Fun jewelry I made this summer





Before the summer started I knew that I wanted a fun, creative outlet. Adding to skills I learned at the 92Y in New York, I took a class with Neil Kraus at LillStreet in Ravenswood, Chicago.










On October 8-9, the Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design hosted the 2013 Design Research Conference. My role for the conference was to capture a few of the speakers using a method called sketchnotes. The idea is to take visual and verbal notes during the presentations to capture the key messages of the speakers.




Beer Shop Sign

As some of you may know, last winter Connecticut changed its laws to allow beer to be sold on Sundays between the hours of 10am and 5pm. This is great news for us, but it also means that we need to notify Sunday morning shoppers at 9am that they cannot actually purchase beer for another hour. Instead of covering up the beer shelves, last April I created this sign with the “shop” hours in.




New Window Art

There’s a great before and after for this – partly because before there was nothing. Deciding what to put in the window was challenging. I played with the idea of product images, food images, Westport images, and customers shopping. We do have customers come in sometimes not knowing what Trader Joe’s is. Should I be trying to educate people about what we do to try and pull them in off the street? Ultimately, I decided to go with simple and fun. Here’s what I came up with. My goal was to attract customers while they were either driving or walking by – this works for both scenarios.



I would like to start by pointing out that the word plaque usually refers to deposits on teeth or in arteries. This article is about neither of these. It is about some plaques that I made to provide information about what the 2’X3′ paintings above the produce section are about. Here they are…

I wanted the plaques to look classy and “Westporty” so I used the Westport colors of blue and white. I thought about using a gold background like paintings in museums have, but that seemed too serious and old-fashioned for these Hawaiian hibiscus themed images. I did, however, go out and buy special gold screws (not real, of course – the budget isn’t that big) to attach the plaques to the cedar frames.

I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more hibiscus.

The Hibiscus is, aside from the Trader Joe’s logo, the most recognizable branding image that we have. Recently the company decided to emphasize the hibiscus more prominently within the store. I was tasked with finding tasteful and seemless ways to integrate the flowers into the existing and new art.

For some reason, the process, and the actual pressure and intensity reminded me of one of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits. In it, Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken┬ádo a hilarious fictionalization of Blue Oyster Cult recording the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”

Here’s the fever curing hibiscus imagery that I added to already existing signage:


Some fun examples where I got to plan ahead and design the mural with the hibiscus in mind (this created less fever):