Secret Message: Morse Code Design

I had a little inspiration for a new design project that incorporated my love for typography, but using it in an unconventional form. I came up with a visual morse code design that you could express an inside joke to yourself or to someone else. Each letter is represented by the dot or dash combination to create the word. Now those who know morse code could potentially read it, but wouldn't necessarily think of it in visual form at first, hence the secrecy of it all. 

When the words are repeated, it creates an amazing visual melody, great for a pattern with a hidden message. Check out my initial offerings below, in the form of "Love" and "Savage" (in the urban dictionary sense). They are available in a singular, minimalist word version and in a repetitive pattern on all sorts of art prints, apparel and homeware items in my Society6 shop.

Five Holiday Gifts Under $50: Artsy Fartsy Edition

Here is another round-up of holiday gift ideas under US$50.00 - this time it’s for the artsy people in your lives. Whether they are creators themselves or appreciate a great artist, I think it would please them greatly to receive something on this list and all without breaking the bank.

First up, something I think that your artsy compadre would like are these graphic printed, art socks. It would be a great way to express their favorite artist while adding a little uniqueness to their wardrobe.

When I traveled to Japan earlier this year, I discovered colored brush pens that seem to be all the rage this year. How perfect - the ability to simulate painting without all the mess, while being portable so you can “paint” on the go. These particular ones have a watercolor effect to them.

Now that they have a set of pens, they need something to draw on, enter this mini pocket sized sketchbook. Great for any artist to keep with them at all times and whip out when inspiration hits. What’s even better is it’s under $10.00!!!

I first spotted this next idea in a museum gift shop and it tickled my pun loving heart, the Dali Llama Mug. It actually made me chuckle aloud and I appreciated it even more that it linked to one of my favorite artists and animals.

To take your creative connoisseur to the next level, get them a drawing tablet - it’s a game changer for any artist. Ever since getting one, creating digital art has become so much easier as it mimics the freedom of drawing with a pen. This one is a rare find for being comparable to the makers of the professional tablets and it’s under $50!

Bonus: A shameless plug, but a chance to get something that’s not mass produced at a big box store is shopping one of the many home decor and household items with Society6. You can find anything from wall art to shower curtains and you’ll be supporting a great community of artists.

Here is one of my most popular items available in my shop and something that every artist needs to hear every so often, when you’re putting your vulnerability out for the world to see.

Creativity Takes Courage Print by Megan Matsuoka - $15.00

[Disclaimer: Megan Matsuoka is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to All opinions and selected items are my own choosing.]

Five Holiday Gifts Under $50: Traveler Edition

It's that time of year again, what do I get family and friends for the holidays?! To help with this quandary, I've put together a little list of gifts for a type of person that I'd think would not only get enjoyment and practical use out of it, but also be kind to your wallet in the process. Today's gift list is for the traveler, whether they are seasoned or newbies I think there's at least one thing on here that they would be grateful to receive, and all under US$50.00!  

The following items are things that I either have used or something similar that has helped me in my travels.

Atlas Obscura (Hardcover) by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, & Ella Morton - $17.50

I've enjoyed Atlas Obscura's website for many years, it is a great planning tool for places to visit that's off the beaten path and not on many normal travel guides. I think this book would be perfect for the seasoned traveler who's probably seen a lot, but wants new places to visit.

Fire Tablet (7" Display, Black) - $49.99

Where else can you get a tablet for under $50.00! This is a great companion for those long haul flights where maybe the movie selection isn't that great and you're looking for other things to occupy your time. It's compact enough to fit in your carry on and now Netflix has decided to allow downloadable content, they can watch it on the go without wi-fi connection. 

If you've got the budget for a little more or this is a gift for someone special, I'd opt for a package deal and give them a gift of an Amazon Prime Membership so they can watch movies on the go, or visit the Kindle Lending Library, where you can borrow pretty much any book for free. Ever since I switched over many of my books to eBooks (I have a Kindle Paperwhite), it changed my life - no more clutter around the house, and you get to take all your books with you wherever you go with just the weight and size of the e-Reader.

eBags Large Packing Cubes (3pc Set) - $31.49

Packing cubes are an essential for any traveler, it keeps luggage organized and compact. Also for all those security inspections that are rampant nowadays, at least your underwear won't fly out as easily and be a little more discreet. I recommend getting down to the extra small sizes for electronic cables, stationery and those little odds and ends that somehow always end up at the bottom of your bag when you need it most. 

Map (23"x17" Art Print) by Mark Ashkenazi - $43.68

When your nomadic loved one is at home, give them something to remind them of their travels with a little decorative wall art map. This gallery quality giclee print, would be a great gift to those travelers that seem to have everything and also support an artist's work directly.

Anker PowerCore 10000 - $23.99

As I mentioned in my Solo Travel post, a battery bank for your phone is a life saver when traveling. Especially when going to an unknown place, whether it was finding locations, seeing when the next bus was coming, translating things, or taking quick pictures I couldn't get my big camera out fast enough for, my phone was my everything. My phone being my everything meant the battery was nothing within a few hours, and sometimes you are caught in an area where there aren't many places with an available outlet. The battery bank will help you not get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. This particular one has 10,000mAh and small enough to fit in your pocket which means it charges fast and it won't take up too much space.


[Disclaimer: Megan Matsuoka is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to or All opinions and selected items are my own choosing.]

100 Gifts for 100 Cultural Icons

It might be cutting it a little close for gift ideas but still fun to look at none the less. Flavorwire has put together a gift guide for 100 Cultural icons. A sampling can be seen above (top-bottom) Madonna, Occupy Wall Street Protestors, and Sean Bean. Humorous, yet some thing I see creeping on my wishlist as well! See the whole guide here.

via Flavorwire images link back to sources