My Holiday Cards (+ an Artifact Uprising Giveaway)

Artifact Uprising-1-Design Crush

 

Every year I think I’m going to skip out on doing a photo card to send out for the holidays, but then I see a design that I just can’t stop thinking about and order them. This year was no different, thanks to Artifact Uprising‘s modern looks and beautiful sayings.

 

Artifact Uprising-2-Design Crush

 

After 8 1/2 years of Design Crush I figured now was a good time to do a card to send out to sponsors and PR folk who I work with on the regular. I really liked the idea of sharing a peek at my home and aesthetic for the photo, so you might recognize the shot on it from this month’s holiday mantle post.

 

Artifact Uprising-3-Design Crush

 

For my family and personal friends it was none other than my pup, Bebe, front and center! I snapped this photo of her last year before decorating, and paired with the sentiment it was a perfect match. (This is also the first year I’ve included my pets names on a card – the decision to makes me laugh!)

 

Artifact Uprising-4-Design Crush

 

I also toyed with the idea of New Year cards as I rushed to get the house decorated, gifts bought, and cards written out and in the mail. They’re such a great option for those of us who note December as the busiest month of the year both personally and work-wise. In fact, I’m already half planning on it for holiday season!

Now it’s your turn to win $150 to spend at Artifact Uprising! They have amazing cards and lots of other good stuff to personalize, so think outside the box. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Handmade Arcade 2015

Handmade Arcade-1-Design Crush

Kara Reid

Hey, Pittsburgh! Tomorrow – December 5th, from 11am to 7pm – is Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. Handmade Arcade brings together innovative crafters and progressive do-it-yourself designers at David L. Lawrence Convention Center to sell their handmade, locally produced, and offbeat wares just in time for the holidays.

Kara Reid created 2015’s branding art, seen above.

The process started with a basic wooden platform, painted black to boost the appearance of the typography. Almost 900 nails were used around the center logo and outside frame to create the best surface for the string. Once the existing HA logo was stenciled and painted onto the center of platform, the string was strung. Each letter was then lightly stenciled onto the surface, then re-painted twice to enhance the appearance of the typography.

 

Handmade Arcade-2-Design Crush

Garbella

This year’s show features 160+ crafters, designers, and makers from all around Pittsburgh,
the tri-state area, and the country. Some of my favorites that should not be missed – everyday balloons, Worker Bird, girls can tell, Stak Ceramics, strawberryluna, Alternate Histories, Commonwealth Press, Garbella, Make Believe, and so many more will be there slinging their wares.

 

Handmade Arcade-3-Design Crush

 

Admission is free and includes the Hands-on Handmade area. It features a variety of drop-in, short, and day-long interactive programs – including craft demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, craft competitions, and art installations – all designed to bridge the gap between consumers and creators. I got a sneak peek of this year’s activities and can’t wait to make my own.

 

Handmade Arcade-4-Design Crush

 

Handmade Arcade will also be launching its inaugural print publication, Things Making Things: A DIY Coloring Book, featuring original commissioned artwork by ten Pittsburgh-based artists and Handmade Arcade vendors. Inside you’ll meet their imaginative creatures who are all crafting, making, and designing things – from robots screen-printing to spiders painting – and ready for you to create an artwork of your own.

Hope to see you Saturday!

 

Handmade Arcade-5-Design Crush

Photos by Joey Kennedy

PS: Due to the high demand for our 2015 Early Birdie Passes (which are now sold out) we are opening up a limited amount of Early Birdie Shopping Passes for a reduced fee of $10. These passes do not come with the goody bags. Passes will not be mailed, your name will be placed on the Early Birdie will-call list. Please print out your Pay-Pal receipt to ensure entrance and bring it with you to Handmade Arcade December 5th for 10AM entry.

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A Minimal Mantel

Pier 1-1-Design Crush

 

My holiday decor game plan goes something like this:

  1. Work around what you already have.
  2. Stay true to your style.
  3. Don’t do a lot of rearranging.

 

Pier 1-2-Design Crush

 

It’s a plan of action that’s served me well in the past, but when Pier 1 challenged me to do a mantle refresh I knew it was time to try something new. Their holiday collection revolves around several styles this season, a little something for everyone, and it was fun to pull from a few to create a look that was 100% me.

 

Pier 1-3-Design Crush

 

The starting point was this amazing Peacock Ombre Wreath. My tree is full of jewel-toned ornaments, mostly in different variations of pinks and reds, so this piece on the other side of the room just made sense. It’s colorful and saturated and a great focal point to build my mantel off of.

 

Pier 1-4-Design Crush

 

Christmas is all about sparkle, so anything I did wouldn’t be complete with some sort of lights. I fell for these Ornament String Lights in a heartbeat. The ten shimmery ornaments are handblown and have a mercury glass finish, something that’s always been one of my holiday staples. I stretched a strand along the mantle and tucked about half into the lower part of the wreath. It ended up feeling very abstract and modern, which I love! And they’re operated by a battery pack, a total bonus.

 

Pier 1-5-Design Crush

 

To add some extra height I pulled in the Glitter Ice Pine Tree Set. They’re such a great touch with those silvery bases, but manage not to compete with the brilliance of the wreath. Decorating with threes is something I always do – in this case the tallest of the three trees was offset on one side by the middle and smallest sized. My mid-century rocking bird is the only piece I left from the usual mantle setup because it just added something special.

 

Pier 1-6-Design Crush

 

The last touch was a pair of LED Birch Tree Pillars that tie in nicely with the all-encompassing tree theme I ended up with. They have two settings – one for a steady light and one that flickers like a real candle! I’ve been turning them on every evening and the yellow tone of the lights is just so warming.

 

Pier 1-7-Design Crush

 

This post is brought to you by Pier 1 Imports. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Fast Company Innovation Festival + Post-it Brand

Post-It-3-Design Crush

 

A few weeks ago I hightailed it to New York for Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. The event featured industry leaders, CEOs, and some of the brightest minds in business all speaking about what’s next in terms of innovation, creativity, and design. Through open and honest talks and behind the scenes workshops at some of the most dynamic companies and startups in New York, we got a firsthand look at the business and culture behind it all. After three days I left highly impressed and inspired.

 

Post-It-1-Design Crush

 

I was there at FCIF as a guest of Post-it Brand– I don’t need to introduce them, do I? I’ve been an office supply junkie since childhood so it was a natural fit. My Mom used to bring me home the supply catalogues from work and I’d go through and mark them as though they were toy catalogues! Post-it Notes were always one of the most coveted items with their variety of colors and shapes.

 

Post-It-2-Design Crush

Post-It-6-Design Crush

 

If you think about a few projects you’ve been a part of – both work and home – I’m willing to bet Post-it Brand has been present in some fashion. Their products just lend themselves so well to brainstorming, planning, and processing that it’s almost too easy.

Now they offer one of my favorite office products ever –  three sizes of Post-it Big Pads that stick right to the wall. I’ve been using the medium-sized ones to plan out editorial content, then plastering the area around them with smaller Post-it Notes. They’ve definitely changed the way I process some of my thoughts and go about my business with Design Crush. This kind of collaborative thinking is what Post-it Brand is all about, and one of the many reasons they’re a staple in desks and homes around the world.

 

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Post-It-4-Design-Crush

This post sponsored by Post-it Brand. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content! Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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A Cabinet Makeover with Walls Need Love

Walls Need Love-1-Design Crush

 

This Depression era kitchen cabinet has played a big role in my home as a bar cabinet. I love having a dedicated place to house all of my favorite barware and spirits, but the piece was in need of a little refresh since I first painted it glossy black a few years ago.

 

Walls Need Love-2-Design Crush

 

When Walls Need Love reached out about checking out their products I knew just what to experiment on. I’d toyed with the idea of wallpapering the interior of the cabinet ever since painting it, but to be honest I was nervous the pieces within might not pop as much if up against a pattern.

 

Walls Need Love-3-Design Crush

 

Walls Need Love has a fantastic selection of removable wallpaper, just the level of commitment I was looking for (RE: low). If I didn’t like the end result I could simply remove it and call it a day. To start I ordered samples of four designs – Vintage Nautical, Watercolor Cactus, Crazy Pineapples, and Retro Nouveau – and after much deliberation decided to go with the Retro Nouveau. While I thought I wanted something bright and large in scale, it turned out that the best fit for both the cabinet and my style was the smallest and most neutral.

 

Walls Need Love-4-Design Crush

Walls Need Love-5-Design Crush

Walls Need Love-6-Design Crush

 

The removable wallpaper itself was really easy to install. I measured and cut a length off of the roll (with a little extra for unforeseen errors), then removing about a foot of the backing paper at a time started at the top and made my way down. I used a wooden ruler to smooth out any bubbles as I went. Lining up a smaller pattern like this isn’t the easiest when it comes to other adding other pieces of paper, but I made my way slowly and used a razor blade to trim off any excess. Overall I’m really pleased with how easy this little makeover was, and with the impact it makes in my dining room. Removable wallpaper is so versatile, I can’t wait to try out some other home projects of different scale with it.

 

Walls Need Love-1-Design Crush

 

This post sponsored by Walls Need Love. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!

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Lamps Plus Holiday Gift Guide Sweepstakes

Lamps Plus Holiday Sweepstakes-Design Crush

I’ve teamed up with Lamps Plus to do a fun giveaway of some of my favorite pieces this holiday season! If you have a list as long as your arm to shop for, like me, you know the importance of not breaking the bank as you cross off all of those loved ones’ names. My five favorites are above – Lola Modern Acrylic Lamp, POP Stoneware Teapot, Aeneas Votive Candle Holder, Spectra Tumblers Set, and Turquoise Cloud Glass Vase – are all affordable, and if these don’t strike your fancy there’s bound to be something else in Lamps Plus’ massive offerings that will. They’re also sharing a coupon code, use GiftGuide15 through December 31st for $10 off your order of $150 or more.*

How To Enter: 
1. Follow Lamps Plus on Facebook and Instagram.
2. Comment and tag a friend on either social channel, for multiple entries tag additional friends individually. Specify which item you’d like to win and both you and a friend will each win that gift!

Winners will be notified by Lamps Plus on or about November 30th.

Complete rules can be downloaded here.

This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram. By entering, each entrant releases and agrees to hold Facebook and Instagram harmless from any and all claims and liability arising out of the entrants participation in this sweepstakes.

* Redeemable online, or by phone. Not valid at LampsPlusOpenBox.com. Minimum purchase requirement excludes shipping and applicable taxes. Offer valid on regular priced, in-stock merchandise only; not valid on special orders or previous orders, sale items, mark-downs, clearance center items, or with other coupons or discounts. One coupon per customer, one time use only. Offer is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash or gift certificates. In the event of a return that lowers the total purchase amount below the coupon’s minimum purchase requirement, the coupon savings amount may be deducted from your refund. Not valid on all brands. Other restrictions may apply. Call 800-782-1967. Coupon expires: 12/31/15

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EPICfail (+ a Giveaway)

EPICfail-1-Design-Crush

 

I’ve been a fan of Christine Fail’s jewelry since she launched her first line, and only fell more in love with her classic organic pieces after meeting her in New York a few months ago. Christine’s latest line – EPICfail – is a foray into higher end jewelry that launched in September. The collection of 14k gold and sterling silver jewelry is accented with rose-cut diamonds and is intentionally ring-focused, with many of the pieces designed as contemporary ceremony rings. The collection includes six rings in a variety of widths and thicknesses, three pendant necklaces, two pairs of earrings, and a cuff. The line still fits Fail’s minimal aesthetic, but elegant texture is the focal point.

 

EPICfail-2-Design-Crush

 

With EPICfail, I’m returning to my roots in fine jewelry. I have been excited by the challenge of incorporating some of the more advanced techniques I am mastering, such as wax carving and stone setting, into the collection,” Fail says. “I’ve always been my own muse — creating pieces I would want to wear, knowing there was a customer with my sensibilities — and the same applies to EPICfail.”

 

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We’re giving away one of my favorite pieces – the Slope Ring (above right) – or $495 towards anything else in the EPICfail collection! Christine is also offering readers 20% off with code EPICDESIGN through 11/25.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

George Barberis, photography
Estelle Manifesto, model
Samantha Hough, hair/makeup

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Enter Redesignyl + Win

Redesignyl-Design Crush

 

Last week I dusted off my artist smock (aka opened Illustrator) and teamed up with Alamy, one of the world’s largest online photo libraries, to launch a super fun design contest – Redesignyl. Designers are being asked to reimagine 1 of 16 iconic album covers using Alamy images as the basis for their design, you get to choose up to three Alamy images to use for free. Once submitted your design will be displayed on Redesignyl‘s page where you can go right now to get started. Get your masterpiece submitted by December 18th so that I, along with the other three judges, can choose yours as the best. There will be eight prizes, including an incredible new turntable for the winner!

PS: Can you tell which album cover I reimagined?

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Juniper & Scout

Juniper & Scout-1-Design Crush

 

Looking for a shop with a little bit of everything? Juniper & Scout has got you covered. They continually track down the best in modern, handcrafted design so you can always find the perfect gift or treat yo self reward. Everything is made right here in the USA by makers who embrace original design, small batch production, and environmental sensitivity (major bonus). Here are just a few of my favorites below. Use the code DESIGNCRUSH20 at checkout for 20% off your total purchase! ​(Expires 12/15/15)

 

Juniper & Scout-2-Design Crush

I reserve the quiet ritual of French press coffee for chilly winter weekends, and vessels don’t get much prettier than this high gloss ceramic beauty with a copper pull.

 

Juniper & Scout-3-Design Crush

This bar of Black Gold Equilateral Soap has an activated charcoal bottom to deep-clean pores and is scented with lavender and tea tree essential oils, plus it has that easy-to-grip shape. Pamper yourself or leave it out for guests.

 

Juniper & Scout-4-Design Crush

My purse is basically a blackhole, so this Tropical Linen Pouch would be perfect for helping me get organized. It would also make a great gift, you could fill it with other little goodies or toss in a gift card.

 

Juniper & Scout-5-Design Crush

Moscow mules are my cold weather cocktail of choice, and while they’re traditionally served in copper mugs I  love these copper cups as a chic alternative. I’d also happily use one on the bathroom sink or to plant a few small succulents.

 

Juniper & Scout-6-Design Crush

How sweet would this It’s Good to Be Home embroidery look hung over the front door or near the coatrack? I love the modern take on such a traditional craft.

 

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I get so dry when temperatures drop, and this Rosewood + Blood Orange Lotion Ball looks like a fun way to stay moisturized. It would also make one heck of a stocking stuffer.

 

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If you are or have a creative insomniac in your life you may want to pick up one of these Creative Ramblings Journals. I’d put mine on the bedside table so I could make note of all of the strange Google searches I think of at 3:48am!

This post sponsored by Juniper & Scout. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush churning out fresh content!

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Design Crush x fashionABLE (+ a Giveaway)

Design Crush x Fashionable-1-Design Crush

 

I’ve hinted a little here and there about a collaboration that’s been under wraps since this past spring, and today I finally get to spill the beans! Take a peek at the just released table linens collection that I proudly partnered on with fashionABLE.

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-2-Design Crush

 

I’ve been a huge fan of fashionABLE and their commitment to investing in and empowering women for awhile now. They work with women, both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity. So with your help, fashionABLE works to give opportunity to women where there is often little, and then they effect change.

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-3-Design Crush

 

We worked together to design three different styles of kitchen linens, each named after the woman who created them, Almaz Napkins, the Dechasa Table Runner, and the Legesse Tea Towel. Both the napkins (that come in a set of four) and table runners come in three colors – marsala, indigo, and charcoal. The tea towels come in six variations – white with marsala stripes, white with indigo stripes, white with charcoal stripes, marsala colorblock, indigo colorblock, and charcoal colorblock.

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-4-Design Crush

 

We created the entire table linens collection with two things in mind: the holidays and the ability to mix and match. The marsala, indigo, and charcoal tones all feel cozy and related, but break them apart and they’re equally beautiful. Perfect for the holidays and far beyond.

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-5-Design Crush

 

If you’ll be doing any entertaining this season you can even pick up one of four different levels of Party Boxes. They run the gamut in cost and contain at least two pieces of the linens collection as well as conversation cards, menu cards, and recipe cards. It’s basically a dinner party in a box!

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-6-Design Crush

 

I plan on using everything when I host Thanksgiving later this month, and I truly can’t wait to tell my guests just what the pieces they’re using mean and the part I was able to play in that.

Be sure and check out the rest of fashionABLE‘s offerings –leather, jewelry, and scarves.

 

Design Crush x Fashionable-7-Design Crush

Design Crush x Fashionable-8-Design Crush

 

Oh, and one more thing – we’re giving away a set to a lucky one of you! Choose your favorite colorway and win, a Dechasa Table Runner, 4 Almaz Napkins, and 2 Legesse Tea Towels. Break up your winnings as gifts or throw an amazing dinner party of your own. Enter for lots of chances to win below!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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