I picked up these rain boots at a really cute second-hand / vintage shop in Brooklyn. I can't decide if these boots make me feel tough (bring it, rain puddle!) or more like a kid (hello, rain puddle!) - either way, I love them.
Tank - American Apparel
Shorts & Socks - Target
Belt - Thrifted (over a decade ago)
Rain Boots - Michael Kors
Necklace - Lifesaver
I will often start my day by watching music video after music video - this morning, like many other mornings before, those music videos featured Beyonce. This girl crush started in 2003 when Beyonce released her music video Crazy In Love. I remember I was 21 and in my parents living room trying to recreate her moves, with my sister, on a Saturday afternoon. There was booty shaking and dropping and maybe a sprained hamstring. And now with her new video Run The World I've got some new shoulder-popping, hair-whipping moves to learn. Let's hope I don't throw anything out of socket.
If I was Beyonce (I often play this if game) I would spend my days dancing in front of a mirror - falling madly, deeply in love with myself. If I was Beyonce I would bathe myself in glitter and creativity while Jay-Z watched. I would call up my pal Lady Gaga and invite her to rule the world with me.
It's that time again. I want to know who you're girl crushing on at the moment.
When Dina Avila was ready to give her photography business a new look she contacted me to design a logo. We emailed back and forth to discuss her focus - her point-of-view. Dina specializes in shooting food and portraits - and she loves dark wood, distressed leather, old books and jazz. And she's kind of obsessed with very old, tarnished silverware. She sounds like my kind of gal.
I really latched onto and found inspiration in the idea of silverware + old books. I decided I wanted to design a logo that could be found on the back of a spoon, on the bottom of antique china or in the front cover of an old book.
But I also loved how the letters in Dina Avila seemed to mirror each other. So I played with a few ideas.
I always start designing logos in black & greyscale - it keeps me focused on the form of the design. Then I start to bring in color to give it a little life.
My ultimate goal was to design a logo that reflects the aesthetic and personality of Dina while also positioning her as a professional photographer. Dina wants to come across as warm and open but also professional (but not in a corporate way).
I played around with a few different ideas and settled on a really simple type treatment - I loved the mirrored As. I thought it was really elegant with a little bit of quirk. But Dina was a little concerned that it might be confusing - so from there I flipped the A back around and started playing with incorporating flourishes.
It's also important to see how a logo scales from large (imagine it on a billboard or large banner) to small (like on a business card or web banner).
Dina fell in love with this version of the logo and from there I finalized the colors and packaged it up for her.
When I send over a final logo I include color versions for print (Pantone & CMYK) and web (RGB) in multiple file formats (vector, JPEG, Tiff, etc.) - that way the client will always have exactly what they need for various applications.
Dina was such a pleasure to work with and I love the final logo. You can see more of Dina's work here.
Other identity / logo projects:
• Clyde's Rebirth
• Pip & Estella
• Sweet B
Yesterday I wore my favorite skirt. It's grey, high-waisted and denim.
I wore it to grab lunch and catch up with an old friend / former coworker. We talked about freelance life, nose jobs and babies.
I wore it to a client meeting and worried about looking a little too Pretty Woman.
I wore it as I designed one of the last wedding invitations I've still got on my plate.
And I wore until the skies turned ominous and Oklahoma was put under a serious tornado watch. Because if I die in a natural disaster ... I want to be wearing My Favorite Jeans.
skirt - I Heart Ronson for JCP
camisole - American Apparel
wedges - vintage
jewelry - grandma's
I've mentioned before that curry is my go-to meal. When I don't know what to cook I always end up making a curry dish. And in general, Indian food is what I cook the most - it's just so easy to pack a lot of flavor in a relatively simple dish.
I've never really made Tikka Masala so I decided to wing it based off of what I've tasted in restaurants. I wasn't sure which spices & flavors would go together - but a friend of mine taught me a great cooking tip - just smell the spices & ingredients - if they smell good together they'll taste great when combined as well.
Potato & Mushroom Tikka Masala
6 small potatoes
2 packages of white mushrooms (remove stems)
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
2-3 tbs tomato paste (or a fresh tomato or two, finely chopped)
1/2 can of coconut milk (or you can use a full can if you like more sauce)
2 tbs Tikka Masala spice
1 tbs Garam Masala spice
Salt & Pepper
1 cup dry brown rice (makes 2 cooked)
Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash your potatoes and mushrooms. Cut each mushroom in half and throw in a large bowl. Cut your potatoes into .5" cubes - add to the bowl with the mushrooms. Toss with 2 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of tikka masala. Roast in the oven for 35 - 45 minutes. Toss half-way through so all potatoes cook evenly. Meanwhile, cook your brown rice.
Finely chop an onion in a food processor (almost puree). In a large pot heat a little olive oil. Add the onion and cook for a couple minutes. Finely chop your garlic and add that as well. After the garlic has cooked for a minute add your garam masala - let this cook until the fragrance is released. Then add your tomato paste and mix it all together. Add your roasted potatoes and mushrooms - top off with the coconut milk. Let it all simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice.
So. Uh. Can we talk about armpits for a second? Because the weather is heating up around here and it's a real issue.
• Jeremy does not have body odor. His armpits just don't smell. He never has to wear deodorant.
• I do.
• But I'm freaked out about aluminum in my deodorant. Aluminum zirconium is an ingredient found in many mainstream antiperspirants that is linked to Alzheimer's and cancer.
When I started to change the way I eat (a mostly local, non-processed diet) I also made some other significant changes in the products I use - starting with deodorant. Over the past year, I've tried a variety of deodorants from hippie powder to rubbing crystals on my armpits to spritzing tea tree oil on my armpits. A lot of methods failed miserably but I've found a few things that do work.
Scent of Samadhi
My brother's girlfriend introduced me to this one a while back. It's a powder that smells really good (it almost doubles as perfume) - you take just a tiny pinch and rub it into your armpits. It's best for cooler weather.
Aromarant Deodorant by Lush
Aromarant works by absorbing odours with microfine sodium bicarbonate and it tightens the pores with an infusion of witch hazel and lemons. Sandalwood essential oil gives you a lovely scent to waft around whenever you raise your arms.
This deodorant was a birthday gift from my gym buddy, Liz. We talk about all sorts of stuff before our workouts - from food to makeup to boys. And if you talk to me for more than 10 minutes you're probably going to hear about my armpits and my quest for the perfect deodorant. So, Liz picked up a block of this for me and I think it's the one. I like to use it in combination with Scent of Samadhi.
The first time I was ever recognized in public from the blog I was enjoying happy hour on a rooftop with friends. Talking about my armpits.
DeoDry by The Body Shop
I picked this stick of DeoDry when I purchased my hot pink lipstick from The Body Shop. It smells really good and it doesn't contain any parabens or aluminum.
I still sweat with all of these. But maybe that's okay. If my body needs to sweat maybe I should let it.
So let's hear it. What kind of deodorant do you use? Does anyone else think or talk about their armpits as much as I do?
I have a lot of experience art directing from behind the camera (I used to like to tell people I'm like Mr. Jay from America's Next Top Model when describing my job) - but sometimes I'm asked to be in front of the camera too. Which blows my mind because my face is a little asymmetrical and I'm not a size zero. But just like I'm always game for a round of karaoke (and I'm a terrible singer y'all) I'm never shy about pretending to be a model.
So recently my friend Erin of Pippin + Pearl asked me if I would model her 2011 Sping / Summer collection and I was more than happy to oblige. She also recruited my friend Keri and a really gorgeous (and super sweet) Brooke Shields look-a-like named Taryn. We had so much fun at this shoot and I fell in love with all of Erin's designs.
See more of the collection (and yours truly) over at Pippin + Pearl.
Last month when we went to Brooklyn I hardly took any photos. I think I'm alright at documenting and sharing the big adventures, the details, my outfits and my work. But when it comes to living real life - that's a little more difficult to capture.
The candid, real life stuff always seems to fall flat or come out double-chinny. Or maybe it's just impossible to for my photos to give justice to the way I feel when I watch stuff like my brother check his mail or Jeremy prepping our taxes - in case you are wondering, that feeling is love.
Or maybe I'm just not good enough at making real-life scenes look perfectly art directed - like snapshots of scenes from a beautiful Wes Anderson movie. And as an art director that kills me.
I want my stills to translate what I'm actually seeing. What I'm actually feeling.
Just like I refuse to call myself a runner I would never call myself a photographer. The word photographer is reserved for people who can really take a picture - people whom I admire for their ability to make real-life translate on film. People like Ryan. And Jason. And Simon. And Broderick, Kathy, and Bryan.
These people make me look at my own photos and say "Who in the hell do you think you are?" But despite those hard feelings on myself I have always had this urge to point and shoot. I have this drive to marry photography with design and make life as I see it translate. So this is me committing to stepping it up. I'm ready.
For the longest time the flour I had been buying came in a large gallon-sized zip-lock bag. So, when the packaging had been updated (I'm assuming it's the same producer) I was really excited about it. I love the way it's designed and printed - bold primary colors on a low thread-count cotton, and slightly off-registered in places. It's either really unassuming and down-to-earth or a genius designed it to look super honest and down-to-earth.
Update: I get all of my groceries (bulk, veggies, etc.) from Native Roots Market in Norman, Oklahoma. They support the local food system and get lots of goodies from local farmers. I also go to the OSU-OKC farmers market (all local) on Saturdays at 10th and Portland and on Wednesdays at the OSU-OKC Chesapeake farmers market (summer only) - these farmers markets have vendors that carry local flour, jams, veggies, mushrooms, etc.
I recently designed a very important grad-school paper for my friend Sarah who is getting a masters degree in saving the world. In exchange she sent me some amazing homemade peanut butter cups (24 peanut butter cups, to be specific, that I ate in about 2 days flat) and this really neat tiny sea urchin air plant. Sometimes I stare at it for a while and sing "Part of this World" to myself.
We have seriously slacked on landscaping for the last year. I was starting to feel like that bad neighbor with the worst yard on the block. So Jeremy and I spent an evening pulling weeds and cleaning up the front lawn. I was thinking that I wanted to plant some Hosta in our front planters but was doubting my decision based on how much sun they would get and the fact that I know almost NOTHING about plants and landscaping. That's when my neighbor walked by and said "You should plant some Hosta there." This neighbor is a single, matter-of-fact, older woman who takes her dog, Otto, on a walk at least twice a day. She's not particularly cheerful and mostly keeps to herself. So when she told me I should plant Hosta I took it as a sign. I immediately went out and bought 8 of them. I felt like such a good neighbor and homeowner as I transplanted them from their little plastic pots into the earth.
Next up is getting our veggie garden back in order. We haven't had a chance to get a good start on it but I'm thinking I'll stick to tomatoes and herbs this year.
Are you guys tackling any fun landscaping or veggie garden projects?
I get a lot of questions about freelancing - so I've decided to create a whole Freelance Matters as a part of the Matters Series. Some of the topics will include organization, time management, accounting, landing clients, collaborating, pitching and more. Today I want to kick off the Freelance Matters series with project management.
When I first started freelancing I would have an average of 4-6 projects in the works at any given time. I was able to keep track of my deadlines and work flow in my head. A year later I typically have 12-16 projects on my to-do list at any given time - keeping track of my work load and major deadlines in my head and on random to-do lists was driving me insane. I knew I needed to get a system for project management in place. So, I went to Target and loaded up on 9" x 12" manilla envelopes and scotch tape. I introduced the job jacket into my life.
This day in age, where everything can be managed online, there is something about having a physical representation of a job in hand. It's where all the important information is stored and at a glance you can see the status of a job at any given time.
MY JOB JACKETS
Here is how I structure my job jacket, for now. I know as I grow and change so will the information I include on my job jacket.
1. My logo and contact information (letterhead)
2. A bold one-word description of the invitation
3. Client contact information
4. Invoice # (designated in Freshbooks) & Date Opened
1. Job Description & Specs: Here I include the size and print information for all the materials I'm designing.
2. Projected Timeline: Here I include all the major deadlines with little check boxes next to them.
3. Printing Information: Here is where I keep track of whether or not I've requested a print quote, which printer I'm using and the final estimate amount.
4. Shipping Information: Here is where I include when I shipped a project, the tracking # and the final shipping amount.
5. Financials at a Glance: I keep track of my financials in Freshbooks but it's good to have it on paper so I can see exactly how much I'm spending (expenses) and am making (profit) on a project.
6. Art Direction: Here is where I include a little blurb about art direction. I may have more information to go on (like in an email from my client or sketches from my notebook) but here is where I bullet point the general look and feel of a project.
7. Notes: Here is where I include any additional notes about a project. It can be anything from sketches to notes about when the client is going to be unavailable.
INSIDE THE JOB JACKET
I keep my initial design mock-ups, extra notes, my invoice and client estimate and final print specs inside the physical job jacket.
I have a post-it note on each job jacket with a bold deadline - this date is usually when an initial design is due or when a job is supposed to go to print.
I stack my job jackets in order of importance. Whatever job jacket is on top of the stack is the job I need to work on at that moment. When I finish a task I check a box off the task-list (projected timeline) and move the job jacket to the bottom of the stack.
Utilizing job jackets for project management has made freelance life so much more efficient. If you want to utilize this system for your own workflow I would recommend the following:
• Figure out your process - Take notes on how you work. What steps come first? Find points in the process where you are inefficient. For me, it was constantly having to look at my original specs for a job - which is why I include them on the front of my job jacket.
• Organize & refine your process - I clearly block out how a job comes through my office from start to finish on my job jacket.
• Be brief - Bullets and lines are your friend. It defeats the point if you are too detailed on your job jacket.
If you have any more questions about project management ask away in the comments section. I'm also available for consulting if you need help organizing your own work flow. And as always, please let me know if there are other Freelance Matters issues you would like me to address in the future.
• TO-DO Matters
• Online Tools I Use for Freelancing
• All posts tagged Freelance
Everyone needs lipstick to match their favorite bra, right? Right.
After a wonderfully busy week I took an hour yesterday to get some new makeup. It was girly, indulgent and exactly what I needed.
Lipstick: The Body Shop, Colourglide Lip Color in 59 Neon Pink.
Bra & Tank: American Apparel
I get asked for quotes on blog redesigns quite a bit. Because I am not a web developer or coder I always offer an estimate for the design of blog elements (such as a header and sidebar buttons) as well as a styling recommendation for fonts and photo treatments.
Jodi hired me a while back to rebrand her blog. Jodi had been blogging for over 10 years and was ready to elevate the design of her site - to have a custom look and feel that represented the words and stories she tells. Jodi writes candidly about being a wife and a parent - wading through a complicated world. She is spiritual, curious and sometimes a "mess of emotions" (her words, not mine) - but her love for her children never wavers. Jodi is loyal to her blog readers - always offering up DIY projects and recipes. And her readers are loyal back - always appreciating the stories Jodi has to tell - from her brutal honesty to the more lighthearted side of life.
I started by designing the blog header. After discussing creative direction with Jodi I really took the time to become acquainted with the content and stories she tells on her blog. I was especially inspired when Jodi said this to me in an email: "Being mindful is a huge part of what I do on a day to day basis and that living inside of these personal boundaries comes all kinds of freedoms and joy.” I knew that I wanted to use real-life textures - like notebook paper and watercolor. Even though Jodi's blog exists online her stories often feel as if they could be written in a personal journal or letter. I wanted to contrast those textures with a blocky typeface - I ended up drawing an alphabet specifically for this project. Another fun tidbit: I used an actual sample of Jodi's handwriting for the subhead "i tell stories" - making it that much more personal and real.
After nailing down the look and feel by designing the header I moved on to the sidebar button designs and an overall recommendation for layout and post styling. I advised for a streamlined, clean layout - but as Jodi worked with a web developer to implement my design they ended up going in a different direction with the overall layout of the site.
This project was really fun to work on. Jodi was a really rad client and at times when she started to feel nervous about certain things she trusted me to listen to her and use my expertise to guide her in the right direction.
See more at Jodi's blog here.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS:
I made this quiche last night. I was kind of worried because I over-beat the egg & yogurt mixture into something more like a mirengue, but when Jeremy took his first bite he started going on and on about how delicious it was - how the eggs and cheese perfectly blended together and melted in his mouth.
I asked him if diary tastes better now, if it's more like a special treat, now that we eat a mostly vegan diet. It didn't even occur to him - but as he was describing his first bite of quiche in detail that's the first thing that came to my mind. We'll eat dairy in our meals about once a week - but my "rule" for myself is that it has to be local - and I'll usually just use one dairy ingredient like eggs or cheese - so a quiche featuring eggs, yogurt and cheese was definitely a rare treat.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS:
I've been light on posting about what we eat because I'm in a cooking rut - I make the same things over and over - saag "paneer" on Mondays, some sort of curry on Tuesdays, pasta on Wednesdays, lentils and rice on Thursdays - and so on. This cooking rut combined with all the really sweet emails and comments about my food posts finally gave me the motivation to create a "What We Eat" link. If you want to browse just my food posts click the "What We Eat" button in the right hand sidebar.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS:
I was recently asked if I am planning on making a cookbook. The answer is no. I don't have that much faith in my recipes - but I would LOVE to one day style and design a cookbook for someone else. So I'm just going to throw that idea out to the universe.
2 cups of whole wheat flour (I used spelt here)
.25 cup of olive oil
.5 cup of cold water
Zest of one lemon
1 head of broccoli, chopped
4 oz. of cheese, grated (I used Lovera's Hand Formed Caciocavera - but you can use anything you like here)
.25 cup of greek yogurt
Salt and pepper
You can mix this by hand with a fork, in a bowl, or use a food processor using the following steps: Combine the flour, lemon zest and 1 tsp of salt. Mix in the 1/4 cup of olive oil (drizzle and mix at the same time). Then slowly add your water while mixing (note: I didn't need the full 1/2 cup) until the dough sticks together. On a lightly floured surface roll your dough out to about 12" - lift and put in a pan (I used an 8" square pan). Poke holes with a fork into the crust. Stick the pan / crust into your freezer as you preheat your oven to 375F. When oven is heated cover the pan / crust with parchment paper and place on the center rack for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the heat down to 350F.
Layer your grated cheese onto the cooked crust. Layer your broccoli on top of that. Mix your eggs, yogurt, salt and pepper in a bowl - when combined pour, evenly, on top of your broccoli. Stick the pan, uncovered, back into the oven for 35 - 45 minutes at 350F. You will know it's done with the egg mixture is cooked through.
This recipe serves 4 people.
Ingredients in green are local.
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- ► 2012 (182)
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Rainy Day
- Girl Crush: Beyonce
- Identity: Dina Avila Photography
- Anatomy of an Outfit: My Favorite Skirt
- Potato and Mushroom Tikka Masala
- Armpit Matters
- Model Behavior
- Local Flour + Rad Packaging
- Will Work for Chocolate and Plants
- Freelance Matters | Project Management
- Hot Pink
- Blog Design: Jodi Michelle
- Broccoli Quiche
- Anatomy of an Outfit: THE Boots
- Run as fast as you can.
- Seen and Heard: Jabee
- 11 Months Freelance
- We Relay Well
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Sweet Summer
- ▼ May (22)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings