September Uniform


To me, personal style is an expression of self love and confidence.

Back when I started this blog I wanted to heavily focus on personal style photography, which if I’m being honest, didn’t fill me up creatively like I thought it would.

BUT I still feel drawn to share what I love and feel great wearing in the world of style because it is still an area of great interest for me. So as a way to fill that void I decided to share my ‘uniform of the month’.

My vision for this series is basically just one photo, at the end of the month with a little explanation and some hand drawn type for good measure :)

Since I live in a climate that experiences all four seasons, my wardrobe fluctuates a considerable amount from month to month. So I thought each month would be a great milestone to share the changing of seasons and what keeps my inspired when I ask myself ‘what should I wear today?’ At times that question can be daunting, but I am going to focus on listening to my gut full time.

I will not be giving any ‘credits’ of what I’m wearing because these days I only go shopping for clothes twice a year to get what I need for the warmer or cooler months. Because of this, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to find the correct links on the internet to point anyone in the right direction to where to buy what I’m wearing. I also think that there’s something a little bit wrong about that, to me it would feel like I was pushing items onto my readers when in reality the items that I’m wearing could be substituted for similar items that someone already owns or it could inspire someone who is in a style rut and needs some inspiration. I envision this series to be an exercise in self expression, photography and sharing something I am excited about in a way that feels right to me. I share more frequent ‘outfits of the day’ #ootd on my instagram if you are interested in seeing that. As of right now, blogging about style feels right to be kept minimal, short and sweet (with the huge expectation to this long winded explanation post. haha!)

LET’S BEGIN, shall we?

In September, Minnesota has greeted us with mild weather. We’ve had a lot of sunny days and a lot of rain. You could feel fall in the air but it still managed to feel far away. Somehow September made me fall in love with Minneapolis even more.

Here was my uniform:

I traded in my summer t-shirts and tank tops for button down blouses.

I exchanged my jean shorts for high rise skinny jeans.

My slip on weatherproof shoes have been hitting the streets hard on rainy days.

Wearing a half up style has been my jam to hold back my hair from my face when I’m working but still maintaining a relaxed look.

A bold red lip is what I run to when I want a make-up look that is low effort and high impact.

My satchel is by my sides most days, especially when I’m running errands.

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Power Reads


As I keep making my way in my new city, my strongest desires continue to be:
1.) establish a more intentional relationship with myself
2.) create, draw, design and play shamelessly
3.) build a career that I am proud to call mine

After taking total ownership over my attitude, circumstances and ultimately, my future I have been feeling much lighter inside and lit up by a sense of freedom. These inclinations were all fostered by books and in the past few months I’ve read some pretty powerful ones. Books that left a large impact on me.

Like, crater sized impact.

Here are the books that I’ve loved and I will tell you about a few that I’m looking forward to reading next.

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden
This book is short, funny and well designed. Perfect for those who need a little lighthearted ‘truth tellin’ knocked into their head. It’s written in very small sections so you can pick it up and literally read it for 2 minutes and gain a gold nugget of wisdom. There are also pictures, so it’s a bit more of an experiential read.

It is not a narrative, but rather bits of advice from the author on what he’s learned from his career. It’s positioned for an audience of designers, though I believe that it is written in a way that any living person can find a great deal of value. This is a book that I know I will always go back to for more.

My favorite section of the book was entitled ‘It’s Right to be Wrong’.

Mind blowing.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Not to dwell too much on this but before reading this book I read Franz Kafka’s short stories The Metamorphosis and The Penal Colony in case there was any connection between the author’s work and the novel I was about to read. There was, but not much of one. Oh well! Anyway, Kafka on the Shore was made aware to me around a year ago from a book list on Good Reads and it sounded like my kind of story, which is a coming of age story and an odyssey. I love those types of narratives a lot. Kafka on the Shore had both of those in spades as well as a surrealist element added to the plot.

In short, a boy called Kafka Tamura runs away from his home in Tokyo to flee his dad who is killed shortly after he departs. From there we watch him find himself and his new life.

Kafka on the Shore felt like a mix between a YA book and sci-fi. Basically, I loved it. It was so strange and yet it read very easily. For the most part I was on the edge of my seat for the whole read. (Though I read only one chapter a night which made it take longer to complete.) In this book there are talking cats, talk of philosophy, Colonel Sanders, classical music from Beethoven, an Oedipus complex and fish raining from the sky. Ultimately this book was a journey of self discovery, but I loved that it wove in bits of culture in the story. It left such an impression on me because it really made me think and in sections this novel felt more like a creation of art, like a Salvador Dalí painting, than anything I’ve read in the past.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
I was never a morning person until I heard The Lively Show‘s episode featuring Hal Elrod and his book, The Miracle Morning. Hal’s story of overcoming a car accident that nearly killed him was inspiring, but his story about how he was able to get himself out of bankruptcy and depression within just a few months was motivating.

During his interview he said one line that, I’m not kidding, made me cry. It was: “most people when the alarm goes off in the morning, hit snooze button, that’s literally starting your day with A. procrastination and B. sending a message to the universe or even our subconscious that says ‘I don’t have the discipline to get out of bed in the morning when my alarm goes off let alone the discipline I need to do to do the things I want in my life.”

I mean…

After that episode I downloaded The Miracle Morning to my Kindle and devoured it day by day, one chapter at a time. I started my own version of ‘the miracle morning’ for myself and it has been the single thing that made me believe that I have the power within me to do what I want, always! His book is easy to read, filled with tips on how to make the most of your mornings and feel fueled by them.

A Beautiful Anarchy by David duChemin
This book is a re-read for me. My friend, Chris, recommended it to me about a year ago and I remember really loving it AND being overwhelmed by its message.

Now that I’m feeling as empowered as ever to take complete control over my life I am reading it again. I’m about 4 chapters (4 days) into my re-read and its message of creating the life of your dreams by prioritizing your personal growth means so much more to me now. It’s amazing how a book can change its value to the reader in within just a few months. Its almost like I’m reading it for the first time. The words are so valuable to me. I savor each page, which is the benefit to reading books like this at a slower pace. You can digest the messages much more throughly.

The author of this book is a world traveling photographer who is telling his story of how he lives a life that helps him grow as an artist and a person. Along side of that, he describes the ‘hero’s journey’ as a way to show the reader that when we feel called to do something with our lives, we should answer! Even if that call means things will become difficult. His stance makes sense, that life is too short to let time pass by without living a way that feels authentic. 

On the whole this book is fueling the motivation I have inside of me to keep taking steps to make my life goals a reality.

Up Next
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This book dives into the power, creativity and insight that each woman has inside.

In Progress by Jessica Hische
Designer and letterer , Jessica Hische, describes her creative process and how she goes from sketchbook to computer.

The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly
This is a book that I’ve heard numerous amounts of positive praise over. It is a book that helps readers explore who they want to become at their very best and how to achieve their potential.

What are you reading right now and how is it impacting you?

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from the MPLS farmers market


Hey guys!

So I made the video below on the fly last weekend. I was so inspired by all of the haul videos that live on the internet AND my recent trip to the farmers market that I felt the undeniable urge to share what I picked up via video :)

Lucky you!

It’s pretty short and sweet. I used Adobe Premiere Pro for the editing and sound mixing as well as giving After Effects a try to implement the very short, very basic title sequence. The reason why using After Effects became so important to me is because I am a HUGE control freak with typography and I want nothing less than my exact vision for the titles, no matter how complex or how simple they are. The baked in title settings for other video editing programs were making me a little too crazy.

Part of why I love giving video a try is because I’m learning how to work with a COMPLETELY different media. Thankfully, the workflow fits in nicely with some of the other Adobe programs that I already know, such as Photoshop.

One big thing I learned about making videos so far is that they take so much planning! Like I mean, holy to-do lists! My video lists are more complex that I ever imagined, so much so that I made them into separate spread sheets. HA! All of the steps are laid out from, shoot direction, to filming day schedule, to time for viewing tutorials, cutaway direction, music searching, on…and on…and on… I like to think when I get the hang of this more that my lists making won’t be SUCH a time investment.

Any way, director’s note aside, enjoy watching me rambling on about food!

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Embrace the Day is on Society6


Exciting news!

You can now buy items that I’ve designed, drawn, crafted, etc!

I’m proud to share with you my very own shop at Society6. I’ve only uploaded one piece so far (a favorite card design from my Drawn & Delivered project), but you can buy it as a mug, print, pillow, tote…the list goes on.



So if you like this piece that I’ve made, go buy one for yourself or give it to someone as a gift. I do make commission from these pieces so you can feel good about supporting this artist right here :)

If any of you reading this has a Society6 shop, let me know! I’d love to see your work and support you too.

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Everything is ‘spine’


In my recent rounds of card making for my Drawn & Delivered project (and frankly, drawing in general) I have being using a very specific technique that I have found so much joy in working with.

I call this the coloring book technique because basically I’m drawing forms and outlining them in black ink and then going back in and coloring the shapes with different colors. It reminds me of the adult coloring book craze that’s going on right now, a trend that I hope sticks around forever! In turn, this technique reminds me so much of coloring in coloring books as a child, a very favorite past time of mine.

Not only is this a very therapeutic way of image making but I love the clean lines and an the amount of intricate detail you are able to achieve.


About this card: This card was made for a wonderful pair of chiropractors. I left the image very clean and played with the very pun filled idea of using the ‘s curve’ of the spine as the letterform for ‘s’. Also, ‘spine’ rhymes with ‘fine’ so yeah, puns. I love ’em!

Faber-Castell 2H pencil
Pentel Click eraser
Sakura Pigma Micron 01 marker in Black
Copic Sketch markers in E31 (Brick Beige) and E33 (Sand)
Speedball Oblique Calligraphy nib holder
Hunt Imperial 101 nib
Speedball Calligraph Ink in Super Black

Other examples of how I used this technique:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Catch up on some of my recent card creations!

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Art Supply Favorites


Today I present to you my art supply favorites of the moment in video form!

This video was my first attempt at a sit down and chatting to the camera/demo video as well as my first steps in using Adobe Premiere Pro and saying good-bye to iMovie.

Video is a media that I never gave very much thought to until about a year ago when I got sucked into the glorious world of YouTube. The production value that I’ve seen in some YouTube channels is unreal and so inspiring!

I would love to make more frequent videos but oh man! They take so much work. I believe I shot the content of this video 3, maybe 4 times? AND it was the first time that I used my husband’s video camera. So really, this video is filled with new experience for me. It by no means is a ground breaking video, but I learned so much and hope to continue to do so. For some reason I expected the shooting to be easy and the editing to be more of a challenge, but nope! The shooting was just as much of a challenge. A challenge that I was happy to embark on.

That aside, I hope you enjoy this video about paper, markers, and inks. Whether you like to make art on the regular or just want to get into the game casually, this video is for YOU!

Drawing Pad | Watercolor Pad | Watercolor Markers | Water Brush | Tombow Dual Brush Marker | Pentel Duopoint Brush | Sakura Pigma Brush | Speedball Calligraphy Ink Palette

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Photo Diary: Labor Day Weekend

abbyabbyabby-BSL-1 abbyabbyabby-BSL-3 abbyabbyabby-BSL-4 abbyabbyabby-BSL-6 abbyabbyabby-BSL-7 abbyabbyabby-BSL-8 abbyabbyabby-BSL-9 abbyabbyabby-BSL-10 abbyabbyabby-BSL-11 abbyabbyabby-BSL-12

Here are some captured memories from Labor Day weekend at Big Star Lake. It only takes a few moments after arriving to feel like a new person again, the perfect way to usher in a new season.

Get a closer look by visiting my flickr album.

Sony A6000 with kit lens
Adobe Lightroom 5

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Creative Warm-ups


Mornings have transformed for me from a time that I dreaded to, dare I say, my favorite time of the day. This new found love for the wee hours of morning didn’t happen overnight (lol) it came from telling myself that morning is the perfect time to set up a creative ritual to set the tone for the day ahead.

Many people use mornings as a time to reflect, clear the mind with exercise or meditation. Most successful people in any line of work cultivate a morning routine that guides their day.

My goal was simple: connect to my creativity early in the day.

Even though in the past I hated mornings, I found when I got to work it was my most energized time of the day. After noticing this I decided to make more of an effort to work with my natural rhythm. I have been playing around with what I want my mornings to be like for a few months and aside from having breakfast and reading, here are some of my favorite creative warm-ups that I start my day with:

Make Marks
I love to draw, color and make marks of all kinds using every writing tool under the sun. A way that I get myself in shape for bigger projects is that I start small.

I take a variety of pens, markers, crayons and draw circles, a thick line/thin line wave to better control my strokes as well as drawing random shapes and patterns. It’s a good way to get the jitters out and the blood pumping. Playing around like this with no agenda is something I do almost every day.

Empty Your Mind
Writing helps me put my thoughts into actions. For some reason, writing something down makes it seem more real.

Some mornings I write a phrase that has been brewing inside of me, sometimes even a paragraph or two.

A less traditional way that I’ve used writing in the mornings is by writing what I’m thankful for, a daily intention, or sometimes song lyrics that are stuck in my head.

Finally, a really fun abstract way to take this exercise is to write down the first 5 (or so) random words that pop into your mind. This one is so much fun because there is no plan at all. If you want to take the time to think about maybe why you wrote down the words you chose, that sounds like fun too, but you don’t have to.

Snap Something
Take a photo and maybe refrain from pushing it to social media? I mean, share all you want, but what I’m getting at is to take a photo of something that looks interesting to you.

What you choose to photograph could look odd, wrong, right, happy, sad, whatever and take it for what it is. I find this practice of unplanned photography to be a way to tune your eyes to the world around you, notice things and think a little more with your eyes.

Pairs and Groups
This practice is something that I picked up from my good friend and jeweler, Lynn Batchelder. I’m not entirely sure if she even knows that she does this, but I love it.

Basically, you start out by picking something up and setting it next to something else and seeing what kind of tension or form is made from this group of small objects. I imagine you can do this with large objects too but, it would probably take way more effort, but hey, YOLO!

Anyway, by taking an object, like a sea shell and placing it next to a cereal bowl and postcard (or whatever else that’s near you that’s calling your name) you instantly make a tiny still life of sorts. A lot of the time, I fiddle with these objects by changing the direction of objects, make them orderly then messy, try to find leading lines, flip things over to show a different color and basically create new energy.

A good way to expand on this is to take a quick photo, sometimes a frame can make a big difference by adding another sort-of object to the mix.

I hope you enjoyed this little dose of creative calisthenics and that maybe you’ll give them a try sometime. Let me know if you do!

Please share any creative warm-up ideas that you have with me in a comment or what you do in the morning that gives you a little extra energy (other than coffee, haha!) Also, if you think I’m absolutely batty for singing the praises of morning then I encourage you to design a routine that you can feel excited to experience each day. It doesn’t have to be a 2 hour thing, but it can be!

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Drawn & Delivered Round-up 1



Now that I’ve been making people cards for a few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to do a round up!

Since I started the Drawn & Delivered project I’ve done the bulk of my work using brush markers and pens, which I have been rather obsessed with lately.

Most notably I’ve been using Copic Sketch markers which come in like a million colors. They have a brush side and a chisel side and have great buildable color coverage. One of my favorite colors is Ocean Mist. It’s a very light green blue that’s hardly detectable until you apply several coats. I never realized how handy having such a low coverage marker would be until this one.

On my schedule next, I have a few digital cards to work on which are a lot of fun. I also want to work on making envelopes a little more interesting. I’ve had my eye on an envelope punch board that I might just have to pick up soon. Another technique that I’m very interested in trying is using masking fluid pen or drawing gum to preserve white space while using paint.

So far, creating these cards have been a real joy and I’ve only just begun. I can’t wait to send more little works of art in the mail very soon!

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Love Love Love


The voice of John Darnielle from the band The Mountain Goats poured into my mind on Saturday morning while I lazily cooked my eggs.

some things you do for money and some you do for love love love was the lyric that looped in my head from the song love love love.

I decided to sit down and draw the word ‘love’ over and over again as I thought the message from the song was distinctly clear.

The Sunset Tree is a collection of autobiographical music from Darnielle’s troubled childhood. While I was working on my drawing I listened to the song once again but the lyrics pointed to a message that became difficult to accept but very clear;

Love is wild and doesn’t always make sense. It is beautiful, but then it gets complicated.

Love can make you do great and unthinkable things.

I imagine that this message isn’t new information to anyone. It just feels more true to me lately than it has in years.

In the song’s lyrics, the audience is shown examples of historic and fictional characters who were clouded by love and the many forms that it takes. It showcases the damage that is done in the wake of being reached. This complication turned my drawing from a clean simple message to one that is finished with uncertainty.

Tools used:
Winsor & Newton watercolor marker
Pentel water brush

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