The Week In Pictures: 6.26.15 | Rome and Florence

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Oh, Italy. Where do I even start? My parents visited when I was young and had nothing but great things to say so in the back of my mind, it was always a place I wanted to visit. Even with just a week allocated between Rome and Florence, I got a good feel for the place and am already planning a multi-stop train voyage back next year.

Once I landed in Italy, the biggest draw for me was the passion for a full, vibrant life. The Italians have a level of sophistication and attention to detail that translates to everything they do including their food, cars, design, clothing, art and coffee. It was so nice to be in a place where small businesses were thriving, history was left intact and quality was paramount.

In America, we get caught up on the premises of things being bigger, faster-paced and cheaper and while none of those concepts are necessarily bad on their own, together they can chip away at the quality of life. In contrast, simple pleasures took precedent in Italy. We were content with our tiny apartment, eating handmade late night dinners, walking miles through markets and historical sites and just enjoying a slower-paced existence.

These are some of my favorite moments from Rome and Florence and I’ll be doing a more detailed travel post later on — enjoy!

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

You know you’re in the right place when you turn a corner and it’s so beautiful that it resembles a movie set.

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Every time I passed this fountain, all I could visualize was the face of Mark Twain. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

Nubby Twiglet | Italy

The scale of the colosseum in person completely blew my mind. it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and dating from 72 AD, it’s hard to imagine how such a behemoth was even constructed.

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Link Love: 6.26.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Solar Sisters

• As a designer, you don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else just because it looks good on paper. Bre explains how she figured out what worked best for her.

• Tell someone that you’re proud of them and make their day.

• June Letters just released the most beautiful line of hand-poured candles.

• How do you punctuate around emoticons and emoji?

• Simplify your offerings and in return, they’ll be more powerful.

• Staying on schedule when you’re freelancing can be difficult. Corina shares some tips to keep your process running smoothly.

• The 10 most controversial films of all time.

• A husband and wife have worn the same outfits for 35 years.

• 27 apps designers can’t live without.


Image: Solar Sisters.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Growing up in America, I knew very little about the British tradition surrounding afternoon tea. During a stay in London this month, I wanted to experience it firsthand so we set up a booking in the Sketch London tea room.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

If you’re familiar with Sketch, it’s safe to assume that this wasn’t any ordinary tea room, though. Most of the surfaces were coated in soft, milky pink hues and it would be easy to imagine the ghost of Elizabeth Taylor lounging here if it weren’t for the oodles of hilarious David Shrigley art covering the walls.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Every room within the confines of Sketch are a unique experience in themselves and this area was no different. Waitresses in themed dresses brought over our menus which were filled with dozens of tea varieties. I chose vanilla which was rich, smooth but not too sweet. The china all featured David’s handwritten declarations of forget about it, ghosts and it’s not ok.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

With tea service, multi-tiered trays are delivered full of mini pastries and sandwiches. Cakes, homemade strawberry marshmallows, fruit tarts, and caviar and quail egg sandwiches were all in the mix. Following the pastries, the traditional staples of fresh baked scones, clotted cream and jam arrived.

It’s safe to say that you won’t be able to finish everything. Sketch happily packed up the remainder of our tea service and we walked away with two massive pink bags of treats for later.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Though, that wasn’t the end of our adventure. The crowning moment of the Sketch experience resides at the top of a white spiral staircase with a bathroom area full of jumbo eggs. Inside each, you’ll find a toilet and piped-in music. As you head over to wash your hands, there’s a funhouse mirror distorting everything around you and a rainbow-paneled ceiling.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #10: Afternoon Tea at Sketch London

Sketch manages to put a fresh spin on the afternoon tea tradition and make it super fun — it’s worth experiencing at least once. And two weeks later, I’m still craving their delicious scones. 😉


Featured: Sketch.
Photos by: Julie Michaelsen Photography.
I wore: The Fifth striped top and skirt and Steve Madden boots (old).
For even more Out & About posts, click here.

The Week In Pictures: 6.22.15 | Marrakech

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

Hello, how have you been?! I’ve been traveling across Morocco and Italy for the past two weeks and for a big chunk of that time, I’ve taken a major break from being online — it’s been so amazing spending my days wandering through unfamiliar cities, taking hundreds of photos, sitting at cafes, window shopping and having plenty of time to catch up with two of my best friends.

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

I spent last week in Marrakech and wanted to share some of the scenery with you. Marrakech is the fourth largest city in Morocco which is located in northwest Africa. Founded in 1062 AD, the layers of history are apparent around every corner.

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

We stayed at El Fenn, which is owned by Richard Branson’s sister, Vanessa. A knack for hospitality and a sense of humor runs in the family — her attention to art and even the smallest details made it the perfect retreat after encountering the hustle and bustle of the winding medinas.

Nubby Twiglet | Marrakech, Morocco

These are some of my favorite moments from the last week…

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Link Love: 6.18.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Isabel Marant

• 30 things to do before you turn 30.

• Here’s how to Instagram like it’s your job.

• Sheryl Sandberg wrote the most beautiful post about grieving — definitely worth a read.

• Not everyone is motivated in the same way. Understanding the six types of motivation can work wonders for keeping you on track.

• Can design change the world? That’s definitely up for debate!

• Writing social media updates in batches can save you tons of time.

• Made me laugh: sea is for cookie.

• I’m always on the lookout for fresh art prints to liven up my workspace and these are an especially fun batch.

• Check out the 10 best SkillShare classes for content marketing.

• It’s easier to get work done if you understand the 4 types of productivity styles.

• What you say in your email sign-off definitely matters.

• 10 business tips that photographers can learn from Taylor Swift.

• Anna always unearths the best stuff and I love this roundup of planters.


Image: Isabel Marant.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

One of the most fulfilling projects I’ve worked on over the last year was designing my friend Gala Darling’s first book, Radical Self Love. This is close to my heart because I met Gala online 13 years ago and even back then, she was fanatical about writing. Her dream was to become a published author but it took years of behind-the-scenes hard work to make it a reality.

A few years ago, I designed Gala’s first book proposal and when things didn’t work out, we were both crushed. But, she persevered and never lost sight of her goal. Now, it’s clear to see that everything worked out as it was meant to be — her book just debuted on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list and the pre-sale alone has already sold hundreds of copies. Gala’s journey is a great reminder that overnight success is rare but if you stick with what you believe in, amazing things can (and will!) happen. We just sat down for an interview that I hope will help you stay motivated and focused on making your own dreams a reality. Enjoy!

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

A lot of us have big ideas for projects but as they wear on, staying motivated and on-task can be difficult. How were you able to remain focused on a project that was years in the making?

As a little girl, I’d sit at the kitchen table writing stories, then staple them together, draw a cover (barcode included) and imagine what it would like to be published. Authors were my heroes: I spent hours at the library with my father every Saturday, and I was constantly working through a huge stack of books. Writing a book has always been my big dream. 

This book evolved a lot. It started as a monthly serial — I’d send out the chapters as they were completed — and a couple of years after it was done, I realised I had a whole book sitting right there. I had a meeting with a big publishing company, but they didn’t really “get it”, and my agent told me it was a hard time to sell a self-help book. I was extremely disappointed, but I can see that it was all perfect. I’m so glad I didn’t publish the book in that incarnation or at that time!

Over the last couple of years, technology has changed so much, and has put the power to produce back into the hands of the creators. It’s incredible. There are no gatekeepers anymore. You don’t have to wait to be chosen: you can create your own Youtube show, publish your own book, record your own radio show. 

I was able to stay focussed on publishing my book because even though I experienced some crushing disappointment, I had a burning desire to get it done. Once I saw that a few women I knew had self-published (with great results), I was inspired to give it a try. I wrote the original manuscript for this book in 2009, so this is definitely not an “overnight success” story — it has taken six years to get to this point!

For me, it was essential to break the project down into stages. I did my edits, then hired an editor to go through it again. I researched book design, then hired you to make the book beautiful. I hired a photographer to shoot the cover, and so on and so on. This has been such a massive learning experience for me — I never knew how many small details would become so big and important! 

If you have a dream, I encourage you to pursue it with gusto! You only get one life: you should create and do EVERYTHING that you want to. And if your dream has lost its lustre? Go back to the drawing board. Spend some time alone, contemplating it. You may have outgrown your dream, or it may have evolved. Or maybe you just need some outside perspective. Ultimately, if you really want to make it happen, you will.

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

With some projects, not everyone is going to get what we’re doing — and that can be hard to deal with. What are your suggestions for dealing with negativity?

Exactly. In my situation, I was crushed when that meeting with a publisher was a bust! Honestly, I wish I could say I bounced back from that quickly, but I didn’t. It took me another two years to re-write my book proposal, and when I did, my agent told me it was too hard a sell. I was so frustrated, but then I looked around at the people who were self-publishing and decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did!

There are always going to be ups and downs with any creative project. Remember that people’s opinions only have as much weight as you give them. My agent told me she couldn’t sell my book… But when I pre-launched it on Amazon, it went to #1 on the Amazon Movers and Shakers charts. 

Know what you’re trying to achieve and why. When you know your “why”, it becomes so much easier. In my case, as much as writing this book is a dream come true for me, the thing that kept me going was knowing that this book would change women’s lives. I knew that if it got into the hands of a woman who really needed it, it could encourage her to get help with her eating disorder, it might inspire her to leave a bad relationship, it would remind her how beautiful she is and how much we need her! You have to have a deeper motive than just stroking your own ego… Tempting as that can be!

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

As an entrepreneur, why is loving yourself so important? If your confidence is wavering, what are some things you can do?

Ultimately, loving yourself ties into self-respect and how much you value yourself. If you don’t have a healthy sense of appreciation for who you are and the work you’re capable of, it’s all too common to get stuck. You might find yourself constantly going after the wrong kind of clients, refusing to hire an assistant even if you need one (and drowning in work that is not your zone of genius), not knowing how to pull your business out of a plateau, or undercharging for your work. All of those things lead to resentment and burn-out. The bottom line? Radical self love is good for your business!

If you ever doubt your inherent awesomeness, try writing a list of all the things you’ve achieved. It’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture and celebrate all those small triumphs along the way! Even having the courage to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur is so huge, and many of us downplay that (or forget that for most people, being self-employed is too terrifying to contemplate). I promise, once you get started writing down all the things you’ve achieved, you’ll be amazed… And it might even inspire you to increase your rates!


I hope this interview reminds you that no matter how big and scary your dreams may feel, they are possible. Interested in picking up a copy of Gala’s book? It’s on sale starting today and you can grab your copy here. —Shauna

Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

When I was in Seattle a few weeks back and walking to dinner, I passed a shop window that stopped me in my tracks. Glancing in, the walls were lined with a variety of brightly colored books with fantastically designed covers. The floor was filled with displays of bold, unique office supplies. As soon as I got back to my hotel, I settled into doing some research to find out what this place was all about.

Peter Miller is a legendary Seattle bookstore specializing in design books that cover the gamut from architecture to graphic design to landscape design to typography. It’s a one-stop-shop for detail-oriented creatives who appreciate the beauty of printed materials.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

I’ve always said that it’s dangerous to just rely on the internet for all of your design inspiration — having a beautifully curated personal library to dig into when design all starts to blend together online is so important. As I flipped through titles on the shelves, the atmosphere was really welcoming. Peter himself manned the counter, ready to answer any questions I had.

I’m a diehard office supplies aficionado and his beautiful shop carried items I’d never seen before — Swiss pencils, brightly colored staplers and beautifully designed calendars that would make the designer in your life jump for joy.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

I’ve been to a lot of bookstores but this is the best I’ve ever come across for designers, hands-down. Everything feels specially picked — there’s no file there, only the absolute best of the best.

I walked out with a variety of titles and supplies, some of which you can see in the top photo. And to be honest, I should have taken more photos but I was so excited to be in the store, chatting with Peter about design that I sort of forgot about my camera altogether. In a way, aren’t those the best moments?

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

And, I know that this is a bit random…but Peter let me tour the rest of the space and I loved this bizarre sculpture in one of the back rooms.

If you’re a creative passing through Seattle, please add this shop to your list! The website doesn’t do it justice — it’s one of those places with constantly changing stock that you just have to experience in person.


Featured: Peter Miller.
For even more Out & About posts, click here.