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Park Ave Festival

by abby on July 26, 2011 | Comment

Rochester, New York is a great city in the Summer. I swear people come out of the wood work to celebrate the warm weather and the sunshine—which makes for some great outdoor fun! There are free outdoor concerts every week and even ART festivals about once a month. It’s with great excitement that I’m happy to announce that AbbyDora Design will have our own booth at the 2011 Park Ave Festival!

The Park Ave Fest will take place on:
Saturday, August 6, 2011 & Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

It’s a magical weekend that turns the Park Ave tree lined street from Alexander Street to Culver Road into one of the largest and most fun community gatherings in Western New York! The AbbyDora Design booth will be near Jines Restaurant and the Wilson Farms on Park Ave.

Be sure to keep an eye out for my booth banner as you stroll along the walk.
abby dora design

You’ll find Playful Paper Goods for purchase inside the AbbyDora Design booth. I’ll have all sorts of fun individual cards for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, and just because you’re thinking of someone you love. I’ll also have card sets for Christmas, Chanukah, thank yous, and other sets that make great gifts. I’ll also have paper goodies as party decorations for bridal and baby showers.

Finally, there will be original artwork for sale and limited edition prints as well. In preparation for the festival I’ve created a new collage-gouache series that’s perfect to decorate a child’s bedroom wall. Here’s a sneak peak at one of these new pieces.
abby dora illustration
nursery room artwork

With so much to see and shop you won’t want to miss this event! I do hope that if you are in the area you will stop by and say hello.

Need a booksmith?

by abby on July 21, 2011 | Comment

What a week it has been! From the look of my studio you can tell I’m a busy gal. Scraps of tissue paper show sketch ideas for a happy frog illustration, unfinished test prints on new FABULOUS watercolor paper are strewn about, and I have a zillion rejected book layouts in a pile next to my desk that just didn’t make the cut to first pass. You’ll find no arguments from me. I’m one happy creative girl, when I’m a busy creative girl.

Among all the artistic chaos, one project actually wrapped up this week. Over the last several months I’ve been fortunate to work with former colleague of mine from the children’s publishing industry. She’s starting up her own editorial service company specializing in children’s literature (go Alisha!) and wanted a visual identity to solidify the dream. Youth + design = I’m one happy camper.

As always it was a collaborative process with a lot of ideas bouncing around and being molded together. When the final logo looks so simple you know you’ve come to the end. Ta-da!
abbydora logo design

The logo blends the three goals together: touch of humor, literary finesse, and youthfulness. I hope this is the start to a great business adventure for Alisha!

I spy great design…again

by abby on July 19, 2011 | Comment

I was on the road again this time heading south to Maryland. As always I’m on the look out for interesting typography and design. Once your eye is trained to look for these examples it is hard not to find objects along your way worthy of a photo.

While having a day in Annapolis to shop at the FABULOUS paper store, Paper Source, the winding streets led me to this painted advertisement on the side of a brick building. I do love to find decaying or weathered type. The layered of pealing paint give this sign even more visual impact.
abbydora typography
abby dora design

As I passed the marina, I came upon a coffee house called City Dock Coffee. I found their logo to be quite clever.
abbydora identity design
Did you catch the sun rising on the horizon as it becomes the coffee mug? Nice touch!

Finally, the weekend ended with watching an Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. Even here at a baseball stadium there is great design. This is the clock that sits on top of the big screen in the stadium. I love the vintage feel of the type of “Orioles” and the beautiful twisting ironwork surrounding the clock face.
abbydora illustration

You just never know where you will find an eye catching example of great typography or design!

Children’s Book-app vs printed book

by abby on July 15, 2011 | Comment

I heart children’s books.
What can I say, I grew up with a bookcase filled with them and nightly bedtime readings too. Picture books especially capture my heart. They are a beautiful combination of the artwork and the storytelling. And a good picture book-even in a book-app-captivates the adults as easily as it does children.

With a fast changing children’s publishing industry the ebook and book-apps are making a large impact a child’s relationship with a book. Are ebooks too interactive for a child’s own good? It’s a tough question to answer. An ex-Pixar designer, Joyce Williams as created an interactive book-app with Moonbot Studios called: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore iPad App Trailer from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

With his Pixar base the success of the book starts with the storyline and with choices. You can experience this as an interactive book or it can be shown as a stand alone film. There’s even more choice if you choose the path of interactivity. The book is designed to naturally invite the reader to explore the pages and delight in the animation that they can control. There aren’t just bells and whistles for the sake of bells and whistles.  The interactive elements are so merge with the visuals that it might take the reader a few times through to figure out all the options. Or better yet, the reader has the control to turn off all the interactivity and voice over on each page to allow you to read the book in its classic form.

This well produced and written book-app is quite impressive, but not all children need the interactivity to enjoy a book. Check out this amazing video of a 2 year old little girl, reading Hush Little Baby.

The book is quiet and still, so it allows the child to initiate the interactivity. This little girl animates the character’s voices, adds in her own commentary, and sings the song all on her own. With our daily lives filled with moving and loud screens there is something to be valued in the quiet time that a printed book offers.

I don’t think we have to choose between an ebook and a printed book. There is a place in the publishing market and in a child’s life for both book-apps and printed books since each offers a range of learning opportunities.

Porch Pizazz

by abby on July 12, 2011 | Comment

One of the great perks about our apartment is that it has a large second story front porch. After living in a small railroad style apartment in NYC it’s fantastic to be able to find an escape in the heat of the summer on our covered porch. Alas, though, decorating our porch has been a slow process. We have a couple of camp chairs out there, a grill, and my teal cafe table (yes, it’s fabulously weathered teal!). But that’s about it. This summer I wanted to start to add a little style to our outdoor space. It will be a building process, but I think we’re off to a great start.

For the last couple of months D and I have been on the hunt for lanterns to hang in between the posts on the porch. At first we were thinking of a traditional camp lantern, but this was proving to be very difficult to find. Then on a whim, I happened to take a peak into Pier One Imports. After strolling around all the stuffed shelves I found these beautiful antique brass garden lanterns!

abbydora porch designabbydora garden design

 

They come in two sizes, a large one that about 18 inches tall and a small one that’s about 9 inches tall. Each lantern has intricate detailing to create an Asian inspired pattern. With all the cool colors on the porch already (the exterior of the house is a blue grey) the orange of the brass lanterns offers a wonderful punch of color.

abby dora graphic design

Even at night the lanterns give the porch a little something extra. In each lantern we placed a small votive candle. The light displays beautiful shadows on our porch ceiling.

 

abbydora illustrationabby kuperstock design

 

When I bought the lanterns I also found a green ceramic votice in the shape of a song bird. I couldn’t resist. Teal and lime green pair so well together!

abbydora book design

The little bird happily sits on our porch now and keeps me company when I sip my morning cup of tea.

 

 

 

Knight Logo Design

by abby on July 8, 2011 | Comment

sports blue identity

This Spring, I was fortunate enough to work with a Bronx high school on redesigning their school logo. Many thanks to Nick and Bree for thinking of me for this project!

The logo redesign was part of a larger school culture Renaissance. The students voted on new school colors and a school mascot. When the voted was all completed the East Bronx Academy students were now to be known as the blue and silver Knights! It was time to showcase their new attitude with a new logo. And what better way to keep the momentum going then to have the students be actively part of the logo creation?! To start the project, I had a video conference call with a group of students. They offered spot on ideas on what visual elements best described a knight and how they wanted their school to be portrayed. The students’ energy and excitement about actually impacting the school was contagious. In each step of the process, the students and faculty continued to be directly involved by voting and emailing me feedback on the three rounds of revisions. The whole collaborative process was truly amazing.

Happily this past June, the school had a pep rally which included giving a logo printed t-shirt to each student!

knight logoEBA logo designblue knight identityschool sports logo

Here you can see the band wearing it and even the boys varsity basketball team! I’m quite proud of the final design of the logo, but it feels even better to see how one small design project can help to inspire an entire school.

Serendipity in Paint

by abby on July 7, 2011 | Comment

abbydora illustration

You never know when or where you will find beauty. This morning while I was painting I looked down into my palette and saw this beautiful tree in my paint. I love these little happenstances.

Blueberry Orange Walnut Tart

by abby on July 5, 2011 | Comment

abby dora recipe

I hope your Fourth of July long weekend went well. The weather was just perfect for all the cookouts and picnics that I’m sure occurred. Alas, I came down with a nasty cold over the weekend, so my celebrating was very low key. The highlight of the weekend was creating a tasty dessert for D and I. I wanted to create something of the “red white and blue” variety. Plus, I wanted to use my cute individual tart pans, so the conclusion: Blueberry-Orange Tarts! Delish!

They were a simple to prepare AND can even be prepared the day before. If you want to show off with your family and friends here’s how you can do it too:

abbydora design food

 

INGREDIENTS
Crust
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted (just about 3 minutes, cook until fragrant)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
Pinch of salt

Filling
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temp.
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B, divided
1 medium orange
3 cups fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS

1. To prepare the crust preheat the oven to 325-350 degrees, depending on your oven. Toast the walnuts. While the walnuts are toasting crumble graham crackers into large crumbs. To avoid trans fats, look for graham crackers without partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

2. Coarsely chop walnuts in a food processor. Add graham cracker crumbs and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add in the cinnamon. Sir until blended.

abby dora book design

3. Wash blueberries and place in a bowl. Zest the orange and sprinkle half of the orange zest on the blueberries. Set the remainder zest aside.

cool summer dessert

3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Add the crumb mixture, butter, oil and salt; toss to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/4 inch up the sides of removable-bottom tart pans. A back of a spoon works well and so do your fingers! Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and slightly darker around the edges, about 8-11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

blueberry orange dessert

4. To prepare filling: Beat cream cheese, sour cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Slice orange in half and squeeze juice into the smooth filling. Beat until all blended.

blueberry walnut recipe

5. When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly into it, being careful not to break up the delicate crust. Arrange blueberries on the filling, pressing lightly so they set in. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the berries. Sprinkle remaining orange zest on top of each tart. Chill for at least 1 hour to firm up or these tarts can be prepared the night before.

cream cheese dessert

This dessert is not too sweet.  The ripe blueberries with a hint of orange offers a fantastic taste of Summer. Bring them to your next party!

Wedding Stationery

by abby on July 1, 2011 | Comment

Wedding bells are ringing all throughout this summer. I’m sure you are attending at least one celebration before school starts up again. D and I are actually attending back-to-back weddings at the end of the month! So with all the love in the air I thought I’d share with you my newly designed invitation and save the date cards.

I have to thank my friend Brianna for sparking my creativity to design for weddings. She and Nick asked me to design their own save the date postcard and corresponding wedding invitation. The couple is hosting a fabulous vintage inspired wedding at a local brewery, but with a slight modern update with the sapphire blue and bright green color scheme. I wanted to capture all of their theme with the save the date and invitation. For the touches of romance and vintage I created a rose and vine silhouette pattern for the background. To incorporate the locale, I created a “bottle label” and placed all the important wedding information there. Voila! Vintage in a brewery!

SAVE THE DATE
Abby dora wedding stationery
abbydora wedding invitation
postcard wedding invitation

This save the date is a postcard with a complementing black and white design on the back. All that happy couple had to do was sign their names and add on an address. No added cost of an envelope necessary!

Continuing the idea to reduce cost and paper waste, Brianna and Nick wanted to have a double sided invitation with all the wedding details on the back of the card.

CORRESPONDING INVITATION
abbydora design custom
blue postcard
abbydora DIY printing

Once the creative juices were going on designs for weddings there wasn’t any stopping me! Here are other designs for save the date cards.
silhouette DIY wedding invite
simple elegance invite
pattern Indian invitation
custom do it yourself

Brianna and Nick opted not to select a photograph style save the date card, but you can! Whether you like the romantic look or if you want a little fun with the card, there is an AbbyDora Design save the date card for you. These 2 designs also can be mailed as postcards!
vintage black and white photograph
purple custom invite
photo DIY postcard
postcard invitation

If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about any of these designs for your own big day or if you want to show a friend, please visit my Etsy shop. All the wedding cards shown here you’ll find in the shop under the “Wedding” section.