Friday, July 31, 2009

Obama's photostream

It was a really long/not-so-great day, so I'm anxious to just go to bed and put an end to this Friday already.  Therefore, I'm going to keep this post a little short and leave you with an awesome Flickr account that you need to check out this weekend - the President's!  I love that the White House has an official Flickr account.  It's interesting to browse through all the pictures; you get a more intimate look into President Obama's life now.  I love that he goes to art museums!

Enjoy the photos and enjoy your weekend, everybody!


P.S. What an amazing job this photographer has!  I'm jealous!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New obsession

I've never really been a big cake person.  To this day, I still scrape the frosting off cake, save it for myself and hand over the cake part to my grandpa.  However, lately, I've been a bit obsessed with cupcakes.  I'm not talking about devouring cupcakes all the time (although I do love Sprinkles bakery); I just like admiring them.  From a design standpoint, I look at cupcakes like miniature works of art - the decorating is always so fun and unique from one cake to the next.  I especially love these fashion designer-inspired cupcakes that were shot by photographer Therese Aldgard and prop-styled by Lisa Edsalv. 

While we're on the subject of cupcakes, I thought I'd add this photo of "tall cupcakes" from Sugarbloom bakery.  This would be a great and unique alternative for parties; they look great for sharing.  They look pretty tasty too!  Alright...I officially want a cupcake now!   

Photos via {Pomegranate and Patchouli} and {Great Full Day}

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recessionista-friendly gifts

When I was a little girl, I would make gifts for my family every Christmas.  I was really famous for my yarn dolls, Kleenex dolls (complete with a shoe box bed), and picture frames with hand-made collages.  Now, as a 24-year-old woman, I still enjoy making gifts, and I still adore collage art.  The love for arts and crafts I had when I was younger has stayed with me, so I got excited when I came across these simple DIY gift ideas:  

This is a really simple way to spice up a gift card.  Take two postcards, photos, etc and either sew them together or tape them together if you wish.  I think this is great for personalizing something that is sometimes thought of as an impersonal.  

Here are some hand-made note pads.  The step-by-step instructions for this little gift idea are here.   And, to go a step further, you could even make a fun collage for the cover.  

Going off the notepad idea, I found these notebooks {via Poppytalk} that I think would be easy to make on my own.  I think a really special gift idea would be to make a notebook like this for a friend or family member and then, decorate some pages with photos, poems and/or quotes.  

I hope these ideas get your creative juices flowing a bit.  I can't wait to get back to California to all my art supplies and get cracking on some of these.  I'm feeling some homemade gifts coming on this Christmas!


Photo {one}, {two} and {three}

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun with Photoshop

When I first saw these photos, I totally thought they were pictures of miniature toy models or something.  I was surprised to find out, however, that they're actually pictures of real people and places.  The photographer has used a Photoshop technique called tilt-shift to create the fake miniature effect.  I found some simple instructions on how to do this form of manipulation here. I'm excited now to go out and shoot some photos of my own to play around with.  Hopefully, they'll turn out as cool-looking as these are!  

Photo {one}, {two} and {three}

Monday, July 27, 2009

Design dilemma

I hope everyone had a fun weekend!  I was running around town all Saturday and Sunday, trying to soak in as much of the city as I can before I leave.  My stay here in New York is officially down to under two weeks, which means less than 14 days until I have to get my butt in gear and start my mad job hunt.  With resumes and cover letters on the mind, I've decided that I want to create a killer business card for myself.  It's about time I have one anyways.  But, I'm having designer's block as to what direction I want to go in.  Here are some cards that I'm really digging right now, each for different reasons:

Although this card is pretty standard looking as far as design goes, I appreciate the use of a different paper.  I especially love the natural look of the cardboard.  

This one is also a little on the simple side; however, I enjoy the personal touch added to it by including a few fun facts about the cardholder.  

I love this translucent business card.  Although it's a bit unrealistic for me budget-wise, I really like the look of it.  This is one to keep in mind for the future when I have more money to spend.  I also enjoy the idea of incorporating an envelope.  By adding an extra step in getting to the card, it makes it more special as well.
Here's another envelope!  Although the hair concept doesn't apply to my profession, I really like the idea of a cleverly used die cut and envelop.  This technique is high up on my list of possible business cards.  It would require a bit more time in ways of craft, but it'd be worth it. 

Lastly, this is probably one of my favorite business cards.  It's unique and creative, yet still functional.  I love the fun 3-D aspect of it.  This card is definitely more than just a flat piece of cardstock that will most likely just be slipped in someone's wallet with no more than a seconds glance.

I've got some thinking to do in the next couple of weeks.  Business cards - good business cards, that is - are small pieces of art, and I want to make mine memorable.  Let me know what you think about these.  And, if you're searching for the same thing I am, I really recommend dailypoetics' Flickr photostream of business cards.  There are hundreds of amazing cards to peruse through for inspiration.  Happy hunting!


Photo {one}, {two}, {three}, {four} and {five}

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekend fun

Oh. my. gosh.  This is the first time I've really been able to get on the computer since Wednesday morning.  I have a mere two weeks left in New York so I'm trying to jam pack them as much as possible.  I apologize if that affects my blogging at all, but I'm hoping it won't too much.  I'm also hoping to get some rad pictures from MoMa up soon.  They have some really amazing things on display right now.  

Here are some things to keep you a little busy over the weekend until I get going on my museum photos:

1.  Print & Pattern blog is amazing.  I've been really into patterns lately, and I find their posts so inspiring.  I could spend forever browsing all their entries; they make me want to get up and start creating!

2.  Summer is in full swing now, but what's a summer without an awesome summer playlist?  If you don't have some cool tunes to play during these hot months, Nylon Magazine and Urban Outfitters are giving away free music playlists.  Go here and here to download and enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Five-star dollar menu

I've been eating out a lot more than usual since I arrived in the Big Apple, and I'm starting to get tired of it.  How I long for a nice, healthy home-cooked meal.  But, what about a home-cooked meal made from fast food?  The meals on Fancy Fast Food are just that, and I must say they are pretty interesting and tasty looking.  Imagine getting served something like this at Taco Bell or Dominos (which is where the food in these pictures comes from)!  

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday smiles

Two things that made my Monday:

1. Heart-shaped ice cubes. They make my glasses of water and iced tea so much happier.   

2.  This rainbow-colored street in Seattle.  Those have got to be some cool people living there!

This weekend went by especially fast for some reason. I longed for just 24 more hours until Monday morning. Although I was not granted that additional weekend time, I must say that these two things made my Monday a little brighter than usual.  What things made your Monday better?   

Photo {one}, {two} and {three}

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shoe box design

I've never really found myself excited over an empty shoe box...until a few days ago that is when I saw this box of my roommate's on the bedroom floor.  I had never heard of Jeffrey Campbell before, but seeing the beautiful hand-done illustrations on this lid made me instantly respect the man, and I found myself wanting to go out and buy a pair of his shoes immediately.  Anyone who takes the time and effort to pay attention to some of the smaller details - like a shoe box -that so often get tossed to the side deserves my business.

On a side note, I hope you all have a great weekend!  I don't have any plans set in stone so far, but, lately, I kind of prefer my weekends that way.  Hopefully I'll hit up a museum or two and see some more nice artwork!  


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Artsy pasta

I saw these bags of pasta at a truck stop while vacationing in Europe recently. They were absolutely beautiful; I was mesmerized. I had never seen such colorful pasta like this before especially being sold at a random stop on the road. I wanted to buy them so badly. But, after the exchange rate and everything, one bag would have ended up costing me around 15 dollars or so, which I thought to be too hefty for pasta.

However, since that trip, I have found myself really craving some rainbow-striped pasta, and I was lucky enough to find them online here. They're still expensive for being pasta, but I think I'd want to buy a bag, put them in a beautiful clear glass jar and just have it sit on display on my kitchen counter as decoration. I just love them so much...too much to eat even, but how gorgeous of a meal would that be!

Cuteness captured

I have almost always had a pet. When it wasn't a dog, it was a fish. And, contrary to what some of you may think, my fish - Webster - was one of the best, most charismatic pets I've ever had. Although Webster passed away last summer and I've gotten a new fish since then, something is still lacking. I've never really considered a rat as a pet. But, after looking at Jessica Florence's photos on Flickr, I'm thinking they could actually be a really fun pet to have. Here are some samples of her work, but be sure to take a look at her photostream. Her pictures are absolutely adorable.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hit the road

Although I look forward to Christmas 364 days of the year, I have to say that I still thoroughly enjoy summertime.  Summer brings with it not only warm weather and sunshine, but movies in the park, county fairs (which means cheese on a stick!) and road trips.  

But, it looks like road trips aren't just for families looking to bond or teenagers looking to grab hold of some freedom.  Businesses, in fact, are enjoying themselves a nice little taste of the open highway.  Two of my favorite companies are actually hitting the road this summer and are headed across the nation: Sprinkles Cupcakes and Four Vines Winery.  

I think it's such a great idea that these companies have made the decision to go mobile.  Be sure to check to their Web sites for tour dates if you're interested!  Now, if only they could coordinate a meet-up together in, say, Orange County after, say, August 14th.  Delicious cupcakes and amazing wine - what more could a girl ask for?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Relaxing afternoons

I've been on a big reading kick lately.  While I do most of my reading these days either lying on the couch, crammed on the subway or taking it easy in Union Square, I would absolutely love to curl up to a good book in one of these beautiful scenes.  

I bought a beach towel at Coney Island over the weekend and can't wait to take it to Central Park, lay out and read there.  I suppose that that will have to do for now.  Hopefully, I can get out sometime this week and finish my current book - "My Sister's Keeper" (which is so amazing, by the way).  When I finish that, I'm going to finally complete "Eat, Pray, Love."  And, from there, who knows.  Do you have any good book suggestions?  What are you reading right now, if anything?

Photo {one}, {two} and {three}

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Inspiration walls

I don't normally post on the weekend, but I was a bad blogger and missed yesterday. My apologies for that. It's a lazy Saturday today. The wind is blowing so hard outside, threatening the city of rain soon. It reminds me of the start of winter in Southern California and makes me want to curl up in sweats and watch movies all day.  

What is everyone doing the rest of this weekend? I'm visiting Coney Island tomorrow. I'm so excited to go on some classic roller coasters and to witness the famous Coney Island freak show. I'm hoping all the fun amusement park sights will get my creative juices flowing more. I've been feeling rather uninspired lately. I know it will pass, but it's times like this that I wish I had a nice big inspiration wall to look at for motivation.

I love these inspiration walls, especially the huge collage one by Diane Bergeron. Be sure to check out her Web site where you can view this piece in greater detail. If you had an inspiration wall would it be more free flowing like Diane's or more organized like the one by dottieangel?

P.S. Little baby Joshua was born last night! I officially have two nephews now. Welcome to the world, little guy!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Burgers to bake

Although I am absolutely loving New York, I have to admit that I'm still looking forward to returning home to California in a month and having an entire apartment all to myself and my best friend Jamie. I'm excited to have a kitchen where I'll feel more comfortable to cook and bake again. Once I get back, the first thing I'm going to bake will be this amazing happy meal-esque dessert made entirely out of brownies and cookies (only I think I'll skip the whole Father's Day themed packaging). I can't wait! I'll let you all know in a month or so how my adventure goes!

Photos via {Bakerella}

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Welcome to the world!

It's been a long day. I worked late at my internship and then, brought two hours of work home with me on top of that. Who ever invented the concept of internships - free labor - is a genius. 

So, since I'm completely beat tonight, I'm going to take it easy and leave with you some awesome retro baby announcements done by The Mandate Press. Any parents-to-be who sends this out is automatically cooler in my book. And, since we're talking about babies, I might as well mention that I'm expecting a new nephew any day now. So, fingers crossed that the labor goes smoothly for my sister-in-law! I can't wait to meet baby Josh.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wine, Oh!

I'll admit it. I'm sort of a wine-o, not in the sense that I drink wine all the time, but I do love the taste of it. But, one thing I love even more than the taste are the wine labels themselves. Wine labels, like book covers, are pieces of art. And, I'm sorry to whoever invented the cliche "do not judge a book by its cover," but I believe that it's entirely acceptable to judge books, as well as wines, by their outer artwork.  

I adore these wine labels, especially the one that's covered in type (by Robot-food). There's something beautiful in its simplistic nature. And, how can you not appreciate the nice typography? I wish I could have a glass of wine from one of these bottles right now...

The illustrations from this second set (by Narrow House) are so interesting too. I would love to pull these out of the fridge at a party. How fun would that be?!  

Someday, when I have more space to live in than a tiny apartment, I want to have a wine bottle collection. I think it could make for a great art display on a shelf or something. I want that and a collection of beautiful perfume bottles.  Aaaaah...someday!  

Photo one via {The Dieline} and two via {Lovely Package}

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy pillows

Sorry for being so late with the posting tonight!  I just got home from a very long day at work.  Although, luckily, it was followed up by a fun movie screening of Dog Day Afternoon in Bryant Park.  I realized that movies in the park make me very happy.  They're so relaxing.  You know what also makes me happy though?  These pillows from designer Jonathan Adler.  Who wouldn't want a pillow with "hugs" on it?    

I especially adore this one pillow from Adler that's covered with happy thoughts. I would love to walk into my room and see that on my bed every day. It makes me smile. If you could have a personalized pillow with things that brighten your day stitched on it, what would your pillow say? Mine would have: hugs, love, puppies, tulips, Webster (my fish - R.I.P), massages, brie, baths, stars (in the sky, not the famous kind), friends and fireworks.  

Photo one via {decor8} and two via {kellylovesmiso}

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy fourth

What is everyone doing this weekend for the 4th of July? My only plans for the holiday weekend so far are panning out to look like a nice, traditional fourth. BBQ in the afternoon followed by fireworks out by the Hudson River and then, just hanging out with friends until the grandma in me kicks in and tells me I'm tired, and it's time for bed.  

I'm most excited for the fireworks part of the day. I absolutely love fireworks!  I feel like a little kid again whenever I watch them - mouth agape and eyes open wide in fascination.  I think fireworks are magical.  I especially love the ones that fill the entire sky with what looks like gold glitter.  Also, I must say I enjoy the ones that don't necessarily look like fireworks, but instead look like a Mickey Mouse face, or a smiley face, or the ones above, which kind of look like flowers popping out of the ground, etc. 

Have a happy, happy 4th of July, everyone!  And, please be safe!


{Photo one, two and three}