30 January 2009

Octopus Roundup

Every year there is a new animal trend. A few years ago, you couldn't go into a store without seeing something that had a rabbit on it. Last year, it was owls. Now, I'm seeing octopi (yes, that's the plural, I checked) popping up. They certainly don't have the cute factor of a rabbit, but the tentacles make for some interesting designs. I found a few examples for you. Thoughts on the octopi?

Print on Matte Paper
Sterling Silver Ring
Burnout Deep V Shirt
Brass Necklace
Stoneware Cup

28 January 2009

Jozin from the bog

Old school European stories and fairytales are great. They're usually a little scary and they don't always make sense. On that note, I give you Jozin from the bog. It's a Czech song, and it's beyond words. For those of you who listen to Ludo, it's sort of like a Czech Lake Ponchatrain. If you can't see the video, click here.

Wednesday Playlist: Covers

Cover songs are great. Props to an artist who can breath new life into an old favorite, or make me like a song I wasn't crazy about to begin with.

This week's playlist features a few of my favorite covers as of late:

This is a perfect time to mention an upcoming compilation/cover album titled Sweetheart. Available January 30th at Starbucks, Sweetheart features 14 love song covers. Check out the tracklisting: She & Him, Death Cab for Cutie and DeVotchKa? I love it already.

Full Track Listing:
1. Death Cab for Cutie - Love Song
2. Katy Perry - Black and Gold
3. DeVotchKa - Hot Burrito #1 (I'm Your Toy)
4. Department of Eagles - Love Me
5. Jessica Lea Mayfield - Words of Love
6. Ben Bridwell - Your Love Is Forever
7. Kate Tucker - I'm on Fire
8. Rogue Wave - Maps
9. A.C. Newman - Take on Me
10. Jem - Yellow
11. Richard Hawley - Early Morning Rain
12. Daniel Martin Moore - I Hear Music
13. She & Him - I Put a Spell on You
14. Lila Downs - My One and Only Love

For tonight's musical agenda, I'm heading over to Schubas. My sister-in-law's cousin, Katie Herzig, is headlining. She goes on at 10, should be a good show!

27 January 2009

Check It: Teardrop Locket

This isn't a roundup, it's just a single gorgeous locket that I found at etsy. This tapestry patterned locket with a pearl accent feeds my penchant for all things vintage inspired and eye catching. The seller, Heatworks by Lori, has dozens of other unique items you should check out, including more lockets.

26 January 2009

22 January 2009

Wooden Vespa

Two words: Wooden Vespa.

Check It: Wordle

Some of you may be familiar with word clouds. A word cloud, sometimes referred to as a tag cloud, is a visual depiction of the word content on a website. The more a word is used on a site the bigger it will appear in the cloud. Wordle is a website that allows you to generate a word cloud for any block of text or URL that you provide. I created one for the blog. Give it a try. Type in your favorite website, or insert something that you wrote. I think it's great, but I like charts and graphs.

21 January 2009

Playlist Wednesday

I'm trying something new today. This may be a spectacular failure, but let's try it anyway. Winter seems like it will never end, so I'm putting myself in a warmer mood with a Summer Playlist. If this works out, the playlists will get more creative as time goes on, and I'll change them every Wednesday. This could be fun!

20 January 2009

Check It: Irene Suchocki

Meet Canadian photographer Irene Suchocki. I found her on etsy and made my way over to her official site. She takes great photos that are romanticized and have fantastic color. Go through her gallery. I'm a big fan of Paris: City of Love and The Swing Set (both pictured above). She has two shops, one on her website and one via etsy. There's even has a blog on her site. You know I love it.

19 January 2009

Pancake Party

Friday night, Natalie and I had our second pancake party. We make pancakes in various forms and shapes, as we see fit, then we eat them.

This year, to dispense the batter, we used gallon-sized Ziploc bags that had a corner cut off. They work perfectly as piping bags. I find it best to keep the batter a little thicker, so your shapes don't spread as much while being cooked. We made rabbits, people, dodos, brains, spiders, houses, and ampersands. It's hard to top edible arts & crafts.

A quick FYI: Some of you may not be aware, when you click an image I post, it will enlarge within the window. So click the above photo for pancake details.

16 January 2009

Happy Friday.

I'm so happy it's Friday. I've got pancake, jewelry and movie watching get-togethers all weekend long. I'm looking forward to it. It's supposed to get all the way up to 26 this weekend. I may cram some sunbathing into my schedule.

Yesterday's post lead me to Beantown Handmade Hats for dogs. Even if you don't have a dog, their photography is priceless.

See you Monday!

15 January 2009

Winter Hat Roundup

Today is the coldest day Chicago has seen in thirteen years. It's currently warmer in Alaska. Just how does one keep warm in this ridiculous weather? Start with a hat. Who is up for a hat roundup? Let's do this- Etsy style.

I'm a sucker for buttons and baubles
Dogs get cold too. Especially the cute ones.
The most stylish hunting hat I've seen in a while
The hat is great, but the baby makes it.
Love the detail, and it's available for custom ordering

14 January 2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Logos

Five years ago, this video post would have really done me in. I mean, it's Jimmy Fallon talking about logos. What? Let me explain:

If you have heard all the late night buzz, Jimmy Fallon is getting his own late night show- Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. He's been posting video blogs to pump up future viewers. The most recent deals with potential logos for the show. Click here to watch it. From a designer's perspective, this clip is great. I enjoy hearing clients explain why or why not they like a certain design. You can give a client great work, but if one of your designs reminds them of something they have a personal bias toward, it'll get thrown out. You can try to guide and control the creative as much as possible, but it's impossible to fully gauge a clients reactions. Overall, I think Jimmy does a good job explaining his rational for each.

What's my vote on the logo? I'm a big fan of number one, but I'm skeptical as to how it's going to look in other settings. It sort of takes up an awkward amount of space. My back up is number three. Again, it takes up a strange amount of space, but it's sort of fun. And I love how it looks on the coffee cup- very opening credits of Star Wars.

Had I of watched this video as a Senior in High School it wouldn't have mattered to me what he was saying. I had the biggest crush on Jimmy. I would have been mesmerized. While I still think he has great hair and he's still funny, that's about it. Sorry Jimmy, you're great and all, but I've moved on. It's not you, it's me.

13 January 2009

Warm Thoughts Roundup

It's currently nine degrees in Chicago. Compared to what's coming later this week, today is warm. To cope with this ridiculous weather, let's have a warm thoughts roundup.

Don't go outside. Stay in and bake with Betty Crocker's Cooky Book.
Ethels sipping chocolate- Delicious cocoa.
The Slanket- The best and most ridiculous blanket ever.
Just buy an art print of somewhere warm and stare at it.
White Rose Scarf- Yes, the flowers would get crushed under your winter coat, but it's still pretty.
Heat it up with Cinnamon Hot Dots Shampoo, Shower & Bubble Bath

12 January 2009

Finishing Touches

I finally finished with the last few things I wanted to do to my apartment. To cozy up the living room, I got a chair and a rug. This gives me more guest seating and a nice barrier from the cold wood floor. I also added a pair of curtains between the living room and den. It really softens the transition between rooms. And it's a nice touch for anyone who spends the night. They can pull the curtains shut for a little privacy.

When family comes to play...

The family came over on Saturday. I think everyone had a good time. After my brother got hopped up on coffee, he thought it would be fun to play with umbrellas in my kitchen. I joined him, it was really fun.

09 January 2009

Never A Dull Moment

The building across the el tracks caught on fire today. It was a furniture warehouse- lots of kindling! Everyone at work watched safely from our vantage point as the smoke billowed out and the firemen smashed the windows of the building. I took a few pics. Notice in the last one our office is safe and sound. I smell like campfire.

08 January 2009

Ottawa Hike

I thought I would share this pic from a few weeks back. We went hiking in Ottawa again. I may hate the snow in the city, but it's gorgeous downstate.

2009 Album Releases

I've got a few upcoming 2009 album releases for you to look forward to. There are a lot of albums currently in the works that do not have release dates attached to them, but here is what I can tell you:

January 27:
The Bird and the Bee- Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future
Franz Ferdinand- Tonight

March 20:
U2 - No line on the horizon

March 24:
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

Rumored Late 2009:
Flaming LipsCurrently Untitled
No DoubtCurrently Untitled

06 January 2009

Check It: We Dream In Color

Really love this new Etsy find, We Dream in Color. Their pieces are detailed, make great use of color and surprise me. The floral themed ones have a vintage feel, slightly Grecian. And just when you think you have their style pegged- lobster earings! Check them out on etsy.


Floral earrings
Ines Plaque Necklace

Lobster Earrings

Athena Necklace

Whale Earrings

Naiad Twin Necklace

Check It: 3191

Two friends who live 3,191 miles apart run this aptly named blog. It's a simple concept: Every evening they each post an image. The images are posted side-by-side. That's it. Last year they ran a similar blog, 3191, a year of mornings, which was just turned into a book.

This a such a fun concept. It keeps two friends in tune with their lives, and offers viewers new photography every day.

05 January 2009

The Submarines: Honeysuckle Weeks

I love husband & wife duo bands. It adds an extra element to the band: people making music they love that happen to love each other. The Weepies and Mates of State are great examples of this. Add The Submarines to the list.

I came across their music a few months ago. One of their songs, 'You, Me & the Bourgeoisie' was included on a Paste Sampler CD I got. Loved the song, but I didn't check out the rest of the album. Shortly after that, the song was featured in a iphone commercial. Then I discovered another one of their songs 'Xavia' was featured on the soundtrack for Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist. Okay, I get it. I cannot escape the Submarines. They are everywhere, and I will check them out. I purchased their second studio album, Honeysuckle Weeks. It's well crafted indie-pop. There is a little bit of synth, some keyboards, lots of melody and lots of sweetness. Blake Hazard (what a great name) sings most of the vocals, her husband John Dragonetti (again with the great names!) on backup & harmony. If you are in the mood for sweet, blissy pop, I recommend.

02 January 2009

Best Present.

Recently, I received a new television from my family. It was the best present ever. On Wednesday, I received the second best present ever.

I'm housesitting this week. When I first arrived, I got the usual note full of reminders. The note also told me that there was a token of appreciation for me in the fridge. I opened up the fridge and found two packages of bacon wrapped with a pretty pink bow! She bought me bacon! The best gifts are always unexpected. Not only was I not expecting bacon, I hadn't brought any breakfast food with me to eat, and I was out of bacon at home. So practical, so delicious.


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