Fast Company Innovation Festival + Post-it

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 – 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-Its were always one of the most coveted items with their variety of colors and shapes.


Post-It-2-Design Crush

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If you think about a few projects you’ve been a part of – both work and home – I’m willing to bet Post-It 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 massive Post-Its 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 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 is all about, and one of the many reasons they’re a staple in desks and homes around the world.




This post sponsored by Post-It. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!


Mouni Feddag

Mouni Feddag-1-Design Crush


I fell hard – immediately – for the editorial style illustrations of Mouni Feddag. The UK-born artist is just out of university and already boasts an impressive list of clientele such as Vogue, Slate, and The Skinny. Now to choose which piece I’d like for my own from Mouni’s shop!


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Happy Weekend

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This week on Design Crush:
Have you entered our EPICfail giveaway? You could win the prettiest Slope Ring to keep or gift.
We created a tasty Friendsgiving with the help of the Mealtime Movement.
A second giveaway! Enter to win something special for both you and a friend from Lamps Plus!
Antoine Cordet‘s portraits and moody and perfect for November.
You’re invited to my imaginary Thanksgiving! And trust me, it’s the best ever.
Take a virtual vacation with Stacie Green‘s mixed media art.
I gave my bar cabinet a little makeover with the help of some removable wallpaper and Walls Need Love.
Don’t you love Ben Skinner‘s Same Same series?!
Because this time of year is about picking your battles – Make or Buy: Advent Calendars.

Design Crush elsewhere:
Check out 5 tips for feeding a crowd before Thanksgiving.
A masculine take on some interior inspiration.


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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


Print Edition: November


Lucky Five by Barbara Dziadosz // You’re So Lovely by The Adventures Of // Ferns by Shannon Kirsten // Blueberry Scones by Yuliya // Now Or Never by The Adventures Of



Other People’s Favorite Books by Kate Bingaman-Burt // Pasta by Fickle Hill Letterpress // Pine Cones Field Guide by Kate Dolamore Art // Sidecar Cocktail by Nan Lawson // Stay Awhile by Visual Pixie



Sun & Moons by Rob Hodgson // Vintage Televisions by Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles // Winterfell by Sekonik // The Something Hand & Nothing Hand by Native Bear // You’re a Sky Full of Stars by Seven Swans Stationery


Happy Weekend

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This week on Design Crush:
Super emotive paintings by Roos van der Vliet.
A recipe roundup to enjoy stew 12 ways.
Beautiful illustrated piece embellished with embroidery from Izziyana Suhaimi.
Four tips for finding your scent with MCMC.
Loving these bright tribal-like embroidered pieces by Elizabeth Pawle.
Up your vinyl game with this tooled leather turntable slipmat.
Matt Leines‘ mask-like portraits are Halloween perfect.
You should definitely make hot apple cider this weekend!
Check out the brilliant lady behind the snarky cards in PGH Maker Profile: Sapling Press.


PGH Maker Profile: Sapling Press


Sharing the stories behind the most talented creatives in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

My connection with Lisa Krowinski of Sapling Press is a little different from my other maker friends here in Pittsburgh. I met her a few weeks after I’d moved back to the area in 2014 when a mutual friend introduced us. Turns out Lisa, a super accomplished and talented stationer with a line of snarky text-driven letterpress cards, was opening a brick and mortar shop in my town. We met up for coffee and I decided to be a part of it on the spot! These days I’m helping at the Sapling & Sons shop a few days a week as well as helping buy, which is immersing me in the stationery world that I’ve always been in love with. Lisa is a smart businesswoman who is also the most laid-back person I’ve ever met, a rare combo that she makes working the best way.



Every company has to have a motto!

Tell us a little bit about how you got your start with Sapling Press.

I started Sapling Press while working as a graphic designer in Baltimore. I think I was destined to have a small business ever since I was a kiddo. I used to paint pictures and sell them door to door, and would sell candy instead of lemonade outside my house. I have a lot of hard working entrepreneurs in my family so starting my own thing never seemed undoable. I used to collect the old letterpress cuts because of the design element to them, but I eventually wanted to learn how they were used in practice. I found a woman in Baltimore with a press in her home, and she taught me how to print and handset type in a private 4-hour class. I was hooked. Within 4 months I found and purchased a press, rented a studio space with friends, and exhibited at my first National Stationery Show. I had no clue what I was doing and it showed. Fortunately I’m a big fan of the “slow and steady…” life motto and over time the business grew into what it is today.



A beautiful Heidelberg press that’s used to print cards.

What’s your favorite part of the process? Your least favorite?

My favorite part is the product development, designing, and the social media aspect of the business. Not too long ago it was putting on my apron and printing, but as we’ve grown I’ve slowly continued to take a step back from the production side of things. My least favorite part is anything that has me on a deadline. That sounds horrible but very true. My crew is fantastic at it, but personally I’m the wors. When I started the business I was drawn to being able to create anything at any time, and have it be a product almost immediately. In this industry especially, I’m having to design holiday cards several months out, create new releases for several trade shows a year, and so on. So yeah, I love designing, but designing on a schedule is not my thing.




The second of three presses in action. A selection of shunts.

What other makers inspire you most?

I’m inspired most by my local pals who run their own businesses, whatever they may be. I think it’s because I get to peek behind the curtain a bit and personally see how hard they work, how they react to failure, and what they’re hustling and aiming for. Folks like Commonwealth Press, strawberryluna, redraven studios, and so many more. The list of talented people in Pittsburgh is insanely long and it just makes you want to do better to earn and keep your place in the lineup.



Cards recently printed on the Heidelberg.

Where do you see Sapling Press in 5 years?

No idea. Planning is also not my strong suit. I rarely look past what’s happening within the next 24 hours in both life and business, and that way of living always seems to pan out for me. Sapling Press has grown in a way that I could have never planned in a million years, so I’m fine to continue to let it grow on its own in whatever direction it sees fit. In 5 years I see more of the same — a stationery company that continues to stay relevant, showcase clean design and clever copywriting, and gives folks a good laugh.




Sapling Press has 200+ cards in their current collection.

What makes having a small business in Pittsburgh so great?

The affordability and the local support. I don’t think I could have started my business anywhere else. When I left my design job in Baltimore and moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago I never got another job. Sapling Press became my full time gig because my husband and I could afford to live off of one salary here. That’s almost unheard of in a lot of cities, and it played a big roll in allowing me to focus on the business. And Pittsburgh loves local. We’re fortunate to have a long list of clients that have been with us since day one, supporting what we do even when so many other business and online options have become available to them. I’ll never leave.







Page by Page

As we roll closer towards the end of the year I find myself make more and more lists. Gifts I’ve purchased for the holidays, dishes I’ll make for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, projects I hope to complete before December 31st strikes. Lists and notebooks clear some of the clutter from my mind, even if it’s just transferring it to another surface.


ROW 1: The 3 Ribbons Multi A6 Notebook // 5 x 8″ Ty Williams Fish Notebook    ROW 2: Marble Journal // Anthelion Constellation Journal // Archive Book Series    ROW 3: Perfect Dot Notebook // Watercolor Happy Everything Journal // Leather-Bound Notebook    ROW 4: Hand Painted Sketch Pad // Notes // Swimming Pools Notebook    ROW 5: Large Paper Journal // Ruled Paper 5 x 8″ Notebook // Color Trapecio Notebook


The Vintage Vogue

The Vintage Vogue-1-Design Crush


I’m admittedly a homebody. I love my home, I love being surrounded by things that hold meaning, and I love spending lots of time with my pets. But as we head into colder weather my time indoors increases even further, and I find myself doing what can only be described as nesting. Padding my space with a few new pretty things as I give it a seasonal deep-cleaning. One shop that’s caught my eye lately is The Vintage Vogue. Charlotte, the artist behind it all, gravitates towards a muted palette and natural materials that I just can’t get enough of.


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