these are a few of my favorite things

office inspiration and tour from blog.cleanlinestudio.com

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…Is that song stuck in your head now too? Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. Eva likes that song so it’s perpetually rolling around in mine. By now you’ve seen a glimpse at my studio, but today I wanted to share a few more images of my desk setup, and my favorite things to have about while I’m working.

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lessons learned: Inspiring clients & Communicating their Vision

lessons learned: Inspiring your clients and Communicating their Vision from blog.cleanlinestudio.com

As I work more and more with my “dream customers,” I’ve developed a process that works really well. My dream customers are creative, smart, aesthetically minded, women (usually) who already have some sense of what they’re looking for. They come to me because they know we can work well together; I’ll not only bring their vision to life, but develop and improve it.

Often the most challenging part of the process is helping a client decide what they want. Best case scenario, they know what they’re after, are able to articulate it, and show you visuals that support their vision. This is rarely the case. A client often needs your help deciding what they want, and putting it to words. It can be really frustrating to create endless options for your client, only to discover you weren’t on the same page from the beginning. More about my process after the jump…

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lessons learned: Inspiring clients & Communicating their Vision

lessons learned: Inspiring your clients and Communicating their Vision from blog.cleanlinestudio.com

As I work more and more with my “dream customers,” I’ve developed a process that works really well. My dream customers are creative, smart, aesthetically minded, women (usually) who already have some sense of what they’re looking for. They come to me because they know we can work well together; I’ll not only bring their vision to life, but develop and improve it.

Often the most challenging part of the process is helping a client decide what they want. Best case scenario, they know what they’re after, are able to articulate it, and show you visuals that support their vision. This is rarely the case. A client often needs your help deciding what they want, and putting it to words. It can be really frustrating to create endless options for your client, only to discover you weren’t on the same page from the beginning. More about my process after the jump…

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desktop decor: shiny new spring wallpaper!

 

free spring desktop wallpaper from blog.cleanlinestudio.com

Hey guys, happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am whole-heartedly looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow is my darling husband’s thirtieth birthday! I’m excited top spent the entire weekend celebrating all things Sean! It’s been a while since I designed a desktop wallpaper for you guys, so today I’m sharing TWO shiny new options for the spring season! Enjoy and please share! Both options and the free download, after the jump!

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fav fonts: fonts with the best ampersands

the best ampersands from blog.cleanlinestudio.com You guys all know what an ampersands is, right? It’s that lovely little mark you get when you hit Shift + 7 that signifies “and”. I tried to teach my 3 year old the word “ampersands” the other day, and she could not possibly have cared less.

As a frequent designer of wedding invitations, that lovely ampersands is a pretty regular part of my design repertoire. Many favorite fonts really fall short in the ampersands department, while other lack-luster faces just plain kill it! Today I’ve collected up some of my faves that I think you need to know about. I love the diversity in this special little mark. You can download the fonts including the ampersands picture below, the ones with the asterisk indicate a FREE font! Have a great weekend!

SabonPrismaNarzissQuaverPalatinoRogueEdel SansLondonFlingFourty Second St

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More of my fav fonts starring: google fonts!

my favorite google fonts from blog.cleanlinestudio.com Happy hump day! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted about my favorite fonts. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about google fonts. They’ve been available for a while, but for some reason, I was resistant to using them. I guess I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to find any that I liked (being a font snob and all). But, with over 600 options, I feel pretty confident that your dream font is out there.
Another great thing about google fonts is that they are super easy to use. You can download them (for FREE) to use in your designs, or borrow the code right from google to use them on your website or blog. Google hosts them, so you don’t have to worry about them showing up differently on other peoples’ computers. One last great feature worth mention is that you can use your google account to create collections of fonts. Visit google fonts to find your own favorites or download mine (use the search box top left to find the ones I’ve listed here)!

You can find past font round ups here, here, and here

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metallic foil stamping round-up

metallic foil stamping from blog.cleanlinestudio.com metallic foil stamping from blog.cleanlinestudio.com metallic foil stamping from blog.cleanlinestudio.com metallic foil stamping from blog.cleanlinestudio.com I’m working with a client right now who’s expressed an interest in foil stamping for her business cards, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m personally drawn to foil stamped designs that have a lot of contrast going on. I’m particularly smitten with the idea of a rose gold, on heavy, matte finish paper.

This is one of my favorite print techniques, but unfortunately can be pretty pricey. The reason this process tends to be so expensive is that a custom metal die needs to be created with the information that will be stamped. This stamp is then heated, and mashed down onto each page of your printed piece. The process creates not only the effect of the color (many more are available beyond metallic), but a slightly embossed or debossed texture.

In order to get the most for your money, choose this technique for printed pieces that you’ll need large quantities of, like business cards for your whole team or large-scale product packaging. Since a large part of the price is associated with making the die, costs to print 200 business cards vs. 2000 cards can be surprisingly similar. This tends to be true with any offset printing technique that involves a die.

What’s your experience with foil stamping? Do you love it like I do?

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feelin’ all sorts of polka dotty

feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m having a brief love affair with this pattern right now. Whatever you want to call it; a random dot pattern, irregular polka dots, ditzy dots, it’s totally my jam for the time being.

So much so that I chose this pattern in black and white for the curtains I’m sewing for Eva’s room. I feel like this look has been stalking my pinterest feed, and I’m totally not complaining. Are you smitten like me?

I had similar feelings about tassels over the summer….read about it here

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feelin' all sorts of polka dotty

feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com feelin' polka dotty from blog.cleanlinestudio.com I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m having a brief love affair with this pattern right now. Whatever you want to call it; a random dot pattern, irregular polka dots, ditzy dots, it’s totally my jam for the time being.

So much so that I chose this pattern in black and white for the curtains I’m sewing for Eva’s room. I feel like this look has been stalking my pinterest feed, and I’m totally not complaining. Are you smitten like me?

I had similar feelings about tassels over the summer….read about it here

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that obligatory resolution post…

new years goals from blog.cleanlinestudio.com A resolution is such a funny idea to me. It seems that word is almost always paired with new year’s, and forgotten by most before the end of January. So, today I’m sharing some of my goals for the new year. It’s nothing so concrete as “loose a pound a week,” or “get 8 hours of sleep every night,” but I want to share my thoughts with you. This is in part for my own accountability, but also in hopes that this reflection helps you too . . .

GO ALL IN
It’s been nearly two years now since I’ve made the leap into self-employment. It has overall been a very positive experience, and one that I’ve learned a lot from. However, I’ve really relied on contract work to make my money. Although this has financially made sense, I’m not going to do that anymore. This year I intend to focus wholly on my own business. My own little design studio is where I see long term growth potential, and the ability to create the job I want for myself. I’m looking for a studio outside of the home to call my own, will finally be incorporating my business, and updating my sadly neglected online portfolio (It’s been over a year, which is just absurd, I know).

GET FLEXIBLE
While I do intend to incorporate yoga back into my lifestyle, that’s not really what I’m talking about. I get very set in my expectations, which often results in disappointment. This year I hope to become more adaptable, and not allow an unexpected result to be confused with an undesirable one.

RESIST COMPARISON
I’m sure you’ve heard the Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I can’t tell you how much that resonated with me, and how much I wish it didn’t. I find myself often comparing where I am to others, and that energy needs to be refocused. I hope to take those feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction, and put that effort towards raising myself up and celebrating my own success.

Last, but not least, I’m going to take a page from the Joy Cho playbook and also share one thing that I did well this past year, and plan to continue…

SCHEDULING & TIME MANAGEMENT
This time last year, I’d sit down in front of my computer for the entire day, and frequently feeling discouraged by how little I’d gotten done. I’d get distracted by social media, and unsure where to start if I didn’t have client work with a firm deadline.
Over the past year, I’ve realized that I’m actually more productive when I have a full schedule. Having more commitments to work around keeps me motivated, and determined to get things done in the amount of time I’ve allotted. Writing a list of my daily goals helps me do this. For the blog, I try to keep an editorial calendar. I don’t always stick to it exactly, but I find it helpful to have post ideas outlined for the month. I’m proud of how far my time management skills have come in the course of a year.

I’m pleased to kiss 2013 goodbye, and move on to bigger and better things in ’14! What goals do you have in mind to get your year started off right?

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