design

Let’s Be Old Friends

Let's Be Old Friends

Another new Valentine’s Day card in the shop. Because stick figures want to grow old together, too.

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Will You Hug Me?

New in the shop: a non-heteronormative valentine card series, which I’ve been meaning to create for awhile now. After the surprise success of my “I Like Your Face” card, I decided to try my hand at some more stick figure designs. This particular one is fully customizable for gay, lesbian, and straight relationships, and you can choose to have your conversation heart say either “Be Mine” (classic) or “Hug Me” (my personal favorite).

Cute Gay Valentine

Cute Lesbian Valentine

Will You Be Mine?

Will You Be Mine?

Designing a Birdhouse

Now that I’ve got a few design classes under my belt, I thought it might be interesting to start sharing some of my work here. Today, I’ll begin with a project from last quarter: designing a birdhouse from scratch.

I’d never done anything like this before, so I initially found the prospect pretty overwhelming. But, as you’ll see below, it was actually a lot of fun!

Because an important part of this project was learning about the design process, I’ll walk you through all the steps leading up to the final product.

Step 1: Research.

I started by doing some research on existing birdhouses. What are the essential elements of a birdhouse? How crazy can you make a birdhouse and still have it look like a birdhouse? What’s already out there, pushing the envelope in the birdhouse world?

Birds-1

Vintage-Camper-Birdhouse-1

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To expand my imagination even further, I also looked for inspiration in things that were not birdhouses. My favorite thread of research along these lines involved architectural landmarks–what famous structures might look cool as birdhouses? What iconic buildings could I riff on?

Opera House

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jefferson-memorial-cherry-blossoms

Images: Cool Hunting // HiConsumption //  Into the Air // About.com // Sydney-City // Declan McCullagh

Step 2: Thumbnails.

Once I was satisfied with my research, I started creating thumbnails of possible birdhouse designs. In this step, no self-censorship was allowed–any idea, no matter how crazy, made its way onto the page. As you can see, I went in a lot of random directions.

Birdhouse design

birdhouse01

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birdhouse05

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Shuffler.fm is Pretty Cool

The other night, as I was streaming music from Pretty Much Amazing (pretty much the only music blog I know of), gearing up for a few solid hours of design work, I heard this:

And I was blown away. Who was this Katy B? She just turned a One Direction song that I’m vaguely embarrassed to admit that I don’t completely hate…into a One Direction song that I’m unabashedly going to say is pretty much amazing.

Needless to say, I practically tripped over myself to figure out how to favorite it. Quick, Michelle! Before the song ends and its existence is forever effaced from your memory!

At first, I was irritated to find out that Pretty Much Amazing’s streaming player is run by some third-party site called “Shuffler.fm,” which sounded suspiciously similar to Last.fm (a site that, unlike Pandora or Spotify, I could never really get into). But I was so desperate to favorite this song that I just went ahead and signed up.

And what do you know? I’m pleasantly surprised. Shuffler.fm is an online radio app that streams tracks from music blogs all over the web. What an ingenious way to discover new music–and music blogs! I also really love their site design–very clean and modern, but sort of warm and friendly, too. Here’s the front page:

shuffler.fm

And here’s a user profile:

shuffler.fm

I haven’t favorited many things yet, but you can follow me here. In the meantime, you know what I’ll be listening to.

Oh, hey.

The funny thing about blogging is that it’s somehow a lot easier to blog three times a week than it is to blog once a week. It’s probably because when you tell yourself you’re going to do it three times a week and you don’t touch your blog for a whole week, you realize you’re already three posts behind. And so you scramble to make up for it. But when you tell yourself you’re going to do it once a week and you don’t…well, technically you’ve only missed one post. So it takes you three weeks to get into “yikes I’m three posts behind” mode. Or, if you’re like me, it takes you a month.

But…I’m back now. So let’s have a catch-up lunch, blogger version! Here are some things I’ve accomplished in the past few weeks:

1. Illustrated  Thanksgivukkah e-cards for JewishBoston.com. I loved working on these! Check them out on ThanksgivukkahBoston.com.

Menurkey

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