Cranky Pressman: Letterpress for the Old and Crotchety at Heart

Cranky Pressman greeting card

Cranky Pressman is a letterpress printing company out of Salem, OH with the funniest freaking tongue-in-cheek website and branding. Man, do they tickle my funny bone. I love it when a company flies in the face of convention, takes chances and does the often contemptuous and predictable job of marketing in their own refreshing way. I suggest clicking around their site and getting immersed in the persona of the Cranky Pressman, and to learn a thing or three about letterpress.

Recently, they held a little contest disguised as a threat to fire one of their employees unless someone gave them a good reason not to. Go ahead and read the whole convoluted story.

Here’s the tweet I posted in response:

A tweet sent to the Cranky Pressman

….so I won a calendar and it is a magnificent work of art!

Cranky Pressman Year of the Snake Calendar


And here’s the hilarious card that came with it:

Message inside card: With a heavy heart and a lump in one's throat, we would like to bid you thanks.


Posted in Graphic Design, Letterpress, Typography | Tagged | Leave a comment

Some Realness

The following video comes with a disclaimer: it may make you uneasy, but I insist you watch it.

MAN from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.

It’s an uncomfortable fact that somehow, on some level, we are all complicit with what takes place in this animation. We just don’t see it happening; we only buy the products that are produced by the machine and are a result of the torture of animals, the dependence on oil and it’s by-products, the exploitation of other humans, the exploitation of every last single one of Earth’s natural resources. These atrocities are happening at the other end of a long chain of distributors, in distant lands, so when we pick up our factory-farmed meat at the big chain grocery store with our double-discount coupon, conveniently wrapped in cellophane, we just don’t make that mental connection.

I’m not trying to be holier than thou. I’m guilty, too. We all are.

Case in point: When the BP oil spill took place in the gulf of Mexico in 2010, it was so easy to villainize the powers that be at BP without performing due diligence on ourselves. BP was drilling so dangerously deep in the gulf because–outside of their own fiscal interests and those of their shareholders–they were responding to our demand. Our demand. We were complicit. Most of us did not stop driving cars or partaking in the wonders of petroleum-based products or stop ordering things online or stop shopping in the grocery stores and malls or buying things made in China. If you did any one of those things, I am in awe and I would like to personally thank you.

Duck Victims of the BP oil spill

This picture is making my hands feel dirty. Image by Smite Me on Flickr.

One way to stop the madness is to think closer to home, and think community-based. With goods produced on a smaller scale, in a web of interconnectedness and awareness, we cut out the middleman and the profits go directly to people you know personally. Think farmer’s markets, neighborhood grocery stores, handmade items by Etsy sellers in your area. Yes, these things cost more. However I believe we can all take a good look at where our dollars are going these days and make adjustments. I mean, I just bought 5 shirts at the thrift store for $10, several of them with designer labels. With a good ironing and a little mending, you could shop at Thrift Stores exclusively and save your money for something nice from an independent designer. I’d rather have a used J.Crew top than a brand new Wal-Mart piece of sweatshop crap for the same price, wouldn’t you?

A couple of blogs that address how to build community–and the very real crises that we are facing– are Nature Bats Last and Resilient Communities. I respect these two authors highly for what they are doing, and the information they are providing. Be forewarned, though–reading Guy McPherson is like getting a sledgehammer of truth to the face. If you’re not ready for it, I really can’t blame you.

This animation was helpful to me in another unexpected way–reminding me that art and design can be impetus for social change, or at least awareness. I have been struggling with how to connect my love for design with my deepest desire to be of use to the world in a real way. Design, art, and animation folks… shouldn’t we heed the call?


Posted in Social Responsibility, Uncategorized | 5 Responses

Little Life Snaps

Early morning light + caffeine = inspiration!!!

It’s been a long time since I showed you around the apartment, and things have changed a bit. Something about sharing a good, strong brew with my babe with the light filtering in (we get great light here, with the southern exposure… I could never live in a garden apartment, I’d have year-round Seasonal Affective Disorder) makes me want to capture the little bits and pieces of our lives.

The Living Room

I don't want to take down my Christmas decorations.

My Dresser with art and accessories
Poster designed by Paula Scher for the 2nd International Poster Biennial.

Gifts from friends: a painting and a jewelry box with Lillian engraved in bakelite

Painting by Jenelle Madrigal; antique jewelry box with my name engraved in Bakelite from the Antique and Resale Shoppe.


My sister visits often, and one day she surprised me by creating these altars to ancestors passed. This one is in honor of my husband’s father. In Santeria, one offers trinkets, candy, and personal belongings to the ancestors, one always keeps a candle lit, and keep these gifts on a white tablecloth along with a clear glass of purified water nearby.

An altar to my father-in-law

An Altar to my Grandparents And here’s one for my grandfathers, stepfather, and great-grandmother Lillian. I’ve got my paternal grandfather’s swiss army knife and his employee badge here for him. As the belief goes, your ancestors will be helpful to you in your life if you honor them in death. I like this idea, and I actually do feel very positive energy when the candles are lit.

My Decorated Christmas TreeI don’t want to take down my Christmas Tree! It provides such a nice warmth, glow and atmosphere. Can I keep it up pleeeeeease? (Not sure who I am asking here.)


A snapshot of my kitchen

Homemade kombucha on the Kitchen Counter What’s that you say? Oh, it’s just homemade Kombucha! (pssst.. my Scoby can beat up your Scoby.)

The Dining Room

Dining Room Window

The most ubiquitous of posters - Van Gogh's SunflowersThe most ubiquitous of posters – Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Purchased at a garage sale for $3.


My cat chilling where he shouldn't... our bed

My cat chilling where he shouldn't... on our bed

I wanted to keep the bedroom minimal and calming – hence why the dresser is in the living room. The lamps are from West Elm – I have an itch to do thisto them one day.

a painting by my grandfather A painting by my grandfather. Correction: A grainy photo of a painting by my grandfather.

Creative Cutouts

Standard in pre-war apartments are cutouts where people used to keep their telephones. Now you can get creative with them! They’re such cute little opportunities for mini-surprises.

Old Telephone cutout with artwork displayed inside

Diana Ross record sitting in my Hallway Cutout

I’m glad I got these photos up: we may not be living here for much longer. (I’ll reveal more details as they become solidified!) We’ve lived in this little place for two and a half years now, it’s crazy cheap, and the neighborhood is nice but there is nothing to conveniently walk to. I’d really like to stop using my car so much; I’d rather live in the neighborhoods I tend to drive to all the time!

Oh, and since the camera’s out, here’s me (in my dope-ass wig! Do you love it?) making the universally flattering pose, first made famous by insecure Myspacers circa 2005:

Lillian making a smoochy face

p.s. wish me luck, I’m having oral surgery tomorrow morning. meh.

Posted in Home Decor, Interior Design | 5 Responses

Be Your Own Guru


“Remember that the need for nurturance is a genuine human need. To combat an unmet need with willpower is both foolish and futile. Only when we heal the wound of separation and accept and love ourselves without judgement does the need for external nurturance gradually wither away. One way this will manifest is in the diet. Without willpower, without denial or self-coercion, without the need for should and shouldn’ts, the relationship with food will change.”
-C. Eisenstein

New year, new you, new books and blogs on how to be the best you can be. You may be tired, overweight, lacking in motivation, stuck in a job you don’t love, and overall, in need of an overhaul. This might have you pouring over books in the self-help or diet section of Barnes and Noble, looking for that foolproof system in getting yourself to where you think you ought to be.

Lord knows that was me when I first found out that I had breast cancer, in January of 2011. I watched Crazy Sexy Cancer, I listened to Louise Hay CDs in the car, I read all about the Budwig Protocol, the Gerson Therapy, read Life Over Cancer, watched “The Secret”, read Abraham Hicks, and researched, researched, researched everything online about anything that might mitigate cancer. I can’t tell you how much conflicting information I came across. It was overwhelming, and I just didn’t know who to believe.

A little backstory for the newcomers:

As some readers might know, after seeking out the Gerson Therapy–and being turned down–I was referred to a holistic MD. So distraught by all the different ideas I’d read about, I decided to just blindly jump in and take the advice of my doctor word for word. I had the financial support of some very kind friends and strangers and I did not want to let anyone down… I had to do this full force for the sake of those who want to see me live. I was EXTREMELY determined to do his protocol exactly as laid out. Meat and eggs only from grass fed and pastured animals, organic greens three times per day, fresh green juice 4 times per day, pastured beef bone broth, unlimited sprouted, organic and truly raw almonds (did you know that truly raw almonds are illegal in the U.S.?) winter squash, unlimited amounts of raw cream (also illegal and difficult to procure in the U.S.) and my one indulgence–wild blueberries–every day. In addition to the food is the supplement regime. Injecting mistletoe into my abdomen daily, and taking an average of 100 pills per day.

For the first 3 months, I followed the regimen perfectly. It consumed all of my time and energy, but I did have help in the form of a personal chef as a gift from my brother. He’s been a life-saver! He turned the food preparation into a no-brainer, the food was there: all I had to do was eat it. And I did, with all the gusto I could muster.

In the process, I felt better energetically, I lost weight initially, and everyone commented on how well I looked! I wasn’t taking any “conventional” treatments from my oncologist… I was completely relying on my diet and supplements to take care of the cancer. During this time period, the only sweet I allowed myself was one shared dessert with my husband at a farm-to-table restaurant in St. Paul, MN. I was proud of myself… proud of my ability to resist, proud of my perfectionism, proud of the near-neuroticism.

At the next checkup with my oncologist–who’d agreed to monitor me during this holistic journey–the CT scans showed that the cancer was still growing. Specifically in my spine, liver and lungs.


Where did I go wrong? I did EVERYTHING right! I took everything my doctor said literally! And now my oncologist put a new chemotherapy on the table, and after a discussion with my holistic MD, we both agreed to take the chemotherapy while adhering to the diet and adjusting the supplement program (I went from 100 pills per day down to 60, and mistletoe injections 3 times per week, oh happy day!) and with this new set of circumstances, I pushed forward.

Hey, Life, why not throw me another challenge? Thanks! -Lill

The summer of 2012 was eventful. In early June, the swelling in my brain from the dying brain tumor caused me to have a seizure. I blacked out and felt I was gone for days and days (but was really only “gone” for 20 minutes or so.) When I was cognizant in the hospital, I saw myself surrounded by people I love and who love me. We were all joking together (as is a treasured and time-honored coping mechanism amongst my family members.) I was in the hospital for two days, and was treated to their food options. French toast, sausage, instant mashed potatoes, spaghetti, baked potatoes and the like.

Hospital Food

Low-fat milk and Smart Balance? Sign me up!

I relished the hospital food. It was sweet, it had starchy textures, it was fun. It was actually the best part of being there! I ordered the hot chocolate twice! It was almost a relief, to lay down, give in and say “to hell with the diet” for a couple of days. Strange, no? Where was my steely resolve in all of this?

Oh yeah, it backed off and let me feel like a human for a little bit. A human being who isn’t perfect in the face of adversity, a human with nothing to prove to anyone, a human acting slightly irresponsibly even when dealing with a deadly disease.

The Guilt Monster

Since midsummer until today, I’ve followed a pattern of adhering to my prescribed diet to the letter for a couple weeks at a time, and then binging on sugary things, and have felt guilt and shame.

“The food is being prepared FOR me, for Chrissakes, what kind of spoiled brat am I?” I would tell myself. With every sweet that passed my lips, I would think, “I’m killing myself, I must stop, I’m being bad, all these people are supporting me and this is how I behave…” Serious, serious feelings of guilt.

But, the truth is, I was “perfect” in the beginning (as many people are when they think they’ve found THE DIET TO END ALL DIETS), and where did it get me? The cancer grew anyway. Maybe putting all my faith in one man’s philosophy is a bit extreme. My own intuition needed to be accounted for. And happiness needed to be accounted for, as well. The diet had isolated me. I avoided all social situations where alcohol or food was being served, and I have missed out on so many things because the thought of sitting there with some water and the food I brought with me–and pretending to have a good time being completely sober and eating almonds–caused me too much anxiety. So I’ve been avoiding connecting with people in real life, and you know what, that can’t be good.

Trusting my inner guru

So this is what my intuition is telling me now: crowd out, rather than eliminate, foods. I’ll continue to eat what my doctor has prescribed, and if there is room left in the tummy, I will indulge in something satisfying daily, instead of letting the urges build to monumental proportions. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks and my sanity is benefitting. I ate pie with my family on Christmas Day. I had 2 glasses of Champagne on New Year’s Eve. I had biscotti with coffee for several days in a row. But there hasn’t been any binging on anything taking place, because the urge is not there. I’m no longer aiming for perfectionism, and there is SO MUCH MORE to life than being pure!

#morningcoffee (Espresso) Day22

If this ain't heaven, then I don't know what is.

I want to share this story with you because I want you to think twice before putting all your trust into one person, one entity, one opinion. Pull from different sources, and ask yourself what makes the most sense to you and what do you think you can shelve? For me, demonizing a macronutrient (carbohydrates) doesn’t make complete sense, especially when it has wreaked so much havoc on my emotional well-being. Sharing pizza with friends is good for the soul, just like carrots are good for your eyes. So for the total picture, seek out many sources of inspiration, and then ask yourself what makes sense and what feels right. Be your own guru, and watch out for dogmatic approaches. There are always pieces missing from those puzzles.

2013 and Beyond

As for the cancer, it continues to grow in my liver and brain, but has reversed in my bones. I just went through 14 rounds of brain radiation to my entire head and it has knocked me on my butt… I am so very tired these days. My radiation doc says that as far as liver disease is concerned, mine is nowhere near as advanced as most cases that he sees, so that offers hope. My intuition also tells me that the supplements that I am on are invaluable to my quality of life, they make all the difference in the world, and I am very glad that I’ve found my holistic doctor for this reason.

I don’t have any resolutions per se, however I would like to commit to seeing life beyond cancer and living more fully. I want to create more, I want to design, I want to learn permaculture, I want to keep moving forward despite the things that crop up to hold me back. No one’s life is guaranteed, it is such a fragile thing and death is such a taboo subject in our society. I want to spend more time with friends, and I want to express myself. It’s all part of the healing path… the healing path that I have personally selected, the one that feels the best.

Posted in Cancer, Who doesn't like fun? | 9 Responses

Brain Tumor Operation / Gerson Update

First of all I must say, the response to my previous post has been completely overwhelming! I am absolutely blown away by the support that I have received from all corners of my life. People that I haven’t seen in over 15 years, casual acquaintances, people I have never even met before have been donating and offering words of encouragement and support. Did I do something right over the years? Is this how Karma works? (Dare I question why?)

The Operation

The brain radiation treatment was surprisingly, eerily uneventful. I was placed on a metal table with a mask over my face, bolted down so I wouldn’t move a millimeter. Lasers poised, my brain was blasted, but I didn’t feel a thing. The whole operation took all of ten minutes, and afterwards, I was in the waiting room talking to the radiologist about the steroids I was to take to prevent swelling in the skull. Done and done.

Once home, I was pleased and completely flabbergasted to watch the donations come in. I became confident that I would be able to go to the Gerson Institute–the one in Mexico, not in Hawaii, as I found out that that is considered a “retreat” and not a licensed treatment center–and I started to put the wheels in motion. Since it was all a little confusing, I decided to call their office in San Diego to make sure I was going through the correct steps of applying. After a few questions, the woman on the phone told me that they no longer accept patients who have had brain metastasis, because of a risk of seizure with their treatment. Which means, no Gerson Institute for me. I was crestfallen, to say the least. Of all the alternative cancer treatments that I have heard of, Gerson has the highest success rate. I said “thank you for letting me know,” hung up the phone, and proceeded to freak the f**k out.

What now?

I began searching, searching, searching for the next best thing–something comparable, something equally radical, something to give me hope. I spent a couple days on the couch, reading everything i could, between fits of crying, grasping at the air and shouting “I love life! I want to live! I am going to live damnit!”

Fortunately, a client of mine has a friend who has lived with breast cancer for the past 30 years. She has the same type of hormone receptors, has had brain and bone mets like myself, and every single alternative doctor and treatment that I have heard of, she has been to them already. What a wealth of information and experience she could share with me, and I spoke with her about what my next move should be. She insisted that I go to a doctor in San Francisco named Dr. Tom Cowan, an M.D. who incorporates holistic healing in his practice. I had a phone consultation with him last Friday, and he insisted that there is no point in coming out to see him just yet, and that I need to get started on his protocol right away.

Like the Gerson therapy, the protocol involves lots of juicing, lots of vegetables, and 100% organic ingredients. What sets it apart is that I am instructed to use fats liberally, and not just any fat – the fat of grass-fed, pastured and humanely raised animals, butter and coconut oil. The theory here is that solid tumors respond better to a state of ketosis, whereas cancers of the blood and lymph respond better to a vegan diet. He also has me on a very extensive, strict supplement regime, that includes up to 100 pills a day. I just started on the food and supplements, and it is very confusing to time them correctly, and it definitely takes up a lot of time and energy to get it just right. Added to this, I will start injecting mistletoe extract into my abdomen every morning at 9am. I am still waiting to receive the mistletoe-that should be a fun addition to the mix. (Read about the efficacy of mistletoe extract as a cancer treatment here.)

Black and White photo of Mistletoe

Mistletoe by andrevanb on Flickr

Without the support that I have received from all you wonderful heroes, this type of treatment would not have been available to me. But now I am able to explore other options outside of the oncologist down the block, the one who just happens to be covered by medicare.

My Doctor’s Surprising Endorsement

Speaking of my oncologist, I had more chemo scheduled yesterday, but I nervously broke the news to him–that although I respect everything has done to me–er, I mean, for me– thus far, I am going to be trying something different, and if he would please monitor me through the process. To my absolute surprise, he gave me his full blessing. In his words, “All I can offer you is more dreadful chemo, and if you can find something better, I want you to do it.”


It seems that even he is aware of the flaws in the current cancer industry. My husband asked him what the chances of me responding to this current round of treatment, and he said “The chances of you improving or staying the same after 6 more rounds of chemo is about one in three. After that, it is unlikely that we would see an improvement, because at that point the cancer would have figured out how to be resistant, and then it’s on to the next chemo. There’s little chance that we would see a 100% improvement, and all we would be doing is trying to extend your life as best we can, with what we have available.”

Well, I probably don’t have to explain to anyone that those odds suck, and I might as well take up knitting as a cancer therapy with the results I’m likely to get with this chemo. The doctor agreed to give me scans once every couple of months, and I’ll still receive a couple of medications from him in the meantime.

On a Wing and a Prayer

I am putting all my faith into Dr. Cowan, but lord knows whether this will be the beginning or the end of my journey to heal. We’ll see in a few months if I’m responding to his protocol, and if not, it’s off to the next best option, and the next, and the next. I have no idea how much this will cost in the end, which is why you will see that I still have a donation button present on the site. I am so incredibly grateful for everyone that has donated so far, I can’t even begin to explain it. Without these donations, we would already be in the hole from the first round of blood tests and supplements, and by some grace of God, I have been supported by a network of caring people who would like to see me survive. Imagine that.

I have been inspired to live a life full of purpose and the desire to help others. If I am given the gift of living a long life, it shall be a life of paying it forward and acting in accordance with my deepest held beliefs. It’s only right that I have been given the chance to live, that I should pass that on to someone else in any way that I can. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Responses

I Have a Brain Tumor, and I Need Your Help

Picture of a brain tumor

There's the dirty little devil

If you’re a good friend of mine, or a friend on Facebook, you probably know that I have been dealing with cancer for the past year. Initially I had a tumor the size of a fist in my right breast, and was treated with 16 rounds of chemotherapy, which failed to shrink the tumor. Therefore, I underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction and 30 rounds of radiation to my chest.

Once this was completed in November of 2011, I was excited to get back to “normal” life–building my business, hanging out with friends who had not seen me in a long time, and simply reveling in the day-to-day activities of a healthy person. However, that quickly changed.

Around Thanksgiving I started feeling some soreness that started in my lower-right side, which I attributed to starting a new workout regime. I tried to think nothing of it, but the pain began to really interfere with daily activities. I mentioned this to my oncologist, who sent me to get an MRI, CT and a bone scan.

No…Anything but that!

The results came back. The scans detected cancer in my lung, liver, spine, ribs and pelvis. And of course, with this news, came more radiation, chemotherapy, and the need to walk with a cane. The radiation folks were able to blast the tumor in my pelvis, and now comes the slow process of regenerating bone in that area. But my turmoil has not ended there.

About three weeks ago I woke up on the morning of a chemotherapy treatment with a massive headache. I mentioned this to my oncologist, and he responded, to my surprise, that if the headaches persist I ought to go for a brain MRI. And persist they did. I went in for the test, and the results came back… a nickel-sized tumor on the front of my brain.

So, where do I go from here?

As I write this, I am preparing to have the brain tumor hit with a high-dose radiation beam tomorrow, February 9th, 2012. The doctors have confidence that it will “get it.” However, there may still be some lingering cells in my body that are waiting to turn into tumors, and there’s no way to tell whether or not that will happen. Apparently, I can only wait and see.

But, there is hope.

I’ve decided that I can no longer submit myself to these treatments. Once my chemotherapy is over – which would be a week and two days from today – I have decided make arrangements to visit the Gerson Retreat in Hawaii.

From their website:

The Gerson Therapy is a nutritional program that utilizes the body’s own mechanism in the treatment of chronic debilitating illness. It was introduced 50 years ago by Max Gerson, M.D. Gerson Therapy is a detoxification and rebuilding program. It consists of flooding the body every day with nutrients from about 20 pounds of organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables.

As a result of detoxification and increased oxygenation, cellular regeneration of all organs occurs, in particular that of the liver, and the immune system is restored to its optimal function.

Gerson therapy may be used to help recovery from chemotherapy or after surgery or radiation.

The woman who helps me clean my apartment personally knows two people who have healed themselves from Cancer using the Gerson therapy. A blogger in Australia named Jessica Ainscough details how she saved her own arm from amputation using the Gerson therapy as well. You can read all about it on her site, The Wellness Warrior.

I believe that my doctors have the ability to kill tumors left and right, and I have no doubt of their capabilities in that respect. However, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery do not address the underlying reasons that cause people to get cancer in the first place. I would like to get to the bottom of this as soon as I can. The survivor statistics for my type of metastatic cancer are pretty grim. I refuse to be among those statistics.

Give What You Can, If You Can

Two weeks with a guest at the Gerson retreat starts at $11,000, not including airfare. Once a patient returns home, they must continue the therapy for another two years. The therapy consists of numerous, 100% organic juices a day made with a top-of-the-line juice press. Thank goodness my husband is gainfully employed, and we can fund this with credit cards at least for a little while. But anything that you can contribute to make this a little easier on us will never be forgotten. I am pledging that if I can raise a considerable amount towards the Gerson retreat and therapy, that I will donate 10% of my profits–once my business is again profitable–to an ethical charity. That’s just the kind of show that I am running around here.

I am planning to live a very long time, and therefore I am taking responsibility for my health and doing the hard work that is required to keep me here. Thanks.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Responses

Favorite Holiday Party Scenes

In the month of December I had the pleasure of attending not one, but two parties hosted by over-the-top antique collecting friends. Read More »

Posted in Home Decor, Interior Design, Pads with Panache, Who doesn't like fun? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Typography Cupcakes: An Edible Type Tutorial

Edible Typography Image

When planning the holiday party for The Society of Typographic Arts, I overzealously blurted out “TYPOGRAPHY CUPCAKES!” when asked if there was anything I could contribute. I was sure as heck that someone out there in this design world had embarked on such a project before, so it would be just a matter of googling to find that certain someone and their accompanying tutorial.

Boy, did I overestimate the design world’s appetite for edible type.

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Posted in Graphic Design, Photography, Typography | Tagged , , , | 7 Responses

Recent Work

I was super thrilled to design these posters for the Northalsted Business Alliance for their holiday gift card program. Northalsted is Chicago’s LGBT epicenter (also known to locals as “Boy’s Town”) so I knew I had free reign to do something creative and memorable!

Gotta love clients that value good design and aren’t afraid to take chances! (I hope this means more chances for some fun projects down the line, too!)

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How I Decorated My Apartment for Next to Nothing

There are very few things in life that I will pay full price for, like groceries, wine, or a nice dinner out. However, there are some luxuries in life where I absolutely refuse to drop top dollar, like on clothing. Why spend a bundle to look good when you get the same effect with some patience and a discerning eye cast over the Marshall’s clearance aisle or the local thrift store (on half price day, of course?) This kind of vigilance has yielded such gems as a $3 Fendi Shirt and $1 Polo Dress (with its $120 price tag still attached).

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be willing to spend real money on a piece of clothing that is made by an independent designer, with quality materials, and will last a long time… and thankfully I’ve been in a lucrative enough position to do so several times in the past.

The other major area in life that I pinch serious pennies is on furniture. Looking around my living room, I’ve tallied the amount that I have spent on furniture, and the grand total comes to exactly $65.

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Posted in Home Decor, Interior Design, Pads with Panache, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Responses

Blog Action Day: The World’s Water Crisis

Transit Poster Advertisement for LIDA

Transit Poster Advertisement for LIDA

In honor of Blog Action Day, today’s blog post is dedicated to the subject of water, specifically, the dwindling supply of safe drinking water the world over. In 2009 I had the honor of creating a branding package for LIDA, the Laboratorio Internazionalle Dell’Acqua in Milan, Italy, a museum completely dedicated to the science of water. In my research for this project I came across some extremely startling statistics, and I believe its high time that we all listen up and take action.

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General Store Typography + The Blessings of Fall

A couple of weekends ago, we found ourselves taking yet another road trip to Wisconsin for a housewarming party. There we met a very woodsy gent who pointed us in the direction of an apple orchard that was on the way back to Chicago. After a couple of unintentional detours, we founds ourselves in New Berlin, WI at Weston’s Antique Apples’ apple harvest festival! The general store in New Berlin was left completely intact, and I was ever-so-enthralled with the many pristine examples of antique advertising, packaging, and typography!

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Posted in Antique Typography, Graphic Design, Packaging, Photography, Road Trip!, Who doesn't like fun? | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

More Craft Love

Thanks to all the Renegade Craft Fair participants who responded to this post. I’m as psyched as you are to have your work featured on our blog! Here’s a few shots sent in from crafters and designers:

Josh and Renée from Robu Roku sent me these photos of their neat-o creations!

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Pads with Panache

The kitsch life in Milwaukee

This past weekend I was hosted by my good friend Rebecca R. in Wauwatosa, WI, which is a charming little suburb outside of Milwaukee. Her neighborhood is populated with arts-and-crafts style bungalows and mid-century modern ranch houses. Her apartment is in the converted attic of a bungalow, and she has done an impeccable job of decorating on a budget. Her style is pretty kitsch, and she has a lot of collections, however, she keeps them organized, with space around and between items, and also keeps an eye on proportion.

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Posted in Pads with Panache, Purchases worth Making, Road Trip!, Who doesn't like fun? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hidden Chicago

Birdhouse Menagerie

Hidden Chicago Image

Seen in Ravenswood Manor near the Francisco Brown Line Stop on 9/19/10.

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The morning after…

The morning after the dinner party image.
…the dinner party.

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Renegade Craft Fair Highlights

Yesterday was a gay time had by all at the Renegade Craft Fair! The weather cooperated beautifully and I had quite a time strolling around all of the booths. What a huge collection of talent, so much so that it was kind of a little too much for me to handle all at once. I also think that the vendors who were placed at either end of Division street had an unfair advantage; other spectators, like myself, must have spent more time perusing those booths, as once you get towards the middle it becomes just a blur of awesomeness.

Below are some of my favorite shots of my favorite items and booths at the fair. (Scroll to the bottom to find links to other vendors whose work I loved but whose photos turned out less-than-stellar.)

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Posted in Graphic Design, Home Decor, Illustration, Interior Design, Purchases worth Making, Who doesn't like fun? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Responses


An update to yesterday’s post about Marjie Best’s pillows… she’s offering a 10% discount for Love Driven Prints readers with the discount code “LOVEDRIVEN” at checkout. You rock, Marjie! And I forgot to mention – all the pillows are printed on organic cotton. So pretty-up your space with something special, wontcha?

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Pilloh! by Marjie Best

Ella pillow by Marjie Best

Would you just LOOK at these lovely pillows by Chicago designer Marjie Best! Such a whimsical and delightful aesthetic that could easily go on your couch from Design Within Reach or tucked into a child’s crib. Read More »

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Design Hero, Alvin Lustig

Lustig Office, Beverly Hills, 1945

Lustig Office, Beverly Hills, 1945 photo by Julius Shulman

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Posted in Book Design, Graphic Design | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Lifestyle Blog of a Graphic Designer who would like to share her Visual Fantasies With You

Why are you here?

You love to look, you have fine taste, you appreciate precise execution and elegant accidents.

Designers–and designers at heart–crave that their scenery uplift and inspire them in an oft-indescribable way. Say what you like about beauty being subjective; mathematicians and physicists throughout human history have been able to quantify-to an extent-what the human eye perceives as beauty. We are attracted to proportion, color, symmetry, and exactness. We are intrigued when, in the absence of one or more of these laws, tension is created. Its the difference between having your breath taken away, recoiling in disgust, or–worse yet–being rendered utterly indifferent.

Why am I here?

This blog is an extension of my design business, which in short is the business of bringing you beautiful things to admire, drawing crowds to your products and services because they are packaged in a way that is alluring, compelling and sometimes challenging.

Type Worshipper

I am enamored with the written, visual and oral history of communication. To your average Jane, the art of typography may not even be a blip on their cognitive radar. Yet when a type treatment just WORKS, they are drawn to it for reasons unknown. It exploits the grid. It’s big and boisterous. It is soft and quiet. It is stoic and serious. It speaks their language, or the language they wish to speak.

However, typography is not my only love. I gorge on all types of sexy visuals–fashion, decor, toys, posters, books, furniture–as well as delicious food!

Therefore, consider it my duty to provide you with the visual fantasies you crave. The things you want to yank off the screen and hang on the wall. Scenery you wish you could just paint into your life.

I promise to deliver and not to disappoint. If I fail in this quest, please register with the complaint department below.

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