Friday, October 30, 2009

Calendar Season

Working in the stationery and calendar industry has made it completely impossible for me to remember what year it is. An example: when I began advertising my halloween party for this year, I posted it as "Halloween 2010". Someone had to point out my error. While it is clearly still 2009, in my mind, it is almost 2011, since those are the calendars we are pretty much finished designing around the office. Furthermore, we are about finished planning product for August 2010 launches, and have started things for the following January. It's all a bit much to keep track of. I genuinely have to think about it when I write a date, all year. While most people spend January writing the previous year's date, I am writing one two years in advance.

Anyhow, I see a lot of calendars in my line of work and most don't do a lot for me. I mean, a calendar is great, and in spite of the digital age, I still like my old analog calendar. They are pretty, affordable decor and they are helpful when you need to figure out how many mortgage payments you'll be making this month or plotting out a doctor's appointment 6 months in advance. I know you can do these things on your computer, but really, I just like to have the thing turned off in the evenings when I am not working. Which is rarely, with all the jobs I have going right now.

But I digress. I see a lot of calendars that don't do much for me design wise - they work well and have pretty artwork, but don't strike me as original in any way. But, this calendar does:

It took me a look or two to figure it out. The designer calls it the Cats Let Nothing Darken Their Roar calendar, or, as you can see below in the design by removing the black letters, "CALENDAR". Each month's name is spelled out by removing the black letters, though if you read the phrases with letters in, they are quite amusing. I think it would be fun to have this up in your office and watch the confused faces of people who read it. I also have a thing for type and the cool colour pallette is pretty without being twee.

They sell them in smaller sizes for offices or small spaces, but they also sell it in a large free-from-a-chinese-restaurant size that is really cool.

I found out about it over at artist Samantha Hahn's (a previous 'illustrator of the month') blog Maquette. Check it out, it's a great blog.

Oh, and happy Halloween everyone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Illustrator of the Month October

Chelsea Groves lives outside of San Franscisco. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2003 with a degree in Art History and began working as a Graphic Designer. After a few years she began tinkering with paints and papers and has been making these beautiful bird collages ever since, and is now a full time artist.

I am a big fan of Chelsea's collages. The technique is unique and it creates a vibrant, graphic quality I really admire. The majority of the backgrounds are painted in acrylics, and then the leaves for foliage are cut out individually. The birds are composed of carefully trimmed layers of paper and are accented with paint and ink.

Chelsea also creates Linocuts and paintings. You can see more here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quote Search

I have to find all these uplifting quotes for work. Most of the ones I really like I don't use, they aren't 'mass' enough to appeal to our market. But anyhow, here's one I like from today:

"My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose." Bette Davis

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stupid Girl Toys

I think the pictures will speak for themselves. Christmas is coming, be sure to buy your daughters, neices, sisters and friends things that are empowering...

You too can learn to get down on your knees to do the washing!

So Chic Salon Hair Colouring Kit!

You know, I get that little girls like to imitate their mothers, so cooking stuff and household chores stuff is understandable on some level. Why does it always have to be pink? Have you looked at the 'girls' section of the Toys R Us website recently? HORRIBLE. You would think Barbie owned everything. On that....does anyone else remember a time when Barbie wore colours other than pink?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dirty Thirty

It's my thirtieth birthday this weekend. I am quite honestly shocked and horrified this milestone is a reality. It isn't that getting older is a bad thing, per se, it's mostly that I just can't believe it has happened so quickly.

At a recent family event I turned the all-too-common line of questioning about when I'm getting knocked up and married around on a cousin of my partner's. I hate myself for doing it (because I hate when it is done to me) but desperate times call for desperate measures. There is only so much "do it while you still have energy" one woman can take. Anyhow, she replied to me, that she was thinking she'd be ready around 30. I then asked how old she was. 24. Ah, I remember being 24 and thinking I'd be ready by the time I was thirty too. What one doesn't realize at that tender age is how quickly thirty will arrive. I think the past five years of my life have whizzed by more quickly than any other era in my life.

This year has felt like a series of lessons reminding me how quick, dirty and short life can be.

Heading out on a celebratory road trip this weekend. One stop will be the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland. In honour of this and in an effort to get fully riled up and ready to party, here are some little musical ditties for your enjoyment.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chelsea Handler

I've been "reading" audio books on the way to work recently, and the experience of commuting has so significantly improved, I often don't even really notice the drive anymore. I've done some somewhat serious books, and intend to tackle some classics I'd otherwise never get through (War and Peace comes to mind) but for the past weeks I've been listening to two books by comedian Chelsea Handler, who you might know from her late night talk show Chelsea Lately. Incidentally, Chelsea Lately is currently the only late night talk show with a female host and Chelsea Handler is only the second to carry her own (the first was Joan Rivers). You also might remember her on that long ago hidden camera show called Girls Behaving Badly.

There are two books - I've completed Are You There Vodka? It's me, Chelsea and am just about to complete My Horizontal Life - A Collection of One Night Stands. As one review on Amazon states, "Chelsea Handler writes like Judy Blume, if Judy Blume were into vodka, Ecstasy, and sleeping with midgets and nineteen-year-olds."

Both are hilarious. A lot of times when you read a review of something they say "laugh out loud funny", but when does one really lol? Not often. But with these two books, I have literally been laughing out loud, cruising at 110 clicks on the 407.

I feel as if Chelsea is my long lost twin sister. I love my real sister to death, but we are very different people. Chelsea, on the other hand, is so similar to me, that lately I've been finding myself talking and internally I'm thinking, "this is something Chelsea would say." It is as if she is speaking through me. As if I am some sort of Chelsea Handler clairvoyant. That is a gross compliment to my horrible-at-times sense of humour - I love a groaner, but I do feel that listening to her books is helping to increase my feelings of normalcy in the world. I have a kindred spirit, and her name, is Chelsea Handler.

A lot of her interviews from Chelsea Lately are on You Tube. They are fantastic, generally. She asks whatever she wants. If you feel like wasting an hour or two, pop over there.

Here's a video of her doing stand up. She's my new favourite.