RDD BLOG HAS A NEW HOME!

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Hi friends! I’m excited to announce that Rebekah Disch Design has a new home, and from now on, I’ll be blogging over at rebekahdisch.com/blog. This blog platform has served me well over the last few years and has made blogging such a joy for me to share bits of my life. But as my design business has taken a new turn in recent weeks, it was time to launch a new, cleaner, and more user-friendly site where I can continue to blog (more easily and more frequent than before… yay!) and where I can showcase my design portfolio, services, and growing business.

Head on over to rebekahdisch.com/blog, subscribe to my posts, and sign up for my mailing list for continued updates on what’s happening over here at RDD on a weekly basis. I have a lot of fun posts up my sleeve and can’t wait to continue sharing great content with you in coming weeks.

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DAY TRIP: ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND

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Living on the East Coast is awesome. One of the many reasons is that all the states are pretty small, so it’s possible that you can drive north or south and pass through several states in a matter of hours. Did you know we are only a 4-hour drive from New York City? New York! I mean, what is my life. You can imagine this is pretty life-altering for a Texas native who grew up in a place where you could drive NINE. HOURS. and still be in the same state (Texas, I love you. You still have my heart).

And living where we are in Northern Virginia, we can pretty much make a day trip to so many fun places, like D.C. (basically our next-door neighbor), Maryland, Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware. So many great sites, so much history, so much to explore!

Now of course, we work every day and have our normal weekly routine, so making time for said day trip isn’t the norm around here. But a couple weekends ago, we took a Saturday (and our friend, Rachel), drove an hour northeast, and spent a day in Annapolis, Maryland.

Despite the hot hot hot temps, we had so much fun. The history, the architecture, the old buildings and spaces, the streets, the waterfront, the sailboats were all full of charm and beauty. And being by the water in the summertime? Can’t get much better than that.

Here’s a list of the things we did and places we visited, in order:

1. The State House – A good bit of American history here (particularly, where George Washington resigned from his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army), and the architecture and limestone detail inside is stunning.

2. The Naval Academy – A must see if you are in Annapolis! The old buildings are ridiculously grand and impressive. Make sure to stop in the stunning Memorial Hall to see the “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag, as well as the memorial plaques listing the names of all who lost their lives in combat. Very beautiful and sobering.

3. Lunch at Armadillos – A quaint little pub just down by the pier. Try the crab cake sandwich or the seared tuna burger. Pretty tasty.

4. Storm Bros. Ice Cream Factory – The frozen yogurt was pretty good. I’m only regretting I didn’t get the Coconut Chocolate Almond ice cream instead.

5. Explore Downtown, where you can pop in lots of boutiques, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There’s even a CVS if you need to buy last-minute sunscreen (just sayin’).

6. Harbor Queen Boat Tour up the coast – See the Naval Academy from the water, and sail into Chesapeake Bay, all narrated by your captain. There’s also a bar on the ship with drinks and snacks. Try to get in line early, so you can get good seats in the front.

7. Stop at the Sperry Store. Because, when you’re in the sailing capital of America, you buy boat shoes.

8. Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge for dinner. Make sure to get seats on the charming rooftop deck. Also, the flatbreads are to die for.

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Anyone else been to Annapolis?  Please share you favorite spots!

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5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR PRACTICAL & PRETTY SHELF-STYLING

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Some people just get good style and don’t even have to try. My sister, Sarah, is one of those people. Every room of her house is fresh, clean, uncluttered, and bathed in beautiful neutrals, pretty fabrics, and natural light. What I really love though is that her style is functional and accessible. It’s not too trendy or busy, there’s purpose for where things are, and it is living proof that you don’t have to have lots of stuff on every wall and surface to live pretty.

While I was visiting her in Texas last week, I shot a few pics of her home office, mainly her beautifully-styled shelf (you may remember this photo I shared on IG). Sarah really has a knack for this kind of thing, so I asked her to share five things to keep in mind when decorating shelves and flat surfaces. I think with these helpful (and quite easy!) tips, you might be inspired to revamp your own bookshelves to create rhythm, simplicity, and of course, a prettier view.

Here’s what she had to say:

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5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR PRACTICAL & PRETTY SHELF-STYLING
By Sarah Linden of thesarahlinden.com

1. Maintain Color Continuity
One of the best ways to create cohesion in your home is through color repetition. This is especially true for shelf styling when you’re trying to seamlessly mesh disconnected or random objects in the same space. I used lots of neutrals throughout, mostly white and soft tans, and small splashes of an orangey-pink hue you can see in the framed art up top, a book in the center, and throughout the books at the bottom.

2. Embrace negative space.

A common styling pitfall is filling every inch of empty space with something so it doesn’t feel ignored. Instead of fearing negative space, use it intentionally to give the eye a visual break from other highly styled areas. If every cubicle on my shelf was filled to the brim with stuff, the clean and coordinated look I’ve created would fly out the widow, and I’d be left with a heavy, chunky mess. Maintain negative space by placing only a single object that’s proportionate to the space it’s filling.

3. Merge functionality and aesthetics.
I love pretty things SO much that I tend to value aesthetics over functionality. We all do this from time to time. But guess what – I don’t live in a magazine, and all the spaces in my home need to serve a function. So I do my best to make those functional pieces pretty. Every rattan basket on my shelf is filled to the brim with office supplies, but they still look great because all the crap is hidden! See how I’ve organized books inside wire baskets? Even our less-than-pretty objects can look cohesive if we think of creative ways to merge functionality and aesthetics.

4. Create height.
My office has 12-foot ceilings. You know who sells affordable 12-foot shelves? No one! So I created that height on my own using framed art and white branches that almost lead to the ceiling. (P.S. You can find that “Fight the Good Fight” art print here.)  This technique also works in shorter rooms, and it’s the reason why we’re told to hang curtains just below the ceiling rather than right above the window. It’s a visual trick that works.

5. Consider a theme.
Themes in decor can become kitsch super fast if you’re not careful, so it’s best to think in minimal terms when creating a theme. My office has a coastal chic vibe due to the few beachy elements I’ve incorporated—rattan baskets, a piece of coral, driftwood, and a small lantern. I don’t think anyone would look at my shelves and think there’s a beach in my backyard (hey, a girl can dream), but these few objects help create the cool and breezy design aesthetic I’m incorporating in other rooms of my home.

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Now, everyone, go get to work on those bookshelves of yours! And don’t forget to share in the comments which tips were most helpful for you.

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GETAWAY IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

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There is something about nature that’s so good for the soul. It has such power to refresh and revive in ways not many other things can. Chris and I have found that we are most rejuvenated when we can get away – just the two of us – for a few days and spend time away from busy city life in a beautiful place and enjoy the great outdoors. So that’s what we did.

Last week, we took some time off, rented a vacation home from Air BnB, and spent a few days in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northern Virginia. It was the perfect mix of lounging, enjoying mountain views, eating breakfast on the grand front porch, watching the tube (NBA Finals, holla!) as well as driving through the long windy country roads, hiking a bit, and exploring Shenandoah National Park. It rained several times, cutting into most of our hiking time, but we did get to spend a morning trekking up to a waterfall, which was pretty great.

One of the coolest things we experienced was getting to see the wildlife. We watched a momma bear and her two cubs play in the wild – pretty spectacular. And we came across a baby fawn franticly stumbling up the road all by himself – probably one of the cutest little creatures I’ve ever seen. We later saw the fawn with his momma, so I could sleep in peace that night. There were lots of other fun critters around too, like chipmunks, alpacas, and rabbits. What can I say, we’re suckers for animals.

If you’re in the Northern Virginia/DC area and looking for a quiet getaway in the Shenandoah Mountains with your family, check out the Air BnB vacation rental where we stayed. Highly recommend it!

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BIG LIFE UPDATE + AN ETSY SALE

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If you’ve been following my blog at all for the last few years, you’ll notice there was once a really fruitful season of Rebekah Disch Design with lots of DIY blog posts, weekend trip recaps, design and decor posts, launching of new products, free printable give-aways, fun design collaboration opportunities, and more. Those days were really fun. Those were the days I grew to really love blogging. Then I went back to work full-time and pretty much have been doing the 9-5 for the last three years, leaving little time to work on my creative business much at all. I’ve still sold prints and cards in my Etsy shop, participated in craft fairs, and took on occasional custom design work, but due to having to devote most of my life to working for the man (and I’m thankful for those opportunities for sure!), I had to say bye bye to the prospect of focusing on RDD in a way that the business really deserved. So, I worked. I put in the hours, worked hard, resolved to stay faithful where I was planted, and embraced my job(s) God has graciously given me over the years, and we were always taken care of and were never in want.

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THE BACK STORY
When we moved to Virginia a year ago, our pace of life went from zero to 60 almost immediately. We got plugged in to our amazing church, started new jobs, and we were happily overwhelmed with the amount of people, friendships, community, things to do, and places to see that were put in front of us… the experience of moving from small town Texas to the nation’s capital is no joke! So many good things but so much change with little time to rest or process in between.

Almost immediately after moving, I accepted a graphic design position at a local design firm. This job was a God-send and provided a great space for me to learn, grow, and produce some really fun design work. It pushed my brain creatively in ways I would have never been pushed otherwise. I had a very gracious and kind Creative Director. I made new friends. I learned a TON. But the hours were long, the days were stressful, and our personal/family time suffered, as well as my ability to really give my time to the people in our lives that we love and the things in our life that really matter to us. I was tired. Stressed. Spent. And hungry with the desire to grow RDD again and to do work that I really love. The creative itch continued.

A few months ago, Chris and I started having conversations about how I could possibly make my design business work. In addition to wanting a pace-of-life change, I was becoming more and more inspired to explore the idea of running my own business instead of doing work for someone else. We spent lots of days reflecting, evaluating, and brainstorming what it would look like to slow down a bit, have more flexibility in our schedules, and dream together of what RDD could be, if given the chance. I started thinking of all the things I love to do, all the ways God has gifted me and the avenues I could take with those talents. And I wondered… why not? Why work for someone else doing work they want me to do when I can work for myself and do what I really love while at the same time giving me more life flexibility? My business already has a foundation, why not continue to build on that?

THE EXCITING NEWS
So after weeks of anticipation, here I am, over-sharing on the internet about my journey, and I am excited to announce that as of this week, I’ve officially ended my previous job and am now pursuing RDD full time. Hooray! We are super pumped about this new venture and are excited and ready for the joys and challenges along the way, as well as the time we will get back as we slowly but diligently seek to live life more purposefully together.

WHAT I’LL BE DOING
I am planning to initially focus on doing some freelance work, mainly logo design for small, creative businesses as well as some other fun, creative things coming down the pipeline (can’t wait to share!). I’ll also be giving some time to my Etsy shop, creating new art prints and cards and building my stationery business with a focus on weddings and events. And did I mention… blogging? I am super pumped to give this little corner of the internet some tender lovin’ care and keep this blog more updated on a regular basis.

SO…WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
As a celebration, I am having a store-wide sale in my Etsy shop. Everything is 30% off from now until June 30. Just go to my shop, fill your cart with goodies, and use the code HOORAY30 at checkout.

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Thanks for your continued support in my journey and for your interest in this little business of mine.

Cheers!

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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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MY NEPHEW’S NURSERY + AN ARABIC ALPHABET PRINT

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We finally have a baby in the family. No, I’m not pregnant, but my big sister, Jessica, will soon give birth to the first little munchkin among all of us siblings, and the anticipation of little Remy arriving has been the cause for celebration as of late. My sister Sarah, my mom, and I recently took a road trip to Houston to have an small, intimate baby shower for Jessica, and we had a blast helping finish up her nursery decor, showering her with gifts, and perusing the baby aisle together at Target.

Among all of her baby needs, Jessica had one special request for me: make her an Arabic alphabet print for her nursery. I LOVED the idea of designing a typographical poster using an alphabet in her husband’s native language, and I was up for the challenge. After working with my bro-in-law, Ala (who is Syrian, so his first language is Arabic), on making sure I was using the correct letters and in the right order, I was able to piece together the alphabet in a way that was orderly but still had a whimsical flow.

And I love that this print will be a keepsake for Remy as he grows up learning both English and Arabic and also appreciating and being proud of both his Syrian roots and his American culture.

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ADVENTURES IN LAND-SCOUTING

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The longer I live in small town Texas, the more I love it. You can drive in any direction outside of Graham, and you will always find yourself on country roads, passing through wide open fields, winding up and down through hill country, and it truly never gets old.

Chris decided to pitch in with some friends on renting a deer lease about 25 minutes outside of town, and we spent our Saturday date night eating burgers and fries from an old local diner, cruisin’ with the windows down in our recently-inherited Chevy pickup (thanks in-laws!), and yes I even sat in the middle seat all cozy-like next to my man. He took me out to the land and showed me around, and we enjoyed the fresh air and peace and quiet. We spotted deer tracks and hog tracks and scouted out the best spots for prime time hunting. I should also add that I was on high alert at all times because I just know one of these days I WILL cross a rattler, and I will always be ready to run and frolic through the fields to avoid that moment at all costs. Nevertheless, I look forward to many more weekends together exploring and adventuring on this piece of land.

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WEEKEND SNAPS – SUCCULENT ADDITION

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This weekend I watered plants and fed kittens for my friend who was out of town, and I had to whip out my iphone and take a few snapshots of her lovely backyard details. Succulents are just so great, aren’t they? There are so many different shapes, colors, and dimensions, they are timeless and beautiful, and they make for some fun photos!

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