Monday, December 19, 2011

joy to the world (2011 christmas cards)

Can you hear that? It's yours truly heaving a big old sigh of relief.

The gifts have been bought, our six night stretch of social events is behind us, we've finally made peace with the fact that amidst our kitchen reno there will be no Christmas tree (but there IS a nativity set, which is way more important), and most importantly the cards have gone out.

Ah yes, the Christmas cards. All 125 cards for my design business clients and vendors, 75 photo cards for family and close friends, and of course the inevitable 100 cards that my in-laws ask me to do for them. And then there's
the batch that were not yet addressed which my husband thoughtfully mailed for me. The first day that they started coming back to me, my little heart skipped a beat when I thought that someone else also thought to send out teal envelopes at Christmas. Not so. And so began another afternoon of card assembling.

Last year's cards were all about rich materials and metallics. This year, I wanted to make them a little more fun and light-hearted. Attached to the cards are some gift tags which you can slip over the neck of a bottle (or hang on a gift). But the real gift is a donation I make on my clients' behalf to a worthy cause. Because seriously who needs another canister of mixed nuts?

I look forward to designing these cards all year. In fact, I just may have plans for next year's cards already. And secret decoder glasses *may* be part of the package. But truth be told, I want my dining room table back. It's been covered with paper goods, cutting tools, envelopes, ball-chains, and drywall dust (thanks to a well-timed kitchen reno) for the past month.

So in celebration of having the cards in the mail (and hopefully in many of your mailboxes by now), I write this post.

What about you? If you could have a hanging wine card say anything you wanted, what would it say? Come on... dish! The top submissions will be created and sent to those who submitted them in a care package by yours truly. Once I've recovered from Christmas, that is.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm excited to share my submission for the "Say Something Poster Project" benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of America; a poster design competition and gallery show created to give designers the opportunity to use poster design to say something that will inspire, motivate and educate teenaged kids.

You can place your vote (it takes just a few seconds) and see the other submissions here:

And for an inside look at the creation of this chalk illustration, check out this 2-minute time lapse movie (my first try at iMovie!)

So what's the story behind this? I believe that out of even the most hopeless circumstances, beauty and hope and restoration can be found. I've experienced it in my own life, and I have witnessed it in the lives of others. There are many layers of meaning to the phrase in my poster. To some, it may bring to mind an image of God breathing life into man and forming his finest masterpiece from dust. To others, it may evoke images of dust-covered bikes lining the streets of New York ... and firefighters rushing in to sacrifice their lives for another. To others, it may just remind you that it's been forever since you dusted your mantle (wink). Because chalk is essentially dust, I thought that it was an appropriate medium to use for this message.

Whatever it means to you, I hope that this image sends a message of hope and optimism. :)

P.S. Did you vote yet? If not, take a moment and vote here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

let it snow

With the weather turning cooler, I thought I'd share a favorite piece of type with you. I absolutely love this gorgeous hand-cut type by Danielle Kroll (done for Anthropologie's 2009 Christmas Website; art direction by David Chanpong and Laura Twilley). Isn't it delicious?

Enjoy your first flakes of snow!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a Pantone thanksgiving

I have a confession. I've discovered another love. It's called Pinterest. And all the time that I could have spent writing posts on this blog, I have instead been ogling over awesome DIY ideas, gorgeous design inspiration, and pinning all kinds of great things on my boards. If you haven't heard of Pinterest, it's a virtual pinboard and community where you can find all sorts of great ideas and inspiration. And if you HAVE heard of it, what are you doing here, silly?

Kidding. But thanks for stopping in nevertheless. Peruse the archives, check out my Pinterest page, and do visit back. I'll try not to wait another three months to post. Gulp.

And in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I want to share these fabulous Pantone-inspired placecards by Annemarie Buckley of the blog Frolic! Click here for the how-to on these awesome little paper goodies. I love the rusty fall colors and watercolor variations. Most of my family would probably look a them and remark on what nice, plain cards they are. So you may only go to the effort if you are inviting a slew of designers over to eat.

And if you're a Pantone fan, check out these great DIY Pantone magnets or Pantone cookies.

Have a colorful fall, and a fabulous Thanksgiving!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

furry friend cards

Yes, it has been a month since my last post. This summer has been amazing and hectic all in one. Highlights have included a week at the cottage, an inspiring design conference, two fabulous concerts (U2 and Keith Urban), far too many ice cream cones with my nearly three-year-old, and great times with friends and family. Needless to say, I'd take this kind of busy any day. I feel very, very blessed.

Still, it's time to post something to my neglected blog, so I'm pulling this little project out of the archives. It's a stationery set I designed for my cousin, who happens to be the sweetest animal lover I know. For as long as I can remember, Erin's had a furry (or winged) creature to love. Bunnies in particular have a special place in her heart. She's taken this passion to a whole new level, and volunteers for Rabbit Rescue (click here for their website), finding loving homes for neglected animals and regularly taking them in herself until a home is found. Erin also manages their online store here, where you can find all sorts of cute products for animal lovers.

I decided to send Erin this little stack of custom cards for her birthday. They were a lot of fun to work on.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

crafty people: go jump in the lake.

Crafty people can be the worst dressers. Being somewhat crafty myself, I'll be the first to admit it.  This weekend, I witnessed it first-hand at Plymouth, Michigan's Art in the Park. Every year, artistans, merchants, and hippies alike converge in one place to sell their creations and show off their tie dye outfits and appliqué t-shirts.You know the ones I'm talking about. 

So when I come across something truly different, I can't help but share it. A few years back, I came across these great signs by Go Jump In The Lake a few years ago. They make these incredible rustic-looking silkscreened signs. Last year, I got one for my in-law's cottage on Higgins Lake. This year, their booth had doubled in size, as had their offering of fabulous signs in delicious colors. I couldn't help but pick the following sign up for our son's room (shown with a rustic chair I picked up at a nearby antique sale for my mom, and some cement bunnies for my favorite rabbit-lover):

It's hard to tell in the photos, but it's the most gorgeous papaya-orange color behind one of his favorite songs (second only to "God's love is like a circle").

A few of my other favorites...

They also have some options for customization, so be sure to visit their Etsy store here.
Credits and kudos to Laurie and Lee Dayvault of Go Jump in the Lake. You've made a certain mom of a two-year-old very happy... and have renewed my faith in local art fairs.

Now if only I could find my tie dye jumper for next weekend...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Potty time.

So we're potty training in our house. In a burst of creativity and optimism, I decided to paint a potty chart. Our little trainee helped me pick the paper and accessories out, and I got to work.

The final product doesn't look much like a chart, and a month later a certain someone's still in diapers, but you can't say that I haven't tried.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Words to read by

Several months back, I worked on these little bookmarks. I'm not about wasting paper, so when a client ordered square postcards and the printer had some extra space on the rectangular sheet, I designed these little bookmarks with some good little reminders to keep on hand or between the pages of your favorite book.

Now if only I had time to read...

I got the above Lovebird placecard holders at Beau-Coup. Each bird has little slot in its beak that can hold a piece of paper. They're made of solid metal, giving them a nice weight, and come in a set of eight. If you've never shopped at Beau-Coup, they offer exceptional customer service, and have some really cute products on their site.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wham, Bam, Thank-you Jam.

Last week, we went berry picking for the first time. One would think that it had all of the right ingredients for a happy afternoon to share with a two-year-old. You have an open field, berries to eat, and friends nearby. Not so. It was a gripe fest through and through. Still, I got this cute picture of the little man with our boxes (which had only two dozen strawberries after an hour of picking).

To my surprise, we eventually left with three heaping trays of juicy Michigan strawberries for jam. I owe it all to a friend with a minivan with a DVD player. So much for quality time with the little man. Sidenote: he's since been pointing to the overhead light of our 1997 Jeep Cherokee and saying, "Is THAT a TV? I wanna watch a movie. I wanna new car." But back to the jam.

This wasn't your everyday jam. You're talking personally picked, strongly smushed, sweetly sugared, prayerfully pectin(ated), joyfully jarred Jam. Which I now like to call my very own "Wham, Bam, Thank-you Jam." The perfect thing to have on hand when a simple thank-you won't do. What can I say? I'm all about branding. And eating jam, as of late.

And thanks to this jam, breakfast is so much sweeter these days. As is my two-year-old.