A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam: The Ultimate WTF Moment in The Netherlands!

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

When I visited Amsterdam, my first day was spent doing the usual touristy stuff — walking along canals, eating cheese and snapping photos of the gaggles of bikes. That day of sightseeing, while beautiful, also felt a bit cliché. I wanted more.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

That night, I went home and keyed Amsterdam into Pinterest (my favorite method for figuring out what’s cool in a city — for those of us that are more visual, it’s a goldmine of must-see sights). I knew there had to be something out there that was slightly wacky and not too far outside of the city. I only had to scroll for five seconds before the answer was in front of me: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

This wasn’t just any hotel, though. Located in Zaandam, a town just twelve minutes from the center of Amsterdam, the façade was made up of 70 stacked traditional Dutch houses. Completely mind-boggling. The hotel was right next door to the train station (convenient!) and featured a restaurant that overlooked the canal. Though we didn’t stay there, the rooms are gorgeous, featuring scenes of Dutch history across the walls.

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Nubby Twiglet | A Facade Of 70 Stacked Houses in Zaandam, The Netherlands

Yes, it was absolutely worth the tram ride to visit this architectural marvel. If you’re making a quick trip like I did, there are tons of restaurants and shops surrounding the train station so it’s ideal to tie it in with lunch or dinner. And when you run out of ideas for posing in front of this crazy place… just dance.


I wore: ASOS striped scuba dress, Crown and Glory Rachel floral ears and Marc by Marc Jacobs sneakers.
Photos: Kerry Murray.

Location: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.

The Week In Pictures: 8.29.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

How was your week? I’m just getting around to posting because I had the best possible detour today — brunch with Alexandra and Sarah. Our conversations seamlessly flipped from one subject to another and along the way, we covered wrestlers with eccentric costumes, budget Vegas shows (complete with neon body paint), the faded glamour of midwestern supper clubs and the art of dressing up for a J. Lo concert. I haven’t laughed as hard as I did today in ages. The whole time, I was reminded of how important friendships are — friendships where you can just be yourself, cut loose and have a great time without snapping a single photo or picking up your smart phone. I left feeling excited, refreshed and ready for the holiday weekend.

As soon as I got home today, I had Joey snap this photo in our back yard. It still has a long way to go but it’s the perfect spot to hang out in the middle of the day when my office leaves me feeling restless. My dress is by Dusen Dusen.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Organization to the extreme is my favorite pastime. I’m working on a post of my top office must-haves soon.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Chubby update: he’s grown a ton and now has a rope swing, platform and ladder in his squirrel house. Movin’ on up!
Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week, I paid a visit to the ultimate virgo mecca, The Container Store and picked up these great clear drawer organizer trays. Simple and effective.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the Doug Fir and hang out with bigfoot on the back patio! It’s their 10th anniversary this year so he’s rocking a fancy new necklace.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’ve always said that the best conversations in Portland happen late at night around the Doug Fir fire pit. Every time I’m there with my friend Joey, we end up meeting the most interesting mix of folks. Their bar menu is great, too. I always order the homemade mac and cheese and finish up the night with their seasonal fruit crisp. Yum!

I’m looking forward to taking it easy for the holiday weekend, catching up on boring stuff (like laundry) and doing plenty of barbecuing. Have fun!

Link Love: 8.28.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love Header

Nubby Twiglet | Marta Dyks for Amica Magazine

• 10 vital WordPress security tips.

• The ups and downs of social media: quit Twitter before you’re hard, quit Instagram before you’re soft.

• What are the ways that you fuel your creativity offline?

6 great tips for creatives who work full time and also freelance.

• Why has there been such a sudden increase in food allergies? This may explain why.

• Writing a book is hard work. Here are some resources that can help.

• Real things haven’t changed.

• Make your own cake dome and cloche jars! So much more affordable to do this way!

• This guy lived alone in the woods alone for 30 years. The true story of the North Pond Hermit.

• It’s hard to stop comparing ourselves to others but absolutely necessary.

• Kandee Johnson shares 5 things she’d tell her teenage self.

• Raspberry crumble pancakes? Yes, please!

• This collection of color coded photography is so inspiring.

• Made me laugh: a collection of perfectly useless product designs!


Photo: Marta Dyks for Amica Magazine.
Check out more Link Love columns right here.

What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Ah, Berlin. Our beautiful all white apartment in Mitte had a set of french doors that opened to a balcony overlooking a massive courtyard. It was the ideal spot to spend our mornings. But, perhaps even better than that were our late nights propped up on the couch sipping rosé and singing along to a Spotify playlist crammed with dozens of yacht rock tunes. I’m positive our neighbors were reaching for the ear plugs to avoid our off-tune Michael McDonald renditions.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin

I’d found this shirt emblazoned with You Only Live Once in a very YSL-inspired type treatment just a few days before tucked away on a rack at H&M. Aint that the truth. Traveling so much this summer has really opened my eyes and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Knowing that I can survive with just a small suitcase and my laptop for three weeks has made me realize how little I actually need on a daily basis. When I pack, I stick with mostly solid black basics including shoes and then throw in a few bright, lightweight dresses and accessories to keep things interesting.

I wore a Crown and Glory Oversized Rococo Headband (not the most subtle piece!), an H&M shirt (I can’t find the link on their site but it should still be in-store), a J. Crew skirt I found at Buffalo Exchange and All Saints boots.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Flower Power In Berlin


Photos: Shell de Mar with special thanks to Go With Oh.

Blog Log #17: Products, Services and Digital Offerings: Successfully Selling Yourself Without Traditional Advertising

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Nubby Twiglet | Products, Services and Digital Offerings: Successfully Selling Yourself Without Traditional Advertising

In the early days of blogging, the most obvious way to generate extra income was through banner advertising. And while there is still money to be made in this format (especially for the big-time bloggers with huge traffic), there are a lot more blogs now and therefore, the slices of the pie to go around are much smaller.

Today, I’m talking about a few alternatives to the more traditional forms of advertising. While I occasionally do some advertising and sponsorships on my blog (and have a media kit on hand for when I’m contacted about those opportunities), as a creative offering services since I launched my site in 2007, I’ve always viewed income generation slightly differently.

Since the day I started my blog (I just celebrated my seventh anniversary!) it’s been more of an indirect portfolio. While I was blogging, I was also in school full-time for design and the week after graduating, that transitioned into a full-time agency job. While I was very consistent with sharing fresh content five days a week, it wasn’t my full-time gig. During those very early days of blogging, I was also doing freelance work on the side for clients including Virgin Records and Forever 21 and my blog gave me a direct outlet to share these projects with my audience. Though project-focused posts were perhaps 10% of my overall content (variety is important — you don’t want to bore your audience!), it was enough to help me gain even more freelance clients. Building this client base through my blog eventually made it possible to quit all outside agency work.

If you’re looking for fantastic examples of folks who indirectly generate livings from their blogs by offering products and services, Joy Cho, Jess Lively, Alexandra Franzen, Garance Doré (I love her online shop!) and Breanna Rose do a great job of making it feel seamless.


On that note, these are three key ways you can generate income from your blog without traditional advertising:

1. Offer A Service

My blog was built on offering design services though I never pushed them very hard — I just naturally shared projects as they wrapped up and had a permanent link to my portfolio in my main navigation (note — if you do this, be very direct. Mine says,”Hire me” so people know that I’m available.) Even when I wasn’t posting about client work, I still used my blog as a vehicle to share my interests, aesthetics and personality. When I launched my design studio Branch last year and was no longer just supporting myself, all of our rates doubled overnight from my previous freelance ones. At that point, advertising felt a lot less lucrative since an average client at Branch books in at a few thousand dollars minimum and blog ads generate much, much less here on average. About half of Branch’s potential clients find us on Nubby Twiglet and click through from a project link, graphic in the sidebar or a pinned project image on Pinterest. I’ve also watched dozens of other bloggers launch services and cultivate a dedicated following of clients directly through their personal sites.

2. Create Digital Products

Digital products are the holy grail of blogging these days. After all, your dedicated readers tend to want more of what you have to offer and if you can provide them with useful content in a nicely packaged format, they will love it. We have a whole section dedicated digital products at The Blogcademy because it’s such a far-reaching subject but in a nutshell, digital products can range from PDF / Kindle / iPad friendly books, Photoshop actions, podcasts, online courses, blog templates or anything else that can be packaged and delivered in a digital format. In the last six months, we’ve done really well through offering digital products at The Blogcademy with our Home School modules. Our digital products are centered around 14 different blogging topics and each one features a video with PDF worksheet downloads. You pay $20.00 for access and can watch the video as many times as you like. The key to digital products is to create an offering once and then sell it repeatedly to generate income with very little extra effort. If you’re looking for a shop example with a variety of digital product formats, Gala’s is a great place to start.

3. Support a shop or outside business

Over time, it’s natural to evolve and gain new interests. When I first started blogging, I had no outside businesses and now, the two that I do have make up my full time job. Chances are that you’ll also start businesses beyond your blog and your personal platform is a great place to share these ventures. Perhaps you’ve started a vintage clothing shop, a baking company, a juice stand or even a line of art prints like Anna has. If you feel that this content ties in with your audience’s interests, create useful posts and how-to guides that promote these offerings while helping them in some way. That’s the key. A Beautiful Mess does this extremely well since they now have books, Photoshop actions, e-courses, apps and more. They are able to promote this wide range of content on their blog while always keeping their core audience in mind.

Advertising is just one way to generate income from your blogging. I hope this post helps you think outside of the box and use your blog as a vehicle to make a living doing what you’re passionate about.

Your turn: What are the unique ways that you’ve used your blog as a platform to generate interest in your offerings?


Photo: Shell de Mar with special thanks to Go With Oh.

The Week In Pictures: 8.22.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello again! How was your week?

I’ll be honest…since I’ve been back, it’s been full-on catch up mode around here. Putting together timelines for new jobs, getting my accounting caught up, long coffee dates with friends, birthday parties (the big 6-0!), squirrel sitting and backyard barbecues (we finally got one and are using it nearly every day!) have left my days feeling really full. As I say, work hard and play hard! I feel like the first half of this year got off to a really slow start but things are finally picking up steam and I’m excited to release a bunch of new projects for both Branch and Blogcademy over the next few months.

I stopped into my absolute favorite place to shop, Buffalo Exchange yesterday and found this vintage orangey-red felt hat (above). The thing is, my office is a bit of a distaster at the moment so when I got home, I sat on the floor facing my windows, pulled a white curtain behind me to block out the messy background…and the curtains draped awkwardly, cutting off part of my hat! Haha! Didn’t quite go as planned but I ended up liking the negative space.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Chubby has been doing so well this week. He’s now drinking out of a bottle and has grown a ton. Joey also built him the equivalent of a squirrel mansion (seriously, his new “house” is massive) and he’s able to keep his balance much more easily while walking.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m always on the hunt for visual inspiration and like to stop into a variety of places. I love Pastaworks for this reason. It’s a European-style market with so much great packaging I’ve never seen before.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Coffee dates with Pam: always high energy! She’s one of those friends where we get so excited chatting about design and projects that we keep talking faster, faster, faster! Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

One of my favorite houses near Hawthorne. Best paint job on the block!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This is a peek at my desk right now. Black felt-tipped Stabilo pens are awesome — I use them to cross items off my to-do lists (I hand write them every day). I thrifted that mug 10 years ago, my new phone case was found at a shop in Berlin last month and the Rodin lip balm looks and works great.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who’ve picked up the new Home School modules. Seeing your still lifes pop up has been making my day! I especially love Angela’s photo! xo