New Studio, New Me

I love love love my new office space, especially considering I've been in it almost 24/7 this entire week. It's been a productive couple of days to be sure, but my staying in with the heater on, wrapped in the new blanket I got for Christmas is at least partially due to the unusual cold front that's hit Orlando. It was 32 degrees at 7am this morning! Unheard of. Simply unheard of. I may be overdramatizing this whole "I'm freezing" bit, but to my thin Floridian blood: It's COLD! Though... I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it. After all, who doesn't enjoy hot coffee in the morning and thick fuzzy socks on their feet?

Anyways, redecorating my studio has been an ongoing task since 2015. Maybe it's the artist in me, always wanting to reinvent, redefine, recreate. But I think I've found a set up that really works for me.

Over the holidays, I splurged and ordered two long white shelves to showcase some of my (previously homeless) favorite things. To see these cherished items on display alongside some newly framed artwork on my gallery wall has brought me so much joy in the new year! I can officially say I have a finished studio space...and it's clean and efficiently organized!

For those looking for a brief office tour, here it is:

On my walls, from left to right, there is my rose gold "Give Thanks" garland (to remind myself to always appreciate where I am in my life); my "She Means Business" manifesto print by Carrie Green; original acrylic flamingo painting created by yours truly; succulent photograph taken in Palo Alto on my most recent California vacation; another original acrylic painting inspired by a garden I visited in Mendocino; a greeting card purchased on a family trip to Santa Cruz; handmade needlepoint kimono my aunt made for me; dragon art print by Stasia Burrington; tsum tsums and ufufys; Rapunzel print from Disney CoOp by Ashley Taylor. Oh! And a corgi calendar!

On my computer desk is my MacBook laptop on a Rain Design mstand laptop stand (to help with posture) and a beloved, and very much used, Wacom Cintiq tablet. The cute pencil sharpener pen holder is from Anthropologie when I was still in art school (ahh, nostalgia).

On my writing/sewing desk, I have shells from Cocoa Beach in a jar (a little piece of home), a wooden box my aunt gave me, empty notebooks, reference books and all other design essentials. Photoshoot props are housed under that desk–and trust me when I say it's a growing collection.

This is my "home" in a nutshell with my most precious belongings. It is where I eat, work, get inspired, listen to music, and pursue all my artistic endeavors.

What does your office look like? Is it neat and tidy, or an organized mess? Let me know in the comments.


My 2018 Phrase of the Year

I usually make it a habit around this time to choose a designated "word" on which to build my year. But for 2018, despite even breaking out my thesaurus, only this simple phrase would do: Keep Going!

Maintaining momentum is vital to growth, something I realized at the end of last year when I was trying to juggle, well, everything — from marketing projects to paid client work, a two week California vacation, all the usual holiday preparations and everything else in between. I may have looked frazzled and felt exhausted, but I sincerely loved every minute of it! Being so busy left me no time to worry, or get hung up on unnecessary doubt. It propelled me forward. It made me get things done! And I promised myself I would keep up that same vigor in 2018.

When we are striving to accomplish feats we've never done before, it's natural to get entangled in insecurity. We're trying to be brave and prove ourselves. But we're also bound to get "caught up" (especially in our own thoughts) once in a while...and when that happens, it may feel easiest to quit. Full stop. But I'm urging everyone, including you, including myself, to keep moving!

Stagnation is the death of progress. So when we're confronted, once again, by the mental quicksand that threatens to drag us under, we must seek out a branch that can pull us from the mud. For me, that's signing up for a design conference, planning a lunch with friends, brainstorming new ideas, or sometimes, it's taking intentional breaks from my computer to restore my focus.

The point is, no matter how you choose to do it, keep going! Nothing worthwhile is easy and it usually doesn't happen over night. But with persistence and enough gusto, the life you've been dreaming of can become more than a mere fantasy.

Lets make it happen!


Christmas Morning

Last night, we celebrated Christmas Eve with some of my mom's homemade sweets, Disney's Frozen and our classic Yamada hot chocolate tradition...and then, after the house grew dark and quiet, I stayed up for more hours than I thought I could physically manage.

The truth is, even as an adult, no matter how tired I actually am, I still get those Christmas Eve butterflies and my mind whirls with magical possibilities. Only now, my excitement is not necessarily for the arrival of Santa, but for Christmas morning when my loved ones will find what I've left them under the tree. This year amongst the boxes and bows is a custom-made holiday stocking I created for my mom using fabric I designed! I'm hoping she loves it as much as I loved making it.

Today is bound to be amazing and festive and filled with wonderful, quality family time. I hope you all have a lovely holiday! Happy Christmas!