Fresh Business Cards for a Fresh Start

 

At the start of the month I mentioned how I’ve been taking on more projects outside of Design Crush. Turns out that when you’ve been one thing for so long – nearly 12 years – a change of perspective helps with the next chapter going forward. In my case, a change of identity as I went back to being Kelly Beall. Getting some fresh business cards seemed like the best place to start.

 

 

Basic Invite has a nice collection of specialty business cards with plenty of modern designs to choose from, along with every other style you might be after. They offer over 180 color options, coordinate with your business or just choose your favorite. You can apply a different color and font to every element of your personalized business cards if you’d like! Speaking of fonts, there’s a library to choose from – but if that sounds too overwhelming you can just go with what they’ve suggested on the template. If you want to get extra customized choose the foil option that’s available in silver, gold, and rose gold, or the clear card.

 

 

I chose the Modern Hello design, perfect for handing out to potential clients. I love the clean lines, bold type, and straightforwardness of the layout partnered with that bright punch of green. And speaking as a graphic designer, it was a nice change of pace to find several designs that I didn’t need to change a thing on to suit my own taste.

 

 

 

Basic Invite offers a lot beyond business cards online, they’re also one of few sites that give customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation before they ever place their final order. Test the paper, see the quality, make sure everything meets your expectations – then choose from 40 colors of envelopes to make the perfect invite for your event. To make the process even easier, they offer an address capturing service allowing customers to share a link on any social media platform to request their friends and family’s addresses. The addresses will then be stored in your account and can be selected during the design process.

If all of that doesn’t make you want to check out Basic Invite, well, they’re currently offering 15% off with code 15FF51.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting that brands that help keep Design Crush kicking!

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Winter Skincare Routine

About two years ago I started using skincare as a coping mechanism post-election. (I wrote about it here.) I’m still going strong with a morning and evening routine, and continue to search out new products that work well with my finicky skin. Being in the dregs of winter, I thought it would be a good time to share the products I’m currently using with you in case you’re looking to change up your own skincare. The most expensive product here is under $30.

 

I keep my morning skincare as simple as possible to guarantee that I’ll go through with it. A quick wash with Alba Botanica’s Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash gets rid of whatever dirt and oil the nighttime has deposited on my face, followed up with a few swipes of their Deep Clean Astringent. A couple drops of The Ordinary’s niacinamide and zinc serum helps to balance sebum throughout the day and fade dark spots. I finish up with a pump of Cetaphil’s Oil Control Moisturizer to keep my face matte, hydrated, and protected from the sun with SPF 30.

 

My nighttime skincare routine is a bit more involved. I find it’s a great way to wind down and let my body know it’s almost time for bed while also having some me time. I only wear makeup if I’m having a meeting or going out in the evening, so most times I’ll use a Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe to get the day off my face before following up with the same Alba Botanica astringent from the morning. A few times a week I’ll use The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension next to help with brightening, skin tone, and fine lines.

 

If I’m looking to cut some time out though, I’ll mix a big pinch of The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (aka Vitamin C) in with a serum. (Did you know Vitamin C is supposed to tingle when applied to your skin? That’s how you know it has deactivated or gone dormant.) I also alternate through a series of serums throughout the week, starting with this Collagen + Retinol Serum by Measurable Difference. It helps replace dead skin cells, promote elasticity, and combat any pesky (RE: hormonal cystic) acne.

 

The next two serums both get mixed with a few drops of Radha Rosehip Oil when applied for an extra punch of antioxidants and fatty acids. The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane is another attempt at warding off aging, while The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 adds a deep layer of moisture.

 

If I’ve had a few drinks or haven’t hydrated enough throughout the day, I’ll add in Pearlessence’s Overnight Recovery Serum to the mix like icing on a cake. You’ve likely heart the hype behind COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patch and it’s all to be believed. If I have any blemishes I’ll put one of these patches on before moisturizing and it sucks all of the gunk out overnight, dramatically reducing swelling and redness in the process. Easily my favorite product of the past year! Last I’ll apply the best moisturizer I’ve found yet for my skin – Garnier SkinActive’s Moisture Bomb. This oil-free, lightweight gel leaves my visage as soft as it was pre-puberty.

 

Aside from experimenting with various face sheets (I don’t have a favorite to recommend), I also use Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask twice a week in place of my moisturizer. You just put it on as your last step, allow the invisible formula to really sink in, then wash it off in the morning. Once a week I also try and use the cult classic Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque to get out the set in impurities lurking in my skin.

I’m curious, what are you using and what’s working?

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Reinventing the Recliner

 

When you stop to think about recliners, what do you picture? I’m willing to bet your mind will lead you down the same path as mine, toward the bulky upholstered chairs of your childhood that were likely helmed by and reserved for your dad or your grandfather. They probably look nothing like any piece of furniture in your own home today, but thankfully the recliner has been quietly reinvented for a more modern home by American Leather.

 

 

I, for one, am thrilled – because man, are recliners comfortable or what?! I have a lot of fond memories of curling up in my Dad’s cumbersome chair, and these new designs are equally as welcoming. The seven sleek silhouettes are stylish and modern, two things I look for in every piece I bring into my own home. And when closed and upright you might never even know that these clean-lined chairs are concealing a reclinable feature.

 

 

When creating your chair choose from literally hundreds of color and texture options, making your custom modern day recliner perfectly suited to whatever kind of lifestyle happens within the walls of your home. There’s microfiber for homes with children or clumsy adults, cozy chenilles for the homebody, and of course natural classics like leather for a timeless aesthetic. Even with customizations you’ll have your new recliner in about 30 days.

 

 

My favorite design, and the one seen throughout this post, is the Aston. I love its obvious mid-century design influences and the natural walnut frame that conceals its reclining capabilities. It features a slightly curved back that just begs to be curled up in! Have a look at American Leather‘s entire line and see how innovation really is at the heart of everything they do.

 

 

This post sponsored by American Leather. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh, inspired content regularly!

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A New Year + Some Changes

Hello, 2019! As the new year starts, I wanted to take a minute and talk about how things have been evolving at Design Crush. For the past several years I’ve continued to do both freelance design and writing for other sites, even though Design Crush was paying the bills. But about two years ago the tide began to turn. I didn’t want to build a team and I didn’t want to add video – two decisions that lead me and the site to where we are today. Lately I’ve had a very full schedule working with two other sites as well as a local agency, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to continue as I have for so long. Design Crush will still be here, I’ll still be sharing my favorite artists and designers as well as things that align with my personal aesthetic and lifestyle, but posting will be more irregular. I’m not going to stress if I miss a day posting, and I hope this new practice will even bring back some of the joy and excitement I had when I started Design Crush way back in 2007. Thank you so much for continuing to support this site that I absolutely love creating in all of its iterations. xo, Kelly

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Lisa Vanin

 

Lisa Vanin‘s paintings combine the natural world with a touch of the macabre, usually through the presence of a snake or a skull or three. Each piece sets a melancholy tone that leaves me wondering more about the circumstances surrounding it all. Don’t miss Vanin’s (super affordable) ceramic snakes or metal pins either.

Shop Lisa Vanin’s work

 

 

 

 

 

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The Magic of Linen + 5 Linen Care Tips

 

Warm, breezy days and flowing linens were made for one another. The centuries old fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and the lightweight, breathable fabric is perfect for slower, more rumpled days. You’ll notice I didn’t bother to iron out the fold seams in these photos, and that’s because I think they add to the charm of all things linen.

MagicLinen is a family business located in Lithuania that combines their knowledge of textiles and love of décor to create linen pieces meant to be passed down through generations. All of the company’s goods are made from high quality European OEKO-TEX certified linen fabric and is softened through stonewashing, the modern way of doing so without any harmful chemicals. MagicLinen’s collection is entirely handmade and includes linen bedding, clothing, napkins, towels, placemats, table runners, towels, scarves, aprons, and more.

 

 

“We care a lot about eco-friendly, organic and slow living. We cherish classic values, at the same time being modern, opened to a world and new ideas, doing our best with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work. These principles reflect in the goods we deliver – we choose the most organic fabrics and enjoy the process of making items by hand than going to big factories.”

 

 

MagicLinen is aptly named, because the fabric really is just that and has been used through the ages to make everything from canvases and wallpaper to clothing and bedding. It’s super durable because linen is naturally thicker and 30% stronger than cotton, so it will keep its shape and withstand more washings while growing softer over time. It can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water before starting to feel damp and dries quickly, making linen the perfect material for bath towels and clothing. The material is also a natural insulator meaning it keeps you cool in the summer and retains heat from your body in the colder months. It’s also hypoallergenic which is fantastic for people who have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies. A big bonus – linen is sustainable and eco-friendly.

 

 

I’m not fussy when it comes to the textiles in my home or in my wardrobe, so MagicLinen’s pieces fit right in. The dishtowels are super absorbent, the bed linens so cool and soft for summer, and the tablecloth and napkins my favorite options for pulling together a quickly dressed table. I want these pieces to last for along time, so I did my research when it comes to caring for them.

Washing
Linen items can be both hand washed and machine washed, though preferably on their own. When machine washing use the gentle cycle with warm water with a mild detergent. For hand washing also use warm water and about a teaspoon of mild detergent. Allow the linen to soak for 10 minutes before swishing it around while avoiding the urge to wring, twist, or scrub as it can stretch the fabric. Rinse with cool water until all of the soap is gone. To combat any stubborn stains, soak the spot in a detergent and water solution and launder as usual.

Drying
Washed linens can be machine dried on low heat. Remove them from the dryer while still slightly damp and hang or lie flat to dry completely. Air drying adds softness to the linen items, you can line-dry lay them flat on a white towel. The only linen pieces that will ever require dry cleaning are more structured garments such as linen jackets, suits, and hemstitched items in order to preserve their shape.

Avoid
Bleaching your linens or using detergents with optical brighteners can weaken linen’s fibers and cause discoloration. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can weaken the fibers and reduce their absorbency and moisture-wicking properties. Don’t store linen in plastic bags, instead choose linen bags or reuse old pillowcases.

Ironing
I prefer the wrinkled look, but if you’d like a crisper appearance you can use a medium-hot iron on the fabric while it’s still damp or overlay it with a damp towel.

Storing
Make sure they’re are completely dry to avoid mildew before storing your linens in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area that’s located away from direct sunlight.

 

This post sponsored by MagicLinen. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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