Oh, The Embarrassment: A Little Reminder That We All Have To Start Somewhere

Nubby Twiglet | Oh, The Embarrassment: A Little Reminder That We All Have To Start Somewhere

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whenever I look back at my early design projects, I see promise…but for the most part, I feel embarrassed. Do you feel that way about your past work, too?

I actually think that a touch of embarrassment is a healthy reaction because it means that you’ve grown as a creative. Over time, your taste has evolved, your skills have improved and your sense of style has matured. You know that you’re capable of even better results.

Sometimes when I feel that embarrassment creeping up, I have to step back and remind myself that without posting those early design projects online, nobody would have known about my work. Even if I didn’t see the promise at the time, some people who came across those projects did. The people who saw enough promise hired me. When they hired me, it gave me the opportunity to build out my portfolio. With a growing portfolio, I was able to get my first agency jobs. Those jobs gave me the steady footing to take on bigger outside projects I loved which in turn built my portfolio even further. And eventually, all that work allowed me to launch my own boutique design studio. I now realize that it was a very slow domino effect over the course of seven years — each project I shared, no matter how embarrassing now, led to even more opportunities.

If you’re feeling uneasy about your work, always remember that it’s secretly the push you need to get over the next hurdle. If you’re always satisfied, there’s no reason to improve. You’ll settle for exactly where you are now because the urge to try new things that scare you isn’t there. Use that discomfort as motivation.

I still feel that discomfort all too often. I see portfolios of work that are much better than mine. I read blog posts that are brilliantly composed. I see photos every day that make mine look amateurish. And all of this leaves me wanting to improve.

We all have to start somewhere, even if that somewhere feels like a black hole some days. The only way to get out of that black hole is to practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect…but it will make you better. So the next time you feel that embarrassment creeping up, transform it into a positive outcome.


Photo: Made U Look.

The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

Hi, how was your week? Mine was a good lesson in patience. What I’d assumed was a one day long paint job for the upstairs of our house…morphed into four. Rocky and I headed out to the suburbs and sat on the couch by day watching crime dramas with my stepdad and cuddled up on an air mattress by night. We waited and waited…and finally, when we walked in, I couldn’t quite believe that I was in my own house. When you’re feeling impatient about something, remember that good things are always worth the wait.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

I had some plans fall through mid-week and instead of fretting, Joey, Rocky and I took an afternoon coffee break and I ended up having a great time shooting these outfit photos. A total silver lining! I’m getting better about going with the flow and not throwing up my hands and giving into defeat when something doesn’t go as planned because I know there’s something potentially better waiting on the other side.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

I have a ton of plants in my office….and they’re all from IKEA and Trader Joe’s! You can see the edge of a massive cluster of succulents here and they were just $7.00 from Trader Joe’s. If you have one in your area, they get some epic plants in on occasion.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

Here’s a quick shot of my upstairs hallway. You’re probably thinking, “Okay, it’s just a hallway. What’s the big deal?” Well, when we moved in 5 years ago, most of our upstairs was painted a hideous shade of high gloss beige. Our bedroom, the bathroom, the hallway, the staircase banister…everything. We quickly painted out the rooms — our bathroom became white, our bedroom became black with white trim and my office became white with black trim. But, the hallway was an afterthought. It’s not like we spent any time hanging out in it so we put it off. Over the weekend, Joey painted over the beige madness with white and trimmed in all the accents with high gloss black. He’s still doing touch-ups (hence the painter’s tape on the knobs) but it’s such a huge difference already. I’m still in shock that a few coats of paint could make such a difference.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.23.15

I’m signing off to finish up some projects before going out with my dad tonight but I wanted to leave you with this saying:

“You get what you focus on. So focus on what you want.”

It’s such a simple sentiment but I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately. We all have the same amount of time in a day and the more time and energy we put towards what we actually want, the more likely it is to happen.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 1.22.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: J. Crew

• It doesn’t matter how poorly your day has gone….today isn’t over yet.

• I love a good vintage car and the weirder and more obscure, the better. Here are 5 of the rarest cars in the entire world!

• The funniest thing I’ve read in ages: ship your enemies glitter!

5 awesome tips to help you save money while traveling.

• A tortoise was recently fitted with a Lego wheelchair to help him move around. Amazing!

• To fall in love with anyone, do this.

• To fall out of love with someone, do this.

• 16 quotes to make you feel amazing, just the way you are.

• Richard Branson spills the beans on how to run two businesses at once.

• Ha! A mid-90s infomercial spoof for The Facebook actually features AOL’s number.

• A laughable collection of one star reviews!

• Scrolling through these beautiful beaches in Greece makes me want to go back for another visit badly.


Image: J. Crew.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Really.

Naturally, it’s time to honor Chubs, the squirrel who lives with me. Since he moved in over the Summer (more accurately: fell down my chimney), you’ve had many questions about what it’s like caring for him. I’ve picked the top five and answered them below — and if you have any others, please feel free to ask in the comments!

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

1. What does he eat?

Since Chubs lives inside, he has a slightly different diet than wild squirrels because he doesn’t need to pack on as much weight for the Winter. He loves veggies and fruits and every morning, Joey chops up an organic mix. Some of his favorites are carrots, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, celery and apples. Recently, he’s been enjoying avocado, too.

Of course, he loves nuts. He gravitates towards almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds.

That said, everyone has a guilty pleasure. When Chubs has been a good boy, there’s nothing he enjoys more as a special treat than a big, crusty piece of bread.

2. Where does he live?

For the first few months of his life, he had a wood framed cage with chicken wire that Joey built but he quickly outgrew it. We could tell that he was getting restless from a lack of space to run around in and I had two massive IKEA wardrobes so we cleared one out, added mesh to the doors and built him a full-on jungle gym inside. He has mounted balconies made from old shelves, branches, a “nest” to burrow into for naps, a rope bridge and a water bottle. It’s the equivalent of a squirrel palace.

When we’re home, we let him roam in designated spaces. He loves to play with Rocky and even rolls over like a dog to have his belly scratched!

3. Is he potty trained?

Oddly enough, yes. It’s similar to having a cat. We have litter in the bottom of his cage and though he had a few accidents when he was a baby, he has been great over the last few months. When people ask how it’s possible, all I know is that he’s really smart…and he just knows.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

4. Does he still do squirrel type things like burying nuts?

Constantly! Some behaviors are instinctual and even though he’s never lived in the wild, he still has all the typical squirrel mannerisms. We are constantly finding nuts and crackers hidden under our rugs and pillows.

When he’s not burying nuts…..he’s stealing my lipstick. I’ve dubbed him the Lipstick Bandit because recently, quite a few of my MAC shades have gone missing.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

5. Don’t squirrels have sharp claws?

Yep. They’re like tiny needles! It was easy to play with him when he was a newborn but once his claws grew in, we ended up with a lot of scratches. These days, I always throw on a sweater before I let him out of his cage.

Nubby Twiglet | Squirrel Life: Your Pressing Questions Answered!

So, there you go. Your pressing squirrel questions have been answered! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to party with Chubs and celebrate his special day.

What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

I’ve always felt weird about shifting out my entire closet for the season. I remember growing up and hearing friends and relatives talk about how they had a Spring / Summer wardrobe and then a Fall / Winter wardrobe. I buy new pieces of clothing because I really love them and when it comes down to it, I’m dedicated to finding a way to make items like my favorite “Summer dresses” work in Winter. It just takes a little imagination (and a lot of layering).

2015_nubbytwiglet_thebasics_4

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

This Dusen Dusen dress is a great example. Over the Summer, I wore it bare-shouldered and bare-legged and paired it with cut-out sneaker wedges. To make it work for Winter, I added thick black tights, boots and a longer length jacket.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

Layering means that shorter, sleeveless dresses and lightweight skirts can remain in rotation, even when the Winter chill sets in.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

My method for dressing in layers goes something like this:

1. Add a basic tank, tee or slip over your underwear. A good foundation is necessary!

2. If it’s really cold, add opaque tights or leggings.

3. Throw on your favorite outfit (dress / jeans + top / skirt + top).

4. Add a layering piece like a cardigan or sweater.

5. Add a warm jacket.

6. If necessary, add a hat + scarf.

Yes, that’s a lot of layers but they’re easy to peel off and you’ll be ready for anything from a boiling office…to an unexpected blizzard.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Basics | A Seasonless Closet

Your turn: Do you embrace a seasonless wardrobe or do you switch your closet out with the change of weather?


I wore: Jacket, Zara (a few years old). Dress, Dusen Dusen (sold out). Tights, H&M. Boots, XPERIMENTAL.

Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Welcome to Branded, a new column where I share new brands I’ve personally discovered with you. First up is Greene St. Juice Co.! I was walking through Melbourne while on a lunch break last month and came across this epic shop. I know that juice places are a dime a dozen these days but this one immediately stood out because it was sleek, modern and full of brilliantly simple branding. I was so obsessed that I brought one of their empty juice bottles home to use as a vase on my desk!

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Each flavor of juice has its own logo variation. Because the typeface is always the same, it still feels cohesive.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Greene St. Juice Co. was founded by Natalie and Steve in 2012 and after a stint in New York, they’ve returned to Melbourne. All of their juices are cold pressed and raw, meaning that it never encounters heat — this keeps the enzymes and vitamins as potent as possible. Additionally, all the ingredients are organic. I love a brand that is as good for you on the inside as it looks on the outside.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Here are a few of the flavors Kat, Gala and I tried: 1. Greene St. Classic (Alkalise + Detox). and 2. West Village (Replenish + Fortify).

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

3. 1 Giant Mind (Radiant Light).

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

4. The Bronx (Personal Power) and 5. BDFM (The Orange Line).

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The branding system was produced by Cassette Agency. They summed up the vision of the brand as “Bringing a little piece of New York City to Melbourne.” It’s got a big city, no-nonsense feel while remaining calm, cool and collected.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

I’ve been to dozens of juice places across the world and after I left the shop, I kept asking myself why Greene St. Juice Co. was still at the forefront of my mind. And then, it occurred to me — it wasn’t just about the juice, it was about the experience. Great brands don’t just deliver a great product. They deliver something more, something that’s sometimes hard to put your finger on. They leave you feeling inspired and better off after you’ve encountered them.

What are some great brand experiences you’ve had lately? Is there a product or service that still has you buzzing? I’d love to hear about it!


Photos: Shauna Haider and Madeline Kate Photography.
Brand mockups: Cassette Agency.

The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

How was your week? Mine was…disheveled. I’m actually sitting at my mom’s house right now with Rocky while Joey tears my old office apart and repaints it (Rocky is allergic to paint fumes so we’re camped out for the weekend). I’m so excited to have a room to spend my nights and weekends in reading. And, let’s get real — watching Dr. Phil reruns. It’s going to be the perfect escape. I can’t wait!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

During the week when I need a break from office life, I head out to coffee shops to meet friends and my personal favorite at the moment is Good Coffee. The staff is ridiculously friendly and I’m a big fan of the Scandinavian modern aesthetic inside. Great tile, cacti and coffee — a winning combination if you ask me!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

This is pinned up next to my desk and a reminder to always keep moving forward.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

As I was cleaning out my closet over the weekend, I found this notebook. It’s from around 2006 and was basically my Pinterest board of design ideas at the time. I miss the days of cut and paste and am itching to fill notebooks with ideas and collages again. How about you?

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

To keep my office tidy, I just picked up a bunch of yellow storage boxes from IKEA. They hold everything from props to photos and supplies and best of all, fit right in with the decor.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: 1.16.15

This is a peek inside my soon-to-be hangout room. I can’t wait to come home to fresh paint and start pulling it together. Researching what I wanted to turn this room into, sourcing the items and exploring my personal style has been really energizing.

I keep asking myself what I want. My favorite color during my entire childhood was green so I just bought a green couch. I love a good coffee table book so I’ve pulled out my favorites and stacked them nice and high. I love flipping through fashion magazines so I’ve displayed my collection of 15 years’ worth in my bookshelf.

Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Even if you live at home or work in a cubicle or have five roommates (I’ve been in all those situations), you still have the opportunity to make your space a refection of you. Create a place that leaves you feeling inspired and ready to reach for whatever’s next.

“It’s important to determine which surroundings work best for you, and then build that environment to suit your needs.” —Marilu Henner

Have a great weekend, everyone!