Happy Weekend

1-Design Crush

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01/ How amazing is this reflective optical illusion house?!
02/ A sandcastle art installation showing the starkness of suburbia.
03/ This is not Photoshopped.
04/ 3D printed hands to hold your artwork!
05/ The Grapple Coat Hanger is a little black-room-butcher-shop, but I love it.
06/ Make a set of DIY toy animal corn cob holders, because why not.
07/ The Sandwich Book. ‘Nuf said.
08/ Tiny paint swatch paintings!
09/ Furniture made using the power of the wind.
10/ New electronic baggage tags that save time + paper.

This week on Design Crush:
Tips&Tricks: Photography
Periodic TableWare
Strawberry Galette with Sugared Crust
The Present Company Project
Hello, San Diego
Ikebana Bowls + Soe Cups
Andrew Lyons




Saw a minor league baseball game from some great seats! Kept working to reunite animals and their owners separated by the Moore tornado. Enjoyed plenty of deck time with a view, including cotton candy clouds. Bikes came out of the woodwork! Bebe practiced for a yet-to-be cast roll as Toto. Spruced up the guest bath with a new shower curtain and the living room with an arc lamp. Oh, and me with a cute purse. Ate strawberries like they were going out of style. Spent quality time with this stinky butt, and this tiny pony, and this sad-eyed pup. Managed to sneak away for a few days and unplug and see The Sandcastle Man along the way.


Andrew Lyons

Andrew Lyons-1-Design Crush


Andrew Lyons is a crazy talented illustrator and his series of birds created for Strong, a line of nutrient supplements, is only further proof. Lyons created 13 pieces for the 13 products available, each represented by its own avian friend. He manages to create such depth that his illustrations almost resemble paper sculptures!


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Ikebana Bowls + Soe Cups

Hanna Kruse-1-Design Crush


I don’t know much about the ways of Ikebana, but I do know a little about flower arranging. These ceramic and steel Ikebana Bowls by Hanna Kruse give you ability to beautifully accommodate large blooms with short stems. Hanna has also created a smaller vessel, Soe Cups, with the same thought that are able to accommodate flowers as well or other small objects.


Hanna Kruse-2-Design Crush


Hello, San Diego


Last week I picked up and headed west to visit San Diego and one of my good friends, Jaime Derringer of Design Milk! San Diego was the last major city in California that I had left to visit and I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and get airborne. Not even a sinus migraine or delayed flights could hold me back!



After landing much later than originally planned, Jaime and her beyond adorable daughter picked me up at the airport and drove me directly to the source of all things good in the world – fish tacos at Rubio’s, the supposed birthplace of my favorite Mexican delight! Now that’s a friend.



The next morning I worked them off (and then some) when we went hiking at Torrey Pines. I complained a little, sweated a lot, but couldn’t have asked for a better view along the way. The area is so well maintained, it’s seriously impressive.



I loved all of the crazy foliage everywhere, not so much the rattlesnake holes.



After a few trails we drove down to the beach and stood in the freezing cold water, then walked along the edge a little. I was busy looking for shells and realized the west coast is all about rocks. I collected four smallish ones and proceeded to unintentionally carry them along everywhere I went for the next few days in my purse. Let’s just call it extra weighted cardio, shall we?



I fell in love with this unattended lifeguard stand against the rocky outcropping of the reserve behind it.



Next we headed over to La Jolla, where I promptly picked out several seaside homes to live in that I can only ever dream of setting foot in let alone affording. The little details of the town are what really stuck out to me (well that and the bazillion foot tall palms), and the juxtaposition of an Armani Exchange next to a local shop selling seashell wind chimes was a treat.





I loved this woman sprawled out in the middle of this park with her pink bike and pink outfit!







What happened next was this animal lover’s dream come true. SEALS!



We walked out onto the seawall and I was in heaven, I swear I could have stood there for hours observing these flubbery, flippy-floppy guys!



I promptly picked out my favorite – the light brown guy just to the right of center – and a few minutes later realized he wasn’t a seal at all. Instead he was the lone sea lion on the beach! Such a Kelly thing to do.



We stopped for lunch at the sweetest converted house, Cody’s, where Jaime had the best fries ever and my chopped salad was amazing. I think I could have sat there for hours under the shade of all their umbrellas admiring this little modern building.



When we got back to Jaime’s I was just about as exhausted as Lulu the English Bulldog looked.

The adventure continues… 


The Present Company Project

the present company project-1-Design Crush


I met the lovely Amber Byrne Mahoney a few months ago and we formed an immediate bond based on some not-so-pretty parts of our pasts. (In my opinion those are the best friendships.) Amber is a truly amazing person, all crammed into a pixie-sized frame with some serious doe eyes. She’s the kind of person who sends your mom cookies before a major surgery and the kind of person who can see into your soul through the lens of her camera. In this case an old Polaroid with expired film in my hotel room in Chelsea.

I was lucky enough to be a part of Amber’s on-going The Present Company Project where she steps out of her comfort zone to ask complete strangers or people she doesn’t know well to take their picture and ask them a question. It’s an amazing and beautiful undertaking, just like the lady behind the camera. The photo she snapped of me isn’t me looking my best, but it is me looking my most honest.


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All photos ©Amber Byrne Mahoney





I first spied the genius unihook in Alyson Fox‘s Austin home this past April and fell in love. I meant to ask her where/who they were from, but I was having way too good a time to remember to do so. Now I’m happy to report that they’re by Pat Kim and each one can support up to 30 lbs! I love the versatility – use it to hang dish towels in the kitchen, hand towels in the bathroom, or even coats. (via swissmiss)






Strawberry Galette with Sugared Crust

Strawberry Galette with Sugared Crust-Design Crush

Making a galette is easily my favorite fast summer dessert. With the bounty of berries available this time of year and the wonder of pre-made pie crust it takes less than fifteen minutes from counter to oven! (You can check out another version right here.)


Strawberry Galette with Sugared Crust

• 1 pre-made pie crust (or the real thing if you choose to go that route)
• 1 pint fresh strawberries
• 1 Tbsp vanilla
• 2 Tbsp agave syrup
• 1 egg
• 3 Tbsp sugar

Preheat  oven to 350 degrees and set out pre-made pie crust to warm slightly. Rinse berries to clean, then cut into quarter inch thick slices. Place in bowl, add vanilla and agave, stir to coat, then allow berries to sit for 5 minutes. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and unroll pie crust in center. Pile strawberries in the middle of dough, allowing for a 1 1/2 to 2″ border. Fold up edges of dough, wetting your fingertips with water to seal and act as glue. Pinch together where dough overlaps. In a small bowl beat egg. Use a basting brush to lightly coat folded over dough edges. Sprinkle the same area with sugar. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serves 4-6 – extra tasty with fresh whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or both!


Periodic TableWare

Periodic TableWare-1-Design Crush


Good barware is a staple in my life, which is why I was immediately drawn to Periodic TableWare. It’s a line of drinkware based on the look of classic laboratory glass. Can you imagine how fun it would be to host a mixology party featuring this collection?! If you’re into it as much as I am, pop over to Kickstarter and give ’em a little support.


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Tips&Tricks: Photography


Photography is the everyman’s art form, anyone can pick up a camera (or a smartphone) and start snapping away. It remains to be seen whether you’ll be any good at capturing beauty through the viewfinder, but man is it fun to try! Here are some tips&tricks for everything from your phone to manual mode.


Basic photo tips for bloggers.

How to take better photos with your phone.

Understanding ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

10 tips for food photography and styling.

20 things I wish I knew about photographing in manual mode.

How to make a photo light box.

13 popular photography tips.

100 photography tutorials for beginners and professionals.

How to manage your personal photo collection like a professional photographer.

Essential photography gear.

Your guide to manual mode magic.

An introduction to digital photography.

A shutter speed chart.

How to create a home photography studio.