Monthly Archives: February 2013

Link Love: 2.28.13

link love


A Llama in Times Square by Inge Morath


• The inventor of Pantone talks about how he first came up with the system and it might surprise you!

• No matter how glamorous things look from the outside, remember that freelance ain’t free.

• Good work isn’t enough. People that achieve the most success often share these qualities.

• I loved soaking in this interview: Vanessa Larson quit her stable job, packed her bags and moved to Paris with barely any French under her belt and is prospering in business school there.

• This simple diagram represents how to be happy in business.

• Garance Doré just gave a hugely inspiring interview on The Business Of Fashion and shares how she got her start in blogging and photography.

• When it comes to your freelance business, it’s up to you to set boundaries.

• Why Facebook makes you feel miserable.

• I’ve never seen another blogger post such detailed results of a reader survey! So good.

• Twelve legendary Hollywood stars at home!

• The second edition of Launched! is live, which features links of the latest blog redesigns.

• PHHHOTO is a social photo booth that makes animated GIFs.

•  We’re no longer just consumers because we think we have a much higher calling. We’re connoisseurs!


Can’t get enough Link Love? Find more right here!

Blog Log #3: How Blogging Has Opened Doors to Friendship and Career Opportunities

Blog Log

Advice


Blogging has opened doors that I never expected. Photo by Shell de Mar.


Last week, I shared the one thing I wish that someone would have told me when I first started blogging. This week has a slightly different twist — I’m focusing on the ways blogging has affected my life, mostly in areas I couldn’t have predicted. I really had no idea at the time just how many doors blogging would open.

As I mentioned last week, when I launched my blog on my own domain in August 2007, I was still in college. I wasn’t yet a full-time designer and I honestly didn’t know what purpose my blog would serve besides sharing snippets of my life and travels. I didn’t have a big, beautiful blogging plan and maybe that was for the best because I didn’t overanalyze what I was doing. I just posted what I loved on a daily basis, simple as that. The niche and the themed columns came later and because of that, there was a lot less pressure to live up to some preconceived standards.

Having a blog didn’t feel that revolutionary to me. Even at the time, I just made it part of my everyday routine. I’ve always heard that if you love something enough, you’ll find a way to make time for it. Blogging is the same way. Even though I didn’t have a master plan mapped out, slowly, I did start to notice doors opening in part because I had a blog. The more I blogged, the more my focus sharpened and the more opportunities can my way.

If you’ve ever felt disillusioned or burnt out or wondered why you keep your blog going, perhaps these stories I’m sharing today will inspire you to keep moving forward.


PROFESSIONAL DOORS

In 2007, I applied for an internship at Nemo Design. I had just finished my first year of community college and knew that’s where I wanted to be. I came in for an informational interview and along with sharing my portfolio, I mentioned my blog. Dave Allen was in charge of digital strategy at the time and also way ahead of the curve when it came to blogging and social media. I got the internship and the best part was that at Nemo, blogging was encouraged alongside design. Designers with blogs weren’t as common then and having that nurturing, encouraging atmosphere really helped me hone in on what I was doing — I still remember our meeting with a professional consultant who critiqued our blogs and walking away afterwards going wow, all those little details do matter.

The wave of change was slow but I remember walking into agencies for interviews over the next few years and getting recognized before I’d introduced myself. Portland’s design community is very tight-knit but it still felt surreal to get that instant recognition at studios I admired.

In 2010, I was freelancing at Nike and on my third day, I got called into a meeting with the head of the department. Of course my stomach dropped, wondering if I’d done something terribly wrong! They barely knew me, what could they possibly want? Was I getting fired?! Instead, I had an hour long conversation with the creative director, who’d recognized me from my blog — this was a guy who’d worked alongside Oprah in a past life! I got offered an interview.

Last Fall, as I was obsessing over the new Computer Arts Collection series and reviewing the issues on my blog, the magazine’s creative director caught wind of the posts and tweets. I was sitting in an airport when an email came in, offering me an 8 page feature. Once again, blogging was opening doors that I didn’t realize were there.

I am positive that these three opportunities would have never transpired without my passion for blogging.


PERSONAL DOORS

Beyond anything that’s transpired professionally, the friendships I’ve made through blogging are the most important. I met my friend Pam one day after she read my blog and sent me an email. We went out to dinner and became fast friends. I’d known Gala from Live Journal — we finally met up during the summer of 2008 in New York and my life was never the same — we now travel the world together with Kat (who we also met through blogging) with our workshop, The Blogcademy. I met Anna through Live Journal a decade ago and though we don’t get to see each other that often, I adore her design sense from afar. Meeting Star through blogging really impacted me — she became my close friend and web developer (she’s coded all my blogs!). Bianca is another friend I made — when I first met up with her on a street corner in New York, I had no idea she’d be photographing my wedding a decade later!

Last summer, I got on a plane and flew to Palm Springs to meet 20 other female designers for a retreat called Design Life. The key bond we all shared is that we ran blogs. Though I’d been reading many of their blogs for a really long time, seeing them in person for the first time was overwhelmingly positive and we’re still in contact, tweeting, commenting on each other’s blogs and sharing insights. Thanks to blogging, I now have a network of 20 amazing women across the country that share the same passion for design that I do.


TAKING THE BAD WITH THE GOOD

Blogging isn’t all a bed of roses, though. On the flip side of all these amazing opportunities, there have been people who haven’t felt the same way about blogging as I do.

Two years ago, I was sitting next to a freelancer at a design studio and we hit it off. One thing led to another and I shared my blog with him. He quickly scrolled through, soaking in all the details and then spent the next five minutes critiquing me in a condescending tone. “Your site should just be a portfolio. Why do you post all these personal photos? That stuff belongs on Facebook…your site should be dedicated to your work.” I was being torn down for letting people know who lived beyond the work. Even after all those years of blogging, I remember wondering if he was right. And then I remembered that not everyone is supposed to get what we do as bloggers. And that’s okay. Once you accept that, it’s easier to let go and set out with what YOU feel you’re supposed to do. It’s up to you to set your own boundaries and share as little or as much of yourself as you’d like.

When people come along and wonder why we share what we do on our blogs, I always go back to the mindset that we are so much more than our work. I mentioned this in the first Blog Log, but if all I did was share my design work, it would get really dull really fast for a lot of you. Yes, it’s scary putting yourself out there and there are going to be those people that don’t get it. But I promise, the payoffs far outweigh the bad. If I could start over, I’d do it all over again. I am a firm believer that people are interested in more than what you do, they’re interested in you. And the more they feel like they know you, the more opportunities will come your way.

Blogging is not always easy but to me, it is worth it.


View more of the Blog Log series here.

Your turn: What’s been the biggest door that’s opened for you because of blogging?

In The Mood #2: Blush

In The Mood

This week’s In The Mood is a few weeks late for Valentine’s Day but I just love the color combo of red and pink. Over the weekend, I was flipping through Bazaar and noticed the hooded photo of Audrey Hepburn along with photos of the Spring 2013 Prada collection. The board quickly came together around those key elements.

In The Mood

In The Mood

Then, I dug out a series of Moleskine monthly planners from a few years ago to add to the mix. I know I’ve said this in the past but it’s so nice to have an excuse to get away from the computer and work with my hands. Putting this series together is definitely a highlight of my week and I’m already looking forward to the next!

In The Mood


View more of the In The Mood series here.

Paris Photo Diary 2: The Eiffel Tower

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

When I was in Paris a few weeks ago, we followed up our apartment shoot with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it’s a bit cliché to use it as a backdrop but it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often for this Pacific Northwesterner!

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

You can’t tell from these photos but it had been POURING all day. We used the gloomy morning to shoot around the apartment but as the rain kept coming down, we knew we had to chance it and work with what we had since we were leaving the next morning. A metro ride later, our crew was wandering the streets, trying to find the least tourist infested angle to shoot from. Lisa Devlin finally found a deserted street that led up to the tower and I swear to god, within five minutes of arriving, the rain stopped and the sun popped out. Sure, it was still only 30 degrees out but at least it wasn’t raining!

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

I wore a lace dress from ASOS, an oui / non belt from ASOS, an H&M headband and Minimarket boots.

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

Gala wore a 90s Rampage dress that I found at Buffalo Exchange in Portland for $9.00 (and ended up liking it so much she wore it to a vampire ball a few weeks later!), Michael Kors wedges and a Nasty Gal hat.

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

Kat wore a maxi dress from Manoush and Jimmy Choo sneakers.

Paris Diary 2 Lisa Devlin

Paris is so beautiful, even in the winter…


Photography: Lisa Devlin
Hair and Makeup: Elbie van Eeden

The Week In Pictures: 2.22.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Did you have a good week? Mine was very, very full and I’m feeling pretty wiped out. But there’s lots of good stuff in motion between freelance projects, Blogcademy developments and personal branding that will be rolling out over the next few months — change is both exciting and exhausting and I’m accepting of that.

I’ve never really shown full shots of our living room because even after three years, it’s never felt finished. With white walls and black furniture, it still needs some oomph. Some color. Some drama! Over the weekend, I spotted these flowers at IKEA (yes, you heard that right!) and just this little change has made such a difference. Baby steps.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I just visited the Hotel Modera and really, really enjoyed the styling of their lobby. So chic! It was actually my first time there and I have nothing but good things to say.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Poppin is where it’s at if you’re looking for color coordinated office accessories. I had a credit sitting around on my desk and pulled the trigger on scissors and a tray that matches the rest of my setup.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

It’s such a blogger cliché to take photos in public restrooms! Have you ever done the same? Or am I just a big weirdo? This is pretty much my default “I’m in a hurry outfit.” Joey bought be that neon Zara sweater two years ago as a birthday gift so it’s really special to me. I wear those H&M jumbo ball necklaces almost every day — I have both the gold and silver. And the Rick Owens jacket was a lucky find on Ebay a few years back.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Last night I met my friend who works at a screen print shop to review designs for the Blogcademy LA and PDX totes and to my surprise, she’d even prepped a piece of fabric with all the turquoise Pantone swatches! That’s some serious service right there! So excited to send these to print — the custom London designs were a huge hit so we’re moving forward with unique designs for every city. I feel that those personalized touches are so important.

Have a great, restful weekend, everyone!

Link Love: 2.21.13

link love


Source: Erwin Blumenfeld for Vogue, 1946.


• The first New York City Transit Authority manual of graphic standards designed by Massio Vignelli was found in a locker beneath old gym clothes! Such timeless design.

• Think about how you can exist today.

• Photographer Bonnie Tsang recently spent a day in Detroit and her photos are so inspiring.

• I just came across the This Girl column by The House That Lars Built and it’s so good. I love peeking into a tightly curated life, even if it’s imaginary!

• T Magazine Just updated its identity and I sure miss that iconic blacklletter “T”.

• These neon love signs by Tracey Emin in Times Square are pretty awesome.

• I LOVE Kathleen, an all around inspiring woman and co-founder of Braind Creative so when I popped up in one of her dreams, it felt surreal. Plus, I never think about what dreams actually mean so this post was a great primer!

• If you’re in need of a good laugh, read this fictionalized list of unreleased celebrity fragrances!

• Joy reminds us to let go of the bad and let the good stuff that happens stick.

• I love how the “Made in the USA” movement has gotten a makeover.

• Jasmine Star recounts the best things she’s done for her business.

• Taza’s thoughts about unplugging one day a week are really great. I’m just as sucked into checking my social media networks as everyone else and it’s pointless doing it so often.

Blog Log #2: The One Thing I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Started Blogging

Blog Log

Advice


Get comfortable, it’s gonna be a really long haul. Photo by Shell de Mar.


More blogging-related questions have been rolling in (if you have one of your own, drop me a line at: advice @ nubbytwiglet.com) and this week, the question I’m addressing is:

“If there was something that you wish somebody told had you when you first started blogging, what would it have been?”


The cold, hard truth is that here’s no such thing as a shortcut when it comes to blogging. We all want that magic bullet to cut through the other estimated 200 million blogs out there and get ours front and center. I wish I’d known what a long haul I was in for.

When I started blogging in 2001, it was strictly for fun. Blogs weren’t businesses back then and nearly all the bloggers I knew at the time were personality bloggers, meaning that they blogged about their lives, surroundings and personal anecdotes. I blogged regularly for five years just for fun and since it wasn’t business-related, there was no pressure to perform. It wasn’t until 2007 that I started noticing things in the blogosphere heating up.

Slowly, the tight-knit community on Live Journal I’d been lucky to be a part of began to jump ship for self-hosted blogs. And with that, advertising spots began opening up on those said blogs, which meant that blogging was quickly becoming a business all its own. When I decided to take the leap in August 2007, I was following a long line of personality bloggers that were doing the same. I really don’t think most of us had set game plans — I know I didn’t. I was in college full-time and felt that no matter what happened with blogging, I wanted a solid career to fall back on that wasn’t directly tied to how popular (or unpopular) I was on the internet.

As I worked my way through school and entered the world of ad agencies while balancing freelancing, I steadily built a solid and loyal following on my blog. No matter where I had to be on any given weekday, I pulled myself out of bed at 6 am and put a fresh post up on the blog. Not every day was earth shattering and magical, but I was consistent.

When you first start out blogging, you’re hungry. You’re excited. You have a million ideas. But nobody talks about how you’ll feel five years in. Five years is a long time out and once you’ve gone on that long, you’re in the minority because a sizable portion of your peers will have given up by then. After five years, ideas don’t always come in as quickly. The inspiration doesn’t always hit as swiftly. Or, it comes in waves. For instance, I hadn’t introduced a new column in close to a year and now in the last two weeks, I’ve launched two. Move fast when you’re inspired!

Once you know the blogging ropes, you look out and wonder, “Is this all there is?” If you’re blogging for the right reasons, you won’t throw in the towel. If you’re blogging for the wrong reasons, you just might.

Blogging for fame and fortune usually leads to burnout. Blogging as a creative outlet or to support a business usually has longevity. Part of the reason I’m still able to get out of bed and blog nearly every weekday is because I do it out of a love of the craft and I also do it to support my businesses, a blogging workshop and a design studio. I have defined a purpose and niche for my blog. I am constantly surrounded by a network of friends that love blogging as much as I do. All of these things keep me going.

If you’re feeling sluggish with your blogging routine, its okay. Nobody wants to admit it but we all hit those plateaus. Ask yourself why you’re blogging in the first place. Ask yourself what you’re getting out of it. Ask yourself what others are getting out of it. We’re all going to have different answers.

Even if everyone around us seems to be moving faster and their blogs are taking off more quickly than ours, that’s not always the best. It’s all about perception. I’ll let you in on a secret: when I began blogging more consistently in 2007, I could get maybe one post live per day. I saw a lot of others blogging about fabulous lives and parties and posting beautiful outfit photos. I didn’t have close to enough time or resources to keep up with that lifestyle. I was in school full time. I worked in a shoe store. I had an internship. Just that one post a day was a lot for me to keep up with. The only thing that kept me going was consistently repeating to myself, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I knew I couldn’t “pass up” the competition, I just had to stay consistent. That consistency was the key to everything, whether it was a degree, a job or blogging success.

Remember, there is no shortcut. Do what you do because you love it but also have a goal. Eventually, you will get to where you’re trying to go and it doesn’t matter if someone else gets there first. All that matters is that you get there on your own terms.


View more of the Blog Log series here.