Oooh, look who’s back. The proper side of me.

http://pantherqueen.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/feather-duster/

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Famous Last Words

“I’ve got an idea.”

For years (and years and years) now, my brain and my mouth have not yet reached an understanding to filter what gets created and what falls from my lips.

I’m supposed to think this stuff out before I talk about it, but that never happens. Maybe it’s my way of holding myself accountable, but it’s more like a hope for other people getting excited for me.

My most recent ideaventure was to start an invitation company. This means something along the lines of taking advantage of my talents in the design genre, and try to make cash from it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve done work for people for free.

A website here, a flyer there, a logo every so often. When I create these things, I get lost in the little world that the high of the creation process turns into, and begin to really enjoy what’s going on. It might take me an hour to find the perfect font for just one letter, but ….fonts! You guys!! It’s habit-forming, and I love it.

As much as I love lining things up so the edges are JUST right, that same OCD will drive me more than a little insane if the design lines up on one side but not on the other, or the fill (for some unknown reason) isn’t coming out in the exact same texture in my head.

I wouldn’t trade that love for any other.

After doing this sort of thing (usually for free) for close to 15 years, it dawned on me the other day that I’m in a good place to pimp my skills. People walk in here all the time that will absolutely need invitations, flyers, announcements, thank-you’s, et cetera. There’s nothing stopping me from putting up my own business cards – except that they haven’t been created yet, but whatever.

So that’s where I’m at with things. It doesn’t feel too much like a conflict of interest, because it’s not like this is a design house, or a print shop, so cross your fingers. I’m not sure where to post all that up online, because I *do* need to have a portfolio, but hey.

It’ll work out, right? Right.

Revisiting joie de vivre

After the dust finally settled on our move, we started unpacking – both physically and mentally. One of the boxes in the back of my mind was on the Vintage shelf, where I store my love for many things vintage, retro, antique and timeless.

My love affair with all of that was rekindled when we ended up purchasing a Craftsman style 1940’s home. Spiders in the sink? Ants on the floor? Sticking windows? Creaky noises? It all bothers me much less than it would have two months ago, and I am smitten. The thought of having a cute little tiled kitchen to cook in… comfortable reading corners… tiny cups of tea… solid glass doorknobs… it’s just too much Wonderful for me, and has to have an outlet.

I’m lucky enough to have a large amount of creative freedom at work, and after redoing the general design on the brochures, my thoughts turned to revamping our website. My design preferences for flourishes, fine lines, parchment, typography – it all began to show through in my mock-ups.

There is quite an abundance of vintage stuff online, so I’d like to take a moment and share some of my inspiration, the most recent of which can be blamed on Anthony Bourdain. That’s right, Tony, I said it – this is your fault! His Disappearing Manhattan episode showcased “Marlow & Sons”, a classic French restaurant in Brooklyn, which spoke to me immediately. All his shows (and books, and general presence) inspire me, that one was just the most recent memory and appealed to my art side as well as my foodie side.

While the thought of chicken liver paté doesn’t currently spark my appetite – the ambiance definitely struck a chord. The decor! The menus! The flourishes!! It was just lovely. View their site here: Marlow And Sons

Other interesting sites of the moment are as follows:
Vintages
Tongue In Cheek
Vintage Indie Wedding Guide
Royal Steamline

The Kindle

So.

Kindle.

I am not familiar with the history behind that name, or much else with that product besides it being an e-book reader. (Researching it will make me want one even more.) The response to this product has reminded me greatly of the thoughts from when mp3 players started to arrive on the scene. People really enjoyed the fact that they could carry their whole music library on a tiny portable machine and listen at their leisure. They kept buying CDs (many people still do), but mp3 players offered convenience.

The Kindle will never replace the feel of an actual library. Growing up, I had the pleasure of living nearby several libraries – beautiful architecture, high ceilings, a silence that was almost holy, and the calming sensation that only libraries can produce. There was something about all those books waiting quietly, sitting for years in sunlight and dust motes. The atmosphere bled knowledge, a pure sense of entertainment, and an almost Gothic tranquility.

These days, libraries are still pleasant places to spend hours browsing or studying, but the ones I’ve visited in California have lost something in translation. That sense of calm is still there, along with the nice touch of being able to read for free, but there is a definite lean towards a modern and more digital route. As nice as the Internet is, I honestly wish today’s youth was a little less technologically inclined.

For those of you who love books and libraries as much as I do, the Kindle appears to be able to bring the sensations home in a semi-convenient package. This would work very well for those with lengthy commutes (who are able to read and not get motion-sick), or those with casual desk jobs that want to catch up on their reading without having to always carry various books around. Yes, I understand you’ll still be physically holding something, but it’s different.

The only thing that worries me is the potential for ad intrusion. Once we move into territory where Kindle downloads are highly popularized we may start seeing things along the lines of “Download this free e-book, paid for by our sponsors”, and then have the print (on your screen) reformatted to fit various ads. Perhaps add in an extra page here and there that is a full-page ad. I know you get what you pay for (or don’t pay for), but these sorts of things seem to be always out there.

What prompted my entry was the following article on the NYTimes blog, “The Kindle Lets Amazon Make a Lot From the Few”.

They’re right: this definitely won’t overtake physical book buying, and I doubt libraries have much to worry about, it’s just – as they put it – the right product for the right customers. Now if only someone would buy me one so I can test and review it properly!

50 refreshing business card designs

50 refreshing business card designs. Just passing along the daily dose of self-loathing that might inspire some of you.

http://www.graphicfetish.com/50-refreshing-business-card-designs/

Jesus Vs the Dinos – link exchange

Starting you off with a balanced breakfast of 100 Links to Inspire Your Designs, courtesy of Mashable.com.

In other news: a tuatara!

Also, some folks at a church said they saw the face of Jesus in a seat cushion. Uh, that looks more like a Golem to me, but whatever works, I guess.

Bookmarks and coffee

Cereal.
Coffee.

At work, consuming both, and taking a moment to myself before heading into the plethora of tasks ahead of me. Though I enjoy my Sundays off – allowing myself to overindulge on laziness, cuddling, and day-long brunch – being in the office isn’t bad either. It’s usually quiet enough to get real work done and consider a Plan Of Action for various projects. That doesn’t mean I want to spend all my Sundays here, it means that the rare times I have to come into the office aren’t completely horrendous.

Plus I get Monday & Tuesday off.

iGoogle is my homepage here, and one of my favorite widgets is the “Most Recent Public Bookmarks” provided by del.icio.us. Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) it tosses up a great one, and today was no exception.

Here it is.

Booooooom.com gives you 17 Creative Websites To Bookmark (Unless You Are Dumb).

Just like it says – unless you are dumb. Mimes are excluded in this case.

I skimmed the list, got about a page deep into Meathaus and immediately closed my browser because it was causing me to go into Artsy Mind Convulsions. A quick scan of the other sites proved much of the same.

Give yourself some awesome – GO TO THESE SITES.

Anyway, back to Cup 2 of coffee, and using my destruct-o rays on the disaster that is my inbox. Happy Sunday, kids.