Monday, August 25, 2008

grateful monday

Just a quick post to say how grateful I am for being able to think of new things to create! Just when I think I may be tapped out forever, I always seem to rally at the last second (even when I feel like I could just sleep at any second).On that note, I have a bunch of supplies on order and another creative spree is on the way. I can't reveal too much yet, but it's VERY busy here. A welcome change from the odd job here or there lately. I'll reveal more as these next few weeks roll through.
One last parting thought for today: I was watching John Edwards (the guy who is a medium and is able to communicate with those who have "crossed over" after their deaths) and a woman who'd lost her 4-year old boy had the most wonderful quote that got her through her days. She said to remember: "Always blessings, Never losses." She said she was lucky enough to be blessed to have him as her son for 4 whole years and to remember him that way. I wanted to share that today in case it might help someone else the way it has helped me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cool Stuff-Alyssa Ettinger Knitware series

I have a lot of bowls and vases. But these are the kind of things I swoon over. Alyssa Ettinger's Knitware series of handmade pottery is so beautiful. *sigh* I love that bowl. The glazed ceramic looks so soft and glowing. I just love the clever look of them (I can imagine setting these all out during the cold snowy winter.) You can find these items here. Photos from Reform School.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday-Bookmarks

Hi friends! When we were at Epcot center in the end of May I (of course!) picked up a bunch of paper souvenirs in the "Japan" section of the park. I grabbed this set of folded paper bookmarks...shaped to look like Japanese girls in traditional dress. Everything here is made of beautiful Japanese paper and intricately folded just so. I thought they were so sweet and I loved how artful they are...very impressive layering. Makes me want to learn origami and other folding techniques.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cool Stuff-Toothpick Bird

Our pantry is filled to the brim with food, paper-goods (you know, napkins, paper plates, etc.), canned items, paper towels, plastic baggies...the list goes on and on. When it comes time to find the toothpicks; well, it's a miracle to find the little box amongst the chaos. My husband uses toothpicks to hold together the chicken rollatini (a favorite dish he makes). Mmmmm. But I digress. When I spotted this bird toothpick holder at Black Ink, I realized that this might be the stylish solution to the toothpick search. I wouldn't mind having this sitting out in my kitchen or dining room. You can purchase it here.

Cool Stuff-Pinocchio

I used to love the story of Pinocchio as a child. I never tired of the idea that you can wish on a star and make your dreams come true. I also loved the idea of a toy coming to life and being my friend. (not coming to life and being evil...but my fear of clown dolls is a story for another day)
I came across this charming figure and it brought me back to that innocent time.

It's called "Ciao Pinocchio" designed by Fabio Piazzesi in Italy.
What's cool about it is it's handmade with FSC-certified beech
and embellished with non-toxic paint. He moves every which-way thanks to 33 jointed pieces. (I always loved pose-able figures!) The kicker is: his nose grows. Yep, there's an internationally patented hidden lever behind his hat that enables the fabled "growing liar's nose."
You can get one for yourself here.
Photo from Canoe's online shop.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paper Crave

Hi friends! Great news! My company and work have been featured today on Paper Crave. It's a daily read of mine and I'm so excited an honored she included me amongst her discoveries. Thanks to Kristen at Paper Crave! You can see the entry about my work here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday

Hello friends!
I saw this chocolate on a website and have decided that I HAVE to try it. Next time I'm in the NYC area I plan to make a trip to grab some of these lovelies. This is by FAR my favorite packaging for a product that I've seen. That patterned paper is to die for! Each bar is its own treasure. And I love the simplicity. I feel that less is often more and this is the perfect example of that.
Check out
their website to learn about their business and how it got started. Very inspirational! (and yummy)
Images are from the Mast Brothers website.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Grateful Monday and Enriched

Hello friends! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was spent at the Cape for a family wedding. It was such a fun time! There's nothing like having fun with family with good drinks, good food, and great music. We arrived home happy and exhausted but with an empty fridge.
In light of last week's musings about how much life is a treasure, I decided to start eating in a much more healthful way. I'm always in a hurry and constantly make food from a can or a box. My husband makes dinner every night; and his is really the only healthy meal I have. (I'm very lucky, Chris is a great unofficial chef but that's a whole other post)
I decided it is time to start putting in some more effort into breakfast and lunch...time to get in more vitamins and nutrients from nature. Usually I have a bowl of sugary oatmeal or some sort of candy crap cereal (hello yummy Lucky Charms!). Lunch is always a canned stew of some sort. And the soda...oh, the soda. It's so bad for me and I've had so much of it every single day. I cringe. Off we went to the grocery store and we picked up tons of different fruits and veges of all kinds. I avoided anything from the "pre-packaged" arena (for the most part). I decided to start eating small portions of all my favorite healthy things in order to gain more variety and vitamins. This morning's breakfast filled a small salad plate...1 half of an English Muffin with peanut butter, a tiny scoop of cottage cheese (maybe 3 forkfuls), several strawberries and several blueberries. I topped it all off with my daily glass of O.J. It took longer than my bowl of cereal to prepare, but I felt so much better! And it was just so much tastier. Lunch consisted of a small wrap...garlic hummus as a spread with diced tomatoes and seasonings and onion with lettuce and a piece of mozzarella rolled into a wheat wrap. A tiny scoop of cottage cheese on the side was tasty. Lipton green tea was the beverage (instead of the Cola I always have). Again, I felt so much better! My snack, coming soon, will likely either be some grapes or a peach (along with water to be had through the day). I just got so tired of the crappy food I consume and realized that I need to honor my body more than that. It's the only one I have, so it's been time to make a change. Plus, I'm hoping to fit back into all my jeans again...most of them I've...ahem...outgrown a bit. I'm down to one pair that still fits. I'd rather not have to go buy all new clothes! Bottom line, I'm happy to have made a start toward healthier eating habits through eating whole, natural foods (or close to it). If I fit into all my pants again, I'll be all the happier. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A new day

After reading about Alison's passing yesterday, I have been doing a lot of thinking about life and how grateful I am for each day. How grateful I am for my husband. For my family. When someone passes on, I always find myself looking around me and seeing all the life outside going on. The world still rotating. The butterfly flickers by. The grasshopper adjusts its wings and hops away. The ant carries a crumb. The birds call out in the trees. The lady on TV tells of the news of the day as if everything is the same. There is this push/pull of life and death every second of every day. We are so great, yet so small at the same time. I resolve to remember that life is here to be lived, to be enjoyed, and to love. To try and always have perspective of what matters. I sit here and feel my own lungs filling with air and I realize it is the biggest treasure I life. I will not forget.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Dark Day

My best wishes go out to Alison's husband Tom and their entire family as they grieve the loss of this sweet and amazing person. The world weeps for this loss, but God has big plans for her.
Catch up on their stories...Read Tom's blog here and Alison's blog here. Read about their love and everyday life while they struggle with her cancer diagnosis. Reading her sunny words each day was always so uplifting. And his perspective was always so thoughtful and soft. When things took a turn for the worse for her, her husband took over her blog too ...just to keep everyone updated. She is my biggest inspiration and she will not be forgotten! Please note that I do not know them personally, but have been following their stories for the past few years leaving comments here and there. I feel like I know them and am saddened today...but am happy for Alison that she is no longer in pain.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Show and Tell Tuesday

Time for another Show & Tell Tuesday! I'm sorry I missed last week. It got busy and I didn't fit it in.
Today's images are of some pieces from my new Lenox place settings. (The pattern is called "Chirp") My Mom and Dad gave me 4 settings for my 30th Birthday...much too generous, so thank you Mom and Dad! My mother figured "you will always have these as a memento of your 30th year," hence the splurge. I was gaga for this pattern when it first came out and I was especially taken with the Robin's egg blue edged dinner plate. I would have been happy with just one plate to admire. Of course, I was taken with all the rest of the pieces too...I just love the style of the linework on them and how the outside of the bowl and cup are decorated along with their insides. The other great thing is these are freezer safe, oven safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and chip resistant. Nothing like something with beauty AND function to make my day.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Soul of it all

I got an interesting comment from "anonymous" in regards to my work website.

"Wow, nice site! I did think it ironic that you would have written about finding "soul" in your work when recently you posted about a negative comment you'd received. Where you were quite adamant your Soul was not put into your work, just your SMILE. You said you giggled at the thought of your soul in your work!

I see.

"but she couldn’t find the soul inside her projects."

This is in reference to my write-up in the "about" section of my website. This person has an interesting point! The comment made me think: What if I really AM putting my soul into my work? The answer I must say is "no." My "about" write up was not about putting MY soul in my work. It was about FINDING soul in my work. If you aren't a graphic designer, then I ask you to imagine what it might be like working on a brochure for attic ventilation components versus a wedding invitation. Which might be more fun? Which might get you excited to work on? I'm not saying one is better than the other. For ME, I PREFER the wedding design because it is fun to work on, it is something I enjoy and something I get a charge out of. That is what I meant by finding soul there. When you've spent years working on corporate projects at companies for people other than gets political. It gets frustrating. People work 10-12 hour days for that attic ventilation lose time with your family, you lose sleep. You get stressed. You get tired. You start wishing you could be making some sort of difference for someone else in a personal way. Now, I get to participate in happy events in other people's lives. There is a meaning for me...a satisfaction with my job I'd never had before. That satisfaction is what I called a "soul." I found my meat and potatoes.

I believe many people want to find soul in their work. A reason that makes it all worthwhile. Something that makes us get out of bed in the morning with a smile. This is why I encourage, if your "day job" doesn't do that for you, to find something you enjoy doing in your spare time. Whether it's cooking, bartending, sewing, crafting, painting, writing music, writing that screenplay, birdwatching, collecting things, hiking, acting, and on and on and on....there is something out there that makes life great for all of us. Some of us will put our soul into it and others will be happy just enjoying the moment.

This isn't all to say I don't put feeling behind what I do. Of COURSE there is feeling. It comes from within me. I LOVE what I do. But what I do, much of the time, is for a client. Not me. I cannot get attached to things. Much of what I design is at the request of others. It's great. That post before (the one my commenter is pointing out) was in response to criticism that a certain card I'd done was "almost soul-less." Notecards that I design for fun...for me. But again, I draw on the point that a card with 2 hippos and a palm tree is not a statement from my psyche. It's a notecard. A bird and a cage on a card is just an interesting layout of imagery to me. But they aren't my meaning of life...I didn't have a private message I was trying to send. Nor did I labor for hours and hours after a well-formulated plan and thesis.
In summary, it's nice to try and find the meat and potatoes behind what we's nice to feel a purpose. And that's what the "about" write up meant to convey. I'm sure, there are going to come times when I do work that I put my soul into. But, the card that was criticized was not one of those things.

I invite anyone else to comment on what they wish they could do for a living if they could do anything in the world they wanted. What might you enjoy that might give you a sense of purpose as well? Or, go ahead and tell us about what you really do for a living now that might be your true bliss and brings you happiness or satisfaction.

Grateful Monday

Macro photo of the inside of the Lily flower that is growing on our front porch...we will soon be planting it in our yard.

Hello again, friends! It's Monday again...the weeks go so quickly! The hot, sticky, thick air has finally lightened to a cool refreshing breeze outside. It's still hot, but in a good way. It's rained several times per day here for several weeks in a row now. Endless thunder storms! But, bright happy sunshine prevails in between and yesterday, as I drove home from my cousin's son's first birthday party, I watched a rainbow hang in the sky in front of me for the entire 2 hours. I like to think of that rainbow as a sign of things to come, not just light bouncing off the moisture in the sky.
I am now finished with my online portfolio update and find myself working on lots of quotes for potential clients between doing design work. I think I will take a nice walk in this newfound fresh air before it is gone again. Just another small way to enjoy what I have right in front of me before it slips off without my noticing. And then, it will be back to work.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Hello all! I have finally finished the update of my design samples section of my website. Click in there and you will see that each header has its own little sliding show of images. You have to have Flash Player to view it. I'm very happy with how all the pictures came out. You will also see some new work that wasn't in there before. A neat feature of the show is that if there are notes, you can put your mouse in the notes/link area (the little area just above the square thumbnails) the descriptive info will pop up into view. Not everything has a note, but you will be able to see when it does. Now, I just need to tackle the "news" section of the site. There's been a lot that's gone on since I've launched and I never gave myself a chance to update in there. Hopefully that will be remedied as soon as possible. Time for a much needed break! Happy Friday! I will be back next week with some Show & Tells and other bits. I'll be able to post a bit more now that this update is complete. Phew! Cocktails anyone?
*update* The "news" section has been updated now as well! There you can find articles and write-ups on the Megan creates business and some of the products I sell.