Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Inspiration...

Wow! The weekend flew by and it looks like this week is going to be jam packed with awesome new design. The above image made me very happy on an otherwise stressful Monday. I am always inspired by hand embroidery especially when it deals with type, and the negative space here is amazing. Enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Found Monogram: The Chicago Fire Department

Yesterday, while eating breakfast at Eleven City Diner in Chicago's South Loop, I snapped a photo of this beautiful monogram that was above our table. I wanted to add it to my collection of found monograms and inspirational letterforms (I see a themed weekly post coming out of this collection).

Later, after doing a little research I found out that this monogram is the original logo for the Chicago Fire Department. It is a beautiful monogram. The three letters flow in and out of each other in a seamless way that I envy. Plus, I really love the organic touch at the end of each terminal.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Design: Diana & Ian's Save the Date and Website!

For the past week, I have been not-so-patiently waiting to show you Diana & Ian's save the dates and wedding website design. I wanted to make sure each save the date had a chance to arrive at its destination before I jumped the gun and posted them to the world wide web.

Diana and Ian are getting married at the Chicago Cultural Center early next fall. They are a great couple with wonderfully classic style and a keen eye for the tiniest design details, which makes them a blast to work with on stationery. For the save the dates, the couple wanted to do high quality photo magnets with envelope liners and address labels (yay!). The purple pattern and the color palette are both inspired by the Tiffany Dome at the CCC and will be used throughout the stationery suite.

Once everything was printed we had a fun assembly party (Ian and Reid, my husband, where thrilled about lining envelopes).

I also designed their wedding website using the same pattern and colors. I can't wait to share their invites and custom monogram with you once they are done.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Inspiration Overload: Linzie Hunter

I always love stumbling upon a new designer's website especially when I have seen their creations out in the real world. Today, as I was researching letterforms for a new custom monogram, I stumbled upon Linzie Hunter's website. Linzie has an awe-inspiring knack for hand lettering. Her illustrated letters remind me of my teenage doodles. Maybe it is her use of bold colors, or the excessive, feminine decoration? Even if I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, I know I like love it!

The illustrations seen below are from her Christmas Card collection and her sketchbooks (also on her website). The creative process of other designers fascinates me, and I appreciate that Linzie gives us a brief glimpse into hers. Inspiration like this is exactly what I needed today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

They are in the Mail...

Kate and Will's invitations have been sent, and boy are they proper. Mine hasn't arrived yet...

I bet that the quality of printing, foil embossing and paper is to die for, but the design is way too traditional for my taste. I guess you don't get much say on your invitation design when you are marrying the future King of England.

I just hope the thoroughly modern royal couple break some tradition during the wedding ceremony. They both (especially Kate) seem to have such fantastic taste and modern views on life. I think this white and gray bouquet is gorgeous. It would go great with the soon-to-be princess' sapphire ring, and breaks the royal mold just enough. What do you think?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Enjoying it While it Lasts...

 picture via

Not much to say today other than, it is BEAUTIFUL outside in Chicago. I am going to enjoy it before the cold sets in tonight. Happy Weekend everyone!

I have been busy in the studio and will have more to share next week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Impressive Ampersand Logo & Its Online Community

It's Fashion Week in NYC and the blogosphere is burning up with amazing photos. I cannot get enough of it!

Yesterday while inspiration hunting (drooling over all the runway shows), I came across the Mac & Milk logo on What I Wore (a fabulous daily blog about living through fashion). I love a good ampersand, and this one tops the charts. The letters within a letter and the hand drawn aesthetic are stunning. Absolutely remarkable. I am in logo heaven.

Beyond just being a good logo, Mac & Milk (two companies highly involved in the fashion world) have successfully collaborated by bringing us Milk Made Live, an online community and project that allows everyone to upload Fashion Week photos. I am completely mesmerized, and wanted to share some of the most inspirational photos. What do you think?

Holy Sparkles!!! The colors in this photo, by James Stone behind the scenes at The Blonds show and found here, are extraordinary.

This photo is also by Stone and from The Blonds show. I wish I could have seen it.

I love the fact that social networking allows us to see this stuff almost immediately! Check it out when you have a chance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Current Obsession: The Perfect Ottoman Tray

image via

In our living room we have a big and beautiful ottoman that also functions as our coffee table. Only problem: we don't have anywhere that is large and sturdy to set glasses, plates, books, candles, flowers, etc. So, for a few months I have been obsessed with finding a perfect tray that is beautiful, affordable and just-the-right-size to place on our current "foot rest." Turns out I am picky about design and pretty frugal on the cost which equals... hard to find. Anyone have any good suggestions of where to look?

For now I continue to the search and continue to be immensely inspired by some of the things that are out there...

I love the modern and monogrammed twist on these from iomoi. Simply awesome!

The image above, from the brand new High Gloss Magazine, mixes beautiful bold colors with a cozy and lived-in vibe. Now, if I only knew where that tray on the coffee table came from...

Thanks again to my wonderful sister-in-law, I have found a new obsession in Lonny Magazine. That ottoman tray is this picture is perfect: simple and sophisticated.

And, thanks to Lonny, I have found the designer Hillary Thomas who uses color and butler trays brilliantly. Maybe I should do two smaller trays? Can't wait to see more of her stuff!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is in the Air

Do you remember your first love? All the butterflies in your stomach. The inability to think or even talk straight. Palms that would not stop sweating. The magical anticipation of holding hands...

This beautiful print by artist, Hollie Chastain, perfectly recreates the crazy, overwhelming and innocent emotion of a first true love. The paper collage is spectacular. I love it and you can find it here!

Happy Valentines Day – spoil yourself :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Glassybaby Craze!

When we were in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to the Glassybaby craze by running into an extremely long line of women waiting to buy these beautiful, small candle holders at the annual sample sale in Medrona. We were on our way to brunch at 10am. Some of these women had been standing in line since 2am. I was baffled. I couldn't understand why Glassybabies were such a hot commodity. My friend, Brittany (a Seattle native), tried to explain it to me but it didn't click until yesterday when I received a tiny surprise package in the mail. I had no idea what it was, and the unveiling process was magical. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Brittany (and her fiance Andrew) had sent us our first Glassybaby. I am so glad that I ran and grabbed my camera when I saw the impeccable and inspiring gift wrapping so I can now share it with you...

The care that went into wrapping my "Happiness" Glassybaby matches the love that goes into the hand-creating of each vessel. Both the packaging and the actual Glassybaby are truly beautiful. The gift wrapping was truly inspirational since I have been brainstorming this week how I want to package my design products when I send them to clients.

This is an amazing product made by an company built on strong values and handmade with love. I am beyond thrilled to own my first Glassybaby, and I may become part of the craze if we move to Seattle. Thanks Brittany and Andrew for such a lovely mid-week surprise!!!

These pictures (via) are from the Medrona studio and store where we saw the crazy line of Glassybaby fans. I am determined to go into the studio next time I am there since I couldn't this past trip.

*Above is the new home for our Glassybaby.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Must Read: The Help

I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett last night, and oh my goodness, is it a must-read! Seriously, you should all go out and get it tonight.

It is a beautifully written story about three women in Jackson, Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the book, I was constantly reminded about the good, and not-so-good, of humanity and Southern hospitality. Since my family is from the South, I was shocked and saddened by parts of the story, but also so proud of the main characters and what they stood for. I am so grateful that we live in a time where the color of your skin doesn't define who you are, what you can do and where you can live.

P.S. - I also found out that Emma Stone is playing Skeeter in the film coming out the summer. I love her, and hope the film does the book justice!!! (and I really want her "HAHAHA" necklace, remember)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Letters While We Eat

I have been working on a new custom monogram for a wedding over the past couple of days, which always makes me day dream of beautiful letters. So, when I saw the above image from the new Pottery Barn catalog, I became obsessed with searching for monogrammed china. Monograms and china are both classic pieces that withstand the test of time, and I love the idea of combining them. What do you think?

JenaD Events posted this beautiful image. The flowers and the letters are both so elegant.

Simply stated. The classic from Pickard.

This one is also from Pickard, but has a bold blue accent. It makes such a pretty place setting.

I am so excited about this beautiful pistachio colored piece. It is our china, except ours doesn't have the monogram, and its from the late 1800s. Wow!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Elena and Tom's Vintage Inspired Save the Date

A few months ago my good friends, Elena and Tom, approached me about working with them to design their wedding stationery. They had a pretty good idea in their head about what they were looking for, and wanted me to help their visions become reality. We had a great time throughout the process and I can't wait to share their complete invitation suite with you.

I absolutely love the reddish orange and slate gray they have chosen for their colors, and the handwritten font that Tom found mixed with traditional Caslon creates such a nice blend of modern and classic. Plus, you can never go wrong with letterpress printing. Congrats Tom and Elena!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicago Blizzard 2011 = Snow Day!!!

This is me standing in the middle of State Street in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Wow! It really snowed. And for the first time in 12 years Chicago Public Schools closed. We got approximately 20 inches. It is beautiful and downtown Chicago remains a ghost town. Since we had a snow day, Reid and I ventured out this morning to witness the blizzard first hand and I thought I should share a few pictures from the outing. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm in this crazy national weather!

The snow on top of Urban Outfitters is so beautiful.

Chipotle always has witty ads, but this just made me laugh.

The poor Art Institute lions were blinded by snow.

The news stands are completely covered. I don't think the news was delivered today anywhere. We actually ran into a Postal Worker who had just been sent home for the day. However, there was a bike messenger we spoke to that was still working. A bike in this weather sounds horrible to me!

Sign at Millennium Park.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paper Snowflakes to Brighten the Day

I can pretty much say with certainty that Chicago is going to get hit with a lot of snow over the next day. About an hour ago, the wind started blowing and as of right now, snow is EVERYWHERE! I can't even see the lake which is practically right outside my window. It is very exciting, but I am really grateful that I work from home on days like this.

In order to stay in a festive snow mode, I thought I would share some beautiful paper snowflakes. Normally this is more of a holiday decorating idea, but it just seems fitting today.

The minimalist placement of these snowflakes (found here) on the dark purple wall is beautiful.

I like the bright color here. How about Orange has a tutorial on how to make them.

This snowflake inspired lamp is to die for. I found it last year on Design*Sponge.