BON VIVANT LI WARD

I haven’t had a cute animal photo on a Monday for ages. One of the main reasons for this is not because I am over cute animals (never), but I was having the hardest time finding credit for the photographs and couldn’t keep adding cute animal images without credit without huge amounts of guilt involved. When I came upon Li Ward’s work I knew I wanted to show it off. Even better is that Li is not only a photographer (lifestyle, pet + wedding) but a calligrapher!   It gets better, really, truly. Li pens a little blog that is honest + funny. Word on the street is people aren’t reading that many blogs anymore, but if you want to be inspired I think Li’s blog is worth a look.  Let’s talk inspiring, shall we?  Li armed with a computer science degree joined the dot.com industry, was bored (she gets bored often) so she started photographing her rescue cats, kudos and compliments ensued– Li ended up becoming a full-time photographer. Li liked to doodle and wanted to learn calligraphy, she took a two day Copperplate calligraphy class and within a year (a year!) she was voted Boston’s #1 calligrapher. I know there’s a ton of stock put into people focusing on one pursuit and you’ll become a success ot’s usually a good rule of thumb), but sometimes there’s that rare individual that has many interests and succeeds due to the passion they put into pursuing those endeavors. Did Li possess magic powers? No, she worked at it and then worked at it some more. She networked and wrote about her journey and I think these are all valuable lessons.  So, on this Monday morn I highly suggest that you consider following your heart, no matter how far fetched that may seem, you never know where you may end up.
P.S. I highly recommend you check out the links above so you can see how far Li has come!

TRUST…

I once read that one of the top five annoying conversation starters of all time is, “I had a dream last night…”. Supposedly, the idea of sharing your dreams with people is the mental equivalent of scratching your nails on a chalkboard–irksome to say the least.  I don’t know if those same people that get annoyed at hearing dreams would feel the same way if Brin Berliner told them his dreams. Brin and I shared a school bus for years, if you need to know, yes we were on the short school bus, we were in a special school for young scientist, which as you may gather from that previous admission Brin was not prone to hyperbole (I am). His dreams were so fantastical that any one of them could have been made into the world’s greatest children’s book or blockbuster movie.  I would listen intently for the almost 2 hours it took us to get to school each morning (traffic in Los Angeles is serious). Brin had dreams that well, I could only dream of having.  The other night I had a very, odd dream, it was odd on so many levels but the most predominant feature was that I was in horrible physical pain. In my dream a woman was tattooing something on the bottom of my foot. I tried not to writhe in what was excruciating pain, she promised she was almost done, I allowed her to continue. The part that’s even more odd than getting the bottom of my foot tattooed (although if you have a young daughter that wants a tattoo that seems the smartest place to put it) was that I had no idea what was being tattooed on the bottom of my foot. All I knew, beside the pain was that I was getting very anxious that it felt like whatever was being permanently adhered to my person was going to be larger than I had anticipated, and it was…When the tattoo artist was finished and I could finally examine my new tattoo I turned my foot over tentatively to see what was now a part of me, it was one word in script it read, ‘trust’. I woke up. Granted, this dream is nowhere as exciting as Brin Berliner’s dreams were but it has stuck with me all week and perhaps will stick with me longer still. I don’t usually put much stock into dream interpretation, but this one has had me Googling variations of the dream when I have a free moment.  Have you ever had a dream that just stuck with you? Do you believe in interpreting your dreams?  I am always impressed with people that can either A) remember their dreams or B) keep track of their dreams. Here’s to a happy weekend and happy dreaming!
P.S. If you like the font I used in this little graphic you can download it free here.

P.P.S. Designer Rachel W. of Benign Objects did a super cool post+ download that I loved and think you may like as well!

HAND LETTERING LOVE::JON CONTINO

I am mad about Alphastructaesthetitologist + Illustrator Jon Contino. I was having tea with a new friend the other day (yes, I made ONE friend here, I hope!), we were discussing our love of hand lettering artists and Jon Contino came up, my eyes sparkled and I swooned, I knew that I must showcase his fine work on today’s Lettering Love post.  Many of you may already be more than aware of Mr. Contino, for those that don’t I am hoping this is quite the visual treat. I love all his work, but it’s his work on the Original Makers Club that I am currently coo coo for. These pieces make me want to hitch a ride to Lexington, Kentucky and join this club that I know nothing about, his work is that good. I am sure he is going to be around for a long time and I am eager to see what other magic he has up his sleeve as I know it will be equally as coveted by moi.

PINTEREST CURATOR::KELSEY CRONKHITE

I have been having a grand ‘ol time putting together these Pinterest curator posts. My fave part is finding themes within each board, it’s a visual treasure hunt, very challenging and satisfying to me. Graphic designer, Kelsey Cronkhite of Pinegate Road has pretty eclectic tastes and is decidedly modern but you can find a woodland nature bent throughout her pins that I adore. Kelsey’s pins feel very fresh and unique, not the same old pins floating through the ‘Pin-o-sphere’. Miss Kelsey is also very good about pinning original sources and I feel that deserves a big virtual thumbs up. If you want to follow someone that is pinning new, original, interesting and modern inspiration with a bit of nature thrown in then I think you should give Kelsey a looksy.

I do have a little Pin tip this week. I know I mentioned before to try to get original sources and I do have a lot of early Pins and mobile pins that do not (very bad behavior). When I have gone back and tried in vain to find a source and haven’t been able to, I have been adding a note to please let me know who the photo is by so I can give proper credit. In a perfect world I would not Pin it at all, but I truly would like to know more about a photographer; if I see great work and it feels like my only option is to ask for information from the interwebs than I will. Lately, I have noticed a lot of my photographs being pinned which is completely flattering and I am so grateful. A lot of my photographs have been pinned via Tumblr blogs and there NEVER seems to be any credit given to original sources there. What I have been doing and I suggest is a sweet/kind way if you see your images pinned without credit (or even with credit) is I leave a comment and thank the person for pinning my image.  I know not everyone cares about attribution and they are going with the flow and pinning on impulse waiting in line at the DMV etc. so this is my little solution for now to get my attribution out there. I can’t be angry about not having attribution, I think that’s silly, especially when I put images on-line.  I take the risk of my images being used in nefarious ways or not being credited for them, that’s a risk I am willing to take and thus my sweet + simple solution above.  Now go off and Pin to your hearts desire and try to give credit or find the original source, it may not happen overnight but just future Pins try to keep this little bit of advice in mind.

//Former Pinterest Curators//

Ginny Branch Stelling
Suzonne Stirling
Michelle P.

RADIOLAB

I have mentioned that I don’t listen to music when I work, I know totally weird, but true. I have been addicted to the podcast ‘Stuff you Missed in History Class’ and after I had plowed through every episode and every episode of ‘This American Life’ I had been left bereft that I no longer had anything interesting to listen to. The kindest soul (and possibly one of the most awesome) mentioned Radio Lab and I went over to check it out, ‘Whoa, Nelly!‘ Talk about awesome to the ‘nth degree. It’s almost like if ‘My Missed in History’ (if it was science-centric) and ‘This American Life’ had a love child it would be this podcast.  My only complaint (if you could call it that), is sometimes I find myself a little too engrossed and writing or more like re-writing emails multiple times because I am so enthralled.   I am sadly almost through all of these episodes as well, so I am putting out a public plea for more podcast suggestions, please do let me know what I should be listening to next.
Oh, and I do have an Audible account (totally bragging), which is hit or miss.  I have downloaded some pretty boring narrations. I recently bought a wild card audiobook-The Dangerous Animals Club that has had me laughing out loud. It’s in the vain of David Sedaris and I have loved almost every minute of it, there is a weird engineering snafu on one of the chapters but other than that I am so pleased that  was feeling wild and bought it on a whim.