Matt surprised me with tickets to see Beatles LOVE in Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day! I wasn’t expecting anything (we don’t usually get into that into holiday) so I was really excited. I had never been to Las Vegas before. It just never happened I guess, and I wasn’t that interested in it to be honest. I don’t enjoy gambling, and although I love to dance, clubs can be overwhelming. So Matt and I booked a hotel room at Treasure Island, and set out for a super short, laid-back trip to Vegas. We left last Friday morning and only stayed for one night.

When we arrived it immediately reminded me of Times Square in New York. Lots of big flashy signs vying for our attention. Lots and lots of tourists, and corporate insignias everywhere you look. Not really my thing. Not really what I go looking for in a place to vacation at all. And then we walked through some of the casinos… Ugh… I hate walking through casinos. Smokey, dirty, flashy, noisy, crowded… I get panicky and claustrophobic with those low ceilings, recycled air and no end in sight.

So we settled for some chain restaurant Mexican food for lunch, and then walked back to the hotel. I decided to take a nap and Matt went down to play Roulette. I probably would have lounged poolside, but the weather was a bit too chilly for that. By the time I woke up, the sun had set, and the lights on the strip from our 36th story VIP hotel room (they upgraded us for free!) was very impressive. It gave me a boost of energy as we got ready for our show.

A First Timer's Las Vegas Experience - Pure Spectacle & Amazement(my instragrams from top left: the Bellagio, the view of the strip from our hotel window, inspiring installation outside the LOVE show at the Mirage, amazing neon at the Flamingo)

We walked next door to The Mirage and grabbed a drink at a Beatles themed bar inside. And I don’t know what happened, but I started to “get it”. There’s something magical about Vegas at night. The lights, the sounds, the crowds… everything that was slightly irksome during the daylight, became absolutely wonderful at night. And then LOVE was amazing. Just amazing. I was actually emotional during a couple of the performances. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve grown up with The Beatles like I have, hearing their music played in a concert setting is really moving.

From there we changed into more comfortable clothes and walked the entire length of the strip. Seriously. Stopping for drinks and hot dogs along the way. Matt wanted to check out the Luxor, so why not!? If you’re not familiar with the Las Vegas Strip, Treasure Island and the Luxor are about 2 miles apart as the crow flies… but of course you can’t actually walk that straight down the street… So we ended up walking 10+ miles (according to my pedometer).

Here’s the other thing… the show started at 9:30pm and ended around 11:30. So at 11:30pm we decided to walk about 10 miles. But it felt like 8:00! I’ve never been in a place that literally never stops. We didn’t get back to our hotel until 2:30am and all we did was walk around!

I was completely amazed by the spectacle of the entire place. It’s so over the top. The design, the architecture, everything is big and bright and flashing. I ended up loving it for that fact alone and can’t wait to go back. Maybe during a warmer time of year so I can enjoy some of the famous pools.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Do you love it? Hate it? Was your experience anything like mine?

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Back by popular demand, here’s February’s free desktop calendar!

February Desktop Calendar // LoveCreative Blog

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Dec 02, 2013

Wow, well that was a long blog break. Don’t have any excuses this time… I just felt I didn’t have anything to say. I’ve been maintaining this blog for over 5 years, so I tried out what it would feel like to not blog everyday. And it felt ok actually. I think it’s good to question our habits sometimes—really evaluate why we do things. But now that it’s December, I had to come back and give you your December desktop calendar!

Although I haven’t posted anything in a while, I’ve been working a lot behind the scenes. Next year (like, January!) is going to see a blog and portfolio re-design, as well as a whole content shift. It’s kind of scary and overwhelming, but I’m really excited too.

Nov 01, 2013

It’s November! Can you believe we’re 2 short months away from 2014?! Crazy. Here’s your November desktop calendar. Click here or the graphic below to download. Hope you enjoy the amethyst and wine inspired color palette.

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Here are some things I found and loved this week:

Have you been keeping up with the JC Penny branding craziness? It’s disappointing.

This makes me want to fly Virgin America everywhere.

Oh how I wish these Brontë Sister Power Dolls were real!

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Oct 10, 2013

My grandmother was an expert knitter and needle point crafter. Unfortunately I never got to learn from her, but we do have some of her work around our house. Matt’s mom recently asked me if I would design a geometric pillow because she wanted to try her hand at making a needlepoint pillow like this one. This is right up my ally. I love making geometric patterns, but I rarely get to see them come to life in an actual object!

Yesterday I took some time to let my creative juices flow around this project. Here’s what I came up with.

None of these feel quite right, and I almost wasn’t going to post these, but I wanted your feedback. Needlepoint takes a lot of time, so I don’t want to send my mother-in-law a design I don’t really love. I also find it interesting how different these 4 designs came out. Top left feels very Great Gatsy, Art Deco, top right is pop art with those big jewels; bottom left reminds me of Scandinavia and the bottom right is almost African tribal. I’m going to keep work on these and see if I can come up with anything that really speaks to me.

Have you every designed anything like this before? Have you ever tried needlepoint? Have any tips for me?

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Oct 09, 2013

As promised, I put together some resources for all you budding web designers out there. I’ve used most of these myself, and others I’ve just heard great things about. So let’s get started and I’ll break it down for you.

W3 Schools // W3 as in www, is an amazing resource if you’re brand new to code, or have already built plenty of websites. You can access their online tutorials for free and get a basic walk through of HTML, CSS and Java Script. Once you’re a pro at that, learn server side languages like PHP and SQL.

Skillcrush // I took the Skillcrush 101 class a while back and it was great. They have a ton of resources specifically geared towards females. Being that the web industry is primarily dominated by men, Skillcrush opened up a safe place to learn and ask questions. If you’re not ready to start the 101 class, sign up for their free email bootcamp.

Codeacademy // I just started playing around with this one. It seems very similar to the Skillcrush 101 site, without all the extra help and hand holding. So if you know your stuff, but need a brush up, maybe this one is right for you. It’s also free, which is nice.

CSS Zen Garden // I admit this one kind of intimidates me. The idea is that you can edit a pre-made template and then upload it back up to the site for feedback. It’s probably exactly what I need to give me some motivation. I love the idea of editing a pre-made document though. Seems so much easier than starting from scratch.

Style Screencasts from Pugly Pixel // This blog is just a fun read anyway, but Katrina also has some rad tutorials and classes about Photoshop and CSS. I tired the CSS one and learned a lot. She doesn’t go into all the details, so this one is better if you already have a strong understanding of HTML. At the very least, follow her blog Pugly Pixel so you can access all of her wonderful resource packs.

So, anyone out there wanting to learn HTML, but didn’t know where to turn? You have no excuse now! And please let me know if there are other tutorials or resources out there that you’ve used. I’m always looking. 

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Happy October! It’s finally starting to feel like fall around here… sorta. Still in the 80s this week, but the air has a bit of a crispness to it. I hope you’re starting to enjoy the season.

I took this photo on film a couple years ago when we went to a pumpkin patch in Michigan. Download this wallpaper.

Sep 27, 2013

(image taken at Blogshop LA last week)

This isn’t going to be a long post. I just wanted to share something I have been thinking about since Blogshop last week. I knew most of the design tips that Bri and Angela shared with the class. I wasn’t there to really learn about photoshop, I was just helping out. But as Bri was showing the students how to create layouts and touch up their pictures, I was really blown away with her attention to detail and pursue of perfection.

No one is perfect. No blog is perfect. So I think I sometimes cut corners and slack off because I know perfection isn’t possible. But striving for perfection is a different story. How much more successful would I be if I put in the extra minute to touch up my photos? Maybe I wouldn’t be at all. Maybe no one would notice. But I look at Bri’s blog and I admire her tenacity and the amazing career she’s built herself, and I think maybe I should give perfectionism a shot. I mean, what could I loose?

What do you think? Are there areas in your career or hobbies that could use a little bit more effort? Or is perfectionism a loosing battle?

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Here are some things I found and loved this week:

This fast little doggy is incredible. She’s having the time. of. her. life.

Recycled Bride is now called Tradesy. I’ll be selling my wedding stuff on there soon!

6 overused creepy sentences that I wish always had these surprise endings.

My friend Sarah’s bathroom is beautiful.

I don’t really understand these paintings, but I’m pretty sure they’re amazing.

I think I need to have a lip-sync-off party.

Pottering… It’s like planking, but better.

Sep 24, 2013

Oh man oh man, I am loving this bold, simple, graphic color combination. It’s just so perfect, and from the looks of my Pinterest a lot of you are loving it too. So what do you think? Ditch the old brown and jewel tones for fall this year and freshen things up with graphic black and white?

 Nina Holst’s Office on Stylizimo   //   Black Long Sleeves Leaf Print Dipped Hem Blouse from ShePinner   //   Contact Graphic for Mark Weaver

Atelier Martino and Jana Poster sourced on Grain Edit   //    Finley & Alice by Keith Davis Young   //   Ms Starlet Umbrella from Two Penny Blue

Good Canape Plate by Diane Keaton on Fab   //   Simplicity Quote souce unknown   //   Dot Bedding original source unknown

Star Patterned Blanket from Fantastic Frank Blog   //   Letterpress Birth Announcements on Paper Crave

Kate Spade Larabee Road Polka Dot Tidbit Plates   //   Luxe No. 7 Essential Stripes Stretch Tunic   //   152 Insights Into My Soul Print by Matthew Taylor Wilson on Society6   //   Kate Spade Framed Dot Scarf

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New favorite show that I’m addicted to: Friday Night Lights! I’ve just been in a TV mood lately. So when I finished House of Cards, I was craving another drama series to get into. Thanks to Netflix, I started watching Friday Night Lights, and love it. Dillon Texas is nothing like my home town or high school, but I think anyone can relate to it. I was talking to one of my friends who also loves the show and happens to teach high school and we were both remarking on how “real” the show is. It focuses on real high school issues of today’s world, and doesn’t sugar coat things. I really appreciate that.

This past weekend we went on short trip up to Santa Cruz (about 5 hours north of LA) for a dear friend’s wedding. What a beautiful place. We were only there for a few hours, but I am already planning another trip. Small town feel with the beach on one side and the redwoods on the other side. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor and make a stop. And it kinda rained on the wedding day! So moody and misty and magical. Loooooved it.

Last Thursday and Friday I volunteered as an intern for Blogshop LA. Such a fun 2 days! Bri and Angela taught  the class, and me and 2 other graphic designers helped set up and answer questions. It was so fun to be a part of, and so inspiring to see how these amazing creative ladies teach and put on such a successful event.