Samcheongdong AKA Athens in Seoul

Some girlfriends and I went on a little day excursion to possibly my favorite neighborhood in Seoul so far. Samcheongdong is pretty much an Athens, GA in the heart of Seoul. It is the neighborhood right outside the palace I did the photowalk in. It is full of local art, boutiques, shops, food and so many cute little stores, much like downtown Athens. Up above the row of shops is the beautiful, historic Hanok village, which are traditional Korean homes. Many of them have original architecture as they have survived the war and weather. It is a very iconic view of the mix between the traditional Korea and modern Korea. We had the most delicious pasta dinner here and met the very nice owner (I can’t remember the name but when I do I will update it!). This is great place for tourist and shoppers. You can walk for hours exploring the little shops and never see them all!

Travel info: Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung station and exit out of exit 5, this will put you inside the palace walls. Walk straight out of the subway, past the palace entrance and out onto the street. Turn left and you will see the shops and museums on your right!

Sam IMG_7528 IMG_7539 IMG_7515 IMG_7523 IMG_7525 IMG_7534 Sam 1


Get Messy 25 Gratitude + October Link up

My first page is yet another North & South Korea comparison. To say in the least I’m a little obsessed with this country’s dramatic split. If you are interested too, they are lots of great instagram accounts out there ‘lifting the veil’. Follow me on instagram @lk_hooper and send me a message and Ill share them. The background is a national geographic story about N. Korea and the main photo is of S. Korea.Koreas art journal by Lauren LikesThis months prompt was by Olya who celebrated Canadian thanksgiving, so she gave us a fitting prompt: Show your Gratitude. Here is my response to the prompt and below you can link up your response!Gratefulness art journal by Lauren LikesGratefulness by Lauren Likes




Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.


DIY scripture journal

Scripture journal from Pretty Organised // DIY by Lauren-LikesCaylee and Vanessa are creative workhorses. Vanessa has the most amazing hand lettering skills and Caylee is a productivity warlord. That’s the only way to describe how she tackles getting things done, lots of things, fast, and with excellence. When they released their 2015 planner + add ons for further organization I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them! One of my favorite parts (besides the blog and project planner) is the Grace Planner. It is your one stop shop for all things spiritual. There is a section for sermon notes, prayers, scriptures, goals, and more. I needed a place to plan Bible studies and to jot down notes about scriptures I was reading. So, I printed out the 2 pages of the planner, that were applicable for this journal, over and over again to complete this less than 10 minute project.Scripture journal from Pretty Organised // DIY by Lauren-LikesFirst, I opened my download and hit print. In the print options I chose which pages to print and then checked ‘print 2 pages per sheet’ under ‘print layout’. It was that simple I then fed the papers back through, using the same settings, to make them double-sided. I also printed the cover page because it is just so beautiful. Then I folded the pages in half and layered them into a book. I chose some pretty pink thread and a stitching needle and was ready to bind up my book. I printed the pages on heavy cardstock and the needle wasnt sharp, so I had to start the holes using an exacto knife and just fed the needle and thread through. I only stitched once as my thread was very strong already and I knew the book would stay on my desk and not get a lot of wear and tear. If you plan to travel with yours I would go back through and double stitch it. Caylee also has some awesome tutorials on the Pretty Organised blog to walk you through printing and binding. These are beautiful and have so much functionality and are easy to use. You can just punch holes in them and pop them in a notebook or planner if you don’t want to hand (or machine) sew them! Let me know which planner is your favorite and how you plan on using it! Scripture journal from Pretty Organised // DIY by Lauren-LikesScripture journal from Pretty Organised // DIY by Lauren-Likes

Busan Fireworks Festival

fireworks edited This weekend we made a super quick trip down to Busan (which is an adorable coastal beach town).  Our friend, Caroline (who Terrell grew up with and we lived in her house in Athens the past 3 years!) lives there teaching English. So we took the KTX train (think Eurrail of Korea) down south. Its been really cold here in Seoul, so sunshine was the exact thing we needed. The trains are super fast and easy. It took us 3 hours and $50 each to get there. The seats are really nice, comfortable and there is wifi. We arrived late friday night and crashed. The festival is VERY popular, so we headed down early to get good seats on Saturday. We got to the beach around 12:30 and people were already claiming spots. We spread out a blanket, had a picnic, played games and soaked up the sun. The show started around 8pm and was incredible! The fireworks were set to music and were so spectacular. It was worth sitting on a beach relaxing all day in the sun for sure! Photo Oct 24, 9 31 06 PMPs. guess who is now the proud owner of a selfie-stick?! Photo courtesy of the selfie-stick. Photo Oct 25, 3 15 04 PMPhoto Oct 25, 1 09 57 PMIMG_7956IMG_7959The fireworks were shot off of these huge barges and off the bridge. The bridge also lit up to correspond with the show! IMG_7967Please note this ladies amazing hat made out of newspaper….Photo Oct 25, 3 24 56 PM IMG_7976Oh and just a few million of our closest Korean friends…IMG_7972IMG_7980By the time the sun set you couldn’t move without stepping on people, but that apparently didn’t stop anyone from moving around…Photo Oct 25, 5 29 49 PMTo see a video of the firework magic click here! IMG_8031 IMG_8015IMG_7998Photo Oct 25, 9 14 10 PMI always love a good beach town….Busan was beautiful and we had such a wonderful time with our friend! Now for a trip back to be super touristy and see EVERYTHING!


Lets catch up on Project Life: Not caught up, but not behind + a freebie

Operation Catch Up on Project Life has taken an unexpected turn. I’m not necessarily catching up, but I’m also not necessarily behind. I just got so stuck, I couldn’t force myself to go back anymore. I wasn’t excited about those old photos and I was losing faith in my ability to ever catch up again. I devised a new plan last month to make my process easier and less stressful. I am working on the last week that happened always, not matter how far behind or out-of-order I am. I am doing only one side of a spread each week only (unless we go on a big trip) and I am working more out of the Studio Calico kits to embellish more.Project Life by Lauren LikesProject Life by Lauren Likes

This was the last true ‘catching up’ spread that I completed which was our time in Mississippi for training for Korea. I had a few too many photos and wanted to add in a 6×4 photo and more substantial journaling. I cut up an old page protector, but it didn’t have an edge to attach the photo sleeve, so I simply punched a hole in the photo/journal card/protector sleeve and stuck it right in. Easy. A lot of the journaling in this spread came from a reflection paper we had to write during the training. I also journaled directly onto one of the project life cards in the Project Life App and printed it on my Selphy. SO GENIUS! Project Life by Lauren LikesProject Life by Lauren LikesAs I have been working on the current week and  if I finish and want to keep going, I’m working backwards until I catch up to the beginning maybe? So I actually completed this spread this weekend, so I’m pretty much just doing this out of all kinds of order and I LOVE IT. I’ve always had a need to create in exact chronological order but I’m so glad that I’m giving myself the freedom to branch out and work on what I’m excited about. And this trip to Sokcho, I was excited about. Project Life by Lauren Likes

The hardest part truly was narrowing down to my favorite photos. This week was incredibly simple. I used the Mystic app to overlay the title and added location text. I used matching 3×4 cards and wrote a short snippet of journaling. Done and beautiful. Project Life by Lauren LikesProject Life by Lauren LikesThis is the week that I really started creating using the Studio Calico kits. Nothing super special, but the coordinating embellishments made it so easy. I’m working on not hoarding and using things more…. Project Life by Lauren LikesThis is one of my favorite spreads. So much color and journaling and photos all in a small package! Project Life by Lauren LikesAnd I’m back with another color scheme page, because I just love them. And a little gift for you!Project Life by Lauren Likes

I love that bottom left hand card. I made it using these stamps and I just love the simple graphic pattern. You can download a printable PDF version by clicking here or click on the photo below and save as a JPG! You are welcome to use in your projects however you like, I just ask that you give credit when sharing! If you share on instagram use the hashtag #laurenlikesdesigns so I can see!

Free Project Life card download by Lauren LikesLauren Likes Designs

Products frequently used: Caylee Grey weekly cards. PL Core Kits: Midnight, Seafoam, Sunshine, Kraft, Flea Market. We R Memory Keepers cards.   We R Memory Keepers Die Cuts. Liz’s Paislee Press digital cards. Studio Calico wood veneers. Elise Joy Stamps. RuKristens Currently Cards. Studio Calico Project Life kits and embellishments. 

Techniques used: photos are a mix of iPhone photos and my big camera, mostly processed in various apps such as PicTapGo or A Beautiful Mess or edited in Picasa. Photos printed at home on my Canon Selphy. Small photos are printed by creating collages in the new Project Life app.

*Project Life is a memory-keeping system created by Becky Higgins


Get Messy 24: The city of oxymorons

Seoul city art journal by lauren likes

Seoul is a city of contradictions, of oxymorons, of confusion, of enchantment and of beauty.

Seoul Art journal by Lauren Likes


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.


Bulletin Board DIY

DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren LikesBefore, when we had old gross wallpaper, I had a really cute washi taped collage of photos up over my desk as seen below. But I only had 1 desk and it got really cluttered really fast. We were looking for solutions and finally decided to rearrange the furniture in our house. Originally we had a desk in the living room as our ‘entertainment center’ but since we don’t have a TV and don’t plan on getting one, it just didn’t make any sense to have a random desk in our living room. So we moved it into my office and solved 2 problems. I got more work space and we no longer had a desk in the living room. Win, win. When they redid our walls I had to take my collage down and I haven’t been able to settle on exactly what I want to do above my main workspace desk yet, but I definitely want it to be more pretty than functional on this side. But on the other side I needed a bulletin board to post up ideas, to do list, sketches, inspiration, etc. But I didn’t want to invest in anything quite yet and wanted something simple and cheap. And as always, it was a renter-friendly option!IMG_6712This is the space before. I have a large wall, so size wasnt an issue. DIY bulletin board by Lauren Likes 1I wanted to be sure to keep it only over the left desk, to leave room for pretty-ness on the right. I looked around and realized I had bought a white foam board for background photography but it got really beat up really fast and wasnt working as a background for me anymore. So, aha! My quick and easy solution was born.  DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 3Supplies: 

  • Foam board
  • Washi tape
  • 3M command strips

DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 2I simply adhered the board to the wall using 3M Command strips and then used washi tape to make a border.  PS My favorite to do lists are the free ones by Caylee. DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 5 So far I’ve only used washi tape to stick up photos and sketches, but I think smaller/shorter thumb tacks would work well also. (Photo print by Elise) This project took less than 5 minutes to do the whole thing and cost me nothing as I had all the supplies on hand. Simple, quick, effective, pretty. The best kind of project! DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 6And in efforts to keep it real, this is what my office really looks like 98% of the time. Multiple projects at once, on the floor, the bed, the desks. It drives me MAD when bloggers only show small corners of rooms and make it look like everything is perfectly clean and styled all the time. UNTRUE PEOPLE, UNTRUE! DIY Bulletin Board by Lauren Likes 4 Lauren Likes Office Lauren Likes Office 2

Photowalk around Gyeongbeok Palace

I admit that I am a link junkie. I have a love/hate relationship with the ‘Friday link roundups’ that everyone is doing because I can’t. not. clickkkkkkkkkkk. Must. Click. All. The. Links.

Well, the lovely Sabine does a quite lovely link up on Fridays and shares some really inspiring art among other interesting things. As I was clicking through her links, I found she had shared about World Wide Photo Walk day.  The event was this past weekend and Sabine was participating in Germany. So I mustered up all my courage and clicked register. I thought there would never be one in Seoul, but there was! I have been wanting to do something like this to improve my skills, have uninterrupted photo taking time and to meet others who enjoy this type of thing. I was so nervous before hand and secretly hoped it would rain so I didn’t have to go. You know that awkward feeling of ‘I don’t really know where I’m going and don’t know anyone I’m going to meet’ feeling?! Well I braved it and walked right out of the subway to a huge group of friendly people with cameras, clearly I was in the right place.

We spent the day at the Gyeongbeok Palace strolling through the buildings and soaking up the perfect weather. I took some of the best photos I’ve possibly ever taken. It truly goes to show what concentration and focus and not rushing can do. I took 250 photos, so I wont bore you with the same building from EVERY angle possible. But this was such a fun learning experience and I made some friends and was able to connect with a group that does tons of cool walks that I can continue to participate in! If you want to get involved in something like this check out facebook groups and do some googling to find one near you!

Travel info: Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung station and exit out of exit 5, this will put you inside the palace walls. To go into see the palace it is $3 or 3000 won. It closes at 6pm and there is a fun Changing of the Guards on the hour from 11 to 5pm. You can spend a few hours here and there is GREAT shopping and other touristy things right outside the palace walls. You can also rent traditional Hanboks and wear them inside the palace to take pictures.

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Get Messy 23

Be kind art journal by Lauren Likes

Clearly someone was having trouble being kind lately…. Daily routine art journal by Lauren Likes

I took this photo of us eating dinner at 4pm one day and realized that with it I wanted to record our daily routine as the is the most routined we’ve ever been and its a little ‘early bird special’ ish. PS this is the page that last weeks happy accident occurred from. GetMessy2

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt.Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.


DIY Geometric Wall Display

Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

At the beginning of the year we knew we would be moving and I had my eye on this project from the start so it only makes sense that it was the first project I tackled after we got our new wallpaper this week. I pretty much followed their tutorial step by step and it was so easy and fun! This project took less than an hour to complete and I had all supplies on hand. The supplies can easily be swapped out for whatever is in your office at the time. Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

Supplies used:

  • Sketching supplies: paper, pencil, sharpie (to accentuate the nail holes)
  • string/rope/cord, etc
  • hammer & nails
  • clothespins or clips to hang photos/art
  • art/photos

Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesOur walls are a white-ish color with thin dark stripes. So, not the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, but so much better and white enough to keep me happy and let in lots of light. We also rearranged our room and technically lost a little bit of space but feel like we have somehow gained space and increased functionality a ton. See the before here. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesTo create the display design I made multiple sketches and they either need over 50 nails or when I tried to use less it just didn’t make sense. So I used their sketch as a starting point and continued randomly from there and even when I was adding the string I went a little off course and love it even more.  Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes

I got started by just eye-balling my sketch and measuring out how wide and tall I wanted the display to be. I did not trace anything or make any marks on the wall, but a pencil sketch could be helpful if you are worried about it being uneven. I think having a carpenter for a dad made me become a human level so I understand not everyone has this geometrical superpower. (seriously I never measure or use any levelling tools when hanging things-Its my spiritual gift) Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesThis is my attempt to show you to not nail the nails all the way into the wall. Leave enough space to wrap your strings around, sometimes multiple times. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesI was testing out colors here and neither of us could decide which color to use, so obviously the answer was BOTH. Our last house was more muted and had a very constricted color palate, so my goal is to branch out and create the Pinterest decor of my dreams. Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesOk, it was impossible to take photos as I was wrapping the strings. So I apologize, but Ill try to explain. I started on one nail and tide the string in a knot on it to start and began weaving the strings around the next nail attempting to follow the sketched design as best as possible. (again I eyeballed this and didnt preplan the direction to wrap the nails like they had) I had to circle the nails 2 times to get it to hold and had to hold the string really tight as it kept popping off the nails. I tried to make sure the colors were evenly mixed and tried not to back track too much over the same line and only had to mix the colors on one line once. This took some trial and error and backing up sometimes, but I felt it was easier to figure it out by doing (especially with two colors) than try to sketch it out, that would involve too much brain power. To finish I had my faithful DIY helper (the husband) cut the strings for me  as the whole thing would have come apart if I had let go. To finish I just knotted both ends of the strings on the last nail and trimmed the edges. Each string is just 1 string, but it would be pretty easy if your strings weren’t long enough to add more or if you just are stuck and need to stop there and pick up at another place in the design. Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesThe strings are pretty tight but there was plenty of give to add the clothespins and photos. I wouldn’t use anything thinner than embroidery floss (like I did) or it may not hold. Make sure to pull your string tight enough but not too tight so the photos don’t get droopy or is too tight and you can’t squeeze the clips in.  Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesI played around with photo placement until I was happy and chose to stick with the square sizes to keep it similar.  Now these photos are really easily interchangeable! Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes Geometric wall art by Lauren LikesIf you guys make your own design let me know! There are sooooo many options you could do with this. I’m imagining a circle but with all the crazy triangles inside it? Someone go make one like that so I can see!  Ps you should really check out The Caldwell Project blog who made this project originally. Their blog has SO many great DIYs! Geometric wall art by Lauren Likes