1. December 9, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | jen serafini, designer & blogger

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’ve been following along with Jen Serafini and her design for a little bit now, and I just knew she was the perfect next person to ask to be in this column. She shares about her process, her inspiration, and all about design over on her blog — she’s definitely a girl of my own heart in those regards. I hope that you enjoy this peek into Jen’s space and process as much as I did! Also, that wood-topped desk is incredibly dreamy and has me thinking about making my own version over here shortly. 

    Hi! I’m Jen Serafini, an art director and graphic designer living in the Windy city with my husband and little pup. I spent four years at Syracuse University where I earned my BFA in communications design. It really taught me to look at design as a holistic and strategic process that goes beyond just a pretty picture. When everything comes together and tells a cohesive story, that’s the good stuff. Currently, I work as a senior designer at Pinch Provisions and take on my own freelance clients as well. When I’m not designing, you can find me making pizza with my husband, decorating my apartment (over & over), eating sour candy, traveling, and endlessly searching for the perfect NYC bagel out here in the midwest.

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | desk detials | PINEGATE ROAD

    What gets you jazzed?

    Exceptional typography, a great pair of shoes, editorial design, black and white patterns, bold colors, new york pizza & bagels, sour candy, a glass of red wine, the couch and my husband (and pup)

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    Lately I’ve been trying to step away from the computer and find inspiration in my surroundings. Chicago has such a talented creative community and I’m always blown away by the passion and pride that’s derived in this city. Whether it’s a photo shoot or a design conference, meeting other driven creative people and hearing their stories leaves me feeling so energized, inspired and excited to create.

    When I’m stuck at my desk, Designspiration and Design Work Life consistently has an amazing variety of work to browse through!

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | a recent project |PINEGATE ROAD

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    This is a recent branding and blog design project I did for Girl Meets Brooklyn. I was really excited about this one since Cassie was so fun, energetic and enthusiastic about the creative process. It was a very collaborative and enjoyable experience from start to finish. The result is a fresh, bold design and a fun layout that breaks out of the standard blog template. I was really inspired by the architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge and used that as a jumping off point for the graphic patterns on either side of the site. I wanted the design to reflect a modern industrial look that compliments her content and personality. (blog developed by Dennise Saxton)

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | on her desk | PINEGATE ROAD

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Having an online presence has opened the doors to so many new relationships and collaborations with creatives in my city and across the country. The blog has also provided me an outlet to share my process and creative exploration which is a great exercise for me as a designer; it helps me explore and grow outside of my normal client work.

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | inspiration and process | PINEGATE ROAD

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Take advantage of every opportunity you can and be passionate about the work you create. Sometimes the best projects are the ones with low budgets, or personal explorations after hours. Have an open mind and be willing to share your experiences, good or bad with others – there’s always a lesson that can be learned!

    Huge thanks to Jen for sharing with us today! Head on over to her blog for more inspiration and process — you won’t be disappointed!


  2. October 29, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | maggie waller of type & title

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | PINEGATE ROAD

    Maggie Waller was my first graphic design friend. Truly. After stalking anyone taking the major at Iowa on the early version of facebook, I found Maggie and for some reason she accepted my stranger-friend request. Hah. Thanks for your leap of faith lady! Besides a few short months working in the same studio in Iowa City, our friendship has been mostly of the digital variety. Maggie and I have most recently bonded over our passions for hand-lettering, freelancing, and blogging. She just launched her new studio, type & title, and I’m so proud of all the lovely that she’s been able to accomplish in these past few months. Get it girl! 

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | Desk Details | PINEGATE ROAD

    Hello! I’m Maggie Waller. I live in San Diego, where I do freelance design and lettering under the name type & title. I started working from home a few months ago when my husband and I moved to California from Texas for his job in the Navy. I’ve loved words in every form for my entire life, so it only made sense to dedicate my business to the design of type, lettering and communication!

    What gets you jazzed?

    Sharpened pencils, long train rides, a well-designed magazine, a neutral color palette, the ocean, a good postcard, home-brewed beer, knitting, and public art… lately, I’m especially inspired by a well-curated site, blog, store or space. I love finding & meeting people who know their aesthetic and wear (or design) it well.

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    My go-to trick for inspiration is to get out of the house! On a daily basis, that usually means taking my pups for a walk. They’re thrilled to get a mid-day break and it clears my head. I almost always come back with a new idea or approach to a project. Working from home is an entirely new experience for me. I’m learning that I really need regular breaks and interaction to get out of my own head — sometimes that’s a dog walk, meeting a friend for coffee, or even a break to check Instagram… connecting with other creative people can really inspire me to create something myself!

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | Ampersand Sketches | PINEGATE ROAD

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    These sketches are the initial ideas for my hand-lettered ampersand tote bag. I’ve wanted an ampersand tote for I don’t know how long, and eventually my DIY instinct kicked in and I decided it was time to design one myself. I tend to be ridiculously picky about typography (which is partially why I’ve gotten into lettering) so I knew I was going to end up with a hand-drawn letterform.

    Ambersand tote by Maggie Waller of Type & Title | GIVEAWAY on PINEGATE ROAD

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Blogging and I have had an on-and-off relationship since high school (hello, livejournal) and I keep coming back to it, which is something I’ve never been able to do with a journal. I think putting your thoughts and work online where there’s a potential audience can keep you making work. Blogging makes me feel like I’m contributing to a community  — even if only one person sees my post, that’s one person I’ve connected with. Connection fuels creativity!

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Do it anyway. I’m still brand new to working-for-myself, but it took me a really, really long time to even begin following my career dreams — I stalled for years because I was scared to act. It seems so crazy now! It’s easy to want to quit, or not even begin, when you have no forward momentum, but you can’t get that unless you actually do something. “I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway” is one of my favorite quotes ever. We’ve all been there! Just do it anyway.

    Thanks again Maggie! Be sure to follow along on Maggie’s journey over at type & title, she’s sure to keep doing some pretty great things. Maggie has been kind enough to send along a tote to one lucky reader! Follow below to enter the giveaway. AND, if you can’t wait for your chance to win, you can get your own here

     a Rafflecopter giveaway


  3. May 6, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | liz riden, fashion designer

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - Her Desk

    So I’m a little obsessed with this feature today—Pinegate Road has it’s first fashion designer feature! I’d like to welcome Liz Riden, fashion designer, blogger, and fellow Savannian. Liz and I first became acquainted when we were working for ban.do as a couple of their brand ambassadors this past fall. While we have yet to catch up in real life—weird—I love following her via instagram to take peeks into her fashion lifestyle and day-to-day inspirations. I feel like fashion is one of those things I like to dabble in, but Liz lives and breathes this stuff. It’s pretty inspiring! I hope you enjoy taking a look behind the scenes of fashion designer Liz Riden.

    LIZ: I’m currently a junior fashion design major at SCAD, and working on developing my first full collection. I’m keeping myself busy with my job at the school’s art museum, planning my wedding, and illustrating on the side! I blog about fashion and art on The Modern Mademoiselle, and work as a Fashion Associate for Re: Magazine.

    What gets you jazzed?

    I really thrive when I’m around other creative people! There is something so inspiring and refreshing about being able to have a dialogue about art and design, and then infusing that into my own work.

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - vingette 3

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    When I’m truly stuck and can’t seem to get inspired, the first thing I do is turn off my computer and get out and do something. I find myself getting stuck in the rut of only getting inspiration online, and that isn’t always good. I love vintage hunting to look at design details and textiles, a good iced Americano, and digging through art and photography books.

    When it comes to fashion, I’m always inspired by the 1950’s and very feminine styles. Right now, I can’t get enough of florals, both in my apartment and in prints.

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - illustration copy

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    I’m currently working on two different projects (three if you count planning a wedding…which I certainly do!). The first project is my new illustration Instagram, liz draws. My fiancé was the creative mastermind behind this idea, encouraging me to do sketches on my ipad that I could quickly share. As I’ve been sketching on my ipad, I’ve really been inspired by Irving Penn’s flower still life photography, and hope to develop my sketches into prints and notecards soon!

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - fashion illustration From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - a recent project

    My second project is the beginning stages of developing my own apparel line! For my first collection, I really want to focus on color and texture and make each piece a statement of it’s own. For this, I drew a heavy amount of inspiration from Frida Kahlo and her work, especially focusing on bold color and floral details.

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - her style copy

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    I have found that it’s such a great outlet for me to share inspiration, thoughts on fashion/design, and have a voice. The best thing about blogging is that it’s like a creative journal for me to go back and see what I did, what inspired me, or how much I have grown since then. It also has been so essential and beneficial for networking within the fashion industry.

    From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - vingette 1 From the Desk of Liz Riden of The Modern Mademoiselle - vingette 2

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    As a kid, my parents always told me “don’t be afraid of being awesome”, and that is something that has always stuck with me. No matter what field of study or career, it is so easy to get discouraged by what people may think, or what people are already successfully doing before you. This simple reminder has kept me motivated to make my own mark in the fashion industry, and keep striving to be my personal best.

    Big thanks to Liz Riden for sharing a look into her creative life today! Check out more on Liz at The Modern Mademoiselle.

    Happy Monday everyone. 


  4. March 25, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | alex yeske, designer + blogger

    From the Desk of Alex Yeske of Dreams and Jeans - Her Desk

    Pardon my enthusiasm, but it’s coming out of me like crazy today. Alex Yeske, one of my go-to blogger and design inspirers is giving us a look into her inspirations and her working space. This girl has some killer style, and I was so glad to have been introduced to her through the blogging world last year. She just moved apartments in NYC and it was perfect timing for her to be featured here, if I do say so myself! Now, let’s let Alex take it away. 

    From the Desk of Alex Yeske of Dreams and Jeans - desk details 3

    From the Desk of Alex Yeske of Dreams and Jeans - desk details

    Hi everyone! I’m Alex and I am a graphic designer, currently working for Madewell in NYC. I also blog over at Dreams + Jeans and do freelance work when I have the time!

    What gets you jazzed?

    Exceptional typography, unexpected color palettes, anything black + white, stripes, unique printed pieces… the list goes on!

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    Living in NYC is inspiration in and of itself. I’m constantly learning about new things, going to new exhibits, passing by interesting stores… It is ever-changing and serves as great inspiration. I spend an enormous amount of time on the internet so I have to say that I find a lot of inspiration online from various websites including Pinterest, Designspiration and other blogs.

    From the Desk of Alex Yeske of Dreams and Jeans - DIY pouch inspiration

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    I originally did this project as a DIY gift idea for a friend’s blog. I was inspired to take a stab at monogramming something myself after seeing all of Clare Vivier’s monogrammed goodies. It was a fun projects & definitely took me out of my comfort zone – you can see the step-by-step here.

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    I started blogging the summer before my senior year of college and it helped me meet and interact with a group of people who had similar interests. It opened my eyes to so much that I didn’t have access to living in upstate NY and allowed me a creative outlet outside of my intense design major. It also helped me with networking which is ultimately how I got my current job!

    From the Desk of Alex Yeske of Dreams and Jeans - desk details

     If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    My one tip would be to learn that it’s okay to say no. Too often I’ve found myself in a place where I’ve said yes to too many commitments and have completely overwhelmed myself with work. I’m now learning to be choosier about what I decide to do, especially in my free time. I never force myself to blog if I don’t have something I really want to post about and I don’t take on freelance work that I don’t feel passionate about. It’s been an important lesson for me when balancing a full-time job, a blog, freelance work and regular life.

    Thank you thank you Alex! Please be sure to check out more of Alex’s work on her blog, Dreams and Jeans.


  5. March 11, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | margaret barley, floral and frayed

    From the Desk of Margaret Barley of Floral and Frayed - Her Desk

    I have another treat for you today! I’ve been following with Margaret Barley and her journey over at Floral and Frayed for quite a while now, and she seriously has me constantly smiling. She’s such a sweet lady, and I hope that you do go get to check out her adventures—she just did the 30 for 30 challenge, and that was so fun to follow along with! She’s clearly passionate about life, and it really shines through in all that she posts.

    Hi Pinegate Road! My name is Margaret and I’m from Traverse City, Michigan. I’m currently a student, living and studying in the south of Michigan. I’m currently studying Business with a focus in Event Planning and Design. I’m a blogger and dance instructor by night. I blog all about life, style, and faith at Floral and Frayed.

    What gets you jazzed?

    Paper and stationary, a good cup of coffee, typography, great design, packaging (It’s disgusting how often I buy things based off the packaging), organization, instagram, good food, business, and my man.

    From the Desk of Margaret Barley of Floral and Frayed - desk details

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    I find inspiration from a variety of places. Of course, like any good blogger I find inspiration from Pinterest, but I like to find the majority of my inspiration from non-online sources. I find that the times I’m most inspired are times when I’m not actively seeking out inspiration but letting life and people affect my life freely.

    I’m inspired by people. I always inspired after a long conversation with a close friend over a cup of coffee. I’m inspired by solo hikes around Lake Michigan, and by the fresh air. I’m inspired by my boyfriend’s passion for business. My little dance students inspire me, and continually teach me to never take myself too seriously.

    And sometimes I find inspiration at Target. ;)

    From the Desk of Margaret Barley of Floral and Frayed - event inspiration

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    I was presented with a really cool opportunity to work on an event for the dance & art studio that I work at. Each year we hold a festival that doubles as an open house for students, parents, and the community. Because we are a non-profit, the night before the festival we hold a fundraiser gala. The theme for this year’s gala is “fairies” (everything is kid-oriented). It’s been really fun finding inspiration for décor and atmosphere. The middle of the room will feature a life-size tree with glowing lights. Centerpieces will consist of natural elements like moss, flowers, branches, and lots of tulle! We’re trying to channel a garden/tea party “feel.” I’ll be sharing photos and details from that event on blog my in the next few months.

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    I have found that through blogging I have become more appreciative of other people’s creative work. Blogging has taught me that developing each detail for the creation of a post takes time and energy, which I think a lot of people don’t realize. When I read blogs I can recognize the hard work and ideas that have gone into each post. I have also learned to appreciate how important it is to create and generate ideas offline. It’s essential for me to just sit down with my journal and work my brain out. I actually keep a journal by my bed because I have the best ideas when I’m trying to sleep!

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Be yourself! I know that sounds cliché, but in the blogging world it’s so easy to get caught up in what you should and shouldn’t post; as well as comparing yourself and your work to others. Blog about what you find interesting and what’s important to you, chances are it will be interesting to someone else as well.

    Thank you so much Margaret! For more on Margaret, check out her blog Floral and Frayed!


  6. February 25, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | kate baird, designer and blogger

    From the Desk of Kate Baird of Katelyn Brooke Designs - Her Desk

    Here we are again! Today I want to give you a sneak peek into the life of Kate Baird of Katelyn Brooke Designs. It’s been so great to get to know her over the past couple months, and her blog is a definite must-add-to-your-reader-right-now kind of blog. She is an active designer and shares tips and tricks about design as well as snippets into her own creative journey. I know I’m constantly learning something new every time I head over there. Now, let’s welcome Kate!

    Hi friends!  I’m Kate.  I started working as a freelance web designer over a year ago and I’ve been designing and blogging from my tiny apartment ever since.  My husband and I live in a small town in Virginia while he attends law school.  When I’m not working I like hanging out with friends, visiting family, reading blogs, and eating whether it’s trying a new restaurant or a new recipe from Pinterest.

    What gets you jazzed?

    Pretty color palettes, calligraphy and hand lettering, stripes and polka dots, collaborating with other creatives, any sort of delicious food, and pretty much everything Martha Stewart.

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    I’ve been trying to step away from the computer lately and look to books and magazines for inspiration.  But of course, that never really works, and browsing blogs and Pinterest is usually very inspiring.  I’ve also been pretty addicted to Dribbble lately.

    From the Desk of Kate Baird of Katelyn Brooke Designs - Creative Cleanse

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    As creatives I think that most of us are constantly trying to define our style, or who we are, through our work.  It’s easy to be influenced by the work of others, and I was feeling like I needed to spend some quality time being introspective about my own style.

    I have really enjoyed the Business with Heart webinars lately- they’re free discussions about being a creative entrepreneur.  It was after one of their talks that I came up with the idea for a creative cleanse. For a week I spent the time I normally reserved for browsing the internet creating projects of my choosing just for fun.  I wasn’t as strict about it as I would have liked to be, but I definitely came away from it feeling refreshed.  I’m hoping to start incorporating projects like that into my weekly schedule- I think it’s so important to pursue creative things just because you enjoy it!

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Blogging has opened my eyes to so many different forms of creativity.  There are so many ways to go about it and so many different styles out there.  It’s challenged and inspired me to really pursue my own style- which is always a work in progress!

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Working from home for the last year and a half has really taught me how important relationships are in every aspect of life.  None of us live in a vacuum, and it’s important to get out there and connect with others, even if you’re not meeting face to face.  You never know how your kindness and connections might help you one day, so always reach out and make an effort to give sometimes without expecting anything in return.

    Thanks Kate! Be sure to check out her blog for daily inspirations. xoxo.


  7. February 11, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | rachael adele, designer and blogger

    From the Desk of Rachael Adele of For the Love of Design - Her Desk

    I’m excited to introduce the lovely Rachael Adele to you today. She is a talented designer and illustrator based out of Kansas City, and authors the blog for the love of design—it’s definitely a treat! I love her eye for simplicity and beauty that shows all throughout her blog and her design work. I hope you all get a chance to check out her blog, and that you enjoy what she has to share!

    Hey there! My name is Rachael and I live in Kansas City. I’m currently working as an interactive art director by day and a freelance designer and blogger at For The Love of Design by night. When I’m not working, I love hanging with my family, grabbing drinks with friends, cooking, reading blogs (and sometimes even books! ;) all the while instagraming it all. Duh.

    From the Desk of Rachael Adele of For the Love of Design - Vignette

    What get’s you jazzed?

    Typography, travel, witty branding, minimalism, eating local, a good playlist, adventure, other creatives and bloggers, a fresh notebook, trips to the library, and of course, coffee.

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    I find inspiration in unexpected places every day. It could be as simple as a great sunset on my way home from work (cheesy?), the branding of a local cafe at brunch with the girls, or a random dream that I am forced to wake up from and write down my thoughts. For those times when I’m intentionally searching for inspiration, I refer to my pinterest boards, other creative’s work that I admire, magazines, books, and archives of photographs, ads, and art from different eras.

    From the Desk of Rachael Adele of For the Love of Design - Invitation Suite

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    This project is an invitation suite I recently designed for a close friend. Knowing the person you’re designing for makes things a little easier (and more fun), so a large part of the inspiration came from the couple’s personality and style. I also drew inspiration from the amazing barn and estate where their reception took place. Invitation design is not something I get to do often, so this was a nice change of scenery.

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Blogging has effected my creative life in so many positive ways. For The Love of Design came to exist as an outlet to channel my creative energy into when I was doing less creative tasks at my day job. Something I didn’t realize in the beginning, but value so greatly now, is that blogging has provided me with an amazing sense of community full of creatives that are constantly inspiring me to keep doing what I love.

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Kindness will get you everywhere. Be nice, do all things with love, and reach out to people. All we really have is each other. Interact and build relationships online, you never know what kind of lasting friendships and opportunities could come of them!

    Big thanks to Rachael for sharing with us today! Be sure to check out more of what she has going on over on her blog: For the Love of Design!


  8. December 3, 2012
    FROM THE DESK OF | kayte terry

    KAYTE TERRY, blogger, author, crafter, painter - from the desk of

    I have a very special introduction to make this morning. Please welcome Kayte Terry — author of the book paper made, and an avid blogger, crafter, and painter! She reached out to me recently, and I was more than enthusiastic to share her space and a recent project. I kind of want to live in everything she sent me, isn’t it perfection?

    Hi there! I’m Kayte. I Iive in South Philly with my husband and our enormous cat Bruce le Bruce. I work by day as the Visual Communication Manager and Inspiration Coordinator (it’s a mouthful, I know) at Anthropologie in the Home Office. By night, I am a blogger, an author, a crafter, a painter, and pretty much anything else I can cram into my waking hours. Sitting still is something I am not good at. My blog, This is Love Forever, is a catalog of all the things I love, be it a recipe, a DIY project, an image from my inspiration archive or a photo from a recent road trip.

    What gets you jazzed?
    Strong tea, nature, silence. I don’t have enough of any of these things. I am a quintessential Libra in that I love contrast and balance. I equal parts city and country mouse. I love natural colors but I love them with neon pink. Today I am wearing a striped skirt, a polka dot blouse and a floral jacket. You could say I like patterns and prints!

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?
    Oh everywhere and everything. One of my big jobs at work is in finding inspiration and using it to create different concepts and personalities for the stores to use so I’m always on the look-out for something new. Lately some things that inspire me are: natural plant dyes, shibori, vintage quilts, prize ribbons, maps and nights by the fire. I’m very drawn to the natural, the quiet and the woods lately but I always manage to throw a little hot pink or a crazy print in there too!

    People usually think I get to travel to all sorts of glamorous places for my work but really, I just spend a ton of time doing research in books and on the internet. I always think of something Isaac Mizrahi said in the documentary Unzipped (one of my favorites!): “I don’t to go to India and Australia in order to do collections about those places, I can do them from my imagination or from having seen the Flinstones episode that was set in Australia or something.” It’s always a good reminder to me that inspiration can come from anywhere!

    KAYTE TERRY, blogger, author, crafter, painter - inspired project - from the desk of

    Tell me a little about this project (the one you’d link/give me photos to) and how it was inspired:
    I just came off an author tour for my book Paper Made! and I wanted to make something paper to wear to events. I made this flower fascinator, a variation of a project in the book. This flower was somewhat inspired by this Christopher Kane ad. I’m always excited to see his runway shows because he is so adept at mixing high and low materials.

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?
    Be yourself and trust your instincts. It’s easy to get overload with inspiration and other people’s work but it’s important to sometimes turn off the internet and let your mind wander. Don’t worry if your work isn’t “on trend”…yet.

    I remember one of my first jobs I worked for a window dresser who would just walk into the store in his tasseled loafers, his coat draped over his shoulder and make grand proclamations like “it’s all about green!” or “animal prints and stripes are back in!” It was always a dream of mine to cultivate that kind of clarity of vision, to be a trend setter and not just a follower.

    Huge thank you’s to Kayte for sharing her space and her inspirations. Make sure to show her some love over on her blog, and to check out her book!


  9. November 5, 2012
    FROM THE DESK OF | laura parke

    LAURA PARKE, a girl who makes, blogger and crafter

    Laura and I first ‘met’ when we were both chosen by Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind to contribute to her blog as she was getting ready for her sweet new addition to her family. Over the past couple months, I have been in awe with each and every one of Laura’s fabulous DIY projects not only on her column MakeKind, but on her own blog a girl who makes. I don’t know how she does it! I’m lucky to count her as one of my blogger friends, and we both share a unique ability to dress up in pattern on pattern ensembles while around the house. It’s special. 

    Hello! My name is Laura Parke and I love to craft. I’m constantly dreaming up what I can make next whether it’s a pencil holder, an art piece or a necklace to give to my best friend for her birthday. I’m a graphic designer by day, residing in Kansas City with my husband. When I’m not working with my glue gun, I enjoy baking, traveling and eating ice cream.

    What gets you jazzed?

    I get jazzed about unique color combinations, hand-written letters, ice cream,trips to California to visit family, dreaming about the future and polka dots!

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    This might sound strange but I am inspired by a trip to the hardware store. I love discovering new materials and my mind just goes crazy with possibilities there. Also, I’m not afraid of power tools.

    LAURA PARKE, a girl who makes, blogger and crafter

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    As paillettes had been popping up in fashion I kept thinking how I could get in on the trend. It wasn’t until I was in a fabric store searching for supplies for another project, when it all of a sudden it dawned on me. I noticed the vinyl upholstery fabric people generally use for car interiors and restaurant booths and it all came together. I could punch my own circles of leather (or vinyl like I used) and make my own version of layering paillettes. I love the crispness of them and the layering gives the belt such texture. The project was pretty easy, so I’d love to make myself a shirt or a skirt like the one shown. How fun would that be?

    Find Laura’s DIY tutorial on how to make this belt yourself, here.

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Choose love. Love yourself for who you are and love others for who they are. The world needs more love, don’t you think?

    Lots of LOVE and thanks for Laura today for sharing her space and this inside look to her inspirations! For more on Laura, be sure to check out her blog a girl who makes for more fabulous DIY’s and tutorials.


  10. September 24, 2012
    FROM THE DESK OF | jordan brantley, designer + blogger

    JORDAN BRANTLEY, Create Like Crazy, blogger and designer

    I’d like to welcome Jordan Brantley to the blog today! She’s the lovely lady behind the blog I can’t get enough of—Create Like Crazy. She’s such a sweetheart to blog-land and seems to always be cheering everyone on, how great is that? We also love to meet up on twitter and have wine, because that’s normal (#designbywine). OH! and that dress. Scroll down to see what I mean. Let’s let Jordan take it from here:

    Hello! My name is Jordan Brantley. I’m the designer + blogger over at Create Like Crazy! I currently live in Jacksonville, FL with my husband, Chris. When I’m not “working” ( I really can’t call it work; I absolutely love my job! ) I love hanging out with my family in St. Augustine, scoping out antique stores with my girls, or chilling at the beach with Chris.  Okay.. or reading blogs. That may or may not take up a large part of my life. ;) I really love meeting fellow creative bloggers.

    What gets you jazzed?

    I could go on forever, but most recently: polka dots, handwritten type, a day off with my mister, finding a new favorite local spot, negative space, loafers, messy hair, finding good Christian music, antique shopping + new opportunities.

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    I am most inspired after hanging out with the CLC contributors. I meet up with at least one of the ladies once a week and I can always feel my inspiration tank getting low if it’s been too long. Our meetings are always filled with lots of squealing and big ideas. I always leave refreshed and overwhelmed with new ideas!

    JORDAN BRANTLEY, Create Like Crazy, blogger and designer

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    This wedding stationary suite was designed for a rooftop shoot by Jennifer Blair that I was blessed to be a part of along with some amazingly talented vendors. My guy and I also modeled for the shoot! The design was inspired by the location and the overall vibe of the event decor. I wanted it to fit the softness of the string lights and sparkling dress, but also have the edge that comes with the cityscape.

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    I was recently introduced to this quote by  Chuck Williams, the founder of Williams Sonoma, that I’ll pass on to you. “If you love what you do, then the world will fall in love with you.” I’ve found this to be true in many areas, blogging definitely being one of them. I can always tell if someone is passionate about their work. Stay true to what you absolutely love and people will notice!

    Big thank you’s to Jordan for sharing over here today! Be sure to check out Create Like Crazy, you won’t be sorry you took a gander, I promise.













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A GIRL WHO MAKES
ALL SORTS OF PRETTY
BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME
BREANNA ROSE
BUT DOES IT FLOAT
CHEVRONS AND STRIPES
CREATE LIKE CRAZY
DESIGN FOR MANKIND
DESIGN LOVE FEST
DIELINE
DREAMS + JEANS
FOXTROT PRESS
GLASS AND SABLE
INTO THE GLOSS
MISS MOSS
NOTE TO SELF
OH JOY!
PENNYWEIGHT
PURPLE SHAMPOO
RUNNING IN HEELS
SOMETHING PRETTY
THE CURTIS CASA
THE FRESH EXCHANGE
THE OBJECT ENTHUSIAST
THE SOHO
VANESSA JACKMAN
VEDA HOUSE
WIT & DELIGHT