Anatomy of an Outfit: Rainy Day

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I picked up these rain boots at a really cute second-hand / vintage shop in Brooklyn. I can’t decide if these boots make me feel tough (bring it, rain puddle!) or more like a kid (hello, rain puddle!) – either way, I love them.

Tank – American Apparel
Shorts & Socks – Target
Belt – Thrifted (over a decade ago)
Rain Boots – Michael Kors
Necklace – Lifesaver

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Girl Crush: Beyonce

Beyonce

I will often start my day by watching music video after music video – this morning, like many other mornings before, those music videos featured Beyonce. This girl crush started in 2003 when Beyonce released her music video Crazy In Love. I remember I was 21 and in my parents living room trying to recreate her moves, with my sister, on a Saturday afternoon. There was booty shaking and dropping and maybe a sprained hamstring. And now with her new video Run The World I’ve got some new shoulder-popping, hair-whipping moves to learn. Let’s hope I don’t throw anything out of socket.

If I was Beyonce (I often play this if game) I would spend my days dancing in front of a mirror – falling madly, deeply in love with myself. If I was Beyonce I would bathe myself in glitter and creativity while Jay-Z watched. I would call up my pal Lady Gaga and invite her to rule the world with me.

It’s that time again. I want to know who you’re girl crushing on at the moment.

Identity: Dina Avila Photography

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When Dina Avila was ready to give her photography business a new look she contacted me to design a logo. We emailed back and forth to discuss her focus – her point-of-view. Dina specializes in shooting food and portraits – and she loves dark wood, distressed leather, old books and jazz. And she’s kind of obsessed with very old, tarnished silverware. She sounds like my kind of gal.

I really latched onto and found inspiration in the idea of silverware + old books. I decided I wanted to design a logo that could be found on the back of a spoon, on the bottom of antique china or in the front cover of an old book.

But I also loved how the letters in Dina Avila seemed to mirror each other. So I played with a few ideas.

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I always start designing logos in black & greyscale – it keeps me focused on the form of the design. Then I start to bring in color to give it a little life.

My ultimate goal was to design a logo that reflects the aesthetic and personality of Dina while also positioning her as a professional photographer. Dina wants to come across as warm and open but also professional (but not in a corporate way).

I played around with a few different ideas and settled on a really simple type treatment – I loved the mirrored As. I thought it was really elegant with a little bit of quirk. But Dina was a little concerned that it might be confusing – so from there I flipped the A back around and started playing with incorporating flourishes.

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It’s also important to see how a logo scales from large (imagine it on a billboard or large banner) to small (like on a business card or web banner).

Dina fell in love with this version of the logo and from there I finalized the colors and packaged it up for her.

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When I send over a final logo I include color versions for print (Pantone & CMYK) and web (RGB) in multiple file formats (vector, JPEG, Tiff, etc.) – that way the client will always have exactly what they need for various applications.

Dina was such a pleasure to work with and I love the final logo. You can see more of Dina’s work here.

Other identity / logo projects:
• Clyde’s Rebirth
• Pip & Estella
• Sweet B

Anatomy of an Outfit: My Favorite Skirt

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Yesterday I wore my favorite skirt. It’s grey, high-waisted and denim.

I wore it to grab lunch and catch up with an old friend / former coworker. We talked about freelance life, nose jobs and babies.

I wore it to a client meeting and worried about looking a little too Pretty Woman.

I wore it as I designed one of the last wedding invitations I’ve still got on my plate.

And I wore until the skies turned ominous and Oklahoma was put under a serious tornado watch. Because if I die in a natural disaster … I want to be wearing My Favorite Jeans.

skirt – I Heart Ronson for JCP
camisole – American Apparel
wedges – vintage
jewelry – grandma’s

Potato and Mushroom Tikka Masala

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I’ve mentioned before that curry is my go-to meal. When I don’t know what to cook I always end up making a curry dish. And in general, Indian food is what I cook the most – it’s just so easy to pack a lot of flavor in a relatively simple dish.

I’ve never really made Tikka Masala so I decided to wing it based off of what I’ve tasted in restaurants. I wasn’t sure which spices & flavors would go together – but a friend of mine taught me a great cooking tip – just smell the spices & ingredients – if they smell good together they’ll taste great when combined as well.

Potato & Mushroom Tikka Masala
6 small potatoes
2 packages of white mushrooms (remove stems)
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
2-3 tbs tomato paste (or a fresh tomato or two, finely chopped)
1/2 can of coconut milk (or you can use a full can if you like more sauce)
2 tbs Tikka Masala spice
1 tbs Garam Masala spice
Salt & Pepper
1 cup dry brown rice (makes 2 cooked)
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash your potatoes and mushrooms. Cut each mushroom in half and throw in a large bowl. Cut your potatoes into .5″ cubes – add to the bowl with the mushrooms. Toss with 2 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of tikka masala. Roast in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes. Toss half-way through so all potatoes cook evenly. Meanwhile, cook your brown rice.

Finely chop an onion in a food processor (almost puree). In a large pot heat a little olive oil. Add the onion and cook for a couple minutes. Finely chop your garlic and add that as well. After the garlic has cooked for a minute add your garam masala – let this cook until the fragrance is released. Then add your tomato paste and mix it all together. Add your roasted potatoes and mushrooms – top off with the coconut milk. Let it all simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Serves 4-6.