Category Archives: Week In Pictures

The Week In Pictures: 12.19.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Ahhh, welcome to the very last Week In Pictures of the year! It’s always a little bittersweet for me to say that, even after seven years of posting this column. This time of the year always feels a bit crazy between Christmas shopping, decorating, wrapping up work and plenty of parties. And, there’s been a lot of celebrating around here as well with family as my mom just turned 60 and my grandpa turned 88. Gotta love those milestones!

Onto some of the week’s highlights…

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

1. Weird selfies. I’m not the best selfie taker and this set of photos was especially difficult because I was trying to show all of my hair. Haha. I kiiiind of forgot just how long it was. After a year of letting it fade to a more brownish tone thanks to some nasty allergic reactions, I finally found a natural dye that works. Back in black, finally!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

2. Oh Christmas tree! I worked retail for a big chunk of my 20s and honestly, it kind of wrecked Christmas for me for a really long time. After decorating the store (I sold shoes) and dealing with difficult customers, the last thing I wanted to do was to go home and put up a tree. Now, I love coming home to a living room full of Christmas decor and a stack of presents under the tree. Our stockings are hung from the fireplace and yes, even Rocky and Chubs have one. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

3. Blue Star Donuts. Why didn’t I try these sooner?! Portlanders, if you’ve been waiting, give in. Now. For my mom’s birthday, we decided donuts were better than cake and these are hands-down the best I’ve EVER had.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

4. Color play. I never had the chance to take color theory in college so I’m constantly playing around with combinations and learning as I go. It’s so much fun gathering objects around my office and piecing them together in different compositions.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

5. Happy Birthday, grandpa! Can you believe he’s 88? No glasses and no walker in sight. The key to Sharkey’s long life is chopping wood every day….in cowboy boots. He’s the sweetest guy and I’m so thankful that he’s been in my life so long considering that he had an aneurysm 5 years ago. He celebrated his big day in the best possible way — a little drinking and a little gambling. 😉 Next week, Joey and I are joining him and my grandma at their cabin near Mt. Hood for Christmas. Always a highlight to the year end!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

6. Quiet time equals reading. One of the things I’m looking forward to most during the break next week is having some time to go through the stacks of books in my office. I am especially excited to finally have a chance to flip through Coralie Bickford-Smith’s book Penguin sent over — she’s best known for illustrating the hardcover classics series and has the coolest style.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

7. Present wrapping time! I surprised my design assistant Samantha some goodies and had a great time wrapping them all up. Am I the only one that finds gift wrapping oddly therapeutic? Probably!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

8.Holiday browsing. I’m always looking for a good excuse to visit one of my favorite Portland boutiques, Alder & Co. Right when you walk in, there’s a florist making custom arrangements and the staff is so welcoming. I’m always finding the most unique gifts for friends here.

Have a great holiday break, friends. I have a few posts lined up for next week and then I’ll be off until the new year. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The Week In Pictures: 12.6.15

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I hope you had an awesome week! I’ll be honest — with a bunch of pre-holiday deadlines looming, I barely left my office this week. And, it’s been POURING, along with getting dark by 4 pm which is not ideal for taking photos. Ah, Winter! So, I’m going to do things a little differently around here today.

A project I spent most of the Summer on finally went to print this week and is available for pre-sale! I wanted to share more about that, along with a more personal story.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

Just yesterday, my design assistant and I were working on the cover of the new Rock n Roll Bride Magazine, which goes to print next week. About an hour into the process, she said, “This is so hard!” I responded with, “I know. It’s supposed to be.”

I know Instagram often feels like a highlight reel where every creative has a pair of gold scissors on their desk, a black and white inspirational poster washi-taped to their wall, a freshly brewed cup of artisanal coffee and a marble surface they conduct their work on but this is rarely the reality.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I get to work by 9 am and leave at 9 pm nearly every day. And in between those inspirational moments, the work is hard. Sometimes branding projects are late because the inspiration just doesn’t flow and I refuse to half-ass a project. This is real life. The work you see online that looked beautiful, effortless and perhaps even easy? It’s usually anything but.

The project featured in this post, a deck of oracle cards called Beauty Heart & Soul started out as an idea Julie had back in July when I met with her in Seattle.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

In a way, it seemed kind of glamorous — I’d spend the Summer making cute little inspirational messages and scanning flowers. And then, the reality set in. 34 completely different designs coupled with sourcing enough of my own images felt paralyzing. I’d get into the creative zone and then before I knew it, stopping to pack my bags for another trip. After starting work on this project, I traveled to London, Marrakech, Rome, Florence, San Francisco, Orlando, New York and Palm Springs in quick succession. Getting back on track with such a big project felt daunting and the creative block set in big time.

But then one weekend, I sat at my desk and started working. A few more cards were done. Then, a few more. Baby steps. The momentum built. We reworked and refined a few designs and finally, added in a few more cards. Soon, it was done. All 34 cards. At the printer. Hallelujah!

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I know how hard it is to start those big projects. I know how easy it is to lose momentum when you realize just how big of an undertaking your idea is. I wish I had all the answers on how to follow through, but I don’t. All I can say is that the feeling of completing a project is one of the best feelings in the world and it is so much better than looking back a year from now, wishing you just would have gotten started in the first place.

Get started. Yes, it’s going to be hard.

Don’t let the internet convince you otherwise.

Just do the work. It’s always worth it.

“There is no substitute for hard work.” —Thomas Edison


Featured: Beauty Heart & Soul cards by We Are Branch. All designs copyright 2015 Olivine Atelier.

The Week In Pictures: 12.4.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As this week wraps up, I’m getting excited to finally set up our Christmas tree and hang the stockings. It’s been freezing cold in Portland so I have a mini wood stove-style heater going in the office (makes this space feel very faux cabin-like!) and am burning my favorite Aspen Summit candle. Tunes-wise, I have a playlist called Soulection by Tim Scheeser going on Spotify (he does all the Ace Hotel playlists — dude has amazing taste).

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I love these very wintery colors here! As I was walking home the other day, I noticed kiwis growing in a neighbor’s yard. I’ve never seen them in Portland before— definitely a first!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Chubs constantly cracks me up. Look at that handsome profile! He’s such a curious, cuddly, sweet little guy. Time to pick up some organic, unsalted nuts for his stocking!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

It’s so awesome when I finally get my copy of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine in the mail! It’s by far the biggest project my studio is producing and to see it in person after solid month of work is pretty satisfying. This is my favorite spread in the newest issue.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

And with that, I’m diving back into a few branding and print projects before the day’s over. Have a great weekend, friends!

The Week In Pictures: 11.27.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and are slipping in some Black Friday shipping!)

This year didn’t go quite as planned with Joey and I both coming down with bad colds. Showing up to our annual family gathering and infecting everyone with the plague seemed like a bad idea (haha!) so we stayed home instead and luckily, there was a nearby Thai restaurant open for dinner.

I’m hoping that we feel better in the next few days so we can put our all-white tree up, though that usually turns into an adventure in itself since Chubs ends up stealing the ornaments!

Here are a few highlights from this week:

Top: Over the weekend, I met Jennet Liaw, the designer of the Pinterest-famous Stay Humble | Hustle Hard print and couldn’t resist picking one up for the office. Follow her Instagram full of epic type treatments here!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

1. I love Fall colors so much and seeing this display of squash and pumpkins made me appreciate the natural palette even more.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

2. A few months ago, Joey mentioned that he wanted to start building furniture. I didn’t think much of it until I came home one day to find a hand built Ouija Board table in our living room! That one sold quickly but he’s since built another….and it’s available! If you’re interested, email him at joeymaas@gmail.com. I know this has to be the perfect gift for someone on your list — and there’s just one! Pricing is $250.00 + shipping.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

3. For the first year of his life, Chubs was a holy terror. And really, I wouldn’t expect anything less from a squirrel! But over the last few months, his personality has shifted. He’s calm sweet and extra cuddly. I swear, from being around Rocky since birth, he now acts like he’s part dog — literally, he rolls over and lets you scratch his belly!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

4. After a meeting with my awesome client Susan Grace a few days ago, I walked into Blush Beauty Bar (they carry so many hard-to-find cosmetics lines!) and noticed that they carry quite a few of the Olivine products I designed. Pretty cool to see them in a local shop!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

5. I couldn’t help posting a variation on the shot I shared a few weeks ago, now that the Fall flowers have filtered in. So many beautiful yellows, reds and oranges! Makes me excited to decorate our house for the holidays, sip cider and spend more time at home.

In the spiring of Thanksgiving, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being here. Whether it’s your first visit or you’ve been reading for years, I appreciate you for taking the time out of your day to stop by. Have an awesome weekend! xo

The Week In Pictures: 11.20.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I hope you had a great week! I’ve been out and about a lot, hitting all my favorite Portland spots including Good Coffee. It’s been such a welcome change having so much time at home with no travel plans for the foreseeable future.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Have you heard of Content? It’s been going on for a few years at the Portland Ace Hotel but this was my first time attending over the weekend. It’s an event where local artists and brands take over hotel rooms and revamp them for one night in their own theme.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The mix is truly eclectic. Some feel like an experimental dance party while others are more structured and you never know what you’re going to get. Some of the standouts were Brady Lange which included a real life paper doll and Solabee which was packed with amazing plants and crystals.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My Nuuna notebooks showed up and I’ve been obsessively making lists and scribbling down ideas. Nothing beats putting a pen to paper.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Have a great weekend, friends. I’ll be working on some fun upcoming travel posts and wrapping up an exciting project featuring oracle cards that I’ve been working on for the majority of the year. Take care and stay warm! xo

The Week In Pictures: 11.13.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello from a very overcast, cool Portland! My office is in an old brick building which gets drafty so I’m sitting here at my desk next to a space heater looking over my shoulder at the big, dark clouds behind me.

Moody, drizzly days like this are really great for focusing and getting work done and boy, do I have a lot of it at the moment. I had friends and clients in town and it’s always sad to say goodbye but the best people to know are the ones where when you meet again, it feels like no time has passed at all.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Whenever I come across something amazing in a magazine or catalog, I tape it to my wall immediately. I’m loving this modern, sunshiny vibe.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Aren’t the floors at Dapper & Wise great?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The street art in Portland seriously cracks me up. Crafted by this same artist but not pictured: an illustration of a tombstone emblazoned with Donald Trump.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Fresh flowers at the office. Its all about those little, special touches when you have visitors.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I just discovered Off The Waffle and really, how can you ignore this awesome sign? Haha. The line was too long to eat there over the weekend…..but I’ll be back.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This is the face Rocky makes when Joey is having a conversation with him. So focused and serious!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Going into these short, dark days, I’m obsessing over documenting the bits of light we get here and there that have the most beautiful glow.

If you’re in Portland, maybe I’ll see you at Content tomorrow night. Should be a good, inspiration-packed time. Have a great weekend, friends!

The Week In Pictures: 11.6.15

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My first thought today is, “What? It’s Friday? Really?

My second thought is, “Maybe I should have left my office more. This week doesn’t look all that interesting here.”

My third thought is, “It’s okay. You’ve gotta live your life first.

How was your week? Mine was full of a lot of behind the scenes tasks that didn’t necessarily equate to pretty pictures. Business stuff is rarely photogenic but an absolute necessity. I revamped the Branch media kit and it was a good reminder that talking about your business and marketing yourself, no matter how many times you do it is still difficult. It’s one of those things that takes constant insight and practice. Once that was done, I reworked all our internal documents to match. The rest of my time was spent sending out a stack of estimates and taking a bunch of calls.

None of these moments leave room for pretty pictures…but that’s what real life often looks like. Sometimes, the things that matter just don’t translate visually to Instagram. But, getting shit done and keeping everything running smoothly is the most important.

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I have fashion issues. All the damn time. You, too? Here’s your new uniform.

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Cake stands are my new favorite office hack to get my plants grouped together. I have a ton of tiny succulents and everything was feeling a bit cluttered so this did the trick.

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It’s so crazy that it’s already been a year since I moved into this studio space. During the first six months, I was traveling constantly and had a hard time finding a rhythm so it feels good to be home for the foreseeable future, making progress. Traveling is exciting but it often forces you to put your business on hold because you have very little time to take on new things — it becomes a balancing act where you’re just trying to maintain what you have going on. The last month home has been AWESOME. Things I had on my list for two years are getting crossed off which leads to the next topic…

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I want to personally thank every one of you who signed up for the Branch Bulletin, a new monthly newsletter from my design studio. Complete disclosure here: I was scared to death to send it out. That’s completely laughable, considering that I’ve been blogging for close to 15 years. But, blog posts can be edited again and again. Mailing lists? Once you hit send, a few hundred (or more) folks have your message sitting in their inbox. There’s no going back.

I sat on that first newsletter all day, writing and re-writing. Was it good enough to send? Where was all this performance anxiety coming from? A deadline is a deadline! Finally, I pushed send.

The reason I’m telling you this story is that there are some things in life that aren’t the most fun to do. They are hard so we keep putting them off. Putting a project off for a day then turns into a week, then a year, then two years. I’d been wanting to write a newsletter for TWO WHOLE YEARS.

On Friday, after I sent the first one, I wondered why I hadn’t made the time earlier. Go do that thing you need to do. It’s not as bad as you think. Run that errand, hit send on that email, ask for that promotion, sign that lease on a creative work space, clean out your closet, publish your first blog post. You can do it!

P.S. In case you didn’t sign up in time, you can read the first one here. And if you have a mailing list of your own, let me know about it in the comments!

Happy Friday, friends. I hope it’s a good one!