Volunteer Post

Posted 31 May 2011 at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

I haven’t been taking that many projects lately, so sadly, I don’t have very interesting material to post.

This little ad isn’t much, but there are a couple of things I like about it. One, it’s not over-designed. A simple font, a simple color palette, and a really simple concept is enough sometimes.

Two, the paintbrushes are dynamic. It almost looks like someone threw a paintbrush and it’s spiraling away from the viewer, doesn’t it? Anyway, that one element lends movement to a potentially stale design.

Community Center Renovation, Ad for Volunteer Painters

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Posted 30 May 2011 at 3:10 PM | Comments (6)

An exquisite New Orleans living room, a striking painting by Aaron Collier—so what’s wrong with this picture? I mean, besides the fact that I Photoshopped it:

Painting Above a Couch Photoshopped Too High

To a lot of you it looks just fine. And that’s precisely the problem! A lot of you are hanging your pictures too high above your couch. What’s wrong with that picture is that I Photoshopped it higher up on the wall.

Here’s the original image from Lonny:

How High to Hang a Painting Above a Couch, Image from Lonny May/June 2011

When hanging pictures, keep a couple of things in mind. First, it shouldn’t just be centered on a wall without regard to the other items in your home. In the Photoshopped image above, the painting is just floating on the wall with no relationship to the couch, or anything else. You’re saying, “But I thought white space was a good thing!” Well, it is, but you’re not losing any white space by hanging it lower. In fact, you’re improving things by giving the couch and the painting a relationship. In the original image from Lonny, the painting is part of a design which includes—rather than excludes—the couch.

Second, in general, pictures should be hung at eye-level. Not centered on the wall, and not above your head. At eye-level. Whose eye level, you ask? Take the average eye-level, which is 57 inches high. So the center of your picture should be at 57 inches. This is the standard practice in most galleries and museums, and believe me, it makes a huge difference.

I’d like to take a moment to apologize if I ever laughed in your apartment when I had to look up to see the photo hanging on your wall. I’m taller than the average woman! I shouldn’t be looking up to see that you took a nice photo of your kitty! Okay, maybe I’m not sorry that I laughed—but I’m sorry if it made you feel bad. Now… get to re-hanging everything!

Two Great Little Black Dresses

Posted 29 May 2011 at 5:32 PM | Comments (0)

I’ve finally started going through the fall 2011 runway shows and just happened to notice these two great dresses from Amanda Wakeley and Andrew Gn. Little black dresses don’t excite me much anymore, but these do!

Fall 2011 Runway Little Black Dresses by Amanda Wakeley and Andrew Gn

Though I must say the second dress is too heavily accessorized for my taste. All that leather and dark bling just weighs down a dress that’s already intriguing on its own. Instead, I’d style it with more delicate gold jewelry and heels instead of boots. Otherwise, gorgeous!

End of Year Program Invitation

Posted 28 May 2011 at 3:08 PM | Comments (0)

In three short months, I’ll be sending my three year-old to preschool. On one hand I can’t wait, since being home with him all day has been challenging as of late. On the other hand I’d keep him home with me forever if I could, because I know there will come a day when I’ll miss out on most things in his life—so right now, I want to be there for everything.

Oh… was that off-topic?

Invitation for Junior High School End of Year Program

Halfway to Glamorous

Posted 27 May 2011 at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)

I miss a lot of things about the Western world, like Taco Bell and Target, pretty stationery, quiet libraries, designer showrooms, big parking lots, vibrant theaters, art galleries, and options. Oh, how I miss options! But one thing I only just realized that I miss is glamour.

We live in a notoriously casual place, where beachy furniture, breezy fabrics, and Birkenstocks reign, where people walk slowly, talk leisurely, and sit lengthily. It’s a great place to be raising my kids in these early years, because I have so few distractions. But now I see there’s a gaping hole where there should be silk drapes and crystal chandeliers.

Looking at Crate&Barrel’s Chloe Chair, I imagine a living room that’s glamorous-casual, halfway between the life I’m living now and the glamorous life I used to live (take that statement with a huge grain of salt. Remember, I’m four and-a-half years out, so everything about my Chicago life seems glamorous now):

Chloe Chair, Glamorous Casual Living Room

Oh, so my husband saw this image and said he couldn’t imagine us living in this room. So note to self: create an inspiration board for the kind of room my husband could live in. You know, cozy, cabiny… against all my natural instincts, but I’ll try to make it work for both of us.

Fossilized

Posted 21 May 2011 at 8:45 PM | Comments (3)

I’m obsessed with Fossil watches. I can’t think of any reason why, except that maybe the first watch I bought with my own, hard-earned money was a Fossil, and it came in the most awesome little tin (which I still have), and it was just so beautiful. So every now and then I browse their website and pick my favorites. My search today came up with these six beauties (I especially love the first two, probably because they have a preppy ‘70s vibe which is just so hot right now):

Best Fossil Watches, May 2011

Top row: Stella Multifunction Rose Gold Tone Dial Watch, Three Hand Silver Dial Watch, Bridgette Three Hand Silver Dial Watch. Bottom row: Bridgette Three Hand Gray Dial Watch, S+arck-Economique White Polyurethane Watch, Ultra Slim Sand Dial Watch.

Camelia’s Cupcakes Ordering Brochure

Posted 18 May 2011 at 10:06 PM | Comments (8)

Remember the logo I designed for this Stockholm cupcakery? I just finished a tri-fold brochure specifying their flavors and ordering information. We kept the front page simple, with just their logo and phone numbers:

Camelia's Cupcakes Ordering Information Brochure, Front

I wanted the inside flap to be pure eye candy (eye cupcake?). Since readers breeze past that page, I didn’t want it to contain important information—instead, a photo from Camelia’s cupcake shoot is eye-catching, relevant, and drool-worthy:

Camelia's Cupcakes Ordering Information Brochure, Inside Flap

There’s a lot of text on the inside, so I only included what was necessary. Then with the extra space I blew-up the logo and cut it off horizontally to make it a graphic element; it’s a way to emphasize the brand but with whimsy. I also excerpted a quote from the back of the brochure that was too important to be tucked away—the quote reads almost like a vision statement, so it absolutely needed emphasis too:

Camelia's Cupcakes Ordering Information Brochure, Inside

The back page contains the most unsexy, but most important, information—pricing and ordering. This page didn’t need a lot of graphic treatment. The fonts and colors of the brand, plus the cupcake swirl adding a tiny flourish, are just enough here:

Camelia's Cupcakes Ordering Information Brochure, Back

We’re working on some other exciting components, so more to come!

Charming Calico

Posted 17 May 2011 at 1:00 PM | Comments (2)

In some countries, calico fabric is a type of cloth, but in the U.S. when we say “calico” we’re generally referring to cotton fabric with a small, allover-floral print. When I think of calico, I think quaint and retro—and uniquely appropriate for a spring wedding with a cute, vintage vibe!

I’d take the cute, vintage vibe even further by repeating tiny florals, gingham, ric rac and cherry motifs everywhere. Add cupcakes, and your homespun wedding is good to go!

Charming Calico

Six Months of Color Palettes

Posted 16 May 2011 at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

I get irrationally excited about Lonny’s regular column on wall paint. Each issue features a color trend prediction or palette suggestion from a paint company, and they’re always so drippingly beautiful and tasty.

Two color palette trends from Farrow & Ball:

Farrow & Ball Wall Color Trends in Lonny Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Farrow & Ball Wall Color Trends in Lonny Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

From Stark Paints:

Stark Paints Wall Color Trends in Lonny Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

From Serena & Lily:

Serena & Lily Wall Color Trends in Lonny Magazine May/Jun 2011

Also, if you’re wondering where I’ve been all week… I was catching up on TV shows. It’s true! With such little time to myself each day, sometimes the most passive activity appeals to me most. Like watching American Idol.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Posted 9 May 2011 at 6:26 PM | Comments (0)

I’ve been entitled to Mother’s Day since fall 2007, and I have two cute boys to prove it! Well, take “cute” with a grain of salt. We’ve had a few incidents lately where that was the last word on my mind. But for the most part, they’re cute and I’m pretty lucky that they’re mine.

Yesterday I was thinking about how we make annual resolutions for the New Year—most of them physical, like losing weight or eating healthier—and wondered if I should think of Mother’s Day as a time to reflect on motherhood and possibly make resolutions for the year on how I can do better.

But the list is too long. Too long and too overwhelming. There are so many ways I want to be a better mother, and thinking about it makes me instinctively curl up in a fetal position. (Oh, the irony!)

So then I thought that maybe I should just figure out, by next Mother’s Day, how to offer free printables on this blog. Right?!

That might be something I can actually do.

Happy Mother's Day Design with Diagonal Stripes and Outlined Flowers

Happy Mother’s Day to all the loving, patient mamas out there. Nothing but respect!