black and white

black and white cliffside with prink frame // blog-action

this is a little preview of a project that i've been working on. its a personal project that i've actually had in the back of my brain for the last 5 years and its finally starting to come together. making moves! i love black and white photography as well as film, and i've got an old nikon film camera that actually used to be my main camera for a lot of years before i got a DSLR. that means i have a ton of prints, from back in the day when you used to get film developed! man that makes me feel a little old haha. but i've had a few idea on what to do with all these prints and i'm excited to finally be executing on one!

black and white cliffside 2 yellow frame // blog-action
black and white golden gate bridge green frame // blog-action

i'll be posting more details as this project comes together, but for now i'm just keep plugging away at it, but i wanted to share just a little snippet!

happy friday!

the daily routines of creative people

i have been obsessed with this info-graphic lately, this website podio is serious awesome, they have an interactive graphic over there that you should definitely check out!

Want to develop a better work routine? Discover how some of the world's greatest minds organized their days.
Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).

 I am also a little obsessed with routines, and trying to tweak my own for the better. but i love knowing how other creatives work, how they get everything into a day. recently i've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the projects i want to take on, combined with wanting to maintain friendships and a relationship. it's actually turned me into a giant stress ball and i felt like every aspect got half assed this week. i figured that its no way to live or get things done so i've resolved to taking 2 nights out of the week as work/personal nights, no making plans. I have to think of it as i have to work late therefore i cannot just say yes to anything coming along. because that really is what my problem is, even when i have work i need to get done, if i get a call or a text asking if i want to go out that night, i will almost always say yes, not because i like going out particularly, but because i love hanging out with my friends and or boyfriend.

figuring out the right work and life balance has been a goal for a while (because i seriously seem to have a hard time with it i guess) so i am hopeful that this next step will work out.

happy saturday!

making moves


i have always loved new years resolutions, firstly because i love making lists, and in past years i've always had a laundry list of things i want to accomplish, but those lists always end up so long and outrageous that i never do get any of them done. so this year i'm trying to keep it simple.

make moves is something thats become kind of a mantra to me lately. i always have 1000 different ideas swirling around in my head at any given point, but a lot of times i find it hard to act on one. so rather than just talking about and thinking about things, ideas, projects i want to do, i want to make moves, i want to make them happen. 

i think of it kind of like a game of chess (which i am terrible at by the way), but to get your pieces  from where they are to where they need to be, you have to make moves.  and some times its small moves, one space at a time, but other times you are set up for a big move and you can get all the way across the board.

this also applies to pretty much every aspect of my life, nothing gets done with out making moves. there are trips i want to take so my first move is to plan, and research, it makes it a lot easier to execute the bigger steps later, or if the bank has charged me a bogus fee, its not going to just go way, i actually have to call and do something about it. i have to to be the one to make these moves, because no one else is going to move for me.

so this year i will make moves, i will follow through on ideas i've had for years, i will do the things that need to be done even if they are hard and i don't want to do them, i will make the things i want to happen, happen.

the new year

sorry, but holy shit! it's practically 2015! like less than 24 hours!

this year has been... interesting? good? amazing? mediocre? honestly i feel like this year had a lot of ups and down in all aspects of life, from work to personal but everything is evening out at pretty ok. is that bad of me to say? work and my job are great and i've gotten to move up and do and learn a lot of things this year, but at the same time none of that came with out some stress, anxiety, and lets face it, fear. as far as my personal life it hasn't been the roller coaster that other years have been, but it has also had plenty of great and shitty.

all in all i'm pretty satisfied with 2014

i think i said this at the beginning of the year, on the old blog format, if anyone remember that (coincidentally all those post magically disappeared when i switched from worpress to square space, kinda a bummer huh?) but i digress, i said something along the lines of :: that "this year would be a 'building year'". yeah like in sports... but i think i worked my ass off and things are setting up to come together in 2015 and i'm pretty stoked for it!

so bring it on 2015, i'm ready for ya! and to show ya heres a new calendar, you can down load and print, it's sized to print on 11x17 paper and trimmed down.


down load the PDF here!

and have a happy and wonderful new years!

mood board: organizing my thoughts

mood board // blog-action

i've started working on a new project which is exciting, mostly because i haven't taken on too many freelance gigs this year. but i'm stoked to be doing this little logo  project.

i really love doing mood boards in the beginning of a project, i feel like it really helps to  organize my thoughts and figure out the direction that i want to go in for the project. plus it helps the client get an idea of the look and feel  of where you are going, and if somethings off  it can be addressed and changed there in the beginning. because seriously nobody want to 'go in a new direction'  during the 3rd round of revisions!  

anywho i'll post more about this project as it comes together, until then, happy thursday!


Geo Triangles Nature // Blog-Action

so i have a ton of other work i should be doing, but i find myself going through pictures, opening them up and drawing on the. i really love geometric shapes, and specifically triangles, i even have a triangle tattoo! remind me and i'll show you some time. 

i also love jessica hische's idea of procrastiworking. if you are unfamiliar, the idea that the weird little passion projects you do while you are putting off the thing you really should be doing are ideas worth pursuing. now i don't think anyone is every really going to care, let alone pay me draw pictures on pictures (hey a girl can dream can't she?) but its fun, it keeps my brain in focus and i think looks cool. 

Geo Triangles Blossoms // Blog-Action
Geo Triangles Conservatory of Flowers // Blog-Action

wacom 2: handwriting

i've been kind of failing at keeping up lately, but i'm feeling like late is better than never. for my second wacom challenge i wanted to work on my handwriting. now in real life my handwriting isn't anything special, but its clean and legible, and on occasion i really enjoy drawing display type letters. for some reason i had a hard time making letters look normal with the wacom, plus i kept writing at an angle for some strange reason, yeah you'll see everything totally slopes up towards the right, weird! but i did finally mange some writing that i'm happy with.

live wild and free and love with reckless abandon

here are a few of my earlier attempts too!

blog-action // wild and free 1
blog-action // wild and free 2

not bad but not great, also i definitely just realized i spelled 'reckless' wrong on my first try, wow way to go, haha

so i'll keep up the practice i guess is what I'm saying, while living wild and free!

Wacom 1: simple and organic

so last week got a little busy with work and the boy and i flew off to new york for a little mini vacation over the weekend, but i do have my first wacom drawing as promised.

i have a couple iterations because i really i am still getting the hang of this thing, plus i really haven't spent any time drawing (on the computer or other wise) in quite some time. so i was kind of trying to find/ get my grove back as it were.

I have a peacock feather that sits on my desk that i've always thought was just cool. that seemed like a good place to start, feather are a pretty easy shape and you can do some cool line work, obviously, the line work in the first one leaves something to be desired, but thats why you draw, and redraw. 

the lines are getting there but they are not quite how i'd like them on the second go round.

by the third try, things are still not coming out quite how i'd like, so i put in a little color to see if thats what it was missing. but still not feeling quite right. its time to try something new. 

when drawing, organic sketchy lines have always been my jam and it took me a couple of try's to remember that. those first three i was trying way too hard, but when i let go and let it come to me naturally thats what worked. i'm getting the hang of using pressure with the 'pen' on the pad and trying to make it work for me. its not perfect, but thats not what i'm aiming for, besides, perfect is so boring.

the wacom

i got a wacom tablet! its been on my list for  long time now and i finally decided that it was time. seriously, how did it take me this long? because the wacom is awesome!  however using the tablet is a little weird and unnatural at first, i'm used to looking down at my paper and pencil while drawing rather than at the screen. as with anything practice makes perfect and i do love a good challenge so for the month of novemeber i am going to draw one picture a week with the wacom to get used to using it and get good at it.

here's my first go at it, i seriously drew that speech bubble like four hundred times! 

also isn't my mom's dog holly adrobs! (ha) happy wednesday!

wedding invite mood board

so here a little something i've been working on.

my best friend is getting married and i was super excited when she asked me to do her invitations! so heres a mood board of the direction we are going in! 

a few things that have been keeping me busy

life lately

1. Life at the workshop has been buzzing along with the holiday season fast aproaching it some times seems like there aren't enough hours in the day. But I always manage to take some time to try out our new stamps!

2. In any spare moment I have at home I've been working on a few side projects (I'll be sharing some of those soon hopefully!). That usually means working curled up in bed with Milly. 

3. Last weekend I went camping in Yosemite and we hiked North Dome, the mountain directly across from the famous Half Dome, so the views were spectacular needless to say. Also it rained and since we were so high up on the mountain it actually snowed!  it was quite beautiful once I got past the fact that I was cold and wet.

4. Which leads to the last bit, my car broke down in Yosemite and had to be towed out which was a fun adventure all in itself. Ugh! But it's all fixed up now thank goodness. 


Have a happy weekend! 

photoshooting & nearly impossible

nearly impossible conference

i had the awesome opportunity to work with Laure Joliet this past weekend as her photo assistant at the Nearly Impossible Conference, it just so happened to take place at Heath Ceramics which is an awesome spot, with huge windows and beautiful light, not to mention amazing pottery. Nearly Impossible was basically about small product based businesses coming together and learning from each other how to grow and be successful.

nearly impossible - speaker

we mostly were concerned with photographing the space, which included the  main lecture hall where all the speakers, err spoke, and the back "boiler room" where they held the expert lab - one on ones with makers, designers, and other awesome entrepreneurs.

photographing - expert lab

its a bummer my sad little iphone camera couldn't really capture the awesomeness of this room and the beautiful huge windows and light coming in (luckily the 6 is on its way to me!)

nearly impossible - set ups

it was an awesome day and i was lucky enough to catch a couple speakers in between shooting and Laure was seriously the sweetest person ever! the conference will be in new york in october and if you get the chance i would totally recommend checking it out!

wise words {11} & some process

be free - handlettering

i did this hand-lettering project a while back, i've been really into water colors lately, i blame my friend and occasional coworker emily proud. she is an amazing artist who does some pretty rad things with water colors. so inspired by her i set my usual black sharpie marker aside and broke out the paints for a softer look.

be free - process

working with water color was fun, but the process took longer than i would usually spend on a little project like this since i had to wait for each layer to dry. but i think it was totally worth it, and i'm please with how things turned out.

be free - process

another year

turning 27

yesterday i celebrated my 27th birthday with dinner at a bougie restaurant and beers at my local dive bar. at one point in the night the conversation turned to "what would my 16 year old self think of 27 year old me? What would 21 year old me think?" and the best i could come up with was that my life is not turning out how i'd expected it to. 16 year old punk kid natalie would not have expected to willing be in some swanky, expensive restaurant for dinner, in fact she might have been a bit disgusted. i also had a lot of naively high expectations for what was possible to accomplish before 30. the reality is even though i've take some unexpected turns, where i am right now is pretty awesome, and where i'm going, be it where i'm currently planning, or someplace completely different, it will likely be awesome.

my mom gave me some pretty solid advice when i moved out (at the tender age of 17!), "nat, life's as fun as you make it". and i totally think thats true, you are in charge of your own life and if you want something get it, but if its at the expense of your own happiness then its probably not worth it. 

i am very lucky to have amazing people in my life and to get to do the things i love for both work and play. so heres to another year of awesome!


man nature is pretty awesome! the colors and shapes out there that just come about naturally are really the best. heres a few more from my camping trip a few weeks ago. no editing, all natural (ha!)

night time and long exposures

its been a while, i know... i was taking a much needed vacation, camping with my brother and friend in southern california. 

i took my camera along (duh) and had the opportunity to do some fun stuff, experimenting with long exposures at night for some pretty rad effects.

these first ones were taken on the lowest shutter speed setting of my camera, with out a tripod, so one is a little blurry. you have no idea how hard i was trying to stand still and hold the camera steady to get these shots! for these two good one i've got a bunch of really bad blurry shots!

remember that awesome super moon? if you missed it, enjoy!

super moon long exposure

i remember seeing an ad a couple years ago where people where drawing with light, so we had the brilliant idea to light sticks on fire, blow them out to get an ember and draw with those. for this i set the camera on a sturdy surface (again because i didn't have a tripod) which ended up being my camp cooking pot upside down. then holding down the shutter until the drawing was done, so anywhere from 2 to 10 seconds if i remember correctly.

ember drawings - long exposure

one of my favorite parts of the trip was we spent 2 days backpacking. it was so nice and refreshing to get away from the sounds of cars and other people for a little bit. not to mention the beautiful sky! for these if found what i dubbed the "tripod rock" a triangular rock which i propped the camera up on to get a good view of the sky, because again, no tripod, i just didn't think i'd need it when i was packing. then held the shutter for 10-20 seconds, the tricking part here was that it was so dark i had a hard time focusing the camera because i really couldn't see anything with out my flashlight, and even then it was difficult to see if i was in focus. and forget auto focus, it was much to dark for that, cameras are smart but not that smart.

stars - long exposure

this was one was a lot of fun and i am still a little amazed how awesome these came out! setting the camera on a rock for stability i held the shutter while someone flashed the flash light at the other person posing then they'd do another pose and we'd flash the flashlight again, and so on for how ever many poses we felt like.

ghosted images - long exposure

i'll be post more pictures from my trip i'm sure, i took so many!

it was a good trip but i'm glad to be back in the city, and i'm feeling full of ideas after my mental break!