An Unplugged Excursion

This weekend I got to take a quick trip to Alachua & Gainesville, Florida. I decided a couple days beforehand that I was going to take a big step and leave my laptop behind in New York for a few days. This may not seem like a big deal–but I’m the kind of person has my laptop attached to the hip, in case I need to work on something. I have always traveled with it anywhere i’ve been, even quick trips and I’m embarrassed to admit– once when I had a tight deadline, a weekend bachelorette party in case there was some down time! My family was even super surprised that I left my computer behind.

I’ve been feeling like I needed to unplug & clear my head so I thought it was the perfect time to ditch work/the internet and just bring along a few things. I brought with me my DSLR camera, dot grid sketchbook, a book, an extra lens, and my iPhone for secondary photo-taking. Along with a small suitcase for my clothes & toiletries. It was sweet to unplug and focus on photography, reading, sketching, and family time. My cousin’s wedding is what brought me to Florida; I’ll be sharing some photos soon!

Make Your Own External Hard Drive

Recently my portable external hard drive kicked the bucket. Like anyone would, I immediately felt panic by not having any backup of my things besides some important files I had in Dropbox. So, I needed to buy a new one pretty quickly. I remembered my brother showing me that hard drive enclosures exist (big props to him) and I removed the perfectly working drive from my old Macbook to turn it into an external one, instead of buying something new. This is especially good if you already have an old hard drive like I did! Saves a lot of money. Here’s a quick how-to.

You will need:
- An internal hard drive, brand new or used
- Hard drive enclosure
- Small screwdriver

If you have a SATA hard drive (most are) make sure that you purchase an enclosure that supports it. Also, be sure it is the correct size (2.5″ is usually laptop drive size.) I bought a cheap enclosure off Amazon–most come with the USB cable as well. You may not even need a screwdriver as some cool enclosures are tool free. The hard drive I used is a 360GB Seagate. When I removed it from my old Macbook I had to unscrew it from a piece of metal casing so it was totally freed.

If you don’t have an old drive and are buying a new one, I would recommend a laptop drive if you want it to be portable. If you get a desktop drive you will need to connect it to a power source.

The rest is easy peasy. It varies by what you purchased–in this case you match the connecter with the hard drive and slide it in the enclosure. Screw it in & you’re ready to connect via USB.

Now it’s time to format it!

Winter Wonderland

This New York winter has been kicking my butt. I feel like we had it coming though because last year was such a pathetic winter season– Walking around in just sweatshirts and sneakers & I think it snowed a max of two times. I’m sure everyone on the east coast & other chilly places are feeling the frustration of not seeing grass for weeks and getting stuck indoors when you have plans. Snow after snow after snow. A couple mornings ago, I took my complaining about the weather and pushed it aside because it was way too pretty outside not to appreciate it.

How To Beat The Winter Blues:
. oatmeal
. get up early so you have more minutes of sunshine
. one word- scarves.
. make some fingerless gloves
. treat yourself & relax (I definitely watch around 150% more T.V. in the winter!)

Favorite Creative Podcasts

I’ve gotten very much into podcasts over the last year or so. It’s the best to listen to them in the car and when doing monotonous things like laundry (ew). My drive to work is a bit lengthy so instead of listening to the same songs over and over again I can learn and gain insight & they also get me pumped for the day ahead.

Most of the podcasts I listen to are design industry related—wanted to share them!

Happy Monday: I might have mentioned this one before and if so it deserves a second mention anyway. Short & sweet super inspiring interviews with designers and developers. Every so often there’s an episode featuring just the hosts which is great. Plus, I really like how they always mention a new app or website.

Adventures in Design: This podcast is both hilarious and totally useful. The hosts have strong personalities and are not afraid to be honest. Stories, rants, interviews, and i’ve legitimately learned a lot about life in general from this podcast. Definitely my favorite to listen to while working.

Seanwes Podcast: This one has a lot of awesome business advice. It discusses hand lettering frequently but process techniques are easily translatable to other creative careers. So much valuable information packed into each episode, and I love the emphasis on professionalism.

Life and Limb: Really engaging and down-to-earth interviews with a wide range of creatives. The narration before each show and during the interviews is fantastic. Always puts me in a good mood. Also, how could you not love something with Fugazi as the theme song?

Web Agency Podcast: The freelance design & business advice really catches my attention. Taking about web design can sometimes lack pizazz but this podcast does it differently. Lots of fun.

Throwback Thursday // My First College Design Class & a Zine

I was cleaning under my desk and found something i’ve been saving since college. In my very first design class freshman year called ‘Design Research and Methods’ we had a assignment of making a page for a class zine. (7 years ago!)

I remember my (quite rad) professor telling us about the project and when she said the word ‘zine’ I nearly flipped. I was one of few classmates to raise my hand when asked if we’ve heard of one before.

The assignment was to make a page spread based on a creativity technique. It was fun to sit down and read through the zine now, remembering the beginning of what would turn into a career and revisiting incredibly useful steps of the creative process. Methods like ‘Mind Mapping’, ‘Do Nothing’, ‘Think Tank’, paired with a bunch of great compositions. It’s easy to get caught up and lose sight of the basics sometimes so it was nice to take a little step back.

My spread was ‘Brainstorming’. This particular class was by far my favorite and the most useful. This was when I also had my work critiqued for the first time. I remember taping projects to the wall and thinking what I put together was pretty good then learning it was rubbish :)

I also remembered that 3 of my best friends in college (and still now) were in that class with me–pretty cool, huh?

Have you shared any very early projects from school? Any fun memories of when you were starting out?