Lovely Web Links: September 29, 2012

Lovely Web Links - Tiny Manhattan Apartment on Design Sponge Lovely Web Links on a Saturday? Yes,  it's happening. Enjoy! (Sorry for missing Thursday - it's been a kooky week!)

+ This tiny, light-filled Manhattan apartment is my idea of single-girl heaven.

+ Smart and sassy tips for clothes shopping on a budget.

+ Secrets to finding the best vintage finds at flea markets. I really, really need to go to the Rose Bowl flea market someday soon - it's just a few miles from my apartment!

+ How pretty are these little birdies, drawn and colored only with Sharpies?

+ Spicy chipotle sweet potato soup. Can't wait to try this recipe out this week!

+ "NEVER snicker when the head pastor prays that you or anyone else will be 'penetrated by the Holy Spirit'." Seriously, I love Jamie's blog.

Happy Saturday!

To Live a Creative Life

To live a creative life we must lose the fear of being wrong
It's so true, isn't it? "To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong." After a couple of posts last week on the topic of perfectionism and fear of failure, stumbling upon this image last night on Pinterest seemed quite serendipitous.

Okay, I get it. Being wrong or failing isn't the worst thing that can happen - not getting back up after a failure is. 

PS. I'm certain that the typo in the word "loose" is intentional, and by being spelled wrong it helps get the point across that it's not the end of the world to be wrong...but the grammar nerd in me is cringing! Ack!

PPS. I just updated my Press page - take a peek!

Happy Monday!

Life Lately: September 21, 2012

Lesley Myrick Life Lately - Vintage Suitcases
Life lately has been a little less eventful than previous weeks - there were no road trips or seasickness  or ridiculously beautiful sunsets. But you know what? That's cool. 

I'm sad to say that I've been having some Instagram issues and haven't been able to log in, so all the cool pics I snapped at the Kelly Wearstler store on Melrose yesterday will have to wait. Have you ever seen Kelly's interior design and fashion designs? That girl is BOMB. Her style is right up my alley - totally badass and unexpected. I found this amazing leather dress with punched-out circles that made me audibly gasp in the store - but when I found out it cost nearly as much as my rent payment, I knew it was time to part ways.

Happy Friday!


Lovely Web Links: September 20, 2012

Lovely web links about design and art featuring Bombshell font

+ This font? I DIE

+ Ceci n'est pas un pug. The former art student (and lover of Rene Magritte) in me loves this.

+ What your 16 hour workday says about you. Harsh, but true.

+ Sick of 16 hour days? Here's the best office farewell email ever (NSFW).

+ Chevron lovers -  here are 240 free chevron patterns for download.

+ Another free graphic download - cute metal rim tags from Puglypixel.

+ Are you sharing more on Facebook than you realize?

+ Colorful iPhone wallpapers. (I'll take the blocks, please!)

+ I just got a new calendar app for my iPhone. I'm in nerdy, organized love.

+ For my real, grown-up job, I blogged about Snooki. Seriously.

Happy Thursday!

Indie Business: The Secret to Getting Started

How to get started on a project- Indie Business Tips
[Images via Pinterest; original sources unknown]

With freelance design and indie business projects, the hardest part for me is simply getting started. While I do have faith in myself and in the creative talents that God has (oh so generously) blessed me with, the perfectionist in me is constantly fearful. Fearful that the ideas won't come. Fearful that what I create won't meet up to my clients' desires and expectations. Fearful that I'm inadequate as an artist. Fearful that when push comes to shove, I won't be able to create anything worthwhile. Fearful that I will try - and fail.

Growing up, I was very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a lot of praise from my supportive parents (thanks Mom and Dad!) about my art and my singing. And while it delights me to no end that my family and friends have always been genuinely supportive of my life, my work, and my art, it has ironically caused crippling perfectionism and fear of failure in me. What should have empowered me has actually paralyzed me - they believe in me so much that I don't want to do anything to let them down! So, instead of trying and failing (failure feels like just about the worst option possible for me), my default setting is just not to try. And as someone who leans towards introversion, I'm also "in my head" so much thinking about all the possibilities of what might happen, which is absolutely exhausting because before I've lifted a finger, I've gone through the process several times in my mind! And by that time, just starting a project feels near impossible. (Sidenote: I struggled with severe stage fright for years, and I swear that it's only by facing my fears and with God's grace that I can actually get on stage and perform today. For most of my life, I was so terrified of putting myself out there that I didn't sing. Ever. And it's something that I truly love.)

So, if you struggle with a similar fear of failure, what's the secret to getting started?

It's simple - just open the box.
Open box of art supplies - the secret to getting started
Here's what I mean. My art supplies are all kept in a closet in our hallway. Everything I need is right there, brimming with potential. And yet, the hardest part of any creative project for me is getting over my fears and simply opening those boxes. I'm overwhelmed  by the potential options inside, so it feels safer to keep them closed. But when I finally get the courage to open the boxes and start a project (usually because of a close deadline!), something powerful happens. Taking them down from the shelves and exploring the papers, stickers, paints, and ephemera that I've collected over time somehow releases my fears, because suddenly I can see an actual solution to my design conundrum. I open those boxes for each collage art project, and ideas come. Art flows. EVERY TIME. The fear of the unknown, the fear of not being able to create seems to fade. Sure, there might be moments of struggle and resistance while working it all out, but there's something magical that happens when you put yourself in a posture of openness to the creative process, instead of remaining closed off in your mind. Even if you don't feel ready, just opening the boxes with the intent to start can often be the springboard to creative success. 

And while it is a simple tip, I fully acknowledge that taking action on it is not that simple. It takes courage to push aside fears of failure, self-doubt, and the myriad of other excuses that make it easier and safer to not try, rather than trying and failing.

So what does "opening the box" look like for you? Is it physically opening a box of supplies? Is it sitting down at the computer and opening Photoshop? Is it grabbing your guitar and a pad of paper? Is it heading to the library to browse reference books? 

Even as I'm writing these  words, it's still tough for me to actually take them to heart and take action. I'm the first to admit that I read all kinds of design advice, but have a hard time putting it in to practice. However, knowledge is nothing without action. I hope that this knowledge will empower you to take that action, even if you're afraid. After all, courage doesn't mean you're not afraid. Courage means that you feel the fear, and do it anyway. Go open the box, baby.

Galatians 6:4-5 quote
Do you struggle with a similar fear of failure or creative block when a new creative project is on the table? What's your secret to getting started?

Happy Wednesday! Go kick some creative ass.

I Heart It, You Heart It, We Heart It

We Heart It Inspiration Photos from Lesley Myrick
Before there was Pinterest, there was We Heart It. I was completely enthralled with this photo bookmarking site a few years ago! It's fun to look back at the images I was "hearting"- I haven't seen them in nearly three or four years, and while I'm definitely still attracted to some of them (hello tattoos and Polaroid cameras!), I can definitely see how my style and aesthetic has evolved.
We Heart It Inspiration Photos from Lesley Myrick We Heart It Inspiration Photos from Lesley Myrick
While We Heart It is a place to find beautiful, inspiring imagery, its main downfall (which, unfortunately, is happening with Pinterest too) is that many of the images are bookmarked from sites like Tumblr where it's near impossible to track down the original image source. So, sorry artists and photographers who took these lovely photos. You did great, but you're probably not getting credit for it. Sad trombone.

Happy Tuesday!

Thoughts from a Procrastinating Perfectionist

Jaime Beitler Art
When we moved to Los Angeles, I remember being so surprised (and slightly annoyed) that everyone had such packed schedules. Nate and I had to "book" dates with friends a month or more in advance. And now? WE'RE THOSE PEOPLE. I'm trying to find time this week for a few freelance projects among mentoring friends through Mosaic; performing at a welcome event at Fuller Seminary; having friends over for dinner; attending interior design events downtown - oh, and a full-time job too. I'm thankful and so blessed that my life is bursting with satisfying things, but it's sure an easy excuse for me to procrastinate! I've heard the saying "If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person" - and I think it's time to become that busy person who's kicking ass and taking names, instead of that busy person who's avoiding starting projects and blaming it on her schedule even though it's really about her perfectionism and fears of inadequacy (more on that on Wednesday). 

PS. How rad is this collage by Jaime Beitler? It's made of cut-up pieces of her old art prints. Brilliant.

Happy Monday!

Life Lately: September 14, 2012

Lesley Myrick life lately Instagram photos September 14 2012My life lately has been busy! Between a spontaneous weekend trip sailing on the Pacific (in which I got mighty seasick), a packed work schedule (including attending fancy-schmancy social events, and everyday life stuff, it's been a full week. And I'm so grateful for it. Here's a peek at life thorough my Instagram lens this week.

Lesley Myrick life lately Instagram photos September 14 2012 After I was violently seasick on the Pacific, I was thrilled to be back on land exploring lovely Ventura, CA. 

Lesley Myrick life lately Instagram photos September 14 2012 Before I was violently seasick, I was optimistic about spending a day on the ocean. We saw seals and dolphins, people! SEALS AND DOLPHINS!

Lesley Myrick life lately Instagram photos September 14 2012 One of the week's highlights was visiting the Old Creek Ranch and Winery. We did a wine tasting (my first!) and splurged on a delicious bottle of red to split with a couple of friends during our picnic lunch. 

Lesley Myrick life lately Instagram photos September 14 2012 The week ended with the launch party for the California Home + Design showhouse in Hollywood. There is so much talent in the Los Angeles design community - it's definitely a privilege to be involved with such a phenomenal group of interior designers! 

PS. Do any other Instagram users out there tend to gravitate towards the same filters all the time? Walden and Nashville are definitely my go-to's. (I stumbled upon this Instagram horoscope as I was writing this - ha!)

Happy Friday!

Lovely Web Links: September 13, 2012

Lovely web links - wallpaper collage by Ludovica Gioscia
+ The coolest interior design idea I've seen in a while - a wallpaper collage.

+ Speaking of wallpaper - Hermes has a cute interactive desktop wallpaper-maker on their site.

+ Super helpful for Blogger users: all about Blogger search features.

+ Love this profile of Katie Armour from Matchbook magazine. Her office style is so chic and cute.

+ 3 big lies that could be holding your business back.

+ I'm such a grammar nerd. Here are 20 common grammar mistakes almost everyone makes! (Edit: I had previously written "Here are 20 common grammar mistakes almost everyone gets wrong!" - and then my mom pointed out that that statement, is in fact, a grammatical error. If everyone "gets a mistake wrong", then they're technically getting it right, no? Ha.) 

Happy Thursday!

Creative Inspiration: Surreal Portraits

Surreal portraits by photographer John Stezaker
Get ready to get weird. These are surreal portraits by John Stezaker, who splices and merges photographs from other artists to create collages that are fantastically disturbing. The best part? He won a £30,000 prize for these images in a photography contest - and didn't take a single photo. 

Surreal portraits by photographer John Stezaker Surreal portraits by photographer John Stezaker Surreal portraits by photographer John Stezaker
Happy Wednesday!

Interior Styling Inspiration

Interior styling inspiration from Pinterest
I'm a sucker for great styling (I'm that girl who's constantly re-arranging little vignettes in my own home) and I've been collecting some beautiful interior styling inspiration images on Pinterest. I think these little displays are just so pretty, don't you? Love that vintage camera photo!

Follow me on Pinterest for more design and art inspiration. xo

Happy Monday!

Life Lately: September 7, 2012

Lesley Myrick's life lately - sunset in California This week has been Instagram heaven! Nate and I drove down the coast to beautiful La Jolla, California (which, as I embarrassingly learned, is pronounced Hoya, not Jolla like it looks - eek) and had an incredible long weekend away photographing the mountains, wandering the shore of the Pacific, eating delicious food, and attending the beautiful wedding of two dear friends.

Lesley Myrick's life lately - sunset in California
I've only been to handful of weddings in my life (6, including my own) and this was the first wedding that I've ever performed in! My handsome husband played acoustic guitar and I sang as the wedding party walked down the aisle in the processional. So magical.

Lesley Myrick's life lately - sunset in California The scenery was indescribably beautiful - and escaping from hectic Los Angeles to spend time in the mountains and the seaside was much needed. It felt a little surreal to be surrounded by wide open spaces, but the breathing room was a lovely treat.

Lesley Myrick's life lately - sunset in California
Now it's back to real life in LA. Le sigh.

 Happy Friday!

Lovely Web Links: September 6, 2012

Anne Sage in Lesley Myrick's Weekly Web Links 
+ Indie biz owners - here are quarterly estimated taxes explained. Thank heavens!

+ On managing your time as a freelancer (or as anyone, really).

+ How to use social media channels to promote your blog.

+ Love this little daybed reading nook.

+ Em Henderson's 10 tips on finding design compromise for couples. (Any decorating article that recommends buying "one piece of leather furniture" is fine by me!)

+ Doesn't my girl Anne look so stylish?

+ Also - if you're in the mood for some witty commentary in the third person, take a peek at my new bio.

What's been on your interweb radar this week?

Happy Thursday!

Blogger Tips: Design Your Own Blog

Tips to design your own blog with iMac on desk If you want to design your own blog, but don't know where to start, trust me when I say it's possible! I know nothing about web design or coding except for what I've learned via Google, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite Blogger tips to help you personalize and customize your blog. Here are a few links to get your started on your own blog design adventure:

Blue laptop and blue desk chair
+ First things first: back up your blog and your template.

+ BlogMilk has some of the loveliest premade blog templates out there at very reasonable prices (and Ana is an absolute gem to work with!). Only 15 of each design are sold, so you can be assured your blog won't look like everyone else's. 

+ Another great place to find premade blog templates is Etsy

+ Don't have the budget to purchase a template? Try a site like OurBlogTemplates - it's where I found my previous template. Puglypixel has a couple of cute freebies too!

+ Here's how to install your new template without losing your widgets.

+ To create an image slider for your blog's header (like the one I have at the top with three images that fade in and out), this is the best and simplest tutorial I could find. And trust me, I spent about a bazillion hours searching and unsuccessfully installing other ones! There are still a couple minor tweaks I'd like to make to it, but until I can afford custom coding this is a pretty solid option.

+ PuglyPixel has a fab tutorial on creating a custom navbar, like mine above. I had no idea how simple this was!

+ There are loads of free social media icons available, but this set comes in a myriad of colors, and includes icons like Instagram and Pinterest, which can be hard to find. (I will confess that I created the Bloglovin' one myself, so feel free to grab it if you need it!)

+ Here's how to add clickable images to your sidebars. My social media icons, all the post categories under the "Read" heading, and my Etsy shop link were all created this way.

+ Snapwidget is a free and customizable widget for adding photos from your Instagram feed to your sidebar.

+ Some HTML basics for creating uniform image widths on your blog. To me, this is absolutely essential for creating a strong visual look and professional presence for your blog.

+ Want a simple form for your readers to contact you? Here's a great free one (it's what I use on my Contact page).

I'm all about sharing knowledge and resources, and I'd love to hear if you have any great Blogger tips or links that you found to help design your own blog. Please share your fave links in the comments and let's help each other out! And if you found this post useful, please tweet it!

Happy Wednesday!

12 Goals for 2012: Blog Makeover!

Lesley Myrick Art + Design blog makeover
Yesterday, my sweet little blog looked like this...

And today, it looks like THIS! (If you're viewing this post in a reader, it's time to hop on over to the blog and see for yourself.) I've been dreaming of this blog re-do for a while - it's actually goal #1 on my 12 Goals for 2012 - and with this being back-to-school season it felt like the perfect time for a fresh start. The template is simpler and more graphic (I love the washi tape-style titles in the sidebar!); there's a scrolling slideshow instead of a static header image; the post column is wider to feature larger images; I've designed a custom navbar; and I've removed unnecessary gadgets, links, and content. It's a fresher and cleaner look that's more in line with my aesthetic. 

I'm still tweaking a few things (like re-doing the about page and press page) so please pardon the dust for the next little while as I fine-tune the layout and content. 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a few of the resources, tips, and tricks I used to design and code the new blog layout. I promise, it's not as scary as you might think to re-design your own blog! Get ready for some of the most useful links ever

Happy Tuesday!

On Beauty Sleep

Betty White quote on beauty sleep
"Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep. Nine if you're ugly." - Betty White

Happy Monday!

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