Happy Weekend

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01/ Text is given the 3D treatment in Textscapes.
02/ German street artist 1010 creates portal-like art illusions.
03/ An otter house in Japan that has a roundabout!
04/ Luke Jerram placed pianos in outdoor spaces to encourage conversation and interaction.
05/ Justin Poulson hands out his portfolio on thumb drives shaped like actual thumbs.
06/ Thirteen tons of candy were laid on a Chinese street to raise awareness of underprivileged children.
07/ Fascinating photography of New York City’s abandoned and bedraggled spaces.
08/ Beat the winter blues with a room-sized ball pit for adults!
09/ A tiny Grand Budapest Hotel… for birds.
10/ A tunnel that appears like a kaleidoscope when you walk through it from only one direction.

This week on Design Crush:
Take a peek at Print Edition: February to see what art I’d rearrange my walls for.
Alt Winter 2015 was the sixth time I’ve attended and spoken at this blogger conference!
I’m crazy obsessed with the birthstone art of Naomi Ernest.
Here are 14 (more) valentines to get you set up for next Saturday’s lovefest.
I wish the State Plates Project would overhaul every license plate FOR REAL.
You can listen to all of the songs I included last month on the #365lyrics: January playlist!
One dozen ideas for breakfast in bed + after dinner dessert for next weekend (or whenever).
Maybe these Plant Talkers plant labels can put my green ones’ needs into words for me.
Crushing all over the paintings of Yelena Bryksenkova. Sigh.

Design Crush elsewhere:
I’ve added lots of new things to The Marketplace, including lots of things that might make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
A beautiful sink is my favorite focal point of any kitchen.


Yelena Bryksenkova

Yelena Bryksenkova-1-Design Crush


I’ve fallen fast in love with Yelena Bryksenkova‘s watercolor and gouache paintings. Her reading ladies just look so relaxed and cozy that I’d love to crawl right in next to them and see what’s so interesting on those pages. Not to mention CATS! and DANCE PARTIES! Yelena has both original pieces and plenty of prints available in her shop, so you should probably head over before I buy her out. (You think I’m kidding?)


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Plant Talkers

Plant Talkers-1-Design Crush


Another of my plants bit the dust last week, A CACTUS. It became mushy even though I was barely watering it. So now I’m thinking maybe that particular species of flora and I just don’t get along since it’s the second I’ve sent to the grave. These Plant Talkers Plant Labels seem like perfect timing, now if only the little guys could talk.


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(via Swissmiss)


Breakfast in Bed + After Dinner Dessert

When it comes to your February love game there are plenty of ways to go, but the most important is probably food. You know the old adage, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach? Well I’m a firm believe in it. And as you might know, the best times to satiate one’s appetite is first thing in the morning or last thing at night. But no worries because I’ve got you covered with a dozen recipes for breakfast in bed and another dozen for after dinner dessert. Go forth into thine kitchen!


Buckwheat Pancakes with Grapefruit Maple Syrup // Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs // Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake // Cinnamon Roll, Greek Yogurt + Orange-Pomegranate Parfaits // Cranberry-Ginger Jam Donuts // Date, Cinnamon + Vanilla Waffles // Lamington French Toast with Raspberry Jam Syrup // Mushroom Spinach Baked Eggs // Persimmon Cornmeal Muffins // Polenta French Toast Sticks // Sticky Bun Scones // Sweetheart Citrus Salad with Cinnamon Maple Syrup



Blood Orange Mousse Tarts // Buttermilk Cake with Rhubarb Buttercream + Cardamom Cream // Caramel Cake with Apple Cider Whipped Cream // Chocolate Fudge Swirled Lemon Ricotta Tart // Dark Chocolate and Espresso Demi Spheres // Japanese Cotton Cheesecake // Nutella Molten Cakes + No-Churn Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream // Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Marshmallow Frosting + Bananas // Salted Caramel Banana Cream Pie // Strawberry Cream Puff Cake // Strawberry Swirl Brownies // Wellesley Fudge Cake


#365lyrics: January Playlist

#365lyrics-January playlist-Design Crush


I love introducing people to new artists and music, but I’ve been in a little bit of a rut which is partly what helped inspire my Instagram project for 2015 – #365lyrics. If you’ve been following @designcrush over there, then you’ve probably noticed the (almost) daily handwritten lyrics popping up. Followers requested (demanded?) a playlist, so I’ve decided to create one with all of the fantastic musical artists featured at the close of each month. Here’s the first with one of my favorite January Instagram shots above and a few of my favorite lyrics from the month below. Enjoy listening to #365lyrics: January!


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Photos by Kelly Beall


State Plates Project

State Plates Project-1-Design Crush


License plate design is clearly very niche, very design by committee, and very bad. Usually. As the folks behind the State Plates Project say, “Over the past 50 years, the American license plate has taken a turn for the worst. We’re here to change that.” Fifty designers, fifty states, fifty license plates I wish were the real deal.


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14 (More) Valentines


Gold Foil Love by Julia Song Ink // Heart In Hand by Hammerpress //
Hey, Valentine by Our Heiday // Hugs & Kisses by Evermore Paper Co.



I Will Dance For You by Retro Whale // LOVE Hands by Idlewild Co. // Love Mixtape by Swiss Cottage Designs // Love by Old Tom Foolery // Neon Pink Heart by Banquet Atelier & Workshop



Saving All My Love For You by Egg Press // Sweet Treat by Terrain // You & Me. by Scouts Honor Paper //
You Are Oh So Wonderful by Cardtorial // You’re Lovely Mini Card by Lilikoi Design + Letterpress

(… see the first 14 valentines here.)


Naomi Ernest

Naomi Ernest-1-Design Crush

Astrology and horoscopes have always been fascinating to me, and by extent gemology. Naomi Ernest‘s birthstone series partners the structure of rigid, structural ink lines with freeform, organic watercolor. I love the juxtaposition. Each month’s birthstone is available in several sizes of prints here.

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Alt Winter 2015

Alt Winter 2015-1-Design Crush


A few weeks ago, on a cold Wednesday, I headed off to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. It was my sixth time speaking and it’s become that point in the year when I reassess my goals and mission for Design Crush, and connect with potential sponsors and like-minded people who see the value in blogging. Every January I come away feeling refreshed and refocused.


Alt Winter 2015 Brooke Dennis

Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

The evening I flew into town Overstock hosted a dinner at Rest for some of the attendees. I didn’t have a real feel for the brand prior to that point, to be honest. But I’m going to be completely transparent here when I say that sometimes getting to know the people behind the company can completely change perception. Just a super lovely, very real team that was easy to talk to and hang out with and an insanely delicious meal (beer can chicken, paella, ceviche, pickled onion rings +more).


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Thursday morning started bright and early thanks to jet lag and a poor night’s sleep – does anyone else have that issue the first night in a hotel? My roommate, Tabulous Design, and I took advantage and had a nice little breakfast (I’m obsessed with the Grand America‘s muesli and lattes) before talking to a few sponsors. I had to miss my friend Lisa Congdon‘s opening keynote for a few meetings, but everyone raved about it through the rest of the conference.


Alt Winter 2015 Brooke Dennis

Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

My panel was one of the very firsts – Pinterest: Community Growth, Revenue Streams, Driving Traffic – with Alexandra Evjen, Rachel Faucett, and Sara Martineau. Among all of the panels I’ve ever been lucky enough to participate in, this one was prepared to the nines. These ladies know their stuff in a big, big way and they’re excited about it too. If you’d like a few bits of advice that we talked about check out Alex’s post-Alt post.


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Wednesday night brought with it a Downton Abbey themed dinner. Proper and elegant with flowers I couldn’t stop taking photos of, the night ended up being an early one for me. After dressing up in a dropped-waist, short-sleeved seafoam colored dress and (heavy) statement necklace I just couldn’t hang after my four hours sleep the night before. Several episodes of The Big C later and I was passed out cold.


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While at Alt I also teamed up with Microsoft and Wayfair in their #DreamStudio, one of the sponsored lounges. They divided the space into three areas – craft room, kitchen, and living room/office – and had a few bloggers giving mini session on fun topics like Upcoming Art Trends in-between the main panels. Because I spent most of my time here I didn’t get to attend any panels other than my own, but I loved getting to connect with other attendees about something I’m passionate about!


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Friday evening were the Mini Parties, basically my favorite part of every year. Alt takes over part of the third floor of the hotel and each room is a different theme, most rife with photobooth opportunitues. My partners in crime were my roommate Tab and Dottie and Alix (aka Modern Kiddo). We had an agenda to take the best possible photos and stuck to it for three straight hours – the last one is clearly our money shot!


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I normally stay In SLC through Saturday and leave Sunday, but this year there was a ridiculous price difference in flights so I said goodbye Saturday afternoon after a leisurely breakfast and some good conversation with longtime friends. If you missed out this go around and are dying to attend Alt tickets just went on sale for Alt Summer!

(Alt 2010 (day 1 + day 2), Alt 2011, Alt 2012 (what I learned), Alt 2013,  Alt 2014)