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Moonbeams Would Shoot Out of Your Fingers

For those of you who can’t watch the video right now, a little script:

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?

I realized yesterday that I have my own George Bailey. He would lasso the moon for me if I wanted it. He encourages me through verbal communication but also through daily acts of love. He’s kindess and generosity is contagious, like moonbeams shooting out of his fingers. I owe a lot of my motivation and inspiration to him. I don’t often talk about family, friends or my husband here on my blog but they’re a lot more important to me than typography, music or design. So I thought I would dedicate this post to Adam and all his loveliness. Hug the ones you love today!

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My anti-week was lovely. Nothing extraordinary happened but I was able to focus a bit more, spend less money, and exercise healthy habits. I also made a list of things that made me smile throughout the week. My goal is incorporate more of those things into my daily life. I’ll be blogging lightly until I have enough content and things worth sharing lined up. For today, you can head over to xheight to read my guest post over there!

Image found here.

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My Anti-Week

I’m naming this week: ANTI-WEEK. For me, it consists of:

1. Canceling all social plans

2. No Twitter

3. Reading every night before bed

4. Working out every day


6. Making a list of things that make me smile

7. Making a list of things that make me frown

8. Attend my first CSCA event

9. Start work earlier, end work earlier

So essentially, my ANTI-WEEK is really a ME-WEEK. It’s not that I don’t love socializing, tweeting, and being carefree but I needed a week where I fought against all my natural tendencies. Things like : saying yes to everything and everyone, sleeping through my alarm, feeling the pressure before a deadline that I’ve put on the back burner, and just taking a passive approach to life. I had Monday and Tuesdays posts scheduled from Sunday so I’ll be taking a 5 day break from blogging. I’ll be back on Monday the 25th :)

<3 Allie

P.S How amazing is that photo? I wish I was taking my ANTI-WEEK there.

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Circa Modern

All pieces found on Circa Modern‘s site. I love their bio:

I love this stuff, as much, if not more than anyone. I travel and seek out quality pieces that I feel will make fantastic additions to your home, office or studio. I am passionate at what I do and I love doing it. Each piece is carefully restored to it’s original condition in my studio. I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I do.

If you’re in the Chicago area…you should check it out!

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30 Day Drawing Challenge

Last week I saw this pin on Pinterest and I instantly loved the idea. Starting May 1st, I’ll be taking the challenge and posting a drawing per day here on my blog each afternoon. If you’d like to do it on your own, please please do! If you’d like to share your drawing on my blog, just email it to me by 12pm EST the day of. It doesn’t matter if you start now and submit them later or sketch them throughout May. It’s just a great way to encourage myself to sketch daily and maybe you need that encouragement too!

UPDATE: To view my 30 Day Challenge drawings, click here. I hosted a 30 Day Photo Challenge in September 2011 and a November Photo Challenge. Camera phone challenge will start in February 2012!

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Apartment Tour P.1

On Sunday the windows were open and the breeze was whipping through our place so I thought I’d snap a few photos of our new place!

We’re in a 4-unit brick building in a neighborhood called Grandview Heights. Um, actually we’re still considered Columbus. But you don’t care.

A lot of our pieces are from IKEA because it’s cheap and dang they know how to keep it simple. Our rug is one of my favorite additions. We got it at Overstock and it is perfect! It’s 4ftx8ft and the “Salt and Paper version.”

The thing I’m most excited about is the new painting we’re getting from THE Kayla Plosz. It’ll cover that ugly mirror and it’ll measure approximately 5ft wide by 3ft tall.

Of course, Desh had to make an appearance while I was snapping pictures. Stay tuned for more of our new place in the weeks to come! We need to hang more artwork and spruce up the kitchen. Kitchens are so hard to stylize!


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Yeah I Can Do That

It took me two years to realize that I cannot be everyone’s designer.

I seriously laugh when I think back to all the ways that I learned this lesson. Of course at the time I was probably ripping my hair out and threatening to “never freelance again.” And here’s the thing. I’m just being honest. A lot of times, as a designer, I’m scared to talk about my frustrations and the lessons I’ve learned because I’m afraid a client will think I’m talking about them. I promise you this: I have had and currently have some of the world’s most wonderful and creative clients. Without clients like that, I’d be doodling in my sketchbook with crayons. Oh wait, I still do that.

So here’s how I learned my lesson:

I tried to be everyone’s designer.

And it sucks but it’s essential. I’m not sure what exactly makes a great project, a great client or great work but I know some things that make all those things go bad. Like:

  • You need some quick cash and you say a little prayer along the lines of, “God just give me a project so I can pay my parking tickets.”
  • Your client says something like, “My friend Joanna told me that I need a designer because I want to sell felt Kleenex box covers but I think I can do it all myself.”
  • When their first question is, “How much do you charge?”
  • When a potential client tells me that my little designs are cute.
  • When they assume you’ll work for free because they know your college roommate’s stepmom.

I’m not saying all those things have happened to me…but I’m not saying they haven’t. To avoid situations like this I’ve discovered a few tricks.

  1. Create a portfolio and site that really reflects your style. Don’t just display work that drops names. Clients who love your style will approach you.
  2. Compile a list of questions to send to potential clients to get a sense of what they’re looking for, what they’re passionate about, and an estimate of their budget.
  3. LIKE your client. Make sure you take time to meet with them, chat on the phone, and genuinely enjoy working with them.
  4. Take referrals. If someone approaches you as a referral, you can look back on the type of project you had with the referrer.

Okay I’m done acting like I know stuff. I usually don’t share so many of my thoughts here so I hope you can relate or learn at least one thing (one thing being… that I enjoy making lists.)

What about you? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from designers AND the clients.

Photo found here.

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The Search

It all started on Twitter. I said, “Best daily planner and best journals…give me brands! (besides Moleskine)” Of course, I received SO many recommendations and a few, “You mean…a planner with pen and paper?” I still rely on my iCal (we sync ours with MobileMe) but I need a place to make lists, jot down notes, and cross things out. Then, Kara to the rescue!

As you can see, this occurred on April 7th and I immediately placed my order with them. On April 9th I received it in the mail! That’s like…2 days!

The packaging is lovely, cute inserts and…ta da…The Little Otsu Annual Weekly Planner, Vol. 5!

So my search is over and I’m a happy girl. Go to Little Otsu right now and go shopping!