ONE After a little location scouting this weekend for a client of mine, Michael and I headed over to our favorite ice cream joint, Izzy’s, in St. Paul. We used to live a mile away and would often take walks there to “justify” our purchases. This time I was simply craving my favorite chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. So bad for you. But so good. No regrets.
TWO Minneapolis was blessed with a few days of warm weather towards the end of last week. It was mainly in the upper 60′s and windy, but the sun sure felt glorious. We’re back to 40′s this week with a minor set back, but hopefully for the last time. Michael and I made sure to get some outdoor runs in and even went for a walk in this golden sunlit field. Beautiful!
THREE After being in our house for seven months now, we are starting to make progress. I wouldn’t call it substantial, but each room is starting to slowly take shape. Michael has been so great at building several pieces and seems to be enjoying it, so I dreamt up a simple swing light design for our living room – - and this is the result! It didn’t take too long to make and cost under $20. We purchased copper piping from a local hardware store as well as wiring for a lightbulb to string through. And in the end, the whole contraptions was secured onto leftover wood we had to mount to the wall.
FOUR The week after vacation always seems to be rough, right? After getting home from our trip to New Orleans + Florida, I was ready to tackle my seemingly endless to do list, only to have my iMac crap out on me, first. The internet connection had been slow ( and not steady ) for months and after a factory reset, things went south. Being that my computer was a late 2009 refurbished model, I took it all as a sign to finally buy a new computer. Sigh. Things are much better now and I do plan to sell my old one, but situations like that are never really welcomed the Monday after vacation, are they?
FIVE It’s always a nice feeling to have a fresh vase of flowers in your home, especially when warm weather settles in and everyone in the state is feeling happy and generous. Michael has been bringing flowers home every few weeks or so, which I could get used to. ;) It helps change up our kitchen just so and is a fun addition to brighten up a day. Simple, but effective.
SIX Popcorn. I’ve quickly become quite obsessed. I tend to go through food phases, but since one of my clients right now sells popcorn + caramels, it’s become hard to avoid hand-fulls of these throughout the day ( woops ). We’ll actually be providing little baggies of these at our wedding, next to the bar, so Annie B’s ( my client ) was kind enough to send over some samples, which were devoured very quickly. Again, woops.
Alright, so. This may be one of my favorite moodboards I’ve shared with you all to date. There’s just something amazing that happens when everything clicks and a board feels as one. This one did that. Each client I work with receives a tailored questionnaire that really speaks volumes for how we move forward. Through their own words, I carefully craft brand strategies that pin-point “buzzwords” for us to keep in mind as we progress throughout the process. This particular client, Emily, is a talented photographer who has some of the following word descriptors : comfortable, calm, tasteful, beauty, and unexpected. In order to keep focus on her work, we are aiming to create something that is timeless, but not entirely. We want to bring in a little bit of unique flair, too, as you can see in some of the typography examples from above! I’m actually just about to present the initial designs next week ( !! ) and will have more, I’m sure, very shortly. But for now, I’m going to daydream about this palette. Sound good??
If I’m being completely honest, this winter was a tough one for me. And not just because it was endlessly freezing ( literally 150+ days below zero here ), but mostly because the feeling of being cooped up was overwhelming. Over the past six months or so, I’ve continually blamed the weather, threw up my hands, and stayed put. I got comfortable and simply attributed my lack of motivation to good old mother nature. But you know what? It was my own fault. I was the one who allowed myself to feel cooped up and not live life a little more adventurously. Even in the bitter cold.
After all, one of my favorite days this winter was when Michael and I headed over to Minnehaha Falls, which was frozen and beautiful, for a little hike. The trails down were closed because of pure ice covering the stairs … but we chose to go anyway. I literally slid the whole way down, grasping a small railing. And let’s not even talk about the trek back up. That was intense and scary. But I did it, and Michael and I laughed the entire way, despite our frozen fingers and toes. It was one of the few times this season I didn’t let the cold get me down. Instead, I punched it in the face and enjoyed the day.
Meg Lewis of Ghostly Ferns has long been an inspiration for me in my own design journey towards creating a collaborative studio. Not only does she have impeccable design taste, but she is also nominated for Designer of the Year for the 2014 Net Awards. Her interview over there is a must read. For this creative diary entry, she was to focus on one single work day and answer a few simple questions about the good, the bad, and the inspiring. This is what happened, truthfully.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU DID THIS MORNING : Today was great because the sun was shining fairly early this morning. We have 3 skylights in our apartment, one of which is above the bed. It’s so nice to have the sun wake you up in the morning. This morning was no exception! I woke up, made some coffee and sat down at my home computer to do some light work in my pajamas. I find that I have a lot of creativity in the early mornings before I get ready for the day and like to do some work at home before I get ready and go into my studio.
DESCRIBE ONE CHALLENGE THAT YOU FACED : Today was the first real gorgeous day of spring. I work out of a shared studio space in Brooklyn called Studiomates. Studiomates is full of freelancers like myself who don’t come into the studio when the weather is lovely (or terrible). It was hard being the first person to arrive in the morning and force myself to work all day in spite of the beautiful weather! Luckily some of us were able to get out during lunch, walk around the neighborhood, and eat by the water. Wait, am I mentioning a challenge? It sounds like the best part of my day!
DESCRIBE ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT : I was able to finish all of my deadlines and go home when the work day was over. That rarely happens for me as I like to keep a ton of clients at once. Typically I go home around 6 or 7 to have dinner with my husband and then return to working at the computer at home for the rest of the night. Today I didn’t have to do that! I went home and got to hang out for the evening. Perfect weather, perfect day!
DESCRIBE ONE THING YOU LEARNED : Today I learned to stop asking my clients about demographics. Typically I like to ask my clients what their target demographic is like and to describe their primary customer. Most of the time my client ends up describing themselves or someone they would like to be. Today, I got together with some other designers and we decided it’s best to ask the client to describe a problem they are trying to solve for a specific type of person. Design-y boringness of course, but exciting for me!
WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU DID FOR WORK : I had a cocktail happy hour meeting with a friend whom I’m working on a project with. It was great! We had two extremely delicious cocktails each, took notes, got tipsy, and ate tater tots. Work is hard, guys!
AND JUST FOR FUN, DID YOU EAT ANYTHING TASTY : When I got to my meeting today at Condé Nast they had chocolate covered strawberries from a previous meeting waiting for me. They were exceptionally tasty. Also the truffled parmesan tater tots I had during my second meeting were spectacular!
As usual, I’m pretty pumped to share these process shots with you all today! They are for a fun client who I spoke a little bit about right here a week ago. Lydia’s story + strategy is so great and it’s been an absolute breeze working with her so far. As you can see, we kept “edgy” in play at all times, but in different ways. That was key. We needed to figure out what the right amount of “edge” was. Obvious or not. The first option was a little more light + open ( less obvious in “edge” ), while the second option was far more bold in comparison. We are actually still finalizing things, but have made significant headway on the chosen direction. For now, I’ll just say that less is more. I’ll make sure to share the final result once we put everything together! More soon. PS. Sorry for always being such a tease with these posts. I truly love hearing all your thoughts and sharing insight into my process, so I hope you don’t mind … too much. ;)