Thursday, July 29, 2010

Moving on Up...

My transformation from DAAP kid to grown up (whatever that means) continues to march forward, slowly but surely. The lease to the house I've resided in for the last 3 years expires September 1st.  That's 34 days. By that time I will have left the world of Clifton Heights, with its Tuesday night parties til 4 in the morning, student housing, and sharing a refrigerator with 3 other people.

Yes. I am going to have my OWN refrigerator!! And not only that, but my own refrigerator (along with my own rest of an apartment) is located on my favorite street in Cincinnati, in my favorite neighborhood in Cincinnati.

I am moving to Over the Rhine!

thanks ifmuth for a GREAT photo!

I'm just a little bit excited. Not only am I moving to an area that is easily bikeable and walkable, but on my new street alone I know 4 people that live there. Last night I attended a Safety Sector meeting for the part of OTR I am moving to, and 40 people came to the meeting. I was surrounded by friends and new neighbors, and the energy and excitement I felt surging through the room confirmed my decision all the more. I am moving to a community. Where I know people. And they know me. Amazing.

 thanks taestell for a GREAT photo!

The sustainable side of me is also excited. Having stayed in one place for three years (granted, it's been a new room each time...), I've accumulated stuff that I am ready to purge. I only want to have possessions in my life that I truly need, want and appreciate.

That being said, I don't have a lot. I have bedroom furniture and a metal kitchen rack... and that's pretty much it. I will be hopefully be getting some hand me down appliances, dishware and the like from my grandparents who need to purge some stuff from their house. And of course there will be the obligatory trips to Goodwill, antique stores, and IKEA...

But this is where you come in! You, yes YOU, dear reader, can be sustainable as well. Are there household goods or furniture lying around that you just can't quite commit to donating or throwing out? Have you been eying that new Le Crueset pan that you would LOVE to have, except that you already have a pan that works just as well? Take the guilt off your chest, and give that stuff you don't want... to me!

It's a win win situation for everyone. I can't wait to upcycle old (perhaps ugly) furniture and make it into something beautiful. DesignSponge does an amazing job of posting before and after shots of crafty people who see possibility in old worn out furniture. See?

I'll be keeping you updated on my new apartment transformation. If you have old furniture or other household goods you'd love to get off your hands and into my new place, email me (JenLKessler (at) gmail (dot) com) or get at me on Twitter.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Google Reader - get inspired: DESIGN

I love Google Reader. There. I said it. I wouldn't say I'm addicted, but with over 60 subscriptions to interesting blogs and websites all over the web, I can't help but get inspired in my personal and design life. I love it because it keeps me up to date on what's going on, it inspires me, and I can share things I like with friends and collegeagues (and they with me!)

What is it, you ask? Google Reader is an RSS feed streamer that pulls new content from all your favorite blogs and websites that update (like mine!) and puts them chronologically into one place, so you don't have to go looking for new content. You can share posts you like with friends, and tag specific posts for reference later. The best part: anyone with a Google/Gmail account has access!

You should check out my Google Reader - what's more amazing than sweet links and a sea creature header?

Every once in a while I want to share things that inspire me, make me think, or make me laugh. I keep a lot of different labels with posts I like and want to remember.

Today, it's all about DESIGN:

Wood Floors Made From Wine Barrels (via Boing Boing)

 Fontenay Woods rolled out a new flooring line that utilizes wine barrels. They use the outsides of the barrels with distinctive markings as well as the insides which have different color tones from the wine.


Boing Boing is kind of a geeky Tumblr for those of us who don't have the time to create or maintain a Tumblr. They post a LOT, but every once in a while they'll turn up something (like this) that is really awesome. Also, they have the market on viral videos - so I'm always first to know about the next funny thing. Also, one of the main heads of BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow came, and spoke at they HYPE Cincinnati Bold Fusion thing I attended. He's pretty cool.

Pigeon Toe Ceramics Spring 2010 (via Cool Hunting)

There's a company in Portland that makes ceramics with local clay, and fires them using wind and solar energy. They're local, green, and use a gorgeous clean aesthetic that I love.

I have a special spot in my heart for Mason jars (we did a lot of canning when I was younger), and so I got pretty excited when I saw these turn up!

Cool Hunting keeps track of up and coming trends in fashion, design, food, art, architecture and more across the globe. It amazes me the awesome things they dig up!

Modern Art Movements to Inspire Your Logo Designs (via Smashing Magazine)

Smashing Mag is great because they post tons of tutorials and incredibly detailed write ups on various aspects of web design. I'm not a web developer, so I skip the posts that extrapolate about CSS and the like, but they also do informative posts that help me kick start my thinking by posting lots and lots of great examples. Like this:

Art Noveau logo styles

Art Deco logo styles

Look around, be informed, get inspired!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some Good Advice

I've been graduated for almost 6 weeks. Crazy, huh? Between several part time gigs and free lance opportunities, writing, and the Big Job Search, I've definitely been keeping busy.

Objective #1 has been to find myself some sort of gainful employment that, in theory, gives me new experiences and helps to develop and hone my skills. Oh yeah... and pays dem bills. Kittens aren't cheap!

I'm currently doing some design rendering work for a well known laminate company in the area. Add in a few other part time opportunities doing research and graphic design for some friends and their companies, and that adds up to enough income to squeak by.

Objective #2 is obviously one of those Big Girl Jobs. So far it's 0 for 3, but each "we'll keep your resume for future reference" email adds another layer to my resolve. I know it's going to take a while. In the mean time, I saw this video collaboration from a handful of some of America's most creative thinkers and individuals.

"If I knew Then What I Know Now: Advice for Young Creatives"

If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Advice for Young Creatives from 99% on Vimeo.

The 99 percent project brings articles and inspiration to creatives from all over the web. Some of the advice in the video  (for those of you not waiting around to watch it) includes:

* The job is not about you. It's about the ideas, the client.
* Don't try to fit in - be brave, and find the right people to collaborate with
* Keep working.
* Go out and find something that matters.

And my favorite... "Find your own voice, and know your self, what you're passionate about."

It's really encouraging to hear advice from people who've been in my position and are now doing awesome, incredible projects.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eco-Friendly Kitties

With graduation and the current job search/ cobbling together of random part time work to pay rent, I'm feeling a little aimless and afloat until permanent employment settles me. Last week I heard about some kittens that were going to be sent to a shelter unless someone took them in. After working hard to try and find them homes, I decided to go have a look. Of course, after one glance my heart melted, and Lady Bird Johnson and William Henry Harrison packed up and came home with me as a source of stability in my life.

(b/w is Henry; black is Lady)

My research for the best kitten supplies led me to Pet Wants: The Urban Feed Market. Pet Wants recently located in the north end of Findlay Market, and they specialize in locally made pet food and distributed pet supplies. The moment I walked in the store (with Henry and Lady in hand) the owners behind the counter were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable with my needs. 

I was able to purchase some locally made kitten feed, and they also carry the only approved compostable litter!! You KNOW I was excited about that!

Swheat Scoop is the only litter on the market that's certified flushable in sewer or septic systems by the SGS US Testing Company. It's wheat based instead of silica or clay, and is better for kitty's health, and you don't have to toss it away after it's used. AND when it's time to change, it can go straight into the compost pile! This works out perfectly for me as I was in need of some paper based product to balance out the food component to my compost bin. 

hey, they seem to like it...

Next time you're down at Findlay Market, stop by Pet Wants and say hi. They carry local dog and cat food and jerky, as well as tons of great options for supplies. If they don't have it, they'll order it!