'craves & composition' is finally here!

I've always been the creative type, usually making t-shirts for school functions and loving to re-arrange and re-decorate my bedroom more times than my mother (and my mother's wallet) could count. It wasn't until high school, more specifically yearbook class, where I found a new love for graphic designing. It was all about "having an eye" for creating the type of book we envisioned. And this wasn't your ordinary yearbook. We went to actual yearbook conventions to better our abilities, get inspired, and ultimately create a really great book.

In addition, I was surrounded by other talented classmates and a wonderful teacher, Eileen, who I have a lot to thank for. She is also a very good friend of mine to this day & now runs her own business, Twine Bindery. We stayed after school for hours, eating almonds, laughing hysterically, mimicking how her cousin Maggie talks (hilarious!), and most importantly, working hard to meet deadlines. I didn't care about staying late or devoting much time to it because I really loved it. And while I miss it, I've channeled my creativity in different ways; This blog of mine, cooking, DIY projects I've done from time to time, photography, and basically anything that allows me to "use my eye." I believe that's why food styling/photography instantly appealed to me. I'm fortunate enough to combine two things I can't live without: cooking and composing.

Composition can apply to so many things. The way items or people are positioned in a photograph, where a frame is placed in your bedroom, how the furniture in your living room is brought together to create a comfortable and flowing space, how a recipe is constructed, what you decide to throw together for your outfit tomorrow.... I could go on and on.

Maybe it's best to describe it simply by using its definition;

com-po-si-tion (n) /ˌkämpəˈziSHən/
  1. The nature of something's ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.
  2. The action of putting things together; formation or construction.

I'm fascinated by it. I love to compose in every way that I possibly can. Food greatly brings out that characteristic in me, and I love it for that. But I'm also very content doing other things, too;
  • any project where I can use my hands: gardening, wood-working, crafting, organizing
  • projects where I mentally compose, such as planning (then transfer to some sort of tangible medium or else I will forget), or envisioning how I want a photograph to look.
  • styling & designing; any and all kinds! food styling, what I wear and how I wear it, the way I decorate my living space, graphic designing, and so much more.
And of course, this all includes how to complement colors, textures, and well, styles.

The beauty of composition is that it's yours to do what you want with it. To have fun with it, to be creative with it, to show expression, to put your heart in it.

Isn't that what life is about? Putting your heart into what you love. I thrive on creativity... on making, creating, sharing, and physically living it.

It's who I am. I know I inherited some of these qualities from my grandmother and grandfather on my mom's side. My grandmother is an unbelievable artist. Her talent amazes me. I've mentioned my grandfather on here before, the awe-inspiring chef from Sicily. Two pretty incredible people that I can relate to in so many ways. (I can relate to my dad's parents, the Centola side, in many ways too. We cry a lot at family gatherings, but that's another story.)

I would only be so lucky to become successful in doing what I love. And while I want to jump in with both feet right now, I realize that sometimes I'm only able to put one foot in due to situations I can't control. Small steps can be good steps! (Or at least it's what I have to keep telling myself.)

I'm starting to lose track. I thought this might happen! So anyway, you may be wondering the point of this post; why I've written a novel about creativity when I probably could've said, "I use 98% of the right side of my brain 98% of the time." Or something to that effect.

I wanted to officially announce it on my blog since I have yet to do so. I decided to open up my very own Etsy shop, Craves & Composition, to create, compose, and do what I enjoy so much.

I wanted to create a cohesive look between my blog and my shop, so as you may have noticed, my blog design is slightly different. I am beyond happy with how everything turned out; from the fonts I chose, to the floral & lemon design, down to the title of my shop. While the font doesn't have much meaning (I just really liked the clean look of it), the lemons & floral photo do. I took that photo in Washington Square Park, New York City back in July. It was such a vibrant bed of flowers & NYC is where I hope to find myself in the near future. Lemons have always been a favorite of mine, and they are very abundant on the beautiful Amalfi coast in Italy. I dream of visiting there one day. I thought the combination of the two represented my shop (and me) quite well.

You can visit my shop at anytime by clicking on the "shop" link at the top right of my blog or clicking on my "shop Craves & Composition" badge slightly below that. :)

P.S.- To bring in the New Year, I'm continuing to offer 10% off your order. Just use the coupon code NEWYEAR13!


  1. This post is so you! ;) You redid your room about 5 times lol!

  2. I love this post Ashley!! Those were really great times for me. I learned so much from you! Thank you so much for the shout out! I love you. XoXo


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