Fa la la la little dipper

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happy winter, friends! #firstrealsnow

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happy winter

In honor of today’s snowfall in Minneapolis, I’m posting this.

Little Dipper visits the Walker

Me after seeing the Walker Art Center's new exhibit on graphic design. I look pretty happy, right?

As you may have noticed by reading through my other posts, I love art museums. In the past couple of months since I started Little Dipper, I have visited Chicago’s MCA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Boston’s MFA. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw that the Walker Art Center was opening an exhibit called Graphic Design: Now in Production. My two favorite things! Plus, you’ve got to admit that the gift shop was gonna be stocked with some pretty nice stuff after an exhibit like that. And surely enough, it was. Even without the gift shop, however, the exhibit was great.

From infographics to logos to magazines to fonts, the exhibit encapsulated everything I wish could be in a museum, but normally isn’t. One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit was a series of posters done by Albert Exergian of iconic TV shows done in the minimalist Swiss style. You can actually see the entire collection and purchase prints of the posters here.

Images taken from http://www.exergian.com/

Another cool part of the exhibit was an interactive piece where you could make your own poster.  There was a computer set up and linked to a printer of sorts, except it didn’t use ink, but rather cut circular holes out of sheets of white paper to form words and phrases.  Viewers of the piece were able to personalize their own posters with

A picture of the piece courtesy of the Walker's Flickr photostream

whatever they pleased (for free, which was awesome). I, of course, anticipated this very blog post and chose something appropriate: Little Dipper. And although the security lady yelled at me for making it too many lines (I guess you were supposed to stick to 3 or less), I was able to get a pretty great souvenir out of the deal. See below.

I’m sure there were more parts of the exhibit I could dote on, but, let’s be real, its always better in person. If you’re really interested in an expert’s opinion, check out the New York Times review of the show.

I don’t really have any new projects to post — at least not any good ones. I do, however, have another interview set up with Minnesota graphic designer, Nicole Meyer. I first heard about her and her Branding 10,000 Lakes project in this Star Tribune article. She has also been featured on FastCo design, so I am very honored that she agreed to do an interview with LD. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions for her! I’d be happy to pass on any that you may have.

Til next time, Liz

Jack-o-Lantern carving and designing with circles

With a little help from Martha and a bit of elbow grease, I carved the perfect Jack-o-Lantern just in time for Halloween. While my mother claimed to have bought the pumpkin for a fun project for us to do, it ended up being my project as soon as my mother got too engrossed in Facebook to help out. I’m not bitter. But my arm is a little sore. Anyways, the template for the pumpkin came from a collection of patterns found on Martha Stewart’s website. I just downloaded it, printed it out, and taped it on just as people have been doing for centuries… Then came the poking holes around the edge of pattern, classic pumpkin carving move, and then, of course, the actual carving. To be fair, my mom did come in at the end to clean up the edges a little. I bet she felt pretty cool swooping in after I did all the heavy lifting. She had the benefit of her hand not shaking. So in the end, I guess it was a team effort.

He looks pretty cute, right? I mean scared, but still kinda cute. It is Halloween after all. He’s probably just scared that all the binging on trick-or-treating candy will lead to even more binging on Thanksgiving pie come November. This, in turn, will culminate in stuffing his face with Christmas cookies. Obviously, all of this holiday spirit is going to be a slippery slope for Mr. Pumpkin as he will also be wearing plenty of big puffy vests and chunky sweaters at this point hiding his overall swelling. Then, come Valentines day, no girl pumpkins will want to date him because, frankly, all he will fit in will be his sweat suits. I’m not sure if you guys can relate to the situation since that narrative is so specific to pumpkins, but I figured I would enlighten you all to the gourd/pumpkin lifestyle nonetheless.

Back to the design part of this bloggy blog. Here are the latest desktop patterns. Enjoy yo.

Preparing for Halloweeeeen!

I’m going to keep it short tonight as its Thursday and the season finale of Project Runway is due to be on in about a half hour. My fingers are crossed for Viktor, but I still want to see all the final collections.

Anyways, I made some halloween desktop patterns and wanted to post them before Halloween is.. well, over. So here they are! (I told you I’d keep it short).

Back from NU with some new desktop patterns

So yesterday, I may have been at Peace Coffee soaking up the hip atmosphere amidst a sea of cool young flannel-clad twenty-somethings with MacBooks, but today I’m back to my old haunt: the Eden Prairie Smith Douglas More House Dunn Bros.

my latest hangout

Whew. That was quite the mouthful. That’s what she said. I’m sorry. I had to. Anywho, I am sleepy today and this coffee is barely cutting it. Plus, now its getting cold, the coffee I mean, not the weather. Boo. Cold coffee is the worst, unless of course it is ice coffee, in which case, it is the best.

To add to my overall discontent, the Internet is down, although, I seem to be the only one out of the five people with laptops in the room that seems to notice. So maybe its just me? I’m hopeful it will come back, but for now I am writing this post on Microsoft Word. I know. Lame. I actually just saved this document as “So yesterday,” which, as you can see, are the first two words of the first paragraph. To a computer, it makes sense that I would want to name my document after the first couple words of this post. However, to a human, this title is likely to conjure up memories of Hilary Duff’s loveable classic “So Yesterday,” now currently playing over and over again in my head.

Moving on, I just got back from Homecoming weekend in Evanston. It was wonderful to catch up with friends and consume copious amounts of pizza and beer. White and purple, white and purple. (Sorry I’m not sorry I just quoted Chet Haze). In classic Northwestern style, we did not win the game. In classic Liz Derby style, I did not stay to see the end of the game. Instead, my friend Zach coerced me into ducking out around half time and scarfing down Joy Yee’s crab rangoons and sesame chicken instead. I’m basically 100% sure that was the right decision.

Now that I’m back home, I think I’ll stay here for a while. Eight hours both ways alone in a minivan is an experience that no amount of This American Life podcasts can remedy.  I knew that when adult diapers started seeming like a good idea, a la astronaut Lisa Nowak, I had maybe gotten in a little over my head. In the end, the trip was worth it, but I could definitely wait a while before attempting such a feat again.

I will now present you with my next set up desktop patterns. They are a variation on a leaf pattern I posted a couple weeks ago now. Variations on these designs are available for purchase in my Society6 store for those interested. Let me know if there are any not on Society6 that you are interested in and I will add them!
 And now that thats done, I’m on to watching my TiVo’d Sing Off from this week. I love the Dartmouth Aires. Especially Michael, what a cutie.