Thursday, January 31, 2008

peace - inside and out

I have just finished reading these two books and I highly recommend them both.

Eat Pray Love is beautifully written. It is one woman's journey to finding herself. This world feeds us a bunch of lies and Elizabeth's search for inner peace, away from those lies, is incredible.

Three Cups of Tea is a bigger story, on all fronts. Greg Mortenson is a mountain climber who finds ways to bring peace to this world, one child at a time. Building schools in the most remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, his mission to educate girls changes towns and the perception of Americans in countries that know us mostly for bombing and leaving without further help. This story is almost too much to tell in one book, so the writing suffers. But the story is TOO important not to read. The truth is sometimes unbearable. Americans tend to sit in their ivory towers, but Greg goes down the mountain, risking everything to give help to those who need it most.

I walked away from both of these books realizing that the Divine is HUGE and cannot be contained. No matter what you believe, both of these books will inspire you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

i love ALL of these

Most of the people that know me are aware that I love type. There is not one piece of art in our house that doesn't have some sort of letter or number in it. We own six Hatch Show Prints. For our anniversary one year I gave T three gigantic antique gas station price numbers (they are 1'x5' and solid metal). For his birthday I gave him a map of Chicago from Ork Posters.

And now I'm wanting all of Douglas Wilson's posters for sale at Keep Calm. Douglas is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, photographer, art director, & instructor currently living in Springfield, Missouri USA. I wish so much I had had him as my teacher for type class. Look at some of the assignments he gives his students. His blog, here are things I like, is to the right.

T might be getting one of these posters for Valentines Day. Notice a pattern?

Monday, January 28, 2008

required reading

Maybe it's because of the change in scenery, but lately I have been obsessed with the Sundance Catalog. Besides their over-promoting of the Sundance Film Festival (they should keep the pictures with film reels to a minimum), I am loving their selections. Robert Redford has done well creating an image for himself and the world that is him. I guess that's what business is all about.

Here are just a few things that I like:

Draper's Cabinetry

Wright's Peak Wire Storage

1934 Dining Chairs

Soho Slouch Bag


Paste Magazine is an awesome music mag out of Decatur, GA. It is great for many reasons.

1. The writing is top tier.
2. You get a free music CD with every issue.
3. They review more than music - you can educate yourself about movies, art, books, etc.

Because the main influence in my day is 1.5 years old, I don't get to hear about the latest greatest tunes or books out there. This serves as a great window to the indie world.

And Paste is running a two for one subscription deal ... $20 for 11 issues! You AND a friend can be super with-it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

where the wild things are

I had heard that this movie was coming out, but I had no idea that it was going to have such cool people behind it. Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation", many cool videos and commercials) is directing. Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius, McSweeney's) wrote the screenplay. Catherine Keener is the mom. Forest Whitaker is the Wild Thing's voice. This should be good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

i love color

Years ago this website was featured in Communication Arts and I just fell in love with it. Color was my favorite class in ad school (a close second was type). Maria Claudia Cortes does a fabulous job of bringing color to life. Her site serves as a great reference page for when you are wondering what color to paint a room, to add to a logo or to color an ad layout. Color means many things and invokes so many feelings. Maria reminds us of that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

almost 40

I cannot believe that this video is almost 40 years old. It is one of our favorites.

You can buy a version of this song by Cake. We love this album. Lots of great classics by current artists.

Monday, January 21, 2008

gastronome stories

I don't envy food photographers. The few food shoots I have been on are like watching paint dry. You can work for hours getting the turkey to glisten just right. Or the sweat on a drink bottle to perfectly fall. Understanding just how difficult it is to work with future compost makes me appreciate these two artists that much more. Minimiam is a French/Japanese team who create tiny stories ON food. They are quite wonderful.


T's brother and family were visiting this weekend. They are such great guests. And it is always fun to see how D does with his cousins. There were many great quotes from the weekend, but my favorite was from the four year old, out of the blue, "Dad, why so many wedgies?"

Friday, January 18, 2008

design police

So awesome. Download your free kit here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


You know your teenage years were spent in the 80s when you start singing Def Leppard upon seeing the title of this post. Why are bad hair band's songs so catchy?

Two great finds today. Both through Frank Chimero's blog By So and So. The first is The Library of Congress' photos on Flickr. I could eat stuff like this up! Be ready to waste hours going through all 173 pages.

The second isn't a new discovery for me. When still working in the agency world T and I were put on a committee in charge of taking portraits of everyone in the entire agency. Those inner-office projects can be awful ... but this one landed us up and coming photographer, Todd Baxter. Our art buyer found Todd and forwarded his portfolio. I loved his composition and use of color. And his overall quirkiness. It helped that he and his assistant were so incredibly nice. It's good to see his work featured on Frank's blog and that Todd is doing well for himself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

handmade gifts, part II

So you've all seen the chalkboards that I made for the kids in the family. For the adults I made "floor cloths".

I was inspired by Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine and Galbraith and Paul's "Citrus" linen.

I actually directly copied this pattern for one of my rugs.

For all of them I used a cheap drop cloth (cut to size), a rug pad, carpet tape, a potato and acrylic paint. It was lots of fun.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

small magazine

I love magazines. The worst part about this obsession is that they pile up. I can go through a magazine in less than an hour (except for The New Yorker ... those can take days or weeks or months). I am pretty good about purging the piles of mags but there are always those that stick around for years.

So I was super excited when I saw this new magazine for parents. Small is an online mag and it has everything an actual periodical would ... but it doesn't end up in your recycle bin. Their philosophy is "small scale independent design small sized for kids". The photography is gorgeous. And the art direction is right-on. I hope to see more mags like this in the future.

Oh! Another great fact about Small ... it's free. To subscribe, you just type in your email. Can't beat that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I am a sucker for book covers. I cannot tell you how many times I've bought a novel because the cover was cool. It has payed off a couple of times. But more often than not, the book goes unfinished and into the give-away pile.

Fwis is a design firm that has a book covers website, aptly called "covers". They comment on the good and bad. It is wonderful eye candy and might save me a lot of cash at the local bookstore.

changing influences

I have been thinking lately about how blogging has kept me sane. It has given me an outlet outside of "mommy-dom" and helped me keep track of myself. It is a challenge to find time to write. And also a challenge to find new things to write about (this web world tends to feed on itself and often you'll see the same things all over the internet). But just being able to remain in this visual world AND be a mom is such an amazing gift. The professional person I was before is growing just as much as the person I am now (and I don't mean that literally ... although that's funny!).

So you'll see that I have deleted and added to my list of favorites. Because my influences are always changing.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

anorak magazine

I discovered Julia Rothman's blog today. I think I'm infatuated with illustrators. From Etsy to all kinds of children's books, I can't get enough of them (the good ones, that is). Julia is a wonderful illustrator. And her blog is filled with great finds. She recently featured a children's magazine called Anorak - The Happy Mag for Kids. It is out of the UK and incredibly fun and quirky ... a crazy mix of coloring book (it comes with colored pencils), learning tools (great collage art) and just plain weirdness. I also love the name. I had my fair share of J. Crew and LL Bean anoraks as a kid. The bigger the better.

Remember Highlights and World and Ranger Rick? They weren't nearly as cool as this:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

what did you buy today?

I came across the Obsessive Consumption blog via the Here Are Things I Like blog. Kate Bingaman-Burt of Obsessive Consumption draws one of her purchases everyday. I love her illustration style and handwriting. I also love the simplicity of her website. She is mucho talented.

kid smart

D and I went to Petsmart yesterday to buy some toys for Z. The poor dog got nothing for Christmas and has lost all of his balls in the snow. We stayed in the store for an hour (while forlorn Z sat in the car ... I can only handle one child at a time in those places). The dog toy aisle was better than any Target. D even put the rubber toys in HIS mouth (yuck!). I carried him away only to find that he squeals (more like a loud scream) with glee at the cage full of singing birds, waves to the poor hamsters and wants to hold every single goldfish in his hand.

So if you are hard up for something to do in these cold winter months Petsmart offers free entertainment for all toddlers ... and those willing to watch.