So, I don’t know about you, but I can’t even think about the word “changes” without a mashup of “Changes” by David Bowie (also famously quoted in one of my very favorite movies, The Breakfast Club) and “Changes” by 2Pac running through my head at top speed. So much talent there.
Anyway, I say all this to say I’m making some changes! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but boy the left side of this blog is looking pretty crazy! So in the next little while I’ll be cleaning it up and moving things around. Expect some changes here and there, and as always, I’d love to know what you think about the changes (or anything else, for that matter)!
Big question…what are your New Year’s plans? Going out or staying in?
So here it is Thursday night (and Christmas is Sunday) and I’m guessing you are thinking this is going to be some type of Christmas post. That would be a good guess! However, like my husband says, I am Kristen, after all. So there you go. Instead I am going to take this opportunity to talk about choosing a new reusable water bottle for 2012!
Here are the six bottles I’ve chosen so far. If you have others that you think I should consider please leave a comment for me below!
Generally, I prefer either stainless steel, or glass, although there is one bottle that is made of a food-grade plastic type of material too!
Images courtesy of (clockwise): bkr, Klean Kanteen, bamboo bottle company, Cascade Designs (Platypus), Sigg, and lifefactory.
The pictures are deliberately close-up to show the mouth of each bottle. I don’t really love the types of bottles that have wider openings because then I’ll spill water everywhere and I’m not a big fan of the sports-type openings either. I’m partial to glass, but I have to say the stainless steel and the bamboo bottles sure are pretty! The Platypus “bottle” is a little weird, but there is something appealing in being able to collapse it when empty (and would be good for a public transportation commute, etc.)
After some consideration, I think I’ll try the bkr bottle. From a design standpoint, it’s the most aesthetically pleasing to me with it’s clean, modern lines. I like too that it doesn’t scream “I’m a water bottle!” since I drink from it all day in a variety of situations (at home, in the car, at work in meetings) and I would like the style of my water bottle to match the rest of my look! The small opening sold it for me too besides the fact it’s 16oz (not too big), fits most cup holders, and of course, comes in neon pink. Done!
So today is Wednesday, and this post should have been up last week! But it wasn’t, so today will have to be close enough!
As mentioned here, every Friday night I am writing my seemingly random answers to seemingly random diary pages:
- My day was “embraced” because work was very quiet, so I had plenty of time to think and plan out 2012!
- An odd neurosis that emerges before you go on a journey “is that the house needs to be completely clean, all of the laundry done, and all items on my lists must be complete, even if there is no reason to complete them before the trip at all.”
- Some dream of a white Christmas while you are dreaming of an “obsessively organized house where every project has been completed.”
- Somehow people don’t return “to a bad restaurant.”
- Your all-time favorite brand “is J.Crew, of course!”
(Note: The answers are more or less the text in quotes.)
As I mentioned here, my Carl will be giving me a word of the day every Tuesday to write about.
Yes, I know today is Wednesday. Close enough!
So today’s word is soft. Hmmm. Now that’s an interesting one. If anything I’m not very succinct around here, but this might be the shortest post ever.
Well soft makes me think of kitty cat fur. The end. Just kidding, but that was the first thing I thought of! And the second one was “a soft place to land.” I’m not sure where that saying is actually from, but I can tell you that I like that saying very much. It makes everything seem possible, right? It’s hard to remember that in this world, especially when life gets crazier than we think we can handle, we always have a soft place to land with the people who love us. It’s a nice thought for this holiday season too.
So give the people (and animals) in your life a little extra soft love tonight!
So how’s that for a post title, right?! I’ve been meaning to do another Collection post (about cats) and then, this caught my eye on Oh Joy! a few weeks ago.
Here’s a direct link. And a picture.
Image courtesy of Victoria Beckham.
Why yes, that is a dress covered in a cat print! All white cats and a red one here and there. It’s one of the prints from her Spring collection and it is so amazing! I’ve been a Victoria Beckham fan for years since way back when…well let’s just say since way back when! I’ve always loved her and her sense of style because she manages to almost always look so lady-like no matter what. It’s really nice to see in this age of everyone wearing sweats and flip flips to the stores that she really puts in the effort to be in full makeup with a dress/skirt, heels, and a purse. And believe it or not her book is full of really great advice! Generally, that everyone should put a little more effort into how they look for the benefit of themselves (and the side benefit of whomever else sees them that day).
So in the course of researching her amazing cat print dress, I found this too.
Image courtesy of The London Printworks Trust.
You can read more about it here, but basically the “money” was designed by 11 different artists and it’s meant to be a way to raise funds to save London Printworks, who have been in business since 1992 but have lost their funding through the English government. And of course, they picked her and she chose her cat design. I like this version better, since one of the cats is black, of course, but mostly because not only can I have her cat print to hang on my wall, I am supporting a great organization too!
So now that the temperature has finally dropped I feel like running out and getting the coziest throw or blanket I can find! How about you? I’ve been thinking lately about how my style is changing (or maybe it’s evolving to what it always was, hard to tell yet). I find myself drawn more and more to simple, monochromatic colors with a graphic pattern here or there.
So it’s no surprise that every one one of these throws/blankets appeal to me!
Images courtesy of (clockwise): Woolrich, CB2, Design Public, Splendid Willow Avenue, DwellStudio, and Happy Habitat (via Door Sixteen)
I think the Hudson Bay throw (that I also mentioned here) and the Splendid Willow Avenue blanket are my absolute favorites since they are both wool and appeal to my design senses the most. Oh maybe I could just get the blanket and then layer the throw on top! Both would look fantastic at our beach house on Long Island. You know, in my dreams!
Which ones are your favorite? Does this style appeal to you?
So remember when I talked about this movie? Well of course now Shepard Fairey has created the art image for the cover of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue. And of course, there is some controversy.
And remember when I talked about these color palettes? Well Jessica has relaunched a completely new site that lets you custom mix a hue, and you can now see the HEX codes for every color. So you can use that number to convert to RGB for paint colors or to figure out the Pantone color!
So do you ever wander into a vintage book store to walk around? I love old bookstores, the older and creakier and more filled with crazy things, the better! My Carl and I almost always go into bookstores wherever we are (new ones are okay too, especially if there is coffee!) but the vintage ones are my favorite. We actually had one of our first kisses in a vintage bookstore that we were browsing in after going out to lunch!
There’s something about the smell and the history and the possibilities of old books. I like to look at them all and wonder how the books got to the store. Who purchased it? Where did they live? Why did they sell it/give it away? Did the book mean something special to them? Did they get it as a gift?
A few months ago we were in a really cool vintage book store in the next town and I saw this amazing book.
Image by Kristen for Kristen Loves Design.
There is just something about this book that appeals to me on a strangely deep level. Really it was the color that drew me in. In this picture (I’m still clearly learning how to use my fancy camera I got 2+ years ago!) the cover looks very blue, but it’s really more of a blue-green-gray and has the most beautiful white scroll work design coupled with embossed gold lettering. Oh and the fabric is linen! So I say all this to say I was obsessed with this book. However, I am cheap. And the book was a whole $10! So I gambled for a few months hoping no one would buy it, but then this past weekend we were browsing around again and the bookstore was having a sale! So for $5 it was mine. And I am so happy!
It was written by Harold MacGrath in 1901 and was the #7 best selling book for the entire year! There is an inscription inside that appears as if it was given as a present in 1901. So I guess giving a best-selling book was just as popular of a gift to give as it is now! The book is in amazing condition (with a minor amount of water damage) and now it will always be on my desk, inspiring me to find design in the most interesting places – in the book cover design of a book hidden away in a vintage bookstore, from 1901.
So, I love a good “color story”. I know there are so many, many design-minded people who hate that term. Along with “mood boards” and a few others, but in this case I’m honestly not sure what else to call what I’m about to show you! Basically, it’s a collection of items to purchase (but of course) that are either all in the same color family or are in coordinating colors. There’s also a few combinations created by celebrities thrown in too!
First from the Madewell #2 Holiday 2011 catalog.
And then from the J.Crew Holiday 2011 catalog.
Images by Kristen for Kristen Loves Design.
Madewell is owned by J.Crew so of course it makes sense that they would both have similar advertising strategies. I don’t know about you, but this strategy makes me want to buy every. single. thing.
On Madewell’s pages, they have created matching/coordinating outfits, so I suppose in theory you could buy everything on each page and be all set. Showing items in an artful display (kind of like a whirlwind) so appeal to me because it forces me to look at objects I might not have looked at before, but they match, so now I’m interested!
On J.Crew’s pages, they used items and images that are very punchy and filled each square and then items (like jewelry, gloves, nail polish) to soften the look in other squares. The entire layout reminds me very much of how to build a successful gallery wall! Oh and for the celebrity wish list they picked people like Martha Stewart and John Derian. It’s kind of interesting what each picked, although I wish Martha had picked something less practical (instead of wet-weather boots)!
Even though I of course realize that catalogs are designed to sell items, it was very nice to see this holiday season that some retailers are at least being a little more creative. Of course all of the layouts remind me of the collections that bloggers have been creating forever. So, well done J.Crew and Madewell! Your catalogs made me feel as if I was looking at a well-designed window display from the comfort of my couch, if my couch was in a color story!
As I mentioned here, my Carl will be giving me a word of the day every Tuesday to write about.
Today’s word is faith. Yeah, no one is making it easy for me around here, hahaha.
Okay so I’ve just spent that last 15 minutes browsing around a million design blogs trying to avoid writing about the word “faith.” Let’s see, first, Faith makes me think of George Michael’s first solo album (that’s not what you first think of??) titled, of course, Faith. And that makes me think of his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1, that I listened to approximately 100 million times in college. Every once in a while we’ll hear one of the songs from the album (it doesn’t matter which one) and I still remember every. single. word.
So, back to faith. Well let me ask, what does it mean to you? I know, that’s an old trick – not answering the question by asking you the same question. I tried! I guess faith means to me just believing that the universe will somehow give me what I need and when I need it. It means to not try and control and force everything (like I’ve been know to do) and instead just continue being creative and seeing where I end up! I really feel like 2012 will be the year for a lot of changes around here. Stay tuned!
So what does faith mean to you?