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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.