Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Design a Day Challenge

Ok, so can we just agree that I'll be designing stuff, but I might not post every day? Ok, thanks. Because really, I've been designing my little butt off and haven't really had time to post much. So if you're curious to see what I've been up to the last few days, take a look.

Note card set, greeting cards, postcards galore! And this doesn't even include the new stationery paper sets that I've made as well! I am waiting on my boxes for those (they're supposed to arrive today) so I've held off on taking photos and revealing to you their awesomeness until then! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 31 & 32

I may be a bit behind the times in posting this, but I've continued on with my Design a Day Challenge. I will post for Friday and Saturday now and hopefully be back later with something splendid for today. It has been one crazy past few days. First, on Friday, I decided that it made perfect sense to sit in 98 degree (106 degree heat index) weather for 3 hours at Oriole Park for the O's vs Angels game. To make matters worse, our closing pitcher gave up a grand slam in the top of the 9th inning making me wonder even more if even the super cheap $6 ticket I bought using my outdated student ID was even worth it.

Follow that up with Saturday spent in 102 degree (114 degree heat index) weather at a stone and masonry store trying to pick out pavers for our back yard. Andrew decided it was a good idea to keep going back and forth from one section to the next in the blazing sun for about an hour and a half-- of course at the hottest time of day at that! After our masonry adventures, in which I inevitably picked out the most expensive thing, we had planned to go order new dining room chairs. So we had to take our sweaty selves to a super classy furniture store in which the woman helping us proceeded to tell us that she was recently married. In addition, her new husband had just given her a blank check for furniture for their 3rd home (5,400 sq ft of it) in which she spent $20,000. AND that was the third blank check he had given her. Meanwhile, I had sweated my butt off at the stone store and looked a hot, sunburned mess-- she probably thought I was far from classy enough to be purchasing dining room chairs from her.

Needless to say, after all of that, I was done and didn't really feel like sitting near a heat generating computer to upload these fabulous designs:

Two totally different styles of designs, but I love them both! Hopefully that was worth having to read through my furniture lady story! Happy lazy Sunday everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 30

The end is here! Yesterday was my 30th day for my Design a Day Challenge, and don't you worry, I did in fact design something even though I'm not posting it until this morning. We headed out last night to Koopers, a favorite spot for burgers, in Fells Point. Their burgers are so good that they've been voted best in Baltimore. Plus, they even have one of those food trucks that you'll often spot around town serving their burgers. We met up with a friend of a friend that just moved to Baltimore and ended up staying longer than we had thought we were going to (not that it was a bad thing! It was a fun night!) so I didn't get to post my design last night.

So now, for day 30, I stuck with a nature inspired theme of an ocean blue feather and a wood grain patterned note card.

Finally, I paired these simple note cards with matching ocean blue envelopes. I love the simplicity! The downside, drawing things like this in Illustrator makes me desperately want a tablet. I would be so much better off that way! I've been drawing everything with a mouse which is absolutely awful! I have always been pretty good at drawing, but using a mouse is pretty difficult. Why then is this the downside? Well, tablets are ridiculously expensive if you want one that works well. Time to start saving.

In other news, I was accepted on Heartsy, which is like a Groupon for crafts. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to do it-- it's a pretty steep discount, but if a lot of people purchase the vouchers it's a lot of exposure. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Throwing It Back Old School-- Elementary Style

I listen to music while I'm doing just about everything-- while I work, while I cook, while I teach, while I travel. The other day I was doing just such while working on some designs I had in mind. I decided to change things up a bit and thought I'd put the good ol' iPod on shuffle. Mind you, I have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of songs on that thing. Some stuff that's on there I forget about. I've actually come to a point where I have to make the horrible decision of what to take off of the iPod when I want to add something new! Ugh!

Anyway, as I sat there working, some very interesting things that I am slightly ashamed of happened to come on. And to make it even more embarrassing for myself (I tend to make fun of myself a lot, so it's ok, you can laugh) I began singing along to these songs word for word at top notch volume. The scary part-- I honestly hadn't heard some of these songs in such a long time that I don't even know how my mind was able to remember the words from that far back! When I'm talking a long time ago, I'm talking like first and second grade. This was 1990-1992 for me, so you know, 20 years ago.

2nd grade. (Sorry about the crappy scanned photo.)

Funny thing, first grade was an important year in music for me. It's when I was first introduced to my forever favorite band Midnight Oil. I'd run around the house singing King of the Mountain (check it out below) at the top of my lungs. I also started that lifelong relationship with the Red Hot Chili Peppers that I wrote about earlier this week. And then of course there were all of those other artists that should remain nameless or semi-nameless due to the embarrassment factor. But I'll be nice and share with you anyway.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Any of that sound familiar to you? What did you listen to when you were in elementary school?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 29

Baltimore is a pretty inspiring place. So much history, architecture, and art in this vibrant city. Baltimore has a bad reputation, but after living here for four years, I feel like it is my duty to let people know just how cool it actually is. My shop name, Row House 14, is actually where I live-- a row house with the street address number 14. My house is my studio and that is how the name came about.

One thing that I love about the old Baltimore row houses is that many people have painted their doors brightly in colors that look fantastic alongside the brick buildings. When we moved into our row house, I was determined to do just the same-- I chose teal. (surprising, right?)

I love doors. They represent quite a bit in our lives. Recently, my mother made a complete doors series of woodblock prints that were beautiful. Her doors represented all sorts of places she had lived throughout her life. The Baltimore doors and her woodblock prints were equally inspiring today when I came up with these colorful door postcards. The colors are Baltimore and design woodblock inspired.

In addition to these fun postcards, I also worked on some note cards today that will eventually find their way into my shop. I felt this design quite inspiring in itself as it seems I have had all sorts of doors of opportunity opening for me lately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 28

Is it really day 28? Why, yes! That means I only have two more days to go. I'm thinking I won't stop there, however. There are too many super awesometastic things that I've been coming up with!

Take today's design for example-- a set of stationery perfect for a writer. Four note cards with envelopes and four postcards made out of super heavy weight card stock, all hand cut and hand scored. A set of four pens, accompanied by four different quotes from some of the greatest writers of all time.

I love this set! I mean absolutely LOVE this set! Not only do I love the design and colors, but I love the quality. Some of the best quality card stock and envelopes that I have encountered to be exact. And the best part-- 100% recycled paper and made with wind power. Throw in some wise words by Michener, Hawthorne, Wordsworth, and Renard and the set is complete. These are by far my new favorite! Nothing compares!

Blues and Browns for a Guest Bedroom

The fence and pergola project is making some progress, but nothing to document at the moment. So instead of an update, I thought I'd show you a different project I've been working on. You could say it has been an ongoing project, but not nearly as painstaking and the back yard. When we moved into the row house, I decided that I was going to do a complete overhaul of our decor. Our guest room in the apartment really had no decor as it served as storage and office as well.

While our new guest room in the row house was temporary storage for a few things we needed to get rid of, we took care of that last weekend when the dumpster for the rest of the back yard concrete arrived. It felt good to purge all of the other junk from the house that we'd been waiting to take to the dump-- most notably 4 floor lamps that were lined up against the wall in the guest room. With those out, I feel as though I can finally share the progress.

I've turned to one of my favorite color combinations-- blue and brown. While the room is not finished and needs a coat of paint to get rid of the boring white, here is what I've put together so far.

Everything in the room has just happened into place one at a time. I found the clock at Uncommon and immediately knew it belonged. The dripping dark blue pitcher is a pottery piece I had thrown a while ago that somehow showed up on the night stand. I decided it worked so I let it stay. The bedside lamp was an impulse $14 buy at Target. I used a frame that was a Christmas present for a paper cut piece that I made to coordinate the room. The photos are my own originals that I framed using old frames I found around the house. The night stand was a cabinet we used in our tiny bathroom at the old apartment. I needed something for the guest room and it just happened to fit in that space perfectly. And finally, I sewed the accent pillows from fabric I found at JoAnn Fabrics-- they match the luxuriously soft and silky bamboo sheets I picked up on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond.

The next project for this room is paint. In fact, I'm hoping to choose some paint colors in the coming week. And one lovely part of this room that I failed to show you, is the exposed brick wall-- such a contemporary feature for an old row house.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 27

I wanted to get away from some of the same themes and ideas I've had recently, so I went to my Pinterest boards for a little inspiration.

Believe it or not, this is what inspired me today:

And this is what I came up with for my design:

Kinda makes me want to hop on a ship and take to the ocean! Ahoy matey!

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

I generally don't delve into mainstream music a whole lot. There's a reason for it-- a lot of it is pretty crappy. I think about what comes on the Top 40 radio stations these days and it makes me wonder what happened to good music. The good news is that there are still radio stations out there that care about playing stuff that's quality music. I fight this battle on a nearly day to day basis with my students. I try to tell them that actually the music they listen to is bad quality and just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good. Some get it, but the majority never will.

Yet here I am, talking about mainstream music. Not to say that all mainstream music is bad. It's not. You have to be a good enough critic to pick and choose-- you have to be a music nerd. Yes. I am a music nerd. I can't listen to a song without noticing all of that music theory mumbo jumbo-- you know like chord progressions, key changes, changes in time? No? You don't know what I'm talking about? Ok. That's cool. I'm used to that.

So let's talk about something that we all know a little about-- the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now I'm talkin' 'bout my generation! (Can't you tell I'm a Who fan too). I'm sorry, but if you want to ask any late twenty-something, this band defines our generation. Maybe Foo Fighters too, but I was born and bred with this band. Me-- born in 1983. RHCP-- born in 1984. Me-- 27 years old. RHCP-- 26 years old. See? We could practically be best friends, or dating (not that I'd want to get into that scene with a bunch of guys that like to play naked on stage except for a sock, you know, in the right area). But let's just say, we've been through a lot, RHCP and me.

Here's a little trip down memory lane.

1984 - True Men Don't Kill Coyotes

1985 - Yertle the Turtle

1987 - Me & My Friends

1989 - Good Time Boys

1991 - My Lovely Man

1995 - One Big Mob

1999 - Around the World

2002 - Minor Thing

2006 - Charlie

2006 - Storm In a Teacup

I get to choose 2 from Stadium Arcadium since it's basically 2 albums. :)

And now why, friends, do I get to go all RHCP crazy today? Because their new single, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie is out today. I've been patiently waiting for the RHCP saga to continue, but it continues without John Frusciante. Hmmm... he brought the funk. But there was something to say for Dave Navarro during One Hot Minute. Plus, dig a little deeper, pre Mother's Milk and you can't complain about Hillel Slovak either. We shall see on August 30th when the rest of the album comes out. Until then, there will be a Chili Peppers loop going on my iTunes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 26

For day 26, I've come back down to earth and have moved away from the holiday season. After all, it is July. July means summer, which means bright bold colors. I think this chevron design does the trick.

These bold ones are square note cards and super heavy weight linen card stock. I rounded the corners to add a little more fun to them. Lastly, I designed them in four fun color combos. Now if that isn't a return to summer from my little vacation to Christmas, then I don't know what is!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Design a Day Challenge: Day 25

Oh, yes. I'm going to go there again. Christmas in July... phew. Hard for me to think about, but again, thank Etsy for making me go there.

In other news, some of my favorite note cards ever (remember these?) made it in a front page treasury. But unfortunately, they were in the last spot in the treasury and didn't get much exposure. Oh well, for now I'll be thankful of what I can get!
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