Category Archives: Personal

It’s Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

To be totally honest, this post isn’t what I’d planned on sharing this week but I’m sitting here between a Palm Springs sandwich of sorts. We just sent the March issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine to print yesterday which has an 11 page feature of my vow renewal photographed in Palm Springs but I can’t share it quite yet. And then, I’ve been hard at work on a travel guide dedicated to the city but it’s not quite finished — and I don’t believe in half-assing anything, especially when it comes to my adopted home away from home.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Instead of feeling frustration, I started thinking….and remembered that we’d shot a fourth look the day of the vow renewal. There was an open 10 minute span of time after I’d changed out of my wedding dress. The sun was shining after an overcast morning and I felt a sense of relief since the photos we’d needed for the magazine were done. I changed into something less confining —a very mod, citrusy striped dress from ASOS and walked around the corner from our rented house.

The cacti were taller than I was and I draped my Kate Spade license plate bag around one of them. It was a Monday but time stood still. “This is where I want to be,” I thought to myself.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

I’ve been very vocal about my love of Palm Springs since I first visited four years ago and set a goal by the end of this year to buy something, anything in town.

Joey and I have a meeting with the bank at the end of the month to see where we stand. When I left the comforts of a full-time job and started working for myself three years ago in an all-or-nothing move, I knew that I’d have to work harder than I ever had before and made a pact with myself so I didn’t burn out under the weight of it all. There had to be a bigger goal to strive towards, beyond just building a business. There had to be a way to have a tiny vacation spot, a place to go and “retire” to for two weeks at a time.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

I didn’t want to wait until I was 60 or older to feel the relief and the relaxation that comes with being able to wind down after a career. Instead, I set a goal of 35. I never saw myself as the type that would ever need a permanent escape from my job, anyway. I just knew I would need breaks here and there to recharge.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Right now, we’re going back and forth between whether we should buy a small condo that doesn’t need much work or a total fixer-upper of a house that needs to be completely torn apart and remodeled. Joey has remodeled most of our Portland house himself and loves the art of transformation so we’re leaning towards the latter. I don’t know how things will turn out but I’ll let you know what happens.

This phase of my life is definitely taking on a “choose your own adventure” vibe. Each choice will entail a different path. It’s a little nerve-wracking but also really exciting. I’m ready.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Now, it’s your turn: Where’s your happy place? What’s that one place you’ve traveled to or want to visit….and wouldn’t mind living?


Photos: Made U Look.

Taking A Trip WAY Back To Collages and Notebooks. Hello, 2000!

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

Last night, I pulled out an old hard drive and started digging deep for some ancient photos that I ended up not finding…because a decade ago, I didn’t yet understand the fine art of file organization!

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

All that digging ended up paying off in an unexpected way when I found a treasure trove of hand-collaged pages I used to put together in an oversized sketchbook I’d christened the Fashion Notebook. The Fashion Notebook was my style bible I kept from 2000 to around 2008.

2016_NUBBYTWIGLET_FASHION_NOTEBOOK_04

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

Long before Pinterest existed, I’d spend my nights and weekends collaging into the Fashion Notebook, pulling pages of inspiration from the stacks of fashion magazines I always had in my room. To give the pages structure, the focus was always on specific themes, whether it was all black and white, a pop color or a style I was draw to, like plaid, stripes or polkadots.

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

I started these collages years before I was a graphic designer and in a way, making these layouts trained my eye to zoom in on specific details and play around with compositions long before I knew what the “rules” were. There’s nothing like the art of exploration with no clients, no deadlines and really, nobody watching (social media wasn’t around yet).

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

Nubby Twiglet | Fashion Notebook

It was pure and fun. There were no likes, there were no followers. Looking back, it’s so nice to have something from those years. I actually still have the notebook here in my office and it’s tattered but somehow intact after many moves.

I miss the OG Pinterest! Did any of you keep similar notebooks / scrapbooks?

Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me!

Here’s to creating…just for fun.

What Would Happen If You Dared To Dream Big? Write A Letter To Yourself.

Nubby Twiglet | What Would Happen If You Dared To Dream Big? Write A Letter To Yourself.

If you could accomplish anything in 2016, what would it be?

Putting a pen to paper makes it more tangible and therefore, more likely that it will actually happen. I’ll admit, there’s something a bit scary about committing to writing your future accomplishments out — when dreams come true, your life will change and big shifts can be really uncomfortable.

Familiarity is smooth because it’s what we’re used to. A shake-up causes excitement but can also bring along a sense of uneasiness.

I’m ready for a little shake-up in my life and business and to make it happen, I have to get past any fears and dream big.

Will you join me in doing the same?

As the year came to a close, I had a call with my client and friend Ellen. We chatted about how we planned to spend the holidays and then, she had a simple yet poignant suggestion: to write a letter to myself, listing all the things I’d accomplished and dating it for the final day of the year, December 31st, 2016.

A few days later, after the holidays wound down, I started writing. I listed the things I’d accomplished, one by one and I included specifics: business goals, amounts of products sold and new house plans.

My Big Goals

I won’t bore you with my entire list but here are three big big goals I have:

1. Purchase land in Palm Springs with Joey so we can start building our dream home. We’ve been saving for the last year and doing a lot of research. While it might take a few years to build things exactly the way we want, securing the land and permits are the first steps towards making that dream a reality.

2. Launch Project Prescription with Paul Jarvis. We’ve partnered to create a bundle of must-have documents every creative freelancer needs to run their business like clockwork. I’d had this idea taped to my wall for a few years and decided to approach Paul, a designer and entrepreneur I’ve long admired. We’ve been finalizing the last few documents and it will launch very shortly. I’m not shy about numbers — I want us to sell a minimum of 500 in the first year.

3. Expand retainer clients with Branch from one to three. Going into the third year of running my design studio, I’m seeking more stability. We’ve moved into working with more lifestyle, beauty and food clients and the portfolio feels in line with the boutique studio I’ve always dreamed of running. Now that the creative client base is there, I’m looking forward to having a more firm foundation so the ups and downs that can hit from month to month won’t be as big of a deal.

My letter to myself ended ended up stretching on for a page and a half. When I was done, instead of saving it down into a random folder on my desktop, I printed it out and taped it to my wall.

Having a letter of accomplishments you’ve listed as already happening staring down at you day after day is bound to give you the kick in the ass you need. As I type this right now, I can see the letter out of the corner of my eye.

Challenge Yourself

This week, join me in writing a letter to yourself. Be direct in your goals. Nobody has to see this letter but you so there’s no need to be afraid of asking for exactly what you want. Date it December 31, 2016. Keep it somewhere you can see every day. Think about either printing it out or setting it as your phone or computer wallpaper. We’re in this together — let’s see how far we can get this year!

Hoping things will happen is not enough. First, you have to decide exactly what you want. Then, you have to commit to them so fiercely, it’s like they’ve already happened. And finally, it’s time to put in the work.

Writing a letter to yourself is simple, free and powerful.

Here’s to having a super satisfying, fulfilling 2016.


Photos: Made U Look Photography.

New Year. New Schedule. New Goals.

Nubby Twiglet | New Year. New Schedule. New Goals.

At the end of 2015, as the holiday break set in, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel the itch to travel anywhere. I stayed home, took a bunch of days off, didn’t do any “work stuff” beyond checking my email and settled in. I’m idealizing it a bit because it was harder to unwind than I anticipated. But all in all, it was good. It doesn’t how much you love your job; you need to give yourself space to think. To dream. To ask yourself, “What do I really want?”

Oh boy, do I want a lot of things out of this year. It’s an interesting balance I’m trying to achieve this year because while I want to accomplish a lot of things, I also want to simplify.

Simplifying makes more room for the things you want to bring into your life while pushing out all the clutter and the things that no longer serve you.

Over the break, I cleaned out my closets. Cleaned out my office. Traded in unused air miles to subscribe to new magazines. Started reading Zen Habits again (because if you want to lead a simpler life, this is the ultimate place to start). Used a credit to book a ticket to New York to help one of my BFF’s clean out her closet. And really, just lived. I went on long walks and visited plenty of coffee shops with Joey and Rocky, tried out a bunch of new bar happy hours with my dad, spent time at my grandparent’s cabin near Mt. Hood, cleaned out my email inboxes and put in a few quiet days at the office reflecting and prepping for the new year.

It was wonderful.

Nubby Twiglet | New Year. New Schedule. New Goals.

Looking forward, this year is going to be a big one. I’m dedicated to growing and diversifying Branch and with that, there are 4 big project collaborations in the works with a new one rolling out every few months. I’m taking on less of the work I don’t want and more of the work I do. Everything feels good.

With so many new interests and projects where does that leave this space?

I’m going to be tightening up my posting schedule to give you more helpful content and less filler. That was a goal of mine last year as well and I want to keep pushing forward. My thought has always been that there’s no point in half-assing anything in life. Give it your all….or don’t do it at all.

Going forward, there will be a new schedule that looks like this:

Mondays and Wednesdays: Helpful, inspirational posts about design, style and travel — much like it’s always been.

Fridays: A new format of Link Love and The Week In Pictures rolled into one, called The Week + Links. It’s a way to continue sharing helpful, inspiring links I’ve found around the web mixed with a photo (or two) and a more personal, behind the scenes look into what I’m up to. The blogs I love most have a personal touch — they let me into someone’s world and see things through their eyes sand it’s important for me to keep that connection with you here.

I hope your 2016 is off to a wonderful start and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

How was your break?
Did you take any fun trips?
What’s got you most inspired in the new year?

Thanks for joining me over the last nine years, whether you’ve been here since the beginning or are just stopping by for the first time today. I appreciate you and hope you find something helpful and inspiring as you read along. —Shauna


Photos: Made U Look Photography.

Looking Back: My 25 Favorite Posts of 2015

Looking Back: My 25 Favorite Posts of 2015

As the year comes to an end, it’s always nice to take a look back. I know that personally, I get so caught up in the day-to-day of running this blog along with my businesses that I’ll forget about what I even wrote about the month before. It’s good to take stock of what you accomplished because what you did this year provides a solid base for an even better next.

When it came to putting together the list of posts, I didn’t compile them based on views or comments — instead, I scrolled through the entire last year of content, picking and choosing my favorite moments around the posts that I felt were the most helpful to you. Next, I added in a few personal stories with teachable moments and finally, rounded out the mix with a handful that I felt were the most aesthetically pleasing.

All in all, 2015 was a great year. Thanks for closing it out with me and taking this walk down memory lane. Your comments, emails and yes, even snail mail mean the world to me. Let’s continue sharing and growing together. Cheers! -Shauna

CREATIVE INSIGHTS

1. My Biggest Takeaways During A Decade Of Graphic Design

2. 5 Tips To Fight Fear In Your Freelance Career

3. Why I Chose Community College For My Design Education

4. 6 Must-Have Documents To Automate Your Creative Process

5. 15 Must-Have Items For Running A Design Studio

6. 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Media Kit

7. My Top 5 Portfolio Tips

8. Dealing With Negative Feedback

9. 15 Tips To Rock Your Stay At Designer Vaca

INTERIORS

10. My New Office Tour

11. My Black, White and Green After-Hours Hangout

FASHION + STYLE

12. The Cape Dress In Los Angeles

13. Venice Beach Goth

14. A Neon Day In Sydney

15. Black and White Layers in Portland

BLOGGING

16. Live Your Life First, Then Blog

17. Cheers To 8 Years Of Blogging

18. Blogging Completely Changed My Life

PERSONAL STORIES

19. Give Yourself Permission

20. My Wedding Anniversary Letterpress Invites

21. You Have To Dream Before Your Dreams Can Come True

22. Keep Your Goals Fun and Attainable

23. We All Have To Start Somewhere

24. Your Squirrel Questions Answered!

25. There Are No Shortcuts To Greatness