& the slipper still fits

heroes for christmas

In pondering over what to do for Heroes for Christmas this year, I was coming up blank. I had 12 days to fill, and I wanted it to be more that just handsome men. But then I thought, there must be something to this handsome men thing, and with the massive amount of fairytale moves releasing soon - we should recast my favorite fairytale, The Nutcracker, with some handsome men.

If you've been on my tumblr or pintrest recently, you may have seen these first few, but just in time for Christmas, I'm releasing the full set here first.













You're welcome. Merry Christmas!

All quotes taken from the Penguin Classics Edition of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffmann. ISBN 978-0-14-310483-4. 

white fluff


Desktop Download
White Fluff - IV Versions
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.

I love this photo of fall dandelions. At least I think they are dandelions. Once in photoshop, I couldn't help but play with some actions and loved them all even more. So here are some winter dandelions retrofitted into four very different meadows. 

holiday playlist


It's officially the Christmas season! Yes, that means we're in December, and I'm rocking' my holiday playlist. Listen to my favorites over at Spotify (rustysarcasm - 2014 Holiday).

And for a real treat - listen to my favorite version of Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams on youtube.

white pumpkin


Desktop Download
White Pumpkin
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.


Yes, it is a teeny tiny white pumpkin; yes, its crystal glittered; yes, I did it on a whim because I wanted to. And yes, it has many friends just as glittered out. I LOVE pumpkins, I don't know why, but there is something about the vibrant colors and shapes that just make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Maybe I watched Cinderella too much as a child. For this shot, I was playing with the micro setting, challenging myself to get the fine details of the glitter and the stem of the pumpkin. It's a work in progress. 

an early gift

I've been playing with a whole bunch of new colors and color mixes as I plan for 2015 and a year full of goodies ahead. And as I do, I've come across some awesome holiday colors, as you see above. While I know we're a week out from Christmas, I couldn't help but share this early little present.

Save the above image to your desktop and open the file in photoshop; feel free to use the dropper tool to select the color for your purposes. Just want the hex codes for your blog? See the table below. Colors go in order from left of the HM ribbon clockwise.

Evergreen #9dac4f  |  Pine #737b43  |  Present #4cb7b5  |  Hazelnut Cream #c3b59b  |  Midnight Clear #137db7  |  Mistletoe #aed967  |  Hazelnut Cream Repeat  |  Holly #d6291f  |  Ribbon #dc4a3b  |  Star #fcbo40  |  Hazelnut Cream Repeat  |  Blushed Cheeks #f64531  |  Evergreen Repeat

a little lancaster pride


Today is the ExtraOrdinary Give here in Lancaster County. Its one of the coolest things we do. And this cool thing, I really like to share. So if you're in Lancaster Co. consider giving your favorite charity $25 or more today at www.extragive.org.

vibrant leaves


Desktop Download
Vibrant Leaves
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.

There is no season I love more than fall. The beautiful changing of the leaves, the frenzy of the animals before hibernation, the tiredness of the sky in the morning and evening: there is nothing like a fall day. This photo is one of thousands I've taken of the dying leaves around my yard. I love it because of all the veins and small holes in the leaves; it makes me think I could read the leaf's future in the palm of it's hand.  

falling leaf


Desktop Download
Falling Leaf
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.


It was just like someone out of Winnie the Pooh - I blustery gray day outside. And while I took my short walk down the lane of my house, I came past I lone leaf, struggling against the wind. The leaf is wildly blurred in the photo, only slight details coming into focus, but that is much of this photo's charm for me. It feels like I captured the blustery wind. 

glass blowing pumpkins

In October, I had the extreme pleasure of getting to blow glass at Through the Fire Studios in Columbia, Pa. It wasn't my first time, and I'm sure I look like a giddy 5 year old when I go, but it get to make pumpkins with molten glass!! Come on, you know you want to too. And if you're Central PA local, I HIGHLY recommend this activity in the winter.

I also had the extreme luck of my camera with me. So, here are some of my favorite pictures of the night.







And just to prove that yes, I did glass blow too. Here's one of me at the fire. I really didn't know my hair was still that blonde. (A special thank you to the friend who snapped the picture.) 



5 Hunks (or more) for Halloween

This Halloween I have no spooky gifts to give, but I if you'd still like to scream trick or treat at the rusty sarcasm door, who am I to say no? And so I offer a little treat - some hunky hunks for your Halloween that can been seen on your small screen. Ooo, listen to that alliteration!
I present these in no particular order. Enjoy.


If you were fan of True Blood, you either loved Bill or adored Eric.And if you adored Eric, you have a thing for danger. He's the only vampire on our list today, and for good reason - he might actually bite you just because he can. The bigger question is, would you be excited or terrified?


You only have to watch one episode of The Following to know Joe Carroll was mad intense in so many wrong ways. And then that part of your mind that hears English professor and Poe lover starts talking and you realize the whole show is so much more complicated. James Purefoy, for this we thank you.


Mr. Crane is not someone spooky, but he does have a lot to deal with. Witchy wife, the coming end of the world, a headless horseman, and a very complicated home situation. It might be his observations of our modern world, or that finely cut Revolutionary war jacket, but he can save me any Halloween night.


If you haven't seen the BBC series HEX you are missing out on early Fassy at his best. Intense and fearless, there is a haunted, dynamic, and dangerous tone to his acting of the fallen angel we haven't seen since. And look at the guyliner; just look at it. Fun fact, a SUPER curly haired Joseph Morgan (Vampire Diaries, The Originals) shows up too.


I'm sorry, I know I'm weak. But have you SEEN the cast of Teen Wolf? I mean really, its like a line up for the ab olympics. And if I was going to bank on a group wolves saving me, it would be this crew, even the big baddies with bright red eyes. And if you were wondering, my line-up goes like this: Stiles, Peter, Derek...opps! my geek is showing. 

Enjoy your Halloween tonight, and remember a marathon with any of the above men in it will be a great use of your time. 

new portfolio!

Click the above to view the 14-15 portfolio.

After much thought - much, much thought - I've finally decided that the blog's the thing and a new PDF portfolio for my design work is best. Have some work for me? Just drop me a line! 

deck the halls



ALEX BRUSH // ALLURA // ARIZONIA // BIRCH STD // CRYSTAL DECO // EUPHORIA SCRIPT // YELLOWTAIL // JUSTUS // LUST // MERVALE // PLAYBALL // ROCHESTER // SOUTHERN AIRE // BASKERVILLE ITALIC

Despite the fact that I am adamantly anti-Christmas music until November 28th, it is not too early to start thinking about your holiday card. And if you're going to make it yourself - it REALLY isn't too early. Above is a collection of lovely fonts to get your merry & bright inspiration going.

Like with the fall fonts, remember that these selected fonts are featured in their best light - highlighting certain letters and spacing. As with most things, have an idea in mind and feel free to experiment.

haunted hallways


In Fall I remember - places, people, music. And while this mix might not sound particularly spooky or haunted, they are songs that remind me distinctly of this time of year. Each one for me tells a story;  together they spin a strange world of memory and musings.

As I look at my choices, I easily see that time has creeped up on me. Soon, I'll have to call myself old. Enjoy on 8tracks.

Of course, if your music tastes run more to the theatre masterpieces, I would try these:

Wildhorn's Dracula              Sweeney Todd        
Jane Eyre                           Jekyll & Hyde                
Wicked                               Phantom of the Opera
Repo! The Genetic Opera

pintrest - on fall

Now that we're jumping into October, Pinterest has already been long-filled with Fall inspiration. And as my favorite season of all, I'm just a little pinning crazy at the moment. Below are a few of my favorite pins for fall (this year!) with links to lots and lots of more fall boards.

(LEFT-RIGHT, TOP-BOTTOM)
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 

font compliments - fall

Last month I featured some fonts for fall. They played on the spooky and creepy look of Halloween. Today, I want to show some font combination using selected fonts from that list. Because, well what good is one font if you can't combine it with a few others?

For these compliments, I heavily rely on the kindness of the serif fonts. They provide and grounding and tradition that combines well with the strangeness and creepiness of the featured fonts. Enjoy!

For a look with Suspense

Suspense can be a difficult emotion to show without thin capital letters running across the page. Here I present a different way to show suspense - a scribbled hand and traditional type set. The roughness of Hoefler combined with the clean, forced capitalization of Minion Pro tricks your eye; it is unclear if you are reading an old gothic novel or a new book. Either way, the key is the serif of the fonts. Note: both Minion Pro and Hoefler Text are set with a 50pt kerning adjustment. "Silent. Quiet" is Hoefler Text Italic. 

For a look with Horror

There is a strange slickness to horror, to fear. And to capture that with a font takes a fountain pin look combined with the futuristic lines of a sans-serif. Here, I've paired Jellyka (notice I still haven't used an H) with Futura and the all caps feature of Ostrich Sans Medium. The balance lies in the control of the sans fonts verses with wildness of Jellkya. Note: Ostrich Sans Medium is presented at a 150% stem height and a -100% kerning. Leading was set at same at font pt.  

For a look of Magic

It would be easy to give you the Hogwarts font. It would be easy to hand you a hand font and call it Harry's. I wanted to go a different way with magic this year and -- as seems to be a running theme -- go a little retro. A look of magic lies again in the serif nature of the fonts and their regularity. Fine Style Regular is a wonderful header text. It's small spur touches and unique kerning allow what could be an unremarkable font to shine. Adobe Garamond is a natural fit to par with. It too has unique attributes in its construction and works best as a text italicized next to another serif font. Ayres Royal was my own fancy. Who would't have a glorious old-world font in their spell book? Note: Fine Style Reg. had a leading of 2pts larger than the font size. Adobe Garamond has a 25% kerning increase. 

For a look with Lust

Lust - a particular challenge given my determination to stay in the selected fonts of the fall fonts pack. When I think of lust in a font, I think bold, thick lines and movement. Thufap is just the font - with just the right hungry energy for the Halloween season. That "g" - how can it not be lustful? Thufap is paired with another font from the pack, Baskerville Regular. Baskerville's thin serifs and rounded counters give it an almost bubbly balance to the moment in Thufap. Note: both fonts have a increased kerning of 50%. Baskerville's leading is 2pts more than its font size. 

old blue door


Desktop Download
Blue Door
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.

I have the distinct gift of working in a very old building. And the best part has to be all the historic doors and knobs. There is a unique energy about them as they stand sentinel and silent - a stable reminder of the past in a place focused on futures. During a busy day they ground me when I look at them, and I remember today was yesterday and will be tomorrow, and just a little of the day's franticness goes away. 
Photo was edited in Photoshop.   

lilies lite


Desktop Download
Lily Pads in Fall
2560x1600
Click the screen to download both wallpapers from dropbox.

The lilies in the pond are beginning their slow fade to white. Unlike in the hight of Summer, where their petals were a brilliant pink, they are fading away to white before my eyes. It is the first tell-tale sign of fall before my eyes. And while I'm excited for the coming pumpkins and autumn colors, I'll se sad to see these lilies go. 
Both photos have been edited in photoshop.  

the ghosts come out to socialize


VNI THUFAP // VIOLATION // AMERICAN TYPERWRITER // BASKERVILLE // DEAR JOE HAND // DESDEMONA // EUPHORIA // FINE STYLE // GEL PEN HEAVY // GREAT VIBES // INKBURROW // JELLYKA // LOVED BY THE KING // NITE CLUB 

Often around holidays there is a call for the perfect font for your perfect project. And while there are more options than you can pin out there, you can never find just the right one. Or, you think you have -  until you go to write it.

Here's why: the fonts look perfect for the words they are typed in. I doubt anyone would love to use Jellyka for "Happy Halloween". The H is too oppressive. But typed as "Mr. Hyde Esq." it looks so creepy and elegant and...perfect for your project.

The key to finding "just the right font" is to know what you like and what you're looking for.
Start like this:

1. I want a font that has a touch of creep, but is not obvious.
2. I want a serif  (or not, or something that looks handmade)
3. The type case will be (fill in the blank, all caps, all subs, a mix)
4. Do I want spacing in my letters? (ALL the texts above have a 50pt spacing to them; space is your friend)
5. The most important letter in my text is (fill in the blank)
6. Will I need a secondary font?

Now you can narrow what you're looking at. Now you can pay specific attention to a certain letter or series of letters. Now you might be able to see why "ghools & goblins" above is spelled with two "o"s and an ampersand, or why "pumpkin carving" is in all caps.

So I ask for you to take these font suggestions as they are. Use them if you can. And remember that without an orange background they look significantly less creepy.

Enjoy!

I bet I'm the only one who remembers "get it started" is a Black Eyed Peas song

Today I feel like sharing. Mostly, because I feel like this little lady here:


Yep. When I finish a project, that's pretty much what I go around saying for two days. And then it occurred to me, sharing something here would actually make sense. So behold - an I maed dis for work - a microsite for your iPad.


News from the Lily Pad


Desktop Download
Pink Lotus Three
2560x1600
Click the screen to download from dropbox.

There is this lovely hidden world in a small grove just past the building where I work. You bend low to walk under an old weeping beech tree, well wrinkled with the names and years of students long since graduated, and once through its limbs you see a pond, glassy with calm and dancing with water lilies. Included are three wallpapers made from photos I took just as the light rain came in. Enjoy!

With Love from Anchorage


Desktop Download
Alaska Three
2560x1600
Click screen to download from dropbox. 

This summer, I had the exhilarating experience of Alaska. I walked, I flew, I stood in muddy lake water - and I took some photos I can't stop looking at. So I thought I would share. The glacier landscape is of Portage Glacier at the Whitter tunnel stop. The birch root was taken at Red Shirt Lake, and the mountains with dock was taken at my Uncle's plane launch just outside of Anchorage.

See more of my trip here. 
Want iPhone walls? Download them here.

Summertime Decor

wallpaper downloads

Desktop Download 
A Lovely Wallpaper 
2560 x 1600 
Click the screen to download from dropbox

Peter & Wendy

With the Lizzie Bennet Diaries long since complete, and the Autobiography of Jane Eyre wrapping up, my summer days have been filled hunting the internet for a new, lovable web series I can pour myself into. And you know what, it is seriously not easy to find a quality web series these days.

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy is not the first I've found, but certainly the one I'm most excited about. It's like that shinny penny you discover under you bed - the one that reminds you of all the other money you've hidden away.

Okay, fine. Bad metaphor, but Peter and Wendy reminds me of the LBD in the best way possible. Its funny and sweet, and the production values are fantastic. And - well you watch the trailer and tell me you're not hooked already.