Being artfully inspired

I go to Dean and Deluca once or twice a month… always in the morning, when it’s not busy, there’s a hum of people preparing for the day. Today, I stood and waited for my coffee – and took in the sites and smells. From the white subway tiled walls to the beautifully designed desserts and packages all around, and the giant photos of the most amazing looking cheeses and breads — I was artfully inspired.

Olive and Sinclair ChocolateThe store at Town Center Plaza is never terribly busy in the morning hours before I have to be in the office – it’s the perfect time to go, and today, a Monday, it was a nice beginning to my week. I decided while standing there that a beautiful box of artisan chocolates would be the perfect gift for me.. someone tell the hubs please! Dark Chocolate with sea salt.. sounds heavingly (why isn’t that a word?).. but more so – the packaging was awesome! It’s like a designers porn.. I swear!

Right then and there I decided I needed more of that in my life. I needed to be inspired by the beauty around me, taking trips to World Market and Paper Source, not to buy something but to be inspired by the everyday. I don’t need special trips to the museums, although I would love a few of those as well.

For years I have heard about the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, seen hundreds of images from inside the gardens – and have never been. I recently decided to focus more on passions and picked up my camera again, and chose the Kauffman Gardens as my first spot for portraits. It’s such a lovely place. I absolutely LOVE the grounds, the fountains — even the bathrooms were super clean!

Even if you are not a “designer” or think you are creative, I challenge each of my readers to look around and see inspiration in the everyday. Inspire yourself to do, see, create or just be. Inspiration can come from just about anything — just open yourself up to it!




My LOVE of paper

This post may be hard to relate to for some of you – sorry. I am, by trade and at heart, a designer. I long to make things pretty, rearrange advertisements so they will make sense to the masses, and feel like business documents do not have to look boring – but can be pleasant to read and esthetically pleasing to the eye, no matter the topic.

I love paper. I have reams of paper, samples of paper, small booklets of paper at work and at home. I love to use different papers, expensive papers – smooth and textured alike. I love paper. I have an appointment at 2:00 today with one of my favorite paper ladies – she has the coolest job – she co-shares a job with another amazing lady – and she sets people up with paper samples from Xpedx (one of my favorite resources for all things paper). Plus she gets to co-host amazing paper shows where manufactures will come and tell us about their paper and why it’s awesome, and then we get treats or coffee and loads of samples… I realize what I giant nerd I am.. really I do.

Do you know that movie American Pyscho? The only part of that terrible (I don’t like to be scared) movie that I remember is how he’s obsessed with having the best business card – the prettiest, best design, best thick expensive paper. Sadly, I understood his need and want for the best paper (not to mention best title). Now, I wouldn’t go all serial murdery on someone – but understood in some non-pyschotic way.

Annnyyywhhooo.. Paper. I have books written about paper – I mean, really? So I wanted to share a few of my favorite paper things with you. First, business cards, I fear business cards much like greeting cards and invitations are going away, slowly but surly. Business cards are such a personal representation of you – or at least they can be – I realize that your card might have been designed by some boring HR department (I have one of those too)– but if you have a side business, are a mom (or dad), you’re retired, you’re looking for a job, or mate – you should have a personal card that represents you. I have been doing some calling cards for moms with kids that have play dates – so cute. I have been seeing them all over – here are a couple of links:

Here’s a good little blog post about business cards also:

Calendars and Lists: there is nothing better then a paper calendar. For someone that is iphone calendar dependent (seriously, my life is in my iphone!) – I also very much depend on my MomAgenda (speaking of – I need a new one!). I love to write things down, and keep lists. I also lose lists quit a lot – but if I write it down I almost always can recreate it. I have found an awesome app for my mac and iphone (Apple! Hola!) it’s called Evernote. See when I switched from PC to Mac – the one thing I really missed was OneNote. I love ONENOTE! But with Evernote – I can make a list on my computer and it will update on my iphone.. this is amazing.

Paper Crafts: I love to make things out of paper – like wreaths and garland. I have visions of making paper garland for our tree this year – and maybe popcorn garland too.. Paper Source is a great place to go for crafty ideas like this. They always have paper flower or wreath kits, and they are super easy and super fun to do.

Here are a few of my favorite paper items:











oh, and here’s an AWESOME Business Card!

29.. (because apparently i can’t come up with 50)… things about me.

  1. My full first name is Mindy, not Melinda
  2. It kind of annoys me when people ask me if my first name is Melinda, I’m not sure why.. but it does.
  3. I love show tunes – Wicked, Spamalot and Cabaret are my current obsessions. Current means.. for the past 3 or more years… apparently.
  4. I like to write/type [… ] this generally means there is a pause in how I speak … but not necessarily a comma (although sometimes it’s in lew of a comma)
  5. My husband is my bestest friend in the whole wide world. We love, we fight, we laugh – it’s good. Oh and he’s the best dad – it’s so fun to watch.. and he makes me laugh.
  6. I need to learn to focus on the positive more. I lecture hubs about doing this all the time.
  7. I love to decorate – but have no idea where to start – get tired and have empty walls. I am lazy
  8. I desire to make pretty things and get paid for it. I desire to make happy things and feel fulfilled in my career.
  9. I am a foodie. I love to eat, I love to cook and I LOVE COOKBOOKS
  10. I wish someone would hire me to design cookbooks. (Ideally from home)
  11.  I think I’m funny
  12. I have always wanted someone to call me a half pint. This will never happen. I am not half nor a pint
  13. I have favorite bad words. I say them often. I have been working on getting better at this. F.
  14. I miss Charlie, my beloved black lab, every day.
  15. I get excited for fall. I love back to school shopping – all I want to do right now is go buy new pens, sharpees, and a few new outfits … and have my mom pay for them.
  16. There is a purse that I want, and since finding it, I have thought about every day. It’s $268 and made by Dooney and Burke. The most expensive purse I have ever owned was $32.50.
  17. Learning to be content in the now is not easy for me.. I have not learned how to do that.
  18. Favorite bands include: Barenaked Ladies, Train, Counting Crows, Maroon 5
  19. My perfect (non-fall) Saturday includes breakfast (simple and easy), good coffee, farmer’s market, nap, play time (in water?) with Alex, drinks, grilling and dessert with hubs, bird and stew.
  20.  My favorite Fall Saturday includes breakfast, good coffee, Columbia, Les bourgeois, tropical liq, football game (past me would scoff at this for sure!), dinner and home in bed
  21.  I love mail
  22.  I am unorganized – but wish I wasn’t – but not sure how to fix it.
  23. One day, I would like to own a little shop – I would sell some personalized stationary, invitations, some home décor, a book or two – and probably have a little coffee nook. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it was just a book store, just a stationary store or just a coffee shop – but all together is the ultimate.
  24. I am obsessed with magazines
  25. I like to day dream
  26. Captain A has been my most fun adventure. He’s the best, most fun, hilarious 18 month old on the planet
  27. I do not particularly care for the furry things that live with us.. and I am a huge pet lover. These 2 dogs do nothing for me though – it’s sad
  28. I love to eat out. I have been craving sushi and bogey’s for a week now.
  29. I need a better camera

I updated my resume and samples blog!

Hooray – it’s finally happened, I have been threatening that I was going to get samples of my work on-line – but hadn’t done it yet. So if you would like to peruse you may do so at
All work is custom – I work very closely with my clients in order to come up with distinct designs just for them!

The season of invitations and thank you notes..

These are two invitations and one thank you note that I have recently done. The first was an invite for a 2nd baby shower for my cousin, and the other for a good friend. The thank you notes were for the friend as well. I remembered being in the hospital with Captain A and people would bring me stuff – and I didn’t have thank you notes and wanted something cute – so when I found out what she had (she didn’t find out before) I rushed to get these done to take to her in the hospital. I think she really liked them. It was really fun to do!

I love designing for my friends and family – as well as the few clients I have done special things for as well. I would like to do more, I love when people see their invite or thank you note for the first time and love them as much I loved doing them.. it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s the little things I guess.











thats all for now, 1 follower! 🙂

(p.s. I wish I could figure out how to get these images next to each other!)

Tomorrow: products I love!