translating your inspiration board into reality

Ever wonder how you can turn those inspiration boards (digital or physical) into a reality? Maybe it’s in your home decor or even your wedding, regardless of what it is I’m thrilled to have Ashley here today sharing how she turns inspiration boards into reality for her brides!

translating your inspiration board into reality

Everyday we are surrounded by inspiration. Whether it’s from the natural beauty outside, stunning window displays, drool-worthy magazine ads, intricate architecture, or the fashionable girl walking down the street, whose outfit we are dying to recreate. We are immersed in a culture of trends. But how do you begin to translate street style or high fashion ideas into everyday life? Enter the inspiration board! Often times an inspiration board will help in narrowing ideas and creating a design that is cohesive. It’s a tool that I use with each of my couples to help them bring their wedding vision together – and to life!

WHAT IS AN INSPIRATION BOARD?

It is just as simple as it sounds. An inspiration board is a collection of photos, swatches, quotes, and ideas that make up your inspiration. Your board is a personal reflection of your style and your interpretation of a design idea. You can create an inspiration board for anything, from outfits and beauty looks to household décor and wedding design.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?

Personally, I find inspiration everywhere! From travels, fashion, architecture, nature… literally anywhere! Pintrest is the best example of an online inspiration board because it’s a collection of photos gathered around one theme or idea. It’s a great online source for finding photos from all around the web. But I’m a little more old school, and prefer a more tangible inspiration board. Don’t forget about using things that can be found offline like magazines, pillows patterns, flowers, antiques and kitchen tile, to name a few. Here is one I created a few weeks ago for my dining room re-design.

HOW DO YOU TRANSLATE AN INSPIRATION BOARD INTO REALITY?

Here is the difficult part – the application of your inspiration board. It can take some time to source the all the pieces of your design. But that’s okay! Nine times out of ten I’ll need to find less expensive alternatives for my personal inspiration boards. Ever heard the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget”? I suffer from it big time! So that is where creativity and interpretation comes in hand. Not to mention a bit of patience. Don’t stress yourself out by trying to create an exact replica of your desired design. You want the end result to be a reflection of you and your style, rather than someone else’s ideas. Below is an example of an inspiration board turned real wedding design:

Ross Watson Wedding Inspiration Board

(Inspiration Board – above; Real Wedding – below)

Ross Watson - Real Wedding

We took the ideas, color palette, and style from our inspiration board and translated these ideas from around the web into a design that represented the couple. You can see the end result is similar in tone, but not an exact replica. When I begin the design process with a bride, I always start out creating an inspiration board. That way we have boundaries and parameters in place before we even start sourcing rentals, choosing linens and flowers, and creating paper goods. By doing the hard work up front to gather your thoughts, you’ll have a much easier time translating your design ideas into reality. And this will ensure that your design is cohesive from start to finish.

The most important thing to remember when creating an inspiration board for an upcoming project or event is to be patient and don’t overthink it. You have a great design instinct and your inspiration board will help get all your thoughts together so that you can execute seamlessly!

Ashley Culicchia Cash

About Ashley Culicchia Cash

Ashley Culicchia Cash is the lead planner and designer of The Graceful Host, a boutique full service wedding planning and event design company based in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina. Specializing in creative event design, Ashley works with brides and grooms to create a one-of-a-kind event that is a perfect reflection of her clients’ style and personalities.

podcasting | what’s on my radar

podcasting | what's on my radar

There’s one trend I’ve noticed taking hold this year: podcasts. Serial was such a huge thing last year, and now the trend of listening and creating a podcast (not necessarily like Serial) is taking the blogging community by storm. I’ve noticed several bloggers or business owners creating their own in the last year, and the influx of them is starting to really get my attention.

One day over the last few months of walking with Zoey, I figured I’d find something to listen to while we were out. I opened up my podcasts and got started with Being Boss. I started listening to it shortly after it came out but then didn’t manage to keep up, so I have a ton of episodes to catch up on.

After I started listening that day, I made it a new thing to do specifically while we were walking so I could focus my attention on what I was listening to. Since then, I’ve discovered several other podcasts that I wanted to share with y’all today!

Being Boss / Make It Happen / The Lively Show
Elise Gets Crafty / She Percolates / Raise Your Hand. Say Yes.

I’ve been regularly listening to Being Boss and Make It Happen over the last month. I’m excited to catch up and check out the others in the coming months!

Are you listening to podcasts, too? Which ones are you currently into?

launch | my beauty cloud

After my last couple of launches, work slowed down for a while so I haven’t had a lot of work to share with y’all… until today! I’m excited to share more details on this fun and feminine design!

my beauty cloud | branding by kory woodard

Samantha got in touch with me a few months ago with interest to get a blog design for a new blog that she was wanting to start. She knew that she loved the look of handwritten, brushed logos, so I knew instantly that it would be a fun project. Her style was also very simple, which made me even more excited to take on the project.

inspiration board for my beauty cloud | by kory woodard

outfit / words / girl / brushed words / watercolor / hazel / flowers

We worked together to create the moodboard above, and I have to say (again) it’s one of my favorites for the year. Samantha had no shame in showing off that she liked the more feminine colors, so we went with some soft pinks as well as some brighter pops of color. I knew based on the typography in the board that we’d be working on a logo that showed some of the brush strokes, which not everyone is looking for.

my beauty cloud | branding by kory woodard

Once we git the branding done, I created the brand board above! We then got started on the blog design. Since I knew Samantha had an eye for fairly simple design, I knew I wanted to make sure things didn’t get to cluttered around her blog. We kept the main blog page simple with only a few extra things like social media and a grab button in the sidebar.

my beauty cloud | branding + blog design by kory woodard

On the About page is where we had fun! If you remember, last year I worked with a few clients and we did things like Fun Facts on their about pages. I recreated something similar only more complementary to the design for Samantha’s page. It was super simple to create and include on the page.

How To Cut Back On Social Media Clutter

I’m so excited to have Kate of Clear Creative Consulting here on the blog today! While working on growing our social media platforms, things tend to get a bit messy. We usually find it harder to keep up with people we’re connected with while trying to keep up with new people. Luckily, Kate’s here today to share on we can cut back on the social media clutter!

how to cut back on social media clutter

Do you ever get overwhelmed as soon as you log into one of your social media accounts? Does scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter feed leave you feeling uninspired or even turned off? Over time our social media accounts can collect a lot of clutter, like irrelevant content or crowded feeds, which takes the joy and ease out of using social media, replacing it with a giant headache. If you feel like your social media can use a little cleaning up, follow these tips to get your accounts back in order.

Be More Selective

Liking bloggers’ pages on Facebook and following bloggers on Twitter is a great way to show your support for them but, if you are not selective enough, you run the risk of flooding your accounts with content that doesn’t speak to you. You should only like, follow or add people who share stuff that really gets you excited, teaches you great new things or breathes inspiration into your life. Choosing which accounts you follow more carefully will bring better focus to your social media experience.

Don’t Fear the Unfollow

Sometimes negative, uninteresting or even ugly content finds its way into our social media accounts and makes scrolling through Instagram feel tedious and exhausting. Guess what. You can unfollow the people cluttering your feeds with this type of content. It may sometimes feel uncomfortable to unfollow people, but nothing is worth keeping negative or ugly content in your feed. You are not doing anyone a favor when your like or follow is inauthentic, and having the courage to say “this content is not for me” will ensure your social media experience is more positive and enjoyable.

Get Organized

Every major social media platform offers a way of organizing whom you follow or how you follow them (except stubborn Instagram, of course). For Twitter, you can create lists to organize all the accounts you follow. On Facebook, you can use Interest Lists to label the pages you follow by category of interest. Pinterest allows you to follow a pinner’s boards individually instead of following his or her full account. Google Plus offers Circles for categorizing the accounts and pages you follow. Taking advantage of these organizational features streamlines your social media experience so it is much easier to manage.

Cool The Hashtag Fever

Are you one of those people that lumps “hundreds” of hashtags underneath your Instagram photos? Are your tweets nearing (or exceeding) 50% hashtag content per tweet? It’s time to retire some of these hashtags, my friend. Just like selective following cleans up your feed, using minimal hashtags tailors your content in a way that doesn’t clutter your followers’ feeds. Do a little research into which hashtags are the most useful, make yourself a list, and try your best to stick with only the essential hashtags the next time you share. (Your followers will thank you.)

Do a Social Media Cleanse

If you are asking yourself how you will ever get on top of your crazy social media accounts ever again, it sounds to me like you’re in way over your head (and like you may have entered too many Instagram loop giveaways, am I right?). Do not fear, my friend. We have all been there before, and there is hope. When you find yourself in this position, it just means that you are ready for a social media cleanse. Challenge yourself to spend one week getting your social media accounts back in order so you can go back to enjoying your time spent on social media.

Jot down these tips for yourself so you can review them the next time you see some clutter accumulating in your feeds (or you find yourself having hashtag withdrawals). Using social media doesn’t have to be a headache, if you don’t want it to be.

Happy decluttering!

Kate Amunrud

About Kate Amunrud

Kate is a creative blogging consultant and visual branding designer at Clear Creative Consulting. Her mission is to streamline the process of blogging for her clients so they can get back to the fun stuff, like drinking some bubbly in the bubble bath.

getting the most out of your to do list

Getting The Most Out Of Your To Do List

Whether you’re a full time blogger or business owner, work from home or work at an agency, there’s something we all have in common: the to do list. Yes, the dreaded to do list. It can provide us with either an overwhelming sense of dread or accomplishment. Often times the feeling when get from our list depends on two things: when we’re looking at it and how we manage the list.

Obviously if you’re looking at your to do list for the next day before you sign off for the evening or first thing in the morning, it’s going to give you a sense of dread. You might even start feeling overwhelmed at all you have to get done long before you even have to start working. While looking at your list after a day or week of work, you’re going to feel a sense of accomplishment, that is – if you actually got things done.

However, how can we start to take back control of our to do list so that we not only don’t dread creating one or even looking at one, but also get the most out of it? Well, here are a few tips to do just that!

Create a “today’s top 3″ for every list

This was something I was first introduced to back when I had my Day Designer. I loved the idea because it allowed me to take the three most important things I had to get done for the day and note them in a special place so that I couldn’t forget to do them. Now, I realize that not everyone has one of those planners, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still create this section for yourself. If you jot your to do’s on a plain notepad, put the top three at the very top. If you’re working from a planner, either put yours at the top or find a way to note what the most important things are. This could be with double exclamations (!!), an asterisk, or just simply bolding the items so they stand out a little more. This will help you see the most important things so that you’re more likely to work on them than several little tasks!

Organize your list with similar items

Depending on what you do, you might find that you’ve got a pretty lengthy list of big and little items, with things like “answer so-and-so’s email” popping up several times. If you know you’ve got several tasks related to your email, organize them all together so that you’re more likely to complete the other similar tasks once you’ve done one of them. If you don’t have lots of similar tasks, organize your list by how long something should take you. If you’ve got a few emails to answer, social media to schedule, and a small errand to do around the house that would all take about 5-10 minutes to do each, put those things together. When you know something won’t take too long, you’re more likely to do it. You’re even more likely when you can easily see what’s next on your list instead of hunting for the next task to fill in the 30 minutes of free time you have before lunch!

Create your list the day before

Want to know a super easy way to forget to do something you need to get done? Simple: just don’t right it down. Or worse say, “I’ll jot that down… in a few.” while you’re still answering emails or doing other tasks. Instead of waiting until a few hours before your work day begins to write things down, spend a few minutes the day before to schedule what you need to get done the next day. That way instead of spending a ton of time trying to figure out what you should be doing that day or forgetting what you should be doing, you can start work with a plan already in place. Bonus points on this one: as soon as you set a deadline for something – put it in your planner or make a note of it for that day. For example, the second I say, “Yes, I’ll get your logos uploaded on such-and-such day.” I not only set the deadline in Basecamp, but I go on ahead and put it in my planner so that I absolutely can’t forget.

Above all, don’t spend more time working on or obsessing over your to do list than actually working or living life. Life is far, far too short to become a slave to our daily task list!