A prediction

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I fear for the basketcase I'm going to be when my kids are sick someday. If my behavior as a wife is any indication, I'm going to hover and pat and coo and hover until they vomit on me on purpose just to get me to back off. The Mercifully Swift But Brutal Stomach Virus of 2012 came through our home this week, and it wasn't pretty - physically or emotionally. Because I had meetings and couldn't hover all day at Dave's bedside, I made him this card instead. So far he hasn't vomited on me.

Leaping & Jumping: Lessons from a Non-Athlete

Friday, January 27, 2012

Over the past few months, I've had the chance to speak about my favorite topic: How to Quit Your Day Job. Being an independent worker has become so integral to who I am, that when given an opportunity to talk about it and an audience who might care, I just Can't. Shut. Up.

I'm not picky about my stage (this goes for speaking and singing karaoke), but the smallish roundtable setting at Alt was perfect. The people at my session seemed truly engaged and interested in how to make the leap. They asked thoughtful questions like, "How do you stay motivated without someone telling you what you have to do?" and "What about insurance?" We talked about how to make a graceful exit, how to bridge the gap between paycheck and PayPal, and how to know if you're really ready (hint: you'll never REALLY feel ready). My goal was to deliver both RAH-RAH You Can Do It inspiration and Let's Get Down to Specifics tactical advice. Hopefully that happened! I think it did.

Whenever I speak on this topic, there is one major theme that winds up emerging and that is this:

You can create an environment wherein quitting your day job is less of a cliff-jump and more of a trust fall. Current employers, mentors, experience, resources, etc - these all make up a sort of safety net that help cushion your fall and build in some assurance that you are NOT going to wind up on the street. Unless you're quitting your day job to be a street musician. In which case, congratulations. You are out on the street!

Finding relevant information and like-minded individuals who have lived through it are huge in helping feel (somewhat) prepared. Anyway, I thought I'd share the list of resources I passed out to the folks at my roundtable, on the off chance it's helpful. And if you want to hear MORE, you should know I'm speaking at Reboot Workshop tomorrow. Come say hi!

Independence in General:
Jeremy & Kathleen: Freelance Matters
Passive Panda
Creative, Inc by Joy Cho & Meg Ilasco
My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman

Jessica Hische: The Dark Art of Pricing
Grahpic Artists Guild Handbook:

New Work City
We Work
Loose Cubes

Creative CollaborativeMeetup
Freelancers Union


Alt Summit Tips from a Newly-Minted Veteran

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm back from a big week at Altitude Summit in Salt Lake City. Alt is technically a design conference, but it's really more like a big slumber party. A slumber party where instead of pajamas you wear skinny jeans and instead of having a pillow fight, you stalk Ben Silberman. And the slumber party isn't at your house, it's held at the house of that really REALLY cool girl who rides a Vespa and wears tights with horizontal stripes on them.

Now that I've experienced Alt, I feel like I can offer some key pieces of advice for those thinking about attending in 2013:

1. Make a list of the people you'd like to see/meet while you're there. Read up on their blogs. Learn more about their careers, families, and personal preferences. That way, when you find yourself next to Pilar Guzmán while in line for the toilet, you can say, "Hey, how did that bathroom remodel turn out?" rather than, "Holy cow! My bladder is SO FULL. I love your pants."

2. Think about the cutest outfit you're planning to bring. Now make it cuter. Now CUTER. Okay, now you're ready.

3. When it comes to business cards, dream big. Paper is passé. Rectangles are lame-o. Think about the Christmas gift you loved most from your childhood and then buy 250 of those to hand out to the people you meet.

4. If you are male, you'll want to practice some immersion therapy leading up to the event. Does your local YWCA have a prenatal yoga class you can audit? How about a Nicholas Sparks book club? What you want here is sheer quantity of ladies.

5. Consider bringing a rolling suitcase, fun vintage red wagon, or sherpa to help carry your swag. Nothing says "Alt Rookie" like a back injury.

Thanks to the Alt people for putting on such a fabbolus design conference (cough: slumber party: cough) and having me as a speaker. I'll post some nuggets from my roundtable session later, but for now I'm going to get caught up on my sleep and relive this moment:

Just a guess.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


short hair: vote Y or N

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thinking about going short. Thanks to the internet, I don't have to wonder if I can pull off the Rihanna look. As per usual, I can. Clearly.

The "flame thrower"

"Croissant bouffant"


The Andy Warhol

"Sludge Pile"

Playsuits: Some Guidance

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's that time of year! When things start to get really sweaty, and the fashion choices start to get really perplexing. Don't get me wrong, winter was a really confusing time for me too, what with all the leggings-as-pants and tights-as-leggings.

But heat will cause normal, thinking people to make really bad clothing decisions, the worst of which (IMHO) is:

The playsuit.

These things are everywhere right now, which is dangerous because it means they can be on everyONE right now. Where shorty pajamas, overalls, and bodysuits meet, that's where you'll find the playsuit. Before Urban Outfitters started selling them, no one over the age of three had worn one. In fact, I suspect they had to drastically alter the pattern once they discovered the style was designed to accommodate a disposable diaper.

Not only are they unpleasant to look at, they're inaccurately named. No one outside of Joy School has ever been able to "play" in one of these things. Shoulder to hem, they're 18 inches TOPS. Unless you've developed a sophisticated style of play that doesn't include lifting your arms, the best you're going to do in this suit is stand. Or maybe Riverdance.

Anyway, I thought I'd offer some guidance to those still considering the playsuit as a wardrobe option this summer. Please share this with all of your friends (over three).



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Exciting news!

My friends at Ollibird are going to be guest host bloggers on Etsy tomorrow! This is exciting because they are talented and awesome, but also because they'll be teaching a little video tutorial on how to "enhance" your photos. I like to imagine it's going to be like on cop movies where the detectives are reviewing a piece of fuzzy black and white film taken from a video camera mounted two miles away from the parking lot where the crime took place. It's just big clots of salt and pepper. But then the chief comes by and is like, "Wait a minute. Enhance. Enhance AGAIN. AGAIN. AGAIN." And then someone mutters, "I think we found our man." And the screen shows a photo so high resolution you can count pores on the dude's nose.

I'm going to be following along, hoping I can prove once and for all that THIS:

Is actually THIS (I swear it was her):