In Praise of Spill Studio

4 cups

Ta-da! Pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for a minute.  I have some things to say.

Today is my birthday and the inauguration of this stunning banner designed by my sister, Naomi Cox, of Spill Studio. This #@*&ing great illustration is hers, too.  Our family really tries not to abuse her illustration and designing skills, so we plot and plan about what to ask for on birthdays or Christmas.  Since we were little (and she was making her own fashion catalogs) we've been calling on her style and artistry for recipe cards, poetry booklets, menus, Christmas cards, business cards, birth announcements.  So this banner is my birthday gift, and I've been dying to unveil it.

Naomi is a meticulous and incredibly creative designer.  To make this banner, she scanned in patterns from my treasured apron, a motif from my favorite bowl, and recipe cards that I've given her over the years.  She wanted it to have a feeling of energy, improvisation, movement, and simple pleasures (clearly she's observed me in the kitchen for many years!).  So it's beautiful and packed with meaning and personality.  There's the product, but the feeling of being known is even more priceless.  I know Naomi is this way with all her clients (even if they don't happen be her sister).  That's what make her such a good designer.

About recipe cards--seems like I hardly write, receive, or exchange them anymore.  That used to be one of the ways women shared with one another.  But here's the thing--women all over the place--indeed, all over the world--are exchanging tips and resources.  We may not be writing on recipe cards, but we're building websites for each other, passing out business cards, commenting on one another's blogs, giving money, watching each other's kids, forming non-profits and collectives of all sorts, and meeting on playgrounds or in board rooms in powerful ways.  I can't believe the amount of connection that has happened just because of this one blog.  I'm proud and in awe of it.  I'm starting to figure out that community is the "what-for" in everything I do, including this blog.  Creating the newest recipe or taking a perfect photo doesn't float my boat--if those things help you tune in and connect with one another or think about your work in the world in new ways, that's what floats my boat.

Naomi launches her new website today, and, as a little birthday shout-out for me, I would love for you to visit. Leave a comment on her blog, send an email praising this banner, or refer a friend who needs to get the word out about something they're doing.  And take a minute to remember all the women who make your life meaningful and rich. On my 35th birthday, I'm humbled to be surrounded by such loving (and ass-kicking women).  The world needs us, and we're ready.

P.S. It's with a twinge of sadness that I retire my old banner, which was Wyatt's sweet handwriting spelling "Food Blog." 

P.S.S. I could just as well have devoted this posting to Priya, who has been up in the wee hours making all the other design changes.  See what I mean about amazing women?