Before and After: Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Home DecorGina HousemanComment

Ever since moving in with the Mr. last year, we've worked together to make our house (apartment) a home we both love. Here is a sneak at our kitchen remodel on a budget. We had the wood cut from Home Depot and stained them and hung them ourselves. It took 3 coats of white paint and primer to get from black chalkboard paint to white. The extra head space and the brighter colors make a huge difference in the room. Click here to see this clever slider from my clever sister.

Adventures in Global Talent Search

Products, InspirationGina HousemanComment

After 2 weeks of immersed design and many many drafts, I turned in my contest entry for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. Here it is! Cross your fingers for me that I'm chosen for Round 2!

I'm really happy with what I turned in, because it's a design I would buy, which is advice straight from Lilla. I started out with a different idea, but it just stopped working with me when I got to a certain point. Here is the direction I had to eventually abandon... it's from a memory of a place I used to visit with my family as a child called Clover Pond. This may show up on something different later on.

Adventures in Popping Up West Elm Style

Stationery, ProductsGina HousemanComment

Last weekend I had a pop-up shop with a few other Etsians at West Elm Princeton. The whole day was just lovely. The staff there were so welcoming and enthusiastic and even became a few of my customers. One look around the store makes you want all the furniture, and part of that was their expert merchandising, a skill I need to work on. They gave me a few pieces to help visually and physically elevate some products on my table and create a dynamic display. The other thing I learned was that my new product, zippered pouches made from fabric with my own designs, was a hit! I'll be making listings for them in the shop soon! Here are a few pictures from my day!

Houseplants Growing Tips

How to, Home Decor, workspaceGina HousemanComment

As you all know, I'm city livin' without a yard. Therefore all my gardening passion/efforts are going into my potted plants. It's quite satisfying to cultivate them and watch them grow. They give back in cleaner air, happier environment, as well as a calming effect. I love my plants so much I name them and talk to them on their watering schedule. I think they like it, as it reminds me to tend to them, and in the past eight months these guys have really thrived!

I love houseplants so much that I've partnered with Flora in Nashville to create this Houseplant Tip-sheet, showcasing my drawings and what I've learned about each plant so far. Kate and Kerbie of Flora are selling plants through pop-up shops around Nashville, TN in an adorable hand painted teardrop trailer! Check the calendar on their site to find their next location and get yourself a little Audrey of Frederick of your very own!

Hope you enjoyed my drawings and tips! Happy Growing! XO Gina

Adventures on the Oregon Coast

Adventure, TravelGina HousemanComment

My latest adventure was having the best time on a lush Oregon coast adventure! We stayed in a friend's amazing cabin in Arch Cove, Oregon, equipped with wood fire burning sauna, fire pit, and backyard. B and I roasted oysters and drank wine next to a burning fire while the sun set all to the soundtrack of crashing waves from the beach across the street. It was so relaxing to spend time outside and rest in an Adirondack chair with my favorite travel companion.

In the morning we headed out to hike the South Neah-Kah-Nie trail. The trail was filled with misty forest, orange newts, and more sounds of the ocean.

After the South Neah-Kah-Nie Hike we followed the advise of a fellow hiker and went in search of the crashing waves of Devil's Cauldron. It took a lot of searching and looking for the right turn off, but that just meant more hiking and taking in the lush scenery. Just look at this trail flora! Eventually we found the overlooking cliffs that simply cannot be captured accurately in a photograph. Later we found out the site is the scene of people's death, from being blown off the cliff. Eek! I'm glad we survived and made it back to the cabin where we shoved off to the next part of our adventure.

After saying goodbye to the coast we drove a quick 1.5 hrs to spend a few nights in Portland exploring the city. We visited the famous Powell bookstore and found the perfect rare book for a wedding gift, toured the food truck villages, drank Stumptown coffee, and admired the quirky style of the original Ace Hotel. I loved seeing friend's backyards with amazing Rhododendron growing naturally, next to bicycle parking, of course!

Our final leg of our Oregon adventure was heading up to Mt. Hood for some skiing and snowboarding, at the awe-inspiring Timberline Lodge. It's so fun to drive up and watch the scenery change from wet and green to snow-covered trees. At the top the mountain the wind is so cold it whipped right through the light spring clothing we were wearing. It's forever winter on top of Mt. Hood! Which means year round skiing! The runs were great and the lodge even more impressive. The Timberline Lodge has survived a very long time and it's rich history includes a closing, due to mismanagement, and reopening, from a passionate business man who loved the place, as well as being the opening scene and exterior shots of Stanely Kuberick's film, The Shining. I love the coziness of the rooms.

All in all, I loved all the Oregon landscapes! Even the city of Portland is so green and leafy and blooming! I'd go back for another adventure in a heart beat!

Adventures in growing a Fiddle-leaf Fig Tree

workspace, Home DecorGina HousemanComment

Meet Maxwell. He is my new Fiddle-leaf Fig tree. I bought him from Hirt's Gardens at a small size and am excited to watch him grow. Maxwell cost $10, arriving at 4". I let him hangout on the windowsill next to my desk for 4 days in his original pot so as not to stress him out with too many changes at once. After 4 days and no change, I put him in a pot he could grow into, as I've read that in the right conditions Fiddle-leaf Figs can grow quite rapidly. However,  I did buy him in winter, so I may need to wait until Spring to see any changes. Either way, I'm glad he is here and already adding to the health and environment of my home office. I received a few snickers from some black thumbed friends about naming him, and all the other plants, but it's known that talking to your plants helps them grow. Even it that's anecdotal, it amuses me and that's reason enough! Stay tuned for more on Maxwell.

Stretching my Adventure Legs

Travel, Adventure, InspirationGina HousemanComment

This past weekend I took my love of camping and hiking to a new level; I combined them! My expert hiker sister and her boyfriend took me and mine out for a backpacking adventure on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked in 6 miles with 30lb packs, made camp for a chilly night under the stars and then the next day moved along the trail 7.5 miles, culminating at New Jersey's highest point. After reading Bill Bryson's, A Walk In the Woods, seeing Wild on the big screen, and hearing my sister's tales about her 10 nights on the AT, my goal of doing a section hike came to life. This two day hike, one night sleep, was my way of getting my feet wet for the whole experience. It worked! I think it's adventure L-O-V-E.

Top 10 Audio loves for a focused workspace

workspaceGina HousemanComment

Recently I've been listening to audiobooks while I work. I, of course, love music but I think as an extrovert that spends most of her day working alone in a studio, the sound of a human voice reading a story aloud, can keep me focused longer. I also enjoy podcasts for this reason, but I tend to plow through quite a few in one days work. These are a few of the titles and podcasts I've really engaged with:


  • The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed


  • Radiolab
  • This American Life
  • Death, Sex & Money
  • 99% Invisible (for the design/built world enthusiast)
  • The Bowery Boys (for captivating new york city history)
  • After The Jump with Grace Bonney (design of all topics)
  • Welcome to Night Vale (for it's clever absurdity)

And I'm always looking for more! Tell me what you're listening to these days, and how you get work done.


Above: Bon Voyage card/print in the Shop and on Etsy // Bon Voyage patterned phone case on Casetify.


Ocean, lake, river, creek

Products, InspirationGina HousemanComment

These are my summer goals; to swim in each one, and I did it!

I want to share a few original illustrations that I did from spending time in nature. Recently I visited Frank Lloyd Wright house Falling Water, and learned that he built the house directly on top of the waterfall because he believed that "we should immerse ourselves in nature to be restored".  I couldn't agree more. The Mountain print is inspired by a great solo hike and river swim at my favorite hiking spot, Cold Spring, NY. The Sea Shore print is inspired by my love of the sea and how it makes me happy to be near it. These two prints are available in my Etsy Shop!

Wearing Patterns at the Beach

Fashion, Wearing PatternsGina HousemanComment

Swimwear is a great way to sport a pattern. My Maaji bottoms here have 4 patterns on them! I've paired it with a solid bikini top, from H&M, for balance, then added a fun zebra scarf as a wrap, and Betsey Johnson spotted case. Straw hat and black and tan Clark's sandals, which complement pretty much everything, complete this look. I hope you will bring a little pattern and Sun&Surf into your life this week.