Friday, April 29, 2011

Inspiration Overload: Ed Nacional

I have seen Ed Nacional's amazing type design for some time (particularly in the New York Times), but each time I see something new I am blown away. The Brooklyn based designer has a real knack for innovative, unique and creative ways to showcase conceptual typography. Above are some of his swoon worthy pieces. Over the weekend you should check out is full site and fall as in love as I am.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anticipation: the Royal Wedding

I must admit, I am completely caught up in the Royal Wedding hoopla. I am planning on watching it in "real-American-time" which equals 4am tomorrow morning with my awesome cousin and some other girls. Reid is thrilled that I am not waking him up to be a part of the festivities.  I think every woman in the world has, at one point in her life, dreamed about being a princess. And, Kate seems to be the perfect example of a great, slightly-normal girl meeting and falling in love with a prince. I will fill you in tomorrow about our little British party. For now I wanted to live through some of histories great and beautiful royalty, plus how awesome are the above commemorative PEZ dispensers??? This might be the best of the best from the absolutely cheesy souvenirs that are available for this wedding. I mean, seriously, who wants expensive Wedgewood china with their silhouettes? Count me out. 

 Grace Kelly is the perfect actress turned princess. She is such a classic Hollywood beauty. Seen here on her wedding day.

I love early pictures of Queen Elizabeth. She looks so innocent and fresh. This is such a sweet engagement picture of her and Prince Phillip. 

 Princess Margaret looks beautiful here, and this photo seems so ideally royal.

Are you doing anything for the royal wedding?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vintage Letter Love

from Apartment Therapy

From Design*Sponge

from House of Turquoise

From Project Nursery

from Design is Mine

From Elise Blaha's Flickr
I absolutely LOVE everything having to do with letters, especially when they are extra large in size and vintage in make. Over the years, I have collected a few old sign letters, but I dream of one day owning enough to do cool things like the above pictures. They are a main inspiration in my dreams about decorating our currently imaginary home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away...

Ok, I have about had it with the miserable, dreary, wet weather in Chicago. For the past two weeks it has rained almost everyday. Seriously, I have lots of photos I need to shoot of new, exciting work, and I need sunlight to do it!!! I know I am pouting like a toddler, but I really want some sun. Pretty please – the weather channel says maybe on Friday. Let's keep our fingers crossed. In the meantime, here are some beautiful April Shower inspirations.

 This watercolor has been one of my favorite prints for a few months now. The color and energy are irresistible. I found it on Matheus Lopes flickr page.

 Love, Love, Love! Nothing like bright and vibrant colors to cheer up a wet day. This is a stunning photograph with a vintage umbrella. It is available for purchase on etsy.

Lastly, if it is going to rain all day we might as well celebrate with these adorable party decorations, right? This is a great idea for an April birthday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tigers, Elephants and, of course, Bunnies

Happy Friday!!!
I am so excited that the weekend is near. We have lots of fun stuff planned: movie night, meeting with our realtor, having a Passover Seder with some good friends, and then Easter. I also have a bit of work to do over the weekend, but it is for some fun new projects so I am actually excited about working over the weekend!

Both African Cats and Water for Elephants start today. I am SUPER excited about both and am not embarrassed at all to admit it. I basically love any movie about animals and this one is actually supposed to be pretty good, and Water for Elephants is one of my favorite books from a few years ago. I don't normally like movies based on my favorite books, but I am going to give this one a try. If nothing else, it will be nice to see Robert Pattinson playing a living being instead of a vampire. What new movies are you excited about?

These movies (and Easter) have inspired my animal post today. Hope you enjoy.

I spotted this picture awhile ago on Pinterest and think it is breathtaking. There is a genuine sweetness about the photo, and the tiger actually feels human-like through his big, thoughtful eyes. If anyone knows the photographer please let me know.

This mask on The Paper Cut Project is one of a kind. Can you believe this is all paper? Truly remarkable. Check out the site for much more.

This is a great print by twoems

 Another great old photograph that embodies the sweetness of children. How cute, right?

 This is one of my favs of all time. Richard Avedon really knew how to capture true beauty.

The circus and elephants (found here). Did I mention I was excited about Water for Elephants???

 Too cute to not share. I love bunnies, but haven't had very good luck with them as pets :(

 The colors, motion and fluidity of this print are what make it great. I would love to have it on my wall.

 And a fun one to end the post. This little bunny from Stitch Face is too cute. I don't even really need the actual creature - I just really like his mug shot. He looks a little mischievous, huh?

Happy Easter Weekend!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Southern Charm: The Monogrammed Plate

By now you all know how much I LOVE a good monogram especially when it is done in a unique way. During my time in South Carolina last week, I was completely mesmerized by all the wonderful knickknacks that were embellished with a monogram. It must be a southern thing. I know I previously posted about monogrammed china, but I am way too obsessed with these pieces to not share them with you.

The two images above were taken outside Postcard from Paris, a beautiful interior design store in the West End of Greenville. The store was closed and therefore, I have no idea who made these beautiful dishes. The monograms are FANTASTIC and the plates and platters have a really pleasing handmade quality. Does anyone out their know who makes these??? 

This plate is made by Skyros and I spotted it at Foxfire, one of my favorite kitchen stores in the whole world! I hadn't seen the monogram option for Skyros before, but I have always admired their stoneware. The monogram is a nice touch to already beautiful dishes. I just wish I could think of a reason to get one???

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back to Work...

For the past five days, I was in Greenville, South Carolina with my mom and grandparents. Greenville is sincerely one of my favorite places in the world. The above vintage postcard doesn't even capture part of this small city's magic, but I thought it was cute and it has a wonderful color palette.

I lived in Greenville right out of college, and this trip was a nice and overdue vacation (not to mention that the weather was glorious). I was able to see some dear friends and meet their new babies :). Plus I got to spend a lot of quality time with both my grandparents and my mom (who I don't get to see as much as I would like).

I landed back in Chicago this morning to snow on the ground (boo) and a lot of work to catch up on. It will be a very busy week indeed, but I promise to share some of my Greenville inspirations over the week.

Happy Monday!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Design: Carla & Rich's Invitation Suite

I am so excited to share this invitation design with you. I have been anxiously awaiting the ok from the bride for the past couple of days. And, Carla emailed me just an hour ago to say that everyone has received the invites and I could post away. Supposedly she is getting great feedback which just makes my day!

You may remember Carla & Rich's Save the Date from a previous post.  The bride and groom are such a delight to work with. Not to mention they were the first couple to ask me to do their invitations, so they will go down in the history of Chena Design as my first "official" wedding client.

I cannot wait for their wedding in the next couple of months! Carla wanted the design to be fresh, natural and fun just like her wedding, which will be held outdoors in Chicago. Her colors are a deep purple and almost butter yellow which we played up through printing and paper. We used a soft floral theme as the driving concept in the invitation suite and thank you cards. And, at the last minute, we decided to add in a beautiful and bold envelope liner to bring out more of the purple. I am so glad we rushed to get that done because it is definitely the final touch that brings everything together.

The invitations are on a textured linen paper in natural white with thermography printing. Gary and his team at Letterpress Chicago did an amazing job. And, thanks to Boxcar Press, we got the liners just in time. All the printing turned out beautifully!

Carla also found an amazing calligrapher on Etsy. The calligraphy is stunning! I got so excited when I checked the mail the other day because I was greeted with this beautiful envelope on top. Even though I knew what was inside I was ridiculously excited. Kind of silly, I know, but beautiful envelopes are exciting to get in the mail. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dreaming of Outdoor Space...

Spring is in the air. The weather in Chicago has been beautiful the past couple of days. The warm sun combined with looking for our first home has me craving my own outdoor space where I can plant flowers and such. Unfortunately we won't have our own balcony until the weather turns cold again, so I have turned my dreams to indoor plants. Below are some of the inspirational pics that I have found so far. Now I just hope my severe black thumb can be turned green.

These are awesome air plant holders. They look so rustic but also very modern. I like it!

I absolutely adore the mix and match look here. I could even DIY these with some old mason jars. I just may have to study up on plants that can live in jars. 

Again, I am loving the look of air plants encased in glass. This image from Apartment Therapy.

Any ideas on good plants for indoors?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Baby Monogram Part 2

A little while back I posted about a monogram I had completed for a childhood friend's baby girl who had not yet arrived. Now, a few weeks later, Ashley has a beautiful baby girl and finished decorating her nursery. Below are the pics she just sent. Adorable, huh? I may be a little biased on the monogram, but the entire room is a little baby oasis.

Thanks for sending the picks Ashley.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hand Stiching + Letters = LOVE


I spotted this new hand-stitched typeface today, and it was love at first sight. Each letter is breathtakingly beautiful. You can view the whole beautiful font, lots of other pictures, the original sketches and a behind the scene video that is AWESOME on Typography Served. Each letter took about 6 hours and the incredible designers/artists, Zim & Zou, used over 500 meters of thread. Wowzers!!! I am so grateful when other artists share this much process. It truly makes me appreciate the beauty of a project and the time, dedication and love that went into creating it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Inspiration Overload: Hand Painted Signs by Heidi Tullmann

I am always completely inspired by, and also slightly jealous of talented sign painters. Each of their painted letters are individualistic, original and show the time, love and dedication of a true type-lover.

Sign painting is a practically extinct industry and those that still do it well are, well, AMAZING! You kind of have to be if you are going to make a living doing something most of the world considers a dead art. It is so sad really, but most people think that the sign shop down the street can make a much better, faster and more affordable digitally printed sign. They may be right about speed and affordability (to note, I use sign companies plenty), but you cannot deny the pure beauty of a hand painted signs.

Today I stumbled upon Heidi Tullmann's website while reading Lettercult. Her hand lettering is to-die for. She brings a historical appreciation of sign painting to her work, but also adds in modern and graphic appeal. I really appreciate the beautiful repurposing of abandoned shacks on the side of the road into works of art. Great stuff, huh?


Friday, April 1, 2011

Paper Rain...

Happy Friday, even if it is pouring outside. Rain on the first day of April seems so cliche, right? Oh well...

The dreary weather actually has me motivated today, which is a rare thing. My weather muse is normally snow, but today I will take the rain motivation. It seems like weather is a major motivator for a lot of artists and designers. Some like the sun, others snow (like me),  maybe some like sleet, and then others, like my husband, love rain. Below are some inspirational rain images all made from paper. Do you have a weather muse?

This is such a pretty monochromatic collage (found here)

This acrylic and ink painting by Helena Hannukainen is stunning, don't you think?
I love the simple, cool color palette and the detailed lines. AMAZING...

Simple, to-the-point and beautiful colors.  
This screen print by Summersville on etsy sure helps brighten up a rainy day.  

Super cool 3D raindrop hangers. I also love the Kraft paper clouds above them. 
I don't know if I am hip enough to pull this off, but it is super inspirational.
Thanks DesignLoveFest (a completely awesome and inspirational blog) for posting this.

The textures in this print from etsy combined with the hip, warm and modern color palette make me want to buy this right now. 

 And this one just makes me smile! Hilarious. I am so impressed by the posing of this cat. Mine would never let me photograph something like that. Check out Fluffy's other photos here.