packaging & branding

I’m pretty plain when it comes to packaging and branding. I like to keep things simple but full of texture. When packing orders I typically use a brown paper and tie it with string. I like for people to feel like they’re opening a gift, because who doesn’t like to open gifts? Here are a few of my go to’s for strings lately.

o.mandaladeThe two purple strings I actually used to tie up little bags of favors for our wedding. I still have a lot left so I may be using them in some orders soon. I love the wooden spools. The large spool of natural speckled twine I use for almost everything. Both are from Olive Manna. The natural white and gold is a new twine I just started using from Knot & Bow. I love both of these shops and really have to resist buying bunches of packaging materials from them. The white thicker piece is a cotton twill that I hand stamp for labels, like below.

o.mandalade

Lately, I’ve been stamping directly on the the bags….because I’m a crazy person. Actually, I love how it looks but I get a little scared each time that it will turn out awfully or smudge all over before I get to heat set it. I like that these can be sewn on though or used to attach hardware.

Once upon a time, I used to silkscreen. In Baltimore, I lived in a much bigger space where I could do this at home. While there are facilities in Brooklyn where I could rent space to print, that’s just not within my means at the moment. I will absolutely return to that in the future at some point. Both tags here are silkscreened and I like to add them to bags and use them for business cards at the moment. I also have a stash of these pins that I made from test prints. 

While all of these things may seem pretty neutral and boring, I love the textures of them all. In fact, the texture and feel, and prints of fabric are sort of an obsession. It was one of the reasons I began sewing and making my own designs. I love adding small details to each piece to make it feel handmade and personal. 

 

current favorite: my summer staples

In general, I’ve always disliked shorts. I don’t feel particularly comfortable in very short shorts and most are just too short for my liking or so long they make me look even shorter than I already am.summerstaplesFor a few years now the only shorts I’ve owned are ones that used to be my jeans and just got cut off when the heat came. They were usually on their way out and I knew this would not do them any more harm. Alas! I’ve found some shorts that I love! The Gap makes some wonderful Boyfriend Roll Up Khaki shorts. I find they’re just loose, and long, and even soft enough. Yes, I’m quite picky about these things I do realize. They also come in several colors, even better!

Sandals are also not high on the list of wardrobe items that are my favorite (I just don’t like my feet). BUT, when I tried on these Franco Sarto sandals I had to have them. The soles and leather straps are really soft, they’re not flat as a pancake, and they go well with both casual outfits and summer dresses. For me, I go through a period of time where most of my shoes need breaking in and hurt terribly. I try very hard to avoid this but my feet just do not like shoes. These sandals took NO breaking in. My only worry is that they’ll fall apart by the end of the summer. I’ve considered buying them in black as well so that I never have to part with them, but they aren’t that cheap for sandals we’ll see.

Oh, jewelry. There are so many pieces of jewelry that I’ve had my eye on lately. I’ve really taken to gold and have been looking for a perfect hoop or earring that I can wear everyday to match my favorite Zola necklace. I’ve had my eye on a lot of the earrings from Fail Jewelry. Anyhow, I wear this necklace with almost everything. My best friend and I bought these as “friendship nuggets” at the winter craft fair at The Philadelphia Sculpture Gym. Gabrielle has a lot of new pieces that are fantastic too!

If you’re reading this and you have wardrobe staples that you can’t live without please share in the comments or always feel free to email me!

1. Gap Shorts
2. Franco Sarto Georgia sandals  (a few $$ cheaper here)
3. Zola bronze faceted gem necklace

current favorite: rain gear

The rain just doesn’t seem to stop lately. Just about every time I go out I end up being completely drenched by the time I get to where I’m going. This is partially because my current rain gear is not cutting it. My City Sports rain coat soaks up the rain once the downpour starts; my rain boots have cracks and are practically useless. I broke and lost my most favorite Marimekko umbrella (that I took after it was left at my old work for many many months) and my new umbrella that I’ve owned for less than two weeks was stolen. So, I’ll be saving my pennies for some new gear and probably duck taping my current leaky rain boots. Here are my top three favorite pieces right now.

rainday_blog

My old umbrella was similar to the one above but had beige flowers instead of black. I loved the print and the size was great for keeping in my purse. It is a bit pricey though so and I’m still keeping my eye out for the duck head umbrella I’ve always wanted.

While there are many expensive rain boots out there I found these very short boots by Chooka and really fell in love with the leather straps as well as the much lower price tag ($55 on sale as low as $42 right now). They get great reviews on Zappos and other seller pages and come in some other fun colors too. I like that they’re very short and can fit those of who have bigger calf muscles or just don’t want the feel of a big clunky boot. They have the same boot in the taller version.

While I tend to dislike most rain jackets because they are too short, sporty, and sit at the hips (my hips are especially big) popping out around the stomach, I love this houndstooth Merrell rain jacket that is not as long as typical trench coats but a little longer than the sporty kind and has a belt to define the waist. It too gets good reviews for actually repelling rain (imagine that! a rain coat that doesn’t soak up water).

Yes, I know, all of these things are black. I find myself going very basic when it comes to items like this so that they will match anything. I do love the leather straps on those rain boots though allowing them to pair with other pieces that may have brown tones. All three of these items have other color options too if you are the colorful type!

Marimekko Umbrella   $69  (you can also get one at Crate & Barrel in the smaller print for $49)
Chooka rain boots          $55
Merrell Frances Jacket $149

current favorite: jay defeo

I shouldn’t say that the work of Jay DeFeo is my “current” favorite; her work is now amongst my forever favorites. Admittedly, I did not know anything about DeFeo or her work before seeing the show.

Last week George and I went to The Whitney to see this show specifically as it was an assignment he was given through class. Due to some rather noisy museum guests and one very terrible tour guide that kept referring to the artist as “he” we decided to go through the show backwards (in reverse chronological order). While you could clearly see some progressions through her work it was fun to go backwards. I’ve rarely walked through a show where I wanted to read every tid bit about each era or work and often times I would quickly skim through but I could’ve honestly walked through this show twice and re-read each one.

Jay DeFeo is most famously known for her painting The Rose, which took her 8 years to complete. EIGHT YEARS. The image below simply does it no justice whatsoever. If I remember correctly it is almost 11 inches thick. In other words, the depth and texture simply can only be understood and appreciated in person. Just looking through these images of the installation will give you an idea of the size.

Image via The Whitney Museum of American Art

I would say this about almost all of her work – that photographs do the work no justice (this goes for many other artists too of course) . Before we left The Whitney I briefly looked through the large book of her work and many of the photos don’t allow you to understand the texture in each piece – some have very thick layers of textured paint, pieces of tape, or collaged pieces of photographs. These are often times the best moments of the paintings and prints.

There are so many great things to say I could go on forever really but if you’re in New York you should see it for yourself. I remember saying to George after the show something like, “I most loved how she used common objects as her point of reference, it’s brilliant, and you could tell she was a total nut.” Both things are true and almost a week later her work is still buzzing in my brain.

current favorite…dog necessities

As much as we love and adore our Boz we really slack in getting him new things. This is mainly because he has quickly destroyed just about everything we’ve ever gotten him. He’s in need of some serious upgrades soon. Here are some things I’ve used and would like to get him.

When we first had Boz we had to crate him when we left the house and he chewed through so many blankets that I never bought him a real bed. Luckily, after spending a summer running around my mom’s house with her 3 dogs he no longer needed to stay in his crate if we at least closed the bathroom doors. I thought I’d get him this inexpensive option that is also eco friendly to start and as a test to see if he ruined it. The colors are great, I chose orange, which now looks very dirty and dingy after having it for a few years. I like this bed a lot and it’s easy to wash but I’d like for him to have something with more cushion. Plus, as per usual, he has chewed the corners and it looks terrible.

I love this dog bed (and of course the cute puppy doesn’t hurt). However, I think I may end up making this at some point with some dog bed inserts from Target.

Right now we have a collar similar to this one. I bought one of these from CoopersCollars two years ago for Boz and it’s still going strong. Made from completely recycled fabrics. I love the cotton feel and sturdiness but it too is beginning to look really dingy.

I LOVE these collars from LaserPets. After years of rubbing against each other Boz’s tags are almost unreadable. I love that these can be custom printed. The simple colors are fantastic.

Speaking of tags: I love how rustic this one looks and have had my eye on this for years actually. Maybe that will mean once it gets beat up it will look even better?

Who doesn’t want a sweatshirt for their dog?

*click all images to go to product page*

Here is Boz wearing his Coopers Collar when it was shiny and new (2 years ago!).

bozcrosslegs_MG_2157

Happy Monday!

current favorite…apartment accessories

So, as I promised in my food enthusiast holiday post here is a little more insight to some Christmas gift ideas. I cut my shopping a little short this year. Mostly, I was lucky enough to find amazing gifts at the Holiday Heap in Baltimore and the ColdHearted show that I was in last weekend in Philadelphia. I have a short list of people to buy for as well.

As many of you (I hope) already know George and I will be moving to New York very soon…VERY SOON (starting to freak out a little!). I’m sure that we will be living in a closet in Brooklyn because we have a very tiny budget. I often like to joke that we’ll be living in a tent under the Brooklyn Bridge. Anyhow, I can still dream of a nice apartment to put nice things in for now. These would all make great gifts for just about anyone though! Especially those who like gray a little too much.

As always, each image links to it’s actual location.

I bought these as a gift for my mom a few years ago and they smell AMAZING! She’s obsessed with candles and these made me want to actually have them in my home.

current favorite…comfy sweaters

During this time of year all I want to do is be bundled up and cozy. I have a pretty good collection of cardigans and have been making a conscious effort to stray from them, even though they seem to go with everything. While the price tag on these are pretty steep, I’ve seen some similar finds at TJ Maxx recently too! I also love that some of these are a little bit lighter and would be perfect through spring. All can be found via piperlime.com.

Open Knit Pullover Sweater by Willow & Clay

Jess striped pullover sweater by A+RO

Sunday Smile Yarn Horizontal Rib Pullover by Free People

*all images are linked*

Currently Obsessing About: Quill and Fox

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of valentines cards featured on some of my favorite blogs. I love cards of all shapes and sizes and have been so excited to see all of the wonderful new designs. Today I found Quill and Fox featured in an etsy article: Cards & Calendars for a New Year. There are so many wonderful cards, calendars and other treasures you can find there. Here’s a peek at a few of my favorites from Quill and Fox.

I especially love this Rudolph card and wish I had found it before Christmas!

-aw

current favorite…cowls

I’ve decided to start the new year using this lovely blog and website that I created some time ago. For months and months I’ve put aside my projects and so before I bring new work and adventures of my own your way I’d like to share some other things in the mean time.

For those of you know know me you know that I have a zillion scarves in my closet. I truthfully would have another zillion if I lived in a permanent place. If you peruse my favorites on etsy you will find many many knit cowls. I love how each has its own pattern and is unique even though they are all similar in shape. Now that it’s really starting to feel like winter I thought I’d send you all warm thoughts with these beautiful knit scarves.

-aw

PS! OnlyMeesh happens to be a good friend of mine who partially inspired me to share my little obsession. She been making her wonderful scarves for some time and just began to sell them on etsy! (you may also click on any image to get to these shops to see more of their beautiful work)

by Woolbridge

by RememberADay

by StylishKnitting

by OnlyMeesh