As you’ve probably heard, Google is getting rid of Google Reader this summer. There’s been lots of talk about what subscription services are out there to use instead. Bloglovin‘ is a popular answer and while I do like Bloglovin’, it only shows a truncated version of the post and makes you click-out in order to read it in its entirety. So, I kept looking for an alternative that included this feature. Enter: The Old Reader. TOR looks and works virtually the same as Google Reader, plus The Old Reader has a tool you can use to import over your existing Google Reader feed. So there you have it folks, a simple alternative to manage all of your subscriptions.

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April 8, 2013 8 Comments Geek Chic

As a blogger + designer, I’m often making collages–whether it be for a client mood board or a blog post {like this for example}. After struggling to find a good template resource I decided to just make my own. As a special treat, I’ve decided to share two of them with you as a free download.

There are two varying templates and instructions are included in the file. Also, let me know if this is something you’d like to see more of around here and any suggestions for future goodies. I hope you guys enjoy!


December 13, 2012 5 Comments Design, Geek Chic

Whether you’re a designer or not, if you’re fluent in Photoshop you know how easy it is for the layering system to get out of hand. The *simplest* of creations could have dozens of layers {hello, icon designers!} and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost track of which layer is what and click the little eyeball incessantly until I find what I’m looking for. What a headache.

In order to avoid this, I started naming and grouping all of my layers. It’s a simple tool to keep organized and is also beneficial when it comes to outsourcing PSD files to developers.

Grouping layers is easy. Simply hold shift and select the layers you want to group then go to Layer > Group Layers {or ctrl+G if you’re into shortcuts}

Voila! A folder named Group should now appear in your layer list. From there you can double click on the default text and re-name it to whatever you wish. Clicking the arrow associated with the Group collapses the sub-layers within the folder.

Don’t forget to Save {ctrl+S} along the way to ensure your progress is stored. I’m waiting for the day Photoshop adds an auto-save function to the software. Now that would be a life saver.

I hope these quick tips are of some help to those of you out there who tinker around with Photoshop. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

November 1, 2012 2 Comments Design, Geek Chic

Running a business is hard, especially when it comes to handling money. I remember when I first started freelancing, I was terrible at making budgets and organizing my income. Today, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might assist you in staying on top of your money game when it comes to freelance.

50/50 payments // This is pretty much an industry standard but as a rule I always require my clients to pay 50% of their total payment up front as a deposit and the final half prior to installation/site launch. It protects the designer and also helps out the client by easing the burden of paying a large sum of money all at once.

Billings // This is a wonderful, Mac-based invoicing app. I use it to keep track of & send client deposits and invoices; it makes it easy to keep both parties in the loop. It’s worth mentioning the various invoice template options are really spiffy-looking. You can check it out right here.

PayPal debit card // Although my preferred method of payment is check by mail, I still accept PayPal payments for those clients who don’t have personal checks. Not many people are aware that PayPal offers a free debit-card for your account; its freakin’ awesome and super convenient. I use it all the time; it’s like an extra checking account. I highly recommend ordering one if you’re an avid PayPal user.

I hope some of you out there found these little tips & tricks helpful. If you have a question regarding freelance {money-related or otherwise} I’d be happy to answer them in another upcoming post. I’ve learned to take advantage of the design community because your peers are usually full of great advice!

Computer graphic made by me; inspired by miss Vanessa

October 9, 2012 7 Comments Geek Chic