Lovely Web Links: January 31, 2013

Lovely Web Links - Abstract Art
+ Beautiful abstract art

+ DesignLoveFest's free desktop wallpapers are always awesome.

+ Need a little pep talk? Listen to Kid President.

+ "I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married."

+ Em Henderson's take on the best and worst design apps. (Wunderlist has changed my life, seriously!)

+ My beautiful friend Sarah shares a recipe for sweet potato leek soup. YES PLEASE.

+ Win a $1000 shopping spree to Fossil? ALSO, YES PLEASE.

And find me elsewhere on the interwebs...

Happy Thursday!

Creative Inspiration: Sage Vaughn

Sage Vaughn Paintings Art 1
I'm loving the color, movement, and energy of painter Sage Vaughn's work. I'm particularly drawn to his Wildlife pieces, especially after reseaching a bit into the meaning behind them: "[Vaughn's] paintings are a response to [his] questions about the human condition, the challenge of being in the world. The birds and insects he depicts are affirmations of life, and intended to remind us of our own strategies for survival in the modern world" [from here]. 

Sage Vaughn Mixed Media Art 1 Sage Vaughn Mixed Media Art 1 Sage Vaughn Mixed Media Art 1 Sage Vaughn Mixed Media Art 1 Sage Vaughn Mixed Media Art 1
Plus, they're all really, really pretty.

Happy Tuesday!

Follow Your Gut

Zooey Deschanel Quote Follow Your Gut “Somebody asked me, “How did you start doing comedy?” and I was like, “By being unintentionally funny.” I think making a movie or a record, the best things happen by accident—and those end up being the magic. Every time I’ve followed my gut it’s been better than when I’ve tried to do what I was supposed to do.” - Zooey Deschanel

Happy Monday!

Life Lately: January 26, 2013

Lesley Myrick on Instagram
Isn't it ironic that life itself often gets in the way of putting together a life lately post? But even if the photos don't always make it here, you can always follow me on Instagram to see the weird and wonderful things that make up my days. Be warned though - I really like frozen yogurt and you'll likely see a lot of that.

This week: Appreciating the changing weather (it's been cool and rainy, which I love); indulging in a little fro-yo (see?); slowly making over our living room; treating Nate to a Husband Appreciation Night; and art directing/styling my first photo shoot for 55 Downing Street (you can see the final shot here, complete with peacock!).
Lesley Myrick on Instagram
How was your week? Thanks for taking a peek into mine. xo

Happy weekend!

Lovely Web Links: January 24, 2013

Lovely Web Links - Free Fonts from A Subtle Revelry
+ So many pretty free fonts! (Except a few are not free. Oh well.)

+ I absolutely loved Moonrise Kingdom (did you?) and this illustrated script is perfection. 

+ This made me giggle. I'm still a Spice Girls fan after all these years. 

+ In case you missed it, here's how to design a logo (or rather, misadventures in logo design!).

+ Seriously Scarlett Johansson, could your hair and makeup be any more perfect?

Happy Thursday!

Indie Biz: How To Design A Logo

How to Design a Logo
This post really should be called "How to Design a Logo Then How NOT To Design a Logo Then How to Fix Your Major Mistake and Make Your Client Super Happy". And this more truthful title may alert you to the fact that during the graphic design process, sometimes shizz happens that takes some supreme craftiness to resolve.

Guys, welcome to real-life graphic design.

But don't worry, this post has a happy ending! Here's a detailed look at the process of designing a logo from start to finish. All goes smoothly, until step 5...

Step 1:  Establish your client's needs, and develop a few design concepts. My client, Annette Papa,  is a personal trainer who recently started her own business working with women to create strong, confident bodies. Her business is all about empowering women, and I wanted to reflect that strength in her logo, while still having it feel feminine. After roughly sketching a few ideas on good 'ol paper, here are the four initial concepts I whipped up and sent out for review:
How to Design a Logo, Step 1 
Step 2: Choose one option and develop it further. After having a couple of days to check out the concepts, option  #1 was selected as the winner. However, she wasn't sold on the hard-edged wings, or the font selected for the word "training". But it gave us guidance moving forward. I experimented with a few new font options, and softer wing designs. Digital drawing is not my strength (I'm kinda old-school - I prefer working with pen and paper) so I chose a few different wing options from Shutterstock that I liked, and planned to purchase the winner once the final decisions wr. (More experienced graphic designers will read that last sentence and see a big red flag. I naively didn't! But we'll get to that...)
  How to Design a Logo, Step 2 
Step  3: Refine the details. Once the font and style of wing was chosen, Annette asked to see an option for the wings that had harder, more linear edges (similar to the original concept). However, when viewing them side by side, she preferred the softer option.
  How to Design a Logo, Step 3 Step 4: Choose colors and create the final files! Annette had already decided on light teal as the accent color for her brand, so I presented a few different options as to how the color could be applied. She chose to go with black text, and the wings would be filled in with teal. TA DA! LOGO! EVERYONE'S HAPPY! At this point I went to purchase the stock wing image and prepare the final files for both web and print. 
  How to Design a Logo, Step 4 Step 5: Realize you've made a crucial newbie mistake. Did you think that royalty-free images (like those from Shutterstock) could be used as part of a logo? I sure did! But guess what?


This is a really, really unfortunate thing to learn this far in the process. My dear, sweet client was thrilled to have her logo files on their way, and I had to break the news that she could not, in fact, have the design that she had approved. To say that I was mortified at this point (not to mention quite discouraged!) is an understatement.
How to Design a Logo, Step 5
Step 6. Drink heavily. (Kidding!) Step 6 was to pull up my bootstraps, and get to work. With no choice but to create a new wing design myself, I started sketching something that would be similar to the desired look, without infringing on the original design. Above is the absolutely crappy concept that I sent to Annette. She must have had an insane amount of faith in my skills, because she didn't flinch at it at all, and gave the go-ahead to continue.

  How to Design a Logo, Step 6 Step 7: Make a plan, and get familiar with my tablet. I have a Wacom Bamboo, but have only used it for handwriting - not drawing. Knowing that the wing design would need to be drawn entirely freehand, I created a loose guideline (above, in teal) and began to rough out the wing. There is definitely an art to drawing on a tablet, and I am eternally grateful for this post from PuglyPixel with a quick tip that really helped! 
How to Design a Logo, Step 7 Step 8: Somehow, create this awesome thang. With loads of patience and often working at 400% magnification with a 1px brush to get every edge and detail just right, the wing design started to evolve. I wanted it to have a loose, flowing feel, but it still needed to be crisp and well-executed. Mission accomplished. 
How to Design a Logo, Step 8
Step 9: Create and present final files (for real this time!). Annette was thrilled with the final logo design package, and I'm happy to say I am too. I'm a perfectionist - as many artists are - and would not be happy presenting a client with something that I wasn't confident would represent their brand and business with style. 

Alright designer friends, I've gotta know...have you ever made a major mess-up on a client project? How did you resolve it?

Happy Tuesday!

Matchbook Magazine

Lesley Myrick's Profile on Matchbook Magazine
I have been completely smitten with Matchbook Magazine (and its delightful co-founder and editorial director Katie Armour, my new internet friend) since its launch in January 2011, and have secretly wanted to be featured in their monthly "Matchbook Profile". Lucky for me, Matchbook recently launched a new section of their website where you can create your very own Matchbook profile and bookmark your favorite products in your own curated mini-Matchbook shoppe. Adorable. It's a little way to make every gal feel special.

Happy Monday!

Lovely Web Links: January 17, 2013

Lovely Web Links - Kelli Murray Platinum Hair
If you're new here, you might be asking, what's Lovely Web Links? Well my dear, it's the best of indie business advice, design inspiration, and general awesomeness I've discovered on the internet in the past week. Ready? Start clicking!

+ If I had hair (you know, if like 2/3 of my head wasn't shaved) I would want it to be platinum.

+ The million dollar business question - how do you get people to pay for your time and talent

+ More great interior design tips from Em Henderson - secrets to shopping for vintage on Craigslist.

+ Design bloggers - you can win a scholarship to the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference in LA! (I'll be there, and I have a couch you can crash on. Join me!)

+ Love Meg Biram's new lighting from Lamps Plus. It's pretty amazing how lighting can transform a room!

+ Beautiful life advice. [Via Anne Sage]

+ I'm on the hunt for an iPad 3 case, and this is one of my favorites. (Readers, any recommendations?)

+ "Perfectionism is a dream killer, because it's just fear disguised as trying to do your best. It just is." WHOA.

And here's where you can find me elsewhere on the internet:

+ Sharing my favorite 5 storage and organization tips on 55 Downing Street.

+ Featured in an interview about my blog and business on Create Hype (thanks Megan!).

Happy Thursday!

Creative Inspiration: Bianca Green

Creative Inspiration Bianca Green 1
I am totally inspired by the artwork of Bianca Green. I discovered Bianca on Society 6 and I love her colorful, patterned interpretations of everyday objects, rendered in her signature quirky blend of "illustration meets collage". I enjoy that all her little patterned pieces fit perfectly into a clearly defined (yet loose and imperfect) outline, almost like a digital quit. Way cool.
Creative Inspiration Bianca Green 2 Creative Inspiration Bianca Green 3 Creative Inspiration Bianca Green 5 Creative Inspiration Bianca Green 4
Happy Tuesday!

Lovely Web Links: January 10, 2013

Kelly Wearstler Patterns
+ Love Kelly Wearstler's eye for pattern and color.

+ How do outsiders view your brand and business?

+ Nubby Twiglet has some great organizing inspiration for 2013.

+ Super cute: A Minnesota winter. (This is what most of our Christmas vacation looked like!)

+ A fun DIY for customizing a tote bag with your favorite quote.

+ A beautiful quote.

+ Oh, cats.

Happy Thursday!

I've Got the (Sofa) Blues

Emily Henderson Blue Living Room Sofa
A very monumental, grown-up event has occurred in my life: Nate and I bought our first sofa. Sure, we've had sofas before - hand-me-downs and freebies that were supremely uncomfortable and supremely ugly - but this is the first time we've bought a sofa that we actually want to have! We both love tuxedo-style sofas with deep tufting, so choosing a style was a no-brainer (and thanks to The Sofa Company, we were actually able to afford the look we wanted too!). We went shopping thinking we wanted one in deep charcoal grey.

We put lots of thought into the color for our first real sofa. Grey is safe. Grey is lovely. Grey is classic. We both like to wear grey. We won't get tired of grey.

Guys, we bought a TEAL sofa. 

We did not go for safe. We did not go for classic. I'm talking vibrant, dark peacock-ish teal faux leather. 

It's gonna be AMAZING!

While I was browsing fabric swatches a sliver of teal caught my eye, and the wheels started turning in my brain. I love Emily Henderson's living room (check out the top photo) with her royal blue vintage sofa, and I figured if Em has the design-balls to make a blue sofa look incredible, than surely I can work it too. 

Our little teal baby won't be ready for a few weeks, but here's a peek at what's cooking. And just for fun, I've rounded up a few more teal and blue sofas that kinda rock my face off.

Emily Henderson Living Room with Teal Vintage Sofa House of Honey Royal Blue Tufted Sofa Room Service Aqua Tuxedo Sofa Emily Henderson Aqua Tufted Sofa Peacock Blue Tufted Sofa by Lindakdesign on Flirck
Happy Wednesday!

PS. Despite my gushing praise, this is not a sponsored post. The Sofa Company is just awesome. And so is Em Henderson.

2013: The Year of Intention

Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel on Lesley Myrick Art and Design
Happy New Year! I love the fresh newness that January brings, and I always look forward to creating a list of goals and desires for the year ahead. However, after careful consideration, for 2013 I've decided not to do that. 

Goals and resolutions are great to have, but often we write lists of things that are "accomplish-able", and once the tasks are done they're checked off a list and that's that. There's no lasting change, no real growth. Sure, they're noteworthy accomplishments, but I don't just want a checklist of things to get done and move on from. This year, I want real growth and change in my life. 

One of my 12 goals for 2012 was to follow a bible reading plan, and I'm proud to say that I've been successful at that. After completing several shorter reading plans, I'm in the middle (day 237, to be exact) of a 365-day bible reading and devotional. Throughout the year as I've read the daily devos, I've kept notes of thoughts and ideas that stood out to me - things that resonated with me, things that challenged me, and things that convicted me.  

I spent much of a recent plane trip from New York to California reviewing my devotional notes from 2012 and thinking about what I wanted for the year ahead - for me, for my relationship with God, for my career, and for my family. And from the repeating themes in my notes it was obvious that there are several areas of my life that need attention and change! 

So instead of a checklist of tasks for this year, I decided to focus on a word. A word that encompasses my goals, dreams, and desires. A word that will connect me to the changes I want to see in my life. A word that will motivate and inspire. 

And that word is INTENTION

I don't want life to just "happen". I want to live with intention! I want to be intentional about how I spend my time, how I treat my body, how I relate to those around me, how I live out my faith, and how I use the gifts and talents I've been blessed with. I want to be someone who is known for living with purpose and direction. Someone who is intentional with every aspect of her delicate and fragile life. 

Below are my INTENTIONS for 2013 (along with excerpts taken from the Promises for Your Everyday Life devotional):

Intentionally seek fellowship with God and pray each morning:
How do you start your day? Do you hurriedly get out of bed and barely make it out the door on time? Do you turn on the TV? Do you go exercise? Whatever your morning routine may be, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, "What role does God play when I start my day?" It took me a lot of years to figure this out, but I now know that the very best way to start my day is by giving thanks to God for what He's done for me and asking Him how I can be a blessing to other people. I encourage you to spend time each morning focusing on the good things God has done in your life. Think about the dangers and difficulties He's brought you through, the ways He's healed you and changed you, and how good it is to know He cares for you and hears your prayers. When you learn to set your mind on God each morning, He'll give you all the peace and joy you need to live for Him as you go about the rest of your day. 

Psalm 119:147 "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word."

Intentionally use free time to grow, develop, and recharge:
One of Satan's more cunning weapons is distraction. He knows if we become sidetracked by the cares of the world that, more than likely, we will begin to neglect our time with God.

Intentionally invest in relationships:
We are to have genuine, pure, fervent love for others above everything else we do. If we can manage only one thing in our lives, it should be to love other people. Many people think great faith is the number one sign of spiritual maturity. But I believe that walking in love is the true test of spiritual maturity, and I know that it energizes our faith walk.

Intentionally seek strength from God to break bad habits:
Whatever your bad habit is, you can break it. I'm not going to say that breaking a bad habit is easy, but it's God's desire for us to take authority over our bad habits. He doesn't want us to be "bossed around" by our emotions, He wants us to have victory. Breaking a bad habit requires making a series of good choices, one after the other. Most of us will try to do that on our own without the help of the Holy Spirit. But eventually we figure out that we can't please God without God helping us.

Mark 10:27 "No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it."

Intentionally seek God's will for me, and avoid comparison with others:

Boldness will be impossible as long as you compare yourself to others. Boldness comes from accepting who you are and being the best you can be. We need to refrain from comparing ourselves to anyone else because God doesn't want us to be frustrated and feel unworthy of the blessings He desires to give us. 

Galatians 6:4-5 "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

Intentionally seek, obey, and be transformed by God's word:

I want to fully integrate Your Word into my life. I don't just want to hear someone tell me the Word once a week, I want to know it for myself. Lead me and give me ideas to pursue Your Word consistently.

Intentionally exercise 3 times per week to change my body and health for the better: 

When you and I say to God, "Change me," we better know what we're saying because we are not just going to wake up different the next morning. Instead, what God is going to do is give us an opportunity, through opposition, to grow as we change. So make a decision to rely on God's strength and live a healthier lifestyle

1 Corinthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

Intentionally finish what I start, from art projects to reading books to following through with promises:
I have to be willing to finish what I start. God uses committed people who aren't led by emotion. It's easy to be excited in the beginning when something is new, but the ones who cross the finish line are the ones who hang in there when no one else is excited anymore. Be diligent. Don't leave things undone, but finish what you start to the best of your ability. Set your mind to be steadfast and determined. Commit yourself to excellent results.

Intentionally use our finances to plan for growing our family:
God wants us to make wise decisions. I believe having wisdom is choosing to do now what we will be happy with later. God is the One who supplies our needs. Our jobs are not our source, God is. So when jobs and investments disappear, we don't have to feel hopeless because God is not limited. He can provide for us through other means, in ways we may not have imagined or are able to figure out ahead of time. 

So, how about you? What does this new calendar year hold for you?  

Here's to a magical, transformative, intentional 2013.

Much love, 

PS. How awesome is Erin for her very intentional change to Design for Mankind in 2013?

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