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Boarding Pass – Christopher Bettig {The Mountain Label}

Today’s edition of BOARDING PASS comes to us from Christopher Bettig, the talented illustrator behind The Mountain Label. Christopher and I bonded over France and Baltimore (he is a MICA graduate) when working on his sneak peek for design*sponge. In the process I came across his flickr albums and knew he’d be perfect for this column. His response was one of the most enthusiastic ever, so without future ado, a look into the way the travel side of The Mountain Label. {Thanks, CB!} {me in Melbourne} last trip taken:for sort... Read The Rest →

A Weekend in Provence

Ask any American if they know who Julia Child is and their eyes will light up; ask anyone in Europe and you’ll get a blank stare. For me, having the chance to step inside Julia Child’s home in Provence was a dream come true. She’s one of those everyday people (albeit extremely tall) who found stardom in being herself and having a passion for food. She didn’t begin cooking until she was in her 30s, and didn’t become famous until her 50s with the hit PBS TV show, The French... Read The Rest →

24 Hours in Paris (tale of a map by Libby VanderPloeg)

Recently I wrote a 24 Hours in Paris guide for Design*Sponge that highlights many of my favorite design shops in the 3rd and 10th arrondissements (it’s a more focused guide than the overall D*S Paris Design Guide I wrote a few years ago). And while I teach Map Making on Skillshare, I can’t claim credit for the fabulous map the accompanied my guide. All that credit goes to Brooklyn based illustrator Libby VanderPloeg. I love learning how designers and illustrators work, as well as their process. Libby was kind enough... Read The Rest →

Bloggers Guide to France

July 14th (Bastille Day) not only marks the 7th year of this blog, but it also is a signal to the French mentality to start going on holiday for the next month or so. Awhile back I put together a post called Bloggers Guide to Paris. It was a big hit, so I thought it was high time to expand to France, as many of these places make great day trips too. This post is just a start, but is a good reminder of all the diversity in this country,... Read The Rest →

Fête du Graphisme {Paris}

This year marked the inaugural year of Fête du Graphisme, a festival celebrating graphic design (graphisme = graphic design). It kicked off a couple weeks ago with Paris-themed posters by designers around the world appearing in place of advertising at bus stops around the city. There have been various events, projections and happenings around the city, and most notably a large temporary expo at Cité de la Mode et du Design along the Seine in the 13th (the large snake like building, which is also where Wanderlust happens and where... Read The Rest →


In case you missed the decree, not once, but twice yesterday I was declared Queen for the year during our annual galette des rois (king’s cake) celebration for Epiphanie (Epiphany). Eating one cake is never enough, as it’s always more fun to taste test. Once you have your cake, traditionally, the youngest person has to go under the table and point to shoes to decide who each slice will go to. As our youngest last night was a new arrival from the U.S. we had her turn her back to... Read The Rest →

WORDS OF WISDOM (life advice for my students)

The last couple months on my blog have been a bit of a radio silence as I’ve been pursing many great adventures, one of which included teaching a class I created called the Designer/Entrepreneur at Parsons Paris. A lot of the class was inspired by what Lauren and I have been working on for Studio/Practice – a curated library of tips + tools for creative business, the #thingsiwishilearnedinschool – which I hope will launch in the new year. The past 15 weeks of classes now feel like a whirlwind. Teaching... Read The Rest →

FRENCH LESSON: Beaujolais Nouveau

HAPPY BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU! It’s the “Hallmark holiday” of France, where the young wine known as beaujolais nouveau is celebrated. Many of my French friends scoff at the “holiday,” much preferring more mature wines, but I think it’s the perfect excuse to have a glass with friends. Today’s French lesson was meant to be a pairing of le vin [wine] and le vent [wind, which we’ve had far too much of lately] – two words I struggle with defining their pronunciation – but alas, it turns out that wind is quite... Read The Rest →

The Future of Train Travel

Last week was an exciting week. In a last minute assignment, I was asked to interview the new Creative Director of Eurostar, Christopher Jenner. The story was for Fast Co.Design, and was coordinated with my editor in Baltimore, her editor in NYC, Christopher’s press woman in London,  myself in Paris and Christopher was in China where he was working on a couple other projects. (Thank goodness for Skype!). I seriously think we all deserved an award for pulling everything together in less than a week. (The article was also trending... Read The Rest →

FRENCH LESSONS: Changement de saisons

The changing of seasons (changement de saisons) is something that exists in many places of the world, but in France it means more than just the changing of leaves and weather; it can also can represent a mental space. A few years ago I went to la pharmacie (the pharmacy) because I was feeling unusually exhausted and felt like I may need some vitamins. The pharmacist was not surprised at all by my fatigue, quickly explaining it as “C’est le changement de saisons.” I’ve had other friends experience and hear... Read The Rest →

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