Friday, September 30, 2011

{Recipe} The Pinterest Pumpkin Patch

   One of our favorite things about fall is the fragrance  of pumpkin & cinnamon in the air whether it be from our favorite candles or yummy goodies baking in the oven.  With these lovely bursts of cool fall weather we’ve been having here in North Carolina, we are just itching to welcome autumn into our home & inside our kitchen!  We searched the recipe boxes on one of our favorite sites, Pinterest, and found some amazing treats!  Below you will find our pumpkin patch of pumpkin based recipes.  Take a look & pick your pumpkin(s).   Happy Fall Ya’ll!

7.     Pumpkin Scones

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

{New Work: Logo} What Snorts & Smokes at the Same Time?

   What snorts & smokes at the same time?  The Kettle Cooker Express!  This is a new logo we designed for a client who started his own business selling yummy kettle cooked treats.  The client’s vision entailed a few cool pigs on a train with kettle corn & pork rinds billowing out of the top.   This project was so much fun to research & design!  We even had the privilege to sample the Kettle Corn, which was amazing!  So without further ado, we give you the Kettle Cooker Express logo!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall in Love with Fall!!

   It's officially the first day of fall, our favorite time of the year! Crisp cool weather is on the way, bringing with it a beautiful palette of crimson, orange, & golden yellow.  We can count the number of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks we've had on one hand so it's time to get it in gear & bring on the fall!  Here are a few more reasons to love fall!

2.    Pumpkin Pie, one of our all time faves! (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
3.    Football, Go Hokies!! (Image by Warren Design Group)
4.    Halloween (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
5.    Fall Candles, like Marshmallow Fireside by Slatkin Candles
6.    Falling leaves (Image by Sara Lynn Paige/Simply Stardust)
7.    Pumpkins! (Image by Noel Barnhurst)
8.    Scarves
9.    Fall TV Classics like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
10.  Thanksgiving (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zany Zig Zags: Missoni Mania at Target

   If you were like us and made your way to local Target stores Tuesday morning, you were in for a surprise, and not the awesome good kind.  With dreams of zigzags and bright patterns in our heads, we merrily made our way into our local Target store to find this:

Or for those of you that prefer online shopping, this:

   No bright cardigan sweaters. No cheery umbrellas.  No cute pillows. No zig zagginess to be found, except for the lone few pieces we managed to find hiding on a lone shelf & in the home goods area.  Our loot, which we're extremely proud to have come home with, consisted of a sprightly mug, an adorable frame, & a fun shoulder bag.

   Needless to say, Target had a stellar day with sales through the roof and so much demand that their website "woofed."  If you missed it here's a small sampling of what you, as well as ourselves, could have witnessed:

  And being graphic designers, we have to mention the great marketing campaign!  The commercials are young, hip, fun, & make Missoni seem like the cat's zig zag pajamas.  The colors are spectacular & the branding is genius.  Check it out for yourself & tell us how anyone can not want a piece of this action :)

You'll have to let us know if you grabbed any Missoni items, we'd love to see them! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day of Rememberance: Remembering 9/11

(Image courtesy of Fast Company's Co. Design)
     Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks... It seems like it all happened a year or two ago... Eric & I, like many others world-wide, remember exactly where we were when the towers were hit and the chaos began.  I was in my dorm at Virginia Tech that clear blue September morning and had just received a phone call from my father in law that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers...  I turned on the TV to see smoke pluming from the North Tower & remember thinking, "Wow, that was a horrible miscalculation on some pilot's part."  It wasn't long until Eric came in from one of his classes & I told him what was happening.  The rest of the day, after we called all of our loved ones, we sat in my dorm room, glued to the TV, and the madness streaming from it.  The rest of the days & weeks were a blur & to this day we can not remember any other events that took place during the weeks after the attacks.  On this day and every day, we remember those that were lost, those that survived, and those that gave their lives on that blue September day. 

   It is so exciting to see the progress of the New World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial in New York City.  10 years later, we are glued to the TV again... but this time to watch a nation remember, heal, and rebuild that which was lost in 2011. 

   We also found a 9/11 Memorial app called 110 Stories for your Android or iphone that creates a pencil sketch of the towers depending on where you are standing in New York.  Once you take the photo, you can submit it with a personal story from that day and share it with others.

     Eric is awesomely talented at building and constructing things.   We loved the World Trade Center in New York and had the special privilege of being able to visit and enjoy it in its prime. We were devastated in 2001 not only for all the lives lost, but for the wonderful structure that will never be replaced. We will always have a great memory of that place and it will always hold a special place in our hearts. This was Eric's way of creating a small tribute so that the World Trade Center will always be close at hand.  Although this is not Eric's design, he re-created the original by Spencer Rezkalla with no instructions or direction but by looking at photos of the original design.  With over 19,000 Lego pieces and over 2 and a half months of building, it is now proudly displayed in our home.

And this is simply, a heart-touching story from The Dog Files about the Hero Dogs of 9/11.   To help support these amazing search & rescue dogs, please visit the Search Dog Foundation.

Don't forget to visit the National September 11th Memorial Website.
(Images courtesy of the National 9/11 Memorial)

To learn how to get involved with or donate to the National 9/11 Memorial, click here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

{Photoshop Corner} How to Create a Cross Processed Look

    It’s finally September!  Fall is on the horizon along with the crisp air, orange & maroon leaves, & another type of orange and maroon…. Virginia Tech football!! In honor of the Hokies’ season opener this weekend against Appalachian State, here is a Photoshop Tutotial on how to achieve a fun cross-processed look for your photos.  Have fun & GO HOKIES!!

(Click to enlarge)

    Cross Processing comes from the days of film, when a photographer would intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) process a film roll through chemicals meant for a different type of film. This had surprisingly good effects, bringing out colors in the film that may have gone unnoticed otherwise.

Step 1:
 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves for some color editing. Choose the Red channel and create a narrow 'S' curve by dragging the line on the graph. The amount of red you wish to add is up to you and should fit your personal tastes. 

Step 2:

 Just as before, go through the same steps and choose the Green channel this time. Create the 'S' curve again, using your personal preference for how much. The more the curve is moved the more contrast will be added. 

Step 3:

 Use the same process for the Blue channel next. This channel focuses more on shadows and should provide a tint of blue for your image. 

Step 4:

 Switch the blend mode to Color on the adjustment layer which will bring out more details in your image. If your image needs further adjustment, click back on the adjustment layer to change the RGB channels separately. 

Step 5:

 Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and move the contrast slider to 30. This makes the image look more authentic while highlighting the contrasts and shadows.  You're done!