savoring, geeking out, and... squirrels

sweater: c/o modcloth | pants: current/elliott grey ink cargos | boots: c/o modcloth | jacket: free people from hautelook

Saturdays are my escape days. I wake up whenever I want, I make a delicious breakfast... something that I normally wouldn't have time to make during the week, and I don't turn my computer on unless I absolutely have to. It feels so good to not have to do anything, and instead do things that I want to do. Sometimes this still consists of working on projects I enjoy, and other times it's watching reruns of pointless reality tv shows or playing Zelda. I'm finally on the last legs of Skyward Sword by the way... and if you haven't guessed it by now I'm totally a game geek.  Secret's out!

I have the urge to really savor this weekend, so whatever I do, I'm going to enjoy it... and I hope you do the same, friends! What is/was your favourite video game?


Friday Finds

I can't believe it's Friday already. This week went by so quickly! I'm feeling a little under the weather today... I think I caught Dustin's cold that he's had for a few days. So while I'm over here sniffling and coughing away, check out some of these pretty awesome finds I've come across this week!

This retro inspired string holder DIY! So cute!

A REAL working Instagram camera is actually coming to life

Always been a fan of Bec Winnel's art

Handmade stamps by Wit & Whistle

Pretty coloured prints by fieldtrip

Cute little drawstring pouch tutorial

Lastly, my closet clean out sale happening on this Facebook page.

Which is your fav find?


make that time

Before I started all of this digital design stuff, I would sketch. I always had a drawing on the go, and from the time I was twelve until my early 20's I worked on developing my portrait skills. Sketchbooks were an absolute must in my household. I had a whole art room in my basement... walls covered with drawings I did from the time I was 8 until my late teens.

The high school I attended was a school for the arts, with dance, music, drama, and art being special audition-required curriculums that lasted your entire high school stay. My "Art" class was like a more advanced class that was supposed to prepare us for actual art college. We learned everything from techniques to history... although I found the art history segments the most boring thing in the universe.

The point is, I used to draw every single day... and I miss it. I couldn't even tell you where half of my art supplies went, and that makes me sad. Life got in the way, actual paid jobs and time got in the way, and my pencils and pens took a back seat. In the back of my mind I always tell myself that "once I finish such and such", or "once I free some time," I will put the ink back on the paper, but I realized something. We have to make time for the things we love. I think it's healthy to put all that other stuff on hold and do something for yourself once in a while. When was the last time you accomplished something totally for your own desire? Whether it's drawing, baking, singing, or anything you never make enough time for, make that time and screw everything else. Doing something that makes you happy is the best way to stay inspired, and all of that other stuff that needs to get done can wait.

a recent quick sketch
circa 2002? black ballpoint pen.
another recent quirky sketch.
another recent unfinished sketch.
circa 1999. apparently went unfinished, and there is tons i would fix now!

What is something that you love to do but never make time to do it?


Cozy... but not too cozy if you know what I mean.

Sweater: c/o Romwe | Custom Bracelet: c/o Jamie B Designs | Leggings: f21 | Slippers: MukLuks

Nothing says fall is here like big chunky knit sweaters. I live in them in the colder months. Something about them just makes me want to curl up next to the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and do absolutely nothing at all. Is September really almost over?

Jamie made this hand stamped bracelet for me. It's from one of my favourite quotes "she believed she could, so she did". If you check out her shop she can make one for you too and we can be bracelet buddies... that sounds pretty exclusive and awesome doesn't it? (wink wink).

Dustin is going to be in a play. How random... but it's true. One of his friends in the area directs plays or something and gave him a part. He has a rehearsal tonight. Apparently when he was younger he used to be in all kinds of plays. He even showed me a newspaper article calling him the "next big thing". Yep, my fiance is a legit actor in disguise.  I never thought I would utter the words "my fiance is in a play", but here we are. I did tell him though that if his part includes groping another woman he's out, haha.  By the way, I never did understand how actors can get away with stuff like that and not have it be considered cheating. "It's just acting" they say... but that doesn't excuse the fact that they are doing things that would definitely be considered cheating if they weren't acting. Not sure I can be convinced, what do you think?

(i used my A Little Vintage photoshop action on the pics. and XL through Small sponsor spots are opening up.)


How to make a photo mat

I love framing photos and displaying them throughout my house, but sometimes I want them to stand out a little better or fit into a certain frame. I've purchased custom picture mats before, but it's super easy to make your own, and you can even use your favourite scrapbook paper for a more custom finish! Scrapbook paper is great for photo projects because it is acid free... so you don't have to worry about it ruining your images!  Here's how to create a super quick and incredibly easy photo mat to spice up your wall art!

1. Take the glass out of the frame you wish to use. Place it on your scrapbooking paper or photo mat and trace along the edges.

2. Cut your paper to size using a blade or rotary cutter. It should be the same size as the glass.

3. Flip your paper over and place your photo in the center. Measure from the edge of the paper to the edge of your photo. The measurement should be equal on both adjacent sides. I suggest measuring slightly larger so that when you place your photo in the mat, you don't have to line it up absolutely perfectly with the edges of the mat. I ended up measuring 1.5" on each side.

4. Draw your measurement lines on the backside of the paper.

5. Using a thick ruler or the edge of a book as a guide, cut along your guidelines being extra careful not to cut past where the corners meet.

6. Your center area can be saved for another project!

7. Finally, grab your photo, line it up, flip it over and tape the corners to the mat.

8. Finish framing your photo, and you're done! If you want a mat with more depth, try using a thicker mat or foam board, and angling the blade slightly for a beveled look.

There you go! A photo is instantly transformed and can be displayed proudly in your home!

Psst... Some of my premade Blogger templates are still on sale today!


Huge Closet Sale

Happy Sunday friends!

So, I spent the second half of the day taking every single thing out of my closet and reorganizing it. While doing this, I managed to fill up FOUR whole boxes of clothing that I need to sell. This is in addition to the 5 or 6 I already have hiding in my basement. I NEED YOUR HELP YOU GUYS! I'm having a Facebook closet sale in a little while to try to get rid of this stuff. Most of it has hardly ever been worn, and a bunch is brand spankin' new!  If you want to get in on this flash sale, head on over to this new Facebook page I just made and Like it. I'll be posting individual photos of items along with info, and first person to leave their paypal address will get it. This sale won't happen for another few days while I spread the word, so stay tuned and please do tell your friends!!


Building a Business Part 6: The Real Beginning

Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Sugardevil
Part 3: Groupie
Part 4: "Jacob"
Part 5: Dream Jobs

Myspace. Anyone who remembers how trendy Myspace was years ago knows that it was the place you had to be. Everybody had a Myspace page and thousands of friends. I loved it especially because you could completely transform your profile if you knew how to properly. My profiles were always completely customized and people started to take notice.

 a few of my past myspace layouts

While we were booking bands for shows, one of my band buddies asked me if I would design their page for them. I hadn't tried to customize a band page before, since they were coded differently than the regular personal profiles... but I said I would give it a shot. 

I spent hours... weeks... months perfecting a code that would work properly on Myspace band profiles. This is sometimes what happens when someone gives me a challenge... I cannot get it out of my mind and always want to take it to the next level!  My idea was to completely overhaul the typical profile so that it looked nothing like a Myspace page, but more like a branded website. Nobody had done anything like this at the time. I was filled to the brim with the desire to make this idea work and stopped at nothing to finish it.  The wheels would not stop spinning in my head for months, and one winter day in 2006, I finally completed my creation. An interchangeable, customizable Myspace code for band profiles. 

I launched the first design with my newly created coding on my friend's band's profile and it was a hit. Because of that profile, some other affiliated bands started inquiring about my abilities. I offered to do a couple of them free of charge in order to build up my own portfolio so that I could turn this new idea into a little business. I started creating a website where I offered my Myspace customizing expertise for bands and needed some work to showcase, so in the beginning it was necessary to work "pro bono".

After I had a couple of designs knocked off, I opened up my virtual doors. I was nervous because I wasn't sure if it would all be a huge waste of time or not. The only traffic I would get would be from my little link placed at the bottom of those customized profiles, so I needed to come up with other ways to promote myself and my new business.

I got some promotional materials made, like 1 inch buttons and things, and handed those out at our events we would organize. Thankfully, I had already partly squeezed my little foot into the doors of the music industry, so there were lots of bands I knew that I could promote to directly.  It worked most of the time, because once they laid their eyes on what I was able to do to their boring old Myspace profiles, they were sold. Bands want to stand out, period. I knew this and I tempted them with the opportunity to do so. Like a bait on a hook.

some early work

I was still working at my retail job selling lingerie and working on artist promotion stuff on the weekends.  There came a point when I just knew it was all too much. I had high hopes for this new Myspace idea, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to take that business where I wanted it to go if I had to work a retail job at the same time. I had a few Myspace clients, and some other web design clients... and though it was nothing to quit my job over, I quit my job over it anyways.  My dedication would pay off and I was sure of it. I just couldn't dedicate 100% of my time to it with something holding me back. I put in my 2 week notice and said goodbye to years of working with some of the best girls.

Quitting was scary, but not as scary as what I imagine my life to be like if I hadn't quit. I had confidence that everything would work out, and I knew that this idea was huge. Leaving that job gave me all of the time and energy I needed to take this business to the next level.... and you best believe it went to the next level.... ten fold.

Stay tuned for part 7!

How are you liking this series so far? It's hard to recall certain things sometimes but once I get there, the memories just keep flowing!


Friday Instadump

accidental braid | a new creation
making wall art | rainy days
new fringe | chop chop
benny bowbens | makeup mornings
my new jototes camera bag | baking delicious muffins

follow me on instagram

This week has been all over the place. My friend Toad came to visit on Wednesday and left yesterday, so it already feels like the weekend has passed for me. I've been non-stop beautifying blogs every chance I get and I feel like I'm a little behind on schedule at the moment. The work just won't stop coming in though which is pretty awesome, because if you asked me a year ago what I would be doing I would not have expected to have become a full time blog designer. It's funny how life leads us places, isn't it? Because I'm a little behind lately, I decided to put a couple of my select premade Blogger designs on sale for one week. You can check them out here if you are interested. I will also be doing a little something fun on my Instagram account in a short while, so be sure to follow me there if you want to stay updated!!  My nails are two different clashing colours, my hair is a mess, and I am still in my pjs so I best be taking care of these things now.  Happy Friday, friends! How will you be spending the weekend? 

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