Friday, January 30, 2009

Be an Outsider

I just came across these ads for Boy by Band of Outsiders with Michelle Williams. They have a great 50's vintage quality to them, plus Michelle Williams is one of my fave actresses, so what's not to like?! That 2006 Oscar ensemble she wore is still at the top of my list for all time best fashion.

[Love this plaid jacket]

The ads were shot at the home of Paul Fortune, whose design aesthetic is beautiful and quirky all in one [a fave combo of mine]. There are some more photos of the designer's home, Laurel Canyon, on the site, as well as other projects including the Paris Apartment of Marc Jacobs.

[Laurel Canyon living room --
I think these are the stairs that Michelle Williams is walking down
in the top ad.
It's amazing how that top picture looks like it came
from another era compared to this one!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Weezie, my sister, sent this fun birthday card from a company I had never heard of called Seltzer. I thought the illustration was cute and quirky, and then I flipped it over to discover that the card was printed on 100% post-consumer paper using vegetable based ink. Plus, I really liked their logo, which is a clincher for me as well. I checked out their website, and they carry all sorts of products, including 100% PC wrapping paper.

And totally unrelated, I have to talk about my love of Macs for a minute. I am fully aware that a lot of folks who do not own or operate an Apple computer get annoyed by all the Mac-lovers out there, but here is an example of why I will forever be a loyal customer...I upgraded my Mac this summer, and purchased the wireless mouse and keyboard to go along with it. Thought it would be nice not to have all those wires strewn about. Well, I ended up loathing them both -- they ate batteries like candy and the mouse especially would just quit working with no warning. I'd replace the batteries, and then I'd have to restart the entire computer to get the thing to sync again. So irritating!

Anyway, after months of doing this, I decided that I had had enough. I went to the Mac store with the mouse and keyboard in hand, and all I said to them was "I bought these with my new Mac and I hate them. Is there any way I can exchange them for the wired versions?" And, seriously, within 5 minutes I was walking out the door with a new wired mouse and a new wired keyboard. They just gave them to me. And they told me to just keep the other ones, too. Who does that?! I dashed home, plugged them in, and now I am happily typing and mousing away with no worries that one of them will all of a sudden go out, or if I have enough batteries to make them work again.

If you are in the market for a new computer and haven't tried a Mac, I would highly recommend one. Not only are they incredible machines, but the customer service is top-notch. Okay, that's all I'm going to say about them...for now!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Bit of Type

Typography Goods

It's everywhere folks -- from the signs in the subway and words on our tax forms to the logo for American Apparel and NASA. I'm talking about Helvetica, the font whose 50th anniversary was celebrated in the 2007 independent film appropriately named Helvetica. If you like typography, I'd definitely recommend it. Since typography is something I work with every day, I enjoyed a film dedicated to a single typeface. It was amazing to see all the various places and brands that use Helvetica -- it seems to transcend the categories of high end v. low end. It's funny to think that the same typeface that spells "Target" also spells "Fendi." Anyhow, I couldn't convince my hubby to watch it with me [which, frankly, I can't blame him -- he couldn't rope me into watching a PBS documentary on southern planters], but if typography makes you happy, check it out!

And since type was on my mind, I gathered together some of my fave type goodies out there [above] -- click on the link, and it will take you to a page with all the details about each thing...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rock the vote for b.wise!

Hey, gang! I've entered another contest at For those wondering, Minted puts on contests for independent designers, actually pretty frequently, with the theme always changing. This time around it was a photo baby announcement. I enjoy the challenge of these contests, plus it's a great way to meet other Indie artists and see what's out there. Anyhow, if you've got a minute, I'd really appreciate your vote, which you can cast here [I think you have to sign-in, but it's pretty painless and they won't send you anything unless you want them to]. Aren't contests fun?! I feel like I'm at lower school field day again, competing in the 3-legged race!


[My big 3 year old having his special birthday snack at school]

Monday, January 26, 2009

Calender Days

My boys talk about birthdays a lot. Not just every so often, but pretty much daily -- whose is next, when's mine, etc. I thought that maybe if I bought them their own calender, they could see for themselves how all the days/weeks/months added up. So, we went to Staples and bought one of their cheap desk calenders [only $4.99]. Then, I whipped up some labels for birthdays, events, etc. and they had so much fun marking it up. I'm thinking about refining the designs a little and selling them through b.wise papers...

And speaking of birthdays, my baby boy turns 3 tomorrow! Here he is "hunting for M&M's" this morning...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Herb Garden in a Bag

Because we don't have a yard, I'm always on the lookout for ways to bring the outdoors in. These Organic Seeds and Grow Bags by Jamie Oliver would be the perfect way to have an herb garden in not a lot of space. Sadly, I'd have to live in England to get one [not sadly about the prospect of living in England, but sadly because that's just not going to happen anytime soon], but maybe soon they will make it stateside?? And the packaging is like icing on the cake -- those tags are scrumptious!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rickshaw Bagworks

I just recently discovered a brand of messenger bags called Rickshaw Bagworks [one of their fabulous employees ordered b.wise cards for the holidays!], and I ordered one for my sweetie's birthday [his birthday is 2 days after Christmas ]. He's been using the bag for a few weeks know and all reports are positive. I got him the Medium Zero Messenger, which he says is perfect for his laptop [he has a mac book] and two books.

Most importantly, the Zero Messenger bags are designed to minimize waste, using local materials and a pattern that optimizes cutting. It's also made of 100% nylon in order to facilitate recycling. All this for $40 and up...I love it when eco-friendly both looks good and is affordable!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Invites

Here's a glimpse at the Inauguration invitations for those who are curious what they looked like. An elegant and traditional invitation, although this time around, the invites were printed on recycled paper at an FSC certified union print shop. The printer is located in Brooklyn, NY, and had less than a month to get one million engraved invitations printed up.

Each invitation had to make three passes -- one for the gold ink, one for the black ink, and a third time because the gold seal was burnished [that's 3 million passes total!]. The typeface used is Shelley Allegro.

They are quite handsome, a lovely mix of the traditional and the modern.

[There's more information on the Precise Continental website]

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hats Off to...

Hats Off to Obama

Imagine my delight last night, when as I was experimenting with hat patterns [for the boys to wear today], and I folded up the edge of this bateaux hat to reveal a perfectly placed "OBAMA." I love happy, unexpected surprises...if I had purposely tried to get the "OBAMA" on the rim of that hat, it would've taken me hours, I'm sure!

Sadly, it wouldn't fit on anyone's head, so I made these "O-nauguration" hats instead--

O-nauguration hat

Everyone was snowed out of school and work today, so we had a little Inauguration party with some friends...with such an historic occasion I'm glad we could really enjoy it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Chic

Looking to celebrate tomorrow in style? Check out this Tote bag by Tory Burch...
The creative ways that Tory Burch incorporates her logo on her products is always inspiring to me, and this is no exception!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Check out these Alexander Girard PLYprints -- each panel is hand screen-printed on sustainably-harvested maple plywood from the US. The panels were created using plywood sheets that could not otherwise be sold because of imperfections in the grain, and are also formaldehyde-free. The LOVE heart would make a fabulous Valentine gift!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Re-purposing is a wonderful thing when it turns out like these beauties! The handbags, by Dutch designer Tineke Beunders, are made out of re-used wool blankets + cotton with wooden handles [2 sizes of handles to choose from]...

If I didn't have so much to carry around, I'd be tempted to snap one up!

[via Modish]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spatter Paint

I keep seeing this Jackson Pollock spatter paint style popping up, everywhere from the Jill Stuart fall/winter ad campaign [above] to the Muse line of Smashbox cosmetics [below]...

It actually looks pretty inspiring on a make-up container, but I would be nervous about what would happen if it were in my hands!

And if you are looking for a way to entertain the kids, check out -- a blank screen will appear, and all you do is drag your mouse around to create your own spatter paint masterpiece!

A Country House

I wouldn't mind staying in this house for a weekend getaway to the English countryside! The estate, originally built in 1902, was renovated using local craftsmen, reclaimed materials and an eye toward maintaining the integrity of the original structure. I think it's a beautiful example of how both old and new can be incorporated together to create a modern, eco-conscious dwelling without losing the original old world charm.

[via MoCo Loco, read more about it at Architectural Record]

Monday, January 12, 2009

Camper for Kids

I've got a secret that I'm going to share with you -- Camper [one of my favorite shoe makers] has a line of shoes for kids. They are pricey little numbers, but here's my secret: from time to time they will be for sale on for 50-75% off! I just recently bought some myself [above] for 60% off the original price. These shoes are so well made that I can count on them being around for hand-me-downs.

Not only are the shoes top-quality, but can we talk about this killer packaging? They've taken the sophisticated Camper logo and incorporated playful drawings to make it more appealing to kids, all the while maintaining the overall look of the Camper brand. That's such a happy thing for me, and I will not be able to throw away this box!

Little details can make such a big difference, like the spot-on tags on the tongue of the shoes -- I love how the little drawing is peaking up from the bottom...

So, keep an eye out if you are in the market for some well-made, high end kicks for your little one!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Art of Sending Thanks

My favorite thank you notes are the ones with some bit of random information, like thank you for the such and such, blah, blah, blah...the boys have been hyped-up from all the Christmas candy we ate ever since we got back, and have started at a young age the never tiring came of ring and run with our neighbors. I like a visual image of what's going on -- it's so much more interesting to me than just the formality of saying "thanks." In all honesty, I just like hearing from people, and if that comes in the form of a thank you note, I'll take it! I usually put the "thank you" in two short sentences at the beginning, and then move onto something more creative that will make the recipient of the note remember it [and therefore want to send even more gifts so they can get another thank-you note -- ha! just kidding].

Every year, I design a family postcard for thank you notes -- it helps to have some paper to look forward to writing on! Also, with a postcard, there isn't a whole lot of pressure for it to be formal or a certain length. That helps me make it more personal. Here are our cards for this year...

I've seen some other papers out there that would definitely inspire me to write --

[Lotta Jansdotter Postcard Set, $15.95, available here]

[Herman Yu Flat Card Set, $20]

[And if you are looking for something personalized,
check out LLH Designs--love the classic, simple look]

So, now you know what I will be doing this weekend! Do you have any thank you note tips?

Recession Bites

The clever packaging and message of these sweet little chocolates makes me smile...


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Be Social

Have you heard about The Mini Social? If not, check it out! I just received my first order from their Nest Organic sale...

The tee was $19, and pants $18 -- both organic cotton and tagless [no complaints about those scratchy little things!].

[I'm a sucker for creative labels --
love this egg-shaped tag with that killer nest logo!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

You know it's time to get organized when...

...your husband goes to NYC and brings you back a Notepaper Roll Holder from the MoMA store for "all the paper bits on your desk." What? These paper bits --

But I know exactly what those papers are and if I put them somewhere else, then I will go to find some important information and it won't be there and then I'll start cursing, which wouldn't be good for our kids to hear and repeat the next day at pre-school.

No, it's true. I really need to clean up a little around here. November and December were so action packed [which I love, love, love, and had so much fun meeting new people and seeing pictures of them and their families and seeing all these beautiful cards come through here] that things like straightening up got sent to the back of the line. Now that I've got my trusty Notepaper Roll Holder, I'm going to take a couple hours and get this place in order!

Some other things on my organization list [because really I could buy office supplies until we had no money left] --
The Freedom Filer Filing Kit, $42.95 at'm always wondering how to label those darn tabs, and this kit does that for you.

And I'll take one of each of these clever little binders from Knock Knock--

Here's a close-up of the Takeout Menu Organizer --
I could relive my days as a waitress with that nifty little order pad - I love it!

I've bought my Monthly At-A-Glance calender that I buy every year, but it was a little unsatisfying this year. I'd like to give it a the layout on the inside -- how the entire month spreads over two pages and I can see everything at once -- but it lacks style. Hmmm, this could be an interesting project...

I also need a cool + hip pencil cup -- know of any?

P.S. -- guess who Reggie just happened to bump into in NYC...Sofia Coppola at the Whitney and SJP at the movies! He was actually admiring how cute Sofia's baby was before he realized who it was. I was super jealous!
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