Oroton Laptop Bag

Being a freelance consultant living in the walker’s city of Manhattan, it feels like I’m forever on the hunt for the right laptop bag. One that feels professional, artistic and practical for downpours, cafe work sessions and corporate meetings.

For anyone’s who’s looked, the market’s a rough one. Elegance and affordability rarely go hand in hand and for some reason, and it seems like clunky male styles dominate. I recently stumbled across this neutral, geometric beauty by Oroton and am a big fan, particularly of the repeating rope pattern. What do you think?


As the brainchild of New York based designer and brand strategist, Shayna Kulik, Pattern Pulp serves as a forum dedicated to tracking emerging concepts in print and pattern design. Shayna pulls from her experience as a fashion-focused textile and product designer — where she began to “see life in patterns” — to deliver insights in design communication.


Turntable Kitchen’s Fall Recipe Roundup

When Kelly asked me to contribute a post to her fabulous blog, I immediately knew I wanted to share a few of my favorite Fall-themed recipes with her readers. I fall harder and harder in love with this season every year; there’s just something so romantic about it. The boots and scarves, the rich colors, the crisp air.

I live in San Francisco, so, sadly, our temperatures and leaves don’t change quite as dramatically as they do in some other parts of the country, but I find that cooking in the Fall is my way of ushering in a new chapter. I line my kitchen counter with heirloom squashes, stock up on my favorite grains and legumes, and change up my tea towels.



Today I’m sharing a few seasonal recipes from Turntable Kitchen, the food and music site and subscription service that I run with my husband. The pancakes are a fantastic start to your cool mornings, while the soup and tacos are delicious vegetarian mains or side dishes. And if you’re already on the hunt for Thanksgiving recipes, I think you’ll enjoy this refreshing take on roasted squash.

1. Whole Wheat Almond-Poppy Seed Pancakes
2. Chanterelle Tacos
3. Roasted Squash with Mint, Pepitas and Balsamic
4. Lentil and Turnip Soup with Pounded Walnuts


Crushing on Evelin Kasikov

Hello! This is Danielle from The Jealous Curator, just popping in while Kelly is gallivanting around Milan! I write about contemporary art, but I’m a graphic designer by day. I wanted to find something that combined those two worlds for my guest post, and I think I’ve got the perfect thing:


Yep, hand-stitched CMYK! Seriously. I’m not sure how London based artist Evelin Kasikov has the patience to do this work, but she does, and she does it beautifully!


Gah! CMYK, typography, AND embroidery. Love! The only thing more impressive would be the entire alphabet. Oh, hang on a second:


Amazing. And if that wasn’t enough, how about these embroidered portraits:


Insane. And that, my Design Crush friends, is why I’m jealous of Evelin! Sigh.


10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss HOW Design Conference

Operation Nice’s Melissa is pretty much the Queen of HOW Design Conference. She’s one of the conference’s biggest advocates, an amazing designer, and this year she’s even speaking. So she was my obvious go-to when it came to letting you all know why not to miss next week’s conference. (Pssst… use the code ‘CRUSH’ for $100 off!)



10. Vacation, uh, I mean business trip – Get out of the office for a few days. You know you want to. And if you’re independent, you have a great excuse to put your clients on hold for a little while. “Oh sorry, umm, I’m going to a very important business conference. I can’t make your logo bigger today.”

9. Be around “your people” – There’s nothing quite like being in a building with thousands of other people that can appreciate your hatred of Papyrus. You can walk around the convention center and mutually scoff at the kerning in the directional signs.

8. Network it, girl (or guy)! – Meet some amazing people in the industry and pick their brains about their careers. Ever wanted to know what it’s like to design for a place like NETFLIX or Old Navy or Pabst? These are just a few of the companies I saw/stalked on the Who’s Attending list.

7. The sexiest lineup of speakers – And I’m not just saying that because I’m one of them. Okay, yes, yes I am. But seriously, Chip Kidd? Aaron Draplin? Debbie Millman? Swooooooon!

6. Buckets of inspiration – Four days of industry leaders sharing their insights and advice. How else are you going to get that? Reading books? Pssshhh.

5. Beantown – Chowda. The Sox. Newbury Street (shopping, holla). Boston is an awesome city with amazingly clean public transportation. Score.

4. Personal Growth, blah blah blah – You may learn a thing or two… thousand. With sessions on typography, software, brainstorming, branding, etc., you’re sure to pick up some tips that will make you a better designer, or really, just a better human being overall.

3. As the Beibs would say, SWAG – The resource center is like a designer’s candy shop, but free, and less sticky. Prints from French Paper Company, t-shirts from Veer, swatchbooks out the wazoo. Bring your fightin’ elbows and get the goods.

2. Many open bars – The way to a designer’s heart is through his/her liver, and most of the vendors realize this. There are always some amazing open bar events where you are encouraged to get a bit ridiculous on the dance floor. Just remember, every designer has an iPhone that is fully equipped to post videos to YouTube.

1. The real conference happens after the sessions are over – Some of the best conversations take place at the hotel lobby bar or on one of the numerous pub crawls that are organized over the course of the conference. This is when you can really get to know people and make lifelong friends. Awwww.


BONUS: The real reason why you should attend HOW is to find me and buy me a drink.


Happy Weekend.

Victor Eredel

+ Making your own cocktail mixers and packaging them in cool bottles makes for a great hostess gift.

+ This ice skating party looks like so much fun.

+ I love the idea of wood wallpaper.

+ The wrapped packages decorating this branch advent calendar are just begging to be opened.

+ Crazy delicious popcorn ball flavors.

+ These make me want to attempt making a modern gingerbread house!

+ Great illustrated cards from Tad Carpenter.

+ Check out my guest post on unique hotels at Snippet & Ink.

Happy Weekend!


Word: oh, hello friend.

{via ffffound, no trackback}

i dream a dream
in a room
with balloons above
thirteen balloons
the room is colored
red and white
where am i going
do you remember
up up and away
i go
perhaps i can fly
to castles in the sky
or by the sea
stay a while
here with me
be my friend
and we can fly
around the moon
feel the sun
then awakened
i will await
return soon to
my world of dreams

A big thank you to Danni of oh, hello friend for sharing her words! Be sure to check out her lovely, inspirational blog as well as her darling shop.


Word: T.ruffles + Mackin Ink.

it was one of those morning-nights. the sort of night when a tipsy moon must’ve handed out lighters to all the cool stars. hazy in my memories and just as forever never-ending.

she’d been gone for two days, which was exactly two days and maybe an hour of argument as long as my parents hadn’t smiled and my stomach had ached. my sister was a thief that way, stealing our happy when we weren’t watching.

but i wouldn’t make that mistake again, i promised my seven-year old self. i would watch more closely from now on. i promise. so there i waited, at the top of the stairs, for one more chance to watch her again. i’ve never been one to wait, not at seven and not at now. i’ve, however, always been one to sleep away sadness, and it must’ve been my dad’s shouts that shocked me awake. a double-shock, because that guy never yelled.

“i’m gonna to trade you for a dog!”


i’m getting a dog? and just like that, all was well. who cared about my sister? i mean, i’d miss her, but…

“…and then i’m gonna shoot the dog!”

“NOOOOOO!” i flew from my perch, landing in a clump of sobbing me at the bottom of the stairs. “my puppy! my puppy! don’t kill my puppy!”

my sister hiccoughed. steadied herself. then giggled. my dad scooped me up and my mom smoothed my unsmoothable hair, and they all smiled at my tears and delusion. didn’t i remember? i was allergic to dogs.

and just like that, all was well. we would be keeping my sister. not trading her for a dog. not trading her for the world.

this isn’t just a hazy childhood memory. i know this because my sister was a thief her entire life. she stole our happy forever never-ending when she died.

written by karey mackin. one half of t.ruffles. if you haven’t ordered an imaginary friend mini print/note card collection, you should. and if you haven’t read her blog, mackin ink, well, you’re missing out.


Word: Crow and Canary.

{via ffffound}

A lady for whom people make assumptions about.
Her vermilion lipstick is the only rebellion she allows herself.
She reflects a stranger few, if any, truly cipher.

A woman in which nothing is insurmountable.
She prays that her momma’s heart isn’t shattered by the news.
On this stagnant summer evening, everything changes.

~ written by Carina of Crow and Canary ~

Word: Daisy Chain.

{image via ffffound}

third date {dinner at my place}

goosebumps + giddyness

he’s so lovely, I can’t stop smiling

the soufle has fallen, but he hasn’t noticed

I wonder if he can see my heart through this dress?

when he smiles he looks bashful, dark eyelashes looking down

fresh, new, uninterrupted love

this will make for a beautiful memory

always, in this moment

Thanks for the sweet words, Amber! You can read more of her lovely musings over at Daisy Chain.


Guesting: Greedy Girl Takes on Alt.

I’m that girl who takes her camera everywhere. And then snaps approximately two photos because she’s too busy having fun and otherwise occupied to be bothered with digging her camera out of her bag. Lucky for me, my friend Caroline (aka Greedy Girl) joined me on our trip to Alt. And snap away she did…

well. we made it. to the summit and back. altitude design summit, that is. and, aside from a couple suitcases bursting at the seams with summit goodies, we brought back enough business cards to fill a rolodex, enough inspiration to keep us busy on our blogs for a long time to come, and — even better — new friendships with some pretty talented people. i think surreal was probably the word used most to describe the vibe at alt. dooce, oh joy and apartment therapy‘s maxwell in the flesh, under one roof? wow. and that is only the tiniest fraction of talent. we met the names that often go unrecognized behind the very recognizable blogs we read every day. and that was surreal.

1. en route. bright and early. seriously early. i’m barely asleep by this time every night.

2. mountains were everywhere. they told us we were lucky because salt lake citians often can’t see the peaks, thanks to an unfortunate inversion layer. i felt lucky.

3. our first glimpse of the famous people: allison of petit elfant, nicole of making it lovely, jaime of design milk (and art milk) and karey of mackin ink (and t.ruffle girls). want to know their blog recs? here you go. thanks, famous new blog friends.

4. the grand america hotel. truly amazing. already planning the return trip to alt next year just to stay there.

5. kelly. you know her, right?

6. opening party night, old hollywood style. there was bread pudding. and an open bar. i was happy. we loved the cigarette girls walking around with their trays of movie theater candy. (here is our grand, red carpet entrance. note to self: shiny doesn’t photograph well. don’t be awkward. and find your neck. also, you can’t tell, but kelly was rocking some serious goldenrod tights. if she didn’t seem like such a light sleeper, i would have gotten into her suitcase at night and stolen them.) {Note from Kelly: That’s possibly the worst photo of me ever taken in the history of my life. Ugh.}

7. takashi’s. super sushi.

8. kelly and me at takashi’s. my disclaimer: i’d been up since 6:30 a.m. (okkkk, 7, since kelly knows my snoozing ways) and hadn’t even had a deodorant refresher. i was seriously haggard.

9. snow. our last night was met with a fun 3-piece jazz band (playing jay-z!) in the hotel lounge with a fire. it snowed. i was happy.

xx caroline duke (aka greedy girl)

Check out some other last words about Alt 2010 here:
+ not martha
+ Making It Lovely
+ sfgirlbybay
+ mint