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Oct 24, 2014

Five Questions: shannon harris/ design week bhm

Today we are asking Shannon Harris five questions. I don't know what to say about this woman because she's one of my best friends and godmother to my boy. She has great vision, really cares about her city, works harder than any woman I know and is just amazing. She's been a big part of Design Week Birmingham from the get go, and you should totally go see her at the Printer's Fair at Trim Tab Brewing Co. this weekend. 

Here are five questions with Shannon Harris...

1/ What Pantone color is Shannon Harris? 805c

2/ What is your favorite period of design? What three characteristics make it your favorite? The New York School pragmatism, informality, symbolism  

3/ If Shannon Harris was a band, what would it sound like or who would it be? The Cars

4/ What are your favorite tools for your trade or otherwise? Adobe pen tool, box cutter, bar spoon

5/ Drinks with any designer dead or alive...who is it and what are you each drinking? Tibor Kalman, founder of M&Co and the creative force behind Colors magazine. He's having a Negroni and I'll have the bourbon version, a Boulevardier.

Shannon Harris is a Senior Art Director living in Birmingham, Alabama. She works at BIG Communications with her husband Matt Harris and dog Booda Harris. She likes bold graphics, simple messages, good office vibes, and connecting the dots. 

CommentsCategories art community five questions Tags shannon harris shannon harris big communication big communications birmingham design week birmingham birmingham printer's fair

Oct 23, 2014

Picasso in Vallauris

I mentioned last week that I have been going through old travel photos, and I came across these images of Picasso captured by Andre Villers. There was an entire exhibit in this little gallery in the South of France a few years ago, and it was one of my favorite photo exhibits I've ever seen. I am endlessly obsessed with Pablo Picasso and jump at any chance I get to see more perspective to his life. 

CommentsCategories art travel Tags pablo picasso picasso vallauris andre villers andre villers picasso photos of picasso

Oct 22, 2014

Inspiration: landsat earth imaging

Landsat was kind of the grandaddy of Earth imaging, recording images of our planet to give scientists a way to track changes to landscapes... and giving the average person some great inspiration and perspective. I really am loving the color combinations and textures. 

Lake Eyre Filling Peaks, Australia, 2009.

Yellow River Delta, 1989.

Yukon Delta, Alaska 2011

Sivash, Ukraine 2010

PHOTOS: 1/ 2/ 3/ 4

CommentsCategories art Tags landsat nasa landsat satellite imaging inspiration color and texture

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 with Aaron Draplin, the Printer's Fair at Trim Tab Brewing Co. and a Rapid Fire presentation with 11 local and regional designers. Get your tickets now to these amazing happenings. So today we are talking to Roy Burns III, Creative Director at Lewis Communications and one of the founding board members of Design Week Birmingham. Working with designers David Blumberg and Andrew Thomson, he helped to create the branding for this and last year's DWB (but is very quick to add how collaborative the creative community behind all of this 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