Monday, September 27, 2010

Albero Upcycled Reclaimed Wood Side Tables To Die for

Today I came across these Albero side tables. They are eco-perfection in a nutshell. (I suppose we could say that they are perfection in Walnut shell ?)

I, for one, love having a few accent pieces that scream rustic, and these would certainly fit the bill.
They are made from fallen trees, put together by hand, and of course - each piece is absolutely unique. They run a steep $1025 - $1200, but considering the manufacturing process, the overall look and the fact that they are one-of-a-kind; the price tag seems to fit these eco-chic little tables.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, a well chosen set of ikea legs and a friendly phone call to your local  arborist might be a cheaper option.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Clear Path Chiropractic's Green Graphic Design

Last week we finished off a series of projects for Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre in Guelph, ON.

The project was one of those great ones, that only comes around once every few years.
Mark Kubert and Julie Gill (the doctors in charge) were totally on board to go with 100% post-consumer-waste recycled business cards. We designed their cards so that they are 70% of the regular height (skinny cards!), so that means not only are they printed on recycled papers, but they also save recycled material resources because of their size.

The inks are soy and vegetable based as opposed to petroleum, so we are delighted with the overall materials choices of the Clear Path gang !

The cherry on top was their website. We have their site hosted on HostPapa's green servers.
 (HostPapa buys solar and wind energy credits to replace all of the energy that they pull off of the regular energy grid.)

I love it when we are given the green light to design in a way that inspires us !
Thanks guys for being good and green and just plain awesome !

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sometimes the Design Just Doesn't Flow

Today is one of those deadline days.
Things are being punched out slower than they should be, so I thought I would revisit a favourite quote,

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the U.S.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Upcycled Throw Pillow eye-candy

I love Etsy. There are so many wonderful and unique items, and so many crafty creatives all in one spot - I just came across a cute shop run by tallulahssatchels - and her upcycled repurposed throw pillows are fantastic. They run from $30 - $50 dollars, and are a steal if you are looking for one-of-a-kind accents that are kind to the earth.

She has a wonderful eye for colour... and I love the fact that you can literally see the old sweater in some of the pillows. I could design a full room around one of these !
Cute Cute. Did I mention that I love Etsy ?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sheep Poo Paper - Sustaina-baaa!

Just when you thought the "paper-from-dung" blog posts were put to rest...
Creative Paper Wales (a company from, you guessed it... Wales) had to go and pull out the sustainable-card and make us take another look.

Sheep Poo Paper is exactly what it sounds like - a sheep only digests about 50% of the cellulose fibers it eats - leaving behind an unlikely starting point for beautifully textured papers. The Sheep Poo Paper products are fun and quirky, (from the I love Ewe cards to the cute black sheep version of their mascot) and they are 100% tree-free. 
Sheep Poo Paper seems to be more costly than the Elephant Poo version - who would have guessed ? I'm not really sure how one would make the stretch from timber to poop when deciding on raw materials from paper, but I am certainly glad that someone did. Repurposing ? 
Baaaaaa humbug. This is all upcycle, baby.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

10 things I learned at HubSpot's Advanced Twitter "Webinar"

We all know that social media is greener than the paper and ink versions of promotion. It is also an entirely different entity and has a life of its own that is less controlled than a traditional print broadcast campaign. Today, I participated in a fantastic HubSpot Webinar on The Science of Twitter.

The main take-away ideas of the seminar were great reminders that online social media promotion is highly effective, when you follow a few rules. Besides writing good content, HubSpot offered some data-based suggestions to tweet more harmoniously and more in-tune with your sales goals.

10 steps to better Twittering
(from HubSpot's "webinar" on Twitter)

1. To find new clients online: identify keywords that are appropriate to your business and then follow the conversations that are happening when those keywords show up.  Start to follow those that use your keywords, and add interesting content to the conversation.  Use a monitoring tool like Google Alerts to find new and relevant content.

2. Use words like you, us (inclusive language) instead of words like me, my, our.

3. Unless you're in a business in which sensitive information should be protected, there is really no need to use separate twitter accounts for business and personal. That's what social media is all about - being a real person that people can feel connected to.

4. There is a "best pratices" ratio of followers:following in business. During the webinar it was suggested that even though as an individual it may look better to have more people following you than you follow, as a business that isn't always the case. A smaller business could appear uninterested in their followers (potential clients) if they have a very high number of followers without following many people. A 1:1 ratio would suggest that the information you are tweeting is relevant and interesting, and at the same time  communicates openness and involvement of the business tweeter.

5. Be picky about who you follow, but don't worry about who follows you.

6. Spend at least 10 minutes a day on your twitter promotions.

7.  Increase promotion by: setting up a full profile including your bio, adding a pic, and chosing a word like "owner, official, master, guru, founder, speaker, etc." to position yourself as an expert in your field.

8. Refrain from negative commentary. "Nobody likes a negative Nancy." Twitter is social (, if people want to hear about life's negative clippets, they can turn on the news.

9. Ask for a ReTweet, and you will probably get it. Social psychology suggests that we are more likely to do something if we are asked, and on that note, if you add the word "please" then people will be more inclined to oblige your request. (Use this technique conservatively, and only once in a while for the best results.)

10. Add interesting hyperlinks. More ReTweets include links to great content.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maam Project's Carpet Bags

Here's the fun design of the day -
Maam Project out of Spain are making these nice looking handbags out of repurposed carpet.
One woman's junk is another woman's treasure ?

via Dezeen

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Better Barcelona Chair

I *love* the Barcelona chair - always have. Ludwig Mies van de Rohe is my furniture design hero. I don't have a Barcelona right now - it was with a heavy heart that I sold our red one a few years ago. It was a little too cold for our decor, and I was sure that I would purchase another one of these mid-century modern classics in the future.

I was sure - until I saw Viva Terra's amazing Butaca chair. It's Barcelona-esque lines are perfectly hand carved into machiche (a tropical Guatemalan hardwood.) The chair's wood is FSC certified, and as if that isn't enough to make my eco-design soul drool,  the seat cushions are upholstered in reclaimed jute coffee sacks or organic cotton. (Your choice.) I can't decide, and I think I want two... of each.

If this isn't decor perfection than I'm not sure what is. 

The chair is on sale for $1350 and I am saving my pennies quickly.