Friday, December 25, 2009

live, love, hope, dream, believe

Merry Christmas and Peace to All!

I enjoy creating my card every year. Designing the card and message, creating the artwork, choosing the envelope. This year I had a little extra fun creating custom postage stamps with a portion of the card artwork. The stamps are official USPS which I ordered through PictureItPostage.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Now even your coffee can look hip. And be environmentally aware. And taste better.
I was out doing holiday stuff and stopped in at Caribou Coffee for a cappacino and saw these Reusable Clutches on display. Nice packaging. Couldn't imagine a better way to do it. Love the headline, too. And the use of "clutch".
Personally, though, I liked the cardboard sleeve with the seasonal message on it that came with my cappacino. It suits my festive mood.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pantone Announces Turquoise 2010 Color of the Year

Hmmm, not sure how I feel about this.

If you know me at all, you know I have embraced turquoise for a good 5 years now. My house is decorated around turquoise, I have a wardrobe full of the color. I spent well over a year of my life creating a series of watercolors based in aquas, blues and greens. And a line of textiles. (see both above). In fact, my next post will feature my Christmas card which I designed and created using, yes, turquoise!

So I am glad turquoise is having it's day. Let's celebrate turquoise!

Then, what's my problem? I guess I am just ready to move on. Maybe not leave turquoise behind, but I am ready for a new master. Maybe apple green, maybe a cornflower blue, paired with a cooler charcoal, instead of the warm brown.

Stay posted, I think I have just been inspired for a New Year's post on Cathy's Color of the Year.

For more info on Pantone and the 2010 Color of the Year go to

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creative Opportunity Came Knocking...

I entered another contest with Veer. It kind of makes me chuckle, because I don't usually take the time to enter contests. But the creative opportunity presented itself, I was between projects and I...was inspired to jump in.

The challenge: Step away from the computer and create the Veer logo out of things in the real world. Take a picture of your creation.

How I did it: Once I had an idea I liked, I treated my entry as I would any photo assignment, except in this case I was the Art Director, the stylist, the photographer, and the photographer's assistant. I did a lighting test the day before to figure out the time of day that would work best for candlelight. The day of, I searched for props at the park and found just the right mix of orange, red, and yellow leaves. (wondered what my husband would say when he learned I had just brought a garbage bag full of leaves INTO our yard.) I also picked up 1
00 votive candles and pre-lit them to prep the wicks. At 4:00, I set up the shot. Then at 4:45, amid a sprinkling of rain, I got up on the ladder, and I shot for an hour, until it was dark out. All that was left was to narrow down the shots to the best selection and I was done.

I did not win the contest. But I did have a few days of inspiration and fun, just when I needed it. There were 726 entries, with some really cool ideas which you can view at Veer's The Skinny. (Mine is slide 126 in the gallery.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yes, I love type!

is for Daily Drop Cap, a project created by type lover Jessica Hische. She offers up these, and more, original initial caps for "your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere." That's what I call generous. Thanks, Jessica! And thanks for the inspiration. (No, I am not related to Jessica, just love to share when I am inspired).
See more of the awesome alphabet at
(Also, be sure and follow the usage rights.)
Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thanks, Veer!

At this time of year, all I have to do is go outside to feel inspired. But I downloaded a few color inspirations from Veer® Marketplace. It is a little unpredictable to have a pink in a fall palette, but that's where the image on the left took me.
These images are compliments of @VeerUpdate. They run daily contests on Twitter and I was fortunate enough to win one with my sketch book page submission (11.25.08 post of this blog).

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's always a good idea to ask questions.

I don't have a 5 year plan. I tend to like to meander a bit through life, leave some room for unexpected turns in the path. I do have goals. And I do know the general direction I want to go. And I have also learned that I will not get anywhere without defining the steps and taking action. But I like to keep the rest kind of open-ended.

What I continually do is ask questions. Am I enjoying what I am doing? Am I contributing to this world? And always....Am I following my passion? For me it is the things I am passionate about that drive me in the right direction. That is where the real juice is.

Inspirational tools are a great way to explore yourself. I am a huge fan of Compendium and their products. I have the book "where will you be 5 years from today?" that a friend gave to me. It poses some great questions.

Click on the above image to view the video promoting the "5 book". And ask yourself some questions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

message #12: i don't have a label

Here's a peek at a new series of art I am developing. Available for license in 2010.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My studio is bright today.

Happy Birthday to me. So touched to be remembered by friends and family today. I am very blessed and very grateful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kleenex: Making the world a more beautiful place, one tissue box at a time.

Folks, I know it's just a box of tissues, but is there any reason why it can't be attractive, as well? I applaud Kleenex® Brand Tissues for raising the industry standard, with new shapes, surface pattern designs, eye-catching merchandising. Being a leader in any category means finding or creating the opportunities to stand out. I am glad to see Kleenex step up.
As a consumer, choosing between faded pink roses and the above design is no contest. I would love to see this green pattern design used in a fabric, maybe a throw-pillow, or a purse? I will settle for seeing it on my desktop.

(BTW, not sure, but I think most of these designs are exclusive to Target. Stopped by Walmart and saw nothing like these)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It only looks like the real thing.

Ok, NOOoooww I am loving this campaign. Don't get me wrong. I loved it when I first saw the James Dean ad, and the Louis Armstrong, and, of course, the Lucille Ball?...forget about it. Very well done, on strategy and excellent execution. But the Gilda, well, now you've got me. It's that emotional connection that makes a great ad. Maybe it's because she is from my era. (are you shooting a little younger, Armstrong?) Maybe it's because I love the colors, or her spirit, but whatever it is, it speaks to me. This one goes on my wall.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Museum of Arts and Design : Klaus Moje Exhibit

I love smaller museums (well, I also love larger museums...I just love museums) I like being able to take my time wandering through the exhibits, and still be able to see it all. The Klaus Moje Exhibit at The Museum of Arts and Design is a fascinating combination of technique (these are made of GLASS) and artistry. Very unique medium.

The other exhibit that I loved, Totally Rad: Karim Rashid Does Radiators, showed contemporary design of...the radiator. The display features steam-heat unit designs that are actually being manufactured today. This exhibit kicked off the museum's Design and Innovation Gallery, which will "explore emerging trends in design through a series of short-term exhibitions guest-curated by leading voices in the field." I look forward to seeing future exhibits in this gallery.

Museum of Arts and Design

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Window Shopping:

My recent trip to NYC was kind of relaxing, I did not really have an agenda and was not trying to "fit in" a bunch of things, like I usually do. So I was able to wander a bit and window shop. The Anthropologie window caught my eye. That large shape of items is actually honey bears, honey packets and Bit 'O Honey bars. So unexpected.

Another of my favorites for texture and inspiration is ABC Carpet & Home. It is hard to see in this photo, but there were quotes incorporated into the display and the feeling was ethereal, really beautifully done. If you can't make it down to this location and you need a fix, check out their website.

Monday, May 4, 2009

a little spring in my step

Stopped by Room Service and picked up a few things that caught my eye. Great place to find unique gift items, or just be inspired by the eclectic mix. Interesting, most of the things I grabbed were by the same manufacturer, Danica Studio. Love the bird motif.

check out and to see more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Practice peace. Practice patience. Practice generosity...

If you see someone wearing a T-shirt with this on it, it is probably me. It is my favorite shirt and I wear it every chance I get.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's now or never time.

Recently, a friend was looking over my shoulder, at my computer and was somewhat horrified that I would tape things to my keyboard surface. What better place? I can't miss it there. And this is a really good message for me, one that has kept me motivated for almost two years now. I feel as though I have a space of time right now that is very valuable. It's now or never time.

Anyway, at the rate that computers become outdated, this snippet will probably outlast my laptop.

Friday, April 3, 2009

color and shapes along the way

Just a few things that caught my eye. I have a thing for leaves, but don't often see them on the beach. And I couldn't pass by this inspiration for a color palette.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our deepest fear...

I was sorting through some papers and came across this quote that I had adopted as a favorite a few years back. I believe this is a slightly shortened version. I still love it.

The complete original quote by Marianne Williamson (not Nelson Mandela, to whom many have credited this quote) can be read at

Friday, March 20, 2009

Going to the dentist can be fun.

Ok, well, maybe not in every instance. I just completed a corporate ID and website for a dental practice, that believes in a more holistic approach to dentistry. Their offering includes a combination of advanced technology and a caring environment.
Developing a brand image, new name, logo and tagline was a challenge I enjoyed. I have learned that you just never know which projects are going to end up being the ones you love until you dig into them.

To see the final corporate ID/website (or to find a great dentist) you can visit

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Letter to Target:

Dear Target Stores:

Please don't abandon me, not at a time like this, when I need you most. Yes, I am watching my spending, like the rest of America. I also still need to make certain purchases. And one of the guilt-free pleasures I get is from "expecting more" while I "pay less". Don't take that away from me.

I see from your ads that you feel the need to push price, and I understand. Just don't forget why I love you. Maybe some folks will choose another mass merchant retailer for supposedly lower prices, but your core customer still wants to feel current, on-trend, and inspired while they buy their shampoo.

How else can I say this without being blunt, "Please don't turn into Walmart." If you do, I might not be able to see a difference between the two of you, and I might start doing my shopping there, and once that happens, who knows if I'll come back.

So don't abandon me, and I won't abandon you. We need to stick together in these tough times. I have faith you will do the right thing.

A true "Expect More, Pay Less" believer

Monday, February 23, 2009

Old and Rich.

Old buildings always draw me in, all the peeling paint, rusting metal, weathered-worn-down wood, that create such texture-rich surfaces. I was roaming around a reeeeeally old building recently, and found dozens of tableaus, such as this one. This piece of "art" was actually part of the hardwood floor. I would love to see it hanging on my wall.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What do you heart?

wishing you and whoever or whatever you heart, a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I just saw Benjamin Buttons and it was worth it just for the art direction alone. The desaturated look throughout is so rich, and yet so restrained. I could count the times a bright rich red showed up against the deep greens and browns. The steel blue, night-time, water scenes were gorgeous. I think one of the hardest things to do in any kind of art is to have restraint. To keep the color and tone of the art narrowly defined, powerful in its subtlety. I loved the unique texture this palette added to this unique story.

Style Board #147

Creating a visual tone is a big part of what I do as a designer, and creating a style board is one of my favorite ways to present a "look". This particular one is pretty polished, but really anything goes with style boards.
I have been working on a lot of health care lately, it seems to be one of the industries that is continuing its marketing efforts in this economy. Creating a look that is not too clinical, and also does not look like other players in the industry is a challenge. Great imagery always helps.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Live beautifully.

Every time I run across one of the Ligne Roset ads with this headline, I tear it out and pin it up somewhere. Each one says it so...well, beautifully. I recently checked out their website, where there was a screensaver of their ads available for my own personal download. (and yours too) I was originally drawn to the headline and the texture and colors of the backgrounds, but the photography, overall, has me completely captivated.

Photography by Julia Fullerton-Batten.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good enough to shoot.

When some people might say, "That looks delicious", I say, "That looks good enough to shoot." I guess I am more interested in the way it looks. (No surprise that I am not a great cook.) My son said to me the other day, why are you always taking pictures of food? I don't know why, but when the ingredients are assembled, I start art directing the plate or serving dish, and sometimes, yes, I take a picture, which I may refer to for any number of reasons. But I do wish I could have a stylist and photographer on hand for these occasions, because right now it is bugging me that those berries are looking so dark.

By the way, this bowl of oatmeal ended up being delicious. ; )