Alexander Wang + the GAP = brilliant

{images via the pipeline}

Have I been under a rock? It isn't a white button down designed by Rodarte, it's...CFDA winner, Alexander Wang and the Gap collaborating. OK the items are khaki...and they are motorcycle-ish jackets, but what the hell, he rocked it. I don't know what motorcycle mama would choose to rock the khaki garb over black leather any time of year. These babies are under $100 bucks and the daring conservatives that have been being served up at the Gap lately now have something to live for.

Harsh I know, but the Gap used to be my eight ball in the corner pocket. It has not been for years. I don't know what happened. I saw it coming, all of a sudden bright colors, I mean primary crayola colors hit the racks and sent me screaming out of the store. Where was the edgy city stuff that fed my appetite for years? Oh please no, I begged the manager, who I knew to send my message of the slow death approaching. It continued. I think I have spent under $50 in the Gap since 2001-ish. I keep going back once and a while, hoping for redemption, but retribution has never come.

The Gap lost me almost 10
years ago. That is a long time to lose me. I am pretty loyal to what I love. I remember The Gap to be clean and a little edgy, SF with a hint of NY. Quality...nicely fitting staples that you can count on never to let you down. You could venture in on a Friday at 5:30 and find a perfect little black shirt for a night out on the town. It was the kind of place you can go and spend money every week because there was always something good. Not so much...and not for a long time has it stood for that for me.

Nonetheless, I hope it works out with Alexander Wang and some of his black, chic downtown duds make it into The Gap further on down the line. My city does not offer up the kind of shopping that I love, thank god, because I can't afford it. The Gap always gave me the little things I could pair up. I guess I have been pretty pissed at The Gap for a long time and Alexander Wang has made me realize there is hope. Maybe the Gap will get the $100 out of me for the jacket...but that doesn't make up for the $40/week they lost in earnings from me for the last 10 years. $20,800
is what they really lost by letting me down.

p.s. I hope their Patrick Robinson can hear me. Oh, can I have 5 minutes with you? The Gap's demographic was not the same as American Eagle or Aeropostale EVER! If they were trying to capture that demo, they missed by a long shot. It would have been a stretch, a lucrative one if they could have transformed, but in doing so, they let all their loyal customers down.

Hello... The Gap was cool and sophisticated, not just "classic American". They had the staples and ventured outside the box. A step way above the teeny boppers blazing the AE on their chests, but not stuffy BR office apparel. No other comparable store, not J. Crew has hit that niche since the Gap sold me out. ON is not even close, and they would miss their price point altogether. I am praying to the Gap gods tonight, if they think that breathing life into the brand with a social media strategy will make their customers come back, they are loco. It's time that they took back control of the niche with innovation in design and integration of today's social media frenzy.

One serious plus for Gap Inc.is Piperlime...100% rocks. Find out more about Gap Inc. here.

Oh, just design ...design and they will come!


Invitation Inspiration

{all designs by michelle may for checkerboard, detailed photographs by adoniram sides}

The National Stationery Show is our once a year opportunity to meet up with our clients and touch base with them on what is new and happening. As a designer, it's also pretty much our only opportunity to get feedback on our work from outside the company, where it really counts! Being in NY for the show fills us up with inspiration and really connects us to our customers and what they need. Love it! I love chatting about their clients and what makes them excited about our designs and our company. Fun stuff. These are some of my new designs for wedding "unveiled" at the show.

Beyond designing for Checkerboard, which fuels my creativity, I am so happy to be on board with Cynthia Woehrle and Scott Zoback for Pecha Kucha Worcester and to collaborate with my good friend Andreea Waters for Cirque du Noir also held in Worcester, coming back in October for year two! I am pretty pumped about both happenings, that offer up doses of intimate creative inspiration. What makes us creative? What drives us to be creative every day? What unblocks creative people? What can make someone creative that never knew they had it in them?
Pecha Kucha Night and the live art presentations of Cirque du Noir can help you learn more about yourself, your design medium and your creative spirit.

Take a peek inside the minds of the creative people who live and work in the Worcester area. There are so many unbelievably talented people in this city! Now is their chance to shine, so be there to soak in the rays of electric energy. If you are in the area and are looking for people like you who also consume creativity and spirit, stop by and say hi!

If you're feeling like a voyeur, then come on baby, bring it on: Pass the word!
for daily PKN: Pecha Kucha Daily


NYC 2 and PKN Worcester

I love NYC and I don't get there often enough. The visual and auditory inspiration makes me so happy. With 10 colleges here in Worcester, you would think the culture thing would be kickin' itself into gear. Cynthia Woehrle, Scott Zoback and I were thinking that we needed to bring it...up a notch. So we are giving it a little kick in the pants. The first Pecha Kucha Night Worcester is coming up June 14th.

Every designer of any kind, any creative person, scientist or educator, fine artist or writer, photography or jewelry artisan, movie maker or movie lover, poet or musician, entrepreneur or marketing director...
seeker or sage, should stop by Bocado on Winter Street and check out PKN Worcester. You will leave fired up and ready to rumble. We have some great presenters lined up for you too including, Adoniram Sides www.adoniramsides.com, Paul Irish www.aurgasm.us, Andy Fish and Veronica Hebard, and John C. Herman johnherman.org. Look for more names added soon.

Visit our blog Pecha Kucha Night Worcester and watch Cynthia's youtube video about the premise of the event and the presenters lined up so far. We are so excited to bring this to Worcester.


I swung on to my old guitar

Grabbed hold of a subway car

And after a rocking, reeling, rolling ride

I landed up on the downtown side: Greenwich Village.

~Bob Dylan

nice package

{image via the dieline and ffffound}


Life is Good

{of course these images are from the LIG website}

You know who he is, and you know just seeing him makes you smile big!

Jake is in action once again spreading good vibes and helping children with his optimism and spirit. Every time I see a LIG shirt I smile, you see I know that the boys that started this company are two of THE biggest hearted and kind spirited guys you could meet. They were spreading sunshine long before the creation of their company. When they started the festivals and every time I hear about what the accomplishments are for the Life is Good Kids Foundation
, I am blown away. With most overwhelming admiration, well, I give those Jacobs boys standing O's... They are truly ambassadors of optimism.

If there is one company that stands out among the many, in any industry, LIFE IS GOOD is clearly the most creatively dedicated to making our world a better place to live in, one smile at a time.

Join Life is Good in Boston on June 20th for the concert or for a walk to raise money for children. Click the link to find out all the fun you can have, doing good, spending time with your family and spreading sunshine. You can't beat a great spring day in Boston and helping children. Good stuff.

From the Life is Good site:
Life is good is on a mission to spread much-needed good vibes nationwide in 2009. We're calling all optimists to join us on our favorite playground, Boston Common, on June 20, 2009 from 11am to 5pm, for a free, day-long family-friendly festival.

Our outdoor bash features fantastic live music from Grammy winners The Blind Boys of Alabama, rising national recording artist Brett Dennen, and family-favorite SteveSongs. As always, there will be heaps of classic backyard food and a colorful mix of good-time games and activities for all ages. From seed spitting and Double Dutch to soccer kicks, tug-o'-wars and football flings, we promise a day of big smiles and healthy play.

All funds raised through donations onsite and all profits from the sale of Life is good merchandise at the event will be directed via the Life is good Kids Foundation to Project Joy, a grassroots nonprofit that uses the power of play to heal and strengthen children whose lives have been deeply impacted by fear and trauma. Their mission: to ensure that nothing (not poverty, not violence, not natural disasters) destroys the playfulness of children. Nothing.



{image via livorno queen via flickr}

The tapestry of colors
Mosaic stories told
Spirals reaching in between
the crevises that hold
the senses in regard--
Kaleidoscope compostition
put your eye in view
Awaken your senses
Open your heart and your soul
In this monochrome landscape
We see the complement
in the embroidery



around my house...

rainy day

pretty bosc pair, like grandfather used to grow in Grafton, MA

peek a boo...coo coo bau (sp)...for hours without boredom

lush flora from Sprout against unearthed medicine bottles


{ image via kari herer photography }

Everything that is new or uncommon
raises a pleasure in the imagination,
because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise,
gratifies its curiosity,
and gives it an idea of which it was not
before possessed.

~Joseph Addison

Random Thursday Ramblings

{image of heather nova via always on the run}

Today, I am starting the day with a little Heather and excitement about Pecha Kucha Worcester, to be held at Bocado on June 14th. Doors open at 19:20, presentations start at 20:20.
So far, a great lineup of presenters including Paul Irish of Aurgasm and Adoniram Sides/photographer and social media man...that will ignite your creative minds. Anyone interested inpresenting, take a look at these for some inspiration. The TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading are always a good inspiration source. Pay close attention to the TED commandments via Tim Longhurst's blog. Fun stuff.
Posting may be sporatic this weekend and into the week. I am heading to NYC for the National Stationery Show and ah, we work our tails off. So, posting may be tough. I will try to pull it off.

{image via the NSS website}

Checkerboard has a 12 booth section in this maze of pulp people. Come on by and visit if you are heading to the show! We start at booth 3302.
ps...blogger has spacing issues, not me! {this shit drives me crazy}


Festival Creative now on Twitter

Pecha Kucha Night is coming to Worcester

{image via PKN Daily. PKN featured in May issue of online magazine
One +}

Read full article here, The Economist's sister magazine Intelligent Life also showing PKN some sweetness. Oh, did you hear, Pecha Kucha Night is coming to WORCESTER...

What is Pecha Kucha Night? {from the PKN website}

Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a magazine editor. This is a† demand that seems to be global – as Pecha Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 196 cities across the world.

Pecha Kucha is intended to gather creatives to share their work and ideas, chilling-out, getting together and exchanging thoughts in an informal environment. Pecha Kucha welcomes creative minds from the fields of Architecture, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Fashion Design, Animation, Science, Social Media... and Design in general. Pecha Kucha represents a new expression venue for people in the creative world.

If you are interested in speaking at a Pecha Kucha Night in Worcester, please contact Cynthia Woerhle, Scott Zoback, or Michelle May:




Dates and details to follow...come thirsty and bring friends!
Get your creative energy ready to be fired up.


Spring in Worcester

{all images of flowers and plants from our yard}


Strong, Wild, Powerful...

(Image of Alexander Wang backstage at fashion week via models.com}

Words to live by and design by. Alexander Wang's sign for model inspiration says it all, read the fine print about tequila shots. How adorable is he? Black is a staple in his line, as you can see on the racks. Black adds drama, sophistication and edgy attraction to ordinary products. I love the effects in these product shots via the dieline.

{product images via the dieline}

Newcastle Signage

A good rule of thumb...especially for teenagers!
{Image by David Byrne on Flickr via ffffound.}


Jim Franco

{ Image via Jim Franco }
yes, petals not cake


Cinco de Mayo

{ image via all posters }

Happy Cinco de Mayo. I hope the flu does not put a cloud in your margaritas. We will be celebrating in style here in Worcester. El Diablo de Karen Davis will be on my mind all day!


Natural Beauty, A Code

{image or rainforest bloom by andreea waters}

{image of vodka packaging via lovely package and ffffound}

{image of angelina jolie via ffffound}

Beauty comes in all packages. From natural to manufactured, from wild to human, from crafted to consumed...it's all beauty. The colors, textures and allure are such large economic factors. Aesthetic and beauty are such motivating factors of discoveries in science and math. The Fibonacci code, the Golden Mean, the ratios of natural occurrence, whatever you want to call it...all are so significant when we look at everything. I am no expert, but I am drawn to all the findings and I am addicted to the practice. It is logical to apply the theory to artwork and packaging.

Subliminal messages of natural perfection creep into our minds, and we choose to be attracted to natural beauty. As a designer, applying the ratio to artwork can yield dramatically more attractive work. I have tried it and was successful. Most beautiful artwork already applies to the ratio, giving it credibility. There is a useful program called Phi Matrix that is a great design tool. It has a few bugs, and sometimes you need a little work around, but for 15 dollars, I recommend it. If anyone tries it, I would love to hear what you think.


Still Green Premiering in Worcester

{image via Still Green}

Press Release from Still Green via I'm From Worcester, a cool source for all things happening in Worcester:

Massachusetts Producers to Premiere Award Winning Film at Showcase Cinema
On May, 15th local producers Doug Lloyd, Georgia Menides, and Andrea Ajemian will premiere their edgy, coming of age, independent drama Still Green at Showcase Cinema North in Worcester, MA, where it will run from May 15th to May 21st. Developed in Worcester, Still Green won Best Narrative Feature at the New England Film/Video Festival, Spirit of Independence- Best Ensemble Cast at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, and was rated Best Film Not Yet Released by popular Boston film critic TC Kirkham (Popcorn and Roses).

Still Green recently sold to Osiris Entertainment and will be released on DVD and blue ray later this year. Osiris just made headlines in Variety after acquiring Westlake Entertainment's library of more than 400 films, and Nelson Madison Films for an additional 40 titles.
Often described as “The Big Chill for teenagers,” Still Green follows the lives of a group of high school graduates who rent a beach house, along the gulf coast of Florida, the summer before college. An accident in the ocean tests their friendship, and the teens respond in a way some people find disturbing and others see as a beautiful act of loyalty. Starring Sarah Jones (Big Love, The Riches), Ryan Kelley (Mean Creek, Prayers for Bobby), Noah Segan (Brick, What We Do is Secret), and Douglas Spain (Band of Brothers, But I’m a Cheerleader), the film has been called “Powerful and Poignant” –Larry Richman (pronetworks.org), “haunting and Hypnotic” – Adam Moore – (former consultant with Miramax Pictures), and “A film with the dramatic strength of a theatrical play with the cinematography and music of a blockbuster film” – Markdoty.com.

Director Jon Artigo’s former award winning film, Freedom Park was shot entirely in Massachusetts ran successfully in local theaters in 2004. Last summer, Artigo and Ajemian produced the feature length comedy We Got the Beat, (also set and filmed in Worcester), currently in post-production.

Writer Georgia Menides is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a student at Doherty Memorial High School. The film was inspired by experiences with her high school friends. Georgia’s screenplays have won awards at the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival.

Producer Doug Lloyd is a graduate of Clark University.
A wide range of promotional events will accompany the film’s release such as a premiere after party and a concert from artists on the film’s soundtrack (including platinum recording artist Kaz Gamble).

Following the Worcester screenings, Still Green will screen at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston on Wednesday May 27th and Thursday May 28th at 7:00 pm. For future screening locations and dates and for more information visit

Tickets to the premiere of Still Green and the after party held at The Worcester Youth Center are open to the general public. All proceeds from the after party (20/head) will go to The Worcester Youth Center, 326 Chandler. Sweet.

Ah, chalk this up to more Worcester coolness. Congrats to all of you Worcester kids! Oh, and let us not forget, didn't The Maiden Heist , filmed at the Worcester Art Museum just premiered in Worcester at Hanover Theatre on March 7?

{These guys look familiar. Image via telegram.com}