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Oct 21, 2014

Five Questions: Roy Burns III/ Design Week BHM

This week is the second annual Design Week Birmingham, a really amazing week of exhibits, lectures, film screenings, workshops and more. There are too many great events going on to possibly list here, but my picks would definitely be a flag making workshop, the Printer's Fair at Trimtab Brewery and Rapid Fire. Get your tickets now to these amazing happenings. 

So today we are talking Roy Burns III, Creative Director at Lewis Communications and is one of the founding board members of Design Week Birmingham. He was Creative Director of the branding from Design Week BHM, but it very quick to add how collaborative the community behind all of it is. Duquette and I each have had the opportunity to work with Roy and it's always a fun process.

Here's five questions with Roy...

1/ What typeface is Roy Burns III?  Craw Clarendon. Freeman Craw's version of the classic English slab-serif.

2/ Dinner with a dead designer-- who is it and what do you eat? Tough! Maybe Alvin Lustig, Barney Bubbles or Tibor Kalman. No… Alexander Steinweiss. He invented the album cover. Steak-frites with Campari and soda… or Guinness Export.

3/ Favorite album artwork and why?  Lonely Is An Eyesore—a 1987 compilation on the 4AD label by Vaughan Oliver (then, working with Nigel Grierson under the name 23 Envelope). Difficult to remember which came first—my love for this astounding album, or its wonderfully enigmatic sleeve. Can't really separate them. Together, they form a singular artistic statement. Typographically speaking, it's nowhere near Oliver's most adventurous work. But the textures? I'm a complete sucker for textures. This record made me want to become a designer.

4/ Favorite Pantone color? Pantone 8001 (shiny!)

5/ Top three inventions ever? Printing. Recording. Ventolin.

Roy Burns III is Creative Director at Lewis Communications in Birmingham. Prior to that, he was Senior Art Director at the New York office of global interactive agency Razorfish, and Design Director at Stoltze Design in Boston. During his 20+ years in design, he’s worked for a broad range of clients including HBO, ZDF, BMG/Sony, Capitol Records, Caldo Verde Records, Communicating Vessels, Houghton Mifflin, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Virginia, Tiffin Motorhomes, Fidelity Investments, and Harvard Business School. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, Graphis, HOW, Print, Communication Arts, AAF ADDY Awards, AIGA and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. When he's not designing or hoarding records, he's not spending nearly enough time with his wonderful wife Liane, his son Walt, and his dog Zee.

CommentsCategories art five questions Tags roy burns iii lewis communications design week birmingham design week bhm birmingham creative directors

Oct 20, 2014

Mother Monday: leaving the baby for a week

Duquette and I leave tomorrow for New York City for six days... and Tennessee is staying in Alabama with my parents. I am so thrilled to be going to my favorite city in the world with my husband, getting time to reconnect with each other, to reconnect with friends and to reconnect with myself. However, I have to admit I am having a hard time with the thought of leaving my baby for a week. I know it's good for us and it's good for him (and it's good for the grandparents to get time to totally spoil him), but my heart aches over leaving him! It shocks me, to be honest. I guess I haven't realized how closely I have bonded with him. 

So today we are spending the day as a family before flying out bright and early. Follow us on our adventure both here and on Instagram! @ruggedandfancy and @rebelking.

Have a blessed day (and please say a prayer for our safe travels...I'm so bad at flying!)



CommentsCategories mother monday

Oct 16, 2014

Nice is Nice: photos from Nice, France

I've been rifling through the thousands of photos on my computer and recently came across these photos I took a couple of years ago when I lived in the South of France. I did an artist's residency, had an exhibition in a medieval castle and styled a runway show for the Princess Grace Foundation in Monaco. Man, that was really cool. Anyway, here are a few interesting photos from a few days I spent in Nice. 

All images are by Morgan Jones Johnston/Rugged and Fancy. Please don't use them without permission. But please pin and reblog with links away! 

CommentsCategories travel Tags nice france photos of nice nice boardwalk

Oct 15, 2014

EASY RECIPE: non slimy okra

I love okra. It reminds me of being a kid in the country, spending the night with my great great aunt Lib,  picking apples from her tiny orchard, churning butter and frying up or pickling okra. We quilted, too. It was very Little House on the Prairie. Anyway, okra can be a vegetable of contention. I love it in all of its slimy glory. Duquette hates the sliminess. Fried okra? Well it often lacks any flavor and is usually breaded or fried, negating any nutritional value it once had. So here is my solution. And it's easy. BAKE IT! 


-a lot of okra, it cooks down in size tremendously (try a couple of pounds). I used this really beautiful purple okra that they say is less slimy. However, making it this way it doesn't really matter.

-coconut oil




1/ Wash your okra ahead of time and lay out to fully dry on paper or cloth towels. If you allow the okra to dry completely, it won't be slimy. (You're welcome for the life saving tip there.)

2/ Preheat oven to 375. 

3/ Slice okra in even pieces (like 3/4" pieces) and discard the stem tip and the tiny piece of pointed ends (that's preferential). 

4/ Lightly coat your roasting pan with coconut oil. It has a higer flash point and doesn't burn off as easily. And I really love the way it adds a richness of flavor to foods. 

5/ Place okra in an even layer on the roasting pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 

6/ Bake for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how crunchy or crispy you want it. I prefer mine a lot crispier so I do mine for 45 minutes, stirring up the pieces about halfway through. 

You can either serve it hot as a side item or allow the okra to cool and sprinkle over your favorite Fall salad with beets and candied pecans. It's also a great finger food snack for Paleo and gluten free people. 

What do you do with okra? Let me know in the comments!

xo Morgan

CommentsCategories food health and wellbeing Tags easy okra recipe baked okra non slimy okra purple okra

Oct 14, 2014

Inspiration: National Geographic's FOUND

So apparently National Geographic has started a Tumblr, called Found. They post amazing photos from their archives, and I love checking it out for perspective from different decades, major cultural events of the time, different cultures and even the fashion. The Internet can be such a cool thing when used as a resource. 

1930s club members on the ocean front. 

A Colombian matador, 1939.

A runway model in Belagio, Italy 1968.

Boy at watermelon festival in Florida, Dec 1963.

A sailor gets tattooed in Virginia. 

A fortune teller in Marrakesh, Morocco 1971. 

A boy sells lemonade in his front yard, Aspen, Colorado 1973. 

PHOTOS: 1/ 2/  3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7

CommentsCategories style Tags national geographic nat geo found archival photos

Oct 13, 2014

Mother Monday: struggling with the balance

I was wide awake until 3am, wondering if I should just get up and get some work done while Tennessee and Duquette slept. I eventually fell asleep on the couch watching strange late night conspiracy shows and obscure evangelical programming. (Television is not good.) I woke up exhausted, feeling behind and wanting to simply ignore my crying baby in his room. And as I write this, my husband chases after our crawling, teething, dissatisfied eight month old, both still in pajamas while I simply try to get a few work things done. "I'll just be a minute, I promise." 

And then hours have passed without my even realizing, without stopping or breathing and the whole while feeling this urgency to wrap it up to relieve Duquette from baby duties so he can get his work done. To clean the house. To internally debate whether I am going to make it out of the house today because the risk of total baby meltdown is creeping dangerously close to the red zone. 

I've said it before, every day is different and there are some times that feel so easy... and then there are times like this when we feel like we are fighting to keep our heads above the water. I need a break. I need to be caught up. I need to have time with my husband, just the two of us without passing off the baby and our short tempers when we both get just. so. tired. 

I don't want to sound like I am complaining. I'm grateful beyond measure for the countless ways God loves me and my family and stretches me to places that are hard and painful, to show me how much I can rely on him and how strong he actually made me. But it's okay to say I'm exhausted and having a difficult time. I think more mothers need to be told that's okay. I know I need to hear it. 

Here are a few things some other mamas have written that have given me a little encouragement in times like this when you feel like running away, barefoot and screaming. Hahaha. PS- I would totally never do that. 

1/ What I Miss and Don't Miss About Working Outside the Home, via House Tweaking

2/ Keeping Up, via House of Habit

3/ Why You Shouldn't Read Your Bible (and why you should), via Gospel Centered Mom

CommentsCategories mother monday Tags mother monday motherhood and balance motherhood and getting it all done motherhood and being overwhelmed

Oct 12, 2014

photos from the weekend

I have really been making an effort to carry my camera with me these days, rather than taking all my photos on my iPhone. Here are some photos from this weekend. Hoep yours was great, too! And when are the Fall temps arriving? This is insane. Ninety degrees in mid-October...

We went with friends and babies to Moundville, Alabama's annual Native American Festival. Moundville is a really significant archaeological site and an important landmark for the incredible history of Native Americans in the Southeast. When I was in fourth grade, we learned all about the different tribes of the South and this was a major field trip. I LOVED it. So to return as an adult, I was really excited. I was a little disappointed that the majority of the festival was retail and there weren't as many Indians representing their culture as there were school children in warrior face paint, blowing on flutes and throwing stick spears. And it was a million degrees. Still glad we got out and went.

Saturday's farmers market is one of my favorite weekend traditions. THe prices on organic produce are SO much more affordable than Whole Foods and it's just a great place to get out, walk around, see people and feel like life is a little slower and a little easier. And we like to go early before the crowds!

We ended up with some passes to the 2nd annual Cask+Drum music festival. We got to bring the baby and go hang with a bunch of amazing friends. I really loved people watching more than anything, and coincidentally, I don't have that many photos. Ha. Below are Carrie from The Birmingham Museum of Art, Stephanie Granada/style editor at Southern Living, man about town and production hero Seth Newell and Jessica Graves from The Love List

And this because it's ADORABLE. 

CommentsCategories weekend

Oct 10, 2014

Bag Dump: andrea paschal

Andrea Paschal is the coolest girl you'll ever meet. We have been friends for a decade and I can count on her to be the person I sit and talk with for an hour about obscure references in so and so's latest runway collection or how recent Nars lipsticks are total tributes to ultimate glam goddess, Cleopatra. One of my favorite memories ever is sitting with Andrea at a ridiculously crowded show at The Bottletree, dumping out our makeup pouches to compare lipsticks. And she literally had 22 lipsticks in her purse. It was amazing. Artist, musician and manager of the Coalition for Independent Music Stores (CIMS), Andrea Paschal has got it going on. 

1/ THE BAG. Alexander Wang Convertible Backpack-- I bought this bag about four or five years ago... it was a splurge but this is one of my favorite bags ever. It reminded me of a backpack purse I used to carry in 7th grade that I loved just as much. It is great because it has so many great pockets and compartments and holds so much stuff! It is also convertible, so if I am not feeling the backpack it can also be a shoulder bag as well. This bag has travelled all over the world with me and looks better to me the older it gets.

2/ SUNGLASSES. I collect vintage Emmanuelle Khanh sunglasses, there are some really crazy amazing ones out there...but these black ones in her classic frame ones are my go to pair.

3/ PEN. LePen I have loved these ever since I was a little girl... they are the best pens ever. They are so sleek and I swear using them instantly improves your handwriting! I love them in all colors. 

4/ WALLET. Saint Laurent this wallet is a perfect little piece of luxury and holds everything I need. 

5/ Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. I found out about this thanks to Charlotte Gainsbourg (I think in a bag dump of her own). She swore by it as one of the beauty products she couldn't live without. I lvoe her and her style so I thought..."if it's good enough for Charlotte, it is good enough for me!" It really is a great product because you can mix the concealer to your perfect shade based on what you need it for. You can also use the white side of the compact as a highlighter or brightener. 

6/ EYELINERS AND LOTS OF LIPSTICK. Morgan already knows this about me... but I have a little bit of a lipstick addiction. I don't wear tons of makeup usually. I feel like you can be pretty much ready to go with a little bit of eyeliner and a swipe of great obviously these are the two beauty items I can't live without. I feel like my lipstick usually reflects my mood, so I like to have lots of options (sometiems it changes over the course of a day). Lately I am loving this YSL Baby Kiss red. It can give you a full-on lip, or just be a stain (you can also use it as blush too). I have also been really into purpoles lately as well. Now that Fall is on the way, I will probably fall back onto one of my many berry standards, Tom Ford's Bruised Plum being one of my faves. Also I am loving Rituel de Fille's products. I love their packaging and all of their products are handcrafted from natural ingredients. The Eye Soots come in these great little pots and give you a great smokey eye.

7/ MUSIC. Music is a huge part of my life and I like to have it everywhere I go. Sometimes I need to keep it to myself so, these ear buds are a must.

8/ MARIO BADESCU'S MOISTURE MAGNET MOISTURIZER WITH SPF/ I have really dry and sensitive skin so even though I realize the importance of moisturizing and wearing protection from the sun, it is hard to find products of that nature that don't make my face completely freak out. Mario Badescu products work great for me because they are so gentle. This is great stuff and comes in a perfect purse size bottle so there is no excuse not to use it! I also kind of jsut love the pink color as well.

9/ POUCH. This is a pouch that used to belong to my grandmother-- she kept her rosary and other little relics in it. Some of her original treasures are still there and I have added some of my own including my Egyptian scarab and lucky rabbit's foot. I like having it with me because it makes me feel close to her.

10/ PERFUME. Another thing I love is perfume. I just got these samples from Goest. With names like Silent Films, Grand Tour, Dauphine and Jackal well...I feel like they get me. I am carrying these guys around and I can mix and match til I find the one that suits me best. 

11/ VICTORIAN PILL BOX/ This is just way more stylish than a plastic bottle... enough said.

Andrea Paschal is an artist, musician and amateur Egyptologist, jewelry and perfume enthusiast with a serious shoe obsession. By day she heads up the Coalition of Independent Music Stores and ThinkIndie Distribution. By night she hosts Spellbound on Substrate Radio and blogs about fashion for I am the F-Bomb and Catch-Style

CommentsCategories bag dump

Oct 9, 2014


Being deep in the South, our warm months last a little longer and that means so do the flowers and herbs. Now that the temps are cooling, the leaves are falling and the people are finally sighing with sweet relief, it's time to harvest all the basil. And that means it's time to make pesto! My recipe for pesto is super easy, nut free and cow milk free. 


-a lot of fresh basil

-heaping handful of fresh arugula

-a lot of good olive oil

-two to four cloves of fresh garlic

-a strong, hard sheep cheese, I use Manchego

-sea salt

-a blender

-a jar


1/ Wash the basil stems, place on paper towels to absorb all that water. Pluck the basil leaves from the stems and place on a paper towel to further dry. I don't use the basil flowers in my pesto as I find them to be too bitter. 

2/ Take the basil leaves and the heaping handful of arugula and chop coarsely just to give your blender a little break. Come on, my blender can start smelling funky if I work it too hard. Don't judge, it's just well loved, right? 

3/ Take the coarse chopped basil and arugula and throw in the blender. Pour a few glugs of olive oil over the top, cover blender and begin to blend on low. If it looks like the leaves are getting stuck at the bottom and not blending well, pour in more olive oil, give a stir with a long wooden spoon. Replace the top of the blender and blend more. 

4/ Toss in garlic cloves (without the papery outside, of course) and maybe a teaspoon of sea salt and shavings of your cheese. Total, I end up using about 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup of Manchego. I find that sea salt really just brings together all the flavors and binds them, but don't oversalt it. 

5/ Blend more. You want it to look thick and slightly oily, like a paste with a really rich green color. It will smell and taste pungent and that's perfection! Put pesto in a tight jar. Use it in a reasonable amount of time refrigerated. 


1/ Rice pasta with pesto sauce and chicken.

2/ Rice pasta with green peas/petit pois, garlic, shallot, chopped ham or lardons and pesto.

3/ Green eggs and ham, scrambled eggs with pesto, shallot and diced ham.

CommentsCategories food health and wellbeing Tags nut free pesto easy pesto recipe arugula pesto milk free pesto parmesan free pesto pesto meal ideas