putting kids up front

I was very happy to be given the opportunity to work with Kids Up Front again this year on their Annual Report. It has been 8 years, and it is amazing to see how they grow each and every year. While I work on the layout and touch up photos,  I not only learn more about them and what they do, but also the amazing businesses and corporations that are so invested in bringing smiles to kids faces.

Kids Up Front is happy to receive ticket donations to events throughout the city. It makes sense... if you have tickets that you are unable to use, donate them so that the seats get filled!


In the words of Kids Up Front: "We turn tickets into smiles. Really, really big ones. When you donate your tickets to Kids Up Front, we pass them on to kids who might never get the chance to see their sports heroes live, go to a concert or spend the day learning and laughing at the ROM or AGO.

With your help, we’re able to share these true Toronto experiences with children who usually sit on the sidelines. Yes, they get a day they’ll remember forever. But they also get to experience the feeling of being part of something bigger – part of the amazing city we call home.

An amazing organization, doing amazing things. To find out more, visit Kids Up Front.



very cool

I recently came across the amazing work and website of Studiotwentysix2. It is the design and fine art studio of NYC graphic designer and director Tom Davie. I love his philosophy: Produce well crafted, skillfully executed, thought-provoking bundles of visual and intellectual goodness.

I think he executes this wonderfully. A few favourites:

   Juvenile Detention

  Juvenile Detention

Juvenile Detention was a response to the overabundance of bad graffiti that I see daily around the city. Then in a satirical act of self-defiance, I vandalized my own poster — which seemed oddly appropriate considering the subject matter. Tom Davie

I am fascinated by graffiti art. So I love the raw aspect of this piece.



After discovering that the average 8-digit calculator is able to make over 300 English words, Tom Davie created this is a playful, wide reaching piece called 0.7734. This one brought me back to my childhood. Except I used to get a kick out of righting "BOOB".  

Foiled Wit

Foiled Wit

I can simply feel the sharpness, and hear the crinkle of this piece. so amazing.

Dome Interior

Dome Interior

I love am am inspired by work that uses simple shapes.  Dome Interior is stunning. It is intricate. Yet so simple.  //  My intent was to have the completed work feel as if you were standing directly beneath an architectural structure with depth — while working entirely with flat geometric shapes. Tom Davie


All photos from studiotwentysix2.com


Pinterest makes me feel so many emotions....

HAPPINESS // Colours that make me happy, like in this platter from  Martinich and Carran

HAPPINESS // Colours that make me happy, like in this platter from Martinich and Carran

SILLINESS // I still laugh every time I see this Miley Cyrus inspired pearl necklace by  TO+WN Design

SILLINESS // I still laugh every time I see this Miley Cyrus inspired pearl necklace by TO+WN Design

ENVY // Enough said.

ENVY // Enough said.

MESMERIZED // Nature is a beautiful thing, as captured by Marco Fischer.

MESMERIZED // Nature is a beautiful thing, as captured by Marco Fischer.

INSPIRED // This poster by  Joël Guenoun  is so clever, so effective and powerful. I love how he communicates the message in this poster design.

INSPIRED // This poster by Joël Guenoun is so clever, so effective and powerful. I love how he communicates the message in this poster design.


One of the best projects that I have worked on was working with the wonderful women of Fluf.

Natalie Butterfield and Terra Kushner have developed a brand that focuses on amazing products that are all about function, durability, sustainability and fun. That brand is Fluf.

Their lunch bags are the best. And I am honoured to have collaborated with Natalie and Terra to develop a few designs. Actually... it wasn't as much work, as it was fun.


The ABC's for any kids lunch bag?... Let's get them to EAT.

The ABC's for any kids lunch bag?... Let's get them to EAT.

The Doggy Bag 

The Witchy Witch lunch bag doubles as a trick or treat bag. That's a win win.

The Witchy Witch lunch bag doubles as a trick or treat bag. That's a win win.

Fruit ballerinas

Fruit ballerinas

F37 Foundry

When a font gets put on a pedestal in all its glory......

I love the specimen books produced by F37 Foundry. Each of the fonts in their library have received a standing ovation on paper through the superb execution of a series of specimen books.

The books are limited editions, each having a print run of 250 and every single edition is hand numbered. Not only are the books well designed, but they are so well thought out in their execution. The use of materials, colour, the use of space on the page, the binding... all combine to create a really amazing piece.

The  Ginger specimen book  has an orange, flocked, embossed cover. Insane.

The Ginger specimen book has an orange, flocked, embossed cover. Insane.

I love the contrast of the thin lines and big curves in their font Bella. It is a font that is traditional yet contemporary at the same time. The Bella specimen book is the same.

The use of colour and materials in the Bolton specimen book is amazing... The contrast of the heat embossed blue plastic cover with the paper. yum.

I'd like to frame these pages of the Jan specimen book...

all images from Face37 site. Go ahead, go take a peek. You'll like it there.

I Have A Dream

As things around me turn upside down, I worry for my kids and their future.

I worry for their inspirations and aspirations. I feel I need to figure out how I can stand up for them, and their friends, and kids I haven't met. To do what I can so that their little smiles grow up to be big smiles. That their dreams turn into realities. That they are treated with respect, and show that same respect to others. 

Artwork by Brenda Bolding


I Have a Dream

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. 

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.  

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. 

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." 

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring! 

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. 

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. 

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


Martin Luther King Jr

 Delivered August 28 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.  From www.americanrhetoric.com

Source: http://www.brendaboldingart.com/gallery/ma...


There are some pretty cool products out there that make the pencil a visually and kinetically amazing utensil. Allow these cool products inspire you.

The Aurora display case from Fellisimo takes your coloured pencils one step further. A storage solution which creates pretty cool wall art. I'm not sure if I could bring myself to use them, but think it would actually make it look even more cool.

I love these Midori brass pencil holders at Present and Correct. Kicking it old school.

Rainbow pencils by Duncan Stotten are my favourite, They make me so incredibly happy. Made from recycled papers, when you sharpen them, you get tiny little rainbows. Love it.

I'll take anything from Studio ...who want you to "feel the weight of words". Their mechanical pencils, pens and accessories are so stunning.

As an ex smoker, I can appreciate this pencil and wish I had one when I was kicking the habit. Sized at three and a half inches, this No Smoking pencil looks just like a smoke, but is a lot healthier. Available at CW Pencil Enterprise

The Penxo lead pencil reimagines the conventional mechanical pencil by simplifying its design down to its core elements and function. The main concept behind it: simplicity. With no moving parts, Penxo’s brushed metal construction clamps around the lead, which prevents it from sliding out. 


And just to throw it back to childhood and the 80's... the twisty pencil at Student Supply. This takes me back to a happy place.

Faber Castell

Faber Castell is one of the worlds largest and oldest manufacturer of high-quality products for writing, drawing and creative design. It is to no surprise that their artistry and creativity shines through in their advertising. I love the thought process and execution.... Nothing else is needed other than the artwork and tagline. I get it. Brilliant.

Images via Ads of the World. Advertising Agency: Executive Creative Director:  Chief Executive Creative Director:  Art Directors: Andereas Balog,  Copywriters: Nicolas Becker,  Graphic Designer: Fabian Halder

instagram :: paper

Instagram is an amazing place. I love seeing what people are doing... Whether it be showcasing their talent, relaxing in their favourite chair sharing their view, or documenting their travels. I often think how isolated my brain would have been without social media... there is so much out there to see!  So I thought I would share a few of my favourites.

The following three share the love for the paper medium. Paper can be transformed in so many ways, and these three are all so talented and inspiring.

Madamoiselle Maurice

Madamoiselle Maurice

French artist Madamoiselle Maurice combines two loves of mine: paper and street art. Her "origami street art" masterpieces have a connection with the events of March 11, 2011 in Japan and the story of Sadako Sasaki and the folding of 1000 cranes. I am mesmerized by her work. I love how it is delicate and raw.

Instagram: @mademoisellemaurice  .  online:  mademoisellemaurice.com

Amaranthus Paper Flora

Amaranthus Paper Flora

Amaranthus Paper & Flora specializes in handcrafted crepe paper flowers, and I love seeing the creations they make. I think they're beautiful, and after finding out the heart and soul behind their bouquets, I love them even more! Those with cancer and other serious illnesses who suffer from Immunosuppression cannot receive live flowers or plants due to the risk of infection. Enter Amaranthus Paper & Flora- who also donates bouquets to those fighting for their life. Beautiful inside and out.

Instagram: @amaranthuspaperflora  .  online: amaranthuspaperflora.com

Hoang Tien Quyet

Hoang Tien Quyet

Hoang Tien Quyet is an origami wizard from Vietnam. His work makes me smile and makes my jaw drop at the same time. His passion for origami shines so brightly. He started as a small boy and found joy in making his own toys.... a brilliant small boy! I am very thankful for his years of patience, inspiration and honing his craft... his work is truly magnificent.

Instagram: @htquyet  .  online: htquyet.origami.vn

photos above from artists Instagram.