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Showing posts from 2013

Happy New Year!

Technology is amazing, isn't it? Did you know you can now watch the ball drop live over the internet? Granted, it's not time-delayed, like I'm used to on tv, but in a way, this is even better! Happy New Year, everyone!

2014 Resolutions Blog Hop

I was recently reviewing my GoodReads account and realized I've only finished 22 books this year! Twenty-two!! That's... like... crazy talk. Seriously. When I was 12, I could easily finish 22 books in one month. Granted, my life is busier now and the books I read tend to be longer, but still...

If anyone's curious, I read 27 books in 2012, 22 books in 2011, and 13 books in 2010. This is an alarming trend, people!

One realization I've been coming to is that I spend far too much time zoning out in front YouTube, television, The Sims, Solitaire... basically anything on my computer or phone that could be considered fun. And while there's nothing wrong with fun, I think perhaps I need to put fun back in it's rightful place.

So... I'm going to try an experiment. I'm starting this week, even though it's not the New Year yet, because if I don't start now I never will. This is a modified version of my previous technology fast, in case you were wondering. …

The Ultimate Web Design Resource List

I was recently asked for a list of my favorite web design tutorials, and... well... I got a little carried away. So, here's my ultimate web design resource list! Merry Christmas!

Basic Development PlatformsBlogger: This one is free and very versatile, since you have full access to both the HTML structure of the site, as well as the CSS style sheets. They have a WYSIWYG editor, as well as a custom CSS editor, making it extremely easy to customize a basic blog or site very quickly.

Wordpress: Though the basic software is free, this one does require you to purchase hosting. I personally find Wordpress cumbersome and annoying to code, but it can be extremely robust and versatile if you know what you're doing. There are many, many free and paid templates to choose from, which can give you a good starting ground for designing a site. (Or if you'd rather design a completely custom site, there are many people who specialize in coding Wordpress sites from scratch, which can be a solu…

New Blog Designs

Here are a few client blogs that I've been working on recently. Thought you might enjoy seeing what I've been designing!




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If you'd like your own blog or small business website designed, reserve a spot on my calendar today!
I'm now booking for January and February!

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Recent Life Updates

Hello! Sorry for my few and far between posts lately. I'll try to be better about that.

To catch you up... My previous job situation got downsized after about 2 weeks, so since then, I've been either looking for work (which is surprisingly exhausting, if you've ever done it), building up my Etsy design shop, flushing out my business website, and also helping my dad with his job (a night-time route delivering the LA Times).


My neice turned one years old a couple weeks ago. Time sure flies! She's crawling now and starting to learn to stand while holding on to things.


The weirdest thing about living in Southern California to me is that it never really got to be winter here! We had one week where it got into the 30's at night, but for the most part, it's been fluctuating between the 40's and the 70's (night & day, respectively). Last week we even got into the 80's! That definitely makes it a little more difficult to get into the Christmas spirit, bu…

5 Things Every Woman Should Know How To Do

Originally published as a guest over at a la Mode:

Five things every woman should know how to do:
#1 -- Fry an egg
No really. There's something awesome about knowing how to make the perfect fried egg. It's gotten to the point where I don't even like eating eggs other people have made because I like how mine taste better.
#2 -- Pin stuff on Pinterest
Because it's fun. And relaxing. And a great artistic feeding ground.
I am learning that, as an artist, it's very important to feed my inner artistic self or I will not be able to be very creative. For some reason this is easier said than done. I think maybe we artists get used to being depressed and "blocked" so much that we forget that the quickest way out of it is to inspire yourself with other people's creativity. One free way to feed your creativity is by curating a Pinterest stream that speaks to your sense of wonder and imagination!
#3 -- Go to the movies alone
Okay as an introvert, I actually enjoy…

Looking for new Web Design Clients!

I've been working hard this week pulling my new business website together. After trying to make a design blog work, I realized that's not really what I want my site to be about. I want it to be professional and clean and ready to sell myself to clients! So....


I of course will still build Blogger blogs when I get those requests, but I am expanding my offerings to include mobile-responsive Squarespace-based websites as well! Squarespace is so much easier to manage than Wordpress (at least, in my opinion) and every site built on Squarespace version 6 is automatically mobile-responsive, which is amazing!

I look forward to working with small businesses, indie artists, and small-town churches who haven't built their own site yet! Is that you or do you know someone who that sounds like? I'd appreciate it so much if you could help me spread the word!

Visit my site.

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Update 1/8/2014:
Sorry guys, but I'm closing the comments on this post. I've been getting LOAD…

Premade Blog Template: Lauren

I added a new template to the shop today! I wanted to make a fun, summery design (even though it's almost winter).

L.A. Sightings: Coyotes and Bunny Rabbits

You know that scene in the movie Collateral, with Tom Cruise, where he's in L.A. in the middle of the night and a coyote walks across the road in front of him? Yeah, that really happens here.

The Mexicans around here have a legend that the coyote hypnotizes you if you look them in the eyes. I don't know if that's true necessarily, but they sure are mesmerizing to look at. They are about half as big as a female deer (hey, I'm from Oregon; I know deer... we have almost as many deer as trees in Oregon!), but they tend to walk around more purposefully than a deer, less scared. Whereas deer will stop in front of your car and look freaked out, a coyote will just glance at you as he's marching across the road, almost as if saying, "Oh it's you again. Don't bother me, I'm hunting rabbits."


Yes, rabbits. No, this isn't just a plot from a Looney Tunes cartoon. I've been helping my dad run a paper route in the nights and we see dozens of rabbits…

Premade Blog Template: Kate

Here's a fun new template for Blogger. I designed it with Irish alter-ego in mind (I actually really am part Irish, but when I'm playing Sims, sometimes Kate is my more-Irish, alter-ego name). ;)

Knit Boot Cuffs

The people have spoken! Can you believe I've had two separate requests for knit boot cuffs in the past week? So... I have delivered!

Five colors are available immediately in my knitting shop and I will be adding more soon. Most are made with wool or a wool blend, but I'll also be making some with acrylic yarn, simply because I like the colors better! All are soft and stretchy and designed to fit small- to medium-sized women's calves.







Still 80 degrees... in November

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to the weather here. I know what you're thinking... but 80 degrees in November is awesome!

I guess... if you like summer... which I don't particularly. I'm not saying it's horrendous torture to still be 80 degrees in November, just that it's weird. Summer is fine, in moderation, when it's part of the yearlong cycle of seasons, but November should not be part of summer. Summer should be over by now.

November is supposed to be sweaters and pumpkin lattes and curling up by the fireplace with a good book. I'm literally still in shorts and t-shirts, whipping out my sunglasses everytime I go outside. It's very odd.



I was reading an article from a local magazine the other day... talking about how it was flannel sheets weather. Um, really? Really?? Flannel sheets!?? I'm still throwing off blankets in the middle of the night because I'm so warm. It definitely is NOT flannel sheet weather.

Flannel sheet weather is…

Fall 2013 TV Pilots Review

Once Upon a Time in WonderlandUNDECIDED I really wanted to like this show, but so far it's pretty boring (granted I've only made it through one episode, so it may get better). I love Once Upon a Time and it's spin on all the fairy tales, but Once Upon a Time in Wonderland doesn't have that same charm for some reason. It's largely centered around Alice and Aladdin's genie (who are in love), as they try to escape from Jafar and the Queen of Hearts. Bizarre? Yes, definitely. Bizarre in a good way? I'm not so sure.

Update --> 1 THUMB DOWN I suffered through another couple episodes but couldn't take it anymore. This isn't a horrible show; it just doesn't have any intrigue to it.  The thing I love about Once Upon a Time is the million intertwining fairytales; it's a unique take on the classic tales that we know and love. Wonderland, on the other hand, has basically only two fairytales intertwining (Aladdin and Alice) and that's just not inte…

What I've Watched #7

Moonrise Kingdom
Kind of an odd movie, but kind of cute too. It's basically about two twelve-year-olds who run away because they're in love, as well as all the hi-jinks the local town gets into trying to find them.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.



Continuum: Season 2
Love this show! Season 2 is now on Netflix, if you've got that. This Candian sci-fi series follows an accidental time-traveler, Kiera Cameron, as she tries to solve the mysteries of the past (our present) to save her present (our future). There are no Terminators or Cylons, but this sci-fi is still super interesting and hard to stop watching!

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Premade Blog Templates: the Jennifer & the Sarah

I've added a few premade blog templates to my shop this week! I decided that even though I love doing custom work, it just hasn't been steady enough income to rely on that yet, so I figured it'd be smart to make some premade templates up too! That way it's a cheaper option for people, plus it gives me more ongoing practice with designing blogs.


Digital Blogging and Scapbooking Elements

Forget what I said earlier about states clip art. I found the research part of that project totally tedious and mind-numbing. I tried to push through and slave away at it, but it hit me this weekend... why am I slaving away at something that should be fun? I should be working on stuff to sell in my shop because it's interesting and makes me smile, not because it seemed like a great idea but now is a chore.

So... I'm revamping my entire digital shop to include mainly blogging and scrapbooking elements, ranging in price from $2-$15. Ribbons, backgrounds, clip art, etc. I'm combing through my computer to find all the stuff that I've experimented with over the years to see if any of it will fit in my shop, then I'll work on expanding ideas, adding new stuff, combining stuff into related sets, etc. Basically my goal is to fill up my shop fast and sell lots! ;)

Here are a few of the items I've listed this so far this weekend:

Blog Design: Giveaways 4 Mom

I recently finished up a design for Victoria, over at Giveaways 4 Mom. Victoria wanted a fun, feminine, yet professional-looking banner design for her giveaway blog. Her basic layout was already determined, but I was able to give her a new color scheme, banner design, and "About Me" area that would compliment her blog's fun, feminine vibe!

If you are looking for a blog design of your own, click here to view my current rates!


My Heart Belongs In...

I'm in the middle of uploading a states-related project to my Society 6 shop. To be honest, I'd kind of forgotten I had that shop, but while I was working on my clip-art project for Etsy, I realized that these state outlines could easily be transformed cute merchandise over on Society 6!

I've only got a few states up currently, but be on the look-up in the coming weeks as I roll out all 50 states!

Clip Art: Oregon

How's it going, guys? My new job's been slow but fairly steady. I'm only working two days a week right now, but it's been fun to have some different projects to work on. I've worked on a couple logo designs and a page layout project, both of which I had to do about 10 million revisions on (not really).

Sidenote --> If you're ever feeling creatively stuck, that's actually a very good exercise - take one design problem and solve it about 20 different ways. Then solve it again 20 more ways. By the end of that, you might actually have something good to show for it. ;)
I've also started a new project for my Etsy shop. I'm making states-related clip art! I started with Oregon, since that's my home state, and I'm going to do California next. I'll probably work my way through the most populated states after that unless you guys have any preferences for a state you'd like to see sooner! ;)


I'm trying to do things that the state each some…

Blog Design: My "not so" Simple Life

I recently finished up another blog design. This one was for Ellen, over at My "not so" Simple Life. It was fun coming up with a cozy, farm-like feel for her. She's a home-schooling mom who lives on a hobby farm, and wanted to reflect that sophisticated, yet country feel in her blog design.

It's Giveaway Time!She's also running a blog design giveaway over on her blog for me, which you all are free to enter. You can win a "Quick Makeover" for your Blogger blog (sorry, not wanting to tackle Wordpress at the moment). This includes a new blog header, "About Me" photo blurb, and a coordinating background. You also win 30% off a "Complete Makeover", should you choose to upgrade to a full blog design. That gives you a $450 value service for just $315!

Check out this giveaway before 10/4 if you'd like a chance at a free blog makeover!

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If you are interested in scheduling your own blog design, click here to learn more!

What I've Been Up to Lately

I've been knitting up a storm this week for my Etsy shop. I haven't felt like knitting since I've been down here since it's so HOT! But... it is just about to "hat-selling season", as I like to call it, so I figured I better break out my yarn and needles again. ;)


My brother-in-law's old college roommate was giving away this gigantic tv and asked if we wanted it. It's not super new, but considering that we literally only brought what we could fit into our cars from Oregon, we were having to make due with a little, itty, bitty, 13" one. Lol. This one is so much bigger than we even had in Oregon, so it's almost like having a theater right in our living room. ;P


My mom and I visited the local mall the other day. I hadn't been to this one yet, and I was pretty impressed! It reminds me of the ones up in Salem or Portland that actually have a double-layer of stores and lots of people in them. There was one mall in the town next to where we use…

88° and Leaves Falling

It's a little crazy being in such a warm climate during Fall. It still feels like summer to my Oregon brain (it's 88° today!) and yet the stores are filling up with boots and scarves and Halloween candy. Very strange. Being from Oregon, I'm used to rain at Christmastime instead of snow, but I'm definitely not used to not having a Fall season! I'm guessing Winter here will actually feel more like an Oregon Fall, minus all the buckets of rain.

Speaking of Oregon... it has come to my attention that only people from the Pacific NW know the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees. It blows my mind that someone may not know the difference to something that seems so obvious to me, but then again I've been an Oregonian for my entire 34 years, so it's very possible I just haven't spent enough time around people from other parts of the country. ;)

With that in mind... I'm really curious if you know the difference? (And if you don't, leave a comme…

Drumroll Please...

I got a job!! Woohoo! Amazingly enough, I am only two months out of design school and have already landed a job. This is definitely God's timing, because I really didn't expect to find a job this soon! (Although I was sure hoping I would!)


It'll be part-time to begin with, and move into full-time. The art director is planning on expanding her firm this year, so will be bringing on new clients, which is what prompted her to hire a new person at this point in time. I'll be starting at a lower capacity now before she expands in order to have the extra work-hours to be able to take on the new clients in order to expand. See how that works? ;)

So I'll be starting a week from Tuesday. I'm so excited! And a bit nervous too. This will be the first "real" job I've had in my new field. I've had a few freelance clients, for which I am so grateful, but it'll be a great learning experience to be working under someone who knows more than I do and has be…

Blog Design: Fill Up Your Mug and Sit Awhile

Sarah is one of my long-time blog friends and I have had the pleasure of redesigning her blog this past month. Even though she lives on the other side of the country from me (Florida!), we are both coffee-loving, introverted Christians, so it's been a pleasure getting to know someone that I have so much in common with!

You can find out more about Sarah and her family over at Fill Up Your Mug and Sit Awhile. I'll be poking around there for the next couple weeks doing a few more code fixes, but the bulk of the design is done now so I wanted to show it off!

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If you are interested in scheduling your own blog design, click here to learn more!