Anthro & Anthora

Few window displays compare to Anthropologie’s. They’ve really got design down in their stores. I love this arrangement of the iconic Anthora coffee cup, each one filled with a small plant, at the Rockefeller Plaza store location.

(Look closely and you can see 30 Rock reflected in the window.)

Musings on writing, design & NYC

I’ve known my blog needed a tagline for some time. It took me almost a year to come up with the name “Sketching A Story,” but a name isn’t necessarily enough for readers to make that immediate connection with what the blog is about. Yes, okay, I have “story” is in the title, but what kind of story? And what does it mean to “sketch” a “story?”

So my tagline has been in the works for the past couple of weeks.  First I just scrolled through my posts to get a better sense of what I write about. I know that sounds crazy, but my blog has changed a lot since I started it about a year and half ago and I wanted to reassess where it’s been and where it’s going.

I write about writing– that’s an obvious one and pretty much the core focus of my site. I write about New York City. I write about college and Notre Dame. I write about being a recent college grad. I write about everyday things that inspire me. I write about things that visually intrigue me– I am fascinated by design, whether it be graphic, website or interior design.

In the end, I chose “writing, design & NYC” to  be the three umbrella categories in my tagline. Now how to link those three words together?  I really didn’t want to go with “thoughts.” So many blogs use the phrases “thoughts on life” or “random thoughts,” which say almost nothing about the blog’s focus. Then I remembered my high school literary magazine, Musings, which I worked on for four years. (I dug up a 2006 copy for the photo above.) “Musings” was perfect. Not much more specific than “thoughts,” but I like to think it’s more literary 🙂

So there it is: Sketching A Story: musings on writing, design & NYC. Nothing revolutionary, but it’s simple and I like it.

Have you ever struggled to define or brand your blog?


I stumbled across this Tumblr during my daily traversing through the  Internet, and was caught by the bright colors and the interesting blog title, “Bookfessions.” I love blogs that combine good, simple design with a really clear purpose. This blog is  all about “confessions and/or thoughts of a book lover, bibliophile, book addict, reader, lover of literature, nerd.” The author also accepts submissions from readers.

Below are a few of the “bookfessions” I can particularly relate to. Which are your favorite?

Pozie poems: moving poetry, inspiring messages


moving poetry made with loving hands and minds in NYC

Hard economic times typically spur dismal messages by struggling artists, but the artists behind Pozie poems want to set optimism in motion.

The idea for these brightly-colored mobile poems was born out of the 2008 financial crisis, founders Rion and Kay Merryweather said.

“The mood was very somber in NYC and we knew we had to do something to help,” said the husband and wife team.

Words like “bold,” “confident,” “enjoy” and “love” are painted on colorful wooden boards and linked together to create inspiring messages that change slightly as the mobiles move. At about $30, these Pozie poems make beautiful, simple and creative gifts or conversation pieces. And the top part is a chalkboard for you to write whatever word (words) you want!

You can purchase and view Pozie poems here on Etsy.


ORK Goes Global!

I wrote about Ork Posters in a previous post and was excited to see they’ll be making a trip across the pond in October to attend the first Renegade Craft Fair in London! It’s fun following the progress of this small company that stays away from selling out to larger companies and sustains itself on just a few excellent designs.

The craft fair will take place at the Old Truman Brewery, a place in East London I visited a few times during my semester there. The indoor showcase will feature the best indie-craft and DIY artisans from around the world. Shoppers can anticipate an array of independently designed jewelry, clothing, paper goods, home and garden goods, posters, artwork, plush objects, and bath and body products.

Oh, how I miss London…

The Old Truman Brewery, taken on a visit to Brick Lane

The Renegade Craft Fair differs from traditional arts and craft fairs by focusing on DIY and indie-craft culture. Each individual fair is juried from hundreds of applications to feature a range of emergent designers producing original and handmade goods in a wide variety of media. Fairs take place each year in Austin, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.

You can check out their blog here.

Ork Posters: paper + ink + neighborhoods

Ork Posters

“People associate themselves with their neighborhoods, it’s a big part of how locals communicate with each other.”

–Jennifer Beorkrem, founder.

I’m in love with Ork Posters! Really simple, clean but clever design, which is generally the type of design I’m attracted to. Definitely will invest in 2 or 3 for my apartment next year.

Lauched in 2007, Ork works with local printing presses, and each poster is checked individually for misprints. The company has even turned down giants like Urban Outfitters and Macy’s to focus on building a loyal client base. The posters are pretty inexpensive ($18-$35) because Ork spends $0 on advertising.

I like the idea of dividing a city into its neighborhoods. Because cities never have a single comprehensive identity: so often, neighborhoods are a city of their own, harboring unique customs and fashions.

These posters made me think of the dorm life at the Notre Dame campus, actually. Just like being from Williamsburg, Brooklyn will immediately put you into context to a stranger, the fact that you’re a Zahm guy or a BP girl says something. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but I kind of like the idea of an ND-inspired poster divided by dorms…

Ork Posters can stand alone, but go best with a contrasting black or white frame.

Ork Posters

Continued since 1981…

The Lennon Wall in Prague used to be a portrait of John Lennon that’s been covered over since the 1980s with layers upon layers of paint. People began writing messages of freedom when the country was still under Communist rule. It was painted over several times by authorities, but always sprang back, more colorful than before.

Above is a photo montage of pictures I took while visiting the Wall in April. The Wall symbolizes freedom, peace, and unity. But what I found so striking about  it was how the graffiti can be looked at in one of two ways: either as a whole, a collaboration of colors built over thirty years, or as thousands of individual phrases, words, and signatures, each existing in their own space. And because of the context, even the messiest, most indecipherable handwriting means something here.

Keep Cool and Carry On

If last week’s scorching temperatures keep up this summer, there will be some nights you just want to stay in and avoid the heat. At least in Toledo last week it was just too hot to even leave the apartment and go walking around the area. Solution? Throw a cocktail party at your place. Admittedly, though, staying in can get to be the same old thing.

What other way to change things up than to switch the oversize, dollar bags of ice from Stop and Shop for custom-made cubes?

This is just ridiculous, but I have to admit I would totally have a “gin and titonic party.” It’s definitely one of those cases when girls would say “Oh my God, that’s so cute!” and guys would say, “That stupid titonic takes up way too much room in my cup– give me more gin.” Oh well, if it’s my party you’re getting the boat-shaped chunk of ice.

49 days until Shark Week. Get ready with these fin-shaped ice trays.

Pi-shaped ice cubes? I’m not sure if this is socially acceptable. Then again, none of these are, really.

It’s a…blog!

Dear friends,

As many of you know, I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time. I love writing, photography, and aimless searching online, so a blog always seemed to be the perfect fusion of my interests.

The summer after my first year in college I interned at a New York based company called Magnet Media, writing blog posts for the photography and design channels of their website, Zoom In Online (Now The Photoletariat). Each day, I’d take my free trade coffee up to the tenth floor of the Chelsea office building, feeling as hipster as a freshman Notre Dame student from a preppy suburban town could feel. I loved my job and was fascinated by the blog world, by how entire communities existed online and artists exchanged ideas through comments and links and shoutouts.

But then summer ended and school started and I forgot about my quirky little pastime. Two years later, I’m finally giving it another try. This blog will contain my own creative writing and photography and finds from the design world.

Hope you enjoy!