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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

february sponsors

I would like to take this lovely rainy leap day to introduce you to some of the awesome ladies that have been residing on my side bar this past month. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out their blogs yet, let me further entice you with some beautiful photos and bios!

Hey there, I'm Kate; a writer, blogger & crafter. I blog over at Wake Up, Lovely about enjoying the little things in life, pretty knick knacks that take my fancy and everything that falls into my metaphorical love heart, from tattoos to books to my not all that fashionable outfits! I hope you'll stop by and say hello sometime!

My name is Caiti, and I'm a twenty-something designer, writer, wanderluster, and all-around creative explorer who will soon be moving to Dublin, Ireland, for several months. On my blog, Life is a Canvas, I explore all the ways that we can celebrate creativity in our daily lives -- not only through artistic pursuits like art, graphic design, and crafting, but also by infusing creativity into everyday activities like cooking, interacting with friends, our jobs, where we choose to shop, and the way we present ourselves to the world. I am committed to the notion that we are the artists for our lives, and I know that I want to create a life full of color, vibrancy, passion, exploration, and authenticity.

Hello, I'm Cosmia and I'm an Irish librarian blogging at Inflammatory Knit. My blog is a mixture of personal style and crafting with a little bit of Joanna Newsom love thrown in!

Hello! I'm a 20-something freelance graphic designer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I created my blog to share my entrepreneurial experiences, as well as my crafty endeavors. On my blog you'll find everything from webdesign, drawing, and small business advice, to travel adventures, crocheting, and sewing felt animals! Grab a cup of coffee and pop on over!

Hello! I'm Sherry, a twenty something wife, stay at home mom, photographer, and vintage lover. I enjoy crafting, baking, and thrifting in my free time. Hop on over to my blog to follow along in my adventure called life!

Click around and enjoy some wonderful blogs! Hope your week is going well!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

featured sponsor: misfit librarian

This month, I had the opportunity to have the lovely lady over at Adventures of a Misfit Librarian as my featured sponsor. It's been great having her at the top of my sidebar all month! 

I asked her to introduce herself and answer a few questions to help my readers better get to know her. :)

Take it away!

My name is _______, but you can call me Misfit Librarian. I’m a 20-something librarian from Long Island. I love books, causing chaos, dying my hair odd colors, traveling, taking pictures, zombies, fashion and randomness.

What do you blog about?

My blog, Adventures of a Misfit Librarian, is about the randomness that is my life. I write about weird things that happen at work with patrons or my coworkers, odd little things that I do with my boyfriend/family/friends, recipes,

Why did you start blogging?
Honestly, I started blogging because of all of the weird things that I’d seen and done inside of the library that I work in.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m a weird person so lots of things (odd and not so odd) inspire me… Interactions with the public, other people’s blogs, photos, my own meandering mind, etc…

Describe your typical day.
I practically live at the library, so you’d think I’d have a typical day but I don’t. Being that I work in a public building nothing is ever the same aside from waking up at 7:45am most days and getting off from work at 5:00pm, and sometimes that doesn’t even happen.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Write what you know and what makes you happy. Always be yourself. And blog for you and if other people enjoy what you have to share, that is awesome. If they don’t, screw them.

Are there any projects or big goals you're working on or working towards?

Unfortunately I don’t right now, don’t I suck?
Absolutely not! ;)

Is there anything weird or funny that most people don't know about you? (a fear, habit, talent, etc..)
There are lots of weird things about me, but one weird thing that throws people off when they find out is the fact that I don’t like any meat but bacon. I honestly will not eat chicken, beef or any other portion of pork aside from bacon. Oh and it has to be crispy, if it isn’t I won’t eat it.

If you haven't yet, stop by her blog for some amusing tales of the goings-on in her library, and some great recipes too!

Links [ blog twitter pinterest ]

Be sure to check back for a post featuring the rest of my sponsors later this week!
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Friday, February 24, 2012

winter reading '12

Even though I haven't had much time for enjoyable reading these past few months, I didn't want to skip out on my seasonal reading post. I've been doing them every three months since last summer and it's something I kind of like! But since my typical reads for the winter have been Praxis test prep books and more children's books than I ever thought I'd be reading as an adult, I decided to go into the archives and pull out some of my favorite design books to share with you this month.

I got all of these books during college and they served some great inspiration. I'd definitely recommend picking them up if you get inspired by design work that incorporates a lot of handmade elements, like ink, paper, and found objects. These books are the kind of thing that made me realize I maybe wasn't meant to have a typical graphic design job. :)

New Vintage Type
Classic Fonts for the Digital Age
Steven Heller and Gail Anderson

This book is packed with gorgeous ads, labels, posters, packaging, and other design work that are all created with vintage style typefaces. It gives the work a unique, decades old feel, full of texture and character. This book was a huge inspiration while I was creating my senior design project. (Note the crumpled post-its hanging out of the side.) I think the biggest compliment I got from the reviewers was for my unique use of type. It was really freeing to see some more "decorative" typefaces being used in an elegant way. Not only the type itself was old-style, but also the layouts. Think Victorian era ads.. lovely. It just goes to show you that good design doesn't have to be in one of the more popular fonts we all know and love. Decorative can be beautiful and well done as long as the design is fitting.

Dirty Fingernails
A One-of-a-Kind Collection of Graphics Uniquely Designed by Hand
John Foster

Another book you could get lost in by just flipping through it. It has a lot of screen printed and letterpressed beauties, but it also contains handmade objects such as plushies and bags as well. The book also features stunning package design, books, album art, and band posters.. all created by hand with ink, paper, wood, thread, fabric, and found objects. If you want change of pace from digital art, this book is definitely something you need to ad to your shelves. Each time you look at it you'll find something new to admire. :)

The Art of Using Handmade Elements in Graphic Design
Chen Design Associates

This is another favorite because it shows actual design projects that have some sort of handmade element mixed in. Like the second book, it doesn't just show print but also handmade objects. There's more beautiful examples of packaging and book design in this one too. This book is almost like a combination of the first two because along with the handmade elements, there is a lot of the vintage style type incorporated too. I think of the second book as a little more punky and artsy, and this book as a little more clean and elegant. It's good to have all your styles covered. ;)

Well that's it for now. I think anyone involved in creating packaging, invites, posters, ads, books, what have you, would benefit greatly from adding any of these books to their own personal collection. Even if you're only designing for your own brand, the ideas you could gain will definitely set you apart from the rest.

Have a great weekend! :)
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a birthday cake fit for a dad

So I ended up going with the very first cake on the list.. the milk chocolate malt ball cake from Krissy's Creations. Thanks for all your input! I really liked hearing what you thought. :)

I'm still dying to try the marshmallow layer one though. Another cake for another occasion!

This cake was a huge hit, and most importantly, my dad loved it.

The icing was like something I've never tasted before.. I guess it was kind of reminiscent of the chocolatey shell of a Whopper. It was smooth and thick but buttery and melt in your mouth delicious! Far from the fluffy whipped buttercreams I'm used to.

The only thing I think I would change to the cake itself is to possibly eliminate the nutmeg, or at least reduce it. I thought it overpowered the malt flavor a little but it was still delicious all the same. Something to experiment with later. :)

I adorned the top of the cake with almost an entire box of chopped Whoppers. Yum. Made it a little challenging to cut but it was all the more delicious to eat! :)

Hope you're having a great week!
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

i spy: malted milk

Whoppers, Malty Balls, Malted Milk Balls, Maltesers.. whatever name you want to give them, they are without a doubt my dad's absolute favorite candy. With that in mind, I've been stockpiling recipes for malted milk desserts whenever I see them so that I can make one when a dad-type occasion arrives. His birthday is this Friday so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to whip one of these bad boys up!

Now I just have to decide which one to make!

So many varieties to choose from! Which do you think looks the best? Right now I'm definitely leaning towards a cake for its birthday appropriateness, even though the tart and pots de creme look so good. The cakes with the marshmallows look crazy amazing but I think either the chocolate or vanilla might be more my dad's style. Decisions, decisions. 

I'll let you know what I chose next week, hopefully with a recipe post if I have time to document it!

Hope you're having a great week!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

proud sister

The first three photos are from our way from the airport to the hotel on Thursday. I tried to snap some quick skyline photos from the car on this beautiful blue sky day. The fourth photo is what it looked like from our hotel about two hours after the graduation on Friday. Crazy! I mean, I've been crying about wanting snow since December but this made me a little weary that we wouldn't be able to pick up/drop off my brother at the base throughout the weekend, or that we'd get stuck at the airport. Thankfully, the weather cleared up, the weekend went by flawlessly with lots of brother time, and we got home completely on schedule.

So now that we're back it can totally snow whenever it wants. ;)

Here are a few photos from the graduation..

The first two photos are of my brother's division. It was strange seeing him all dressed up and disciplined. So weird. He's doing really well and I'm super proud of him. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all have lovely plans with friends or loved ones!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

chicago time

Well, we're off to see my brother graduate from boot camp. We get to spend the weekend with him and then he stays there for about another week before he's on his way to California for his special forces training. Crazy!

I was trying to plan some posts to go up while I was away but I've been so frazzled trying to get ready for this and deal with everything else that my brain was just not in it. So I apologize in advance for the silence over the next few days, but life happens I suppose.

I'll be back full force next week though so check back then! Hopefully we won't get delayed at all.. from what I hear, flying in and out of Chicago is no cakewalk this time of year.

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

i spy: conversation hearts

I've been seeing some interesting twists lately on the old V Day standby, the conversation heart. Here are some I especially loved and wouldn't mind enjoying in place of the little boxed sugar hearts we've all known and loved since elementary school.


And how about the quilt in the pillow photo? Bonus eye candy. I also have one more thing to share with you today.. the winner of Megan's giveaway!

 And the randomly drawn number is..

 ..number one! Congrats Heather! Expect an email soon with the details of your prize!

Hope you're all having a great Monday!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

welcome february

{source - via}

This made me LOL literally so I had to share it. :)

It has certainly been one of those weeks, but in a humorous way - much like this sentiment.

I'd like to take a second to direct your attention to the right and check out this month's sponsors! Each and every one of their blogs is amazing so definitely pop over there if you get a chance. :)

I've been setting some mini goals each month and I'd like to keep up with that tradition so here goes..
1. Start exercising for serious.. my flexibility sucks these days. Which is why I might try out the sweet stretches from aerial ninja Sarah of Silly Grrl.
2. Rock my practicum. I'm right in the midst of it and doing well so far. I just want to get more comfortable and confident in my abilities this month!
3. Continue figuring out how to be a blogger and employed person. It's harder than I thought!

Things I am looking forward to this month..
*Going to Chicago for my brother's boot camp graduation. Haven't seen him since before Christmas!
*Having a happy, relaxed Valentine's Day and cooking at home with Charlie. :)
*My dad's birthday!
*Snow??? Please!! Screw spring until I get a snow day!

What things are you striving for/looking forward to this month? It's a leap year so we totally get an extra day to do ALL THE THINGS!


Have you entered Megan's giveaway? One of her crazy awesome prints is up for grabs! Click to check it out!

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