Hi there! I'm signing off early this week to head home to Virginia to spend some time with family over Easter. We also have an important baby shower to throw! :) Not gonna lie, I'm really looking forward to a few days away from the grind & am going to force myself to chill for a bit.
If you need me today, I'll be reading sleeping on the train.
Much of my free-time lately has been dedicated to art projects, most of them involving calligraphy. I delivered wedding invitations to a bride yesterday and the second I opened the box, she broke down in happy tears in the middle of Fifth Ave. It was seriously the cutest thing ever. Moments like that? They provide all the motivation I need.
Each and every calligraphy project begins with me choosing a nib (the interchangeable tips of the pen that you dip into the ink) from a teeny tiny glass holder I keep them in and sitting down with paper and a pod of ink -- there is something so peaceful and therapeutic about the practice itself. I hold the pen like a paintbrush instead of a pencil and it feels very much like I'm drawing the words instead of writing them. Realizing that the typical strokes I use with a ballpoint pen wouldn't translate the same way was half the battle of learning the technique in the first place. I recently purchased an oblique nib holder to try and master a more slanted look so that's my next little challenge. Wish me luck!
While I don't have pictures to share of all of my recent work, I thought I'd post a few ---
Here is a sample of some personalized stationery I designed.
I am considering adding this option to my Etsy store...
Here are some notecards I designed for a bride to send to her 'maids.
And here are some little place card signs I did for my sister-in-law's upcoming baby shower.
We're doing a nursery rhyme theme :)
(Don't worry - she won't see this!)
We can't wait to meet you, little Oliver!
Those little swirly lines? They're called flourishes.
And I hold my breath the entire time I do them, haha!
Linda Schneider, an instructor at The Society of Scribes here in the city, is a pro at them.
What's cookin', good lookin'? This week went by in a jiffy, yes? I'm not complaning :) I spy some temps in the 50s in the 10-day forecast so maybe (maybe!) spring weather is on its way. I don't know about you, but I've made a mental list of things I'm craving:
a date at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park
pleasant outdoor runs
the need to wear sunglasses
ditching the coat, finally
the sound of the air conditioner
a walk on The High Line
making a vacation out of a long weekend
the feeling of sunkissed cheeks
rompers & sundresses
strolling through outdoor flea markets
picking up fresh flowers from the bodega
walking everywhere and not minding
blooming trees & flowers
day-trips to the beach
free kayaking in the Hudson River
the smell of coconut sunscreen
neons & pastels
Sundays in Central Park
Starbucks green iced tea
eating & drawing outside
city rooftop views
happy hour on The Frying Pan
froyo for dinner
Sigh... it's comin', folks, it is.
This weekend? I'm looking forward to a double date tonight (celebrations are in order!), wrapping up a few projects, and getting ready for a trip next week. The hardest part about prepping for time away is not mentally checking out too early. Here's hoping I can stay focused! In the meantime, here are some links for your day --
The other night, Patrick & I walked around the corner for an impromptu sushi date. I sat there as we chatted about nonsense and closely examined our roll options. "Ugh. What is that smell? Do you smell that? Something is burning." as I buried my face in the bend of my arm. "Yeah, has to be from a car outside." Patrick smelled it, too. I looked around the restaurant, my facial expression surely indicating that I was annoyed by the unpleasant stench.
YOUR MENU IS ON FIRE."
"Ohmehgod." (as I removed my plastic menu from the candle that came out of nowhere, I swear.)
He's never letting this one go, just so you know.
Patrick decided it would be huh-lar-ious to tweet to the world that no, that wasn't an earthquake but rather Ginny letting out a burp after her dinner. (To be fair, I think it was the artichokes I had. And whatever, a girl shouldn't always have to be so polite. And I'm sorry, who is he to talk?) I wanted to kill him. And then I really wanted to kill him when a stranger replied to his tweet with, "you felt that, too?" and we looked at his and others' feeds and realized that people were reporting an actual small earthquake in the city and trying to determine its origin. Awesome. Patrick couldn't stop giggling. Did I tell you I wanted to kill him?
Okay, time for one that makes fun of Patrick.
"heeaaaallllpppp! HEEAAALLLLPPPP! HEEEYYYALLLLP-uh!" - Patrick throwing what appeared to be a 6'4" two-year-old's tantrum, shaking his clenched fists in the air whilst wailing from the other room upon being stuck on a mouse glue trap. I nearly lost a lung laughing so hard while attempting to pull it off. What a goof.
(clearing my throat)
As my luck would have it? Two days later? The exact same thing happened to me. Notsofunny.
early this morning:
"Patrick! Come here for a sec. Can you think of any times when I've made fun of you? I'm writing this post and I know there has to be some good dirt on you, too. Like that time a few years ago when you got pulled over for speeding near the Grand Canyon--"
"--and you snapped pictures of the policeman? No, that doesn't count. You give me way more material to work with."
"Patrick!" (voice makes a very strange little noise)
"What was that? Was that English? Did you just have a stroke?"
(...pretending that I'm convulsing because I'm upset when really, I can't stop laughing.)
(how did he turn this convo on me so quickly? no seriously, how?)
two lessons from this story time sesh ::
1. I don't have very good luck. I do things like nearly burn down the Asian restaurant on 8th Ave...and indirectly become a part of a Twitter conversation involving my burp and the origin of an earthquake...and laugh at Patrick getting caught in a mouse trap and then Karma's all, "Bahaha. Wait 'til this happens to you, little lady." And if I try and be witty? It fails miserably. Ya know, like the other day when I thought I made a really clever assessment of a basketball game and was going to impress Patrick with my knowledge? I sent him a text and it totally backfired and he made it a point to tell everyone in the vicinity.
(Keep your fingers crossed that my tourney bracket beats his bracket, okay guys?)
Here is some of what's been going on lately, in no particular order.
"I Saw U Saw We Saw Warsaw" by O.P.I. = the perfect shade of navy.
Kardashians do eyelashes right. Loving the Khroma "Stroke of Midnight" version.
Apparently (?!) I also love polka dots.
Oh, and that's just me waiting impatiently on the eye doctor.
(Instagramming gives me less time to stare at the scary gadgets.)
It's been a very busy (& exciting!) stretch of calligraphy and illustration projects. While many are for others' personal/surprise occasions, I hope to add a few of the designs to my portfolio at some point.
a fun dinner at Tavern on Jane with Patrick, his sister, & her husband :)
a view from breakfast we ate outside (yes!) during that one warm day that was such a tease.
& a movie date to see Silver Linings Playbook. (we can't stop talking about it - it's a must-see!)
love them :)
and finally, Mom's emails always bring sunshine to my day.
Happy Monday, friends. I hope you have a smile-filled week!
eWallet is a handy-dandy / user-friendly app for storing all of your passwords. You only have to remember the one password to access the app. A much better idea than writing it all down in a notebook and taking the risk of losing it.
Rolodexes are still hip. I'm in the market if you know of a cool one. Creating an Excel sheet of business card contacts would also prove helpful!
Saving documents under Google drive allows you to access them from wherever. Smart!
It's good to consider the scenario of, "if a file disappears, could you replicate it?" Copies & back-up are important.
Don't forget to write down all the important info/phone numbers/etc. on your credit cards somewhere safe. If you lose your wallet and want to cancel your cards, you won't be able to use them as a reference. Do the same for your phone - back up the numbers, important notes you've taken, photos, etc.
Also, let's have a moment of silence for Google Reader going extinct. So sad. Slash annoying. What are you guys going to use now? If you'd like, follow me on Bloglovin' by clicking on the button in my right-hand sidebar. (pssst! Bloglovin' also allows you to import all of your blogs/websites from Google Reader!)
Now onto your weekend. Plans? Don't forget to wear green on Sunday ;) I have to mail off some commissioned projects (eee! packaging it all up is such an exciting part), gotta keep working on a dog drawing and start two calligraphy projects, one of which is for my on-the-way nephew's baby shower! The highlight of my weekend, though, will be seeing Patrick's sister & her husband who are coming down for a quick trip. Can't wait :)
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St. Patty's Day makes me want a McDonald's Shamrock shake - look, we can make our own!
I find it helpful to hear how others handle certain facets of their life, particularly individual organizational systems. Today, I'm going to share with you how I organize my personal documents. I also have a couple questions for ya.
elephant paper clips > normal paper clips
As you know, storage space is limited nonexistent in our apartment so I opt for small file boxes from the Container Store. Maybe one day I'll upgrade to a nice filing cabinet of sorts. It seems like each year I have folders I no longer need or I realize new ones I need to make. I do a full overhaul every 12 months and I go through each folder, make new ones, and also shred what is no longer necessary to keep. I typically do this when I file my taxes which was Sunday's lovely task.
apartment leasing // I have copies of every lease I've been on including the ones back in college. Because I'm crazy? Yes. But also because when applying to a NYC apartment, they literally need every document imaginable - including information on your past several residences. And since I have zero memory, this helps. We will be opening this can of worms again very soon (blerg!) so it's good to have all the relevant paperwork.
art projects // I keep a folder of past art projects, including ones I've never shared. You never know when they might have a purpose. I also found a folder of all the many letters from publishing companies a few years ago turning down my children's book manuscripts. Sigh... it's motivation to try again.
bank accounts | retirement | etc. // self-explanatory.
big purchase receipts // Most big purchases (ex: a computer) come with a warranty or other important information. I like to keep receipts for those just-in-case scenarios.
birth certificate | passport | social security card // I spent way too many years trying to locate these things when I needed them.
cards // Although I tend to design my own cards for holidays & special occasions, I will buy cards throughout the year as I find ones I like tucked away in cute little shops or in the aisles of the local drugstore. It's great for the, "Oh it's so-and-so's birthday next week. Let me see if I have a card appropriate for a 10-year-old."
continuing education // Since undergrad, I've taken quite a few "continuing education" courses at various schools both in the city and online -- and I consider their syllabi (what a fun word that is) and coursework to be priceless information.
fitness // gym memberships, fitness goals, workout DVDs, etc.
health & dental insurance // I feel like I'm always asking myself if I paid a certain bill already. This helps me keep track.
inspiration // ...everything from magazine clippings to a beautiful image I found in a vintage shop in Chinatown to stories written by my grandmother. It's my own little Pinterest in a physical folder.
instructions // Ya know, for things like that sewing machine I have yet to learn how to use! It's a good idea to keep all those pamphlets that come with your various gadgets. You never knowww.
job info & reviews // It's a helpful place to store all your important documents from your employer.
keepsakes // In addition to other boxes I have for this purpose (I'm pretty sure I've saved every letter Patrick has written me), I also have a folder for things I've received that I love too much to throw away. I'll either decide at the end of the year that I can read it once more and throw it out (you can't keep everything unless you want to go on Hoarders) or I'll decide to transfer it to a keepsake box. For example, I just can't seem to part with my autographed playbills from Broadway shows I've seen. Maybe one day I can make them into something special.
medical records // I keep a record of everything from childhood to present. I recently asked my parents about their & my grandparents' medical histories. I always felt like doctors were asking me those questions and I never felt certain about my response! ...so I finally asked and wrote it down.
renters' insurance | power bill | etc. // (I'm sure if you own a home, you can think of 20 more folders you'll need!) I read somewhere that it is smart to A. take photos of your bigger possessions (I have very little to show for myself at 27, but oh well) and to make copies and keep them somewhere that is NOT your home. If (heaven forbid) there is a fire, it won't help to have those records kept with everything else. This can also apply to other important documents - best to keep copies stored in other places.
resumes & cover letters // Although I haven't updated my resume in ages, it's helpful (and funny!) to see where I left off. I don't think I would keep "child care provider" and "camp counselor" on my future version :) In my folder, I have nice thick resume paper (so few people actually care to use that these days and I'm a firm believer that details matter), examples of letters, a guide to resumes & cover letters, and a list of contacts I reached out to the last time I was looking for a job.
tax deductibles // A great way to keep track of your charity donations, etc. It's amazing what you'll forget about a year later.
tax documents // This one is pretty self-explanatory. I also save copies of this stuff electronically. As a side note, I also keep an external hard-drive to back up all the work on my computer. I never know how often to do it, though -- do you?
two things I want to figure out how to organize. help me.
business cards // I can't decide the best way to store all the business cards I collect. Should I separate them between categories? Like restaurants, stores, designers, bloggers, doctors, friends, references, etc? Should I get some sort of Rolodex or should I put them in a booklet? Right now I have a stack waiting for me that is held together by a hair tie. What do you do with yours?
passwords // I started a password log of sorts in one of my planners and I can't decide if it's safe to keep them there. Should I store this electronically? I feel like I have forty bajillion different ones and I'm constantly locking myself out of my own accounts after too many incorrect attempts (cue my laptop flying out the window). Tell me...how do you keep track of your passwords?
I'd love to hear your tips & how you organize your important personal documents!
I live in NYC in an itty bitty apartment with which I have a love/hate relationship. I work in finance as an assistant, but my passion is drawing & writing. I have a bird-like affinity for anything sparkly, a trait I inherited from my best friend, my mom. I constantly battle inanimate objects and I am a chronic spiller/recipient of "spillage" around me. I love anyone that can make me giggle and I get a little too excited about birthdays. Oh and I never, and I mean never-ever, underestimate the power of a York Peppermint Pattie.