Pantone’s Top 10 Colors for Spring 2017


I used to get really excited for specific holidays due to seasonal candy, but since the whole no sugar edict, I no longer have that. Which is particularly tough in the grocery store right now btw. What I do have is when Pantone announces it’s colors. Be it for a season or for the year, I get equally excited! Leading up to when I suspect they’ll announce I’m googling daily to see if it happened. They usually announce Spring right after the fall NY Fashion week, so I have been patiently waiting, well not so patiently but whatev. But I have to wait no more as they’re here!! As a close match to Pink Yarrow used to be what I used for Manic Trout, my eye instantly went to that one first, but I really like the mix over all. They are almost dead ringers for the grouping of colors that are my favs in general and that is pretty awesome. I look forward to seeing these colors take center stage next spring in design and now am even more excited to find out what the color of 2017 will be!

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Deep thoughts about the color pink


There’s always a lot of talk about pink in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. To wear or not to wear comes up first and then bigger questions arise about the color in general. But really you may wonder, isn’t it just a color? Apparently not.

1. All pinks are not created equal. As Samantha in SATC once explained, hot pink is sexy, baby pink is not. Really, the name itself should be a tip off on that one.

2. I kid you not, while I was typing #1, an email from Pantone landed in my inbox with this subject: “New Color Intelligence Article: Pink – Tempering Passion with Purity”. This has become an oddly big topic.

3. I was not into pink until my 20’s and then I went a bit crazy for it…Manic Trout used to have a hot pink logo and my closet was filled with pink frocks in multiple hues. I realized a few weeks ago that I seem to evolved to red and most of the pink is now gone. Is this a normal progression with age and career growth? I read a quote recently that I loved that makes me think it does. Said by a female CFO: “I had to earn the right to wear red.”

4. One of my role models, Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, invented shocking pink in 1931, by mixing a little white with magenta. This was a new and more assertive pink and it became her signature color. Currently one of the best selling (and my favorite) lipsticks from Nars is named after her as well, Schiap.

5. Scientifically, the color pink does not exist. “Violet (at one end of the visible spectrum), is the fastest, while red (at the other end) takes its sweet time. The other colors in the spectrum, moving at their particular frequencies, are indigo, blue, green, yellow and orange. The color pink, not a part of this spectrum, does not have a particular frequency.”

6. Diana Vreeland once famously said that “pink is the navy blue of India.” This quote has stuck in my head so permanently that every time any one talks about the country, I utter it.

7. There is a plethora of articles written about if it’s ok to wear pink to work. The consensus seems to be that the more corporate your office, the less pink you should wear. And if you do work in a creative environment, keep the pink to an accent, never ever go head to toe. Also avoid doing that with yellow and orange btw, just in case you thought all the hate was for pink.

8. BUT…Pink is one of the adult world’s most hated colors. That is sad.

9. After one eats beets, their pee often turns pink. It scares me to death every time it happens until I remember what I ate and then I just enjoy having bright pink pee for a day.

10. Gender specific colors did not arise until the early 20th century. Interestingly, when it did just before the 1920’s, many guides deemed pink for boys and blue for girls. “The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” For some reason, in the 1940’s this all changed when clothing manufacturers began producing pink clothes for girls and blue for boys. This somehow stuck and gained considerable momentum and popularity over time until the 1960’s and 1970’s when the women’s lib movement brought a push for gender neutral clothes.

Lastly, if all this talk about pink made you want to instantly adorn yourself in pink jewelry, I can help you with that.

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Dress codes for grown ups

A peek at a few of my dresses and skirts...I apparently enjoy patterns and non white clothes.
A peek at a few of my dresses and skirts…I apparently enjoy patterns and non white clothes.

Twice in the last few weeks I have been given a dress code for an event. This had made me realize 2 things. 1. that I hate being told what to wear and 2. that oddly, I have very few pieces of clothing that adhere to color codes. I was pretty surprised that I really didn’t have anything that was a fit either event. I fudged the first, but the second, as you’ll see is worth dress shopping for.

The first was for a white party. It was downtown on a Thursday night and not that much of a big deal, so after freaking out about it for three days, I ended up wearing a white-ish tshirt and yellow skirt. I say white-ish because a very annoying side effect of Texas summers is that there is no cold water. Which means that there is no option and all of your laundry is done in warm. I’m really into separating my clothes by color so this is normally no big deal, however, our dryer likes to wrinkle my white t shirts as they are such a tiny load. So a few weeks ago I threw Adams grey sweatpants in with whites to bulk it up and forgot there was a red band around the ankle. Even though these pants are over a year old, that one little band still turned all of my whites the lightest pink. As Rachel from friends said best, all of my whites look like jammies now.

The second event is a TV appearance, which incidentally is one of the things I was referencing yesterday, and I can now at least tell you about it. This Friday, I will appearing on a local show, Studio512 on kxan. I was asked to come on the show and share my jewelry with the viewers as the host is a major Manic Trout fan, yay! It will also be on the website, so I’ll be able to share it, but anyway…I need to wear something solid in color and not white. Which, rules out skirts as I always wear them with white (and I prefer dresses anyway). Most of my solid colored dresses are cocktail dresses and as this is Austin, would look ridiculous. I do have a green strapless day dress, but I have over worn it, including in my current headshot, so that is my “in case of desperate emergency” back up. In the meantime, I am off to shop. Thank goodness for the online versions of stores as I had to rule out Anthro right off the bat as there doesn’t seem to be a solid dress in its stock. I already popped into my favorite local boutique, Maya Star, but they seemed to have changed their direction and I hated everything in there. Next up is Nordstrom, which from looking online, seems like my best bet and Neimans tomorrow if need be.

Wish me luck!


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How do you take your fro-yo?

Mike & Ikes (pink ones!), mini gummi bears and nerds.
Mike & Ikes (pink ones!), mini gummi bears, nerds, blueberries and boba over mango and pomegranate sorbets

Frozen yogurt places that let you pile on your own topping are one of my favorite places on earth. For obvious reasons…mainly how they make it completely acceptable to consume massive amount of sugar for no good reason. Due to my lactose issues, I have to make sure they’re the good kind of fro-yo place, the ones who have one or two dairy free options, which thankfully most do. When we moved to our current house my secret favorite thing about it was that it was less than a mile away from my fav place to go in Austin, Tutti Frutti. Adam and I actually found time to have fro-yo dates once a week last summer because of that, and then one day it was gone. I may have wept a little on the inside that day.

Nerds over mango and strawberry sorbet
Nerds, strawberries and boba over mango and strawberry sorbet

We tried a few other places around the city, but they were never the same. There is one place that’s almost great, but they never have sour gummi worms, so I refuse to go there often on principal. While on this journey we did discover that there are dairy and vegan ice cream options in abundance in Austin, and we enjoy those occasionally, but alas…no toppings so we don’t go often. And then one day while I was dropping off a package at a UPS by my house I parked in front of Yo Way. Its basically the same layout as Tutti Frutti and the options are even better, there are NERDS! Nerds and sorbet are a very unexpected match made in heaven. As its August and often 105 degrees out, Adam and I have resumed our weekly fro-yo dates…Monday nights you can usually find us in a sugar coma as a result.

The day I found the dividers!!
The day I found the dividers!! On the left: mango and the right: strawberry. Boba, berries and gummi bears on top

I am a pure sugar fro-yo person. I use sorbet as my base and pile on boba, fresh berries and candy of the fruit flavor and pure sugar variety. Sometimes I mix up the candy or fruit selections, but if I stay too far from this palette, I’m always disappointed. Adam goes for cereal, cake, cookies or fruit. We never even consider sharing for this reason, even with the cool dividers. So how do you take your fro-yo?


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Candy kabobs

Candy Kabob

What’s the worst thing you can offer a candy addict in recovery? That would be the chance to create a colorful, pinterest worthy, party enhancing candy kabobs! Once a month a group of my girlfriends gather at my house and last month, we met up a few days before my birthday. Renee, bless her heart, knows all to well that I only allow myself candy a few times a year on the candy high holidays (easter, halloween, christmas, valentines day and my birthday) and asked if it was ok to break the rules and have candy a few days early. When she told me why, I almost fell over in excited anticipation…I have been dreaming of making candy kabobs since I first saw them on pinterest. Not only are they awesome, but they are made up of my all time favorite, gummy candy!! I don’t know how she did it, (girlfriend must pay attention!) but she brought four of my top favs and I added those sour flag looking type things that were in the emergency candy jar (yeah, yeah, yeah). We giggled, we ate too much candy, we got sour gummy sugar everywhere…it was so much fun!

Candy Kabob Station

I highly recommend that you try this for dessert at your next young at heart gathering. All you need are a few bags of gummy candy (or anything colorful that you can skewer) and wooden skewers. Pretty plate and tiny vase for the skewers is completely optional, although highly recommended because, look how pretty! We girls are gathering again tonight and I get to gummy it up in early celebration of easter (woo hoo!). Its a looooong stretch of no candy eating from easter to halloween!


In case you’re wondering what my top 5 favorite gummy candies are…

  1. Sour Gummy Worms (Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers are the best)
  2. Sour Gummy Octupus ( Trolli Sour Brite Octopus are the best)
  3. Gummy Peach Rings (they all taste the same)
  4. Twin Cherries (Haribo are the best)
  5. Gummy Frogs (Haribo is the best)

p.s. to see what I skewer tonight in real time, stay tuned on instagram!


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For the love of color

rainbow of sharpies

Do you have a favorite color? Every time I try and select just one, I end up saying at least 4 really rushed…fuchsia, orange, grass green, lapis blue. Then a few more spill out in the next few seconds…oh wait, yellow, and eek, I forgot turquoise! Yeah, that happens every time. I especially love bright, saturated hues…and in abundance. I wear them, sometimes all at once, Punky Brewster style, they are sprinkled around my home and of course, I create jewelry filled with them. If you’ve every been in my studio, its incredibly obvious how much I love bright color with my red desk, turquoise chair, yellow walls and images and materials in all of the colors of the rainbow filling the room. If you’ve been to my pinterest page, you’ll see color all over the place there as well. My favorite board is all about color, and I constantly find myself considering breaking it up into separate colors. But then I go through it and remember that as I tend to pin images that have more than one color in them this makes no sense at all. I realize that pins are like my choosing a favorite color, they also can’t seem to commit to just one. Like the awesome photo of sharpies above. So it stays as it is, a cool infused explosion. The plus side is that every time I scroll though it, I’m instantly in a better mood. Color is pretty awesome that way!

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An hour of procrastination provides countless happy meals

Napkins to iron
When the iron is already out, you might as well iron all of the things

A week or so ago I was experiencing the need to organize and clean trifecta of pms, a few looming deadlines and nervousness regarding a job interview Adam was on.  I cleaned the bathrooms, threw in a load of laundry, fluffed the living room pillows and looked around for what else I could do to relieve nervous energy. That’s when I spied the iron still set up from Adam’s pre interview preening. While cleaning the bathroom, I remembered that the hand towels I put away over the holidays (because I have holiday towels…when did I become that person??) had not been ironed, so this was the perfect chance to zoom over them.

My favorite stack of napkins, all ready to go
My favorite stack of napkins, crisp, clean and ready to go

Then I decided that while I was at it, I should see what the linen cupboard was looking like as it had been ages since I ironed napkins. Well, let me tell you…an hour later and I had ironed all of the napkins in the cupboard. At first you may think that this was a silly wast of time, but for the next few months, every time I sit down at the table with Adam and our friends we each will have a pretty and perfectly ironed napkin at our place. One of the little delights in life that you never realize how great it is until you see it. Such a vast improvement from the wrinkly mess they were before! I’ve have been collecting the stack above for ages from Pomegranate and I love their bright colors and fun patterns.  I mix and match them when I set the table for a wonderfully whimsical look!


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Pages from the sketchbooks

sketchbook pages

Most of my sketchbooks are filled with inspiring images more than actual sketches. They are where I turn when I need a burst of inspiration to get me in the mood. At this point I have quite the stack of books accumulated but find myself flipping through them a bit less and filling them at an even slower rate thanks to pinterest. Not that I’m complaining, I’m basically in love with it…I know I gush a lot about pinterest, but man…they hit the nail on the head with that one. The only down side is that I tend to organize pinterest more than I do the books and so the books end up being a series of collages that in itself are inspiring and nothing can replace that.

sketchbook pages

I’ve been dragging my feet on getting the Spring 2014 Collection finished up so I thought a good dose of page flipping was in order…as suspected, it did the trick. These were the pages that tickled my fancy the most today.  I’m all ready to sit down and get my design on!!

sketchbook pages

Can’t wait to see what comes of it!

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Making the left side of your brain shake hands with the right

Sorting vintage buttons by color
Sorting vintage buttons by color

For the past few weeks, I have been having the opposite of a creative block. Business block…perhaps just burn out in general? I usually paint when this happens (the main reason I was a painting minor in college was to provide sweet relief from all of the 3d animation work) and within a few hours, I’m back to my usual self. However, when the pod was being packed two years ago to make the move from NY to TX, a few things did not fit and have been chilling at moms house in NY. Among those things is my beloved easel. I could buy a new one, but I’m very attached to the one I have, it’s held all of the paintings I’ve done since I was 19 and its pretty boss. So I’ve been on a painting hiatus since then.

Next was sorting by color "themes"
Next was sorting by color families

I do realize that I am a designer, and create things for a living, but being on a design schedule is great in almost every way except the one downside being that the spontaneity of creative is often missing. In art school, it was stressed over and over that if you have a creative job, you do not get the luxury of creating when creativity “struck”. If it’s your job, you get up and do it every day, no matter how you “feel” about creating that day. Most of the work I do in running Manic Trout is actually not creative at all, but when I’m designing a new collection, I’m on a schedule and just sit down and do it. The rest of the time, I’m producing pieces I have already deigned…not much creativity going on at that point.

The first necklace was all with silver buttons...I was warming up for the colors
The first necklace was all with silver buttons…I was warming up for the colors

The other day, I hit the breaking point. I considered clearing out part of the garage and painting flat and on a smaller scale (ick), but I just couldn’t do it. It would be like drinking orange juice when you’re expecting milk…just wrong. I kept finding myself looking at my materials shelves specifically at a few boxes of vintage buttons. I was gazing really, I would even call it longing. So finally the other night when I felt like I was going to start twitching and yelling at the whole world to fu*@ off, I brought them over to my jewelry desk. I played around, sorted them in bowls, brought out vintage beads to sort along with them and decided that this years one of a kind collection was about to happen.

A bowl of pinks
A bowl of pinks

The more, shall we kindly say, commercial my work as a designer has become, the more I want to make sure that I do not abandon the aesthetic of the color infused and highly whimsical pieces that are dear to my heart. I accomplish this by once a year, creating a collection of one of a kind statement pieces where I let myself go a bit crazy with each one. And crazy I went! I’m about half way done and already feeling recharged on the business front from letting my creativeness take over for a few days.

manic trout studio
chaos always happens in the studio when I’m deep in design mode

It’s pretty obvious when you see the result of this flurry of designing, but what I miss the most about painting is working with color. I tend to paint in color families and push the materials to their boundaries, often using them in non traditional ways. These necklaces do exactly that. I have amassed as many vintage buttons as I can possibly fit onto each necklace. Working with the sizes, textures and colors to creates a relationship between that are both beautiful and outside of the norm regarding both necklaces and buttons.

Green button all lined up
Pretty green beads and buttons all in a row

Perhaps it’s actually a good thing that my easel is stuck in NY and I don’t have my normal outlet for unleashed creativity, perhaps it’s pushed me as a designer further then I would otherwise have allowed myself to go? I have been loving working on these necklaces as just like when I paint, I can’t wait to see what it looks like at the end. The unexpected result of jewelry design standing in for painting is that more than anything else I’ve designed in a few years, these feel like wearable art works.

They look like candy!
They look like candy! Nerd Rope on steroids.

There has been so much inspiration, planning, reflecting and in general excitement going on as I created this collection…this is a normal off set of a creative burst, the brain becomes supercharged with thoughts (and why its so recharging!). Amazing what a good dose of color and art can do for a girl!

Available Holiday '13 from Manic Trout
Available Holiday ’13 from Manic Trout

Keep an eye for this entire collection of one of a kind necklaces late October 2013 from

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