Three Generations of Wine Labels

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During a recent visit to Viviano & Sons Grocery in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, I noticed a series of Spanish wines. Yes, my wine purchases are often influenced by the label. Not just because I believe a well-packaged product often rewards the buyer with a high quality product, but also because after the wine is long gone an empty bottle could last on top of a cabinet forever. Or it could be used for a craft project such as a candle holder or sand art container. Or it could be used to practice extreme juggling (stuff bottles with oily rags and light on fire, or break off the bottom of the bottle by hitting it on the side of a table) or ring toss.

The Matsu (Japanese for ‘to wait’) Winery practices sustainable viticulture in Toro, Spain. This collection of Matsu wine is represented by images of three generations whose personalities reflect each of the different wines: ‘El Pícaro’ (The Rogue), ‘El Recio’ (The Tough) and ‘El Viejo’ (The Old). It’s one of those great ideas that surprises me I haven’t seen before, but I particularly enjoyed seeing how strong the concept is when displayed as a series — they stood out from across the room. I’ll have to write a follow up post about whether or not the wines taste as good as they look.

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WordCamp finally comes to St. Louis

St. Louis’ first WordCamp will take place Saturday, August 6 at Maryville University. WordCamp is a community-organized conference for WordPress users, publishers, developers and designers. This will be Anda’s third WordCamp (we also attended WordCamp NY 2010 and WordCamp KC 2011). It is a great opportunity to meet other WordPress users, share ideas, geek out, and if it’s anything like the other two camps, we’ll eat sandwiches.

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Hackney City Farm in London

My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to Hackney City Farm during a recent trip to London to visit family. Located in the southeast corner of Haggerston Park, the farm makes for a nice respite within the lively Shoreditch neighbourhood of London. It’s a backdrop I recognised from many photographs of my young nephew, so it was nice to see the farm in person. The Farm’s Frizzante Cafe was the purpose of our visit. Its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine uses fresh, seasonal, and locally-produced ingredients. We enjoyed everything on the menu. And I mean everything, as in one of each: Grilled oyster mushrooms with truffle olive oil, prosciutto di Parma with donut variety peaches and watercress, house made tagliolini pasta with red snapper, rib of beef with rosemary potatoes, eggplant parmigiana with garden salad, and Eton mess (a traditional English pudding, er, dessert).

We walked off a very small portion of dinner on our way home, along Columbia Rd. It’s a very nice contrast.

www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk

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Campfire Stories: WordCamp KC 2011

Miranda’s Campfire Story:
Years ago, I remember going with my mom and dad to drop off my older brother at Boy Scout Camp. He was there to learn how to make s’mores, swim, and camp in log cabins. I also remember going with my mom and dad to drop off my younger sister at horse-riding camp. She was there to, well, ride horses.

Now ask my brother and sister if they remember dropping me off at camp. The answer would be a resounding “No.” That’s because for one reason or another, I was never allowed to go. That is, I never went to camp until this weekend when Anda Creative attended WordCamp KC. Granted, there were no horses, no cabins, we couldn’t set any of the catered food on fire, and we were surrounded by fellow geeks within the walls of a slick, new modern art facility rather than a cabin. Other than that, it was just like camp.

Amanda’s Campfire Story:
When I was 11 my parents sent my sister and me to a 2 week camp in Potosi, MO (if the town sounds familiar to anyone that is
because the state prison is also in Potosi). After being at camp for like an hour I wanted to go. It was hot, dirty and I was not really great at making friends so I didn’t have anyone to hang out with. One hour turned into one week of misery. I was getting used to hating my days, though, so I told myself I could just go through the motions for one more week and it would be over. And then we went to Elephant Rock. It was supposed to be this grand field trip where we could not only vast in the greatness that is Elephant Rock, but also swim. Well, I still had no friends so I decided to hike around the area and do my own thing. And that is how I got a leach attached to my ankle. Yes, a #$%@#*% leach. Up until that point I thought that you had to be in a Third World Country (or that swamp in “Stand By Me”) to get a leach attached to you. Nope. Elephant Rock would do just fine. I still cringe to this day when I think about it. So I pulled the leach off, gagged a few times, went to the van to wait until it was time to go, got through the next week and have tried to think very little about camp ever since.

WordCamp KC was fun, though.


Anda Creative’s Campfire Story:

WordCamp KC was held in Overland Park, KS over the weekend. WordCamp is a WordPress conference that’s held in various cities around the world. This was Miranda’s first WordCamp experience, while it was Amanda’s second (Amanda also attended WordCamp NYC 2010). We attended the event to learn more about using WordPress as a CMS platform for designing and developing websites. We attended sessions from all three tracks (Designer, Developer, and Publisher)–Miranda focused on the Designer track, while Amanda focused on the Developer track, but all three were useful.

The folks in KC put together a great event. It was well-organized and well-attended, and we left feeling well-informed. Next, we’re looking forward to attending WordCamp Elephant Rock.

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Pestolicious

If you haven’t planted your herb garden yet, it’s time to get started. The first step is to decide what type of herbs to plant. Since this post is about pesto, I would suggest one of your herb choices to be basil so you can make basil pesto using the recipe below. You’re free to choose other herbs, but if one of your choices is not basil, your basil-free basil pesto is going to look a little less green and taste a little less good.

Lucky for you we’re giving basil away–just the basil, you’ll have to make your own pesto. But don’t worry, it’s so easy even Amanda could make it. I don’t think she has, but that’s probably because she’s been busy designing websites. Or maybe it’s because she just doesn’t want to.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Copyright 2003 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved. Food Network recipe page.

Now what? You can add pesto to your favorite pasta, sandwich, pizza, cracker, etc., then lift food to your mouth, chew, swallow, enjoy, repeat. And although this has not been clinically proven to do anything, pesto can be used as a face mask, but it should be noted that this method has been known to cause acne and squirrel attacks.

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One small step for man, one giant leap for Anda-kind

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Last year Anda Creative teamed up with Los Angeles-based footwear company Dynasty Footwear, Ltd. to create a brand identity system for a new shoe called PEX. The synthetic EVA material used for the shoes creates a durable yet comfortable product, while the holes provide extra ventilation (less stink) and style (more cool).

Anda created a logo inspired by the shoe’s unique ventilation holes. The logo can be used in its entirety as well as a product-crossing, stand-alone P. In addition to the identity system, we also created presentation graphics, a brand/usage book, store displays, shoe boxes, and product hang-tags.

Now, after several months of design and production, PEX have hit the shelves and are ready to hit the streets on your feets. Find PEX in area shoe stores or purchase online: Bealls

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“Here’s my card. My six cards.”

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Anda Creative updated its brand with a new logo and series of logo treatments late last fall. The first project to implement our new look was a set of business cards. Besides being able to find the cards on our parents’ refrigerators, they’re also featured on a handful of business card design websites.  Check it out:

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Happy Gumdrop Day!

Mark your calendars! February 15 is not just the day after Valentine’s day, nor is it just the day Anda Creative is filing its taxes. It’s National Gumdrop Day. Many of you may have received an announcement in the mail, but if not, don’t worry. It simply means you’re not on our mailing list. Send us your contact information so you don’t miss out on big events such as National Gumdrop Day (and if you hurry, we can mail you a GD Day card to help celebrate…and make your own GD’s). All the cool kids are doing it!


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SSAWG 2011 (Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group)

Back Forty Creative is back in St. Louis after a trip to Chattanooga, TN for the 2011 SSAWG conference. Despite traveling with a snow and ice storm from St. Louis to Nashville, the conference went very well.

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