Monthly Archives: February 2013

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


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 @ 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.

In The Mood #1: Citrus & Sunshine!

In The Mood

I’ve been thinking of new columns to add to the blog, especially after writing the first Blog Log article last week about developing features. Columns come and go and mine are often inspired by other bloggers.

When I spotted fellow designer Emma Robertson’s new column, Moody which revolves around real life mood boards she creates, I had a lightbulb moment. One of the best times I had last year was making mood boards for this DIY project.

In The Mood

As much as I love Pinterest and appreciate the way it helps me organize client projects, I still find great solace in magazines. No matter how big the stacks of unread magazines get in my office, I won’t give up my subscriptions. For me, it’s important to keep a connection with the tactile and collect visual research in different ways, including flipping through those pages.

In The Mood

In this new column, I’ll be putting together real life mood boards around a theme. Right now, warm citrus hues are on my mind (obviously the Portland doom and gloom is getting to me!) Interestingly enough, these colors took center stage last year in a Latest & Greatest column. Some things never change!

In The Mood

I’m having a great time pulling together “real life” inspiration and am already plotting out the second installment of this series! Have you came up with any new columns lately?

View more of the In The Mood series here.

Life On The Farm

Blog Log

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that when I visited Ridge Farm during my last day in the U.K I went a little mad. As our driver pulled into the driveway of the residence, I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. We were in the midst of a farm house that had existed since the 16th century.

Blog Log

This wasn’t just any house, either. It was deep in the countryside of Surrey, about an hour outside of London but this place has some really unexpected history.

Blog Log

Blog Log

See, there’s a recording studio in one of the many cottages that dot the land and the likes of Queen, David Bowie, Little Richard and Black Sabbath have passed through its halls. We heard that it was the place to be in the 70s, 80s and 90s for bands looking to record their albums on state of the art analog equipment.

Blog Log

Blog Log

Upon further research, one of the “farmers” dug up photos of Freddie Mercury strolling across the front lawn in a canary yellow 3 piece suit! Oh, Freddie. I was already dying of excitement just seeing the front of the house (I couldn’t shut up — “We don’t have stuff like this in America! I can’t believe this place!!!”) but then, I had a mini freakout when we were led up the very settled (read: crooked) winding stairs to the top of the house. We’d been promised “Freddie’s Bedroom” for our night’s stay, complete with a four poster bed and peaked ceiling. Legend has it that he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody up there. And that David Bowie had slept in that same room. It was like nowhere I’d ever been — it exuded magic.

Blog Log

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. We had been invited to The Farm by celebrated UK wedding photographer Lisa Devlin for her intensive photography workshop dubbed, quite accurately, the Photography Farm. This time, she’d ambitiously set up a multitude of masterclasses that people had flown in from all around the world for and we’d been invited along to speak at length about our Blogcademy social media segment tailored to photographer’s needs. We met so many fantastic people during our three hour talk and spent the rest of our time exploring the grounds, eating gourmet meals whipped up by the chefs and obsessing over Freddie’s bedroom (wait, that was me).

Blog Log

This little adventure was the perfect way to end our time in the U.K. and unwind after two sold out Blogcademy workshops. Getting out into the world and visiting places like this is a dream come true. Seriously, it was like an idyllic storybook setting (though I can only imagine the hijinks the big name rock legends actually engaged in)!

* If you’d like to attend a future Photography Farm event, you can learn more here.
* If you’d like to book an event at Ridge Farm, you can do so here.

The Week In Pictures: 2.15.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

It’s always good to switch things up. I was still feeling completely exhausted last week and needing to get away from all things work-related so I drove out to the suburbs and spent the night hanging with my grandparents (aren’t they the cutest?!) at The Eagles. The place was filled to the hilt with Valentine’s decor and I looked on, grinning as little old couples danced the night away to a live country band. I even snuck in a dance with my grandpa — he’s 85 and still going strong! One the way out, they handed me a tin piled high with freshly baked cookies. How’s that for service?

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Over the weekend, I joined my brother for The One Motorcycle Show and it was soooo awesome. I grew up surrounded by motorcycles (my dad’s an ex biker and his collection is impressive!) but personally, they’ve never been my “thing.”

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I have a newfound appreciation for them after this amazing show — the lengths people go to to customize their bikes blew my mind. They’re really their own design project, each one showcasing the owner’s personality.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Mustard yellow velvet? Sure, why not! Everything was fair game at this show! The place was packed to the gills with everyone excitedly snapping photos. Portland has a lot of really tight communities and this show reminded me of that sense, witnessing so many people gathering their dream bikes together to make this show happen.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Also, I finally had a chance to visit Ampersand, a mecca for design and photography books. Exquisitely curated, the tables are stacked with everything you won’t find everywhere else.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Each month, they curate a new art show along the back wall as well.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I’m really looking forward to this three day weekend…partially because I need to get my taxes wrapped up, once and for all (yeah, seriously not exciting). And, make a much needed IKEA visit. Joey’s been on a mad remodeling spree, fixing up our ancient basement and making one of the extra rooms inhabitable for Kat and Gala when they visit next month. Right now, it’s a dusty mess but once we make some more progress I’ll share.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Make time to get out and explore…