When you're first starting out, PINEGATE ROAD NEWSLETTER

the Pinegate Road newsletter: When you’re first starting out

Everything is kind of paralyzing.
Have you ever felt this way?

You get crazy excited about a new something, spend an entire day (or three) dreaming it up, and then stop. You starting thinking about where you are now and what you need to do to get to that goal and the overwhelm sets in. You say, “oh, that’ll be on my list for tomorrow,” or “I’ll do that someday.”

This is probably one of my biggest issues when it comes to making things happen. I have all the best intentions, and then somewhere along the line ‘real life’ sets in and I just can’t seem to connect the dots. Instead of starting, I push these new things into my someday pile.

BUT there’s hope!

A good friend of mine once sent along the quote “the first step to getting ahead is getting started.” That stuck with me. How do you push past paralyzing, and get started? Here’s my two biggest tips:


Think of the ittiest bittiest thing you would need to do to get the ball rolling — AND DO IT.

For me, starting this newsletter became one of those ‘paralyzing someday’ kinds of things. Three weeks after my new launch, and several people on this list (hi! Thank you!!), I felt that ‘eeeek I have to get started, but I have no idea what to do’ start to set in. Yesterday I sat down, took a couple minutes to gather my thoughts and realized my first step was to hit the ‘make a new campaign’ button. I did it. That small step helped push me in the right direction, and the next thing you know I’m sitting at my computer and making the header for this post. After that, I’m waking up early the next day and sitting down to write this to you all. Taking that first small step towards a goal makes all the difference.


Think progress, not perfection.

Did I want to make this perfect before launching? Yes. Did I feel like I needed to make an entire ebook to give away for free before launching to give you all a little something for my gratitude that you are here? Absolutely! Did these things stop be from getting the ball rolling and making this happen? You bet. In order to get this going, I had to do away with the idea of perfection, and realize that any step towards making this happen would be good for now. Starting this newsletter is something entirely new for me. I can’t expect myself to be perfect at it right away. As long as I’m connecting with you all and giving you something to help along your journey’s I know that I’m working in the right direction. My biggest goal for this space is to encourage you all to make your dreams happen. This is my first little step.

With that said, has there been something that you’ve been putting in to your ‘someday’ pile that you’re ready to get started? I’d love to hear! Hit reply and tell me about your dreams and goals. At the very least, I’d love to send some encouragement your way and see if there is anything I can do to help you get started.

If you’re needing an extra daily push, I created this hand-pressed art print for an extra burst of inspiration. I have never regretted hanging up these little reminders, and it’s something that has helped me concentrate on what’s important.

I hope that you’re all having great Tuesdays, and that you have a great and productive rest of your week.

Lots of love,


PS: You’ve got this!

Did you resonate with this post? Well there’s more where that came from in the bi-weekly Pinegate Road newsletter. Sign up in the sidebar and get a look into my creative process — where I’m struggling, and how I’m working through life as a creative professional. Hope to see you there! The next email will go out bright and early Tuesday morning, so don’t miss out.

an interview with Pinegate Road via galery no. eight

an interview on gallery no. eight

I feel like I’m back on my blogger game with this one. I’m happy to let you all know that the Pinegate Road shop is being featured over on Gallery No. Eight with my dear friend Britt Douglas. It was refreshing and fun to sit down and talk about this process — one I realized I had never shared around here. Noting something else I have never shared, I go in to the story behind why I named this space Pinegate Road. Head on over to Gallery No. Eight to figure out why! Also, you can enter to win one of the prints from the shop.

Get your gift swap on


Just a friendly holiday PSA to chat about one of my favorite new things about the holidays: blogger gift swaps.

Last year I participated in Ali’s city swap, and was matched up with a lovely lady from Portland. She sent along tasty delights — I’m still enjoying the amazing Seven Smith Teamaker tea she sent along, and dreaming about a certain chocolate. I sent along some locally printed gift enclosure cards, and a tea towel from Mirdinara to my recipient. Here, who you give to and who gives to you are different people. What makes Ali’s swap unique is that the gift you give must be local to where you’re living. Supporting local artisans, making new friends, learning about other cities, win win win. Anyways, this was something I signed up for on a whim, and it turned out to be such a lovely experience that I wanted to give you all a heads up if you wanted to hop on board. The deadline to join is tomorrow, Nov 26th!

This year, on another whim—holiday time seriously puts me into whim-mode I guess—I signed up for the Goody Goody Gift Swap. The names on the exchangers list were too good to pass up, and I’m looking forward to getting a taste of a different swap this year.

The deadlines for both swaps are fast approaching, so if you’re wanting to get in to a little extra holiday spirit, hurry up and get yourself signed up.

Wishing you all safe travels if you’re heading out this week, and lots of love on Thanksgiving. I’ll be heading out west for a Cronkhite family Thanksgiving reunion on the farm. I’m so looking forward to taking a few days to unplug and relax with all of them.

Pssst: I opened a Pinegate Road Etsy shop, just in time for the holidays! I’m still going to be doing some tweaks, but I wanted to get it up in time for holiday shopping. If you have a creative go-getter on your list, one of these limited edition handmade prints might be a perfect new treasure.

weapons of mass creation 2014

weapons of mass creation featured designer 2014

This weekend marks a pretty big milestone in my design career. I’ll be heading to the Weapons of Mass Creation festival here in Cleveland as a featured designer. Some of you may have seen a little bit of this stamping craze that I got in to last month, and that was all in preparation to take part in the National Poster Retrospecticus that will be held at the festival. Along with taking part in this event, I’ll be spending my weekend soaking in inspiration from speakers that will be traveling here to Cleveland from around the country. I had a major pinch-me moment when I saw Grace Bonney’s headshot pop up as one of the speakers at the festival. Gah. That’s stuff my design-girl dreams are made of.

While I made the move here shortly before last year’s event, with my unpacking craze I wasn’t able to make it to the festival. I don’t know what to expect in it’s entirety, but I’m crazy excited to take part in an event that celebrates artists, designers, and creativity in this expansive way in my new hometown. Cleveland, I love you, honestly and truly. I was gushing to my coworkers last week about how there really couldn’t have been a better place for me to end up after graduation. It’s events like this that make me realize that the decision to move here was one of the better choices I’ve made in my life. There’s still a long way to go and a lot that I haven’t explored here, but after a year I can really say it’s feeling like home.

If you’re around the area, or are making your way to Cleveland for the festival, be sure to reach out! Send me a tweet, and I’ll be happy to come say hello. It will be amazing to get to know the creative community here in a new way, and there’s no better way to experience some major inspiration than in-person events like this.

Hope to see you this weekend!

You can purchase tickets here.

IN REVIEW | april, may, & june 2014

IN REVIEW | april, may, june 2014

So, what have I been up to? Most of all, just trying to make life happy. Wholeheartedly.

This year started off with some more big life transitions. Eaton came in to my life, and while I’m sure many of you have way bigger obstacles to overcome, single-puppy-momdom was incredibly difficult for me. It’s all in perspective and past experiences I suppose. I felt like almost nothing could get done in-between work and making sure that she had a happy healthy upbringing. Call me crazy puppy lady. I’ve finally got my lunch breaks back and we are sleeping through the night and past 7AM on weekends. Oh man, the sanity that has come back to me! At this same time, I took on the life-changing experience of working with Angela Hauck. Working with her and her team on both blog design, as well as my personal health journey has challenged me in more ways than I could have ever expected. This process has taught me just what I am able to take on while I walk this 8-5 + freelance career journey. I’ll be honest and say that it’s been tough. I failed myself more than I’d like to admit, and these past few weeks I’ve been transitioning in to more self-care and attention. That gung-ho “let’s do it!” attitude helped me get started, but maintaining my self-expectations didn’t go so well. Work, freelance, and fun came first for a while. Ice cream and fancy cocktails were had; workouts, not so much.

One of the most fun things that has happened in the past couple months has been the start of a new relationship. I met Todd in March, and we’ve been exploring, dining, chatting, and fun-having ever since. I don’t want to be too gushy on a design blog, so I’ll leave it at that. Hah! It’s been amazing to see how my life has changed for the better since meeting him. It’s also been a couple months of figuring out how to live a life together. You know how that beginning stage of a relationship goes. All you want to do is have fun, right? Life catches up, and then you realize that those real-life-adult things need to start happening again. You’ve gained ten pounds and don’t remember what your tennis shoes looked like. Oh, and those pants. Too tight to even explain. Whoops! We’re getting it together now, I promise.

Since March, I’ve been able to head to Pursue workshop, explore Cleveland in a whole new way with friends, figure out more of who I am as a designer and business owner, explore cooking with local produce, and really live up these warmer months. I don’t know if it has been the harsh winter we made our way through, or the new relationship that has me all giddy, but I’ve been loving this summer like no other. Things are busier, but they are also so much more worth while in lots of ways. Keep it coming, please and thank you!

All in all, I feel for the first time in years I’m settling in to a regular pace of life. A pace that fills me up, challenges me, and makes me a happier personal all together. These past few months have been an amazing experience, and this time around these experiences needed to happen outside of this online space. That’s ok. For now, I’m working on me, I’m working on us, and I’m working on working on things. I needed this time away to get to this place, to focus on something other than what’s been for so long. It finally feels good to be back.