Carol book

Here's a carol book I made for a singing that a few people from 2Cities and Brooke and I were going to do downtown with ukulele and guitar... Unfortunately it was rained out, so I figured I would at least share it here. My Christmas typeface of choice this year has been Elephant italic (with decreased spacing and slant).


Season's Greetings

from the henncoop


Installation for "Denied and Underexposed"

I have been hoping to do a large-scale installation for a long time. I finally found the opportunity with the Denied and Underexposed Art Show that happened Friday night in the Kress building downtown.
The Kress is basically one giant room that stretches all the way through its city block from the famous Dexter Ave to Monroe Street. Because of this, I decided to create a ceiling plane that would offer a sense of intimacy and enclosure that could not be found elsewhere in the space. My first decision was materiality. I quickly picked card stock paper mainly because that's all I could afford but also for its potential to reflect and diffuse light. One intention for the installation was for it to create juxtaposition between itself and the space. Against the Kress' strict structural rhythm and derelict finishes would be the prestine-ness of white paper arranged in an expressive, organic form. I experimented with card stock sheets using cuts and folds to create a module with shape, structure, and opening.

I decided on a pattern that creates a smooth curvature, a defined crease, and a system of notching to hold the pieces together. I created four iterations of the module pattern that vary in the degree of curvature and consequently scale of opening. I used 390 of these paper modules to create a 14'X16' surface.

I took on a little more than I should have, which I have a tendency to do, and spent every spare moment of this last week trying to finish the piece. Thanks to a couple nights of less than 3 hours of sleep, some vacation hours from work, and the help of my friends Mike and Scott, I actually finished in time. The show was a blast, and I'm already looking to the next opportunity to do another installation.


Peter Pan and the Ballerina

Noah wanted to be Peter Pan again this year. We made him a Peter Pan costume when he was two, and he lived in that costume for a long time! He even wore it to the hospital when Olive was born. We, of course, made him a new one this year. Olive was a ballerina. She is wearing my very first leotard! I searched around a little bit for a tutu, but they were all kind of expensive, so I made her a very simple one for less than five dollars! We went to a couple of fall festivals that they got to wear their costumes to, and they played some games and got some candy! It was so cute to watch Peter Pan's face light up when he would get some candy and to watch the little Ballerina dance around in her tutu!



Here is a fun photo from the Alabama National Fair the other night.  Nothing highlights brutalist architecture like Dora the Explorer and Spongebob... lovin' it.


Design School

Here is a little graphic compilation of work from school I had forgotten about until I came across it today.  It reminds me how thankful I am for my time in Auburn's School of Architecture. They were great at teaching design; not just buildings (apparent in the lack of buildings shown above).


Mad Skills

I just had to share this. The boy's got some sweet moves. It must be all those superheros he's so interested in. I love how serious he is about it too. It makes me smile. Check out the post below about his fourth birhtday!

Four Years Old

Our little boy turned four almost a month ago! We had a little Star Wars birthday party for him at the riverfront splash pad with family and a few of his closest buddies. I think the highlight of the party for the kids was the pool noodle lightsabers and the "Yoda Soda"! It was a fun time. We celebrated on the day of his birthday with birthday waffles, dragonboat races on the river, Chuck E Cheese for lunch, and yummy chocolate cupcakes in the afternoon!

We are truly thankful for his life, and are so blessed to be called by God to be his parents!


Noah's sketch

This is what happened when I let Noah scribble in Autocad... kinda pretty.  Actually, a lot cooler than what I would have done.


Splish Splash

Yesterday evening we wanted to have some *free* family fun so we headed down to our riverfront splash pad park and had ourselves a great time! I feel like we're one of the few who take advantage of this fabulous play place, or at least we're some of the only ones who take advantage of it in the evening hours. Really though, that is the best time to go. It's the perfect temperature, and you don't have to worry about sunburn! Sometimes we just go down there to let the kids play in the water, but last night we brought our swim suits too! There's nothing like feeling like a kid while you're playing with your own kids...especially when there's water involved! The evening was complete with the riverboat cruising off into the sunset...


New product: Helvetica b-day hats

New in the shop: Helvetica birthday hats.  I actually worked up these patterns about 6 months ago, but never got around to making a few sets for pictures.  It's about time we added something new to the shop.

Helvetica characters have such beautiful geometry when you really zoom in.  They made a pleasant building block for these simple tessellations.  The shapes enclosed by the "1"s actually become figures on the ground of white until you realize the numerals.


New Orleans Days 3 & 4

Though Monday didn't go quite according to plan, it was still very enjoyable... but lesson learned: for the most part, the Big Easy takes Mondays off.  Brooke and I planned to spend the day in the Garden District and Uptown and later City Park.  We soon learned, however, that most of shops on Magazine Street were closed.  After deciding to save it for Tuesday we hopped on the Canal St. streetcar to City Park to look at art at the museum and take a break from the sun.  Our plans were again spoiled when the museum was locked up.  Nevertheless, we took a lovely stroll through its sculpture garden...


New Orleans Days 1 & 2

Nick and I are celebrating our anniversary in New Orleans, and we are having a great time! Here's a little recap of what we've done so far:
Day 1 was travel day - we rode for our first time a real passenger train from the humble Amtrak stop in Birmingham to New Orleans!

Day 2 we hopped on the St. Charles street car right outside our hotel and went down to explore the French Quarter. Before we even knew it we were walking down Bourbon Street, and I have one word for it - funk, as in the smell. But we quickly found our way over to Jackson Square which was packed with tourists and local artists. We walked around the Quarter and Warehouse District all day checking out the fun galleries and shops. We also stumbled across Cafe Beignet which was a delight...

...It was so quaint and quiet as compared to Cafe du Monde that had a line down the street to even get in. For dinner we ate at a cafe in Jackson Square and sampled gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya!


FiN Submissions

These were my submissions for the Future is Now.  This first one is a proposal for an "incremental" urban park the City has been talking about.  Replacing a parking lot with a public park is a great idea, but the images the Development Department had put out were uninspiring and unresponsive to the human needs for which the park should provide -- like shade and seating.  Click the image below to see the actual proposal with diagrams and explanations.

The next is an idea of how to reuse some of the unsightly parking decks around downtown.  The concept is basically 1) to infill the bottom with leasable space that would activate the sidewalk with pedestrian life while still providing parking above 2) clad the parking floors to make the building feel more like part of the urban fabric.

Finally is a proposal I did with a Mike Shows for the riverfront entry.  We heard the City was wanting to improve the entry and give it prominence (with very little money) so we showed some simple changes to make the underground entry noticeable and more inviting.  I think of it as a temporary solution... maybe soon we can design a more inspiring and permanent intervention.

Five Years

Today marks our fifth anniversary! It has been an amazing five years. Today, I am thanking God for giving him to me to be my other half in this life and for blessing us with two beautiful children. I could not ask for more. We are heading to New Orleans tomorrow to celebrate!


FiN exhibition

(This post is a little overdue.)  A couple Friday's ago, I had the pleasure of being involved with "the Future is Now," an exhibition put on by Helicity of Montgomery.  Though I had recklessly procrastinated, my submissions for the show came along more efficiently than I had expected.  After sending them to the printers - and paying way too much for it - I somehow still had a night to work up some last minute programs for the show.  They were nothing too fancy; my main intent was clarity... but I did do some geometric play with Helvetica.

Having nearly finished the programs, I thought I could finally take a break the night before the show, until my friend Mike wanted me to stop by and give my thoughts on set up for the exhibition... which ended meaning staying up until 3 in the morning to help him make an impromptu installation out of rope and old sheets of plywood - go figure.

Though exhausting, we probably had too much fun figuring out different ways for the rope to interface with the timber columns.  Our favorite was one in which the rope basically folded around one corner of the column before shooting up to the ceiling and back down to another:

To terminate the rope, we unravelled the ends and poked them through a floor vent at the foot of the last column as if these parasitic fibers, having found there way into the space, had stretched themselves across its structure... it seemed so witty at 2 in the morning.  After all of this, I did not feel too selfish taking some of this new prime real estate for two of my own boards:

The show was a lot of fun... great people, good music, tons of ideas.  I'll post my actual submissions in the next couple of days, but until then HERE was one of my favorites from the show.


FiN invitations

I had the pleasure of designing the invitations for The Future is Now exhibition put on by Helicity.  Don't worry if you did not receive one -- it is open to the public, so please come!  It should be tons of fun.  I still have to finish up a couple submissions for it.

I especially had fun illustrating the Brew Pub and the water tower.


Easter Sunday

I know this is way late, but here is the only semi-decent picture of Noah and Olive on Easter.  I like that isn't posed; Noah must have seen a plane in the sky.


Who, Me?

We are extremely honored and flattered and flabbergasted to be included in babble's 50 Best Etsy Baby Shops! We are at #9 with Best Bedding! Wow! I never dreamed that our business would come this far! Can I just take a moment to tell you all how our little business began? Back in the spring of '07 when I was pregnant with Noah we were searching for baby bedding for his crib. We came across some we liked, but they had a hefty price tag. So Nick had the idea that we could make it- as in, sew it. We didn't own a sewing machine and the only experience I had was from 7th grade home economics. Initially I thought there was no way we could do this, but Nick convinced me to buy a sewing machine, we found some fabric we liked (which, by the way, was from a quilted blanket and a bed sheet), and we gave it a go. Now, 4 years later we have a successful etsy shop that has made it to over 700 sales! God is truly gracious to us. This business has been such a blessing. It is what helped us get Nick through school and now serves as a little extra income. We have shipped our items all over the world! I get chills thinking that there are people in Australia, China, New Zealand, Canada, England, and many other countries that are using things that we made with our very own hands. Kinda cool, I think.


Animals, Art, and Amazing Music

The fantastic spring-like weather was a sign that we should take a break from our usual drudgery to spend some quality family time at the zoo.  We spent the morning admiring the diversity of creation.  After eating our sack lunches by the chimpanzees, we played on the playground and finally enjoyed a relaxing train ride.  Luckily, all of this expended enough of the kid's energy that we could work on Etsy orders back home while they napped.
Bookending the day was an art party in a grand antebellum home out in Coosada, AL -- who would have thought? (Thanks again Henson's for bringing us along!)

On display was work from local artists surrounded by a crowd of interesting people.  Luckily, there was also land and other children for Noah to play with while we hung out... he even got a hold of a light saber.  Then there was the music, which was well worth the wait.  Spirits of the Red City, composed of bass, cello, banjo, guitar, accordion, percussion, and fantastic vocal harmonies, were phenomenal.  It was a treat to watch them live.  Their slightly creepy marionette show was just icing on the cake: