Formal Farewell to My Babies & Former Team Members

I have been dreading this post, but the time has come to remove Albert (pictured left) and Maggie (pictured right) from my team page. Words can't express what these cats meant to me. They were siblings and born feral. I trapped them from a terrible neighborhood in Chicago and decided to keep them. If you are not familiar with feral cats, they are the result of discarded animals who are breeding out of control and homeless for generations. They regress to a wild state and suffer horribly. The average lifespan of a feral cat is about 3-5 years. They die of starvation, infections, predators and they are commonly eradicated by humans with trapping, gassing and steel leg-hold traps.

Less than 1% of feral cats will ever know touch or love. Both Albert and Maggie had typical feral physiology. They were both wild-eyed, terrified, hissing and spitting little fuzz balls! Domesticating a feral takes lots of love, patience, and handling. Maggie domesticated much more quickly than Albert. He was crippled with fear. When I would reach to pick him up, he would recoil in terror, cower and put his paws in front of his face as though bracing himself for an attack. It was heartbreaking. He spent the majority of time in his first 5 years of life hiding. Anyway, I realized he was going to need extra rehab efforts so I committed myself to him and I smothered this terrorized little being with love. Day after day, week after week, year after year I had a ritual of holding him, petting him and soothing his sweet little fearful soul. I watched as he gained more confidence and courage. He completely transformed and grew to be the most gentle, loving and sweet cat I have ever known. And I am transformed. As I comforted him over and over I healed a part of myself. I am now braver and have released so many fears.

Maggie and I had a deeply special soul bond. She was mama’s baby. She was my sweet girl and oh did she love me back. She looked to me for comfort in all ways and I missed no opportunity to provide it. We slept together for many years. She would climb into bed with me, lay her head on my pillow with her back pressed against my heart and I would spoon her. Every time she would make a little peep with her voice it was like a spiritual alarm to wake me to love ... open my heart ... be present in love. My heart welled every time I just looked at her. I used to sing her the song ... ”You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ... you make me happy ... because you’re grey.” We walked through so much life together.

I honor and celebrate the beautiful life we shared. Not many cats live to be 20. I thank the Universe for sending them to me and release them with boundless love. They will always fill a HUGE part of my heart and I am changed forever because of having had them in my life.

Art Site Launched!

I am uber excited to share my newly launched art site! It's been long overdue. It will be an ongoing work in progress because, well, art is! I decided to include my poetry too. I have plans to write a book of poetry with accompanying illustrations. So please stay tuned!

New Website for Vegan Farmer!

I am super excited to present a website I recently finished for a vegan farmer! This project was particularly special because I got to collaborate with longtime friends of mine and vegan pioneers, John Beske and Marla Rose of Vegan Street Media. John was my inspiration for becoming a designer so it was a thrill and honor to work with him. John designed the logo and home page illustration. Marla is an incredibly talented writer. She writes articles for well known publications such as VegNews! Marla did the copywriting for the website. It was so fun to design and develop this website for Flow Farm. I was in all my glory doing what I love with people I love all in the name of promoting more things vegan!

Art Directed Photo Shoot

I recently finished art directing a photo shoot for a company that sells athletic and self-massage tools. It was so fun! I managed every aspect of the shoot to include finding a photographer and models, which was no easy task. The local modeling agency was unable to provide me with talent that fit the bill for this shoot, so elaborate research to find amateurs was required ... and boy did I score! I found the woman through a local yoga Facebook page and the man as a recommendation from my husband. Both models were outstanding! They followed direction and performed like true professionals. Another challenge was finding a commercial photographer. I received a referral to Brian Dierks from a friend. I was surprised I did not find Brian in my extensive web search. After evaluating the meta data on his website, I was happy to identify issues and make some recommendations. He needs to be found because he is phenomenal! I was pleased that we were able to complete the shoot in 1 day versus the 2 days I budgeted. This was due to solid planning and organized storyboarding. I will share the final shots once the company posts them on their website.

Website for Natural Mystic Guide

I recently had the privilege of designing for Juna Madrone of Natural Mystic Guide. I designed her logo, printed material, print advertising, and I just finished her website, naturalmysticguide.com.  She is a dream client!  Speaking of dreams, Juna does dream interpretation and she helped me explore a very intense dream that I knew held significance for me. Her feedback was incredibly insightful and helpful.  She also did some clearings and it was a very interesting experience.  Juna is a genuine and loving person and obviously a skilled mystic. I felt very comfortable with her and lighter in spirit when she finished our session. I highly recommend her services for anyone seeking spirit guidance and support.

Printed Material for Natural Mystic Guide

I have thoroughly enjoyed designing for Juna of Natural Mystic Guide. I finished her printed materials, business card, postcard and rack card. She is thrilled with the outcome and feels it represents exactly what she wanted, which is positive, inviting and elegant. The website is coming soon!

View Business Card

View Postcard Card

Logo design for Natural Mystic Guide

I just finished designing the identity for Juna Berry Madrone's business, Natural Mystic Guide. Juna is a true mystic and offers tarot card reading, soul memory discovery, past life exploration and more. I have been super stoked about this project for many reasons. Working with Juna is so enjoyable. She knows what she wants, but gives creative freedom, the perfect combination! She wanted vibrant jewel tones and a positive light energy to the design, which is just my specialty. I am also designing her printed material and website. Stay tuned!

New responsive web design

I recently finished the design and development of a website for the author of the book Mapping Human Consciousness. This was a fantastic project. The author, Mark Dicks, is a brilliant man and one whom I am now lucky to call my friend!  It pays to attract wonderful clients especially if they are vegan. Yay! Mark worked for many years on this book and I was honored to help him bring it to the world. He is a man of great integrity and passion to make the world a better place. 

The importance of a strong logo

Having a strong identity (logo) is often undervalued.  However, it is the single most important piece of art that you will invest in for your business. And it is just that ... a piece of art. Everything you do to market your business, product or service will stem from this visual. There are very important aspects to consider when creating your identity because it needs to translate powerfully across many applications to include: print, web, merchandise, billboard, social media, signage, etc. In order to make your logo stand out for any medium, these guidelines should be followed:

Important things to consider for your logo:
  • It should be distinctive and readable at 1-1.5 inches
  • It should translate nicely in black and white
  • You should always have a solid base 2D version to print consistently in ALL applications e.g. materials and enlargements.
There are five principles to follow. An effective logo is:
  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Timeless
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate

Using Gmail to send external email

Many of my clients use Gmail as their email client, but do not know the powers that can be unleashed! 

I am forever stressing the importance of consistency in branding down to the finest detail. Tying in your email address to your domain is an important aspect.  Every time you reinforce your brand you communicate value in your product or service and that you command your brand voice.  So ... if you use Gmail, there is a way to send mail using the email associated with your domain, which you will have to setup with your host.  Once you have that done, follow these simple instructions to set up this email in Gmail.

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New site launch!

I am very excited to present my new website! My plans for this blog are to share news about current projects, where I get my inspiration and where you might too! Also I will share some simple tips about building your brand and promoting your business.

To celebrate this first entry in my blog I used the photo I took of a beautiful sunflower in my neighborhood. Ashland, Oregon is lush with beauty that can be seen anywhere at anytime. I am the luckiest girl in the world to live here and I find inspiration everywhere I go!