Link Love: 10.30.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: World Cup Stamps

• If you read just one thing this week, make it this: Kate quit social media cold turkey for a full week. Here’s what happened.

• How should you deal with clients that you’re not keen on working with any longer? Amanda has some helpful scripts.

• I’m the boss. I’m not bossy. TRUTH.

• Sian lays it on the line when it comes to escaping the death spiral of consumption and I love her handy chart.

• Really, what does it mean to be constantly busy? Why does our society place such a high value on it?

• I love this New York Times piece about folks in their 80s who refuse to retire — in fact, they’re at the top of their game.

• 3 ways to define what your blog is about.

• Marketing authenticity: when branding gets personal.

• 10 ways to answer the dreaded, “Can I pick your brain?” question.

• So cool: famous album covers come alive!

• What happens when you’re labeled an “It Girl” by the media? It’s impossible to live up to it and a completely unfair marker.

• Sure, I have a pet squirrel. But, a pet lion?! That’s on another level.

• I really hope someone awesome buys up this ghost town and restores it!

• It’s hard to imagine how one man actually counterfeited more than $200 million in U.S. currency.

• When Sheila E. met Prince: I stared up at the poster and told him, “I’m gonna meet you one day.” And then, it actually happened.


Image: World Cup Stamps.

Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Welcome to my brand new column, Anatomy Of An Office! This series is dedicated to pulling together a functional yet stylish workspace and over the next few weeks, I have some fun stuff planned including resources to find great (yet affordable) artwork as well as a simple shelving DIY.

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #1: The Vision and Goals

Things got real last Thursday when I signed the lease on Branch’s new space and was handed the key. With a little over a week until our move-in date, I felt the pressure to pull together the look of the space fast. Because this is a design studio, the space has to be highly functional — but at the same time, with friends and clients stopping by, it has to feel pulled together. Accomplishing both is a delicate balance!

When thinking about the space, I had a few thoughts / goals:

1. Avoid useless clutter. Everything needs a purpose. Candles, plants and artwork? Awesome. Random items taking up valuable surface space just because they look great? Not so much.

2. Invest in key statement pieces. While I’m definitely working on a budget and have some extra furniture that will work well in the space, I don’t want to run out and buy cheap, disposable items to fill any gaps. The thought of taking shortcuts only to have to throw away a lot of stuff in a few years doesn’t feel good. I’m using a desk, computer and chairs I already own but decided to splurge on a nice credenza to hold books and supplies.

3. Matching office supplies are worth it. While not a necessity, having nice sets of items you use every day (pens, stationery, coffee mugs, dishes, etc.) feels very grown-up and orderly. I love it. Because of this, I ordered some orange goodies from Poppin. I already use their yellow set-up in my home office and their stuff is fantastic.

4. Infuse your personal style within the style of your business. The aesthetic of Branch is very midcentury modern with clean lines and pops of citrus hues while my personal style (splashed across Nubby Twiglet) is more black and white with an avant garde flair. It’s important to mix in a dash of my personal style (Branch is my business, after all) so it feels welcoming — there’s nothing worse than opening the doors to a space you own and going, “Who is this? Who am I?!!”

5. Accept the imperfections. The brick walls in my new space are really rough. The rafters are unpainted. And, the room isn’t a perfect square. And you know what? I LOVE IT. I love it because it doesn’t feel like a replica of my home office, it feels like a completely new space. The thought of leaving my home office every morning to go into an exact replica of it at work just feels pointless. The imperfections of my new space? They’re what make it unique.

Thanks for coming along on this exciting new journey with me!


Item resources: Alba credenza, For Like Ever print, succulents, Nelson eye clock, Bertoia side chair, Poppin scissors, marble board, Parsons desk, wire basket, rolling table, Union rug, Chad Wys print, Poppin pens and lacquer tray.

The Week In Pictures: 10.24.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hey, did you have a good week? Mine was great — some friends from LA (hi, Alex, Joanna and Joanne!) unexpectedly showed up so we went out for dinner at Pok Pok and dessert at Salt & Straw (which resulted in us tasting about 10 flavors each). Good times with lovely, creative ladies.

Yesterday, I picked up the keys for my new office. Move-in day is November 1st and there’s a lot to get done before then! I’m going to be mostly working with what I already have on hand but there’s some art and one new piece of furniture I’m thinking about ordering — I’ll be sharing more office updates next week. Thanks for all your sweet comments, they really made my day.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Over the weekend, I met up with Branch client Angela of Goldenrod Pastries at the Ace in Portland and we had a nice little chat about life and business — I wasn’t sure if I should take the leap into my own space but after talking it over with her, I was convinced. It’s great to have clients that become friends and I can’t wait to see how her new brand comes together (we’re hard at work on it now!)

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Kenny & Zuke’s has the cutest window — I love how they always have their drinks on display.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Fall is in the air — our mornings are now overcast, cool and damp.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Joey and I just found a quaint little midcentury modern neighborhood in Portland we’re obsessed with so we’ve been walking over there every weekend. This coffee cup my mom surprised me with has been getting a serious workout!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Client thank you cards and fancy hand cream for the win!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

It doesn’t matter what my to-do list looks like…when my grandparents are in town, I have to see them! We went out to Edgefield which I’ve been visiting since I was a kid and a bunch of my extended family joined us.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

By the end of the night, we were circled around a bonfire near the Edgefield golf course, doing a big cheers to all the strangers sitting with us in the moonlight. My uncle shouted, “Cheers to the fire family!” We clanked our glasses and suddenly, I had a whole lot more relatives. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I haven’t picked up any pumpkins or Halloween decor yet, have you? With the upcoming office move, I think I’m going to have to settle on some more succulents housed in ceramic pumpkin planters and call it good.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 10.23.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Cocolia

• Behold the motherlode of free assets! This site is packed with sources for stock images, videos and vectors!

• I love that NARS isn’t just using models for his makeup campaigns — Tilda Swinton looks so beautiful here.

• The secret to bouncing back stronger after failure.

• Someone strapped a GoPro camera onto an eagle flying over Paris and here’s the video!

• Kathleen shares how to build your creative tribe.

• Emma shares money lessons she learned in her 20s and they’re worth a read at any age!

• 10 Skillshare classes for bloggers.

• This tutorial on how to create a watercolor effect logo is really great.

• Lisa explains why turning off comments on her blog was a good decision for her.

• I miss the days of personalized letterhead. It’s so cool seeing what styles celebrities used.

• 5 tips for the soon-to-be self-employed.

• The 50 best book to movie adaptations.


Photo: Cocolia.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

In The Beginning: A Studio Space Is In The Works!

Nubby Twiglet |  In The Beginning: A Studio Space Is In The Works!

Maybe finding the perfect studio is the equivalent to finding yourself in a great relationship….the best ones come around when you’re not actively looking!

I’d always imagined Branch moving out of my home office and into a dedicated space but it felt a little risky — and it’s always smart to play it safe and keep overhead low in the first year of starting a new business.

Well, the time has come! The studio of my dreams quite literally fell into my lap with one chance meeting at a neighborhood party. Now, I’m making plans for Branch to move into its very own space in early November. It’s a space full of other makers and though our office isn’t quite finished (that’s the way it currently looks above — real talk!), in the next few weeks, it’s going to slowly transform.

I wanted to share this news with you in real time because you’re going to be coming along on this journey with me — from sourcing decor to making the space functional on a budget. This is the first real space outside of home I’ve ever had and it feels like a necessary big step forward after celebrating Branch’s one year anniversary a few weeks ago.

I’ve always said that when things are going good, you can never get too comfortable — it’s time to shake things up a bit. In the new year, there will be a lot more changes happening with Branch but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s get the space decorated first. ;)

More soon!

Tools Of The Trade #19: Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Today, we’re going to chat about Photoshop actions! I’ve been using the A Beautiful Mess Complete Collection of actions for about 6 months now and after giving most of them a test run, I wanted to share some examples of how I edit my photos daily for this blog. If you’re not familiar with actions, they are presets that you can quickly apply to any photo. Because you can adjust the opacity of layers, they can be as subtle or punchy as you’d like.

Below, I’m sharing some “mixes” as well as some tips to make the most of your actions!

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Like many of you, I crave bright natural light but my house doesn’t always provide that. Light leaks can really brighten up the edges while a blue-toned filter can cool things down for a more editorial look.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Often, the difference with actions can be very subtle. I wanted the snow to feel brighter and the photo to have a warmer tone but the overall effect isn’t all that dramatic — it’s about slight adjustments.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Every once in awhile, a photo calls for extra drama and black and white actions can quickly add that impact.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Using actions, I was able to punch up the citrus hues and really show off the hardwood floors here.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

It’s not necessary to go overboard with actions just because you have dozens to choose from! A few slight tweaks just add to the overall atmosphere.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Even in a great room, photos can feel a little flat. By adding the sun flare, the overhead light feels stronger and more welcoming.

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

Using dashes of color can can really tie the contents of an image together. I love this yellow spot!


5 Action Tips

Nubby Twiglet | Spice Up Your Blog With Photoshop Actions Plus 5 Tips To Make the Most Of Them!

If you’re a fan of actions like I am, here are five tips to make the most of them:

1. Don’t get intimidated.

If you’re new to actions, they’re ridiculously easy to use. This tutorial can have you up and running in a matter of minutes.

2. Study the style of others.

Take a look at the blogs you admire — what makes their photos stand out? Are they bright and airy or dark and moody? Are the tones saturated or subdued? Once you determine what you like visually, it will be easier to come up with your own style.

3. Develop your own unique mix.

For the most part, I never use a canned action as-is. I mix and match and develop a secret recipe. This is important for creating a signature look for your blog. On a daily basis, I always start with the same exact mix on each photo and then tweak it to bring out unique elements. Take the time to make your own blend — people will notice!

4. Don’t go crazy.

Just because you have dozens of actions at your fingertips doesn’t mean that you have to dip into each one! There are about five I default to at all times and then, for special occasions, I mix it up. If you add too many, the mix may become muddy and look amateur.

5. Simplicity equals a sense of timelessness.

Remember when Instagram came out and everyone applied heavy yellow-orange filters? Looking back now, those images look terribly dated….and I’m guilty of it, too. If you keep your processing very light and clean, it will age better as trends and tastes evolve.

I hope this study of actions has inspired you to come up with your own mix! If you have any questions about actions, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.


All actions: A Beautiful Mess.
All photos (except portrait): Shauna Haider. Portrait: Made U Look.