Wednesday, April 27, 2011

facebook circa 1960

The other day, I referred to a DVD as a "video" and immediately felt a decade older. In honor of that, I share these vintage-inspired "ads" for social media. Read more about them here. I wonder what the next generation's Facebook will be... and whether I'll catch myself accidentally calling it Facebook (followed by an eyeball roll by my son).


Credits: Ricky Salsberry of The Donut Project

Sunday, April 24, 2011

sunburst obsession

I have a confession. I've recently become obsessed with starburst mirrors and wall art. Okay, maybe the word "obsession" is a bit strong, but suffice it to say that it's caused me to eye every bed, couch and table in my house where a perfectly centered sunburst might be just the finishing touch that it needs.  

Case in point: a few years ago, I stumbled across this beauty, which spans a gorgeous four feet across the papaya-colored wall in my kitchen (please excuse the poor photo quality, ugly oak cabinets, and photographer's reflection). Two years later, this thing still makes me feel happy every time I look at it. Kind of like my son. Er, perhaps that's not the right comparison. In any case, I love it so much that it inspired the holiday cards I sent to my clients last year.

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Then came this leafy champagne-colored treasure, which I discovered last summer during a trip to Traverse City. At $175, it's pretty much the most expensive thing I've ever bought for a wall... but I had seen it months earlier and when I returned, it caught my eye again. Needless to say I snatched up, felt a wee bit guilty, but quickly got over it. 

Then came my more recent attempt to "adultify" the playroom in our lower level (translation: basement). That's right... adultify. You'll notice that this photo is strategically cropping out the train table and baskets of toys on either side.

Now that I've proven my case, you can now understand why I was so thrilled to come across these fun DIY projects that involved making a sunburst mirror... out of rulers! See the full project here on Design Sponge! Office supplies + groovy home décore = pure genius in my books. And no, I can't take credit for this mirror.

Another clever iteration is this wooden ruler mirror made out of wooden rulers (25 cents ea) and shish kebab skewers.

And perhaps my favorite for this spring due to the crisp, fresh feel of white against a colored wall (as well as the fact that this is made out of PAPER!) is the one shown below. Click here for complete DIY instructions by Nesting Place.

Three tips for using a sunburst mirror or wall art in your décor:

1. Think balance. These work best when centered over a piece of furniture such as a console table, a fireplace, or a bed. When hanging, consider also the distance between the circle and the piece of furniture. Many people hang their art too high on the wall. The center of your circle should be at eye level for the average person, unless of course you are positioning above a fireplace or higher piece of furniture. The mirror below could have been hung about 6" higher. Still, it's a gorgeous example of how a few unique pieces within a neutral palette can give a room character and a little "glam." Love.

2. Consider proportion and visual "weight." The mirror below feels proportionate to the room size, and fills the space over the fireplace well. It's also reflective, which gives it a lighter "visual weight" compared to the mirror over the bed (shown above). So even though it's a large piece, it doesn't feel too heavy in the room. Something with mirrored or metallic "spokes" helps it feel light and airy despite its size. Or you could also paint a darker frame white, as shown in the third picture.

3. Have fun. Break the rules a little. Display a group of them together on a larger wall. Similar finishes and the repeated circular shape helps to tie this collection together. You could spraypaint a bunch of them white, or add some whimsy to a child's room by painting them in a few different shades of the same hue (ie. pink).

Happy sunbursting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

buzzkill coasters

Yes, I'm horrible. No posts in nearly three weeks. I've had a ton of new projects come my way recently, and have neglected this blog. I post these in honor of upcoming family gatherings this coming Easter season. These fabulous coasters by Gilah Press seem to be in line with my MYOB cards. I absolutely love them.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

keep calm

Keep calm and carry on. These were the words on a WWII poster created by the British Government in 1939. While the poster was little known and never used at the time, it was rediscovered in 2000 and has since been used and parodied in a number of ways. I've shared a few below:


 Above: Calendar from Etsy artist Little Brown Pen.

Still, there's a certain charm about the phrase and the graphic simplicity of the original poster:

So when my friend Ami announced that she was becoming a Premier Designs jeweler (note their scripted logo with the crown on top), I thought that there was opportunity to have a little fun with the business cards I created for her. The only suggestion? She loves purple.

I finished off the cards with a hit of spot varnish to make them shine.

It's hard to see in the below photograph, but I added some spot varnish details to the back side also. See the little diamond shapes framing the purple bar? If you like the look, you can read more about some other projects I've done with spot varnish here.

The payoff? In exchange for designing and printing her cards, I get five nights' worth of free babysitting! (Did I mention that she's one of our son's favorite sitters?) Which also means FIVE date nights where I get to wear all of the cute jewelry I'll be ordering from her!

It was a fun little project to work on, and I wish Ami every success in her new business!

Friday, April 1, 2011

shower secrets

A mood board for a baby shower? Yes, that's what you get when you put a brand designer and paper lover in charge of a shower. So months ago when I set out to plan a gender-neutral shower for a dear friend of mine who also happens to love the color green, I decided to embrace our dear woodland creatures and have some fun.

If you've never heard of a mood board, it's like a collage of ideas or images that reflect the tone of your brand, the room you'd like to make over (i.e. my newest blog addiction, Young House Love, and their mood boards for stylish room makeovers) or in this case, your event. Here's what the shower mood board looked like a few months ago. Super simple, but lots of fun:

Then came the invitations. Read the full story here.

From there, it was just plain fun.

Favor tins? Check.

Game? Check.

Centerpieces? Check.
(A bit of background: I looked into real birch stump balloon weights, and thought that there must be a greener way to do it. So I found a birchbark image online, and designed my own wraps instead! No wood, no saws, no wood burning... no problem!)

They would make cute vases too, wouldn't they?

Wanting to stick to my budget, I decided instead to use them as balloon weights and pen holders for the shower games. Being the resourceful person that I am, I opened up my drawer of useless office supplies I will never use, and rigged a paper fastener to the bottom to loop the balloons around. To all of my blog-readers who are closet engineers, I invite you to share how I could have more effectively done this. :)

Then I slipped on the paper sleeve (you can tear apart your Starbucks cup sleeve for a rough template):

Next were these sweet cupcake wrappers. I had to modify their shape a bit, but nothing a little measuring can't fix. With that said, I can take no credit for the deliciousness that is inside them. That credit must be given to the lovely Diana Gawet of Diana's Cupcakes. She blogs about her tasty creations here. What can I say? There's a reason that I stick to the things I know best, leaving the rest to the experts. :) Did I mention that they were as tasty as they look? Yum!

And last but not least, the balloons. Yes, that is my son. No, he did not float away... though the sugar high he experienced on the aforementioned yummy cupcakes got him pretty close to flying!

All in all, the shower was a success. Fun was had, a friend was honored, and a baby was welcomed.

My advice to those of you planning a shower? Have fun with it! Look online for ideas, pick a theme and a color scheme, and run with it. You can have a beautiful shower / wedding / party on a budget.

Don't believe me? Check out my new design heroes, Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love as they reveal the secrets behind their $3,995 backyard wedding here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a breakdown of their über-chic, über-cheap wedding. Seriously, that's less than many people spend on the dress alone. Their site is packed with great ideas on decorating on a budget and (in this case) planning a beautiful event complete with gorgeous details and sweet ideas without breaking the bank. But I digress. Did I mention that I love their blog?

Thanks to those of you who made it this far.
Happy showering!