Letter A Day Project

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I started my letter a day project April 2016, just two days before we bought a house! My husband and I were currently homeless, living in separate cities out of boxes and suitcases and road tripping constantly but I decided there was no time like the present to start a side project. Maybe not my most practical decision, but in my defense, I had just attended a design conference (Creative South) and was feeling extremely inspired and ready to hit the ground running!

I was feeling pretty creative and ready to just create but I did realize I had a lot going on. I decided taking a little time out of my workday to create a simple letter was something I could swing. Some days I had a couple hours to play- others I only had the energy for a few minutes to scramble and get something together. A true test of self discipline.

Now these letters were never meant to be seen as shown above- all together. So definitely cut me some slack because it looks like a jumbled mess between the designs, colors and even those Instagram filters that were so fitting of my mood at the time. Additionally, I feel it’s important to note if you don’t follow me on Insta that I started the letters in reverse order beginning at the end of the alphabet with the letter “Z.”

It has been a few months now since I completed this project and I feel like I learned so much about my own process – I even still love a few of my letters! (always a struggle for overly critical designers/overly critical=designers) This process forced me to create something and post it whether it was good or finished or neither. It’s cool to look back and see a few of the letters that reflect my day; it feels like an insider because I remember what was happening and what I was feeling when I made it. Since I was moving and traveling during that period there were a lot of things I simply had to let go. It was also really nice to work on something that other people would see but their opinion really wouldn’t matter since the letter wasn’t for client or anyone, not even myself. I never thought creating something to basically throw it away would ever be so liberating!  I might even do it again.  I do have something in the works that came from this little project so I hope to tackle something similar that will be just as fulfilling.

xx, Mal

 

 

Home Design: Updating with Wallpaper

The 2016 summer months have been filled with home renovations following our relocation to Pensacola, FL. We bought a house built in 1938 that has been updated periodically which is filled with plenty of charm and potential. There were endless days of painting, scrubbing and power-tooling (drilling, sanding and the like) that made our arms/neck/back ache for a week; however, when a room is complete you remember why you’ve been putting in that elbow grease.
Not the first room to undergo a makeover, but definitely one of the truest labors of love in the house is the half bath. I loved the bead board that was existing, although it did need a lot of attention. Since wall area minus the beach board is such a small space-and I knew something had to be done about that overwhelming salmon color-I had the brilliant idea to take my first stab ever at wallpapering. When all was said and done, I am pleased with the results but it will probably be my first and last experience wallpapering! (At least I chose my favorite paper from RiflePaperCo!!)

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I do not wish to discourage the creatively adventurous nature in anyone, but wallpapering was much harder than I imagined. Even after watching as many youtube videos I could find about easy wallpapering, my best advice to someone so determined is to stick with an accent wall or piece of furniture (like a bookcase).
My final piece of advice is to pick a paper you love! I think I would have given up if I had picked one of the cheaper options I tried to talk myself into. Originally I thought this paper was too expensive for a beginner like me but even though the application is not perfect, I love it!

Process shots from wallpapering:

 

Details from the final walls and the cutest sink you’ve ever seen:

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The Buzz on Mead

Lately my husband has been turning our living space into brew stations. I encouraged the hobby with some beer brewing kits, not knowing what the takeover would look like. Not only have we been collecting and saving bottles for the brewing process but now he has decided to venture into brewing mead. I had no idea what mead was but I quickly learned it’s an alcoholic beverage that comes from honey, and I suppose it’s considered to be “brewed.” Well, we already happen to use a lot of honey at home, but since we don’t do anything half way we will soon be adopting a group of the cutest bees around! I think I was tricked into this idea since I have yet to find a type of mead I truly love; however, I’ve been told the hobby is here to stay!
Being the designer I am, of course I’m already researching and brainstorming label and branding ideas for our homemade brews. Before the pretty packaging here are some fun facts I’ve learned about mead:

1. Mead is it’s own category, like cider. 
Mead is fermented with three basic ingredients: honey, yeast and water. It can be flavored with various fruits as well. It isn’t classified as beer or wine in the typical sense, but stands apart in its own rank of alcoholic beverage.

2. It’s fancy! “Nectar of the Gods” 
Referred to as “nectar of the gods” by ancient Greeks, mead was believed to be dew sent from the heavens and collected by bees. Many European cultures considered bees to be the gods’ messengers, and mead was thus associated with immortality and other magical powers, such as Olympus-level strength and wit. For this reason, mead continued to factor heavily in Greek ceremonies even after its eventual decline in drinking popularity.

3. It’s *BASICALLY* healthy 🙂 
It was used medicinally in early England by infusing herbs of different varieties to heal various ailments.

4. Honeymooners?
Yep, honeymoon came from mead. The origin of “honeymoon” dates back to the medieval tradition of drinking honey wine for a full moon cycle after a new marriage. Supposedly the mead would ensure a fruitful union bearing plenty of children. Often mead was included in the bride’s dowry.

5. Mead is brewing all around
There are almost 250 meaderies in America currently. Even local mead festivals are cropping up and some chefs are using mead in their dishes.

Now that we know what mead is, here’s some packaging design and the last is our first homemade brew that I dutifully oversaw:

Stay tuned to see how the bee adoptions turns out!
For full article on mead see http://liquor.com/articles/10-facts-about-mead/#gs.MwTgxzk
Packaging: CODO design, Hired Guns Creative, Honey Creative and

 

Repurposing with Style

Even though Earth Day was almost a week ago, we are still celebrating it throughout Spring. So we are sharing some of our favorite repurposing opportunities that make great gifts and/or are easy to DIY.

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Our favorite finds on etsy are these can ornaments. It would be a great gift (I know so many coke addicts that would appreciate this) plus there are so many design opportunities!

09-altoids-tins-cork-07 mld106684_0311_tincans_297_vertAn idea that we do ourselves that would make cute gifts as well are these repurposed tins. Whether they are from mints, tea, canned goods etc. you can use them for all types of storage and add magnetics for the fridge! We also put small plants in the tea tins that are a good size for window sills.

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Leg warmers from old sweaters we have proven to be a success. Adding buttons  lace or edging is a nice touch too.

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Last but not least, these vase bottles look like an excellent way to reuse those wine bottles. They could even be candle holders. There are several tutorials floating around on how to cut them, but since we haven’t tried it yet we won’t recommend any process!

Kickin’ it in the Keys

I’m way behind on sharing these images from our travels to the Keys in February but there are still some fun patterns and trends I want to show. First, are the kitties. If you’ve been to Key West you know the story behind the cats. And if you’ve been to Hemingway’s House you’ve gotten a big dose. I’m not a cat person but even I was intrigued by the six-toed cats and the tours of the house are definitely worth your while!

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The tiles at Hemingway’s house were really cool. My favorite are the deco fish in black and mustard. Hemingway had several wives so I’m not sure who is responsible for all of the decor and I don’t want to give too much of the tour away (because it’s worth seeing in person!) but the multi colored tile borders a urinal that a scorned wife tried to conceal in the yard!

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Another fantastic tour was the trip to the Dry Tortugas. Totally worth the boat trip over where you can explore the fort, spot sleepy alligators, unintentionally snorkel with barracudas (shortest snorkeling experience ever!) and witness some truly beautiful landscape. It was a little overcast on our day but it was still an awesome experience.

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Finally, to wrap up some favorite sites and design styles on my trip to the Keys, I have my favorite mailboxes in Little Torch Key:

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Green Beauty Packaging for St. Patrick

It’s St. Patrick’s Day so I have to share some green design to go with the lovely spring weather we are having here in Florida. The Dream Screen packaging is some much needed sunscreen from Benefit Cosmetics. I love the wooden textures paired with green for a crisp and clean look. I’m also a sucker for mint green.

“You can’t feel it, you can’t see it…but it’s got you totally covered.  Dream Screen broad spectrum SPF 45 silky-matte sunscreen is ultra lightweight and truly invisible on skin. It absorbs instantly to help prevent skin from aging by protecting against sun damage…and leaves skin feeling moisturized.  Dream Screen puts all other sunscreens in the shade! Oil-free. Fragrance free.”

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While we are on the subject of Green and Spring —> one of may favorite firms Pearlfisher created beautiful designs inspired by the British countryside. This design comes at a perfect time because several of my buds are traveling to the British countryside soon so I’ll be living vicariously through their photos.

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