Tuesday
Apr092013

Odd Fellows

This last Saturday was such a treat. Just a simple day spent with my family eating out, exploring our city, cleaning up our little house and meeting friends at the park. It's been quiet on the blog lately because the last month has not been such a treat. Well, not that it hasn't been sweet - it's just been chaotic and busy...

After accepting the art director position at Verily I quickly realized I had a lot to learn! and there is a lot more that goes in to directing a magazine than I previously thought! I've had to learn so much about communication. Working on a team with 5 other women forces you to learn everyone else's communication styles in order to work harmoniously together. It also forces you to be way more direct than you ever (EVER) wanted to be. I find myself writing 2 sentence emails with no punctuation and pushing send with out thinking twice about it. Before, in my freelance career, I used to vacillate over every word, every use of punctuation.. wondering if the recipient would get the wrong idea, wondering if they would think I was angry or not understand that I actually was angry but trying to be polite! ha! Now? I just write the damn thing and push send! No time for second guessing!

I've also had to learn how to manage people. I have a graphic designer who helps me layout the magazine and I just recently hired an intern to help me run the visual content on the Verily website (the website I've been re-designing for the past month, you'll see it soon!) I've never been anyone's boss or mentor before so this is a totally new ball game for me. I'm finding that I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. The girls I work with are incredible! But this is not to say that learning how to MANAGE has not been CA-RAZY!

Aside from my busy new job - Conor recently quit his job which moved us to Texas in the first place and accepted a new position at a new company. We are staying in Dallas which is good but him changing jobs was scary and hectic. In the end it turns out it is so much better for our family. Conor is so much happier at his new job and it makes all the difference in our home. We now have a nanny working for us 5 mornings a week (who by the way is the reason I can wake up in the morning, god bless her!) And all of this is why we are now able to spend Saturdays lazily brunching at places like Odd Fellows and exploring Dallas - a city that we have lived in for 6 months and until this past week I saw very little of. We weren't spending much time together because Conor's job forced him to work 24/7 and any free time he had to watch Henry I spent working on my freelance projects. I think we are glad those days are behind us.

I hope to be blogging more moving forward but I am finding that a lot of my energy is going in to staying organized for work and taking care of my two boys. I mean just take a look at that tired daddy (up above) and that happy lime munching baby and tell me you wouldn't want to skip everything else in life to hang out with them too!?  And then there is this gem of a photo (below) that I somehow snapped accidentally. I know it is blurry but it reminds me of something I would pull out of an old Polaroid land camera... the colors, the sun spots... that tiny little face peeking over his daddy's shoulder! It's everything. 

Thursday
Mar142013

Fun Project

I recently had the opportunity to work on a fun project with Casey Leigh! She is incredibly sweet and was so much fun to work with! And talk about southern charm! Her slight southern accent is as beautiful as she is! Casey put together a Pinterest board (go here to find links to the images above) and I created this mood board as a jumping off point for her new branding and blog design. Once we got all of the branding elements and original art in place for her blog we brought Ana Degenaar on board to help us implement the design. I am convinced that Ana is the best BLOGGER designer in the entire world! (She is also just a great designer in general too!) If you are on blogger and you are looking for a new design go to her website right now! She sells beautifully thought out templates and does custom work as well! She is the best! 

Jump on over to Casey's blog to see her new blog design! It is definitely minimalistic and clean which is what we were going for! I am so excited about how it turned out and can't wait to work with these lovely ladies again in the future!

Tuesday
Mar052013

Need Read Greed

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Today's Need Read Greed is by Promise Tangeman. I kinda think Promise is a big deal! I have been following her as a designer for a while now and I love her clean, crisp design asthetic. She somehow manages to make designing look so simple and easy - which is a true sign of a great graphic designer. I also love her personal style - she is definielty not affraid to be herself! Promise is the brains behind SiteHouse Designs which is a truly great option for any small business owner or creative professional as far as creating and hosting a website. If you are in the market you should check it out. You won't be sorry! Thanks Promise for being part of Need Read Greed!

P.S. Thanks for all of the encouraging words about the new job at Verily! It is exciting to say the least! Also we have had over 100 applicants already for the graphic design position! If you applied thank you so much! We are thrilled at all of the amazing talent pouring in! If you haven't applied yet and want to, please do. It's not too late. 

Friday
Mar012013

A bit of news

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog lately because I recently accepted a full time position working with Verily Magazine as their new art director! Needless to say this was a big decision! For the past few years I have had so much freedom being a freelancer - that is one thing I am going to miss, being able to walk away for a month if I want to. But, opportunities like this don't come along everyday. It is the perfect fit for our family and an answer to some of our prayers. I am so excited to jump in to this new team of women who I already love and admire. And to be able to do what I love? from home? while being a mom?! It almost seems too good to be true. 

ALSO! I need to find a couple of people to work with! Verily is allowing me to hire a visual team to work with! Crazy right?! I am looking for a graphic designer to help create layouts for each issue as well as design graphics and images for the magazine. I am also looking for a web design intern to help us keep the visual content on the website cohesive and well designed. The web design intern will be responsible for creating round-ups, and other relevant design layouts for online content. If you are interested in either position please apply! I can't wait to get to know you and work with you on the Verily visual team! 

Apply for job positions here - Graphic Designer  /   Web Design Intern

*I have already had a lot of these questions so I am going to answer them right here:

You can work remotely but I will need you to be available to tune in to morning meetings over the phone often and be outrageously organized in order to meet quick deadlines that always seem to accompany editorial layout design. The graphic design position is paid (please see listing for details). The web intern position is for a student seeking college credit or recent graduate looking for real world work experience. 

Wednesday
Feb202013

Chelsea Scanlan Photography

I recently had the chance to work with photorapher Chelsea Scanlan. I met Chelsea while still living in Hawaii and really loved her style and photography. I've watched her grow over the years and her stuff is just getting better and better and BETTER! Together we came up with the mood board above to really map out her style. Then we dove in to designing logos, banners, social media buttons, business cards and her blog. It was such an honor to work with her and I have loved every project we have done together. 

Chelsea has a very minimalistic style and approuch that is refreshing and inspiring all at the same time. We kept her business cards pretty simple with just black typography and then her name blind embossed in the middle. (Cards printed by Type A Press). Her photography is beautiful, joyful and just amazing! And we wanted her branding and blog design to just let the photography do all of the talking.

(all photos by Chelsea Scanlan)

Her approuch to blogging is also very simple and minimalistic. She wanted to have a space that was really clean and organized and allowed her to show her most recent work. I am so happy with how her site and branding turned out and I love visiting her blog and seeing the beautiful images she is creating! I seriously wish I still lived in Hawaii, for a lot of reasons, but one of them is defenitly because I wish I could have our family pictures taken by this talented lady!

Saturday
Feb162013

Going Camping

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So I have a confession - I am a huge nerd and made a secret pin board on Pinterest for what I want my life to look like. HA! I guess I am so immersed in visual inspiration all day and a lot of it is so beautiful and glamorous that sometimes I forget what my personal style is, or what really matters to me. I wanted to see if any pattern or personal style emerged if I made a board of only the things that I wanted MY life to look like. I ended up with a lot of pictures of girls with messy hair and houses minimally decorated in mid century furniture and bright rugs (and here I was thinking I wanted my house all black and white? what?! because that is a popular trend right now and I got distracted by it) And then, of course, there are a lot of pictures of the great outdoors and people enjoying it. SO! We are going camping this weekend. Because, I need a break and I've got to get away from the computer and just be me. Messy and silly.

PS My birthday is coming up this week and I plan on taking a whole lot of me time to enjoy the outdoors and not wash my hair and maybe buy a new bright rug or two (or three). 

PSS this post totally reminded me of one of a favorite blog series called THIS GIRL by The house that lars built. If you have'nt seen it before go check it out. It's a fun one. 

Tuesday
Feb122013

We are pizza people

We decided that we wanted to find the best pizza place in Dallas. Every weekend we have been going to a new pizza place and trying it out. So far I think our favorite place is Serious. The pictures above were taken at Eno's which was pretty good too but we liked Eno's more for the ambiance than the pizza. Pizza is also a pretty affordable date night for families trying to save money - you know, pay the bills, buy diapers, save for your kid's college?! We usually order one pizza for the three of us to share and an appetizer. We don't drink so water is just fine for us. Our bill has been less than $20 every weekend! What's your favorite pizza date?

Friday
Feb082013

Something for Everyone

I love love. Who doesn't? Well I know there are some people who don't but I LOVE it! I love telling the people that matter to me that I truly love them. I also like the idea of doing/giving something more personal than just your standard dozen red roses. I don't think Valentine's day gifts shouldn't break the bank, rather they should be thoughtful gestures that show someone you think they are really special and your life wouldn't be the same with out them. So here's a little roundup for everyone on your love list this year. 

For the woman in your life - Jewelry from her favorite store. Because every girl loves a little trinket or two from her favorite store and if it is jewelry chances are she will wear it several days a week and remember how thoughtful you were every time she does. 

For that special someone you've been loving from a distance - Receiving flowers is really nice, but receiving gourmet ice-cream?! Even better! Pick out your loved one's favorite flavors or just go crazy and try something new. Send an assortment of ice-cream to that special someone and have it delivered right on Valentine's day to their front door. I had a client send me this ice-cream while we were still living in Hawaii and it arrived packed in dry ice still frozen solid! I was blown away and still rave to anyone who will listen about how great the ice cream was!

For your boyfriend or girlfriend - Sign your other half up for a year long subscription to their favorite magazine. Not sure what they'd like? Bon Appetit never fails to amaze me. The design is impeccable, the photography is amazing and the recipes are always inventive and delicious. Every month when they receive their magazine in the mail they will remember that you love them! 

For your sister or best friend - Give her a book. A good book goes a long way! For book club this month (yeah I'm in a book club and I LOVE it!) we read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbough. It was a quick easy read about a girl who learns to communicate using the Victorian language of flowers. She also learns how to love and be loved which is always a happy ending. Give the accompanying flower dictionary so your friend or sister can be an expert in the language of flowers as well.

For your kids - You can't forget those crazy rug rats that make you want to claw your eyeballs out with a garden rake when they start squawking at 5:30 in the morning now can you!? Yes, I'm still a little sleep deprived... but that Henry of mine - oh boy! He makes my world go round. He is my reason for breathing - I've just got to tell him how I feel on Valentine's day and I plan on decorating his room and giving him a few sweet treats. I'm pretty sure the room decor will go mostly unnoticed but the sweet treat will get the message across loud and clear! That boy will do just about anything for a donut or a cookie!

For your sweet mom! - She gave you life and then she loved you every day since. You've got to send her a little something to tell her she is special! Why not some letterpress coasters from Fox and Anchor Paper? (Shameless plug?) But seriously, a little something with a note that says, "I love ya Ma!" is all it takes to make her feel like all your shenanigans were worth it!

For your lover - Heart theme breakfast in bed? Yes! Do I need to say more about this? 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Need Read Greed

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This week for Need Read Greed we have the lovely and talented Eva Black. Eva is a graphic designer based out of Los Angeles. I must say this girl is as kind as she is beautiful! I love getting to know my freelance peers and finding out that they are just really down to earth people that I would hang out with everyday if it weren't for all of the distance! Since moving to Texas I have been slowly aquiring furniture and making plans for my new office, Eva has a series on her blog featuring graphic designers in their spaces. I LOVE it. It has given me so much inspriation so far! You have to check it out. Thanks for letting us know what you need, are reading, and greed this week Eva! 

Monday
Feb042013

Custom Letterpress Wedding Invitations

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Wedding invitation requests have started to trickle in which means wedding season is upon us. Brides! You gotta love 'em! (but in all seriousness I actually really do enjoy a feisty bride!) I mean I was a bride once, I know how it feels to want to have everything be so perfect and special for that once in a life time day. Just before graduating in graphic design Conor and I were engaged and I remember spending hours flipping through bridal magazines searching for all of the latest and greatest in wedding stationary suites to inspire my own invitation. I remember sitting at my computer at school and thinking to myself, "if someday someone that I don't even know asks me to do their wedding invitation and they pay me for it, I will know I have made it!" Haha! Design sure has taken me in a different direction, but I do still love taking on the occasional wedding invitation. There is something refreshing about hearing a couple's story, how they met, what their hopes are for the future and how they plan to celebrate the beginning of the rest of their lives with the people who matter most to them.

Since Chelsey and I teamed up for Fox and Anchor I have started to take on more wedding invitation requests. I used to send brides digital files of their design and refer them to printers but now I get to be involved in the whole process. It has been so fun and we are excited to take on more projects like this. Once we team up with a bride and groom we help them create a visual mood board for their day (if they haven't already done so). I'm not entirely sure you can actually call yourself a "bride-to-be" if you haven't created a Pinterest board solely dedicated to your big day. Anyway, we usually pull images from their Pinterest board and try to help couples really focus on the design elements that they love the most. We have been working with some pretty rad couples - the board for Melissa and John's recent Portland wedding (above) is proof enough right? After we establish a design direction we get to work making a mock up of their invitation, allowing them the chance to make revisions and changes to the design if they need to. Then Chelsey prints! I love that letterpress is such a hands on process. It really shows in the final product and makes each piece unique and beautiful. Once she is done we package up the paper with love and send it off to our couples with all of our best wishes!

P.S. Check out our feature on Paper Crave today. Thanks Kristen!