1. October 30, 2014
    QUICK TIP | decluttering for your email and desktop

    decluttering for your email and desktop | PINEGATE ROAD

    I don’t know about you, but once in a while I’ll have these ah-ha moments that come to me that are teeny tiny, but complete game-changers when it comes to approaching certain situations. Last fall I took a trip back home for a weekend alone at my parent’s unoccupied house. My goal for that weekend? To get to that etherial zero inbox. I was determined to sort through and reply to each and every one of those emails that were sitting there. After two days of solid inbox sorting, I left home euphoric. I did it!! I was finally the organized human my mom always wanted me to be!

    I can hear her sounding off one of her favorites line right now: If you live in a mess, you think in a mess.

    Thanks mom.

    As I sat down at my computer today, I looked at the little white number taunting me in that little red blob above my email client. It was quickly approaching a number that just made me squirm. My scroll bar was so teeny tiny from the massive amounts of scrolling that had to be done to even reach the end of the page. It was impossible to find anything, and I had a mild panic attack every time I looked at my email. Every time I went to my computer at home to be productive, there was that number. It was sitting there reinforcing ‘how busy I was‘ and how much of a procrastinator I was, and how much I couldn’t handle life. Hah, super lies, but lies that effected my self-confidence none-the-less.

    I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. I was over-whelmed with how cluttered my desktop was as I started really getting in to design work. Does anyone else love-love their screenshots? Then and there, I created a folder called sweeping and inside that I created a folder with that day’s date. I went over to the finder, highlighted every single file, and dragged it over to the dated folder. I had that same sense of euphoria that inbox zero gave me last fall. All my files were still in tact. Since, I’ve had so much more clarity going back to these folders if I ever needed to find something. I generally think about the time that I was using that reference and I have yet to not find what I was looking for. I definitely keep very organized with all of my normal files, but this was just for those extra things that somehow end up there. All the clutter.

    After a year of that little red bubble slowly growing, today I went into my preferences and made a sweeping folder for my email. All the emails are still searchable, the bubble no longer exists, and anything urgent I already have down in my day designer. I am good to go forward with a clear inbox, and a clear mind.

    In less than two minutes instead of a weekend.

    …there comes that euphoria again…

    SOURCE


  2. October 21, 2014
    baaaaack!

    Pinegate Road | print shop process

    After one month with my computer being out of commission, I’m happy to say that I’m back! So strange how weird I felt without it for that long. I’m spending this week getting caught up on projects and emails and getting my technology life back in order.

    You know how for the past couple months I’ve been fighting that perfectionism battle? A pretty cool realization came to me this past week. As I was away from my computer, it actually gave me more time to start the printing process for the shop. This whole shop process has been a little absurd. I don’t really have a plan — I’m acting off sheer gut feelings with this one. God-centered gut feelings I suppose. Just following that happiness thing. Anyways. While I’ve had conversations with my creatively-minded friends about this along the way, each one has told me that I should get this all professionally printed, and call it a day. Make the process easy. That just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, but I had the feeling that I needed to think a little harder about this, and create a process that felt more sound.

    Over the past five years or so, I’ve been searching for what’s missing in most situations. Throughout all that I do I make a little ‘feels wrong, feels right’ mental checklist. When new opportunities come along, I go back to this and decide on them based on how previous experiences made me feel. Right now, what’s been missing for me most has been making. I sit on the computer all day at work. There is so much screen time. Occasionally I’ll throw some hand-lettering in there, but I’m never spending a day, or hours just working with my hands on a regular basis. Working tangibly has always been in my nature — my second nature. I most often try to bring in tangible objects that I style and then photograph before adding into web design. To me, working with my hands as a basis for creative endeavors just makes sense, even when they themselves are not the end product. Without even noticing it, I started creating this new shop around two processes that were new to me: block printing and hand-stamping. I’m sure I’ve seen videos or had chats with classmates over the years about both of these processes, but this time around I took the urge to physically make and just ran with it. It’s what I was missing, and creatively called to experiment with. No questions asked. As I started the process, I felt myself getting frustrated with how imperfect each of the prints were turning out. Why were they all looking so different from eachother? Why didn’t I keep still enough while stamping this one? Where did that extra splotch of ink come from? As I printed, I started to doubt myself, my ability, and how people would react to something so imperfect. But I kept printing. I figured out certain ways to roll on the ink, ways to press in to the acrylic sheets, how long and where to push into the stamp. In each print, I started to find the beauty in this imperfect process. There was my lesson in perfectionism. I truly believe that with each print I make, the more I start to understand how imperfect occurrences are what makes life special. Unique. Perfect in it’s own way. And that’s what makes these prints special. They are created from my imperfect hands, to yours.

    These prints are each lettered with words that have resonated with me along my creative journey, and are thoughts that I often need reminding of. It’s my hope that they might be able to be a little reminder to find beauty in the differences, and to give you a little jolt of motivation to go forth on your own creative path.

    I’m looking forward to tying up the loose ends and getting this live. Crossing my fingers things are still on track for an early November launch. Until then… 


  3. October 13, 2014
    Happy Blogiversary Ciera + life update

    Ciera Design Celebrates 5 Years of Blogging with a Giveaway

    Happy Monday all! Blogging has certainly not been my forté lately, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to celebrate one of my longest blog-friends blogging anniversary! She set up this amazing giveaway, and I’ve partnered with many of our other blog friends to give one of our readers an amazing gift. See the details below!

    While I’m all logged in to my blog and all, I thought I might give a little update on what’s been going on around here. Unfortunately, when I upgraded my phone last month, starting this process led to a string of mishaps with both my phone, my computer, all my files, my hard drive, and just…welll,  a lot of everything that I use to do my freelance work and general technological life outside of work work. I’m still in the midst of getting everything figured out — I’ve made more trips to Apple than I’d like to admit, and every time I think everything is OK something else seems to pop up when I come back home ready to get going again. I lost all my files from the past year and a half, and I’m working on just getting my computer back up and running so that I’m able to re-create some of the projects that I’ve been working on with clients lately. It’s a mess, and well, sometimes this stuff happens.

    On top of the technology issues, I’ve been doing a bit of freelance lettering for the lettering studio here at work (a dream come true!!), and I’ve been working on getting my printing process down so that I can get this new art print shop up and running by the end of the month. This has all been a little hard to manage without a working computer at home, but I’m hopeful things will stay on schedule. So many fingers crossed, and a photoshoot scheduled on Saturday. Computer, please be all better by then?

    Can’t wait to be back and posting more regularly soon. In the meantime, check out Ciera’s giveaway, and I hope you all are having a great October!

    +++

    Let’s join in the fun and help Ciera Design celebrate 5 years of blogging this month! It’s such an exciting accomplishment and what better way to celebrate than by giving away a special gift to our amazing readers? One lucky person will receive a $400 prepaid MasterCard that can be spent anywhere in the world that accepts Debit MasterCards. Yep, this isn’t a dream! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thanks to the lovely sponsors who made this possible!

    Ciera Design | Kory Woodard | Yellow Heart Art | Rebecca Lately
    Patti Murphy Designs | Anna Delores | Cocorrina | Rachel The Hat | Fashiony Fab
    Sugar and Type | Squirrelly Minds | High Walls | The Nectar Collective
    The Proper Pinwheel | Ex Vitae | Fry Sauce & Grits | A Ruffled Life
    Pinegate Road | Buckets & Spades | A Girl Named PJ | Sarah Hearts | Tara Victoria

    This giveaway will be running until October 27th, 2014 and is opened to international readers!


  4. September 18, 2014
    PGR CHALLENGE | one

    PGR CHALLENGE | one

    Pinegate Road Challenge: Schedule a date with an old friend 

    This week has been an interesting one. Todd has been away on a family vacation, and I took this opportunity away from girlfriend duty to schedule a few out of the ordinary weekday activities. A la, going to a fashion show tonight! Hah. Anyways. There was a bit of a theme with this week. Both Tuesday and last night I met up with two friends who I hadn’t talked to in years. And I’ll let you know, I was nervous! All of these weird self-doubting thoughts came to me before we met up — I was worried I’d have nothing to talk about, or that I wasn’t going to be the same kind of person that they remembered me as. Have I ever run out of things to talk about? No. Has my personality changed so drastically in the past years that these friends would not see me as the same person? No, and yes I sound crazy. Did I almost want to cancel both of these meet-ups because the anxiety of the unknown told me that it was easier to stay in my sweatpants and work on freelance that night? Absolutely. I felt like I was online dating all over again.

    But I showed up. And you know what? These were two absolutely needed, thrilling, exciting, and inspiring chats that I can’t believe I was even fearing. I feel so motivated to keep these two women in my life for so many reasons, and I can’t believe that we had gone so long without each other in our lives. It just goes to show that when you do have had a connection like these in the past, there’s probably still going to be an awesome connection years later.

    This week I learned the importance of having support from friends outside of my day-to-day life situations. It’s easy to get caught up in the here and now and not make time for things that are out of the norm. At least it is for me. As I go about my creative journey, I realize that it is so much more than sharing artistic ventures, and so much about how you go about living your day-to-day life. It’s in these conversations that I found so much creative potential and joy to just laugh and live and explore new ventures. Happiness support.

    I thought for this week, my little personal ‘lesson learned’ could turn in to something more. I’d love to challenge you to set up a skype date, a coffee date, or a dinner date with a friend that you haven’t talked with for a while. Remember that lady who always used to bring a smile to your face, that had that contagious laughter, or the one you could sit around and talk about anything with for hours? Yeah? Shoot her a text, and see how she’s doing. You’ll probably be surprised to find out how invigorating and inspiring that hour chat can be!

    So, who’s with me? Use the hashtag #PGRchallenge to keep me updated, and let me know if you’re up for this weeks venture!


  5. September 9, 2014
    IN REVIEW | july + august 2014

    Pinegate-Road-July-and-August-2014-in-review

    JULY: Celebrations, cool summer nights, and finding my freelance groove. Todd and I went to my parent’s home for the Fourth, and then came back to celebrate with friends on the fifth. Rowing was in full swing, and I spent more nights than I can count out grabbing dinner and drinks al fresco with friends. My dear friend from Iowa came to visit for a long weekend, and it was so nice to jump right back to where we left off when last seeing eachother. It was also interesting to see how we have been growing in the same direction with so many aspects in our lives — homes, boyfriends, jobs, faith — just so cool. I did a couple freelance projects over the month, and also solidified the direction for Pinegate Road’s new refresh. Crossing my fingers I get my butt in gear to get it for real done by 2015!

    AUGUST: Looking within, lowering expectations, finding a balance. This month was all about finding an internal balance. For the first time I came to some realizations about myself and the way I go about life that had me switching things up. I faced that perfectionism issue head on, and it’s something that I have brought with me every single day to work on. September always marks a kind of new beginning for me. My birthday is on the 2nd, and I really take a look at my goals that I set in January to see what still needs to be taken into consideration for the remainder of the year. August was about setting the foundation for some serious growing up. Along with all of that jazz, Todd and I took a trip to visit my grandparents in Chicago, went to a handful of German dancing events, and squeezed in a few Sunday night cookouts and puppy snuggles along the way. I’m not saying growing up has to be not-fun (!). If this month had a theme, it would be that I focused on reassessing where I was at in life, and what small steps I could take to live out my happy.

    Oh, and I made some art prints! I’ve been working on a hand-stamped lettering collection aimed at giving creatives motivation and inspiration in their workspace. I have three of them in, and I used them for a poster series that was featured at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest a couple weeks ago. All that I need to do now is get the supplies I need to be able to ship them out to buyers (you!?), photograph them, and get them up in the new partially-done Pinegate Road Shop. I don’t know why this all seems harder to do in my head than it sounds typing it out here. My goal is to have this all prepped to start selling by October! Crossing my fingers I find all that motivation ;)

    Cheers to crisp weather, creative pursuits, and taking some much-deserved lazy Saturdays.

    As always, you can follow along with my creative process on a more regular basis here. Happy September!


  6. September 8, 2014
    MONDAY MUSING | 5 | the creative process

    the creative process | PINEGATE ROAD

    A good friend of mine sent this copy along to me last week, and I giggled out loud reading it. I bet I’m not the only one who’s creative process resembles this. Here’s to more awesome days, and less of number fours.

    COPY SOURCE


  7. September 4, 2014
    Pinegate Road reader survey results

    Pinegate Road reader survey results 2014

    You guys are the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the survey that was posted last week. Your answers and suggestions are helping me brainstorm and plan in so many ways. It’s getting me pretty excited! This will certainly not be the last of the reader surveys, that’s for sure.

    Annnnnnd, here’s probably what you’re really waiting for…

    The recipient of the $50 Etsy gift certificate goes to the lovely Chelcey Tate!

    Thanks again everyone! Hope you’re having a great week. Chelcey, I’ll be in touch with you shortly about the gift card.


  8. August 28, 2014
    6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing

    6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing

    While the juggle of freelance and other commitments has been something I’ve been trying to balance for a little over five years, this past year was the first time I took on the responsibility of full time employment. This has been a hard transition for me, as I’ve had the tendency to bite off way more than I can chew. Literally and figuratively — I’ve been to the doctors a couple times this year because food keeps getting stuck in my throat! Serious there, but kidding aside, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that have been born out of some serious mistakes as well as taking notes on what was going well. If I can give you one over-arching tip, it’s to notice what’s going right, and to keep doing that.

    Anyways, here are my 6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing on the side:

    1: Specialize

    Since moving to Ohio, I have worked on all sorts of projects on the side. I’ve taken on styling and photography, copywriting, consulting, branding, web design…the list goes on. What I’ve been learning over this past year is that I feel best when I am working on shorter-term projects. For now, I’m trying to focus on contract lettering projects. I can concept and letter over my lunch breaks, and then come home to edit and send off finals and be done with a project within a week. Getting work out the door on my off time, while still having a weekend full of fun feels incredible. I give this up a little when I take on bigger projects that require full-days of work that I can only do on the weekends. I’ll take them on here and there, but for now my heart is with these lettering projects because of the flexibility they afford my schedule and the passion I have towards doing them.

    2: Under promise, over-deliver, and over-estimate

    Over-promised, missed deadlines, apologies, and guilt. Been there, and I’m through. Keep lofty goals to yourself, and tell your clients about half of what you hope to accomplish. It’s not deceitful, it’s just honest. I’d much rather the client be happy with what they 1: assume they are getting and 2: a little something extra, than to be promised something huge and grand and end up with something less than. This is a huge one that I’m still working on. I get ahead of myself, and I let my passions speak louder than what my time allows. Also, over-estimate the time that it will take you to complete a task. Unless you’re up against a strict client-given deadline for a certain deliverable, double up the time you think you could get it done in. If you get it done early, your client is happy, and you’re happy! If you run in to snags, you have that buffer time to smooth them out.

    3: Learn to say no, to say yes

    My 2013 goal was to learn to say no. It’s treated me well. When you’re working a full time job, you usually have the liberty to take on only the projects that you’re super passionate about. Your regular work pays the bills, and the freelance is a little something extra. When you’re taking on these extra projects, they should be fun. This is one of the huge perks of doing both! You get great creative projects to do at work, and you get different projects to balance out those other creative needs on the side. Say no to anything that doesn’t immediately have you saying heck yes! When you say no to the so-so, it opens your schedule to say yes to the thrilling projects when they do come along. It’s so worth it.

    4: Connect with peers in and out of work

    Working for a creative company, I’m lucky to have so many other people who are in this very same position. A group of us have a monthly sushi lunch where we catch up with our lives, and usually end up talking through the struggles and benefits of doing this working full time and freelancing thing. Being a blogger also lead me to finding one of my creative soul sisters at work, which has lead to us collaborating and chatting about so many things we tackle in life as creatives. Outside of work, it’s been important to me to connect to others through instagram, by leaving comments on others’ blogs, and to be active in the online creative community. I definietely had my moments where it was all too much, but a blog post here, a ‘great job’ comment there, it all adds up! All of this leads to a network of people that are there for you in different but necessary ways. These connections help keep me inspired, and they help me gauge some of that ‘what’s going right’ business. It’s too much burden to be a solitary creative. Reach out, open up, and find out the possibilities of what some of these creative relationships can do for you all!

    5: Take smaller bites

    This is something that I’ve been learning since I went to Pursue in April. One of the speakers (eeep, I can’t remember who! Giving myself a wrist-slap) showed us how writing out to-do lists for our to-do lists in teeny tiny steps actually helps you get more accomplished. Herm!? Yeah. So what you do is that for each task you have that seems a little daunting or that you can’t quite make yourself manage, you write out every tiny step that is put in to that to-do item. Maybe it’s as simple as buying a new calligraphy pen — yeah, lettering girl at heart here. For example:

    1 – open safari

    2 – google ‘calligraphy pen’

    3 – browse for a calligraphy pen shop

    4 – compare prices at different shops

    5 – choose which one works for you

    6 – put it in your cart

    7 – get out your wallet

    8 – type in your card info

    9 – click purchase

    10 – celebrate!

    Kidding, kind of, on that celebration part, but honestly this does work. I’ve been breaking up to-do’s at work and it has been helping me manage things that seem a little daunting to me. By breaking up to-do’s for freelance, I’m able to get small aspects of work done on my lunch breaks that I would have otherwise spent worrying about how I was going to get the whole project done during the nights that week. Taking bite-sized pieces of work, and of food, is just the way to go for a more productive you.

    6: Give yourself grace

    This is the biggest one of all. I have extremely high expectations for myself, and it’s bitten me in the butt in the form of emotional sabotage waaaay too many times. Look at you, you’re basically working two jobs! That’s excellent! You did your dishes this week? CONGRATS. Learn to give yourself the opportunity to mess up, and learn in the process. Smile and solve when something does go wrong. The freaking out wont help the matter. I realize this is all simpler said than done, but it’s something I try and remember when I feel like I’m just going about life all wrong.

    +++

    And that’s that! For those of you who are working full time and freelancing, do you have anything else to add? This is certainly a work in progress, and I know we’re all just trying to figure it out one day at a time. Hope this helps full time workers, freelancers, and anyone just trying to manage their work load.

    PS: you’ve got this!

    SOURCE


  9. August 25, 2014
    MONDAY MUSING | 4

    monday musing | 4 | Pinegate Road

    As I’ve been working through some of those perfectionist tendencies, one of the biggest takeaways was how much worrying and talking and figuring out I was doing versus how much action I was actually taking. I’ve always been an advocate of ‘actions speak louder than words’ mentality, and here I was sitting around talking about all the things that I could be doing to reach my goals. I’d been telling Todd for months how I was going to write a budget and really get in control of my finances, or how I was going to take a few hours to myself to finally get this site redesign underway.

    This past week, I decided to ditch the perfection, and lean in to the doing. What came out of it in one week was incredible. I felt so productive, and I actually started to realize how getting things done imperfectly feels more perfect than any of that worrying ever did. Everything I’ll do in life will still be a work in progress, but the only way to get to where I want to go is to take those small steps and actually take action. In my free-time this week I was able to write my budget, launch a blog survey (finally), send off the homepage and structure for this site redesign, and then take the entire weekend off to go to a German festival in Toledo. Work and play. Definitely messy, but worth it. I focused less on what I wasn’t accomplishing—which paralyses me in to non-action—and focused on all the little steps that I was taking to propel my goals forward.

    Today, my eyes are definitely sparkling.

    PS: Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete the reader survey. I can’t believe I have gone so long without getting any of your input — it’s been amazing to hear. If you haven’t completed it, you still have time to do so for your chance to win a $50 Etsy gift card. Hope you have a great week!


  10. August 22, 2014
    survey + $50 etsy gift card giveaway!

    2014 Pinegate Road Reader Survey + $50 Etsy gift card giveaway

    Guys, I’m in some major need of ‘figuring it out.’ Pinegate Road just turned three, and not once have I held a reader survey. Eeep!

    As part of my goals for this year, I wanted to edit down certain things in my life. As Pinegate Road has grown—and turned, and paused—over the years, I’ve never had a great grasp at exactly what has been going on here. That’s just the honest truth. It’s been my little place for experimenting with design, connecting with new friends, and sharing what I’m trying to work through. It’s my hope that over the next year as I continue to settle in to work and my life here in Cleveland, I start to really settle in to what Pinegate Road can bring to YOU. In order to do that, I have to do my research, and figure out more about who you are. I’d love if you could click below and spend three minutes, tops, giving me some invaluable information.

    TAKE THE SURVEY

    The survey is 10 questions long, and they are all answers you can click on. Yay! After you’re through, please leave a comment on this post letting me know you completed the survey. Optionally, it would be so appreciated if you left any feedback about Pinegate Road, what you like / what you dislike / what you’d like to see in the future / etc. with that comment. Anything goes. This will help me re-focus and shape Pinegate Road for the future.

    As a thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts, I’ll be randomly selecting from the comments on this post and sending out a $50 Etsy gift card to one reader. Hint, hint: you could get a lovely ceramic addition from Emily’s shop when she’s back from vacation! While the survey will be open for the next couple months, and I’d appreciate feedback at any time, the winner will be chosen from those who leave a comment by midnight next Friday (August 29, 2014).

    Thanks everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    SOURCE













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A GIRL WHO MAKES
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BREANNA ROSE
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