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Showing posts from June, 2012

June Goals Follow-Up (How'd I Do?)

1. Finish sprucing up the current designs in my Etsy shop. Um... I made a lot of NEW designs. Guess I need to work on spring cleaning a little more. It's just so much more interesting to make new things than to fix old things. ;P
2. Add 5 new blog template designs to my shop. Yup! Definitely did this and more.
3. Bid on 5 "real" design jobs. Let's see... I bid on 3 jobs. Didn't get any of them. But at least I put myself through the process of inducing nervousness into the pit of my stomach. This'll get easier, right?
4. Actually get out of the house for a walk at least 3 times a week. Three times a week? Did I say that? I think I made it out three times total. Maybe. I need to work on that.
5. Remember to shower at least every other day. Yup, did pretty good on this one. I even did some laundry too so I had clean clothes to wear. ;)
6. Knit 3 new items for my knitting shop. I got one hat made. Does that count? Also I started crocheting something that shall remain …

How to Set up an RSS Feed

"What is RSS and why do I need it?"

I seem to get some version of this question emailed to me every so often, so I wanted to make sure I addressed it here on this blogging series. Basically, as a blogger... you should totally care about RSS! It's the primary way that readers read your content! There are other, less efficient, ways to keep up with a blog, but for readers who have quite a few blogs they'd like to keep track of, RSS saves the day.

RSS ==> Really Simple Syndication
Think of your blog as a newspaper. When someone subscribes to your blog, your newspaper gets tossed up on their doorstep every time you write a post... unless you don't bother sending it to print. In which case, it's as though you've just tacked one copy of it up on your front door for everyone to swing by and read if they have time.

Don't fail to send your newspaper to print!

Luckily, in this day and age, you don't literally have to hire a newspaper press to publish your wo…

It's easy to forget this, but... GOOD creative work takes a LOT of practice!

I was browsing through my old pins today and found this quote. Such true words and always good to remind myself as I'm going through design school. I have to have faith that if I keep working at it, my designs will eventually match my design taste! I mean, everyone has to start at the beginning, right? Some people sure make it look easy, but I have to remember that they too were once where I am now.

I think I heard somewhere once that it takes 10, 000 hours of practice to get good at something. I wonder how many hours I've put in so far?

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Lessons I've Learned Through my Sketchbook

Learning to think through drawing is something I've been focusing on this year. I've always thought that I think best by writing, but as a graphic designer, I also need to be able to think by drawing.

I started a sketchbook awhile back and don't draw in it nearly enough, but it's still fun when I do. Here's an older entry:

I'm totally fascinated by typography, so sometimes try to draw quotes that I come across. When I drew this, I didn't know the first thing about how to draw a font to look decent, but it was sure fun to try different techniques:

Sometimes I can't help it and I fall back on my love of writing. On this page I was brainstorming ideas for future blog posts:

Occasionally I like to try out techniques that I come across online. It's fun to try new things and reminds me just how many different ways there are to do things:

The more I draw, the more natural it feels, which is probably a good thing. I can feel my brain warming up to the idea …

Link Dump #3

Here are a few links I've found this week that have inspired or informed me. Hopefully you'll find them interesting too! :)

I got some good tips here about saving money. I mean really... don't we all have something to learn in that area?

I love this blog - she tends to have a lot of interesting posts about how to make it in your own freelance business. Since that's my main goal in life right now, it's always helpful to hear what she has to say!

I just love this girl's art! She's been inspiring me to art journal, and now look at this cute sketchbook cover she made! So creative!!

Love this - such a cute idea! I hadn't considered writing on my mugs before, but it really does make a fun look.

And as someone who is currently bidding on design jobs, I'm discovering first-hand that people expect to get something for nothing. Really people... design does not happen in a vacuum. There are hours upon hours of training, thinking, and brainstorming behind that…

Photos: Cat in the "Wild"

My mom's cat was being incredibly cute this week! She's a little stand-offish, which actually makes her a better photography model than my cat who sees me with the camera and comes running over to cuddle. ;P

This cat's name is Purl and she's such a little sweetheart. She LOVES being outdoors, especially at night, but we try to bring her inside before then so she doesn't get stuck outside in the cold all night.

Quit telling yourself that you Can't

Chances are... if you set your mind to something... you can probably achieve it. I not saying everyone is good at everything. (I mean, can somebody please tell those people at the beginning stages of American Idol that they can't sing?). But... it's also equally important to not talk yourself out of working hard at something that you could be really good at if only you'd stop listening to your inner critic.

God gives us all talents and gifts for a reason. Your interests and the things that you delight in are His way of helping you figure out what those talents and gifts are. Embrace that! You're the only one who thinks the way you do, and it'd be a shame to waste that because you didn't think you could (or should) try. So... get out there and try!

Introducing... a New Line of Greeting Cards!

I had a burst of inspiration yesterday and designed a new line of greeting cards! I plan to print them here locally as people order them so I can make sure they all look perfect. :)

Here are just a few of my favorites, but keep an eye out in my shop for more. I've got so many good ideas that I hope to get up within the next few weeks!

Introducing... a New Line of Greeting Cards!

I had a burst of inspiration yesterday and designed a new line of greeting cards! I plan to print them here locally as people order them so I can make sure they all look perfect. :)

Here are just a few of my favorites, but keep an eye out in my shop for more. I've got so many good ideas that I hope to get up within the next few weeks!

A Peek into My Yarn Workshop

This is my little bag of tools. I like to keep my go-to knitting needles, scissors, needle sizer, and row counter all in one place so that I can grab it and go! I got my row counter on Etsy; it attaches to your needle so you won't lose it, and you can just turn the end of it to count every round you do!

Here's a SMALL stash of my yarn. I have boxes more, but these are out for the current project I'm working on.

And here.... is a sneak peak at my next project. I'm trying out a little crocheting this summer. Can you guess what I'm making?

Making a more efficient blog layout

How your blog is laid out is actually a pretty personal choice, but there are some things you can do to make your layout more efficient and user-friendly.

Why is an efficient blog layout important? When readers feel comfortable and at ease on your blog, they're more likely to come back. If they can't find common items, such as a subscribe button, they may just get frustrated and leave. You don't want that to happen!

The three most important aspects of a blog's layout (in my humble opinion) are the header, the subscribe button, and the "About Me" spot. No matter where your other blog elements are, pay special attention to these three.

1. HeaderYour blog’s header is your chance to shine. It can be simple or complex, typographic or image-based... really anything you want. The main thing to remember is that you want to make it feel like YOU, and that probably doesn't include using the default header that came with your template.

Seriously... even if you don&#…