Posts tagged life
Glasses, Now 100% More Awesome.
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I want to sit down and have a talk about glasses. (I'm feeling silly today, so this may be more dramatic than usual - but seriously, read the whole thing. There's a COUPON at the end!)

I went to the eye doctor for the first time in third grade. I'd been getting a lot of headaches, and it turned out that I had astigmatism in one eye. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it meant that I needed to wear glasses. I was really excited about getting glasses. But I quickly realized that being a bossy, know-it-all kid with huge glasses (and later braces) gave me the distinct pleasure of being a NERD.

I wore some pretty horrible glasses for five years, and then in 8th grade I got contacts. Oh, contacts! The quick solution in every bad makeover movie for turning a nerdy girl into a hot chick. My contacts were uncomfortable at times and not always great for my vision. But it was clear in popular culture (and in my own personal experience) that pretty girls don't wear glasses. I'd rush home at the end of the day and take them out, replacing them with some ugly glasses that I only wore at home. In my glasses' defense, they were the best ones the eye doctor's office had in my price range. (Getting glasses from the eye doctor is EXPENSIVE!)

I went through high school, college, and a few years of my career wearing only contacts. I just didn't feel like I had any options. But then, the internet! (Huzzah!) I did my first online try-on, bought a new pair of glasses, and get this... I WORE them. All the time! And I got compliments! It didn't break the bank, I could actually see well, I was comfortable, and I felt good about myself. This first positive glasses experience really got me thinking. Why do I only have one pair of glasses?

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I'd seen Rivet & Sway's name floating around the blogosphere and their frames were very cute, so I ordered a few pairs to try on. Later that day, I heard a knock at my studio door. It was two of Rivet & Sway's team members, dropping off my order! I had NO idea that not only is Rivet & Sway located in Seattle, their office is less than 3 blocks away. We're neighbors! My jaw hit the floor. It meant so much to me that they saw my address and took the time to walk over and introduce themselves.

AND THEN I opened the package. I have never seen a company put this much thought an energy into every part of their packaging and customer experience. It felt really special to open the box, see the kick-arse artwork, and try on 3 super gorgeous frames. (I ended up buying two of them!) Rivet & Sway has created a line of glasses that are beautifully designed and function like accessories. They're way more like jewelry than corrective eyewear! I get up every morning and pick out my outfit, jewelry and which pair of glasses I want to wear. I work a really messy job, so I don't get to dress up very often. But with my sassy new glasses, I feel 100% more put together when leaving the house. Why shouldn't my glasses be as colorful as my personality? There's really no reason.

I have had a wonderful experience with Rivet & Sway, and i've blabbed about them so darn much to my friends & clients that they've asked me to be an official brand ambassador! It's not something I ever considered before, but I am more than happy to continue to support and talk about this amazing company - especially since they are our neighbors here in Pioneer Square!

Do yourself a favor and head over to Rivet & Sway's site, and order your own try-on package. It's easy, it's FREE, and it will feel like Christmas. Their frames (with lens included) are really reasonably priced, and they're all SO fun. I want a pair for every day of the week! And when you go to purchase your gorgeous new glasses, use the coupon code SARA-RIVETS for $25 off your order! (The coupon will expire, so don't wait too long!)

What to Listen to While Printing
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Doing a long print run is inherently repetitive. Having something great to listen to is a must.

Sam, one of our lovely summer interns, recently asked me what podcasts I listen to. And because i'm crazy pants, I decided to blog about it instead of just tell her. So, here is my "what to listen to while printing" list for summer 2013:

This American Life: Storytelling Radiolab: Science-y storytelling 99% Invisible: Design-y storytelling Nerdist: Nerdy interviews with interesting creative people

Audible: Audiobooks I recently listened to Bossypants by Tina Fey and it was amazing. Must be listened to on audiobook for sure.

Rdio: Music & Comedy I love Rdio's new stations feature! I also love Demetri Martin & the Newsies musical. And making playlists.

We have a Sonos wireless speaker, and really love it. It streams Rdio, Pandora, etc., etc. and it's really handy.

There you have it. What are you listening to right now?

March Update
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I've been hard at work on our new card line (yay!), and i'm having a blast. It's been really necessary to get out from behind the computer to get the creative mojo going.

I've been doing some copywriting and research from home (with cats), client design work at coffee shops, walking and thinking in the sunshine, and lots of play in the studio. This new line is truly a love letter to life, and I couldn't be happier with where it's headed. I don't want to spoil the big launch, so it'll stay pretty secret - but I'm excited to show you some strategic sneak peeks as we go along.

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It's been really important lately to keep reminding myself what my priorities are for life and for Constellation. Urgent things pop up, and opportunities present themselves that will completely derail things if I let them. I'm NOT Superwoman, and I can't do everything. Saying no is really important asset. So i've been doing my best to remember where i'm headed, what I want to be doing, and what things are priority one. When my priorities are in order, life really does feel sweeter.

Lots going on, and not enough time to blog (as usual), but you can keep up with me on Instagram or Twitter if you're so inclined.

Sure & Steadfast Anchor
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Hello friends! I printed my first wood engraving last week, and i'm excited to share it with you!

To see my progress getting to this point, check out these previous blog posts: Week One and Week Two. I finished the project off by printing it on Magnani's Pescia, along with some lovely 30 pt. Century Nova Italic lead type. (And now it's about to get real honest up in here - consider yourself warned encouraged to proceed.)

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My career so far has been a major learning experience (starting a small business at 23 means you're figuring it out as you go along), and this project was a really clear reminder that I need to give myself some patience as I'm learning. I made a lot of mistakes while engraving this piece. There's no way to put something back once you've slipped and carved it out. But looking at it now, I can see what I learned with each mistake - and though I was tempted to photoshop out the imperfections, they're part of the process and I want to remember the lessons learned.

It was really refreshing to work on a creative project that isn't "work." Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that my job allows me to be creative all the time - but deadlines, bills, and the general pace of life can make even the best project feel like work. It's so easy for me to feel like i'm being tossed around on the waves. There really isn't a manual for how to grow a business, lead a team, and have a healthy body & marriage all at once. It's hard, and I often find myself feeling like i'm floating out to sea.

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I tend to come back around to the same questions over and over. How do I stand firm in the middle of this crazy life? What hope and purpose do I have in this uncertain world? It often feels like too much, too hard, too scary, too exhausting.

A few months ago, the pastor at our church gave a sermon on that really stuck with me. In the midst of my busy, uncertain life, I've held these verses of Scripture close to my heart.

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Pastor Tim said it this way:

"The Hebrews writer is telling us that the world is like water spiritually. It’s always moving, changing, and insecure, so we need an anchor for our soul. We can attempt to anchor our soul in the things of the world, such as human relationships, health, family, and career, but ultimately those are always changing, moving, and insecure. We need an anchor that goes through the water and provides the safety, security, and stability we need in the drifting and storms.

Thank God he sent Jesus to be the anchor we all need that provides what nothing else can. I don’t know what life will bring my way...but I do know I have an anchor for my soul, who is Jesus Christ, who is my trust, security, and hope."

When I feel like i'm adrift, I can stand firm in the strong encouragement and hope that is before me, that I have a perfect Father who has chosen me, pursued me, healed me, saved me, and made my broken heart whole. He is unchanging, and I am never alone.

This little piece of artwork is a reminder for me of all of those things - and I would love to share an anchor with you, as a gift. If you'd like me to send you one, or even if you'd just like to talk, you can e-mail me: (sara AT constellationco.com)

Life Just Snowballs Along
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Sara here, catching up after a long long loooong end of 2012. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays and finishing up the year, but being that busy always takes its toll.

Brad and I had a wonderful Christmas, but spent most of our vacation time being quite sick. But we're finally getting back to normal and are back in the office working, planning and getting 2013 in gear! But before we do that, here's a bit of a December wrap up!

We participated in the local AIGA & AAF Seattle's Jingle & Mingle Holiday Party as a vendor in their Design Gift Market. It was fun to meet folks and greet shoppers at a new event! (Photo courtesy of the event's Flickr page.)

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We participated in our first winter Crafty Wonderland show in Portland. It was a great turnout, and an amazing show to shop! We did a good chunk of our holiday purchases at the show, as well as at Portland Bazaar (we left Cherish in the booth and ran off to visit!), and Wanderlust (my new favorite store in Portland).

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We launched the Cosmic Sans project website, and it went viral! We've found it all over the place. Here are some of the most exciting places we've seen it shared: Quipsologies, The Smithsonian Blog, The Maddow Blog, Design Taxi, and i09.

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Remember our desk project? She had a starring role in our Christmas decorations this year, keeping our stockings hung with care.

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Brad & I were able to get away for a few days after Christmas to get some rest before the new year. We stayed at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island for the first time, and fell in love. We will definitely be back!

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While taking a break from work, Brad had some fun putting together a photo blog for our little family! We got a new camera awhile back, and are documenting our adventures again. I'll share some highlights here, but definitely check out the photo blog for updates about what we're up to personally.

So now you're caught up on the goings-on. We've got a very exciting year planned, but it's all on the "down low" for now. Check back in often, you don't want to miss it!