Fifty Shades of Sean


If you follow Sean Adams on Facebook or his blog, Burning Settlers Cabin, you know he is fascinated by his family’s history and the roles his family members played in American politics. He shares photos that he finds, and if you’re not paying attention, you may miss the fact that Sean is lingering in the image. OK, I mean, usually it’s pretty obvious, but once in a while you may be looking at a General and you think, “This guy’s too clean and handsome to be a general.” It’s Sean. No one looked that good back then. When I asked Sean to design a set of MOO MiniCards, I practically ordered him to do a set using these photos. He’s so damn polite, he obliged. Read the whole story here.

Treadmill Fail

My worst nightmare came true this morning. I fell off the treadmill going at a high speed. AT THE HEALTH CLUB. IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. It all could have easily been avoided if I didn’t have my head firmly planted up my ass.

I was cool, trucking along, doing intervals, and I accidentally knocked my phone off. My phone is my music source, so it was sitting in the little cubby on the treadmill. My hand hit the headphones cord and it went flying. I cursed—the older man next to me gave me a dirty look—and I stopped the treadmill, jumped off, grabbed my phone and got back at it. Then a couple of minutes later I did the same damn thing. Phone went flying, I jumped off to retrieve it and stepped back on … oh, but wait. I forgot to stop the tread, so I stepped back on a moving tread going 8 mph!

I flew backwards, my head hit the tread, before bouncing off. I was stunned, which was quickly replaced with total embarrassment. Holy shit. I just wanted to lie there on the floor and die of shame. But no. Very nice people immediately came to my aid and helped me up, so I could see just how many people were watching and probably secretly wishing they had that on video to replay.

My head was bleeding, my wrist, arm, and knee hurt. I slinked off to the side, and was given an ice pack for the golf ball that was emerging above my left eye. The staff members were really sweet and fussing over me, but all I could think about was the slow-motion video of me flying off the treadmill. They all remarked how loud it was, as well, which, honestly, didn’t make me feel any better.

Next time I run, it will be on pavement, and my phone will be tightly secured in an arm band. For now, I have a purplish boo-boo (that’s the technical term) with slight swelling and a small gash near my eyebrow. It could have been worse, right? No, really, someone please tell me that.


Rebecca is a Wild Child

When Matt Porter, Grand Poobah of Design Family Reunion, beckoned us—his cult family—to submit photos of ourselves in compromising positions, we didn’t really know what to expect. I still haven’t sent any in for fear of major repercussions.

Rebecca Bedrossian, however, bravely submitted some wonderful gems and in turn, gave me plenty to work with. Who knew the girl had such primal, hippy roots? See her photos and story here. And join us at Design Family Reunion in Santa Fe in September!

We are Family

Design Family Reunion (DFR) is an intimate gathering of creatives who are looking to unplug, recharge, and make personal connections. It’s not a conference. You won’t sit in a big air-conditioned assembly at a large hotel or conference center among thousands of strangers. This event, conceived by Matthew Porter and Terry Marks, first took place in 2012 in Pacific Grove, Calif., with 70 people in attendance, me included. The workshops allowed us to make stuff like woodblock carvings with artist Francis Pavy, shoot still-life movies under the guidance of Chris Sickels, using his unique characters and sets, and take black and white photos with old Polaroid 66SE cameras led by photographer Woody Welch and designer Sean Carnegie, among others. This September, DFR will take place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an artists haven. Designer Tricia Siebold created the MOO MiniCards using the work of several artists and designers. She and Terry Marks discuss the cards and reunion, here.


Rule 29’s Creative Elements

I’ve known Justin Ahrens for a long time, and he’s always up for a challenge, and a good time … not necessarily in that order. So when I asked him if he wanted to design a set of MOO MiniCards on anything he wanted, he accepted. Sometimes a project with no limitations can be both liberating and debilitating, but Justin is full of surprises and energy, so I wasn’t worried that he’d be stumped for ideas.


This periodic table of creative elements is not only brilliant, it’s gorgeous, especially when you see all the cards together. To read more about the design, go to RockPaperInk.

Same Shirt, Two Class Photos

5th grade class photo
5th grade class photo
6th grade class photo
6th grade class photo

I’m wearing the same shirt in both photos. *sigh* I didn’t do this on purpose, I just really liked that shirt. Yeah, THAT shirt. I rocked that short-sleeved, v-necked, velour top. Ok, maybe not, but look how I complemented the stripes by wearing a bright yellow turtleneck underneath for my 6th grade photo. I was truly entering the 80s. Truth is, my clothing selection was slim pickings at the time. It was probably either wear that, or one of my brother’s hand-me-downs. We weren’t poor, that’s just how it was.

Back then (1970s and 80s), there wasn’t a Justice, or shops that catered to preteens. Even if those stores existed, I’m pretty certain my parents would never have taken me there anyway. Where I grew up in Richfield, Wisconsin, you usually bought your clothes at the same place you bought your chicken feed—Farm-n-Fleet. You could get anything there. Clothes, shoes, farm equipment, school supplies, toys, tools, electronics, etc. My mom would take us there the week before school to do all of our school shopping. Jeans (the only brand available was Lee), check! Tennis shoes, check! Shirts, check! Underware, check! Notebooks, pens, pencils, Trapper Keeper, check! And we only shopped like that once a year. If you ripped your clothes, they were patched not replaced. All of my jeans were patched by the end of the school year, some multiple times.

I’m not complaining, though. Things were a hell of a lot simpler, even if we were fashion-impaired.