Stay inspired and dont miss a thing. Weekly updates from BLDG 25

Post image for some much-needed inspiration

every once in a while i hit a creative block and need to do something to snap myself out of it, and get inspired. this helped last week.

ways to stay creative via; part of my new desk moodboard.

what do you do to spark your creativity?

Hanz Tolo -Jul 20, 2011, 6:14PM
Oh, and did I mention M.Ward?
Hanz Tolo -Jul 20, 2011, 6:11PM
I usually clean my house to spark my creativity. Cleaning the house, no matter if it's dusting, laundry, or organizing usually puts my head and heart in the right place. While cleaning, I usually find little things that create interest or inspire me. When I'm feeling really void of productive workflow I usually take the time to set aside a day for gardening, since it not only gets my hands in the dirt and outside but also helps to clear my mind. Gardening puts me at ease. Under a shady tree, amongst all of the life and the smells of summer, who wouldn't be at peace?

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One of my favorite festivals is taking place this weekend at Wiggins Park in Camden NJ: the XPoNential music festival! The festival is put on every year by the University of Pennsylvania’s public radio station, WXPN.Read More

Taylor -Jul 19, 2011, 6:14PM
I really want to go! I love WXPN! It's a really great station to discover new music and get away from all of the mainstream stuff!

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Post image for Boutique Fashion from Jen’s Pirate Booty

Calling all “sandy” girls! We have an exquisite collection of pieces by Jen’s Pirate Booty on our website right now that scream summer and beach!  The timing is perfect as we just launched our Endless Summer shop and these pieces are the epitome of summer styles that can be worn and loved all year long.  In addition to being the perfect beach cover-ups, they can be styled in different ways to wear as casual weekend attire or even dressed up to wear out on the town.

Our buyer told me that she fell in love with the brand because of the soft, flowy fabrics and amazing silhouettes that are bohemian but in a modern way.  The pieces are undeniably summery, right down to the fabric they are made in – light and gauzy, or peek-a-boo patterns with sun-like shapes. Most pieces come in one or two sizes, with the idea that they will look different on each girl that wears them.

On that note- here are some of our home office ladies wearing Jen’s Pirate Booty in ways that could totally work beyond just the beach!

The perfect outfit for a casual summer day. Denim cutoffs and the janis crop top – the color of this one is amazing!


The warrior robe looks awesome worn over top of a dress and would look just as cute over a bathing suit on the beach when you need to cover up!


Our buyer loves the eclipse babydoll tunic because the silhouette is unexpected in this type of fabric.  It looks adorable styled with cowboy boots and a floppy hat!


The poetic kaftan is my favorite – I love the dusty rose color and the fabric is so light and soft! It looks really cute with one of our floral bralettes peeking out from underneath.


The treasure tank is super cool – it has two very long tails on either side that you can leave hanging or knot together to create different shapes.


shop all jen’s pirate booty.

which of these pieces is your favorite?

Ramona Cruz -Jan 05, 2012, 6:43PM
Love these looks as beach cover ups ! just throw on a pair of sandals with any one of them and youre set for a day at the beach and shopping after!
BohoQueen -Jul 19, 2011, 10:47PM
I love these, but some of them I would have a hard time getting myself to wear. My favorites are the Janis Crop Top (the color is so refreshing!), the Warrior Robe (it is so flowy and gorgeous, I almost have no words to describe it!), and the Treasure Tank (so unique and fun!). Oh, and BRING BACK THE GAUCHOS!!! xoxo

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Post image for Free People Book Club: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

I looked into all of your suggestions for the book club and decided to pick Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins! I’ve mentioned my love for this author before on the blog, and have always considered doing one of his books, but I actually just happened to re-read jitterbug perfume and felt like the time was right.

Tom Robbins has a way with twisting and spinning words to create vivid scenes that awaken all of your senses. The way that he tells stories is magical, and even the most impossible scenarios seem very real, and very possible. In Skinny Legs and All he convinces you that a can of beans, a spoon and a sock have feelings and can move on their own. And in Jitterbug Perfume he imagines that you can live forever, if you set your mind to it.

The book is quite a ride – I hope you’ll come along with me.
Stay tuned for inspiring quotes and imagery in the coming weeks :)

p.s. for those of you who are new to the book club, click on the library category and you can go back and see posts from previous books like on the road and the perks of being a wallflower.

Sasha -Jul 19, 2011, 4:21PM
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! AND I LOVE that this you are recommending it to others. Right on. This is why this is one of my favorite blogs evahhhh. xoxo
Tamberine -Jul 19, 2011, 9:34AM
I'm so glad you chose this book! I just finished it up a month or two ago so it'll still be fresh for me. I'm stoked to be able to talk about it with you all! Thanks!!

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Post image for Guest Post from Tolly of Austin Eavesdropper!

another guest post from one of our austin friends, tolly of the blog austin eavesdropper! tolly is awesome and i wish we had more time to hang out with her in austin, she’s so much fun :)

The 5 Things I Love About Austin, Texas

By Tolly Moseley

Free spirits. Hippie maidens. Band groupies and mustache-wearing gents. These are our kin here in Austin, Texas, where Free People came to play recently.

When I found out that Austin band The Happen-Ins would be the stars of Free People’s July 2011 catalogue, and that they’d be shooting at some of our favorite clubs in town, I squealed in delight. Where better to celebrate the delicious lazy days of summer than in Austin, a city where even the suited CEO’s loosen their ties for a rock concert? Where you can take your lunch break at a swimming hole, or bust out vintage cowboy boots regardless of seasonality or dress code?

I had an awesome time meeting the Free People girls when they came to town for The Happen-Ins show, and wanted to show them everything there was to see here in Austin. I also want to show you. Here are my 5 favorite things about my beloved city, a place I hope you get to visit sometime:

1. Even when we’re fancy, we’re a little hippie.

It’s true. We can’t resist vintage. The entire zip code of 78704 in South Austin has been officially zoned for the selling of hip, recycled clothing. I’m kidding. But the great thing about Austin is that we never see an occasion NOT to rock a gently used frock, be it SXSW or a gala. So if you’re ever here and have a hankering for vintage, check out some of my faves: Feathers Boutique (for boots), Laced with Romance (for dresses), or tweet my girls Homebody Vintage for accessories/home stuff.

2. We like to play dress up.


Austinites love a good dress-up party. That’s me above, dressed as David Bowie. Isn’t the resemblance striking?

3. We make things.


DIY is huge here. That applies to crafts, food, and even businesses. I wish I could tell you I knit-tagged that whole car above … but I didn’t, it’s the handiwork of Knitta Please, one of our local craft artists. You’ll find her knit-tagged objects scattered about all over Austin, from parking meters to statues, and they reflect how much we adore handmade – not to mention the creative spirits behind it.

4. We can’t get enough live music – ever.


In terms of survival, music is second only to air. For Austinites, I mean. We’re the city who invented Austin City Limits (the show and the music festival), Spoon, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and of course The Happen-Ins! Stroll down Red River at night, by The Mohawk, Club DeVille, Stubb’s, Emo’s … and your ears will fill with honest-to-goodness rock n’ roll, screaming guitars and pounding drums. This city is a music-lover’s dream, and if you’re ever here, chances are a friend of a friend of a friend is playing the same nights you’re in town. If we’re not a musician ourselves, we’re probably dating one.

5. We welcome visitors and vagabonds with open arms.



I have a personal belief that Austin chooses people, and if you’re reading this post, chances are she’s chosen you, too. You can find me here, and if you ever venture down to Texas for a visit, I’d love to show you around. We’ll bask at Barton Springs Pool, eat tofu and/or bacon (we are equally enthusiastic about both), and find multiple excuses to play dress up.

All photos by Tolly except for last one (Austin Motel sign) which is courtesy of Ellen Jo Roberts.

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Post image for Endless Summer Means Beach Wear All Year Round

who wants summer to end? I most definitely don’t. i love the easy breezy beach lifestyle too much.

so, when we decided to launch an endless summer shop i was very happy indeed. our new concept introduces a wardrobe that is season-less, relating to the beach lifestyle – easy items that can be layered and carried through from summer to early fall.

our new concept shop, “endless summer”, will carry swim, long sleeve textured shirts, cotton pullover sweaters and cardigans, denim jackets and shorts, knitted maxi dresses and lose, cozy items, which can be worn to the beach as a cover up, or can be worn all year long.

beach is a lifestyle the fp girls love, so we wanted to make it last, because if you’re like me, I also enjoy strolls on the beach when it’s a little chilly outside.

here’s a little ‘endless summer’ inspiration quote from our beach designer about season-less dressing ~

“When I first moved to Philadelphia in the fall, all I had for winter was my denim jacket, a hoodie and my chucks, because in San Francisco that’s all I needed to take me through the winter. I soon found out I needed a little bit more than that. I just recently learned the concept of seasonal dress, put away coats, and take out shorts.

These, I find are staple items, that can easily be layered up or pared down, I never have to put them away. The season-less items in my wardrobe include: my vintage crochet sweater, my 501 cut offs, my Cheap Monday white V-neck Tee, and my white cotton button up.

The design concept for Endless Summer would be clothes at its loveliest most basic level, nice feel, flattering going out or staying in, layered up or layered down.

Or simply

Clothes you never want to put away.”

We love endless summer! do you want summer to end?

Go visit the store here Endless Summer Shop

-Jul 21, 2011, 3:19AM
my grandpa actually made a surf documentary called the endless summer wayyy backk when surfing was just getting famous. love what the words have inspired here <3
anne -Jul 19, 2011, 9:08PM
So pretty! Love the liine. Also, I've been wondering what fonts you use for the logo and in catalogs and such. Can I find them somewhere? Or just get the name?

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Post image for Monday Quote: Complete the Sentence

I picked up this vintage postcard at Uncommon Objects in Austin. I loved it because it made me think – so for today’s Monday quote, I want you all to write your own quote by completing the phrase:

“I never did, but always thought I would like to _____”

(top image source)

-Jul 21, 2011, 1:19PM
I never did, but always thought I would like to take an archery class and be like Katniss from The Hunger Games <3
Lee -Jul 20, 2011, 12:54AM
...tell him that I love him.

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Post image for Homemade Herbed Ricotta Cheese

There’s not much that can beat the flavor of creamy ricotta cheese slathered over a slice of fresh baguette – except maybe the flavor of homemade ricotta slathered over a slice of fresh baguette. Make your own cheese? That sounds way too hard. But that’s the wonderful thing about ricotta. It is the easiest cheese to make, and doesn’t take forever. Once you’ve whipped up a batch, you can use it for just about anything. For today, I like the idea of serving it on fresh French or Italian bread as an hors d’oeuvre for guests. Sprinkle it with balsamic, figs, and walnuts for an extra tempting snack ;)

To make about 2 cups, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth. Then, pour the milk and cream into a pot to boil. Stir occasionally as it heats up, adding in salt as you go. Once it has reached a boil, turn off the flame and stir in the vinegar.

2. Allow the mixture to stand and curdle for about 1 min. Then, pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl for 20 to 25 minutes. You may have to occasionally pour out the liquid that collects in the bowl.


3. When cheese is almost finished straining, chop up all of your fresh herb ingredients. Transfer strained cheese to a new bowl, and stir in.


Refrigerate or eat immediately.


All images via Smitten Kitchen

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Ruby -Jul 18, 2011, 9:25AM
Thanks so much for this recipe!! I can't wait to try it...sounds just delish!! How long will this keep when refrigerated?

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Post image for Play Me, I’m Yours

When we were in Austin in April shooting our July Catalog, we were fortunate to be there during the month when an exhibit by artist Luke Jerram was installed throughout the city. The live art installation is called “Play Me, I’m Yours,” and consists of several pianos that are placed throughout a given city, in public locations, for people to draw on, paint on, and most importantly, play music on.

This idea is so brilliant… not only do the brightly colored, somewhat oddly placed pianos attract a lot of attention, they invite you to be a part of the exhibit by playing music – and there is a website where you can upload photos and videos you take with the piano.

The exhibit started in 2008 and has been spreading joy and music all over the world ever since. Here are some photos from Austin (each city has its own website with a map displaying the location of each piano):

Recognize this red one from our July Catalog? It’s in a BMX park!

I love this photo of our creative director taken by Alexandra Valenti:

For more info on the installation check out the website.

rp gratuit -May 06, 2014, 6:20PM
Thanks for finally talking about >Play Me, I'm Yours | Free People Blog <Liked it!
Ellie -Jul 17, 2011, 11:34AM
They have that in Lancaster; pianos all about the city. :D Makes me wish I knew how to play...

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Post image for Saturday DO

DO: n’t think twice.











During college, I once went to hear a successful producer from the television industry talk on his career, and give out advice to us young students. People asked him questions about how he went about choosing new shows – what numbers he looked at and other dry research questions. He kindly talked about the importance of market research, and then caught my attention by taking the response some place totally different. Gut instinct. At the end of the day, he accredits all of his successes to a feeling he had inside, and decided to follow. “Your gut will almost never let you down,” he said. And that statement has stuck with me ever since.

It’s true. Some of the best things to have happened in my life, like my dog and moving to Philadelphia, are impulse decisions I made based on a feeling I had inside. I met my dog when she was just a tiny puppy, I wasn’t planning on it, but I somehow knew she was the one and took her home that day. There were sure adjustments I had to make, but I’ve never looked back. So today, don’t second guess yourself.  If a certain place, person, or action feels right to you – do it. I find instinct to be completely baffling and mysterious, but it is also undoubtedly a strong thing. Some may think that acting out of instinct is brash and reckless; they prefer reason and informed decisions. But creatures have survived all throughout history by living off of instinct, and that’s a high statistic for success that even reason cannot ignore.

click on all images for sources

elizabeth -Jul 18, 2011, 1:54AM
i got goosebumps reading this :)
Taylor -Jul 16, 2011, 10:57PM
This one was a Friday Do for me...I touched Keith Urban about 10 times! I pushed my way through to get to him! It was one of those 'now or never' moments! Still can't believe I did it!

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Post image for Weekend Getaways: Inspiration from California

Last week I received an email from one of our readers, Molly, who sent me a link to photos she took on a recent solo trip to Big Sur and a trip to Ojai, and I immediately knew I had to share.  Big Sur is one of the most incredible, magical places I’ve ever been and these photos bring back a longing I can’t quite describe.
















Check out her tumblr and flickr for more inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing Molly!

carly -Nov 17, 2011, 6:00PM
morro bay, second to the last...i live there
BohoQueen -Jul 15, 2011, 9:50PM
These pictures are gorgeous! Ojai is so beautiful! My favorite pictures are the first one, the one of the squirrel is TOO CUTE, the two in the forest of the sun peeking through the trees, and the last one. xoxo

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Post image for Style File: Edition 2

Meet this week’s style inspiration – the design assistant for New Romantics here at Free People. I was immediately attracted by her laid back and beautiful – yet approachable – look. I checked in on her daily to get to know her better and bring you her week in style file.


In her romantic, somewhat demure, way of dressing she reflects her personality perfectly. She seems quiet and shy at first, but is then sweet beyond words as soon as you approach her. This is a girl who doesn’t wear outfits that shout “look at me,” but rather, “come closer.” Pay attention and you’ll notice a dainty necklace or a gorgeous etched bracelet.

Picnik collage

As assistant designer for the Free People New Romantics, she will be given a fabric chosen by her boss, the head designer for New Romantics, and then has to come up with styles using what she is given. The process usually starts with a sketch. Her sketches themselves are amazingly inspirational to look at. She will then drape the piece – usually doing about one a day. After she’s done draping, she will pass everything along to tech who takes it from there. This week she was already working on things for next summer.

Picnik collage

And now for a peek into her personal life =)



-Jul 19, 2011, 6:08PM
those sketches are such teasers! i'd love to see more fashion illustrations of hers!
guest -Jul 17, 2011, 3:29PM
I think girls who are interested in the boyish styles are less likely to feel lost once they reach their teens and adulthood as far as clothes go because there will always be guy clothes(rough, tough, easy, relaxed,etc..) so you don't have to go looking everywhere to try to find yourself. I know for me when I turned 16 I was so, so lost because there were not anymore girly, girl or popular culture type clothes in the stores. I didn't know who I was, and the only store I thought where I thought I found myself closed down so I didn't know what to wear. And, alot of older guys would approach me because I wore a lot of older ladies clothes because that's what was in the stores but I didn't realize how they made me look and how uncomfortable I felt all the time. So, I am so happy to see these new lines here and collections like Lou and Candy so girls like myself won't have to feel like someone who doesn't exist. It's great and I hope you continue to create styles for us girls that want to have fashion but can't find it.

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