Summer 2021 and update on prints!

Summer 2021 and update on prints!

Hi friends,

There are so many prints that I released over the Summer and we are still going. The latest is the "Isla" print and you can see that print in a pillow with blue pineapples! Isla means Island and there is nothing better that I relate with hospitality than a pineapple! I have them for indoors and outdoors!

You can click on any picture to learn more about the product!

"Isla" Blue Pineapple Throw Pillow

Another popular print is the New Chinoiserie Pagoda Collection exclusive design that I released in pillows.  I will be placing that print on more products in the future.

Chinoiserie Pagoda in Cornflower Throw Pillow

I added a few more products to the Topiaries Collection and I also released the "Hydrangea Paradise" and Ginger Jars bag and Clutch/pouch! Such a fun and popular print! You are seeing just the best over here!

Topiaries Throw pillows

GInger jar Weekender Bag 

Hydrangea Weekender Bag and Clutch/Pouch

In the Spring I released the "Vincentina Coast","French Leo", "White Hydrangeas" print, that one is a very popular collection as well and a few others.

Below is a picture from a lovely lady that I follow on Instagram called Stacy, on Instagram her account is @theclassichostess, and she is so talented at stying a tabletop.  Here she is styling the "VIncentina Coast' print napkins and tablecloth!

Vincentina Coast napkins and tablecloth

She also styled my popular "Tobacco Leaf" napkins as well.

Also Nancy from @nancysemptynest styled a Tobacco Leaf Weekender Bag for  me and it turned out beautifully! Just click the link and you will be able to see it in the pictures how she  did it!

Another friend who is an interior designer that I follow for great inspiration is Mary Alice on Instagram @maryalice.home and she styled my "Kelly's Chinoiserie" napkins beautifully!

Kelly's Chinoiserie Napkins

Currently I am still working on NEW fall collections, but the "Bow Pagoda Pumpkin" and the "Double Happiness Sunflowers" prints are already out and I hope you enjoy them! 

Thank you for following me along and I appreciate all your support. As you know I am only one person over here and I hope that my designs will bring you joy and make you smile!

There are so many other people that I want to mention in my blog and tons of other popular products that I want to share with you and if you know me, I am always designing something new! So keep posted, more pretty things are on the way!

xo Ceci Mason founder and artist.

Instagram HERE .

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August 26, 2021 — Ceci Mason
Tags: blog
VINCENTINA COAST

VIncentina Coast - the latest print!

This print is so special to me since I am Portuguese and grew up by the ocean. This design print is inspired by the Vincentina Coast in the south west part of Portugal where it's  majestic beaches and cliffs by the ocean, meet the country Cape of St.Vincent.

I wanted to design nature where the blues of  the ocean meet the clear blue skies of the South of Portugal. 

If you are looking for sunshine, beautiful beaches, cliffs and a resort lifestyle, then you would love it on the Vincentina Coast of Portugal. 

I hope you love this print as much as I enjoyed painting it!

These designs and colors reflect the happiness and fun of my original watercolors and digital illustrations.

CLICK HERE to see this new collection!

Happy New Year 

xo Ceci Mason

January 10, 2021 — Ceci Mason

Tobacco Leaf Inspired Print by Diga Linda

I am so excited to share with you this new print just in time for the holidays!  The original Tobacco leaf pattern was developed circa 1780. It was for export only, mostly for the Portuguese and Brazilian market. Later it was exported to Europe and North America. This pattern was considered special and very popular in the 18th and 19th century due to the nature of the design with so much meaning and also with so much color.

Milred Root Mottahedeh, founded The Mottahedeh & Company, a designer and supplier of luxury porcelain made in Italy and Portugal for the U.S. market later on, based on historical models or direct replicas, that were sold in part through luxury retailers and museum gift shops.

Her large personal collection of Chinese export porcelain for the European market, formed with her Iranian husband, Rafi Y. Mottahedeh, were loved by many. The Mottahedeh porcelain table service "Tobacco Leaf" was even used in the White House and in other government functions.

The "Tobacco Leaf" pattern, incorporates 27 underglaze and enamel colors and gilding in the original plates. This pattern is very colorful and considered the perfect fit for every home or interior. The colors in it represent joy, quality and style. Each shape is made with precision, style and it fits every interior decor, whether it's mid-century, modern, industrial, palm beach chic style, or grandmillennial style, the tobacco leaf fits it all with it's decor design sense.

I designed items that we use daily like placemats, napkins, mug, travel tumbler, apron and other items that we use in our home decor. Therefore it's the perfect gift for yourself or your beloved ones. 

This pattern is considered as a mythological bird, phoenix is a symbol of absolute freedom. According to many legends, this is a bird that will never die because it did not eat the forbidden fruits in the Garden of Eden. The bird is a link between heaven and the Earth, it can walk, fly and swim. It is a bird that burns itself to death and emerged from the ashes, thus making itself eternal. Besides eternity, the phoenix is also a symbol of royalty. 

I hope you enjoy this new "Tobacco Leaf" Inspired Print. Click on the picture to see the collection available for sale.

Tobacco Leaf Inspired Print by Diga Linda

October 13, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Transfer Ware China Porcelain blue and white Print

Transfer Ware China Porcelain blue and white Print

Take a look at the Transfer Ware Porcelain China Blue and White Fine Art Print Collection by Diga Linda on the blog. The latest print release, I release a NEW print every 2 weeks.

 

 

October 07, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Meet Janice Park, she is the founder of "The Pink Reef".

Meet Janice Park, she is the founder of "The Pink Reef".

I am so glad you are here at the Statement Corner Booth! 

Today I am writing about artist Janice Park. She is the founder and designer of The Pink Reef. 

Janice makes stunning chic "statement" earrings. She assembles all her earrings by hand, using gems, acrylic, hand carved mother of pearl, hand cut fabric flowers, hand set Austrian crystals and hand tooled brass. Janice is known for her hand painted floral earrings and draws much of her inspiration from colorful florals and Impressionism art. 

Janice is a classically trained musician, painter and Emmy-nominated journalist. The Pink Reef is located right outside our nations' s capital, Washington, D.C. When not creating beautiful ear baubles, Janice is often sailing with her family and yellow lab Rugby.

 Can you tell our readers about yourself, where did you grow up and how did your childhood influence your life and your path? Were you always creative?

I grew up about 15 minutes outside of DC. Although I was so close to DC and in a huge metropolitan area, my actual town was pretty small. Growing up, I loved painting in the style of Monet and Van Gogh and even remember painting some Van Gogh reproductions for my high school French class. My teacher loved them so much, she asked to keep them! 

I think painting and music go hand in hand. I played three classical instruments growing up and I see such a parallel between art and music -- they both make people very happy. Whether it is seeing a beautiful piece of art at a museum or listening to a gorgeous sonata from Beethoven, I believe art and music inject joy. I really hope in a small way, my earrings do the same.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

Not to sound like a total slacker, but I think I never really had a good life plan. I was a very good student, but lacking in the math department, which is strange because my father is a mathematician.  I turned to journalism because I liked to write and wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. The amazing thing about journalism is that it is a window to the world, where you get to experience things most others don’t get the chance to, and are able to see things from a different perspective. I will never forget setting foot on a professional baseball field and looking up at the crowd in Baltimore, or covering protests from the eyes of a demonstrator.

Where did you go to college and did you learn anything in there that helped you do what you are doing today?

I went to the University of Maryland in College Park. LOL, I feel bad saying this but no, if we are talking specifically in the realm of the retail industry. When I was in college, I remember messaging friends using AIM, and facebook had just started. Instagram wasn’t even around! I feel like social media and multi-platforms are such a huge part of my business. The concept of being an influencer or a blogger in the sense that it is today wasn’t around in the early 2000’s!

What inspired you to start your business? I can see that your earrings are quite different, but you also do custom pieces right? I feel that nowadays people want something special, fun and practical. 

I started my business because I’ve always liked to create things, and a business is your ultimate creation with tons of things to manage. I think I also have the small business spirit in me from my family. My grandfather was a commercial real estate developer and my family still runs that business today. My mother also owned a card shop that was failing when she took it over. It was amazing to see her quickly turn it around into a thriving business. 

My father was a grounds operations director for a NASA satellite program, and I remember after he got off work he would strap on a back brace and deliver sodas at my mom’s shop! It showed me that having your own business is hard work. It also showed me that my parents' success didn’t happen because they were sitting around -- they were working long hours and hustling to become successful.

That's so true, having your own business is truly a lot of work! Now tell us about your earring making process and how the first idea to create an earring comes about and how you find these works of art that go on them. 

I mainly focus on florals because they are universally loved by women. I also think there’s something really pretty about trying to recreate what’s so beautifully done in nature. I think this is a big world and florals are popular, so I’ve really been doing my best to source unique materials so that I’m not doing the same thing as everyone else. 

The materials really inspire me and for my holiday line, I found the most gorgeous lapis, emerald colored, coral and opal cabochons. It’s kind of like cooking -- the ingredients make all the difference, so using quality components are important.

Yes I agree, that is so true! Do you make all your earrings yourself or do you have help? Do you plan to scale, if so then how do you plan to do that?

Right now I’m making each piece myself, which is a very tall order with three kids all under age four. I definitely plan on hiring as I continue to grow. I have begun relying on sales teams to handle orders and that has been a huge help. I think time is the biggest thing -- we all wish we had more of it. Time is also very valuable. No amount of money is worth losing out on precious time with your family. I think time management is a struggle for every small business. 

In terms of scaling, I plan on hiring people to help me assemble the jewelry. I think if the virus has taught us anything, it’s that we should try to end our reliance on cheap goods made overseas and try to support local makers that produce high quality, unique products. I think we are all guilty of loving the convenience, accessibility and price of mass produced goods. But I hope if anything, coronavirus is a spark for Americans to once again value local makers and exceptional products, even if they are a few dollars more.

I could not agree more! I love how creative you are, how do you pick your accessories for your earrings, how do you decide which pieces or adornment goes on an earring?

I just look, look, look and pick things that spark joy in me. I design a lot late at night, when the kids are in bed and just put different stones and pearls together, until I feel like it looks really pretty. Not every design is a hit, but you just have to keep trying!

For sure! However I find that all your designs are so beautiful! All right now, for someone who does not know of The Pink Reef, can you describe the Pink Reef to them, also what's your price point?

We create beautiful, feminine statement jewelry with a focus on florals. The price point ranges from $60-$150.

Why do you think people love your earrings, what is some of the feedback that people give you?

I feel fortunate that people like my styles based on how different and distinct they are. My earrings are unique in that they are all hand painted and hand assembled, so you  know you’re getting something very unique and special. They are also bold while being feminine. You either love the line or it’s not for you. We have some Pink Reef collectors who have 15-20 pairs apiece! I love knowing that some customers love the brand so much, they are amassing a collection.


That’s really awesome! Now can you tell me how do you motivate yourself to keep the business going?

Running a small business is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done and that’s saying a lot! While the business never stops, consumes long honors and creates huge stressors sometimes, it also is the most satisfying experience as well. I talk with my husband about small businesses, and we both agree that every ounce you put into it is for the direct benefit of your family. There really is something to be said for being your own boss and having the opportunity to treat your employees and customers with the utmost respect, kindness and a thankful heart.

What do you like to do on your spare time when you are not working?

My family loves the water. Our family has a lake house in Northern Michigan and I swear it’s the prettiest and most peaceful place on earth. I was luckily able to spend 5 months here this year because my husband has been teleworking. With water comes boats of course and we love sailing hobie cats and cruising the lake on our power boat. The air just seems fresher here, the sun sunnier and the skies clearer. 

It sure sounds like a very beautiful place. How has your business grown and what has the journey been like?

I am very proud to have grown my business to over 60 locations in the past year and a half. It’s not a huge number, but I am proud of it. I think working with talented sales people and continuing to engage with influencers and customers will be key to growth. I have recently added a rep and ambassador program that allows anyone who loves the brand to sell The Pink Reef. You can find more information at hellopinkreef.com.

That’s awesome that you are in retail stores, which ones, how can people find those stores, and find you?

I list all my fabulous retailers at hellopinkreef.com. 

Where can people find you, let us know your website, your social media handles, all that. 

web site: https://hellopinkreef.com/

instagram: @thepinkreef

facebook: facebook.com/hellopinkreef


Thank you so much Janice, it was a pleasure having you in this space!


My pleasure, thanks so much, Ceci. Meeting other wonderful business owners like you is an amazing part of this journey as well. Xox, Janice





July 27, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Maryland State Statement Hand Painted Graphic T-Shirt by Diga Linda

Maryland State Statement Hand Painted Graphic T-Shirt by Diga Linda

🦀Here it is fresh new design that I just finished today! I wish I had this kind of time everyday! 
One of the advantages of having a small biz is that I can create design quick with no ones approval but mine!😂
 
However at the same time it’s hard having to make ALL the decisions. What font will I use, how many fonts, what size, what color and where do they go? There’s a million questions to answer and I did not even get technical yet!😄
 
What elements will be on the design? Create dozens and dozens of layers then when you put it together you check for mistakes! Like yesterday I changed the colors of the words Faith over Fear ( from lite pink to hot pink) on that Tee after I made it public and it took a long time to fix! Learned my lesson (well I keep learning), but need to look at the design a million times to make sure it's ok before it goes public!
So many decisions that have to be made before I publish! Enjoy this one and see me painting it on the video post below with watercolor this morning. By the way the 4 designs behind the "Maryland" words, I did those while I was on vacation in Portugal. I am so glad that I finally got to use them. People say my desings warm the heart, bring joy and make them smile, I love that! So take at this one, can you tell that I love details?🎨
Maryland State Statement Hand Painted T-Shirt by DIga Linda
 
May 14, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Diga Linda Group on Facebook!🌸

Diga Linda Group on Facebook!🌸

🌟Please join the DIGA LINDA GROUP  VIP on Facebook, HERE  I am inviting you to join this group because I will be posting tons of content from the past Azalea Festival (and Green Sale) pictures, videos of clients, vendors and the school from previous festivals the school has done in the past. People love to connect and since this year we are staying at home, this is one essential way to see what's offered in our community!

One thing that I learned from being on TV so much last year, is that you interview others (vendors), give them as much exposure as possible and the customers will appreciate that.

They love when I go with the camera around talking  to vendors asking what their best seller is and see who is selling what so parents can plan their trip to the school! Vendors will also be posting on that group as well, giving interviews etc, so please join us and help us build our community there. 

So join the group and invite people who are part of the Landon/Holton communityAlumni, friends and family who live near or far.  Can you imagine not having to worry about the weather? When it rains, vendors like me know that people won't come visit the booth, but this way it's on rain or shine, how awesome! Imagine inviting someone who lives in another state to participate! Ahhh what a delight that is! Share the good news with your friends and family and I will see you on our VIP group! This is one way we can all help each other and most of all help the school, their programs and the community that we love.❤️

Congratulations to all the seniors at Landon and Holton

 

April 27, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Azalea Festival coming to you Online in late May!

Azalea Festival coming to you Online in late May!

Dear friends,

The last few weeks have been so different from anything we have ever seen before. it's hard to imagine such quick changes we have to do to our daily lives and the worry and anxiety that we are all going though just thinking about how cautious we all have to be to stay healthy and safe! We hope and pray that our family and friends here and far away will stay safe too. 

Many things are changing and being on the internet -online is new challenge right now for school distance learning and for other events as well. We know that although it's not possible to have the Azalea Festival at school, the good news is that Landon will still be having it but online this time. 

To see a list of all the vendors that will be participating look HERE

This festival will be different from the previous 65 festivals and what we need to keep in mind is that because it's online, we have an opportunity to make it very special and meaningful for the community. We will not have to worry about the weather conditions and if people can go shopping in a day where the rain does not stop. Also vendors do not have to worry about sett up and take down, although that part I really enjoy for some reason. I love making it all pretty so you can come visit! 

We are so thankful to the Landon faculty and staff for all the work that is being done in order to support our school kids. Landon opened it's doors to 22 students in the fall of 1929 just months before the beginning of the Great Depression. It was with a great commitment, dedication and courage that the school persevered back then and it's with that same spirit of strength that the school will persevere again this time. This year is specially hard for our Seniors. I know for I have one and he will be missing a lot of fun events, but memories will be taking shape in a different way. There will be social events taking place but online this time and when this is all done, he will remember all those moments. People have the opportunity to connect so much online with Facebook, Instagram and with so many other social media platforms.

We hope that you will be excited about this festival coming up just as much as I am. See you here in another blog, talking more about our festival coming up.

  

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April 12, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Portuguese Country Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Portuguese Country Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This bread makes the house smell so good. This is my fast version of "Folar" a traditional cake we have in Portugal for Easter. You can make extra and give as gifts. Everyone will love it. Mix everything and Voilá!

Ingredients

2 cups of flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

2 small eggs

1 cup of sour cream 

8 Tablespoons of butter melted warm not hot

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 of sugar

Combine the first 5 dry ingredients, mix well then add eggs, sour cream and butter and mix until its all blended.

In a small bowl mix together the last two ingredients (cinnamon and sugar).

Spray a 8"x4" inch loaf pan ( I use glass). Pour a third of the batter into the pan then sprinkle a third of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Repeat that two more times and put the rest of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes at 350 or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 8 minutes before flipping. Enjoy.

 

Layer the mixture

 

Sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon and sugar mixture

 

Final result, enjoy!

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PS: If you like to cook follow me on my Instagram food account @superfastmeals link HERE 

(fun fact, I was a baker when I was single in Portugal)

Happy cooking and Baking!!😄

April 11, 2020 — Ceci Mason
Connecting us with food, home made Portuguese bread recipe is here. Your family will thank you!

Connecting us with food, home made Portuguese bread recipe is here. Your family will thank you!

It's about time that I share my Portuguese Bread Recipe. I love making this for our family and it also makes a great gift. My daughter loved bringing home made Portuguese bread to school for her birthday or if there was something to celebrate. It's nice to bake a few loaves at the time, use one and freeze or give away the rest. There is a Portuguese saying that goes like this: A Portuguese home always has bread ready for every meal or is not a Portuguese home! I never had a recipe to share, I always baked that by sight, but now I finally do and I am delighted to share with you all. So here it goes:

Total Time: 5-10 minutes to mix all the ingredients, then rise until double about 1 hour and bake for about one hour.

Makes 2 loaves (about 12 slices each) if you bake in in pans or one larger loaf like in the picture (my preferred way).

Ingredients:

1 Package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (110 to 115 F)

2 teaspoons of salt

5-1/2 cups of bread flour if you don't have it then all purpose flour works too.

Mix it all together with your hands until the dough is soft and all connected.

Place it on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. I put a blanket around it to keep it warm. Punch dough down, turn onto a floured surface and divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place each loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet, or pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Turn oven on to 380 degrees. With the back of a knife make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. I use a kabob skewer to see if it's cooked. When you insert it, if nothing sticks to it when you pull it out then it's cooked. Remove from pans and let it cool. Or if just one bread remove from flat cooking sheet and let it cool.

PS: If making pizza dough then put one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of olive oil when you mix everything. 

When I make pizza, (add 2 cups of pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni on top). I make the same recipe (add the sugar and olive oil) split the dough and make two pizzas or one pizza and one bread, just bake 400 degrees and take out after 20-25 minutes. 

Enjoy,

 xoxo

Ceci Mason

 Follow me for updates:

Facebook  HERE

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PS: If you like to cook follow me on my Instagram food account @superfastmeals link HERE 

(fun fact, I was a baker when I was single in Portugal)

Happy cooking and Baking!!😄

April 02, 2020 — Ceci Mason