Monday, January 31

blizzard's a comin'

© Fresh Fish Creative
Let the freaking out begin. We're supposed to be getting 12-16 inches of snow over the next two days ON TOP of ice today. Can it please stop already???

pocket protector

image + product by briones & co.
by way of freshly blended
I was ironing G's shirts last night and saw another ink-stained pocket. If I thought he would use this cutie-patootie pocket protector, I'd make him one. Maybe I'll just make one for myself, it would be so stinkin' perfect for my office.

Happy February!

Click on image for larger print.
© Fresh Fish Creative


Some special dates to remember in February:
Feb. 2 » Groundhog Day
Feb. 3 » Chinese New Year, Year of the Rabbit
Feb. 7 » Charles Dickens Day
Feb. 14 » Valentine's Day
February 15 » Susan B. Anthony's Birthday
Feb. 21 » President's Day

February is also Black History Month and International Self-Esteem Month

Sunday, January 30

Man Bags

Urban Outfitters Stapleford Tool Tote

I've been carrying around this bag for the last month or so and love how roomy it is. I actually bought it for George as a Christmas gift, but he's not so much into the man bag. Plus, I can still tuck a little purse inside it for the times I need to have less on hand. My sister used to work for Coach and she's very particular and careful about her purses. Never ever place them on the ground. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize (leather schmeather). Blah, blah, blah.

That's why I've always been a big fan of canvas. Throw them wherever you want and wash as needed. No kid-glove purses for me thankyouverymuch. As much as I do like the one I got George, I might just grab one of these too. Love the color on these and backpacks are super handy for traveling.

A Kurtz. Russell Backpack
Alternative Apparel The Brief Bag

thrift of the day - shoes

Boat Shoes: They're actually a 6 1/2, so a teeny bit big, but I'll make them work.  $4
Salvation Army - $4. I've worn them so much, I recently split the heel, as you can see in
the photo,but I am more than happy to take them in for a little TLC at a shoe repair shop.
They're super comfy and go with everything.

Bargain of the day - $0.98. Yep, not even a dollar! But they need to be broken in a bit.
Easy Spirits - $4.98. Just found out they're "old lady" shoes. Flat shoes are not good for my plantar fasciitis,
but they feel sooooo great when I'm wearing them. But ow, not so good when I take them off.
Damn you fallen arches!
Now these are old lady shoes. Talbots - $2.98.
Lovin' the lady bugs and embroidered look of this shoe.

Except for the second pair, these are all shoes I picked up during an afternoon of thrifting in Kansas City, KS with friends last weekend. I got four fun pairs for $13.75. Total steal, right? I am into two things right now: brown shoes and old lady shoes. As if you couldn't tell from my choices!

my nephew E

Look at that funny face! 
Sumo arms! He's doubled his birth weight in three short months and is a total fatty now.
The look of a future mischief maker.

My sister borrowed my camera last week to shoot some photos of her baby boy, my nephew. I took the liberty of adding the iphoto antique filter to these images and blurring some of the edges. Isn't he a cute little bugger? I've watched him twice so far and all he does is eat and scream his head off. But in pictures, looooove him. So sweet.

Friday, January 28

chinese new year

design by Fresh Fish Creative

Chinese New Year is coming up soon, February 3rd, and this year I've decided to throw a party! We'll 
be celebrating a bit late but with my day job, the weekend is just so much easier. This is an open invitation, hope you all can make it. Email me for's at my house!

And the one below is a free printable, Happy Lunar New Year!

Click on image for a larger print size.
Design by Fresh Fish Creative

roadkill chronicles

A slightly sick obsession of mine. Photographing dead animals. Not my sweet puppy Sophie but random acts of death that occur daily. I even started a facebook page and my "followers" have added their own fascinating faces of death.

photo by Fresh Fish Creative
photo by Fresh Fish Creative


I'm hosting an afternoon of crafting at my house on Sunday, January 30 from 2 - 6 pm. We'll be making hand-made valentines, Chinese New Year decorations and these stamps! Come join us if you're in the neighborhood.

DIY by Chelsea Costa of Lovely Indeed
by way of The Sweetest Occassion

Thursday, January 27


design by Stranger & Stranger
by way of Lovely Package

I gave up drinking this year but I am tempted by delicious alcoholic beverages all the time. By the smell, by the fabulous recipes in my food magazines, by every day social situations, by boredom, by stress. There is no reason too big or too small, is there? Physically, I don't miss drinking at all. But mentally, I am so very weak. You don't realize how much you do drink. Until you don't. :)

One more way I'm tempted? By the amazing design and packaging that oodles of money can get you. Hello, limited edition, single batch Christmas Absinthe. I just want to put my hands all over your label and take a big drink. You can read all about the printing and design here.

Wednesday, January 26

moment of sadness

© Fresh Fish Creative

Even the low points in your life can be inspiration. This is something I wrote in my personal journal and it feels a smidge weird to share, but I comforted myself with these words. So much so that I made it into a poster. I know that I am not alone in feeling heartbreak. So I am sharing, or is it oversharing, with all of you. Should you ever feel like your heart is breaking into a million microscopic pieces, I hope this gives you courage to move on, determination to fight harder, and strength to do whatever it takes to bring you back on the path of happiness.

Friday, January 21

want. but can't have.

by Libre Versalita on flickr
by way of Jessie Artigue on Pinterest

My new nephew needs art in his room (black, red and white color scheme). How perfect is this! Typographically wonderful and makes you want to sing along as you look at it. Also, not too baby-ish and can be moved around to other parts of the house. If only it was available for purchase. Dang it.

Thursday, January 20

vintage dresses

Just some dresses that have come into my possession that I love but can't wear....yet. Maybe one day!

Albert Capraro Green Floral Dress
This picture does not really do it any justice, it's so flowy and gorgeous.
Sits perfectly at the waist (well, not my waist), is belted and loose on top.
It's my goal dress, to get off my butt and fit into it, maybe this year!
Gifted to me by Miss Jeanne.
Vintage Harzfeld's White Embroidered Gown
The fabric on this dress is actually quite heavy and textured.
I love the spring colors of the embroidery. $10
Vintage JC Penney Dusty Rose Dress
Pleated front with buttons and matching belt. I need to have
it hemmed up a few inches so it's not so dowdy and then
ready to wear! I would do it myself, but the slippery fabric
makes me kind of nervous. Estate sale find, $3.

Wednesday, January 19


Super. Cute. See each animal's story or buy one here.


design by Leen Sadder
design by Leen Sadder
design by Leen Sadder

This is a great series by Leen Sadder for SVA's Author as Designer program. You have real emotions. Use them. That sentiment strikes a chord with me since I am connected to a computer, lap top, television and an unless* endless stream of electronics for all my waking hours. Recently, I deactivated my facebook account and stopped blogging for a month. Just by disconnecting from those two things, I read books, took naps and made things.

I am by no means against the digital age since it is a constant source of inspiration and entertainment for me. I just like this reminder that there is a REAL world out there, filled with real people AND emotions.

*Do you ever write something and read it back to yourself, thinking, something is not right. But you can't see the mistake? For years, I had Human Express instead of Hunan Express as my place of employment on my resumé. I'm going to attribute my years of unemployment to that alone. For this post, unless? Where in the world did that come from? It only took me a little over a week to catch this one.My mind has gone soft.

Tuesday, January 18

bakers twine

I don't know about you guys, but I've seen bakers twine on just about every blog I read. Sooooo, baaaaaaaah, I got some too. And I'll try really, really hard to wrap all my gifts more nicely or something like that. Here is where I got a whole lotta twine for a medium bit of money (ahem, shipping). When I remember what blog that led me to this steal, I will make sure to give thanks. Because I already love my twine. Just sitting there on my table.

You Are Exceptional

© Fresh Fish Creative

I designed this for an annual reception that gathers the best female attorneys, judges and businesswomen in Kansas City. Spear-headed each year by Denise Henning of The Henning Law Firm, it is also a fundraiser that benefits women-focused non-profits like The Women's Employment Network and The Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City. For the invite, the background was actually a bright yellow, but seeing it again, I wanted to go with something more neutral.

This is another one of those projects where I get tons of creative freedom. Past invitation art included the entire event name: A Celebration of Exceptional Women. The invites have always been bright and used the city scape and stars to represent the power event. I have to walk a fine line when I design for attorneys: it has to be fun but still professional and businesslike. Something that appeals to women without being overtly feminine.

But with the event in its fourth year, I treated the card as an art piece. I wanted recipients to be able to hang on to these as a special reminder to themselves that yes, you are exceptional. Every single day of the year. Because sometimes we forget!

I may just print some 4x6 flat panel notecards to remind MY friends how great they are. Would you like to have some of these too? To give to the awesome people in your life? If so, leave me a comment and I'll make sure to order some extra!

Monday, January 17

will dog-sit for dinner

Me + Boudreaux 
Osso Bucco with cheesy polenta and braised radicchio.
The meat was sooooo tender and a million wonderful flavors danced in my mouth.

We dog-sat for some friends recently so they could cheer on their beloved Arkansas Razorbacks at this year's Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. We happily took their sweet, little mutt, Boudreaux aka The Boud, Boudy, and as Matt affectionately calls him, son.

Years ago, and the only other time we got our hands on Boudreaux, it was summer, there was a road trip involved and we all ended up in St. Louis. Matt & Sloane came home to mysterious pictures of their dog posing with the St. Louis Arch in the background. Is the Boud in St. Louis? No, this must be Photoshop-ed. Noooo, he really IS in St. Louis. 

This time around, Boud's a bit older, he's more skittish and more nervous than we once knew. He had one, just one itty bitty, small pee accident in the house. No big deal. Our friends are mortified that it happened, but what's a little dog pee between friends, right? Boudreaux is still welcome to come over any time. We looooove him. Even as he gets more "eccentric" in his old age. 

To thank us for watching their sweetie, Matt & Sloane cooked us the most scrumptious dinner. It rivaled any restaurant meal I've had in Kansas City. NO LIE. I have some crazy talented friends in the kitchen who love to feed us. I'm a lucky, well-fed fattie. Friends are grateful when you watch their dogs. Unlike family, meaning my sister, who left us with her brand new puppy, Blitz. He pooped and peed in the house, drove me crazy with his hyper energy and constant sharp barking. Ugh. She thanked me with attitude and some seashells she found on the beach. WTF.

I digress. I just meant to say thank you to our friends for the wonderful meal and friendship. Both with you and your dog. It was fabulous!

1200 Posters

"Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dream."
Poster #3 by Victor Ngai, Hong Kong

On the 12th day of each month, a limited-edition poster (of 100) will be released on 1200 Posters, similar in concept to 20x200. I bought my first print today and I already have a recipient in mind. Instead of teacups and candles and soap, I am going to be gifting art this year. And you're all going to like what I give you dammit. by way of designworklife

UPDATE: I got my poster in the mail today (Jan 25). One word. Disappointed. My poor poster was sandwiched between two pieces of used cardboard. Kudos on recycling but just because you write DO NOT BEND on it doesn't mean it's not going to get bent, especially if you don't pack it correctly. My print was creased all the way across in three places, the corners are all bent and it's just crumpled. Waaaaaah. And now off to warn others!

THE LATEST: It took 3 days, but I received a very nice email from 1200 Posters to rectify the situation. New print is coming in the mail!!!

pompadour numerals

Pompadour Numerals designed by Andy Mangold
Two things I love: free stuff and font stuff. And whenever they come together, I get more excited than most women over a pair of new shoes. When the font is one that I actually love, well, what could be better? Andy Mangold created a set of numerals named Pompadour and they're fat, curvy and oh so playful. He first offered them for free as an .eps file and NOW thanks to John at I Love Typography, it's offered as a free font. Hells yeah. So get yourself over there, download it, and get on your hands and knees and thank Andy with your first born (project). by way of designworklife

estate sale finds part 2

I love old cameras and instamatics are definitely a thing of the past. This one had a
sticky flash and no bulb to speak of, but the fonts, shape and colors appeal to me. $2
There was still a roll of film with two exposures left. I snapped off a couple shots
and am torn between leaving it in the camera or taking it somewhere to see
what was story was left behind and forgotten in this unintentional time machine.
Juice glasses are another personal favorite. I started picking these up in
antique stores and had a lovely pink and black floral pair that I adored.
But I use my "antiques" and sometimes they get broken. Now I snap these
up every chance I get. This was a single glass, frosted at the bottom. 50¢

Sunday, January 16

the rieger hotel

photo by Tina Magee-Jenks
photo by Tina Magee-Jenks / menu design by Fresh Fish Creative / menu illustration by Chris Magee-Jenks
photo by Tina Magee-Jenks / menu design by Fresh Fish Creative / menu illustration by Chris Magee-Jenks
photo by Tina Magee-Jenks
photo by Tina Magee-Jenks
photo by Tina Magee-Jenks

My most recent restaurant project, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, is the newest enterprise by my friend Ryan Maybee and Chef Howard Hanna. I designed the logo, business cards and menus (menu illustrations by Chris Magee-Jenks). My husband is one of their wine reps and Chris' wife, Tina, is the photographer who took all these great photos on "friends and family" night. Kansas City is so incestuous.

I have a few more posts planned for The Rieger including:
•  a closer look at the logo and menu design
•  a food + cocktail review
•  design + architecture of the space

For now, I'd like to introduce to you Tina Magee-Jenks of backyard INK. There is a certain je ne sais quoi that makes me feel like I'm in her photographs. For The Rieger, it was the warm, intimate atmosphere, the way things had the slightest sparkle. Last year, Tina quit nannying to focus on backyard INK with her photography and illustrations. All I have to say is GOOD MOVE. See more of her work on her blog. You can see + buy her work on etsy.