was successfully added to your cart.


thought provoking

Saying No

Saying No

By | design, quotes, thought provoking | No Comments

I’m really bad at saying no. Like really bad. And now that I’m hard at work creating a new identity as a not-designer, I very much need to learn how to be better at it.

The thing is, I like helping people, I like being busy, and I really like for people to like me, so I tend to say yes whenever someone asks me to do something for them. But here’s what happens way too often: I say yes to something I don’t actually want to do, and then something I do want to do comes along and I’m too busy to do it. Now all the good feelings are gone. I’m pissed that I said yes to the first thing, and I’m frustrated by not having the space to do the thing I want to do. Repeat cycle.

So when I was listening to the amazing You Are a Badass audiobook a couple weeks ago, I heard this particular line loud and clear:

It’s easier to say no when there’s a bigger yes.

So I decided to design a little card to help me remember.

Could you use this reminder, too? Then download a PDF here and print it out for your own wall.

If you have to tell

By | design, quotes, thought provoking | No Comments


(click for bigger)

Not that I had anything else to do this afternoon… But when my pal Pam Lewis tweeted that quote today, it hit me right in the AMEN spot.

“BAM” I replied. At which point Pam challenged me to turn it into a poster. So I did.

Now go do something awesome and let your work speak for itself. It’s the loudest, truest voice out there. Gold star for you!

How To Public Speaking

By | announcing, thought provoking | One Comment


Have you all heard of Ignite? An Ignite evening is made up of short talks on interesting subjects. Each speaker has 5 minutes (and 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds) to tell you about something they’re passionate about. Here in Charlotte, we’re getting ready for Ignite Charlotte 5 and I’m honored to be one of the speakers! I’ll be giving you tips on How To Get Pretty Much Anyone To Do Pretty Much Anything.

I’m launching the battle early with my ENFP inclinations, and making myself begin working on my talk now in the hopes of finishing strong and avoiding stage shame. Part of my early work is hanging out watching other people’s successful and less successful Ignite talks. I figure if I can watch what enough people do right and what enough people do wrong, I can make sure I’m in the “right” category. But I can also easily get carried away with this “research” and forget that writing and practicing the talk is really what I need to be doing.

So I jumped over to Facebook for one last hit before I got down to business and started writing. And then I stumbled upon this. And it’s exactly what I needed. Ze Frank giving us an honest (yet still funny) batch of public speaking tips. If you ever have to stand up and speak publicly, I recommend watching this video right here. It’s brilliant.

Once you watch it, however. Get to work! That talk isn’t going to write itself.

Hope I see you at Ignite Charlotte on September 25 at the Neighborhood Theatre. You can RSVP (it’s free) starting August 25.

Wish me luck!

(Thanks for sharing, Celeste!
And here’s a link in case the embedded video doesn’t work for you.)

Branding the Presidents

By | clever, design, history, thought provoking | 2 Comments

Here’s a cool personal project from designer Meg Jannot — a Tumblr called Branding the Presidents. She’s designing each of the 44 presidents over the course of 44 days. A great exercise for any designer, and especially great for this breathless, rough-and-tumble election year. Nice work Meg!

I especially love how different they all are. Here are a few highlights. Click here to see the whole set on Tumblr. Which ones are your favorites?

Thanks Ilina!

color career counselor

By | color, thought provoking | 13 Comments

Found this amazing quiz over at How About Orange today. It is utter witchcraft, I tell you.

You pick the colors you like (and don’t like), and it tells you what career you should have. And it works! So much so that it completely picked up on my inner Aries/Taurus chaos by suggesting that I am first a Creator and second an Organizer. (Hello Right Brain? Meet Left Brain. Now be friends.)

What should you be when you grow up? Take the test and let me know!

PS. It doesn’t appear to like Safari, but Firefox worked great.

(Thanks Jessica!)

the rules of a gentleman

By | clever, design, sites to see, thought provoking | 3 Comments

Speaking as a lady (by genetics if not by behavior), I have to admit that I honestly appreciate a kind show of Gentlemanliness. Not that I need men to fall all over themselves fawning over me, but a door opened, nonchalantly but purposefully? Truly lovely.

So when I stumbled today upon The Rules of a Gentleman, I was instantly charmed. One tip per day. So minimal. So well-designed with classic, old newspaper typography and styles. And so well written, straightforward, with a funny aside for each one. Enchanting. Please share with all the Gentlemen you know.

And for what it’s worth, I totally fail at the particular instruction above. Back when I started wearing a watch in earnest, in 9th grade, I had a cast on my left arm. So I put the watch (a Swatch of course) on my right wrist and have worn it there ever since. And on top of that, the watch is inverted, so the face is on my inner arm rather than my outer. What a mess.

(Found at Minimal Exhibit)

mom 2.0: defining a movement

By | announcing, conferences, happy, thought provoking, video | 2 Comments

(Can’t see the video? Try this link.)

The brilliant and beautiful Katherine Center has done it again. This time in the form of a video addressing the statement Mom 2.0: Defining a Movement.

I can’t wait to see Katherine in Houston next month at the Mom 2.0 Summit. I feel like time spent with her, regardless of what we’re doing, is quality time. Do you know people like that? I’m lucky to.

Speaking of Mom 2.0 Summit, have you registered yet? Please do. I promise you won’t regret it.

Where else is Laurie?

Snapchat: @stepawayFTS