City Scout

January 31, 2012

I'll admit Jake and I aren't the most adventurous people when it comes to exploring the city we live in. It's such a huge city, and can be a little overwhelming at times. All the options make it so hard to choose. But we did end up finding a really good sushi place the other day! 

Recently I came across this website called City Scout. It's a site where designers recommend places to visit in that city. There are only 4 major cities, but luckily one of those is Los Angeles. They recommend places like restaurants, shops and even where to find supplies! I think I'll make a list of all the places I want to go. Then when the weekends roll around we can better explore our city. 

Essential to Creativity

January 30, 2012

Isn't it funny how you can have a little lull in life, and just when everything has slowed down and you feel you've caught your breath, a million and one things are added to your to do list? I'm not trying to complain; I would definitely rather be busy designing rather than twiddling my thumbs. It's just funny how life is sometimes.

Since last week we picked up three more clients! We are really excited about the new projects, one of which is another wedding! We just finished the save the dates for the other wedding we are working on right now, and they are suposed to be ready to pick up from the printers today. I can't wait to see how they turned out.

There is a quote by Hal Riney (thanks to my blog friend Katherine for finding it for me) that says, "The frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a creative person is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from, really. And especially, you don't have any idea about where they're going to come from tomorrow." I can completely relate to that. I'm always a little worried that I'll have a creative block I can't break through. Or that I'll just be uninspired. That quote goes hand it hand with the one above. Creativity isn't about perfection and efficiency. It's about exploration and then perfecting what you come up with. Most of the time the first ideas aren't the best ideas anyway.

The Making of a Tradition

January 27, 2012

I thought this would be a nice send off to your weekend. You can't beat a video about letterpress (particularly Hammerpress), with this much style. You'll be wishing you could get in there and get your hands dirty--I know I do. It's a good watch...enjoy!

Very Vague Sneak Peak

January 26, 2012

Have you noticed how many sites have changed their design once the new year hit? For a while now Jake and I have wanted to do the same. If you remember, one of our goals for the new year was to consolidate our identity for A Pair of Pears; and with that a new updated design for our website. Well we have been working on it day and night, designing and coding. Most of it is already finished. Maybe only a few more late nights to go. I can't wait to show you, but for now here is a very vague sneak peek!

Mini Valentine Cards: Free Printable

January 25, 2012

I didn't know what to post this morning; but then I had an idea to design something for Valentine's Day. There have been a lot of cute Valentine cards floating around the internet lately so I was inspired to design some of my own. I spent the morning designing and photographing them to share with you. Spread the love around this Valentine's Day by sending sweet notes to a friend in these mini cards. I hope you like them!

Please read the Conditions of Use before downloading files from A Pair of Pears.

Twelve Before Twelve Update

January 24, 2012

It's almost February and I still have not updated you on my 12 Before 12 list. Looking back I would probably have not done half of these things if I didn't make the list. Having it was a constant reminder and motivator for me. There is nothing quite like being able to check something off.

Here is a reminder of what was on my list along with an explanation of how we accomplished it.

1. Design our Christmas card - We did design and print our Christmas card. If you missed that post you can see it here

2. Make Christmas decorations - We spent an entire evening watching Christmas movies and cutting out snowflakes to hang around the house. We also used them for our Hot Chocolate Christmas Party.

3. Organize/create an inspiring work space - It's so nice to have a space to call my own. Here is how it turned out. What do you think? The art prints on the shelf are from Made By GirlFifi du Vie, and Hammerpress. Notice the Creative Inc. book on my desk. I just got it over the weekend and so far I'm loving it! It's very informative.

4. Advertise our design work - We were in Discover Paper's Holiday Guide and in Poppytalk's Handmade Christmas Market!

5. Get outside more - We walked more instead of driving to places like the grocery store and The Grove.

6. Organize our closet...this is long overdue - My mom didn't have much faith in me getting this one done but...I DID IT!

7. Make these picture frames - All of the art on the shelf above my desk was framed using that DIY.

8. Learn a Christmas song on my Ukelele - I learned Silver Bells (She & Him version) Jake even played along with me on his guitar! Needless to say it was pretty magical.

9. Finish and develop the roll of film in my Grandpa's old Leica camera - The roll is finished and we are just waiting on it to get developed. I can't wait see how these turn out.

10. Go to Disneyland when it's all decorated for Christmas - We never made it to Disney land during Christmas. The day we had planned on going ended up being closed for an employee party. At least we tried, right?

11. Make an apple pie - I made my mom's recipe and boy was it yummy.

12. Build a snowman - Jake and I built a cute litte snow man while we were back home in Michigan for Christmas. We even found a carrot in the garden that had managed to survive the freezing temperatures. We gave it a new home as the nose of our snowman.

Even though we couldn't cross all twelve things off our list, I still feel pretty good about what we accomplished.

Neon & Neutral

January 23, 2012

I woke up this morning to the sound of cars driving by on wet asphalt--it was raining. I love that sound. Though it sure does make it hard to get up and leave the comfort of your cozy bed behind. So I thought it most appropriate to brighten our day with some color.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I am loving this neon trend that has been going a round. As long as it's not on an 80's style windbreaker or an entire outfit of neon colors I'm fine with it. I think the key is to pair it with a neutral color. I already own the yellow TOMS and it's just the right amount of yellow. What do you think?

MIA For a Day

January 20, 2012

Source: Ian Coyle

What a week. I just realized that I never posted anything on our blog yesterday. I was so busy designing stuff for clients I didn't even realize it. Sometime (most times) I start designing and the time just flies by. Once I get going there is really nothing to stop me. If Jake didn't come home for lunch everyday I would probably forget to eat. I guess when inspiration strikes you've just got to go with it.

I'm hoping this weekend I can catch up on some of our more personal design stuff. Our new blog design is almost done (not including coding) and I would love to think up some more products for our shop. We'll see what this weekend holds. See you Monday!

Finders Keepers: Anthropologie Bedding By the Bundle

January 18, 2012

Have you seen the Bedding by the Bundle at Anthropologie? I just came across them today and I love them all! All the texture and colors of the fabrics makes me want to cuddle down and take a nap. I'll take a whole bundle please.

Moonrise Kingdom

January 17, 2012

This might be old news for you, but I just found out yesterday that Wes Anderson is coming out with a new film, Moonrise Kingdom! I do not claim to be Wes' biggest fan or anything (I live in LA and do you know how many film friends I have? There is no way for me to compete with them), but I do enjoy his work. I thinks it's because his work is more photographic/designed than most movies. You could freeze any frame from his films and it would look like a piece of art.

My first surprise when I watched the trailer was that there was no Futura to be found. If you don't know, Wes Anderson is known for always using Futura for the titles in his films (usually in yellow). For Moonrise Kingdom, he uses a script font designed by none other than Jessica Hische! I love her work. I just can't get over how amazing that would be to be so tallented at something that such important people in the art industry want your work. Needless to say, I'm a little jealous.

I can't wait to see it. Here is the trailer. 

Welcome to the Family, Mr. Vandercook!

January 16, 2012

As promised, here is some more information on our exciting Facebook announcement from Friday!

We have been in the process of having a new letterpress refinished and shipped to us since early November. It has been slow and frustrating trying to get something that can print the size we want, while staying within our price range. Ever since we purchased our C&P Pilot, the letterpress demand has only increased. That makes prices soar and availability plummet. We thought we had finally found the press we wanted, and settled on a price (which was more expensive than we had hoped). Unfortunately, as it was being refinished, it turned out to have too many problems to be fixed and we were back to waiting for another press to turn up.

Last Wednesday we decided to check (the go-to online letterpress resource) on the off chance that someone was selling a press we'd be interested in. To our surprise, a press with the exact dimensions we were looking for was listed earlier that morning. They were only asking half of the price we had budgeted for a press, and to top it all off, it was located in Los Angeles! We emailed right away to see if the press was available, and sure enough--it was. The next morning we drove to Silver Lake to see the press, and within 20 minutes were driving home with it! It couldn't have been a more perfect situation for us. The press hadn't been used in quite some time, so it had a lot of dirt and grime on it. So, Jamie and I got to work cleaning it up.

Here's an ad for our press from the 1935 ATF Catalog.

We are thrilled to add a Vandercook to our expanding print shop. There are a few tools that we still need before we're able to print accurately with this press, but we are just thrilled to finally have it in our home. I'm already thinking up ideas for a wheeled cart to build that matches our current work table. And we have so many new things we want to add to our shop now! Pretty sweet, don't you think?

To Resolve Project

January 13, 2012

Did you make any resolutions this year? I didn't but these posters make me wish I did. They sure do make the daunting idea of making a resolution a lot more fun. 

The To Resolve Project was started by Chris Streger a few years back and now a handful of other artists have gotten involved by making their own resolutions into some really great designs! I picked a few of my favorite but you should definitely check the rest out over on their site here

Oh and we just posted an excited announcement on our Facebook page this morning so go check it out. More on that on Monday. Happy Friday! 

Yarn Bombing

January 12, 2012

When we were in Michigan last month we stumbled upon a little park in Traverse City's downtown area that had been yarn bombed. I've heard of and seen pictures from this knitting graffiti movement, but I've never experienced it first hand. It was so unexpected that as soon as we saw it, both Jake and I got so excited and starting taking tons of pictures. As you can tell from the second picture, not everybody thinks this form of graffiti is art. When I saw that, It made me laugh because whoever spray painted that could use a little practice. 

All I know is that it was a really fun discovery, I liked it,  it made me smile, and therefore I believe it accomplished its goal. Plus Traverse City is freezing, so it's nice for the trees to have a little knitted blanket to help them stay warm.

Live With Art

January 11, 2012

Beautiful floral painting by Lulie Wallace. It makes me want to paint again.

Drawing with Vintage Photo by Spencer Studio. This is such a fun and interesting piece. I remember having to do this kind of project in my high school art class. I would love to try this concept with one of my grandparents' old photographs.

As soon as I saw this Dog Silhouette over on Design Sponge I decided that when we get a dog, I will be painting one of these. I love the bright pink with the more neutral colors. Of course our dog wil be a dalmatian so I'll have to work some spots in.

Jake really likes astronomy. Every time we go out at night he points out all the different constellations. I think this Night Sky Map would be fun to have. Stars are so romantic. 

Now if only we had wall space for all these!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

January 10, 2012

 The Strange Planet from The Good Machinery

Animag Photo Stands from Photojojo

DIY animal rack from Craft Zine

Candle holder from The Sweetest Occasion

Ocean Blue Bear from Bubblegum Belles

Ornaments from Young House Love

Jar toppers from House to Home

I've been noticing a lot of animals roaming around the internet lately and I have to say I'm quite smitten by them. I love all the bright colors and clever uses for the cute little creatures. As of right now we have two porcelain animals gracing our living room decor: a rhinoceros and an elephant. I think they could use a few more friends. Now it's just deciding which of these ideas I want to try first.