Design Pill

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Long Time No Type To… And Palmolive Fresh Infusions!

My how I haven’t even thought about my blog… I feel so very ashamed
to admit that especially since at one point it was my baby!  It’s
amazing how quickly your focus, direction, and priorities can change.
I come back to you, my dear designpillians, a changed woman.
Naturally, my blog will change as well.

The focus will not be totally on parties or design but I will still
post about these things as the come along. You’ll find that it will
become a bit more random, even a little personal. It will include more
of my day to day, more of my husband’s and my business adventures, and
countless other shenanigans I find myself in. I’ve also decided to
include some videos and vlogs so stay tuned for my YouTube channel!!

I could post about a million things right now but I think one at a
time would suffice.  A couple of months ago I watched this Youtuber
whose name I cannot remember at the moment… Sorry!
Anyway, she was doing a review on some products that she had gotten
for free from a website called Influenster. I was quite intrigued so I
signed up in hopes that they would choose little ole’ me to review one
of their Vox Box’s full of goodies!  They chose me the very next
month! October and then again for November!! I could barley contain my
excitement. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time or the energy to
review the products on my blog or to film a video about them so I had
to settle for the mandatory surveys at the end of the month. But
believe me, they were great. Some things I loved and some not so much.
I even gave a few products away to homes that would appreciate them.

I wasn’t chosen to receive the December Vox Box but in January I was
chosen to review a single product.

The product was……

Photo from

I was so ready for this box to arrive but sadly, it was delivered to
me like this…

photo 1 photo 4 photo 2 photo 5

Soap was literally dripping from my mail box.  I almost cried. All 3
bottles were busted, broken, and worst of all they were completely
empty. Ew. Sucks because the sent the extras for me to give to a friend to try out and now that’s not possible. [insert: Sad face] I would have given one to my sister in law, Charlene and one to my mother in law because I know they both wash dishes by hand only.  I’m sure they would have loved it!

To my amazement, all of the coupons they sent me were still in tact. Even though the product was unusable I wanted to try it out, mainly because the
bottles were so dang cute, so I used one of my five $1.50 off coupons
and bought a bottle to try out.

When I got to Wal-Mart my heart sank a little more when I saw that there were only 3

 bottles left of one of the scents on the shelf which let me know how awesome
of a product I missed out on. They sent all 3 scents to my house. I
was supposed to give one to a friend but I’m not sure how successful I
would have been in sharing… Anyway, I snatched up the bottle of the
Ginger White Tea scented soap and went on my merry little way.

I ABSOLUTELY hate the look of a big bulky dish detergent bottle on my
kitchen sink so I was immediately pleased by the simple and elegant
design of this bottle. It’s so darn classy. I would seriously buy it
for that feature alone but it gets better.

THE SCENT!!! I’m not very hard to please but when it comes to how
something smells… You have to step your game up. I’m extremely picky
about scents. I love fresh, clean, and subtle scents.  I love anything
that smells natural and fruity as long as it’s not overbearing. The point is, this soap was right up my
alley! I could go on all afternoon!  Influenster wanted me to reveal my favorite scent of the three but being that I could

literally only try one, Ginger White Tea it is!

It cleans well, my hands weren’t dry after using it, and did I mention the bottle is so dang cute!  All in all, I loved this dish soap and would definitely recommend it!  If you want to learn more about this product, head over to the Palmolive site! If you get a chance to try it, head over to and write a review!

Oh! Just for technicality reasons… I received this product complimentary through Influenster! I was not paid in any way to give you a review! It’s all my honest opinion!

Talk to you soon!



Makes me Happy!!!

So… I was checking my blog one day and after 1 week of 0 views (Sad face) I saw that I had like 25 views out of the blue!!! I’m like, ummmmm… did I miss something? I glanced to the side and noticed I also had a comment from A Pinterest Addict! This is what it said ;o)

“Oh my! I hope that a design consultation is the prize, cause Honey, I could use it! Oh, and by the way, I just nominated your blog for a Liebster Blog Award! :)

 Eliesa, who  is an admitted Pinterest addict, just like myself, was awesome enough to say some very nice things about my little ‘ole blog!

“Diana is a createaholic – sounds like a girl after my own heart! She has a degree in Interior Design and she’s just starting her own company. I think she might have to come on over and help me figure out my design mess! And I can’t wait to find out what her Naughty Banana page is going to be about…”

 I want her to know how much I appreciate her words as well as the exposure she has given me for nominating me for this award!  I had actually stopped by her blog a few weeks earlier because of a post I saw on, yes… you guessed it, Pinterest! It was about taking and old upholstered chair and transforming it with fabric paint!  I’m still searching every Goodwill for a piece of furniture to try it out on! lol ;o) Anywho, I’d like to return the favor so Eliesa, you are officially nominated! Whooo Hoooo!  Thank you so much again!  In addition, below is a list of some of my own favorite blogs that I’d like to nominate along with what a Leibster Award actually is!

 Liebster Award: “Liebster is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favorite.  The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is that it is given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to create new connections and bring attention to these wonderful blogs.”

If I have nominated you for the Liebster Award this is what you must do next!:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other bloggers.
5. And best of all – have fun and spread the karma!

Here are my 5 nominees!

1. Fierce Foodie I’m pretty sure Zina has put one or both of her feet into every dish she has made! lol ;o) Her blatent passion for food parallels with my love for design and crafting.  Every post leaves my mouth watering and eager to try out the recipe, especially the ones with bananas!!!

2. Fashion Climax: RaShawn is fashion. Fresh out of design school he packed up his things and headed straight for New York to work with none other than BETSY JOHNSON!!! OMG! Soooo jealous and so proud of him :o) I’m patiently waiting for the day I get to wear HIS clothes. Speed over to his blog and check it out now!!!

3. It’s Honestly Nothing: Laurie-Anna is beautiful, witty, and in your face. (Which is why I love her :o) Hey LaLa!!!  I love reading her take on current events and whatever it is that’s bugging her or making her happy at the moment.  She has such a unique since of humor and point of view. I’m sure you will love her as well!

3. Declaration of Style: I personally have never met Shelly but we have a mutual friend on Facebook which is how I came across her blog.  Shelly has a very on point sense of style.  I find her to be extremely classy but with just enough edge to make you look twice.  If you are looking to change up your style or add to what you currently love you should definitely check out her blog.

4. A Pinterest Addict – Eliesa. My new love! lol :o) We should totally start P.A. (Pinner’s Anonymous) I love that she loves to take not so beautiful things and make them lovely again as she transforms her home.  On a budget!  It’s funny that I’m doing the same thing right now! If you like the same you should check out some of her projects and try them out yourself especially this one!!! I’m still looking for the perfect piece to try it on!

5. Fork and Beans First of all, I LOVE the name.  I’m not quite sure how many followers she has but judging from her likes, a few more couldn’t hurt!  I found Cara through you know what, lol.  I just found out that I must stay far away from dairy, wheat, and gluten (among other things) and her blog is a life saver!!  She has tons of gluten free and vegan recipes that will help my transition much easier! And did I mention I LOVE the name!!!

Please check out all of these awesome blogs!  It completely made my day to know that people outside of my FB friends, business associates, and family were being exposed to and appreciating my blog!  I honestly enjoy the above blogs and some of them happen to be close friends of mine so it would make me smile to know I sent them some traffic! While you’re there, why not drop ’em a line as well!

Thanks in advance!


The Bradley Charles Experience: Brad’s 50th Surprise Birthday Party!

Brad Charles is definitely a Unique and loved individual.  I only just met him the night of his party due to it being a surprise but I now feel as if I’ve known him forever.   Between stories from his amazing niece, Leslie, and listening to all the stories during the “Brad Roast” I’ve learned a ton about him! One of Brad’s passions is music, a talent that he has passed down to his two beautiful daughters, Tanner and Tera (peep the surprise at the end of the post). They clearly both share that same passion.  He recently released a Christian music cd that is available on his website,  Brad has turned 50. What a milestone. You wouldn’t know it though because he has the energy of any 20 year old and a personality that’s out of this world!  He is simply hilarious!  I spent 90% of the party laughing.  The other 10% was spent fighting back tears as his daughters performed songs that they had written for him for his birthday. This was by far one of the most enjoyable parties I have ever organized and I want to thank Leslie for considering me for it.  So without Further ado… let’s get to it.


The Bradley Charles Experience.


Style: Surprise

Theme: Concert

Colors: Burgundy, Aqua, Dark Grey

(Click on all photos for the enlarged image!) 

The Invitation

The food!
The family opted for a nacho bar complete with 7 layer dip, homemade guacamole and salsa, mango salsa, and a few other goodies!

The Surprise!!!

Yeah. She was in on it ;o)

The Musical Performance for Daddy!

Tanner and Tera performed two incredibly touching songs for their father. Amazing!

The Roast.
Family and friends shared some funny and interesting stories about the birthday boy.  One in particular was that it is a tradition for brad to wear underwear on his head at everyone’s birthday.  The family saw fit to continue that tradition by providing Depends for Brad to don on the top of his head! Good times!

Ummmmm. Are those underpants on your noggin?

The photo booth! Nuff said. (These are only a handful of the pics. Holla at Leslie or check out my FB fan page for the rest if you attended the celebration! Don’t forget to like, lol)

The After party jam session!

This is definitely a tight knit group of people.  Their love for one another was definitely present and I’m so thankful to have been a part of it! Here are a few more pictures of everyone along with loving words and best wishes for Brad!

Brad’s daughter Tanner is competing to win a brand new car!  Check out her music video contest entry featuring the Birthday boy himself and vote for her here! Voting starts tomorrow and ends on November 17th! Good luck Tanner ;o)
Update!!!! Out of 80+ submissions, Tanner’s video WON HER THE CAR!!!!! Woot Woot! Great job, girl! I knew you would do it ;o) Thanks to all the Designpillians who voted for her!!!
Check her out on the news here!

Tears of Joy!

Picking up the prize!

Busier Than a Bee…

Hello Strangers!! Just coming up for air for a few moments to say HOWDY!! Yes, I’m still alive. Alive but swamped so I guess it wouldn’t be wrong to say I’m buried alive! Lol. Because of my extreme schedule, I’m gonna have a bunch of yummy posts for you all to enjoy really soon!!! My DesignPillians can expect to party like a rockstar, to try out my Meaty Manicotti, to learn how to glamorize All Hallows Eve, to bust a move, and to learn about an amazing new artist all in the next couple of months!  I’m so excited for you to find out what all of that means but good things come to those who wait just a little longer…


Manny’s Masterpiece: Manny’s 6th Birthday pARTy!


My insanely cute faced nephew Manny celebrated his 6th birthday on September 9.  His mother and I wanted to make it extra special so we sat down with him to pick his brain about what he wanted.  Manny is quite the budding artist so we all agreed that an art party would be best! Coloring, drawing, painting, and no pARTy of his would be complete without a paper airplane making contest which he won, twice! (paper planes are his guilty pleasure!)

This party was sooo much fun. Stressful, but extremely fun. Even the adults got in on the creativity and I think they were having more fun than the kids at one point!

Sara’s Mermaid

I wanted to keep the color scheme boyish but not to childish because  Manny insists that he isn’t a baby anymore.  I went with a royal blue, gray, and red color scheme.  I used paint splats and spray paint can graphics on the printables to add to the art theme ;O)

We started by having the little ones draw what made them most happy. This was so adorable! We got families, palm trees, and even flying pigs! Imaginations were running wild!


What makes me happy?

Next, they had to show me how well they could draw with in the lines.  I went online and found about 10 different free coloring sheets and let them pick the ones they liked the best.

Within the Lines

And then there was the paper airplane contest.  A blast!  Such creativity.   They even named their planes! When they finished we took them outside to test how well they could fly!

Paper Planes

Once we were back inside it was time to eat. Hot dogs & hamburgers (which disappeared before I could get a good picture, lol), chips with dip, cupcakes, and white chocolate mallow pops.

After singing happy birthday it was time to decorate the blank slate cupcakes! Each child received their own blank white iced cupcake to decorate however they saw fit!

Make a Wish

Blank Slate Cupcakes

Then  it was time to begin “The Masterpiece.” I set up a canvas on an easel, set out the paint, and let the kids take turns adding their artistic visions to the canvas to create a painting that manny could keep forever! He say’s he’d like to hang it on his bedroom door ;o)

Time to open the gifts!

Apparently he likes everything except clothes!

When I asked Manny what he thought of his party he responded, with a crazy face and
two balloons in hand , it was GREAT!!!

 I couldn’t be more pleased with that response. 

Good Times!

I’ve been Featured!!!: Real Weddings: Asley and Diana Peralta

Debra Torres played a huge part in my beach wedding.  She’s actually the huge talent behind the design and pure awesomeness of my groomsmen’s guayaberas (traditional latin wedding shirts)!!! If it weren’t for her, my wedding colors would have never come together so beautifully! She has so graciously asked lil’ ole me to do an interview for her wedding blog! You can check out her website and read it here! And then check out her Facebook here!  I had a blast with her questions. They brought back some incredible memories from my big day!  I decided to repost it here so you can have a picture story to go along with the questions. I hope you enjoy it!  And please do contact Debra if you are in need of some beautiful, impeccably crafted, quality guayaberas for your big day!


 Perhaps my favorite part of this job is speaking to couples about their wedding day. Last year, Debra Torres designed guayaberas for the beach wedding of bride Diana Peralta. Diana is no stranger to great design and color as she, herself, works as an interior designer and event planner for her own company DDNTdesigns
 I also love (and admire) couples who make bold choices with their themes and colors, and Diana did just that when she worked with Debra to create these chartreuse green guayaberas for her groomsmen, as well as the classic white guayabera for her groom Asley.


Diana was also kind enough to speak to us about her big day, her inspirations, and the need for a little bridezilla every now and then….

Wedding Date: September 18, 2010

Location: Atlantic Beach, Florida (Jacksonville), and the reception was at The Cobalt Moon Yoga Studio seconds away from the ceremony.  No resort for me! Too many rules and I didn’t want to be forced into using their supplies and catering. I was going for a specific look. Wood floors and wood beam ceilings!

The Reception ~

Bride and Groom: Asley and Diana Peralta

Wedding Site

The Isle ~

Debra Torres: Ok, let’s get down to it. How many dresses did you try on before you found “the one”?  

Diana: I think I tried on like 4 dresses. I already had the one I wanted in mind and they didn’t have it in stock for me to try on but they had a different version of it that was the exact same cut from the waist up (the original had a trumpet bottom) and I fell in love with it even more!  I knew it was the one as soon as we zipped it up! It was casual but still elegant and classic.

The Dress ~

Debra Torres: The colors you chose for the grooms’ shirts and the bridesmaids’ dresses are so cool and unique! What was your inspiration for the color palate?

Diana: Green Orchids. I’m obsessed with orchids, particularly the green ones, and had to have them in my wedding. No exceptions.  I saw the entire wedding in my head years before we had gotten engaged. I wanted the colors to be very beachy but not beachy if that makes sense! I was thinking very bright and summery with a little bit of drama. I knew I wanted some shade of deep teal to play off of the water and I thought the chartreuse green looked so amazing next to it!  Everyone thought I was nuts when I told them my colors! I was just like… wait… you’ll see!  And I was right! lol! I received a million compliments on the colors!  Maybe more than the actual wedding!

The Party ~

Bouquet and Something New ~

The CupCake ~

Debra Torres: How did you decide to have your guys in guayberas?  

Diana: That was all my husbands’ grandmother’s idea!  He’s Puerto Rican, straight from the island, and she called him one day and said that her only request was that he would wear a guayabera. I loved the idea and ran with it.  All the boys would wear them. It went perfectly with the casual feel we were going for. But I didn’t want just any guayabera. I wanted one as authentic as possible. Sooo glad I found Debra! I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.  The boys fought me tooth and nail on those shirts!  They were like, “you want me to pay what? For a shirt!!!”  They even went shopping on their own!  I kept getting calls like, “Diana, I found some for $20 bucks! They’re really nice! They don’t have to be that green.” Hilarious! I wasn’t budging.  In the end they loved them and understood why I was determined to get my way! I think that was the only detail that caused me to become a bridezilla!

The Boys ~

Hubby and Daddy ~

Debra Torres: What was your favorite detail of your wedding?

Diana: My favorite detail??? Wow, that’s hard to choose.  I’d have to go with my something old.  True story.  About a week before the wedding I had a dream about my grandma Nellie. (She passed away when I was in the 5th grade) She came to me in the dream and said “I want you to have this for your wedding. I’ve had it for a long time and now it’s yours.” She handed me something but I couldn’t see what it was. (I get chills remembering this!) Anyway, it stuck in the back of my mind for a few days.  The night of the rehearsal dinner my daddy and my Auntie Nita pulled me into my bedroom and hand me a gift.  My Aunt said that she wanted me to have it for my something old.  I immediately burst into tears as I opened it.  I already knew it was from grandma.  It was my grandmothers’ purse.  I couldn’t even speak.  Once I got myself together, I told them about the dream.  They were floored.  Couldn’t believe it! A week before, they were on the phone with one another late at night, hung up, then my aunt called my dad back to tell him she wanted to give me the purse.  It’s like my grandma was talking to all of us at the same time.  I felt her presence all over my wedding.  I walked down the isle with my bouquet in one hand and her purse in the other. That is something I’ll never forget.

Grandma’s Purse ~

Here Comes the Bride ~

Debra Torres: Was having a beach wedding a very important factor in your plans for the big day? Why did you ultimately choose to go for the casual beach wedding rather than the traditional?

Diana: Having it on the beach was very important to me.  The beach is the closest thing to heaven to me, almost the equivalent to church.  Something that vast and amazing could only be the work of the big guy himself.  Marriage is a promise before God and I feel closest to him there.  As far as casual goes, my husband and I are so laid back.  We love to have a good time.  Everyone always says they love our relationship because we don’t take ourselves so seriously. It would have been weird for everyone involved if we were to have a traditional, or, as Asley would call it, “stuffy” wedding.  No offense to those that want that, it’s just not for us. We wanted to have a quick ceremony, take some pictures, and get to the parrrtay! We also wanted everyone to be comfortable and truly have an amazing time.  I’m confident we achieved our goal.  The open bar wasn’t a bad idea either!

G-men ~

The View ~

Talk to the Hand ~

Debra Torres: If you could describe your wedding in just two words, what would they be?

Diana: Casual Elegance.

Debra Torres: Now, there has to be one crazy fiasco in all of the preparation. Was there any moment where you might have thought “Please, God, let me get through this wedding?!”

Diana: One fiasco?! I wish!!! Oh my God, soooo many things went wrong!  Let’s see… one of the groomsmen was arrested (and went to jail) 2 weeks before the wedding (thank the Lord we got a replacement fast!), David’s Bridal ordered the wrong size dress for 4 of my 7 bridesmaids a month before the wedding. Mind you they were dresses that took 8 weeks to get in! The air conditioner broke in the reception site before we even got there! We live in FLORIDA and it was the middle of September!  Everyone was hot anyway from all the liquor, but still! Also, the party rental vendor gave us the wrong size table linens and my wedding ceremony singer canceled on me days before the wedding.  I could go on and on and on!!! I called on God so many times during that 9 month process but that’s what makes great memories that you can look back and laugh about. And I have!  I wouldn’t change a thing that happened.

Hott Party! ~

Open Bar! ~


Patron. ~

Debra Torres: What was the most memorable moment of your wedding day?

Diana: Pastor Tim saying, “I now pronounce you man and wife!” That phrase was a long time coming. Those words made everything worthwhile!

Man and Wife ~

Debra Torres: Is there any advice that you have to give someone who is planning their own beach wedding?

Diana: on’t stress about the weather! I never once said I hope it doesn’t rain. That’s just gonna make it rain!! I said, “my wedding is going to be on the perfect day over and over again!”  And it was!  How funny is it that it rained every weekend that month except the one our wedding was on. Yes. For real. The rain decided to show up on our honeymoon instead! It rained every single day of it!  Also, Relax!!! Planning a wedding is stressful especially when you’re doing it all by yourself! Take a breather. Get your girls to help. You can even recruit the groom!  I was delegating left and right! If you’re planning it on your own, DEFINITELY hire a wedding coordinator for the day of.  You don’t want to worry about anything but walking down the aisle.  I don’t know what I would have done without Danielle.  She was a GODSEND!!!  Also, remember why you’re doing it.  Don’t get lost in what other people think about it or want for it. It’s YOUR day, not theirs, even if they’re paying for it!!! Lol! All that matters is that it makes you and your future hubby happy. And definitely have the wedding party go barefoot! Best decision ever.  Who wants to be kicking sand out of their shoes? Oh!!! And time your wedding with the low tide. Check when high tide will be and be out of there well before that!  You don’t want the ocean ruining your wedding ceremony! And lastly, take in and cherish every second of every moment of that day, even the things that go horribly wrong, and enjoy it. After months and months of planning, waiting for, and anticipating your day, it’ll blow your mind how insanely fast that day ends.

Flip Flops ~

My Favorite Picture :o) ~

Oh No You Don’t! ~

Just Married! ~

Find out more about Diana’s design work by visiting her blog or liking DDNTdesigns on facebook!

DesignPill Feature: Dustin Hegedus- Photographer

“Photography for me is a constant journey, a sort of transcendence, finding myself in the most peaceful of moments to times where my own wellbeing could be in jeopardy. No matter my surroundings when there’s a camera in hand the desire to capture the perfect image is what drives me and has become a passion that surely won’t fade”.



Since I’ve known Dustin I’ve been fascinated by the ease in which he’s able to capture such incredibly moving images through the small lens of a camera.  It’s baffling how one person can see what an ordinary person can’t see in something as insignificant as  an old beat up car sitting in the grass. A simple picture can be taken in a way that make you step back and wonder how long has it been there? What was the owner like?  Where has it traveled to?  That is what good photography should make you do and I truly feel that Dustin has mastered that art. I was lucky enough to pick Dustin’s super talented brain and I’ve shared what I learned right here. Just for you. Enjoy.



Designpill: What was the first photo you took that spoke to you? In other words, which one made you think, hmmmm, I’m good at this?

DustinThe first photo I took that really captured my attention was simply that of a tire swing. What set it apart to me was the composition and everything from the sun setting in the background to the single blade of grass that cut across the frame. This particular photo could seem simplistic but it is what enlightened me to the possibilities of one image. Your first engaging photo can be like that of a first kiss, you’ll remember all the details and excitement involved. I would have to say this photograph was more successful than my first kiss though!

Designpill: Describe the day you knew you were meant to be a photographer.

Dustin: It would be difficult to pin it down to a particular day but more as a reoccurring awareness towards the fulfillment photography brings to myself. The emotions invoked when I’m engaged in photography has been everlasting. I would hesitate to say that I was meant to be a photographer more so than photography was meant for me. Since being involved I’m glad to say my life has evolved into something greater.


Designpill: Are you self taught or do you have a degree in photography?

Dustin: I’ll admit to being stubborn, moving at my own chosen speed I thought I could learn it all on my own and for a few years this is the path I took. This only took me so far, I was comfortable in what I knew but really wanted to take everything in and excel in my area of interest .  I’ve recently enrolled at The Art Institute of Jacksonville and it has been amazing the amount I have learned and the progression that has been accomplished. I also have started an internship at Folio Weekly that has been incredibly rewarding, seeing your own photo in an editorial is beyond satisfying!

DesignpillHow many pictures does it take to find the perfect one?

Dustin: With digital photography we have become somewhat spoiled by the connivence, I’ll take full advantage of this. With still life objects I’ll approach the subject from a variety of angles and separate lighting opportunities. The most rewarding shots do come when achieved with the first shot though. When it comes to photographing subjects in motion or people you may only have that one chance to capture an image. These are often the most moving being as that particular moment will never again happen but if you’re able to document then you’ve captured the moment.


DesignpillBlack & white or color?

Dustin: I’m still a sucker for black and white images! They can convey such a serious mood amongst an image that could otherwise be lost in the distraction of various colors. A timeless effect is provided, allowing the viewer to focus more on the subject intended by the photographer.

Designpill: Artists can sometimes be recognized by the paint strokes in their paintings. What do you think singles you out as a photographer?

Dustin: I put a careful consideration into the composition of my images. Rather than a straightforward shot of an  object I’m driven to capture it different in different vantage points. My biggest motivation amongst separate photographers is visualize and capture what they may not. In the crowded field of photography it is entirely imperative to set yourself apart.


“The voyage of photography has allowed me to see things differently, appreciating the inner beauty and deeper meaning of the simplest of objects in the moment of pure existence. Through these experiences I’m able to escape all conditions and dive into a world of visionary significance and illumination.



DesignpillWhat photographers are you influenced and inspired by?

Dustin: With a growing interest in photojournalism and aspirations to be involved in that particular field I would say James Natchey and our local photographer at Folio Weekly, Walter Coker, who has incredibly assisted me through my internship.

Designpill: What do you want the viewer to feel when they look at your work?

Dustin: If I can evoke the same curiosity and excitement that I felt to take a particular image than I feel like I’ve done my job. It’s incredibly interesting to receive feedback on your work, an image that you may feel is ordinary can be entirely meaningful to another.


Designpill: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear paparazzi??

Dustin:You can pay for school but you can’t buy class.

DesignpillDo you take your camera with you everywhere you go?

Dustin: I surely try to, it’s the times when I don’t have it by side when I always seem to find intriguing shots. I’ll find myself haunted by these locations until I return to photograph them. A real sense of loss overcomes me when I miss out on certain opportunities.


Designpill: Totally Cliché but what kind of camera(s) do you use?

Dustin: Nikon D50, my first DSLR. I purchased this camera at a time when I felt that something was missing in my life. I had no idea the fulfillment it could bring.



DesignpillWould you say you have a “natural eye?”

Dustin: I believe everyone has awareness of what’s front of us. Wether its the day to day beauty or a story that can be told through photography. Unfortunately we’ve become too distracted within our lives to witness it. It’s the ability to step away from this that allows photographers to express themselves.

Designpill: Are you very critical of yourself?

Dustin: Absolutely, it’s a way to improve. When you’re immersed in a crowded field such as photography you need to be critical and constantly find a way to set yourself apart in your identity as a photographer.


 “The opportunity to share my experiences through image is a gift beyond price that I could never take for granted and will continuously take pleasure in every moment. Like most circumstances I have no idea as to where this will take me but I would love nothing more than to live this life of art and adventure for some time to come.”



Designpill: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?

Dustin: Boobs and my dog! just kidding, don’t put that, Diana! People, the most amazing story can be told through the photograph of a person or a group of people. When viewing a photo of a person I immediately want to know more about the individual, where they came from, who they are and countless other questions derive from this photo.


Designpill: In your opinion, what makes and amazing photo?

DustinIt can be different for every viewer, the ability to find personal meaning within a photo is what allows it to be great. The photos that really grab you and bring you into look deeper into every complex detail to the capture of a single object can be amazing


Designpill: What advice would you give to an up and comer such as yourself?

Dustin: Move at a speed that you’re comfortable with and progress in this manner. With photography the instant results that we now achieve can give a sense of accomplishment without ever really knowing about the craft. It’s entirely important to be knowledgeable and have the ability to develop your own style and ideas.


Well folks, that’s about it.  I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to question the undoubtedly talented Dustin Hegedus.  I seriously can’t wait to see the new art you will produce in what I’m sure will be a very promising career for you!!!  Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy what you have already graciously shared with us.  Thanks again, Dustin.

Check out more of Dustin’s amazing photography here!!!

DesignPill Feature: Svetlana Nonstop Kepezhinskas, Visual Mad Scientist


DesignPill Feature

 Meet Svetlana Nonstop Kepezhinskas. Whether it be canvas, cardboard, or kicks Ms. Kepezhinskas never fails to impress. Well, at least me anyway.  She has an uncanny eye for colors, shapes, and designs and every piece seems to leap off of whatever it is she’s painting on at the moment.  You can only sit back and wonder where, inside that amazingly creative brain of hers, each piece was born.  Well, I asked her, along with a ton of other questions and
here are her answers. Enjoy.

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Tear Away” by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Desigpill: Okay! First off, do you have some sort of profound fascination with hands?? I can count like 10 pieces where the hands are so meticulously detailed! If yes, why?

Svetlana: I used to always hear how hard hands were to draw so I drew a pen sketch in class and then a pencil sketch at home. After that was a canvas piece and I realized that hands where the easiest thing for me to draw. I also prefer hands because I usually don’t work off of reference photos, I mean, I may look at stuff to get ideas and inspiration, sometimes I don’t even do that, but I very rarely print a photo to sketch off of. But I can look at my left hand while I draw it and get all the small details that a photo or my imagination may not show. People started asking me to do more because they would sell out so it added to the quantity of hands produced.

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Photo By Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: When did you paint your first piece of art? Do you happen to still have it?

Svetlana: Oh man, when I was little (laughs)! I have a lot of drawings from my childhood. Its amazing and humbling to see the progression. One of my favorite little drawings was this sail boat and beachscape I think it was done in 3rd grade and yes, I do still have it in one of my folders.

Designpill: When did you find your “style?”

Svetlana: *warning* this is my favorite question and answer!!!
it best describes my personal mantra, I think, and the essence of my world.

I hope I never find my style. That being said, I dislike “style” because it’s a limitation. We all naturally have styles and things we’re inclined to. Throughout the development of my work I will have a common thread weaved through my life. I’m going to have similar concepts, colors I prefer to work with, and shapes of lines that I’m more inclined to use. This is unavoidable. However, I am conscious of the tendency to fall back on favorites and things your comfortable with that you have done over and over. So I seek to go further, to explore, to leave behind the known, and to go into the unknown. I seek to let go of previous things that I worked on and try out something that may be distant from me like deeper colors, darker pieces, more touch, and grotesque subjects. It’s important to evolve, progress, and to push your limitations further. Dream bigger so that the style evolves with your life. I guess “style” is formed, broken, and reformed anew. I’d say that’s my life in general. Change is important and good and I have grown to welcome change, it’s is what makes my work progress. I hope to never reach the limitations of a “style” and this means I am also working out a way to be immortal (laughs).

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“Three” by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: Do you have plans for a product line of shoes and hats?

Svetlana: I would love to have an apparel line of street wear come out but apparel isn’t really my main focus. I’m still playing around and developing characters. I have seen that apparel sells very well so I am definitely making a conscious movement into that direction. I will be teaching myself screen printing soon so I can make higher quality shirts and I’m still learning and trying out what works best on shoes and what stays longer on hats.

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Nonstop Hat by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

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Nonstop Kicks by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

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“Man in Steel”  Commissioned Design by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: How did the Russian dolls project come about? I LOVE that idea!

Svetlana: The Russian dolls came out pretty successful. I actually thought they would be more in demand but I got a couple sold so I’m happy with the outcome. I still have a lot of blank dolls and other little wood things I am waiting to paint on like spoons and bracelets! But what was more important in that process and the overall trip to Russia was to bring my heritage and upbringing to a more conscious level in my work, my influences as a kid, the folk art of Russian culture all the little details of the culture that have been embedded into my personality well its important to see how it affected and affects my art and how I can more consciously use these ideas and inspirations and incorporate the influences in to my current works.

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Russian Dolls by by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: What keeps you motivated and inspired?

Svetlana: I get inspired by all the information that I come across and I’m also motivated by the simple fact that I want to make something out of myself and leave something behind. We have but this one life. This is not a dress rehearsal this is the real deal. You have no going back or waiting on the future to happen. You have to do all and everything now. And with that realization, I press myself to create, to motivate, to progress, and to do work. (Smiles) Also when I do what I love it makes me insanely happy and makes me what to do more!

Designpill: Are you still involved in interior design?

Svetlana: I’m not much a part of interior design. But I do end up using it in random circumstances like measuring rooms by eye in order to figure out what size canvas to suggest. I also use little details I learned in school such as the technique of holding a marker to translate how I hold and use a spray can.

Designpill: What is your absolute favorite surface to paint on?

Svetlana: Wood because I can use everything on it, but I do like new challenges and new surfaces that I haven’t tried out.

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“Lonely Accordians” by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: What are you currently working on right now?

Svetlana: Well I usually work on a million different things, well more like 5, but I hardly ever stick to working on just one project. I have some commission’s I’m working on as well as personal projects like canvases, hats, shirts, toys, and I just finished a table. I’m also seeing what other new objects I can find to paint on (Smiles).

Designpill: What artists are you influenced by and what’s the latest thing you have learned from them?

Svetlana: I’m inspired and influenced by all artists. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Dali. I also enjoy the works of Mucha, Klimt, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Bruvel, Roger Dean, Picasso, and many others. Actually, all artists are important and inspiring. I love art history and I love hearing about artist that I don’t like so much like Edvard Munch or Andy Warhol. After hearing their biographies and what they went through, they almost eclipsed my favorites and became more interesting artists to me then previous mentioned. Dali will always hold the main platform. His life, his vision, and his art is something strangely familiar to me. Sometimes I like to fantasize that I am him reincarnated (laughs). But you know, I also think the most inspiring work comes from my peers. There is so much amazing art around that I get blown away each time I sit down and look through It’s humbling and thrilling that I’m surrounded by such minds. It pushes me to experiment, to do more, to not sleep, and to live art because when I’m out I always feel that other artists are creating, working, and progressing. It makes me want to get back home to make something.

Designpill: What do you want people to feel when they look at your art?

Svetlana: I want people to feel happiness or at the very least just feel. Art should bring forth emotion even if it’s negative. It should shock, awe, disturb, or make some one cry. That’s important. It has to affect you. That’s what successful art does. It should also relay the emotion the artist was feeling when they did it.

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Untitled by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: Why “Nonstop Funk?”

Svetlana: Nonstop funk…ah well because it’s funky what I do (Smiles). Nonstop funkiness is the image (laughs)! Actually, sometimes on profiles nonstop as a name is taken and I had to come up with something that wasn’t so Nonstop Funk came about. Nonstop is the name funk is the game! Nonstop, as well as Nonstop Originals, kind of refers to the overall all mass of work. Nonstop is sort of like my artist name. I still go by Svetlana Kepezhinskas but Svetlana Nonstop Kepezhinskas sounds better don’t you think? Plus, I didn’t want to just use Nonstop and be a weird artist that’s just know by a name (laughs). It’s also my writing name, Nonstop on the streets. So I guess nonstop funk is the process of creating art. It’s my verb that says “I’m creating art” but it’s not just art its music, its culture, it’s the process of living.

Designpill: What do you love most about being an artist? Least?

Svetlana: Uhhhh… I think I like everything about it. I like the freedom. No schedule. Well organized chaos. I like giving my pieces of me and my world to others and I like the effects it has on people. I like the events and I like the people that visit these events. I enjoy learning from other artist. I especially like trading art with other amazing artists and building my personal collection! I like having an excuse to look messy because I just painted (laughs)! I like waking up and being excited to work out a new idea. But most of all, I enjoy that I can create with barely anything. I can find a piece of wood or get a sheet of paper and with my own brain, my hand as a tool, and the pencil as the magic wand, create a whole new world…now that’s amazing to me.

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“Power of Thought”  by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: Are any of the walls in your current home spray painted?? Lol! (side note: In college, everytime I went to Svet’s place a different wall was spray painted!)

Svetlana: Sure are (Smiles). The laundry room is painted my mom and I are in the process of cleaning the garage. The right side will be my storage/studio space with a wall that I will paint. Can’t wait!

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Singing Robot by Svetlana Kepezhinskas

Designpill: What advice would you give to an up and comer such a as yourself?

Svetlana: No matter what, believe in yourself. Belief in yourself is all you need. Also, dream bigger and pay attention to everything.

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Photo by Robin Alexandria Kettner-Zebrowski

Well Svet,  I can’t thank you enough for blessing us with your art and insight.  You are truly an amazing artist and I look forward to seeing what else your world has to offer!  What an inspiration!
And for all you DesignPillians, check out more of Svetlana’s creations here and, if your’re really in love, get some of your own!!