Alice in Minneapolis

So I think I mentioned in my last post that I would be posting about my Halloween costume. I was Alice in Wonderland. I decided to go with a straightforward, classic, non-political (even Disney!) costume this year after my Christine O’Donnell costume debacle in 2010. Let’s just say most people must have just thought I was some sort of patriotic witch… long story.

I had the blue dress, courtesy of J. Crew this summer. All I needed was an apron, which I made from an old white sheet and some leftover lace, and a black bow in my hair–which I also made. The white knee socks and black flats completed the look. Overall, I was pretty happy with the result, even if I did have to take a year off from being “witty.” At least I still got a good craft project out of it.

The night started off well enough… (see below). Unfortunately, a trip on the sidewalks of the Minneapolis streets at the end of the night left me with a bloody chin and bruised right side.

But as Gloria Gaynor once sang, “I will survive,” and I might even have a cool scar to show for it. So, all in all, Halloween 2012 was a memorable one. I even gave Little Dipper a makeover for the week (see screen capture).

The goal of my next post will be to (finally) be able to showcase my apartment.. or maybe it will be to talk about Project Runway (all stars!) or maybe Downton Abbey (just saw a preview for season 3!)… so many choices and so little time (even though we DID get an extra hour this weekend).

Stay tuned. –Liz


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

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

My Uptown visiting, Etsy browsing, pattern designing life.

I feel a little groggy today, but the coffee I am currently consuming seems to be helping a bit. I just got back from a trip to Specs Optical in Uptown to pick up my dad’s new frames. The frames are kind of geeky cool–a cross between Mad Men and Revenge of the Nerds–perfect for my father, a college professor. Needless to say, my mom and I played a pretty big role in helping him pick them out. There were two great things about being roped into

Now I can clean my glasses in style

this particular errand: (1) Raymond, a Specs employee who helped us out last time, let me pick out a cleaning cloth of my own after he saw me eyeing the one included with my dad’s new purchase (see left), and (2) the Lucia’s To Go chocolate eclair that was crazy delicious and a perfect companion to Dunn Bros coffee. So now, I sit at my laptop with an array of possible careers open in each one of my tabs (except for this one) preparing myself for another day of cover letter writing. Bonus: my dad is joining me today and coincidently also paid for the coffee. Can you say father-daughter bonding?

Abstract Art Print from Mishel's Etsy Shop

One of the many beautiful pieces from Aeropagita Prints

So besides all the bonding and job searching, I also have been thinking of ways to expand Little Dipper. I mean I love making designs and posting them, but let’s be honest, I’ve been doing that for a while and I feel like I should mix it up a little. I know I like what I create, but I also really love looking at what other designers have come up with. I read design blogs, browse Etsy, and “window shop” virtually almost every day to see what else is out there and to get inspiration. Yesterday, as I was looking through items on Etsy I was really struck by one designer’s shop in particular. The Aeropagita Prints shop sells an array of abstract art prints that are colorful, flirty, and dynamic. I thought to myself, I would really love to connect with this artist. And then, I realized that I could. In fact, I could even interview the artist and post it right here! Anyways, flash forward about a half an hour after my initial request and Mishel, the owner of the Aeropagita Prints shop, agreed to be interviewed. In fact, I believe her response was something to the tune of “Yes yes yes!” The plan is that I will post the interview sometime next week (hopefully!), but if you have any questions for her in the meantime, please comment on this post or email them to me! And check out her shop–everything is beautiful and pretty moderately priced (prints start at $19).

And now onto what I have been up to. You guessed it, more patterns! This time I was specifically thinking of fabric design when I conceived these pieces. They are larger files than some of the other patterns I have worked on making them optimal for printing (versus using the images solely on the web). I think they have a bit of a nautical vibe personally. Lots of variations — so enjoy! And also, so you know, while they were made with fabric in mind, they still work great for desktop backgrounds and twitter personalization! There are 2 variations, the one knot and the double knot.

These where mainly created while watching Thursday night TV, i.e. Community, Parks and Recreation, Big Bang Theory, and Project Runway. Hands down the best night of the week, you know, for someone who is living with their parents. Thanks mom!