Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The best Christmas gift I never got

In honor of the holiday season, I thought I would share with you the best Christmas present I never received. Don't get me wrong, all of our Christmas's were wonderful growing up and for the most part, Santa seemed to get me those things I wished for on my list each year; Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Rainbow Bright, etc, etc. But this particular year I remember being just a little ticked off at poor old Santa Claus, for I was in love with Bo and Luke Duke and nothing made me more happy than some good ol' Dukes paraphernalia. You could imagine my disappointment as my brother opened his gift. A brand spankin' new General Lee! WHAT?!?!? How did HE get the General Lee? No one showed more luv to the Duke boys than I did!

Anyway, I remember bawling my eyes out, when finally my mom tried to appease me by letting me HOLD the General Lee for a picture. I guess it seemed to work, as I look pretty darn happy to be doing so.

My revenge came 30 years later, by the way. I bought a General Lee car last year for mysel....I mean, my son.

May you enjoy making holiday memories with family and friends. From my home to yours, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Latest

The latest web design

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mommy thoughts

So, I'm just wondering...why do we always refer to pregnancy in terms of 9 months? Who thought of that? I've always been curious about that. For those of us that are well aware, a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks. 4 weeks in a month x 10 months = 40 weeks. 10 months!

(ok, ok, I understand "full term" is technically earlier, I understand LMP and all that jazz....I'm just saying.)

This very random thought brought to you by a 32 week pregnant lady, who's not complaining; I consider being pregnant the most amazing and blessed thing in the world...but, I'm just saying....

10 months.

Photo snagged from LeeDaniels on iStock.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A classic

Aw, Aunt Bethany. I love you as much as cousin Eddie.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Photography Exhibit

In a much more merry tone than my last post, I'm proud to share that my girl Tami is having her Senior Show this month, featuring her dynamic photography. As all fellow designers know, your Senior Exhibit is a very important time in your life, as it showcases your work from the past 4...or 5....or 6 years of your college career. Blood, sweat, tears and RELIEF!

Congrats Tami as you start your full-time design career! May all your hard work pay off as you enter the transition from student to professional!!

If you're looking for something to do this holiday season, stop by 62 Doors Gallery and take a look at the exhibit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Wednesday Web Rant

It's never fun when a client decides to leave and take their businesses to another provider, but it happens. My philosophy is that I hope we did all we can do to help them and provide a remarkable product for them, but in the end, if they choose to go elsewhere that is their prerogative and I wish them well.

But, there is one thing that DOES bother me in those cases and I don't blame it on the client per se. I blame it on the next developer. And usually I blame it on the 'non-designer' developer because I would hope that a fellow designer would have enough sense and respect to know better. Don't get me wrong. Each of us have our place in web world. I completely respect and admire developers and programmers. I love it even more when we all work together to produce a fantastic end product. But there are waaaaay too many one-stop-shops in web world today. And as the lines get blurred, the quality does too.

As a designer, we make choices for reasons. Each graphic, each photo, each font choice is specifically chosen to cohesively fit the overall brand and the overall design. Everything works together for a reason. When a new developer takes over and pieces together a 'redesigned' site, using some of the same graphic elements that you had originally designed, well, it annoys me. Seriously, if you are going to redesign it, come up with your own. Don't half-ass play off what has already been done. Each element loses its aesthetic value when it is bastardized and incorporated into another design. Not to mention, when you take the already compressed JPG and stretch it and re-save it and re-compress it, you lose quality.

It's such a tough case. There are so many web companies who can claim their worth in developing a website. But unfortunately, they don't have a lick of design background. They are developers, programmers, etc. Consumers sometimes don't know the difference and they definitely don't respect the difference.

For those of you that don't....I will never be able to explain it to you. But you'll know when you see it. You won't know why it speaks to you differently, but it will. That site, my friends, has been touched by a designer and more thought than you'll ever realize has been put into it. And to the next developer, don't recycle it either.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Talented Friend

Today's featured friend is Mr. Sean Thorenson and his recently launched blog, Inklings. His amazing sketches, along with quirky insights to daily occurrences, makes for a fun daily read! I'm not sure why I haven't featured Sean before as he has RIDICULOUS talent.

Check out his blog here and his site here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Kooky Christmas Decor

Thought I would share my latest holiday creation. It's a little goofy, but it works. Go to Hobby Lobby, buy some stuff, throw it in a vase and Wha La!
Ps. This was inspired by my mom, who did a similar, but more traditional version at her house. She's really finding a creative side lately! You go, Lynnie!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Quotable Kid

I keep telling myself that I need to write down all the funny and imaginative things my three year old has been saying lately and now I've found the perfect place to do so! I can't wait to receive it and try to catch up on all the things he's said so far. The kid just cracks me up sometimes. His personality is so awesome.

You can order your very own copy here.
Outrageous, poignant, or bitingly witty-- the things our children say
always offer an unexpected glimpse into a world that is all their own. Filled
with roomy pages for jotting down conversations or overheard saying, this
handsome keepsake journal also features a bound-in photo window for adding a
unique, personal touch. Whether parents prefer safely stowing precious insights
for future generations or sharing priceless quips with family and friends, My
Quotable Kid will become a lasting record of a child's most memorable

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yummy Holiday design

My husband recently returned from a weekend in Chicago and I was so jealous that I didn't get to go with! After all, can you imagine my delight checking out all the designerly goodness that Chicago has to offer? I imagine I would burst.

Just one example of my most recent find is the holiday wrapping paper from Snow and Graham. I still haven't found those perfect modern accessories for my Christmas decorating needs. (Again, any suggestions would be appreciated!) But with these lovely wraps from S&G, at least the gifts under the tree would be fun to look at!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Local Talent

I ran across Andy Knutson's booth at the Pride of Dakota Showcase last weekend. I had always been aware of his work and he had done a commissioned piece for my relatives, but I thought I would feature him on my blog for you to enjoy. His work isn't exactly my style or taste for decorating purposes, but you can not deny the talent of this local artist. And the PATIENCE it must take to complete his work...the guy paints on feathers for goodness sake! There may be debate in the art community, but in my opinion, realistic artists have an ability that is to be appreciated. (and no, I'm not going to hang a Terry Redlin in my living room)
But for all the cowboys, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, etc. in the area, take a peek at Andy Knutson's work and support a local artist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The site that was, but never will be

Folks, today I bring you BLACK or BLANK or NADA. Frustrated, disappointed and disheartened for the web project that was (sorta), but never will be. You see, our team had been working on a fantastic project that we were all very excited about. It was pretty much completed after many many hours and ready to launch for the whole world and my community to experience! Many people put their hearts into it. Not that we don't put our hearts into every project, but this one different. It was something we had never done before and something that no one in the region has done. For me, it took me beyond the mundane and got me more involved in the details. It's hard to explain without explaining what it was. But believe me, it was kick ass.

Unfortunately you will never see it. The project will be thrown onto the cutting room floor. I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, whether our client's management was too scared to be so innovative, or if they just didn't "get it." I will never know... I will try not to figure it out as it isn't my place to do so. And these things have happened before. We, as designers, have a whole pile of creations that are never seen; from logo concepts to web concepts and more. But this baby was beyond the concepting phase. This was an all out MACHINE!

Oh well. It is funny how an un-launch (my new term) can be so disappointing, though. As a positive, we did learn a lot from the project and will surely grow from it. It was a fun one and I thank my teammates for the challenge and collaboration.

So, who ever said we don't put our hearts into our jobs? Not me.

PS. To our client who may be reading this and thinking, "Hey, I think she's talking about me". We still love you and we sure hope you still love us!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday cooking

I received this in an email and thought it was too funny not to share.

"How Pumpkin Pie is Made"

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Merry Modern Christmas??

I've discovered that it is nearly impossible to decorate in a contemporary Christmas style when you live in my neck of the woods. And I'm not even talking much...more like moderate modern with a country twist. Most decor for the holidays in my area consists of very country classics. Crafty items and the like. As usual, I have visions of funky steel Christmas trees and bold splashes of color adorning my walls. I see it in my head, but naturally can't find anything close to it to purchase. I could pull off some canvas paintings on my own, but anything further than that is beyond my ability!

CB2 has some good options, but I'm specifically looking for wall decor, rather than ornaments or knick knacks to set around.

Does anyone have any good suggestions of places to shop online? Naturally, if there is something local, I'd be more than happy....

Suggestions anyone????

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Land of Nod

The Land of Nod never ceases to amaze me. I love everything about them. The design of the products, the design of their website, the unbelievable brand that they have developed...I could go on and on. The best thing about Nod is their writing style. From the names of their products, to the copy in the catalogs and site, it is pure perfection and FUN!

The most recent thing I noticed was a cool feature on their site. It is a clever take on intuitive navigation and site structure...the ability to "Shop by Personality." It's so fitting coming from a place that is bubbling over with personality! Love it. Nice touch!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clever way to decorate

This is the best thing I've seen in awhile!! (the house on the right)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chris Buck

Friday, October 30, 2009

The latest

The latest web design. I was pretty happy with how this one turned out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Emergency Flu Mask

I received this in an email today...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A new read

For a good read, check out my gal Heather's new blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Boss's Day

Celebrate Boss's Day by creating your own ecard from, my absolute favorite site!
Someecards. When you care enough to hit send.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Women's Expo tonight featuring Uppercase Living!

I had this event posted on Facebook and just realized I didn't share with my blog followers! For those of you that like to shop and and want a ladies night out, check out tonight's 1st Annual Fall Women's Expo featuring Uppercase Living!!

I will have a booth there, along with a variety of other vendors. I've got a bunch of new accessories from our latest catalog, some cute and creative ideas for UL, some crafts and even an example of our latest product, photo prints!

FREE to the public
Tonight! Thursday, Oct. 15th
Grand International Inn, Minot, ND
International Room

Door prizes. Coupon books to the first 50 people through the door.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Night Light, North Dakota

We learned of this amazing program today at our YP Power Hour. It touched my heart as I think it will yours.

If you would like to donate or learn more, visit
To learn more about our local Advocacy Center in Minot, visit

Cute goulish graphic

I received a Girls Night Out invite from evite today with this graphic. I thought it was cute, clever and well done.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Need a laugh?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shower curtain for designers

Check it out! New at Target.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More local talent

I just wanted to share these pins and necklaces made by another talented local! Miss Maureen is a former student of mine. Such a lovely gal with so many talents! I'm lovin' her latest crafty endeavour. If you want some of your own, give her a shout here.
more images here

Monday, September 21, 2009

The latest

The latest web design

i. Keating Furniture World 5K Giveaway

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thoughts from a three year old

Ok, my kid is awesome. I know, I know, what mother doesn't think their kid is awesome...but he does things all the time that just make me shake my head in amazement at his total awesomeness. I try not to inundate this blog with many mommy stories, but I just had to share this with you today.

Last night as I finished pulling my 3-year-old's bedding out of the wash and I walked past him to go put the comforter on the bed. He stops and says, "Oh, thank you mommy. Thanks for keeping my bed clean." Now, I ask you, what three year old thanks his mommy for washing his bedding??? AWESOMENESS!

I just hope that appreciation continues into his teen years! (yea right)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Featured Photographer

Jason Lindsey. Love, love, love his work. He has done the majority of the photography for the vivid images you see in the North Dakota Legendary campaign by Odney. I haven't had the chance to work with him directly, but admire his enormous talent!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Picture Day: 2009 style

What happened to the good ol' days of Picture Day; where you got one shot, take it or leave it. Ok, perhaps your mom and dad let you take advantage of Retake Day if your eyes were closed, but other then that, it was pretty much take what you get...curly tight perms, missing or crooked teeth, hair flyaways and all!

My coworker was recently showing me all the options now provided in the Jr. High Portrait Package. It's enough to stress any parent out. Standing option, sitting option, collage option, plain background, artsy background, black and white, etc. etc. etc. Not only that, but they now send the elementary kids home with their photo imprinted on everything from mugs to bookmarks...BEFORE they are even paid for. What parent wants to break their little one's heart and send them back to just be destroyed? Oh the horror. (oh the cleverness of the portrait company)

But the one thing that really caught my attention was the Retouching Option. You'd think I would be all for this idea, being a Photoshop junkie myself, but seriously? They will now remove blemishes, scars and flyaway hair, even skin tone, and whiten teeth! Really!?!? What little sixth grader needs their teeth whitened??

I say let the kids deal with it. Body image is hard at that age, but we really should encourage our kids to accept the way they are. We had to. And in the years to come, they can look back at themselves and laugh hysterically at how dorky they looked. Just like we do now!
picture courtesy of my very brave co-worker!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

If a man can than I can

A friend of mine just gave me the heads up to this product making some news recently. It's a FUD (female urinary device) that folds up and fits neatly into your purse. Apparently the FUD (ok, I just love saying that name...FUD, FUD, FUD) isn't a new idea, as they have used it in Europe for years. Some of you may be completely disgusted by the idea, but some of you may be quite intrigued. I'll let you decide.

From the website:

If you camp, you’ll love GoGirl. If you ski, you’ll love GoGirl. If you
boat, you’ll love GoGirl. If you travel, you’ll love GoGirl. If you just want to
avoid the germs you find in nasty public toilets, you’ll love GoGirl. GoGirl is
for active women of all types and ages.

You have to admit, whether you love or hate the actual product idea, their marketing efforts should be commended. Personally, I love the logo and especially the tagline, Don't Take Life Sitting Down. The naming, GoGirl is clever and memorable. And I love how the logo mimics the women's public bathroom symbol in a playful manner. Kudos to their design/marketing team!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Who says there's nothing to do in Minot?

I was just thinking today of everything going on this month and thought it was worth a post. You may find yourself looking for something fun to do this month and it seems as though the nice weather has finally arrived! Just off the top of my head:

9-2-09: Young Professionals Ambassador Team Bring Your Own Picnic
Casual, bring your own food, meeting by the splash pad in Oak Park. 5:30-7:30 Come socialize or bring the kids for a playdate.

9-3-09: Youth Outdoor Festival
Never been to this, but it sounds interesting. 5:30-7:30 at the ND State Fairgrounds Game and Fish Pond Area. Local wildlife clubs will host outdoor activities for area youth! Waterfowl, upland game, fishing, archery, and more outdoor activities! Come join us for outdoor education, BBQ prizes and more!

9-05-09: MSU's first home football game. Tailgating and a 'Red Out' and hello....FREE FOOD! Go Beavers!!

Labor Day weekend: Motor Magic
Drag Racing, Historic Military Vehicle Display, Nodak Speedway Racing, Motorcycle Poker Run, Classic Car Auction, Classic Car Show, SCCA Auto Cross, Enduro Race, Demolition Derby, Vendor Displays, Simulated Impaired Driving Experience, Vintage & Racing Snowmobile Display

9-10-09: Chamber Business After Hours at the Norsk Hostfest
Always a good time to socialize and network. Hostfest is in September this year. UffDa

9-12-09: Downtown Fall Festival
Fun for the family. We like to check out the places downtown, including the Railroad museum. My son loves trains and we even walked away with some 'Thomas' treasures last year and a conductors hat. Festival filled with dance and drumline performances, classic car show, carnival games, bingo, rhubarb baking contest, craft and food booths, historic Minot book signing and presentation, and Farmer's Market. There will also be a petting zoo, horse and trailer rides, in store demonstrations, scavenger hunt, Classic Rock DJ, and so much more!

9-13-09: Grandparents Day at the Zoo
Free for grandma and gramps to take the little ones. And our zoo rocks!! We love it there. My son's favorites are the Otters and Giraffes. Penguins are always cute, too!

9-14-09: Young Professionals Network Membership Meeting
If you are between the ages of 21-39 and haven't checked out what YP is all about, here is your chance. Grand International at 6:30. Current members can also take care of their dues (a whole $25 a year) and offer input for what they would like to see in the next year. At 7:30, Dr. John Girard will presenting Social Media for Business Purposes and afterward, there will be a cash bar and Monday Night Football on the big screen.

9-15-09: YP Power Hour
Grand International 12:05pm. Lunch and speaker Alan Walter, Public Works Director, talking about infrastructure projects going on in and around Minot. Who knew this stuff would ever interest me, but it is a nice chance to hear things you may never have heard before. Any type of professional development is a good thing, not to mention, to know the ins and outs of what's going on in our community.

9-17-09: Downtown's Association Wine Walk
Oh my my, did I have fun at this last year. Not only do you get to sample wine (and a little sock-it-to-ya Saki) in every establishment downtown, there is food and socializing. Should your goal be to fill up your passport, make sure you have a DD waiting for you (or they will provide a ride home if you need it)! I think this idea is just great. It's a wonderful way to visit businesses downtown that you may never known existed before. Very cool!

9-17-09: The View's Best Burger Cook-off Benefit
If Burgers and Beer are more your thing, this may be the way to go. IT sounds interesting to me. Probably because everyone at the View is so awesome and those ol' folks just know how to have a good time!! (Did you know they have Happy Hour and a bar at The View?) This event is a fundraiser to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Local celebrities will begin judging the burgers at 4:30pm. Following the judging, diners are welcome to sample the burgers any time between 5pm and 6:30pm. To complete the meal, beans, chips and condiments will be provided. A cash bar will also be available.

9-19-09: Souris Valley Garlic and Grape Festival
More wine!! I haven't been to this before, but it sounds fun. (Bring your Altoids) Hosted by Zone 3A Lions Clubs. Wine tasting, garlic laced foods, and craft booths. Educational classes and entertainment offered all day. Festival hours are 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

9-21-09: Unity in Our Community
YP and MSU team up together again this year to bring an informative speaker to our community. Bill Rancic is slated to speak this year at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at 6:30pm. For those that don't know, Bill Rancic was Trump's original Apprentice and can be seen on the A&E channel series, "We Mean Business" Saturday mornings. His bio is filled with much success, so it should prove to be a very interesting and informative evening.

9-21-09 thru 9-26-09 MSU Homecoming Week
Lots and lots of events to take it. Support your community's University! If you haven't been on the campuses of MSU in awhile, take some time to visit and attend some events. It's sure a lot different from the days I was there! Go Beavers!

9-26-09: Kiwanis Pancake Day
I've never been, but I'm thinking everyone should go get their grub on before the MSU Homecoming festivities for the day!

9-26-09: MSU Homecoming Football
Parade in the morning. And again, tailgating and football in the fall. I don't think many could ask for more...I know my husband would agree

9-26-09: YP MSU Homecoming United Way Social
Come to the Barley Pop after the MSU Homecoming football game (5pm-8pm) for all you can eat and drink (keg beer) for just $10. Door prizes will be given away throughout the event. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Souris Valley United Way. Rah Rah Rah and a keg of beer!

So there you have it. Nothing like a Community Calendar by Candace, huh? I'm sure there are a lot more things going on around town. It looks like September will prove to be a very fun filled month with my family and friends!

more events here and here

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When to BS and when not to BS

A random thought today...I saw an email recently where the signature had the name and the contact info, etc. No big deal. Just a regular email signature, right? But after the first and last name, it listed the letters BS, University of XYZ. Bachelor of Science. I get it. But, are we really doing this now?? Is this something that is the norm and I'm just out of the loop?

I always thought that attaching initials to your name was pretty much standard practice for these groups:

1. You are an MBA, a MFA, whatever. If you have your masters degree and went through all that additional work, then heck yes, display it proudly!! Same for PhD and so forth.
2. Anyone in the medical profession
3. Anyone in the military

Now, don't get me wrong, I am very proud of my educational background and the fact that I hold a few degrees. But enough to place it in my email signature? I think not.

Tell me your thoughts.

Is stamping your BS just a bunch of BS?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trademark ad

So, what are you trying to say?

image is snagged from Little Tree. To see more of their Trademark ads, click here. Please don't send your lawyers after me.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Just a shot from another weekend at Metigoshe!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Decorating fun

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being my friend's interior design consultant/personal shopper! She has a beautiful new home and it was such fun choosing rugs, chairs, accessories, etc. for all of the new spaces she has to fill. This led us on a mission to also rug shop online, which of course led me to wonder off and find some other cute finds.

Check out these adorable and fun rugs from Company C.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Logo design

I actually got to take a break from web world and design a logo recently. Here's the final chosen by the client.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mommy's little artist

I'm so proud. :-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Uppercase Living catalog

Some images from the new Fall/Winter Uppercase Living catalog. See my website for the full product catalog!