The Week In Pictures: 4.19.13

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

How’s your week been? Since returning from two weeks of vacation (with two action-packed Blogcademy dates in the mix) I’ve been having a serious bout of the post-vacation blues. Though I travel a lot, this time it’s hit like a ton of bricks. I think it comes down to the realization that it’s always easy to have a great time when reality is suspended and put on hold. Since returning, I’ve been trying to dig in and be professional, pay bills, answer emails in a semi-timely manner, put together new blog posts and run errands but coming down off that vacation high is harder than I thought.

I’m trying to fight the feeling of feeling completely disheveled and out of sorts in little ways. Over the weekend, I stopped in Trader Joe’s and picked up two big bouquets of flowers that, while frivolous, immediately made me feel better. On a whim, I grabbed a bundle of gladiolas, knowing we didn’t have anything at home that could hold them. Joey likes a good challenge and by the afternoon, he’d found a massive square vase for only ten dollars!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Two things that help me alleviate the blues: big, inviting lattes from Cellar Door sipped while wearing this Springy dress and taping up all my favorite Instax rainbow snapshots.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I always say that vintage and thrift shopping is the best in Portland, hands down. I took Kat and Gala on a tour of my favorite places and neither cold get over the abundance of well-priced treasures! This teapot is my new favorite find.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

After so much time away from home, I’m feeling the need to stay in, make our house a home and striving feel comfortable with where I’m at. I made a huge to-do list and spent the entire weekend in my office and to be frank, it sucked. I was checking into everyone elses’ instragrams and seeing all the fun things they were out doing — never a good idea! Do you do that, too? I’ll stop if you stop. 😉

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Samples just arrived from Paper Chase for a client project and I love their bold labeling. I’ve also been taking some time out to pick up some magazines for inspiration since most of my summer is going to be dedicated to two big editorial projects. They’re by far the most time consuming of the projects I do but also a little way of living out my teenage dream of doing editorial design. It’s important to find small ways to stay connected to those dreams — as an adult, not everything has to be about efficiency or moneymaking. Make sure you have those interests and hobbies you stay connected to out of love.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

This pitcher makes me smile. When we were at Kennedy School a few weeks ago dining and drinking with my family, Kat and Gala convinced me that this was a must-have. So weird and charming!

While I’m making progress, I’ve been putting off so many little things with all this traveling. I need a haircut (like six months ago!) and to get to work fleshing out a new column for the blog. I’m also itching to pick up building supplies to turn the half-finished gazebo in our back yard into a bar (and then have a party)! Have a great weekend, friends. And my heart goes out to you, Boston. Big hugs.

Link Love: 4.18.13

link love

Source: Nicole Miyuki

• If you read only one thing this week, check out Victoria’s very poignant post on the pressures of social media. It’s by far the best post on the subject I’ve read because it’s so relatable.

• 10 things they didn’t teach you in design school.

• The Design Guide series is back up and running over at Emma Dime and the topic this week is all about embossers! I want one now.

• I couldn’t stop laughing at this fictional businesses list! Ain’t No Tang: Space-themed hip-hop club and Grate Expectations: All-shredded cheese shop are just a taste. Haha!

• The 30 most beautiful abandoned places in the world.

• If you’re installing a ton of framed art all on one wall, read Elsie’s how-to guide first!

• The Everygirl has a helpful list of everything you need to know when you’re apartment hunting.

• I absolutely love this D.I.Y. project that solves the age old issue of ugly power cords!

• Muz is a free app that shares a daily quote from a visionary to keep you inspired.

• Movies In Color breaks down the color palettes from famous films.

• If you’re feeling stuck, your first thought may be to stop what you’re doing but in reality, it’s better to push through and do.

• James Gulliver Hancock is an illustrator on a mission to draw all the buildings of New York.

• Damn You Art School is full of apps, tools and resources for creative professionals.

• If you’re looking for advice on how to score your dream internship, this is a fantastic post.

View more Link Love columns right here.

Blog Log #8: Are Comparisons The Root Of All Evil?

Blog Log

Blog Log Comparisons

Source: You Can’t Be Serious Blog by Natala

Whether you already have a blog or you’re just thinking about starting one, do you look at the top bloggers in your niche and wonder, “How will I ever get there?” Because I still occasionally have those days, 11 years into blogging.

Oscar Wilde famously proclaimed, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” And when I find myself getting caught up in self-imposed comparisons, I try to take solace in that. While comparisons can be a helpful benchmark to see if I’m on track (and I do follow a lot of blogs to keep up on market research and trends) if I check in too often, I start feeling low instead of inspired. How about you?

Maybe it’s just me but I feel like comparisons are harder to shake off now and it’s a sign of the times. I’ve been blogging since 2001 and I sometimes still get caught up in asking myself if my blog and work measure up. Part of this comes from a distorted reality a lot of blogs present (mine included sometimes), especially now. Back when blogging was a great big unknown and I was on Live Journal, we all did it for fun. Sure, there were really popular people but the overall playing field was much more balanced. Digital cameras weren’t that sophisticated yet and I don’t think any of us ever posted a photo larger than 500 pixels wide. I didn’t even know what an action was in Photoshop! We documented everything in a more “This is what I did today” way. There was less of a format or a formula. Our journals were often little more than personal diaries that happened to be outward-facing.

The Proof Is In The Picture

In the last few years (and especially now with Instagram), I feel like the proof is in the picture. Before, people were trying to explain how great their lives were and it was easy for us to write it off as being boastful or insecure. But now that we have visual proof, it really hits home. I’m a designer and by nature, I’m always rearranging my belongings and surroundings. Part of that no doubt comes from being in the advertising industry where the aim is to curate the best image possible on a client’s behalf. Companies pay big for that polish and it’s understandable because competition is stiff.

But what happens when that seeps into our daily lives? The lines between online and real life have been so blurred that it’s hard to separate fantasy from reality. If we see imagery in an ad campaign, it’s obvious that there’s a team behind it. But when we see it on blogs, it’s harder to tell.

When we’re comparing our blogs to everyone elses’ we only know part of the story. Contrary to what anyone says, none of us should be expected to share every little piece of our lives online. We all have different comfort zones. And we should respect that when it comes to everyone else, too. When we only see bits of a story (usually the best parts) it’s natural to fill in the blanks. I’ve met a lot of bloggers I admire (after following some for years before ever having that real life interaction) and I can tell you that I’m always blown away by how approachable, vulnerable and normal they actually seem. It’s a good reminder that we all have struggles.

Standing Out Is More Obvious Than You Think

When it comes to blogging, if you’re wondering why what you’re doing even matters, the answer is simpler than you think: We each have something within us that makes us unique. You have a distinct voice and perspective from everyone else in the world. Only you have the ability share, define and curate your experiences. Instead of comparing yourself to everyone else, you will actually stand out more by just being yourself.

If you’re familiar with differentiation when it comes to marketing, standing apart from the competition is a usually viewed as a major competitive advantage (and we go into a lot more detail on the subject at The Blogcademy). Your differences from every other blogger are what will actually make you the most memorable. If someone visits a dozen blogs in your niche, chances are that they’ll remember the one that is the most unique.

In Closing

At the end of the day, I try to remember that blog posts are just a snapshot into someone’s life. They don’t necessarily reflect a current moment. A blog post is a recollection of a point someone’s life that was memorable to them. It’s a learning experience. Instead of focusing on everyone else, focus on what you do best. The rest will come naturally. If the pieces haven’t fallen into place yet, it’s okay. It takes time. Just don’t lose sight of what makes you unique.

Do you fight self-imposed comparisons when it comes to blogging?
Any tips on how to stay focused?

View more of the Blog Log series here.

Domino Magazine Special Edition: Small Spaces!

Domino Magazine Small Spaces

Since Domino Magazine shuttered in 2009, there’s been a gaping hole in stylish, accessible decor magazines. I subscribed from the very first issue and though the overall aesthetic didn’t exactly mesh with that of my own, I appreciated the consistently seamless mix of high and low — it was so much more relatable than the other interior magazines I came across that only featured spreads of massive glass houses alongside modern furniture with minimum price tags of a few thousand dollars.

Domino Magazine Small Spaces

During the years it was around, I read every issue from cover to cover but admittedly, the relevance didn’t quite sink in at the time. Since I hadn’t yet bought a house (and didn’t have a decorating budget for that matter!) it was a fun read but I sadly recycled all of my issues after I read them.

Thankfully, there’s now occasional special editions of Domino centered around specific themes. I shared outtakes from the Quick Fixes issue here and just picked up the newest release, Small Spaces which I find to be even better curated than the last.

Domino Magazine Small Spaces

I like the overall premise behind the Small Spaces issue — making best of the limited space you currently have instead of seeking out a bigger place. After all, any space, no matter how small can be spruced up with fresh paint, a dash of patterns and a little organization.

Loaded with tons of applicable tips and tricks and organized by room, the photos are gorgeous and yes, the sources of the items are clearly listed. My favorite section in the issue by far is Organize Absolutely Everything (because I am obsessive about everything having its place) and the suggestions are super basic and applicable.

Domino Magazine Small Spaces

I know there are those Domino diehards out there that lament that these limited issues “just aren’t the same” but I have a different mentality. Times change, I love the overall design aesthetic these issues have and I’m just glad to have a home decor “magazine” to pore over that’s not full of only outrageously expensive, unattainable things. Because while aspirational, what’s the point?

Domino Magazine Small Spaces

Besides Domino, two of my other go-to home decor / lifestyle magazines have long been shuttered as well. Remember NEST and Blueprint? Sigh. Do you have any other suggestions for other home decor and lifestyle mags out there that are hip yet relatable?

P.S. I picked up my issue at Barnes & Noble but you can also grab digital editions here.

The Week In Pictures: 4.12.13 | I Love Los Angeles!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Every time I visit LA, I declare that trip even better than the last. And I’m declaring this one the best of all. I’ve always had a great time in LA and that’s partly because it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when the sun is out and fresh food and juice seemingly lurk around every corner. The big difference with this trip is that I got to travel in a group — Kat, Gala, Joey and Rocky all came along and traveling with some of my favorite people made the experiences that much better.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

While we were in LA mostly for business, we also snuck in some pleasure. One of my favorite moments was hanging out with this Michael Jackson impersonator on Hollywood Blvd. (the day after I’d watched Captain EO at Disneyland). Seriously! He was so good! He was also very particular and demanding with our poses and I couldn’t quite get them right. Practice makes perfect, right?!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

He was workin’ it big time, blocking his face with a magazine until I walked up. When I asked for a photo, he demurely whispered “five dollars.” Then, it was ON. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Kat’s birthday fell over our week in LA so we plotted her first trip to Disneyland. I’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World a collective total of six times but still, I get super excited. I think it’s because you can spend a day with no worries, surrounded by a bunch of really friendly people and make downright terrible food choices. Escape is good sometimes!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I’m always blown away by all the individual type treatments that dot the Disney parks. And Kat finally got her own official set of Mickey ears — they may still be attached to her head.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Disney’s flowers are always perfectly manicured, of course. And I loved this dress I spotted in a shop window in Silverlake.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Our apartment was a block away from Hollywood Blvd. and when we showed up, Gala compiled a few ride share services which made getting around SUPER easy. You know what a nightmare LA can be without a car and using these apps meant that we traveled across town for much less than a price of a cab. Also, Lyft cars identify themselves with huge neon pink mustaches on the grill!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Never content to stay in one area, I visited neighborhoods from Century City to Los Feliz to Glendale. I also spotted that striped chair in a Juicy Couture boutique. SO GOOD.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Our apartment resided on Cosmo Street, which had this plume of palms at the end. Most of the time they reeked like rotting garbage but hey, you can’t smell that! We walked this route every morning and it became quite routine until our last day when Kat and I turned the corner and ended up in the middle of a scene that was filming for NCIS Los Angeles. I’ve never walked through a production set before and was trying to soak up what was real and what was staged since it was taking place at a very busy intersection.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I loved our neighborhood — every day, I peeked down this restaurant’s side alley at the faux Hollywood sign.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

One of my goals in Hollywood was to get Rocky to pose on his namesake’s star. Rocky is obviously a small dog (and the runt of his litter!) so when Joey got him, he knew right away that he needed a tough guy name. So, he named him after Sly Stallone’s most famous character. Not shown: after this photo was taken, Rocky got sick and puked all over Sly’s star! Eek!

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

The main reason we were in LA was for our workshop, The Blogcademy. We held it at McCadden Space Studio and with its diverse collection of neon signs, midcentury modern furniture (including a set of turquoise chairs!), we were in love with it from the second we walked in. Our host, Ron was incredibly gracious — we couldn’t stop talking about what a great space and group of students we had in LA. The group was our most diverse to date with regards to careers and it was so interesting chatting with them one on one and learning more about their blogs and lives.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

This is another cliché coming from Oregon but I always forget just how intense the sun in LA is! Gala loaned me her big, floppy hat. Glam and practical. And this sign was just one of many sprinkled throughout McCadden Space.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I loved how Kandee Johnson paired the sparkly Crown & Glory ears from her goodie bag with her bandana! After chatting with Kandee for maybe 10 seconds, I already adored her — this woman has major style and can rock any makeup look on the planet but even better, is incredibly down to earth. Our time together was much too short but at least it included cupcakes and lots of turns in the photo booth! Kat, Gala and I have been lamenting that none of us, including Kandee, live close enough to one another.

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

Just look at all those backdrop colors! I was in heaven. If you’re doing a shoot, book McCadden Space! Gala and I were pumped up to teach on day one but perhaps my excitement was partly due to the sugar rush of scarfing down a donut from 7 Eleven right before class (it wasn’t pretty and I’ve been on a health kick since).

Nubby Twiglet The Week In Pictures

I could go on and on for ages about how amazing LA was and share a million more snapshots but that would get really annoying really fast. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; traveling with friends is one of the best experiences ever. Its not always smooth sailing because real life isn’t perfect but at the end of the day, it’s nice to know that no matter what, there’s a group of people that get you and are there for you no matter what.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll be hiding away in my office trying to get my life back in order after two weeks of workshops and traveling. And the full Blogcademy recaps for Portland and LA will be coming along over the next few weeks. The girls we met in both classes are so bold and talented — I know great things are in the works for so many of them! It’s so rewarding to see. xo

Link Love: 4.11.13

link love

link love

Source: Eszter Boldov for Dossier Journal Online

• David Bowie has just released a collection of his vintage videos online.

• If you’re interested in what average Americans looked like in the early 80s, check out Robert Minick’s sightseer gallery for all kinds of awesomeness.

• There’s a Tumblr completely dedicated to brand collaborations.

• The new edition of Launched! is out, which is dedicated to sharing all the new blog and site designs.

• Reading about Courtney Love’s beauty routine and product recommendations is really entertaining.

• If you’re looking for some great type inspiration, check out the movie stills collection!

• When it comes to learning about blogging, dive in.

• I’ve always been a little fearful of green juice (besides the occasional Odwalla Superfood) but after a week spent in LA where organic juice is everywhere and diving headfirst into drinking it first thing in the morning, I am a huge fan. Gala just wrote a great introduction to green juice if you want to try it too!

• Thomas Keller has some thoughts on why passion shouldn’t be your driving force but desire should.

Three things you can do to dream even bigger when it comes to your business.

• Work is not a job: I love this manifesto!

View more Link Love columns right here.

Client Release: Fred and Hannah!

Nubby Twiglet Identity Development and Collateral Fred + Hannah

This year, I’ve adjusted my design strategy and am taking on a lot less clients in an effort to go much deeper with the ones I am currently working with. Five years ago, a client may have just needed an identity but they now often need upwards of ten custom items of collateral. Because of this, projects take more time to complete so I’m sharing a lot less these days.

Nubby Twiglet Identity Development and Collateral Fred + Hannah

I completed this project a few months back for Fred and Hannah — a photography duo located in Tasmania, they have a massive love for art, travel, good design and of course, each other!

Nubby Twiglet Identity Development and Collateral Fred + Hannah

Fred and Hannah’s work is bold and adventurous and they came to me in need of an identity to match. They were already drawn to the boldness of cyan and magenta and I saw an opportunity to merge the two hues in the center, symbolic of their pairing. The simplicity of the symbol allowed it to be modified over much of the collateral to add a bold burst of color and fun secondary patterns.

This is going to be a busy month as I dig into both a book proposal and a print magazine design but no matter how tired I am at the end of each day, I love it. Graphic design on most days is far from fun and games but when clients as upbeat and enthusiastic as Fred and Hannah come along, it sometimes feels like it. I adore these two!

Nubby Twiglet Identity Development and Collateral Fred + Hannah

Client: Fred and Hannah
Projects: Identity development and collateral including business cards, a gift certificate, a thank you card, CD and DVD labeling and an editable invoice.