Friday LOLs

Although I haven't been a faithful viewer in recent years, I do still enjoy the Office on occasion. Last night I tuned in, and while the episode was not the funniest (not the least funny, either), the opening was... brilliant (yet a little bittersweet as well).

Michael Scott, meet David Brent:

True to form, both Michael and David are completely insulting, yet manage to crack themselves up. The part when David throws Michael a "that's what she said?" Gold.

You can see the full episode here.


Snow day!

If you live in CT, or really anywhere in the northeast, you'll know...

...it's a snow day!

This is like, the billionth snow storm we've had this winter--we've surpassed the record for the most snowfall in a winter already, and it's still January.

But I'm not complaining (although, I do believe a snowblower might be in our future)--I'm psyched to go skiing this weekend on more fresh powder, and, while it's not pretty to shovel, all this snow sure is pretty to look at. It is a marshmallow world, indeed.

So, fellow northeasterners, instead of complaining about more snow, let's embrace it. Let's pull up our snow pants, put on our waterproof boots, and play out in the snow. After all, isn't that what a snow day is all about?


New work!

More! New! Fun! Work!

A little background: When I was about 14 or 15, my family and I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach. As it's a popular family vacation destination, there were like, a million other families there as well. I met and hung out with some other kids my age, but this one girl stood out. That is how I met Michelle.

Michelle was from (and still lives in) Kentucky, and on that vacation, we had formed such a connection, that we decided right then and there that we would be friends for life. Now, it's easy to be "friends" with someone nowadays... you check into Facebook and see that all is right with the world, maybe send an email every now and again... but this, my friends, this was BEFORE THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET. We wrote letters to each other. Letters that were decorated with lyrics to songs, and doodles in the margin, sometimes half a page, sometimes going on for 5 pages (front and back)--and man, we were faithful in sending them.

Over the years, we would fall in and out of touch, but the magic that is the internet brought us together again. We keep up with each other through Facebook and Twitter (we're both Twitter geeks--yay!), and if I'm lucky, Michelle might be headed up north this spring for a reunion (well, really for work--but we're not going to let the opportunity pass us by).

So, recently, when my friend asked me to design a logo for her Twitter meet-up, called Let Them Tweet Cake, how could I say no?

Let's go over all the awesome that was in this request:

1. Doing work for a friend

2. Who wants a logo about Twitter

3. And cake.

SOLD! From her initial email, I had so many ideas buzzing, I couldn't get them down on paper fast enough.

One of my early-on ideas was to do something that would look like a sticker from a bakery you might find on a cake box. Something a little retro-y, a little fun (OK, all of the logos are fun, but work with me here)...

How about some piped frosting on a cake?

Historically, Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat cake" (fun fact I did not know. See, awesomeness #4: I learned something), however, a lot of people think she did say that--and plus I had so much fun working with this silhouette.

And finally, back to the bakery label. This time with some cupcake lovin'.

And the winner is...

Cupcake lovin'!

I know I just blabbed on and on last week about a project that was so much fun, and this too was no exception. Twitter, cake and, most importantly, friends... what more could you want?


Cooking with color (literally!)

Late last week, Twitter was all a buzz with the sound of designers-slash-cookies-lovers (myself included) squealing with glee. Why? Pantone Cookies!

Um, yeah, that's right. Pantone chip cookies.

Designer/illustrator Kim Neil made these babies as a holiday gift for clients (complete with a rockin' Pantone tin). Says she:

Any good designer knows the way to a clients heart is through their stomach. So when deciding what kind of cookies to make for client gifts this year I thought, why make the usual chocolate chip cookies when I can make PANTONE CHIP cookies!

Love. Her.

She includes the recipe in the post--I bet next year we're going to see a lot more of these babies (hopefully in person rather than via the interwebs).

(originally seen on design*sponge)



I can't think of a better way to wash away the Monday blues with this:

kate spade + color = love!


Friday LOLs

Ok, people. Let's talk about Shake Weight.

For men.

I first saw this commercial last week--and thought surely it's a parody. Right? Because, COME ON.

Dude, the guys is all breathy, and uttering complete nonsense: "Whoooo. That's it."

Or how about the uber-testosterone laden announcer? "Grrrrr. Manly-man. Grrrrr. KICK. YOUR. BUTT."

Or all those guys (the toughest guys they could find!), who upon trying it, are all breathlessly, "Oh, man, Whew!"

Or that it's Science Fact--not fiction.

There is so much ridiculous here (cue the Rocky music), it's got to be a parody, right?

No friends, I'm afraid it's for real. But to see a marginally SFW parody, check out this SNL commercial: the Shake Weight DVD.

Yup, right up there with Pajama Jeans, there is now Shake Weight.


New work: part II

Yesterday was the gorgeousness of the Stylesson logo, today let's talk about the blog itself (which just launched--HOLLA!).

This was a little more of a challenge to design--there were a lot of things to take into consideration:

• The blog was going to be a showcase of other design blogs
• So, that's a lot of design already on one page
• The Stylesson brand had to be prominent
• But complimentary to the other design blogs
• Lots of pictures!
• And lots of white space!
• But also room for advertising

Whew. I'm exhausted already.

After playing with a ton of different ideas and configurations, I presented a couple ideas to Marcy, and she chose the version that's live--not very many design edits at all!

My pal Tim, of Cooper Multimedia, developed the site in Wordpress, using Coolvetica from Typekit for the menu.



New work!

99.9% of the time, I love my job. The .1% I don't love is the paperwork, invoicing... all the non-design stuff (OK, my job is probably a lot more than .1% paperwork, but let's be real here: me, math? We're not friends. So let's just go with it).

So, I love my job. And every once in a while, a project comes a long that makes me love it that much more. A project that I just can't stop thinking about. A project that I have a million ideas for--and they're all good. A project that is much more play than work.

Ladies and gents, that was Stylesson.

Client Marcy approached me this fall with an idea for a design blog library, if you will. The name was Stylesson--but we weren't sure if the logo was going to be Stylesson-all-one-word, or Style Lesson. The LE overlapping made it nice--and gave me lots to play with--but maybe harder to read as style and lesson together. Hmmm... thinking caps on, people.

First up, I took my favorite font of the moment (look around, I LOVE this font) and cut the LE in half; so that half was the color of the word style, and half was the color of the word lesson.

Playing with fonts for this was so. much. fun. 99% of the time (OK, you get the idea...) I am a girly girl. A lot of my work comes across with a feminine touch. Sometimes I have to stop myself, and add a little masculinity to the mix, but not here. Not sure if the different colored LE is working for or against it, though...

Oh, but here. The thick and thin together? Sexy (amirite?)

Again, playing with contrasting fonts. The uber-thinness of the word stylesson is hugely complimented by the sexy curves and thickness of the icon. Plus, who doesn't love an icon?

A variation of the previous logo, with more sexy curves and contrast.

So, who won?

After playing around with a multitude of fonts for this logo, a tweaked version of Bodoni won. Add a kiss of hot pink... and oh, I'm in heaven.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the Stylesson blog-o-rooni!


kate spade love

I've made it no secret that I love pretty much all things kate spade. I'm sure I've gushed about the brand multiple times (here, here, here, here and here, to name a few), and--hold on, folks--I'm about to do it again.

See, yesterday, I found myself in Westport, without any children. Hello, new kate spade store!

Oh, what's that? You're having a sale?

These aren't books, they're purses! Say it with me, folks: Adorbs!

Love, love, love the way the merchandise is presented here (I know, my phone does not do it justice). But the purses against that turquoise wall pop!

OK, this is the part of the store where I started to get a little spastic. First of all, this was the biggest ks store I'd ever been in. It's narrow, but really long; and the store is broken up into sections. The final section (if you come in from the parking lot--the store is so big there's two--TWO--entrances) is AWESOME. The entire right wall is wallpapered in a gold foil/white stripe.

And the left wall is these ginormous flowers. Nevermind the great furniture (or merchandise for that matter)!

I'll let you know when I move in (which should be soon).


Fun stuff

How awesome are these salt & pepper shakers, made to look like D batteries?

Or this iphone decal, made to look like the Polaroid OneStep Land Camera?

Oh, also? That little lever on the Photojojo site? The one that says Do Not Pull? Yeah, you should totally pull it.

(salt and pepper shakers via Cameron Moll, Polaroid iphone decal via SwissMiss)


Chair love

A few years ago, I found and immediately fell in LOVE with Phillippe Starck's Louis Ghost Chair. I mean, seriously, just look at this gorgeousness!

I know, I'll hold on while you guys finish drooling.

It's so simple, yet so beautiful. One of these days, when there are more appropriate funds in the Valentino bank account, I envision 6 Louis Ghost chairs around an antique farmhouse table in our dining room. And for us, "appropriate funds" coincides with "children graduating college" which means that it won't happen for quite some time. But, oh, a girl can dream.

In the meantime, Let's float on over to the Ghost Project:

Kartell Los Angeles wanted to know how The Ghost Chair effects the people and the spaces it inhabits... We’ve selected an eclectic group of interesting, talented and creative people in here in Los Angeles and we’re giving them a few days to spend with the Louis Ghost Chair.

Each contributor will provide a photograph of themselves in the chair, a photograph of the chair in their space as well as various photos of their space (either a studio, home or home/studio). They’ll each answer the same three questions about their thoughts on the design of chair and how it lives withing their space. After three days, we’ll pick up the chair and take it to the next contributor and so on.

I love this! I love how a piece of (beautifully designed) furniture can affect people. The first recipients of the chair were Alissa Walker & Keith Scharwath, an LA-based writer and artist, and I love how they made it part of their living room:

I can't wait to see what's next.


More fashion yumminess

On this snowy morning, let's take a quick break from winter and visit spring 2011, courtesy of Mulberry:

YUM. Don't you just love all those gorgeous hydrangeas??? Says Fashionista:

Inspired by The Secret Garden, Mulberry’s Spring 2011 campaign–shot by Tim Walker and styled by Edward Enninful–is pretty pleasing.

Pretty, indeed.


Friday LOLs

I don't know if this is funny, really... or more like WTF???

So, I'm going to just put it out there. Just dangle it in front of you, and you let me know, K?

Pajama Jeans.

WHAT IS THIS??? REALLY AMERICA??? REALLY??? Are yoga pants/leggings no longer cutting it? Are we all sitting in uncomfortable jeans? Is denim really that bad? And, the most important question of all (I think): WHAT ABOUT JEGGINGS??!

Just because you're busy doesn't mean you can't look sharp! Put your best self out there and wear your PajamaJeans.

My best self is wearing Pajama Jeans. Help. Me.


UGG is for Ugly

I fell victim to the UGGS trend a few years ago. I'm pretty sure I was pregnant at the time, so the lapse in fashion judgement is (somewhat) excusable. But--MY GOD, the warmth. So, so toasty.

Fast forward to my latest footwear purchase:

The best news is that they are slippers, so I won't be going out in public with them--or so I thought. I've already worn them out of the house twice. TWICE! Thank goodness they can pass for real shoes (sort of. OK, not really. Listen, you all can have some sort of intervention if I ever leave the house in a muumuu, or something equally garish).

So, I think really, the best news here is they are so. SO. Toasty.


Cooking with color

In the winter, there is no food more perfect than soup, as far as I'm concerned. My favorite is an escarole soup that my mother in law makes--she actually refers to it as schrole (but you have to roll the R) soup. It took me a while to figure out that schrole (roll the R) was actually escarole. Don't ask--there was a delish leafy green vegetable in my soup, and she was calling it schrole (roll the R). Made perfect sense to me.

Anywho. I started making it last year (not from scratch, like my mother in law does. Mine is more along the lines of Sandra Lee's semi-homemade. It's way super easy--stay tuned for the recipe). But when I add the schrole (roll the R), I don't know what happens, but it turns the most perfect shade of green--I wish my iphone captured it better.

It's so bright, and happy-looking. The weird part is, it doesn't look unnaturally bright. It just looks--well, good.

Schrole (roll the R) Soup
(note: I make it in bulk and freeze it in individual containers)

4 boxes of chicken stock
1 bag of baby carrots
1 bunch of celery
1 medium to large onion
A couple of large handfuls of cooked chicken (I usually use a package and a half of Trader Joe's already cooked-chicken)
2 heads of escarole
2 bay leaves
generous amounts of salt and pepper

(note: this is pretty much how the recipe was told to me--except substitute all those measurements, and add the word "some." "Some carrots, some celery, some onion..." Yeah. My measurements aren't looking so bad now, are they?)

Chop the carrots, celery and onion and put in a large stockpot with the chicken stock. Add your generous amounts of salt and pepper. Boil on medium-high for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken, escarole, and bay leaves, and leave on medium-high for another 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, and enjoy!


New work!

Awwww, yeah.

I've been a busy little bunny lately, so as a result, my little bliggity-blog friends, is that I have a bunch of new work to show. Woo to the hoo!

First up, a logo for a company based out of Greenwich that specializes in home automation (custom-controlled lighting, security, home theater, etc): Blueprint Home Technologies. Here's all the first round logos I presented, with the final logo at the end. Drumroll, please...

First, we have the actual blueprint symbol for an overhead light. I actually learned tons about blueprint symbols--and what they mean--on this project (you'd think I would've learned this lesson during our home construction. You know, when I had plans to look at at my leisure).

A play on the letter B and a fingerprint.

These two fingerprint ideas stemmed from the idea that this type of service is completely customizable, and individual.

A clever play on the BP initials without being obvious--after all, nobody wants their business to be associated with the initials BP.

And finally, playing around with circuitry.

So. What did they choose? More drumroll...

A completely unique take on the BP initials, this logo doesn't come across as too feminine, and has some movement. This one was my favorite, too.

Hopefully I will have some business cards and a website to show off in a few short weeks. In the meantime, let me know what you think!


Glitter + Glamour

My new year's resolution is to wear more sparkly shoes. That's it. For reals. I figure I'd be hard pressed to get that wrong.

But, now that I think about it, maybe I needn't be so specific. Maybe, instead of sparkly shoes, my resolution should be just wear more sparkle. I like that...

To fit my new new year's resolution, Santa left me this fabulous glitter card case in my stocking, which I think is oh-so-fab with my Violet Laura Mercier lip gloss.

The perfect combination of glitter and glamour.


What happened here?

Happy New Year, peeps!

So wow, right? It's SO much brighter in here, huh? Sorry if I've hurt your eyes, or made you think you were somewhere else, but I promise it's the same traciedesigns... just some fancypants new packaging (oh, and by the by--fancypants. I do believe that's my word of 2011--OK, probably January. It's so much fun to say!).

I hope you guys love the redesign as much as I do. Actually, I had a lot of fun working on it (the design aspect, I should say. The technical aspect you can have). I'll probably be tinkering here and there--but when I say tinkering, I mean teeny tiny details.

So sit back and enjoy the ride, guys--and hit me up in the comments and let me know what you think!