Blogcademy San Francisco: Kicking Off A Very Colorful Year Of Classes

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Blogcademy San Francisco was our first class of the year and before it kicked off, we were feeling some definite “first day of school” jitters since we’d just re-shuffled and polished up our presentation. It’s always a roll of the dice when you take a chance and change up a tried-and-true formula. But, we had nothing to worry about — this group of women welcomed us with open arms, warm smiles and plenty of questions (we ended the class with our longest open Q&A yet!)

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

You know what I immediately loved about San Francisco? The women in our class were focused and driven but also knew how to have fun — from the beginning of class, they opened up and weren’t afraid to share their vulnerabilities along with their successes. By the end of day two, I felt like we’d just spent a week at the best summer camp of all time. Saying goodbye to this group was really, really hard.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Our first ever San Francisco class was held at Makeshift Society, an eclectic clubhouse and co-working space in the heart of Hayes Valley. I immediately felt at home amongst the geometric wallpaper, stacks of art and design books, walls covered in hanging inspiration and comfy couches. By the end of day one, I was begging them to open up a location in Portland. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Our totes this time around featured a cable car…so quintessentially San Francisco! For every class, we design a custom graphic and do a print run through OSI. It’s so much fun adding those unique details to every city’s experience.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

I love it when our blogcadettes show off their unique style — Angela flew in from Nebraska and lit up the room with her gold polkadot chiffon skirt. Wowza!

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

It took no time at all for our blogcadettes to rifle through their goodie bags and finish off their looks with ears and bows.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

I always say that the best part of the weekend is watching our ladies make new friends. Shown above: Ayanna, Erin, Mariah and Samantha (who flew in all the way from Australia!)

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

On Sunday, it was Mother’s Day and we figured that there was no better way to celebrate than with a mix of macarons from Chantal Guillon which was right down the street. Always a crowd pleaser!

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

I won’t tell you what happened here. You’ll have to come to class to find out why I’m always mortified when this particular story comes up in the presentation. 😉


Our sponsors KILLED IT this time around. These independent businesses hooked our blogcadettes up big time and we are so thankful for their generosity!

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Notebooks are a must-have in class and Moxie Makery delivered with a rainbow-hued, pocket-sized assortment.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Ladybird Likes created a customized mix of wooden pins and keychains featuring our branding and inspirational messages.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

It’s no secret that our ladies love big, bold hair accessories and these giant satin bows by Dark Pony Designs were a huge hit.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Reeta Krishna’s WordPress for Beginners book is so awesome because it covers some of the more technical parts of blogging that every blogger should know.

And, I’m always a fan of the cute acrylic accessories Art School Dropout whips up. These arrow hair clips were super fun.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

The days of scrunchies and ugly hair bands adorning our wrists are over thanks to Mane Message! I’ve been wearing mine every single day since.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Zelma Rose sent necklaces imprinted with custom sayings on them and the packaging was top notch.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Fellow Branch client Olivine Atelier went above and beyond with sampler packs of scents! I designed the branding and packaging last year and getting to share it with the blogcadettes was really special. The finishing touch? Each box included a gold-dipped feather!

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

And, no class is complete without a glittery mix of sparkly ears from Crown and Glory!

And finally, a special thank you goes out to Kind who hooked us up with their delicious bars throughout the weekend.

Extra Love

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

After class, we always pose with blogcadettes in front of our backdrop. We changed up the pattern this year — do you like it? Here, we’re hanging out with Paula from Blank Stare, Blink. LOVE HER.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

A special shout-out goes out to our kick-ass interns, Vivian and Paige. They were an absolute wonder team and I wish we could pack them along around the world with us.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

And, no Blogcademy is ever complete without a class photo. Yes, it was as fun as it looks!

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

By the end of class, this is basically how I felt, as illustrated by the amazingly talented Hannah Concannon of The Dress Up Box.

Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

Thank you to all of the wonderful ladies who spent their weekend with us, learning about blogging, snapping photos and eating macarons.


Nubby Twiglet | Blogcademy San Francisco

If you’d like to join us on the road, we’re off to Vancouver and Calgary in June, London, Berlin and Amsterdam in July and August, New York and Washington, D.C. in September and October and finally, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland in November and December. Hope to see you in class!

All photos: Ingrid Chang of Jerry Yoon Photographers.
Venue: Makeshift Society.

Latest & Greatest #25: Boobs


Vases. Totes. Tees. Breasts seem to be popping up on everything imaginable! I grabbed onto the coattails of the trend when I walked into the Kelly Wearstler store and spotted this top, based on one of her sculptures.


Here are a few of my favorite boob-covered accoutrements to enrich your life: 1. Jonathan Adler Luciana Vase, 2. Gravel & Gold Boob Top, 3. Kelly Wearstler Pink Fountain Bust Tee and 4. Gravel & Gold Boob Tote.

What do you think of the trend? Yay or nay?

The Week In Pictures: 5.17.14 | Hello From San Francisco and Chicago!


Hello from Chicago! How was your week? After three solid months of being cooped up in my office in Portland, it’s been so nice to get back out on the road again, meet new blogcadettes, see new sights, try new restaurants and take pleasure in walking down unfamiliar streets. It’s true that the best inspiration hits when you leave your comfort zone and step away from your routine.


I spent last week in San Francisco and finally got to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. My friend Kristin Cofer drove Kat, Gala and I up a winding road to a lookout point so we could take it in up close and personal. We braved the wind and inched out of our car as the doors blew shut behind us and our dresses and hair blew everywhere. But, it was totally worth it — just look at that view!


We also stopped by the beach which was also incredibly cold and super windy….but I can never say no to sand and waves and kites!


The one must-see spot on my list for San Francisco was Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. Eight incredibly sharp turns later, we were at the bottom, taking selfies.


Two things I picked up in San Franscico: Rodin lip balm and a Zara necklace.


We held our class at Makeshift Society, a co-working space in the heart of Hayes Valley. Our class was such an eclectic bunch and I’m still buzzing from the wonderful ladies I met. A full recap is coming next week!


While hanging out in Hayes Valley, we visited the Juice Shop truck. The best selection of juices, killer branding and a big green truck? Perfection.


On Monday, we packed our bags, headed for Chicago. It was my first time in the Windy City and it got off to a dramatic start. Right as we landed, a storm hit and we were stuck on the plane for an extra two hours as lightning struck all around.

The next day, we visited the famous Chicago Theatre sign. How amazing is that typography?!


And, no stop in Chicago is complete without snapping shots of your reflection at the Cloud Gate.


We’re staying in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago and loving the mix of independent shops and restaurants.


When we landed in Chicago, everyone was raving about the food and recommending tons of restaurants but the true gem by far has been Frasca. We’ve been here multiple times…all I have to say is garlic focaccia and skillet cookie. #heavenonaplate



I love all the old signs in our neighborhood including Dinkel’s Bakery.


I passed this house in our neighborhood and wanted to move in immediately. That mask! That red door!


When we were out and about, we stopped into the Anthropologie store and I fell in love with this painted firewood wall.


Fizz is in our neighborhood and I’m hoping to stop in before we leave on Monday.


And with that, I’m off to teach at Blogcademy Chicago. Enjoy your weekend!

Top and bottom photos: Kristin Cofer.

Link Love: 5.15.14



• What’s the difference between a font and a typeface?

7 guidelines for writing emails that people actually want to read.

• Iconic designer Massimo Vignelli has fallen ill but you can mail him a letter.

• Take a visual tour of some of California’s most beautiful art deco cinemas.

• Some blogs are saturated with a nonstop rotation of giveaways. What are the benefits and downsides?

• Erin Jane shares her story about how she became a freelance graphic designer.

• What’s the benefit of using a pseudonym in place of your real name online?

• An honest look into the topic of whether people are really brands in themselves.

• 101 things to love about New York, a list from NY Times Magazine circa 1976!

• Web designers, this is a must read: 6 ways to make your developer happy to open your files.

• Tips and tricks for your email newsletter.

Photo: Audrey Hepburn by Howell Conant.

Latest & Greatest #24: Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

I take nearly every photo on this blog and while my white dining room floor makes a good backdrop for most of them, it does get boring. To add some visual interest to my photos, I picked up a set of Kaleido Trays a few months back. They were definitely an investment but since then, they’ve been the perfect prop, whether I’m snapping a product shot or using them alongside my design projects.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

The thing to note about the trays is the quality — these aren’t flimsy, molded plastic. They’re powder coated steel. Designed in 2012 by Clara von Zweigbergk for HAY (aren’t all of their products awesome?!), I now find myself using them nearly every day, whether it’s to hold a vase of flowers, brighten up the guest room or be a catch-all near my desk.

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays

Nubby Twiglet | Kaleido Trays.

The great thing about Kaleido Trays is that you can buy singles or the full set. It’s up to you.

Keleido Trays are available at Design Within Reach.
Check out more Latest & Greatest columns here.

Little Lessons #6: The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change. Embrace It.

Nubby Twiglet | Stay True To Your Path

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.” —Heraclitus

When we’re kids, we’re taught that we can be anything we want to be when we grow up and that the world is full of endless possibilities. We openly use that encouragement to explore the options. Kids can change their minds every single day about what they want to be “when they grow up” with absolutely no consequences.

But as adults? If we change our minds too often, we’re called hypocrites, flakes, flip-floppers and unfocused. It’s looked down upon to change your mind, especially with school and careers. People, especially your parents can be really hard on you. “You’ll ruin your life!” “How will you make any money?” “Why would you want to leave a comfortable path for this?!” It’s painful to hear.

If you’re having a hard time right now, it does get better.

I get so many emails from readers who feel stuck in school for a degree they are no longer passionate about, a career that isn’t a good fit or a job that is soul sucking. At The Blogcademy, many of our students are burnt out by their current blog topics but worried about changing it up. It doesn’t have to be that way forever. Changing up your life is okay. Give yourself permission.

I spent all my free time in school doodling on my worksheets. When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had it all figured out: an artist.

When I was touring colleges back in 2000, I realized that I couldn’t take the ups and downs that being an artist would have in store for me — a degree in business seemed like the most sensible option. During my summers off from school, I spent my days in a corporate office. I sat next to ladies who, in their 50s and 60s, had spent the better parts of their lives in offices. None of them seemed like they were having much fun. All anyone around me did was gossip about one another by day and drink heavily and chain smoke by night. Sure, I could finish school, climb the corporate ladder and have a nice paycheck waiting for me every two weeks…but that just didn’t feel right. I wanted out but I’m not a quitter. Instead, I finished up my degree, left that office job for good and took a year off, selling shoes instead.

Once I’d regrouped, I went back to school for what I was actually meant to do: design. I still remember sitting in my college’s office, filling out paperwork explaining why I wanted to return for a “lesser degree” (I had a four year degree and my design program was two). I don’t even exactly remember what I wrote. I just knew that I had to find a way in.

When you’re feeling stuck and like you’re not on the path you want to be, there are always going to be people who will try to convince you to stay right where you are. But remember, it’s not their life, it’s yours. It’s never too late to make a change.

Photo: Made U Look.

The Week In Pictures: 5.9.14


Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Hello from San Francisco! This is my first time spending more than a few hours here and I LOVE it. I’ve been reunited with Kat and Gala and we’ve been living it up in the equivalent of a modern haunted mansion. The weather has been awesome and every restaurant we’ve tried so far has been spot-on.

Yesterday, I made a special trip to Réveile Coffee to see their magnificent tiling in person which resulted in a moment of urban camouflage. Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Before I left for San Francisco, this was my go-to breakfast: Trader Joe’s multigrain waffles, blackberries and plain yogurt. Simple, quick and delicious!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’ve been feeling super inspired in these surroundings and jotting down new ideas in my notebook.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My ideal building exterior: black and white, of course!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Great packaging!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures
I love this colorful gaggle of chairs at a café on Valencia Street.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

A Sunday afternoon still-life. Helvetica Moleskines are still one of my favorite treasures.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

La Palma had the best tacos I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Their secret? Homemade tortillas.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Today is our last day off before teaching begins so we’re off to see some sights with fellow local (and kickass photographer) Kristin Cofer. Have a great weekend, everyone! xo