Designer’s Sketchbook {Fun Stuff}

It’s been quite awhile since I put together a Designer’s Sketchbook. I generally like to wait until I am really truly inspired before I tackle such a post. Not that I haven’t been inspired… I just haven’t had anything specific that I could put into this format. While this one sort of breaks the rules, I thought it might be nice to show you all some of the random “fun stuff” I’ve collected over the past month of so.

B_8-20-09_1Lettered Coasters :: I picked these up at Target last week because I needed something for the coffee table in our living room. So far, they haven’t left my desk. I just love the letters and numbers… so appropriate for a graphic designer, no?!

Colored Sharpies :: My mom found this huge pack of bold, colored Sharpies at her local grocery store–for only FIVE BUCKS. Score! Admittedly, I already huge a huge collection of Sharpies, but really, can one ever have too many? I think not.

Sharpie Pens :: Not to fill this post with mentions of Sharpie, but um, HELLO! These pens are the best thing since sliced bread. They are smooth, consistent and don’t bleed through the paper.

Letterpress Initials :: These were a find at a small antique shop in Hopkins, MN. I am always on the hunt for letterpress alphabets, and when I stumbled upon these I couldn’t resist. They were only a few bucks each, and the typeface is so yummy!

Metal Bottle :: I’m actually not sure if this is aluminum or stainless steel, but at any rate, it’s a welcome break from plastic. I know, I am a few months behind the curve here, but I’m pleased to say that I’ve made the switch. I can’t actually even remember the danger in plastic bottles, but I can tell you… I instantly fell for this crazy, wonderful shade of green.

Good to Eat {Zucchini Bread}

To my absolute delight, the zucchini in my garden has been really abundant this year. I couldn’t be more pleased, since I love this versatile veggie. Last week, in an effort to use up some of the zukes before they went bad, I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread. There is really nothing better for calming frazzled nerves than an evening of baking a yummy treat with fresh grown veggies from the garden. Below is the recipe that I use. It’s pretty basic, but has less sugar than most. I am always happy with the results… enjoy!



1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil 2 9-inch loaf pans.

2) In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Beat in sugar, oil, and vanilla until thick and lemon-colored. Stir in zucchini.

3) Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into suzzhini batter. Pour mixture into prepared pans.

4) Bake 40 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly touched. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out onto rack.
Recipe is from my very favorite cookbook, Hollyhocks & Radishes: Mrs. Chard’s Almanac Cookbook, by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.

Pieces of Life {Off the Grid}

Hello everyone! Well I am back from a wild and wonderful weekend up north. I “unplugged” and went totally off the grid for a few days. It was refreshing and entirely relaxing. We spent a couple sun (and rain) soaked days on Burntside Lake camping, swimming, boating and hanging out with some very good friends. It was much needed, and I came home feeling energized and invigorated. Hope you enjoy the weekend snaps!


Design Studio {DESIGNER+DIY Stationery}

Apologies for all the delays! We are so happy this moment has finally arrived… It’s been in the works for quite some time, so we are thrilled to have reached the point of breaking the “big news”.

Emmy Lu Design Studio is pleased to introduce a new and unique approach to wedding stationery. Our stylish DESIGNER+DIY invitations are individually created by professional graphic designers, then personalized with your unique wedding details and wording, and finally sent to you via email as high-resolution PDF files. These PDF files are ready for printing at home or at your local print shop. The best part of this system is that you are able to save big bucks on an invitation that looks distinctive and stylish. There are no “minimum order” requirements, and you are allowed the flexibility to choose and purchase your own paper and envelopes direct from the paper warehouses without paying a marked-up rate. With our hand crafted and customized designs, you can easily have the beautiful designer invitations you’ve been dreaming about, without putting a big dent in your budget!


Stay tuned, because within a couple months, we will also be launching our Baby, Party and Personal Stationery lines! We are going to be offering a wide range of personalities to fit all of your invitation and stationery needs–designed and priced attractively for the stylish, budget-conscious buyer.

Head on over to the site for a peek at our new line of invitations, and learn more about the process here. If you still have questions, check out our FAQ page, or shoot us an email at design(at)emmylu(dot)com!

Cottage Life {Snapshots}

After a very dry summer in Minnesota, we have had a healthy dose of rain in the past week or so. My garden has been blooming and growing by leaps and bounds. The snapshots from this week at the cottage highlight the beauty of both the rain and the product of the rain.

B_8-11-09_1Rain on the window that looks like a watercolor.

B_8-11-09_1.2Emmy looking out for squirrels and watching the rain.

B_8-11-09_2The flowers have burst into bloom!

B_8-11-09_3Every shade of orange and yellow imaginable.

B_8-11-09_4Simple beauty.

B_8-11-09_5This one reminds me of a sunset…

B_8-11-09_6…and this one, a tropical drink.

B_8-11-09_7Electric shades of violet and green.

B_8-11-09_8A cascade of pink.

B_8-11-09_9Fresh veggies from the garden.

B_8-11-09_10My daily pickin’ : zucchini, romas, broccoli, and a Blackberry.

Our big announcement should be revealed tomorrow! Also, I promise to soon provide a long overdue update on my list of “things I want to do”.

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