Apr
23

Every Mother Counts + Minted

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This past January I had the chance to sit down with Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, and Mariam Naficy, founder and CEO of Minted, to hear about their newly formed partnership. If you’re unfamiliar, Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization created to increase public awareness and support for improved maternal and child health. EMC is committed to ending preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. You don’t have to be a mom to appreciate the importance of such things.

 

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For every art print purchased through Minted 2% is donated to Every Mother Counts. But Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect time to take things up a notch so they’ll be donating a whopping 20% of art print purchases! Order by April 28th and use the code DESIGNCRUSHEMC.

 

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Minted‘s art, journals, stationery, and decorations are all great fits for Mother’s Day. I love the idea of putting together a special little brunch full of printed touches and decor with all of her favorite foods as a surprise. Or maybe creating a tiny version of a gallery wall with some favorite art and photography from Minted’s huge selection. Any way you look at it, this is a great fit for everyone!

 

EMC is supporting Midwives for Haiti (MFH) work to increase the number of skilled birth attendants available to assist pregnant woman in Haiti

Apr
23

Caitlin Wilson Textiles

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For me, this is the year of the textile. For a long time I focused on filling my home with furniture and art that makes me happy, but now it’s time to fill in the spaces. That basically translates to I need amazing pillows, rugs, and blankets! 

Caitlin Wilson Textiles has a great selection of pieces popping with pattern and color, which is integral to my home because I rely heavily on whites and neutrals for larger pieces. Her patterns are also easily mixed and matched, making it super easy to swap out one thing for another when you get bored.

I’m loving the black spotted rug that’s found a home in my kitchen. I’ve stayed away from any sort of floor coverings in there up until this point and am so happy with the touch of pattern! (It looks like Bebe and Rainey also approve.)

 

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Disclaimer: I received product to review for this post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

Apr
22

Craftcation in Retrospect

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Photo: Matthew William Photography

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at Craftcation in Ventura, California. I’d met one of the organizers – Nicole Stevenson – over the course of several other conferences and was flattered when she asked me to sit on panels about advanced social media and keeping track of your time.

 

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Kelly of Studio DIY was kind enough to play driver to Brittni of Paper & Stitch and myself after picking us up at LAX. It was a fast trip up to Ventura – fueled by Cadbury Mini Eggs – where we were welcomed by a hotel full of washi taped walls and tons of fun little details.

 

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There were three definite highlights of the trip for me, the first was seeing Brittni work her magic for a floral accessories workshop she was teaching. Riding in the car with buckets of flowers, then seeing them in her room for a few days confirmed my belief that they do a mind good.

 

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Second was a crazy craft libation tour I went on Thursday afternoon. (That’s the cool thing about Craftcation, it’s not all about crafting but rather making in all of its forms.) About thirty of us piled into a shuttle and were driven around Ventura, stopping at four different spots – Ventura Limoncello Company, Surf Brewery, Plan B Wine Cellars, and Ventiki. I’d say it was a success based on the fact that the shuttle got louder after each location.

 

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Lastly, Friday night ten of us headed out for a dinner which didn’t go quite as planned but was a blast nonetheless. I got to spend some much needed time with friend and keynote speaker Lisa Congdon and met two other amazing ladies in the process. After exploring a little of the downtown area we hung out at the Busy Bee Cafe, eating the requisite fare and drinking.

 

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Photo: Matthew William Photography

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Photo: Matthew William Photography

My two panels were held back-to-back that Friday on the top floor – that view! I’m always nervous speaking to a crowd full of non-bloggers when it comes to social media, but I think the crowd in attendance got something out of it. And I think i was able to inject a dose of reality to the time management panel with my off-kilter methods. At least I made them laugh!

Saturday morning Kelly, Brittni, and Brittany of The House That Lars Built (As an aside, Kelly and I and Brittni and Brittany were assigned rooms together. Hilarity ensued.) headed back to L.A. and said goodbye to the sleepy town of Ventura. My soul was happy.

 

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Photo: Matthew William Photography

Apr
22

Mother’s Day + Kolo’s Photo Books

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Mother’s Day is very meaningful to me, so I like to try and pull out a few extra stops. This year that includes a ridiculously awesome Kolo photo book that I put together for my mom. A few years ago I did something similar for my dad, an album that included photos of just me and him. But as soon as I got to raiding my photo collection I realized a little something – my mom was always the one behind the camera! That meant fewer photos of us together and a lot of photos of just me. Being an only child I hoped she wouldn’t hold it against me. (Ahem.)

 

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It took some extra work, but I managed to find several of my mom’s favorites of me and several of the both of us together. (Yeah, there’s no injury under than bandage. I just liked to wear them.) I chose an 8.5 x 11″ photo book with a Mango cover and got to work scanning in all of the photos I’d picked out. I adjusted the color and brightness on several (ahhh, the age of technology) and uploaded them to Kolo‘s site. I was tempted to use the auto load function that places all of your photos in the album for you, but then decided to be a little more hands-on and chose the placement and size of each one myself.

 

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The photos turned out amazing thanks to Kolo‘s Canon printing technology, especially when you consider that most of them are 30+ years old! I loved creating the perfect flow of images and personalizing the layout. I could have opted to add some text as well, but preferred to allow the visuals to speak for themselves.

 

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Last weekend my mom came over to dye Easter eggs at my house (one of our many traditions) and I gave her this gift early. She loved it so much and with every flip of a page said “I love this picture!”. So I’m guessing I did okay, especially when she said the photo book was one of her favorite gifts ever. *pats self on back* The heirloom quality of these photo books guarantees they’ll be around for some time, and the rainbow of colors available for he covers gives my mom lots of options when it comes to expansion.

 

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I especially love this one of the two of us at the Pittsburgh Zoo when I was about a year and a half old. My mom’s outfit looks like it would be just as in style today! Wish I could say the same for those overalls I’m sporting.

 

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My grandmother is turning 90 this August and I think I’m going to put together a smaller version of the two of us as a special gift. Had I realized how easy it was, I probably would have done hers for Mother’s Day as well.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!

Apr
21

Houndworthy

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Houndworthy is a unique dog lifestyle company that seeks to encourage owners to purchase more meaningful things for both them and their canine companions. They carry things for both pooch and owner in their wonderfully curated shop, including items by one of my favorites – See Scout Sleep. Piper and Bebe love their hemp collars and we can’t wait to search out new quality goods that get approval from all three of us.

 

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Apr
21

Innovation That Excites: The New Murano

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Last week I had the chance to let you all in on Nissan‘s latest in their ongoing Innovation That Excites campaign – check out the new Murano! I can hardly handle how sleek and aerodynamic the design is, from the boomerang headlights that you’re sure to see coming in your rearview mirror to the super sculpted body shape.

 

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I had a chance to sit down and talk with the Murano’s lead designer, Ken Lee, about the process from sketches to full-size clay models to finished product. Turns out there’s a healthy competition within Nissan’s design departments that span the globe for every vehicle turned out – Ken was chosen above all others for the Murano. A huge deal because this crossover’s design is representative of all others going forward.

 

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As soon as Ken mentioned that a huge part of the Murano’s design inspiration came from 1970s airplanes and spaceships it was obvious. Did you see those propellor-inspired wheels?! All of the aerodynamics managed to make this vehicle 20% more fuel efficient than the current model. It took me a minute to pick up my jaw after hearing that little tidbit.

 

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The interior is just as futuristic and well-designed as the exterior. I’m driving my second Nissan (a 2009 Altima Coupe) and was wowed by the console’s new look. It’s so well-organized and functional.

 

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I even managed to slide my rear into the driver’s seat (after fighting through gads of dude auto reporters!) and have to say it felt great. Even though the Murano is a crossover and sits no higher than a car, it really felt like I’d be able to see more of the road because of how the seats are situated. I was ready to drive it right out of the Javits Center, but I think that may have been frowned upon. Guess I’ll have to wait until its release at the end of the year just like everyone else!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!

Apr
20

Happy Easter

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Photo: The Sweetest Occasion

Happy Easter to those of you celebrating today! Wishing you lots of stale Peeps and beheaded chocolate bunnies.

Apr
19

Happy Weekend

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01/ Check out the Alphabet Sandwich – an A to Z of food between two slices of bread!
02/ If my dentist had an office like Horacek Dental I’d be there more than twice a year.
03/ Mutaro the hedgehog models masks made just for him.
04/ A poster that shows off the categorization of The Many Varieties of Whiskey.
05/ The Man Behind the Mountain, a look at the artist behind Salvation Mountain.
06/ Food Textures showcases texture, shape, and form rather than edibility.
07/ Plastic bags as art isn’t a new concept, but plastic bag landscapes are.
08/ An illustrated guide to the bicyclists of New York City.
09/ A world map using every country’s coinage.
10/ Awesome 3D optical illusion classified ads!

This week on Design Crush:
If you missed it on Monday,  have a listen to Mixtape #35: So Young and Full of Sparks.
Have a hoppin’ Easter Sunday with these 17 projects!
Intoxicating work from Bing Wright featuring shattered mirrors and sunsets.
The countdown to Mother’s Day is on – thought about a gift yet?
Beautiful, colorful, geometric textiles from Cotton & Flax.
Show-stopping handblown glass pendant lighting in the Neverending Glory Collection.
Kinetic paper sculptures by Matt Shlian.
Check out innovation that excites with Nissan at the New York International Auto Show.
Stay creative this month with these 12 April DIYs!

Apr
18

12 April DIYs

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Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Apr
17

Innovation That Excites

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There are brands that I work with again and again simply because I love what they’re doing and what they’re putting out into the world. Nissan is one of them. I’ve shared the Versa Sedan and the Versa Note in the past and was excited to hear that the third generation of the Murano was being unveiled at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Personally I’m looking to move into a bit larger of a vehicle from my Altima Coupe, so it was perfect timing. Plus, this is the first time the vehicle is being built in the United States, which I love.

 

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Nissan shuttled everyone back and forth in their Taxi of Tomorrow. I’m short at 5’2″ but couldn’t get over the massive amounts of leg room in the NV200. The large touch screen was beyond words, the storage capacity of the trunk was huge, and the divider between driver and passengers was like a sound bubble. Oh, and here’s the kind of views the ridiculously incredible transparent roof…

 

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Nissan brought along nine cars for press day, and I was inside and outside of every one exploring the new features. There was one that stood out among the rest – the Smart Rearview Mirror that uses advanced camera technology to enhance the driver’s view behind a vehicle. It lives within a traditional rearview mirror, but allows the driver to switch between the traditional mirror and an LCD monitor. Genius!

 

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I also checked up on the latest versions of the Versa Sedan and Versa Note, both of which are Nissan’s bread and butter vehicles that have kicked them to the top of the sub-compact sector. What’s always fascinated me across the board is their unwillingness to compromise on design no matter the price point. As someone who can’t afford a incredibly extravagant vehicle, but has a penchant for good design it’s so appreciated to know that someone is looking out for the little guys.

 

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Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nismo line is super tricked out with the option for – get this – matte paint. I couldn’t stop touching it. Again, bold and innovative design in a completely different way.

 

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Next week I’ll share specifics about the new Murano, which is being referred to as Nissan’s “halo vehicle” for their expanding range of crossovers and SUVs. I had a chance to sit down and chat with lead designer Ken Lee about every stage and facet of the design process and can’t wait to share!

Disclaimer: Travel, hotel, and compensation for this post were provided by Nissan. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!