Category: Design

Valentine Printable

Love | The Ultimate

WHEEE it’s almost Valentine’s Day/aka almost my birthday/aka almost the best day of the year. I crafted you this magnificently cliché valentine, which I insist you either cherish or print out (here) and give to someone else to cherish. There’s no such thing as too many roses or valentines or mentions of love around Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure that’s a universal sentiment.

PS Roses are from here. Merci, Monsieur Redouté!


Easy Embroidery

Easy Embroidery | The Ultimate

I have a bad habit of making things and liking them a lot for about 10 seconds, and immediately thereafter deciding that I hate them, forever. Does this happen to anyone else? So I consider it a victory that I have quite a few DIY’ed pieces interspersed in my bedroom’s gallery wall, and I don’t hate any of them! Yayyy. Yet.

My favorite piece is the embroidered X, which is inspired by this amazingness. I was so excited when I saw it, because I had that hexagonal frame for ages and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Of course, it would’ve been nice to just buy that piece and call it good, but it was a sold out limited edition, and I knew it would be so easy to recreate. Also I wanted a high-contrast situation, so black thread was a must.

Easy Embroidery | The Ultimate

As is usual whenever I attempt this kind of thing, I made a massive initial mistake that involved a lot of work to fix: I tried using metallic black thread. NOT GOOD. It’s much more stiff than normal thread and looked very wonky, so I had to pick out all my stitches. Learn from me.

But from then on, this project was so easy. All I did was: wrap the cardboard insert that came with the frame in some leftover linen, stapling it in place on the back. Cut an X shape out of cardboard and center on the piece of linen. Mark little groups of dots all along the edges of the X, to guide me in my stitches. Stitch one row straight across. Stitch the opposite row, weaving through the first row as you go.

I love how it adds a little texture and dimensionality to the wall!


In the End

The Beatles | The Ultimate

And here we have a classic song with a reminder that fits quite nicely with the approach of Valentine’s Day. Which btw is my birthday, and I’ve always felt that this gives me a free pass to take it VERY SERIOUSLY–and in years past have blatantly coerced my friends into spending it with me…regardless of any plans they might have had with significant others. (Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t do that too!)


Be Bold

Be Bold | The Ultimate

A little typographic humor for your Tuesday night! I found this quote on Pinterest and wanted to give it my own spin. My own black white marble and sexy serif spin, that is…some things never get old :)


Tech Time

Tech | The Ultimate

I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately for tech accessories–why you ask? Well, I’m of the opinion that the best way to deal with having shitty outdated devices is to bedazzle them, so that at least your phone looks cute even as you curse it while insanely weaving through traffic because it will no longer load Google Maps. Also it is only logical to buy a laptop’s worth of goods rather than replacing your laptop. Obviously.

Things I already own:

The headphones and the universal charger (it comes with a plug that’ll fit any phone, which has already been really fun to whip out and share with my weird non-iPhone-owning friends :), and they’re both lovely.

Things I didn’t know I wanted to own:

Disposable screen wipes! Who’d’ve thought. But they’d be really nice to slip into your laptop case or whatever. Also, after I went to a wedding this summer that had them, I discovered that instant (Polaroid-ish) cameras are SO fun and addictive! Great for parties. Great for party favors!

Things I need but have inexplicably been putting off buying for years:

I NEED a laptop bag/backpack. I’ve been lugging around an awkward case without a handle for absolute ages, and it’s so dumb. That briefcase is technically a men’s one but it so does not look like it, right? And that backpack is insane(ly cool), and has a padded laptop pocket.

Things I don’t need but that are fun to look at:

Pretty phone cases. That brass one is gorgeous, and the Etsy shop has lots of other equally awesome designs.


Mother’s Day Card Printable

Mother's Day Card Printable | The Ultimate

One of the things that always gets me as a graphic designer is that I feel like I’m not allowed to buy cards for anyone–I have to make them myself. I guess it’s kind of like how a trained mechanic would feeling silly taking his car into the shop? I just can’t do it!

This mentality can quickly get out of hand, to the point where I sometimes just don’t give people cards at all. Shameful, I know. But I’ve been trying to get my act together, and I’m happy to report that I made one in plenty of time for Mother’s Day. And if (you’re not crazy and) you have no qualms about not making one yourself, you can use it too! Just click here; you can print it straight out onto 8.5 x 11 cardstock (I didn’t include guidelines so you can cut it down to whatever size you prefer). Hurray! Happy Mother’s Day!


Eat Sleep Rave Repeat

Fatboy Slim | The Ultimate

There were so many amazing acts at Coachella this year that I feel totally disloyal picking a favorite. Buuttt I kind of had one. Fatboy Slim was so amazing! To be fair to all the other acts, a lot of it had to do with the crowd (excited but not to the point of being pushy and annoying), and the setup (his DJ booth was in the middle of the screen!!):

Fatboy Slim | The Ultimate

And best of all, the giant astronaut sculpture came into the tent! There’s nothing like having a 36 foot tall astronaut hovering over you while dancing around under insane lasers and listening to some truly hypnotic beats. Really, I challenge you to listen to this and not want to just go around repeating it, like a little rave-y drone. Or maybe that’s just me…

Fatboy Slim | The Ultimate


Coachella Camping

Coachella | The Ultimate

So I know I just talked about camping (and my fingers are crossed for good weather next weekend, so I can go on my first backpacking trip of the year), but camping at festivals is a whole ‘nother beast. A beast that I now feel fairly prepared to tackle, after being woefully unprepared the year before this. Some major mistakes we made:

– Buying child-sized camping chairs. (So cheap! So uncomfortable!)
– Not buying an Easy-Up; instead attempting to fashion a shelter with a tiny tarp and some duct tape.
– Bringing tons of drinking material that needed to be kept cold…and the smallest cooler possible.

Now, given the bounty of lofty Easy-Ups, adult-sized chairs, and giant frosty coolers that were in evidence on the campgrounds last year, no one else is likely to make those mistakes. But there were many other things I learned that aren’t quite so obvious! So I thought I’d share, and hope that I can save at least a couple of poor souls from the shame and indignities that I inflicted upon myself last year.

Not to lay the self-pity on too strong…we totally killed it. Just in like, the most inept way possible. If that makes sense. Anyway!

LED Balloons | The Ultimate

Sunscreen Flask | The Ultimate

iPhone Battery Charger | The Ultimate

Low Heeled Boots | The Ultimate

Tapestry | The Ultimate

Mini Wipes | The Ultimate

Folding Water Bottle | The Ultimate



Dashboard Confessional | The Ultimate

It’s funny that one of my favorite songs of all time (#20 most played on my iTunes!) is by a band that I’ve never had much of an interest in. I barely know any of their other songs, and it was only by a fluke that I got to know this one so well. It was one of four choices for our senior prom theme song, and for some reason everyone was VERY opinionated about what it should be (clearly I had a very sheltered childhood). I can’t even recall what song my friends and I wanted…although I do remember approving of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” the year before, so I’m guessing whatever one I wanted was about as awesome sappy.

So when “Stolen” was chosen, I chose to embark on a private act of protest by not even bothering to listen to it before the dance. (Yes, I had never even heard the song before, but to be fair I’d heard a lot of their other music and wasn’t a fan) Older me is now aware that younger me was a straight up idiot, but it all worked out in the end. Because the first time I ever heard this song I was literally spinning around in my highest heels, in a ballroom, in celebration. It was perfect.


Let’s Go Camping

Let's Go Camping | The Ultimate

For the most part, I am that very girly girl who likes manicures, champagne, Jane Austen; dislikes beer, sporting events, sweatpants. But I make a rabidly enthusiastic exception for camping. It doesn’t really matter to me whether it’s a miles-long backpacking trek through the wilderness, or day drinking at a campsite ten miles out of the city. I love it all!

And, as with pretty much everything else in life, it’s even MORE fun when there’s cute stuff to bring along. Every year I like to add a few things to my camping arsenal (which I keep in my trunk at all times, because you never know). So here are some things that I either have and love, or that I’m considering getting soon.

PS I had a hard time narrowing down all the things I wanted to include from Izola; even their stuff that clearly isn’t for camping is just as clearly perfect for camping (case in point) Also their flasks are amazing. I want ALL of them.