I haven’t blogged in FOR-EV-ER — so I thought I’d get back in the swing of things and share a couple of the projects I worked on lately. With my background in print design and my client base that includes wedding photographers and planners, it seems only natural that I ended up venturing into Wedding Invitation Designs. Here’s just a little bit about a couple of the projects that warmed my heart over the past year…
Melanie and Thomas planned a very intimate gathering including only about 50 of their closest friends and family members (including their adorable pug, Harrison Ford.) The ceremony and celebration was hosted in their close friends backyard in Knoxville, TN.
They came to me wanting a simple invitation that communicated the intimate nature of the event, had a sense of humor and fun to it and was as unique as they are. We utilized a family portrait painted by Knoxville artists Annie Fletcher and created these postcard invitations that set the tone for events celebratory atmosphere!
After the invitations where sent out, I continued work with Thomas and Melanie on Guest Favors, Day-of Program and their wedding website.
Lindsay and Shannon met with me months before their spring of 2013 marriage to talk about the theme they had envisioned for their special event. Lindsay talked about the couples love of travel and learning about new cultures. They both talked about Indiana Jones and old maps. Shannon made a reference to a map of Middle Earth. (This nerdy two-some are pretty much my dream clients!) We ended our meeting with Lindsay saying that she loved my work and trusted me to make something that would be perfect for them. This is a lot of pressure, but WOW! What a great thing to hear. I can’t express to these two enough how much their respect and confidence for me and my work means. It surely allowed us to come up with event invitations that are like any others them or their guests had ever seen.
It’s been a lot of fun! I was lucky enough to work with 2 couples who trusted my creativity and allowed me to run with some fun creative ideas and I’d like to do more of that! If you have a wedding or any other special event coming up, or if you know someone who does — and you want totally unique custom-tailored event invitations, you know who to call! :)
As you may know, I am a pesco-vegetarian. Easily explained, the only meat I eat is fish. As you also may know, I live in the Pacific Northwest where there is no shortage of fresh delicious fish that can be cooked at a summer time cookout, but fish can be expensive and sometimes I wanna be part of the gang (mine being largely populated with meat eaters) and have a good ‘ol BURGER. SO… I have tried many Black Bean Burger recipes, and while always managed to create something filling and tasty — they always had 1 major problem. THEY FALL APART! The second I attempt to either flip the burger in the pan or eat it — it falls apart and makes a huge mess.
So I have adapted my own recipe! This recipe was expressly made so that I could freeze a bunch of patties for quick use down the line – but you can alway use some math to break this down if need be.
Recipe yields about 8 standard sized burgers.
So far, only tried cooking these in a pan, but my goal for these was to be able to cook them on the grill outside, so once I try that — I’ll update this and let you know.
For pan grilling these, all a bit of olive oil into the pan and in Medium Low heat cook about 10 – 15 minutes on each side.
To cook them on the outdoor grill: Get the grill VERY HOT, cook about 5 – 8 minutes on each side.
They turned out a little crunchy on the outside while still moist on the inside, which was the texture I wanted. I do like spice, so these have a bit of a kick to them but I wouldn’t consider them spicy, per sa. I think my next batch may add in a jalapeño pepper.
I enjoyed cooking and eating a burger without it falling apart (which has always been my main complaint about all other bean burger recipes I have attempted int he past.) I hope you enjoy it too! If you adapt this further with success please share your improvements with me! :)
Earlier this week I met up for coffee with a client of mine. The two of us originally met when his employeer was my client and after leaving that job he hired me to customize his personal blog and we formed our own client/designer relationship. I was excited when he emailed me last week with the news that he was starting a new business venture and wanted to discuss working with me on branding and marketing materials.
We filled each other in on all that we’ve been up to, talked about family and pets and work. He expressed his excitement over building his business (which is a partnership with another owner) and that while he is working non-stop, he is loving it! We talked about dealing with clients… the art of retaining clients vs selling to new ones. The balance of looking out for your clients and also not being a push over. He said, “I don’t know how you handle this without a business partner. I need a ‘good cop’ in the scenario — I’m only capable of being ‘bad cop.’”
This got me thinking — am I both Good Cop and Bad Cop? I guess as an Independent business owner, you kind of have to be! It’s delicate balance of being able to lay down the law and tell a client something they may not want to hear, holding your foot firm on policies and generally being able to deal with people on a purely “getting business done” level and the Good Cop side is the smile you close with, the empathetic comment you offer when a frustrating situation arises, the hand holding for those high maintenance clients. It’s tough to play both of these rolls, but not impossible.
I’ve been dealing with a frustrating project lately. A client wants a feature added to a project that was not part of the original scope — trouble is, they didn’t anticipate the added cost of this from the get go, so they are struggling with passing along that expense to THIER client. It’s a mess and while yesterday I had almost reached the point of saying “I don’t care WHAT you do, here’s the bill for the time I put in — and here is some referrals to other devs you could hire to finish the project!” Instead I slept on it, pulled myself together (the good and bad halves) and told them “I know you’re in a really frustrating situation since you did not anticipate this feature being part of the project so the added cost was not part of your original budget (that was the Good Cop, now time to switch gears… Bad Cop, I know you have a ‘but’, right?) — BUT I have offered up some really good solutions and you can either go with the less expensive one that is CLOSE to what they want, but not exactly… OR you can go with the more expensive option that’s going to give that JUST what they want.” While the previous email from the client had been a little huffy — her next response after this message said “Thank you so much for all the time you’ve put into this! I am going to talk this over with my client and follow up with you next week.”
Thank you Good Cop and Bad Cop for Liz and her clients sane! :)
Do you recognize this in yourself? Is there one side you feel you need to get more in touch with?
It is slowly, but surely warming up in Seattle. This city generally tends to skip spring time all together and around the end of April we end up jumping wholeheartedly from Winter weather straight into Summertime! WOO!
In preparation for the warm weather, Eric and I are fixing up the patio that is attached to our apartment and because we are renters, we cant install an actual screen door so after some brain storming and clever internet searches — I found THIS idea, for a removable screen door. The photo was tiny and the idea of having to sew didn’t exactly have me thrilled — but I decided it was my best option.
Since the patio door is 36″ wide, I ordered 2 of these mini tension rods off Amazon, for under $5 each. These are the same types of rods you usually see used for a shower curtain but they are thinner and shorter.
Next I started searching for mosquito netting to make the curtain but ran into some trouble since most of the netting I found came in sheets sized too small to cover the full height of our doorway. It was then that I remembered these LILL curtains from Ikea — which are essentially mosquito nets — they’d work perfectly and at only $4.99 for a pair this is a great option!
Before ordering them I opted to go check out the local thrift shop a few blocks away to see if they had anything similar — and they did! For $2.99 I got a single sheer polyester curtain that (bonus) was already seamed at the top and bottom of its 84″ (the exact height of the door!)
Today the rods arrived and I had the solution up in just a few minutes! The top and bottom rod will allow us to keep the door open this summer for fresh air and not have to stress over our cat wondering outside. It’s simple to just slide the curtain open or closed if we want to enter in and out — or if we have friends over and the kitty isn’t roaming free we can always take the bottom rod out to have a barrier against bugs but easier access to come and go.
Over all this was cheap, easy and (i think) looks pretty darn good! I suggest this to anyone who lives in a rental and needs a screen door solution! :) If you end up trying this too — post a photo link to the finished product in the comments below and let me know how it went for you!
LOVE Patty Schemel. Excited about this documentary — looks pretty intense.