Friday, October 28, 2011

Color Overload

I need some color in my life today.

Maya Hayuk's paintings are the perfect cure at the perfect time. I stumbled upon Maya's work on Apartment Therapy while taking a brief inspiration break from work. The vibrant colors and geometric shapes in her paintings are the perfect blend of 1984 (the year not the book) and Constructivist Russia. Can we talk about how much I want one of these? I even have the perfect spot for one of these beauties right over my stairs (this may be an unrealistic hint to my hubby).

on a completely unrelated note: Don't you hate when you go to photograph something and your camera is DEAD!!! I was planning on sharing new work with you today, but that will have to wait. We can just overindulge ourselves on these beauties above for now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Letter Envy

I have a special place in my heart for letters and lace. I love the intricate details of both forms, and basically feel head-over-heels in love with this Q, by Rebecca Sandlant the moment I saw it. This hand-drawn letter embodies everything beautiful about the letter q and the unique lace details make me drool. Simply put, I love it...

hope you do to.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hand-Painting Sign Inpsiration

I love that sign painting is going through a revival right now. It is super trendy and I couldn't be happier. Below are a few inspirations I found. If only I could get a "mural"type job... Just think sitting outside, painting letters. Sounds just about perfect for warmer days (not today, it is cold and dreary).

This one by Visual Armory is right down the street from me in Chicago. Love the yellow.

I love the name of this place. It was painted by Tunnel Bravo and found here.

This is a vintage one taken by photographer Jay B Sauceda for his painted sign project.
Beautiful, huh?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yummy Monograms

My clients do the MOST amazing things with their monograms. Elizabeth sent me a picture (on the day of her wedding) of her custom 1 letter monogram on a sugar cookie. This delicious monogrammed cookie greeted the guests as the checked in to their hotel.

Liz got married a little over a week ago, and just got back from her honeymoon in Hawaii (can we say jealous). I cannot wait to share her entire wedding suite and extra pieces with you soon. Not to give too much away, but the cookie wasn't the only amazingly creative thing Liz did. From the few pics I have seen, it was a stunning affair.

Continuing on in the monogrammed sweet category...

I also found these delightful treats:

 from Dainty Delights on etsy. Ummm - when can I find a reason to buy these?

Love the simple elegance of these from Sweet Ambs on etsy. I am so inspired by edible letters!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Perfect Quote for a Type Lover's Friday

It is truly amazing how much inspiration you find when you actually have a couple of free minutes to breath. While still busy, this week has been a lot more manageable than the past few. Which has given me a bit of time to catch up on some inspiration hunting and blog reading.

The typographic quote design seen above is from one of my favorite new finds this week, The Phraseology Project. This blog-project simply ROCKS. I am so inspired by designers who create a digital forum and evolutionary visual experiment using the greater web community. The creator of The Phraseology Project, Drew Melton, uses this forum to grow as a designer, practice the trade of creating original typographic imagery, and get do a little self promotion. I love the work and I love the idea.

The positive words and beautiful type in the showcased image make me smile, especially since I read it with a Forrest Gump accent.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Serious Blog Inspiration: Pixel Whisk

I always LOVE finding new and inspirational blogs. My find this week is SERIOUSLY awesome. Pixel Whisk is a clever, beautiful and yummy blog created by Seton Hurson Rossini, a childhood friend and fellow designer. Along with being a designer, Seton is an incredibly talented baker. Pixel Whisk combines her visual talent, witty humor and delicious baking chops into one amazing blog. Did I mention that she designs cute printables to go with her recipes.

I will admit, she has inspired me to bake more (which is saying a LOT). I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I do.

*All photos are the property of Pixel Whisk

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Designs: Diana & Ian's Wedding Stationery

Invitation with liner

My good friends Diana and Ian tied the knot a few weeks ago in an absolutely beautiful ceremony. Over the past 6 months you have seen sneak-peaks of the pre-wedding details, such as their monogram, shower details, save the date and website. And, now, after a lot of waiting, it is time to showcase their entire wedding suite...

Diana and Ian wanted an elegant, simple and classic look for their wedding. Think candlelight, roses and romantic lighting. We worked together to create letterpress stationery that would help set the tone for their picturesque wedding at the Chicago Cultural Center. Diana and Ian's custom monogram along with the navy and lilac color palette helped tie all the pieces together. But the details like envelope liners, labels, and edge painting helped bring these invitation set to life. I hope you enjoy!

Rehearsal Dinner Invite
Full Stationery Suite: Invitation, Response Card, Envelopes, Thank You Stationery and Accommodation Card
Custom Monogram Up Close

Not the best picture, but I loved how the edge painting turned out. Such a nice minimal touch.

Panel Program for the Big Day!
Menu Cards that were placed at each place setting. I get hungry just reading this - Delicious!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Found Monograms: Spain and France

It seems silly to even write this, but I am pretty obsessed with monograms. I am constantly researching and seeking out new historical examples to serve as inspiration. Honestly, it is sometimes hard to find good inspiration since books on monograms are becoming more and more rare and the best examples have never been digitized. Which brings me to Spain...
Over the course of our vacation, I saw so many inspiring examples of these intricate designs. Historically, monograms were an early form of branding and identification. Every monarch (or anyone that had money and power) had their own monogram that consisted of their initials. Their monograms were used on anything and everything they owned or sponsored from palaces to parks to cathedrals to their furniture and crystal. Once you start recognizing certain monograms (Queen Isabel's for example) you realize how much power and wealth certain people had. 
I tried to document as many monograms as I could find in both Spain and Toulouse, France. Below are a few examples. They really are stunningly beautiful. (unfortunately the best examples were on crystal and china in the Royal Palace, but I wasn't allowed to photograph those – bummer).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Back...

Well, hello blog friends. I am finally back to posting after a long hiatus. We got back from Spain at the end of last week. The trip was absolutely magical (more on that in a second). Since we got back I have been busy trying to kick jet lag out of my life, and playing catch-up with work, but I am officially back to my good old self as of today, and so, here I am.

Back to Spain...

I have been dying to share a bit about my trip which (as I mentioned before) was magical. A ten day vacation is always a dream come true especially when you get to share it with your favorite person in the world. But Spain was beyond my wildest expectations. We saw so much amazing art, ate too much good food, walked until we couldn't walk anymore, got caught right in the middle of Barcelona's largest festival, followed Salvador Dali's footsteps and even stopped by to say hello to France. I am so grateful for all the memories we made, and will cherish this trip forever.

Below is a very quick overview of the trip. Over the next few days I will post on the more "artistic" and inspirational side of our little adventure.

This photo is about 2 hours after we landed in Madrid. We were expecting 90 degree temperatures, but a random cold front came through and it was 50!!! We were freezing, but we still enjoyed the Palacio Royal.

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is probably the most spectacular thing I have ever seen.

We went to a lot of museums, but Miro's was probably my absolute favorite. I love this sculpture against the modern backdrop of the museum.

Holy Bananas, Teatro-Museo Dali in Figueres (Dali's birthplace) was absolutely spectacular. The museum experience was like walking through a Surrealist's dream. Yes, those are giant eggs on the roof. I promise to write more about Dali later this week. 

After stopping by the Dali Museum, we drove up to Costa Brava to Cadaques where Dali lived at the end of his life. It is a tiny, gorgeous medieval beach town. I was blown away with all the beautifully colored doors.

In order to get to San Sebastian we decided to drive through the south of France. I was on a hunt to find French castles which led to a couple of "mis-adventures", but we did find Fanjeaux (seen above) which was an eerily quiet but very quaint medieval town.

We stopped in Toulouse for a fantastic French lunch and after searching for awhile, I found a patisserie to buy a macaroon at. It was Sunday so nothing but cafes were open.

Our next stop was San Sebastian. I am not even going to mention our trouble finding our hotel (which took over 2 hours). Once we finally got settled we were able to enjoy the people, beach and pintxos in this incredible town. I am not normally one for anchovies, but in San Sebastian they are mouth-wateringly good.

Back to Madrid for our final night! What a glorious city to end our Spanish adventure.

I am glad to be back home, but I am still missing my European lifestyle. I can't wait to share more with you.