Thursday, September 30, 2010

Presenting: Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter, Illusion (low res). from Shawn Peters on Vimeo.

A beautiful song, with vocals by Gregory Porter. The clarity and strength of his voice is mesmerizing. The video was shot by Shawn Peters. Re-blogged from Saturn Never Sleeps. Listen.

Photographing While Driving: Headed To American Beach. The Beauty of Nature is Spectacular

My favorite drive for clearing my head is to take the scenic route and travel to American Beach. It's about a forty-five minute drive. But oh what a drive, the views are fabulous. The joy goes all the way through you from head to toe. This day, I decided to snap a few pics. There was little are no traffic, a perfect moment to experiment. Nature at it's finest. After the drive the end result is the beach, pure heaven, a watery blue heaven, and this is just a tiny taste. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some Days It's Just Corn Muffins

All you need sometimes is a nice warm corn muffin. Nothing more, unless you need more. But for right now, on this day, plain and no chaser. But with enough to share. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Presenting: Billie McCray | Fiber Artist

Billie McCray was born in Tuskegee, Alabama and went to college at Tuskegee Institute College and majored in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband celebrated 43 years of marriage January of 2010. They have one child, a daughter, who is fabulously creative herself. The apple story right. Billie has no formal art training but loves guilting and making things from found and discarded  items. Fiber art began with her husband having a fondness for the work of Memphis Woods, and wanting a piece for their home. Billie looked at Memphis work and decided she could do that. Warrior woman attitude and the rest is history. Billie uses piping rope, broken jewelry, tons of fabric, African beads, thrown away handbags, you name it. She has an eye, natural talent and self determination, combining that with a sewing machine and hand stitching. Her attention to detail is more than obvious. I had the joy of seeing her work today at American Beach Community Center in celebration of MaVynee Oshun Betsch, better known as the 'The Beach Lady'. Billie's work is gorgeous. Check it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Requiem of A Street Ballet

Requiem of a street ballet, and so very beautiful. The graceful moves, smooth as a gazelle. This original choreography could rival any formerly trained dancer. Breathtaking. Achingly lovely and awe-inspiring. This extraordinary experience was from a tweet by Dream Hampton, who is also the pen behind the soon to be released, 'Decoded' by Jay-Z.

Have A Cupcake Instead

[Lemon Cupcake]
[The Wedding Cupcake]
[Crème Brulée Cupcake]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Documentary: The Unscene

A work in progress documentary about the underground art scene in NYC during 1991– 2001. This film is the work of director Pierre Bennu or exittheapple who does amazing work with filming and editing. He truly has an eye and ear for the rhythms and sounds of the people. I really love his work. So talented and extremely creative. This experience is via Furthermucker, "A Bohemian B-Boy Expatriate in 21st Century Paris." Enjoy.

MonaMade Design: Postcards

Front of Postcard
Back of Postcard

The last part of this restaurant project is completed. The client, in addition to the posters and menus,  wanted to use postcards as part of their marketing strategy. Just like the other items, a continuation of the brands color, typography, and style was used in order to maintain continuity.

Yummy Choices

Who doesn't love choices, and delicious choices that even makes the toes wiggle. At the top there is a seafood salad with Mayport shrimp and succulent oysters, resting nicely on a bed of mixed greens, red onions and a horseradish sauce. Heavenly. The middle is fruit and nuts. The sweetest, darkest, grapes that pop in your mouth, followed with cantaloupe, and almonds. A simple breakfast or a lovely snack. Last, there is the vegetable slider with portabella mushrooms, peppers, mixed greens, red onions, and goat cheese. Total yum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Passion: Very Necessary

Poster art is a very creative way to experience or express an opinion. Sometimes with words and sometimes without words. Inspiration via Daily Hussy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

MonaMade Design: Now Open Poster

This client wanted another poster announcing that, their restaurant is now open for business. Similar in theme as the opening soon poster, always representing the brand in color, style and typography. With this poster, it was also possible to incorporate some of the new trends in design, such as framing objects. Playful, and whimsical but still in the context of the restaurant and it's brand.

MonaMade Design: Restaurant Menu

The Restaurant Uncle Gene's is now open for business and needed to-go menus to continue their branding look. These are printed on 8.5 x 11 paper, bifold, printed front and back.

Tacos The Easy Way

Simple. Simple. Simple. Taco night and make it yourself. Add whatever ingredients you like. Ground turkey or vegetarian. Options include: green lettuce, cheese, sour cream, black beans, grilled corn, avocado or salsa. So good, so light and so easy. The End.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Man Named Pearl: His Art, His Garden

Pearl Fryar a self taught artist, the son of sharecroppers, who has educated himself on the art of topiary gardening. "Not knowing ahead of time that something is supposed to be impossible often makes it possible to achieve," according to Pearl. His art for gardening all began with him wanting to win the Yard of the Month award. He finally won, and was also the first African-American in the community of Bishopville, SC to do so. Now his garden is seen by people from all around the world, making his home a tourist destination, and simultaneously revitalizing the community of Bishopville. He has been featured in Art in America, PBS Victory Garden, Garden Design, CBS Sunday Morning, Fine Gardening, Charleston Magazine and the New York Times. Included with that recognition is a documentary titled, "A man Named Pearl." This documentary is truly inspiring, and is a testimony to hard work, dedication, commitment, and passion. Love it. Mr. Fryar ignored the racial undertones of his community, and instead found his purpose. With his message and personal motto of, "Love, Peace, and Goodwill," he is showing us all, how to live. This post was inspired by Regina Agu, a visual artist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Presenting: Valerie June

Valerie Junesinger, songwriter, and self-taught guitarist. Singing the sounds of her soul, and living by the calling in her heart. To create her music. Delivering a style of music that consists of "heartbreak ballads, folk songs, spirituals, and soul-stirring blues." For Valerie, her special blend, or her personal style of music, she refers as, "Organic Moonshine Roots Music." This sound is tied to her family roots which began in West Tennessee. She is an emerging new artist making her way onto the blues stage but doing it her way, sometimes through trial and error. Knowing that it is the journey and the struggles of life that gives us strength and wisdom, she never gives up. In addition, understanding that the music industry is forever changing, and more creative ways are necessary to make dreams come true. Valerie has partnered with Kickstarter to raise funds and to record a new album called "Manifest." This means of raising money is more grassroots, and community collective with fan participation. We all make investments to one thing or another, this is an opportunity to invest in a dream. My first initiation with this singer was through her hair, massive like a lioness mane. Beautiful to behold. Then I heard her voice and her story; unique and captivating. Her motto: "To live simply, to live within my means, to be a creator, fill this place, that I'm trying to fill in my heart, with my music." Her story here, and a longer version here. Listen for yourself. This post was inspired by Dream Hampton, a warrior woman.

Monday, September 13, 2010


A graphically beautiful and creative video by the Canadian artist, Milosh. This is his debut album or should I say CD. Soulful, dreamy, and seductive describes the lyrics and the arrangement of this song. This musical experience was made possible by J. Hunter, a connoisseur of music and words.  Check it.

Just A Little Bit of Blue

Think About It

"There is always something to do. 
There are hungry people 
to feed, naked people to clothe, 
sick people to comfort 
and make well. 
And while I don't expect you to
save the world I do think it's not
asking too much for you to love
those with whom you sleep, 
share the happiness of those
whom you call friend, 
engage those among you 
who are visionary and remove
from your life those who
offer you depression, 
despair and disrespect." 

Friday, September 10, 2010

MonaMade Design: Talking About My Girl


This piece was created by a dear friend, Pam Gardener, a very talented artist. She started making these shadow box collages of angels with found frames. When I first saw this particular angel in her collection, of course I paused, and picked it up. She told me her story behind it. I was truly astonished to have art created with me being the inspiration. "Me?" So blown away, and at the same time, so much joy inside. Then one day out of the blue, several years ago now, she decided to give it to me, with some hesitation. However, she released it to me. "What! Seriously? Thank you." Every time I look at this piece, my heart smiles. You just never know...

Mobile Lunch

I enjoy making food mobile in the most creative ways possible. So when I saw this container while shopping for school supplies, I was not thinking pens and pencils. I was thinking, "can I put food in this?" As you can see, it works. So many ways to play with this. Add a pretty napkin or even a love note. Try it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MonaMade Design: I Remember

She's a young lady now but I remember when. Indeed, time flies. Time is in constant motion, never waiting. We chase, we waste, and we make the best of what we have. Moving forward, creating memories, sometimes even forgetting to take a breath. Good times; sad times. Dreams, family, living, loving, crying, achieving, laughing, mistakes, sacrifice, honor, dying. All life. Everyday. When we know better, we do better, therefore, we can live better.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Simphiwe Dana: South African Singer and Poet

Simphiwe Dana, is a singer and writer from South Africa who is merging her traditional music of South Africa with Jazz, and Pop music. Creating and guided by her roots, producing her very own soul music, she sounds amazing. For Simphiwe, soul music is not just a genre, it's a reflection of "self discovery," a life experience or music that can cause you to feel. This video is fantastic, it's graphic and beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of the film, "The Fifth Element," futuristic with a quest. I love it when an artist that I have never heard of is brought to my attention, and this discovery was made possible by gypsygirlbliss her twitter name but musically known as Imani Uzuri a gifted voice herself, and when you get a chance, check out Imani's music. For now, I present Simphiwe Dana. Listen.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time For Lunch Again

Lunch is one of the personal things that I do for my family. I really enjoy it. The added bonus is, it enhances my creativity. Coming up with new presentations, just like in graphic design, it's a foodie delight. Texture, color, and shape, all stimulating to the senses. "Sandwich art," is what I call it. However, it is best that these "art projects" or lunches get made at night. I'm usually awake, up until 3:00 a.m. most times. It is at these hours that I am at peace with no distractions, and my imagination just flows ever so freely. However, mornings are not my best time, and lunches made in the morning, well, not so good. It's not joyful to me at all during those morning hours between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Oh well, such is life. By the way, the peach was juicy and sweet. So good. A perfect complement to the sandwich.

Mr. Al Green

Time for a L.O.V.E. moment. What better way than having Al Green sing or shall I say, "sang" one of his classic old ones. An older and more mature Al Green, but he still has it. Plus, he playing and singing, a rare treat. First line in the song, "If I gave you my love, I tell you what I'd do. I'd expect a whole lot of love out of you...." No need for me to continue. Listen for yourself.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Poster Design: Afriky Lolo 2010 West African Dance Celebration

"These posters are gorgeous," my immediate thoughts when I discovered this post by Afrolicious. Designed by 812studio for Afriky Lolo, and their 2010 West African Dance Celebration. The colors, the textures of the african mudcloth print, and the movement of the images just makes this collection impressively beautiful. There are thirteen original posters in all. This is just a sample. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Intimate Affair: It's A Food Thing

The art of entertaining first starts in the heart, and is powered by love. Love for giving and sharing yourself with others. It begins with an appreciation for all things delicious, and scrumptious. Add food, then you are only limited by your imagination. Add friends and it becomes good times to savor, an experience that can last until the next occasion or even longer. These are the moments when a little extra goes a long way, and dinning at home can be just as exciting as dining out. Start with a guest list. Dinner for two or four, keep it intimate. Next, plan your menu, make a list of needed items, and gather up those special items to make your presentation fabulous. The cooking part can be a combination of homemade or store bought. Your call, your time. The outcome will be joy and delight from your guest. A memorable moment to dream on. An additional layer of love added to the atmosphere. Try it.