Friday, October 30, 2009

October Wrap Up

October has flown by at this address. That may be partly due to a wave of illness some call the H1N1. Here the symptoms were pesky, but mild, compared to what we've heard from others. Fortunately, it has passed and maybe the exposure will keep us out of harm's way for the rest of flu season.

This week there has been some scrambling to track down hand-sized pumpkins and organize a holiday craft for 30 kids. After visiting the area grocery stores and coming up short, I was saved by a sympathetic young farmer. She completely understood my dilemma and gathered together a box of Jack-Be-Little pumpkins, stems intact, for me to pick up even though her farm stand (in a wonderful old barn) was closed that day due to inclement weather.

My hands are still speckled with splotches of stubborn black paint and there are spots of black paint on the basement floor that didn't use to be there. But, my young crafters will never know the excitement leading up to their party. They will be transforming the now black pumpkins into spiders, complete with googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs. Maybe a little glitter for extra fun.

Before the month wraps with a weekend of Halloween haunting, I wanted to include a reminder that it also marks the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month. While it's been refreshing to see the NFL players wearing pink this October, I hope they'll continue to show their support through the end of their season. It's not like anyone is going to stop thinking about this scary disease and the women we know whose lives have been affected. We'll continue to post pink.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Packaging - Best in Show

Fall allergy and flu season sent me running out last month to stock up on tissues. I was looking for something a little more attractive than the shoe box size container covered in sad looking floral or wave motifs. A few new designs and graphics stood out on the shelves, including the surprisingly attractive and fresh triangular prism shapes in fruits and cheery colors. I was impressed.

Apparently, judges in the world of packaging design were too. I was tickled to see the slice of summer tissue boxes from Kimberly-Clark, won Best in the Show for this year's international packaging design contest from Pentawards. Click here to see all the winners, including the cool Coke cans of summer featured here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Style in Your Seat Pocket

Starting a little holiday flying across the ocean has just gotten more stylish. The free amenity bag from Virgin Atlantic has brought an old standby into the realm of cool design. When I was a child and before I had ever flown overseas, my uncle would bring me lovely treasures from his adventures in Asia and Europe. Among the carefully selected souvenirs I was equally enthralled with the fabric or vinyl airline bags he offered still packed tightly with diminutive containers of toiletries nestled among the footies and eye covers.

In Virgin Atlantic's take on this transatlantic tote, the cozy socks and eye shade are helpful when you try to get a head start on your arrival time zone or just want to dress up like a red footed mummy. And the translucent red toothbrush with matching cap looks like a design winner. But it's the plastic zipper pouch with drawings of everyday things that you'll want to reuse throughout your itinerary. Maybe to keep your travel diary, or a little snack safe and dry or keep your cellphone moisture free on the sandy beaches in the south of France or around the streets of London?

As flyer bags go, the VA contents are not that different from what airlines have offered international guests for decades. But in this world of diminishing amenities, it's refreshing to find something useful in such a good-looking and simple reusable design.