If You Give a Shoe Addict Some Shoes...

I bought flip flops today--2 pairs (oh my gosh, I am giddy just typing that! One was your basic rubber model, but the other was the prettiest pair of Coach leather flip flops, with a fun rainbow pattern on the sole. Oh, I know, like you care... but it was very fun and exciting for me)! And as I tried them on, I looked down at my toes, and boy, do I need a pedicure. I wanted to go get one, so badly--but common sense got the better of me (I had no time to spare, never mind an hour + to sit and relax... but oh, a girl can dream. Never mind the fact that it's still February--OK, almost March, and noone is going to see my toesies for at least another couple of months).

Thinking of my flip flops and almost pedicure made me think of warm, sunny weather.

Oh summer, where art thou?


Thoughts, musings, oddities, and the like

Thank goodness my computer is about 5 feet from my bed--I was playing catch up on emails late into the night tonight, and it's a short walk to bed, sweet bed.


Is it possible to leave Target and not spend $150+? If so, can someone explain this strange and fascinating phenomenon? I don't think it will happen to me in my lifetime...


Is it me, or is there a "leap year" overkill in advertising? I just read an article in the Times, about how everybody is jumping on the leap year bandwagon. But if everybody is advertising, "leap into savings!" then how are companies differentiating themselves--and, more importantly, standing out?


Designing cookie logos has to be one of the best projects out there. The research, of which the crumbs are on my kitchen table, was deish. Now, if only Starbucks needed a Frappacino freelancer :)


The gym I belong to serves pizza on Monday nights, and bagels on Tuesday mornings. I can't decide if this is brilliant or not. On the one hand, by serving fatty foods, you are keeping clients coming. On the other, aren't gyms supposed to promote health?


It's winter (finally!)

Yesterday Mother Nature called southwestern Connecticut and said, "Hello! Here's a friendly reminder that it's a) February, and b) you live in New England!"

Yes, it snowed for the better part of the day; so to celebrate the first storm of the year, I put down my mouse and tried my hand at environmental design--snow fort-building, to be exact.

When I was a child, we grew up on a side street that you only drove down if you lived on it. So when it snowed (which was all winter long), we would build snow forts in the drifts that the plows made next to the driveway, and have snowball fights across the street. Unfortunately, we don't live on that kind of street now, so the girls and I took to the backyard, building fortresses out of the wet, packable snow. It was Ashlee and her friend versus Madeline and myself (really just me, as she was much more interested in eating the snow, falling down in the snow, and teasing Ashlee and her friend that our fort was better, as 4 year olds are wont to do).

We had a grand old time, until the girls got tired (and here I was doing most the work!). We retired our wet outerwear to the mudroom and came inside and had some hot cocoa--the perfect end to the perfect winter day.


Print Geek

I love the internet--who doesn't?--but at the end of the day, I am a print geek. Which explains why, when I get a magazine, brochure, catalog, etc. I open right to the middle, hold it up to my nose, and inhale. Ahhhhhh, I love that freshly printed smell (OK, that doesn't make me a print geek so much as it makes me weird. But roll with me).

And I love love love going on press. When I first started out in graphic design, I worked for a trade magazine. Aside from the deeply discounted designer sunglasses, one of the perks was the possibility of going to the press to see the magazine get printed. Alas, it never happened, but I got my wish a couple years later when I got my first job that required me to approve pages at the printer--as they were coming off the press!!!

Today was another awesome trip to the printer to oversee a catalog I designed for One Kid. It never gets old. The wait is terrible--today it was taking an hour between runs, and there were 3 runs, which meant at a minimum I was there for 3 hours. But once I walk back to the actual press, I get giddy with excitement like a child on Christmas morning. I know what's waiting for me, but for me, the cool factor just doesn't go away.

A couple of years ago, Mattio worked at the Times. Along the halls inside one of the buildings, they had framed some of the printing plates (obviously, not the ones from, say, last Thursday, but more newsworthy front pages). He asked about them, and actually brought one home for me (of course, mine is completely random as well, but that doesn't take anything away from it).


Perhaps cubism is next

Took the kids to Hands On Pottery this morning--it's one of those "paint your own pottery" places here in town. Ash had been there numerous times, but it was Madeline's first time. And the whole time she was painting (she choose Ariel), she was saying, "Mommy, I'm an artist. Look at me, I'm a real artist!"

Then she proceeded to paint Ariel's face and arms blue (after first painting them flesh-tone). And I thought to myself, "Baby, you're Picasso!"


I am Jack's inspiration

The internet is, at times, both a blessing and a curse. Like right now, I am supposed to be working. Oh, I have pah-lenty of work to do, don't you worry. But here I am, writing a blog post. Allow me to explain how I got here:

I am working on a couple of different logo projects. One, in particular, doesn't necessarily have me in a stump, but it's more challenging than I had anticipated (it's still way fun--don't get me wrong--it's just requiring a lot more creativity than I had expected.). I can't even tell you how I got there, but somehow, I ended up on design*sponge (which is a pretty awesome site, btw. I loooove the design of the page, not to mention all the pretty items they feature). On the side, they have a list of links. Since I'm online, looking to get inspired, I click on several of these links. All of the sudden, I've got 30 different tabs open, in hopes that one of them contains some kind of awesome idea to spark my imagination.

I came across several interior design sites. Hmmm... nope, no inspiration there. Then one of my clicks leads me to a graphic designer's site (I love her bio, btw: she ends it with, "I like design. I like helping people. I like making people happy when the design I create accomplishes what they’d hoped." Amen, sister--truer words have never been spoken). Inneresting, but not quite my cup o' tea. A couple more blogs, some more links on the side... 30 more tabs open. Oh, it's a vicious circle.

But then, I come across this gem, and I realized that this is why the internet is just plain awesome: Barack Obama is Your New Bicycle (political disclaimer: I voted for Hillary. I was very, very very unsure when it came down to her vs. Barack; but in the end, I thought she was the better candidate. I still go back and forth).

So anywho... Barack Obama is Your New Bicycle is awesome. I don't know who made up this site, but I like the idea that Barack Obama made up my bed. Refresh. Oh! He mailed me a valentine! Refresh. Barack Obama baked me a pie--awesome. Refresh. Now he has a balloon for me. Keep refreshing. It's so stupid, it's great.

I am still uninspired. But now I am uninspired 2 hours later, and laughing about it. Thank you, internet.


Old School

When I went to art school, it was the dawn of the age of the Mac. I remember the first version of Photoshop I ever learned was 3.0 (I think there were all of 8 tools, and the History Palette was quite a ways away, at that point).

However, I went to Old School Art School, and before we got on the computer, we had to learn layout the "old fashioned" way: using rubber cement, waxers, stat cameras, rubylith, etc. We used relics such as french curves, non-photo blue pens, and Pro-white. Looking back, I have no idea why we were forced to take such a dated class--the computer was obviously the way graphic design was headed--perhaps our teachers wanted us to appreciate the how easy we had it. Lord knows if graphic design still involved paste-ups today, I think I would have gone into an entirely different profession altogether.

But I did get a major chuckle out of this: The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.

It brought me right back to college--I can still smell the stink of marker from my advertising class. I'm sure somewhere--perhaps in my basement, maybe in my parent's attic--there is a shoebox full of forgotten supplies, such as rubber cement, rubber cement remover, charcoal blenders and Rapidograph pens. I know I definitely still have my Letraset book--an encyclopedia of fonts (if there was more than 100, that was a lot). My, how the times have changed!


Best. Font. Ever.

I am so excited... I'm working on a pretty cool logo design project. I won't say what it's for, but it's got fun written all over it. And let me tell you, "fun" should be written in this font:

Meet Burgues Script, by Alejandro Paul. Isn't she purty? No offense, Mattio, but I think I'm in love...


Office Space is on!

And even on Comedy Central it's too freakin' funny!

"Looks like somebody's got a case of the Mondays"

Getting it right

Yesterday I got a haircut--something like 6 inches chopped off (it was long overdue). I also got some new highlights (oooh la la!) so I was feeling pretty good. But what made me feel that much better was not only the superb service I got at the salon, but how my new hairdresser got me. I went in with a picture in my mind of what I wanted--of course, the smart thing to do would have been to actually bring in the photo; but I found it on the internet, and I was afraid it would be too small/the color too bad to print out. Instead, Nicole, my new favorite hairdresser, got my bumbled "Do you watch Project Runway? I like Nina Garcia's color. Remember when Jennifer Aniston cut off all her hair? That's the haircut I want" explanation. Not only did she get what I was saying, but she walked me through the entire color process, and brought swatches out and held them against my head, so I could see how the highlights would blend with my natural color. Being in a business where I sometimes have to visualize what people are trying to say, I appreciated her that much more.

This was only the second time I have ever been to this particular salon (Kate and Company, in Fairfield--it's actually fairly new). Nicole cut my hair last time, and even though it was just a trim she did a fantastic job. Plus, I'm a sucker for the small business. Not only that, but it's right at the end of our road (convenient) in a real up and coming part of town. So naturally, I went back. And I am so glad I did.

AND, their phenomenal customer service rocks--while my color was setting, I got a fantastic Aveda hand scrub massage that left my hands feeling brand new (who needs People magazine when you get that!). When I left, they even gave me a parting gift, a sample size of the yummy smelling hand massage lotion (in a bag with their business card--smart). I love it!


Up for a challenge

Whew! It's been a whirlwind week, to say the least. I've been crazy busy (which is a good thing!), and even a printing debacle (seriously, the worst. printer. ever. But more on that in a sec) couldn't hold me down.

Last week I got new clients that challenged me to get creative--fast (alright, they didn't challenge me, that was my own doing on accepting the project). They needed a logo, brochure (simple trifold) and business card in 6 days--could I do it? Challenge accepted.

Here's the logo I came up for their "Facial Enhancement" (Botox/Restylane) biz:

I'd show you the logo, but Blogger's sucking right now.

Clean, simple and elegant; exactly what they asked for. I was pretty happy with the brochure and card design, as well--however, due to the time constraints, I wasn't able to go to one of the printers I usually work with. Instead, I had to go with a less reliable (and less expensive--for a reason) storefront shop. On such a tight deadline, we had little room for mistakes, especially one that required printing the whole project over, like this one. Oh, the nightmare! They originally printed from the pdf files I provided, even after I specifically told them that the pdfs were for placement only. Then they accused me of not having the artwork to back up the original files (ummm, mister? Why don't you open that disc up and show me which file isn't on there? Yeah, that's what I though...) Long story short, the whole mess could have been avoided had they provided me with a proof--which they never did. I hope they learned a lesson, I know I sure did.

Fortunately, the printer covered their butt and made good on printing newer, cleaner versions of most of the materials. But man, what a headache!


Link Lovin'

I have to reciprocate a little link love to my new pal Marcy, also known as zoesmom (as well as my fellow kate spade cheerleader--she's agrees that it's perfectly rational to expense a new purse every once in a while). She gave me some love a couple of days ago (actually, it was a "You Make My Day!" Award, from another blog that she reads). It totally made my day (thanks, Marcy)! So, I'm spreading the love... Here's my version of "You Make My Day!" Awards:

zoesmom: Because our daughters are a just about year apart and going through what seems like the same phases. I always enjoy her Manic Monday Q and A; and her great personality definitely shines through in every entry. And yeah... our 2 hour lunch last week--which totally made my day!

justin + mary montage: Because Justin and Mary not only have a keen business sense, but their photography is awesome as well (and they're really fun people, as well as awesome clients). They're always on the go, and sometimes I like to travel vicariously through them.

pink is the new blog: Because at the end of the day, it's completely mindless reading. I could do without a lot of the Britney drama (it's a little overkill), but I like how Trent ends all his posts with a little update on what he's doing (At times, he really makes you feel like a friend along for the ride). Plus, he recaps his favorite shows, including Heroes and Project Runway, so it's a great way to catch up when I can't watch.

There's other blogs that I read here and there, but unfortunately, my day is not long enough to read more blogs more religiously. So thanks everyone, for making my day!


Supah Bowl

Unfortunately, due to circumstance, I did not get to watch most of last nights game (circumstance being work, and 3 kids :) When I was working (during the fourth quarter), I did have it on in the background--along with explicit instructions from Mattio just to keep doing what I was doing, don't get up from that position (as the Giants were pulling off some amazing plays, and we're the superstitious sort)!

I have to admit, I'm pretty dumb when it comes to football. There's so much to remember--and it's only on once a week, for something like 16 weeks--I drive Mattio nuts asking all kinds of questions. And, being the ad chick that I am, my interest in the big game was geared less towards the actual game and more towards the advertisements--which, the few I saw, were not 3.2 million dollars outstanding. There were some chucklers, but nothing truly groundbreaking (although I missed what Mattio described as some pretty funny e-trade commercials).

And I'm super bummed I missed Tom Petty, as I'm a huge fan. I love love love that the NFL (or whoever makes the halftime entertainment decisions) has been going a little more old school with entertainment the past few years: no Diddy, Beyoncé, Miley Cirus, etc... which is just fine by me (although I think we all have Janet Jackson to thank for that--I think Tom Petty's breast is a little less offensive--maybe :)

So anyway, yay! Giants!



Yesterday I met with new clients in Greenwich. To get home, I had to take a ride down Greenwich Avenue (no really, I had to!), which may as well be Mecca to me. All I really have to say is the street is home to kate spade, and that should speak volumes.

Anyway, I'm riding down Greenwich Avenue, at a relatively slow pace (which I don't mind) because of the traffic. Long story shot, out of the corner of my eye I see a car pulling out of a spot just to my left--I was next to him, so it wasn't like there was room for me to stop and let him out. But the car didn't see it that way and kept pulling out, narrowly missing my car. The car, btw, was a Rolls Royce. Only in Greenwich, people.

Also, I'm starting to get quite a few clients down from the Greenwich area... I thought about it on the way home, and it really makes sense to look the part. Designer clothes, purses, shoes... I mean, you wouldn't hire an overweight personal trainer, would you (roll with me, in my mind, this all makes sense)? So I guess the real question is: Can I expense kate spade?