my life in my words


Unlock Yourself

This past week has been a rush for my little graphic design life! Last week, I had a session where I taught one of my friends the basics of Photoshop and creative design, which I hadn’t done in a long time! I’ve gotten requests for small, medium, and big jobs, and recently I even got to help one of my friends with a creative development project that might just help make a big dream of hers come true! There really is no better feeling as a creative/designer than knowing that you are using your art to bring life to others!

One of the really small projects I’ve done recently was a memorial card for a client who had just lost their mother. She wanted a simple, elegant card with some a border to pass out to those attending the funeral. She wanted it to be fancy but not distracting. This was the finalized design:




One of the things you should know is that in general, I like to design stuff that pops and is bright, bold, and funky. But knowing your audience is key. The client LOVED the cards and said that they were perfect and completely exceeded her expectations! That definitely brought a giant smile to my face!

I’ll continue posting more design stuff, but in the meantime, here are some designs that inspire me, reflect my own style, and have captured my attention lately:

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I’m a Slave 4 U

An illustration based upon the book THE LITTLE PRINCE

After reading over all of the beautiful quotes shared by those who left comments on the giveaway post, I decided it was about time to share MY favorite quote with you! My favorite quote comes from the book, THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.

I loved it so much that I decided to make it a part of me permanently. So in case you were wondering about the clues from the previous post, the hearts, the book FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD (about slavery and the underground railroad), and the image at the top of this post from THE LITTLE PRINCE, a huge part of my continuing to make this a year one of moving FORWARD.

Last night, my friend Cindy J. joined me in a huge landmark in my life—the day I became a Slave To The Needle!

Slave To The Needle in Ballard

For the past few years, I’ve wanted to get a tattoo SO badly. A lot of them actually. I think they can be such meaningful displays of art. The only thing that had ever really held me back was my incredibly giant fear of needles. I mean, honestly, I still cry when I get shots. With that fear, the dream of getting a tattoo was just that—a dream. Until last night . . .

So much meaning in such a small space. Forever.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially become an inked woman!

My friend Cindy J. and I had been talking about getting tattoos together for a LONG time. We talked about our hesitancy to get them done, expressing our fears, doubts, and finally decided that the time to hesitate was through. I knew that if I was going to face this fear and get it done, I COULD NOT do it alone. I needed someone to be there right alongside me, holding my hand, and calming me down so I wouldn’t move and make the artist mess up the permanent art. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have such an amazing friend in my life! She let me squeeze her hand/wrist/arm until she finally had to ask me to ease up because it was starting to cut off the circulation. And after I loosened my grip and calmed down a bit, she kept letting me hold on tight (just not AS tightly). 😉 She talked with me and shared stories as I bawled my eyes out during the shading of the heart. She was my photographer, my videographer, and overall just my perfect friend! I am so glad I got to share such a giant landmark in my life with her!

I really wanted to be more open about it with people in the planning stages, but the more I talked with people, the more I was discouraged. I got every excuse in the book to steer me away from getting the tattoo done, but I knew I needed to do it. I needed to move FORWARD and stop living with that fear. The hour before my appointment, I sat in Cupcake Royale experiencing every emotion known to man. I almost chickened out. Then I remembered a scene from the movie Tangled, that I had watched with Cindy J. and crew the day before and knew I had to do it. I prayed for peace and courage and we headed out for the appointment. After looking that fear in the face and walked away with a beautiful treasure to cherish forever!

The funnest part of it all for me was figuring out what I wanted to communicate and designing the tattoo. I knew I wanted it to be simple and clean, but full of meaning. The tattoo is special to me for so many reasons:


My rendition of the Life Heart from the video game The Legend of Zelda represents all the video games that I used to play with my siblings. I know a LOT of people who grew up with super close, happy, and fun relationships with their siblings. My siblings and I just did not fit that mold. We fought ALL the time, each of us being just as stubborn as the other, UNLESS we were playing video games. When we played video games, we got along so well. Those were our super close, happy, and fun times and I want to treasure those memories for the rest of my life.


The music note represents my love for music. I’ve said it so many times, but it is so true: Music is my football. Music has played such a major role in every season of my life. I always have a song in my head and heart and I have a passion for writing songs. It was a simple but meaningful embellishment I wanted to add to the tattoo.



The quote is a reminder for me to see people and situations in life with God’s heart. The quote itself may be from THE LITTLE PRINCE and reflects my love for reading and that book in particular. However, it speaks so much more to me when I put it in a context of faith. My faith is a giant part of what makes my life meaningful. It’s easy to judge people, to see what I want to see or not in others and in situations, but when I keep my heart focused on the things of God and the way He loves and cares for others, I am able to see rightly.


I put the tattoo on my left inside wrist because I wanted it to be in a place where I would notice it every day. I rarely stare at my back in the mirror. I don’t look at my feet often . . . they’re usually covered in fuzzy socks. I didn’t want it on my stomach or upper arms. I definitely didn’t want it on my butt, nor did I want a tramp stamp. So the obvious place was the wrist. I chose my left wrist because people notice it less on the left wrist, since I shake hands with my right hand.

The most important thing for me was that I woke up this morning without a single regret. I got dressed with a giant smile on my face, knowing I had conquered another mountain in my life and could continue moving FORWARD!

Here are a few more pictures from my tattoo experience:

Before getting inked


My tattoo artist, Alex, putting the guides on.

Loved having Cindy J. by my side through it all!

Alex and I after it was all done

Portrait of an inked woman

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Chances Are [First Giveaway of 2011 WINNER!]




for winning the first giveaway of 2011 on my blog!!!

(FYI: The generator only shows a certain number of names on
the screen, but if you commented, you WERE entered!)

Yay! I’m so glad you won, Alanna! I’ll be sending you your loot first thing next week! I will let you know when it is sent! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Also, thank you for posting such a wonderful quote:

“I keep that time alone with God not
in order to have a relationship,
but because I do have a relationship.”

There is truly no greater feeling for me than giving to others! I’ll be sure to do more giveaways as time goes by, and I want to thank all of you for taking time to participate. It really means a lot to me and it was nice to read everyone’s quotes. I am a sucker for quotes!

Now, I’ve told you all that something exciting was happening soon right? Well . . . I figured I would give you guys some hints as to what it MIGHT be. So here are 3 clues that will help you figure out (if you don’t already know) what this exciting news is:

Hint #1
PS: I took this photo at my local grocery store. Pretty awesome, eh?

Hint #2

Hint #3


Happy guessing . . .


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Leaving Eden

I dont’ have much time to write today, but I DID want to share some great humor with you all!  I found this on another site and decided to copy the images over here! It’s clearly Photoshopped, so there’s no need to alert the presses. It does involve religion (which can be a touchy subject for some), and I don’t mean for this post to offend anyone, but I thought it was funny. I really wish they did this in real life at businesses. I think it’d be hilarious to see a reader board war between 2 gas stations or donut shops across the street from one another! I hope it makes you smile and laugh as much as it did for me!

Two churches located across the street from each other:

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We R Who We R

I was invited to go on a shopping outing at Value Village with some friends yesterday and I’m actually really proud of one of my purchases! To be honest, I only bought 2 things. I bought a pair of pants, and this:



Amo Red Riding Hood!



I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why would anyone in their right mind need a red riding hood??”

Well, the answer is Halloween 2011! Plus, it was practically made for me! It’s bright, bold, and fun! My friend dared me to wear it to work one day, so I’ll definitely be doing that. And if I ever need a costume, I already got it covered. But really, I am glad I got it because it will make it easier this Halloween when I’m fighting to figure out what to dress up as. For me, the simpler the costume, the better . . . and it was only $6!


As you know, any excursion in a clothing store is just another opportunity for me to play a giant game of dress-up!


I like to keep it classy

Heather J. is my partner in fashion crime



However, I think the highlight of the day was George Michael’s “FAITH” playing over the loudspeakers. Because you know it’s just not a shopping party until THAT happens!


We kept shopping and found some pretty sweet stuff:


I started practicing my Golden Globes acceptance speech

Heather got cold while shopping



We finished up our trip with a visit to one of my favorite bakeries—Larsen’s Bakery in Ballard! I got a slice of lemon cake with marzipan frosting to have with my dinner, and Heather opted for a “creepy frog” cupcake:


She asked for the creepiest one.

. . . and then Heather proceeded to eat its brains



All in all, I’d say it was a pretty successful shopping excursion!


Animal [First Giveaway of 2011!]

I actually have had pretty awesome stuff going on lately!

  • I’m house sitting for friends that have Beatles Rockband, which I’ve been playing a lot
  • I got a pay raise at work
  • I got to have an epic snowball fight with some of my best friends when it snowed here
  • I got to have lunch with my friends from our last round of the Game On Diet and I won $50 for having the most points out of our whole game
  • I got some new gear from the Apple store for my laptop
  • I had a Velvet Elvis cupcake from Cupcake Royale yesterday
  • Something new and special will be added to my life really soon! A couple of my friends are aware of what it is, but for most, it’s going to be a big surprise!

So since I got a pay raise and this soon-to-be-announced surprise is pretty exciting and I might be riding high on anticipation, I figured it was time for a new giveaway! This marks the first giveaway of 2011 on my blog and the first on this new blogging platform—pretty rad if you ask me. 😉

To enter: Leave me a comment on THIS blog post* with your favorite quote. On Friday, January 21st at 10pm (PST), I will put all the commenter names in a drawing and will pick out a random winner!! I’ll announce the winner next Saturday right here on the blog!

The winner will get this super fabulous prize:

  • A $15 Gift Card to iTunes
  • A $5 Gift Card to Starbucks
  • A handwritten note from me!

So comment away, folks! I am so excited to find out who will win!

* commenting quotes on my Facebook, Twitter, Formspring, or Tumblr will not qualify you for the drawing. It will only qualify you for a snarky comment . . . which, I dunno, might actually be a bonus. 😉