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Monday, July 21, 2014

All About My Planner

My planner, around $10 from Target

I've been hunting for a decent planner for what feels like months (And gone through 3 or 4 of them in the process) but I think I finally found a planner I'm going to stick to. I'm extremely picky about my planners, so sometimes I have to make certain compromises to get one I like.

What I love about this planner:
  • Landscape orientation for easy viewing
  • Colorful interior!
  • Professional Planner layout (as opposed to Academic) to easily keep track of my "appointments"
  • Room for customization

"Tools" I use in My Planner:
  • Extra small, stickers for color coding
  • Multi-Colored Pen
  • Highlighters for crossing out finished events
  • Blue .5 mm rollerball pen
  • Colored flags (bookmark from Barnes & Noble) 
  • Post it notes (kept on the back inside cover) for on the go notes taking

You can see in more detail how I use my planner in the video below! For an overcap, I like to use the "Notes" section on the far right for my weekly running "To-Do List" and which blog posts I want to feature that week. Flags keep track of deadlines, special events, bills etc. The main daily area of my planner, I use to keep track of appointments, calls, conferences, things at specific times, to-do's for the day etc. If you noticed, I use a highlighter to cross out things that are done. Anything crossed out in pen means it's been canceled.

**Update: 7/22 @ 9:55 AM PST . . . Planner video now re-uploaded**

**Update: 7/21 @ 1:19 PST .  .  . Planner video is currently corrupt. New video will be processed and uploaded later tonight. Follow @ollivandermo on Twitter for updates**

What kind of planner do you use and how do you use it? 
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Quick Tip: Transparent Background in Photoshop

Hey everyone! I've been really busy lately so, unfortunately, I haven't been able to do more Photoshop 101 tutorials. Instead, I thought I'd do a quick top on Photoshop. If you have any quick Photoshop questions (or design, blog, video, or creative questions) leave them below!

Quick Tip: How to Get a transparent background in Photoshop

File > New > Background Content > Transparent

Click OK. A window should pop up with a checkered background. That symbolizes that your background will be transparent when you save it.

Any requests for a quick tip, design or other? Leave them below! 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How Blogging & Vlogging Got Me A Job

My mess of a desk in my office at work. A direct reflection of what my day was like that day.

When I first started my online endeavors, it was something that I'd never share or talk about. If anyone brought it up to my face, I'd get embarrassed and changed the subject. Over the years I've learned to open up about it, and it seems that it's starting to pay off. I've been vlogging for 4 years now, and I've had this current blog for over a year now. 

Right now, I'm working as a Social Media and Reputation Coordinator for a local, family-owned company in my city. It's new, exciting and I get to do all the things I love doing when it comes to digital media! I'm constantly telling myself how lucky I am to have found a 9 to 5 that I actually love!

When I was offered this position, I was told that one of the reasons that I was high up on the company's list is that I obviously had tons of experience and understanding in the world of vlogs, blogs and digital media. I was pretty shocked (and also momentarily embarrassed that my employers had seen my vlogs).

I was ecstatic! They saw me as an amazing asset that they just had to have. Through my blog and YouTube channel I showed that I was innovative. I was a risk taker. I worked hard and chased after things and I actually got them done. I was a visionary, and I was just what they needed to not just fill, but define, this newly created position. That is what blogging was able to show them.

I have an endless list of talents and skills that shine through my blog, and if you're blogger, I'm sure you have a list too! I understand feeling shy and embarrassed about your blog. I've been there. At some point I told myself, "You've gotten this far! You've already put yourself out there to strangers on the internet, why not put yourself out there to people up close and personal?" Over the years I've learned why your "comfort zone" should never be somewhere you want to stay (post on that coming soon). I stepped outside of my comfort zone and have been transparent about my online life...and eventually it paid off.

In what ways have your online projects helped you? Leave a comment below!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

The Thing About Summertime (A Personal Post)

I have a love/hate relationship with Summer. Summer has given me some of my best memories, but also some of my worst. I went to my first Harry Potter convention in the summertime. I went to VidCon and IMATS. I saw a beautiful, partially sunny, Seattle. I fell in love with Jon in the summer, during the midst of a Tucson monsoon season. But it was also during the summer that Jon went through chemotherapy, that I watched him sleep through recovery, that I stayed strong so Jon had someone to lean on as he flew back home to deal with serious family issues.

This summer has proved to continue the theme of being bittersweet. I've graduated, I have myself a new full-time job, and I've just moved into a new apartment. I hoped that this summer would be a fresh new start in a new environment. Instead, I've found more old problems coming back to haunt me.

Jon has been having some major stomach pains lately and we're guessing (hoping?) it's just another ulcer. Ulcers in itself are bad and painful, but the last time he had a supposed ulcer, it turned out to be something much more serious. I'm having major, nerve racking, flashbacks to a bad time, and it's giving me anxiety. I'm hoping that it's nothing and it'll soon be over and we can move forward in the next chapter in our lives instead of bringing all the baggage with us. Fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Handlettering & Calligraphy Tips

I first dipped my toes into calligraphy at 12 years old. I was in an art class in middle school and my teacher showed us traditional, gothic calligraphy used to make books before the printing press had come along. Years later, I would invest in a quill (the one shown above) with a fountain pen nib.

I had originally learned calligraphy with special markers, so there was a bit of a learning curve for using a real quill. After watching a few YouTube videos, I finally understood the concept. So to those of you looking to learn this (time consuming) style of writing, here are some calligraphy tips from a fellow beginner.

Before you dive straight into using a complicated fountain pen or quill, get used to creating the right strokes with a calligraphy marker. They're much different than your average marker and have a sort of a unique slant or chisel needed for calligraphy. If you don't know what you're doing just yet using a quill that you constantly have to dip will not only be frustrating but difficult.

Once you decide to use a real quill or fountain pen, make sure you understand it. If you start writing before you do, all you'll get are painful scratches and uneven strokes. Quills can only put ink to paper when you move it in certain directions. If you have a traditional nib, the curve of your pen should be pointing down towards the paper. Notice that when you try to do upward strokes, all you get are scratches. Quills need to be used at the right angle (usually diagonally, side to side or down) and with the right amount of pressure. Pressure is a good thing when it comes to your quill. Notice how the nib opens up as you apply pressure. This creates the variation of thin and thick strokes.

The best way to understand what strokes you need is to watch someone do it. If you don't know anyone personally, there's always YouTube!

While I originally learned the traditional, gothic style of calligraphy, I'm now more interested in modern, handlettering with elegant flourishes. Understand that while you may want to learn just one style of calligraphy, learning multiple will only help you understand the "science" behind using your quill and making the right strokes.

Do you enjoy handlettering? What styles are your favorite?
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Favorite Teavana Combination

If you don't know by now, I love me some tea. I'd much rather start my mornings with a cup of tea than a cup of java. Coffee just isn't my thing. I'm by no means an tea connoisseur, but I've been learning lots from the folks at Teavana and have been trying all sorts of teas (both from Teavana and not). I recently was given the suggestion to mix the Jasmine Dragon Pearls with Caramel Almond Amaretti, and I am in LOVE. If I could be a tea, this would be me.

I'm usually more of a black tea/green tea kind of girl. I don't like anything particularly special or fruity about my tea. I'm a big fan of the Jasmine Dragon Pearls by itself, but mixing it with the Caramel Almond Amaretti is heavenly.

The Dragon Pearls are cool because (as you probably guessed or can see) They come in little pearls. They're green tea leaves rolled up into tiny little balls, and when you steep them they unfurl. It smells and tastes as a good green tea would.

The Caramel Almond Amaretti is what makes things interesting. It's an herbal tea that smells of chocolate. Who can resist? It's a tad fruity as well, and while I don't particularly like fruity things, the fruitiness is balanced out with the caramel and chocolate as well as coconut. Caramel, chocolate and coconut? I swear this tea was made for me.

Another thing I would definitely suggest for this tea is to get Teavana's rock sugar. This stuff goes perfectly with this tea for some reason. It add the right kind of sweetness. I know it sounds like this tea would be sweet in itself, but it actually needs a bit of help and the rock sugar complements the tastes wonderfully.

What's your favorite Teavana combination? 

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Lost Art of Snail Mail

I love seeing other people's handwriting, and snail mail is such a nice surprise in this day and age. Even though I'm a big fan of electronic communication (email, YouTube, texting, internet in general), I love sending and receiving snail mail. It's a thoughtful and personal way to keep in touch. And, if I'm going to be completely honest, it's a more manageable way to keep in touch with someone who you may not be able to keep up daily text conversations or similar with.

As a lover of books, words and writing, of course I'm a huge fan of snail mail. I have a bad habit of buying and collecting journals, pens and stationary. I love cute, quirky stationary. While a letter is just as fun to get plain, I don't think I could ever settle for "plain" anything. I love using stickers and rubber stamps to decorate the letters as well.

Pros of Snail Mail: 
  • A way to practice your handlettering
  • A way to get creative while decorating your letter
  • A way to get closer to friends
  • A thoughtful, personal surprise
  • A fun way to communicate 
I don't know anyone who doesn't like snail mail. I love sending mail, so if you're interested in being pen pals, let me know! I love drawing, handlettering and doodling in my letters.

Do you send snail mail? How do you decorate yours?

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