Wednesday, March 31, 2010


My husband, aka Reginald Clark*, sent over this link yesterday morning. Oh. my. goodness. Be prepared for some teary eyes. It's a poem by Michael Milbern called To My Son's Girlfriend. He has written so beautifully what I feel about that whole thing -- you know, the whole boy/girl thing? The part where he writes "it's uncomfortable for me to think of anyone else loving him the way I do." Nailed it.

First of all, I cannot even imagine my boys ever having a - AHHH! I can't even say it, but you know what I mean - but secondly it is a big, gigantic fear of mine that they will meet someone that takes them away from us. I grew up in a house with all girls, and my parents pretty much can't get rid of us. Instead of leaving them, we just keep bringing more people into their house! But I've seen the opposite happen in some families, and it's so painful. It would break my heart. Anyway, I'll say my prayers that someone will come into their lives - a long long long time from now - and will cherish them as much as we do. And in doing that, maybe a tiny bit of that love will fall on the people that raised them!

*Not his real name, but we're nicknamers, and it always makes me laugh to refer to him by his real name, Ben. If I've done so in an email or post, he'll come home and say "Ben's home!" We've been through a lot of names, and they are always totally random, but Reggie D. has stuck around for a while.

[Photo taken by Laura Negri]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Big Night Out

If the phone rings at our house anytime after 8:00 pm, I wonder aloud "who could be calling so late?" But Saturday night, my friend and neighbor, Bev, invited me to go to dinner with her at the home of Maggie Taylor [some of her work pictured above] and Jerry Uelsmann [some of his work pictured below]. I think this was my first late night out since we moved here. I'm totally not kidding. Anyway, these two are incredibly talented artists/photographers, as well as kind, generous and fun people. We started the evening touring their studios and capped off the night singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" to the tune of their pianola. What could be better?!

Maggie also has an illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that is stunning. It's available for purchase at Modernbook. The images below are from her Almost Alice series.

It was a perfect way to be out past my bedtime!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Little Birdie

I feel like I'm on Bravo! Whenever I join in one of these Minted challenges, I hear Tim Gunn in my head "Designers, make it work!" This time around I felt like I was on Top Chef because it was a "quickfire" challenge, the Here Comes Spring Birth Announcement Challenge. Here's the design I submitted:

I drew inspiration from that saying "A little birdie told me..." Also, my mom's grandmother name is "Birdie", so I'm always looking for fun ways to illustrate birds. You can vote on this design here -- and be sure to check out the other talent as well!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

From the Netherlands

I recently stumbled onto the site of Hotze Eisma, and got lost -- beautiful photography of character-filled spaces. Did you catch the photo plates in set 5? Molto bella. Check out the entire portfolio when you've got some time to wander!

[All images Hotze Eisma]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Backyard Living

Now that the weather is warming up, we've been spending lots more time outside, which has got me wanting to transform our backyard into another living area. Some spaces that inspire me [most of these come from Cookie. sadness.]:

[This deck = idyllic, and I'm all for year-round Christmas lights. Why shouldn't every day be festive?!]

[The ultimate see-saw adventure. For reals. And the back of Rachel Griffiths' house. We've just started watching Brothers & Sisters on Netflix, and Sarah is one of my favorite characters, so I was excited to see Rachel Griffiths' house in the last issue of Cookie Magazine. She has a beautiful outdoor space. I couldn't find any pictures online from that article, but I did find these from Living Etc. Not sure if it is the same house, but it has her style of blending indoors and out that I really like.]

[Hammock? Yes, please! and this rolling sandbox is genius.]

[there has also been talk of a tree house...check out these -- one from the UK and one from Germany]

Since this is our first year with an actual yard, I really want to plant some veggies, too. I'm trying to start small so I don't get overwhelmed, and think we may stick to tomatoes [although I've heard they don't grow well here], cucumbers, peppers and some herbs. Have you seen the portable garden sac by Bacsac? The picture on their home page [below] cracks me up -- could you imagine driving around like that?! Those containers would be a great way to get started, though.

Yowzers -- this post is getting long! I'll let you know how our transformation goes...and will hopefully have some pictures of produce in the coming months!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Master Key

Do you know the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote "Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness?" That's the inspiration behind this design. I wanted there to be meaning behind the symbol without it being overt, and to maintain the elegance of a classic invitation in a modern version.

And for the suite, I'd be tempted to line the envelopes in a pattern that looks a bit like the inside cover of an old novel, a la Persuasion, perhaps? [the one shown is from Paper Source] I'd also put the quote on the reply card and/or program.

[Voting continues for this challenge! My designs can be found here, here and here; and check out the other talent there as well! Inspiration images sources clockwise from top left to right: martha; martha; the red balloon via ohdeedoh; snippet & ink; 100 layer cake; martha; style me pretty; snippet & ink; martha; martha]

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Love

It's Green Love, just in time for St. Patrick's Day! In my second design for the minted challenge, I wanted to combine a clean, modern pattern with lively text and color. The particular wedding I had in mind was an outdoor wedding, late afternoon in Spring. Here's my inspiration board for it:

And with a reply card:

*For some reason the green on the reply card is translating darker, but it would obviously be the same green.

The boys were excited to go to school today in their green. At one school, "leprechauns" had been up to a lot of mischief and there was glitter and gold coins everywhere. They had also left a big mess in the classroom and on the playground. The kids were so cute running around looking for "evidence!"

[Voting continues for this challenge! My designs can be found here, here and here; and check out the other talent there as well! Inspiration images sources clockwise from top left to right: martha; martha; snippet & ink; amy atlas; martha; snippet & ink; martha; amy atlas; martha; amy atlas]

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pretty in Plaid

As I mentioned in this post, I joined in the latest minted challenge, which was to create a modern wedding invitation. The only parameter was that you had to submit three and only three designs. First up, my ode to plaid!

This is my attempt to translate the layered geometry of plaid in a fresh and modern invitation, and was thinking particularly about an elegant ranch or farm wedding. I think it could work for many different seasons and venues, though -- warmth of plaid in winter, the cheeriness of plaid in spring and summer. Below are some images that provided inspiration:

I felt the need to create the whole suite because it just seemed a little incomplete to me with just the invitation. I'd pair the invite with a black envelope and do some calligraphy with white ink. The front of the reply card would be all plaid, and then the back very simple with just text.

Designing for this challenge has made me want to put on a wedding! I'll be back throughout the week with the other two designs and inspirations...

[Voting has begun for this challenge! My designs can be found here, here and here; and check out the other talent there as well! Inspiration images sources clockwise from left to right: jose villa; style me pretty; martha; martha; ellen silverman; martha; ellen silverman; jose villa; style me pretty]

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wedding Challenge

It's been a while since I've entered a Minted contest, but I just entered their latest wedding challenge. Each designer was to submit 3 and only 3 wedding invitation designs. It's nice sometimes to have guidelines -- helps me focus. And I had so much fun coming up with inspiration boards and designing from that. Here are the designs I submitted -- I will be back next week with the inspiration boards and my versions of reply cards...

[Green Love]

[Pretty in Plaid]

[The Master Key]

If you have a moment, pop on over and vote -- and check out the other talent as well!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Laugh

When I need a laugh, I head over to Unhappy Hipsters and it always delivers. Why do I like it? I think it's because it reminds me not to take myself so seriously and to always be real with people. I also think it's because I really like the magazines the pictures are taken out of and the pictures themselves. In fact, one of them below is from a feature I posted not too long ago!

If you have some spare time this weekend, check it out!

In other news, we've got a garage sale/lemonade and bake stand going on in the morning -- it's going to be a huge feat if we get our act together before 8AM...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inspired By [ Ruffles ]

Now that I'm looking, I feel like ruffles are everywhere! I think the arrival of a baby girl in our house [and subsequently ruffled clothes] has me loving the fluffy texture and movement of them. How this will translate onto paper, I haven't quite figured out!

[Images clockwise from top left: martha; snippet and ink; anthropologie; snippet and ink; crewcuts; jose villa; jose villa; jennifer behr; martha]

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Recovery

Hello, friends out there in blogland. How was your weekend? Ours was super fun -- my older sis and fam came to see us, and it was great to have them in town. Believe it or not, we actually had to put coats on Friday! I'm thinking this is not typical for this time of year, but I'm enjoying it...I know the heat will come...soon.

I'm playing catch up today, trying to get some designs off my desk and off to print. I do have some things up my sleeve this week if I can get them together, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Little Picassos

There is an everyday dilemma at our house involving our kids' artwork -- to keep or to [gasp!] put in the recycling bin. And even the artwork I keep, I have a hard time preventing it from piling up undisplayed. There are some great ideas out there for displaying -- I just need to figure out which one would work for me.

I also really like Darby's bulletin board [also shown here] -- this may be a better route for me because I need something I can do quickly [rotating pictures in and out of frames isn't something I could see myself doing very often]. I also think the next time we are in the ATL I'm going to swing by Ikea and pick up some of these paper boxes -- the perfect size and an easy way to separate out each child's work. Plus, I'll find any excuse for getting more storage -- bins, boxes, baskets -- they all make me happy!

What's your criteria for what artwork to keep? And what do you do with it then?

[Images clockwise from top left: jan eleni on decor8; ohdeedoh; real simple; ohdeedoh; ohdeedoh; land of nod]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ned's Room

How lovely is this room? I love the simplicity of it, yet it still has so much personality -- in my opinion that isn't always an easy thing to accomplish. Plus, it's Ned's -- how cute is that name?!

[image found on emmas designblogg]

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fliers // Brought to Life

These redesigned fliers by Cardon Copy made me smile...

[left: redesigned flier; center: original flier; right: replacing old with the new]

[left: redesigned flier; center: original flier; right: replacing old with the new; see more redesigns and read about their mission here]

[And this has nothing to do with fliers, but if you read our family blog and can't access it anymore, please let me know. Over the past couple weeks we have been getting hundreds of hits a day from all over the world because of the NextBlog feature. Needless to say, for a personal, family blog it wasn't something I felt good about. There is a setting to turn that feature off, but it wasn't working, so I went private on that blog for the time being. But I'd love any and all friends to have access to it, so just let me know!]
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