Monthly Archives: December 2013

Astroturf and Bunny Ears: The Blogcademy Auckland!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

I had no idea what to expect when we landed in Auckland but almost right away, I began to feel at home. For being so far from the U.S., Auckland felt very similar to Portland in a lot of ways and the drizzly weather only added to that feeling.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Our apartment had a direct view of the Sky Tower and we walked the 20 minutes to our venue at Generator both mornings, taking in all the sights downtown. Even though Auckland is a big city, I loved the huge variety of independent coffee shops and boutiques. My favorite coffee shop of the bunch was Shaky Isles.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Having a photo booth always encourages bonding right out of the gates — I have a massive stack of strips from this class thanks to The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth. I especially loved this moment. It’s the clown car of photo booths right there!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

The creativity of Wink was really inspiring when it came to our decor. And our Auckland class was especially colorful — I felt a little guilty wearing black both days!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

During our trip, Sophie of Crown and Glory surprised me with a custom flower crown in the very Branch shades of orange, gray and black! I had to stop myself from wearing it every day….it’s now resting on a glass head in my office. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Our blogcadettes always make the most of the props. At the end of each day, we inevitably find ourselves sitting on a couch somewhere scrolling through all of their awesome snaps!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Gala’s style maven mother Janet wasted no time slipping on her ears.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

One of my favorite testimonials from this class was by Angie of Gurl Interrupted:

“I read numerous comments stating ‘you can find everything you want to know about blogging/monetizing by simply googling it, or you can just ask fellow bloggers, as some have been doing this for ages’. The truth is, I’ve done a tonne of research on all these things (all the not-so-basic blogging questions), and have been blogging for years myself, and I’ve never found the information I needed (not the super-important stuff anyway) from Google or from just asking around … At Blogcademy all your questions are answered, and nothing is taboo – this for me was golden!! I guess what I’m saying here is if you are thinking about attending Blogcademy and are told that you can just get that info anywhere – my personal opinion is that you can’t and the wisdom I gained, made Blogcademy totally worth attending!”

Class Photo

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Did I mention that our classroom had astroturf floors?! I LOVED this group so much. So colorful, so inquisitive and so welcoming.


Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

The watercolor art by Clouds of Colour was a huge hit. My favorite of the bunch was this flamingo!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Native Creative made these adorable brooches.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

As always, Crown and Glory made sure that there were sparkly ears for everyone!

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Love Ideas Ink sent along these great little packs of postcards.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

These concrete necklaces by Cocorrina were like nothing I’d ever seen! I loved the modern spin on an everyday material.

Nubby Twiglet | The Blogcademy Auckland

Extra notepads always come in handy during our classes and ToodlesNoodles made sure we were covered!

Video Recap

I keep rewatching our video by Craft Workshop! It perfectly captures the atmosphere and energy of the Auckland class so well. I want to go back and give every single one of those ladies a hug! Such a great city, such a great time.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: doing Blogcademy workshops and meeting so many of you has been one of the biggest highlights of my year by far. I’m having total withdrawals and can’t wait until we start up with our next round of classes.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Join us on the road next year!

Venue: Generator
Photography: Jel Photography
Videography: Craft Workshop
Photo Booth: The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth
Decor: Wink

The Week In Pictures: 12.14.13

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

How was your week? I’ve been busy getting our house ready for Christmas and our upcoming party. It took me a long time to get into the holiday spirit partly because throughout my early and mid 20s, I’d worked retail jobs and after decorating the store and then helping customers find their perfect Christmas gifts for 8 hours a day, putting up a tree and wrapping presents was the last thing I felt like doing.

When I met Joey, he was really big on Christmas but it still took me a few years of getting settled into the house before I was ready to decorate and throw a legit party. FINALLY it feels right! Over time, I’ve learned that you just can’t rush how you feel when it comes to your surroundings. I’m glad everything has fallen into place this year but boy, it sure took a long time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’ve been pulling together little details around the house — Target has some great, inexpensive decorations like these ornaments, straws and napkins! The white serving pieces are all from CB2 and the face pitcher is from the gift shop inside Kennedy School and is one of my favorite things ever.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I know the thing to do these days when you’re having a party is to set up a Facebook invite but that just feels so impersonal! We did that but I wanted to do something more for close friends and family and decided to mail out print invites. It was fun doing little handwritten notes on the back and adding those personal touches.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

On another note, one of the things on my to-do list since I launched Branch back in September was to design a media kit. It’s one of those things we do for clients all the time, but I’d never gotten around to doing one just for us because it’s always easier to put off your own project and focus on paid work. I just finished our 16 page media kit earlier in the week and it’s awesome to have all the information about the business, FAQs, packages and processes all in one document. I’m working on a post about it for next week and can’t wait to share more!

I was all over the place yesterday, visiting Powell’s Books and catching a movie so today is a bit of a catch-up day. Totally worth it though — gotta play hooky sometimes. 😉

Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Designer Wish List #4: Stylish Gadgets and Tech Gear


All creatives need some solid gadgets and tech accessories in their arsenal but it’s always an added bonus when they’re well-designed. I’m especially loving the old school stylings of the Fuji Instax and the Lomo smartphone film scanner! How about you?

1. Fuji Instax Mini 90 Classic Camera, 2. Megaphone iPhone Amplifier, 3. Nooka Mirror Watch, 4. FRENDS Taylor Headphones, 5. Crosley Floral Record Player, 6. Block Dock, 7. AirPort Time Capsule, 8. Venus of Cupertino, 9. Pentax Q7 Camera, 10. Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner, 11. Dracula iPhone Dock and 12. Rock Out USB Key.

Link Love: 12.12.13


Nubby Twiglet | Twiggy by Burt Glinn, 1966

• What are you building in the new year?

•  I love Joy’s candidness on juggling a career, family and expectations.

• Did you know that you can change out the look of the icons in your dock? I just used Emma’s post as a guide to switch up my Adobe Creative Suite icons!

• I’m completely obsessed with this typographic gift wrap.

• When it comes to your career, it’s better to be running towards things than away from things.

• Stop worrying.

• 30 things brands should stop doing in 2014.

• The 3 types of toxic employees you should fire now.

• The perils of self doubt for writers: what should you do when your inner critic takes over?

• Handmade candycane-style wrapping? Yes, please.

Gawker on smarm: “What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.”

• You deserve dream clients that pay.

• We Are The Contributors is a new online space committed to bringing together creatives and building a sense of community.

• I loved reading this post about getting things done.

Image: Twiggy by Burt Glinn, 1966.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

A Call To Creatives: Follow Your Unique Path


Over the weekend, I met up with a long-time friend who just landed a way awesome job and is leaving Portland soon. We both started our careers with the same exact internship and I was so excited to hear the news. His climb up the ladder in the design world over the last few years has been nothing short of impressive. I thought about our conversation afterwards and asked myself why I didn’t want the same thing. After all, a well-paying in-house design job at a cool company is the dream, right?

For six years, I freelanced and worked full-time at a lot of design studios and agencies. And I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It was necessary for me to witness the inner-workings of how successful design businesses run on a daily basis in order to fully understand what it takes to keep things going.

But now, being on my own, I’m the most content I’ve ever been. I’m excited to get out of bed every morning to work with clients I love and feel a personal connection with. I’m excited to share new snippets of work on dribbble. I’m excited to have people on my team I admire like Star and Cathy, even though we’re not physically in the same city. I’m excited to manage things and create a vision that feels authentic, evolving and modern. It’s what I’ve wanted for a long time.

And that’s what I realized: we each have to block out the outside noise and follow our own path. It took me until the age of 32 until I felt comfortable enough to launch Branch. I needed that time to grow into myself and gain the confidence that somehow, some way, everything would be okay. This path feels right for me for right now and if it doesn’t in the future, I have the power to change it.

I know a lot of other designers that don’t want the headaches of running their own businesses. They are happy working at a job that treats them well, pays them well and provides them with great benefits. I completely respect that because I wanted that same thing a few years ago. It’s nice to not have any cares about work when you leave the office for the night. It’s a very zen feeling to lock the door and leave your work behind. When you work for yourself, that work and to-do list is always chasing you.

Working for yourself is definitely an uphill battle. But it’s a battle I’m more than willing to take on.

When it comes to your career, it’s easy to look around and obsess about people that seemingly have something more than you. There’s that someone that is younger, more talented and further along. But remind yourself that there’s always going to be that someone.

As hard as it is to not get hung up on what the rest of the world is doing, you have to remember that you’re on your own path. It really doesn’t matter all that much what everyone else is up to. I didn’t even finish my design degree until I was 27 and it made me feel like such a late bloomer compared with my peers — but I didn’t let that stop me. I just worked harder because I wanted to be a graphic designer more than anything. I put in the time to get what I wanted. I worked a lot of jobs, some of which I loved, some of which I hated. But I learned something unique from each experience and it was worth it.

This post is a reminder to block out what everyone else is doing. If you want to work in-house or at an ad agency or for a small, family-owned business, cool. If you want to work for yourself, cool. It’s all up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to build your career in design.