New Type York

May 18th, 2010

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I am really liking James Patrick Gibson’s blog New Type York. It’s a daily photoblog of typographic artifacts found all around New York City. Living in NYC makes it easy to find wonderful typography all over this wonderful town. Gibson posts images of type found on signs, directions, architecture, etc.

My favorite part about this blog is that he doesn’t just leave the typography to speak for itself, he gives it some context. In some cases, it’s based on location or an establishment’s reputation, while other times it may have some fact related to it’s seasonal nature.

Here are a few recent entries:

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Beautiful Prints and Paintings by Kristiana Pärn

May 12th, 2010

Alex and I were very particular about the artwork we picked out for Elise’s room. It’s not very baby like at all. In fact, it’s probably more our style than a child’s, but all the artwork has a subject that a kid would likely enjoy: animals, robots, letters, etc.

While walking around our neighborhood one day, we came across a store called Urban Alchemist. All the items in the store are designed by Brooklyn artists. One of my favorite finds at this design collective was this watercolor/illustration print by Kristiana Pärn. I love the watercolor on wood texture and the whimsical style of the marshmallow trees and sleepy bears.

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We liked this one because it went with the style of Elise’s room and who doesn’t love Polar Bears? However, there were so many great prints to choose from, it was a hard choice. Here are a few of my favorites.

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If you like Kristiana’s work, check it out at Urban Alchemist in Park Slope, Brooklyn or at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market on Saturdays where she has recently been setting up a table of her artwork (some even mounted on wood, which looks amazing) or online at Etsy.

Writing on the Walls

May 7th, 2010

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After reading The Last Lecture by the late Randy Pausch (a great book if you haven’t read it yet), where Pausch writes about how his parents letting him paint on his bedroom walls made a great impact on how he approached ideas, Alex and I talked about allowing our (then future) children to draw on the walls of their bedrooms as they like. We liked the idea that it would inspire creativity and why not use your walls as your canvas–as long as it stays within their own rooms?

Join the Dots wallpaper allows kids to do exactly that without mucking up the walls, which some parents might not love. It’s interesting in that it has a grid of dots for kids to connect and create designs. While it’s not a blank canvas exactly, it does offer children the opportunity to create something with a little structure. This might be perfect for the budding interaction designer or architect (Hi, Elise!)!

However, I still think it might be easier to repaint a wall repeatedly to create a clean look than it would be to paste and later remove wallpaper.

DIY Eames Hang-It-All Tutorial

May 7th, 2010

As a big fan of the Eames Hang-It-All, I am so, so impressed with Danielle Thompson’s DIY Tutorial to make your own (via Ohdeedoh). It’s fantastic and it doesn’t cost $179, as it does everywhere else.

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The original

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The DIY version

I tend to shy away from DIY projects that include a drill and spray paint, but I am tempted by this project. If I give it a shot, I’ll definitely post the results here.

Organizing Recipes

April 30th, 2010

For years I have been tearing recipes out of magazines and throwing them in a folder that I rarely revisit, unless of course I am adding another recipe to the stack. It’s a mess and not organized in anyway that makes this system useful for me to find recipes at the appropriate time. Because of this, I end up referring mostly to recipes I find online and then bookmark them with Delicious.

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My offline recipe collection needs some help, so I had recently been thinking of creating a nerdy binder of all these recipes, organized by course (trapper keeper alert!), but then the other day I came across this awesome Moleskin notebook for recipes. It’s part of their new line of Passions Notebooks. It seems like a great idea, with space to include a tear-sheet, a notes section for the cook to jot down for the next time they make a recipe, and tabs for organizing each recipe by course. I am definitely going to give this a try and see how it works, especially because it will hopefully keep me from making a DIY filing system of recipes.

For the wine lover, Moleskin also makes a wine journal to help you keep track of all the boozing you’ve been doing.

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How do you best organize your recipes both online and off? I’d love to hear about everyone’s systems.

A Wireless Projector That Even Makes Me Swoon

April 30th, 2010

(This is a post I started the day I started having contractions and never finished writing until now :) ).

Alex has been trying to talk me into getting a wireless projector for years now, but as the more practical one in this family (at least when it comes to purchasing tech gadgets), I try to remind him that we don’t have an apartment that can accommodate a big screen projection. But when he sent me a link to the OO High Definition Wireless Project yesterday, even I had a moment of “WANT. THAT. NOW.”

It’s like the spaceship that E.T. came from! It’s sleek and beautiful and it would fit perfectly with the rest of of our apartment! Sadly though, it still doesn’t change the fact that we live in a small Brooklyn apartment without much room to project, but I am definitely bookmarking it for the future.

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Drinking cold beverages on the go just got a little greener

April 27th, 2010

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These acrylic to-go cups from Vessel Drinkware are so fantastic. I love grabbing iced teas to go all Spring and Summer long, so that I can have icy cool beverages as I cruise around the neighborhood, but I hate throwing away the disposable plastic cups after one use because it’s so wasteful.

While many coffee shops offer discounts on warm beverages if you use your own travel mug, not many offer incentives for using your own cup for cold beverages. And sure, you can use a traditional travel mug for cold beverages, but let’s be honest, it’s just not the same to drink something with ice cubes from a heavy plastic container without a straw. Plus, if you use that same mug for coffee, it always tastes like coffee, no matter what you put in there next.

So! Why not sell some of these reusable cold beverage containers? Sustainable and beautiful? Starbucks, I’m looking at you. Joe’s Coffee, why not? Stumptown? I know you’re fancy and all, but you can give this a try, right?

So Much White….

March 8th, 2010

I’m in love.

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I’ve always had a weak spot for homes that are primarily decorated in white, with wood accents and this Brooklyn brownstone nails it. Sadly, as a dog owner (and always will be if it’s up to me), I will never live in a home like this. So for now I just drool at other people’s homes.

See the rest of the Brooklyn Home Company’s home over at Design Sponge.

Overcoming Creative Block

March 5th, 2010

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I’ve been a fan of Scott Hansen/ISO50′s work for some time now, but I have to admit I hadn’t been reading the ISO50 blog until Swiss-Miss linked to this fantastic post where Alex from ISO50 asked some of today’s most exciting artists and creators what they do when the ideas aren’t flowing. He left the question fairly open ended and asked, “What do you do to inspire your creativity when you find yourself in a rut?”

As expected, an array of answers were provided. Nicholas Feltron likes to travel. Michael Place from Build provided a recipe and recommended two glasses of wine. Jil Lee cleans. Erik Spiekermann suggested: avoid, think, research, collect, sketch and deconstruct. Chad Hagen, honestly admitted what has kept him inspired is his desire to be good, like really good. As someone who is driven by competition, this answer really resonates with me.

However, my favorite answer came from Mike Perry who said lately when he’s in a rut, he’s been taking the Amtrak somewhere. This reminded me of an ITP assignment that Red Burns gave the incoming ITP class after mine, that I always wanted to try: take the bus from the top Broadway in NYC all the way down to the bottom and write about your experience. People watching has got to be one of the greatest creative block breakers of all time for me.

Show Us Your Type

March 4th, 2010

My friend Natalie Long and two of her designer friends from Barcelona started a small design project about two things they love: type and cities. It’s called Show Us Your Type and the result is 30 uniquely designed posters inspired by cities around the world, created by designers everywhere. The first edition of the project featured New York City and the the results are fabulous. Here are just a few:

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They are going to post new cities every couple of months or so, along with an deadline for submissions. The next destination is Barcelona. With so much great architecture and inspiration in that city, I can’t wait to see the work.