25 December 2014

Holiday Wishes To All

So it seems the holidays snuck up on me and those weekly Monday posts I was supposed to be doing are buried under a pile of snow somewhere. But not to worry my friends, aren't those New Year resolutions right around the corner? Why yes, they are! Now that the rush and crush of December is almost over, it's time to dig out some inspiring design! In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful holiday full of laughter and cheer with those near and dear to you and all the best in 2015! xoxo

08 December 2014

Wrap It Up


Honestly, I was going to put these on my gift guide this year, but they really deserve their own post.... because they are just so damn cool! Now, I know hand knitted scarves are THE best, soft, warm and oh so cozy. But take a gander at these super unique scarves from Little Factory. I've never seen anything like them. They are completely unique and will most certainly be a conversation starter. Behold the Paper Scarf and the Helvetica Scarf.

The Paper Scarf resembles a long sheet of notepaper with blue or grey embroidered lines that you can wrap around your neck. It's made out of paper-like Tyvek material, which is known for its durability. But it’s also lightweight, breathable, water resistant and will actually keep you warm. The added bonus, you can write on it! No joke. So for those who aren't quite ready for Evernote, for $25 bucks this is best scarf/notepad combo for your pencil and paper nuts.

The Helvetica Scarf needs no formal introduction. It's a classic no matter what form it takes. Made from microfiber suede material it's a little more expensive then the Paper Scarf at $62, but hey, it's Helvetica. Both great stocking stuffers for the creative hipster on your list!

Photos: Little Factory

01 December 2014

Sleek and Stylish Secrecacy

Quite often I find myself longing to see everyday items, such as stamps, currency and travel documents, get a major design makeover. And Oslo-based Neue Design Studio has satisfied my craving indeed! They recently won a competition by the Norwegian government to redesign the country's passports and ID card and the outcome was exceptional. Not only is the design functional, minimal and sleek, it illustrates the real Norway: nature. “All Norwegians are so connected to nature, it’s a very strong part of our history and defines us as a country,” says Gørill Kvamme of Neue, who explains that the minimal concept came from seeking to find the “essence of something”. The double page passport spreads are illustrated with minimal images of landscapes with mountains and water from different parts of the country. "The landscape with its vast variation from the south to the north, was the starting point for the design concept."

And if the beauty of the design with just the naked eye wasn't enough, the most unique aspect of the new design occurs when the pages are exposed to UV light. The vistas transform to show images of the Northern Lights and reveals hidden text written at the bottom of the pages. A secret solution to thwart identity theft in the most captivating way.

The covers feature a modernized version of the national crest, stamped in gold with bold colors: white for immigrants, turquoise for diplomats and red for standard passports. No release date for the passports has been set, but it is expected to be within the next two years. Happy travels to the Norwegians!

Images: The Guardian

30 November 2014

Back to Blogging

Hello friends! I'm back. Yes, it's been a while since I last posted on my blog. Work, travel and life have taken me away from posting regularly. But over the last month I've made some changes in my day to day schedule which have been good for my overall work enjoyment (and sanity). For example, I realized while I may not be the right designer for a potential client, some clients might not be ideal for me. I've also started to incorporate an administration day during the week to focus on all those admin things small business owners loathe to do, but gotta do (thank you Jessica Hische for the enlightening advice!) And I started thinking about why I blog, what I blog about and where I want my blog to go... or not go. So instead of my crazy inconsistent posts twice a week to barely once a month, you can expect posts each and every week on MONDAYS from now on. So stay tuned, tomorrow I've got some Nordic design with a little secret and gift ideas that won't break the bank. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy!

01 November 2014

Getting Brushy

Quite literally, I will be getting brushy! Since my lettering skills are in the very early stages, the Brushy Alphabet from the amazingly talented Molly Jacques is just what I need to give a few of my projects the hand lettered look I've been wanting. It's not available as a font, however you can purchase all the files needed to incorporate into your design. You can find all the details in her shop here. Thank you Molly!

Image: Molly Jacques

It's a Beer, Beer World

These days, there's a plethora of new micro and craft beers to swill. How do you keep them all straight? Loren Purcell's SF Beer Map available on The Bold Italic, makes hunting down the best brew in San Francisco easy. The gorgeously designed 18" x 24" poster plots out the all the major breweries and small batch hubs in each neighborhood around San Francisco. Now if we could have a pocket size version for the pub crawl please. Cheers!

Images: The Bold Italic

24 October 2014

Eat Well My Friends

Hard to believe, but I'm going to do this anyway. Yes, I'm going to tell you about a great gift for the entertainer/home chef for Christmas. I've learned it's never to early to jump in, because let's face it, time passes so quickly these days, and by the time we know it, it will be time to holiday shop! I adore these grey linen napkins from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co featuring hand calligraphy by Lisa Congdon. They are crafted from linen and screen printed by hand ad hand sewn in the Schoolhouse factory. A perfect stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life!

Images: Schoolhouse Electric

15 October 2014

The Writing Is On The Wall

I'm a big list person and when I want to get it down in writing, even with all the fancy new apps and tablets, I still reach for the ol' pencil and paper. That's why I love this wall-mounted kraft paper Studio Roller by George and Willy! Say goodbye to those boring corporate white boards with engineering scrawl all over them. This note taker is as cool as them come, even for the crayon crowd.

Photo: Design Milk

27 September 2014

New website launch

A lot of you know, it's tough working on your own stuff while juggling clients and projects. Working on personal things always takes a back seat because truth be told, you gotta keep your clients happy and pay the rent. So when side projects of our own actually get done, it's a huge deal. Momentous actually... and I had one this week. I'm excited to announce my updated website went live this week! Stop by, have a look and let me know what you think. Enormous heartfelt thanks goes out to the amazing development team at San Clemente Website Design, without them it simply would not be what it is. Thank you for making me look so good girls!

21 September 2014

Crazy UX Myths

Hello friends! Back up and running after a few busy weeks of work, travel, a visit from my mom and the best wedding I've ever been to! And that last one is absolutely no lie. I could relive the entire weekend time and time again and not change one single detail. Except for perhaps the wedding gift fiasco, but no matter, it added to the laughs and memories of the whole amazing wedding experience!

Now... onto some great design. UX Myths is a website project from Zoltán Gócza, Zoltán Kollin and Dario Venneri. It's pretty fantastic and deserves some of your undivided attention to read through the myth explanations. Alessandro Giammaria and That's Com, both Italy based, liked the idea so much they created posters for each of the top 32 myths dispelled on the web, on design and on user experience. They caught my eye with the beautiful layout, color and typography, and made me laugh because of the facts! I posted some of my favorites, but head over to Alessandro's Behance site for the rest of the posters.

Photos: Alessandro Giammaria Behance

31 August 2014

Impressive Portfolio from Pavlov Visuals

Friends, summer is slipping by so quickly, again! Where does the time go? When I do have extra time, I haven't been very good with blogging. But I have a good excuse, I've been working on my website update and I'm pleased to say it will be going live very soon! Whew. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, take a good long look at this work from U.S./Amsterdam studio Pavlov Visuals. It's utterly gorgeous! The simple lines and fluid shapes within their work create strong visual appeal, matched with great color and typographic choices. Stunning on all levels!

Images: Pavlov Visuals

20 August 2014

The Best Bus Stop

Best looking Bus Stop ever? I think so!

Images: mmmm...

18 August 2014

The Badge Hunter

Want to know what real badge branding looks like? Tired of run-of-the-mill hipster logo badges? Then you've got to see Allan Peters' badges. They're unique, clever and completely one-of-a-kind. Allan is a creative director, designer and badge hunter extraordinaire based in Minneapolis who has done work for just a few small brands you might have heard of... Nike, Target, ESPN. With carefully selected fonts and placement of text and elements, his badges are a symphony for the eyes. I could look at them all day! And I was one of the first to get a MN badge tshirt over on Cotton Bureau. Yes, I'm a proud badge wearer! Check out some of his other great wares on Society6.

Images: Allan Peters

11 August 2014

The Grovemade Desk

I'm in love with the these sleek handcrafted desk products from Grovemade based in Portland Oregon. The small, close knit Grovemade team didn't leave any details behind, for example they sand and file every item by hand to perfection, creating pure artisan-quality goods with style and functionality. Including a little succulent planter and a mini desk lamp. The only problem, I can't decide between the black walnut or maple wood....

Images: Grovemade  

03 August 2014

Craftsmanship in Camden

Austin P. Smith Ceramics, serving bowl.

Austin P. Smith, whiskey cups.

Austin P. Smith, ice cream bowls.
Meghan Flynn, cups and vases.

Meghan Flynn, wood-fired jug.

Meghan Flynn, mugs, bowls and cups.
While I was on vacation a short time ago in Camden Maine, it just happened to be on the same weekend as the Camden Harbor Juried Arts & Crafts Show, which only happens twice a year. Lucky me! I spotted some extraordinary pottery from Meghan Flynn and Austin P. Smith. Both artists feature unique color and shape in their work. I'm in love with the warm rustic palette Meghan creates and Austin's signature are screen-printed nautical charts of Midcoast Maine's Penobscot Bay on the bottom of most pieces. Both should be nominated for the Martha Stewart America Made if they haven't been already!

If you're in the Northeast this fall, you can catch the Arts & Crafts Show again in October!

Images: Meghan Flynn and Austin P. Smith

01 August 2014

Hello August

This is a bright and wonderful way to welcome August. It's from the Present & Correct Instagram and I'm dying to know who illustrated this little gem, because I want a whole year of these! If you don't know Present & Correct they are a stationers dreams; stickers, pencils, note cards, labels, letterpress, stamps... you name it, they've got it. It's a treasure trove of paper and office objects. I've posted about them before, but they deserve another shout out! And they have Etsy site with even more great stuff too.

Image: Present & Correct Instagram

27 July 2014

That Vacation Feeling

It's amazing how fast times passes these days. Busy or not, I try my best to be social media active, but then somehow the day is gone and I'm ready for bed. Then there's vacation, which I just got back from. This vacation I wanted a break from everything, and I got it! I didn't watch tv, didn't peruse CNN, didn't tweet or blog, and didn't look at email or a newspaper (okay, I only looked at email twice, but deleted most everything because they weren't work related). I couldn't remember what day of the week it was and if you asked me the date, I would have paused and taken my best guess (but most likely got it wrong). And this vacation, that's exactly what I wanted! Rested and refreshed, I feel like a new person. I let my mind wander, but didn't really think about anything really. I let my brain have a break from the normal hectic schedule and just tried to be, be in the moment and enjoy. This is the photo that best sums up the feeling of my vacation; calming, beautiful, restful, but above all... memory filled.

09 July 2014

Easy Peasy Planting

This little gem is perfect if you've ever wanted to grow a little garden, but don't have the backyard space or are worried about pesky ground critters eating everything you plant. The Organic Garden Table brings the ground up to you for easy gardening with no back-breaking effort either. The whole table comes in a kit with all the holes pre-drilled, making it easy for you to assemble it quickly. Genius. Be sure to check out the plethora of other cool gadgets and creative gift ideas on The Gadget Flow!

Image: The Gadget Flow

05 July 2014

Earbuds for the Eyes

If you're in the market for some high style earbuds with big sound, then Meze's 11 Deco are just what you need. These hand sculpted beechwood and soft silicone enclosures produce crisp, but warm natural sound and have a microphone on the flexible non-tangle cord, making these both stylist and practical. Rock on.

Images: Meze
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