Friday, April 30, 2010

From the Desk Fridays: New Product First Look

We're debuting a new product at the NSS in a couple weeks, and I'm so excited to share its very first peek! Can you guess what it is? Hint: there are multiple pieces involved, including these two above. And you will write on it, but never send it.

I'll give you the answer, along with another peek, on Monday.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream for...

I have definitely asked this question on here before, so I apologize for the redundancy, but it's too fun a game not to bring up more than once: What do you want to be when you grow up? Or get to 30? or 40? Or if you could change career paths tomorrow? Or what would you do if you had a year off? or if you had no expenses? It's one of my favorite things to ask people because you get some great answers & I think really get to the heart of what they love. And when you're doing what you love, you're not only doing yourself right, but you're really contributing to your community and your local & national economy in the best & most efficient way. Because different interests and ideas and passions is really what makes the world go round. Don't you think? I do:)

I'll step down from the Life Coach Stage, now. I got my Tasting Table email yesterday & was introduced to Milk Made, a NYC-based ice cream delivery service started by Diana Hardeman, that makes unique flavors from local ingredients. Hello, genius! And hello, my alternate career path! I die for ice cream. It's the one sweet I can never turn down, even on cold January nights. Bryers Vanilla Bean or Mint Chip are grocery store pick-up staples. In my home state of PA, it's Turkey Hill's Phillies Graham Slam. When I want to treat myself or dinner guests, it's Brooklyn Larder's Almond Gelato. But what makes Milk Made so super genius & special is 1) the never-duplicated, locally-sourced flavors, and 2) it's delivered to your door. April's flavors are Mint Chocolate Brownie and Honey Lavender Granola (and the granola is by Early Bird - the best granola out there!). I mean...

Fingers crossed they make their way to my Brooklyn nabe by summer! Look up their NYC delivery zones here for you or a friend. (What a great gift!) And check out Milk Made in action on their Red Velvet Madness here. Is it time for a snack break yet?

[images courtesy of Milk Made]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lovely Package

Great new site find: Lovely Package. A couple of my favorites with descriptions above & below.

(Above) Designed by KOREFE

Schokoleim is a chocolate paste, packaged in the classic wood glue bottle. The Food Label The Deli garage offers “artisanal” delicacies made with high quality design and functionality of tools from the garage.”

Designed by ILoveDust

"Playful, colourful packaging for a UK-based cider company, Hearts Cider Makers."


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Repurposed Ironing Boards

I have the NSS booth on the brain these days - trying to think of a clever use of space & materials that I already have. Seeing these repurposed ironing boards, used as Bakesale Betty's dining tables, gave me a rush of that's genius.

[via Remodelista]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preppy Sweat

It's cloudy & rainy & a bit brisk this morning in Brooklyn. I'd like to cozy up in this cool hoody I've had open in a tab for over a week.

[Rogues Gallery Preppy Sweat]

Friday, April 23, 2010

From the Desk Fridays: 2011 First Look

I've been busting so excited to share our 2011 Calendar with you. And since I left you hanging yesterday, I decided to unveil a super sneak peek a little earlier than planned - and not just one month, but two! (Did I mention I was excited?!)

I'm so glad I deliberated on the colors for so long because, as I told John, I feel like I could jump into each month & clothe myself from head to toe in these palettes. I just love love love them. I've said it before - our annual calendar is by far my favorite project of the year. I thought 2010 was such a hit that I wondered how next year would be as good or even better. But I have to say, I think 2011 takes the cake. I'm just so thrilled with the entire thing, from the cover through to December. I cannot wait to show you the rest in just a few weeks!

And for anyone coming to the National Stationery Show next month, be sure to come say hi at Booth #2058 and see our calendar in person - months before it lands in stores or online.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kerry Cassill Bedding

I finally got around to ordering us some bedding. I've always loved Kerry Cassill's prints. We have a few pillow cases & they're hands down my favorite - for their super-soft material and great patterns. I called up their office yesterday to see if they had any other options besides the ones online & who picked up but Kerry herself! She was super friendly & walked me through the choices. While I'd love to sleep in this color combo (above) of purples & pinks, I don't think John would be thrilled. So I decided to go with a green palette - a neutral duvet and some punchy pillow cases - as suggested by Kerry:) I can't wait for it to arrive!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Color Inspiration

This plant made me stop dead in my tracks. I've never really thought of pink as a natural color - but suddenly it was all around me - on these plants & the flowering bougainvillea in Florida, on the flamingos on Life. I'm definitely going to use this palette in an upcoming project.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ah, Islamorada

Before I dive into my overflowing inbox, I thought I'd share a little piece of my heaven from last week. I could stare & smile at this photo all day. I never thought Florida could feel other-worldly. But that's what we found - total tranquility, lush landscapes, pantone-chip-perfect sand & water, and no agenda. And I'm clinging to that peacefulness this morning as the count down to the NSS begins - now just four weeks away!

[side note: I got that tattoo when I was fifteen - an age when I thought I knew everything - and one of the things I knew was that getting a tattoo (no matter what it was) was awesome. In hindsight, I wish I had gotten something cooler - like something I didn't pick off the parlor's wall. So lame. I don't notice it anymore, unless someone points it out - and it makes me laugh because I was so determined - and so silly.]

Friday, April 9, 2010

From the Desk Fridays: Vacation Inspired Colors

This week, I shifted my focus to my other big project that I'll debut at this year's National Stationery Show. And once again, I have the Pantone chips strewn across my desk as I work through color selections. I can't seem to get away from the sorbet/summery hues, and I think it might have something to do with our trip to Florida next week - or the fact that it's felt like Florida here in NY for the past few days. I've been gathering lighter & brighter clothing for the trip and am drawn to all things bright, floral and striped. And I think my yearning for all-things-summery is carrying over into my projects. Luckily, with this project in particular, I think it'll work quite well. I'm excited to share it with you all early next month, just before the show.

So, I bid you adieu. I'll be back Monday, April 19 with some sunny photos and likely, more summery Pantone chips:)

Have a great weekend and a great next week!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And the winner is...

Coral & Lavender Rose!

Thank you all so much for your opinions & suggestions! I went with my gut and chose the colors that were speaking to me the loudest.

I know these colors above from J. Crew are a bit softer than mine - but how lovely are they, really? I might have to ditch the red, which was going to be the ribbon color. Might go with a calf brown instead. Or maybe even black. The ribbon color needs to go with every month, so it's a bit tricky, but I have a little time to figure that out.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of the 2011 Calendar in just a few weeks!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And the Playing Continues...

I told you color was everything. It's definitely the thing I stew over the longest when finalizing designs - and especially for this - the cover of the 2011 Calendar! It's big. Everything else is done. Printed & printing. But I can't decide on this simple color combo. It might be the sunshine filling the room right now or my serious dependence on warmer weather or my craving for all things sorbet and water icy - but I'm leaning towards these cheery colors: Coral with Lavender Rose and Coral with Dusty Rose - and possibly ditch the red. Are they too girly, though? Besides you, Tommy, most of my customers are women, anyway. But still. Are they? Does it matter?

[btw, I was leaning towards combo #3 yesterday because I love turquoise and red, but I don't think that brown is punchy enough for this.]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Playing with Pantone

This is how I decide on color. I move Pantone chips around on white paper like puzzle pieces until they fit just right. The pairs on the left are in contention for the calendar cover and must go with the red on the right. I think I have a favorite, but which is yours? 1, 2 or 3?

Monday, April 5, 2010


We saw Wilco this weekend in Montclair, NJ. I've seen them many times, but this one seemed distinct. To start, their set was, well, a set. These standing lamps lit with the music, the backdrop popped with lighting, they gave away two dinners for two to local restaurants, and half way through (and without stopping), they changed sets and did an entire acoustic set. It was pretty great.

See more photos from the Seattle show of this tour here.

[photos by Richie Wireman, courtesy of Wilco]

Friday, April 2, 2010

From the Desk Fridays: A Classic

I'm pretty sure I posted this last year, but it's too good not to share again.

Reminds me of one of my favorite Dad stories. Growing up, my dad, his brother & sister would each get tall chocolate bunnies in their Easter baskets. My dad & uncle would eat theirs immediately. My aunt would save hers. So, for days, my dad would take a bite of the bottom of the bunny & put it back. So the bunny got shorter & shorter in the basket. As if no one would notice?! Smooth, Dad, very smooth. :)

Have a great weekend. And Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Florence and the Machine

Another great band I'm listening to these days. On repeat. Especially this song.

[Check out more Florence and the Machine here]