Dec 16, 2011

Design Sponge at Home

Christmas has come a little early this year- mainly because I treated myself to some books, one being Grace Bonney's Design Sponge at Home. I am super excited about this book! I have yet to become a home owner, however once I do I can't wait to design the hell out of my place! I would like to think Design Sponge at Home will be a tool, reference and lovely piece of print work that I will keep with me well into old age. I want to fill 2012 with plenty of DIY projects and I think Design Sponge at Home is a great place to start.

Dec 6, 2011

Pulled Chicken + Coleslaw on a Biscuit

Happy (belated) December! The holiday season is upon us, and that means one thing- EATS! This sandwich was extremely satisfying and a complete cheat! We had left over grocery store rotisserie chicken in the fridge, which I pulled off the bone and shredded. I added BBQ sauce and mixed in some pepper sauce and brown mustard. There was also some packaged coleslaw mix kicking around in one of the veggie drawers, we didn't have dressing so I mixed mayo, greek yogurt, evaporated milk, onion/garlic powder and a little celery seed for good measure. I made the biscuits (took about 20 mins) which together resulted in a yummy slider-style sandwich that tastes like summer but really hits the spot for the cold months ahead. If home made biscuits are too cumbersome for you, buy some rolls (also tried on kaiser- equally as delicious).

Nov 29, 2011

Typographic Artwork for lululemon Square One

Through the encouragement of a dear lemon (lululemon educator Crystal), I had an opportunity to create some in store artwork for my local lululemon store at Square One Shopping Centre. The project brief was simple "whatever you want." I'm fairly certain designers, illustrators and creatives alike rarely get an chance to do "whatever" they want, so as you guessed I was all over this!

I took 3 parts of the lulu manifesto (parts I felt any guest could relate to) and illustrated a pattern that represented that particular manifesto piece. I then set the message/content in various styles of hand lettering over the pattern and placed the entire illustration over some old bits of wood I scanned (and had found in the basement- score!). Perhaps the final work can be characterized as a hand drawn digital collage (if that makes any sense).

It was a really great experience to be designing positive and motivational messages. As fun as the illustrations are I do hope the guests (and educators) at the Square One store are able to place some focus on the content, some really great food for thought there! Straight up- extremely fortunate for the opportunity to create work for a company like lulu, I hope there will be more in my future :)  

Pattern 1

Poster 1 Type

Poster 1 Final

Pattern 2

Poster 2 Type

Poster 2 Final

Pattern 3

Poster 3 Type

Poster 3 Final

Final Series

Nov 23, 2011

Six Word Story Every Day

A few weeks ago during a daily visit to Design Sponge, I came across a beautiful home, which belonged to Anne Ulku. I then went to her website (her typography is unreal!) then stumbled upon a website/blog she operates with writer Van Horgen. The blog, Six Word Story Every Day invites creatives to explore language and typography through creating a six word story. The work featured on the website was really diverse and a great reference for type junkies like myself. I knew I had to create my own six word story and today, on November 23rd 2011, my story was featured on the blog! Special shout out to my homegirl Marie and her lovely sugar paper- thank you! This was such a fun project (and a special achievement pour moi), I will definitely continue to create and design six word stories, even if it's just for fun :) Check out my submission! 

"Hard work can't send you backwards."

Nov 18, 2011

To: D – From: Nail

Today is a big day- not for me personally but for Twilight fans across the world, ie. my sister, Davena. In September we made an agreement to exchange cards; she would give me a card for Halloween and I would give her a card for the Breaking Dawn premiere ( don't judge- that's how we roll). Not only did she deliver, but I also got halloween stickers, post-its and a notebook! The pressure was on so I thought a special edition magazine and a hand made card would be an appropriate little pressie. To D and the rest of the Twihards fans, Happy Breaking Dawn! 

Nov 7, 2011

High Tea

Dad's birthday is around the corner (tomorrow) so this passed weekend we celebrated his special day a few days early. He loves his tea, and I mean loves! Growing up we used to have tea every Sunday afternoon, my mom would bake something and we would sit around the kitchen table sipping and chatting. Tea is still made on Sunday afternoons without fail, although we tend to grab our cups and retreat back to whatever is keeping us busy. For his birthday I thought it would be fun to do a High Tea, with an assortment of sweet and savoury goodies. Planning the menu was a lot of fun (there are way too many things to choose from when doing a high tea!) and everything came together quite nicely (I hope Dad thought so too). Now for our feature presentation..... Dad's Birthday, High Tea Style!

Nov 1, 2011

Happy MOVE-ember!

Halloween is officially over and Christmas has begun. If you don't believe me go back to the drugstore you went to yesterday, the isle that had all the Halloween accoutrement has been swifty replaced with all things Christmas. Brace yourself- the days will be getting shorter, darker and colder, however there is hope! Inspired by two of my Irish homefries who have decided to get active for the month of November, I have branded November MOVE-ember. If you're anything like myself, you welcome holiday gluttony with open arms (bad, I know). So instead of simply giving in to all the baked goods to come, why not attempt to change these bad habits and get moving for the month of November. I am doing this challenge 4-for-4 style, meaning my goal is to do something physically active 4 times a week for 4 weeks in a row. I highly recommend you create a similar Move-ember challenge for yourself too! Again, I had to make myself a fun calendar to track my progress, each day that I do something physical is awarded with a sticker (yay!). You are more than welcome to use the calendar as well, if you'd like a hi-res PDF version, shoot me an email. Happy Moving! :)

Oct 25, 2011

Hand-made Gift!

Have you ever received a gift made by hand? With daily life, work schedules, yoga, freelance, social obligations etc. it's difficult to find the time to make something by hand, much less give that special something as a gift to some one else. However, on the seemingly rare occasion you do get a hand-made gift, it's difficult to put into words how special it makes you feel. My good friend Miss Molly (aka C) has been crocheting like a mofo, and has been sending me lovely pics throughout her yarn-filled journey. She decided her next project would be a scarf for yours truly, and MAN did she deliver! I have never had anything actually made for me before, so this was an extremely special experience! In a world where gift cards are so readily available (and oh so usable!) I think we should consider hand-made gifts more, the thoughtfulness factor is through the roof! The act of her using her down time to create something for me means more to me than the actual scarf itself :)  I love my scarf and will treasure it for ever! Thank you so much C- you're awesome!

Oct 24, 2011

Healthied-up Bread Pudding

A few weeks ago I went to a potluck at a friend's place where I brought a healthier version of traditional bread pudding. The potluck was GREAT! All the guests really made a nice effort to bring something yummy and delicious. Another friend made cheesecake kissed with Bailey's and as soon as I saw the blueberries on top I knew exactly what I was having for desert. As a result I skipped the bread pudding (damn!). My family was not impressed to see a large dish of bread pudding leave the house (and since I didn't get to try it myself), I made it again this passed weekend. Janet and Greta of Eat, Shrink and be Merry  REALLY know what they are doing! There are some excellent fat substitutes in this recipe but the flavour is there through an through, I HIGHLY recommend! 

Oct 12, 2011

Peace on Earth, literally!

I entered another challenge on! This challenge in conjunction with Peace On Day, which campaigns for one annual day of global cease fire across the globe. I really liked the intention of the campaign and felt the challenge allowed for a lot of creativity and some strong positive messages. I thought about what Peace on Earth means and then thought it would be fun to create a literal representation. To all the readers, followers and friends who stumble on this blog, PLEASE VOTE FOR MY SUBMISSION! Thank you kindly :)


Oct 4, 2011

A Power Yoga Session

Last night with the help of a friend, I tried my very first heated power yoga class at Power Yoga Canada (the Clarkson studio). It was a really different experience from Bikram (but good different!). While chatting with my friend before class started I couldn't help but look around at the studio; there were no mirrors, there were windows, music was playing and the hot room was draped off with fabric (which made the space feel quite serene). There were blocks and straps to one side of the room which are used for additional support in certain postures (a BIG diff for me since we only use heat and our body in Bikram) and the smell of burning incense from the reception area scented the space. Class started with deep breathing, three Om's and we were off to the races. Although the room did not feel as hot as it does in Bikram, I was a dripping wet mess in no time at all! It was QUITE a different experience moving from posture to posture with no rest or savasana in between. Since I was a first timer it would have been nice for more dialog/guidance in and out of postures but overall I really enjoyed the experience. Although I am a Bikram'er for life, I definitely want to experience different classes and types of practices in an attempt to become an informed yogi, let's hope there are more alternative sessions to come in the future! Namaste :)

This type treatment was inspired by the 'flow' aspect of the practice

Oct 3, 2011

Baked Figs with Blue Cheese

This weekend in the GTA we got a little taste of the weather that will be on our doorstep in no time (it really cooled down, a high of 10oC? GAH!). It was definitely a weekend for hibernating indoors, which usually leads to some good eats. Last week I saw this recipe for baked figs with gorgonzola on the Design Sponge blog (and if you have not heard of it, shame on you!). I was sold on the photo alone! This recipe was incredibly easy and pretty damn satisfying (considering I'm a glutton for chocolate and icing). Dolcelatte was tough to find so I used a creamy blue cheese (33% M.F. I believe) which cut the sweetness of figs beautifully. I totally recommend this recipe for a cool autumn day, your home will be filled with the scent of rosemary and sweet honey- need I say more?

Add some biscotti for dipping/spreading and you're good to go!

Sep 30, 2011

Empire State of Mind

This passed June I travelled to New York for one of my cousin's weddings. On the plane I literally listened to Glee's cover of Empire State of Mind on repeat for the entire flight (only an hour). While jamming I started to sketch out the lyrics- to keep myself busy and pass the time. I really loafted on finishing the lettering when I got back home (3 months to be exact) but better late than never right? Since they are so iconic I thought it would be fun to incorporate the logos from The New Yorker, The New York Times and New York magazine. This is an appropriate day to blog this piece since the Yankees are playing their first post-season game against Detroit tonight, GO YANKS!  And of course, long live New York :)  

Thanks to Amy for her beautiful photo!

Sep 19, 2011

Chicken Stew and Plantain Foufou

Two weeks ago (with the help of my mom) I attempted my very first chicken stew! I saw Roger Mooking make a Trinidadian Chicken Stew a while back and really wanted to give it a try. I consulted my bible of Guyanese food (Cynthia Nelson's Tastes Like Home cookbook) to find an appropriate side for the stew. I remember my Mom told me how her grandmother used to make foufou, which they would eat with saucy curries and stews and thankfully Tastes Like Home had the recipe we were looking for. I must say both the stew and foufou came out really nice! My sister (who loathes chicken stew) licked her plate clean! Making the foufou was a pretty cool experience, I never met my great grandmother but through cooking I now feel connected on some level- gotta love food!

Sep 14, 2011

Salutation Nation

On September 10th I participated in an outdoor yoga event put on by lululemon athletica- Salutation Nation. At 9am (your local time)  thousands of people practiced yoga outdoors on four continents across the world! This was my very first outdoor yoga class (scratch that off this year's goals list!). It may have taken all summer but I finally managed to move my practice outside. We practiced at Coronation Park in Oakville and man it was REAL nice! Holding postures while breathing in fresh air with a view of the trees and lake was a really great experience (and I didn't sweat like a mofo!). I need to make more of an effort next year to do more outdoor classes, I had a lot of fun :) 

In savasana with a view of the sky? I'm down! 

Sep 1, 2011

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Dearest Cousin Flo (aka Mel) said bon voyage to the Bronx and is spending a week with us here in TO. Like me, she is also a huge carrot cake fan, so we decided that we MUST make time for some carrot cakey goodness during her stay. I remembered I made these carrot cake sandwich cookies a long while back (13 years ago to be exact!) so now was an opportune time to dig up that recipe and get to baking. For some reason we have plenty of vanilla pods around (thanks to Dad and his love for Costco) so I added the seeds of one pod to the icing recipe. These sandwich cookies are over the top delicious! Although a fraud at times, Miss Martha certainly does know her way around the kitchen :)

type treatment + food pic = good times for Anil!

Aug 24, 2011

I've got the moves like Jagger...

Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger has been stuck in my head for, let see- about a week now, but instead of being annoyed, I'm loving it! I really like the guitar riff and can't help but move and groove when the beat comes in after the first verse. Since I tend to think in type, why not doodle some lyrics!

Aug 18, 2011

Patterns up on!

To all the readers and followers of this blog, I put the patterns up on! SHOULD you see something you like (not trying to coerce people into voting for stuff they're not into) PLEASE VOTE!!! The only catch is that you have to sign up on in order to vote, but don't worry, it's a great community to be a part of AND it will be well worth it :) Thanks in advance, I really appreciate your help!

Vote right here, right now!!!







Aug 15, 2011

Hand Drawn Patterns

Wow! Quite some time since my last post- let's blame summer, shall we? For Christmas last year I got Mike Perry's 'Over & Over', a collection of hand drawn patterns done by some extremely talented illustrators and designers. I was QUITE inspired to say the least, and began working on my own pattern concepts here and there. The concepts finally materialized I really like how the patterns came out! I think I would like to do some kid-inspired patterns, so many ideas, so little time!