Just Stop

Oh the holidays. For some reason it puts this unneeded pressure on everything. Buying gifts, finishing up projects, setting goals for the new year, thinking about how fast the year went by… and how fast life goes by… freaking out about how quickly 30 is approaching and what will I have accomplished?? AH!! Pressure from all over the place!! Anyone feel me?? Please tell me I’m not the only one whose thoughts spiral down this rabbit hole!

I bought this print a few weeks ago to hang in my studio. It reminds me to calm myself. Take a step back and stop worrying. Just stop.

As I take a look at the people I admire and what they’re doing in the world, I realized that they are just playing. It’s just thinking of cool ideas to do and executing them. It’s really that simple. Playing smart I guess you could say. All each of us are doing in this world is helping make it run in one way or another. Isn’t that what our work is? Just helping the world run?

It’s a funny thing, talking about playing and being all inspirational and living each day to the fullest. Inspirational quotes are just everywhere you look in this internet land. But how do we live an inspired life when most of our
days are filled with such normal things? How are we supposed to live each day to the fullest if it’s full of emails,
bills, deadlines, taking showers, taking off makeup and watching House Hunters? What does it mean to live an
inspired life??

I don’t have the answers that’s for sure. But I do know that somewhere between the putting on our shoes and deciding what to eat for lunch, there’s a heartbeat. There’s a breath. A blink. Something crazy happening in our brain that is telling us which way is up. Literally. Such simple things happening that are keeping us alive. We are ALIVE people!! Don’t forget it. And be thankful for it.

So don’t worry, ok?? Don’t let the holiday pressures knock you down. (totally talking to myself here…) Take a minute and be thankful that you are alive. That simple awareness can change your day. It may not change the normal events that are happening throughout it, but it will change your outlook and rub off on the people around you. And maybe make the world a better place. With one simple bit of awareness.

On that note… I totally fell in LOVE with this video by my friend Emma Robertson from Emmadime. She posted it on her blog as the first in her new “A Day in the life” series. This one is a day in the life of a graphic designer. I’ve watched it like 8 times!! I think in one way I love it so much because it looks very similar to the life I live everyday- and if you’re a freelance graphic designer it probably looks similar to yours too! But I think what I really love about it is it’s embracing the everyday things and giving them attention. Making them beautiful and creative and awesome. Here’s Emma’s blog post with the vid and you can watch it below.So be alive people. You don’t have to go sky diving to know that you’re a miracle. Just look at your fingerprint and you’ll know.

Enjoy the day peeps- and don’t let the holiday pressure get to ya! Just stop worrying and look at your pupils in the mirror. Those things are crazy.

11. December 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Encouragement, Life | 18 comments

Desktop Download | Merry Christmas!

It’s finally here! Now no one can get mad at me for dancing around the house to the Amy Grant Christmas album…. (we all have our guilty pleasures!) I’m a real sucker for this time of year. Christmas trees all over, sparkling lights, people baking treats and wanting me to eat them… What could be better than that??

In respect to decorating the house for Christmas, I had to decorate my computer too. Afterall, it is the thing I spend the most time with on a daily basis. I hand lettered this “Merry Christmas” and placed the words “SPREAD LOVE” on the bottom. Just to remind us all about what’s really important this season :)

Also, I’m fully aware that this hand-lettering trend maaay be a bit overdone. I mean, take a look at Pinterest and you’ll see enough to last you for awhile. But let’s be real- it’s SO pretty! I think that as we spend our days on the computer our eyes are drawn to things that remind us that we are humans and we can create with our hands. We crave it. And as much as I tried to avoid it this little trend, I could no longer stop myself. It’s too fun. And this blog is the space where I can do what I want and have fun with it, right?? So here it is friends, from my blog to your desktop- a little Christmas hand-lettered cheer.
I hope you download it and enjoy! Pick out what size works best for your computer OR your mobile device. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends!!

2560 x 1440 || 1680 x 1050 || 1440 x 900 || 1280 x 800 || iPhone || iPad

04. December 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Downloads, My Work | 12 comments

Online Shopping Gift Guide

Three things I’m not a fan of: being really cold, waking up before the sun is up, and large crowds of pushy people. AKA: Black Friday. So I don’t do it. Never have and never plan to. I prefer to do my holiday shopping online. In my pajamas, by myself. With online shops now doing Black Friday deals, and with Cyber Monday in the game, there’s really no need for me to do everything I dislike just to score a good deal.

This year I complied three different online shops that I think would be a great place to find gifts this Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or really any day! These are diverse enough that you should be able to find something that would work for any of your lady friends (sorry guys, these aren’t exactly directed at you, although I do have this one for you from last year!) Enjoy!

First off, we have the lovely Nine Space. Nine Space is an “online home textile and home decor company”. They have some great throws, pillows, kitchen items, bedding and even some classy (so not cheesy) holiday items. I’m a huge fan of soft blankets, so I decided to highlight the Brushed Organic Cotton Throw. I’m also a fan of affordable items that can dress up a room, and this adorable woven hand towel would totally do that for a kitchen or bathroom.

For your work-out buddy there’s an awesome new clothing line called Fabletics created by Kate Hudson. They have a ton of great items on there, including a quiz you can take to see what kind of clothes would work for you and your favorite way to workout. I like this sweatshirt because I get cold easily. I could see throwing this on before a yoga sesh- and I could still wear it looking cute while running errands after the gym!


Jessica Alba runs The Honest Co. which is all about safe and natural products for families. As I get older and more of my friends are having kids, I find myself looking for cute kid-friendly gifts for the little ones. How cute are these bear hats and these hand-carved giraffes? The fact that you can give them to kids knowing that they are completely safe using / wearing them is icing on the cake. They also offer free product trials, and all you have to do is pay for shipping! Pretty sweet.

Where ever you decide to do your shopping this year, I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving. Remember how good you have it, eat lots of turkey and pie. And sleep a lot please. You deserve it.

Also, here’s a recap of the shops and items above:

Nine Space
Brushed Organic Cotton Throw
Aegean Hand Towel

Fabletics
Kingston Sweatshirt

The Honest Co.
Bear Hat
Wooden Toy
Free Product Trial

27. November 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Gift Guide, Just Lovin | 4 comments

Storyville Coffee Co. | Pikes Place, Seattle

We all have our things. You know the things I’m talking about- the things we do when we’re nervous. Some people pick at their fingers, some people twirl their hair or blink funny. Some people hide behind their phone. And me? My thing? Hiding behind my coffee cup. It’s like a security blanket. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee, a lot. But I’m not one of those real coffee people. I put too much cream and sugar in my cup (something I often get dirty looks for) And I can’t taste much of a difference between light and dark roasts. I’m sure it’s there, but with the massive amounts of cream and sugar in my cup, it’s all the same to me. (Please don’t hate me coffee peeps!)

What I actually love about coffee, what makes me keep coming back to this caffeinated drink time and time again is how it makes me feel. The smell, the warmth coming through the cup and onto my hands, the way it looks, the routine of heading into the coffee shop in the morning and small chatting with the friendly baristas. That’s what I love. It’s this whole coffee culture that I’m a fan of.

So being that my husband and I were going to be up in Seattle, a city known for it’s delicious coffee (and the ability to cultivate the coffee culture experienced the world over) I was excited to visit the cute coffee shops that litter this place. I had heard about one in particular that recently opened up in Pikes Place, one of my favorite areas of Seattle. I was excited because although I love Pikes Place, I felt like I had seen all there was to see. I had already purchased my “First Starbucks” mug, seen the flying fish, and tasted far too many apple samples. So a new coffee shop sounded perfect.

So we headed to Storyville Coffee Co. to see what this new place was about. Long story short- I loved it. So much. I think it showed all over my face being that one of the guys working there commented on how excited and happy I looked when I walked in. So much for a cool poker face.

You guys, this place was branding perfection. I mean, just take a look at their website and you’ll get it. The way they designed the space is so welcoming.You walk in, and instantly see coffee grinders. The counter is circular, so you don’t feel like the baristas are incredibly separated from you. It more seems like they happen to be making delicious coffee while hanging out with you in the space. Their tagline, “Love Everybody” shows through every detail.
My husband and I were instantly greeted by a young fellow with a friendly smile and a handlebar mustache. Super hipster – but really, did you expect anything different? It’s a hip new coffee shop in Seattle… I mean… Anyways, he showed us around, asked what I normally drink. I confessed that I drink coffee with massive amounts of cream and sugar. It was like word vomit- he was the last person I wanted to tell about my non cool coffee person drinking habits. I was expecting to get a dirty look and be told something like, “our coffee is such amazing quality that you don’t need any cream or sugar.” To which I would pretend to agree while inside thinking how I really don’t care how good it is, I still want cream and sugar… But I received no snarky remark from smily mr. handlebar. He simply smiled and told me that they had really good handmade syrups with some great tasting flavors that he thought I would like. He also told us about the variety of warm, freshly baked treats they had for sale. As if I wasn’t sold already.

I ordered a non-fat latte. Nolan ordered an iced Americano and a cinnamon roll that I may or may not have made him order…

We sat down on a comfy seat near the fire place. Did I mention that it was cloudy and cold outside? It was, and this California girl was in heaven. They have these large windows that overlook the Elliot Bay and let in just the right amount of natural light. My latte was of course, Instagram worthy and the cinnamon roll was near perfection. It was gooey and warm – just the way it should be. I did put some Sugar in the Raw into my latte, but I tell you what- there was nothing I could do to ruin that thing. That was one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. I could actually taste the difference. If it wasn’t so expensive (for a cheap-o like me) I would have bought another one to take with me.

We finished up our meal, chatted and shot the breeze with mr. handlebar. It was such a relaxing environment that I really wished I had brought my laptop so I could spend the rest of the day working there. But after about an hour of hang time in the shop we had to head out.

We said our goodbyes and thank you’s and headed down stairs, back to the bustling streets of Pikes Place. But even after leaving the shop Storyville was still blowing my branding mind. I looked over about a quarter mile down the road and saw the Storyville logo repeated on the side of a large building. No words, just symbols. “They are just too good,” I thought to myself.
So, needless to say, this girl, who is in love with how coffee makes her feel is hooked on Storyville. I highly recommend going there if you’re ever in the Seattle area. Here’s their website. Here’s their Twitter. My one piece of advice? Order your own cinnamon roll. You won’t regret it.

21. November 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Inspiration, Life | 15 comments

New Work- Naftul Indie Fashion Lookbook


I just recently had the pleasure of creating this catalog for the amazing Naftul. She is an indie fashion designer with clothing that is literally what I would dream up if I could imagine the perfect wardrobe for myself. It’s fashionable, wearable and comfortable. I’m ALL for being comfy. And looking cute while feeling good? Yes please. Here is what Nataly (nickname Naftul) says about her clothing:

“All of the clothes I design are clothes that I would like to wear. So before I begin to sketch, I start with the fabric. I tend to stick with comfortable and airy textiles. I test out samples of the fabric in order know how to work with them and only then am I able to really get inspired. I start out by sketching the basic look of my design and then begin to work on the pattern. Once I have made my first complete concept design, I can begin to duplicate the garment and then sell it.”

She was a dream to work for- the whole process really felt effortless. It didn’t hurt that I could stare at these beautiful clothes all day- which made the entire process fun for me.

Check out the entire catalog on Issuu here.

You can check out her Etsy shop here, and leave her some love on her Facebook!

13. November 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Inspiration, My Work | 13 comments

ANDY REMENTER “PEOPLE BLOCKS”

How fun are these “People Blocks”? They are created by hand by artist Andy Rementer for Case Studyo. I’ve found myself really being drawn to this style of art lately. Bold hits of color and simple shapes, paired with clean patterns. If I had a kid I’d totally get these for them to play with.

Here’s a blurb from the Case Studyo site:
“The individual pieces are interchangeable, allowing them to be re-assembled and stacked to create custom characters or abstract sculptures. The series captures the spirit of Rementer’s work, high key color, bold decorative pattern and oddly pensive characters which interact in unexpected and often humorous ways with the surroundings in which they are arranged. The characters: Antoine, Fabienne, Jean and François are sold individually and packaged in a screen printed wooden box. Each sculpture comes with a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by
the artist.”

Awesome, right? Check out the video below to see these guys in action & get a better feel for how they work as blocks.

 

So fun, right? See more from the artist here and Case Studyo here.

07. November 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Just Lovin | Leave a comment

Explore Your Daily Surroundings


Earlier this week, I had spent the entire morning working pretty hard. My brain was tired, there was more to do, but my head was in a fog. I didn’t feel like I was producing anything good so I took a little walk. I work in a little studio located in Downtown Burbank where there’s a variety of shops and restaurants. My plan was to head to this little furniture place, but when I walked past “Movie World” (as I do almost everyday after grabbing my morning coffee) something came over me, and I decided to go inside. The moment I looked around, I was stunned. The last thing I expected “Movie World” to have was walls full of books and retro posters. I got really excited and walked down the thin aisles and started pulling books off the shelves. I went through fashion magazines from the 1920s, chuckled at the “Microwave Cookbook” from the 50′s. (What a contrast to our food culture these days!) And being that Burbank is right in the center of the film industry, I found old movie scripts, press kits, and even stills taken on sets- like this Mary Poppins photo. It was magical.
I love this pic. It in an odd way reminds me of who I want to be. I like being a lady, I like fashion and looking nice. But I also LOVE getting messy. I love the feeling that comes from having charcoal all over your clothes and face after a night spent drawing. I’m not naturally clean, organized or polished. And I feel like this photo reminds me it’s ok. To let loose and be myself. Mary Poppins, the woman who was “practically perfect in every way”, also got messy and had fun doing it.

I left the store spending just over $20 in used books and photos. I gathered inspiration for upcoming projects and bought some things just for myself. But I really left with an excitement knowing that this place is just a few doors down from my studio. So whenever I want a burst of inspiration, or need to clear my head- instead of heading to Pinterest I’m heading to Movie World!

Doing this made me think about the amazing things / places / people that surround us on a daily basis, but we never experience because we either don’t have the time or the bravery to. As I’ve written about before, going to new places and experiencing different things really brings a new perspective to your work and your life. Just this week I realized how easy it is for us to find these experiences without even leaving home. Pretty awesome!!

So my challenge to you is to explore your daily surroundings. Do you see the same person at your local coffee shop every morning? Say hi! Get to know them! Go into that random store by your office and see what’s inside. Head to the other side of town or visit a restaurant you’ve never been to. The possibilities are endless. But the point is to get out of your “zone” – and see the magic happen. Now go! Then come back and tell me what you did. I’d love to hear!!

Happy Wednesday friends!!

30. October 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Encouragement, Inspiration, Life | 9 comments

That Fall Feelin

Happy Friday friends!

I’ve been so loving Fall these past couple weeks. Even though it doesn’t get very chilly yet here in SoCal, there is a shift in the air that you can feel. The skies are bluer, the wind is fresh, and the sun rests in a different place in the sky. So although it’s not cold, I can still feel that Fall is in the air. This is the inspiration for this new desktop download I have for you guys today. “Fall Feel”. It feels like fall outside and I wanted to bring it inside. Thought you all may want to as well!

You can download the files for your desktop, iPad or iPhone below.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Pick your size: 2560 x 1440 || 1680 x 1050 || 1440 x 900 || 1280 x 800 || iPhone || iPad

18. October 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Downloads, My Work | 15 comments

Fall is here. And I’m eating lots of Pumpkin.


So it’s October. Yesterday is was 95 degrees here in So Cal. But for some reason, it still really feels like fall here. I don’t know if it’s the breeze in the air or the sun setting earlier, but I am totally feeling the fall season. I used to wait until the perfect moment, the perfect day, to drink a PSL. (Pumpkin spice latte). I would need a chill in the air, clouds in the sky, and that “feeling” that it’s fall. Last year I was highly disappointed when all of October and into November it still felt like summer. The perfect PSL day never came. So this year- I’m not waiting. Life is too short. I’m eating all the pumpkin flavored things I can, even if it’s hot out. Cause truth be told, there’s no such thing as the perfect day, and I’m not going to sit around waiting for it.

So drink a PSL. Make some pumpkin pie. Embrace the season- because blink your eyes and it will be Spring. Life flies by, and I realize this more and more every year. So embrace pumpkin people! You know I will be!!

 

pumpkin image source

07. October 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Encouragement, Just Lovin, Life | 4 comments

Head to Freutcamp with me!

Happy Friday lovely readers. I have a special announcement for ya’ll (yes hanging out in the south made me realize how much I love the word ya’ll. It just makes sense!) Anyways, I have a special offer for you readers- which you better jump on fast as tickets are close to being sold out!

The lovely Leah from one of my favorite blogs Freutcake is having a “creative bootcamp for bloggers” just for bloggers who are ready for the next step in blogging. She (and other speakers) will be sharing tips like “How do I grow my readership? How will I stand out from the crowd? How do I get sponsored post opportunities? Will social media really help my blog grow? …just to name a few. I’ll be helping Leah teach the Photoshop portion of the class- where we will help you learn the basics of Photoshop and help you apply them to your blog. You can read more about the class and all it has to offer right here. If you’re ready to take your blog to the next level, definitely check out this class!

SO- if you’re interested (which you really should be!) I have a little discount code just for you readers, where you’ll get $50 off the class. Just enter the code WATERFALL50 and you’re all set! Head over here to purchase your tickets!

Happy Friday friends!!

04. October 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Randomness | 1 comment

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