What I Wore: Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

When I’m working from home in Portland, my daily uniform always reverts to the basics: black skinny jeans, black ankle boots and t-shirts. Yes, it can be boring but comfort is key when I’m focused on getting work done.

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

Whenever I travel though, I use the opportunity of being in a new atmosphere to reinvent my sartorial style and create new characters. I embrace the chance to try out different looks and push myself outside of my comfort zone.

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

By nature, I’m drawn to modern, avant garde silhouettes but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more comfortable with trying new things. I picked this dress up over the summer for a shoot in New York and part of the reason I chose it was because it was such a marked departure from my standard go-to looks. Fitted and romantic, it felt more Dolce & Gabbana than Rick Owens (my design idol).

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini

As we wove through the rocky paths of Santorini early one morning right as the sun was rising, I felt completely overdressed — we joked that I was the Monica Bellucci of Santorini. But in a way, that was the beauty of it. I was playing a role very different from my daily existence and you know what? I had a great time owning it for a few hours…before reverting back to the uniform of a black tee and jeans.

Nubby Twiglet | Overdressed and Owning It in Santorini


I wore: Floral body-conscious dress, Paper Dolls and sandals, Moma.
All photos: Shell de Mar.

The Week in Pictures: 11.2.13 | Hello From Queensland!

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

This installment of The Week in Pictures is a little late not because I had so little to share but for the opposite reason: it’s been such a full week that I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I felt completely overwhelmed…in the best possible way.

I left for Australia last Friday night and after a quick layover at LAX to meet up with Gala, we boarded our 14 hour (!!!) flight to Brisbane. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really don’t do a whole lot of research when I’m traveling to a new place; I’m all about the element of surprise and just letting things unfold naturally. I’d heard plenty about Australia in general but knew very little about Queensland. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised at all it has to offer!

Over the last week, we’ve spent time relaxing at a spa, stayed at numerous boutique hotels, eaten some of the best meals of our lives, explored Surfer’s Paradise, hopped a flight to Cairns and then Port Douglas where we spent our days poolside, watched a glorious sunset on a sailboat, jungle surfed (I even ziplined upside down on the last platform — more on that later!), lounged at the beach, taken a helicopter tour over the Great Barrier Reef and taught our first Blogcademy workshop down under.

These snapshots are a sneak peek to give you a taste of our week but the real fun will be coming soon as I dig deeper into each of our stops and share many more photos and details. Needless to say, even after as much traveling as I’ve done this year, I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever top the experiences of this trip.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

On our overnight Virgin Australia flight over to Brisbane, I awoke to a very Blogcademy-themed breakfast. Quite perfect, don’t you think?!

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

My first full day in Australia started out with a bang. We hit Dreamworld for the morning and I got to hold Brandy the koala. But the funniest moment was this outtake of me handing her back….it looks like I’m a terrible mother, trying to get rid of my baby! Haha! Kat and I are still talking about that bundle of joy! Yes, we’re obsessed.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

We stayed in more amazing private residences and hotels than I can count on one hand but my absolute favorite of the bunch was the QT Gold Coast. I took about a million photos of the property and just wait until you see the full thing!

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

The best part was when we were walking down the hallway to breakfast the next morning and I realized that the striped carpet combined with my striped Kate Spade Saturday skirt was quite the retina burner.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

Every time I thought our stay couldn’t get any better, it did. I was sad to leave the QT Gold Coast but then, we visited the QT Port Douglas. They had the best pool I’d ever seen…and this sign only added to the charm.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

Our stay in Port Douglas was at this gorgeous place and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I awoke to this view on the first morning.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

We spent our days poolside at our Port Douglas pad and I unwound by putting together mini still lifes. Totally normal.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

One of my favorite experiences with the girls was taking a sunset sailboat tour around Port Douglas. I’ve never been much of a boat person but in the last few months, I’ve been on quite a few, from a pontoon in Minneapolis to a sailboat in Greece!

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

I didn’t realize until our last day in Port Douglas that we had private beach access. Doh! I stepped through the gate and this is what I saw. It was the most peaceful place to hang out, with fallen coconuts surrounding us and sailboats passing in the distance. I wish we’d had more time there.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

On our last morning before teaching, we took a helicopter trip over the Great Barrier Reef. I was a little scared because I’d never been in a helicopter before but all that dissipated when we landed on a sandy knoll to take in the reef up close and personal. This was one of the best experiences of my life by far.

Nubby Twiglet | Queensland

This weekend, we got back to work, teaching our class of “Brisbabes” and we’ve already made so many new friends. Aussies are such a welcoming bunch and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our trip down under has in store for us. I had no idea what to expect from Australia but now I can honestly say that I’m so glad we’ll be back next year once again with The Blogcademy. Over the next few weeks, I’ll have a ton more to share about all of our discoveries, both on land and off. Thanks for following along and remember, you can keep up in real time on Instagram and Twitter. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


All photos by me except the Blogcademy image by Janneke Storm.

Link Love: 10.31.13

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

Kimihiko Okada

• Personal branding is about sharing your stories.

• The number one branding mistake that companies make.

• Four ways to make your landing page copy more persuasive.

• This is an amazingly thought-provoking piece: when you’re a musician, what constitutes a true fan?

• Here’s how to style a corner gallery wall.

• As a freelancer, how do you go about raising your rates?

• Every business should have a business plan. If you’re not sure where to start, follow along on this multi-part series I’m putting together that breaks each section down into bite-sized pieces.

• Most of what you are going to do or say today is not essential.

• I am a terrible cook but I can’t get enough of I Am A Food Blog. Between the food photos and ever-changing design elements, it’s total eye candy.

• Three ways to get more eyeballs on your blog posts.

• Watch a hand-lettering master at work!

• Why do we hate seeing photos of ourselves?


Image: Kimihiko Okada.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Advice #56: Does a Business Background Make a Designer More Valuable?

Nubby Twiglet | Does a Business Background Make a Designer More Valuable?

“I’m in college and enrolled in a business-focused graphic design program but I’m finding that it’s not what I expected. The design taught there is based around business but I’m finding that the student work is bland and built around people with no graphic design knowledge. Every time I talk to an advisor about transferring, they tell me that I’m making a bad decision because their program is so wonderful and business-oriented. They also advise me to get a minor in marketing. Does a graphic designer have to be heavily educated in business to be more employable?”


If your gut is telling you that this is not the program for you, I would advise you to transfer as soon as possible. Most of us only get one shot at college and if you feel like there’s little value in what you’re being taught, it’s okay to look elsewhere.

It’s in the advisor’s best interests to keep you where you’re at because you’re bringing in income. In a way, it reminds me of jobs I’ve had in the past that I was on the fence about but every time I tried to quit, the owner would convince me to stay. Nothing good rarely comes of staying put in a situation like this — it just creates uneasiness and resentment.

Onto your question: does a graphic designer have to be heavily educated in business to be more employable? Not necessarily.

I’m in a unique position in that I went to school for business before I earned my design degree and yes, what I learned made me much more aware and well-rounded as a designer. For instance, I always approached projects from a really practical standpoint and considered budgets when it came to the concepts I was presenting. I also gave a lot more thought to the strategy behind my creative ideas and presented them in a way that framed up how they directly benefitted the client.

Because I had an interest in business, my agency jobs tended to hand me pieces of projects that appealed to this sensibility: I’d often build out the front end of presentations that focused on our competitive analysis and research. If you’re seeking more than straight design at your jobs, you’ll get it.

Having a business base before I went into design definitely helped me but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to take this route. What you don’t learn in school or on the job can be picked up from books and blogs — after all, learning is lifelong.

Remember, you are paying this school to teach you. If you’re not getting what you want out of it, you have the right to move on and look for a better fit. Good luck!

The Typofiles #129: French Vogue

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

To me, French Vogue is the epitome of a chic when it comes to design. As I was digging through my collection of magazines recently, I found this gem from a few years back dedicated to the history of rock and roll. And really, who can ignore Kate Moss posing as Ziggy Stardust?!

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

Nubby Twiglet | French Vogue

2013_typofiles_frenchvogue_5

French Vogue has a knack for art direction and the care they put into each feature shows. I wish more American magazines would take a cue from their beautiful yet restrained type treatments and attention to detail. This is definitely an issue I’ll be holding onto forever.


All images: Scanned from French Vogue by me.
View even more Typofiles here.

Adventures in Australia: Koala Cuddling

Nubby Twiglet | Koala Cuddle

Hello from beautiful Australia! I’ll have much more to share about my adventures in The Week In Pictures this Friday but one thing just couldn’t wait…I got to hold a baby koala!

This is Brandy and she weighs about nine pounds (the same as Rocky). I picked her up and she put her little paw on my shoulder and I melted. I stood there like a proud mother (haha) for a solid five minutes and honestly, I probably would have been happy standing there all day. If you’re ever visiting the Gold Coast, make a beeline for Dreamworld to hold your own koala (and also pet some kangaroos while you’re at it).

Oh, Brandy. What a doll! My life is complete now. To keep up with even more of my adventures down under in real time, you can follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

Latest & Greatest #22: More Saturday Goodness

Nubby Twiglet | Kate Spade Saturday

Nubby Twiglet | Kate Spade Saturday

I’ve been loving the new goodies Saturday is rolling out for Fall. From snazzy dresses in bold hues to office supplies covered in op-art patterns, I can’t get enough! As much as I love Kate Spade’s main line, the mod feel of Saturday is much more up my alley these days.


Nubby Twiglet | Kate Spade Saturday

These are some of my Fall favorites: Above: positive negative blanket, 1. buckle-over dress, 2. accordion binder, 3. square satchel, 4. paper nesting boxes, 5. sticky notes, 6. stationery set and 7. double loop belt.


All items: Kate Spade Saturday.