Category Archives: creative mojo

the creative process, moodboards, DIY

Tales of a Happy Designer : The Stand Up Desk

designer-standing-desk

The first few years of designing full time I sat at a traditional desk. And sat, and sat, and sat.
8+ hours a day sitting with terrible posture while staring intensely at a bright screen. I’d come home feeling exhausted, crumpled, and with lots of back and neck pain. In my third year of sitting at my full-time design job, I was lucky enough to run across an article about how sitting all day was slowly killing office workers (something like this). AND MY WORLD CHANGED.

My boss had an old medical office desk that could adjust to standing or sitting height, so I gave it a whirl. It took almost a month, but I finally found myself standing up, stretching, and moving for around 6ish hours a work day – which left me feeling more wonderful than ever at work. I felt more creative, vibrant, and healthy. Here’s my non-medical advice if you’re interested in trying it out :

Quick tips for using a standing desk :
1. Start in small increments. Something like 15 minutes standing, 45 minutes sitting could be a nice place to begin.
2. Train your legs! It’s important to keep them active and to not lock out your knees, or lean on the desk.
3. A standing mat (anti-fatigue mat) is a solid investment. A mat like this one is a great choice to keep your legs, feet, and knees on a comfortable plane. If you can, take your shoes off, too!
4. Take breaks. Grab a stool and sit (yes, sit!) while eating, taking notes, answering emails – or any tasks where you’d like to feel more at ease. Even with all the healthy benefits of standing – everything in moderation! This will help break up your day and add little boosts of concentration.

Benefits I’ve found from my standing desk :
1. My legs, feet, neck, and back feel wonderful – no more crumply pain! Plus, I swear my legs are stronger than they ever have been. In the beginning they were sore, but the endurance increased every day.
2. I’m energized! I’m up and about pretty much all day, and I rarely ever get the sleepy put-my-head-down-on-my-desk feeling around 3pm.
3. I’m more actively inspired and have more of what I like to call “brain energy”. When I sat for hours I began to feel stuck – and that physical feeling translated to my creativity. Standing up just feels free and open to me – more space and movement translates to trying and feeling new things.
4. My circulation has improved incredibly. Before my standing days if I got up too fast I’d feel dizzy, but those days are long gone!

Please note, I’m definitely not a medical professional. Feel free to talk to your doc about trying a standing regimen, as it does come with rave reviews, and some necessary limitations! Here are some handy articles for more research :
This article from The Smithsonian explains 5 huge health benefits backed by studies, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and cancer – woohoo!
Everything Science Knows Right Now About Standing Desks from Fast Co »
And 5 ways you can actually screw up the standing desk from US News »

 

 

It’s Going Down For Real – This Gun’s for Hire

It's Going Down For Real - I Just Went Freelance! This gun's for hire - Design Wine Sunshine


Y’all….
I just went freelance.

Even as I typed those four words I’m like, whaaat? But it’s true! After 7 years of full-time fun working as an in-house graphic designer I’ve spread my wings and joined the DIY boss community. Crazy? YES. But I had it coming as soon as I unwrapped this tea fortune one very wintry Colorado day. In the future, I hope to document my journey into the deep abyss of freelancing on this blog. Stay tuned!

Looking for a happy graphic designer? I’d LOVE to hear about your project! Catch my contact page right here & send your details.  I have a very small, succinct portfolio here, which is serving as a placeholder while I set up my studio – hurray!

Cheers to independence!
Court

Oh, hai…

bunny-with-grass-on-its-head

This has been on of my most-loved pins lately, and it kinda speaks to how I’m feeling these days – ideas hopping all around, and my hair has been NUTS due to Florida’s humidity. But endless mind+city traveling & bad hair days aside… I’ve been finally able to come back around to creating content for this little project.
See you soon, {although not in a few days sorta soon}…

Wink, wink.

Moving & Shaking – The Wearing of Too Many Hats

dreamer

Y’all. . .
Have you heard the crickets chirping on this little blog? Simply put, I’ve been wearing way too many hats lately. Between my full-time career, home renovations / home searching, spending lovely time with my lovelies, & sketching a few plans for dreams & big things to come, blogging’s been on the back burner. I just wanted to keep y’all in the loop : the post-roll might be on a hiatus, but I’ll be back soon.

‘Til I can get back on a roll, here are a few posts to hop around to :
1. Top 5 Hot Teas for Creativity »
2. Scratch & Sniff Wine Guide by Richard Betts »
3. Gift Ideas for Wine Lovers » 
4. Studio Plants : A Gathered Guide for Happy Indoor Flora »
5. Getaway : Sail from Athens to Santorini »

Cheers,
—Court

Studio Plants : A Gathered Guide to Happy Indoor Flora

creative-studio-plants-for-brown-thumbs

Woo! It’s been a while, yes? We’re house hunting, painting, completing phase 1 of our fab condo renovation, & social marathoning galore! Crazy days over here, so thanks for keeping in touch.
Lately, as spring grows near, I keep unearthing my love for plants – & all the new green fluffy leaves to come! I so enjoy the crisp, fresh neon, almost fluorescent green spring leaves around Colorado, that I wish I knew how to keep that magic alive all year in my sunny studio. Enter, a full-force of designerly indoor plant guides to help brown thumbs {like me} enjoy leafy terrain in their creative spaces throughout the seasons.
Side Note : Did you know, research suggests having plants in your workplace can give you magical powers? “Powers” of increased retention, productivity, concentration, + overall happiness! Check out this article from FastCompany »

1. All pictures above gathered from this article via the amazing Domaine’s THE BEST LOW LIGHT PLANTS FOR YOUR DESK » A guide including the ZZ Plant, Snake Plant, Pothos, Jade, & Peperomia. 

guide62. Another post I’ve loved lately is this guest post for DesignLoveFest on HOUSE PLANTS 101 » Including the Fern, Calathea, Rubber Tree, Succulent, & Fiddle Leaf Fig. Plant care guide by: mehreen qudosi – see more floral posts here! Photography by: sheila gim

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 8.05.07 AM

3. & lastly, a quick version from Justina Blakeney. An illustrated guide of happy plants, 9-ways to bring nature indoors for brown thumbs. Check out her quick synopsis on the Jade Plant, Eternity Plant, Spider Plant, Billy Balls, Bamboo, Snake Plant, Heartleaf Philodendron, Eucalyptus Branches, & A Fishhook Succulent. 

Enjoy & Cheers,
Court

Designer Loves : Hally’s in Parsons Green

Hally's Parsons Green - xo Design Wine Sunshine

Looking for some light-hearted interior design inspiration? I just fell in love with this little cafe/diner/hangout, Hally’s in Parsons Green. The look and feel completely embodies California, what a bright, airy, uplifting joy for such a rainy area! It’s such a quirky, fun little bistro. I’m stoked about the mixed media baths, dip-painted chairs, & the curiosities that hop along the shelves. All images found via their beautiful site »
Cheers,
Court

5 Fave Hot Teas for Creatives

Design Wine Sunshine | 5 Fave Hot Teas for Creatives, Artists, Designers

I drink my weight in tea every day. Every new design starts with a new cup, it’s my ritual! So I wanted to quickly share 5 I’m loving right now, for all phases of my creative day. I won’t say they’re a cure-all, but they’re definitely a great companion for the happy artistic mind.
P.S. They’re also a great antioxidant for winos!

1. Tazo’s Cucumber White Tea is the most delicious, relaxing, luxurious tea! I love it when I’m cruising along on designs & crave a spa-like retreat of White Tea, Real Cucumber and Lime flavor to keep rollin’. It’s also great when you need to recover from bad vibes of some sort. It’s like teleportation tea! When I first discovered the tea, they had me by the box :
Where do cucumbers go to unwind? A spa carved in the crevice of an iceberg, with blue cooling pools, white tea saunas and a swim-up bar lined with lime peel mugs filled with piping hot tea.

2. Celestial Seasonings is Boulder, Colorado’s very own! Blaise and I have taken the tour of their tea factory, & love the story of their hippie roots picking herbs in the Boulder foothills during the 60’s. For days when creative ideas aren’t flowing as freely, I can’t LIVE without this green tea. It helps to keep me energized without going sky-high, & boosts happiness to help get me through a long day of designing.

3. Don’t let the crazy creative world get the best of you! Information overload? As a Pair of Pears says, does your brain have too many tabs open? Perhaps your latest design proposal was cut in half and burned at critique? This is a time for a loving, nurturing cup of Lavender and Chamomile Tea from Traditional Medicinals. It won’t put you to sleep, but it will calm + gently rock away the negativity & tension to usher in peaceful feelings. Great for meditation, too!

4. All out of creativity-whack? Creatives know the days in the studio where we’re simply “OFF”. I usually long for a cup of this Yogi Detox Tea when I can’t focus on my designs, I’m struggling with designer’s block, or if everything I design is looking like “designer doo-doo”. It’s my go-to, all-powerful cleanser when I need to start fresh, & think like a champion. It’s also wonderful when combined with yoga after too much wine the night before (wink, wink).

5. Most designers reading this will have had a cup of coffee {or two}  by now. Most of us also know there are days when morning & afternoon coffee just won’t cut it. That’s when black tea shall save us all! The high from black tea is a little more easy-going than strong coffee to me, but it’s very high-electricity. I love many bold black teas for that reason, but one of my faves lately has been Golden Chai by Numi Organic Teas. It’s very spicy and I LOVE that kick when I need a huge dose of get-up-&-go!

Which teas are your faves for creative energies? Lemme know, I’d love to try!
Cheers,
Court