the Mediterranean, make extra payments on my house, and many others. And I'm not one to have debts, so when I consider all of these thing, a tightness fills my chest.
In my 6 weeks out of work, I have remained calm, kept worry at bay, but it's starting to haunt me. But I have faith that God provides and He will provide enough for us to eat and live. So, I push that worry away not to disappoint Him.
If you need a wedding announcement, baby announcement, invitations, or anything creative...a piece of art you'd like can contact me. My portfolio link is to the left, check it out!


Musically Transformed

11:22 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

This girl is EXCITED! The new Switchfoot album came out today. This is their 8th album, and I'm always excited to hear what Switchfoot will do with their new album.

The lyrics Jon Foreman writes always move me, inspire me to change, and break me out of complacency; I look forward to being inspired by this album!

Go buy it! The two albums before this one are awesome (Hello Hurricane and Oh! Gravity.) so you should check out those, too.


Trash or Treasure

8:40 AM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

Truth is, these trays were never trash...BUT they lacked personality, and I just couldn't have that. Want to know how to create a custom stencil? Freezer paper!
1. Draw your design on a freezer paper. (rough side, not glossy)
2. Cut out design. It can get a little confusing keeping track of what to throw away, and what to keep. I'd suggest coloring in the part you want to throw away before you start cutting to keep track of what you're doing.
3. Iron on the stencil. That's right...iron. The glossy side will stick.
4. Paint. I like to use a foam brush to dab, because I found that some areas of the freezer paper don't stick perfectly. If you dab, you'll be less likely to have bleeding under the stencil. You can also spray paint. I didn't this time, cause I didn't have the color I wanted.
5. Carefully peel the paper up. I like to wait til the paint is partially dry, but not totally dry, cause the paint may peel up.

I wanted to add stripes for a little more color and fun. I used painters tape to add the stripes. Some surfaces (like the tray table) that are used as a table top will need a protective clear coating to help it stay. The acrylic paint can peel off.

Today I'm going to paint a chevron pattern onto another of the tray tables.

Have you ever created your own stencil? If so, what did you use to create it?


Home Is Where Howl Is

11:58 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I created this drawing in April or May of this year, and I can easily say it is the one I'm most proud of. I spent time adding detail to it, and I was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones, to create it. The book Howl's Moving Castle is great, and the movie based off of it is beautifully illustrated. To reference the book, I placed "Howl" in the drawing.

So, go read the book, watch the movie...will you be swayed to watch it, if I tell you Christian Bale is the voice of Howl?

Do you have a favorite author?


Musically Transformed

1:32 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

Have you ever found yourself lost in a daydream when a song or artist is played? Every time I listen to Eisely, I am caught in some sort of daydream world; things of myth and story make their way into the lyrics, and life is breathed into them by the harmonies of Stacy and Sherri.
I usually choose my music by sing-alongability (though lyrics can be just as important), and most of the time I can’t decide if I want to sing melody or harmony to Eisley songs. It is a happy dilemna!
The magic of the words inspired me so much that I based a project during my college years off of their lyrics “I glimpsed a bat with butterfly wing, oh what Marvelous Things.”
If you haven’t heard them, you should!
Is there an artist, song, or genre that gives you a different perspective on the world?


Daydreaming of Autumn

8:34 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

I have always enjoyed the change of the season, whether it's winter to spring, spring to on...I love it. But every year when September rolls in I get excited for Pumpkin Pie, coffee (it's just better in the fall), cooler temperatures (80 degrees rather than 100 degrees) and fall fashion.

The rich colors set the mood for the season, and I love the ability to experiment with layering and to be able to dress according to my mood. That's what I love most about Fashion, I can dress how I feel.

Photo Sources at the bottom of this post.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5


12:37 PM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

top-left: A drawing I created based off of one of my favorite books/movies, Howl's Moving Castle.
top-right: A series of drawings I create for Daniel, each a different version/style of us. Zombies, Anime, so on.
bottom-left: These are Munny, you can paint them, draw on them, glue things to them. They are going to spell
    out W-I-E-S-E...I need three more...and will go on our mantle.
     bottom-right: One of our tray tables (unfinished). They need a bit more flair and personality.

For the past few weeks I've been thinking about the definition of design. The fact is the rules for design change as our generations change. Bauhaus deemed certain qualities as more desirable than others. Postmodernism went the exact opposite way.

I've concluded that design is personal. So design for your life.

Since I have design experience and believe that handmade elements are important in design, I have spent time making my home a representation of who Daniel and I are together.

I realize that not everyone feels they're capable of making something their own. That's why designers get paid to help visualize. If you ever hire a designer, they should make sure the piece reflects you (or your target audience, if that's the case). 

    These little photos are pieces of me.
    top-left: chalkboard wall in my studio
    top-right: stripes I painted on my Ikea dresser. I'm really happy about the added personality.
    bottom-left: word wall. Inspiring words that speak to me are added onto this wall. It is something I plan on
    adding onto as words come.
    bottom-right: the pink lady.

We were made uniquely, and we insult a creative God if we hide under expectations.

So this weekend - Express YOURSELF!


9:49 AM Mallory Nicole 1 Comments

A friend once told me that works of literature are prophesies of the future. That has long stuck in my mind. As a lover of works of fantasy, I often hope that the fictional pieces I read have some truth, but know that there probably isn't a Hogwarts. Some books, though, seem like a more accurate prediction of our future society and world, often spinning a bleak state of living, a lack of freedom.
The Hunger Games are one of those bits of literature.  It is important to read literature like this, with an open mind, interpreting and comparing them to present times.
Have you read this series yet? So good!
I know this series is meant for young adults, but what I love about it is you get straight to the story, not lost in details and the authors ramblings of what they believe (ever read the 50 page speech in Atlas Shrugged, the one that states everything the author had already said in the book?). Of course, those kinds of books are important, too, but sometimes my mind just likes a break.
While reading this series, I often thought of 1984 and Brave New World, about the control of government, and the perversion of society. It really made me think about the path our world is on. The importance of freedom. And the imperfection of all people, leaders or not.
Now that I’ve made this book sound depressing, read it. I don’t think you’ll regret it. My husband can’t even put them down. And he’s much less prone to obsession!
 What are some of your favorite books? Why?