Where to Carb Up for the Boston Marathon

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where to eat pasta in boston
Boston’s North End is known for it’s Italian food, but there are more places in the city to down a plate of amazing pasta. Here are my 3 favorite places to eat pasta in Boston that are not in the North End.

sportello boston
For 5 years our studio was across the street from Barbara Lynch’s Sportello, it is one of my favorite places to indulge in carbs in Boston. The space is cozy with lots of light, has an open kitchen and a very knowledgeable staff. If you are staying in the Seaport District make a reservation here. My favorite pasta dish in Boston is their Strozzapreti and don’t leave without getting the Coconut Cake. Sportello is a 10 minute walk from South Station or park in one of the pay lots on Congress Street, (or maybe you’ll get lucky and snag a meter).
cinquecento boston
Two years ago I spent a few weeks in Italy basically just eating, and I’ve reliving my meals at the South End’s Cinquecento ever since. Towers of Campari decorate a dimly lit, expansive dining room. The wait staff is gracious and the bartendars genrous. The grilled octopus starter is delicious as is all their pastas. However, the simple recipe of House Made Pancetta + Pecorino + Black Pepper = an unreal Carbonara. Don’t skip it because you think you can make this one at home. Also, they do Negroni flights, which is reason enough to eat here. They have a free parking lot and are walkable from both the Back Bay or Broadway MBTA stops.

basta pasts boston
If you are staying in Cambridge and looking for an affordable pasta dinner check out Basta Pasta. They are on Western Ave in between Central Square and the Charles River. The portions are generous and for a few extra dollars you can get their home-made fusilli. It is an easy walk from the Central Square train station or look for on street parking. boston marathon runner gift


New Orleans Neighborhood Map Print

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New Orleans City Map PrintNew Orleans is one of our top requested map prints to do. With Mardi Gras upon us we were happy to make it happen! Each of the New Orleans’ neighborhoods is filled with one of my bold patterns. We’ve included the year that New Orleans was founded by the French Mississippi Company as well as the longitude and latitude for the city.

It was such fun researching out New Orleans ABC’s and our Food From N’Awlins posts. I learned a lot about this that I’ve always imagined to be so vibrant and soulful.

Another print we just released was the New Orleans Marathon Print, personalized for runners! We did our marathon pattern in traditional Mardi Gras colors. You can personalize the runner’s name, their time as well as their bib number. It’s such a great gift for a runner who has put so much hard work into training for their race.

New Orleans Marathon PrintBoth map prints are available online at jhilldesign.com and come in 3 sizes starting at $12.




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what to eat in new orleans
What we’d eat if we were in the heat of New Orleans for Mari Gras instead of 7 ft of snow in Boston. Coffee from Cafe de Monde / Crawfish / Po-boy / Sazerac / Beignets / King Cake / Muffaletta / Doberge Cake

new orleans map print


the abc’s of new orleans

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ABCs of New Orleans the abcs of new orleans the abcs of new orleans the abcs of new orleans the abcs of new orleans the abcs of new orleans

new orleans map print



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Abby Broad City Naked Singing

Nothing delights me more than seeing Abbi from Comedy Central’s Broad City dancing around naked, singing Lady Gaga in front of my Queens Map Print.

Queens Map Poster Broad City


Gallery Wall of the Week

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Gallery wall styled by Dina Broadhurst and shot by Felix Forest via Design Chaser


Tropical Palm Print Inspiration

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Last month we went to Rincon, Puerto Rico for a few days for a family wedding. The house we stayed in was set in the hills, and in its backyard was a big pool surround by giant palms and banana trees. I spent most of my time swimming in that pool and staring up at those giant leaves. Total pattern inspiration, I’ve been excited to gather more inspiration and start sketching. See all photo links here.



Gallery Wall of the Week

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Gallery Wall by Jenny GrimsgardLove all this black and grayness. by Jenny Grimsgard via Desire to Inspire.


Marbled iPhone Cases

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marbled iphone cases

Hello Darlings.

marbled iphone cases

Holi Marbled iPhone Case

marbled iphone case

Luna iPhone Case

marbled iphone cases

Sierra Nevada and Versailles iPhone Case

marbled iphone case

Versailles iPhone Case, aka everybody’s favorite.

I am so proud of my new collection of prints… you’d think they were my second child. We just made phone cases with a few of them and they. are. rad. Available for the iPhone 5-6 and Samsung Galaxy. We can do other phones too, just send us your desires and we will let you know if they are possible.


Joan Didion’s packing list

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I have reread Joan Didion’s “The White Album” more times than I can count.  Included in that book is her packing list (below). I would love to see an entire book of just the packing lists of interesting, famous people. Though this was written in an era of travel that seems more romantic than the one that we have now. Can you imagine going through security with a typewriter? My version of the packing list is above (credit below), I think Joan and I would travel well together.

To Pack and Wear:
2 skirts
2 jerseys or leotards
1 pullover sweater
2 pair shoes
nightgown, robe slippers
bag with: shampoo, toothbrush and paste, Basis soap, razor, deodorant, aspirin, prescriptions, Tampax, face cream, powder, baby oil

To Carry:
mohair throw
2 legal pads and pens
house key

This is a list which was taped inside my closet door in Hollywood during those years when I was reporting more or less steadily. The list enabled me to pack, without thinking, for any piece I was likely to do. Notice the deliberate anonymity of costume: in a skirt, a leotard, and stockings, I could pass on either side of the culture. Notice the mohair throw for trunk-line flights (i.e. no blankets) and for the motel room in which the air conditioning could not be turned off. Notice the bourbon for the same motel room. Notice the typewriter for the airport, coming home: the idea was to turn in the Hertz car, check in, find an empty bench, and start typing the day’s notes.

—Joan Didion, The White Album

packing list credits: cashmere pullover sweater / vintage typewriter / oversized sunglasses / clarks spy belle booties / bourbon / legal pads / mohair throw / oscar de la renta caftan / fsny ballet flats


Gallery Wall of the Week

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Selina Lake Gallery WallWe did something similar behind our bed using those white Ikea frame shelves. Love the accents of pink and blue. Selina Lake via Heart Home.


2015 is looking beautiful

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2015-calendar-blast-2_01 2015-calendar-blast-2_02
2015-calendar-blast-2_08 2015-calendar-blast-2_03Our 2015 Wall Calendar is 11″ x 17″, printed single sided – you can cut and frame the prints and have a whole new gallery wall for 2016.
2015-calendar-blast-2_04Patterns were inspired by elements from places around the world. Created by digitally collaging my hand-marbled stamped and painted papers. (Those circles below were made with yukon gold potatoes!)

2015-calendar-blast-2_05 2015-calendar-blast-2_06

Our 2015 Desk Calendar comes in a little plastic case that doubles as a calendar stand. $12


Versailles Pattern // Marble Trend

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Home Decor Marble Trend The Versailles Pattern was inspired by the Queen’s Staircase from… Versailles. I’m seeing more marble in home decor and fashion, and I l-o-v-e it. A few chic items for your perusal.

1/ Vase by Rimma Tchilingarinan   2/ Marbled Silk Shirt by Balenciaga  3/ DIY Marbled Bowls by Elisha Blaha Cripe   4/ Marbled Tote Bag by  Fly Like A Butterfly  5/ Versailles Pattern in 2015 Wall Calendar by JHill Design  6/ Marbled Dinnerware by Martha Sturdy  7/ Marbled Scarf by Scout + Catalogue  8/ Hanging Pot by The Tiny Squirrel 9/ Notebook by Julia Kostreva

The Versailles Pattern was made by hand-marbiling paper, a technique I started teaching myself this summer. The papers were then scanned and I played with the colors in Photoshop. I drew the “q-berty” pattern in Illustrator and then digitally collaged it with the altered marbled papers. I’m excited about this pattern, it is a 360 from the bold, vector patterns I have done in the past. Very refreshing.

My Versaille Pattern Print with my AH-MAZING lamp by Lawrence McRae

My Versaille Pattern Print with my AH-MAZING lamp by Lawrence McRae

My Versailles Pattern with his friend Sierra Nevada.

My Versailles Pattern with his friend Sierra Nevada.

2015 Calendar with a gold splattered Liz Caan for Jill Rosenwald tray. And a rose... that I grew (you may not know how amazing this is - but it is very amazing).

2015 Calendar with a gold splattered Liz Caan for Jill Rosenwald tray. And a rose… that I grew (you may not know how amazing this is – but it is very amazing).

JHill Versailles Marble iPhone Case

JHill Versailles Marble iPhone Case



Featured Customer: Michelle

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Meet our first featured personalized print customer Michelle! Here is Michelle is on the left with a couple, Jinnefer and Aaron, who received Michelle’s personalized city print as a wedding gift, along with her husband Ray.

In Michelle’s own words:

I first came across JHill Design on a blog back in 2010.  I loved her “Places I’ve Never Been” series, and was immediately drawn to her Bangkok print because I had studied abroad there, and then lived there for a year after college.  While poking around the website, I noticed the “Personalize” section with examples using different city patterns to memorialize engagements, weddings, births, etc., and I thought that one of these pieces would make such a nice wedding gift!  I love to give personal gifts when I can, especially to commemorate special occasions like weddings.  I gave my first print to a couple in 2010, and since then I would say my now husband and I have given at least 10 prints as wedding gifts.  I love choosing a pattern based on where the wedding is being held, the wedding colors, or something that is special and meaningful to the couple.  And then I try to personalize the text to match the couple as well.  The husband-to-be of one couple even said that the thing he was most excited for about his wedding (besides marrying his fiancé of course) was getting a print from me and my husband!  He couldn’t wait to see what we picked out for them.  This same couple had all their belongings in storage for a few months while house hunting, and their JHill print was the only piece of art they brought to hang in their temporary house.

I continue to give JHill prints as wedding gifts (three weddings this year!) and hope to be able to continue the tradition as our friends start to have babies, anniversaries, and special trips.  It’s so fun for me to choose something personal for the recipients, which is easy thanks to the variety of prints Jennifer has created.  And I know our friends appreciate the time and thought that went into choosing something unique just for them that no one else will have.  Then each time they look at it, they can remember the special day and the celebration with all their loved ones.  The only downside is that no one has given one to me and my husband!  Maybe I’ll get him one as an anniversary gift one year. :o)

Thank you!



Boston Marathon Art Print

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boston marathon art poster
Our studio is just a couple miles from the Boston Marathon finish line, it’s one of the things I look forward to every year. Especially this year when there will be more fans cheering on the runners than ever, (this year I’d hug every single runner if I could).

personalized boston marathon art print

We have been asked for a few years to add a Boston Marathon Map Print to our Boston Sports Map collection, and we are finally doing it. The cool thing is that we are personalizing our Boston Marathon Map Print for the runners. For the month of April we are offering free personalization on the Boston Marathon Map Print to runners (and those who want to give them a gift) with the code “RUN2014″.

personalized marathon prints

The idea came after my friend Holly had us do a series of Personalized Map Prints for her Marathon-running sister-in-law. It was really fun to do and the story the prints tell of travel and athleticism is really inspiring. We loved making the above prints for Tenely, here is a little about her running life:

“I’m Tenley Ludewig, 39, and I’ve been running since I started track in middle school.  I ran my first marathon at 28 when I learned a number of my friends had run them and I wanted to see if I could do one as well.  My first was the Marine Corps Marathon in my hometown of DC and it was memorable not only because it was my first but because my family all came out to cheer me on.  In the last five years, I have trained with Capital Area Runners, a group with a very established coach.  I have completed three more marathons during this time.  I hate training in the winter, so I have not raced Boston yet, but I will one day when I get a thick skin.  I enjoyed the last six miles of Boston helping my friend come in back in 2012 and that was exhilarating.”

gifts for runners

My favorite thing about this photo is that you can see Tenely’s running shoes.


For the month of April we are offering free personalization on the Boston Marathon Map Print to runners (and those who want to give them a gift) with the code “RUN2014″. There is also a unpersonalized version of the Map for those who love the Marathon as much as I do to add to their collection.

boston marathon poster for runners