October Shop Charity  October 1, 2014

NBCF October Shop Charity

In case you missed it at the start of the year, one of the things I’ve decided to do with my shops this year is donate a portion of all sales to charities or causes that I support.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. That combined with the fact that I had a family member who dealt with breast cancer made this month’s shop cause a no brainer. The beneficiary for October is the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer is a big problem for women in the United States: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There’s not currently a full cure, and so early diagnosis is critical to survival. The NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through their network of hospitals, and also advocates for education and support services for those who been diagnosed. If you agree that women’s health is an important issue, you can support the cause by a direct donation on the NBCF site, or by shopping in either of my shops (screen printing or digital) this month.

At the beginning of this month $20 was donated to the September shop charity – thank you!

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Tuesday Treasure Trove  September 30, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.


Things of Note:

This weekend was mostly good – a nice mix of socializing, going out, and vegging out. The boy and I have a) started watching Arrow on Netflix, which is entertaining so far, and b) started a replay of Riven, the sequel to Myst. I played it way back in the day and only very vaguely remember details about the puzzles and he’s never played it, so it’s almost like playing it for the first time. We have so far resisted looking up play-throughs or cheats, but the damn boiler house island might defeat us.

This week is looking to be slow on design work stuff, which means it’ll be heavy on shop work stuff and house work stuff. Which is probably good, as the shops have been a bit neglected lately. If you want to get the skivvy on when I have something new for one of the shops (before all the unspecial nonsubscribers ;) ), you should sign up for my shop newsletter. Use that link, or the sign-up box in the sidebar. I will hopefully have some particular good news soon, and the peeps who sign up will be the first to know. *hint hint*

How was your weekend? Read any interesting web articles lately? Any plans for this week?
 


Friday Favorites: True & Co  September 26, 2014

I assume most of my readers are ladies, and as such I’m going to share something with you today that I think we all could use. If you are, oh I don’t know, any kind of normal woman, bra shopping can be a pain in the tush. Particularly figuring out what bra size fits best, and not breaking the bank in the process. Well, there’s a new online service to help with all of that. It’s called True & Co, and it’s specifically for bras. I read about it in this article and decided to try it out. And I have to say it was amazing.

Their motto is “Fit starts with your shape, not your bra size.” First off, before you even get to their product line-up, you take a little quiz. It’s all about how your current bras fit you and any issues you have (straps sliding, gaping in cups, etc.). They’ve compiled a database of all sorts of bra fitting info, and they run your answers through it to pop out the size they think will best fit you. And surprise, it’s often not the size you’ve been wearing. This was the case with me. I’ve never had an official/expert bra fitting, so based on taking my own measurements for those ‘what bra size should you wear’ fit guides, I’d been wearing a 36B. True & Co suggested I try a 36C. OK, I was game to try a new size, but didn’t really want to pay for a bra in an untried size and then have to go through the hassle of returning it and waiting for a refund.

true-co-screen

Options in my new suggested size.

This is where True & Co’s 2nd genius feature comes in. You can add things to your cart like normal and checkout, OR they have a service called Home Try-On. You can pick as many as 5 different bras to try on at home for 5 days, and you only pay for what you keep. No shipping fee, no upfront payments. This is what I opted to do, given that I was switching sizes. I was specifically shopping for a new everyday bra, so I picked a few different basic/nude styles from my personalized suggestions, and requested my home try-on box. It arrived like so:

true-co-box

true-co-open-box

true-co-bras

And, you guys, True & Co was totally right!! The 36C, while not a huge change from the 36B, fits SO MUCH BETTER. I ended up keeping 3 of the bras – an everyday (far right), a racerback (2nd from right), and the grey push-up(far left) – and sent the rest back in the provided envelope with the provided shipping label. Just an easy drop off at the post office.

The best part? Most of their bras are around $40-$60, which is really reasonable for quality bras. Yes, keeping 3 was a bit of a splurge, but they all fit beautifully. I’ve been wearing my new everyday bra almost every day – it doesn’t dig in or have slippy straps and is not uncomfortable in the least, even after a full day wearing it. Life. Changing.

I will definitely be using this service again, probably not too long from now to get a new black bra in my new size. If you’d like to give this revolutionary bra shopping experience a go, too, you can follow this link for $15 your first order (or off of whatever you keep, if you do the home try-on). For full disclosure, I’ll get $15 off my next order, too. That’s a win-win deal, right? Right.

Now if only they’d create a service like this for jeans. *le sigh*

Do you find bra shopping a pain? Have you ever discovered that you’d been wearing the wrong size bra?


Color Theory: Orange  September 25, 2014

orange

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Orange

Color Wheel Tier: Secondary.
Tonal Value: Warm.
Complementary Color: Blue.

It’s association with good flavor and aromas is while orange is commonly used as a food coloring agent (think your nacho cheese Doritos). Orange things like tigers and lilies and saffron have given it an association with exotic things. And we’re all familiar with the overwhelmingly orange Halloween decor, and orange construction signs and cones. But this time of year, it’s hard not to appreciate the color, with pumpkin-spice everything, and leaves starting to change color.

I’ll be the first to admit that orange is not one of my favorite colors. It doesn’t compliment my skin tone, and a birthday close to Halloween has left me with a lifetime leeriness of it. But after making the list below, I may have to rethink things, because it turns out that orange is more of a positive color than not, with very few negative associations.

Meanings / Associations

Positive

Autumn / fall leaves / harvest
Amusement / frivolity / clowns
Sunsets
Good flavor & aroma
Buddhist monks / Hindu holy men
Transformation
Activity

Neutral

Unconventional/Exotic things
Halloween
Visibility/life jackets
Oranges, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes
Tigers, foxes, monarch butterflies
Extroverts
Saffron
Deserts

Negative

Caution/Warning
Fire
Gluttony

For more orange inspiration, you can check out my color board here.

What does orange make you think of?
 


Tuesday Treasure Trove  September 23, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.


Things of Note:

This week is already going much better than last. I had a dentist appointment yesterday, but unlike the vet and lady doctor last week, there was no surprising bad news. It was simply business as normal. And it’s sunshine all across the board in this week’s weather forecast, which always makes me happy. Plus I had a good weekend: socializing with friends at brunch and book club, and hanging out with Ian and the puppy the rest of the time. This coming week I’ve got some favorite shows coming back with new seasons, coffee with a friend, a care package to send out, and a baby shower BBQ. And work is going well. Good things all around! Here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it.

How did your weekend go? Up to anything interesting this week?
 


5 Online Tools That Make My Life Easier  September 22, 2014

5 Online Tools That Make My Life Easier

A good portion of life these days is tied into the digital world. The fact that you are here reading this blog shows that you might be more tuned in to the digital world than most – I know, shocking, but the average person isn’t a dedicated blog reader. The pace of life online is pretty fast, and things are always changing (looking at you, Facebook), but sometimes those changes are for the better. Sometimes something new comes along that helps streamline your digital life. And today I’m sharing some of the online tools that have helped me manage my blog, my businesses, and my life.


For Bloggers

coschedule

CoSchedule

Ever write a post, and schedule it, but then forget to promote on social media? Or just need something to help you plan out your posts for the month and easily rearrange? CoSchedule is probably for you. It’s an editorial calendar and social media scheduler all in one, with bonus drag-and-drop functionality. It ties directly in with WordPress, so you can use it from your WordPress backend or from CoSchedule’s site. I’ve got it connected to my Facebook page and my Twitter account for social media scheduling, though it also has LinkedIn, Tumblr and G+ available to connect to. If you have more than one person writing on your blog, it also lets you assign authors to drafts on the editorial calendar so each team member can see what they need to write. Overall, it’s just been really useful and time-saving for me.


For Etsy Shop Owners

betsi

Betsi

Once you get to a certain number of listings in your Etsy shop, editing and updating them can be a pain if you don’t have a bulk editing option. Enter Betsi. It’s a bulk/batch editing tool that can do everything from change images and tags, to edit descriptions and variation profiles, to renewing listings and changing shipping options. It has been a lifesaver for me. You know how a few weeks ago I updated the paper options on all of my customizable art prints? I used Betsi to quickly and easily update the photo and variation listings for each of those, all at once. If you have an Etsy shop with more than 1 page of listings, I guarantee you’ll love this. There is a pared-down free version, but the $9/month full version is worth it, believe me.

treasury-pin

Treasury Pin

So many pretty Etsy treasuries, and no way to prettily share on Pinterest with an overview of the collection instead of just the first item. Until now. This is a quick and easy way to pin your treasuries, and it’s editable so you can choose how many items in the collection you want to show, and in what order. I’m on an Etsy team that is pretty heavy on the treasury-making, so this has been super useful for me. You can check out my Pinterest board of Etsy treasuries here to see some examples.


For Everyone

habitrpg

Habit RPG

A new way to keep track of to-do items and daily habits. It’s styled like an old-school RPG game, with gold and quests and gear. Completing to-do’s and positive habit actions keep your health at full and earn you rewards. Missing daily to-do’s or negative habit actions (i.e. not exercising) makes you lose health. If you’re a little bit of a gamer geek like me, and want a fun, online way to keep yourself accountable, give this a try. There’s a desktop browser version and an app for tablets/phones – and they sync. It does require honestly on the user’s part, but I’ve been using it for a few months now, and it really helps keep me on track with things I need to get done.

boomerang

Boomerang for Gmail

This is one that is handy for everyone, but particularly for those running their own businesses. Working late and answering emails at midnight, but don’t want to train your clients to expect you to be at their beck and call at all hours? Enter Boomerang for Gmail. It lets you schedule emails to send at a later time and date. So if you’re writing an email on Saturday night, you can schedule it to send during normal business hours Monday morning. It also has a follow-up/reminder feature, though I haven’t really used that. For the Send Later alone, it’s worth it.


I hope you find some of these useful! What are some of your favorite online tools?