Archive | June, 2011


30 Jun

Today was my last day at my job. I have often imagined this day, as I graduated college, went to job interviews, and made plans for my future, but as I walked out of those doors for the last time, it felt exactly the same as the other hundreds of days I made the same trek to my car.

I spent a lot of time at that job being angry that my job search wasn’t going as planned, missing school, and wishing that I didn’t have to work on campus, where all the stupid students rubbed it in my face that they still got to attend class and have awesome flexible schedules. I thought when it was finally my turn to move on, I would be happy and skip out the door without even looking back, but today I found that to not be the case.

I learned some valuable lessons at my job. I became a better designer, I had my first taste of the corporate lifestyle, I was able to specify more clearly what I do and don’t want in my career, and most importantly I was working in a community of people who were kind and supportive. When it was time for me to go, they made sure I knew how much they appreciated my contributions, and that means a lot to me. Sure, this past year and a half has had its frustrations, but overall it could have been much worse, and I am so thankful to be leaving with friends, and good references.

I feel like I’m living someone else’s life right now, because right now I am actually procrastinating on packing, and I’m heading out of town again. And then, who knows? For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing, and while it’s scary, mostly what I feel is excitement. I have faith that it’s going to be awesome.


Father’s Day!

29 Jun

Something awesome about being a graphic designer who also has an online card shop is the fact that whenever a holiday rolls around, I usually just happen to have an appropriate card laying around. It makes me feel a little bit like a superhero.

So when David asked me if I could whip something up for his family’s late Father’s Day celebration, I took it as a challenge to make something so great that his dad might not believe it was homemade.

I’ve been thinking about how to challenge myself using the tools I already have for a while now, since I like making things at home, and I don’t have the room for expensive printing equipment at the moment, and it came to me.

POPUPS! Yeah, yeah, yeah… I was really excited with how this card turned out, and I’m even more excited to translate this into some other pieces. Popup anything was always super fun to make back in school, when you’d fold a piece of paper and glue a heart to it or something, and it’s even more fun to think outside the box, as it were.

I finished the card five minutes before David and I left to give it to his dad, so I don’t have any better pictures, but I thought it would be a fun sneak peek into what’s coming up in my Etsy shop..

Everyday Design – Wine Edition

28 Jun

It’s funny to me that I used to not like wine. When I was little, I would imagine that wine was basically grape juice for adults, and I would constantly be surprised and disappointed when my parents let me take a tiny sip and it was not sweet and delicious.

Fast forward 13 years, and even though in my heart I wish that I was rich enough to drink exclusively icewine, which tastes like wine the way I imagined it as a child, I am perfectly content to enjoy a lovely glass of red wine from time to time.

When it comes to choosing what to buy, I choose exclusively by the label. There are a lot of cool labels when it comes to more expensive wine, but more affordable bottles usually have boring labels. So I was pretty excited to pick this little beauty up at the Fresh Market.

Let’s start with the cork.

Isn’t this cool! I love clever logos, and while I usually prefer real cork, I like the treatment of this synthetic cork. The little details always get me, and while an awesome cork seems like a minor thing, it made opening this bottle special.

This bottle is stunning. It showcases the aforementioned logo, it visually breaks free of the tyranny of having to have a square label on a bottle, but there IS a square label on it, so it doesn’t use any expensive printing methods, and overall it is very classy looking.

The back of the label is also nice. I have a soft spot for definitions, so I may be biased.

Once you start looking, there are many beautiful, accessible, humble artifacts of design. You just need to keep your eyes open. I suggest starting at the Fresh Market. But beware, they like to display candy and desserts at every corner at eye level, so it takes a lot of self discipline to get through there without picking up a giant lollipop or a chocolate cake…

Introducing Theodore Bear, Esq.

27 Jun
A couple of years ago, when I was getting ready to move into this apartment, I was at the flea market looking for furniture for my new place. I had basically spent that summer furnishing my apartment, which was pretty great because I found a ton of super deals. Anyway, I was just browsing away when this guy caught my eye from across the parking lot.

I had to have him.

The guy at the flea market told me that in Poland, the graphic designers all had to do government work, so there were all of these great posters for government events, like the circus. I think the poster cost me $20, but I was so excited. It felt like something an adult would own, and I couldn’t wait to hang him on my walls.

We moved in together, I named him Theodore, and we’ve been cohabitating happily ever since. I didn’t give him much more thought until the other day, when David was goofing around on his phone and he took a picture of Teddy on Google Goggles, and it recognized him.

I did a little research, and found that maybe my poster was something special! (To people other than me)

This is a great article about Polish Circus posters in general. The author said this about Teddy:

“I’ve got this one – definitely one of my favorite CYRK posters – not long ago. Its a very rare piece, printed in 1974 and I believe I was lucky to stumble upon it, since its a highly coveted print.

The designer, Waldemar Swierzy was born in 1931 in Katowice. He’s a graduate of the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts (Dept. of Graphic Art in Katowice), designed his first poster in 1950 and obtained his diploma in 1952. Specializes in poster and all forms of commercial graphic, with a very prolific career. He had individual shows in Vienna, Moscow, Poznań, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Wrocław. Works as professor at Poznań Academy of Fine Arts. “

I also found one for sale on, and when I inquired about a price, she told me it was $600!

My next step was to determine whether or not it is ‘real’. Just by looking at it, it seems real to me. The print job looks different from anything I’ve seen, and it has some information at the bottom that says:

RSW ,,Prasa-Ksiazka-Ruch ” PZGraf. todz Z. 2427/74, W-74/6025, 9550 egz.

However, this seems a good time to point out that my poster collection comes from stuff I’ve picked up around design school, so what do I know?

I sent my information to an appraiser, who basically confirmed what I already knew, but I’m still not sure how I would confirm that it isn’t a print…of a print. Does anyone else have any ideas?

Regardless, it’s been fun to play art detective and learn more about my little poster that I’ve had for years. It inspires me to head back to the flea market and see what other treasures I could discover.

How to be better at photography

2 Jun

Looking over my previous photos of my apartment, it is becoming apparent to me that the beautiful images I see in my head when I think of taking pictures of my apartment are not actually translating to my camera. I’ve always been interested in photography, but it’s basically been limited to polaroid cameras and iphone pics.

So I did a little research, and it turns out the internet has some great tips for taking good shots, without getting too technical!

Making It Lovely has a great post about the most important tips for taking photos of your home.

Along the same vein, Young House Love has some more great tips specifically for home photography.

My cousin, Maggie Wendel, is a photographer, and has started a great series about learning to use your camera. She tackles specific topics in each post, and makes it easy for even the biggest techno-phobe to learn. See parts, one, two, three.

Hopefully my next shots will be a little better!

PS, check this out!

Father’s Day!

1 Jun

I have loved reading Paper Crave for quite some time now. They consistently feature wonderful paper goods, and when I’m looking for some new inspiration, it’s usually one of the first blogs I hit up.


So I was especially excited to see that my father’s day card was recently included in a father’s day card roundup! It is so fun to be included with such beautiful cards. The multitude of awesome cards almost makes me wish I had a couple dads to shop for. I wonder if my dad would be okay if I blew his present budget on lots of pretty father’s day cards…