Monthly Archives: November 2013
The Print Revolution explores how fashion designers have put the new technology of digital printing to use. Covering a wide array of designers from new to established, the book catalogs their inspiring results.
Traditionally, silk-screen printing was the standard method of applying patterns onto apparel but it could add substantial cost to the product since each color required a separate screen. Because of this, multi-hued patterns were limited to higher-end collections.
With digital printing, the process works in a similar manner that an inkjet printer would, meaning that the complexity and scale of patterns is now unlimited. It’s pretty amazing to see how this technology has rapidly opened the floodgates for designers of all sizes to apply surface patterns to their apparel.
The Print Revolution was provided courtesy of Gingko Press. All opinions are my own.
I just landed back on U.S. soil after three and a half weeks down under and boy, do I have a lot to share with you!
My main reason for traveling to Australia and New Zealand was to teach four Blogcademy classes alongside Kat and Gala. Our first of the bunch took place in Brisbane. We’d spent a full week leading up to the class exploring Queensland as guests of the tourism and events board and I’ll be honest — after cuddling koalas, ziplining through the rain forest and taking a helicopter ride over the great barrier reef, I was struggling to switch back into work mode. But after arriving at Bleeding Heart, an art gallery by day, I settled in and the excitement of kicking off our first Australian class ever began to build.
I’d designed these totes the month before while sitting on a friend’s couch in LA. A color-blocked kangaroo just seemed like the right fit at the time. Little did I know that I’d come face-to-face with a pack of them on my first full day in Australia!
Inside their goodie bags, each attendee received our 50 page workbook covering key learnings along with bonus articles.
As we made our way through the crowd during our afternoon activities, I spotted this awesome illustration of Gala by artist Jane Davenport!
During an interview with a magazine a few nights ago, I was asked what stood out the most about teaching classes in Australia. After spending the year traveling the world, I noticed something noticeably different about this crowd — there was a sense of pure excitement when it came to blogging.
Sure, the money component came up at some points but I felt that the audiences put more value on self-expression than earning an income. Blogging in Australia hasn’t hit its peak yet like it has in the U.S. and seeing these women getting fired up about the potential their blogs held really inspired me to remember why I started blogging in the first place.
I especially loved our prize selection this time around because we bought everything from the Bleeding Heart shop featuring local artisans.
Our Australian sponsors killed it with an awesome mix of well-designed goodies. Bite Me delivered a tasty batch of perfectly branded cupcakes!
The ladies loved these adorable origami earrings by Imogen Wilson.
Crown and Glory made sure we were covered in the sparkly ears department.
Mi Goals provided our class with notebooks to scribble down all their notes. Their practical, minimal designs immediately won me over.
I loved the mix of necklaces Art School Dropout sent along.
Our class loved the mix of scents by Sacred Self.
Twinkie Chan’s coffee cozies are always a hit — a lucky contest winner grabbed one of her hand-knitted creations.
A Koala-inspired Class Photo
A class photo taken while decked out in fuzzy koala ears suited our Brisbabes quite well. What a stylish bunch!
Ha, look at those faces! What a weekend. It’s so funny to think back now…Australia was a place I never thought I’d have the opportunity to visit. To say my time down under was life changing is a huge understatement. I’m already jonesin’ for our trip next year covering Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
If you’d like to join us for a Blogcademy workshop in 2014, you can sign up right here. I hope to see you on the road!
All photos by Janneke Storm.
What a week! I’ve been zipping all over the place for a mix of business and pleasure. Last Friday, I flew into Auckland with Kat and Gala to teach our second Blogcademy class down under and we spent a few nights in this cute Airbnb apartment in the center of the city with a great view of the Sky Tower.
My favorite part of the apartment was this poster in the kitchen. So cool!
We taught our Auckland class at Generator inside Britomart, which we LOVED — it had a built-in library and astroturf floors! Britomart also housed one of the raddest coffee shops in town, Shaky Isles Coffee Co..
The entrance had a vintage mint green cooler and walls were covered in amazing illustrations. Coolest coffee shop decor ever. I so wish they’d set up shop in Portland.
I especially loved this design at the exit.
After our class, we caught a flight over to Wellington to spend a few days with Gala’s parents. Their house isn’t any ordinary house, though. Her mom, Janet is an interior decorating genius and every inch is impeccably thought out, including the kitchen. I went a little crazy over this painting in their living room since it reminded me of Branch. Her dad actually took it off the wall and art directed my favorite Instagram shot ever. By the end, I was begging her parents to adopt me.
During our day off in Wellington, we visited Revive, a great little coffee shop with some of the best treats I’ve ever eaten. I really, really loved the city. It reminded me of all the best parts of Portland — even the weather was eerily similar. It was strange to feel so at home on the other side of the world.
Janet’s decorating style is seriously a feast for the eyeballs. She runs a sleek little boutique called Darling by day and is the sweetest lady — every morning she prepared lattes with extra foam alongside our breakfasts. First class service all the way. I didn’t want it to end!
In a way, wandering the streets of Wellington with all its hip independent boutiques and hanging out in coffee shops reminded me of being a teenager again — I especially loved Fidel’s, a coffee shop with an adorable back patio, turquoise cups and no wifi connection (just like back in the day!) And, check out that brownie. SO GOOD.
The best dining experience I had in Wellington was at Duke Carvell’s. The mix of dramatic decor, crazy good food and awesome company (including Gala’s longtime friend Helen) made it a night to remember.
I honestly didn’t want to leave Wellington but we had one last class to teach back in Melbourne. Thankfully, when we arrived early Wednesday morning, we walked into one of the coolest apartments I’d ever seen.
Tucked away on a hip little side street and full of modern art and piles of fashion and design magazines, it was my idea of heaven.
As I wandered past the corn cob side table and Ghost chair, I noticed that there was also a collection of dog statues.
Last night, we wrapped up our last Blogcademy class of the year and although it was bittersweet, I’m looking forward to having a few months off to work on some new offerings (!!!) Today is our legit day off (no trains, planes or automobiles!) so we’re making the most of exploring Melbourne and soaking up as much of the city as possible before catching our flight to Brisbane in the morning. Have an awesome weekend! xo
• The New York Times nails the way a lot of us are feeling about owning our futures and living our dreams now in I Want To Be A Millennial When I Retire.
• As a freelancer, do you have retainer clients to keep your income more stable?
• This interview gives us a glimpse into Lorde’s life and genius.
• Feeling disillusioned with Facebook? Here’s a way forward.
• A list of the 100 best novels…compiled in 1898!
• If you’re trying to describe your delightful new project but drawing a blank, start here!
• I love reading interviews about how other people feel about money. This lady feels guilty about earning 100 grand a year.
• Here’s why ad agencies aren’t going away anytime soon.
• When you leave a party, don’t say goodbye.
• 101 objects that made America.
• Have you done free work in exchange for “exposure” and no monetary compensation at any point in your career? You’ll love this article. “I’ve been trying to understand the mentality that leads people who wouldn’t ask a stranger to give them a keychain or a Twizzler to ask me to write them a thousand words for nothing.”
• Here’s one activity you should do on your blog every day.
• These five documentaries will get you inspired.
Is your about page conveying the story that you want it to? And more importantly, is it resonating with your readers? Mine wasn’t.
Up until a year ago, I never realized the power an about page held. Mine was decent on the surface but internally, I knew it was lacking across the board. For many of us, talking about ourselves and playing up our strengths in tidy little paragraphs can seem downright weird. Instead of coming across as proud and well-earned, it can feel more like flat-out boasting. And for the most part, none of us want to be that person. Yet, I knew that after launching Branch in September, it was time to own who I was and get over the awkwardness of talking about myself. I carefully tightened up my bio once again, mostly outlining my professional accomplishments.
Then, something happened — eerily similar emails kept popping into my inbox from new readers. A large chunk of my blog’s traffic is from creatives who are in college or entering their first professional jobs and they were essentially asking me, “How’d you do it?” They wanted to know how I’d gotten to where I am now but when I read back through my newly slick bio, it was leaving a lot out. It may have focused heavily on my accomplishments and been high on aspiration but the details of how I got from point A to B had been cut.
When it comes to your about page, there’s nothing wrong with being polished and professional but looking back, I feel like I’d fallen victim to the the marketing and PR machine — I am constantly absorbing the stories of people I admire in magazines and the intros usually focus on the present and how wonderful their existence is right now. Very rarely do they pull back the curtain and share their ups and downs, their personal struggles and their biggest failures along the way. And if we’re being honest, this missing piece is what we want to hear most because it’s what makes them human and relatable.
As I sat with my bio a little longer, I realized how many misconceptions I’d built up. In a way, I took it for granted that most of my readers had been with me for the long haul, since way back in 2007 when I launched this incarnation of my blog. Every few months, I’d been polishing up my about page to reflect the current me but not talking about any of the details of how I evolved and became who I am. I was stripping out the old and slipping in the new. I was missing the big picture: we don’t just become who we want to be overnight; a whole lot happens in between. Our past heavily influences our present and we shouldn’t discount that.
Think about your own About page: if a reader is dropping in now and just discovering you, they’ll see something very different than if they’ve been following you for a few years. We all have to start somewhere and I am guilty of clicking into a fabulous about page or portfolio and thinking, “I’ll never be good as them.” But then, sometimes I unearth glimpses of a creative’s past and realize that they’re just like me. They had to start somewhere.
About pages are incredibly powerful and if you don’t take the time to tell your own story, chances are that no one else will, either. It’s up to us as bloggers to own our stories and to get comfortable with sharing them. After all, our personal experiences are what differentiate us from everyone else. I’m still reworking my about page to be the best it can possibly be but in the meantime, it’s already an improvement from where it was. Baby steps.
How do you feel about your about page? Is it conveying what you want it to? Is it resonating with your readers?
I’m so happy to be sharing a new installment of In The Mood, my series dedicated to real life mood boards. Even though I love creating a good digital mood board, over time I’ve been getting burnt out on the same old posts compiled of “Pinterest pretty.” This week, I was inspired by a second-hand black Jean Paul Gaultier skirt that I recently found at Buffalo Exchange.
Over the Summer, I wore a lot more brights than usual but as Portland eases into Fall, I’m reverting back to my tried-and-true black layers. I plan on pairing this skirt with black tights and a leather jacket.