New year’s goals and mottos

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Happy New Year friends!  We hope that everyone is feeling happy and healthy and ready for 2017.  Each year Michelle and I have tried to come up with a motto for the year, something to keep us on track and moving forward. Last year we couldn’t make up our mind although the Mary Oliver quote, ‘Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one precious and wild life?’ was something that resonated with us and was our unofficial motto.  It helped us create a more solid focus for our business and was really instrumental in getting us to focus in general (something we have improved on but still struggle with, baby steps).  This year we both individually presented basically the same motto, although worded differently it felt very much the same.

I was thinking about what I wanted more of and how it was going to come about, really how in the flip, flappin’ jackin’ world was it going to happen??!!? and I knew that I was going have to make it happen, none of this wishy washy if it’s meant to be, it’ll be, blah, blah, I  had a resounding inner dialogue of ‘make your own magic’, it has played on loop since the eve of the new year. If this is what I want more of in my life then I was going to have to make it happen. Of course ‘magic’ for me would be different for you, it is what I feel gives life a little more of that ‘anything can happen feeling’ and reveling in it when it does, both little moments and big. I know I am going to have to make some bold and brave moves this year if I want to make magic, but I feel I am up for the challenge. Michelle had wrote down, ‘You can find magic, or you can make it’. I think it’s auspicious that we both had magic on our mind. We are dreamers indeed, but we are also doers. We aren’t talking literal magic, although if Michelle started levitating that would be something to write about, but being wonder-filled, curious, creative and doors of opportunities waiting for us to walk through. Before I left to go to the studio, Michelle sent a text ‘It’s on’, and yes, it is. Now that we have narrowed our focus and cut out a lot of excess, it is time for us to just go after what we want. We have already started the year right and made HUGE progress on a project we have spent years talking about, something that I personally lacked confidence in my skill set to do, but I bit the bullet and went for it and to my surprise it turned out so much better than I could have imagined (even Michelle who is just as picky as me agreed). We are making headway in the first week of January to do things we only talked about and that my friends is giving me a very optimistic outlook on things to come. The magic is happening…

And you?  Are you as excited about the new year? Do you have a motto/mantra for the new year?  We always love hearing your thoughts!

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

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Graphic design freebies and finds

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Yesterday was Monday which means the new freebies are released from Creative Market, it’s something I always look forward to because sometimes you get some real winners and that never seems to happen with freebies!  Creative Market if you are unaware is a community of creatives that have come together to sell their wares to make your design life a bit easier.  You can find great talent- font designers, stock photography, design elements and so much more!  Yesterday the above stock photo was released, it came as set, completely free (you just need to have a free Creative Market account to download) by Her Creative Studio, which has some nice + simple stock photography. If you have been wanting some holiday inspired images for your blog, mailing list promo etc. you can download free for a week after that you have to buy it. Below are some more freebies and some new font finds (sorry they aren’t free BUT there is a font freebie here and here).Read More

DIY WATERCOLOR GIFT TAGS

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The year is coming to a close (some would say thankfully) at breakneck speed! We hope you are finding a few minutes of peace and quiet in the midst of all the season’s hustle and bustle. For some reason, even when my to do list is daunting, I always want to infuse a handmade element into my gift giving.

These watercolor gift tags are probably the fastest DIY I’ve ever done (and been happy with). The dipping and painting is a breeze (two swipes on each side with a brush and you are done). Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the tags to dry – 15 to 30 minutes in a warm house. Pop it on a white or kraft bag with a bit of ribbon and you are good to go!

  1. Quickly dip the very bottom of the tag into a bowl of water.
  2. Lightly load your brush with paint, and apply pigment to the wet portion of the tag (both sides).
  3. Place the tag on a plate (I used another paint palette) so the wet portion of the tag can hang over the edge and dry without touching anything that will mess it up.

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RESOURCES

Shipping Tags  -I picked mine up at Staples, but these are similar.

Watercolor Set

Watercolor Palettes

White Gift Bags

Kraft Gift Bags

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

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Pirelli 2017 Calendar photos by Peter Lindbergh

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I got this free font in my email today (don’t worry I will share the link!) and I was looking to put together a cool graphic to show it off, it’s a really nice brush font, because it has a little masculine edge which I was drawn to. It’s always nice to be able to have a variety of fonts to serve different purposes. I don’t often collect free fonts because they are usually poor quality and hog up a lot of precious memory on my computer so I try to keep to higher quality fonts, but this font isn’t always free and seems to be pretty well built! I was creating a comp that wasn’t coming together and then I spotted a preview for the new Pirelli calendar and was blown away. The calendar is known for it’s history of sexy glam images but last year with Annie Liebovitz’s take it shifted gears, this year the amazing Peter Lindbergh (one of my fave photographers) continued in Ms. Liebovitz vain, he said, “I aimed to create a calendar not around perfect bodies, but on sensitivity and emotion, stripping down to the very soul of the sitters, who thus become more nude than naked”. 

The calendar also will not be retouched, what the what?  That’s pretty awesome and that’s coming from someone that loves her some editing programs. The thing is I love simple and that includes a simple edit, I also love emotion in images,. I want to be moved in some way, I want to feel something, that’s when I think photos have the most impact. One of my photographic goals is to be able to capture more ‘moments’, even when editing, I have started asking myself ‘where is the moment?’ and edit for focus on that. It’s a process, everything is right? But if you want to become better at something besides spending more time doing the thing you want to get better at, I think a good question is to ask yourself what you want to accomplish from doing X, Y, Z?  I would love for people to look at my work and feel something, hopefully it’s love, because who doesn’t want someone to fall madly in love with their work? But I digress, you want a free font right?…

//RESOURCES//

Creative Market-Free download Monday (every Monday they send goodies to your inbox!)

Brush Font (once the promo is over)

Pirelli Calendar 2017 behind the scenes

Annie Liebovitz Pirelli calendar

Peter Lindbergh

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Blogs of mention…

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I stopped reading blogs ages ago, because I was afraid I would be too easily influenced by them, in retrospect I did myself an incredible disservice, not only did I miss out on community but I also missed out on new discoveries! I know, it’s so hard when there’s limited time and giving a ‘heart’ on Instagram or stalking your ex on Facebook is so much easier (I jest, my FB account is suspended for non-use, true), but you get my drift.

I recently read Erin Boyle’s book Simple Matters, I did not know she had a blog, her book had come up as recommended reading based on past reads. It’s a lovely little book, which is in line with her ‘less is more’ philosophy. I am a minimalist but she has taken it to whole new heights living in 240 square feet with obviously the best husband on earth (because if I lived in a 240 square foot apartment with my husband…), they now live in an under 500 square foot apartment with a toddler and soon to add a newborn. This is truly sticking to your ideals. Erin lives in New York city and I love her philosophy as using her city as an extension of her living space, think picnics in the park, etc. Erin has a good eye and exquisite taste, after I stopped by her blog I wished I knew about it sooner. Since we have already discussed blogs going the way of the dodo, I figured I’d give some mentions to blogs that are still out there and thriving, because it’s possible, anything is possible, right? If you are interested in a crash course in simple living than her book is for you, if you could have written the book on minimalist living then it is not, but your minimalist loving heart will embrace it–it is pared down, organized and well written. My only gripe would be I would have loved more of the gorgeous photographs that are in the book, but there’s the blog to visit to get your eye candy fix!

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Reading my tea leaves

Simple Matters- For anyone looking to de-clutter and organize their life

Erin Boyle Instagram

If you want more reading for a simple life here are a few that I enjoyed:

Plain Simple Useful by Terence Conran

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (be prepared to feel incredibly guilty)

Life Changing Magic of Tidying-up by Marie Kondo

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.