dear ruth: may

every month i send a small gift to ruth. she and i have never met. i send her these gifts as part of a program called "secret pals" on behalf of the not-for-profit group, humanitarian service project. my goal is to brighten her day with the gift, card, and hopefully the wrapping. this month i got her a book and a gift card. the idea for the wrapping of the book came from this awesome class that i bought online from, titled "paper arts" by alton dulaney. he has some really nice ideas on how to make gift wrapping unique. just what i needed for my ruth. what i liked about this wrap is that it creates a pocket for the card. so simple and functional. the images here show the package with and without the card so that you can see the pocket. fun. i hope that ruth likes it too.

pia shopping bag, milk design

item: pia shopping bag
design firm: milk design, hong kong
images via: milkdesignshop
comments: these bags made of tyvek with leather handles have an interesting shape. the ample depth of the bag makes it more functional to hold larger items while also adding visual interest. well done.

slab vase, form us with love

item: slab vase
design studio: form us with love with cosentino
images via: form us with love
comments: these modular vases designed by form us with love with stone company cosentino are made of rings of silestone. the rings come in various colors and sizes and are cut to fit over a metal frame which creates a unique vase every time you use it! love that!

jjaakk design, jessee kirsch

item: logo & packaging for melt
design studio: jjaakk design, portland
images via: jjaakk design
comments: jessee kirsch of jjaakk design in portland created the logo and packaging for melt, a gourmet chocolate shop. love the simplicity of focusing on a property of chocolate (melting) that makes the experience of eating it so enjoyable and tactile. nice.

james westwater

items: paintings
artist: james westwater
images via: james westwater
comments: james is a conceptual artist originally from brazil. these pieces are acrylic over existing paintings and postcards. something about them resonates with me. it's hard for me to articulate why but they evoke in me a strong connection that i enjoy. hope you are curious about them too and will check out his website for more of his work.

ariele alasko, brooklyn ny

items: custom designed tables
designer: ariele alasko
images via: brooklyntowest
comments: ariele is a custom furniture designer with a background in sculpture. the tables shown here are made with reclaimed wood. the intricacy of the patterns, exquisite craft, and subsequent time intensity of these pieces is breathtaking. the attention to detail and the rustic nature of the reclaimed materials creates such a captivating contrast. love, love, love, her work. please check out her blog to learn more about her and to commission some custom made furniture. i'm in such complete awe of her talent. wow.

delicious design league

item: logo, packaging, and poster designs
designed by: delicious design league, chicago
images via: delicious design league
comments: delicious design league is a design and illustration studio based in chicago. the work shown here is logo, packaging, and poster design for their client, pelican, which is a post-metal band. wow, this is some good work. check out their website for more of their work and to hire them for your next project.

candelero by nadadora studio

item: candelero candle
designer: pedro ochando of nadadora studio, valencia, spain
photos via: un4verde
comments: these colorful candlesticks are made into a shape that includes a wide base. while beautiful, the shape also functions to catch melting wax as the candle burns. smart. i love the minimal material and high function of this design. if you do too, you can find them at

herman yu

items: greeting cards
designer: herman yu
images via: modern paper goods
comments: herman is a seattle based designer. her stationery designs are captivating. the colors are muted, the images are ethereal, yet the overall impression is modern. the paper is uncoated and heavy in weight which adds to the quality of experiencing these cards in person. years ago, i was lucky enough to meet her at the new york stationery show. she is as lovely a person as she is talented a designer. wow. check out her website for more of her work and find a local store that carries her cards. you will fall in love. i did.

inspiration pad, marc thomasset

item: inspiration pad
designer: marc thomasset, belgium
photos via: marc thomasset
comments: marc is a designer from brussels. the inspiration pad was a personal project of his. as someone who is seldom without a journal, this just caught my eye. it would be so fun to scribble and sketch in this notebook. hope you enjoy it. you can find more of marc's work on his website and on behance.