Friday, January 30

sunny day

In Colorado a sunny day usually meant warmth. No matter how cold it might be, if the sun was out you could warm up in it. You are a mile high, it makes a difference. But here, in Chicago, no such luck. Now that winter has really sunk its teeth in, sunny days are deceptive. The appearance of sun and a crystal clear sky typically mean it's colder out than it looks. And today is no exception. It's currently 9 degrees. (sigh)

A friend passed along a link that I wanted to share because I enjoyed it so much. It was a post from The Girl Project blog about felt cameras. How cool are these?

They're sewn by a girl, Blythe and you can see more of her stuff here. She has an etsy shop, but currently there's nothing listed. They're just so cute!

The Girl Project is pretty cool as well. Via the site: "The Girl Project is a national collection of photographs taken by teenage girls. The photographs represent teenage girlhood and life as seen through the eyes of young women in America. The strongest images will be edited into a book and a traveling exhibition on female adolescence." Fascinating for me the psych/art major.

I hope you're having a wonderful Friday. I don't know about you, but I am ready for the weekend. My "to do list" is quite long as we're having some friends over to watch the super bowl and I really need to get our place in order! (and food made - of the potato soup variety) Stay warm!

I love how the sun reflects off our warm wooden floors!

Thursday, January 29


M brought home tulips for me on Monday in honor of my birthday and they are still looking just as strong today. I actually had a droopy one that straightened itself out after a day. I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen. Usually over time they tend to bend towards the floor, but these are still standing tall!

Wednesday, January 28


One of the lovely gifts I received on my birthday was this mug from PaperSource. Unbeknown to the giver of this gift was the fact that I had actually had my eye on this mug for some time, secretly wanting to take it home with me. On Monday it came decked out in a Chinese New Year bag (as it was the Chinese New Year of the Ox) with some very yummy fair trade tea to accompany it.

This morning seemed a good time to try out my new mug and tea. I was not disappointed. The Ceylon Chai is quite lovely, with or without milk. And I fear I may have a new favorite tea company. You can find them right here at They even have a blog where you can read more about small tea farmers and fair trade.

It'll be a nice way to remind myself to "create" even on the days when I don't feel I have anything to contribute. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting the juices flowing. Or in this case, tea.

Monday, January 26

celebrating 27 years of blessings!


My birthday weekend started on Saturday with some great new slippers which have graced my feet nearly every moment since I opened them. And if I thought my feet looked small, these make them look even smaller. (I wear a 6.5) And they seem to cause me to dance around the apartment in a jig like fashion.

Then it continued on Sunday with these exciting Italian vocabulary cards! I'm trying to do a crash course before we go to Italy in March (more on that later). And these will be great for studying at the gym or anywhere, since they fit easily in my purse. Plus, they're visual, and I'm big on visual learning so they'll be a nice pairing with my audio CDs.

Along with two boxes of vocab cards also came this:

I have been eying this for some time now and can't wait to try some of the projects it suggests. Don't worry, I'll share them as I make them, so that you can get ideas too!

(I interrupt this broadcast to report that my Grandma just sang to me over the phone... this is why birthdays are so great! What other day of the year do people sing to you over the phone?)

It's stories like this one that make me truly appreciate each new birthday I am blessed to experience. I revel in growing older and each year passed is one more that can't be taken away. I look forward to getting old enough to have wrinkles and creaky joints. But if that is not to be, then I will pray as Jim Elliot did, nearly 50 years ago as he prepared for missions work in Ecuador that would ultimately claim his life:

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus."


Tuesday, January 20

inauguration day

In honor of the swearing in of our new President, I thought I'd take a moment to point out that the logo for Obama's campaign was a great design. It's clean, clear, simple. It's not as vague as Pepsi's "new" logo. It combines the American flag with the idea of hope on the horizon in a smooth and comprehensive way. Just see for yourself. Good design. Let's hope the next four years are just as enjoyable.

PS: Apparently you can even create your own version here!

PPS: I especially love SouleMama's posting today about her young son's ambitions to be President. His Manifesto is heartwarming. Check it out!

Monday, January 19

new background for the blog

I realize that this may not be as exciting to you as it is to me. For a while now I've been wanting to "spice up" the background of my blog and make it look a bit more three dimensional. Today I finally threw together an image using photoshop, a few varying brushes, two colors and some drop shadows and "whaa-laaa!" I've got a new background. I think I like it. We'll have to see, now that I have the right code in the style sheet and I can play around with the image anytime I want. What do you think?

Friday, January 16

um... it got colder?

It does not seem to be warming up yet. M got up at 5 to go to the gym, until we realized it was -15ºF out and I made him crawl back in bed to keep me warm for another hour or so. And then it dropped another degree. I may try to venture out for yoga tonight, since I promised a friend but it's going to take layers of scarves and mittens to keep me warm.

On a warmer note: I stumbled upon this kitchen remodel yesterday via Design*Sponge. And I can't decide if I love the refrigerator or not. I love the idea, I love how it looks, but I realized that it would require keeping a very organized (and clean) refrigerator. I do have a knack for keeping a fairly tidy ice box and have been known to hunt down moldy, expired objects in others' kitchens while house-sitting, but this would take it to a new level.

See what I mean? Could you keep it clean enough?

Thursday, January 15

staying in today

This is all I have to say about today...

but apparently next week is a heat wave at 35!

Edited to add at 3pm: Today's high was a whopping -4 F degrees!

Tuesday, January 13

fili cont. by jessica hische

One of the designers from yesterday's post on Louise Fili was Jessica Hische. I took the scenic route through her website this morning and was impressed with just how distinctive of a look she's already attained. I can always appreciate a designer who consistently produces work that is unmistakeably his (or hers in this case). It's one of the reasons why I enjoy Frank Lloyd Wright so much. When you come upon one of his homes, a piece of his furniture or his stained glass, it is obvious that he was the mind behind it. I like that.

Take a look at her illustrations and typography. They're just fun! This one was one of my favorites. It was done for a piece on a private girls' school. For those of you who know me well, you should be able to guess at why I think it's just too cute. :)

Monday, January 12

another person has my job

Yet again, I found another person who unknowingly has my job. Well not MY current job, but the job I want, the job that would be just right for me. Last time it was the photographer from Philly. This time it's a gal who does "restaurant identity and food packaging." I know that doesn't really sound like much, but it basically means being the designer behind how the food is packaged and presented to the consumer. And doing the same for a restaurant (imagine interior designer + food). Making logos, coming up with a "brand look" for an item so that it is distinctive and easily recognizable in its own right.

Her name is Louise Fili. This is her site. And here are some samples of her work:

Plus, she teaches typography, her work is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and she also designs book jackets - need I say more? This woman is cool and I want her job. Oh, and I'm pretty sure she's got Italian roots.
For a sneak peek into her office check out design sponge.

Wednesday, January 7

trevor dixon

Okay this post is more for me than it is for you. Sorry.

I stumbled upon this photographer (apartment therapy took me to black . white . bliss which lead me to desire to inspire which took me to his site) and realized that he does the kind of work I'd enjoy doing : still life, product, fashion, advertising. I like the idea of working in a studio or having the time to set up the perfect shot. This is why wedding photographers have all my respect, it's just not something I could do. Things move too fast, there's little prep... just not me. I like methodical, slow, precise shooting (just like my darkroom time).

So I'm posting about Trevor Dixon for future reference and inspiration. Plus, he's in Philly, in a really cool warehouse, which makes him even more likable.

Tuesday, January 6

the gym

Card by : Urban Graphic

After missing out on the gym for two weeks during the holidays, I decided to dive back in and go last night once work was over.

Boy, was that a bad decision. Apparently that was what EVERYONE ELSE was thinking as well. Seriously, I'm pretty sure every resident in our town was there.

I'm that person who goes at the same time, on specific days, picks the same locker, runs on the same treadmill (the one near the row machine that is ever so slightly separated from all the others), showers in the same stall, etc. I'm predictable and I'm okay with that. It's comforting to me.

But last night threw me for a loop. Not only did I have to search for an available locker, I had to wait til something, ANYTHING, opened up on which I could work out. I ended up on an elliptical machine right near the stairs (not my first choice in machine or location!).

Please tell me people end up forgetting about their resolutions and eventually fall back into their habitual patterns because I really liked my half populated, mostly open gym and I'd like it back.

At least I was able to shower in my regular stall. Had to have some consistency in the evening.