Monday, June 30, 2008

July calendar wallpaper

It's the last day of June – time to update your computer's desktop wallpaper with July's fun and Fourth-inspired calendar (click here). Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

fabulous fontmaker

My friend Andrew sent me a link over the weekend to this online NY Times article that has an interesting discussion on typography.

I especially enjoyed poking around FontStruct, a site where you can create your own font using their web-based program. Granted, you can't do some of the fun and flourishy things that make certain fonts so attractive but I thought these examples were some fun results from this application:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shop Talk – Fitzgerald's

While spending last weekend in Cannon Beach, we had the chance to visit a must-see home and garden shop tucked away in Gearhart, just a few miles to the north.

Fitzgerald's Home & Garden is filled with fabulous finds to feather your nest.

These two displays at the front entrance are so inviting, you want to just plop down and take a breather. Love the collection of tall silver glass vases on the coffee table - stunning!

Walking around the store – which is much larger than it seems at first glance – I came across some great glass and table ware. Fitzgerald's collection is one of the most extensive I've seen in quite a while!

And I love all the touches of beach and ocean sprinkled throughout - subtle and understated, yet distinctly coastal.

And yes, they do carry Cecily Ink gift wrap – as well as the card files and, very soon, the brand new "Places, Everyone!" paper table settings (see previous post here).

Besides the Dani diffusers I picked up (see my earlier post), Fitzgerald's has lots of other home fragrance options. Sprays, candles, oils, all presented in beautiful little packages.

I want this mantle – and everything on it!

And don't forget to go outside for a great selection of pots and plants. There's even a little cottage shed filled with sale items.

So when you spot this cute building on the north side of the road in Gearhart, pull over and get ready to indulge!

738 Pacific Way • Gearhart • 503.717.9748 •

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

touch of dutch

I have two friends (sisters who live on my block) who are both having babies right around the same time, one a boy, the other a girl.

And while there's nothing wrong with showering babies with onesies and bibs, I thought I'd be a little untraditional by giving them each a gift from my native country, the Netherlands.

And what's more Dutch than a pair of clogs?! These toddler-sized wooden shoes from Toppi are a modern twist that I simply couldn't pass up. Function and fashion (kinda) all in one! And hey, they even match my Cecily Ink gift wrap so I'm all set!

Monday, June 23, 2008


The Cannon Beach Cottage had this amazing scent in the air, very fresh and inviting. We tracked it back to these fragrance diffuser sticks on the window sill in the kitchen.

Well, I now have those same heavenly-scented sticks ("bamboo & birch" by Dani) on my window sill in the kitchen – thanks to a store in Gearhart called Fitzgerald's (featured later this week in Shop Talk).

Cannon Beach Cottage

This weekend was my long-awaited coastal getaway to Cannon Beach! Todd and I were even able to bring the boys (our four-legged fur kids) because we found a great cottage off the beaten path that allows pets.

And best of all, it was NOT one of those typical pet-friendly beach cottages filled with thrift-store cast-offs and grannie curtains.

Instead, the Cannon Beach Cottage is a picture-perfect beach getaway! Just look at the bedrooms – could be straight out of Cottage Living magazine!

The living room is airy and filled with comfy furniture (Todd found "his" chair while I claimed the sofa) and a stove that kept us cozy warm.

And the backyard, oh my gosh... it is made for entertaining!

With seating for six at the teak table (love the bright cushions and umbrella), another six around the sunken fire pit and four more on the deck off the master, we could have hosted an entire family reunion with plenty of room for a game of croquet on the grass!

And there were plenty of nice visual touches, like the scattering of beach treasures, or this darling round window.

While still an easy walk into town, the Cannon Beach Cottage is only two blocks to the beach. And such a quiet beach!

The beach is adjacent to Ecola State Park at the north end of town. With the early morning fog not yet burned off, our walk on the beach had that true Oregon coast feel.

Now that the weekend is over, it's time to get back to work. But I'm already thinking about the next time we can book the cottage – possibly even with my in-laws, who I know will be just as smitten with the place as we were.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Oregon Humane Society

I'm currently working on the summer issue of the quarterly magazine for the Oregon Humane Society (one of my Defteling Design clients). Last week, after acting as a judge for their annual photo contest, I decided to take a stroll through their facilities and try to share with you what an amazing place this truly is.

As you enter the main adoption building located on Columbia Boulevard in North Portland, you're greeted by two bronze statues adorned with collars and tags – as well as by the friendly volunteers at the front desk. To the left is the cattery, to the right the pet boutique, and through the center doors are the dog kennels.

What's really nice is that you're allowed to roam freely within those areas. That gives you a chance to make that special connection with your new potential pet.

I especially love the room full of kittens – they're sooooo cute!

There are several meeting rooms where you can spend some quality time with your cat or kitten of choice to see whether he or she would make the perfect addition to your family. I love the fun murals – really brings a sense of joy to the place, despite the knowledge that some of the animals there have had a less than happy past.

The dog area is quite a bit noisier than the cattery, of course, with lots of happy barks whenever visitors stop by.

There were a couple of dogs that really captured my heart on this last visit, like Snoopy the beagle and fluffy, scruffy Cody.

And how touching that someone left a special note with Blaze, explaining what a wonderful companion this dog is.

And last but not least, there are the "other" animals, like bunnies and birds, in a room right next to the kennel entry.

My husband and I have two dogs and three cats, all of them rescues one way or another (some strays, some from the humane society) and we've decided that five furry friends is enough – for now!

But if you are thinking of expanding your family to include an animal, please consider stopping by the Oregon Humane Society or your local shelter before buying from a pet shop. There are so many wonderful pets just waiting for a second chance!

You can visit in person or keep track of who's looking for a home on the Oregon Humane Society website. Or, if you have some free time on your hands, consider volunteering!

1067 NE Columbia Blvd • Portland • 503.285.7722
hours for viewing: Mon - Sat 10 - 9, Sun 10 - 7
hours for adoptions: Mon - Sat 10 - 8:30, Sun 10 - 6:30

Thursday, June 19, 2008

on press

Every time I see my designs go on press, I get all excited, like a kid the night before his birthday. Okay, so I didn't loose sleep or anything, but it's always so rewarding to see your creations come to life on press.

I did several press checks yesterday on my upcoming Cecily Ink release and I thought I'd share a bit about the printing process here.

Meet Pete, master pressman at Brown Printing who handles their 6-color press. Here he's adjusting the densities of the five different ink colors. On the right, you can see the various ink wells from the top down – yes, these are huge presses!

This is the area where I do my press check - the area of control. I often bring a previously printed piece (see the card on the far right?) to make sure the colors are in the right range and saturation.

I also check the colors on the press sheet against the Pantone Matching System (PMS) numbers that I specified for the project. Over the last year, I've established a nice, bright color palette for Cecily Ink that everyone seem to really like.

Next I check the press sheet against the proof that I signed off on earlier in the week. I make sure all the elements are there, everything is in the right place.

Once everything looks good, I sign off on the job by putting my name and date on the press sheet, along with any notes of what to fix or watch out for.

Then Pete really gets the presses going and sheets start flying through the grippers.

The sheets get stacked on wooden skids as they come off the press. The skids then get stacked on top of one another and they sit on the press room floor to dry. In the next few days, my project will be sent to the bindery for finishing, meaning trim, score and die cut as needed.

Then all I need to do is pick up the printed pieces, package them for sale, and post them on my website so all my Cecily Ink fans can share in the joy!