Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall 2016


Fall is in full swing! The weather this weekend has been picture perfect in my book. Sunny with enough coolness in the air to warrant a sweater and closed-toed footwear.

We spent Saturday morning at The Strong Museum of Play, a local treasure for kids and families. We had a blast! It was our first time taking Marshall, and there was literally so much to do and see, we didn't have time to make it through everything we wanted to. Which means we'll have to go back again, soon! 

Saturday evening, we went to a couple farms nearby to show Marshall the inside of a "real" tee-pee and take home some pumpkins. It was such a beautiful time of day. If autumn stayed like this for months and months, I'd be pretty happy. But, alas, winter is always trailing close behind. We won't talk about that just yet! 

Today, after church and lunch, while we were still dressed in our "church clothes" we went outside to snap a few family photos. It's definitely a challenge to get Marshall to stay in one spot, stand still and smile! But we got a few great ones. 

Happy Fall, y'all! 






How cute is this little pumpkin?? I can't even take it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sohl Design Dot Com





It's official! My professional website, SohlDesign.com, is live and open for business. I offer custom design solutions and art direction for a variety of projects.

The truth is, my site has been up and running for a while, I've just been working on it for so long, and tweaking and re-tweaking everything, that I never made a formal announcement. Plus, as a designer, I find it very intimidating to publish and advertise my own work. I'm probably my own worst critic, but I have such a hard time letting things go until they're "absolutely perfect" in my mind. 

Running my own design business and freelancing has long been a dream of mine. One that I'm so excited to see starting to come true. I would love for you to view my work. With over ten years of experience, I specialize in a variety of print and marketing materials, including, but not limited to:

Packaging (food and non-food)
Logos / Branding
Business Collateral Materials (business cards, pens, brochures, direct mail + more)
Wedding and Event Invitations
Art Direction for Photography 
Food Styling

If you, or someone you know, has a design project coming up, I would be happy to start a conversation and explore working together. Please visit SohlDesign.com for details and to contact me directly via email. 

I look forward to working with you!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Danielle & Trevor's Guestbook & Table Signs


My beautiful cousin, Danielle, and her husband, Trevor, got married this past June. It was a picture perfect day in Geneva, NY, and we got to celebrate with family that we don't see as often as we'd like. 

Aren't they an adorable couple?

Their wedding colors were periwinkle, light purple, pearl and silver. So pretty! 


I was so happy to design their guest book, signs and table numbers. I really like creating those special little details for weddings. 


Danielle's idea for the guestbook, was to make it a calendar "record" of birthdays and anniversaries, that each guest would sign on the appropriate date(s). What a fun and useful keepsake!

Maybe a bride and groom already have invitations picked out, but need additional signs and accents that will complete their big day. I'm always happy to design corresponding pieces that will tie everything together. Favor tags, ceremony programs, table signs, gift boxes - anything you can dream up that needs a special look

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Summer Ohlympics


10 Points to the person who can find what's wrong with my super fancy Ohlympics sign. 

You guys. Summer. 

It's the middle of August and it's been HOT around here. We've been playing outside, going to parks, staying inside in the air conditioning (SO thankful for that!), and spending some time with family. We recently made a trip to Pennsylvania for our annual summer visit and took part in our own little OHLYMPICS - see what I did there? 


Poppi set up his world-famous slip and slide in the front yard and the fun began!





Complete with a cushy spectator area, 4-wheel rides and a kiddie pool. 


It was nice just hanging out and visiting with each other. I cannot get over how grown up our nieces are. Slow down, time! 


Marshall enjoyed playing outside, investigating the garage (of course) and riding the big wheels. He's one cool guy!


I wish I took a few more group shots, but sometimes it's better to enjoy the moment and not be snapping photos left and right. Thank you, Laura for this awesome pic of Marshall with his sunglasses!

We got to see the newlyweds, David and Elsa, too!



This photo of the three cutest little cousins, is my favorite. I wanted to recreate the picture we took last summer when Marshall was just 6 months old.


I can not get over the difference ONE YEAR has made and how much they've all grown! Eeeek! This whole time passing thing is surreal. 

I hope you're all enjoying these days of summer. Savor every last bit. I cringe when I see back to school ads appear in July (or earlier) and see hints of fall approaching. Even though it's been ridiculously hot for us lately, I'll still take this over snow in  heartbeat! Get out there and enjoy some sun!  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Marshall: 18 Months


And just like that, by baby boy is 1 1/2. 






It is such a joy to watch his personality developing each day. He is funny and sweet and very LOUD. Lately he's been going through a shouting phase. I fear for my hearing. He eats and sleeps well. His smile and his laugh are my absolute favorite! He is very helpful, especially when it's time to Swiffer and vacuum. And SO smart. He knows an understands so much. We like going to the park and playing outside. And listening and dancing to music. He loves his Mommy and Daddy and we love him with all our hearts! 

I hope the next six months slow down a bit because I'm not ready for the infamous two's... 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mom


Today, I feel like a stay at home mom. 

My almost 1 1/2 year old slept in (after waking once in the night). I made us pancakes for breakfast. We played outside. While he napped in the afternoon, I baked banana chocolate chip muffins. Ironically, I don't have a vehicle this week, so I feel even more "stranded" at home. But, I assure you, this is not a typical day for us. Some days are easy and some days are really hard. 

I read an article which captured it well. After working full-time for a decade, in my chosen profession, and then making the transition to staying home to care for my son full-time, I can say wholeheartedly that it is wonderful and it is amazing hard work. I can't tell you how thankful I am to be able to witness all of Marshall's firsts. I don't have to rush him out the door every morning to go to work (at a job that I truly enjoyed). I'm the one who changes his diapers all day long, feeds him endless snacks throughout the day, and takes him to the park. We can even stop for ice cream in the middle of the afternoon (usually more for me than for him). He's watching me and I'm teaching him every single day, all day. It's amazing, it really is. 

It's also more work than anyone can prepare you for. Before having a child, my husband and I had a pretty laid back lifestyle. We both worked 9-5 jobs, but we ate dinner together, relaxed and watched TV, took day trips and vacations, SLEPT IN, enjoyed hobbies, shopping, doing projects around the house. At the time, I knew I had a lot of "free" time, I just didn't realize that it would be completely eaten up and so much harder to come by, after having a baby.

I'd say that time has been the biggest adjustment for me. The lack of time to do regular tasks, like take a shower, go to the store, read, sit down and eat a meal in peace, see friends. My entire day revolves around my sweet babes schedule and his nap time. Oftentimes I feel like I'm racing against the clock. Trying to get as much done as possible in my limited "free" time. I've been realizing, the more time passes, that I continually need to die to myself and that the "old me" is not who she was anymore. Not entirely gone, but definitely different. I'm not living for myself, I'm living for someone else. A sweet, funny, sometimes screaming, busy, growing, determined, has a mind of his own, little boy. It's hard to give up "me time" and say "no" to people and activities I wish I could partake in. It's hard for me not to get dressed up and wear makeup and actually do my hair. I miss being able to sit at my favorite spot, sipping a latte while eating a scone. In silence. Alone. 

And the exhaustion. I don't know if it's because I'm raising a boy, but he wears me out! We go from one activity to the next, trying to keep him busy, entertained, and happy. All. Day. Long. The other day, we went to the splash park, went for a bike ride, played outside, then in the evening went for a stroller walk before bed. It's go, go, go! My days are full, from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed at night. Don't forget meal times and snacks for days. By the time I collapse on the couch and ponder what I want to do with my couple hours before bed, I'm too tired to do anything. 

But, I keep reminding myself, that each day, he's never going to be this little again. Every single day is a gift. One that we get to share together. We can laugh and have fun and explore. It's not going to last. I'm already in disbelief that he's almost 1 1/2. He's not a baby anymore. He is definitely an active toddler and is growing by the minute. 

And I'm so thankful that I get to share every minute with him. Being a mom, and being a stay at home mom, is truly a gift, in so many ways. 

Even on the tough days.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Freelance Fresh Night Out Takeaways


Earlier this month, I attended my first Freelance Fresh Night Out, put on by the RAF (Rochester Advertising Federation). The event featured a panel of freelance and agency creatives, sharing tips and advice that any working professional could put into practice. And I got a cool, free t-shirt!

I always find it inspiring and encouraging to be in a room full of fellow artists, talking shop, and sharing ways to improve (and what not to do). Especially since I've been making my way solely as a freelance graphic designer and art director, since leaving my full time job over a year ago. 

I'll jot down a few of my key takeaways: 

Brand yourself (well) and be aware of your personal brand. Especially your online presence. Be mindful of how you use social medial (positive and negative). People are watching. 

Make sure people know what you do. Not everyone may be aware of what you have to offer. Make it known.

"Bug people," in the nicest way possible. Get your name out there. Remind them that you're available for hire. Ask them if they could use your services. Keep your name on their list of people to call. 

Be buttoned up. Do good work. Be organized. Be professional. Don't leave loose ends. Don't make an employer have to hold your hand throughout a project. Follow directions.

Be confident. Know your stuff and be confident in the skills and talents that are uniquely yours.

Focus on your strengths and do them well. Don't pretend you can do something that you can't or aren't an expert at. 

Reach out to other artists/creatives/professionals in your field. Spur one another on. Ask for help or advice. Share insights. 

Stay relevant. Keep your portfolio up to date. Know the latest trends and technology.