On Easter and Salvation

Easter and Salvation and the Hope of Jesus by Lesley Myrick Art and Design
I am ashamed to admit that I was hesitant about posting anything relating to Good Friday or Easter, because sometimes I think I'm crazy to believe in Jesus and am afraid of what others might think of me.

And that, friends, is embarrassing. I'm embarrassed with myself for wanting to keep that very real and very deep part of my life to myself because of my unfounded fears. Loving God and living for Him is nothing to be ashamed of.

He should be ashamed of me.

God, I'm sorry that I am ashamed of you, and that I didn't want to speak your truth. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It's only because of YOU that I have life. You've given me this mouthpiece - this blog that reaches many - and I failed to respond when you asked me to speak your truth and be a beacon to others.

When my brother died last November, the only thing that got me through that horrific time was the peace and love I truly felt from God. I honestly don't know how anyone survives a tragedy like that without the Holy Spirit being with them. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without Jesus. I know that I wouldn't have been able to cope without the hope He offers. It's easy to feel hopeless in dark times, but with Jesus, there is hope.

Jesus died on the cross for us. He shed his blood for each and every one of us, to save us from a life of sin and separation from God. (I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. Here is one recorded account, if you're interested, in Matthew 26 - 27.)

Easter is a beautiful time. It's a celebration of hope, a celebration of life, and celebration of redemption. We are redeemed because of Jesus Christ. Our lives have value, our stories matter, because of Jesus.

Good Friday is a day to remember to crucifixion of Christ. A day where hope appeared dashed. A day of darkness. We all go through days of darkness when our hopes appear dashed, too.

And then comes Easter Sunday - the sunshine after the storm, the celebration of the miraculous resurrection of Jesus. He poured his love out on the cross, and we are redeemed too.

These words about Easter from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary struck me hard the other day: "A day to remember that what appears to be Hope dashed is actually Love poured out. Redemption is sneaky like that." 

You are loved. There is hope. This is truth.

Happy Easter, friends. 

PS. Thank you Kelli and Danni for your inspiring and encouraging Easter posts - it was reading your words yesterday that encouraged me to write my own. 


Try Something New: Download a Free Audiobook

Try Something New - Download a Free Audiobook
Image source unknown.

So. Audiobooks. They're pretty much my favorite thing for commuting! I drive about 80 miles a day for work (that's about 128 kilometers for my Canadian friends) and listening to the same old music gets tiring. Podcasts are great, but I'll easily burn through a couple a day during my 90+ minutes in the car.

Here's something I discovered just recently...did you know you can download free audiobooks from your local library?


Not only do libraries carry hard copies of audiobooks on CD that you can import into iTunes, but many libraries have online portals (like my local library here in Pasadena) where you can log in from home and download the titles right to your computer. You don't even have to leave the house, people!

I'm currently listening to Shopaholic and Baby (I know, total guilty pleasure) and next up is Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment. I've also listened to all 3 books in the Hunger Games series, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (such a great book!) - all by downloading them for free.

This weekend, why not try something new and download a free audiobook?

Happy Friday!

PS. Join me every Friday and try something new, won't you?  

Lovely Web Links: March 28, 2013

Relax via Tobi Fairley on Lovely Web Links + "I’m just a perfectionist, so not perfect = failure and  never perfect = always a failure". Tobi Fairley shares her thoughts on how to relax about perfectionism.

+ Should you be using Google Plus? If you're a blogger, the answer is yes.

+ This is a total game changer for productivity.

+ How do you organize your files?

+ Stop emulating the successes of others. Produce your own success story.

+ If you're a blogger, you'd better innovate or evaporate.

And just for fun...

+ Hilarious infomercial GIF's.

+ If you're a fan of late 90's music (it's my favorite!), this video is awesome. Dan Wilson of Semisonic talks about his band's biggest hit, Closing Time, and reveals that it's not actually about being bounced from a bar...it's about babies. LOVE.

Happy Thursday!

PS. Want more great stuff to read? Find all the past Lovely Web Links here.

Details Make the Difference

“We must occasionally remind ourselves of our brief visit on this planet. Shouldn’t we try to express ourselves clearly, make a personal stamp on our environment, and pay attention to the details that make the difference?” - Charlotte Moss via Design for Mankind

Happy Monday!

Image via Lonny.

Try Something New: Have Your Photo Taken

Try Something New - Have Your Photo Taken
It's so valuable to try something new and stretch yourself beyond your boundaries. This week, why not have your photo taken professionally? If you use any sort of social media channel (be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or a blog), having a great profile picture can elevate your page to a new level of professionalism. This is especially important for bloggers or indie business owners, as your profile photo is one of the first things your audience sees and uses to form an opinion of you, your brand, and your products and services.

My profile picture, currently in the left sidebar, is, well, not great. (Viewing this in a reader? Hop on over to the blog to see.) The fact that it's a self-portrait with an iPhone reflection in the mirror ain't so professional. So this weekend, I partnered with the lovely Kari Dirksen to have some brand new headshots taken. I can't wait to share them in a few weeks!

Don't think you have the budget for pro photos? Many photographers offer short "lifestyle shoots" at a reasonable price; you can work with a creative friend who has an eye for photography; or you can find a photographer who's just starting out and looking to build their portfolio. Either way, it pays to ask around for recommendations - send out a Tweet or Facebook post and see what happens. 

You're worth it, girl. Go get a professional profile picture taken that shows you take yourself seriously (but not too seriously, of course!).

Happy Weekend!

Photo via Kelly Murray.

Lovely Web Links: March 21, 2013

Lovely Web Links - 500 Square Foot Apartment
Short but sweet, and better late than never - here are this week's lovely web links!

+ This 500 square-foot apartment is so inspiring! (It looks huge, doesn't it?)

+ Bloggers and indie biz owners, don't be afraid of stats and analytics! Here are the basics of using Google Analytics to grow your business

+ Simple and lovely ways to update your home for spring.

+ My friend Cori has such a strong eye for graphics and layouts. I love her post about pairing florals with interiors.

+ I'm trying to eat healthier and get in better shape. This post from Bri has been super encouraging. (The post is a couple of years old, but definitely chock full 'o wisdom!)

+ Here's a great free app for adding lettering to your Instagram photos.

What's caught your eye around the interwebs this week?

Happy Thursday!

Art Directing + Styling for 55 Downing Street

Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick My business tag line has been "Artist. Designer. Adventurer." for years. It's short and sweet because if I got specific with all the creative endeavors I dip my toes in, the list would be really, really long! Here's a peek into some recent art directing and styling I've been doing for 55 Downing Street, one of Lamps Plus' companies. (I really do have the coolest day job. Seriously.)
Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick Styling by Interior Desginer Lesley Myrick
I love styling photo shoots - it's like real-life collage art! It's such a unique and challenging creative process to visualize a concept, move and layer every piece into the perfect position for a photo, and capture on camera the idea in your mind's eye. 

Challenge accepted.

Some of these sale events are still live on the site, so go take a peek! (Tell 'em Lesley sent you.)

Happy Monday!

Try Something New: Buy the Perfect Pen

Try Something New - Buy the Perfect Pen
I am the first to admit that I am a total pen snob. Plain 'ol ballpoints just won't do. At work, I buy my own pens and bring them in - my employer won't support my elitist (and sometimes expensive) pen habit. Ha. 

So this weekend, why not try something new and buy the perfect pen for yourself? This may involve a trip to an art supply or office supply store to try them all out - but doesn't that sound like the perfect Saturday anyway?

My current pen is this Sharpie Pen - it writes beautifully and it won't bleed through the pages of a Moleskine notebook (pretty much a pen essential, in my case). But my all-time favorite - and the pen I will return to purchasing once my Sharpie Pen supply runs out - is the Pilot G-2 0.38 in black. (Black. Always black!)

I know I 'm not the only pen snob out there - what's your favorite? 

Happy Friday!

PS. Join me every Friday and try something new, won't you?

Lovely Web Links: March 14, 2013

Lovely Web Links Featuring Kate Winslet in Harpers Bazaar
+ Love these photos of Kate Winslet with a rock 'n roll vibe in the UK Harper's Bazaar via GlitterGuide.

+ Did you hear that Google Reader is getting canned? I'm bummed - I love it and it's such a useful tool! I'm going to try switching to Feedly. Here's how to transition to Feedly, and some additional tips for Google Reader users migrating to Feedly,

+ Looking for blogging inspiration? Step away from the computer.

+ Pinterest has finally implemented analytics! If "analytics" is a foreign word for you, Marie explains what it is and how to take advantage of it.

+ Jess Lively has great productivity tips, including this one: batch the crap.

+ Modern mobile etiquette: don't leave me a voicemail unless you're dying. Do you agree? (Via Marni Katz.)

+ Did you know you can pay to promote your blog on Facebook? I haven't tried it yet, but Danielle's results are pretty impressive!

+ Michelle Adams, Editor-in-Chief of Lonny, has a gorgeous apartment. Duh.

+ Hello, I love this desktop wallpaper!

+ Sometimes I am an omnomnomnivore.

+ Could you please take a sec and vote for me in Emily Henderson's nightstand styling contest?

And find me elsewhere on the web...

+ Featured on House Beautiful (eek!).

+ Blogging about hosting a party on a budget.

Happy Thursday!

Color Schemes Inspired by Instagram

Color Schemes Inspired by Instagram Photos
I'm kinda obsessed  with color schemes (or color palettes, if you prefer a fancier term). Rainbow hues make me happy. I love Instagram and Afterlight filtlers because they allow me to perfectly adjust the colors in a photo and bring out just the right tones. I created these color schemes from a few of my favorite photos, and they're perfect inspiration palettes for a blog makeover, art project, or for home decorating. Enjoy!
Color Schemes Inspired by Colorful Instagram Photos
Color Schemes Inspired by Vintage Instagram Photos
Color Schemes Inspired by Instagram Photos of the Sky
Color Schemes Inspired by Coffee
Which one's your favorite?

Happy Wednesday!

Emily Henderson's Nightstand Styling Contest

Vote for Lesley Myrick on Emily Henderson and Serena & Lilys Nightstand Styling Contest
Good morning friends! I would so, SO appreciate it if you would take a sec to hop on over to Emily Henderson's Facebook page to vote for my photo! Em has teamed up with Serena & Lily for a nightstand styling contest, and the photo with the most votes wins a pair of adorable nightstands. I so love the aqua nesting tables that are up for grabs! I commandeered Nate's nightstand when he wasn't home (ha!) and whipped up the pretty little vignette you see above using bits and pieces from around the house. I think the mix of brass, vintage accessories, original artwork, and pops of color really makes it a standout entry in the contest.

Like what you see? Here's where you can vote for me.  And here are all the contest details if you'd like to enter too! Thanks for all your love and support. It's like a punch of AWESOME in the face.

Happy Monday!

PS. If your nightstand (or whole home) could use a little love, let's chat about virtual design consulting!

Try Something New: Create A Secret Board on Pinterest

Try Something New - Create A Secret Board on Pinterest

It's Friday, the free-and-easy weekend is ahead, and it's time to try something new! 

While I'm sure Pinterest isn't new to any of you, their new "secret" boards might be. Secret boards are private boards that only you (and anyone you specifically invite) can see. While Pinterest is fantastic for sharing images with your network, it's also a great place to curate and collect ideas for future projects that need to be kept top-secret! While most of my pinboards are public, I do have 3 private boards with ideas that I'd prefer to keep under wraps: Art Ideas to Try (with techniques I plan to try in my own paintings and collages); Styling Inspiration (since part of my job is art directing and styling photo shoots, this is a valuable resource!), and Headshot Inspirations (I'm about to get new headshots taken and wanted a private way to collaborate with my photographer). I'd show them to you, but, you know, they're secret...

Have fun this weekend creating a secret board to bookmark dreams, ideas,and inspirations that are just for you. And come back every Friday to try something new with me.

Happy Friday!

2013 Design Bloggers Conference Recap

2013 Design Bloggers Conference Recap by Lesley Myrick
I feel incredibly fortunate to live in Los Angeles, especially when I get the opportunity to attend events like the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference! Lamps Plus (my rad day job) sponsored 5 scholarships for the event, and a few of our savvy team members were in attendance to rub elbows with designers (aka. make new friends), film videos, and soak up the wisdom of seasoned bloggers and professionals like Tobi Fairley, Barbara Barry, and Susanna Salk.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a minute of video is worth a million...so check out this highlight video (featuring yours truly!) for a taste of the conference.
Here are a few of my favorite snapshots from the DBC (via my Instagram, and Lamps Plus' too):
DBC 2013 Lesley Myrick Interviewing Leslie Carothers
Interviewing social media guru Leslie Carothers of The Kaliedoscope Partnership.
HGTVs Laurie March and Virginia Switzer Moon Being super classy with HGTV's Laurie March and Virginia Switzer Moon.
2013 Design Bloggers Conference Closing Reception
Enjoying a 'lil cocktail at the closing night reception, hosted by Harbinger LA.
Lamps Plus Gift Bags for Design Bloggers Conference

How cute are these gift bags?
Celebrating a job well done with my colleague Michael Murphy and our fantastic camera crew.

One of the highlights of the conference was hearing interior design legend Barbary Barry speak. Her approach to seeking out and seeing beauty in the everyday and trusting your gut as a designer spoke to me on such a core level. (I liked her so much, I immediately ordered her book!) During her talk, one line really stuck out to me - "our emotions don't need an education". What a beautiful and graceful reminder to trust your gut, not only in interior design, but in life.  

The Design Bloggers Conference is just one of many events for designers and bloggers out there. Have you attended a blog conference like Alt Summit, BlogHer, or the DBC before? What was the most valuable takeaway you got from it?

Happy Friday!

Lovely Web Links: March 7, 2013

Lovely Web Links Featuring Kelly Wearstler
Holy moly, where has this week gone? Lovely Web Links is a little late today because I've been trying to catch my breath since the Design Bloggers Conference earlier this week! I'll be sharing a recap of the conference tomorrow, but in the meantime, enjoy the links!

+ Kelly Wearstler's eye for pattern and color punches me in the face with awesome.

+ A super useful post for DIY decorators from my new friend Michaela Noelle, who I met at the Design Bloggers Conference: how to build a living room from the ground up.

+ Make quick category galleries with Blogger! This is next on my to-do list today. 

+ All about quotes, accents, and how to type special characters. So useful! (Especially since my highschool nickname was  Lé, and I've never known how to properly type it on a Mac keyboard.)

+ More font fun - a great web font roundup from Brianna Rose.

+ Networking doesn't have to be sleazy! Here are 8 keys to making lasting online connections.

+ Bloggers, here's what you REALLY need to know about photos and copyright.

Happy Thursday!

Sign Up for Free Goodies!

Mailing Supplies by Instapam
See that fancy teal bar at the top of the page? (If you're viewing this in a reader, hop on over to the blog to see!) I'm launching a monthly newsletter with sneak-peeks, news and freebies (like iPhone and iPad wallpapers, printables, and more) - so click the link up there to join the club! The first newsletter will be coming your way shortly, so don't miss out! (Hint - subscribers will be getting a sweet digital download of a brand new collage...)

Happy Monday, and thanks for the e-love!

Try Something New: Pick Up a Paintbrush

Try Something New - Pick Up a Paintbrush
Ready to try something new this weekend? It may sound obvious, but why not just pick up a paintbrush and have some fun with paint?

Here's a little back story on this one: above is a photo of two in-progress paintings I've been working on for over a year. Yes, you read that right - OVER A YEAR. I started them in January 2012, and they've been leaning against a wall staring at me for 13 months. I don't paint a lot, so it's a little intimidating. And as usual, the perfectionist in me was afraid to try and fail. I've been trying to decide how to move forward with these for a year.

This week at work, I've had the privilege of working with a very talented decorative artist on a couple of sets I've designed for photo shoots. I was chatting with her the other day while she was working and marveled at how brave she was just to go for it - to apply paint to the wall without hesitation or fear, without being totally confident of the outcome. Do you know what her response was?

"It's just paint. I can always paint over it."

This statement, which I'm sure is rather obvious to most, was quite groundbreaking and liberating to me. So I grabbed my brushes and those two canvases. And I started painting. And I didn't love it. So I painted over it. And I'll keep going until they're done. 

Hello, my name is Lesley and I'm humbly trying something new. Join me every weekend and try something new too, won't you? 

Happy Friday!

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