Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Relics of Christmas Past

This year at home for Christmas we went through the ornaments that didn't
make it onto the tree and finally got rid of some of them! While they didn't
make the cut, I enjoyed some of the retro styles! Oh, the memories...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Before & After: Mini Holiday Greeting Project

I didn't make homemade cards this year, but when I ran out of store bought ones, I quickly 
designed this little ditty up. Here's the original inspiration on the left and the final product 
on the right!  I traced the photo, added a more visible tail and a little bling, and I'm quite 
happy with the result! I haven't blogged much recently, but hope that changes in January--
I have tons of design projects on my list to execute! I'm heading home tomorrow and can't 
wait to enjoy time with my family. Enjoy your holiday season!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving mini-project

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving this year! I have quite a few family and good friends gathering together at my house this year for a potluck. I bought my first-ever turkey and am feeling the requisite anxiety about how to cook the thing, but I'm sure everyone in attendance will help. 

This is also the perfect excuse to do a fun little project: a welcome sign for the door! I created it in just a few minutes using this feather from the Graphics Fairy and this free font.

I hope you have a great, thankful holiday and a lovely long weekend!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Logo Land: Townsend 25th Anniversary

I've had the opportunity to make a few logos lately. Here's one I did for my Center, which will be used on almost all our materials during the year of our 25th anniversary. Woo!

Logos can be a challenge, but I like practicing making something simple that can be really small. Its also a good exercise to work in B&W only (even if the logo uses colors later) so you aren't distracted by colors or fancy effects.

I just finished a freelance project involving a logo as well, and hope to share all of the stuff I created for that with you too!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creative Chandelier

I can't believe in all this time I never blogged about this lamp, which was hanging over the dining room table in my old house. One of my housemates sent out this photo when we were moving out, and I just re-discovered it in my email. Our landlord in that house was a contractor, and he had done all these interesting modifications to our house, including this chandelier made of scrap copper and other stuff.  Isn't it great?! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Great Wedding, a Great Design Project!

Some of my very great friends got married about a month ago in Minneapolis.  These are the same folks we threw an engagement party for just a few months back. I was so excited when they asked me to help with a few design projects for the wedding!


I had some fun with signage for the ceremony, which was held in an old theater....

and for the reception, which was at an art gallery...

And the coolest project of all: aren't these glasses as favors a great idea? Even cooler is the fact that the bride drew this graphic of the Minneapolis skyline (it was also used in their invitation). Then we worked together to digitize the drawing and add the date and the city.  I've seen favors like this with the couple's names and hearts for the design...but does anyone really want to keep that? This seems less likely to hit Goodwill in 2 weeks, am I right? ;)

I had already designed a logo that was printed on glass for the beer fest project I did a few months ago. Still, I was nervous when we sent the file off to the glass company...but they turned out great!

  I love this photo from the big day (they are actually standing on the bridge that is featured in the drawing.  Congratulations, A&M!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Day, Another Poster

Here's a poster I just sent out to the printer.  I'm not in love with it as a whole, but I do love how the three images in black and white look in a row. Also it is an important lesson about design: sometimes you just have to give your client what theywant, and sometimes you may not love the outcome. That's all I'll say about that.  :)

And moving on, this is going to be an awesome event! Desdemona is a collaboration between Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, singer/songwriter Rokia Traoré, and Director Peter Sellars, in response to Sellars's 2009 Othello. The play is supposed to be "an intimate and profound conversation from beyond the grave between Shakespeare's Desdemona and Barbary, the woman Shakespeare identifies as the African nurse who raised her." I got to talk about it with Peter while they were still working on it, and I can guarantee it will be amazing!

Toni Morrison doesn't travel much, but we did get her to agree to skype in for a panel discussion. I wish I could have told my freshman in college self (reading Beloved in a lit. class) that I would one day receive an email from Toni Morrison...so cool! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick and Simple Flier Design

I had to create a flier very quickly today, and I am actually pretty happy with how this turned out with only 1 hour of work. Simple and effective, I think. This is a good reminder that not everything you make has to incorporate a new skill or design trick: though I like using each new project as a learning opportunity to try something new, sometimes you just gotta make something!  And sometimes, you'll get something you kinda a like when you do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Golden Hour

Over labor day weekend I was in Minnesota for TWO weddings.  It was a whirlwind weekend of festivities, and after all the organized fun was over, I met up with a few of the friends (including one of the newly married couples) for some quieter time on the gorgeous Mirror Lake, behind the house of the groom.

This was one of my most favorite chunks of time ever. What more do you need than some good friends, a few little boats, and the glow of the late afternoon sun?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Work for Work: Lecture Series Poster

I finally sent our series poster for the "Forum on the Humanities & the Public World" to the printer, so thought I'd share here!  For this design I had fun creating the speech bubbles and using some layering & clipping mask techniques to add the texture and different colors within them.  Took longer to do than you might think!  Now I've got the process down though, so it will go quicker in the future!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

29 years

I was so fortunate to grow up with three great friends, from the very beginning of my life. We were all born within a month of one another...I spent a lonely first month of life before they followed, and since our parents knew each other we were friends from the start! After high school we have scattered around the country, but try to catch up when we can. A few weeks ago we spent a long weekend together in Steamboat Springs, CO, enjoying good food, local art, tubing down the Yampa river, and even the grand tasting at the Steamboat wine festival!

H & H celebrated their birthday yesterday, and A will tomorrow, so I thought a happy birthday post right in the middle would be appropriate.  Thanks, you three, for 29 years of friendship!

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Toy

Many of my family members are big on sewing, which you may know from me talking about my sister's fabulous etsy business and my references to Mom sewing my prom dresses, and though I always have dreams of altering goodwill finds into amazing numbers like this girl, I haven't done much sewing on my own.  But I've been meaning to. So, imagine how excited I was to acquire this machine for $10 at a garage sale last weekend.  $10!!!! Its a "School Model" so not super fancy... but I think its enough to start.  Hopefully I will have some little sewing project successes to show you later this month!

A note to my mentors: Mom, this likely does not mean I won't come home with a few projects every holiday season, needing your help... Sister, get ready for a request for skype video chat help when I get stuck...

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Heart Photo Booths

Who doesn't love taking funny photos with friends? Here are a few photo booth experiences I've had with good friends this summer. I love taking 4 in a series....planning them out and seeing what happens! Props or no probs, these are goofy and great!!

P.S. I seriously love the mustache props! Would be easy to make with chopsticks and card stock, eh?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Work for Work: Depth of Field

Well, I've been pretty silent on here for awhile...part of that is the intensity of everything going on at work right now as we prepare for the start of the semester! I've been designing like crazy in my 9-5... sometimes in more of a rush than I'd prefer, but still coming out with some stuff I like. Here's the postcard for our film series, which I just sent to the printer... I can't wait to see some of these films!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yard Sale Booty!

My new neighborhood is buzzing with garage sales on the weekends lately. This weekend I stumbled upon a great find: what appeared to be someone's grandma's jewelry box full of treasures! I spent about 20 minutes untangling chains and digging through the mess for earring pairs, but it was worth it. I got all this stuff for $6!!  I have some grand plans for converting clip-on earrings and re-stringing some beads. Others are perfectly wearable as they are. Look for posts on the transformations of some of these jewels soon!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cabin Getaway

Last weekend, I flew to Minnesota to join my college friends for a weekend away at a cabin in Wisconsin. We had the best time! When I arrived, the girls in the first car had decorated the cabin and set up a complete surprise party for my birthday.  I was totally surprised! From there, the weekend included lot of swimming, sun-bathing, cocktail sipping, nail painting, boating, reading, game-playing, and just plain quality time with some of my favorite people (who I don't see often enough!). 

I feel so fortunate to have the means to travel, and to have so many amazing ladies in my life. 
Hope we can do it again next year!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Amber & Aaron: Hitched!

My good friends Amber & Aaron were married in Portland last month, and we finally got to see photos from the photographer, Kendra Joy Seymour (check out her site, especially if you live in D.C)!  Meanwhile, I just got these fun "photobooth" photoshop brushes, and wanted to try them out. So, I made this little montage. What a beautiful wedding it was!  

Also thought I'd share a little wedding card I made for them. These flowers are in the backyard of the house we lived in when we were all housemates, and I had been wanting to utilize this photo for something!

P.S. Amber & Aaron are the people who inspired me to have a blog in the first place...and I'm hoping that now that she's done being a super wedding planner, Amber will take her's up again. Hint, hint...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tahoe Time

This past weekend I got to meet up with some of my lovely lady friends from Minnesota who were in Tahoe on a summer getaway. We had an amazing beach day at Sand Harbor Beach, and I'm so in love with these instagram photos Miss Mandi took.  Aren't they great?  Tahoe in summer is just as great as Tahoe in winter...and good friends are great in all seasons. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Tunes

I haven't posted on music in a long time, and wanted to share a few of the songs I've been listening to NON-STOP as I design our fall publicity materials at work.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Place

So, in case you haven't noticed from my emotional posts lately, I'm moving! Its time to look forward to new experiences rather than long for what once was.  In that mindset today, I looked the new place up on the ever-impressive Google Maps. So, this is where I'll be from July 1 and onward! Pretty nice place. Come visit me and we can sit on the porch with mint juleps, or some other summery drink. ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You Gotta Start Somewhere!

Last week I took my first ever web design class; HTML Fundamentals. I already knew a bit of html, but not some of the foundational stuff about starting a website and actually putting it online.  After the 2 day class, here is my site!  Now, keep in mind that this was a fundamentals class, and that without CSS or anything else you can't really do anything too pretty (i.e., I'm not in love with how this looks, of course, but happy I built it all with code!).

And here is it in code form!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Obligatory Diploma Shot

Its official- I have a professional certificate in graphic design! Now its not art school or anything, but I think its an accomplishment.  I have learned a TON in the last 2 years and I think I have found something I really love and am pretty good at. And today, I took my first class in web design, so the drama of my professional development continues!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Its coming...

I took this photo about a year ago in Santa Cruz. And how perfect that I found it while browsing through an old image folder today, because change is looming in my life! After two amazing years in a great house with people I love, we are disbanding as some of our group move across the country.  I am very sad, but hoping for a great new chapter in my life, and reminding myself that change can be one of the scariest things about life, but also one of the things that makes you feel the most alive.

You know what moving means...new blog posts about room decor!  Stay tuned :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shell House: Another Reason to Love Where I Live

Nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood not far from my own is something that will shock and awe--this crazy shell house!!  I'm not sure of the true story behind this place, but I have heard that a man built it for his mother, who was deathly afraid of earthquakes and comforted by the sea. He created a structure that is both earthquake-safe and shaped like something straight out of the The Little Mermaid.  Isn't it beautiful and strange?  I am dying to see the inside...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Save the Dates (again)

Remember my Save the Dates for our annual fall reception at work last year?  Well,
since we have the word annual in there it means we are having another one in the fall and its time to tell people to mark their calendars! Here's this year's version...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Class Work Exhibit!

Some fun news: one of my class projects was chosen to be in an exhibit at the UC Berkeley Art and Design Center in San Francisco! This poster and box design will be hanging in the halls of the building until July 11. The box is "Boarder's Best lip balm"-- I wanted to make a small box and this was the smallest snow-related box that came to mind. :)

As you may remember from my "Weekend Away" post about a trip to Tahoe this spring, the inspiration for both of these projects came from ski trips.  In fact, I did a good bit of the design work on my laptop in the car...which goes to show that a a little play can help your work!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Letterpress Goodness

I recently followed a wonderful tutorial on Pugly Pixel on how to make things look like letterpress in Photoshop, and thought I'd share my result! By the way, there are TONS of things to learn from that site--check it out!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Look at this sweet little guy! I don't know what he's really thinking, but I think I may be feeling the same way: my life is going to change quite a bit in the next few weeks as a number of folks in my close community of friends move far away. I will also have to leave my wonderful house. I am mostly optimistic, focusing on how all this will bring new people and places into my life, but sometimes I too feel like floating in a still pool like this, reflecting quietly on it all and hoping I can pause time before waves of change come rushing in.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Panoramic Day

This weekend we got snowed out of a camping trip we had planned, so instead went on an awesome hike on Mt. Tamalpais; we hiked a few miles down first, ending at Stinson beach, then climbed back up the mountain. It was great! I got to try out the cool panoramic feature on my camera; we had such sweeping views throughout the hike.We also worked up a huge appetite, which was promptly satisfied at Pearl's Phat Burgers, which I highly recommend! Don't you just love a long weekend?

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hops for Humanity

I haven't been posting much on my recent work, mostly because I'm not currently in class and churning out new stuff every week! That doesn't mean I haven't been working, though. I just finished a big project for a beer festival fundraiser for the Bay Area Lutheran Volunteer Corps! Here's the image used in the email blast sent out. I also made a poster, postcard, and the logo is even going to be printed on pilsner tasting glasses!

If you are in the Bay Area, you should come to this event! What a great deal for unlimited tastings.  Check out the event webpage for more info!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

You Have Everything You Need

 I was recently admiring the work of Deedee Cheriel on a blog called "My Love For You." This bear roaring a colorful stream of shapes just blows me away.

Then I saw this photo (below) of Deedee pasting this image that says "You Have Everything You Need" onto a city wall and I said "WOAH!" Isn't this quite close to the title of this little blog? Its worth revisiting why I chose this title.  One day, walking through the rather activist campus where I work, I heard someone shouting "End this consumerist lifestyle! Buy reused!" and then, the golden phrase: "Everything You REALLY Need is Already Made!"  I loved is instantly and as you know, stole it for this blog. Now, I do buy stuff and I love to shop. But also, I grew up in a family of people who value reusing and recreating something from nothing, and I often find myself drawn to up-cycled, reused, reinvented things. 

Here's what Deedee said about her posters on the blog post:
"That photo was taken at a wall downtown. The bears have always symbolized the Buddhist idea that to desire is to suffer. I think I first started painting bears when I quit smoking, and I was constantly looking for something outside myself to fill up the emptiness left by overcoming that addiction." 

Reading blogs, looking at pinterest, and just being in the world often leaves me wanting; new clothes, pretty things, etc., but its worth revisiting this buddhist idea, and being reminded that things are just things and not who we are or what really gives us fulfillment. Its a bit different idea than "Everything we need is already made," but its in the same family of ideas, and definitely something to ponder.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anthropologie Inspiration

In addition to the beautiful clothes, Anthropologie has the most wonderful store/window art. Here's what they had when I was there a few weeks back.

Cardboard tube art.  LOVE IT.Would have to think about how to attach to the wall...

Awesome ball of corks and succulents.We oohed and aahed over these for about 20 minutes while our friend waited in the check-out line

My  friend and I got up close and personal to see how they did it: chicken wire around plastic (so the ball is light), and we figured you could just hot glue the corks on. The succulents are in plastic pots nestled into the plastic. It would take years for me to save this many corks; it would be fun to make a mini version, though! Or, I could always hit up the Easty Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, which probably has a HUGE bin of corks. I just realized I have never blogged about that place...will have to do that soon!