TRYING NEW THINGS & A PATTERN CAMP REVIEW

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Last month, I completed Jessica Swift‘s Online Pattern Camp Class. I never thought I’d be interested in surface design or pattern-making, but the design firm I work at offered to pay for my enrollment in the class (sweet!), and I jumped at the opportunity.

Many of the first few lessons are basic introductory lessons like how to use Illustrator tools, scanning in sketches, etc. (things I already utilize daily), but it was still inspiring to see someone else’s process and gain a few new tips. Once we got into the pattern-making tutorials, I. WAS. HOOKED. Jessica does an excellent job at teaching several different ways to make patterns in Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as helping push your brain creatively to think outside of the box. I’ve only made just a few patterns so far and know I’ve only scratched the surface of this amazing world of pattern-making. I feel like I’ve been introduced to a whole new level of design possibilities and am excited to put these newfound skills to work and use them in my design offerings in days to come.

Has anyone else taken Jessica’s class? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it and how you’re using your patterns in your work and everyday life.

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GIRL’S DAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY

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When we moved from small town Texas to Northern Virginia last year, I thought we were saying our last goodbyes to life in the country forever and a big hello to metropolitan city living. Come to find out, Northern Virginia is quite literally the best of both worlds. Here, we have the urban city life and all the shopping, restaurants, and culture that come with being in the DC-Metro area. On the other hand, you can pretty much take an hour-long drive and find yourself breathing in the fresh air of the rolling hills, big forests, and farmland.

A few weeks ago, some girlfriends and I headed out to Middleburg for a day of brunching and horseback riding in the country. We started our morning at Front Porch Market and Grill for a pretty spectacular brunch and coffee, then headed to Chetwood Farm for a beautiful two-hour long trail ride. And to top it all off, when we returned to the ranch, we were greeted with a crackling fire pit, wine, and snacks – the perfect end to a perfect day. And to think, I almost didn’t go because I was just too busy. Note to self, even when you’re in the thick of crazy schedules and the hustle of life, when invited to a horseback ride in the country, just say yes. Your rear end will be sore for days, and you’ll have achy muscles you didn’t even know existed after you get off that horse, but I guarantee it will have been (and was) a Saturday well spent.

oFront Porch photo courtesy of Kelly K. on Yelp.

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