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Chicago Adventures

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This past weekend, one of my very best friends and her boyfriend came to town to visit Aaron and I for the weekend, and it was amazing! Since her boyfriend had never been to Chicago, we decided to head downtown to check out some tourist attractions. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (which can seem like a rarity in Midwest) and the skies were clear so we decided to go up to the Skydeck of the Sears/Willis Tower to experience the beautiful Chicago cityscape. I’d been up there as a kid, but I must admit, it was pretty great to revisit and check out The Ledge.

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We spent some time just walking around the loop before getting Garret’s Popcorn (the best!) and heading to Buckingham Fountain to rest our feet and enjoy said popcorn. Next we headed over to Millenium Park to show our guests the Bean and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. We snapped some great touristy shots at both locations, and I must admit, it was kind of fun to be a tourist in a city that Aaron and I are already so familiar with.

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Of course, after all the walking around, we needed some fuel so we ventured out to Smoque BBQ, and hot damn, it was delicious! Seriously. I love food of just about every variety, but this was some of the best barbecue that I’ve ever had. If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, you need to get some and try it for yourself. 

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On Sunday we grabbed lunch at this great little greasy spoon diner just a few blocks from our apartment. It’s the kind of place with countless photos of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and chock-full of colorful characters. Plus, the counter tops are pink and the coffee is great. What more do you need than that?

After brunch, we headed to IKEA to walk off all the food we ate and oogle over all of the beautiful rooms we wish our homes had. Once our friends hit the road, Aaron and I spent the rest of the day relaxing and smiling about the good times we had. Plus, I had some fun brushing up on my brush lettering (pun definitely intended) for this post which is always a blast.

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Weekender Wardrobe

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It has been a whirlwind of month full of fun client projects and jam-packed weekends with bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and family get-togethers. As projects wind down and the weather warms up, I’m dreaming about a spontaneous weekend trip to…well, pretty much anywhere! Aaron seems to agree that a brief getaway is definitely order so hopefully one will be in the works soon!

In the meantime, I’ll be mentally packing all of my weekender adventure essentials. I’m not usually one for clothing/fashion posts because I am far from a fashion expert, but I’m feeling so antsy for spring I can’t even handle it. My style is definitely focused on 80% comfort, 20% sass, and this collection of pieces would all be warmly welcomed into my wardrobe.

My Essential Weekender Wardrobe includes:

  • A gingham top—Sure the gingham button-up has received some flack in the past, but it’s a springtime staple! It’s cute and comfy, and makes a perfect replacement for the buffalo check flannel I’ve been pretty much living in since October…oops!
  • Skinny jeans—Assuming you’re weekend adventure is not a pantless one, you should probably pack something to cover your booty. My weapon of choice: skinny jeans.
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  • Sunglasses—I recently bought a pair of sunglasses that look very similar to these Warby Parkers, and I’m absolutely obsessed with them. Big enough to be sassy but not so big that I look like bug :)
  • Sneakers—Sure flats and boots are cute, but when it comes to functionality when adventuring in a new place, I’ll opt for a pair of my favorite sneakers any day. Converse are a classic, but I love my Vans and Keds just as much. Picking which sneakers make the cut is honestly one of the harder decisions I make when packing.
  • The perfect striped t-shirt—Everyone needs a striped tshirt (or 100). There are so many varieties, they look great on just about everyone, and they make it look like you at least sort-of tried to pull yourself together when you got dressed in the morning (even if you didn’t!). I’m particularly loving this one with the neon trim!
  • Leather jacket—Whether you opt for the real deal or a nice faux leather jacket (depending on your values + budget), I think every woman can benefit from a sassy leather jacket. I know I couldn’t live without mine.
  • Flats—When the afternoon adventures subside, I sometimes like to swap out my sneakers for my favorite pair flats (or sandals if it’s warm enough) to class it up. While I don’t have a pair like this yet, I can’t stop drooling over these d’orsay flats…
  • Weekender bag—Unless you want to carry all of your weekend warrior gear in your arms (which seems incredibly impractical), it’s pretty important to have a durable weekend back. This one from Etsy definitely caught my eye, and it just might end up on my birthday wishlist :)

Of course there are tons of other essentials, and if you rummaged through a weekender bag of mine you’d also discover black t-shirts, bright + colorful cardigans, and hot pink or red lipstick. However, the items above are definitely some of my more cherished choices.

Have a great weekend everyone! Go out and have an adventure!

gingham top // skinny jeans // warby parker sunglasses // white chucks // striped top // leather jacket // d’orsay flats // weekender bag

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Spreading a little Holiday Cheer!

Holiday Cheer

As a way to spread a little holiday cheer to my readers, I’m going to be giving away 48 original mini watercolor paintings for free! Paintings feature this illustration and are about 3"x3". Fill out the form below to snag yours! Offer is good through Monday, December 15 or until I run out!

OFFER NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

No international shipping available—sorry! USPS only. You information will not be redistributed to anyone, it is solely to mail you you this item.

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Design Like Mad 2014 with Jon King

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This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of taking part in Design Like Mad and working with wonderful Clark Street Community School. It was such an incredible experience. Clark Street Community School has a project-based curriculum, a number of high school students have decided to learn about design and layout and put together their yearbook as their semester project. Jon King and I were tasked with the designing templates and tutorials for their high school yearbook so that the students would have a foundation to work from.  Jon and I were quite meticulous in our planning, layouts, and tutorials to ensure that this would be a project that students at Clark Street Community School could quickly pick up and use.

For those who don’t know Jon or myself, we’re a pretty loud and fun bunch and that definitely is reflected in our work. Multiple people even asked us if we worked together outside of Design Like Mad, and most were surprised when we acknowledged that we had just met. We definitely had some awesome creative chemistry going, and we even had a little extra time to work on some fun lettering for the project as well.

Design Like Mad Lettering

If you are a designer looking for ways to give back or really push yourself to create awesome work under the wire, you need to find a Design Like Mad event in your area. They might not have many locations right now, but I know they’re expanding! Plus, the word on the street is there will be a Milwaukee event this Spring, so hopefully I’ll see some of you wonderful designers there!

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Jelly Legs — A Bike Zine

Amped to finally be moving forward on this!

C A L L I N G    A L L    B I C Y C L E    E N T H U S I A S T S

I’m very excited to announce that I’m moving forward with my on-going bicycle zine! However, when I actually started working on it by myself, I realized this is not something I want to dive into alone. The cycling community is a great one to be a part of, and I want to extend this zine to include the work of some of these incredible individuals (aka: YOU!). 

For the inaugural issue, I’m looking for a variety of written and visual contributions. The list below is not an exclusive list of things that will be included, but rather a starting point. If you have other ideas or something else cool to contribute, I’m definitely interested in hearing about it! Shoot an email to jellylegszine@gmail.com and let me know! And don’t take the word counts too seriously - I just thought people might want a general idea of what they’re getting into! Anyway, here’s the list of initial topics:

PERFECTION. We all have memories about a particular ride that was nothing short of amazing. If you have a particularly wonderful memory of riding your bike, I’d love people to share that story so that we can all live vicariously through your victorious ride! 250-500 words + optional photo

BICYCLE ART + PHOTOGRAPHY. If you’re an artist, photographer, graphic designer, or any other type of visual creative with a passion for bikes and cycling and have some work you would like to showcase, let’s see it! Depending on the length of the other content, I may be able to accommodate 2-5 pieces (either all from one artist or from a variety of artists). // photos (measuring up to 8.5”x5.5” )

BIKE SHOP FEATURE. Let the whole neighborhood know why your bike shop is the best in town! I’m looking for someone to do a write about their favorite local bike shop. Interview the owners, take photos of the interior, get feedback from other patrons about why they love it, etc.    250–750 words + multiple photos

SHOW OFF. Do you have a great bicycle that you’ve been working on that you want to show to the world? Did you upgrade some rust bucket you found in your grandpa’s basement into the coolest ride in town? I want to showcase a bicycle (and all it’s specs) each issue, so if your bike is turning heads, I want to see it! // Detailed bike specs + multiple photos

DIGGER. Most of us have a gnarly scar or two from a bicycle-related injury. If you’ve got a crazy story about a wipe out you had, I want to hear it! // 250–500 words + photos

HORROR STORY. Do you experience a run in with a crazy motorist? Do you have an elaborate tale about some other awful experience you had on your bike? Vent your frustration and get it off your chest by submitting your story. 250–500 words + optional photo

BICYCLE RIGHTS. I’m looking for someone to write up various articles regarding bicycle rights and how to stay safe amongst the chaos of the road. Initial topics might include road rules basics, summaries of recent bicycle-related court cases, etc. I’m pretty open to whatever you’re interested in writing about // 250–500 words 

All contributors will be listed in the zine as contributor (with brief bio + photo) and on the zine’s website (coming soon!). Additionally, each contributor will receive 10 paper copies of the zine and some super rad Jelly Legs stickers!

If you’re interest in contributing, send me an email at jellylegszine@gmail.com and let’s talk!

PS: While I love my mountain-riding cyclists, I’m from the lovely flatlands of Illinois so I’d like to focus on road, commuter, and fixed gear bicycles! Thanks!

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Fresh!

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Between the bitterly cold weather and the crazy past couple of weeks I’ve had, I’ve been simultaneously busy and stir crazy. What a combo!

I also realized that I was still rocking Christmas wallpaper on all my electronics which is insane since it’s almost February - yikes! Despite the fact that we’re almost a month into the new year, I took some time to think about what I’d like to accomplish this year, the attitude I want to embrace, and what awesome things I did in 2013 that I’m dying to repeat. Immediately the word “Fresh” came to mind. Bright and bold. Excited and energetic. Fresh.

Here’s to a fresh start!

Also, the 1980s called, and they want you to download your own Fresh wallpaper! Click the links below to get yours. Gotta be fresh!

2560x1440 // 1680x1050 // 1440x900 // iPhone5 {lock} // iPhone 5 {home solid} // iPhone 5 {home stripe}//iPhone4 {lock} // iPhone4 {home solid}// iPhone4 {home stripe} // Facebook Cover Photo

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Enjoy the Holiday Hustle!

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2560x1440 // 1680x1050// 1440x900 // iPhone5 {lock} // iPhone 5 {home} // iPhone4 {lock} // iPhone4 {home} // Facebook Cover Photo

The holiday season always seems to sneak up on me, and this year has been no different! However, I’ve found myself a bit behind on my Christmas preparation and shopping this year. As the holidays rapidly approach, I’m trying to embrace the hustle and bustle of it all. No matter how prepared you are, try to enjoy the holiday hustle and the time with those you love!

If you need a reminder, feel free to snag a new desktop or phone wallpaper! Don’t worry, I won’t tell your significant other, family, friends, or pets that you replaced their photo on your favorite electronic devices!

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On Giving Back & Paying it Forward

Design vs. Cancer

I love making excuses. In fact, I think that making excuses just may very well be one of the human races’ favorite pastimes (second only to complaining). I couldn’t eat healthy today because I didn’t have time to pack a lunch.I can’t go the gym because the stars aren’t aligned just so. We’ve all been there. Most recently, I almost let a deadline for an incredible design contest slip through my fingers because I was making excuses. I’m glad I persevered.

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Enter: Design vs Cancer. Design vs Cancer is an awesome organization started by Mike Jones and Peter Deltondo that seeks to sell awesomely design posters and t-shirts in order to “make a real impact in the lives of men, women, & children fighting cancer.” So they held a contest on Dribbble asking designers to submit artwork for this project, and I submitted the above image. This is such an incredible way for designers to give back to those in need. It definitely melts my heart that the design community can come together for the greater good. For more information about this project, check out Peter’s post here.

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To top this off, I also just found out that I’ve been accepted to take part in the inaugural Design Like Mad design marathon! Yes, you read it right, a design marathon. On December 7th, teams of designers will come together for an all-day marathon to use our graphic design wizardry to help local non-profit organizations. Together, we shall use our powers for good!

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Last but not least, I want to give a quick shout out and thank you to Travis Arnold over at Harbinger Labs who sent me these awesome stickers. I’ve gone ahead and ordered my Prost! stickers, and once they arrive, I’ll be paying it forward and giving all you wonderful readers a chance to snag some stickers too!

Until next time!

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Branching Out

The Feels

After wrapping up a few projects these last few weeks, I was feeling a bit creatively drained. However, as I was cleaning up my home office I came across some of the ephemera I had bought a few months ago. I am a huge sucker for 1950s-1960s magazines, photographs, letters, receipts, TV guides, advertisements, etc., and as a result, I have developed quite the collection over the years.

As I thumbed through the pages of a 1963 Life Magazine, I suddenly felt an urge to make something that would allow me to use those wonderful images. I busted out my mixed media sketchbook (which sadly has been neglected for ages) and went to town.

There is something about working with my hands, getting them covered in bits of paper and rubber cement, that I love. My design process often lacks that tactile experience (aside from pencil sketching), and it felt really good to do create something that didn’t involve sitting in front of a screen.

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Embrace Change Desktop & iPhone Wallpaper

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2560x1440 // 1680x1050// 1440x900//iPhone5 {lock} // iPhone 5 {home} //iPhone4 {lock} //iPhone4 {home}// Facebook Cover Photo

While I’ve made some phone backgrounds featuring lettering, Facebook cover photos featuring my beloved Blackhawks, and a combination of the two, I never considered making a design available to others in a wider variety of formats for desktop backgrounds.

I periodically feel compelled to design these new backgrounds, and I’m going to start making an effort to share them with all of you fine folks as well! This just may be the first of many freebies to come!

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