The Month + Links: September 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

Happy October!

While September is my favorite month of the year, it always feels like it flies by in the blink of an eye. Between my birthday, Joey’s birthday, our anniversary AND Branch’s anniversary, not to mention a bunch of close friends’ birthdays, there’s a lot to look forward to and celebrate.

I’m back in the office and getting settled after spending the last few days in Palm Springs on vacation. I’ll be honest, though — it was hard to focus on the beauty around me and the relaxation that usually comes with time spent away from the daily grind when I saw the Vegas tragedy pop up on my phone.

There’s so much darkness and pain swirling around these days between natural disasters and senseless tragedies. It’s hard to make sense of it all and go about things as normal when it feels like the world around us is being constantly turned upside down.

In more uplifting news, my friend Ellen just sent out a newsletter focused on the topic of kindness and my friend Alex just released a book called You’re Going To Survive, all about pulling through difficult times and it makes my heart full knowing that there’s so much goodness still out there — honest, well-meaning people willing to speak up and help others along the way.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

THE MONTH

Here’s a little roundup of what I’ve been up to over the last month….

1. Tiki the squirrel is thriving!

Remember my post about Tiki? Well, he is doing great. Really, so much better than we could have ever expected. He has a strong appetite and is still on formula but he’s moving onto solids slowly but surely. His favorite food of the moment is avocado. Seeing a squirrel munching on a slice of avocado IS pretty funny. Chubs is slowly coming around to having a baby brother but I wouldn’t call them buddies just yet. I’m hoping they eventually bond…but we’ll see!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

2. The Branch shoot was awesome!

2 weeks ago, I did a big studio shoot for Branch. As my four year business anniversary neared, I wanted to do something special and having a more cohesive visual image was at the top of my wish list. It was a big undertaking sourcing props, pulling together a succinct shot list and thinking about where the images would be used. It definitely forced me to get really clear on where I want my business to go and how I want it to be perceived. I’m hoping to roll out the new look by early next year along with sharing a backlog of 30+ unseen projects…*gulp*.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

3. Palm Springs getaway!

Ah, Palm Springs. My happy place! After our condo deal fell through in the late Spring, I was feeling pretty down and it took a few months to regroup and decide what path we wanted to take. After doing a lot of searching and gaining some much needed clarity, we flew down this week to view some more places and found some solid options. Here’s hoping one finally works out! It’s tough judging places on their listing photos alone when you don’t live locally in the area you’re trying to buy in but I know things will work out as they should when the time is right.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

4. Getting down to business.

Over the last few months, I’ve dramatically cut back on the amount of time I spend online and on social media. I realized I was slipping into spending a lot of time watching what other people were doing only to realize that my to-do list would be far from complete at the end of each day. It was frustrating and after paying more attention to my habits, I became more aware of the time I was spending procrastinating instead of doing the work…which is much harder! I sometimes feel a bit down about not sharing content as often but the trade-off is that I’m now getting more of my work done. How do you feel about this – are you good about getting work done or do you fall into the never-ending scroll / procrastination trap?

P.S. For all you pumpkin spice addicts, the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte from Coffee Bean is AWESOME.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: September 2017

Photos: 1. My view yesterday in Palm Springs. Joey hates having his photo taken but funny enough, I caught him in the reflection. Haha! 2. When I’m feeling stressed or out of sorts, I make desktop flatlays. 3. This morning at Norma’s, my favorite breakfast place in Palm Springs. 4. Inside The Parker lobby. I’ve had this dress for ages and just rediscovered it. It’s so nice to wear some color for a change! 5. A photo from my weekend sipping coffee and flipping through magazines. 6. The nook off the back of our kitchen is one of my favorite spots in our house.


THE LINKS

• Looking for ways to help the shooting victims in Vegas? Bustle has compiled a list.

• So many people are struggling right now, all around us. Some, very visibly. Some…not so vsibly. I read this post and it reminded me of how we often think that someone else has already reached out to a friend or loved one during a tough time. But often, they haven’t. Take the time to do it because frankly, you might be the only one.

• I love how obsessed Oprah is with her garden. YES!

• Looking for interview tips that are actually helpful? A former HR specialist spills the beans.

• I just learned that Spotify makes a Time Capsule playlist for each of its users with songs that take you back to your teenage years! Marilyn Manson, here I come.

• The evolution of women in stock photos is fascinating.

• Apartment Therapy put together a step-by-step guide on how to buy your first home.

• We know what you do for a living…but how do you define yourself within your business?

• I am obsessed with Linda Rodin’s style. She’s so chic and timeless.

• Made me smile: Brand logos drawn from memory by 150 people!

• Chromatin is an animated photo project which celebrates women’s hair styles in Nigeria. Super cool!

• Ready to read some good news for a change? Check out the Goodnewspaper!

• Feeling unprepared and paralyzed by perfectionist tendencies? Read this…and start exactly where you are with what you have. End of story.

• Book dedications can he heartfelt but also super random and hilarious. Here are 10 of the most creative!

• What happens when household items are purposely designed to be uncomfortable? This series by Katerina Kamprani will make you do a double-take.

• These 7 pieces of wisdom will change the way you work.


Thanks for reading and I hope you have an inspiring, productive October. Much love! xo -Shauna

Art For Your Walls Made Easy: Society 6

Art For Your Walls Made Easy: Society 6

Over the last few weeks, multiple friends have been asking me where to get cool, affordable art and my answer is always the same: Society 6.

Their selection is HUGE and for those of you like me who dread dealing with framing, they have a bunch of options to choose from so your art shows up ready to hang.

I keep going back to Society 6 for a few reasons:

1. Artists are in control of what work they put up for sale and directly receive a percentage of the sale price. You can feel good about what you’re buying.

2. They run killer sales. If you join their mailing list, you can get in on some great deals.

3. If you love a piece of art, they don’t just sell wall prints. Grab everything from throw pillows to phone cases to shower curtains!

My favorite artist is Chad Wys. I remember seeing his art years ago in person hanging in the home interiors section of Liberty London and tracking down his work online. When I realized he had a shop on Society 6, I bought a few pieces for the office and have kept adding to my collection never since. You can see 3 of his pieces in the top photo.

Art For Your Walls Made Easy: Society 6

Looking for new art? These are a few of my current favorite pieces:

1. Monstera by 83 Oranges

2. Close Noir by Quibe (*Just bought this one!)

3. Composition 566 by Chad Wys

4. A Certain Kind Of Magic by LouiJoverArt

5. Palm Springs by Lizzie Darden

6. That-A-Way by Anna Dorfman

7. Tropical Storm by Sarah Eisenlohr

8. Untitled Abstract Composition 3 by Chad Wys (*Just bought this one!)

9. Tonight by Hanna Kastl-Lungberg

10. Decor by Sarah Eisenlohr

11. This Isn’t You by Daniel Taylor

12. Untitled Composition 3 by Chad Wys

I hope this makes filling your walls a breeze!

P.S. This post isn’t sponsored, I’m just a big fan of how accessible Society 6 has made great art.

Meet Tiki!

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Even when the experts say the odds are stacked against you, there’s still room to prove them wrong.

Exactly a week ago, Joey called me at the office and mentioned that he had just been at Trader Joe’s. There was nothing unusual about that but the next sentence caught me off-guard. He said that an employee who knew about Chubs (our rescue squirrel who is now healthy and 3 years old!) ran over to him and mentioned that he’d found a baby squirrel who had fallen the day before — it was in his garage in a box and not doing well. He didn’t know what to do with him.

From the way it sounded, the situation was life or death — this little guy didn’t have much longer to live unless he got food and medicine right away.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Joey met the guy on his lunch break and brought the baby squirrel home. He had pneumonia, was extremely dehydrated and malnourished. The little guy fit in the palm of his hand and his eyes weren’t yet fully open. He was barely moving.

We had some medicine and small syringes left in our fridge from when Rocky was sick awhile back and Joey picked up some puppy formula and Pedialyte, rotating between all 3 in an effort to save the little guy.

Once he was situated, Joey called a squirrel sanctuary for advice but their prognosis was grim — they said that 3 other squirrels who were about the same size had already died that week and since ours also had pneumonia, he wouldn’t make it through the night. Every breath he took had a clicking sound and he was wheezing badly.

As night rolled around, we sat on the couch preparing for the worst when we heard some shuffling in his box. His arm reached up like he was gasping for air and he began making panicked screeching sounds. We thought that was it.

I didn’t want him to die alone so Joey picked him up and we held him close. Blood started running from his nose and his lips began turning purple. It was gut-wrenchingly horrible but we tried to stay calm.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Holding him seemed to be causing him more distress so we sat him back down in a soft mound of t-shirts in his box to let him rest. A few hours passed and he was still clinging to life so we brought his box up and put it on our nightstand. He stayed curled up in his t-shirts (squirrels are used to nesting and babies get cold easily).

As 2 am rolled around, I was afraid to check on him, fearing I’d find the worst. Joey woke up and miraculously, he was still alive so he began feeding him the rotation of medicine, Pedialyte and formula once again. He was too weak to take in much.

When we woke up Wednesday morning, he was still with us. After seeing what bad shape he’d been in the night before, we couldn’t believe it. He was truly a miracle.

The next day, Joey kept up his routine and the squirrel baby went from being listless to having more movement. He began responding when we pet his belly but he was still too tiny and weak to crawl.

By the third day, we felt that he had a good chance of survival and it seemed like the right time to give him a name. Joey named him Tiki.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

As of today, Tiki is still very tiny but is now able to eat 3 times more each feeding than when we found him and now, he can crawl. His eyes have fully opened and he’s very alert and playful.

Watching Tiki make such a strong comeback over the last week is like nothing I’ve ever seen. He’s literally beat all the odds and for once, I’m glad the experts were wrong. Tiki’s turnaround has been so swift that I’m taking daily photos just to remember how far he’s come.

We’re not sure where Tiki will live when he’s healthy but right now, I’m less worried about that. I just want him to get stronger, healthier and to a point where he’s able to eat and drink on his own.

This last week has been a total rollercoaster but I hope you’ll keep Tiki in your thoughts. He’s a reminder that little miracles are happening around us each day.

The Month + Links: August 2017

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

I feel like this time of year is packed with a lot of transitions — how about you?

As we head into the last few months of 2017, life is shifting into high gear and it’s been a challenge to stay focused and productive with so many changes happening at once.

Let’s dig in…

The Month

1. 10 Year Blog Anniversary

Just writing this makes me a bit sentimental! In August, I celebrated 10 years of blogging in this spot. Crazy, huh?! Thinking back to 10 years ago, I was 25 years old and just starting my graphic design degree after taking a year off from college. I worked at a shoe store and had a lot of roommates. I also ate plenty of ramen. #collegelife

Things were chaotic but exciting and there were way more unknowns than knowns. Like most people in their mid-20s, I was still trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in. I didn’t have any professional design experience, I wasn’t married, I didn’t own a house or run my own business.

Looking back, this blog gave me an outlet to share during the many ups and downs and also provided me a with foundation to later launch my design studio — and I am forever grateful for that. This place will always be home. I love you guys!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

2. Finally Going Vegan

I say “finally” for a reason…I’ve fluctuated between being vegetarian and pescatarian since 2004 but always held off on going vegan because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the willpower to stick with it. The thing is, Joey has been vegan for 25 years (that’s not a typo!) and does all our grocery shopping and cooking. A month ago, I had the realization that I was eating vegan about 75% of the time without trying and with a handful of adjustments, I could make the change.

Now that I’ve been at it for a few weeks, it’s become easier — if I want a treat, my local coffee shop has vegan banana bread. Daiya makes an awesome vegan yogurt (I’m actually eating one now!) And, let’s talk about pizza (because life without pizza isn’t worth living, right?) Baby Doll makes the best vegan pizza around.

Diet is such a personal thing and everyone has to make a decision about what’s right for them but I’m so glad I made the switch.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

3. Slowing Down and Speeding Up

Summers are usually slower for me — my small business clients are on vacation with their kids, traveling and taking time away from the daily grind to live it up. For some reason this year, that didn’t happen. Projects got stacked on top of more projects and a few great opportunities came up that I didn’t want to pass on. That meant less sharing here and less time online in general. Instead of feeling guilty, I gave myself a blogging break and focused on getting the work done.

September always feels like the perfect time to jump back into routines — it’s that infectious back-to-school energy and shift to cooler weather, not to mention my birthday, Joey’s birthday AND our anniversary! It’s a time of renewal, reflection and an opportunity to re-set and make the most of the rest of the year. I’ll be 36 in a few weeks and the old cliché I used to roll my eyes at as a kid is so true — as you get older, it really does feel like time speeds up.

4. Big Branch Shoot

At the end of September, Branch will be celebrating 4 years in business! I still remember how scary it was stepping away from the safety net of working for other design studios. For the first year, my only goal was to bring in enough business to not have to go back to a day job. Every day brought new challenges but I never regretted the change.

As we’ve grown, I’ve decided that it’s time to step up and book a full-on creative studio shoot. I’m flying to the east coast in mid-September with a bundle of props and a shot list to finally make this dream come true. It’s definitely anxiety-inducing but instead of sitting at my desk and fearing the unknown, it’s time to put my trust in a creative team and see what unfolds.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

5. Saying Yes to New Opportunities

One of the things I’ve been working on this year is being more spontaneous and open to opportunities. Instead of overthinking it, I’m practicing saying yes. My friend Sarah asked me to help her with a workshop in Washington, D.C. a few weeks back and even though we’d only ever talked over Skype and email, I flew across the country and spent 3 days with her. It was AWESOME!

I made friends with an amazing group of women, shared a bunch of still life styling and social media tips during our day in the photo studio and we spent our nights exploring Old Town Alexandria — so colonial, so cute! Yes, I was nervous, yes, I questioned what I was doing as I boarded the flight, and yes, I AM SO GLAD I did it! Say yes…and see where it takes you!

6. Mini Summer Vacation

Last week, I took a few days off to fly to New York and visit Gala. We made the most of our time together, cramming in her rooftop event at The Wing, a goddess-themed birthday party where we were hand-fed grapes, apartment tours, plenty of good food, a massive closet clean-out (and two trips to trade it all in at Buffalo Exchange!), late night living room dance parties, hotel room chat sessions with Alexandra at Public, long walks along the river and plenty of cuddles with her dog Cleo.

As I get older, I’m reminded of how important friendships are. We live on opposite sides of the country yet we always make the most of the time we do have together.

7. More Ch-ch-changes

Ah, man. There’s even more to share with you but the biggest change of all involves its own post because it’s too special to just tack onto the end of this list. Tune in Tuesday for the big news!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: August 2017

The Links

• Hurricane Harvey is on everyone’s minds here in the U.S. this week. Here’s a list of how to help. Brené Brown is bringing up something we often forget about in the midst of donating: underwear.

• Ugh. Supposedly 6 hours of sleep is as bad as none at all!

• With some strategy and style, you can do a surprising amount with a 300 square foot living space.

• I love this advice so much: Leap when you’re almost ready.

• The 3 types of bullshit feedback…and what to do about it!

• Did you see the IKEA x HAY design collaboration? So good!

An honest cover letter is so painfully accurate! #guilty

• It would be amazing if Adobe integrated the Playful Palette into its programs.

• These freelance achievement stickers are so true…and so funny.

• When should you buy your plane ticket to get the best pricing? This is something I’ve always wondered about!

• Timeless advice: It’s never too late. There’s only one finish line in life!

• As a creative, it’s important to be aware of the 12 stages of burnout.

• What’s it like to work for your hero? Pretty cool…and full of surprises.

• I love this concept! Try Studio is a platform that lets its users take one-on-one private lessons in all things creative!

• If you’re interested in looking at your career prospects in a new way, check out Ellen’s monthly column called Career Forecast which combines practical advice with astrology and key dates.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an inspiring, productive September! -Shauna


Photos: 1. Loving all white manicures these days. New book from Bluestockings and tray from the Fred Segal x CB2 collection. 2. Iced chais at The Wing. 3. Summer vacation snapshot in New York. 4. Chubs loves climbing the curtains! 5. More cute views at The Wing.

Tools Of the Trade: Open Foundry

Nubby Twiglet | Tools Of the Trade: Open Foundry

My newest obsession for finding on-trend, high quality type options is Open Foundry. It’s a platform for open-source fonts (read: FREE!)

A lot of free font sites focus on quantity over quality with little sense of organization and digging through the thousands of options can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack — I often find that it takes more time than it’s worth.

I love the “Hot 30” focus of Open Foundry. Scroll through the current picks quickly, click on the live type and test it out in a few seconds to see if it’s a good fit before downloading.

This site is such a breath of fresh air and I hope you find some great fonts for your next project!


Find more Tools Of The Trade posts here.
Featured photos: Evan Kirby and Mona Eendra via Unsplash.