Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Ever since I saw Nora Fleming's home on Design*Sponge I cannot get it out of my head. It is purely recycled material (I have seen it on multiple blogs). But it is such a great example of color in the home. I LOVE using color this way and it makes me feel like I'm a bit more normal (I used to tell people that I sometimes felt like a rainbow threw up in my house).

A couple of details that are really wonderful:
1. The red chandelier. You could spray paint even a hideous light fixture this color and I'd love it.
2. The mixture of white walls with bright furniture and colored walls with white furniture and a few bright pops of color.

You can see more pics at Nora's blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

cynthia ferguson

Since we are on the theme of silhouettes, I had to include the work of Cynthia Ferguson. She is a graphic designer out of Salt Lake City who also practices the art of scherenschnitte (that would be German for the art of paper cutting). Her work is both detailed and simple at the same time. You can purchase her works at her Etsy site, or peruse her design at her professional site.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I absolutely love that silhouettes are back in style. You can try your hand at DIY silhouettes of family members. Simply Silhouettes does it as their means of business (putting your face on everything from walls to stationary to clothing). And the incredibly talented graphic designer Wilhelm Staehle has created a Silhouette Masterpiece Theater that is hysterical.

Friday, April 25, 2008

daily poetics

"There is not a particle of life that does not carry poetry within it"
- Gustave Flaubert (from the DailyPoetics blog)

DailyPoetics is the blog and Flickr Photostream of Kariann Burleson. She has a talent for finding wonderful quotes, clever copy and beautiful design. Her personal collages are gorgeous, full of inspiration and beautiful color. Be sure to check out her ephemera set for art in the everyday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

drop clock

I downloaded this screen saver last week and it is SO cool. D stands in front of the computer and just stares (and doesn't ask for "trucks" on You Tube). A great use of Helvetica.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

we're back

Sorry for radio silence ... we were away for a long weekend.

And while away we ventured to IKEA. I have to admit a small obsession for that store. It goes against so much of what I believe. But they do so many things really well. Like children's toys. Lots of wooden, old school play things (NOT made in China). D was in need of trains and we stocked up. They also do prints so well. I got new duvets (above) for D's future big boy beds ($6.99/each!)

And finally, this console. I love it. And I love it in yellow. Color everywhere.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Zeichen Press makes really really funny cards. Created by two sisters-in-law out of Minneapolis, MN, Jen and Fran Shea straddle the line between clean and things-that-offend so well (that is really hard to do). I love their sense of humor and their type sensibility. And all of their letterpress cards are on earth friendly papers.

designer's guild

While in Chicago, our office was two blocks from the Marshall Field's State Street Store. (may Field's rest in peace since awful Macy's took over ... don't get me started). I used to take lunch breaks and wander the floors, finding inspiration from top to bottom. I discovered Thomas O'Brien long before he was at Target (he had wonderful mid-century antiques for sale through his Aero store). And I also discovered Designer's Guild. Tricia Guild is a British designer who embraces color. I wanted to move into her showroom at the MF store (like From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I was a biology major. Go figure. I didn't have enough confidence in my creativity to think that I could make anything of it. I loved the details of science. Not the icky genetic or chemistry stuff, but the right-there-in-front-of-me botany, anatomy, zoology and ecology. I saved all of my books because I loved the diagrams. And to this day I still do.

BibliOdyssey is a blog devoted entirely to amazing
OLD etchings, woodcuts, illustrations, you name it. Just the type of stuff I love about science. I could spend hours looking at it all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

the hamanns

I almost titled this post "double trouble" but wanted this to be a good day for Steve and Rick. Steve and Rick Hamann are twin brothers residing in Evanston, IL. We are lucky enough to be called their friends. Steve is an artist, specializing in paint and mixed media. His characters are quirky and full of personality. His work makes me think of the BEST of Sesame Street, but even smarter. T commissioned Steve to paint our dog, Zuri, last Christmas. It has become one of my favorite gifts ever.

Rick is a writer, specializing in advertising (check out all of the new Porsche ads) and being a the dad of his one year old, Eli. You can read some of Rick's meanderings on his HamannEggs blog (great name, huh?). Eli looked just like George Bush when he was born ... which is even funnier when you know how liberal the Hamanns are.

Both brothers are amazingly creative and naturally talented. And to hang out with them is such a pleasure. Super laid back with a cutting wit. To make the mix even better, their wives are the coolest.

"engineered mischief"

Friday, April 11, 2008

catch the sun

On vacation in FLA with T's family we gathered nightly on the deck to view the sunset. It was always beautiful, clouds or no clouds. But I told T that I saw no use in photographing it. I have spent way too many years on stock photo sites and know that good pics of the sunset are out there, in the millions. So T told me about a website where people post their pics of "holding the sun". And wouldn't you know it, most of those pics are on Flickr, in a group called Catching Sunshine. Some are really beautiful. And others are just fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

feltron annual report

Nicholas Felton is a very talented graphic designer out of NYC. Feltron Eight is his personal website. Over the past three years, Nicholas has done an annual report of himself, laying out where he spends his time and money. The type work alone in his 2007 report is award worthy. I have to also note that it is a beautiful two-color job.

You can view the whole report at Issuu (an amazing site ... full of free online pubs and portfolios). And you can check out more of Nicholas' work at his professional site, Megaphone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

tiny wax sculptures

Diem Chau is an artist who picks the most wonderful mediums. You can commission her to do a crayon of someone you know. Once finished, just be sure to keep it away from the kids. See more here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

more mucca

Mucca Design is out of San Fran and there is not one thing that they have produced that I don't like. They are lovers (and makers) of type. You can see their attention to detail in every logo, package, book cover, website that they design. Similar to Elixir Design, Mucca has no problem bridging the gap between traditional and modern. Their work inspires me to be better. Enjoy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

when two loves collide

I love it when two things that you think are totally unrelated link up in a beautiful way. Patagonia, makers of bomb-proof clothing and just an overall incredible company, has hired a group of artists to do their t-shirts this season. And Jason Munn, from The Small Stakes, is one of them. Like all of his posters, his t-shirts are simple with a small twist. I also love the work by Geoff McFetridge. Both graphic and detailed, his t's reminds me of the classic 60s graphic designers: Paul Rand and Seymour Chwast.

Friday, April 4, 2008

ray fenwick

Ray Fenwick is an amazing illustrator out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Formally an improv comedian, Ray now takes his unique view on life and applies it to his drawings, type and patterns. His work has been everywhere ... from Urban Outfitters to The New York Times. I absolutely love his handwriting. His Flickr sets are great. My favorites: The Slow Jams of LL Cool J, The Story Of ..., and his Illustrations. You can catch more of Ray's work at his site and some of his thoughts at the It's Nice That blog.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

type pop-up

This book is proof that pop-ups aren't just for kids. It's pretty ingenius.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

you can't always get what you want

I sang the Rolling Stones tune to D in the kitchen tonight after he threw his 100th tantrum of the day. It worked. He liked it so much that he asked me to sing it again. Why hasn't some kid's singer done a toddler version of that song?

It was a rough day. D is figuring out that he actually has a say in life and right now his say is "no". I realize that it is just a faze. And most of the time I have to stop myself from bursting out laughing (any attention to his pouting can cause even more bad behavior ... just like Britney Spears). But I had two things that I wanted to share. The IKEA toy below is still too tough for D to hammer, but it is quite effective at allowing me to get out a little frustration. And the book "How Are You Peeling" (picture above) by Freymann and Elffers is not only really fun to look at (fruit and veggies photographed with wonderful emotions and vibrant colors) but might just save me if D learns how to vocalize his frustration.

bob's your uncle

Isn't that an awesome name for a company?! Bob's Your Uncle is a British expression meaning "everything is fine". The company was founded by English couple Michele and Martin Yeeles, who now reside in Boston. Their graphic products are super fun. From luggage tags to place-mats, they keep it simple and humorous.