1. March 12, 2014
    IN REVIEW | february 2014


    Time. It’s been on my mind.

    What’s the right time for this, why did the time come for that?

    I think February was for realizing that there is a time for everything, and it’s time that I realize that I don’t have control over it in the slightest. Good things take time, and there is good in the time spent getting there. And therein lies the challenge: living in the moment while taking steps towards your future.

    February has been a lesson in patience, in letting go, in faith, and in focusing. That’s a lot to handle for the tiniest month of the year, and that’s part of the reason this space has been a little neglected. I’ve just been immersed elsewhere. Time has been taken to step back and asses how I’m living and working now so that I can grow in to the future I hope is waiting for me. There’s been new adventures, and creative insights galore, and I can’t wait to start growing in to all that I’ve been gleaning this past month.

    Cheers to March, keeping focus, and figuring things out. I know we certainly are all trying our very best, so let’s keep at it, ok?

  2. February 25, 2014
    TRAVERSER | 12

    traverser number twelve

    TRAVERSER: french for — to pass, to cross, to traverse, to span.

    This traverser is dedicated to a couple blogs that I have been loving lately. With this year of editing, I’ve been trying to re-focus on reading blogs that are really putting out content that is helpful, applicable, and inspiring to my personal journey. I don’t want to be sorting through posts that are so-so, and each of these lovely ladies are anything but.

    ONE — Made Vibrant: I met Caroline briefly while visiting Jacksonville two falls ago, and then we both attended Alt Summit that following January. We didn’t even see each other during the conference, but serendipitously had the same flight home and that’s where I got her business card and social media links. I’d been following along her journey from advertising to freelance design since, and her mission to find happiness in her life. I could totally relate! She’s just launched a whole new blog that is dedicated to making life vibrant, and guys, it’s killer. She has such a way with her words, and I feel like every time I stop by I’m having some new revelation about my own life through her thoughts. Read one post and try not to get hooked!

    TWO — Studio 404Angel is the queen of blog love, and after getting acquainted through her comments here, I started following her blog on a regular basis. *note to bloggers trying to gain readership: reach out and be positive!!* She has such a passion for design and the blogging community that you can truly feel through her online space. She spends time to reach out to others, to share content that helps designers and bloggers, and is letting us in to her personal goals and dreams at the same time. In reaching out to others, she opens her blog to different perspectives on topics, and does a great job at tackling a lot of that design research for you. You’ll learn more than you ever expected by simply stopping by, promise! She recently opened a new paper shop, and I’m so proud of her for going after her dreams, she’s an all-around inspiring lady. 

    THREE — HIBRIDCourtney is brand new to the blogging world, and I wanted to let you all in on this hidden gem. We met in grad school, and while on tracks that kept our studies pretty segmented from each other while in Savannah, we have reconnected lately through our passion for blogging and hand-lettering. I had never seen Courtney hand-letter while in school, but post graduation her instagram has been full of such a fun style she has been diligently working on. It’s incredible. She has bundles of talent, and you can just see how passionate she is about design, lettering, and getting her work out into the world through all that she does. If you didn’t know about her already, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of Courtney and her work in the future!

    Now, in the spirit of sharing new blogs, do you have any that you think I should add to my own bloglovin? While I’m trying to edit in general, I’m not above sprinkling in a few new quality blogs. What blogs do you keep coming back to that you leave feeling more informed and inspired? Happy blog reading, friends!

  3. February 17, 2014
    REFLECTION | on passing and faith

    a reflection on passing & faith | PINEGATE ROAD

    Last weekend a family I have grown up with and considered a second family the majority of my life, lost their son in a tragic way. The details are still hard for me to comprehend, but you can read a little about the incident here. I’d just like to first and foremost ask for all your thoughts, prayers, and love to be sent to the Hallmans during this time. I know blogging about this is a little out of context to what I normally share, but I have the feeling that David’s life and death is going to have a significant impact of how I go about the rest of my journey here on Earth. He was such a bright and fun-loving kid, and I can’t even begin to understand why he was taken at a time like this. I know that everyone involved in the situation has come out of it stronger, more thoughtful, and more appreciative of life than ever before.

    With this, I want to share a little part of myself that I’ve been keeping quiet about for the past couple years. This week has showed me the importance of saying what you feel when you have the time to do so, and it just seems right. Thanks for the courage David! This sounds all scandalous, but I promise you it’s not ;)

    I grew up in a Christian household, going to Christian and Catholic schools until graduating high school, and I had considered myself agnostic throughout all of these experiences. When I was making wrong choices at home, I was punished by going to youth group Saturday afternoons — I never felt like I fit in with the kids there, and I honestly never really gave them a chance. When I went off to Iowa, faith was something that I rarely thought of. I had these years of my life to explore on my own terms, I made some good decisions, and I made even more wrong choices. All-in-all, these choices led me to Savannah to pursue my masters degree, and this is where I started to feel a pull towards exploring a Christian faith on my own for the first time. I met a good friend who opened up to me about her faith in a way that I never thought was possible for myself. She was a passionate, artistic, caring, and fun. There was a part of me that envied her ability to trust in God, go to church, and still live this amazingly fun life full of her personal passions on her own terms. My background made me feel like I had to be one way, or the other. I could be Christian, and follow all the rules, or be agnostic and live the way I wanted to. Meeting her, and becoming her friend sparked a new interest in faith that I have held inside of me for the past couple years. Those close to me knew I was exploring a relationship with Jesus more recently, but I still felt a little weird talking about this is general. It just didn’t seem like me, you know? I was still living my life the way I always had, breaking ‘rules’, and going on my own path — but suddenly, I had a little guidance. I had my faith to lean on a little more, to help me through some of the tough times, and to rejoice with me when things were working out. I always thought I needed to have someone to talk to about for all the little things going on in my life. With this new found faith in Jesus, I feel like He has been taking over, guiding me to where I was meant to be next.

    I’m still the same old Kelsey, but I have a little more pep in my step, and I know that I have a wonderful support system behind me now. Serendipitously, I met Katie a couple months ago, and she has been re-inspiring me to live out my faith in an out-loud way. She does this so well, and is an inspiration to me in that sense. For the first time on my own accord, I went to church with her last Sunday. I’ve been struggling with feeling at home in a lot of ways in my life recently, and I can honestly say, I felt at home there that Sunday. Being back in my hometown this week, with so many close friends and family for the preceding events and funeral for David, was truly a lesson in life and faith in a way I can’t even begin to express. I’m so proud of how the Hallmans have been dealing with this tragedy, and how they have been leaning on their faith to make it through. It’s seriously inspiring, and I am forever changed by this experience. Even from the other side, David is using his gifts to share faith, love, and laughter. With these passing events, I thought it was about time to just throw this out there and be proud of my journey. Again, thank you for the courage David, love you buddy.


  4. February 3, 2014
    IN REVIEW | january 2014


    January was a pretty simple month for me. Lots of getting back to the basics and finding my personal balance. Eaton came into my life. While having a new puppy is all kinds of stressful, having her has also forced me to stay on a regular schedule. She wakes me up, well, dark and early at 4:45. That’s something I never thought I’d welcome, but my day has just shifted. At nine, I’m ready to get to bed, and I do. My fitness journey is off to a great start. Things aren’t going perfect, but that’s not what we’re aiming for. Balance is key. My mom said she could see my cheekbones again, and that was pretty much all I could ask for during this first month! I’m feeling good, and I’m still indulging. Hello queso and margarita night.

    I know some of you have asked me to share more details about what I’m doing for my fitness journey, so I thought these monthly recaps would be a great way to share about that. Right now, I skype with Ange every Sunday night, and we go over our plan for the week. We set attainable goals, and add them only when I’m ready to take more on. My first two weeks, I had four goals:

    ONE: Get eight hours of physical activity a week. I spent my lunches walking around my building in my work clothes and my headphones, which I just had to get over! Hah. One of Ange’s key phrases is “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’m trying to embrace that, because this is where the big long-term changes come from. I also spent my weekends taking longer walks around the river trails when I could get in some sunlight.

    TWO: Three high-intensity interval sessions a week. These are sessions that I can do outside on a trail, or at the gym on any cardio equipment. I go as hard as I can for one minute, and then have two minutes of low intensity, eight times. With a warm up, cool down, and stretch, these are about 45 minutes of work that have really been pushing me .

    THREE: Drink 3L of water/coffee/tea a day. At first I spent the majority of my days taking visits to the bathroom! It was crazy, but I never realized how dehydrated I was. I wasn’t even experiencing thirst because I’d deprived my body of the hydration it needed. After a couple days, I started to actually feel thirsty when I’d go an hour or two without a sip. I’ve been going through some medical things lately, and when I went to get my blood taken, I automatically told the nurse that I had bad veins. I’ve always had to get pricked a couple times, and I thought this was just how it was going to be for me. After one successful try, she just told me I was healthy and hydrated! You always hear how important water is, but to actually experience these benefits from doing it right was amazing.

    FOUR: Get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Guys, I’m not on a diet! Instead, so many of my calories are being replaced with fruits and veggies just by trying to fit them in to my meals. I’ve been going crazy with green smoothies, and making salads for a meal or two a day. I snack on apples, and make avocado toast for meals. Switching from a deprivation mind-set to this anything-goes mind-set has really been helping me.

    After the first two weeks, we started adding in weight training. I am starting to see my arms in a whole new way — baby amounts of definition happening over here! I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited about the progress I’ve been making. At a much slower pace than I normally take this stuff, I’m able to take it in strides and not feel like I’m turning my life upside down all at once.

    Thaaat was pretty much my whole January. Simple living, huh? I’m really liking this new pace of life. I feel like I have a little control over how things are going, and when they go weird, I’m equipped to handle that too.

    Have any fun clean recipes that pack a bunch of fruits/veggies you want to send my way? I’d love some new things to try! Cheers to taking on February and making all your goals come true!

  5. January 30, 2014
    COLOR STUDY | 75 | valentine’s day color palette

    Color Study | 75 | PINEGATE ROAD

    We’re in the midsts of Valentine’s Day planning for next year at work, and this is one Valentine’s Day color palette I’ve fallen in love with. It’s traditionally lovey with the pinks and reds, but that pop of light teal is what really sets it apart. Mix in a dark neutral that has notes of the teal, and you have yourself a not too traditional, but on point palette for the season. But really, I’d use it year round. I feel like I’m practically bleeding that icy pink lately! hah. I’d love to see how this translates to a quirky dinner party, or even in Valentine’s Day decorations around the home.


  6. January 24, 2014
    and then there was a puppy

    Eaton Phillips | a new addition | Pinegate Road

    If you’ve been anywhere near my instagram, I’m sure you’ve found out that this little bundle has arrived! I’m a ridiculously excited puppy mama. While I’m a tid bit sleep deprived from the bi-hourly ‘take me to the bathroom’ whines, it really has all been a labor of love. I went down to just outside of Columbus this past Friday to pick her up, and we made our trek back to Cleveland through some pretty crazy snow, a lot of crying, and bunches of puppy kisses. She’s adjusting pretty well, and is just a little snuggle bug. Although, she’s just like one of these guys with the snow. She just can’t. Shivery baby weighed in at 1lb, 7oz! I do feel like she’s growing in front of my eyes though. I took these pictures on Saturday, and the amount of fluff she’s grown since then is quite impressive.

    Eaton Phillips | new puppy | Pinegate Road

    So yeah, the weird name: The only place I have truly called home was on the corner of Pinegate and Eaton Roads — with Pinegate being the actual address. You would continue on to Eaton Road to head out to start the journey to wherever you were to head next. Getting a puppy was something I have been passionately waiting for for the past five years or so. I love that her name signifies this next step in my life and still has roots in looking back to my past. I didn’t realize until after I’d ordered a monogrammed puppy tote that Eaton was also the name of an upscale shopping center on the other side of Cleveland. Anyone from here probably thinks I’m nutso, but I’m so glad to have found a name that really resonates with something so cherished in my life.

    This is sure to be the first of many mentions of this little girl, and I’m happy to be able to show her off to you all.

    PS: she’s heading to her first photo shoot today! Cue the perks of working for a greeting card company and all the teddy bear outfits and mugs we’ll stuff her in to. Serious weirdo googly eyes happening over here.

    Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m going to spend some time soaking in this little girl and catching up on all the things I left to the wayside this past week. Yay laundry! Hah.

  7. January 16, 2014
    DIY | mossy monogram wall art

    mossy monogram wall art | PINEGATE ROAD

    Took a teensie break from binge-watching Scandal over winter vacation. Ever since finding these gold frames at an estate sale a couple months ago, I’ve been wondering about what to put in them. I’m not a huge collector of prints or art, as I have that DIY mentality and always think I can do something myself. Note to self: get over it and buy an art print already! Falling back on my habits, I tried creating a modern monogram out of natural material to pair with one of these new-old gold frames. I love the mix of natural, modern, and classic so this DIY fits right with the style I have going on in my apartment. Follow along if you’d like to make your own! Also, if you’re ever bored, hanging out in Cleveland, and it’s a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday: your welcome. I don’t think my fellow Clevelanders realize how good we have it in the estate sale realm!

    mossy monogram wall art | choose a monogram | PINEGATE ROAD

    Print out your favorite monogram, however large you’d like. This will be your base for the moss. I used Futura Bold for my “K” as I liked how clean and simple it would look paired with the natural fibers of the moss. I challenge you to explore what kind of letter fits your frame, your living space, and your personal style! As a side note, I believe I got this moss at Joann Fabric — it was left over from a project. Look in the area in any store where they have the fake flowers. This is usually sold in packets and people use it to cover up the floral foam when making arrangements. I…well, I use it to letter of course ;)

    mossy monogram wall art | place the moss | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cover the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cut around the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | finish cutting out the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | place mossy monogram in a frame and hang | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’m pretty pumped this wasn’t a catastrophe. Also, using frames that have space in-between the glass and the back is key. If you don’t have a place to get something like this, try searching for shadowboxes on amazon. A classic monogram or a script one would look great paired in a minimal white frame as another option.

    Happy crafting!

  8. January 14, 2014
    grateful for the here and now

    Wedding photography packaging for Amanda Lenhadt

    Hi everyone. A quick post today. There’s a couple things that have been happening this week, big and small, that just have me sincerely grateful to be where I am for now. Victoria’s post certainly got me in the mood to keep the here and the now in mind over the past few days, or like she says to bloom where you’re planted. In that spirit, I thought a little gratitude show and tell was in order.

    Above Amanda tagged me in this photo of her new packaging and it seriously made my day. She has such a great eye for that natural yet modern look that just has me crazy right now. It’s amazing to see the branding that we worked on together and how she expanded upon it with her own vision. It’s a magical feeling seeing a brand leave your hands and have it flourish out in the real world. Amanda’s clients are in for a treat, I think!

    This is going to sound silly, but for the past couple months I’ve been in a clothing funk. Each day, I’d throw on black jeans, a big sweater, and call it a day before heading to work—whatever I had to just cover up and kind of feel ok walking out of my apartment in. I hadn’t been feeling comfortable in my own skin, and it was something that affected how I went about each and every day. I’m one week in to my health transformation, and it’s refreshing too see again how healthier choices have affected my attitude. Today I woke up feeling great. For the first time in a long while I decided to dig into my closet, past the oversized sweaters and stretchy jeans, and put on a dress. Paired with tights and high heels, I was off to work with confidence and a happy spirit that I haven’t felt in months. Green smoothies man.

    I’m really grateful for where I am career-wise. Some great business things have been happening in and out of work. As a team, we’ve been working on a new brand and line of stationery cards for one of our big clients. Today, all the cards came up from getting comped, and wow! Seeing them in their full glittery glory is just amazing to me. Paper lovers unite: fingers crossed the client takes it! Outside of work, freelance life has been pretty hectic, but oh so rewarding. There are some dream projects I’ll be working on in the next couple months that I’m just floored by. I’m grateful that I get to balance working on little pieces and parts for one brand during the day, and that I get to help creatives and passionate people build out their brands by night. The best of both worlds, really.

    And lastly, on Friday I’ll pick up my pup! That just has me all kinds of crazy and happy. I’m seriously sitting here making googly eyes at my computer just thinking about it, hah. I’m glad I’m finally at a place in my life where I can take on this new responsibility and embrace it wholeheartedly.

    All in all, I’m in a pretty good place right now. Past that December hump, and just relishing in all the little things that are putting me in a good mood. I’m grateful for all of these moments, and it’s always nice to stop and appreciate the here and now in midst of the crazy.

    Now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for, right here, right now?

  9. January 8, 2014
    MOODBOARD | fitness guru

    moodboard | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    Well here’s something bright and cheery to welcome you in to the new year! Working on this brand has been such a refreshing thing for me. Not only because of the vision my client has, but by how we’ve all been working together. While I rarely take on exchanges for design, I knew in my gut I had to take this opportunity and run with it — quite literally! My client will be working with me this next year to help me meet my health goals, and in return I’m helping her build out her online presence. She has a talented friend on board who is also going through her own personal health transformation, and it’s been pretty awesome combining our three visions so far. This project is for the mind, body, and soul and I couldn’t be happier about kicking it off at the start of this new year.

    core brand values | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    This is the first time that I’ve shared keywords with you all. They are such an important part of how design decisions are made throughout the process. They are gleaned from the core of the client’s vision for the overall brand. This is where I’m so glad that I hunkered down and finished that communications minor in undergrad! hah. Having words and their associated meaning to transcend into design aspects is incredibly valuable. That’s what can transform a brand that’s not bad to a brand people genuinely want to connect with.

    Throughout all of our conversations, I noted themes and picked out words that kept popping up. After some final exploration, they were placed in three different categories and the strongest keyword was picked for each to stand as a core value for the project. Certain aspects about the project were introduced at the very beginning of our collaboration, but it’s in this process that the design decisions start to have something to lean on. If a design element is created, it better be for a reason that falls back to one of these core brand values, or it’s watering down the brand experience.

    For this moodboard, we have a mix of bright colors that play with the idea of empowerment. You can’t shy away from these hues. Using sans-serif typography as well as geometric shapes will keep things clean, simple, and relatable. Using these same shapes and lines to possibly create a larger design element would add to the feeling of connection. My client is trying to build community with her ventures, so showing this visually would be a fun addition! Elements will be used in a way that flow, change perspective, or have an essence of moving through eachother. This relates to the transformative nature of fitness, and how my client uses her talents to help others transform their lives.

    Oooh man am I excited about this one!

  10. January 6, 2014
    2014 GOAL | embrace editing

    2014 goal | embrace editing | PINEGATE ROAD

    Here’s a pleasant surprise: four of my five goals for 2013 were a slam-dunk! About midway through the year when I was engrossed in moving across the country, I kind of let this list slide from my mind. I was worried about what I would find there come this turn of the year. The only one that wasn’t a success was the health aspect — and that’s being handled. 2013 was a huge year for me, and in many ways, it was the year that is paving the way for the majority of my future goals. I graduated with my MFA from the school of my dreams, wrote a thesis on self-curation, rebranded Pinegate Road, attended Alt Summit, landed my dream job and moved closer to my hometown than I ever could have imagined ending up. It’s been full of transitions and hardships, but all-in-all it’s been a solid year of change for the better. I believe that all that happened this year is what is really making my 2014 goal a plausibility.

    Instead of listing out a series of goals, I thought that this year I would have one focus word that could relate to many aspects of my life. This year, I’m going to embrace editing. I’m settled in my apartment, I’m half a year through my job, and I know what I want to work towards in the next couple years in that aspect. I feel like heading to grad school in 2010 was a huge change in perspective for me. It completely turned around what I thought was possible in the design world and how I could go about approaching the future. There is so much opportunity out there, it’s all about editing down the possibilities to get at the core of what makes your journey the best one for you. We can’t do it all, and using time and experimentation to figure out what makes you the most happy is key. The first couple years, I took everything I could in. I played with every aesthetic, good and bad. I experimented with career possibilities through freelance projects and internships. I started this blog, and boy was the start of that rocky! I found out what made me happiest and where I thrived, and now I’m here. I live in a world where I get to play with lettering, where I make products that reach the world in a way that spreads gratitude and connection with others, and I get to experiment with all different kinds of design medium and unique people both in and out of work. I get to connect with you! While I’m where I’m meant to be for now, that doesn’t mean the future is clear to me. It’s still foggy, and I’m hoping that by embracing editing, I’ll be able to get even closer to that core of what I’m meant to do long-term.

    Editing for design: I’m at the very tip of discovering my personal aesthetic. Since the rebrand at the beginning of last year, and after attending Alt, I really focused on making this space representative of who I was as a designer. For the first time in my design career I feel happy about what I’m putting out into the world. I’m hoping to use the foundations of what I’ve learned about my design aesthetic on the blog and to integrate them into all the visual and organizational aspects of my life. A couple weeks ago I wrote down a few words that Pinegate Road embodies as a brand: modern classicism with a natural influence. I hope to continue editing my practice and my design to embody this and define what that means further. I don’t have to be everything.

    Editing for health: Like anything else in life, how we treat ourselves now in the health department will impact how we live in the future ten-fold. For some reason the prospects of getting a puppy—picking out food, figuring out an exercise and health schedule—started me thinking on how determined I was to help her have the best life possible, and how I seem to fail on that aspect in my own life. What?! I want to take this year to reprogram my lifestyle, and to create healthy habits that I can take into many years to come — for both me and my pup. I’m teamed up with an amazing fitness coach, and I’m determined to make this the year I finally get this down. No excuses!

    Editing for financial stability: Week one of the financial peace university is underway! While I’m ahead of the curve in many respects, I need to stop acting like a budget isn’t important and start editing my financial life. This year I start to hope setting the foundation to making home-ownership a reality for next year.

    Editing expectations: Last year I had the goal of learning to say no. This is kind of that. I slipped up a few times, but in general I stood my ground and was able to say no to things that just weren’t necessary in my life. I hope to continue to say no, and to keep space in my life for free afternoons and fun time and puppy snuggles. For as long as I can remember I’ve had this aching thing inside of me that made me join almost any kind of club or activity I was slightly nudged into. These served their purpose at the time, but now that I’m feeling that feeling to join things again, I need to really evaluate whether they will impact me in a positive manner down the road. When in school, I wanted to make sure that I had enough experience in any aspect to be able to move forward in any career. I wanted to taste test it all. I have, I did. I think I’m good. For now. Now I need to keep room open for opportunities that make me happy and work towards more defined goals than I had when I was in school.

    Well, that seems to be about it! Who knew one word could pack such a punch, huh? How about you — are you making goals or resolutions this year? Sending you lots of encouragement if so!



















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