Android AnnoucementAfter waaaay too long of a wait, we finally get to announce A Color Story is available on Android!!

We're so happy with how it turned out and can't wait to see what our Android friends make with the app!

It was quite the process getting here, and it took much longer than the matter of weeks we initially said in the announcement post here on ABM (so so sorry!). Our first Android developer on the project took a job at Google about halfway through, and finding a replacement set us much further behind schedule than we anticipated. However, our new developer is one of the best we've ever worked with. While it put us behind schedule, we ended up with an even better app in the end! 

And now it's time to CELEBRATE!!! You guys have no idea how excited we are today! 

Here's a quick overview of what it can do:

A Color Story on Android!!You can see the full capabilities in our app tour here! Or to see the app in action, here's a photo shot edited on an Android with just one filter. (Essentials > Pop)

2016-03-24 Flower, pad, coffeeThank you for hanging in there with us and checking in daily on the @acolorstory Instagram! We hope you love the app as much as we do. The app is free with in-app purchases. And for a limited time, there's a bonus pack of filters, Good Vibes, available for FREE! Now what are you waiting for? Go to the Google Play store!

Love, Elsie + Emma 

P.S. There will no doubt be some technical issues that crop up for a few of you with all the devices available out there. Please reach out through our support form with any challenges you're running into! The app is only optimized for Android phones, not tablets, and requires Android 4.1 or newer.

Elsie's Bloody Mary Recipe Collection It's no secret that I love a good Bloody Mary, but since my husband and I rarely drink in the mornings, I don't have them very often. And I think the rarity of it makes them feel like an EXTRA special vacation drink, which makes me love them even more! 

A couple years ago, I did a big series of Bloody Mary recipes here, and since we have a ton of new readers, I decided to make you guys a round up of all my favorites. I didn't even remember a few of these... Haha! 

Now make your shopping list and prepare to make the most epic weekend brunches EVER! 

6a00d8358081ff69e2019103987ffc970c-piA Basil Bloody Mary

6a00d8358081ff69e2017ee8750629970d-piA Jalapeño Bloody Mary

6a00d8358081ff69e2019104bb6ec0970c-piA Sriracha Bloody Mary

6a00d8358081ff69e2017c3552b550970b-piA Blood Orange Bloody Mary (sounds weird but is SO delicious) 

6a00d8358081ff69e2017ee77773d2970d-piA Wasabi Bloody Mary (my husband's favorite!) 

6a00d8358081ff69e2017ee9ee5066970d-piA Carrot Bloody Maria (Fun fact – if there is carrot juice in a cocktail, I will ALWAYS order it!) 

6a00d8358081ff69e201a511c1c063970c-piAnd for those who aren't drinking alcohol, a Bloody Mary Mocktail (it tastes almost exactly the same and is one of my favorite drinks when I'm not consuming alcohol). 

Elsie's Bloody Mary Recipe CollectionTGIF and I hope you guys have an amazing weekend!!! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Couple Photo: Amber Ulmer. Bloody Mary Photos: Elsie Larson and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

How to build a photo ledgeToday I am excited to share a simple and very useful DIY with you! 

We all have these walls in our homes that we don't know what to do with, right?  In Jeremy's studio there was one such wall above this small side table. Originally I was planning one large print for this space, but since there is already a big photo in another part of the room, it just didn't feel right. The idea of photo ledges appealed to me because the art could be changed from season to season, and what's even better is it doesn't ALL have to be art. For these photos, I threw a few favorite records up there, but I think some framed sheet music or other personal mementos would also be nice. 

And of course, we printed some special photos as well! 

Canon PrinterThis post is part of our long-running work with the amazing folks at Canon USA, and I used my personal favorite printer, the Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer for the photos you see up there. I love having the large format to print multiple photos on a page. It gives me a little more freedom with the sizing. 

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
- 2.5" x .75" board
- 1" x .75" board
- 1.5" x .5" board (sometimes these only come about 3' long, so you may have to use two if making a long ledge)
- jigsaw, chop saw, or have the nice people at the lumber store cut it to size for you!
- 1" nails
- 1.25" wood screws
- wood glue
- small clamps
- drill
- keyhole hanger
- paint
Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)Measure how long you want your ledge to be and cut all three of your board sizes to that exact length. To create the back and bottom of your photo ledge, glue and clamp the side of the 1" x .75" board to the edge of the 2.5" x .75"  board. Allow the glue to set a few minutes. 

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Use some wood screws to securely attach the smaller board to the larger one through the back of the larger board. This back side is also the back side of your ledge, so the screw heads won't show when done.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Use more glue and clamps to clamp the edge of the 1.5" x .5" board onto the other open side of the 1" x .75" board. Allow the glue to set for a few minutes.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Once the glue is set, remove the clamps and drive a few small nails into the edge of the board to keep the front board secure.

Photo ledge DIY! (click through for tutorial)  Attach some keyhole hangers onto the back of your ledge for hanging, and paint or stain your boards whatever color you choose. Now you're ready to hang and add your photos!

How to build a photo ledge How to build a photo ledge How to build a photo ledge I love how it turned out! This is a project that can be done in a day, fit to the exact size of YOUR space, and makes a huge impact in the room on a small budget. 

xx! Elsie 

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Elsie Larson and Laura Gummerman. Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016In a few months we'll celebrate ten years since the first post here on A Beautiful Mess. And while there is so much to celebrate, I'm feeling the need to slow down and ponder all that's happened with our small company. It's been a miracle in so many ways. Ten years ago no one was trying to be a "full-time blogger". It was a different world, and one that I often miss. People blogged solely to share, solely for fun. In those days, most of the blogs I followed shared their daily lives and a few just shared random things they found beautiful, like decor and design. 

Fast forward ten years and so much has changed. There is incredible opportunity in the blog world, both  for bloggers and for brands. We've created our own little industry and I'm so proud of that. With that said, I do feel nostalgic for the beginnings of our own journey. So for the next few months, I plan to set aside time for a lot of reflection. Entering a new decade in blogging is something I never considered. I had no idea we'd do this for so long. And now there's no end in sight. So I feel like it's time to try to envision what these next ten years could be, or at least what we dream them to be! Because, really, it's up to us to decide. 

Keep scrolling to hear Emma's thoughts. ;) 

Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016 Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess 2016  Elsie's Wearing: Jacket/Madewell, Necklace/Madewell, Dress/(similar), Purse/Ruche, Bossy Pin/Moorea Seal, Clogs/Swedish Hasbeens (probably my favorite pair of all time!!) 

Take it away, sister!! 

Oui Fresh Good Vibes tank Pins! Red purse white sandalsMy, my, how the time has gone by so fast! There are a few things, like you, Elsie, that I miss from the good old days of blogging. :) I guess the number one thing I miss would be the low stakes. It wasn't an industry or a "job" at first, and there were a lot less people reading, so there wasn't as much pressure as there is now. And low pressure situations tend to be more fun, or at least less stressful. (Obviously) I also think the Internet and social media moves so fast that when you think about having to be creative and keeping up with all of that forever, it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes I think I was built for a slower-paced world than the one we live in right now. 

But my goodness I would be remiss if I didn't point out all the truly amazing things that blogging has given me. I have a career I LOVE where I get to make things and connect with people from all over the world. I get to own a small business, write books, travel, take photos, cook stuff, make things, work from home, we got to donate a house once (!!!!), and the list could go on! Sometimes it feels like I have to give so much to keep up with blogging, but I've also received so much in return. It has been a crazy wild ride so far, and I'm excited to see what the next ten years holds for us – no doubt it will be full of changes and new challenges. 

I personally LOVE to constantly (maybe too much at times?) reevaluate and try to big picture plan – so glad I'll be coming to Nashville at the end of this month to shoot cookbook photos, and we can also talk about blogging for, like, EVER while we're together, sis. Sounds like a good ol' time to me. :)

Emma Chapman Emma of A Beautiful Mess Good Vibes tank Red purseEmma's Wearing: Shirt and Sunnies/Oui Fresh (coming so soon!), Jeans and Jacket/Levi's, Shoes c/o Seychelles from Threadsence, Purse c/o Modcloth, Flare pins: The Uncommon Place, Georgia Perry, Greenwich Letterpress, Hello Apparel, The Golden Girl Rum Club.

Credits // Emma's Photography: Janae Hardy, Elsie's Photography: Amber Ulmer. 

Festival ready messy knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial) Coachella might be over but Faux-chella can live on forever in your heart (and on your head in a festival-inspired hairdo)! To me, festival hair is all about messy but adventurous style, and this knotted ponytail has both of those categories covered and should help keep you cool while you spend all day dancing outside – even if you’re only dancing around in your backyard!Festival ready messy knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial)Step One: Take two sections of hair from either side of your face. Tie them in a knot.

Step Two: Take the two strands of your knot, wrap them around the rest of your hair, and tie them together towards the nape of your neck with a small elastic.

Step Three: Repeat the previous step; take two sections of hair from either side of your "ponytail" and tie them in a knot.

Step Four: Again, pull the sides around the rest of your hair (sometimes easier if you turn your head upside down and let all of the other hair fall forward) and secure with an elastic.

Step Five: Repeat another time, and then start carefully pulling at your ponytail between each knot to add volume.

Step Six: Add a few more knots if your hair is longer, or just pull your ponytail a bit more into a messier, fuller look.

Festival ready knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial) Festival ready knotted ponytail (click-through for the full tutorial)  That’s it! Easy, right? I love how this style looks as it gets messier and messier, perfect for those warmer days when you’re outside all day having a good time and too busy to worry about “maintaining” your look! I’m not going to any musical festivals this summer, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be rocking my faux-chella look and dancing outside on the weekends! Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom. 


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