Saturday, November 26, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

For as long as I can remember, even before I became a member of the studio, NotDesign had this little sign up on a set of old crib headboards stashed in the corner. A few weekends ago I decided to listen and follow said instructions.

All it needed was a rag for cleaning, a screwdriver, and some chalkboard paint, which I was able to purchase at the hardware store for less than $10.

Ta da!

It only took a few hours and two coats, so simple and they turned out great. We now have two, fairly large, chalkboards for the space. Perfect for to-do lists, sketches, or studio-mate love notes!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A touch of yellow.

Photo credit: Alaina Woloszyn

My friend Alaina took this photo of me last week while she experimented with her old film camera. The colors especially just felt fitting for today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Share your happiness.

I think everyone should remember this.

Home, Let me come home.

I got the idea for this little project from my friend Alaina. It is also all over Pinterest right now as a great DIY piece of art for your home.

It's quite easy. First, take an old painting (buy one from a thrift store, use one from Grandma's basement, whatever you find that works)

My roommate and I chose this one from Salvation Army for about $6.00. We loved the colors and the frame.

Next, decide what you would like it to say. I chose lyrics from the popular song "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Not only does it mean a lot to me due to listening to it with friends all summer, but also when I lived in Ireland last year my roommate sent it to me to cure a night of homesickness. It has become one of our songs ever since.

Bean's attempt at helping.

After all of the letters were adhered it just needed a few coats of gesso. I thought it turned out really well. My favorite part is the girls face peaking out between the E and T, definitely a great accidental moment.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adventures in old film.

Last week's adventure with a good friend, a gorgeous fall day, and an old roll of film.



I haven't used my film camera in a while and had no idea how old this film was, however, when my friend Alaina asked if I wanted to spend a Sunday walking around while she photographed I whole heartedly agreed. Despite many of the sky shots being blown out I thought I had a few good ones in the mix. You really lose something in photographs once they're scanned though in my opinion. Ah, the digital age.


I don't write much in here, for a blog I suppose. I'm much more of a visual person so I usually prefer photographs and drawings, little hand written quotes or small snippets of thought. Although I must admit, some days are worth slowing down to write and read. Today should be spent running around town finally getting errands done seeing as I will have visitors in this weekend. However, Basis, where I am currently working as contracted designer, is done for the weekend while I wait for proofs back. The chocolate shop doesn't have me scheduled until this evening, and studio work has been in full swing all week. This allows me to not feel so guilty taking this morning off.

On that note...
There are certain days where I surprise myself; today was one of them. I woke up from a sleep filled with odd dreams after a conversation that left me uneasy before I went to bed. I decided instead of letting it fester all day I should just say something. I wrote a letter to this person. I didn't intend for it to be long (I wasn't even sure if I should send it) But it all came out, surprisingly just the way I wanted to say it. I get slack from a few people close to me for not being assertive enough, for not getting angry, for being too nice. Perhaps that's true but I try to not think of it in a negative way. Instead I remind myself that getting mad and yelling or saying something irrational probably won't make me feel better for much longer anyway. Things happen in life you don't expect but one thing every event has in common is that it can not be undone. So, no more what ifs.

I won't explain what was said in this post. It's personal and don't feel it's necessary for anyone else to read. However, I will say it ended with this:
Next time I do run into you I'm sure I'll smile, maybe give you a hug and we'll make small talk for a few minutes while we wait for beers or coffee, and it will be as if nothing happened. Or at least that's really all I can hope for.

That's it, the perfect ending to this story. Maybe they will never understand, or agree, to how I was feeling but that's just human nature. People come into your life for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes they won't always be in it for very long. You should always try and remember them for what they were and how they helped you grow. I rarely say exactly what I'm feeling but today I did, and it felt good. I can't help but feel like this is the start of a new chapter, and I couldn't be more excited.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rainy days.

Tonight brought the colder weather here in Grand Rapids; drizzling rain and darker days. It is almost an exact replica of a day last week, my time spent with design edits in my sunroom. The mornings filled with chai tea lattes and evenings with curry pad thai. Days and nights such as these are quite relaxing to me, even when there is plenty to accomplish. They are quiet and poetic, and I am not complaining a bit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

T-Shirt Sunda(y)es

As the newest member of the NotDesign studio I am just now getting really acclimated to the space and all it's wonderful resources. Lately I've been doing my freelance work out of there and although it hasn't been much creative fun it's been great having a space to go to where I feel I can get some serious work done. Also! Drew, Kate, and I started a little something fun called T-Shirt Sundaes where we all go in on Sunday, print t-shirts, and eat ice cream*

Here is a little evidence from our first set of experiments.

T-Shirt Sundaes from Elyse Flynn on Vimeo.

Hopefully many more to come.

*Note: Ice cream is a relative term and so far has consisted of not ice cream, rather danishes and Cherry Deli on various occasions

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For the love of it.

Sketch wall at Pivot: AIGA Design Conference.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phoenix, AZ: Here I come!

Lay-over flight essentials.

This week I will be in Phoenix, AZ! From now until the 16th I will be volunteering, sketching, tweeting, photographing, note-taking, and soaking up as much knowledge, advice, and inspiration I can at Pivot: AIGA Design Conference! Two years ago I had the privilege to attend AIGA's Conference: Make/Think in Memphis, TN as a student at Grand Valley State University. I left that week feeling so incredible that it kept me motivated for the years to come. This time around I decided to register as a volunteer. I truly believe in the awesome things AIGA has to offer and love the idea of getting to help behind the scenes and watch it all come together.

On that note, I am about to board a plane in Denver to head to Phoenix! I will try to keep updated as much as possible this trip, if not I promise photos and awesome stories to come.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Last night when I returned home from a quick trip to Meijer I found every social networking and news source I followed to be completely overtaken with one thing: Steve Jobs, the creator and former CEO of Apple had passed away at age 56. It was as if with every refresh of the page I saw another dozen little Macintosh Apples popping up. We are a generation that was revolutionized by the things Steve Jobs created, things others could only imagine. He was a college drop-out who started Apple in his parent's garage; he is an inspiration and a visionary.

As I type this from my beloved MacBook Pro I want to take a second to say thank you. As a recent college graduate struggling to figure out where I "fit" into the world it becomes more and more obvious sometimes you need to step up and create your own future. If there isn't something working, change it. If you aren't happy change that too. Start a revolution, why not? He told Standford grads at a commencement speech recently, "Stay hungry. Stay foolish." What incredible advice. I can only imagine how many speeches, blog entries, and prayers are being written and spoken about Steve Jobs right now. You were here only a short while but in that time you did some pretty amazing things.

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

– Steve Jobs

Monday, September 26, 2011

Farmers Market

One of my favorite things about living in downtown Grand Rapids is being within walking distance of so many great things. One being the Fulton Street Farmers Market. It's open all throughout the week allowing even us city-dwellers to enjoy in-season, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Awesome flowers that all our friends were convinced were fake!

My handsome roommate :)

I can't help but feel like every city needs markets like this. We are lucky enough to have two in just a few miles from each other! And trust me, the zucchini I bought this day lead to some of the best bread I've ever made.

ps. Can't wait to go pick up some pumpkins for carving this week!

Renegade Chicago

Upon returning from Phoenix I found myself overwhelmed with the amount I had learned and what great conversations were had. It was an amazing experience just as I hoped it would be and I definitely have a lot I'd like to share on here. But before I do, I have a few posts I'd like to catch up on from the weeks previous.

First up: The Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago!

My fellow crafty friends Jen and Collyn were all for joining my in a one-day road trip over to Chicago to check out the Renegade Craft Fair.

Home-made vanilla lattes for the drive.

Little prints, gumball machine style.

Gorgeous yarn (and awesome logo as well!)

First apple cider of the season.


Gelato for all!

Beer sampler at Bangers and Lace.
Great food too, if you're ever in the area be sure to check it out.

My first ever Chicago-style hot dog, with all the fixin's!

We ended up having a blast, it was definitely worth the trip. I ended up buying an awesome type t-shirt from Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress all the way from Bellingham, WA. Also, two little charms I now wear as a necklace, one little E and one Ampersand.

The day ended with a trip to a small bakery right on the same street as the fair where I purchased cupcakes as a little gift for my roommate before heading on back to Grand Rapids. It felt like the perfect Sunday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Goodbye New York!

After a long but very busy and fun weekend, our little vacation had ended and on Monday we were headed back to the airport. We did have until around 3 pm before we had to head to LaGuardia though so Jen and I took the opportunity to head over to her uncle's office to visit with him and get a chance to see a different part of the city. We had all of our bags with us and he was so nice to let us stash our stuff in his office while we walked around and had lunch.

And! He works right next to the AIGA Headquarters. Unfortunately they were re-doing the gallery space so we didn't get a chance to check out the inside but it was cool getting to be there.

AIGA: The best organization around.

And if AIGA weren't enough, we also passed Pentagram! Jen spotted it out of the corner of her eye and we had to go up and peer inside. Oh hey Michael Beruit! Paula Scher! Ah to be in the presence of design heroes.

Pentagram building, 5th Ave.

After exploring a bit, we had a great lunch, crab cake sandwich and Strawberry Daiquiris for Jen and I. Then Brian took us to Lomography ! This store was awesome and I have been craving a Diana camera, now that I know how awesome they really are (and inexpensive!) I am definitely needing to get one soon. Jen already has a Holga which she used on our trip so she was able to get some fun little accessories for it while we were there.

Soon it was time to say our goodbyes. He sent us off in a cab and we headed back to the airport. It was such a wonderful couple of days and I know we were both feeling nostalgic as we drove away from the city. It was just so wonderful to spend so much time with Mike after not seeing him for so long and even after a few hours we missed him already. With hundreds of photos taken, blisters on our feet, and a lot of new memories made we left feeling inspired but happy to get back to our (quite tiny in comparison) little Grand Rapids.

Can you believe this was the only cab we took?

You were a doll New York! Hopefully we'll be back soon!

PS. Our trip back to Michigan did not go nearly as smooth as our trip to New York. Our flight was actually so delayed we missed our connecting flight and spent the night in Wisconsin. A huge thank you to my wonderful Mother who put us up in a hotel for the night. We at least got a chance to get some sleep and eat some truly awesome pizza before heading back to the airport the next morning.
Ah, what an adventure it was.