design

How to Combat Insecurity as a Self Taught Designer

Being a self taught anything can be hard sometimes. Fighting feelings of insecurity and impostor syndrome are not fun. Here are 10 ways to fight those feelings and win. 

I don't know about you but I have found myself many a time in a place of self doubt and insecurity as a self taught freelancer and business owner. It is very easy to begin to believe the lies that "you are not good enough", or "you don't know what in the world you are talking about". Whenever I begin listening to these lies I am paralyzed, game over. My business is at a complete stand still, I find myself unsure of how to go forward, I am totally stuck in my insecurity feeling like a big fat poser. 

For most creatives this poser or impostor mentality is at an all time high when one or more of the following things has happened...

  • A client is unhappy with a product or design.
  • They begin to compare themselves to other designers who are making what seems like millions more $$$ while doing about the same amount of work. 
  • They find themselves wanting to be a "true designer" but feel like they don't have it together enough to use that title.
  • They fixate on the fact that they do not have a degree or formal training/experience in any sort of design. 

Can anyone out there relate? I am pretty sure most creatives run into this feeling at least once or twice. Nonetheless it is not a fun place to find yourself, it is just discouraging and it halts all productivity for your business which is never a good thing. 

So what do you do when you find yourself in this dark place? 

  1. Pull Away from the Noise.

    Turn off the phone, step away from the computer, mute your social media. Just step away. Sometimes the biggest triggers for my self doubt come from pouring over a million "how to" posts. While they are often helpful, sometimes they leave me second guessing myself and my abilities. So if you are feeling unsure of yourself, turn off all the noise and just breath. 
  2. Take Some Time Just for You.

    Taking breaks is a huge part of being successful in a creative business. I have learned this the hard way. The harder I push myself the faster I end up either burned out or in this place of creative paralysis. Set aside intentional time to take care of yourself and enjoy some much needed alone time, this can be as simple as afternoon tea or coffee, or a walk around the block.
  3. Stop the Comparison Game.

    We all want to be successful, and it is all too easy in this digital age to look at others who are making money, have thousands of followers, and seem to have it all together and beat yourself up. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and I would also say it is the thief of productivity, creativity, and unique content. Get out of the heads of others, and get inside your own head. 
  4. Give Yourself a Pep Talk.

    Nothing cheers me up like a good old fashioned pep talk. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are good at what you do, and others think so too. Also, it never hurts to throw on some lipstick, and a little Beyonce and dance it out while affirming yourself. 
  5. Look Back at How Far You Have Come.

    When I look back at the very first things I ever designed in Photoshop I literally cringe. There is nothing more encouraging to me creatively than to look back to where I started and to see how far I have come. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it is amazing how confident you will feel after reviewing your progress.
  6. Read Client Testimonials.

    Encouraging words are my love language. Seriously, just write me a kind note and I will love you forever. I save every note I ever receive in shoe boxes, and love to go back and look over them when I feel down. Same goes for my design life. I keep all my kind emails from clients, testimonials, and uplifting conversations and go back over them when I begin to question my abilities. Works every time!
  7. Accept that Mistakes are Part of Life.

    It is so easy as women to internalize all of our mistakes and take them on ourselves. In business of any kind you will make mistakes...heck just in life in general we are going to make mistakes. Accepting this makes it easier to deal with. Don't question everything about your business or creative decisions if a client points out a mistake or criticizes your methods. Embrace the mistakes as part of your growing process, and learn to have tough skin rather than being hyper sensitive.  
  8. Remember that We are all still Learners.

    No matter what it may seem like from the outside looking in no one has it all together. No matter what their Instagram looks like or how polished their website is, we are all still learners. You will be learning for the rest of your life, just like everyone else. So take your eyes off those you have placed on pedestals, and remember we are all just on a journey to be the best we can be. 
  9. Seek Out Encouragement from Others. 

    When you find yourself feeling insecure and questioning everything about your business, stop and call a friend. I love talking to my husband about this because he stops and reminds me of truth and points out the lies I am believing. Having a fresh set of ears to listen to you talk all your thoughts out helps so much to bring you back down to earth and calm you down.
  10. Embrace Who You Are.

    More importantly than anything else, really grab onto who you are. For me, I am a self taught designer that has no degree in anything to do with design. But I love learning, and have come a long way when it comes to freelancing. I am a people pleaser that has to actively strive to guard myself from being overly sensitive. I struggle to not compare my success to the success of others. By embracing these truths about myself I am able to really own them, learn from them, and grow in these areas. 

If you still feel like a poser take a minute...pick two, just two things from this list and go do them and see how you feel after. Also, drop me a line in the comments below, I would love to be your cheerleader from one self doubter to another. 

Do you struggle with feelings of insecurity or inadequacy in your field? 

 

 

Avenue 410 Boho Boutique Brand Launch

You may notice a few changes over here in the next few weeks, Oh Simple Joys has gotten a face lift and a new focus. I have mentioned several times in these brand posts that I am a self taught designer/freelancer. I love learning about design and I want to share what I learn with you! So be on the look out for more posts about my experiences as a self taught designer in the days ahead. 

Recently I had the opportunity to partner with two lovely ladies that happen to be sister in laws. These ladies had a dream of opening up a bohemian inspired online boutique with long term goals of a brick and mortar store on down the line. Enter Avenue 410, I was thrilled to work on the branding, logo, and web design for this project. 

We wanted to go for very rich, bold, feminine colors, and modern images that allude to the boho aesthetic and style that Avenue 410 carries in their products. 

I created 4 logo designs, and had a lot of fun drawing the little hanger. Ultimately we went with the first option and added in colors.

I created several collateral items including stickers, discount cards, thank you cards, and social media banners. They all turned out super cute!!

This was a super fun project to work on, and I know you will love all the clothes sold by Avenue 410, so check them out. (Hint, they have free shipping right now!! Hurry!!)

Pursuing Balance Blog Design

2015 was such an exciting year for me with my design freelancing. I am completely self taught as many of you that have been around here awhile know. So to continue to see this business grow and mature has been such an exciting journey for me. I began by doing blog designs here and there and now while I still offer blog design services my clients have become much more diverse. 

Samantha and Nicole contacted me about designing there blog and I was so excited to have a blog design to work on in the midst of my other project. These two ladies are both so filled with passion I knew it was going to be fun to collaborate together. They were a joy to work with. Pursuing Balance is their joint lifestyle blog that chronicles their journey to a life of balance. Their wit and charm is seen in every post and makes it so fun to follow along with their adventures. 

We went with a very calm color palette because the idea of pursuing balance just exudes the need for calm and peaceful colors. The deep navy and purple create some depth while the teal and khaki keep things light and airy. 

I got really into the logo design and ended up with five logo concepts this time around instead of my normal 3. Oops! Inspiration struck though. So I just went with it. I played around with some scale drawing and various fonts that were whimsical yet still professional and clean. 

Nicole and Samantha chose the second logo concept and I think t is perfect. Very simple and clean while still being feminine and unique. 

Overall this was a great project thanks to Nicole and Samantha for being such easy clients to please. They made this job a breeze, and I cannot recommend enough that you go check out their witty and practical blog! Visit them by clicking the button below! 

Cookies & Grace Brand Launch + We bought a house!

Somehow Christmas, News Years Eve, and 2016 all snuck up on me. I blame it on the void of routine in my life right now, but man I just love fresh starts so I am trying to still seize the spirit of a new year even though we are a few days in. Many of you follow me on social media so you know that Ben and I just moved to Clinton, MS, bought a house, AND are renovating said house (are we crazy or what?!). We are super happy, super tired, and super thankful for the provision that this house is for us. 

In the midst of all the crazy I nearly forgot to highlight this gorgeous client of mine, Cookies & Grace. Author and baking extraordinaire, Ali Grace, was a joy to work with and is so much fun to follow. Her blog is all about raw truth and sweets, so of course you should check it out. Ali Grace wanted a very professional look while still having some whimsy and pops of her favorite colors. 

For her inspiration board I pulled in images with elements that nod to her passion for baking while also giving off a cozy vibe that describes Ali Grace's personality to a T. The navy and mustard are such a fun color combo. 

Logo concepts are always the most daunting and exciting part of the design process for me. They are scary sometimes because you have no idea what the client will think, but exciting because your creative juices are allowed to flow at an all time high speed. I pulled in brush lettering, professional fonts, and some fun graphics to create four unique logo concepts. Ali Grace chose a variation of the first logo, and we got to work on the rest. 

I also was able to design business cards for this sweet lady and I loved being able to bring in all the shades of blue along with the logo. They turned out great! 

Overall this was one of my favorite projects to work on, it was so whimsical and fun, and getting to know my clients during our Skype chats and endless emails is always the best part of the job. Be sure and click the button below to see the live site in action, and say hello to Ali Grace! (you will seriously be drooling over her gorgeous cookies!!)

If you or someone you know is interested in logo design, website design, branding, or print design be sure to check out my design process, packages and portfolio. My 2016 design schedule has several openings and I would love to work with you! 

Also, for those interested below is my picture of our house, new post coming soon giving you the "before" tour! 

Laura Kittrell Photography Brand Launch

To say that I am excited about this post would be an understatement. Oh Simple Joys has grown exponentially in the past 6 months and I am grateful for this growth for so many reasons. One of the many reasons is because I have been able to work with so many business women lately. While I am still very much offering my design services for bloggers, lately I have been working with published authors, college professors, fitness studio owners, photographers, videographers, bakers, and more...it has truly been inspirational. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet new clients, and Laura Kittrell has been one of those clients. 

Christmas + Cards = Nostalgic Bliss

I do not know about you but my favorite time of year is Christmas time. I look forward to it all year long and love the magic that comes with Christmas. But the part I love most is the nostalgia. Reminiscing about past Christmases, pulling out decorations you have had for years, or looking back through old Christmas cards, I love how nostalgic the season is. 

This year I wanted to design some Christmas cards for my Etsy shop in an effort to share that joy I feel from the nostalgic tradition of sending cards to friends and family during the holidays. All of these can be found in my shop and can be customized however you would like. 

Victoria's Monograms & More Logo Design

I recently left my day job as a kitchen assistant in a fast paced, growing bakery to come home and pursue creativity full time. There were a million little reasons that led me to this decision, but my goal has always been to figure out a way to make money from home doing something I love. While I am still not at the point that I can say this business I am doing is paying our bills like my full time bakery job, I can say it is growing every week and that is amazing to me. I started out doing blog designs a few years ago only know a little bit about graphic design and coding. Now I am designing for published writers, small and big business owners, creative shop owners, and more...the Lord has blown me away at his faithfulness. 

The hardest yet most rewarding part of every design project for me is creating a logo. I have continued to learn and grow in this area, but every time I find myself with sweaty hands when I send the logo concepts off to the client to proof. Logo design is such a huge part of the brand development so I really find it sets the tone for the entire project. Such was the case with my most recent logo client, Victoria's Monograms & More. 

Victoria wanted a more mature and professional design while still maintaining a colorful and young aesthetic. She love monograms and being from the south so we went with images that inspire these two loves and I was very pleased with how the inspiration board turned out. 

The deep purple and khaki mixed with the pops of coral and pinks really created a mature feel while still keeping the branding young and vibrant. 

Above are the initial logo concepts, I wanted to use color and text to create something unique while trying to still integrate some "monogram" elements. Victoria liked the second and third option the best so I took these two concepts and continued to build on each a little more. 

We decided to go with option number 3 from this set, though I love them all. So then I got to work on a circular logo for Victoria to use throughout her social media outlets and Etsy shop. 

Victoria also had business cards designed to go along with her new branding and logo. 

I love how classy these cards are, so professional! I would encourage you to check out Victoria's Etsy shop using the button below, like her shop, and maybe even make a purchase! Thanks for the opportunity to work together Victoria. 

Are you or someone you know interested in a new logo, branding, or website for your business? Message me and let's talk about working together! 

Why I Switched from Blogger to Squarespace

In the internet world there are so many hot topics, every seasoned blogger or business owner has an opinion on where to host, who to use for design services, what to write about, how often to write...and the list goes on. For me when it comes to where to host my blog I pledge my allegiances to Squarespace until the end! Many creatives are making the switch over to this clean, user friendly platform. I haven't always been a Squarespace user, I previously used the free Blogger platform. However my blog began to grow, as did my love for design, and I began to feel very discontent with my set up. I knew it was time for me to step towards something more suitable for me.

Then I read this post by my sweet friend Lauren, and knew I had to jump ship. It was time for me to make a change, and I was eager to host on a platform that could grow with me and my business in the years to come. So queue Squarespace...and all the praise hands! Why did I switch, and why do I recommend this platform to every client I work with? Let me tell you! 

1. ANYONE CAN USE IT + Bye Bye HTML!!

With many platforms out there customizing your blog or website requires a knowledge of HTML/CSS code. This is a language of its own, and it not only difficult to learn but is incredibly tedious and time consuming. When I was on Blogger I had to use HTML or CSS for every little customization...it was so much work. With Squarespace anyone can set up a website and maintain the website, without having to know how to write code. (Can you hear the angels singing yet?)

I do know quite a bit about writing HTML/CSS code but due to the tedious nature of writing code (I mean come on...one little comma or dot makes the whole code break! YIKES) I prefer to avoid it if at all possible. Squarespace makes this possible almost all the time. There are a few rare occasions in which I choose to still write my own code, but 9 times out of 10 I do not have to. With Squarespace anyone can get a professional and unique website without writing code, which was seriously enough to convince me. 

2. it is EASY ON THE WALLET

I knew at the end of 2014 I wanted to make a change when it came to my blog. I was heavily considering switching to Wordpress, but was hung up on the cost. It was adding up quickly to self host, and pay someone to help me export everything, plus set up my framework...and so on. I was overwhelmed and had not nearly enough money for all that the platform required. 

Squarespace on the other hand offers the customization I was looking for but for a fraction of the cost. There are different monthly payment plans, none of which are more than $30, that meet different needs for users. I was able to transfer my current domain and select the package that suits my needs. I pay no more than $20 a month and that is perfect for where my little blog and business is right now. (I use the Business plan but the Personal would be suitable for most bloggers that do not use ecommerce, view payment plans here)

3.there are ENDLESS OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH

This is my favorite aspect of the Squarespace platform. It is not just for bloggers. It is for small business owners, creatives, churches, shop owners, farmer's markets, fitness studios...and literally anything else you can think of. Squarespace has the capability built into the interface for ecommerce, so users that sell products or services can sell their items in one place rather than using third-party sites such as Etsy or BigCartel. 

Users are able to integrate so much in one place. I think of it as a one stop shop. I can have a cover page, portfolio, blog, contact page, gallery pages, and a shop all one one website without ever setting up account on other site! Hello simple expansion! 

4. UPDATING IS EASY AS PIE

Easy is the name of the game with Squarespace. Everything is updated for you so you do not have to waste precious time updating widgets and your framework. This is done for you. (does this make you want to do a little happy dance?!)

In addition, Squarespace has numerous templates to choose from. Each template offers a very unique look that can be further customized to create a one of a kind look for each user. Switching from template to template is literally as easy as pie and helps create fresh new looks. (like the one Oh Simple Joys is sporting this morning, what do you think?) 

5. IT IS JUST PRETTY

As a designer I am drawn to things that are pretty to look at, and Squarespace is just that. Without customizing a thing the templates are a beautiful. They are the perfect place to start for those that may be new business owners or bloggers, and for those that may be looking for a custom brand and website, Squarespace lends itself to so much potential for personalization and beautiful design. It really is the best choice in my humble opinion, and this is why I personally use it and recommend it to everyone I work with (and everyone I don't work with too! haha)


I am a huge fan of this platform, and after making the switch I truly never looked back. I love everything about Squarespace and sing its praises to everyone that asks me about it. Are you in a similar spot as I was before making my switch? Looking to step up your blogging game but not wanting to mess with the hassle of HTML/CSS or the price of self hosting? Let's work together to create a perfect website for you and your business/blog! 




Simply Sweet Melissa Brand Launch

Brand launches are my favorite, I love having the opportunity to work with creative bloggers, business owners, and dreamers to design unique websites and brands for such amazing people! This design was one of my favorites, it was designed using the Blogger platform, and is seriously my favorite blogger design to date. 

Melissa of Simply Sweet Melissa has been a blog friend for years, really since I started my journey 3 years ago. She is a sweet soul that loves feminine flair and whimsy just as much as I do with a little dash of sass thrown in. Her description of the vision for her brand was simple..."Sex in the City meets Steel Magnolias"! Classy meets sassy and southern and lovely! Done and done. 

We pulled images with that soft feminine touch that still gave you a little feeling of mystery. We originally had a few pastel colors included in the palette but as the design progressed we pulled away from those and primarily used the navys, blues, and copper accents. 

For her logo concepts I focused on whimsical fonts paired with more professional fonts to create the sexy but innocent look Melissa was looking for! 

Melissa liked the fonts from the third option best but wanted to combine them with the pineapple graphic and for the colors to be tweaked in order to pop more! Below is the final product for Simply Sweet Melissa's logo, and I just love it. The pineapple has become quite popular and is a symbol for hospitality! Perfect for that Steel Magnolias vibe.

For the brand board we also pulled in some patterns that are used throughout the design! And as mentioned earlier we tweaked the color scheme to better reflect the direction of the design.

The website just turned out so lovely! It is perfectly feminine while giving off an air of professionalism! I just love it! Now is the part where you go check it out, and swoon over all of Melissa's GORGEOUS wedding photos! Give her some love! 

If you are a blogger, small business owner, or creative interested in branding, logo design, or website design message me and let's chat about working together!

314 Productions Launch Day + Brand Design

Some of my favorite projects to work on are custom branding designs. Recently I have found that many of my clients are branching out of just blogging. I have been privileged to work with photographers, fitness boutiques, Etsy shop owners, small business owners, and even one amazing husband and wife videography team! It has been such a joy to learn more about design and share that love and passion with others while creating a unique brand to express a clients business online and in real life. 

Today I wanted to give you all a sneak peek into my latest brand design. This was a website/logo design project that I was able to work on for a dear online / real life friend Nicole Cole of 314 Productions. Nicole along with her husband Tyler use their amazing talents to capture some of life's most precious moments on film both through video and photography. Their work is literally amazing, and their hearts and passion for celebrating life shine through in all they do. 

Nicole wanted to take their brand to a more professional level and create something that was easier for them to grow into as their business continues to grow and evolve. She wanted neutrals, soft tones, and a very calm aesthetic. 

The inspiration board focused on clean lines, muted tones, and celebrating life! I adore the vibe that this little graphic gives off, it screams happiness! 

For the logo I wanted something very subtle but memorable, so I focused on very muted earth tones and soft feminine fonts. 

Nicole chose to go with the second logo so we began to craft the brand board. 

The website came together beautifully when I began to add in all of Nicole and Tyler's gorgeous images! Their photography style fits perfectly into the overall rebrand, it was simply gorgeous! 

It truly was such an honor to work for such a beautiful couple that have such passion for what they do! If you have not seen the new 314 Productions website in person yet please hop over there and check it out!


Interested in working together to create your own unique brand or website? Message me and let's start creating! 

The Fit Teacher Launch

In the past month my email has been flooded with design clients that are small business owners, entrepreneurs, dreamers! I have loved my job lately. Oh, and in case you missed it on social media, I have officially launched myself into full time self employment. AH! So exciting and scary all at once. I am jumping out in a leap of faith and trust the Lord to direct my steps. It has seemed he has been leading me to this point for quite some time, but I did not know the day would come so quickly. 

However it has been a joy to work with photographers, videographers, boutique owners, fitness coaches, and small business owners to create unique websites and blogs! Jen of The Fit Teacher was one of those creative women I have been privileged to work with this past month. I knew Jen from college, and was thrilled to get to work with her now as she is a fitness coach for Beach Body! 

Jen wanted to merge her passions for teaching and fitness, so I gathered images that inspired both passions. 

I had so much fun with these colors, and the images took me back to school supply shopping. Needless to say I found myself feeling all nostalgic for those sweet school days! As I moved into the logo concepts for Jen I wanted to merge the fitness and teacher aspects again so I drew some illustrations to create a one of a kind logo. 

Jen decided to combine elements from logo #1 and #2. I loved the final look, it is classy, whimsical and perfect for Jen's peppy, go getter attitude. 

Jen has such a motivating personality, and her website is full of inspiration for healthy living! Be sure to check her out below! 

Just Go Left Launch Day

It is time to launch another website!! And I have been excited about this one for quite sometime! Ashten contacted me several months ago about designing her new blog and I was thrilled to be commissioned for the job! After just a few minutes on the phone with Ashten I was inspired, her passion, energy, and drive are amazing and it was such an honor to hear her story and vision for her new space! 

Ashten wanted her space to be calming, beachy, and clean! So here is what we started with in the inspiration board...

How precious right? Dogs are a huge part of Ashten's life and story so of course I had to include a few cuddly friends in the board! Next I began creating her logo concepts. 

Our goal was to create a logo that is whimsical while also being warm and beachy like the sun on your back! The decision was made to go with the last logo, which I love since it includes the leftward pointing arrow! 

I am in love with the way Just Go Left turned out. It is clean, simple, and calming. The color palette reminds me of the beach or a cozy coffee shop which makes me just want to sit and curl up and read for awhile! 

Make sure and wish Ashten a happy launch day and check out the blog in all it's glory for yourself! 

I am currently accepting just a few more Squarespace and Blogger clients for September and October! Also I have listed several new design offerings!! Check them out, sign up this week for 10% off any package!! 

Lynn Boxed Brand Design

Ask anyone who knows me, pretty packaging is my thing. I swoon of kraft paper bags, minimalist gift tags, color tissue paper, and don't get me started on bows, ribbons, and washi tape. I love it all. So when Chelsea of Lynn Boxed contacted me explaining her business and wanting a fresh logo I jumped on board immediately. 

I am fairly new at logo design, as much of my graphic design experience has been with blog design, but I am loving this new world. I have 3 or 4 new clients right now that are all new business owners and it has been such fun to dream along side them about their brand and businesses. To be able to capture their vision in a logo is an honor, and a challenge. Who doesn't love a good challenge? 

So back to Lynn Boxed. This is an Etsy shop that sends personalized gift boxes tailored to every occasion in life. From new babies, to get well soon boxes and everything in between Chelsea has you covered in this one stop gift box shop! She described her business to me as creative, personal, thoughtful, and detailed. So that is what we worked towards in her logo. 

When creating the inspiration board I pulled images with soft colors, sharp lines, and professional touches like the fonts, pencils, and labels. This was the starting point for the branding and it is just so pretty to look at. 

Initially the logo was going to read Lynn + Boxed so I designed 4 logos to match the brand aesthetic Chelsea wanted. I am relatively new to the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator and LOVE to learn more by practicing with it. So when I saw the opportunity to incorporate a graphic as a nod to what Lynn Boxed is all about I jumped on it! 

Once Chelsea reviewed the concepts we decided to tweak a few of the designs before narrowing it down to one. 

We finally landed on the second design, and Chelsea chose to eliminate the "+" sign and then we had our finished logo! YAY! I then went on to design her business cards, Etsy header, Facebook Header, and Etsy Avatar. 

Chelsea also had me design several postcards that will go in the different boxes! I had some fun with this and really loved picking colors and fonts to follow the theme of each particular box. Here are a handful of the postcards! 

This entire project was so much fun to me. I love working for Chelsea and teaming with her to create something unique and beautiful. I am looking forward to supporting her shop, and you never know, I might even bring some of her goodies here to the blog to share with you all! Check her out!! 

Also, if you or someone you know is interested in working with me on logo design, blog design, or ecommerce site design check out my design process and packages above for more information!


Wonderfully Made By Leslie Brand Design

Graphic design is one of those things that I never knew I had a passion for until I got married. I found myself with a lot of free time and a desire to begin investing more time and money into my blog. I had taken a few coding classes in college so I knew the basics about HTML and CSS, so one day I just headed to Youtube and began playing around in Photoshop. I was hooked. Now several years later I am still playing around in Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, and have so much more to learn. I have grown a lot and learned from trial and error. 

More than anything I love doing blog branding. I feel so inspired when I am meeting with a new client and I love the entire process beginning to end. One thing I always ask my clients is Why do you want to change your design, and what are you hoping for your new design to capture? When I first met with Leslie over the phone for this design her words to describe the look she wanted were colorful, creative, and feminine. Three words that make my heart sing. We began with her inspiration board and color scheme as a launching point, and I had quite the time putting this one together! I knew from images that Leslie pulled together that white space was a must, but punches of bright and modern colors should be sown into the design, and flowers really should be present in some form or fashion. 

Leslie loved the colors as much as I did so it was very simple and easy to move onto the next step in my design process, designing the header concepts. I typically design anywhere from 3-5 concepts for my clients to view, and I try to make them as unique as possible so that they are able to see their brand in several different styles. Leslie really wanted floral accents as well as brush lettering so I created 4 distinct headers for her to choose from. 

Leslie decided to go with option number 3 and I was thrilled. I love the bold floral colors, and the way the vine comes down and allows the lettering to almost rest on the branches. Once the header was selected I designed the brand board. This board will serve as a reference point for Leslie on down the road. It has her fonts, colors, style concepts, and more all in one place. 

Leslie was a dream to work with, she knew what she wanted yet still trusted me to take her ideas and bring them to life. She was every designers dream client, and I love what we were able to create for her fresh new blog. If you would like to see more of the design in action head on over and check it out. Also, if you would like to work together and create something special for your blog or business just click on the design tab above to find all the information you need! 

Grace in Grey Design Launch

My very favorite part of creating and designing for a client is the moment it is all installed, everything has come together, and the client can say with confidence that the design "fits them". Making my clients feel at home on their online spaces makes it worth all the hours of tedious coding and designing. So when my friend Brittany of formerly Happy is a Choice saw her completely rebranded blog and said said she loved her new space I was thrilled, and I have been itching to share the details with you all for awhile now! 

When Brittany and I began talking about her ideas for rebranding she told me she wanted to create a space that was both feminine and professional while making readers feel cozy, and at home. She chose the new blog name Grace in Grey as an ode to the grace that comes in the dark times in life. So while we wanted to implement greys and neutrals into the design we wanted pops of happy colors, and so the blush pink was the perfect choice in my opinion. 

I first designed the inspiration board that was full of images that not only fit Brittany's description of her new brand...but honestly, they made me so happy!! Brittany selected most of these images and I just wanted to jump into them and stay awhile!! I love cozy things and this inspiration board is full of COZY! 

Don't those images just make you want it to be rainy outside so you can curl up on the couch with a good book in your pjs? I just love it. We lightened up the tan color some, and then I began working on the header designs. Brittany really wanted a calligraphy like element in the header while still maintaining a sense of professionalism and whimsy...so here were my designs for her to choose from.

After a little discussion and brainstorming, Brittany and I both agreed that number 3 kept drawing us back in and with a few tweeks we had the finished product which I think is adorable and so perfect for the professional meets whimsical feel. 

Grace in Grey is such a beautiful and cozy space that truly fits Brittany's new season as mommy to be, and I am so happy with the end result. This was also my first design to play around with roll over images, check out the social media and category buttons to see what I am talking about. Overall, the design is one I am very happy to add to my portfolio, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with Brittany to create a unique new brand for her space. 

I would love to work with you to design a space that is unique and refreshing to you! Check out my design page for more info, and contact me if you are interested! I still have a few spots open for April! 

Sincerely Rose Brand Design

My most recent design client was such a joy to work with. Tahnee (of Sincerely Rose) was hoping for a fresh start after moving, and wanted a new look to help kick start her brand new blog and business website. I was excited to help her vision become a reality, and overjoyed that she would be my first Squarespace design. (Have I mentioned how much I adore Squarespace?) We began the process with her inspiration board. It is full of bright, happy, whimsical images that truly reflected Tahnee's personality. Fresh, Inspiring, calming, and happy was what we were aiming for and I feel as though we achieved that aesthetic. 

I love how unintentionally the "rose" color pallet was developed. It is so soft and feminine and creates a fresh look. With pops of mint, and undertones of muted navy this color palette makes me swoon every time I look at it. 

Creating brand boards is something I have not always done for my clients but I now offer this service for my full package clients, and wow do I love this part of the design process. I will spend hours putting it all together and sometimes I get just as excited with the finished product as my client does (if not even a little more). It is a sweet moment to see all the elements, colors, and "feels" all in one place. It is my launching pad for installation. I just love brand boards, and I send the image to each client so they are able to refer back to it for color options, text choices, and further inspiration down the road. 

Tahnee is a very talented hairdresser and stylist. She has big dreams for taking her site to the next level in the future and using it as a place to showcase her work, and launch her small business. So I wanted to give her some options for a logo outside her blog header. 

I have learned that a blog header and a logo are different. This may seem obvious but for me it took awhile to learn this. Both the header and logo should have similar elements yet the logo must be distinct, memorable, and versatile. Often headers are long horizontal images that may not be the best for business cards, stationary, or products. So I designed two logos that can be tweaked in the future for Tahnee's business if she needs them. 

Here are a few pictures of her work? Isn't she talented? I want Tahnee to come play with my hair, even though I have no where to get all dressed up and go. Love her style! 

If you would like to see more of Tahnee's design in action head over to Sincerely Rose. Say hello to her and send her some new blog love! 

If you are interested in working together on a fresh new design for your blog, or ecommerce site check out my design packages and design process. I would love to work together and create something beautiful. Just a little hint, only one more spot left for March!

 

Seasons with the Strattons Design

Earlier this week I shared about my new design services , and about my desire to grow more as a designer in the days ahead. So I wanted to take a minute to share my most recent blog design. Martha Kate and I went to the same college and even sat side by side in an English class once, we both kinda dreaded the class but the company was nice. So when Martha Kate came to me to help her with her design (for the second time) I was thrilled. Martha Kate had a pretty good vision for the fresh look she wanted, which makes my job easy. 

We spent a little bit of time emailing about colors, vision, and overall feel for the design and there was one word that emerged the main theme...peaceful. Martha Kate wanted something a little more professional than her previous design, yet still wanted it to be feminine and whimsical while exuding peaceful/calming vibes. We settled on pale blues, greens, and corals for the colors and a whimsical calligraphy font for the header. 

I love this design. I fall in love with design all over again every time I am able to work with a new client and help their dream become a reality. It is so much fun and such an incredible way to stretch my creative skills. 

MK's husband is a baseball player! While Seasons with the Strattons is not only about baseball there are mentions of it since the sport touches a large part of the strattons lives. I wanted to include some ode to this in the design, but wanted it to be subtle and whimsical. I made the O's into tiny baseballs and left it at that, subtle and adorable in my opinion. 

Watercolor elements were included to further create a sense of peace when readers visit the page, and grays were brought in to bring a depth to the color scheme and a readable shade for important text on the page. 

It was such a joy to put together this design for Martha Kate and Seasons with the Strattons. I hope you will pop in and give MK some love! 

If you are interested in working together on a design check out my packages, design process, and portfolio! I would love to make something beautiful for you!! 

Fresh Starts + Fun Lists


So as you all can see the blog has a new look. I have been dying to simplify it somewhat, give it a more mature but equally whimsical face lift...and after hours of slaving over it yesterday here we are. I have been debating making the switch to Wordpress...but for now this change will tide me over until I have the money to do so! 

So what do you think? I am in love with it...the neutral colors, and muted pink make me swoon, and the header is actually my hand writing! So it is all one of kind, and totally me I think! I am pleased, and now I need to sleep for a few days. Staring at a computer for hours on end zaps me!! 

Because I spent oodles of time yesterday working on this design, and tackling numerous coding issues...I neglected the Community Brew, so today I am catching up on all your lovely posts about marriage, replying to comments and emails and finishing up design orders before we head to the beach with my family in a few days! So bear with me, you all mean so much to me, and I want to get back to each one of you! 

In the meantime here is a fun list of things going on in my neck of the woods...(stole this from the lovely Rachel of Our Yellow Door)

Making | yarn pom poms...lots of pom poms, for a fun little project next month! 
Cooking | breakfast for dinner, or BRINNER! It is a favorite easy meal around here.
Drinking | lemonade...strawberry lemonade, blueberry lemonade, peach lemonade...get the picture?
Reading | 1,000 gifts....yes I am still reading it. Hoping to finish this weekend at the beach.
Wanting | a Chemex coffee maker
Looking | forward to some alone time with my husband in the car 
Playing | bluegrass music...my husband has a killer playlist, and it makes me more productive I think!
Wishing | for time to slow down...how is July already halfway over?!
Enjoying | slow nights, walks after dinner, cuddling watching TV...the best!
Waiting | to start my new JOB (surprise!!!!) I just got a part time job at a new funky bakery in town!
Wondering | how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
Loving | my sweet Piper girl...but y'all all knew that already
Pondering | What does it mean to love my city like Jesus?
Watching | The Office...and Food Network...don't know why we pay for any other channels
Marveling | at the beauty of my Creator in nature
Wearing | shorts, simple tee, and chaco's
Buying | groceries for the beach...does this count? unexciting I know! but it is all I am buying...
Getting | a free trip to Destin compliments of my awesome parents!
Bookmarking | pages in Blog Inc. I started flipping through it and it is loaded with information!
Giggling | at Piper and Ben playing in the living room...she loves playing tug of war with him!
Feeling | so overjoyed for this blog design to be finished!! WHOOP!



Dabbling in Design

Anyone that knows me well knows that my husband and I LOVE to make things ourselves. It is a hobby of ours but also somewhat of a challenge when we see an item we like. Ben who is an engineer and myself being a creative dreamer I guess you could say make a great team. We immediately begin brainstorming how we can build/design/replicate/create the item we are look at and most times we are able to do so for a fraction of the cost. Most of our friends joke with us always asking us what project we are up to now...they know us well, Ben is always building something for me and I am always crafting things for our home. 

However, this is more than just a hobby for Ben and I. It is a way that we can be wise stewards of the money the Lord blesses us with. It is a way for us to use our hands productively to create things ourselves. It is a way for us to grow together and enjoy each others company while working on a project. It is a way for us to avoid being sucked into consumer America (to some degree at least) and cut costs while still making our home special and cozy. And most importantly it a simple way for us to use our gifts and passions to bless others. 

Creating is something I absolutely love to do, and what is so neat about this desire is that it is Biblical...sound crazy? Go check out Proverbs 31:13..."She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."...Proverbs 31:24, "She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant." 31:27, "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." 

So see? It is a Biblical and God honoring desire to create, provide, and sell the fruit of our hands to others. What an incredible thing. Proverbs 31 is painting the picture of a godly wife and these are qualities that she possess. She creates things with her hands and then sells them! I love creating, not just because it is fun, but because it helps me be a better wife. While I am crafting decor for our home I am tending to my household, and by creating and using my free time wisely I am not eating the bread of idleness...who knew that crafting could be something that would bring glory to our Heavenly Father. 

So I encourage you all reading this to reflect on your own giftings and passions and how they can bring praise and glory to our Father in Heaven. That is why we are placed on the earth after all, to bring him glory and make his wonderful name known. 

I have recently become interested in designing invitations, cards, and various things of that nature. I wanted to share some with you today not to make much of myself but to share a passion of mine in hopes of pushing others to look for ways to bring the Lord glory through very simple things in your life. I have done very little up to this point but would love to do this more on the side as I am able. Here are the few graphics/invitations/cards Ben and I have designed to date. 














I would love to help you and your family design a special custom birthday invitation, Christmas card, or shower invitation. You can contact me if you are at all interested. Up to this point I have really done so little that I do not exactly have a "going rate". I can create a digital file for anywhere from $15-30 depending on how complicated the design. Or I can also have the cards printed and cut for you for an additional cost based on number and size of the card. Would love to help you create something special. 

Now that I am done with my advertising, thank you to all those who have used Ben and I to help you create something, or have encouraged us not just in these invitations but in all our furniture building, crafts and DIY projects. We truly do find joy in the things we make and appreciate all those who take joy in them alongside us. Remember, Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..." That says WHATEVER you do, so even in crafts and creativity we can work heartily to serve the Lord and bring him glory with our passions. I pray this pushes you and challenges you to begin changing your thinking in order to strive to bring the Lord the glory he is due in everything you do...every little and every big thing. 

Blessings friends!