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Font Friday: Tesla

| On
August 29, 2014
I mentioned a little while ago, in my last edition of Font Friday, that I really like clean lines. I'm attracted to sans serif fonts, much more often than serif fonts. (Serifs are the little tails on letters--sans serif fonts do not have these. All fonts on my website are sans serif.) But what I really love, as a design enthusiast and font lover, is a font that can stand on its own. Once you have one of these fonts, it can be a logo on its own, without much additional design. 

This font, Tesla, from Lexi Griffiths on Behance, is one of those fonts. Inspired by circuits and electricity, this font would be perfect for the logo of a grunge band or a really cool underground coffee shop. Then again, most cool fonts could work for some kind of coffee shop. 

All images from Lexi Griffiths on Behance. Visit her portfolio to download the font.

August Music Recommendations

| On
August 27, 2014
In the process of writing these posts every month, I've learned that I'm really bad at describing music. For some reason, it's very difficult for me, when listening to music, to assign a genre, style or even feel to the song. Of course, I know if a song is acoustic or not, or pop or not, but other than that, describing music is something I suck at. So do me a favor, and just listen to a song or two. 

These songs are fun. They make me want to dance (or at least wiggle in my desk chair a little). I hope you like them! 

As always, I'd love if you leave any recommendations for me in the comments. Have a good one!

How You Can Support Bloggers

| On
August 23, 2014
This post has been on my mind a lot lately. It seems more and more than readers (many of whom are bloggers) are becoming "lurkers", meaning that these people come to blogs, read the posts, and then leave. Unfortunately, I'm well acquainted with this group, because I struggle with being a lurker. But even more unfortunately, over the last few years, I've noticed that this trend is weakening the strong communities that used to exist between bloggers and readers. 

I don't expect everyone who reads a blog post to suddenly become best friends with the blogger. Obviously. If you find a post on Pinterest + find exactly what you need + don't plan to return to the blog, I don't expect you to reach out to the blogger. But to all of you...who read the same blogs every week? This post is for you.

All bloggers love a little love. I'm not writing this post as a needy call for comments and emails from y'all. I just want to do what I can to boost the mutual friendships around these parts. So here's what you can do, to keep bloggers spirits alive, to thank them for their hard work and to make new friends:

+ Comment. Seriously, this is the easiest thing ever + I don't know about other bloggers, but comments mean so much to me. Comments on my posts means that my writing made someone react, made them feel something. That is so important to me. If a blogger's post is helpful, inspiring, interesting or just funny, let them know. But bloggers, you have to do your part too. Install a comment platform that's easy. I use Disqus. Respond to comments (within reason) so that readers feel heard.

+ When another blogger releases a new service, like consultations, sponsorships or some sort of store, congratulate them. Encourage them. It takes a lot of courage to release new ventures like that + I know a lot of bloggers feel disillusioned when they are met with complaints about being "too salesy". Even if you don't buy the service, try to refrain from complaining. 

+ Help promote bloggers that help or inspire you. If a post is helpful or has particularly gorgeous images, pin them. If you know of someone else who would needs to read a post, share it with them.

+ Look for ways to participate. If a blogger hosts a survey, please fill it out. I'm sure it'll only take a few moments + the blogger is probably asking for your opinion because she (or he!) wants you to like their blog even more. That's super nice of them, isn't it? If they host a link up (and you're a blogger in a related topic), join it! 

+ Keep a blogroll on your blog (assuming you're a blogger). I like to keep my navbar very clean, but my blogroll is very important for me to share. If you like reading my blog, you'll probably find a few that you like on my blogroll. This helps the reader + other bloggers + everyone is happier! 

+ Semi-related--if you're looking for new blogs to read, go to all your current faves and click on their sponsors. Chances are, your favorite blogger is sponsored by similar blogs + I bet you'll find some you like! Plus, sponsors who get new readers = repeat sponsors = funding for your favorite blogger. 

On that note, thank you all for reading. I love that you're here + I wish I could get to know all of you. If any of this post struck a chord with you, I'd love if you'd share/comment :)

New Miniseries! And 5 Ingenious TEDTalks

| On
August 22, 2014
This summer, I really wanted to make sure that I didn't just lounge around lazily and regress to being about as smart as a potato with eyes (OITNB reference!). Most summers, I feel like I happily laze around the beach and watch TV--which is great...until classes start back up. Then I realize that I can't remember how to long divide or spell 'embarrass'. 

So this summer, I took a more strategic approach to my activities. To use an annoying phrase, I wanted to "train my brain". This meant that I read books, listened to podcasts, read science journals + watched lectures and educational videos. Surprisingly (or maybe not, if you know anything about my nerdy self), it was super fun for me! I felt smart and at the top of my brain-game (annoying phrase number two) and actually enjoyed learning new things! 

As a new mini-series, I want to share more about these ways I stay mentally active over summer and outside of classes. Also--if anyone can come up with a name for this miniseries, I'll gladly credit you + send you a really nice piece of snail mail. Give me ideas in the comments!!

Today, I'm sharing my favorite TEDtalks. If you don't know, TEDtalks are lectures given by people in all sorts of fields about new ideas, projects, or perspectives. They're short--often 10 minutes or less!

PRO TIP: Watch with subtitles so you don't miss anything!

And, another pro tip: the topics section. Sort videos by topics that interest you--for me that means productivity, marine life, music, etc. For you, that could be something totally different! 

Call Me Sassafras on Instagram!

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August 21, 2014
I know I'm a wee bit late in announcing this, but I just wanted all y'all to know that I finally made an instagram for Call Me Sassafras! The account will share behind-the-scenes snapshots of the blog, my calligraphy/paper art/design and my life, not to mention music that I'm currently listening to. Here are a few examples of things I've recently posted.

You can follow me on Instagram here or from your phone via the instagram at @callmesassafras!



1 / My behind-the-scenes process of making cards for the fair earlier in the summer.
2 / A gorgeously designed tea tin found at a Goodwill--and happily purchased for 25 cents!
3 / Sometimes I doodle my feelings (while I should have been packing).
4 / Delicious kiwi gelato with my family.
5 / Proof that YES, Lake Michigan is wavy enough to surf in. 

Leave a comment here or on my instagram + say hi!

Visual Inspiration #4 / Packaging

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August 20, 2014
Side note: my semi-regular series called "# Visually Inspiring Pins" has been renamed "Visual Inspiration" because often times, my inspiration comes from places other than Pinterest. :)

One of my favorite boards on Pinterest is my 'Packaging' board. When I'm out shopping, I know that I'm so much more likely to buy something if it's packaged well than I would have been otherwise. You know what I mean--those really cute cards at Target that you don't really need, but come on they're boxed up so pretty! 

I find it so interesting how we can be drawn to something simply because of the way it's presented. If you think about it, this is an idea that can be translated in every area of life. Do you want to be the delicious smelling coconut-hibiscus candle in a plain jar that no one ever smells? Or the brightly colored one that smells just as good? Sometimes, it really is just about getting people's attention.

Tea Packaging
mineral matches
#design #packaging
Soap Stones
Lotus Cold Process Soap - Handmade Soap - Phthalate Free - Soap Bar

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Want more visual inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest or view more design inspiration posts.

Weekly Goals #39

| On
August 18, 2014
(Death to the Stock Photo)
The big week is here! I've tried to keep it on the down-low a little bit, because sometimes it's weird to be below the average blogger age, but this week I'm moving to Florida for college! Obviously, that's super exciting and brings its own set of concerns and expectations--I can hardly think about anything else!

So naturally, this week's goals are allll about college. But first, let me recap my goals that I made for August.

August Goals Update:

+ Stretch myself for school, socially. School hasn't started yet so I haven't reeeeally done this, but I've been chatting with some people so I can hopefully jump right in!

+ Finish all design projects before move-in. I'm close but definitely not done. I finished one design (Salt and Sweet Sugar--to be featured soon!) but I still have one with a little bit of work left. But, we've nailed down the real mood of the design + the rest should be easy peasy! I plan to take the first month of school off from design, but if you would like to book a spot for a Blogger design starting towards the end of September, email me!

This Week's Goals:

+ Go out of my way to introduce myself to new people. I usually totally suck at this + just wait for people to approach me, but I'm gonna get out of that stupid comfort zone and say hi to everyone! 

+ Find at least one organization/activity/thing to be involved in. It doesn't have to be a super long-term thing but I at least want to go to events and such this week.

+ Remember to blog! I know it's silly to blog about remembering to blog but I'm sure I'll be busy + I want to put it on paper (/the internet) that I'll still be blogging this week!

What are your goals this week? Any advice for college students?

Font Friday: Odin Rounded

| On
August 15, 2014
I love any font that is clean/legible, but still interesting and well designed. Odin Rounded is definitely one of those fonts. Scroll down a little + see--isn't that little cross hatch in the capital 'O' amazing?! Love it! This font would be great to make the logo of a funky/modern coffee shop or in some retro movie posters or something. 

Download for free from Frank Hemmekam's portfolio on Behance. All graphics by Frank Hemmekam.

What's your favorite font these days?

Grateful Heart #2

| On
August 13, 2014
As a pessimist by nature, gratitude is often the last thing I want to do. These days, I can choose to let myself be consumed by anxiety about my future (starting college next week!!) or I can recognize all the opportunities and fun that this time in my life provides. Usually, I'd totally choose the first option, but why not, just once, choose the second? Right now, I'm grateful that...

+ I got to see H this morning, for the first time in over a month. We've gone (and will go!) a lot longer without seeing each other, but it was still so nice to be together. We made breakfast together--pancakes and bacon--and just spent time together. 

+ I also spent time with my best friend today, which was so nice. I love all of the girls I hang out with in the summer but because I only see them two months out of the year, we just aren't as close. But this girl + I can chat about literally anything, even though we haven't talked much over the last few months. We have good feel talks.

+ I'm wrapping up a design that I'm really happy with. This gal is bold and fun and I feel like I'm making her design reflect that. I'm so excited to share it with you in the next few weeks!

+ Starting school means so many exciting opportunities--including a chance to grow. I struggle with anxiety, especially in places where I don't know people. But I've learned that I can prevent a lot (but not all) of my anxiety just with my attitude. I know it'll be hard to make new friends + settle in a new place. But it's so going to be worth it + I know I can do it.

What are you grateful for this week?

Catching My Eye [links I like]

| On
August 11, 2014
(Death to the Stock Photo)
I knowww it's Monday, but in lieu of our previously scheduled weekly goals post, I'm sharing some of my favorite links + recently read blog posts. Why? Well, for one, I just don't want to think about this week, much less plan goals. I'll get back to NC tonight, see H for three days and then move in at school (which means I won't see him for another six weeks :( sad!). Second, I've been catching up on blog posts this weekend and there is just so much good stuff coming out, you guys. I just had to share!

+ As I get ready to move into a dorm, I have to somehow decide which of my clothes to leave at home, and what to bring along. Gina (from Gina Alyse) talks about minimalism and why we shouldn't be afraid of downsizing our wardrobe.

+ Moving to central Florida calls and being a cold-weather kind of gal means I need help. Sarah Von from Yes and Yes helps with her tips for dealing with the heat. My favorite: putting bras in the freezer. Holy genius! Except, I almost can't take her seriously because she lives in Minnesota.

+ I didn't even know these were a legitimate thing, but oh my goodness, these Eames chairs are gorgeous.

+ Just because it looks delicious and--holy poop--actually not terribly hard (what is this witchcraft?!), this sweet and sour chicken recipe from The Sunshine Blog.

+ I'm sure you've heard them all before, but here's a reminder of to-do lists 101, thanks to Lifehacker (my fave!).

+ Because I'm looking for any way to make mornings a little happier and a little less "ughhh I want to be in bed," I may start doing these five morning stretches.

Welp. Now it's back to the car. Have a great Monday!

Favorite Podcast / NPR's All Songs Considered

| On
August 09, 2014
(Death to the Stock Photo)
Earlier this week, I mentioned that I was starting to listen to podcasts more often. I find that I have a lot of long walks in my day--to the beach, to work sometimes and to friend's houses. I used to just listen to music on these walks, but more and more, I find that I prefer a little bit of talk to keep my attention. In the quest for a happy medium between music and talk, I found NPR's All Songs Considered and it has quickly become my new favorite.

Host Bob Boilen (along with Robin Hilton) show you all the songs you should know, from all kinds of genres. In the same episode, I heard a weird metal song, a super catchy indie pop song and an acoustic duo. Literally, all songs are considered. I love this podcast because I always find new songs/bands to listen to--often ones I never would have given a chance. Oftentimes, I won't really like a song the first time around, but the more I listen, the more it grows on me. Plus I love Bob + Robin's commentary on the artists and the songs. 

In case you just want even more, all songs ever played on the radio show are available in a continuous online radio called All Songs 24/7.

Listen to All Songs Considered on iTunes or listen to All Songs 24/7 online.

Snippets 04.

| On
August 08, 2014
Snippets is a series where I share recent photos that I have taken--snapshots of my life. I share what I'm loving about my life lately.

ONE. The beach has been so beautiful this year (and yes, this is where I live). I've really enjoyed the windy days where most people stay home and the beach is quiet and cool except for a few kids flying kites. On wavy days like these, I just want to show everyone who says lakes are boring/not like oceans. Look at those waves! They may not be oceans waves, but we still surf in them.

TWO. I don't think I will ever take for granted how lovely it is to live in a forest. Even though the bugs can be annoying (and sometimes half the size of my head), it's the most beautiful area around. My house is in between a nature preserve and the beach, which means I literally get the best views on either side of my house. There's something just so wonderful to me about all the green, all around me. I love it!

THREE. In this mornings, I've been running up and down the stairs to the beach. I love the beach on wavy days, but I especially love the beach when I have it all to myself. Sometimes I'll walk down to the shore, take off my running shoes and just stick my feet into the water up to my ankles.

FOUR. Enough of the outdoors, look at my hair! I've been itching to dye my hair turquoise or green but before I take the plunge (and freak out H!), I decided to test it out on just the tips of my hair. Personally, I'm obsessed with the color. I didn't bleach it first, so it's sort of mixed with the brown of my hair and I really, really like it. Should I do my whole head? Just a couple more inches? Suggestions please!

What's going on in your life these days? Aaaand, should I dye my hair?!

5 Back-to-School Essentials for Studying

| On
August 06, 2014
This post first appeared as a guest post (by me) on the Duchess of Plumewood.

So y'all probably know that my blog is mostly centered around design, productivity and my lifestyle, but what you may not know is that I'm a microbiology/cell science student. And as I get ready for classes to start up again this fall, I'm getting ready for all the studying and work that comes along with being a student.

I'm all about finding ways to make sometimes tedious things (like studying or work) suck a little bit less. I love taking care to brighten up a desk--because if you work at a desk all day, then those things brighten up your life. 

So these are my essentials for a bright, happy study session. A sunny print to remind you to keep working. A plant to keep your desk feeling fresh. A chic backpack for when you need to relocate to the nearest coffee shop. A poppy calendar to keep track of everything. Unique pencils for writing down all your genius thoughts.

What are your study essentials?

Weekly Goals #38 + August Goals

| On
August 05, 2014
I've said it before and I'll say it again--I can't believe it's already August. I know I say that every month, but this month it's even more of a shock since for the last six months or so, college has felt so far off--"in August". But now August is here! I move in two weeks from today which is just crazy exciting and scary and I'm going to stop writing about it right now because I'm freaking myself out. 

How was your weekend? I spent my weekend with family, sailing and rollerskating with friends (yes, that's actually something people do regularly in southwest Michigan). On Sunday, I leave to go back to NC (aka work is over!!) and then less than a week later I move in! Lots going on around here.

Last Week's Goals:

+ Exercise 120 minutes. I think I got this one. I went for an hour long walk one day, swam one day and rode my bike one day, but I'm not positive on time. Just so you guys know, I'm aware that two hours of exercise a week isn't adequate (especially when it's half walking!) but for now, I'm choosing to spend more of my time working and with friends. Once I'm home and settled into school, I'll be exercising a lot more (hopefully). I chose not to run the 5k because all of my friends were working + I didn't want to do it on my own. No worries, though.

+ Find a new podcast. I fell back in love with This American Life and started listening to NPR's All Songs Considered and Scientific American's 60-Second Science. Both are great!

+ Comment on three blogs a day. Again, I didn't reeeally keep track and I know I missed a day here and there, but I generally did a good job of keeping up with my feed.

Last Month's Goal:

+ My big goal for June was to continue my lettering so that I could sell some pieces at the fair in my town. I did some lettering this month but the pieces I chose to sell were largely digital art and so I didn't spend as much time on hand-lettering as I planned. But really, I'm fine with that. My goal more morphed into getting pieces ready for the fair and I did that!

August Goals:

+ I'm choosing not to make goals for this week since I'll be wrapping up work + my time with Michigan friends and I'd rather just go with the flow this week. So...August goals!

+ Stretch myself for college. Figuratively of course. I'm definitely an introvert and while I can make friends pretty easily when I try, it's hard to make myself try sometimes. By the end of August, I'll have been at school for two weeks. At that point, I hope I've settled in a little bit with friends, activities, classes and etc. 

+ Finish all design projects currently open before school. This could be tough since I'm still at the beginning of some projects, but I'd like to finish those up soon so that I can take the first month or two of school off from design.

What are your goals for this week/month? Any tips on getting ready for college?

Goodbye July: a month in favorites

| On
August 02, 2014
(Death to the Stock Photo)
Can you believe it's August already?! I feel like I say that every month but especially this month, it just feels crazy. May both feels like yesterday and a year ago. Funny how time can do that.  

July has (obviously) been the busiest month of my summer. Between working full time, working on four design projects, designing a tattoo, selling my stationery at a craft fair and H coming to visit, I've been going-going-going, but doing all good things! I can't wait to see what August will bring (namely, college!).

I've mentioned it before, but I got a new laptop at the beginning of the month, which is fantastic. My old one was dying a slow, agonizing death. But the one thing I haven't figured out/gotten productive enough to try to figure out is transferring my iTunes library. So I just haven't quite been as focused as usual on music. I've been using spotify, 8tracks and songza (my three fave music sites--pandora is a close fourth) for the most part. Trending in my head these days are the 60s, but also soft acoustics. So good. A couple good playlists from 8tracks (with the exception of the first, the titles mean nothing):

Songs to Dance to / 60s rock
Self Portrait / acoustics
For When Words Aren't Enough / indie folk, singer-songwriter

This month, as I mentioned a few days ago, I largely read books I wasn't totally interested in as part of my library's adult reading challenge. I did however, really enjoy two books this month. One, called The Poisoner's Handbook was just amazing. It's a story of forensic medical examiners in the Jazz Age and different cases involving Prohibition-era wood alcohol and poisons. Very, very interesting if you're at all into medicine or chemistry (or even just US history!). The second was Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Although the main part of the book is super well known (everyone dies one at a time until there are..none. You guessed it.), I still thought it was super well written and I never suspected the ending. 

This month, I focused more on design/my life than I have in the past. I'm constantly tweaking, but I'd love to hear what you think. Do you like more design, life/productivity, music or science posts? Anyways, I really enjoyed the first installment of my new series, the Color Files, starting with Tangerine. Ever since I got my tablet, I've been obsessed with digital handlettering, but in this DIY Design, I showed you how to make a font from your own handwriting. Finally, I always enjoy a good Missing Links (science for normal people) post. This one features articles on jellyfish that age backwards, the possibility of printing a human heart and a mind-blowing infographic on the depths of our oceans.

What was your favorite post that you read or wrote this month?!

Free Font: Anders by Tom Anders Watkins

| On
August 01, 2014
I'm seriously digging this font. The lines, the clean, minimalist feel, the just-bold-enough uniqueness. This would make a killer header font for a rad fashion blogger or a tech website. 

Isn't it just awesome? And as always, best of all, it's totally free. All images are courtesy of Tom Anders Watkins on Behance. Download the font.

(Also, happy August!)

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