Monday, February 28, 2011

Papel Picado Fiesta Flags

I'm a big believer in flags, bunting, and/or signage to really liven a space at a party. For my lovely friend Anja's Mexican inspired birthday brunch I made Papel Picado. The term Papel Picado translates to "punched paper" and Papel picado also describes the traditional folk art used in Mexico to decorate altars, tables, ceilings and plazas during festivals. Papel picado artists use hammer and chisel to punch designs out of stacks of up to forty layers of tissue at a time. 

For a much simpler version, I created the flag design in Illustrator on my computer and printed the flags out in different colors. I cut the border out with scissors - still quite meticulous! - and then folded the top of the paper over and secured it with tape to some twine to hang. I think the end result gives the look and feel, without all the hard work!

Here is a link to download the birthday Papel Picado flag (pictured above) I created to print out for your next fiesta!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Keep Calm and Marry On

Photos by Craig Van Blaricum

I love event planning and throwing parties - in fact I could see myself doing that as a job someday if this whole graphic design thing doesn't work out! The latest party I was a part of planning was the engagement party of my good friends Paul and Casey. I posted the invite to the party I created earlier on this blog - the London Underground themed invite. We held the party at a British pub to create as authentic of an environment that we could without having to buy plane tickets for all the guests (a little outside of the budget). To finish the London feel, I created bunting out of Union Jack flags, custom signs that said "Keep Calm and Marry On" (a play off the now infamous poster produced by the British government during World War II), British themed food tags, Queen mum masks, and a favor of Peppermint tea (has special meaning to the couples' love story).

We had plenty of tasty food - sliders, chips (fries) and stuffed mushrooms. Also a fabulous cake of vanilla with lemon and raspberry filling complete with sugar Union Jack flags on top. We had a Brit band playlist for music and a projected photo slideshow of Paul and Casey over the years. All in all I think the party was a great success and a lot of fun was had by all. Pip pip!

If anyone is looking for British or Keep Calm & Marry On themed items for a party or wedding, please contact me at 
I would be delighted to work with you to design invites, save the dates, posters, food cards or anything else!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All that Glitters

The original necklace by Jenny Packham

The crystals I bought from Ralph

When I was trying on wedding gowns I fell in love with a beautiful necklace that my sister found for me to try on. Unfortunately this beautiful necklace by Jenny Packham is $1200! Slightly out of my budget to say the least. Well being the ambitious craftser I am, I decided to try recreating something inspired by this necklace myself.
I went right to my friend with the most sparkle - Karl (aka the fabulous drag queen Manila Luzon on this season of RuPaul's Drag Race)! He of course knew a guy who has the best rhinestones this side of the Mississippi. Enter Ralph - about the cutest little old guy you've ever seen - picture the wandmaker in Harry Potter. Ralph has this tiny room inside a high rise near Times Square where he sells his hand set rhinestones. I went there on Friday and he had all of my crystals set and ready by Monday - awesome!
I will be documenting my progress on my necklace as it goes - thankfully I've given myself plenty of time to experiment!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Sexy Bedroom for Valentine's Day

A lot of my day job involves creating designs and product concepts for brands to license. Feeling very in the spirit of Valentine's Day, today part of my job was to create a branded bedroom set for Frederick's of Hollywood. Yes perhaps maybe not the classiest of assignments, but I still tried to keep the cheese in check while retaining the brand image - red, black, lace and leopard!
So to accomplish this I took a photograph of a standard bedroom and through Photoshop sexified it with all things Fredericks. Happy Valentine's Day!

Walle of Sound

One of the things I love (as this is Valentine's Day and all) is designing for my friends. They are the best kind of client to work for - especially when they are super talented musicians. So here I bring you a poster design for my dear friend Tanner Walle. If you are in New York you should definitely come out to his show on the 27th and for those of you elsewhere, you should support his Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a website designed to help people raise funds for projects - such as Tanner's next album.
Check out Tanner's blog at:
And help fund his next album at:

Support local music!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

L is for Lover

With Valentine's day approaching and me always browsing lovey dovey stuff in planning for our wedding, I came across these super cute love themed posters sold on etsy. I love the simple, bold type and fun phrases. I may have to take some inspiration from these for a card or wedding related something.

Find these prints at:
Nicole Gelinas
Dear Colleen
The Big Harrumph
Bubby and Bean

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

"It's like a kaleidoscope of flavors bursting in my mouth!" - Justin Hosek

I tried a new recipe tonight and I think it turned out quite successful! Its based off a recipe I found on but their version took like three hours to make and I find that unacceptable for a Monday night dinner! But the concept of using corn tortillas instead of lasagna noodles, filled with spinach and black beans, and goat cheese sauce!? Had to try it! So here follows my modified version which I am sure is just as tasty as the three hour recipe:

  • 1 jar of fire roasted whole red peppers
  • 1 jar of fire roasted salsa (or another salsa would work fine im sure)
  • 1 - 2 cans of black beans (depends on how much you like beans i suppose)
  • 10-12 corn tortillas sliced in half (whatever usually comes in a pack)
For goat cheese sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk (i actually used kefir - i like to improvise!)
  • 11 oz soft mild goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 small can of green chiles
For spinach filling
  • Bag and a half of fresh baby spinach - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins (yes sounds strange but adds a lovely sweetness!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup of corn
  • Toasted pine nuts - super yum!
  • Avocado slices

Preheat oven to 350°F.  
Make spinach filling:
Heat oil in cleaned nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté spinach, corn and raisins, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in salt and other spices to your tasting - I added chili powder and cayenne.

Prepare peppers:
Slice whole peppers down one side so they open flat. Set aside 

Make goat cheese sauce:
Whisk together goat cheese and milk until pretty smooth. Stir in green chiles and salt.

Fry tortillas:
Heat oil in cleaned nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry tortillas 2 halves at a time, turning over once, until just crisp, about 1 minute total. Transfer tortillas to paper towels to drain. 

Assemble dish:
Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of greased lasagna dish (9x12). Arrange tortilla halves to cover one layer, then spread another 1/4 cup salsa on top and sprinkle evenly with black beans. Arrange 4 peppers flat over black beans to cover, then spread half of spinach filling evenly over peppers and spread with 1/4 cup goat cheese sauce. Make another layer with tortillas, salsa, black beans, peppers, remaining spinach filling, and another 1/4 cup of goat cheese sauce.

Cover cheese with salsa, spreading evenly, then top with remaining tortillas. Cover tortillas with remaining goat cheese sauce, spreading evenly.

Bake lasagna, covered with foil, in middle of oven until bubbling and heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Remove foil and broil about 3 inches from heat until top is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

Top with toasted pine nuts and serve with avocado slices. Devour.