February 26, 2010

Pencil Art

Amsterdam-based artist Peter Schuyff paints, draws and carves pencils. Who would've thought a pencil could look so beautiful? His large pencil sculptures are equally impressive.

Bottom Lounge

Tonight we went to see our friend Jonathan play in his new(ish) band, Torch Singer, at Bottom Lounge and I saw this neon sign. Not just restrooms. Clean restrooms.

February 25, 2010

Followed my heart with no regrets.

Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn." In this spirit, Smith Magazine invited writers to distill their own life stories into exactly six words. It All Changed in an Instant is the fourth collection of very, very brief life stories. The tiny memoirs are sometimes sad, often funny — and always concise. Here's a few excerpts from the book:

Found on Craigslist: table, apartment, fiance.

Becki Lee

Alzheimer's: meeting new people every day.
Phil Skversky

I picked passion. Now I'm poor.
Kathleen E. Whitlock

Listen to the full story on NPR or share your own 6-word life story using the comment box. I'd love to hear yours!

A big thanks to Amanda Young for sharing this.

Pumpkin Sputnik Books

I came across these handmade books by Emma and admired the simplicity. It gives me so many ideas on how to make my own sketchbooks. Her books are for sale on Etsy from $6-$13, depending on what size you get (A5, A6 or A7).

February 24, 2010

28 Bird Houses

A man who lives across the street from me collects handmade birdhouses and hangs them all from a big tree in his front yard. It almost feels like a permanent art exhibit - one of the many reasons I fell in love with our neighborhood.

February 23, 2010

Egg Shell Carvings

This is the work of egg sculptors Lew Jensen, Don Lisk, Brian Baity and a few Russian and Chinese artists. Pretty amazing.

Lego Router

Wow. This is nerdery at its best. This guy converted his wireless router into a lego router, giving it a better case. If you can't sleep and want to build one, download these detail documentations.

Social Media Icons

I love icondeck for making this so easy on Designers everywhere. This FREE set includes 50 icons of the most popular social media networks on the internet. The icons are designed in 32px and 16px GIF and PNG formats. You're welcome.


DesignChat is a new idea by an old classmate of mine at NIU, Ryan McGovern. What is it? It's a weekly video and text-based conversation between creatives. Video chats start at 8pm CST on Wednesdays and last about an hour on their site. You can continue before and after on twitterfall.com/#designchat. Design superstars like Milton Glaser and Carlos Segura have been interviewed, among others.

February 22, 2010

February 21, 2010

Magnetic Potholders

What a great idea, especially if you're low on storage space in the kitchen. Keep pot holders within reach by magnetizing them. Cut a small slit in your oven mitts, tuck in a strong magnet or two, and sew them back up. They'll stick to anything magnetic nearby - the fridge, oven or even the wall if you used magnetic paint.

Know It All No. 2 Pencil Set

This set of 6 pencils gives little tidbits of useful information. If only they could fit the metric conversion chart on one pencil. I'd use it all the time.

Stinky Daddy

This was just too cute... my dog looks like she passed out after smelling Kyle's socks. Stinky daddy.


j-me creates a range of modern domestic products for the design conscious. I stumbled upon this shoe rack and it got my attention. Finally, the first shoe rack you can actually vacuum under!

February 19, 2010

Live Off Groupon

If I wasn't filled to the brim with responsibilities and married, I would do this in a heartbeat.

February 18, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

Down the street from where I live, there's been a deep pothole in the street for months and someone put this huge branch in it so people don't park there. In December, some kids from the neighborhood decorated it like a Christmas tree, with paper ornaments and twinkling snowmen and snowflake garland. I walk by it every night while walking my dog and thought I'd share the love. This snowman is on the same street - one of the cutest I've seen this winter.

February 17, 2010


I met up with some good friends last night for pizza and beers at Piece and saw this little elephant drawing on the door of the bathroom stall. Made me smile. Sorry for the quality - that's what happens when you combine canned lighting and a 3.0 mega pixel mobile phone. JG, I put the Follow Me button on the site just for you buddy.

February 16, 2010

Valentines for Classmates

What a cool idea by Design Mom. I feel like this could be one of the big perks of being a parent... getting to be creative with your kids. Don't get any ideas - the verdict is still out on whether this uterus is going to produce or not.

Christoph Niemann

Christoph Niemann turns complex concepts into simple and witty iconic illustrations. His illustrations appear regularly in the New Yorker, WIRED, and the New York Times Book Review. In his free time, he writes and illustrates children's books and creates clever pictorial narratives for his Abstract City blog. I admire his artistic style and ability to take a complicated idea and put it in such a simple solution.

February 15, 2010

Tissue Box Holder

This makes me smile big time. So clever. If only it was round.

Lego Ring

They actually interlock. Cool idea for alternative wedding rings.

ABC Paper Cup

ABC Paper Cups takes a refreshing approach to the ordinary disposable cups. You get to choose which design you want and they've made it easy for you to remember which cup is yours - in doing so they've created less waste by eliminating someone from having to take a new one. Cheers.

Motor Oil Can Collection

Thought this was a nice collection of motor oil can designs.


I've had this blog going for 1 month now and would love to get your feedback. It's been a great outlet for me and I look forward to every post, but I also care about your thoughts. I want this blog to be a conversation instead of a show and tell.

What's been your favorite post? Your least favorite? Do you have any ideas on how to make it better? Does it keep your interest? Feel free to use the comment box to respond.

February 14, 2010

The Brown Elephant

While walking the streets today, I passed The Brown Elephant, which is a resale shop that I've heard is pretty good from a few people, so I was excited to check it out. I browsed through old lamp bases, mismatched dishes, costume jewelry and forgotten treadmills. And then I saw this silver and gold square hinged tin with a scene like Oregon Trail embossed on the lid, picturing a family from the early 1900s camping in the woods with 2 covered wagons in the distance. I got it for $3 and can't wait to use it at Christmas time next year. This paper maché creature was selling for $10. I stood in line to pay for my new treasure and smiled when I saw this basket of free condoms and informational brochures on how to use them. A happy Valentine's Day indeed.


With every pair of TOMS shoes purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Since the company first started 3 years ago, they've given over 400,000 pairs of shoes to children in need.

Funny Signage

These are a few things I came across in Bali that made me smile...

This was the logo/name for our toilet. I like how the two "t"s make a butt.

This was a sandwich board at the entrance of a grocery store in Ubud. No jackets allowed? I'd love to see a Dominick's get away with that in Chicago.

These were menu items at a place we ate in Gianyar. None of us were brave enough to sample the crispy pigeon.

This sign was posted at the entrance of a temple with 2 rules. #1 being "Women during menstruation are strictly forbidden to enter the temple."

February 12, 2010

I Heart Animals (cured & smoked)

Gene's Sausage Shop is a great new addition to the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. I love this shirt and their new brand identity. I may be a little biased though.

Fern Works

I have a secret crush to share. I bought a necklace from Faryn Davis a few years ago when she was at the Renegade Craft Fair and I've been following her since. Her jewelry inspired me to try my hand at working with resin, but I have no idea how she does it. People keep asking if I'm ever going to make jewelry again. It is one of my goals for 2010... I'm just trying to figure out what direction I want to head in.