Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Week + Links: 7.22.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This has been a really long week and I spent most of it in a deliriously tired state but with the downs, there are always ups on the other side — tonight’s plans involve plenty of packing for a trip to Vegas that’s mostly business (but with plenty of pleasure thrown in!) with my two BFF’s. Looking forward to the good times that await.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Yesterday, a few hours before Joey was supposed to board a flight, one of the main pipes in our house decided to break and after some frantic ticket re-booking and searching for ancient parts, things are okay…but it’s a reminder to expect the unexpected when you have an older house. They’re worth it for the charm though, right? Haha!

Rocky also hurt his foot and my poor little guy has been limping around. I stayed home from work today to give him extra cuddles and Chubs is sitting here next to us. Awww.

One fun thing that happened this week is that my brother found an 8 foot tall cactus on Craigslist and a sweet 85 year old woman had been growing it for 25 years! She’s transitioning into an assisted living home but I’m excited to keep this beautiful masterpiece going strong in her honor.

Finally, if you missed it, here’s Chubs eating a plum. It’s almost his birthday. Yay!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Have a great weekend!

Images: 1. Longtime reader Jamie knows about my love for Michael Jackson and llamas and sent me this photo. Yesssss! 2. One of my new favorite Portland hangouts is Americano. It specializes in Italian coffee by morning and Italian drinks by night. 3. This is the Craigslist cactus that’s now in the corner of our living room — it’s a giant!


• I didn’t know this existed! The New York Public Library has 9 librarians that serve as a human Google, answering totally random questions. Need to know the answer to the question “How many British monarchs have been left-handed?” They can help!

• Always make your own rules.

• 5 ways to set yourself up for vacation success as a freelancer.

• Watch the first ever Sony Walkman commercial from 1981. This is hilarious!

• Esmé dives into the trouble with blogging and the comments are also worth a read.

• When you feel like nobody knows who you are, show up and be

• What do you think about changing your last name when getting married?

• 9 ways to keep your flowers fresh.

• So interesting! The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes features 7 different stories about how clothes have the power to transform us.

• Taking a nap is like letting Marie Kondo loose in your brain.

• Tips to plan your best vacation ever.

The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

Domino is one of those magazines I’ve been a fan of from the first issue so when they cut back their publishing schedule a few years ago to quarterly, I was pretty disappointed. But, what I didn’t realize at the time was that each issue would be about double the thickness with content that went way deeper than the originals with even more pages of personal interviews and house tours.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

If you’re not familiar with Domino, it’s a home and lifestyle magazine with an emphasis on being able to shop the issue. The sources are always clearly listed and they do curated picks from each issue that you can buy online. Here’s the Summer 2016 selection.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

The cool thing about these quarterly issues is that they tend to follow a design theme throughout — this time, it’s all very airy with a ton of soft pink which thanks to Pantone, is right on trend.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

This issue has some amazing wallpaper picks, a feature on neon signs, an editorial shoot focused on all pink foods (random but totally works — see the popsicle image), a feature on watercolor flower art and a lot of themed product roundups crammed into nearly 200 pages without an ounce of filler.


With the content bar set so high, I’m happy to only have 4 new issues a year. I wanted to scan another 20 or so pages to show you when I was at work last night…but I think these give you a good idea of how awesome the issue is. You can subscribe here.

Nubby Twiglet | The Typofiles: Domino Magazine

As much as I love reading interiors blogs and scrolling through Pinterest, I find myself revisiting old issues of Domino again and again for new ideas as we remodel our house. Just last night, I found the most perfect wallpaper inside for our bathroom in-progess and I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

I don’t know how they’re able to source so many unique items that haven’t already been saturated with coverage…but whatever they’re doing, it’s working.

Creative Chronicles: Pay It Forward

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Pay It Forward

Pay it forward is defined as responding to a person’s kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else.

There are points in our creative careers when we need a helping hand — someone who is willing to reach out and make a connection that gives us a chance to take a much needed leap.

When I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer in my mid 20s, it was a bit overwhelming. Learning the skills needed to find a job in the industry was hard enough but perhaps more challenging was the fact that I didn’t have a single connection to make it happen. A decade later, I’m happily running my own studio but it was a battle to get here. Luckily, a few kind souls along the way believed in me and gave me a chance.

So that’s the topic of today: paying it forward and being genuinely helpful without expecting anything in return.

I’ve been thinking about this topic because I get emails from fresh design graduates all the time wanting to meet for coffee or do portfolio reviews. Though I can’t say yes to everything and am often traveling, I always try to respond and make the time whenever possible.

A few weeks back, I met a wonderful girl named Rose and as we were reviewing her portfolio, I mentioned that it was really important for me to get out and meet with new graduates because it was my small way of giving back.

The reason for this is because if it wasn’t for the four people below believing in me, I don’t know where my career would have ended up.

Here’s the backstory: when I decided to go back to school for the third time at 25 (yes, it took me awhile to figure out I should be a designer AND that it was a viable career), I knew that I wanted to work at a studio or agency within 2 years…but knew no one.

I got to work on making that happen but with rent to pay and full-time hours at a shoe store, I never had time to go out and make many connections. The one time I did was to a party at Nemo Design. I walked in and thought, “I want to work here.” Little did I know that a few years later, it would be my first design job.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Pay It Forward


Chris ran my design program at Mt. Hood Community College and as our first year of classes came to an end, I told Chris I wanted to have an internship during my second year. “Where at?,” she asked, without missing a beat. “My dream would be Nemo Design.” She fired off an email to a former student who worked there a minute later and that eventually opened the door to my first interview.


I spent the summer of 2007 sending emails and walked into Nemo a few months later for an informational interview, my cheap plastic portfolio with just a year’s worth of projects pieced together. All the designers and art directors were busy so Paddy met with me instead. We hit it off because she liked that I enjoyed blogging and working in a variety of design styles. Thanks to her kindness, I started my first ever internship a few weeks later.


When the economy tanked, design work was hard to come by but a chance meeting with Dan changed everything. He became my biggest cheerleader, sharing my work with studios around town and eventually got me a gig at Nike. One placement at a studio was supposed to last 3 days and ended up stretching on for over a year, giving me much needed stability. To this day, Dan and I still grab lunch and keep in touch — I know I can trust him, no matter what happens in my career.


Cinco Design was somewhere I’d always dreamed of working but it felt completely out of reach. Their work is so smart, sleek and polished. A day before I was supposed to sign a contract with another studio, Julie emailed me out of the blue. We’d met during an interview at another company years before and she asked if I wanted to stop by. At the end of that meeting, I had a job offer. Soon after, I started working on their branding team. I only had the chance to stay for a year and a half (Blogcademy took off and traveling kept me on the road) but I’ll never forget everything I learned during that time with Julie as my Creative Director.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Pay It Forward

A lot happened in between each encounter but these 4 meetings stand out as being the catalyst that helped me build a career. We’ve all had moments where someone believed in us when things felt impossible and their acts of kindness helped us reach our goals. The great thing is, as we reach new levels, we can each do the same.

How can you pay it forward?

• The next time you have an overflow of client inquiries, recommend a friend who needs some extra work for the job.

• The next time you hear of an opening where you work, think of the people you know who may be looking for a new job.

• The next time someone asks you to introduce them to someone you know, take the time to make it happen, right then and there.

• The next time you spot an opportunity on Twitter, Instagram or a blog, forward it to to the first person who comes to mind.

Acts of kindness don’t have to be massively time consuming — setting aside 10 minutes can literally change someone’s life.

Pay it forward.

Photos: Made U Look

Week + Links: 7.15.16

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links


Happy Friday! This has been one of those weeks so I’m just trying to roll with it. I’m looking at my calendar wondering how it’s possibly Friday. I planned on having this post up a solid 8 hours ago but life happens and late is better than never…right?

The theme of this week has been all about reconnecting. I met up with my friend Erik on Monday and counting back, realized I’ve known him over half my life — we met when I was 16! It’s crazy to get to this age (34) where you can say you’ve had friends for that many years. I remember being 16 not so long ago! Ha!

My friend Pam also spent a day with me at the office and we laughed over past freelance horror stories (we used to work at a lot of studios together) and ended the day with a big batch of nachos at The Liquor Store (looooove this place). Then this morning, my friend Jessica and I had a big ol’ catch-up over Skype and chatted about her new business — isn’t it beautiful?!

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

I was honestly so busy catching up with people I adore and closing out as many projects as possible before leaving town (taking off to Vegas soon to start a new project) that I didn’t even think of picking up my camera…but aren’t those some of the best moments? Being too “in the moment” to even think of recording it? I kind of miss those days sometimes…because they used to happen much more often.

Anyway, I hope you have an amazing weekend. I’m going to be in the office working on branding for the Vegas project and it’s going to be nice to work on something more personal with less constraints. I find that those projects are always the hardest in a way, too….because anything is possible. Ah, the life of a designer. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links

P.S. I found that man and woman statue at a vintage store called Lounge Lizard here in Portland and it was so random and funny that I had to have it! It was a bronze color but Joey just surprised me by spray painting it white. SO GOOD!


• Sorry, not sorry: Lena Dunham talks about the apology addiction. I’m so guilty of this!

• I feel like this subject isn’t talked about nearly enough: finding the courage to quit.

• Just…wow. Stop Googling, let’s talk. The author asks, “What has happened to face-to-face conversation in a world where so many people say they would rather text than talk?”

• Here’s how to make travel delays more enjoyable.

• Are you capable of really, truly keeping a secret or is the temptation to blab just too overpowering?

• Danielle LaPorte asks, what is the “big real” of what you’re doing?

• I love this interview with Paul Jarvis, especially when he says, “I’m OK if people dislike me for who I am. I would rather be myself (and make some people upset) rather than try to be someone else, and still probably wind up making some people upset anyway!”

• Abstract patterns made out of world flags? Awesome!

• What happens when you decide that you’ll never lie again?

• Megan shares 5 things she learned as a beauty editor.

What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

In my older, wiser age (ha!), I’ve gotten better at indulging in less impulse buys and focusing on unique basics I can get more wear out of. My mission this year has been to find more LBD’s. Little black dresses are great because they can be easily dressed up or down based on a few tweaks to jewelry, shoes and adding a jacket / cardigan.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

One of my favorite recent finds was this number from Topshop. It reminds me a bit of an ice skating costume but I like the higher neckline, fitted waist and flippy hem. It’s a little daring for daytime but with a cropped bomber jacket over the top, (I wear this one from Zara constantly — and it’s on sale!) the look is a bit more subdued.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

Because, you know, being subdued is something that totally comes naturally. 😉

I never get out to do much shopping anymore but when in Vegas….you know how things go. I found this dress at Topshop and the next day, I was on an afternoon adventure out to Red Rock Canyon with Gala and Kat, crammed into a tiny yellow Volkswagen I’d christened Limoncello with Made U Look.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

We drove down a bunch of windy roads until we were about 45 minutes outside of the Las Vegas city limits and were met with the most beautiful, surreal landscape. Over the last few years, I’ve began to appreciate the outdoors and nature a whole lot more and this area is a must-see if you find yourself with an extra day in town.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

If you’re looking for some LBD’s of your own, here are a few picks: 1. This criss-cross strap dress looks like a great pick for hitting some parties and clubs in Vegas. 2. I love wearing this dress for day since it can be dressed up or down easily and has a super relaxed, stretchy fit. 3. I wear this one constantly (as seen here) and it’s got a drapey, comfortable fit — plus it’s on sale! 4. This bodycon zipper dress is super simple and cute. 5. I love the workwear look of this dress and want to order it to layer over basic tees.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

As the sun set, Kat, Gala and I struck a few more serious poses (it never ends!) and called it a day. Taking photos with Made U Look is always a highlight because they shoot with mostly film which has the most unique outcomes but also, they are the most down to earth, wonderful women that always capture the right moments at the right times (they also shot my 5 year anniversary photos!)

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

In near darkness, we packed up the car with our ridiculous looks and headed for dinner at PF Chang’s where we caught up on life and laughed over no less than 4 orders of shrimp dumplings. Because when in Vegas…over-indulge. Always.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Little Black Dress in Red Rock

More from Red Rock Canyon coming up next week! xo

Photos: Made U Look
Makeup: Blanca at Sephora, Fashion Show Mall
I wore: Dress, Topshop (sold out but here’s another color), boots, Vic Matie (similar styles)

5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

I moved into my current studio space a year and a half ago but it’s only been in the last month that I’ve felt really at home and content. Maybe that’s true of anywhere you live or work — it takes awhile to find a balance in your surroundings and a ton of trial and error.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

It’s about moving furniture around into the right configuration, finding art that inspires you and picking out plants that liven up your space but also about settling in and having routines.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

It’s a process that’s partially about self exploration (what do you really like? What inspires you day after day?) and also, practicality. I made the mistake of doing a few impulse buys on “pretty” things during the first year that just didn’t work out — mainly uncomfortable furniture and items that weren’t well made.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

Early on when I was planning out my studio, I set up a Pinterest board to keep track of sources and ideas. I occasionally still pin photos there and it’s fun to look back and see the evolution of a space.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

There are 5 key elements that have made this space feel just right and I hope they give you some ideas for your own, as well. The great part is, most of these tips will work just as well in a spare corner of your room as they will in a larger space.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

1. Inspiration board

Nothing beats the feeling of pinning up great business cards, pages from magazines and thank you notes into one big, loose collage. I have a massive inspiration board next to my desk that Joey built for me on a small budget. If you want to create one in a similar style, here’s the DIY.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

2. Personal photos

A workspace isn’t complete without a few personal mementos. I have a handful of photobooth strips with friends tacked up but beyond that, I love ordering square print sets from Artifact Uprising because you can do it straight from your phone. Bring all those digital photos to life! Current favorite: that baby photo of Chubs! Awwww.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

3. Practical, multi-purpose furniture

When I moved into my space, my furniture was a mix of hand-me-downs and impulse buys. None of it was very practical, except my bookshelf. Over time, I’ve focused in more on function. The plant stand (below) is a new favorite from IKEA that fills up wasted corner space nicely but also groups up some of the plants that were taking up valuable desk space.

I also switched my desk out for a big kitchen table (also IKEA) as the studio grew so 2 computers can comfortably fit. Kitchen tables are great because they’re a pretty fixed, comfortable height, unlike a lot of desks I tested out which were too tall.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

4. Books and magazines

I’ll say it again and again: print isn’t dead! If anything, I appreciate my collection of books and magazines now more than ever. I love going out and searching for fresh print inspiration at Rich’s Cigar Store (magazines) and Powell’s and Anthropologie (books).

If you have an open wall in your place, you can create a simple display for them — Joey mounted leftover door moulding with metal dowels from the hardware store and it’s held up great.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

5. Plants, plants and more plants

Plants breathe instant life into any space and they’re an affordable way to add personality. I’ve bought most of mine from IKEA and Trader Joe’s and then picked up a few specialty cacti from Portland Nursery.

Plants not only look good but they give you a reason to get out of your seat and tend to them! Quick tip: I use a spray bottle to mist my cacti and succulents to avoid over-watering.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

After a lot of moving, unpacking and adjusting to a variety of workspaces, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter how small or big your area is or even where it’s located as long as it feels comfortable and reflects your unique personality.

Nubby Twiglet | 5 Tips To Create a Personalized Workspace

I’ve worked in a bunch of spaces including my childhood room and transformation doesn’t take a massive budget or even much planning — it can happen with the tiniest shifts. Surrounding yourself with a few personalized touches can help your creativity thrive.

The Week + Links: 7.8.16



I am collectively shaking my head with what’s been happening in America this week and it’s heartbreaking. I couldn’t sleep last night and have been at a loss for words — but I think Beyoncé said what a lot of us have been trying to articulate. She also said:

“Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win.”


And with so many injustices happening, I’ve had a hard time sitting down and getting the work done. Blogging and graphic design this week has felt secondary because my mind, like so many of yours, has been wandering towards what can be done to help.

Kindness and awareness are more important than ever.

The bottom line: we are capable of doing good and making changes.

We’re all in this together.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw



• This video is less than a minute long but sums up what it’s like to be black in America.

• Someone finally designed an easier way to hang art.

• 5 inspiring reads to boost your creativity.

• Anna wrote a short and sweet piece about black lives matter. And, she’s right: “All these things we celebrate daily: Art, design, music, homes, books, food—what do they matter if we’re existing in a society where a black man has to fear for his life every time he leaves his home?”

• Here’s how to find your one thing in a sea of possibilities.

• I LOVE the advice Alex offers up for when your project doesn’t “take off” in the way that you expected.

• Esmé wrote about what it’s like to be chronically ill….but afraid of being labeled as lazy.

• Here’s 10 places to legally download or stream movies for free.

• I find this research so interesting!

• The one thing to pack in your office lunch.

• I love it when other creatives open up about comparison and envy because they’re human emotions we’ve all felt…but can be embarrassing to talk about.

• This article roundup on how to do anything is awesome.

• What is branding, really?