Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Week In Pictures: 3.29.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Wowza, what a week!!! It’s been a little quiet around these parts because Kat and Gala landed in my fair city Tuesday night and since then, it’s been completely, totally nonstop. We’ve been running around like madwomen from 9 am till 11 pm every day, picking up sponsor items from the post office, spilling coffee, visiting the finest establishments of Portland’s underbelly, revamping our workshop presentation with even more fresh content, shopping our way through Portland’s most eccentric vintage stores and of course, hanging out with my quite entertaining family. Our favorite photographer trio Made U Look arrives from LA today and then we will be in full-on workshop mode all weekend at The Ace. Exciting times around here!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Tuesday was a big day for us. We did a live stream event for The Blogcademy and had a great time answering viewer questions about both business and blogging. I’m not a big fan of video but sometimes you just have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and go with the flow. We blew bubbles (Gala’s idea, of course!), somehow Gene Simmons came up in the conversation and before we knew it, an hour and a half had passed! Honestly, once you’ve done one live video, it feels a whole lot less intimidating and I can’t wait to do it again.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

There’s nothing like showing company around your city — it really forces you to adjust your eyesight and notice all the details you overlook on a daily basis. I spent yesterday taking the girls around S.E. Portland and they loved all the kooky colored houses, adorable independent restaurants and of course, the ridiculously cheap vintage shopping. I told them Portland was good!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I’ve walked past this mural dozens of times and never stopped. Like I said, having visitors helps to open your eyes!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Last night, we joined my family at the Kennedy School. It seemed quite fitting having drinks in the Detention Room of the converted grade school! Kat and Gala got to meet my grandparents, who they immediately fell in love with. The feeling was mutual – my grandparents, who live up in the mountains, loved Kat and Gala’s eccentric accents.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

This has been the perfect week to show my friends around down, since Spring has sprung. Everything is in bloom and the weather has been beautiful (you know how rare clear skies are around these parts!)

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

And with that, I’m out — report cards and graduation certificates have been filled out, goodie bags are packed and our presentation polished. We’re packing our bags now for the fun times that await.


Have a great weekend, everyone! And, if you want to keep up with even more snippets and snapshots, feel free to follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

Link Love: 3.28.13

link love


Peggy Moffitt modeling Rudi Gernreich by William Claxton


• Four ways to overcome the fear of starting your business.

• Typographica rounds up its favorite typefaces of 2012 and best of all, you can click through and buy on the spot!

• I had to read the opening paragraph of this 58 year old male shopaholic’s story twice: In the last few years, he’s bought eighty-one leather jackets (including a $22,000 coat). And much, much more. Over half a million dollars worth!

• As a designer, should you ever participate in crowdsourcing? My thoughts are included!

• Having an open mind and a willingness to take chances will take you far.

• Looking for ways to organize your wardrobe? Here’s a roundup of visual inspiration.

• I’m fascinated by these geometric monograms that were created by French Goldsmith and Stylist Jean Puiforcat.

• 10 ways to get the most out of workshops and events.

• If you own a company, maybe you need one of these stamps by your side!

• This interview with blogger Victoria Smith of SFGirlByBay is super duper inspiring.

• I love Kathleen’s new column, Weekend Reading, a link roundup of intriguing, thought-provoking content.

• What does success really look like?


View more Link Love columns right here.

Join Us Today For The Blogcademy Digital Q&A!

The Blogcademy Digital Q&A


How’s your week going so far? Kat and Gala arrived in Portland late last night and we’ve been excitedly prepping for The Blogcademy digital party we’re throwing this afternoon. You’re invited and tickets can be purchased here!

This event is ideal for any of you who can’t make it to one of our live workshops but still have blogging and business questions you’d like answered. It’s also great for those of you who aren’t sure if The Blogcademy is right for you and want to get a small taste of what it’s all about.

To join us today, simply purchase a ticket here and tune in live at 1pm PST / 4pm EST! And if you’re not free to watch then, you’ll have access to the recording forever.

If you have a question you’d like to have us answer, feel free to do so during the live stream or to make sure we don’t miss you, tweet or email us at headmistresses@theblogcademy.com beforehand.

And remember, we’re giving away a Blogcademy goodie bag to one lucky viewer! You’ll receive a custom tote (your pick of the L.A. or Portland design), packed to the brim with awesome things including our exclusive workbook.

Get your questions ready and we’ll see you (digitally) very soon! And, if you’d still like to join us at our Portland or LA workshops, resister here and we’ll fit you in.

Latest & Greatest #16: Kate Spade Saturday

Latest and Greatest

Latest & Greatest: Kate Spade Saturday


Truth be told, I’ve barely been bothered to shop (beyond house-related items) since I returned from Europe two months ago. We’ve been very busy remodeling since the new year and I’ve had little time or interest in perusing the web in the name of fun and personal consumption.

But, all that shifted in a quick moment last week when I laid eyes on Kate Spade Saturday. A new lower-priced diffusion collection, it’s bright, mod and overflowing with two of my favorite things: stripes and yellow.

Latest & Greatest: Kate Spade Saturday

It’s very rare for me, but sometimes, do you come across an item, a collection or an entire store that feels like it was pulled directly from your stream of consciousness? Like you’ve been dreaming up specific items for years and then suddenly, they’re in existence, right before your eyes? I’m feeling that way about Saturday at the moment. I love the fun, youthful simplicity of their products.

Latest & Greatest: Kate Spade Saturday

And, not only are their offerings fun but I’m equally enamored by the bold colors, patterns and grids of their graphic design. All around awesome.


Have you checked out Saturday yet? What do you think?

The Week In Pictures: 3.22.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

How was your week? All I can say is…I’m so glad it’s Friday! No matter how hard I’ve pushed through, I’ve felt completely underwater this week. With good things, though! On Tuesday, we launched The Blogcademy world tour and the response has been really strong — Melbourne is one seat away from selling out (that’s at a faster rate than our first class in NY) and I can’t wait to visit Australia later in the year.

Besides that, I got to visit a letterpress place I’ve long admired, KeeganMeegan & Co. to pick up a client project and I hope to have more to share on this soon. The outcome was impeccable and has inspired me to dream up some new self-initiated projects.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

To a certain extent, i’ve always loathed flower patterns, in part because growing up in the 80s meant that flowered wallpaper, couches and curtains were standard issue (and not in a good way). Powdery pastels just don’t do it for me! This season though, I’m loving the fresh perspective. Saturated florals over black are something I can get behind and I am a bit obsessed with this ASOS dress.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Everywhere I look, I’m noticing amazingly cool Australian magazines. They’ve got it going on these days and I just love this cover of Peppermint. And there’s something incredibly special about handwritten notes — past Blogcademy attendees have sent me some recently and they’re the sweetest. Emails come and go but I hold onto all these notes.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

When it comes to my house, I’m constantly merging the high and low (but let’s be real, mostly the low!) and it ties into my philosophy of making a house a home. When there’s something I really want, I’ve gotten to a point where I bookmark it and leave it. And if I’m still thinking about it a month later, it’s on. In my office, I have a knockoff Ghost chair but as with a lot of my graphic, black and white house, the corner felt very cold. So a few months after having this completely insane Anthropologie pillow bookmarked, I took the plunge. Rocky loves it. ;)

And with that, I’m signing off for the weekend. Kat and Gala arrive in Portland early next week and it will be nonstop around before then, doing a lot of last minute housework and lots of errands. Have a great one! xo

Link Love: 3.21.13

link love


Source: Jon Burgerman and Kirsten Becken


• We’ve all tried out hobbies (and careers) that didn’t work out but that’s part of the journey. I love Joy’s post about hers.

• Brands on Twitter should take this advice to heart.

• I’ve been seeing the Kate Spade x Keds collaboration everywhere and this gif makes me want them even more.

• File organization is so important! If you’re curious about implementing a system, here’s some great advice.

• Learn how to make easter egg terrariums.

• Type Fight features a face-off between two designers creating their vision of the same letter. It’s really interesting to see how different the outcomes are!

• The history of emoticons!

• The Atlantic has compiled photos of Iraq 10 years after the war began.

• Amanda Genther asks the question what are you really selling? And it might not be what you think!

• Free Desk Here is an initiative where agencies worldwide offer up a free desk in their studio to a designer in need of a spot. What a cool idea!

• Looking for a good laugh? Check out this photo timeline for cell phones which oddly runs from 1980 to 2026.

• Information graphics have never looked to pretty!

• If you’re a fan of using TeuxDeux to keep your life organized, it’s just been revamped with even more features.

• A look back at the original McDonald’s menus with a lot of history squeezed in along the way.

Blog Log #6: Tools Of The Trade

Blog Log

Blog Log Tools Of The Trade


Source


Today’s post is about sharing the tools and resources I use when it comes to blogging (and I’d love to hear yours in the comments as well!)

When you’re taking the leap into blogging, it can feel daunting, especially when you’re surrounded by polished pros that seemingly have everything figured out. I’m here to tell you to never use that as an excuse to hold off on your dreams. Most bloggers I know started out with inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras (or no cameras at all) and a free blogging platform. The point is that you shouldn’t let any self-perceived shortcomings get in your way because when it comes to blogging, I can honestly say that it takes upwards of a few hundred posts before you really find your voice and hit your stride. In my case, I would say I found my flow after about the 500th post and that seems to be really common. If I’d waited until everything was perfect, I probably would have held off until I was finished with college and had more free time to develop my design and writing style. Instead, I got moving and figured it out as I went.


Blog Design

When it comes to the design of my blog, I’ve had a custom theme since 2007 when I launched on WordPress. When I was first starting out (and had a much smaller budget), I hired Star St. Germain to customize a free WordPress theme for me and I used that for three years. In 2010, I hired her again to do a complete redesign and then, she developed the current design from scratch in time for my five year anniversary in 2012. It’s been a constant progression. I’ve always designed my own sites and hired a developer because I like a lot of subtle bells and whistles.

Blog Log Tools Of The Trade


My blog in 2007 (above) and 2013


If you’re just getting started and not quite ready for WordPress, Blogger works great as well. Katrina of Pugly Pixel has an awesome set of CSS tutorials geared towards Blogger and they teach you how to customize your theme.

And, while hiring a designer to develop a custom identity and blog layout is ideal, a great resource for free WordPress themes is Smashing Magazine (they always pull together the best collections). Or, you can stop by the WordPress site for over 1,700 options.

As we all know, the subtle, customized details including font choices are what really make your blog stand out. Designer Breanna Rose has compiled the best free options out there in a three part series.

Blog Platform

I highly recommend WordPress because not only do they do constant security updates, the selection of plugins is the best around. You can download the software for free here and install it own your own domain. As a business owner, it’s always been important to me to have complete control over my content and assets and WordPress allows me that.

Hosting

After some completely disastrous results with a previous host, I migrated my server to Dreamhost in 2010. Yes, there have occasionally been some spotty moments but overall, I’m very pleased with the service I’ve gotten. Any time I’ve had an issue, I’ve filed a claim ticket and had a response in less than 15 minutes. They’re also super WordPress friendly and have a great wiki full of helpful hosting information.

Camera

A lot of bloggers seem to think they need a fancy photo setup but I’m here to tell you that you definitely can get by on a budget. For nearly all the photos you see on my blog, I use a Nikon D40 which I purchased used on Amazon three years ago for around $300.00 (a newer model with more megpixels is the Nikon D3000). The lens I use for all my shots is a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX and was another $200.00. I use this camera and lens combo nearly daily and yes, there are much nicer setups out there but it gets the job done. I’m not a professional photographer but I still want nice, crisp shots and a DSLR that fits comfortably in my purse. This is it.

Adobe CS6 Suite

I wouldn’t be able to do my job without the Adobe Creative Suite. For years, it was unattainable to a lot of folks based on the sheer cost (even if you’re a student, it’s still a sizable chunk of change) but in the last year, that’s shifted with their introduction of the Adobe Creative Cloud which allows you access to the latest software as a subscription. Now you can essentially rent the software on a month-to-month basis and even better, you get to upgrade as they come out with new versions. Never again will you be stuck without all the newest features! Current Creative Suite users, click here for a reduced rate.

Photoshop Actions

I use actions on a of my photos to create a consistent look. Having original, consistent photography is going to be one of the fastest routes to getting your blog to stand out. I personally love Totally Rad Actions but I always customize the settings and add them to my own mix. It’s about finding a looks that appeals to you and it takes some practice. If you scroll through my blog, you’ll notice that I like my photos to be bright and airy with cool undertones and a hint of saturation. If you’d like to ready more about actions, I did a more in-depth post discussing them last year. If you’re just getting into actions, this is my favorite free option.

Notebooks

Why do the best ideas always come to us on the run, when we’re away from our computers?! It’s probably because that’s when life really happens. To live an interesting life, you’ve got to leave your house! While I’m a total technology fiend and never far from my iPhone / iPad / MacBook / iMac, I always keep a notebook in my purse. Writing things out jogs my mind in a completely different way and sometimes, ideas for my blog just flow better.


There you go! Sure, blogging might take a little bit of an investment to take to the next level but most of us started out on a shoestring and worked our way up very slowly over a number of years.

Now, it’s your turn: What tools and resources do you turn to for making your blog run smoothly?

View more of the Blog Log series here.