Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meet Sophie

I'm sure that lots of you know Sophie, but for those of you who don't, meet Sophie. Sophie was born in 1961 in France, and knows a thing or two about entertaining babies. She's made of 100% natural rubber derived from the Hevea tree, painted with food paint, and is still produced the same *secret* way she was 50 years ago.

My sister gave Sophie to M when she was younger, and I'd hear her in her crib just squeaking away. Which leads me to the point of this post, which is that Sophie makes an excellent gift for babies. She'd be perfect for a boy or a girl, she's lightweight so shipping is a breeze, and she's so darn adorable that she's sure to make even the most sleep-deprived mom smile when she opens her up.

Add a cloth bag with a cute tag and she's ready to go!

PS: I have in no way been paid to endorse Sophie. I just like her, and since I'm always on the lookout for a perfect baby gift, I thought you might be too!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

San Fran

[The view from my hotel floor. Not bad, eh?].

Finally, some trip pictures! My first stop was in San Francisco to see the folks at Minted. I was beyond thrilled to see where all the Minted magic happens, and even more excited to get to spend some time with people that I communicate with mainly over email. Everyone could not have been more welcoming, and I was totally inspired by the hard-working and creative forces they've got out there.

Since I work mostly by myself all day, I had more fun in this open office environment brainstorming, seeing new designs, gossiping by the water cooler. There actually wasn't much gossiping, but I did discover two fellow Housewives watchers, so that counts a little I think. What else? Oh, so I was filmed for a video, which I feel the need to forewarn everyone right here and now that it might not be pretty. Let's just say that those types of things aren't really my forte, if you will. I don't remember a word I said, and afterward I practically begged the videographer to please edit my lines as much as possible. One second snippets are cool with me.

We ate dinner at a restaurant called Town Hall. It was delish.

And the company could not have been better.

I had a couple of hours to walk around toward the end of the trip [this was my first time in SF], so I headed out toward the Piers, hoping to see the Golden Gate Bridge. I think it may have been too foggy? I don't know what was up, but I couldn't find it. I did see lots of hills and trolleys and sea lions and Alcatraz and a street named "Larkin," which was surely after my sister's husband's family.

The hills were crazy! See how everyone has their tires turned in toward the curb? There are signs telling drivers to "curb your tires." I don't know why but I was intrigued by that...maybe because it felt so uniquely San Francisco?

For lunch one day, we ate at this amazing Greek restaurant that had a gigantic fireplace:

Yes, I feel weird when I take pictures like this.

It was such a great trip, and I hope to make it out there again sometime soon!

And speaking of Minted, voting has started for the Great Ideas Notebook Challenge! Here is my submission:

I designed this notebook to record gatherings and celebrations -- what was served, what happened, who was there. It could also make a fantastic storybook if passed around to guests for their input from the day/night.

You guys, I've seen a prototype of these notebooks and they are going to be beautiful. I think they'll be the perfect way to check off your holiday gift list. I can't wait to see which designs are chosen!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Popsicle Memory

Amy Moss at Eat Drink Chic has created the perfect twist on a classic game: Popsicle Memory. My kids are going to love this version. Download the templates for free right here!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School // 2011

The boys headed off to their first day of school today, officially a 2nd grader and a Kindergartner. We live close enough to walk, which is especially helpful since the school day starts at 7:45AM. That's actually the late bell. They have to be there around 7:30AM. That's a wee bit early for me. I'm more of a 9AM gal.

And S likes to take his time in the morning, so I was nervous about how this early thing was going to go for him. When he walked into his classroom and would barely look up to make eye contact, his teacher chuckled and said "You're not a morning person, are you?" There were no tears, but some decidedly not-so-thrilled little faces.

We couldn't just leave after those faces, so we loitered around their windows for a bit.

It was harder for me to take my 2nd to Kindergarten than my 1st. I'm not sure why. But it does make me wonder what it'll be like with the 3rd!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

It was this very night 9 years ago that Reginald and I said "I do." Our band was the best. No shortage of personality there. At one point during the night, they had us up with them singing Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch. The only problem for me was that the guy kept cramming the mike in my face and I didn't want it to touch my mouth because who knows where that thing has been, so I was practically a sway back up there. It was such a fun night, the start of a wild journey with my most favorite person in the whole wide world.

I spent most of the day at the Apple Genius Bar trying to figure out a computer glitch, but I did sneak a piece of Adam's PB Fudge Ripple into the house to surprise Reg with tonight. It's his fave!

PS: Yes, the photo is a scan. Digital photography was just bursting on the scene back in ole 2002, so all of our photos are solely in an album. Crazy how that would have changed if we'd gotten married even just a few years later!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Again

I've got so much to share about the past almost two weeks. It's going to take me a bit of time to get all my pictures and thoughts organized, what with back to school prep and everything, but I promise I will! In the meantime, how about some clues about my travels?

On trip #1, I was here:

And on trip #2, we pretty much lived in our swimsuits.

And gave Aggie lots of love.

More to come!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stacks and Things

My house has been overrun with piles and stacks over the past couple of days.

Shambles, I tell you. I've been packing for a trip and trying to ship out all the orders that needed to be gone before I left. It's never easy closing up shop, but I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity.

Thankfully, I had this little helper to tell me "Ess you" whenever I sneezed. Toddler-ese will never get old.

And this little helper, too, who wanted to come along in my suitcase.

And this helper, too, who was around to ask me lots and lots of questions. Like for instance, do I know how tall Michael Jordan is?

I'm going to miss all my people when I'm gone. I don't think I've ever been this far away from all of them before. I'm sure I'll get over it pretty quick, though, when I'm strolling the 62 degree streets of San Fran! It's going to be a nice change from our hot and sweatiness.

I'll be away from the old blog for a bit, so cheerio for now!

[The studio will be closed from Aug. 3 - Aug 14th. I will be checking email sporadically, and you can also order anytime from my collection at Minted]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Perfect Match

Every now and again I like to chat a little bit about my design process. [I posted about two of my holiday 2010 designs here]. Today, let's talk about the design The Perfect Match available for sale at Minted. The challenge was for Save-the-dates, and I knew I wanted to do something with a matchbook. One because I love matchbooks, and if I spot a basket full of matchbooks at, say, a restaurant, they need to restock by the time I've left.

And two because I love a good play on words. So, I started sketching.

I'm also a little bit obsessed with Adios Script, and thought it would be the perfect complement to a matchbook illustration. For the colors, I wanted something feminine juxtaposed with something bold, hence the pale pink and deep red.

It's also available with backer options. You gotta love a backer, right?

So there's your design insight for the day!

[Collage Images clockwise from top left: Posh Chicago pink matches via Oh Joy; Aubrey Beardsley matchboxes via Collection A Day; Vintage china Sedona Bride; Mermaid matches by Louise Fili; Magpie and Rye Matches; Matchbooks via Mint Design Blog. Perfect Match images from Minted and sketchbook image from yours truly]
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