Thursday, December 31, 2009

Favorites of 2009

December 31st, 2009.  wow.  what a great year.  here are a few highlights.  enjoy!

Favorite New Blog: JewelryWhore

Creator of JewelryWhore, Jade has been artfully running the site since January 2008.  I stumbled upon this treasure during a normal afternoon of blog-hopping and I have been mesmerized ever since.  Her blog is packed full of goodies like DIY projects, weekly sample sales, the latest jewelry trends, styling advice and so much more.  The variety of styles and price points showcased is refreshing.  I'm hooked.

Favorite New Burger Joint: Umami Burger
My apologies, Father's Office.  You make a hell of a burger, but it's time to move on.  I recently had the most delicious burger of my life at Umami Burger Hollywood.  With the recent explosion of high end burger joints serving craft beer to match, Umami Burger has risen to the top.  They boast 10(ish) yummy burgers, DELICOUS sides and an acceptable beer/wine list based on an interesting concept that I will leave to Jonathan Gold to describe.

The restaurant is dedicated to the concept of umami, the savory, meaty "fifth taste" that may be technically defined as the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid, which is to say the dash of soy sauce in your stir-fry or the catsup you like with your fries. - Jonathan Gold.  full article here.

Does that make sense?  All you need to know is the food is delicious.  JUST GO!

Favorite New Weekend Activity: Hiking

My handsome and talented boyfriend recently turned me on to the wonderful world of hiking.  A couple months ago I found myself on top of the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains.  This profound experience has led to many subsequent hikes all over southern California.  For me, hiking has been a challenging, exciting, emotional, rewarding experience.  California is such a beautiful state that I am finally beginning to explore.  And now I look forward to my first backpacking trip in a couple of days.  I'm so excited!!

My New Hobby: Photography

This magical art form has interested me since I was a child.  My sisters and I would create elaborate sets for our fashion shoots that consisted of "clothes" made out of old sheets.  I continued to document my life through photography and in 2006, I earned a degree in Commercial Digital Photography. After a 3-year hiatus in which I discovered my current career, graphic design, I have recently drifted back.  It's no mystery, I got an SLR for my 30th birthday (October) and since then I rarely go anywhere without it.  I continue to explore new techniques, such as using Photoshop to create panoramas and fake tilt-shift miniatures. Photoshop is a powerful tool that I am glad to have on my side.  Documenting our hikes has been quite a thrill as well.  I enjoy exploring this world through a lens, and I will continue to do so.

Thank you for reading.  Don't forget to visit my friends!

Monday, December 28, 2009

my holiday card

happy holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dos Equis Logo

Last week I spent a couple of hours creating this logo for a video spoof on the Dos Equis, Most Interesting Man in the World commercials.  I redrew the Dos Equis logo from scratch and made some adjustments to better accommodate the updated subject matter.

With the help of some friends, Rikki Glassman created this hilarious video.  Difficult to explain, this is a must see.

that's me!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's that time of year again!

GAG gift giving time!  Around this time every year, my department gets bombarded with ridiculous graphics requests for gag gifts.  It has always mildly infuriated me that for two weeks in December my time and talent (I'm using the word loosely) is spent creating the silliest, most ridiculous items you can imagine.  The purpose of these items is to entertain and humiliate co-workers, a sport that interests me little.  I worked (and continue to work) on my share of stupid, waste-of-time gag gifts, however THIS year I got a real gem.
The Boarding Pass.

I designed a fake boarding pass and accompanying sleeve to inform Mrs. Managing Director's Wife that Mr. Managing Director is taking her to France in 2010.  This was less of a gag gift and more of a Christmas present.  This project fell right into my creative wheelhouse and boy was it fun.

Following some light internet research the design fell into place quickly.  I ran into a few question marks while creating the sleeve, considering airlines don’t issues these anymore I didn’t have a good sample to look at.  Are they shorter or longer than the boarding pass? Are they open or closed at the bottom? After some consideration, I went with a size and design that made sense to me. Printing had the usual snags but nothing I couldn’t handle. At the end of the day Mr. Managing Director is happy and I have another piece for my portfolio.  Everybody wins.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

homemade vanilla extract


My apologies if you are one of the future recipients of this homemade gift, but I couldn't wait any longer.  This one has been on the works for weeks and I'm ready to share.  For the past six weeks I have been brewing homemade vanilla extract in my very own kitchen.  It's a simple process: vodka + vanilla beans + six weeks = vanilla extract.  Well, it's a little more complicated.  directions here.

After whipping up the vanilla concoction in a large mason jar I had plenty of time to ponder packaging variables.  Boy, did I ponder.  I found the bottle right away, but the label took a bit more tinkering.  Due to the shape of the bottle, the label needed to be round.  My first attempt was  I uploaded a design and my order arrived a few days later (love the quickness).  Unfortunately, the stickers were a tiny bit too small.  I had enough time to find an alternative and although no one else on the planet would have noticed, I knew that those tiny labels would haunt my dreams forever.  So, I searched online and luckily found (correction, my boss found it) exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks Pike!

When all of the components were ready I strained the vanilla mixture (now vanilla extract), poured it into the individual jars and slapped on the labels.  It didn’t take me long to realize that the cork stopper was unsuitable for liquid (Doh!).  I traveled with three bottles recently and found that the cork cap soaked up the vanilla.  In fact, that cork LOVED my yummy homemade vanilla extract.  No matter how tight that cap was lodged into the bottle, the vanilla was still going to escape through the cap.  What is the lesson here people?  Cork is an unsuitable stopper for liquid.  The rest of the bottles have been repackaged into 3oz glass bottles with an airtight bail-and-seal hermetic closure.

This was a fun project.  I encountered some hiccups along the way but I’m happy with the end result.  Looking forward to handing these bad boys out!

Make vanilla extract at home and order my labels here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

laura's birthday gift - revealed!

continuing with my handmade pledge, i created these "happy birthday laura" pennant banners for my old friend.

i used a different pattern for every pennant and then cut out each letter by hand using an exacto knife.

now it gets interesting.  after i had cut out all the letters it occurred to me to take it a step further.  instead of tossing the letters, i organized and scanned them to create this card to accompany the banners.  a handmade gift AND a handmade card.  the total package.

Final Wish Flyer

i designed this flyer for my friend, Lauren Chojnacki, who's mother was recently diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. if you are in the LA area i encourage you to participate in this event (details above).

Friday, November 6, 2009

laura's birthday teaser

laura's birthday teaser.  handmade, of course.  more to come...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

handmade card

continuing with my handmade pledge, i created this card to accompany the seed packet.  i also made one of those super-hip wrap mailing labels.  done and done.  this baby is on it's way to chicago.  i hope sara likes it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

grand central market

during a recent exploration of grand central market in downtown LA i had a tongue taco.  no joke.  this gentleman made it right in front of my eyes.  it was quite an experience.

that's my tongue.

the final product.  beautiful yet kind of yucky.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

seed packet project

so here we have my latest craft project. i have decided to do a semi-handmade thing (i know there is an actual handmade pledge, but i'm lazy sometimes so I’m not going to commit to that) wherein i make thoughtful, crafty, handmade gifts for my friends and family. i think this is going to help my creative process overall, requiring me to start planning earlier and be more patient. these are good things.

ok. so i’ve made a custom perennial mix seed packet. i created a template in InDesign and laid out a fun design, including care instructions complete with cute little icons. next steps – print, cut, score, fold and glue but not before filling the packet with seeds. i think this came out awesome.

i'm a terrible blogger

IMG_0331, originally uploaded by katy creative.
ok, i know i'm a terrible blogger. my posts are erratic and succinct. my creativity comes in spurts, my internet is spotty and i can be very lazy. i wish i were more diligent, but really, i'm ok with how things are going. i don't even think anyone reads this blog, so there is very little pressure. it's more of a way for me to see all the cool stuff i have done over the years. it's quite narcissistic, actually. my point is that I have no point. this is really just an excuse to post this cool picture i took of my sister recently.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

bon iver - 2009

sunday morning i experienced an amazing event. bon iver played a sunrise (as in 5:45am) show at the hollywood forever cemetery. it was truly magical. capturing the event was a joy and a challenge. these are a few of my favorite shots.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


these were both taken in beautiful upstate new york, near Crystal Lake. both of these are 3 images that were stitched together in photoshop.

Friday, September 11, 2009

robin, robin, robin and robin

so, this is interesting. i recently attempted a digital watercolor tutorial (photoshop) using an image of my lovely and talented little sister robin from her LA visit last summer. i played around with this for a while, and although i wasn't entirely successful, i ended up with these 4 versions. i presented them as a set because they are more interesting as a group rather than individually. slapped on a cute little graphic in the center and voilĂ ! this experiment went from failed tutorial to quadruple cool.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

matt+lisa - wedding gift

my friends matt and lisa zelznick just got married in upstate new york. the wedding was amazing (pictures to come) but here are the custom, handmade wine glass charms i made as a wedding gift. from designing the label, to photographing the final product, this project was fun. this is the most well thought out project i have ever done. from idea to completion, the process was slow, steady and thoughtful. i am THRILLED about how it turned out and i have a new outlook on approaching larger scale projects like this in the future.

i enjoy working on projects that require several components. this one allowed me to combine bead work, photography and graphic design. below is the label i created for the outside of the tin box which held the wine charms. i viewed this like branding a product, something in which i have little experience. but i do know a little something about logo design. after some playful experimenting, i settled on a 'logo' using matt and lisa's names. the rest of the design fell into place shortly thereafter. i'm super happy with the outcome and i look forward to exploring product design and branding.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Harp's 1st birthday present

my niece is turning one in a couple of days and i made her this portable, standing picture frame. it was a labor of love. i initially set out to make her a box, but then i realized that i didn't know how. using the same materials, i shifted the focus to the frames. i love how they turned out.

i'm a graphic designer by day (super-crafter at night) so i designed this card to slide into one of the frames. designing for children is a whole new ballgame that i'm looking forward to exploring.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


well hello there. it has been quite a white. but i've been re-inspired by a few new projects. first thing's first, my dear friends kate & eric got married in june. this first item is a sticker that i created to put on their gift. i wanted to do something a little different. i thought this was quite clever.

i designed the bridal jewelry for the event and here is the final result for the earrings. each lovely lady had a custom set of earrings and matching (yet completely unique) necklace or bracelet, depending on their personal preference. the dresses were a soft, summer lime so i chose pink and white pearls with pink stones. rose quartz, actually, because kate's middle name is rose. a lovely and personal touch.

really cool picture of kate and eric on their wedding day. image by Kristin Spencer Photography