Elf Girl: My Journey To Ending Up On A Book Cover

elf girl book cover

Elf Girl Book Cover by Anna at Simon & Schuster.


When you’re nonchalantly checking your email, the last question you’d expect to see is, “Hey, do you have any elf shoes?” But back in January, I was faced with that very question. The natural assumption would be to write it off as a creepy fetish inquiry and delete it immediately…except that this email was from my friend Anna who just happens to be a senior designer at Simon & Schuster in New York. Anna designs book covers for a living and runs one of my favorite blogs on the planet, Door Sixteen. She was working on the cover for Rev Jen’s new book, Elf Girl (formerly Elf Like Me) and needed a cover shot. Of course, I was up for the job.


elf girl book cover

Unused Cover Concepts. Love the variety! Anna is great at her job.


Joey and I immediately got to work shooting the cover ideas (well, sort of…Anna had to help us track down elf shoes first). Anna gave us some great direction and we then tried as many variations as possible; I know from experience that when I’m pulling selects for a job, it’s best to have ample options to work with.

We shot the images in our all white dining room, stomped through rainy, muddy parks, stood under bridges and visited the industrial area of S.E. Portland (cobblestones galore) to get the combination of images we wanted. These are a few of my favorite unused photos:


elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover

elf girl book cover


Anna came up with some truly stunning options that summed up the premise of the book perfectly and besides being a fantastic designer, she’s an all-around awesome person. We’ve known each other for a decade now (online and off) and it’s easy to be friends with someone who shares a passion for graphic design, a love of Michael Jackson and is as excited about home decor as I am. Thanks Anna for the amazing opportunity!

Elf Girl Cover Design & Direction: Anna at Simon & Schuster. Photography: Joey Maas. Model & Concepting: Nubby Twiglet.


The Week In Pictures: 10.7.11

week in pictures



week in pictures

Inside The Doug Fir.



week in pictures



week in pictures

Photo courtesy of Rock N Roll Bride.


One of my favorite freelance jobs this year by far has been designing a 40 page magazine for Rock N Roll Bride. Previously, I did her logo, blog header and media kit so we have a lengthy history together but this takes the cake! Weeks of revisions, a few late nights at Kinko’s doing test prints, umpteen PDFs later and finally, 1,000 copies have been printed! For the last few years, the trend has been for magazines to jump on the blogging bandwagon but I’d like to see the reverse happen with more bloggers having print magazines.



week in pictures


I stopped by a few spots downtown for First Thursday last night and this art at Backspace caught my attention in particular. Beautiful!



week in pictures


I’ll admit that art wasn’t my only reason for stopping by Backspace; they also have a photo booth. My friend Pam and I took full advantage of it.



week in pictures


I’m now a Diptyque convert; this scent totally reminds me of the flower shops I walked by in Paris.



week in pictures


I’ve been subtly trying to work more accessories into my look as of late. When I was in grade school, I always used to fold origami birds…and I’m subsequently loving this pin by Under The Shade Of A Bonsai Tree.



week in pictures


Our house was built in 1928 and there’s a handful of unfinished spaces throughout, hidden behind full-sized doors. There’s two alone just in my bedroom. Joey already finished the large one earlier this year and turned it into his art studio. This week, he got started on the smaller, windowless one and is turning it into a shoe closet for me! I’m painting it this weekend, wallpapering it next and after that, I’ll debut it on the blog. Have an awesome weekend and thanks for reading!


nubby signature

Link Love: 10.6.11

link love


link love


Photo: Vogue.


• The whys and the hows of textures in web design.

• It’s always fun to read a first-time visitor’s views of the city you call home. I’m so glad that Positively Present enjoyed her stop in Portland!

• Freelancers, listen up: be smart and save your money!

• A huge battle over the trademark of the famous Keep Calm and Carry On posters wages on.

• What would famous logos look like if their designers had chosen generic type that almost everyone has access to?

• When the fairytale ends, real life begins.

• People keep dissing Kanye’s fashion debut in Paris but I think it had glimmers of some fantastic concepts. Susie Bubble’s review is the most level-headed that I’ve seen.

• Herb Lubalin was a typographic genius and the power of his work lives on. It’s easy to see why he’s still the idol of so many designers to this day.

• I’m intrigued by the the book Creative Personal Branding. Sounds like a no-nonsense, engaging read.


All Caps for Solestruck Landing Pages

link love


I recently designed a set of landing pages for Solestruck featuring All Caps, a line of shoes that are handmade in Portugal — I love this brand because their styles are fresh and the quality surpasses that of even many of the designer brands out there.


link love


The ads showcase the Dahlia in all three colors . I wanted to do something different this time around; 60s-inspired with a bright, retro pop-inspired feel.


link love


I always say that bright colored shoes are the equivalent of an exclamation point at the end of any outfit. I got to keep the red pair and when I wore them around town the next day, they proved to be incredibly walkable considering the soaring height. The secret is the substantial front platform which keeps the incline from being ridiculously steep.


link love


All Caps: Fall into color. Photos by Joey Maas. Concept, design and copy by Nubbytwiglet.com.


What I Wore: 9.16.11 // The Enchanted

nubby new york east village


nubby new york east village


This is the last in a series of three sets of photos I shot with Lydia Hudgens back in September. What I love about these sets is that although they were all shot within three days of one another, they are so incredibly different. There was the punk rock back-to-school look in The Bowery with Amelia Arsenic, the early morning East Village stoop loitering with Gala and now, this.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


You’re probably wondering about the mouse ears. Gala and I have been to Disneyland twice together and I’ve been to Disney Wold four times on my own (and I never plan on growing up) so I’ll wear mouse ears any change I get. Sequined ears paired with more sequins? Why not! A group was gathered on the sidewalk for church as we walked by at 9:30 in the morning and literally stopped what they were doing and started singing the Mickey Mouse Club song to us…ears cheer everyone up!


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


These photos were shot in a very special place; a private garden that Gala & I had our birthday in two years ago. This is a quiet, magical refuge in the middle of the East Village and feels straight out of a fairytale.


nubby new york east village

nubby new york east village


I Wore:

Gryphon Sequin Dress, Tokio 7
Ears, Disneyland
Belt, Vintage
Tights, H&M
Wedges, Camilla Skovgaard
Nail Polish, Pop Nail Glam in Yellow

Gala Wore:

White irridescent mouse ears
Vintage turquoise beaded dress
Vintage bed jacket
Rings by Dyrberg/Kern
Betsey Johnson starburst Pollys


nubby new york east village


With all the sequins, it was only natural to finish up with a Michael Jackson-inspired dance-off.


nubby new york east village


After this shoot wrapped, I grabbed my bags, said goodbye to Gala, Hank & Dolly and headed towards the subway….back to Wall Street, then JFK, then home. It was a long day but so worth it. Thanks once again to Lydia Hudgens for the wonderful shoot!