Archive | January, 2012

IMcreator – drag and drop web editor

31 Jan

Discovered this extremely easy-to-use webpage editor: www.imcreator.com  You can start a design from scratch but there are some templates available as well.  I fiddled around with this app a bit and found that besides pictures and text, I can quickly add page menus, video, picture galleries, and contact forms.   Social media widgets such as Twitter and Facebook feeds are easy to add and customize.  Pictures can be cropped directly inside the editor, and text can easily be layered over images.  Resizing pictures is also foolproof – I find that no matter what I do, the image is resized or cropped a bit so that the aspect ratio stays the same.  This means no more stretched-looking images no matter who uses this editor (a constant pet peeve of mine).  It’s free to create websites, but if you want to connect the site to your own domain, IMcreator charges for hosting services (between $7 to $10 a month).

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Alt Summit business card inspiration

30 Jan

Here’s a pinboard  of business cards that Marie of Food Nouveau put together.  My little card is embarrassed to be on there, but will have to rely on its friendliness to get by in such great company.  (hmm, I may anthropomorphizing a bit much).  I ended up not getting washi tape for the grey part and instead laser printed a grey background with text to glue onto the card.  Below is the final result:

All photos from Marie

Update 2/1/12: more business card love

Cool new web app: BO.LT

26 Jan

At Alt Summit, I met Christine Harmel who is in charge of marketing at BO.LT, a cool site that allows you to save whole webpages.  At first glance, it looked like another Pinterest to me, but Christine showed me that it was so much more.  Pinterest allows you to save an image or video that you “pin”, directly onto their servers.  The link associated with the image is pinned as well.  However, once the webpage is modified or taken down, all you have left is the image.  BO.LT, on the other hand, is different – you can save entire dynamic webpages in an instant.  Once you enter the page you want to save, or “bolt,” the page is recreated in seconds on their server, with active links and all.

What does this mean exactly?  I used to save websites that I liked onto my hard drive by clicking File>Save from my web browser.  I was teaching myself web design and wanted to know how the good websites worked.  I would then get a folder with a bunch of images and files inside, and an additional .html file that was the recreated website.  It became too confusing to pair the right .html file with the right folder, especially if I reorganized the files on my computer.  But with this application, all of that ‘fun’ stuff is done for me, online, not to be lost again.

You can also add comments to each saved webpage (called bolts) and share your discoveries with friends, as well as see what other users are sharing.  I’ve already discovered some cool new-to-me websites and spent about 15 minutes bolting some of my favorite sites.  It’s incredibly easy to use.  Don’t you just love it when cool technology and good design intersect?

One of the founders also has a lifestyle site – www.farmhousemodern.com where he shares bolts of pages that reflect a certain refined rustic aesthetic.  Check it out!

Happy Chinese New Year!

24 Jan

 

Or, I should say Lunar New Year, in order to include all the cultures that celebrate it.  Apparently the new year started on Monday, but I didn’t know about it since I am a bad Chinese person.  This year is the year of the dragon, so it’s supposed to be a good year.

Alt Summit Recap (part one)

23 Jan

I had so much fun meeting talented people at Alt Summit!  I also learned quite a bit from the seminars held by some of my favorite bloggers.  Since I know not all of you could go, I tried to take some good photos and notes.

The hotel was quite beautiful, but my favorite was the courtyard.  It looked simply magical in the evenings.  It rained for the first few days of the conference, but then snowed huge fat flakes on Saturday.

The first night we had dinner at the Market Street Broiler, sponsored by our hosts from DailyBuzzLuxe.  I had never heard of them before – I guess they are kind of like DailyCandy, except they get their content from independent bloggers instead of freelance writers.  Our hosts were so nice and even dressed up the place settings with a little game and provided goody bags full of skincare products – very helpful for the dry weather.

Some of the lovely people I met were:

Bloggers
Marie Asselin – Food Nouveau
Diana Taylor – may june and july
Jacey Duprie – Damsel in Dior
Kate King – Heart full of Dasies
Whitney Noziskova
Brittany Sage – Lipstick and Leopard print
Mara Kofoed – A Blog About Love
Marie LeBaron – Make and Takes
Sara Larsen – For the love of blog therapy
Kait Kucy – Yuppie Love
Megan Reardon – Not Martha

Graphic Designers
Kelli Ronci – uber-craft.com
Shannon Darrough
Jennifer Owen – Owen Design Company

Interior Designers
Brittany Stiles
Regan Baker

Photographers
Laure Joliet
Rima Baroudi
Regina Boone

Shop Owners
Karina Bania – Cluster Art
Wendy Wyne of Fete Studio
Lexi Soukoreff – Daub + Design

Apologies for the overwhelming number of links, but maybe you’ll find a blog you love to read.  As for me, at least I’ll have everyone’s websites in one place if I lose the business cards >_<

Business cards for Alt Summit

18 Jan

As of last week, I still had no business cards for Alt Summit.  Oh crap.  Apparently, cute business cards are a big deal at this conference.  And of course, I couldn’t have digitally printed cards since it would be dumb to say, “Hi, I’m Phoebe, here are my non-letterpress business cards.  By the way, letterpress is my hobby.”  This is the design I settled on, taking cues from the blog template.

Food Discoveries + Time spent with good friends

15 Jan

I spent my weekend at the SF Farmer’s market with Marian and two other friends.  We filled up on samples and got to talk to some award-winning food producers along the way.  Dandelion Chocolate had a beautiful display – they’re an artisanal chocolate bar company located in the SF Mission.  Their cacao is ethically sourced, hand-roasted feel good yadda yadda yadda yadda…ok I was really mostly drawn to the packaging.  It’s beautiful.  The chocolate tastes good too, with mildly floral flavors.

Noble Coffee Roasting Company had an awesome homemade contraption to brew their coffee – they had glass funnels held aloft by some sort of pipe fixture.  The funnles were lined with coffee filters and hot water was poured in, much like an automatic drip coffee maker (except without the automatic part).  These funnels fed into glass containers placed above a metal grate (a rectangular hole had been cut into the table).  The gutter under the grate caught spills and directed all the water into a big bottle under the table (not shown).

I tried some luscious vanilla pear preserves from Dagstani & Sons.  They make small batches of jam and sell mostly by subscription.  I struck up a conversation with Raj (the owner) about the lovely packaging.  He uses letterpress -yes, letterpress, for his labels.  So pretty!  I tried not to drip jam all over his beautiful letterpress business card.

Finally, I went to Miette for the first time to get some desserts to round out my collection of snacks.  Jenny and Sheryl, my old college roommates, were coming to visit and I may have been too enthusiastic about being a good host.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It was for me, I like to eat.

The spoils (clockwise from top left)
Miette gingersnap cookies – had rich buttery taste | macarons |Dandelion chocolate bar | spicy chorizo navarre | aged goat cheese | Weybridge creamy soft cheese | Pear Vanilla preserves