Link Love: 9.13.12

link love

link love

Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Avedon

• If you read only one thing here this week, make it #socialmediatheories. It’s a glimpse into what we’re using particular social media streams for these days and how we’re navigating and splicing up various areas of our life for them. Truth: Instagram is the new go-to platform for saying “I live a full life and here is photographic proof.”

• Um, this story is awesome. This person was $90,000 in debt and ended up in Kosovo and then Iraq (with lots of twists and turns in-between) to pay it off!

• Betsey Johnson just turned 70 (!!) and is still rockin’ her trademark look and doing cartwheels! Love.

• Find out what to do when you have to work with someone you don’t like!

• Fast Co. gives us 4 steps to breakthrough ideas.

• Managing your own business can leave you feel like things are slipping through the cracks. I’ve definitely felt this way and it’s good to hear I’m not alone!

• 5 hosting mistakes bloggers don’t know they’re making.

• I enjoyed reading Promise’s views on blogging and success. I am still a die-hard blogger and love the medium but at the same time I can understand why so many have switched to microblogging.

• Slightly entertaining: Famous people I thought I saw on the street…but it wasn’t them at all. Haha!

• I LOVE it when Anna of D16 shares her beauty reviews — she keeps it real and funny. I may just have to give this Bobbi Brown undereye concealer a shot.

• Naturally, every ad agency should have a ping-pong conference table.

Advice #48: What’s Your Secret to Shooting Photos?

Photoshop Actions

First off, this is just a quick note that I’ve changed my long-running advice column from Ask Nubby to simply Advice. I felt it needed some clarity and the “+” comes into play since my goal has always been to give positive yet relatable advice. If you have a question of your own, contact information can be found in the sidebar.


I’m wondering if you could do a post on your photography for blogging. Your images are always consistent in style and very punchy with colours. I’m a junior-intermediate user of a high end DSLR camera, but can’t seem to get the most out of it in a blogging capacity – your journalistic style photographs and pics of your work always look lush!

Photoshop Actions

Shooting away at The Viceroy, Santa Monica! Photo by Gala Darling.

One of the key components that you’ll notice across the board for established bloggers is that they have a fairly consistent style to their photos. This is one of those more ownable elements that you can use to differentiate your content. Shooting almost all of my own photos has allowed me to add my unique take to blogging over the last ten years. I bought my first Nikon digital camera in 2002 and it opened up a whole new world to me.

I’ve been carrying a camera in my bag since the sixth grade and am constantly shooting. But the straight-up truth is that I’d never call myself a photographer. I’m first and foremost focused on being a designer — I just know how to manipulate my photos to look the way I want. I am not very technically savvy in the photography department — I have a very point-and-shoot method to what I do. I keep my settings on auto and shoot in natural light 90% of the time. If I need something above and beyond the basics, I call on one of my professional friends or my brother to make it happen. I’ve been around enough pros and have also been on enough sets to realize that photography is an art all it’s own and I have major respect for that.

This is the exact setup that I use.

Here’s the exact setup I’ve been using for the last 2+ years: A Nikon D40 paired with a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G Lens. I particularly like the D40 because it’s on the small size as far as DSLRs go and super tough. I just throw it in my handbag and go! I’ve tested a few of the new micro-sized DSLR cameras but too many of them feel cheap and breakable. The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens is great for detailed, close-up shots which I do a ton of. I still need to do some more research about what lens to invest in next! That’s it, though. I like to keep things as simple as possible and shoot almost everything on the blog with with this combo.

I use Actions to edit all my photos.

Between the camera and lens, I can get a good base image to work with but beyond that, it’s all about using Photoshop Actions to implement a consistent look. Actions are a series of recorded steps that help you edit your image without having to do each step manually — they are essentially a one click editing process! Can you say time saver?

If you’re wondering how to load an action in Photoshop, it’s easy! In your menu bar, simply go to Window > Actions. Once your Actions palette is up, click in the top right corner on Load Actions and you’re set!

Over the last three years I have pulled from a number of other actions and tweaked my process until I was happy with the style. Some actions are too soft for my taste while some are too harsh so I never use them straight out of the box. I personally have three of the below sets of actions and after much research, I really want to try out the fourth as well!

1. Making Nice In The Midwest Photoshop Actions are great if you’re going for a soft, vintage effect.

2. Devlin Photos has an awesome variety of Photoshop Actions that are geared towards weddings and beyond. As a sidenote, Lisa Devlin will be at our Blogcademy New York launch teaching you about Photoshop shortcuts as well!

3. Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess shared examples of the actions they use and now I really want to try out Totally Rad Actions!

4. As a sidenote, I know not everyone can afford a set of actions right away so I also included a link to my favorite free action: Vintage Film Effect by Fallout 75. I modified this one a lot when I used it but there’s some good layers in there to tweak and learn from.

Here are some real life examples of befores and afters of images I’ve featured on my blog. All of these were edited with actions:

Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions

While I wish I could give you the exact formula of actions I used on these, I’ve built my own mix over time with many elements from the above sets of actions. I tend to like my images to be bright, vibrant but not too saturated and to have an overall cool tone. I’m constantly adding and subtracting to get what feels right to me but always depend on actions to get me off to a solid start when editing.

Readers: Let me know if you have any more specific questions about my photography setup or editing in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

The Typofiles #116: Domino Special Editions

Domino Magazine Special Edition Best Of Rooms

Domino was a popular home interiors magazine which existed from 2005 to 2009. One of my all-time favorite magazines, its official tagline was “the guide to living with style” and it lived up to the name. I, like many others was sad to see Domino close down during the height of the recession — I felt that if they could have held on a bit longer, things would have turned around and they’re still sorely missed.

Domino Magazine Special Edition Best Of Rooms

In Domino’s defense, since then, they’ve released a few limited edition, “best of” magazines that in my opinion, are awesome. Of course I wish they’d ramp back up to full-on regular publication but these are a nice dose of the Domino style and ethos in a format that’s lengthier than any of their standard issues ever were.

Their newest edition, Best Rooms: Our Favorite Spaces of All Time, features a mix of old and new content, including some reader all-time favorites like Jenna Lyons’ Brooklyn pad and many never-seen-before outtakes. I actually like these “Best Of” issues because the content is meatier — there’s way less filler and barely any ads when compared with their standard magazines.

Domino Magazine Special Edition Best Of Rooms

And, while the content is really good, I’ll admit that half the reason I bought this issue was for the design. Domino was always on trend but things have changed a lot over the last few years and they’ve made it a point to pick up on all the latest editorial cues — more white space, slashes, bold pops of color and an overall cleaner feel permeate this issue.

Domino Magazine Special Edition Best Of Rooms

I know the reaction to Domino’s launch of special editions was mixed (rumor has it that the original staff was not involved for the most part) but I personally think they did a fantastic job with the content and design and, well, at this point I’ll take what I can get when it comes to Domino!

Readers: Have any of you picked up these new Domino Special Editions? What did you think?

Fall 2012 Style Direction: School’s Out Forever!

Fall 2012 Style Direction

Over the weekend, I visited Reed College. Here in Portland, it’s almost time for the college kids to head back to school and if I was making the pilgrimage, this would be my official back-to-school look. After spending more than six years in college (two very different degrees add up!), I swore I would never go back — but I can still get into the schoolgirl mindset…and a little Fall shopping.

Fall 2012 Style Direction

Every year, I yell from the mountaintops, “Boho begone!” And finally, this year is my year. Luckily for me (but unluckily for my wallet), all of my favorite things including tartans, red crosses, oversized tassels, menswear-inspired staples, flatforms (more comfy than my old standby, wedges), spikes and boldly patterned knits are filling the stores.

Fall 2012 Style Direction

For Spring, I proclaimed my style direction to be Ladylike Urban Warrior and it pretty much held true — I wore a lot more fashion-forward dresses and even some abstract florals (I’m usually more of a stripes girl). This season though, I’m feeling very much like School’s Out Forever! I graduated but just can’t kick the look — I want all the prep classics but with a coy twist. I want my plaids to have a peplum (above), my flats to have jumbo tassels, my classic patterns to be way oversized and my nails to be as blinding as possible. It’s basically the way my high school self in 1996 imagined my adult self dressing (I actually had the Hard Candy version of that bright yellow NARS polish below back then!)

Fall 2012 Style Direction

I Wore:

1. Tartan Peplum Top, ASOS. 2. BDG High-Rise Jeans, Urban Outfitters. 3. Booties, Proenza Schouler (circa 2009). 4. Bag, Jaeger (circa 2011). 5. Watch, Vintage. 6. Lipstick, MAC Vegas Volt.

Fall 2012 Style Direction

My dream Fall wardrobe would definitely include the following:

1. Vogue Hellas September 2012, 2. Acne Laurie Bag, 3. NARS polish in Amchoor, 4. Acne Azalea Loafers, 5. Topshop Herringbone Cube Coat, 6. Tom Ford Peccary Natalia Bag, 7. Marni Cap-Toe Flatform and 8. Topshop Handknit Cross Jumper.

Readers: What’s your style direction for Fall?

The Week In Pictures: 9.7.12

The Week in Pictures

Welcome to The Week In Pictures! We had a holiday weekend here in the U.S. and I took full advantage of it. I managed to have a drink with my Grandma at Edgefield, spend a day criss-crossing town with my brother (stopping at boutiques and food carts along the way), peek my head inside The Ace, dig out a bunch of my all-time favorite magazines (I have a few hundred stored away in my office closet), take a relaxing walk across the Reed College campus and catch up on emails (always a huge relief).

The Week in Pictures

I don’t know why I’ve never spent much time on the Reed College campus because it’s so pretty and totally reminds me of grand East Coast colleges. We took Rocky there over the weekend (he’s getting pretty spoiled by these destination walks!) and I’m hoping to head back again ASAP.

The Week in Pictures

I was inspired to clean my office and dig around my own magazine collection this week and I found this i-D issue featuring Jessica Stam which has long been one of my favorite covers. I wish this was a poster!

The Week in Pictures

I was feeling restless on Saturday and wanting to enjoy the last bit of Summer so my brother and I headed out to explore some of our favorite boutiques. Our first stop was into his friend Bernadette Breau’s shop which is an antique and interior design mecca. Chandeliers, taxidermy and tons of amazing furniture cover every square inch and we always have fun digging around. I love this red chair – if only I had a spot for it!

The Week in Pictures

Next, we headed downtown to Rich’s Cigar Store which is the best place in town to buy magazines. It’s interesting too because for as many magazines as I read, I am always discovering something completely new. Like this bizarre yet stunning cover!

The Week in Pictures

And, it’s always a good mail day when my clients send me stuff. Luke Copping is always exploring ways to get his branding out there and sent me these patches he just had made. It’s been quite a few years now since I did his identity but I still love it just as much.

Have a great weekend and try to make time to explore your own city. It’s amazing what you can find lurking around — inspiration is everywhere, we just have to look for it. And for even more behind the scenes sneak peeks, join me on Instagram (username: nubbytwiglet).

Link Love: 9.6.12

link love

link love

Josh Olins for i-D Magazine

• What do you do when your dream job becomes a nightmare?

• Learn how to create your own homemade photo filters to use with your DSLR camera!

• Have you seen the Andy Warhol-inspired Campbell’s Soup cans that were just released? They’re available exclusively at Target.

• Chanel’s new Bollywood-inspired collection is pretty amazing.

• Learn how to pack like a pro from stylist Catherine Sheppard.

• I was intrigued to read that designer and lifestyle blogger Joy of Oh Joy! has cut contributor’s columns in an effort to post exclusively in her own voice. Most of my favorite blogs have a strong personal voice coupled with unique content so I’m excited to see this new chapter unfold!

• The NY Times shares the history of New York in 50 objects.

• I’m digging the new Tattly packaging big time.

• The Atlantic has gathered 40 awesome photos from this year’s Burning Man.

link love

• Lady Gaga is schooling us in nail art in this month’s V and in true Gaga style, the more extreme the better!

• I couldn’t stop laughing at this list of The New Problem Areas. Case in point: “Already peplum-shaped hips.” And perhaps even better, “Hand instinctively clawed into perfect taco-holding shape. Possibly psychosomatic.”

• The coolest bookstore I’ve ever seen is located inside a cathedral in the Netherlands!

• It’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be.

The Blogcademy: Business Cards and Stickers

The Blogcademy Collateral

Over at The Blogcademy, we’ve been hard at work designing all our business collateral. First came the rubber stamps and next, business cards and stickers. And in an ongoing effort to help you outfit your own business in style, we’re sharing our sources!

The Blogcademy Collateral

I wanted the cards to be premium in both look and feel but also budget-friendly and that’s where Moo came in. I hadn’t ever paid the site much attention but last month, one of my clients requested that I set her business cards up with their specs and after digging around, I really liked what I saw. A lot has changed over at Moo; it’s not just mini cards these days!

The Blogcademy Collateral

Have you seen the latest addition to their offerings, the Luxe Business Cards? Featuring Mohawk Superfine paper merged with a rich seam of color (we chose black for these), the quality is really awesome. The matte finish has a noticeably tactile texture and the saturation of the inks is top notch.

The Blogcademy Collateral

We couldn’t decide on a back for our cards so I made two. The more the merrier! What I appreciate about Moo is that they realize not everyone is a designer and came up with 70 pre-made design templates for the Luxe that are geared towards a number of industries.

The Blogcademy Collateral

Of course, when it comes to branding our business, we couldn’t stop at just business cards. Moo also offers stickers in a number of formats and my favorite part is that you can upload multiple designs to be printed in the same pack! How cool is that? We have plans to use these to seal official correspondence.

We have more Blogcademy projects in the works I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts. Thanks for following along with us on this exciting new journey!

P.S. I wanted to mention that I wasn’t contacted or compensated by Moo in any way. I’m just really happy with the outcome of the products I ordered.