Together

by Kristen DeLap


Valentine's Day is the same week as my partner's birthday, so there is usually much fanfare. This year, however, life got in the way of much celebrating. So we are just trying to enjoy the time together. 

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Work place inspiration

by Kristen DeLap


Last fall I was approached by a designer to help detail a furniture showroom for Haworth. They were looking for handlettered inspirational signs to pair with Patricia Urquiola's "Openest" line at the launch in the DC showroom. The furniture line is designed to invite people to gather, share ideas and focus on a task (even if that task is occasionally relaxing). The signs were in multiple languages and multiple sizes. It's my highest profile and largest commission to date, even though my work was anonymous!  

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Work-in-progress!

Work-in-progress!

Lots of mapping out which phrase looks / feels best on which size paper. And then lots of paper cutting.

Lots of mapping out which phrase looks / feels best on which size paper. And then lots of paper cutting.

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2018 - Patience

by Kristen DeLap


The past couple years I've chosen a focus word instead of setting resolutions. (2016: Quality, 2017: Resistance) This year, I'm opting to do the same, to help structure my next 12 months and remind me of my priorities. 2018 will be Patience. 

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I am not the most patient person by default. So this year will be about taking a pause when before I wouldn't have, giving the benefit of the doubt, keeping quieter, and allowing myself to take the time. 

In our current times, as citizens of society, we could all do with a bit more patience for each other. Listening and having a bit more restraint before we jump to conclusions or assumptions. Taking the time to appreciate the nuances and layers of those around us, and remembering that we never know a person's full story. (Recently a co-worker's husband passed away, which came as a surprise to those of us at work. But he'd been living with cancer for some time, and she kept it a secret for her own personal reasons. Not that I was ever unkind to her, but could I have been kinder had I known?) Be kind, be patient with everyone we meet.

As a parent, my patience is continually tested. I hope to be a better example to my kiddos, and cultivate their ability to be patient as well. They deserve that.

And I hope to be more patient with myself, to give myself grace, and in moments of anger or annoyance try to identify what I'm really feeling. Ursula K Le Guin wrote it beautifully when she said, "If I'm in an angry mood and aware of it, I can ask myself, So what is it you're afraid of? That gives me a place to look at my anger from. Sometimes it helps me get to clearer air." Ideally I can get myself into some clearer air this year. 

I am sure 2018 will continue to test us all as a society, and certainly myself as a parent, and an individual. Hopefully I can meet the challenges with grace and patience. 


2017 Tidings

by Kristen DeLap


It's that time of year. Holiday greetings have been spread far and wide, for us this year in both analog and digital format.  

My love of mailed correspondence and hand lettering really culminate this season. Not to mention that the reason I started this site was based on encouragement after sending out my annual holiday greetings in 2013.  But I also just have a fondness for the intimacy of a "Christmas letter". I was happy to see this article in Darling about the author's "unapologetic love for the Christmas letter". Certainly a pristine family photo has become en vogue with so many web services printing it with a well-designed border on beautiful card stock. But I love hearing a family's perspective on their year. Certainly it allows my partner and I to reflect on our accomplishments and our adventures, and think about how we've grown and changed in the course of the year. Due to time restrictions with a young family, most of my cards could not include handwritten greetings in addition to the printed message this year. But all of my envelopes were lovingly hand-addressed.

Front and back of this year's card. (I can't wait until Isaac can print his own name too!)

Front and back of this year's card. (I can't wait until Isaac can print his own name too!)

Beginning sketches.

Beginning sketches.

I love picking out stamps for each recipient. It's like a little scavenger hunt through my collection.

I love picking out stamps for each recipient. It's like a little scavenger hunt through my collection.

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I love the part where you put a thick stack in an 1950's mail slot at the post office, and hear the "thunk" of it landing on the other side.

I love the part where you put a thick stack in an 1950's mail slot at the post office, and hear the "thunk" of it landing on the other side.

While my young children don't yet appreciate a nicely wrapped present, for ones I send out, I like to take some care to wrap them neatly. This year the wrapping paper was store bought (I'm actually not sure how we acquired it), but I do like attempting reuse where possible. And I have a staunch no-bows rule. Not only do they offend my design sensibilities, but they are immediately trashed. Washi tape and baker's twine certainly suffice.

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Packages all ready to go. Hope the recipients enjoy opening as much as I enjoy sending! 

Packages all ready to go. Hope the recipients enjoy opening as much as I enjoy sending! 

There really is little better than getting something fun and lovingly designed in the mail.


Being right.

by Kristen DeLap


December has begun. A prime time to reflect on the year. This quote is definitely one I appreciate the intention of, and think I could do a better job with. Like my boss says, "being right doesn't really change a situation."

Quote by Ogden Nash  

Quote by Ogden Nash  


Thanksgiving 2017

by Kristen DeLap


The best holiday of the year has arrived.  This year is the first for me hosting in our home, and while the guest list was short, I'm so grateful we could gather together. 

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We try to cultivate gratitude everyday of the year, especially for our sons, but is is great to have a specific day to express our thanks.  My tradition is to have each person at the table write a physical list (on my handlettered form, of course.) It was great to see what my 5 year old came up with all on his own. 

Note: Søren means a new book about Halo he picked up at the school book fair; he's never actually seen the game.  

Note: Søren means a new book about Halo he picked up at the school book fair; he's never actually seen the game.  

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I am truly thankful I was able to prepare this special meal for my family. I hope that hosting this day of gratitude can become a tradition in my home.  

 

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My first time making hasselback potatoes. A real success!  

My first time making hasselback potatoes. A real success!  

Red beet and golden beet hummus. Really great addition.  

Red beet and golden beet hummus. Really great addition.  

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Cone-a-copia :) 

Cone-a-copia :) 

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Design, and life, inspiration.

by Kristen DeLap


One of the great things about working at Maharam is that we have a gathering every two years focused on design inspiration and company values. In addition to a great location, there are guest speakers at the forefront of their industries. This year was exceptional in that we gathered at the Parker in Palm Springs, and one of my design idols spoke - Ilse Crawford. 

I've been a fan of Ilse Crawford since high school when her book Sensual Home was published. I brought my copy along and was lucky to have her sign it. (And had a great aside with her and her husband, Oscar Pena, about handwriting and the power of a good signature.) 

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In addition to her giving a great presentation to the entire group, I was able to have a meaningful conversation privately. I was enamored as she and I discussed gender politics in architecture versus interiors, and her experience doing business in Asia. And thankfully my boss took a photo of us, so I didn’t have to resort to asking for a selfie. 

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Luckily last month I was able to enjoy one of her spaces in person, with one of my best friends and some coworkers. I was in Hong Kong and had a delicious drink at Duddell’s Art Club.  

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Coaster at Duddell’s.  

Coaster at Duddell’s.  

Still working my way through her latest book, which is beyond good.  It is a set of profiles of her recent projects, highlighting the human focus, and making all spaces more comfortable and inhabitable for the users. Her elaborations on their design process and priorities are invaluable for formulating a project, in design or in life.

She continues to be an inspiration, and I’m so lucky to have met her in person.

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For the kids.

by Kristen DeLap


Having a couple kiddos really allows some real-world lettering opportunities. Certainly more chalk around than I ever had before children. I really enjoy using handlettering in my day to day life.  

 

Commemorating Søren's first day! 

Commemorating Søren's first day! 

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At the Navy Pier Kid's Museum new exhibit on fort building.  

 

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Labeling school supplies.  

 

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Party invites!  

And lots more.  


California vacation

by Kristen DeLap


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Really enjoying our time in California. Tonight we took an impromptu hike, and were rewarded with great views of Simi Valley. The little dudes led us up the highest peak they could find. We got a good workout, and a nice memory. 

 

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