Monday, April 26, 2010

Antibiotics are my new best friend.

Hello everyone. I've spent every free moment since my last post sleeping. Literally. Every time a little cold goes around, I catch it. Then it settles in my head, in my lungs, in my ears and I fight and fight until eventually I give up, see the doc, and get drugs. They are just now starting to work, so I'm hopefuly. I miss my little blog, and I've got posts piling up! Prepare yourselves for an awesome week!

(photo from WebMD)

Update: So obviously my return was not so prompt. The plague spread through the family, keeping me occupied. However, it DID provide ample time for daydreaming about design... see posts to follow...)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Feed Your Soul

The appropriately entitled "Feed Your Soul: the free art project" provides free, printable downloads donated by talented artists and illustrators. With a variety of subject matters and style, there's something to make everyone happy.

This one, by Asja Boro, makes me happy. How about you?

Who's cool? You're cool.

Everyone wants to have the cool kid at school (or playgroup, or family reunion...). Either you already have kid(s), or you're one of those people who don't have kids but think, "If I were a parent, I'd be awesome. My kid would awesome. He'd be like Maddox + Kingston TIMES INFINITY."

Even people who fall into the "there's a reason the animal kingdom eat their young" category has a godson/niece/bestfriendfromhighschoool's kid who is the "IhatekidsbutthiskidisTHEcoolestkidever" kid.

All those cool kids gotta look cool, so thank heavens for House of Mongrels. Organic, eco-friendly playclothes with vintage-esque graphics like rockets and robots.

And if there's anything cool, it's rockets and robots. What's better than cool? Cheap cool. You can get House of Mongrel wear for 50% through Thursday at

Now your only problem? Picking a color.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Amy Butler Spring 2010

Our beautiful 70s and sunny weather stormed away in a big raincloud this morning. Good thing there is Amy Butler's Spring 2010 line to bring color (and texture! and pattern!) back into my life.
Big shocker, I know, a design blogger loving Amy Butler. Still, check out their Inspiration page for a sensory overload.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



...for the past two post-less days. Taxes and work keeping me busy. I'm back today! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly Design Winks

- Cool Corrugated Cardboard Art (say that 3 times fast!) (The Daily Green) (via etsy)

- The Best Typography of 2009 (I Love Typography)

- Storm Thorgerson is - the man behind all the cover art for Pink Floyd - is "like a mustache-less Salvador Dali of the modern design world" (NPR)

- The Future of Fashion (

- Mylar balloons. Louis Vuitton. Window Display. ::Squee!:: (Oh Joy!)

- Patterned tea towel “to dry for” (hehe!) (Design*Sponge)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Small Stakes

I am absolutely in love with designer Jason Munn. Featured in an recent article on, he has a new book out called “The Small Stakes: Music Posters”. Munn has designed striking, minimalist prints for years for bands that read like an Indie 101 primer: Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, She & Him, The Decemberists, Beck and Sonic Youth are among his clients.

In the intro to the book, Death Cab for Cutie's Nicholas Harmer writes, "I still marvel at his sense of what isn't needed. His work is not overstuffed, crowded or noisy. And I identify with his humble lack of showiness."

Munn's designs are extremely simple, yet brilliant. In design, editing is key. What you choose to omit is as essential an element as what you choose to include.

I also really his Munn's commitment as an artist. Munn says, "I went to school for design, but I didn't want to make brochures for insurance companies. I wanted to design for things I cared about."

Rock on, Jason Munn.
Jason's Website: The Small Stakes

Update: Grain Edit has a great "ambush" interview they did with Jason Munn several years back. Check it out here. Also, they are preparing an upcoming interview with him on his new book, and they are asking their blog readers for questions! Email them a question by 2pm this Friday, May 7th to be considered - Jason will pick questions to answer from the emails.


Problem: I can’t afford art.
Solution: How about an inexpensive, but beautiful, print ? (via Design *Sponge)

Problem: I can’t make my kids eat their vegetables? (Yeah, me neither).
Solution: Try adding some – ok, lots – of color to their plate with this “Rainbow Corn Salad.” Yum!

Problem: I don’t know what to do with all those family recipes collecting dust inside a shoebox and/or How do gussy up my kitchen cabinets.
Solution: Bam! Two for one! (via Dinner. A love Story - check out her recipe for oven fried chicken while you’re there!)

Problem: I don’t know how to wear bold color
Solution: Let this woman in Moscow show you how it’s done. (Via The Sartorialist)

Friday, April 9, 2010


Love. Want. Need.Diane von Furstenburg "Paulita" ruffled mini-skirt. Ooh la la.

I heavily debated whether to post about this skirt. In general, I'm not a fan of the mini. I have neither the legs, nor the inclination, to show so much skin (see my Shabby Apple post). But it was too gorgeous not to share.

When I talk about fashion as art, this is what I'm talking about people.

Insane fashion... and not in a good way

So, I admit that sweatpants are my best friend when I'm lounging on the couch, watching Project Runway, eating some Ben & Jerry's. Mmm...

But sweatpants at work? No. Or at a cocktail party? Unforgivable. And have you ever seen a garbage bag - yes, a garbage bag - used as a purse on a night out?

You will soon, apparently. A garbage bag made by Louis Vuitton, no less.

Wall Street Journal just posted an article on the new "low-end" high price fashion that's become trendy. Among the must have items: "upscale" sweatpants made of high-end fabrics like cashmere, meant to be worn with heels. According to a Senior VP in Miami who purchased a few pairs of Alexander Wang sweatpants (price tag: around $110), the heels take it "to a whole new level." Hmm.

Of course, if Alexander Wang isn't your thing, you can always go for Michael Kors cashmere version, which sells for $995 (no, that's not a typo). The WSJ quotes top trend expert Sally Lohan as saying the sweatpants trend will take off: "We really balked at wearing leggings but eventually we all did—they were a good comfortable item to wear," she says. Um, speak for yourself Sally.

The trend just doesn't stop at sweatpants. The new "it" bag from Louis Vuitton this season
is the "Raindrop Besace" - essentially a plastic bag attached to a strap. And sold for $1,960.

Read that again.

plastic garbage bag. For nearly $2,000.

Unfortunately, Marc Jacobs isn't the only designer featuring trash as fashion. In January, punk icon Vivienne Westwood debuted her Fall 2010 menswear featuring "homeless chic", complete a cardboard box runway, and models sporting bedrolls and and shopping carts.
Now, I love fashion. Love love love fashion. I truly think, when done properly, it is an art form onto itself. It can also be a luxury. While I personally cannot afford a $2,000 bag or $250 Tshirt, I get why people who can (and can't) spend their hard-earned money on a beautiful, well-made bag in butter-soft leather, or a fabulous, flowy evening dress in the perfect color. It's gorgeous. You'll use it. It makes you happy.

Still, I've always had a bit of a guilt issue when it comes to high-end fashion. As much as I love it, should I really even think about spending hundreds of dollars on a bag or a dress when there are folks lined up at food banks around the country?

At the end of the day, for me, it all comes down to the artistic element. We may "need' that dress as much as we "need" a painting, but arguing that it’s useless or unnecessary is simply saying that art is not important at all. Which is obviously not the case, or the Louvre would not exist.

But there is also the matter of taste, and of responsible art. Marc Jacobs argues that people will buy anything Louis Vuitton makes just as long as it’s exclusive. Well, just because you can take a crap, wrap it in tin foil, put a couple of fishhooks on it and sell it as earrings… doesn’t mean you should.

What do you think? Is this just yet another ridiculous fashion trend in a long line of ridiculous trends (read: hammer pants), or have we as a society stooped to an entirely different level? Is it irresponsible to be “inspired” by the recession and the homeless to put garbage bags and sweats on the runway…only to sell them for thousands of dollars? Have we finally become "Derelicte!"?

Wall Street Journal Article via Yahoo Shine!
Sweatpant Image via Net-a-Porter
Vivienne Westwood Image via Times Online


I always find that some of the best design inspiration comes from nature. For example, check out this pic of a Mandarin Duck. Just look at him. Isn't he is gorgeous?

Despite having so many colors, he doesn't clash. He "goes" as Stacy London would say. In case you wondering, only the male ducks have this fantastic coloring. My hours of watching Discovery Channel tell me it's probably a tactic they employ to lure in a mate. Dirty birds.

You might wonder why this birdie "makes it work", despite having so many contrasting colors. Let's examine, shall we? It's time for color theory 101!

(Yes, this excites me. Don't judge.)

There are really two types of color palettes going on: analogous and complementary. Analogous color palettes are comprised of colors all in the same "family". So the oranges/yellow/reds that all just seem a few shades apart? That's one analogous palette. The other is the deep blue and purple, and even the pink of birdie's beak.

In addition, those two separate, analogous color palettes - orange/yellows vs purple/blues - are complementary to one another (shame on
Tory Burch for suggesting otherwise). Meaning, if you look at a color wheel, those colors would be opposite each other. The visual contrast is pleasing to the eye.

I debated whether or not to include the mini-color theory lesson, or just let you bask in the beauty of the duck, but I couldn't help myself. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Dress, Three Ways

One day as I was perusing the wonderful world of online shopping, I came across Shabby Apple. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of them before. Check out their mission:

"After years of not being able to find stylish dresses that covered enough skin to make you really feel comfortable (without wearing a tank top, cardigan or long slip), owners Emily and CK decided to do something about it. "

Love it, right? As a mom and woman turning (ahem) 30 this year, let me tell you, certain skin should just not be shown any m
ore. Consider it a public service. But that doesn't mean I don't want to be stylish and work the latest trends. Au contraire.

As usual, I couldn't pick just one, but their "Tuxedo" dress seemed to have it all: a little black dress that's casual enough for the weekend, cute enough for date night, and chic enough for work. Check out my suggestions for the three different looks below:

Weekend Casual

- Orla Kiely Multi Scribble Stem Print Super Maxi Sling Bag

- Chocolat Blu “Jillian” Sandals

- Sequin Metal Paillette Teardrop Hoop Earrings

Date Night

- Big Buddha "Mia" Purse in Fuchsia

- Betsey Johnson "Calandra" Pumps

- Juicy Couture Multi Flower Hoop Earrings

Work - Neutral Chic

- Olivia Harris Pop Out Convertible 22000 Purse in Blush

- Nine West "Ambitious" Pump in Natural White

- Kenneth Cole New York Circle Woven Chain Bracelet

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Love. Want. Need.

The perfect bag.

Anthropologie "Malleable" Bag

Please don't call them favorites...

Because really, how could you choose? Target has pages upon pages of chairs, loungers, and setees in fabulous upholstered prints. Get a set in a more muted palette to spice up your dining room table, or use one of their more bold prints (like the cherry Gerber pictured top left) to add a punch of color to a neutral living area. I'm redesigning my house as I write this...

Check them out here!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


A wrapup of design "winks" from the world of beauty, fashion, art, life:

* I love it, boob bow and all (too bad it's vintage)! (via The Coveted)

* Coolest building ever (
Design Boom)

Behind the scenes of the Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Campaign!! (The Greyest Ghost, via the Coveted).

* Cool post on the pop artist
Takashi Murakami (read: the Japanese guy behind those sellout LV bags): Colour Lovers

* Nail polish with mix n' match texture effects!

* The big business of global color cosmetics is supposed to reach $41 BILLION by 2015!
PS: The full report costs $3950. Thank you in advance for sending it my way when you buy it. (
PR Web)

* Make your own color palettes online! (Color Scheme Designer)

Color Flash - Yellow

Clockwise, from top left:

iPod Nano in Yellow

Golden Sunrise, by Jennifer Vranes (shout out to my cousin!)

Bandoline "Girlee" Espadrille @ PiperLime

Mixit Yellow Statement Necklace @ JCPenney

Summer Lemons/Lemonade Glasses @ Crate and Barrel

Yellow Tulips @ the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (via

Nine West "Neves" Large Shopper Handbag, (via Macys)

Background: Blossoms White on Yellow Wallpaper (via Decoratetogo)

(Note: Please forgive the rough edges. No access to Photoshop so had to do with Microsoft Publisher).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love. Want. Need.

If I ever have my own office/studio space, this table will reign supreme.

Coolest. Table. Ever. Can you imagine brainstorming around this? Oh the possibilities...

My husband would probably build it for me... if I ever let him buy 22, 742 legos.

Via Inhabitat

The Color Issue!

As you can tell, I love color. And apparently, so does InStyle. Love this cover!

Besides the eye candy, it features a fantastic interview and spread with Gwen Stefani. The makeup, the hair, the styling... all on point. I highly recommend.

For more style tips from Gwen, you can check out the behind-the-scenes video here.

PS: Before I forget, check out Gwen's deep aubergine nails! It's Lippmann Collection "Dark Side of the Moon".