Monthly Archives: December 2016

Goodbye, 2016, Hello 2017!

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2016, Hello 2017!

2016 was…intense.

While a year-end post has been on my mind for the last 2 weeks, I’ve had a hard time writing about it until today because I felt conflicted. When I get down to it, 2016 was a hugely positive year for me personally and I’m grateful for that…but it was also an incredibly difficult time for some of the people I’m closest with, not to mention an especially challenging time for the world.

Instead of doing the usual highlight-style recap, I’m switching it up with a mix of things I learned combined with changes I’m working on for the new year.

Let’s go!


1. AWARENESS

For me, 2016 was about awareness. It’s no longer okay to just hide in our little corners of the world. I found myself keeping better tabs of what was happening on a daily basis through the built-in news app on my iPhone, on Twitter, on the New York Times site and the Democracy Now! daily show. When I wasn’t doing that, I was watching history videos on Youtube and Amazon Prime and listening to stories on This American Life, which has years of archives. Public school glossed over a ton of subjects and I’m only now getting caught up on areas I missed. I’m looking forward to keeping this up in the new year.

2. CLEAN SLATE

Something I started this year and want to continue into 2017 is to clean out the clutter in my life. I’ve found that the more tidy my personal surroundings and digital digs are, the easier it is to concentrate. I’ve been using Unroll.me, a free service that makes it super easy to mass-unsubscribe from mailing lists and other items that clog my inbox. I also just deleted my Facebook Business page after being on the fence about it for ages. It feels so good to let go of things that no longer serve me.

3. REGULAR EXERCISE

I’m not as strong as I could be but exercising regularly has been something I’ve put off for years because all my clothes fit and I’ve never really struggled with my weight. Those two excuses have kept me from staying committed to anything and it’s a terrible mindset to have. At 35, it’s time to get myself on track. I’ve been following Kayla Itsines on Instagram and am joining her Sweat With Kayla app because 28 minute workouts are something that feels manageable. I’m ready.

4. SHARE MORE WORK

One area that suffered this year was taking the time to share my work. Graphic design fills up a big chunk of my day, yet I barely shared anything because I felt perpetually behind. Dozens of completed projects were simply delivered and then promptly dropped in the archives folder. That’s something I’m working on changing immediately and I’m back to blogging regularly on Branch, which I really enjoy doing.

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2016, Hello 2017!

5. KEEP IT LOCAL

While I’ve enjoyed traveling over the last 5 years, I definitely missed out on exploring all the great places in my hometown. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making up for lost time by visiting NEVER Coffee Lab, the Russian tea service at The Heathman, Italian dinners at Pastini, baguettes and magazines at Oui Presse, drinks at Accanto, Chinese food at this amazingly decorated restaurant in Gresham, Mexican food at Nayar Taqueria….and probably a bunch more places I’m forgetting. 😉

6. ENCOURAGE CHANGE

This year, I was reminded of the obvious: the things I don’t agree with won’t just change on their own. Standing up is more important than ever and we can influence change through our daily interactions and decisions. I started donating to a few organizations I believe in and hope to continue to do so. I’m also getting better about speaking out when something doesn’t sit right with me. Going into 2017, I want to step it up and get more involved locally.

7. MORE ADVENTURES

Some of the best times I had this year were when I was traveling. I visited Palm Springs twice, Las Vegas twice, Miami once, New York three times, and London, Marrakech, Milan and the Amalfi Coast once. Those sometimes crazy adventures (all night pool parties, early morning walks along mountainside towns, windy boat rides) gave me the inspiration and drive to come home and work hard in-between. While I’m traveling less in 2017, the big trip I’m looking forward to includes a few weeks of exploring Italy and Morocco with my aunt Shannon. I’m excited to visit more museums and take things slower this time around.

8. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

My mantra is usually “work hard, play hard” but in 2017, I’m instead focusing on “quality over quantity” with everything I do. I’ve never felt good about rushing blog posts, client projects, conversations with friends or much of anything just to hit a so-called finish line. One of the first things I’m doing is going deeper in this space – less posts but more meaningful content. My Friday posts are condensing into a monthly review and longer link roundup. I want to use that time to instead share the content that’s been on my mind for ages that I never got round to. First up: a tour of my closet and how I keep it organized (which has only been on my list for a YEAR!)

9. MINDFUL PURCHASES

Did I need everything I bought this year? Not even close. Going forward, I want to work on buying less junk. I’ve been watching videos on minimalism and while that’s not exactly my lifestyle as a whole, I want to be more mindful about what I spend my money on. Over the holidays, I got a jump-start by spending Christmas with Joey cleaning out cupboards and closets, gathering bags of items for donations. That felt really good….and I want to keep the momentum.

Nubby Twiglet | Goodbye, 2016, Hello 2017!

Thanks for joining me in this space, whether you stop by regularly or occasionally. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to visit and wish you all the best for the new year. Let’s do this! —Shauna


Photos: Made U Look

Top 25 Posts of 2016

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

2016 has been a year of extremes – the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

As another year comes to a close, I like to look back at it in two parts: the first is a collection of my favorite blog posts. Some got lost in the mix and deserve to be dusted off, while others have helpful advice I think you’ll enjoy…or are just fun to look at.

While this blog has always had an underlying creative focus with a special love of design, one subject doesn’t make up an entire person (or audience) so I’ve included a variety of posts below, from creative insights to personal stories to style to travel.

Let’s get started!

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

CREATIVE INSIGHTS

1. Do It For The Love
Not everything needs to be done for monetary gain or fame. Whatever happened to doing something purely because you love it?

2. External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough
With so much time spent online these days, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeking external validation, which is a bottomless pit.

3. Show Up and Do the Work
There is no quick fix…the one way to get what you want out of life is to do the work.

4. Being Different Is Good
You’ll never stand out by following the crowd.

5. Give Yourself Time To Just…Be.
It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out. The truth? Nobody really does.

6. 5 Tips to Update Your Design Portfolio
Portfolios are never really done — here are some ideas to freshen yours up.

7. 5 Tips For Getting Comfortable With Staying No
Saying no is something I still struggle with! How about you?

8. Overcoming The Pull Between Creativity and Criticism
Criticism can make us feel small and stop sharing. Don’t give into the negativity.

9. What’s Your Story?
Tell your audience who you are and exactly what you stand for. They’ll respect you even more.

10. An Inside Look at the First 3 Years Of Running a Creative Business
When I decided to build my own design studio from scratch, I had no idea what I was in for.

11. The Benefit of Longer Term Self-initiated Projects
Show potential clients what you’re capable of.

12. 10 Tips to Land Your Ideal Job
The perfect job doesn’t usually land in your lap but with some effort, you can make it happen.

13. 5 things To Share On Your Instagram Account
When you’re feeling stumped over what to share, these tips will get you going.

14. Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
People avoid doing all sorts of things because they feel too old. The truth is, your age is an asset.

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

PERSONAL STORIES

15. Cheers To 9 Years!
Blogging changed my life for the better. 9 years in, I’m still going!

16. Thoughts on Friendship
Friendship as an adult is harder than I remember it as a child. Here’s how I feel about the subject.

17. My Palm Springs Vow Renewal
Joey and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in our favorite home away from home!

18. Fear and The Mountain
My irrational fear is heights. Sometimes, you just have to climb the damn mountain.

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

TRAVEL

19. The Mini Guide to Marrakech
This Summer, I visited Marrakech for six wonderful days. Here’s a guide of what to see and do.

20. Out & About: Bar Luce
Wes Anderson designed this 50s-inspired pastel colored cafe in Milan. So magical!

21. What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs
My ultimate Palm Springs travel guide (and probably the most popular post this year).

22. New York City Guide: 20 Things To Do
Need some quick and easy ideas for your next visit to the Big Apple? I’ve got you covered!

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

FASHION & PERSONAL STYLE

23. Style Direction: Desert Rose
A rose-covered departure from my usual monochromatic style, shot in the middle of the Nevada desert.

24. What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print
An early Summer adventure with Made U Look (and my favorite style shoot of the year).

25. A Tattooed Dress In The Desert
Ah, the glorious beauty of Joshua Tree! I love that desert light.

Nubby Twiglet | Top 25 Posts of 2016

Enjoy — and I’ll be back later with a look back at the year.

Lots of love,
Shauna

The Week + Links: 12.17.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

Hello from a very snowy Portland! It’s slippery out there!

I’m so glad to be back home after a whirlwind trip to New York last week. Here’s what’s happening…

1. Hiya Tootsie! Feature: My friend and client Heather just interviewed me for her blog and she did such a good job with the post. Click through and show her some love! I admire Heather so much — she inspires women to chase their dreams and her personal story about how she transitioned from a missionary to full-time writer is so inspiring.

2. Gala Darling Website: I first met Gala 15 years ago on Live Journal, when she lived in new Zealand and we finally met in-person during a visit to New York in 2008. I started designing her websites, courses and product logos shortly after that and her evolution has been nothing short of amazing. To celebrate her 10 year blogging anniversary (!!!), we pushed her brand new site live yesterday — it’s so her!

3. Year-end Reflection: As December winds down, I always like to wrap up as many loose ends as possible. There are a lot of open projects over at Branch I need to finish, processes I need to rewrite, photos I need to take and design packages I need to rework. The last week before the new year is always quiet on the work front and even though I have a lot to get done, I also want to give myself plenty of time to just be and not stress about what’s next (see my previous post).

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

4. Time At Home: With all the bad weather we’ve been having, I’ve been going out a lot less which means more time around the house with Joey, Rocky and of course, Chubs, the real king of our household! He’s gotten so big (did you know he’s already 2 1/2 years old?!) and definitely ready for the cold Winter months! FYI: He rolls over like a dog and likes his big white belly scratched. Now you know!

5. Decor Obsessing: I always view the new year as a fresh start and as an opportunity to fix everything that hasn’t been working. Updating my surroundings always gets me into the zone. I like to rearrange my spaces, clean out closets and add a few fresh touches, especially those that help with organization. Things I’m really into right now: Le sac en paper (great for gathering up random rolls of wrapping paper and odds and ends) and CB2 (they’ve been killing it on the furniture and home accessories fronts lately).

6. Red Oaks: I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but with my recent Amazon Prime membership, I decided to dig into some of the original series they produced and am really into Red Oaks which is set in the mid-80s and follows a college student who gets a job at a country club in New Jersey. It’s what I imagine being a teenager during that time was like — and all the 80s decor I remember is spot-on. The ratings are ridiculously high for a reason — check it out and let me know what you think!

Stay warm, friends. xo

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Promise shows us how to wrap gifts like a designer!

• It’s so hard to say goodbye to such an awesome First Lady. Four thank you notes to Michelle Obama.

• Instead of another gift guide, here’s a cause guide. Give the people you love gifts that actually make a difference at the same time.

5 steps to upselling your graphic design business — charge what you’re worth!

• This year, the leading U.S. fashion magazines had much more diversity on their covers. It’s about time!

• This is such a cool project! Do you have an undeveloped roll of film floating around? Now you can send it in to be developed for free thanks to Lost Rolls America!

What do you think about traveling alone? I don’t really enjoy it…and it sounds like I’m not alone in the feeling.

• If there’s someone on your Christmas list that’s impossible to shop for, here are some ideas.

• Use these tips to get more responses to your emails.

• Why are people in Denmark the happiest in the world?

• The Great American Word Mapper tracks the popularity of commonly used words across geographic areas in the US. Do you say dinner or supper? Soda or pop? A lot of your choices come down to where you’re located.

• National Geographic rounds up the best photos of 2016.

Give Yourself Time To Just…Be.

Nubby Twiglet | Give Yourself Time To Just…Be.

As the year winds down, things can feel extra stressful.

There are parties to attend, decorations to put up, gifts to buy….and very little time to just be.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on transitions in my business and pushing myself way too hard. And, the only person I have to blame is myself. Nobody is pushing me to be bigger and better and nobody is pushing you. Only you have the have the power to give yourself a break.

Over the weekend, I was at an apartment party in New York. Pretty soon, I looked at my phone and it was 3 am. And, you know what? As I looked around a living room crammed with 50 dancing people, not a single person had asked me for my Instagram handle, handed me a business card or pushed what they did on me. There was absolutely 0% networking and 100% fun.

It reminded me of parties I went to 15 years ago — there were no “social media personalities” and blogging was just something we did as a hobby. There was zero pressure to act a certain way or get that perfect Instagram-worthy photo-op.

Over the last week, I’ve been chatting with friends who are burnt out on the way things are being done. They are sick of internet marketing as we know it and tired of playing the game of pre-scheduling perfectly polished updates. I’m right there, too.

Instead of pretending that I have everything planned out with a list of lofty goals for the new year, I’d rather be honest with you — I don’t. Instead of pretending that I know exactly what I’m doing and scheduling out weeks of posts, I’d rather write posts like this one in real time, of current thoughts, from me to you.

What I’m saying is that really, it’s totally okay if you don’t have a plan. It’s okay if you’re not sure of what you want to do next. And it’s more than okay if you’re exploring and just taking a time out for yourself.

The end of the year is the perfect time to give yourself some space. This is a chance to reflect on how much you did get done (its probably more than you think) and not stress too much about where you’re going next.

Run your own race. Take the pressure off yourself because that’s when the really good stuff has time to simmer and happen.

For once, give yourself permission to just be in the moment.

Because you know what? It will all be okay.


Photo: Lydia Hudgens.

What I Wore: The Sunburst

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Sunburst

I’m sure some of you wonder why I’m so obsessed with Palm Springs and here’s one of the main reasons: these photos were just taken in Winter. WINTER!

I’m used to endless overcast days and layers piled on thick as the seasons change this time of year. It’s what I’ve known my entire life. While I enjoy the crisp air, sipping hot apple cider, pulling out scarves and seeing frost on the trees first thing in the morning, I also love the sun.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Sunburst

When Joey and I checked out of The Avalon, this sunburst situation was happening and I wanted to document it. The grounds of this hotel have a modern garden vibe with a lot of hedges and plenty of trees full of citrus fruit. Paths wind around tiny bungalows and swimming pools. Most of the hotel is black and white but plenty of foliage and colored doors give it depth.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Sunburst

I love wearing lightweight dresses and having bare legs without freezing. I can’t get enough of light desert breezes and palm trees. To me, these things feel like such a luxury in Winter. And, get this — Palm Springs has an average of 269 sunny days (!!!) days per year.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Sunburst

Where’s your happy place? Where are you dreaming of visiting right now?

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: The Sunburst

I wore: Dress, For Love and Lemons. Boots, Populaire. Choker, Forever 21.

The Week + Links: 12.12.16

NUBBYTWIGLET_12142016_WEEK+LINKS_1

THE WEEK

When life becomes too routine…it’s time to break out of the monotony, throw caution to the wind and live it up!

After a month that kept me inside my office for more time than is considered sane or healthy, I was ready for an adventure. I put everything on hold for a few days and booked a last-minute ticket to New York…only to find myself in the middle of a snowstorm in Portland the night I was supposed to leave.

Feeling defeated, I checked my flight status one last time — and miraculously, it seemed to be the only one that was still on so I called an Uber, slid down my ice-covered driveway in pointy boots and a faux fur jacket and made it to the airport which was completely deserted.

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I am one of those weirdos that gets bored with sleeping after 6 or so hours so I like flying overnight — JetBlue is the best for direct flights from Portland to New York City. Hop on at 10:45 pm, pop on the sleep mask they provide for you and wake up right as the sun is rising. No time wasted!

I only had 72 hours in the city that never sleeps and was determined to make the most of it. Here’s a quickie list of what I squeezed in:

Radiant Human aura photographs with Gala at The Whitney (get yours through December 17th). Lunch at Untitled (very, very good and aesthetically pleasing). Free photo booth at Keihl’s in the Meatpacking District. Exploring the Soho House. Coffee at Elsewhere Espresso with Voltaire. Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookies and Christmas decor shopping at Target in Queens with Gala and Colin, complete with dance moves down the aisles. Visiting The Oculus with Bianca. Breakfast and tile obsessing at Bocadillo. Swooning over flowers at Emily Thompson. Trying on vinyl skirts and star-wrapped hats at Zara. Posing next to George. Sipping sangria and dancing the night away at Bianca’s post-apocalyptic apartment party that stretched on until 3:30 am. Brunch with Gala, Garnett, Bianca and Cleo at Ludlow House. Shooting photos with Lydia as snow began to fall. Tea at The Beekman (brand new and extremely beautiful).

NUBBYTWIGLET_12142016_WEEK+LINKS_2

I just got back to Portland not feeling the least bit exhausted but instead, really happy. Fulfilled. Excited. Glad that I was able to reconnect with my friends. Reminded of the good old days before social media took over when people left the house and danced the night away without the need to Instagram or Snap every detail but instead, just be in the moment.

This trip was all about being present. Exploring. Telling stories. Staying up all night with friends. Getting back up for brunch. Not making excuses to stay in when the temperature dipped below freezing. Throwing on a faux fur and hitting the town. Making room for cheese and dessert. Being vulnerable. Remembering that nobody has a perfect life and that we’re all in this together.

NUBBYTWIGLET_12142016_WEEK+LINKS_5

THE LINKS

• I love Sian’s honesty about not playing by anyone else’s rules in Shouldn’t I like, own a house or some shit by now?

• This made me laugh: I am Hillary Clinton — Fabled, Elusive Forest Dweller of Upstate New York. “Should you seek me through such a journey, you will know me by my fleece of many colors, my frisky husband, and my small dog. You will lay before me your disappointment and sorrow, and I will say, “Do not give up.”

• NPR shares its favorite books of 2016.

10 ways to build a snack board with stuff that’s already in your kitchen.

• You’re probably doing email introductions wrong.

• I love this honest museum audio tour. “This sculpture, you’ll notice, is a tube sticking out of an orange cardboard box. You’re wondering, Is there something I’m missing? No, there is not. This is a bad sculpture.” Ha!

The way you dress definitely has an effect on your workday.

• How to write a thank you note.

• Time Magazine shares its 100 most iconic photos of all time.

• If you’ve been doing a little too much shopping over the holidays, these 5 extravagant sprees will make you feel less guilty!

• Prince’s friends share stories about what it was like to know him. So good! “I tried playing Prince in Ping-Pong once. I told him he was the Serena of Ping-Pong and I would never be playing him again. He was literally a master of Ping-Pong.”

• The best movies of 2016, according to the New York Times.

A Tour Of My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

When I moved into my house back in 2009, my bedroom was painted a horrid shade of glossy band-aid beige. Actually, the entire upstairs was. My aunt Shannon spent her days off helping me cover it up as quickly as possible with my home office across the hall becoming white with black trim and my bedroom becoming black with white trim.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

I’d always dreamed of having a black room and finally owning a place of my own gave me that chance. The thing about my bedroom is that the ceiling takes on the shape of the roof so it has a very high center. Having a high ceiling that is edged in trim painted white means that the black doesn’t feel so suffocating.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

While I’ve always been a fan of stark, graphic color schemes (surprise, surprise!), when Joey moved in shortly after, he wasn’t a fan of having absolutely no color. In my mind, I spend my days working with tons of colors as I create my clients’ brands. Color is always on my brain so when I go home to relax, I crave a blank slate.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

I’d been talking to Joey about revamping our room with a splash of color over the Summer but felt stumped. I wasn’t sure how. Then, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, “A massive portrait of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra.” I told him I wanted a piece of art for our room and since he loves pink, I went with a pink background. Joey is a painter specializing in pop art style portraits so he was up for the challenge. He kept her hidden in the basement until he was done and surprised me with a 4 for tall painting a few weeks later!

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

As soon as the painting was done, I ordered two Chad Wys prints splashed in similar colors, one for each side of the bed. A few weeks later, I was walking through the medina in Marrakech and stepped into a shop selling hand-loomed wool blankets. The pink stripes matched Joey’s painting perfectly so I bought it for a total steal (about $40.00) and it became our bedspread.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Our room still felt barren so I grabbed a big, lush plant from IKEA, along with a lamp and added a geometric wall planter.

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

Finally, Joey had the idea to revamp the built-in storage cupboards on the wall next to our bed. He removed the doors, knocked out the center framing, painted the interior black and mounted a TV. Now, it feels like a much better, more customized use of space.

The thing I should mention about our bedroom is that it’s even more challenging to decorate given that it has 4 full-size doorways. Yes, you read that right. This means that there’s very limited wall space for furniture. Door #1 is the entrance to the room. Door #2 is Joey’s closet. Door #3 was a storage space Joey remodeled and turned into a shoe closet for me. Door #4 was a massive attic area that Joey remodeled and turned into my walk-in closet. (For the record: yes, I know I’m lucky!)

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

That’s my walk-in closet above. With all the doors that need to swing open, we’ve purposefully kept the furniture situation super minimal. We just have a bed and 2 nightstands so the space doesn’t feel overly crammed.

If you’re interested, here are the decor sources for our space. Some items were purchased 8 years ago so I no longer have links but all the recent items are linked:

Elizabeth Taylor painting: Joey Maas
Chad Wys prints: Society 6
Face pillow: Urban Outfitters
White lamp: IKEA
Acrylic nightstands: Ebay (old)
Plant and planter: IKEA
Cut-out bed frame: West Elm (white is discontinued)
Pompom blanket: shop in Marrakech
Light: Ebay (old)
Statue bust: Home Goods (old)
Geometric wall planter: Urban Outfitters
White TV: Sceptre via Amazon

Nubby Twiglet | My Black-Walled Bedroom

The cool part about this room revamp is that it cost very little. We already had the furniture and the walls were already painted — all it came down to were a few splashes of colors, some plants and a few pieces of art. I love how the vibe of a room can change with a handful of adjustments.

Of course, being Winter, the lighting situation isn’t ideal so I apologize for the graininess and lack of quality of these photos. I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you want a tour of my walk-in closet, let me know in the comments!

On a final note, Joey is accepting custom commissions so if you have a portrait in mind, get in touch at joeymaas@gmail.com.

Next up in home posts: our newly remodeled bathroom!