Baltimore Inspired NYE Cocktails

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If you love sparkles and bubbly as much as we do, then you’re really excited that tonight is New Year’s Eve. We love the nostalgia of New Year’s Eve — recalling all the wonderful events over the last year that brought us to this moment, sipping drinks with our besties and, of course, snogging our baes at midnight.

Ring in 2016 the way every good Tomahawk should – with a killer toast over a stiff drink! These Baltimore inspired cocktails can be whipped up in no time, and feature some of our favorite local distilleries and breweries.

 

If You Like Beer from Union Craft Brewing

We’re obsessed with the rich, velvety texture of UCB’s Snow Pants Oatmeal Stout — a deliciously dark, full bodied, malted ale with an 8% abv (heeyyyy!). Pair this winter perfect beer with another NYE staple – champagne! – for the best Black Velvet you’ve ever had.

 

Black Velvet

5 oz. Champagne

5 oz. Union Craft Brewing Snow Pants Oatmeal Stout

Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir. Voila!


 

If You Like Mead from Charm City Meadworks

Mead is a honey-based, cold pressed delicacy made right here in Baltimore, under the careful watch of the brew masters at Charm City Meadworks. A bit of a beer, wine and whiskey hybrid in the production process, mead is first fermented, then barrel oak aged, filtered and, finally, infused with fresh fruits, herbs and spices. And fun fact! The term “honeymoon” originated from the term “mead moon,” concerning a tradition in which newlyweds on their wedding night were given enough mead to last them a full lunar cycle in hopes that the aphrodisiac would help them produce a son.

If you told us there was a better drink to share with your beau at midnight than this nectar of the gods, we wouldn’t believe you!

 

Honeycomber

1 ½ oz. Light Rum
½ oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Sour Mix
Shaker of Mead
Shake with ice & strain into martini glass with sugared rim & lime


 

If You Like Sloop Betty Vodka from Blackwater Distilling

“Dangerously smooth” is how Blackwater describes their award winning (and organic) Sloop Betty vodka. Funnily enough, that’s also how we’d describe our dance moves after a few spent copper mugs on a crowded dance floor. Blackwater has the distinction of being Maryland’s oldest craft distillery, and such honor deserves a handsome drink – of equal status – to accompany it to your New Year’s Eve dance.

This Moscow Mule recipe is simple enough to let the A-grade vodka take center stage. Here’s hoping our skirts twirl as seductively as Betty’s tonight.

 

Moscow Mule

1 1/2 oz. Blackwater Distilling Sloop Betty Vodka

1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1/4 oz. Simple Syrup

Ginger Beer

Lime Wedges, for garnish

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DIY: Homemade Berger Cookies

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Bring Baltimore to your Swap with Homemade Berger Cookies!

Berger Cookies have been a Baltimore staple as long as we can remember. That’s why, earlier this year, when we heard word that the FDA may ban further production due to new legislation about commercial use of trans fats (eek!) we were crushed, to say the least.

That is, until we found this incredible dupe recipe from the fine folks at King Arthur Flower. And dare we say– they may be even better than the originial?

We’ll let you decide the final verdict on that last note. Whip up a batch of homemade Berger cookies using this recipe here and bring them to your holiday cookie swap — and let us know what you think!

 

Shopping list

Cookies

Icing

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  • To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.
  • Beat in the sugar, then the egg.
  • Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter.
  • Using a spoon or a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. The balls of dough should be about 1 1/4″ in diameter. Flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1 ½” across; wet your fingers or a knife, or grease the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to do this. Leave 2″; to 2 1/2″ between each cookie, for expansion.
  • Bake the cookies for about 10 to 11 minutes, or until they?re a mottled brown on the bottom (carefully tilt one up to look), but not colored on top. You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don’t over-bake them. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool righton the pan as you make the frosting.
  • To make the icing: Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla, and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl, or into a large saucepan.
  • Heat the mixture until it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
  • Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Let cool to warm room temperature while you make the cookies.
  • Dip the top of each cookie into the warm icing; swirl the cookie around to really give it a good coating. Set the cookies back on the baking sheet.
  • Spread the remaining icing evenly atop the cookies. If it’s too soft and flows off the cookies, let it set a bit, until it’s firmer. It’ll feel like you’re piling on a lot of icing; that?s precisely the point! Allow it to set, then store the cookies airtight in a single layer. Keep at room temperature for several days; or freeze for longer storage.
  • Yield: 20 to 21 medium (3″) cookies.
  • Allow the icing to set, then store the cookies airtight in a single layer. Keep at room temperature for several days; or freeze for longer storage.

 

Recipe and Images for homemade Berger cookies courtesy of King Arthur Flower.

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Holiday Sales Tips from a Small Business Owner

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Can we make a confession? As a small business owner, the holidays are a really tough time!

It’s no secret that the period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the biggest retail sales season of the year. As a full-time small business owner that relies on holiday sales to account for a large percentage of annual income, there’s a lot of pressure to “get the holidays right.”

We’re not going to lie, we’ve had a few extra glasses of wine thinking about competing with retail giants for your hard earned holiday spending cash. And while we’re thankful that more and more consumers are subscribing to the Small Business movement to support little shops like ours, it’s a constant struggle to prepare for, and execute, the “perfect” holiday sales season.

We’re experts by no means, but we have learned a few things (the hard way;)) about how to boost your holiday sales. See below for a roundup of our tried and true holiday sales tips that have helped us through this wonderfully chaotic time.

Holiday Sales Tips for Small Business Owners

  • Plan Ahead. Here’s the scenario: You’re sailing along doing your thing. You look at the calendar. It’s November 25th. You realize Thanksgiving is impending. You freak out – S.O.S.! You make a 10 page to do list and vow not to sleep until every last agenda item is checked off. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. The single best tip we can give you for staying afloat during the holidays is to NOT wait until the holidays to start preparing for the holidays. Make inventory lists ahead of time, and have products in stock well before you’ll need them. Update your social media pages, prepare graphics, plan shop sales, photograph new products, etc. weeks (if not months) in advance of November, so you can charge full steam ahead into the holidays, without worrying about how many life vests you have on the ship. Youknowwhatwemean? Be prepared, and life will be so much easier!
  • Narrow Your Focus. With so much going on during the holiday season, it’s really, really easy to lose track of the task at hand. One moment you’re packaging up 50 holiday Etsy orders, then the phone rings and you chat with your mom for 30 minutes, hop online and answer a few dozen emails, research some new merch, and return to your packing task 2.5 hours later only to realize you have no idea which items are in each of your identical packages. We definitely relate to this one! During the holidays, it’s crucial to tackle your to do list one task at a time, with no distractions in between (even if they’re productive distractions). Try this now, and thank us later!
  • Surprise and Delight. One way you can amp your holiday sales is by surprising and delighting your customers. It’s one of the ways a small business can stand out from its national chain competitors, and allows you to reinforce the reason you love being a small business owner so much! Whether it’s something simple (like including a hand written thank you note with each order placed) or something more elaborate, it’s important to thank your customers for helping support your dream. (Bonus: One way we’ve helped directly boost sales is by surprising our social media followers with exclusive sneak peaks of new products! It provides valuable user feedback on what people like, lets the anticipation for new products build, and is all around fun!)
  • Communicate with Your Customers. This one is crucial to surviving the holiday sales season. Establishing clear and direct communication between your prospective customers, current customers and your business is one of the most important things you can do. One easy way to start is by creating a shop FAQ page to anticipate customer questions. This will save you loads of time answering emails during times when you are stretched thin. Payment and shop policies, ordering process instructions, shipping timetables, holiday ordering deadlines, promotional coupon codes, etc. are some of the most common questions that we receive, and make a great place to start!
  • Don’t forget to celebrate. It’s the holidays for you too, y’know! Taking some time off (even just a weekend) to spend with your loved ones will help you be refreshed and ready to tackle the new year. Planning a trip (as opposed to just taking a weekend for yourself) gives you the added benefit of something to look forward to on those long nights of work, but at the very least you deserve a bit of R&R at home.
  • Digest & Document. A really important piece of a small business holiday sales strategy comes after the holidays are over. When the rush settles down, take time to document processes and measure successes and failures. Each year, you’ll get closer and closer to building yourself a roadmap that works for you, and each passing holiday season will be less of a guessing game and more of a “you got this!” game.
  • Forgive yourself. As well intentioned as we can be, sometimes things don’t always go as planned. While having goals and focus is important, it’s equally as important to give yourself a break if you didn’t get as much done as you wanted to this year. Owning a small business is a labor of love, and the hard parts make the wins that much sweeter!

We hope you found these holiday tips helpful. If you have any helpful tips we left off the list, we’d love to hear from you! Give us a holler at info@tomahawkdesignco.com or add them to the comments below.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him & For Her

Looking for unique Baltimore gift ideas for your sweetheart? Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide offers some of our personal favorite prezzies to gift his holiday season. Local Baltimore establishments make an appearance (because, duh) … as well as some of our most beloved small businesses. Take a look below and let us know what you think! Happy shopping, Tomahawks.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Him

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts He’ll Love:

  • WoodMaxT Wooden Watch – These watches are as handsome as they are durable. From our fellow Etsy vendor, WoodMaxT, they feature a wooden watch face, genuine leather band and are water resistant to boot. Get it engraved with a sweet sentiment for an extra special touch!
  • LL Bean Heritage Norwegian Crewneck Sweater – There’s not much we like about the frigid temperatures that hit Baltimore this time of year, but with a sweater as cozy as this, we might be persuaded to reconsider. Premium 100% natural wool, a classic bird’s eye texture, and the stamp of Nordic authenticity will give your man true #sweaterweather street cred.
  • Write Notepads & Co. Historic Baltimore Notebook – A historic, rugged, and – hello, local! – way to make sure your guy never forgets the grocery list again. This notepad features a letter-pressed 19th century rendering of historic Charm City. The best part? When you buy a notebook, a notebook gets donated to one of Baltimore’s inner city schools. Double the giving? We’ll take 10.
  • Set of (4) Chalkboard Maryland Pint Glasses + Free Brewery Tour at Union Craft Brew – To: Craft Beer Loving Boyfriend, Xo: The Most Thoughtful GF. If you’re someone who prefers experiences over things, this is the perfect gift combo.  A set of our chalkboard pint glasses, and two reservations for a free tour and tasting of Baltimore’s best local craft brewery. Major Cool GF points, folks. You heard it here first.
  • Soberdough Brew Bread Kit: Rosemary – What’s a guy to do with all the awesome new beer he just brought home from Union Craft Brewing? Make some fantastic beer bread, of course. The recipe is as easy as 1 Bread Kit + 1 Brew (Certainly he can spare just one for the recipe …), made of all natural ingredients, and damn delicious, if we may say so ourselves. You can’t go wrong with any of the flavors on their site, but we picked the Rosemary variety for it’s fragrant smell and the cracked pepper inside.

 

2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Her

 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts She’ll Love:

  • S’well Sparkling Champagne Stainless Steel Water Bottle – Pretty in your bag, pretty for the environment. Resolve to say goodbye to plastic water bottles in 2016 with this sleek and sparkling stainless steel bottle. The ThermaS’well™ technology keeps your contents hot or cool for up to 24 hours, it’s sweat resistant (read: purse safe!) and a portion of each sale is donated to UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to children around the world. All the Earth emojis!
  • Intro to Letter-Press Printing at Baltimore Print Studios – Would you judge us, dear Tomahawks, if we bought this one for ourselves? This could easily be a fun date idea for you and the beau, or a gift to give to your besties! Learn how to hand set wood and metal type, the ins and outs of press printing, and leave with the skills to never buy a birthday or holiday card ever again.
  • Eddie Bauer 1936 Skyliner Model Hunting Vest – Handsome and rugged aren’t just for the boys! Outfit yourself in this vintage inspired Skyliner Hunting Vest. We’re in love with the details – the quilted leather upper, goose down fill, and shooting patches make this a long lasting piece that’ll carry you through many chilly autumns to come.
  • Koval Distillery 94% Proof Gin – For when that tea gift set needs a little kick. 😉 Juniper, wildflowers and citrus notes run wild here. Crisp enough to sip straight!

 

Thanks for viewing our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide! Have a great gift idea we left off the list? Email us at info@tomahawkdesignco.com and we’ll be sure to add it!

 

All The Fixin’s: Our Favorite MD Inspired Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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If there are two things we love around these parts, it’s Maryland, and eating! What better way to give thanks to this great state than to gather its essence around the Thanksgiving dinner table, and feast on its bounty?

See below for some incredible recipes we dug up (compliments of food authorities far more tenured than we), and give one or two or three of these a try this weekend. We promise you’ll love the taste just as much as you love sharing the history of the dishes with your loved ones.

 

Chesapeake Bay Sausage and Crab Stuffing from Delish (oh, my, god.)

Sauerkraut with Gin and Caraway from Bon Appetit (a very MD side dish)

Smoked Oyster and Andoullie Dressing from Southern Living (if your palate prefers oysters to crabs)

Old Bay Pumpkin Seeds by Chow Hound (would add great crunch to a salad or casserole)

Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread by Martha Stewart (a nod to our southern roots)

And for dessert?

Berger Cookie Pie by Nothing in the House (because, obviously.)

 

Bonus: Have family visiting from out of town? Welcome them to the table by making a traditional dish from their home state! The New York Times rounds up famous state side-dishes in their The United States of Thanksgiving post.

 

Have any must-eat MD recipes that we left out? Send us a note at info@tomahawkdesignco.com and we’ll add it to the list! Bon appetite, Tomahawks!

 

#SmallBizLife: A Peek Into the TDCo Team!

Tomahawk Design Company is made of a small group of fierce ladies, who happen to be best friends. We thought it’d be fun to introduce ourselves here and share a little bit about what life is like mixing business with besties.

 

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  1. Jill Dombroskie  |  Owner & Designer
  2. Tara Wagner  |  Communications
  3. Raquel Ciappi  |  Finance
  4. Allison Anthony  |  Design Support / Events


 

In 5 words or less, explain what you do for Tomahawk Design Co.?

R: Pricing / Finance

J: Owner and Creative Lead

T: Communicator and Chief Snack Organizer

A: Creative Design Support & Workerbee

 

What led you to get involved with Tomahawk?

R: For years, late-night wine sessions with my roommate (Jill) always turned into her saying she wanted to quit her job and start her own design company.  Next thing I know our late-night conversations were turning into a reality and I saw my best friend establish Tomahawk Design Co.  I was so interested in everything she was doing (and wanted to hang out with my bffs) that I decided to crash a brainstorming session she had set-up with Tara and Allison.  Since then I’ve been hooked and started to help out with the finances of the company as the resident math nerd.

J: I started Tomahawk as a way to ensure that both mine and my clients’ creative visions are always fulfilled—little did I know my love of Maryland would make an appearance and become such a huge part of what we do!

T: I was forced into it! Just kidding, when Jill started her new business I was excited to lend my skills to help her succeed! Coming from a background where I worked with small businesses, I knew that my experience communicating and planning for their businesses would be a valuable asset—plus, I knew it would be fun! I’m so proud of what she (and we) have accomplished over the past year and a half, and can’t wait to see where we will go over the next few years.

A: My unwavering support and sense of pride for one of my best friends starting her own business and on a personal level, reaching my ultimate life goal of turning a creative passion into a career. (Not mentioned: I also live and breathe all things MD.)

 

What’s your favorite quality about the teammate to your left?

R: (About Tara) Besides being the BEST snack manager in the world, she’s great at generating excitement at our meetings by bringing up new opportunities/ partnerships for us (craft shows, Baltimore in a Box, etc.). She’s always thinking ahead and making sure that we continue to plan for bigger/better (Martha Stewart Living spread here we come!)

J: (About Allison) Allison’s mind is always on the same creative brainwave as mine—we are able to bounce ideas back and forth and piggyback off each others’ to come up with the best possible solutions. We make an excellent creative team! Not to mention, she’s very punny 😉

T: (About Jill) It sounds cliche, but it’s gotta be her ambition! I’m so proud of Jill and her awesome business that she has created from scratch. She had a dream, and she made it happen! #girlboss

A: (About Raquel) Raquel brings an honesty and directness that makes her such a valuable part of any team, but especially Tomahawk. A pitfall in a lot of companies are leaders who surround themselves with “yes” people. During our (occasionally rambunctious) product brainstorming sessions, when ideas get lofty and our excitement and creativity is overflowing, Raquel level-sets us and provides her unique, creative and technical perspective without sugar-coating it — Finding someone who does that tactfully and respectfully is hard to find!

 

Any advice for others looking to mix friendship with business?

R: Make sure you all agree on the vision/ product of the company, and understand that it’s ok to agree to disagree.

J: Just don’t take anything too personally. Keeping your business personas and your friendship personas on two different levels is what makes it work. Otherwise, I say go for it! I love these ladies and everything they’ve helped Tomahawk achieve thus far and I would never be where I am now without them!

T: Do it, and don’t look back! Mixing business with friendship has been so fun for us – we have definitely made it work well. As long as you’re not afraid to give your opinion and speak your mind among friends, it’s a great reason to hang out, brainstorm over meals on a Tuesday night, and rally around something you are all so proud of.

A:  Having all been best friends for over 12 years, I feel like if you can make it through the drama of grade school and college, you can make it through anything! Seriously though, whoever said ‘Mixing business with friendship is a bad idea’ must have had some lackluster friends. (Note: I may be slightly impartial here…or I just know how lucky we are.) We recognize, understand and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses which has not only solidified our close friendship over the years but also helped provide the foundation for the success of our business team. Just like our friendship circle, we can be so similar, so different and each bring a multitude of expertise and experience to this business. If I could give any advice, I’ll give a few “nevers”:

•  Never forget why you wanted to be in business together.
•  Never sweat the small stuff.
•  Never lose sight of your purpose in the business and what you bring personally and professionally to the team.

 

Who in the group is the most likely to keep the team meeting on track?

R: Guilty!

J: Raquel, meetings would never end without her agendas

T: Raquel sets our agenda – and reminds us when we get on a tangent about all of our exciting new product and festival plans!

A: Raquel – our official agenda generator since ’14! This girl needs a gavel.

 

… the most fun to work a festival with?

R: Everyone! It’s great to be able to spend a large quantity of time together.

J: Any of us. But Tara brings snacks, sooo…

T: It’s most fun when we are all working together!

A: Me (ha – am I allowed say myself?) Talking to people and engaging customers is pure fun, not work.

 

… the biggest brainstormer?

R: Jill

J: Me—it’s my job, after all 🙂

T: Jill always comes prepared!

A: Jill – she’s always surprising us with something new! Her design talents makes my eyes happy.

 

… the designated clever pun generator?

R: Allison!

J: Tara or Allison

T: I definitely bring the best (worst) puns.

A: Raquel – come on, Chesapeake Bay-by?!  That’s just gold!

 

… the most likely to bring wine to the strategy session?

R: I’d say all of us

J: All of us!

T: We are all equally as likely (it’s inevitable).

A: Jill – our resident wine connoisseur

 

… the best salesperson / sweet-talker?

R: Allison

J: Allison could sell ice cream to an eskimo—it’s fabulous

T: Allison – she knows what people want, even if they don’t know it yet! And who could resist?

A: Tara – she’s swiped more credit cards in the last year than you could shake a stick at!

 

Have any burning questions we didn’t answer here? Send us a note at info@tomahawkdesignco.com and we’ll spill—maybe 😉

 

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Help Us #designforgood This Thanksgiving

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Help us Raise Money for Moveable Feast!

We’ve been thinking a lot about “home” lately. Specifically, how lucky we are to have one. With full heat, a full fridge and a full Netflix queue. We are incredibly (no hashtag) blessed to have our homes, our families and our health.

There are thousands of Maryland families struggling to meet those basic needs. Families facing poverty, and illness, or both. Our heart breaks trying to understand the isolation, poverty and desperation that is a daily reality for Marylanders with HIV, Breast Cancer and other terminal illnesses.

We’re thankful to have learned about Moveable Feast, a Baltimore-based organization working to supply HIV and cancer patients with nutritious meals. Their mission is simple, and crystal clear: FEED people, FIGHT disease, FOSTER hope. A cause we’re humbled to further.

This month we will be donating a portion of all our shop proceeds to Moveable Feast, to help fill their community pantry with healthy meals. We’d love for you to join us by contributing—in whichever way makes sense to you. See below for a list of ways you can help.

• Shop Tomahawk Every item sold on our Etsy shop this month helps to feed the terminally ill. 

• Volunteer with Us Join us for a trip to volunteer at the Moveable Feast community kitchen! Your hands can help prepare meals to save lives. Email info@tomahawkdesignco.com for information on our visit.

•Donate Directly A $35 donation to Moveable Feast is all it takes to feed nutritious meals to one of their clients for a whole week. You can find an address to send your donations here.

 

Thanks Maryland, we knew we could count on you!

Best of MD: Artifact Coffee

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When it comes to coffee, America is not messing around. Long gone are coffee’s humble roots as a bitter, utilitarian draft — today’s multi-billion dollar industry evolves quicker than a tinder relationship.

There are so many great local coffee spots in MD, it’s hard to know which brews are worth the swipe right. Our criteria for a good brew house? Quality coffee (duh!), menu diversity and an atmosphere that makes you feel at home.

After weeks of scouting lattes and scones, we found love in a hopeless place a place that knocks it out of the park. When we found out they had wine on the menu, too, we knew we had to share!

Artifact Coffee’s eccentricity starts online, with a website as dedicated to quirk as it is to conveying their stance on sourcing local. They carry the trademark it-girl brews: Japanese cold pressed, chemex, exotic loose leaf tea. But it’s what they have beyond the brew that makes this one of Maryland’s best coffee shops.

Artifact has a thoughtful menu, miles ahead of your neighborhood Starbucks, that offers a full morning and day kitchen. They even offer dessert, in the form of cookies (molasses crinkle, anyone?) and whiskey or rum espresso to keep you warm on a cold afternoon.

Perhaps our favorite aspect of all is the sense of community that seems to naturally cultivate around the space. The baristas, while well coiffed, were anything but snobby, and took the time to warmly welcome, deliver to our table and make recommendations for our next visit.

If you’re wondering where to find us this winter, now you know where we’ll be. If you happen to visit and sit beside us- say hello! – and we’ll sidle up and order us chemex for two.

Xo-

Team Tomahawk

 

#BMoreCreative: The Green Door

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#BmoreCreative: We’re smitten with the vibrant community of creatives and small business owners here in Maryland. So much so, that we’re making it a point to sit down and have proverbial tea with as many as we can find! First on the list? Our dear friend Maureen Miche of The Green Door in Bel Air, Maryland. 

 

If there’s one word we’d use to describe the feeling you get when you walk into The Green Door, it’s “inspired.”

Maureen and her siblings run this incredible vintage tag sale and DIY workshop collective that’s quickly becoming our favorite place to spend our free time. (Why’s it called “The Green Door,” you ask? You’ll just have to watch to find out!)

The shop’s eclectic name carries inside, where each nook and cranny bursts at the seams with adorable vintage items and ephemera. Vintage, yes, but boring? Not a chance. Most of the vintage furniture has been up-cycled for the modern homemaker via an enviable selection of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. Among the vintage is a fine collection of locally-made home decor goods, some even sourced from yours truly :).

If vintage shopping isn’t your thing, though, we promise you’ll love the DIY workshops hosted here. We’re nuts for their Painted Side Table workshop and their Hanging Terrariums class, ourselves. Their classes are affordable, easy and best when attended with friends!

As if that wasn’t enough to make you want to come and never leave, just last weekend The Green Door announced the opening of their new expansion– a bridal/ event consultation and decoration rental service. We were lucky enough to be in attendance for their grand opening celebration, lending our custom hand-lettering skills to all the partygoers. Check out some of our pics on Facebook!

How, exactly, does one run a wildly successful shop and still have time to scope out celebrity crushes? We’re not sure, but Maureen manages to make it look easy. Click above to see more of Maureen’s shop — and hear some of her favorite things– in this intimate look at The Green Door.

 

Join the Happy Crowd:

Facebook |  Pinterest | Instagram

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Tennessee: Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

 

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The latest concoction in our Americana Appetites series brings you some good ol’ Memphis Dry Rub Ribs from Tennessee! This recipe came from Paula Deen, the most epic mother of country home cooking.

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Virginia was once again defeated in our social media poll of which state you would like to see next. Here at Tomahawk, we are yet to visit the great state of Tennessee—despite our love of country music—but even though we may not have yet experienced this recipe in it’s hometown, we must admit that these bad boys southern-charmed the pants off us, nonetheless.

The sweet mixture of brown sugar with a hint of a kick in the cayenne pepper leaves your mouth wondering if it’s naughty or nice; and the slow cooking creates a tenderness above that of even the most comforting southern momma. Are you drooling yet? We are. Give it a go and feel free to share a photo with us on Facebook or Twitter—we’d love to see your delicious results!

Cheers!
TDco.

For All the MD-Lovin’ Mamas

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Spring has finally sprung here in Baltimore, and we are excited to celebrate one of our favorite holidays. This year, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10th, and we can’t wait—we love celebrating our favorite ladies in our lives with brunch, some fresh flowers, and maybe a mimosa or two.

Below, we wanted to introduce you to some of the best “moms” in the lives of the Tomahawk team. Then, keep reading to learn about how we want to help you celebrate the Mom in your life this year!

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The Best Friend Mama

“My mom is one of my best friends! There is nothing better than being able to vent over a glass of wine with your mama and know that no matter what—through the many ups and downs of life—she will always be there for you.”

– Jill

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New Mamas

“I’m lucky enough to know a number of close friends and family that have recently become (or are about to become!) new mamas! Nothing is sweeter than seeing a new baby loving on their mama – and getting to love on them, too!”

– Raquel

allison

Pet Mama

“Shout out to the little guy that made me a Mom – a pet Mom, that is. Raising Ace has been a great reminder to thank my Mom for all she did for me – feeding me, making sure I had water, and cleaning up after me – all great aspects of motherhood (it’s all the same in puppy-motherhood, but with fewer “Thank you”’s and more (very) wet kisses!).”

– Allison

tara

Long Distance Mama

“Despite re-locating to North Carolina about 8 years ago, my Mom remains a tried and true Marylander! Berger cookies, Orioles, Ravens, Black-Eyed Susans, Old Bay….they are all a few of her very favorite things.”

– Tara

We want to see the moms in your life, and to help you celebrate them on May 10th! Join in our contest to win a Maryland-themed gift for your MD-Loving-Mama.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (literally):

1. Follow us on Instagram @tomahawkdesignco

2. Tag us in a photo of you and your favorite MD-loving Mom (or if you are a mother and you love Maryland, share that, too!)

3. Tell  us why your Mom loves Maryland, and use the hashtag #momsloveMD

The winner will be announced on May 2nd and we will contact them to make sure the basket of goodies (shown below!) makes its way to you by the Big Day.

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A Mallet Whackin’ Good Time

No matter where you live in this great country (unless you’re in Southern California!), it’s pretty much a given that you’ve been experiencing the same cold snap that we have here in Charm City.  While we’re all about cuddling up next to the fire with a blanket and a glass of wine (or two), we’ve mostly been spending our days dreaming of the coming warmth.

crab paper

crab paper2

Here in MD, there’s no better way to celebrate summer than with a classic Chesapeake Crab Feast! We’ve come up with a list for the perfect feast with friends and family – here’s what you’ll need:

1. Set the date – Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day…Any day is a good crab feast day!

2. Guest list – Invite your crustacean loving friends

3. Crab paper – You’ll want to protect your picnic table from the delicious mess – we may be biased, but think that our new paper is perfect!

4. Old Bay (We never leave home without it!)

5. Crab mallets

6. Serrated knives

7. Paper towels

8. Side dishes – Might we suggest burgers, potato salad or corn on the cob?

9. Maryland Blue Crabs (estimate 6 per person)

10. Ice-cold beer – We’ll leave this selection up to you!

mallets

We recommend making this a full-day event – start around 2 and enjoy the festivities late into that long summer night—everyone loves wrapping up cool evenings with a bonfire. Now get to pickin’ and enjoy!

Cheers!
– J

P.S. Don’t forget to check back in our shop next month to order your crab paper, mallets and more for your feast this summer: just add crabs (and beer).

 

Like-Minded Mamas Holiday Giveaway!

 

Book Giveaway

This has been a crazy fall for us here at TDco., but we’re happy to share with you one of our most recent projects that has come to completion!

Like-Minded Mamas

Meet Tonya, Heather and Stephanie, a group of three passionate women who make up The Like-Minded Mamas. Anything and everything natural health related, they’re on it! This fall, they have transformed almost every holiday recipe staple into healthy, nourishing alternatives that are satisfying for both the body and the mind. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, you’ll take comfort in knowing you’re staying true to REAL food when following their cookbook this holiday season.

cream cake

FallSalad

With its organic letterforms and personal touch, hand-lettering was the perfect gateway to helping the book spring to life. In collaboration of layout with Crimson Design Works, we lettered anything from the cover to section headers to recipe titles with as much care and finesse as is used in each and every one of the Like-Minded Mamas’ recipes.

Take a peek and be sure to enter our holiday giveaway to win a free printed copy—simply visit the TDco Facebook page and comment on our giveaway post!

Happy, healthy holidays to you and yours.

Cheers!
J.

Alaska: Drunken King Crab Legs

Drunken Crab Legs Image

We’re back at it with the newest recipe from our Americana Appetites series! The people have spoken and Alaska has defeated Virginia in our social media survey for the next state delicacy. This week, crab meat, beer and butter triumphantly reign in The Last Frontier’s go-to dish.

crab and butter

So today we’re venturing through cold waters and beautiful mountains to whip up some drunken king crab legs. I’m happy to say that I’ve had the unforgettable opportunity to visit this great state and feast upon some of these beauties in their freshest environment. As a Marylander, I may be a seasoned crustacean lover, but I can certainly advocate that people should venture outside their comfort zone to try some king crab legs at least once in their life—unless you’re allergic to shellfish, in which case, stick to the land dwellers.

This week’s recipe is fairly straightforward; easy to prepare even for those of us that may struggle in the kitchen. So enjoy our hand-lettering, give it a whirl and feel free to share a photo with us on Facebook or Twitter—we’d love to see your delicious results!

Cheers!
J.

Alabama: Fried Green Tomatoes

Alabama

Our first recipe for Americana Appetites is complete! Alabama’s Fried Green Tomatoes—people really eat these? Apparently! Their salty sweetness creates a combination unlike any other. If you’re looking for the best ones, make a lunch stop at the Irondale Cafe where they serve ’em up with their homemade remoulade sauce.

tomatoes

We’ll be leaving the next recipe choice up to the masses. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tomahawkdesignco to participate in the survey!

Cheers,
J.

Introducing “Americana Appetites”

Americana Appetites

Design AND food? I’m in heaven and happy to introduce today: Americana Appetites. As I’ve started to do more hand-lettering and launched the official opening of The Calligraphy Kitchen, I’ve found that recipes are an amazing execution of design practices. This new project will be slowly evolving into a series of homegrown and hand-lettered recipes for each of the 50 states’ most beloved cuisine—practicing both my culinary and creative skills, simultaneously!

While this may seem a bit like designing the cover before you write the book, I decided to look at this project as more of a developing brand. And where does a brand begin? With the logo.

This introductory image for the series captures both the culinary and artistic detail of every piece by highlighting the humanistic, hands-on connection between cooking and art—two of life’s most simple pleasures. I hope you’re as excited as I am to begin this delicious journey through the 50 states. Check back later this week for our inaugural recipe—Alabama!

Cheers,
J.

 

Food Type: Maryland Style Crabcakes

Crabcakes

If there’s one thing Marylanders know, it’s crustaceans. Maryland-style crabcakes populate menus across the country, yet never quite live up to their hometown flair anywhere other than the Old Line State. From the Old Bay to the jumbo lump meat, these crabcakes always leave your mouth watering for more—not to mention, a cold Natty Boh.

This week’s Food Type is the beginning of an upcoming collection that will bring to life homespun recipes from each of the 50 states. As we’re working our way from Maine lobster rolls all the way over to California fish tacos, these handlettered pieces will unfold into the Calligraphy Kitchen’s “Americana Appetite” series. Stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to help out with your state’s recipe decision! Cheers, J.

Open for Business

Open

Happy fall, all! I’ve been crazy busy these past few weeks getting The Calligraphy Kitchen up and running. I’m happy to announce that we are now OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Be sure to check out the shop at www.etsy.com/shop/calligraphykitchen for some great prints and more. Here’s some highlights…

12 Days Type MD PrintOrioles Baseball Guac Type Merry-land Stars

 

Be sure to check in, we’ll be adding some exciting new things to the shop in the next few weeks.

Cheers!
J.

The Calligraphy Kitchen

Calligraphy Kitchen

Hello, world! I know, I know, it’s been quite awhile. It’s been a crazy summer here at TDco., with me trying to wear too many hats and accomplish everything I’m hoping for. Now that I own my own business I’m realizing how much creative freedom I really do have; I get so many great ideas and want to execute all of them! But there are only so many hours in the day, unfortunately, and I have too many “visions” to do it all at once…which, I do believe, is quite a good problem to have.

Anywho, all of these recent ideas have basically stemmed from my newfound love of hand lettering. At fist I didn’t think I was very good at it—and believe me, compared to some hand letterers out there I am sufficiently mediocre, if that. However, I think the joy of creating a hand-drawn piece lies in the fact that it isn’t so much about how perfect your letterforms are, but the time and patience and calligraphic love that goes into it; and the touch of humanism that can be seen no matter what.

So I’ve gathered all of these recent brain-children and come up with the umbrella brand of “The Calligraphy Kitchen.” I’m happy to say that I will soon be opening an Etsy shop to house these little guys and more! Stay tuned for the announcement of my shop opening and in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of some things I’ve been working on recently…

Nancy

Who doesn’t love a good quirky saying? We’ll be visualizing some #overheard rants to turn them into beautiful imagery—no matter the connotation.

Wine, Wine, WinebelieveGuacYou may have seen some of my Food Type on the blog before; it truly was the inspiration for the name “The Calligraphy Kitchen.” I’ll be creating these fantastic hand-lettered editions of family recipes as keepsakes. We all know how important family truly is, and I think these recipes that are oftentimes passed down through many generations, are a wonderful way to artistically remember those that mean the most.

MD shapeMD SilkscreenAhh the joys of being a true Marylander—we are a state that is filled with so much pride. This project started as a going-away gift for a friend that moved to California. After seeing how well-received the piece was, I decided to make another version. The MD in Type project has turned into more than I ever imagined it could be, creating wooden works of art as well as silkscreen prints that will be coming soon! I’m so excited to get started on printing and should have some in-progress photos to share next week.

crab paperStemming from the MD in Type project, I branched out to focus on one of the top things Maryland loves…picking crabs. Using elements from the first project and combining them with crustacean-focused quips, the final result will be fun and quirky newsprint sheets that can be used to cover your table and also create a lighthearted environment for family and friends.

Merry-Land BohmanThe holidays are well on their way…scary, I know. After weeks of mulling over how I can make holiday collateral that is somehow different than everything that has already been done, I again pulled from my slowly forming MD cache and decided to take that route for the holiday season as well. The shop will have a Maryland wrapping paper listing, as well as cards, tags, prints and more! B•More proud of your hometown this Christmas, would ya?

Well, that’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned for the shop opening and Happy Fall!

Cheers,
J.

 

Client Gifts for Manly Men

phone caseAs a newbie to the world of business ownership, I’ve been recently venturing into the realm of client gifts. People love feeling that they’re appreciated, so it’s our job to ensure that our clients know just how much we love their business.

But finding the right client gift is harder than one thinks—at least harder than I thought—especially when that client is the complete opposite of you. After accumulating several new pieces of business driven by middle-aged, left-brain males, I realized the need for a suitable gift for this particular demographic—and I was at a loss. After a bit of research however, I’ve conquered the ultimate client gift list that is just perfect for those “manly men” of the working world.

It’s important to understand the type of person you’re working with. Getting to know someone can be a challenge when you’re trying to maintain a professional relationship; but if you pay close enough attention there is oftentimes a subtle hint as to the world in which they live. The trick? Choose something that embraces your brand while also being functional. The Tomahawk brand is rugged, natural and hardworking, so I’ve chosen pieces that are not only useful, but will remind clients of my company whenever they’re used—and hopefully bring them back to me with more business in the future!

Man Gifts

(Top image: Saddle Leather Phone Case by Pottery Barn; (1. Whiskey Soaked Campfire Jerky by Manready Mercantile; (2. Lillie’s Q Smoky BBQ Sauce by Manready Mercantile; (3. Cedar & Sage Soy Candle by Manready Mercantile; (4. Chocolate Gift Box by Dude, Sweet Chocolate; (5. Leather & Copper Key Fob by 1.61 Soft Goods; (6. Reclaimed Barn Wood Coasters in Red Pine by GrandJunctionGuy; (7. Antiqued Brass Money Clip by TheWeekendStore

Have some other good client gift ideas for business men? We’d love to hear!

Cheers,
J.

Oceanfront Office

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So, I’m on vacation and the best thing about this week has been having time to focus on TDco work instead of client work. I’m not sure if that makes me a workaholic or not, but either way I’m okay with it—hitting the “off” switch is harder than it seems. My boyfriend snapped an Instagram of me yesterday while working from the porch, with the caption, “No such thing as vacations, just oceanfront offices.” I thought that summed it up pretty well.

reading on the porch

I imagine that building a brand for your design business is sort of like an accountant doing his own taxes. You have to do what you do every day for other people, for yourself, and finding the time for that is generally a pretty big challenge.

Being blessed with having worked at a Marketing agency for almost five years prepared me for all that is involved in creating a solid brand. Logo, website, social media, advertising, marketing, writing blog posts (!), not to mention the business-side of things with managing finances, business development, client relations…I could go on. Maintaining it all (plus juggling the biggest portion of my time, client work) with this one-woman show? Talk about overwhelming.

But at the end of the day, one of my favorite parts of starting this company has been watching it unfold before my very eyes. In just two short months, the terrifying unknown has slowly turned into excitement as I look at how much my life and my career have changed. There is nothing more satisfying and nothing else I’d rather be doing in this moment—and that thought puts a smile on my face every single morning.

Cheers!
J.

 

Wagner Honey: Part Two

wagner4

The Wagner Honey story continues! We love building brands here at TDco., and this was a prime opportunity to do just that. With an approved logo and plenty of room to build, Beloved Bees was primed for some “buzzworthy” expansion (pun intended, obviously).

There is much to be said about a solid logo; it sets the scene for anything and everything forthcoming in your brand. Marketing collateral? Check. Packaging? Check. Website…working on it. One of my favorite things about being a designer is watching a brand blossom before me. The excitement of the client is nothing compared to the excitement a designer experiences when they see their “baby” unleashed into the wild world of commercialism; feeling as though you’ve created something strong enough to push itself through as the weak are weeded out is an incomparable high in the graphics realm.

This particular couple started Beloved Bees with the simple goal of making a satisfying product for family and friends. Just because your client has milestones that may seem easily reachable, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go above and beyond to exercise your creative potential—I take any and all opportunities to build out a brand.

We started with the mark…

Wagner-05-05Continued with a brochure that not only introduces the Wagners, but also describes both their beekeeping tactics and the farming history…

wagnerborchure…and finished off with a label that accentuates both the custom illustrated bee and the natural aspects of the company through the use of burlap and twine around the lids. Also, might I mention (randomly) that I tested out this honey pot and dipper after shooting for the project and was very impressed with how handy it was for my tea!

wagner2

I’m sure there is still plenty to come with this fun and comprehensive brand. But for now, the Wagner’s are set to sell some honey and tend to their hives. We wish them the best of luck in the expansion of their business!

Cheers,
J.

 

Food Type: Birroteca

Birroteca

 

 

Live in Baltimore? Visiting soon? Be sure to check out Birroteca, a modern take on delicious Italian cuisine. Not only is the food fantastic, but the atmosphere is spot-on for a laid-back meal in its quaint Hampden locale. I’ll be heading back soon to dabble in some brussel sprouts and get my fix of the olive oil and sea salt ice cream—sound weird? You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Cheers!
J.

Americana for Designers

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It’s World Cup time and the U.S. has slowly swarmed with more and more red, white and blue. Anything that could possibly have an American flag added to it, now has one. However, as everyday, non-designer folk, many Americans don’t realize the difference between great stars and stripes and those that lack, erm…designer swag, shall we say?

That being said, for today’s post I decided to go show this great country of ours that “Americana done right” is in fact, a beautiful thing.

1. Simplicity is key: Vintage Rower iPhone case from Society 6

2. Red, white and blue prevails in this great DIY wedding table design from Homemade Bride

3. I can’t lie, corn dogs gross me out. But some package design from Williams-Sonoma might just change my mind…

4. I’m a sucker for vintage so this scarf definitely hits the mark

5. Happened to spy this flag throw at B&N yesterday. Bonus: it’s also super soft

6. Burn some apple pie scented candles in Hayneedle’s Bailey Lattice Candle Lanterns for instant Ameri-fication

7. This can design from Miller can make even the fanciest of fancy want to crack open a cold one

So if you’re planning to watch Team USA tonight, throw on some well-designed Americana and wear it with pride!

Cheers,
J.

Food Type: Candied Bacon

Bacon recipe

Today’s Food Type is Father’s Day appropriate! Need a last minute gift? You know Dad will love something made by his favorite child—and believe me, you WILL be the favorite after he tastes this. The best part? It’s so simple! Creating the typography for this one took longer than making the actual recipe; in case you can’t tell, that is love…design love with a side of bacon.

Bacon photos

A special shoutout to my friend Allison for documenting each delicious step! We certainly enjoyed the final product.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Awesome Dads

Cards

Looking for a great card for dad? Who doesn’t love some handmade goodness?! Check out these gems from Etsy and support small business at the same time!

(1. HeidiNicoleStudio; (2. papertieaffair; (3. PapermintStudio; (4. moglea; (5. HennelPaperCo; EmDashPaperCo; (7. Cardtorial

Wishing you and your Pops a splendid Father’s Day!

Cheers,
J.

 

Wine & Design

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To get the ball rolling, a little creative grape juice…

1. Ampersand label design for Hither & Yon
2. Ombre stemless glasses from Uncommon Goods
3. Some simple typography and a pop of color goes a long way on this bottle from Vinkara
4. I’m in love with these quartz crystal stoppers; who says all bars have to be manly?
5. It’s called Helvetica—need I say more?
6. Alphabetical highlights the designer-y love of the letterform plus beautiful vintage illustration, all in one
7. That is one foxy Chardonnay
8. An infographic on a wine bottle? Sold.

I know I’m not the only person whose wine selection is generally driven by the label. While wine and food are meant to pair well, I don’t think we should overlook the fact that—especially for the younger generation, which is up-and-coming in the wide world of vino—the design of a label also needs to pair well with its audience.

Take the average mid-20’s female (ohh, let’s say blonde hair, blue eyes, about 5’3″, enjoys typography and long walks on the beach…) and ask her to describe the tannins, the nose and the mouthfeel of the wine she just tasted; more often than not, you will receive nothing more than a blank stare. This particular audience is not usually perusing the aisles of your local wine shop looking for “a bold red with a smooth finish,” she’s looking for bright colors, quirky names and attractive imagery.

In case you haven’t gotten the hint, I’m far from a wine connoisseur. I drink it, I love it and I do occasionally dabble in the foreign language of Wine Speak, but most evenings I’m picking up a bottle in between “this and that” and don’t really have time to spend exploring the cellar notes on the back, half of which I probably won’t understand anyway. 

Second Glass, creators of the quickly growing event Wine Riot, have accepted the challenge of helping this younger generation become more involved in the science behind the vino we love so very much. I attended Wine Riot in 2012 and was pleased to see that they are successfully helping novices such as myself learn about the world of wine in a fun and non-intimidating way. 

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The bold design and display of information that can normally be rather “dry” (pun intended), combined with humorous things such as temporary tattoos and photo booths has brought it down to our level and created a world where wine is less intimidating and more interesting. Make sure you check out the schedule to see when Wine Riot will be closest to you!

Cheers,
J.

 

 

 

Bold

Bold

When I was younger, I was the little girl that clung to her mother’s leg and spoke only when spoken to. In high school I was the cheerleader that no one believed could yell loudly enough to wake a sleeping baby, let alone cheer on a team of 40 boys. In college my hands shook and my voice trembled when forced to present my work. But after transitioning into a “career woman” (if you will), I like to think that I’ve gained some much-needed self-confidence; because quitting your steady job to start your own business is nothing short of terrifying and I would never have done it otherwise.

Every day should be filled with a little thrill. Switch up the ol’ routine, maybe part your hair on the opposite side (woah!) or practice your finest karaoke number with the windows down (apologies, fellow commuters). I’m convinced that these small, bold moves are what keep us on track to a fulfilling life that forces you to destroy the limits every once in a while.

Bold design contributes to this as well. Pushing your clients outside of their comfort zone is necessary if you want to continue to challenge yourself artistically. I always try to provide clients with one option that goes beyond what they’re expecting; maybe they choose it, or maybe they ask what the hell you were thinking but at least you’ve allowed yourself an opportunity to fully flex those creative muscles with each and every project—and no, 20 reps of picking up and putting down your pencil does not count.

Click here for some bold design inspiration and go get your creative workout on.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Mini-Vacay

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Today’s Sip & Sit comes from one of my favorite places on Earth. In an effort to soak in some early summer rays and enjoy every bit of relaxation this holiday weekend, the gal-pals and I decided to make the 8-hour trek from Bmore city life to paradise in Topsail Island, NC.

Obviously the beach comes with a plethora of more-than-acceptable alcoholic beverage options, but finding something that is refreshing and easy to drink in the hot summer sun can often be a challenge when contemplating options that have a ton of sugar (also known as a headache waiting to happen). So I’ve settled on this scrumptious and simple choice, which I’ll have in-hand in about t-minus three hours (#5oclocksomewhere).

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Rum with Coconut Water & Lime

  • 1.5 oz. high-quality rum
  • 1.5 oz. coconut water
  • Squeeze of lime (appx. 1/4 lime)

Pour all ingredients in a lowball cocktail glass, add one large ice cube, and serve.

Thanks to two-tarts.com for today’s recipe!

Easy as pie! Usually my “sit’s” are places I’m daydreaming about each week. But today, I’m going to cut this post short and go enjoy my vacation, drink in hand. Don’t mind my shameless Ravens plug…

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Here’s hoping your holiday weekend takes its time, right now Tuesday is miles away…

Cheers!
J.

Man v. Machine: The Artistic Dilemma

Pencils

I don’t know about you, but a few glasses of Syrah and binge-watching my DVR is pretty heavenly. Finding the time in our busy schedules to catch up on a week’s worth of shows in one sitting is rarely feasible, yet deeply fulfilling for our inner-lazy bone when we can swing it. Hello, Sunday.

Let’s dive right in. Last week on Mad Men (season 7, episode 5, if you’d like to catch up…) a computer was brought into the SC&P office. Like it or not, the 1960s were suddenly introduced to the age of technology. There I sat, attempting to multitask and clicking away on my MacBook propped perfectly in my lap, when suddenly I looked up and realized that the entire “creative lounge” was being transformed into an office of digitization—the thing was a beast.

Mad Men

I suppose I don’t often think about the fact that computers weren’t always so prominent in the lives of creatives. When IBM introduced that first wizard of a machine, boasting the motto “THINK,” I’m sure the mighty little MacBook Pro wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of Mother Technology. And as Mad Men‘s Michael Ginsberg was overtaken by paranoia that this computer would capture their souls I began to compare the late 60’s Madison Ave creative jungle with my own 2014 work habits, realizing that our time spent in front of the screen should not have such substantial front-runner status and that a true graphic designer must use their pen and paper equally as much as their mouse.

Recently, I read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon, in which he writes about having both a Digital Desk and an Analog Desk in his studio. I love this idea, so while setting up my new space I purposefully developed a triangle of constant creative motion by developing a Digital Desk and a Analog Desk of my own—not to mention, I threw a brainstorming space into the mix as well. The result being that I’m situated perfectly between point A of the isosceles (my lovely MacBook + Thunderbolt duo), point B (my brainstorming chair) and point C (my drafting table) and feeling the spidery creative fibers beginning to form a brilliant web of ingenuity (or so one can only hope) that not only makes good use of our amazing technology, but also screams “don’t forget to use your hands!”

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So in the upcoming months I plan to spend more time roaming my newly-formed creative isosceles and contemplating how I can improve my work by being more hands-on. Need a burst of creativity in your own life? Join me in a revolution that will revert us back to the time when the “Creative Lounge” was just that—a space for expressive minds that succeeded with nothing more than paper, pens and brilliant, artistic ingenuity.

Cheers!
J.

 

Office Plants for Creatives

Spring has sprung! Actually, these past few days have felt like we may have skipped a season altogether. Nonetheless, it’s been giving me a hankerin’ for gardening that I’ve never had before—Hi, my name is Jill and I’m a plant killer. So yesterday I spent my lunch hour meandering the aisles of Home Depot’s outdoor garden center wondering where to begin. Feeling the eyes of the regulars judging the horticultural naivety that was radiating off of me, I contemplated which of these poor little sprouts would be my next victim.

By the end of this adventure there was hose water in my shoes, sunburn on my shoulder (that’s right, just one of them) and a newfound knowledge of the difference between Moroccan Basil and Sweet Basil—who knew?

Whichever part of the creative field you stem from (see what I did there?), I’m now convinced that as artists we need plants that are on our level. Behold! After a bit of research, here are my suggestions as to which leafy greens best align with a creative lifestyle:Plants

1. Succulents – Working long hours calls for plants that are nearly indestructible. Got wrapped up in that new project you’re super pumped about? No worries! Storing water in their leaves is what these little guys are all about, so missing a little watering may not be quite as detrimental as it would to other plants. So go on with yo’ creative self! The succulents can wait (at least a bit).

2. Money Tree – Let’s be honest, as artists there are few people in the world who truly appreciate not only the beauty, but the value of our work. Also known as the “Good Luck Tree” a Money Tree sounds like something every Creative should have in their office for those pesky clients that just don’t “get it.” Bonus: it promotes positive energy, so chin up!

3. Bonsai – Attention to detail is a must in the design industry. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all felt that small flutter in our chest as a printed piece arrives hot off the press and smelling of fresh pulp and ink. You examine it closely, fingers crossed that everything is exactly as it should be. The Bonsai tree is a perfect way to promote focus and effort in our everyday, creating something that also becomes an item of contemplation for both its audience and the grower. Hopefully that focus will make its way into the rest of our work as well.

4. Croton – This one was new to me—I couldn’t help but notice its pop of color among the sea of green. With yellow veins and subtle hints of red and orange, I am loving the variety of colors in this plant. Need a natural pop in your office? Grab one of these beauties and keep her near the window; the more direct sunlight they get the more their colors shine!

5. Mint – Mint leaves make a phenomenal addition to ice cubes. I’m a big tea fan, so popping one of these frozen treats into my glass gives it that extra kick of flavor…which, in turn gives me that extra kick of motivation. Then, after a long day of releasing the creative genius from within, happy hour arrives—mojito style. Fresh mint is the key ingredient to a fantastic mojito; take a long sip and revel in the day’s success.

Happy Tuesday! Don’t forget to water those plants…
J.

Office Sneak Peek

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The spaces where most of our time is spent should be those that also inspire us the most. I’ve spent the past two months renovating what is now the brand new TDco office. Its just…about…there, but due to the fact that I’m a borderline insane perfectionist, I’m only ready to share this little sneak peek. I took a ton of photos throughout the entire process, documenting all of the minutes spent making decisions that have turned it into my own creative sanctuary.

I found this fantastic chair from Joss & Main (above) in an almost too-good-to-be-true shade of Tomahawk purple, which also happens to fall right in line with the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. I like to think of this as an excellent sign to have opened the doors to TDco in 2014 with a brand that is so—you guessed it—fierce.

Stay posted for the big reveal!

Cheers,
J.

Food Type: Spicy Chicken Pizza

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Today’s Food Type ventures in a slightly different direction. Rather than a typographic restaurant review, I’ve started to dabble in typographic recipe creations! Meet Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s nothing better than a nice, hot, homemade pie. I did in fact make this delicious creation, feeling the need to test out the concoction before whipping out a work of art based solely on something that was not-so-tasty. It turned out phenomenally!

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Check out that crust, golden brown and baked to perfection. Sigh, give it a whirl! It’s worth it, I promise—would I lie to you??

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Relaxation

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Some Friday nights all you feel like doing is staying in and taking a nice, long bubble bath. Unfortunately for me, I don’t currently have a phenomenal soaking tub to retreat to, so this evening I’m simply dreaming about it.

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Today was my final day at the agency where my career began. After nine hours, a few tears and a hell of a lot of courage, I walked out the door, pulled out of the lot and said goodbye to so many great people and memories. As I drove away I thought about the ones in your life that come and go. It’s like cold water to the face when you wake up and realize that the past four and a half years have formed relationships that helped you grow SO much, yet—as much as you hope they will—probably won’t matter when you look back after the next four and a half.

Cliche moral? Of course I have one, don’t you worry! Enjoy every day—every moment with every person that has even the tiniest glimpse into your life. They have something to teach you; find that something and hold onto it so that when you look back you know exactly why they were there.

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Obviously, today’s sip is champagne-based! A mighty little toast to the future—to new beginnings and new people and new stories to tell.

Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail

8 oz Champagne, chilled
1 ripe pomegranate (for juice, about 3 oz)
5 oz clementine juice, freshly pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons Limoncello
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly pressed

2 tablespoons cane sugar (or simple syrup to taste)

Combine clementine juice, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and limoncello.
Add champagne and sugar cane (or simple syrup) and mix.

Serve immediately.

Thanks to In Good Taste for today’s recipe!

Amazing changes intermittently happen in our lives. We must embrace them, hope for the best and work hard. But just for tonight? I’ll be relaxing in my imaginary tub of bubbles…while sipping on some real bubbles.

Cheers!
J.

Six Word Story Every Day

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I stumbled upon Six Word Story Every Day in my usual inspiration web wanderings and was immediately drawn in. Combining the art of writing with the art of design? Yes please, I’ll take it!

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In 2010, Anne Ulku and Van Horgen discovered the genius of using language and typography to create a six word story…every day. Each post is unique—some using photography, some using illustration, some using nothing but bare-bones typography—and they all cause the mind to wander somewhere different for each viewer, sparking inspiration for every new set of eyes.

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My favorite part about this project is that it shows how complex and impactful words can be, yet it’s portrayed in such a simplistic way. People can write novels—thousands of words—that tell marvelous stories and draw you in with their characters or plots; but people can also write a single sentence that creates just as much, if not more, of an impact on our lives.

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With this fresh new link for the inspiration archives, I’m feeling ultra creative. I think my six word story for today would be: “I just really want some adventure.” How about yours?

Happy storytelling,
J.

 

 

Food Type: Bluegrass Tavern

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Located in charming Federal Hill, Bluegrass Tavern is a home away from home for southern folk with a sophisticated palette. From their classic, airy atmosphere to the whiskey and wine selection, there is nothing to rival the uniqueness of this Baltimore gem.

Stop by in the warmer months and enjoy a weekend brunch at one of their outdoor patio tables, or enjoy a romantic dinner in their intimate dining room. No matter what the occasion, you won’t be disappointed!

Cheers,
J.

 

Firefly 2014 – Vote!

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Firefly Music Festival, a four-day event full of great music in the great outdoors, is rapidly growing in popularity along the East Coast crowd. But the festival isn’t solely about the jams, attendees are engulfed by an atmosphere that I like to refer to as all-out “woodland merriment.”

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A Firefly ticket comes with so much promise for a weekend full of frivolity. There’s something mischievous about being among the trees, allowing just enough sunlight to seep through to let you know it’s still daylight. But even after the sun goes down the vibe doesn’t falter; The Pathway is an under-the-stars light and video installation that keeps the energy going all night long, creating the ultimate nighttime retreat.

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An outdoor arcade? A hammock hangout? A forest cinema? These are just a few of the things you’ll find throughout the weekend if you need a break from the crowded main stage music scene. The festival has plenty of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation, including yoga and an on-site wine bar.

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The anticipation is rising as June approaches and the list of performers solidifies my gut feeling that this year’s festival is sure to be just as fantastic as last. For 2014, Tomahawk Design Co. submitted an entry into the poster contest (see top). We used a few of our fave Festival highlights to create a kaleidoscope-type image full of wonder. The bright colors capture the bubbling atmosphere, against a backdrop of the dark blue night sky and forest silhouettes. It would be greatly appreciated if you could take a quick second and vote for our design! 

Hope to see you there in a few short months, sporting your hand-painted TOMS with a smile on your face and a beer in your hand.

Cheers!
J.

 

New Beginnings

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Sometimes a fresh start is in order! In honor of mine, I’ve compiled a list of “New Beginning” necessities for the following…

1. Peace: A slight breeze through these beauties are sure to ease the soul.

2. Calming: Bubble baths are my jam.

3. Luck: Not only is the horseshoe itself gorgeous, but I looove some quality packaging!

4. Strength: Obviously can’t resist something with an axe on it; although manly, this soap promotes circulation and contributes to the release of toxins.

5. Extra luck: Because you can never have enough!

6. Success: As a girl with an awful green thumb, this simple bamboo plant in the office suggests that my success will [hopefully] live on.

7. Bravery: For those moments when you just need to stop, take a breath and soak it all in.

8. Creativity: always, always and always. New notebooks for new beginnings.

9. Fun: Because if bubble baths don’t do the trick, wine surely will. Make your mark on your new start.

10. Rejuvination: Detox tea full of natural goodness.

Hope you enjoy and can use some of these gems when committing to a fresh start of your own—may it be big or small.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Bday Love

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Wednesday was none other than my lovely day of being welcomed into this world. In honor of this once-a-year anomaly where people you haven’t spoken to in ages supply some Facebook love (to which I am grateful, don’t get me wrong), this Friday’s Sip & Sit includes, of course, a fabulous champagne toast.

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Champagne Mint Julep

3-4 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces of Cavicchioli 1928, Sparkling Wine, NV, very well chilled

In a champagne flute, add the mint leaves (twisting them as you add to release their flavor and aroma) and the bourbon, and muddle with the end of a spoon. Top with the chilled Cavicchioli and enjoy.

Simple enough! Thanks to The Kitchn for this week’s bday cocktail.

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But of course, what would a Friday happy hour treat be without an equally fantastic place to enjoy? I would love to soak in some afternoon sun on this boat—a day filled with friends and warm weather is really all it takes to satisfy my celebratory notions.

Apologies to all of my friends who are reading this in hopes of a surprise birthday getaway on my yacht; the bowling alley will have to suffice for this evening! #stayclassy

So happy birthday to me! Here’s hoping the big 2-7 will be filled with happiness and success—perhaps someday we’ll actually enjoy our Friday Sip & Sit overlooking the lapping water and smelling the wonderful salty air.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Unsplash

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I recently stumbled upon this awesome site, offering 10 new, free, high-res photos every ten days. I love it when a great resource just falls right into your lap. These work spectacularly as blurred backgrounds, a break from work to do some daydreaming, or simply as good ol’ solid inspiration. Today, I was of course drawn to the ones reminding me that warmer days are right ahead.

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That last one was for good measure—because if you don’t love an adorable puppy there is clearly something wrong with you.

Not only are the photos themselves great, but you can certainly get lost in clicking the links to each photographer, delving into a ton of new creative outlets. Enjoy!

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Texas Style

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Happy Friday! This week I was inspired by the Lone Star State, which I have only visited once, yet diligently adore. The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita allows you to sip a ton of Texas-style charm through one tiny little straw. What would Texas be without a bit of a kick to it? The habaneros in this guy are a sure-fire (pun intended) reminder of the Texan way of life.

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Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1-2 habanero chiles, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice

Directions:

  • Mix tequila and chiles in a large pitcher. Let steep 3 hours, or longer if a spicier tequila is desired. Discard chiles. This can be made up to 1 month ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Pour enough water onto a small plate to cover. Pour enough salt onto another small plate to cover by 1/4″. Dip rims of eight 12-ounce. glasses into water, then into salt to lightly coat; fill with ice. Add grapefruit juice to pitcher with tequila. Fill with ice; stir until cold. Divide drink among glasses.

Recipe compliments of Bon Apetit!

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I love that the wildflowers in Texas own the highways with a prominence that makes you never want to have road rage ever again. Here, some of those beauties are incorporated as a centerpiece, placed in a galvanized metal bucket that adds just the right amount of rustic to the scene. And don’t even get me started on the stone table, look at the legs on that puppy! What a great way to incorporate something into its surroundings; this spot was flat-out meant for entertaining among the twisting branches of some southern live oaks. To top it all off, the bright, cheery chairs liven up this already thriving scene with a burst of Lone Star spirit (although, if it were me I may have gone for red, white and blue).

You can surely count me in for a Sip & Sit in this spot, prior to my rowdy, boot-scootin’ Friday night.

Cheers!
J.

 

The Fifty United Plates

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I’ve had my designer-y eye on The Fifty United Plates for quite some time now. After taking just one ceramics class in college I’ve developed an eternal itch for getting my hands back into some clay. This particular envy-inducing project began on Kickstarter and has gained what I would consider to be mind-blowing success over the past year.

Ryan and Kaitlyn Lawless started The Fifty United Plates as a way for us great Americans to pay tribute to where we’re from. “We’re all locals somewhere,” a perfect statement by the creators that sums up the passion behind their project.

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When put together, all of the plates interlock perfectly with each other to compile the entire nation. Personally, I’m a little upset that Maryland isn’t bigger-boned…I need more room for crab dip; but I guess it could be worse, at least we aren’t Rhode Island.

The company has also recently expanded their collection to include plates in Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green and Canary Yellow as representation of the colors used in vintage maps. Considering I love adding color to anything and everything, I certainly approve, especially when there’s such fantastic reasoning behind it.

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I’m also quite in love with their porcelain Denizen Mugs (denizen: an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place), which makes me wish the Kickstarter project was still open so I could provide a pledge and get my paws on one.

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By the time I finished exploring the work from Corbe Company, I was bursting with hometown pride. Be sure to hop over to their website and request notification for when your state becomes available, as their incredible success has put many of the pieces on backorder throughout the upcoming months—which is, I think safe to say, a good problem to have. You can also check out their Kickstarter video for a peek at the dynamic duo’s process and the passion behind the porcelain (a little alliteration for your Thursday—and an unintended tongue twister).

Cheers from a Marylander,
J.

Wanderlust: A Van in the Sea

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I’m having a bit of Wednesday Wanderlust today as I check out “A Van in the Sea,” a project by Alessandro Puccinelli. This guy is way cool for so many reasons. Not only did he buy a 1970s motorhome—the thought of restoring this baby to its original glory fascinates me beyond belief—and drove it along the coasts of Portugal; but he also pursued his passion of photography in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous and exploratory way.

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Every photo, while similar, has subtle nuances that make it a brand new masterpiece of its own. When asked why he took the venture, Puccinelli states simply, “I did that just to be able to take care of my personal photography project and also…because I just wanted to do what I like.” How lovely of an idea is that? Most of us have hobbies, but how many of us can say we took such a grand leap to satisfy a hunger for pure bliss?

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Are you inspired? Good. Now go out and do something today…just because you like it.

Cheers!
J.

The Hivernant

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If you took a peek in my closet, the assumption would be quickly made that I am, what many would consider to be, a “girly-girl.” But as I’ve started to collect inspiration throughout my design career, it’s become fairly prominent that I’m drawn to things that are actually quite manly in nature.

I suppose the argument could be made that men are more simple creatures than women—attracted to a “no frills” lifestyle. So designing for a predominantly male audience must obviously speak to this straightforwardness. The allure behind many of these manly muses that I’ve tucked away for future reference is most notably their unmatched simplicity.

That being said, today I’ve pulled from the files an Etsy shop that “MAN-ifests” (see what I did there?!) this burly nature. The Hivernant creates hand-restored camp hatchets that not only show their beauty through hand-painted handles, but also through the stories their rich histories tell.

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As designers, we appreciate all aspects of the things we create every day. Not only does The Hivernant make these great pieces of art, but the way his work is displayed is awesome design in and of itself! I love the layout, based with a topographical backdrop that sets the theme for the product right away. The surrounding objects are oozing with ruggedness and keep—for the most part—within neutral tones as to create an even greater emphasis on the bright blue head of the hatchet. Then, that bright blue ties right back on in with the bodies of water on the map. Now that, my friends, is what I like to call a complete circle of well-planned, well-executed design.

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Shop owner, Zak Fellman is a Minnesota native that is clearly adept to bringing a love of the wilderness into his work (my eye was, of course, drawn to that Field Notes book). The wonder and intrigue of forging into the great frontier comes through loud and clear in every piece. Be sure to check out his shop for more fantastic work and tons of inspiring manliness!

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Spring

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Happy Friday! It’s officially the 2nd day of Spring and that, my friends, is reason to celebrate. Dust off that outdoor furniture—but leave the rest of the Spring cleaning for later—because in honor of this luscious seasonal change, today’s cocktail and locale both bring about feelings of sunshine, warmth and nature.

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Springtime Martini

Per Serving:
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Orange juice
1/2 oz. Pineapple juice
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Aperol *

* Aperol is an Italian aperitif, somewhat bitter and with strong notes of grapefruit.

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.  Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with lime.

Recipe compliments of A Cocktail Life!

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While some of the leaves in the background of this “sit” suggest a Fall chill, the amount of green on this porch is swaying me towards Spring beauty. The pink Gerber daisies pop against the white wood of the Adirondack chairs; and the soft blue watering can not only serves as a lovely complement, but also hints at the new growth of Spring.

I’d love to enjoy a nice Spring Martini here, soaking in the afternoon sun. Its airy color palette and oversized pillows are drawing me in…not to mention, I’m a sucker for a good porch swing.

Cheers!
J.

Food Type: Little Havana

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Today’s Food Type comes from what I like to think is a well-kept Baltimore secret. Pop in for some tacos, a mojito (their specialty) or simply to enjoy the warm breezes on the patio. I also happen to love the restored warehouse in which the cabana resides, representing the urban Baltimore vibe alongside the beachy Latin flair. Enjoy!

Cheers,
J.

Monday Blues

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It’s Monday, which calls for a big ol’ “womp womp.” Not only is this usually the toughest day of the week, but winter just WILL NOT go away. However, soaking up inspiration wherever possible, I thought I could share a snowy pick from one of my favorites, Windows of New York.

This project is the brainchild of Jose Guizar, a New York based designer that…well, just really likes windows. I love, not only his clean style of illustration, but the intrigue behind each and every piece. He states, “A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city.” I’d say this is a true artistic vision—and one that gets even bigger ups from me for taking the time to slow down and notice the beautiful things in life that are often overlooked.  

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So as I’m watching the snow fall through my own window, I can help but let my mind wander to the stories that are waiting to be told beyond the panes Jose shares. Above are a few of my absolutes favorites.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit

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Happy Friday! Mother Nature has been playing tricks with us lately, dangling the carrot of warm weather and then yanking it back juuuust as we’re about to take the bait. I’m dreaming of warmer days with this Friday’s Sip & Sit.

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Thanks to the Cookie Rookie for this week’s cocktail!

Ginger Raspberry Crush

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, muddled
  • 3 ounces vodka (I love Titos)
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • ginger ale
  • ice
Instructions
  1. muddle the raspberries and place half in the bottom of each glass
  2. top with agave nectar, lemon juice, and ice
  3. pour in 1.5 ounces of vodka per glass
  4. top with ginger ale
  5. serve with raspberries and lemon for garnish, and a sugar rim if desired.
  6. enjoy!

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What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a relaxing waterfront porch? I could use a Ginger Raspberry Crush—someone can hand it to me after I climb into that lovely kayak—paddling along the shores, soaking in the sun with immeasurable weekend contentment. Nothing is as inspiring as an exotic locale, offering brand new views, a refreshing mindset and crystal clear waters.

Cheers!
J.

Interior Lovin’

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I’ve recently discovered my love of not only GRAPHIC design, but INTERIOR! I’ve been spending the majority of my free time over the past few weeks remodeling what is soon-to-be the brand new Tomahawk office! Priming, painting, ripping out 40-year-old carpet, purchasing things that are way out of budget (they’re worth it, I promise), the works. I absolutely love picking out fabrics, frames and furniture that I’m sure I’ll be swooning over for the next few years. Granted, my office is only temporary for now, but I still find it incredibly important to create a space that I’ll walk into each and every day and say, “This is mine.”

With that, I’m excited to say that I will be fully invested in my company as the first, full-time employee beginning May 1. It’s exciting, it’s terrifying and best of all, it’s a brand new chapter. Today, I began the official process with my lawyer and his words to me as I walked out were, “I love that you have ambition; the toughest boss you will ever have is yourself.” Coming from a man that started his own law firm from the ground up and is still going strong at the age of 68, I’d say that’s a refreshing compliment—and one that I will certainly take to heart.

“After” photos to come soon!

Cheers,
J.

Inter’l Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting some inspiring, woman-owned, design-related businesses! I feel blessed to live in a place where, even as a female, I have the opportunity to take the mildly-terrifying professional leap into launching a business of my own. So let’s celebrate, as my fellow women-owned business and I strut our stuff!

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Kari Fisher, interior designer and owner of Kari Fisher Designs in Atlanta, GA, creates custom textiles that transform into these phenomenal plush pillows. The dynamic patterns, plus the beautiful imperfections of hand-painting, create a striking balance between sophisticated properness and the comforts of laid-back home life.

Kari’s love of traditional block-printing allows her to create uniquely beautiful pieces that are 100% attention-grabbers. Variations in color, printing, fabrics and patterns allows for that creative flexibility we all yearn for. In honor of International Women’s Day: Rock on and keep gettin’ your block on, Kari!

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IceMilk Aprons drew me in right away; not only with their gorgeous linen products, but with their story. As a company that has sprung from idolizing my grandfather, I love that this company was inspired by the founder’s grandmother! The product line features beautifully handmade aprons that could make even the worst cooks want to give it a go with the oven. Throw on one of these bad boys, pat some flour on your cheeks and voila! Instant kitchen goddess.

The company also offers fantastic gift packages including recipe cards and a custom monogrammed apron—looks like I’ll be covered on bridal shower gift ideas for quite some time…

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While I may not have children yet, Senn & Sons’ nursery prints are too adorable to resist mentioning. The simplistic designs create an ultra-modern feel for baby, who is welcomed into his/her design-haven of a nursery with firetrucks, surfers, or my personal fave—the whale!

Owner, Kimberly, spends her time balancing her two adorable “Sons” and creating these awesome prints. Check out her video, which is a great glimpse into her inspiration, her process and her happiness that springs from loving what she does! A super chic, designer-mom icon for International Women’s Day!

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit

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Happy Friday, y’all! Feeling some southern vibes today as I introduce “Have A Sip and Sit A Spell,” a weekly glimpse into fabulous cocktail recipes paired with some of the most awe-inspiring, drool-worthy settings.

A busy, energetic work week deserves a little reward, don’t you think? There’s no better way to close out those long days of productivity than with a five o’clock cocktail…except enjoying that cocktail in just the right atmosphere to enhance some creative zen. So shut the MacBook, have a sip of your favorite indulgence and sit a spell in that beloved spot of yours.

This weeks’s Sip: Grapefruit Rum Cocktails

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Makes 2 servings

1 large pink grapefruit, juiced (about 1 cup)
3 ounces (90 ml) rum
8 ounces (240 ml) ginger ale
2 ounces (60 ml) triple sec

Gently mix together the grapefruit juice, rum, ginger ale, and triple sec. Divide evenly between two glasses. Serve immediately with a slice of grapefruit to garnish.

To rim the glasses with sugar, dip in the grapefruit juice and then into the sugar. Shake lightly to remove any large chunks.

Recipe and photos from Pastry Affair

This week’s sit: Rugged Rocking Chairs

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This rugged porch just screams relaxation; I can almost smell the mountain air wafting through those screens. I love the mixture of wood with the natural, woven chair seats; and that simple pillow that adds just a touch of softness—rocking chairs make for great happy hour lounging! I’m also intrigued by that hanging antique wheel, which looks like it’s owning both aesthetics and functionality by acting as a design element and a chandelier. Love!

There are big things coming for Tomahawk in the upcoming days, so you’d better believe that today I’ll be enjoying my Friday happy hour to the fullest extent, feeling hopeful, excited, a little bit nervous and especially exhilarated! More to come…

Cheers,
J.

Food Type: Ryleigh’s Oyster

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This whole “starting your own design business” deal is, as I expected, tough work. You begin to realize that the business side is just as important as the design side and finding that balance between corporate and creative can be taxing. So lately I’ve been scrubbing my brain for ways to keep my skills sharp in the spare moments that I do happen to find.


Ryleigh's Infographic

Behold, my first attempt at a typographic restaurant review. I love food, I love type, so why the heck not? This particular infographic reflects some of my all-time fave things about one of Fed Hill’s finest, Ryleigh’s Oyster. But don’t just take my word(s) for it, stop by and check them out next time you find yourself around Charm City! You’ll be sure to see me there in the upcoming months when their open-air atmosphere blows back into style in the arms of those warm summer breezes.

Cheers,
J.

Design Folly

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The word “folly” has always intrigued me; it’s one of those words that rolls off the tongue well, like doppelgänger or befuddle. In the midst of all of this professional development I’ve been doing recently, I’ve assigned myself the personal goal of practicing more hand-drawn typography and simply using the Tomahawk blog as an enjoyable creative outlet, rather than a business chore.

That being said, keep your eyes peeled in upcoming weeks for some good ol’ Design Folly!

Cheers!
J.

Lace Love

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I can’t say I’ve ever been one to fawn over lace. All I could think of were the doilies that served as dainty platforms for my great-grandmother’s collection of “treasures” (ashtrays, vases full of fake flowers, you get the idea). However, I’ve recently discovered that I’ve been giving the poor gal unjust judgement for quite some time.

While designing the invitations for a friend’s wedding, she brought up the idea of using lace throughout the decor. Knowing that—in following good designer protocol—I needed to at least entertain the idea, I began some research and stumbled across these beautiful lace paper envelopes; suddenly my eyes were opened to a brand new world of elegant possibilities.

Here’s hoping for more unexpected paper surprises in the near future!

Cheers,
J.

Design Frontier

Design Frontier

Tomahawk is pioneering through the wild industry of design! Here are some recent loves that are reminiscent of the rugged nature of our brand:

1. 1Canoe2: Where the Buffalo Roam print >>
2. Modern Adirondack Chair >>
3. DIY Trunk Vase >>
4. Moose & Pine Smartphone Wallet >>
5. 3 Blind Moose Chardonnay >>
6. Point Reyes Driftwood Votive >>
7. Minnetonka Maui Flat Sandals >>
8. Newspaper Rucksack >>
9. EPICE Natural Map Scarf >>
10. Bear Statuette >>
11. Be Brave Balsam Pillow >>

Cheers!
J.

Flashback Friday: Designing Life

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Design inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to come from physical things; the design of one’s life can be just as inspiring! Today’s example comes from these handsome folks: my grandparents (yes, the aforementioned Thomas from which the Tomahawk name was spurred.) Marrying quietly on their own without any friends or family, these two kids from “opposite sides of the tracks” didn’t let anything stop them from being together. Fifty-two years, a thriving life full of happiness and three children later, they are not only what I would call an epic love story, but inspiration to not give up on the things that are truly worthwhile.

May your day be filled with the warmth of a happy heart—or if you’re currently without that special someone, may it be filled with the warmth of good wine!

Cheers,
J.

Flashback Friday: Vintage Chatter

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There’s something appealing to me about vintage telephones. To think, people used to actually sit down and commit themselves wholeheartedly to a conversation! It’s incredibly endearing when you think about the hustle and bustle of our lives today; yelling a few choice words to the car that cuts you off while chatting on their cell, throwing a seething glare to the woman that grabs the frozen microwave dinner you were about to pick up as she assures her husband that she absolutely can not pick up the kids because of her salon appointment. 

This revived, chevron phone bench not only brings itself up to date with a modern look, but also to serve modern functions. I picture myself sitting there with my MacBook, wholeheartedly creating a conversation with written words rather than verbal—that’s sort of the same thing, right?

Perhaps we should take a page from the past and spend just a little less time doing ten things at once and a little more time focusing on one.

Happy Friday!
J.

Adorable rotary phone necklace found here! 

Office Mojo

Office

Starting a new business means starting work in a new environment. Lucky for me, I have an excellent office space available that happens to stem from the same root as that which sprouted the name Tomahawk.

My grandfather, Thomas, started his own company in 1965, successfully fostering a business realm into which I never imagined myself venturing. His building co. thrived for forty years, positioning my family in a way that I am forever grateful. Now, almost 50 years later I’m taking a page from that book and hoping I hit the gene pool jackpot and possess at least a wee teaspoon of his business sense. In the meantime, I’m at least super pumped to start designing the Tomahawk Office in the same office he once called his own.

A glimpse of what’s to come:

1. Every designer needs ampersand bookends >> 
2. Flower inspired wall mirror >>
3. There’s something remarkable about a quality drafting table >>
4. Plush gold accent pillows >>
5. Industrial-inspired fan >>
6. For practicality: iron utility scissors >>
7. Just because of a small candle obsession >>
8. Textured ceramic table lamp >>
9. Faux rose arrangement >>
10. Sophisticated wingback bar stool >>

Cheers!
J.

Setting Sail

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Moving from research to development is sometimes the most difficult step in the creative process. You could spend countless hours looking at things that inspire your work, your life, your love of design, until finally you force yourself to pick up a pencil. It’s not until that decision is made, that your work begins to come alive.

I’m a creature of habit that secretly loves change, an epically tragic combination and one that leaves me tearing at the seams of inhibition quite often. But throwing caution to the wind in its truest sense, I’ve decided to embark on a journey to begin something I can undoubtedly call my own.

I’ve been told that everything honestly worthwhile in life is always the most difficult. Work hard, be passionate and have faith in yourself that if you do these two things, success and happiness will intertwine themselves along the way.

Thanks for joining my journey!

Cheers,
J.

Image found here >>