Category Archives: General Musings

Peeps Fail

I am still a little bitter about my peeps fail last year…because well, I should have been a semi-finalist!!!

Let me take you back…you see, every year the Washington Post puts on a Peeps Contest. Yes, by peeps I mean those little sugary bunny candies that people either love or hate. I happen to hate them, so what better use than to turn them into props for a story? Once I decided I was in, I was IN. I made some sketches, gathered supplies, and then had at it. This was a HUGE undertaking which I didn’t realize until I began designing…and hardcore peeps contesters start planning and designing months in advance. Check out last year’s winner.

My theme was Peepswan–A tail or a paranoid peeperina. A solid concept, but how would I go about executing something that could be captured in a couple of pictures? This is where I think I miss-stepped…my stage was too big length and height-wise and it was hard to see the audience in all their glory. Plus I picked the scene where she transforms into the blackswan on stage but I am not sure that is easily conveyed. The stage was built on top of a large shoe box which I stuffed with holiday lights, so the stage would really light up. Then I did three layers of curtains made of tissue paper, which were attached with thin wooden rods, and really came out beautifully. I even hand cut the little paper chandelier hanging above the stage–no cutting corners here! The costumes were made from feathers, tissue paper, and sclupey (a childhood fav).

After one full day of building the stage, I didn’t want to see a gluegun again anytime soon and my house was covered in feathers, ha. I did some final touches and submitted my pictures just in time to meet the deadline…alas, there were about 30 semi-finalists and another Blackswan-themed design beat me NOT because it was better crafted but rather because they included a scene from the movie with a full stage of  dancers so maybe the concept seemed more complete? I will never know, but what I do know is I still love my design.

A close up of Natalie-peep-portman as the black peepswan…

A close up of the peepswan audience…they even have popcorn and playbills!


Tagged , ,

And then I was 28

I don’t know how it happened so quickly, but today I turned 28. I honestly feel 18 sometimes, ha.

In honor of my next year, I want to share this quote below. This is something my friend Danielle came up with, and is a concept that I plan to live this next year by. Obviously trying and succeeding is the best, but the point is that not trying at all is failure.

So here’s to another year. 27 was one of my best and I plan to make 28 even better.

Thanks for reading my blog — xo, Anne




Homemade ravioli, a wonderful art form

As you may or may not know, I think cooking is a terrific art form. I love that it’s not only a wonderful creative outlet, but also delicious (if done correctly, ha). It’s undeniable that food is love.

With that said, it’s not every day that I take on the task of making something like ravioli. But, my buddy Sean who is a big cook suggested we do it, and I can’t pass up a food challenge. So he brought the pasta-making gear, I got the ingredients, and we went to work. Little did I know it would take about 2.5 hours from beginning to end — and for those that know we well, I’m not the most patient — but we channeled our inner Italian grannies as we cranked the pasta maker and got through it. Honestly though rolling out the dough isn’t as quick and easy as it looks, but with a little practice it wouldn’t be too bad. Sean was so precise, he even whipped up an egg glaze to seal those bad boys. If we wanted to get really fancy, we could have used one of those jagged edge trimmers to cut them out. Next time.

HOWEVER, we did have one epic fail — we stacked the fresh ravioli on top of each other while preparing them — and they STUCK. Seemed so obvious after the fact, but somehow we overlooked that minor detail in the moment. But, we still managed to have enough raviolis for a perfect meal.

Viola. Ravioli with not one but two different kinds of fillings — spinach and ricotta, and butternut squash. It was yum-to-the-tum, and such a cool cooking adventure!


Tagged ,

Cuba Skate: Changing the world through sport

Last night, I met a terrific dude named Miles who is my brother’s high school buddy. Miles is doing his part to make the world a better place, and his passion about it is contagious. In light of the news about Steve Jobs, a man who did in fact change our world for the better, this topic couldn’t be more pertinent.

Miles (with his girlfriend, Lauren) started Cuba Skate, a start-up project aimed at bringing diplomacy to Cuba by helping its skateboarding youth get the resources they need. The project began after Miles and Lauren studied abroad in Cuba and discovered the immense need to support the country’s skateboarding scene, a channel for community, friendship, and growth. Well, their hard work and passion shows as Cuba Skate is taking off. I met with Miles to learn more about his story and what he’s doing with Cuba Skate to ultimately see how I could help out from a branding, communications, and design perspective. We had a great, inspiring chat. During our discussion we chatted about Cuba Skate’s logo, which was created by an outstanding NYC designer, Oliver Munday, a graduate of MICA. I was seriously impressed by Oliver’s work and looking forward to the prospect of collaborating with him.

I feel connected to the Cuba Skate project on a number of levels. First, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that sport does have the ability to change lives. I grew up in a household where sport was emphasized as a vehicle for physical and mental well-being. Being active wasn’t a choice, it just was, and it’s become a part of who I am. Running has kept me healthy, balanced, and confident. Second, my dad is the former President of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), a successful non-profit with a similar mission as Cuba Skate except it focuses on tennis in DC. Knowing the impact WTEF has had on DC youth, I know the sky’s the limit. Also, I like that there’s an art aspect to the sport of skateboarding… everything from the people themselves (tattoos, clothing) to the skate gear. Since it’s an urban sport, graffiti tends to be a main backdrop for skate parks, and I am drawn to this kind of art because it’s visually impactful, vibrant, and exciting.

Keep an eye out for Cuba Skate’s exciting happenings, and definitely consider supporting their mission. Visit their site above or find them on Facebook.

In the meantime, watch this rad skate video from Cuba (not sure if Miles filmed it himself, but either way it’s good stuff).

Tagged , , ,

Those unexpected, wonderful things in life

I consider myself fortunate. Great upbringing, good career, and not a bad head on my shoulders. Admittedly, I lead a pretty charmed life here in DC. 

Last Friday, I was reminded of just how fortunate I am. I came home to a little (unexpected) package from my bro with….

A gift just because with a sweet and inspiring message to boot… how freaking awesome! 

So, Paul (my brother) said in the note that he found this little cotton/canvas bag in San Francisco and thought of me because of its design. He said “I hope it continues to inspire you, remind you of the possibilities, and drive you to follow your passions.” It was truly, truly touching. I am grateful for his support and certainly inspired. It’s just another reminder to keep working on my craft.

Miami, I love you

Just looking at these pictures MAKES ME HAPPY. Especially with this won’t-quit-rain in DC. Enough already, weather gods.

This was a much deserved and welcomed girls trip. And, Miami is the kind of place where I can be guaranteed to feel completely immersed and stimulated in my environment by new and exciting experiences. There’s no looking back or ahead, there’s just this exact moment in time.

Seeing as its FASHION WEEK — this also makes me giddy with happiness — I wrote a post on my friend Carrie’s blog about some Miami fashion finds. Check it out, if ya know what’s good for you.

Tagged , ,

Another week, a new life adventure

So, this is my first week without school because, ummm, I dropped out.

Yes, ladies and gents, I’m a design school dropout. That kind of has a weird ring to it, haha.

Well, only for so long because I’m looking for a new design program that will better suit me and I’m going to get right back on that saddle (whoa, it took me 3 tries to spell that correctly, clearly not a word I use often). I’m passionate about design and I want to keep pursuing that dream.

In the meantime, its back to full-time work and exploring opportunities to continue doing design… right now I’m working on two graphics internal to my firm, while I also continue putting together my portfolio — with feedback from some designers I know — with the designs I did while in school. I also plan to network, network, network which luckily is more fun than work to me.

In honor of this next life adventure… I want to share this quote I found inspiring…

“…You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

-Steve Jobs (a la Swiss Miss/Curiosity Counts)

Here’s to what comes next… the world is ooozing with possibility and I can’t wait.

More to come!

Finding my design hero

THANKGODITSFRIDAY. Mmmm, so nice to start my weekend with a glass of wine, good convo, and groovin’ tunes (Bag Raiders, Metronomy, Tune Yards, and the like) with my college bestie visiting from Miami. I paused all of this goodness so I could do a quick post…. that’s how dedicated I am. At times.

I’ve been thinking about this topic — finding my design hero — since my professor brought it up a week ago. He started class last Saturday with a lecture about the importance of having a hero (or more) who can inspire us as designer so as to find our nitch and master our craft. Although I am still not entirely sure what this really means to me, I really took it took heart, and am inspired to find out. This whole past week I have really uped the ante with my designing, and during the process am trying to zero in on my hero. I think, like I am with mentors, I like to dabble here and there for my needs. Lately, I’ve been going to blogs and pulling out my old Communications Art magazines to look at good design work across the board for inspiration. Sometimes, I get lots of inspiration by visiting museums and talking to other designers. It really all depends.

I know this much…my heros are those designs who confidently break the rules. They mess around with typography like Paula Scher. They are those who like to incorporate their hand, like Carolyn Sewell. They are really passionate like Jessica Hische.

This is definitely a topic I’ll continue to explore and address…

In closing, I found this cracked out wonder woman painting at the coffee shop (Baked & Wired) across the street from school, and although it’s a tad startling (lay off the crack lady) I think an appropriate image. Plus I love the random cupcake floating around behind here, ha….

Cheers to a wonderful weekend, all.

This is my mantra

Art makes the world a more interesting and fun place. Without it I would be incomplete.

The only thing I would change about this poster is replace “eh” with “meh,” and remove the quotations around earth and art. Other than that, it’s a perfect message.

I would give photo credit but I have no idea who came up with this design!

Oy vey, the pains that come along with being a graphic designer

Am I just getting older (well, yes, but hey I’m still in my 20s)…or am I experiencing the inevitable pains of being a graphic designer in the 21st century?

Never in my life has my body ached like this before. My back and bum are sore to the point where its painful to sit after awhile, and my hands feel cramped and sometimes numb and tingly. This is what you experience after hours upon hours sitting at a desk behind a computer. And these days so much more is done on the computer considering all the social media tools available.

This reminds me… at one point in highschool I hurt my tail bone and had to use a butt pillow. I became the “butt” of many jokes at school and quickly decided I rather suck it up as opposed to be made fun of. These days, I don’t give a damn. I already know I’m pretty darn fabulous and that I can rock most accessories well. So I think I might have to find myself another butt cushion, something more fashionable. So I started to do some research and there’s not much out there, but I did find this…which is also suppose to make your butt firmer! Have I just fallen victim to the ploys of infomercials?

As for the back pain, I need to do lots of stretching, and occasional yoga. I’m think it might be a nice opportunity to start doing Pilates to make my core stronger. Having a strong core is essential to good posture (which I need to work on) and less pain. As for my hand pain, ya know they joke about designers saving up money for carpal tunnel surgery. Oh gosh. Again its important to stretch and take lot of breaks. This is also good for staying sane because after hours of staring at a computer screen you can start to get a little nutty, I know I do. This is also why I like to print out my designs every few hours so I can see what it actually looks like, and it helps me catch any glaring errors I might not otherwise see on the screen while also giving your eyes a break.

I am reminding myself as much as anyone else to be cognizant of these healthy tips.

(Side note… since there’s not much out there marketed to graphic designer, this might be a chance for me to put on my entrepreneurial hat and come up with something targeting those in the field. I can’t say anymore as I don’t want to reveal any big ideas.)

%d bloggers like this: