Number One Reason Why I Love Travel Time

I've got the best view:

I have to say that the best part about traveling with Zach is that I get to see cool cities, beautiful country sides, & the leaves change all over the midwest.  Seeing the jagged city edges fade into the patchwork fields of the countryside is a unique experience.  My favorite trip so far was the 2 or 3 days we drove through 5 states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, & Wisconsin.  Stopping a long the way in the cities for work & finding country road antique malls to pick up items for our various collections is the life man, I tell you.

Here are the other benefits, coming in a close second & third

 We get to know each other better  - It's true that as you progress in a relationship you talk more but communicate less.  We are constantly on our phones at diners or in bed in hotels but I've decided to start looking up conversation starters so we can learn more about each other.  This past week we talked about Art & about politics.  I'm liking this spending time together thing.

 I get to be inspired  - I guess this goes a long with the view thing, but we get to see loads & loads of beautiful architecture.  As we walk or drive through cities I'm capturing the mix of old & new architecture on my phone.  Seeing different textures, colors, styles, etc is great.  I think this is a great time in my life (our life) to see different cities.  From Milwaukee, to Madison, to Chicago, it's all been beautiful.

I feel like I am living a one of a kind life & it makes me so happy.  I am so grateful & thankful to be able to have this experience & to be able to share this life with someone pretty awesome.  I am not sure what I'd do with out him.

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October is Blog-tober!

Yep, that's right. I just coined a new word: BLOG-TOBER.  Here on Five Sixteenths October will be about Boosting Your Blog.  Like the eBook tagline says, I want you to take your blog from Blah to Boo-Yah.  (Not lying here.)

So in honor of coining this term & coming up with this idea last minute, I want to share what you can do to get ready for this Blog-tacular event:

S I G N   U P   F O R   T H E   N E W S L E T T E R
If you sign up for the newsletter, you get access to the Secret Chapter of the Blogging 101 eBook about Blogging Honestly.  You'll also get a 15% off discount on the eBook the entire month of October.  If you can't wait for the newsletter release on the 1st of October, you can pick up your copy of the book (sans discount) here.

R E A D   P A S T   B O O S T   Y O U R   B L O G   P O S T S
Especially this one & this one about blog planning.  The second post there includes some free planning printables & through October there will be a few more planning printables as well as other physical tips + tricks.  Check all the past posts here.

G R A B   A   B U T T O N
In all great last minute fashion, I've whipped up a little button for you to put on your sidebar if you're interested.  Show some love & share it with others.

S U M B I T   Y O U R   Q U E S T I O N S
I'm thinking of answering some of your questions at the end of the month so if you've got any send 'em on over to fivesixteenthsblog@gmail.com with the subject Blog-tober Questions.

R E A D   T H E   B L O G - T O B E R   P O S T S
Because there's gonna be a lot of them & their all gonna be helpful, promise.

H O P E   T O   S E E   Y O U   A R O U N D !

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4 Ways a Twitter Hop can Generate Content for your Blog

For the past few weeks I've been participating in the Blog Trends Twitter hop with the hashtag #blogtrends.  It happens every Monday around 9pm EST & the topics range but are always great.  Two weeks ago I totally spaced & thought the chat was on Tuesday but this past Monday we chatted about branding, staying authentic, & working your blog into your brand.  This was my favorite chat of all because I've been experimenting with creating my blog as a brand & encouraging others to do the same.

A great overall theme of this chat was blogging honestly & if you haven't noticed this is a big part of my blogging philosophy.  I try to incorporate honesty into a lot of things in this blog.  Oh, and if you didn't know the Secret Chapter to the eBook released this month is about Blogging Honestly.  If you sign up for the newsletter (click to sign up!) you'll get access to it! (If you're already signed up & missed your copy, another link will be in the October Newsletter, don't worry!) But being genuine is a huge part of branding your blog.  You want readers to know who you are & not just be a personality. You want to be a genuine version of you on & off line and in the Secret Chapter you'll learn how to balance honesty & private matters.  If you're interested in the 3 Part Blogging Basics eBook that teaches you about Organization, Design, & Networking pick up your copy here!

Generating Content from Twitter Hops

After working through that chat I discovered that a lot of bloggers took the same journey I did & discovered who they really are through blogging.  It was super awesome to be able to connect in that way since I am always looking to find how we are more alike than we are different.  This Twitter chat produced a lot of content to read & reminded me I still have a lot of things to say about myself (a bit braggy today aren't we?)  But here are some things to think about when you join a Twitter Hop & want to blog about it:

 Did it move you?  - Like I mentioned with this branding chat, it really moved me!  If you join a chat & the topic really speaks to you, incorporate that into your blog.  If it's something you've experienced, feel you have some advice to give, or want to share your struggles with it others will appreciate it! We all want to know what to do & what to avoid when growing blogs, etc.  This is the first one that really moved me & it's because it's a topic I am personally interested in.  If it moves you, blog about it!

 Did you get some awesome resources to look at?  - Through these chats a lot of people pass along resources that they love or look to for direction.  If you're like me, you go through & favorite these resources as their mentioned to come back to later so you can keep up with the chat.  If you've found some links or even blogs you love through the chat, share them with your readers! Everyone loves finding new blogs!  This is great if you've found a topic that moves you OR if you're at a loss of what to post on a certain day.  You can do a quick & easy, yet informative round up of the resources and blogs you've found.  This type of post isn't just filler but it is super easy.  You're also paying it forward.

 Try out Something that's Trending  - A few weeks ago the chat was about using collages on your blog & how others created them.  For me, I go to Polyvore because mainly I'm lazy & it does it for me but others seemed to be leaning towards creating their own through photo editing programs (photoshop & the like).  While it seems pretty easy, I'm no background removing master so I thought I'd share how I use Polyvore in the chat (view the post here).  With chats that lean towards Trending Topics you learn what other bloggers think & what seems to be popular now.  Who would have thought that a lot of people think Polyvore collages are for the novices blogger but I think if you know how to do it right, you'll get an awesome collage.  I am more comfortable with them so this is one trend I'll skip out on.  I don't want to slave over Photoshop all day when a site can produce something just as good!

 Blog about the Twitter Hop  - This is another great thing if you're at a loss of what to post about.  Write up a little post summing up what the hop is about & invite readers to join.  You'll get more interaction with bloggers, other bloggers will be able to boost their blogs, & everyone loves Twitter right? (In the eBook I talk about how Twitter is like a big office building & how we pass our coworkers everyday.  It's good to say hello in the break room right?)

Overall I really think this Twitter hop has helped me out a lot! I've connected with bloggers, found some cool resources, & just plain like hanging out with like minded people.  It's a pretty fun time & I hope to see you there at 9pm EST next Monday! (Boy that's gonna be weird when I'm in Indiana! We'll be an hour ahead!)

Do you chat it up on Twitter? What Hops do you join? I've been meaning to join a few more!

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516VINTAGE Update // Our First 'Picking' Experience

I think I've mentioned before that I am not a very good talker when it comes to talking deals at garage sales & flea markets.  I just find the good stuff & Zach makes the offers.  We're a good team.

Well on Saturday we ran into a nice, yet a little terrifying but totally awesome lady who ran a fruit stand slash yard sale thing.  When we walked up, we were greeted by a terrifying Doberman who actually turned out to be the sweetest & well trained dog.  (Big dogs scare me to death!)  After some digging around, we found some cool stuff.  Then Zach got to talking.  Usually I tense up & pretend I'm not listening during this because I always feel pushy when trying to negotiate & Zach is always so confident.

We discovered that she has a lot of things she's getting ready to set out in the spring from her mother's estate.  After a failed attempt at a preview, Zach asked if there were any other places we should check out while we're in town.  She told us of a garage across the street owned by one of her friends full of junk.  Zach lit up & I got nervous.  Did I really want to dig around in someone else's junk? Would this really be helpful? We don't know these guys?  But Zach got the contact, we went to get lunch, then Zach got a call saying that the guy was home & would open the garage.

After donning our work gloves & me sweating out of nervousness, we pulled into the parking lot of an old gas station/storage unit for this family.  I was afraid we were going to find loads of dumb stuff...but we actually found some cool stuff (some of which I haven't photographed yet!):

This pretty cool Dachshund planter type deal.  I think it would look great as an herb planter or as a desk organizer.  I was so tempted to keep it for myself!  It's currently in the vintage shop.

A groovy mushroom wall hanging that seems to be made of some sort of foam.  It's 3D & the detail is really cool.  I cleaned it up a bit & the yellow just popped!  I listed it today too along with another wall hanging here.

We also found a wonderful Poloarid Land Camera in great condition even though the case was torn to shreds!  Unfortunately the photos of that are still on my card! I guess I didn't take them off!  I'll show ya later.  We found a lovely milk glass lamp & Zach picked up a cool set of shot glasses in a little case, too.

Then we hit up the Goodwill because the person we asked said that they usually have cool stuff with good character.  Since the town seemed small, we trusted that she knew what junk her neighbors would be getting rid of.  While we dont' usually buy up things from thrift stores, sometimes we pop in to see if we can find any unique stuff.

We found a solitary Merry Mushroom Mug from Sears & were sad to see that no other Merry Mushroom items were present.  But he's a good little guy to replace a broken one or just to have a single cup of coffee.  Lots of Mushroom stuff in the shop!

And these diner style mugs that I want to drink shakes out of everyday were found at the Goodwill.  Since we like story telling & memories, it's rather hard to justify things from the thrift store unless they are super unique.  To me, thrift stores are the retail store of vintage.  They're fine for everyday items & I buy things for my own collection but the real gems come from digging & talking to people!

I guess you could say our first Picking Experience was a success & I'm more open to the opportunity now.  I did open up & converse more about our brand and our venture with the fruit stand lady to see if that would help open any leads.....and I didn't feel too uncomfortable after it.  But I still don't think I could do the haggling & negotiating!

Have you ever been Picking? Where do you find little gems for your collections?

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Make it Monday // Bright & Festive Washi Tape Note Cards

Hello, hello last week in September.  How did you get here so fast?? I can't believe it.  It's getting chilly here in Michigan & I don't like it! Right now I'm sitting here with sweatpants, thick slipper socks, & a sweater and I'm still cold! What the heck??

Last week while at Target, I stumbled up on some Kid Made Moder paper tapes in Solid colors along with some Target brand Washi Tape.  Of course I needed something else to obsess over so I bought it up.  I've already hoarded any & all gobs of the stuff any time I can find it.  Really, I think I have a problem.  Actually, typing this makes me want to go buy more! (Maybe I will, you can't stop me!)

Here's what you'll need: blank note cards (mine were on sale at Target but I'm sure you could find some at the Dollar Store), washi or paper tape, scissors, marker/pen, & a pen pal.

You can also tape on the inside to create a space to write your message.  I did that to the hello! one to the left there but ended up writing a little more to my grandma! Now off to send a few of these to some relatives & friends!

How do you use washi tape? Did you see this awesome DIY from last week's Fan Friday?

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New Prints in Society6 Shop

I've sorta been obsessed with a fon't I shared yesterday named Bebas Neue.  I love using it to create super awesome bold statements.  I also have fallen back in love with Wisdom Script which used to be the font in my header ages ago but it didn't quite fit.  Man, my blog has gone through a lot of changes....

I thought I'd share with you a few new prints I've put up in the Society6 Shop this past few weeks:

 Carve Your Own Way (in neon green) Print (original)

I am a quote collector.  I am pretty sure it came from that scene in A Walk to Remember where Jaimie  reads a book of quotes I think her mother left (??).  I should say I haven't seen that move in ages!  But ever since I can remember I've been collecting quotes: on my computer, in my journals, on pinterest, in my head, etc to give me motivation.  For me, each quote is a connection with someone else, a connection with someone who's gone through the same thing.

When I was in college, my mirror was littered with purposeful sayings scribbled across yellow post it notes.  Each day I'd add more & more & more.  It became a morning mantra sort of thing to recite them back to myself.  Now, I can't remember what half of them said...but I know they changed me.

I'll continue to collect quotes & the most precious will get memorized so they are not misplaced.  Collecting seems to be a part of who I am.  Collecting things that make me connect with other people are the most special.

To shop all art prints, iphone cases, cards, etc head on over to my Society6 shop here.

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Fan Friday # 74

Another week down.  Shoot.  September is almost over.  Are you kidding me?? I don't want to cause too much alarm, but this time next week we hope to be moving into our little yellow house! Yay!! right?

Here are the things I'm loving this week:

This awesome Taped Work Table by Elsie from Elsie Blaha.  Are you kidding!?! After I found some of the solid colored Kid Made Modern Tape Kam from Campfire Chic tweeted me the project.  Now, I need to go snatch up more tape! As if I needed another craft supply to hoard....I am falling for tape!

I have a little drawer thing I found at Target on sale that I want to cover.  Gotta go back to Target!

This otherworldy, super dreamy photo from Feature Sponsor Jessica of Jessica Who?  Don't the water droplets look like sequins? What an awesome shot!

This! Please, God this! Found here on Etsy along with many other gorgeous things (one, two, three).  When Zach & I were out a couple of weeks ago I saw a blanket like this on a bed in the Furniture store & fell in love.  Glad to know where I can pick one up!  It's just gorgeous!!

This blanket found on this awesome website.  I wish I had the patience to do a blanket like this.  The granny square ones I make are much faster!  But the stripes on this...oh man.  I do have a lot of spare yarn left over from making blankets...maybe I'll do this with it.  Zach would like this one better than the granny square ones, I know!

Link Love

++ 516VINTAGE has made 2 sales this month! Yay!!  Now, I just need to do some balance between vintage & handmade.  Still working on moving things over to a new storefront for the beginning of the year!++

++EVERYTHING in MaryGrace's Pinterest boards.  So beautifully curated (unlike mine!).  Check the blog, too.++

++I've got a thing for blankets & this one with crosses is no exception.  Can't get enough graphic prints!  This pinterest board makes my heart happy.++

++This blog design.  Love it.  Reminds me of what I'm working on currently that I can't wait to blog about! ++

Enjoy your weekend! We're going to ArtPrize here in Grand Rapids & I just found out my college ceramics professor has a piece in it.  I can't wait to see her work again!

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Boost Your Blog // 5 Simple Ways to Pair Fonts

In my design career I've made a thousand million poor design choices.  But that's called learning :) I will say that finding that perfect, harmonic design balance is something I still find myself struggling with even as I progress through all I learn.

A big part of this finding balance was discovering harmony with fonts.  Now, Five Sixteenths has featured a whole load of different fonts over the course of it's life time and while I really love blogs that seem to be able to pull off using many assorted fonts, I've finally decided to use just a few here on 516.  Today I want to share with you 5 simple font pairings for your blog, invites, or any other text based project.  These tips sort of go off of the new DIY blog design (check out the old design here) & how fonts create a look for your blog.  

You can learn how to take a complete blog design from start to finish -including what serif & sans serif fonts say about your design- in the Blogging Basic eBook released earlier this September

Paring Fonts:
Pairing two fonts together, let's do this! The bigger font in the examples below is intended for your header or post titles & the smaller font is intended for your post body.

Handwritten + Sans Serif
Dakota & Josefin Sans
Sans Serif + Different Sans Serif:
Bebas Neue & Josefin Sans
 Sans Serif + Serif
Caviar Dreams & Didot
 Strong Serif + Rounded Sans Serif
Josefin Slab & Questrial
Classic Serif Font + Another Classic Serif Font
Didot & Georgia
One more tip: Keep handwritten fonts in the header or post title of your blog.  In these places, the font is big enough to see the words clearly.  Handwritten or cursive fonts in a body of text at a small font size are incredibly hard to read!  

Some of these fonts are built into the Template Designer here in Blogger & others are Google Web Fonts you can use in your template through html.  The great thing about the Template Designer is the ability to play with & pair fonts and instantly see the result in the preview!  Since fonts give a lot to your design, consider how well they pair together & what you want the fonts to bring to the design.

I hope this made a bit of sense to you & helps you see how fonts work together!

What are your favorite fonts?

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Wednesday Decor // Our Dream Basement Redo

The other day, Zach used his MS Paint skills and drew the basic layout of the basement in the new house & then turned to me.  He asked 'So what are you thinking for the basement?'  I said, 'Honestly, I don't have a clue, what are you thinking?'

He proceded to draw out an awesome layout for our dream basement!  Upon moving it we have to do a few renovations & fixes in the basement so a little bit of a framework will be there for us to work on as we go through our time in this house.  In the end this is how Zach & I would like to see our lovely little home:

While we do have a huuuugggeee upstairs with a living room as well, we are hoping to eventually have two bedrooms upstairs OR a giant master bedroom.  While we aren't going to be tackling all of this at once (obviously) it's a good project to work on in bits & pieces.  We are moving into a pretty move-in-ready house which I am happy about.  I feel like the past 6 years have been a weird state of extended transition.  From moving around in college to not being able to settle down in our apartment in Williamsburg to moving up to Michigan in July & then eventually on to Indiana by the end of the month I am ready to nail my belongings to the ground! I just want to settle down!  But an opportunity to make a house our home is exciting.

You can catch some insight into what I'd have in the craft storage/spare bedroom/room of requirement here, but this is an insight into the idea behind the living room:

living room

Zach has a few bookshelves, nice dark brown coffee table, & a suede-ish couch and recliner.  I have a few bright red/orange pillows that I'm determined to sneak in there.  We need to add some baskets for storage & a throw to keep us warm.  This will be our main room for entertaining so we are going to eventually add a bit more seating room, some more side tables.  Zach's large flat screen will sit in front of everything.

The only thing I ended up contributing to this was a design tidbit from the Nate Berkus show!  Having such a long room like that, Nate Berkus said to create zones to break up the bowling alley look.  So we are going to probably do some sort of separater, whether it be shelves or what not between the desk area & the living area.  Zach needs a lot of space to tinker around so his part of this cool shaped desk will be super long & I'll just need it to sit & design.  I feel like I'm going to be all around this house!  Dabbling in a lot of different things means a lotta different spaces but I hope to be spending a load of time in with my wheel & kiln.  I can't wait to seriously kick that off!

So that is a little insight into what we're thinking as we move a little closer to the closing date.  We're still working out bugs but we hope to be in there by the end of the month!

Do you have any dream redos for your space?

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Trend Tuesday // Halloween Decor in the Vintage Shop

516VINTAGE has made it's first two sales. Yippee!!! Today I want to share with you some new (& old) items in the shop that are perfect for your Halloween & Fall decor:

A Dangerous Outdoor Living book in bright orange.  Perfect for a Halloween vignette!  Pick up a skull or two from the Halloween store or craft store & place on top a stack of books featuring dangerous titles!

Set of 3 amber colored lidded containers perfect to hold all of your creepy crawlies, dontcha think?  Great for after Halloween to store your bits & bobs in your craft room or doodads in the kitchen.

There's lot's of different shades of amber glass in the shop but how about this Erlenmeyer Flask shaped container? I can see some more creepy crawlies right next to the DANGER! vignette!

There's a whole lotta vintage in the shop right now & Zach and I are excited to celebrate our two sales.

Will you use vintage to decorate for Halloween??

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Make it Monday // Motivation Printable

A lot of the Business/Success/Growth/Goal posts here on Five Sixteenths tend to reflect the emotional roller coaster I feel I'm on sometimes on my route to successful self-employment. Sometimes things are going great, sometimes there's a struggle, but a lot of times the posts are there to motivate me & get all of my thoughts out to move forward.

As we are moving closer & closer to our closing date on the house and because I've seen a little flurry of sales both in the Five Sixteenths Shop & the 516VINTAGE shop (hooray!), I am thinking more & more about motivation.  Keeping momentum requires active reflection of the reasons you're doing it the first place.  As an avid list maker, keeping my motivation buried in a notebook has been doing it so far but now that I'll have a place (our new house!) to focus & work, I think I need to post my motivation so I'll see it everyday!

So I designed this little thing to print, frame, & hang above my desk:

And guess what? Here is a blank one for you! Print it out & fill it in using your own hand writing, before you print it, find a fun handwritten font & add it to the image, OR print it out, frame it, & use a dry erase marker to change out your motivation when you need to!  So many options!

full size image here

So go ahead, get motivated!  This is great for any sort of motivation you may need: Starting your own business, getting to the grocery store, reaching a goal, etc.  I may print out a few of these to hang in various rooms of the house!

5 reasons to go to the grocery in the kitchen
5 reasons to do the laundry above the washer
5 reasons to make the bed in the bedroom
5 reasons to clean up my studio in my studio

I can come up with 5 good reasons to do all of those things!

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