Inspiration: Color

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Obviously the best inspiration for all your color decisions is your own backyard, a forest trail, flower market, local yarn store or city block. But let’s face it, most times you’re stuck in a tall building, nose pressed against a monitor, with little chance of being transported to any of these places anytime soon. Sometimes I “shop” my Instagram for  vintage signs and packaging color ideas. Most often I browse through the well curated color palettes created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. I find this site an invaluable tool when stumped, and sometimes send links or screenshots of these palettes to clients. It’s much easier to convey color visually than with descriptive words. Whodathunk?

Inspiration: New Packaging

POTLUCK labels

I recently renamed and designed new packaging for my stamped silverware pieces. The new name Potluck, embodies kitcshy, homey, small town, fish fry, church basements and so on. It’s also a nod to the fact that each set is a potluck of patterns, since I never know what I’ll find scouring Ebay and estate sales.

I’ll share a little bit with you about my inspiration for the label art. 

The Spring issue of Gravy featured a story of artist Cedric Smith. I was so drawn to his work. I totally fell in love with his use of color and vintage black & white images. They immediately made me think of cake mix box labels and seed packs. I was especially drawn to this piece.


I knew immediately that I wanted to use this as inspiration for my packaging. I decided on a less distressed appearance, but still wanted a much less than perfect finished look. I created a watercolor background for the type to further convey the made by hand quality of my silverware. While I have been trying my hand at hand-drawn type, I decided I needed these sooner than later, so searched for the right hand-drawn typeface. I just love the thick & thin marker look of these.

The cute pup is actually from a painting my husband did years ago. It’s always been one of my favorite images. I scanned it and created a poster-like black and white version in Illustrator. I’ve been using it as a profile pic and Gravatar off and on for years. The original hangs on my wall at work. “Hi!”


The flowers were borrowed from one of my favorite dish towels.


Read more about Cedric Smith here. And if you haven’t ever, please do spend a little time to peek around on Southern Foodways Alliance. It’s a wonderful organization.

Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese

Lately I’ve been stamp stamp stamping away on vintage silverware, knitting this poncho, making shepherds pie (you betcha), redesigning my husband’s website and trying to steal away some time to light a fire on our new brick patio. I’m striving to finish my poncho for our trip to Maryland & DC next weekend… only like 8 9,  okay 10 more inches to go. I predict a lot of Gilmore Girls (don’t judge me) or A Chef’s Life knitting time this weekend. If you’re not watching this PBS show….you should. Love.



I said I would “NEVER” again knit something for money again. I had a moment of weakness late this summer and said “YES” to knitting this baby blanket for a coworker to give as a shower gift. I always say “NEVER”, but rarely mean it. Please don’t ask.


About the silverware, does it make me a C-R-A-Z-Y person that I love stamping just one letter at a time with a hammer on a spoon? Be honest. I love this like I loved learning to set type on a letterpress. It’s hands on print production on a shiny loud scale. And don’t think for a minute that I don’t see the irony in the fact that I am writing this having just finished creating the Ipad version of the magazine.

The title of this post is lifted from the words stamped on sets of cheese spreaders… all with bad cheese puns.

“Let it Brie”, “Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese”, and “Gouda Vibrations” I know, it’s painful, right?

And for you Eddie Izzard fans (I’m looking at you @JDewps)… keep your eyes peeled for “Cake or Death?” cake servers to hit The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store or G&M Drygoods soon. Oh, and look for holiday cards too.

Tonight I’m taking the early commuter home for Sip, Shop & Stroll. This event will happen the second Thursday each month. In-store specials and live music. Downtown Elgin from 5-8. Future dates 12/11, 1/8. Elgin Local Goods just posted that they will have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! If you haven’t visited downtown Elgin lately… you really should. It’s truly becoming the heart of the city that it once was.