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July 2016

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Origami Line Art Free Printable

Origami Line Art Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Q: What’s simultaneously the most excruciating and most cathartic task?

A: Cleaning off your desktop and organizing your computer into folders.

Am I right!?

The only thing that even comes close to the same agony/ecstasy is deleting emails till you have a clean inbox.

Whew, boy.

I just sorted my desktop and downloads folder, and I found a ton of projects that I’d forgotten about, including this origami line art that I created in Illustrator when I was fooling around after taking a few Skillshare* tutorials.

Have you ever taken a Skillshare course? The thing I like the most about them is that there are so many short, 15-minute tutorials in literally any topic you’re interested in.

So far I’ve taken lots of Illustrator and Photoshop courses (there are always more shortcuts to learn!), as well as calligraphy and entrepreneur training. The best part? I’ve only spent 99 cents on all this quality training — seriously, three months for 99 cents.

If you click on this Skillshare link and sign up, you also can get three months for 99 cents. So worth every penny.

Anyway, back to the origami art I unsurfaced. This was a fun, who-knows-where-this-is-going abstract project that turned out better than I expected it to. Couldn’t you see it hanging in a chic minimal living room … perhaps even your room?

Origami Line Art Free Printable

Origami Line Art Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Free download below is a high-res PDF. Note that free download includes a watermark on the bottom. Watermark-free versions of my printables are available in the shop.

Fine print: Personal use only. Play nice, yadda yadda yadda, do not attempt to sell or pass off as your own. © Little Gold Pixel LLC

Tools: Illustrator

Origami Line Art Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

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Origami Line Art Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

 

15 Beach-Worthy Books

If there’s one thing that signifies summer in my mind, it’s the image of my mom sitting in a beach chair reading a beach-worthy book.

Maybe it’s because I only saw her doing this on our summer vacations, maybe it’s the nature of having the luxury of time when you’re facing lapping waves on the sand. Whatever the reason, I don’t feel like it’s truly summer until I go to the beach with a book and slow down for a few hours.

15 Beach-Worthy Books • Little Gold Pixel

So it’s with this criteria in mind that I present to you 15 beach-worthy reads.

What makes a book beach-worthy? Your definition will vary, I’m sure, but for me a beach-worthy book is one that, regardless of genre, either (1) takes place in summer, (2) in a vacation spot or (3) near the ocean.

15 Beach-Worthy Books • Little Gold Pixel

 

Beach-Worthy Books: Growing Pains

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If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful I Never Would Have Let You Go

Setting: 1972, Elephant Beach, New Jersey
Snarky Synopsis: 18-year-old Katie hangs on the periphery of a ragtag group of ruffians for the summer.
Summer Vibe: Drugs, Vietnam War fallout and disenfranchised youth

the-wonder-bread-summer
The Wonder Bread Summer

Setting: 1980s California
Snarky Synopsis: Highly improbable things happen when 20-year-old Allie steals a Wonder Bread bag full of uncut cocaine from her employer in an effort to recoup wages owed to her.
Summer Vibe: Road trip!

summer-of-naked-swim-parties
The Summer of Naked Swim Parties

Setting: 1976 Santa Barbara
Snarky Synopsis: 14-year-old Jamie comes of age. A first boyfriend, less innocence, and naked swim parties hosted by her hippie parents.
Summer Vibe: Free, lazy summer days of youth in which anything is possible and disaster lurks behind every corner

big-sur
Big Sur

Setting: 1960s California
Snarky Synopsis: Man hopes to escape fame by staying in a cabin in Big Sur but ends up having to battle his own alcoholic demons instead.
Summer Vibe: Like giant waves crashing into the craggy cliffs that comprise the California coastline

Beach-Worthy Books: Chick Lit That’s Not

blue-bistro
The Blue Bistro

Setting: Nantucket
Snarky Synopsis: Adrienne spends her summers working for hotels in exotic beach towns. This summer she ends up in Nantucket, where she ends up working at a restaurant for the first time.
Summer Vibe: Salty breezes, sultry nights, booze and food

how-to-love
How to Love

Setting: Southern Florida
Snarky Synopsis: Teen mom’s baby daddy comes back to town, and all bets are off.
Summer Vibe: Stifling humidity with a slight chance of breeze

Beach-Worthy Books: Historical Fiction

thechaperone
The Chaperone

Setting: 1922 New York
Snarky Synopsis: Woman chaperones 15-year-old Louise Brooks from Wichita to New York for dancing school. Adventures ensue.
Summer Vibe: Hot summer in the city

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Hemingway’s Girl

Setting: 1930s Key West
Snarky Synopsis: Woman works as a housekeeper for Ernest Hemingway and navigates hardships, especially when a hurricane arrives that threatens the safety of everyone she loves.
Summer Vibe: Boats, beaches & tropical plights

beautiful-ruins
Beautiful Ruins

Setting: Porto Vergogna, 1962
Snarky Synopsis: Intergenerational storyline revolves around a Richard Burton plot line, which sounds like it will be terrible but it’s actually very good.
Summer Vibe: Searing sun, bright blue water, every story is a love story

along-the-infinite-sea
Along the Infinite Sea

Setting: Palm Beach, 1966 & Europe, 1930s
Snarky Synopsis: Intergenerational storyline revolves around a vintage Mercedes and two women who go on impromptu road trips when it’s clear their lives are in danger.
Summer Vibe: Road trip, lingering on the beach, unrequited love

Beach-Worthy Books: Mystery & Intrigue

murder-at-the-brightwell
Murder at the Brightwell

Setting: Brighton and Hove, Sussex, England, 1932
Snarky Synopsis: Bored wife goes on holiday with a friend to a beach resort, where she becomes embroiled in murder.
Summer Vibe: Resort playground of the rich and stealthy

great-gatsby
The Great Gatsby

Setting: 1922 New York & Long Island
Snarky Synopsis: Man assumes a fake name, buys a giant house on Long Island and throws lavish parties to impress a very selfish woman.
Summer Vibe: Drunken nights jumping into swimming pools + the hangover the next morning

and-then-there-were-none
And Then There Were None

Setting: An island
Snarky Synopsis: 10 guests arrive on the island for fun and games. Then they start dying.
Summer Vibe: Vacation gone bad.

Beach-Worthy Books: All Hell Breaks Loose

rogue-wave
Rogue Wave

Setting: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Snarky Synopsis: Man takes it upon himself to save everyone he knows from an impending series of tsunamis.
Summer Vibe: It’s Hawaii, so … Hawaii!

the-beach
The Beach

Setting: Thailand
Snarky Synopsis: Traveler stumbles upon a utopian island, but all is not what it seems. Leo is great in the movie, but the book (per usual) is even better.
Summer Vibe: Discovery, living free, constant sand in hair don’t care

15 Beach-Worthy Books • Little Gold Pixel

Do you have a beach-worthy book that needs to be added to this list? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Books I can’t stop thinking about (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2)

P.P.S. Island daydreaming!

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity + Free Printable

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity + Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

I’m really excited to share this minimal business planner with you because it’s already helping me manage tasks and time so much better than before.

Before … I was a serial multitasker. Always adding tasks, sometimes never finishing tasks.

Multitasking, man.

For the longest time I was actually proud of myself for being a good multitasker. I’m not sure why. It’s like someone showed up at my door with a bag full of 50 tasks and told me I’d be a millionaire if I could juggle them all at once.

Look at me, juggling 50 tasks! Juggling 50 tasks at a time is so easy — what’s one more?

Now, years later, I have 200 tasks in the air and not a single check with six zeroes.

Excuse me?!

Friends, I need to drop these hypothetical balls right now because I’m one person and there are infinite tasks out there waiting to be juggled. I need to create a system.

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity (It saved mine!)

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity + Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

I noticed the multitasking overload this year, which happens to be the year that I’m working toward becoming a bonafide entrepreneur with this business (this blog, the shop and plans beyond both).

Here’s how my days have gone lately:

  • Think of a million ideas for my side business throughout the workday.
  • Come home, spend time with my family, continue thinking about those ideas.
  • Late at night, look at my computer and wonder what I should do first.
  • Start with one, painfully tedious task that ends up taking three hours (and my entire night).
  • Repeat.

I am quite literally dropping the ball here.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been on this blog less often in recent months. I’ve been sporadic about sending out newsletters. I’m taking forever to populate the shop.

Can you say burnout?

Then, one day when I could’ve been coming up with a million plans I’d never execute, I thought of this instead: Why don’t I come up with just one thing a day I can do for each aspect of my business?

So I created a little schedule and divided it into four parts: Biz, Blog, Social, Create

And I created three small (teensy, tiny) lines for each section, for each day of the week. The small size is important because it forces you to really come up with very focused tasks, ones that can be described in 2-6 words.

How to Use This Business Planner

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity + Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Because it’s so minimal, you’ll never get bogged down with minutiae. Why? Because you have a clear goal.

“List 3 items” means exactly that. Don’t talk yourself into doing “just one more” or get sucked into your analytics or something. List 3 items. Cross it off. Done. Move on to the next task. “Curate next Frame Game.” This means I will take some time to round up printables for my next post. I am not going to write the post. I’ll save that for the next day.

See where I’m going with this? No need to do so much at once that you end up doing less overall. These little tasks add up, and before you know it you’ve accomplished a lot more than usual.

If you’re really on top of it, you might plan out your entire week in advance. Me? I like to work two days ahead at a time, that way I can change course if something comes up.

I made an editable version to share with you — editable so you can change the words across the top to make sense for your life. For instance, maybe you need help organizing your cleaning schedule. Or organizing your meal plan. The possibilities!

Get the minimal planner for free

How a Minimal Business Planner Can Save Your Sanity + Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Download

Simply open up the PDF in Acrobat and choose to “edit PDF” to change these words. The font I am using here is Lobster Two, which is free to download in case you do not have it already. You can also change the font to anything you choose (my personal favorite is Insomnia).

Do let me know if you print this out and use it. Tag me on social media (@littlegoldpixel everywhere). Hopefully it’s as much of a game-changer for you as it is for me!

P.S. Check out my top 10 design tools to make your creative process even easier.


FINE PRINT: This post may contain affiliate links. I only link to things I use and love. You get something awesome, I get a few awesome pennies. It’s a win-win!

Pretty in Pastel Gallery Wall for an Elegant Bedroom

Pretty in Pastel Gallery Wall for an Elegant Bedroom • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers’ gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities. Click here to see past Frame Games.

Today’s wall was inspired by Shay, who is looking for ways to bring some pastel elegance into her bedroom.

Her key words:

“Simple, elegant, pastel colours. Unusual images, vintage.”

Some of the specific loves she mentioned were J.K. Rowling and Back to the Future.

Pretty in Pastel Gallery Wall for an Elegant Bedroom

Pretty in Pastel Gallery Wall for an Elegant Bedroom • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Shay’s request was a little on the minimal side, which ultimately jives with the rest of her keywords (simple, elegant).

She did give me a link to her Tumblr, which I promptly spent an hour scrolling through and chuckling at the memes. It’s always helpful to see a peek of the personality of the person I’m working with. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram — send me your links so I can pick up on your vibes.

Soft colors and simple imagery with a kick of vintage – that’s what I went for. With just enough black thrown in to be sassy. You gotta have the sass.

To download these printables, click on the links below the roundup to go to the original download pages.

Pretty in Pastel Gallery Wall for an Elegant Bedroom • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Very Little Is Needed to Make a Happy LifeAbstract PastelThe Summer Lady • Vintage Astronomy Prints (2) • Bally posterGeometric Ice Cream Cones • Calm Ocean PhotoHot Tub PhotoEverything is Awesome posterFlowers on Her HairMusicianChanging Skies Gradient Paper

If You Wanna Splurge

Sometimes, no matter how long you search for the perfect free printable (hey, it might still be out there!), there comes a time in every curator’s life when you simply must pay for good, quality art. Please do. I believe in supporting artists!

This is what I’d buy for Shay. I really wanted to work in some Harry Potter or Back to the Future art for her, but I was coming up short. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks, though, worlds of possibility open up. Take a look at “This is Heavy” by Jade Jones and the Harry Potter Patronus Charm by Digital Print Charlie, both of which would fit perfectly into the color scheme of the gallery wall I created above.

pastel_framegame4

 

Interested in being featured on the Frame Game?

Since I’ve started rounding up free printables, I’ve received a lot of emails seeking help with various scenarios you have in your homes. The Frame Game queue is quite long right now, and wait times could be a year or longer.

If you have a pressing decor dilemma you’d like me to solve in the meantime, I do offer gallery wall consultations with a guaranteed delivery date of a week or less.

Check out my packages:

Feel free to contact me for any custom needs or to be added to the looooooong Frame Game queue.


P.S. The frames featured in this post are mockups. Check the individual download pages for details on ideal image size. Want to print something huge but it’s sized at 8×10? Consider a larger frame with a mat. (Example here.)

10 Design Tools to Boost Creativity + Free Printable Guide

10 Design Tools to Boost Creativity + Free Printable Guide • Little Gold Pixel

10 Design Tools to Boost Creativity

At least a few times a week, I get emails asking about various stages of my process. I’ve been responding to these queries as they come in, like a dope, when it occurred to me that hey! I could create a post that answers everyone’s questions at once.

So here we go.

I’ve been saving up my replies for a few months, and finally came up with a top 10 list of design tools/software I use on an everyday basis.

The best part?

I’ve included a mix of paid services/software and free resources. You have everything here that you need to start creating your own designs. The key is to just start.

1. Adobe Creative Cloud

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There are a lot of free tools out there, and I might even be able to show you how to use them with good results, but nothing substitutes the trio of Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. I use the design holy trinity every single day of my life. You really cannot beat the versatility and adaptability of these programs.

Cost: Plans start at $9.99/mo (for Photoshop alone). I pay $29.99/mo for the entire suite. It’s worth every penny.

2. Wacom Tablet

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This is the trick behind most of my handwritten/hand-drawn elements. You can play with brushes to get the exact feel you’re going for. I like to rock it out, and also to play it soft.

Cost: Varies. $200-$400.

3. Creative Market

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From stock photography to fonts to illustrations to brushes, this store cannot be beat. I find it rejuvenating to purchase design elements from time to time. Not only does the purchase support a fellow artist, it’s also a catalyst to inspire a new point of view or technique. A new font can break you out of a style rut, for instance.

Cost: Prices are set by seller, but pay attention every Monday for free deals!

4. Watercolors & Paints

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Seriously. I sit with my kid and make art. Sometimes it looks good, other times it is trash. Always it is inspiring to make something with my hands. I usually get ideas that I wouldn’t normally get otherwise, like my Holly Jolly Christmas printable. See also: watercolors on Instagram.

Cost: Minimal. You just need an imagination and a willingness to get your hands dirty, literally.

5. Pinterest & Behance

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I like to get a little lost pinning stuff that inspires me. Sometimes I will see something with the perfect colors or a saying that I need to re-create. The key here is inspiration. Copying isn’t cool. I have a running Google doc with random notes like “Beatles illustration.” I look at this doc when I’m feeling blocked. Man, I need to make that Beatles illustration! Someday soon, hopefully! In the meantime, check out these Beatles lyrics printables.

Cost: Nothing at all. Well, maybe a few hours down the rabbithole.

6. YouTube & Skillshare

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Sometimes I want to attempt something I haven’t tried before (always challenge yourself!), and to get started I’ll search for a tutorial. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me when I want to learn new shortcuts or techniques, especially in Adobe Creative Cloud. There are a million ways to do every little thing — no kidding!

Cost: $Free/YouTube; $Varies/get 3 months for $.99 with this link: Skillshare

7. Adobe Capture

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This phone app lets me capture shapes out “in the wild” that I can then use as the basis for brushes or vectors. I’m almost as obsessed with this as I am with Snapchat selfie filters. But you don’t post a lot of selfies on Snapchat, Vanessa! I know. You’re welcome. My phone is full of screenshots, though!

Cost: Free to install; may or may not be costs associated with account (since I’m already an Adobe CC customer, I just sign in).

8. HUNGRY JPEG

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Besides Creative Market, this is my other favorite shop for grabbing fonts, vectors and brushes. The bundles are always a great deal (you get sooo much for your money). And don’t forget to check out the freebies.

Cost: There are freebies. Most other prices vary, depending on whether you buy a la carte or via a bundle. Bundles are usually around $29. Also, check out the $1 section for even more deals.

9. Free Stock Images

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I’m not the best sketch artist — unless I have a digital brush and eraser. My quick trick? I will search for a free stock image and sketch side by side to make my initial illustrations. Visual Hunt is a good one-stop source for this.

Cost: Free.

10. Little Gold Pixel Design Resources

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For personal-use items, I have a great resource guide on the blog that I update often. Bookmark accordingly!

Cost: Free — both the list AND the resources, a win-win.

Get the printable/clickable guide!

10 Design Tools to Boost Creativity + Free Printable Guide • Little Gold Pixel

Get Your Free Design Whiz Kit

My TOP 10 tools to boost your design creativity & confidence!


THE FINE PRINT: This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission should you purchase something. I would never send you somewhere that didn’t have awesome stuff, rest assured! And thank you for supporting Little Gold Pixel.