May 28, 2010

Dust Furniture

Another amazing artist at Good Goods. This time, a talented wood worker/engineer building sophisticated Seuss! I was really amused! The company is called Dust Furniture (also amusing!).

May 27, 2010

wire sculptures

I fell in love with these wire sculptures at Good Goods. They're by artist Jessica Bohus. They're quite simple but obviously take some talent to create. She draws in 3D with wire!

May 26, 2010

I bought: treasures!

I splurged on a lovely antique quilt. The colors are bright and beautiful and so me (and my house)! The entire thing is hand-sewn. I am impressed and inspired. We' re going to hang it in the stairwell that goes up to our attic bedroom. It will be against a lavendar wall.

I also gathered up some additional antique handkerchiefs for the curtain project I have in mind.

May 25, 2010

I spy: multiples

This is a design lesson for decorating, gardening, and graphic design. Repetition, patterns, or groups of the same item can look great!

May 24, 2010

I spy: color, glorious color

This antique place is actually an old barn. I believe it was The Olde Farmhouse Antique & Gifts. The sunlight was streaming through the window and illuminating the display of glass. Gorgeous!

This place is called Retro/Modern. They sell all vintage furniture. Stepping inside was a fabulous time warp that so reminded me of my great-grandmother's cottage (even those wood ceiling tiles were familiar!). The outside was painted in three citrus tones: orange, lemon, and lime. Love it!

This is a detail of a painting at Water Street Gallery in Douglas. It is entitled Spinner. Acrylic on canvas by Aletha Isreals. Turns out I like modern art. Too bad it cost $1,200.  Not to say that an original piece of art at that size is not worth that amount. It's just more than I am willing to pay.

May 21, 2010

I spy: texture

The wood doors are from the mysterious "junk guy" on Blue Star Highway, down closer to South Haven. The awesome end table that inspires and urge to collect scrap trim and spare table legs was for sale at Good Goods in Saugatuck (probably the coolest store we went to).

May 18, 2010

I spy: old school illustrations

I love this style of illustration with flat panels of color. It reminds me of the cut paper projects I did early in college. It's also a style that I feel capable of drawing myself using Adobe Illustrator. I especially liked the flowers from the garden book cover.

May 17, 2010

Weekend of inspiration!

My sweetie and I just returned from a long weekend in Saugatuck where we celebrated our anniversary. We enjoyed three days of art, antiques, and adventure! We ate lots of yummy food (I managed to eat bacon 4 meals in a row!), we relaxed by the water, we went hiking in the woods, and we strolled down the shore of Lake Michigan. Bliss! All my favorite activities in one weekend enjoyed with my favorite person. What could be better?

This week's blog entries will be featuring all sorts of inspiration from our trip. With the treasure trove of antiques and the artists' galleries plus the splendor of the lakeshore, I was in no shortage of interest and beauty. It might take me more than 5 posts to get it all out there! Woo hoo!

Fun & funky neon sign. I made my husband pull off the road so I could take the photo one night when we were returning from the sunset.

The adorable inn we stayed at: Bayside Inn. Highly recommended! The breakfast was fantastic, the bed was comfortable, the room adorable, and who doesn't love your own personal balcony?

May 13, 2010

project idea

Found a "quilt" idea for old window frames. She did it with scrapbook paper. I'd be tempted to do it with actual fabric. Ideas anyone? I have a stack of old windows waiting for a vision!

May 12, 2010

You know you want to see it!

Saturday was a perfectly crappy day to go to the Gardens but I really have been itching to see the new Chihuly exhibit so I said "let's just go anyway." We're members thanks to a lovely Christmas gift so it's quite easy to go any old day and not have to do it all. I figured we could at least see the glass that was inside.

The blue-purple flowers become a part of the art.
The gray sky looks good in this photo!

I love these "bowls."

Amazing! How did they get those up there? Easily the most pleasant surprise of our visit.

Glass within glass.

Reflected in the water.

I absolutely can't wait to get back there on a sunshiney day and explore the grounds. I know there's more to see! The exhibit is up through the end of August. Don't miss it!

Find more information on Chihuly and his work on

May 11, 2010

another artistic pursuit

I like to arrange flowers too.

These are all from my own yard: rhodie (my fighter of a rhododendron that I somehow haven't killed yet), lilacs (neighbor's bush that conveniently hangs over the fence), and bleeding hearts (doing just fine thank you).

May 10, 2010

In progress...

Here's a sampling of color combos and layouts I tried:

And here's the not-quite-done poster that my last post walked you through the creation of! I will be posting a link once the website is up for all you Grand Rapidians who will surely want to participate in this fabulous program!

May 7, 2010

Loving the creative process!

Monday: Other tasks. Playing catch up or just avoiding the big looming project?

Tuesday: Scanned my hands, upped the contrast, made a selection, modified the selection, smoother, smoother again. Finally, fill in with color. Scan handwriting, up the contrast, create clean bitmaps. Layers and arrangements. Where to put the type? And the logo? What colors? Dark blue with light blue. Add white. Add some orange. Dark blue and green. Black and white. Time for feedback. Print out a dozen. This hand too narrow. This title too hidden. These colors not quite right. Type not working yet. I agree with all this criticism. Back to the scanner. Back to the computer. Trying out a "what if" scenario I mentioned. Ooh, this is good. Much better than before. More color combinations. Just one. Just two. Three. More? What about many colors in band? Vertical or horizontal? A mix? Print out 14 and display them across both counters. Leave having spent a full 8 hours on this design dilemma.

Wednesday: Early in the day feedback. These colors too similar to another event. Those with two blues just not as exciting. Agree on the new "what if" scenario. Four or five type treatments to consider but none are quite right. Again, I agree. Feedback from many at a meeting. Colors narrowed down to two options. Type treatments still in question. We're just not "there" yet. Back to the computer. Afternoon experimentations with type. With color. I am liking where this is going. Time for feedback. It's good! It's a go! Leave having spent my the 6 hours I was in the office on this project.

Now it's time to use what I've created: poster, banner, brochure, website!

May 6, 2010

A confession

I picked these up and put them down. Then I picked them up again. One part of me said "you don't know what you're going to do with those." Another part of me said "Remember that project you bookmarked?" And still another part was reminded of the cottage of my childhood, with the drawers full of worn and mismatched sheets and pillowcases. The hand-me-downs and discards from regular life, made so very soft over time, that served their last years of usefulness at the cottage. So I bought them – without a clear vision for their use!

May 5, 2010

seed pods

Just another bit o' nature to share with you.

Would it be disturbing if I shared with you that I thought the the shape of the seeds and the way they are attached reminds me of images of an embryo? I often notice there are many fascinating parallels to be found in nature.

May 4, 2010

My friend, French Paper

French Paper is a fun and funky paper mill that happens to be right here in my home state of Michigan. They produce the best promotions and I currently have not one, not two, not three... five of their posters hanging in my home. Two of which I even paid good money to have professionally framed. One of which has inspired the as-yet-unpurchased paint for my kitchen.

And I have excellent news for anyone who has wished to own such a poster themselves. They are now selling them! Woo hoo! And if that wasn't exciting enough, they also sell a bunch of other goodies with the same, sometimes strange, vintage look.

I was also super excited to see that you can purchase their paper and envelopes made from their paper for your very own. I am always looking for a good envelope supplier when I do my own graphic design projects. You could order 50, which is much smaller quantity than other sites have offered.

Some credit should go to their graphic designer – of course – Charles S. Anderson, a well-known designer still producing great stuff. I even studied him in college!

May 3, 2010

simple sign success

On Fridays, I take time to deal with my ever-present stack of sign requests. The Main Library has a dozen or so areas where book displays are rotated out monthly.

Sometimes I am pressed for sign and people get word on a colored background (although I do put thought into the color choices and the weight of the typeface).

Other times I get a good idea that's simple enough for me to create quickly.. Here's a sign I recently made that really appealed to me.