Journey with Jess | Inspiration for your Creative Side

Inspiration for your Creative Side

International Travel + FREE PRINTABLE Checklist

Printable, Travel, Monthly BagJessica WozniczkaComment
TravelCheckList-forSSPost.jpg

This coming Tuesday, I'll be traveling to Krakow, Poland for vacation and to also visit my husbands' family. We leave Aug 22 and get back home Aug 31 - which leaves us a full week to explore. We are flying to Berlin, Germany and driving to Krakow [to save us some $], so I'm excited to see the sites and landscapes on the 6 hour car ride there. I am no stranger to international travel, but this will be my first time visiting Poland. For whatever reason, international travel is always hard on me. It makes me so exhausted and I always have a difficult time with jet lag. We have quite the long trek ahead of us Wednesday and I would be lying if I said I was a little apprehensive about the journey. I know most people say to just sleep on the plane, but I can never get comfortable enough to sleep on a plane. My only option is to push through the day.

Before I even worry about getting there, I have to start the arduous task of packing. I hate packing. I'm an over-packer and tend to bring more than necessary. I plan on packing sometime Sunday so I don't feel rushed packing the night before. I always get really anxious about packing and possibly forgetting something. I'll even have nightmares about forgetting essential items such as my camera or phone!

To keep my sanity (and hopefully help with organization), I've created a packing checklist. I'm really big into check lists and without them I can sometimes become a little scattered-brained. This checklist is free for your personal use and you can print directly from your home printer. Although I'll be traveling internationally, you can easily use this checklist for domestic travel as well. The checklist is 8.5 x 11" PDF

We're staying at an Airbnb which has wifi available, but I'm not sure how easily I'll be able toblog while away. I'm hoping I'll be able to at least post a few photos and a little blurb about each. But If not, I'll be back to the daily grind of things September 1.

I absolutely LOVE the Lonely Planet travel guides. I used the Tokyo one last September it was so helpful! I highly suggest these when traveling internationally and the small pocket size book is the perfect size.

Monthly Ipsy Bag Value - August 2017

Blogging, Makeup, Monthly BagJessica WozniczkaComment
The "Good Vibes Only" Makeup bag is currently on ebay for $10.99.

The "Good Vibes Only" Makeup bag is currently on ebay for $10.99.

Last month, I started a new monthly blog reveal of the items I received in my Ipsy bag and their current retail value. This month the bag I received features a pink to blue gradient colored bag with the quote "Good Vibes Only." The bag is a good size and I like the decorative zipper and the shiny gold text. I noticed on the Ipsy website that there are two other bags featured and by luck of the draw I happened to get this one. 

The front of bag features the quote "Good Vibes Only." It's made of a pliable plastic. 

The front of bag features the quote "Good Vibes Only." It's made of a pliable plastic. 

I've received TheBalm brand past bags and was very excited to see I received another eye shadow. I got TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow in Kuwakaribisha. I really like the color because it's a light gold shimmery color - perfect for my skin and eye color. The other one I could have got was a darker shimmery brown eye shadow, so I'm really glad I got this one. Reg. Retail Price - $6.99

theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow

theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow

theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow

theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow

The next thing I pulled out was this EYEKO Magic Mascara Deluxe in Black. I was in DESPERATE need of a new mascara. My current one is way past its prime and is so dried out it was a struggle to screw the cap on. I really like the curved brush and that the package is squeezable. I hope this will make it easier to reach the last bits and reduce waste. Reg. Retail Price - $26.00

EYEKO Black Magic Mascara Deluxe

EYEKO Black Magic Mascara Deluxe

The next thing I found was this AURORA Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio. This is my first time seeing a concealer-type makeup in green. Needless to say I was slightly concerned I would end up looking like a goblin. But after reading more about it, it appears this color can help to reduce redness and cover-up blemishes. I have a rosacea on my right check so I'm excited to try and see if this actually helps hide some of the redness. Reg. Retail Price - $3.75.

AURORA Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio 

AURORA Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio 

The last two things in bag were this LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil (Reg. Retail Price - $24.00) & the Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner (Reg. Retail Price - $22.00). The moisturizer has anti-aging ingredients in it and is also suppose to help keep skin dewy. I have very dry skin so I'm excited to see if this help keep it under control. As for the liner, I've received an eyeliner in almost every Ipsy bag since I started in February 2017. No complaints here - I go through eyeliner so quickly and it saves me money from having to go to a drug store and pick up some. Once I've gone through my others, I'm sure I'll encorporate this new liner into my makeup routine. 

LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil 

LXMI Crème du Nil Pore-Refining Moisture Veil 

Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner

Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner

Total Retail Value: $93.73!

I made out like a bandit this month and feel like I pretty much stole from them. I'm actually shocked by the value of this months bag and each month I'm so glad I'm signed up for this subscription. Anyone on the fence about signing up for a monthly makeup subscription, I HIGHLY recommend Ipsy. I've been a subscriber since February 2017 and I couldn't be more happy. I've loved/used almost every product I've received. $10 a month is such a great price, no wonder there is a waiting list to get on!

Anyone interested in subscribing to Ipsycan use my code to immediately get off the wait list! Click here to signup with no wait. 

Free Font Collection: Handwritten Fonts

Blogging, Fonts, Graphic DesignJessica WozniczkaComment
This is my third post in my font collection series

This is my third post in my font collection series

Can you believe it's already the second week of August?! I can't believe how quickly summer is passing by - I honestly don't know where all the time has gone. It's been about 4 weeks since my last font collection series post and decided it was time for my 3rd one. So far I've done script and clean fonts and this post will focus on handwritten ones. Handwritten fonts have become more popular in the past year or so - particularly for weddings. More recently I've typically seen handwritten fonts utilized for rustic/barn-type themed weddings either in the invitations or the general decor.  

Handwritten fonts serve their purpose in design as well as blogging and can be great for representing brands. A good examples of these are child care centers or charities. Companies or individuals wanting to stand out creativly such as fashion designers or photographers, may also benefit from these fonts. If you do choose a handwritten font, make sure it is clearly legible, as scaling it across device screens can make it completely useless otherwise. A major problem I've come across is the over use of these fonts can make your design appear childish. If this isn't the look you're going for I would suggest to proceed with caution.

Below is the list of all 18 script fonts you can download today!

1) Click on an of the above links.
2) You will be directed to the font webpage.
3) For dafont.com: Click on the "download" button on the right hand side. A zip file should begin downloading. Locate the zip file and open it. Open all of the .ttf files and click the "install" button at the top of each window that opens. They will be automtically installed into your fonts folder.

If you're getting an "invalid font" error, trying logging in as Administrator. Don't drag the files directly from the zip folder in to the fonts folder: this won't work. If you're still having issues installing, please google "invaild font" and you should find some discussion boards.

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS FOR PC

Disclaimer: Most of these fonts are free for commercial use. Please read the license on each font before using them. The downloaded zip files should contain a text document called "license." It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions for each font you choose to download. Any font listed as "Demo" means you are allowed to download and try for free. You will need to purchase the license if you decide to use the font past the mock-up phase.

4 FREE Inspirational Printables for Your Workspace

Graphic Design, PrintableJessica WozniczkaComment

Working day in and day out can be both exhausting and frustrating. On top of our daily jobs, we also have to manage a house hold, kids, keep up with relationships, maintain an exercise routine and more. It's a never ending cycle and sometimes we need a little extra motivation. I've created 4 free inspirational printables you can print out for your home office or for your desk at work. Sometimes being surrounded by positivity can completely change your mindset and hopefully help you through your day. All 4 printables are 8 x 10" PDF's. Feel free to print out as many as you like - and enjoy!

Carry-On Packing Essentials for Airline Travel

Blogging, TravelJessica WozniczkaComment
Carryon-packing-essentials
Nashville, TN - Broadway Street

Nashville, TN - Broadway Street

This past weekend I was in Nashville for my friends' Bachlorette party. I took an extra day off work for travel so I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things, which is the reason for my lack of posts. I had an absolute blast in Nashville and can't wait to go back. Besides all the fun I had, it was a bit of a fiasco getting there. Me and 2 other people decided to save time and fly there thinking it would be quicker than driving 8 hours there and back. I'm usually pretty good about packing essentials and a change of clothes in my carry-on (I grew up flying standby so this is something we always did), but this time I was over-confident [note: lazy] and since the flight was only an hour I decided to throw everything in my checked bag. Fate decided to teach me a very valuable lesson. 

Airports - where dreams go to die

Airports - where dreams go to die

First, our flight was delayed for 4 hours because of a mechanical issue. We did a lot of waiting with many unhappy passengers, unsure if we would be going anywhere. The airline thankfully found us a spare plane and we took off a little after 6:30pm. Once we got to Nashville, I found out the airline lost my luggage and had no clue where it was and when it would get to me. This left me with literally nothing. Nothing to wear, no makeup, no toiletries - nothing. This was the first time an airline has completely lost my luggage and didn't know where it was. There is nothing worse than not knowing where your bag is and if it will even be found. Needless to say, the airline found my bag and delivered it to where we were staying the very next day - but those 12 hours without knowing were completely nerve-racking.

Which brings us to the topic of today's post; carry-on packing essentials. After realizing the airline lost my luggage, I had to go shopping to replace the things I needed for the weekend just in case they couldn't find it in time. I've created a comprehensive list of the things I will always pack in my carry-on as well as some of the essentials I ended up buying that night. 

A Change of Clothes

• 2 pairs of shirts
• Sweatshirt
• Pants/shorts
• Bra
• 2 pairs of underwear
• Pajamas
• Shoes/sandals
• Socks

Toiletries

I suggest buying travel sized items – remember to follow the 1 Quart maximum airline liquid rule
• Toothbrush/tooth paste
• Deodorant
For contact wearers: Eyedrops, contact solution & glasses
• Face wipes
• Moisturizer

Other Essentials

• Makeup
• Lipbalm
• Medications & vitamins
• Hairtie & brush
• Snacks

Entertainment

• Headphones
• Tablet
• Book/E-reader

I learned a very valuable lesson this weekend about the unpredictability of airline travel so it is important to always be prepared. If you travel a lot or you're going on a trip, I HIGHLY suggest packing some of the above items in your carry-on. Air travel can sometimes be a stressful experience, no sense on making it anymore stressful than it needs to be. From this point forward, I will always pack important items in my carry-on just in case I find myself in this situation in the future.

How to Remove a Person from a Photo Using Photoshop

Photoshop, Tutorial, Graphic DesignJessica WozniczkaComment
removeaperson-photoshop

Nothing is more annoying than taking a picture with friends only to find out later you were photobombed by someone. Believe me, I've been there before. I'll teach you one of the quickest and easiest ways to completely remove someone from a photo. Not only does this method work for removing people it will also work for background objects as well. The photo I chose is of a BMX rider against a cloudy sky. This technique works best against skies or backgrounds without complex objects, but it can be done with a bit of work.

Before

Before

After

After

Step 1

First we need to single out the biker by creating a path around it. To do this, head over to the toolbar on the right handside and select the pen tool.

Next, simply click around your subject until it is completely selected. You don't need to be exact, but make sure to not select too closely to you subjects edge - try to leave a little bit of space. If you cut too close, it will sample pixels from anything close by.

Step 2

Once you have your path selected, we need to turn the subject into a selection. Make sure you still have your pen tool selected and right click anywhere on the path and a window will pop up. Click on Make Selection.

A prompt box will popup. Make sure feather radius is set as 0 and leave all other options alone and click OK.

Step 3

Now we have to fill our subject in to make it disappear. To do this, go to the top navigation and click on Edit>Fill.

After clicking on Fill a prompt box will popup. Make sure the Content Aware option is selected and that blending mode is to normal and at 100%; then click OK.

And as Gilderoy Lockhart said in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, "Amazing, it's just like a magic." You now have a photo with the undesired object completely gone. Feel free to try it this technique out on any photos you may have and hopefully it's just as successful for you.

step8.jpg

Image via Creative Commons license, pixabay.com

5 Popular Myths About Graphic Design

Blogging, Graphic Design, PhotoshopJessica WozniczkaComment
Graphic Design Myths

I've been a full time graphic designer for more than 4 years and it has been a lot different than I originally anticipated. I went to a 4 year college and majored in Art and Graphic Design. After graduating, I enrolled in a 2 year Masters program focusing on advertising and web design. I've been force fed a lot of information about the graphic design field during my 6 years of school and I thought I would be on easy street after graduating. Oh how wrong I was. After working in the field for a while, I've compiled a list of my top 5 graphic design myths.

MYTH #1: Graphic Design is Easy

This is hands down the biggest misconception in the graphic design industry. This misunderstanding is in part due to the wide use of Adobe Photoshop which causes people to think that it requires little skill. Many think that it’s easy to put images here and there, add some text, do a little touch up and boom your design is complete. This is 100% incorrect. Begin a designer requires proficiency, effort, commitment, hard work and power of visualization. It is a fast paced industry and can sometimes be a high-stress job. It is absolutely critical to understand the field, the target audience, the client’s requirement and to produce a high-quality end product. If the final design isn’t up to the client’s standards, you can expect to lose that client and may find it harder to get future clients.

MYTH #2: We’re Mind Readers

As cool as it would be to have this superpower, unfortunately we can’t read your mind. Some client’s think that just sharing an idea or concept with a designer should be plenty of information for them to create an awesome design. Wrong. We thrive on understanding exactly what you want the design to look like. For example, please never say anything along the lines of: “I don’t want any red, but I’m sure you will come up with something awesome.” This isn’t helpful at all and is a little too vague for a designer to even start a template. The more information you can provide to the designer – whether that is color preference, font choices and any other elements you may want to see implemented in the design, would make the entire process immensely easier for both the designer and the client.

MYTH #3: Graphic Designers Make a lot of Money

It is believed that graphic designers make thousands of dollars for a single design. While this is true for those lucky enough to work directly for big corporations, more often than not designer make a moderate income. Large corporations will pay top dollar for logos and brochures, but being selected to work for these companies is extremely competitive. I’m the sole graphic designer for a company – I’m not a freelancer for this company, I’m an employee and I earn a bi-weekly salary. Typically, many designers will find themselves in the same boat as me. You have to prove your worth to the company, like any other employee in order to earn bonuses and raises. This is the downfall to earning a salary as opposed to being a freelancer. Freelancers are able to set their rates. This can be a double-edged sword – the freelance business can be extremely unpredictable and many (like myself) like the idea of earning a salary/hourly rate every week or two.      

MYTH #4: Graphic Designers are Naturally Creative

There is no such thing as a natural born creative. It is believed that all designers are inherently creative. This is false. There are some people who find it easier to create original designs, while others struggle a little more. For those that find it easier are usually technically trained and have the credentials required to create conceptually complex designs. For those that find themselves struggling may need some extra training and a lot of sweat and tears. Anyone can become good at anything with some practice, and I feel that is absolutely true for aspiring graphic designers.  

MYTH #5: Work is Everywhere

Um, yeah ok. When I was in school preparing for life as graphic designer, I was under the impression there was an endless supply of work and it would be easy to find a good paying job. What they don’t tell you is this is entirely dependent on your specific skills. The graphic design industry is booming, sure, but there are plenty of graphic designs to fill these positions. It is a highly competitive filed and every designer wants to find that perfect job. You have to possess the right skills and have a strong portfolio to even be considered for an interview.  So work might be technically everywhere, but the jobs that are actually worthwhile, and therefore actually count, are not so easy to get.

All images via Creative Commons licenses, pixabay.com

4 FREE Summer Printables

Blogging, Printable, Photoshop, Graphic DesignJessica WozniczkaComment

Can you believe we're more than halfway through summer already?! This happens to me every year - I look forward to summer so much and it just passes me right by. Before we know it, it will be fall and we'll be getting ready for cooler weather and falling leaves...but let's worry about that a little later. 

Because summer is in full swing, I thought it might be fun to create some summer printable's you can download and enjoy before summer passes. Decorate your summer home [or everyday home], classroom [for those of you who teach summer school] or hang them in your cubicle to bring summer inside. All you need to do is download, print & add to your favorite 8 x 10″ frame! All 4 printables are 8 x 10" PDF's so feel free to download 1 or all of them.

Enjoy

Free Font Collection: Script Fonts

Blogging, Fonts, Graphic DesignJessica WozniczkaComment
This is my second post in my font collection series

This is my second post in my font collection series

A couple weeks ago, I compiled a list of some gorgeous free clean fonts you can utilize almost everyday. This week focuses on script fonts. Script fonts aren't nearly as versatile as sans/sans serif fonts, but they are still nice to have. Being the font hoarder that I am, I have an entire arsenal of script fonts. This list contains some of my favorite beautiful script fonts for your personal or creative use. If you're a blogger or designer [or even if you're not], some of these will might be useful to you if you're trying to create a more feminine sophisticated look. 

Below is the list of all 18 script fonts you can download today!

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS FOR PC

1) Click on an of the above links.
2) You will be directed to the font webpage.
3) For dafont.com: Click on the "download" button on the right hand side. A zip file should begin downloading. Locate the zip file and open it. Open all of the .ttf files and click the "install" button at the top of each window that opens. They will be automtically installed into your fonts folder.

If you're getting an "invalid font" error, trying logging in as Administrator. Don't drag the files directly from the zip folder in to the fonts folder: this won't work. If you're still having issues installing, please google "invaild font" and you should find some discussion boards.

Disclaimer: Most of these fonts are free for commercial use. Please read the license on each font before using them. The downloaded zip files should contain a text document called "license." It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions for each font you choose to download. Any font listed as "Demo" means you are allowed to download and try for free. You will need to purchase the license if you decide to use the font past the mock-up phase.

5 Reasons Why I Chose Squarespace Over WordPress

Blogging, BusinessJessica WozniczkaComment

Squarespace or WordPress ...That is the question. This is an ongoing debate all over the internet with many articles covering pros and cons of both web development platforms. When I first started researching platforms, I wasn't considering Squarespace as an option. As an amateur, I thought WordPress was the best and only option since many blogs I visit only used WordPress. I decided to go with Squarespace after reading so many positive reviews and I am so glad I did! Below are my 5 reasons why.

Easy User Interface

Those familiar with WordPress know there's a learning curve to it. You have to download WordPress, find a hosting service, choose a theme, install plugins AND manually code the pages. WordPress is an open source platform, so the entire site is open for anyone to customize it. This is great if you're a developer. But for me - I’m a designer not a developer. While I do have coding knowledge, I wouldn't have the ability to entirely code the site myself. And while I'm sure I could figure it out, it would take too much of my time and I would be worried I would mess something up, which would take MORE time to fix. This would be incredibly tedious and I decided to avoid these annoyances all together. 

Squarespace isn't an open source platform and only their development team can access the meat of the code. Squarespace offers about 40 templates to choose from - all of which can be easily restructured for your needs. Customization is made easy by choosing specific summary blocks. These blocks are easy to manipulate and requires 0 coding knowledge.  All you have to do is create separate boxes then drag one next to the other and now you have two columns. I can completely focus on design and content without having to worry as much about coding.

Hands down, my absolute favorite feature is the code block. Because I have basic HTML/CSS knowledge I am able to customize small sections. For example, if I want my text to be a different color or size, all I need to do is add this code block and I can easily add HTML to a small portion or an entire section. In the advanced features, I am able to override some of the standard design with my own code. By navigating to Design > Customization CSS Section, I can add any CSS code I want, and it will be reflected throughout the entire site. 

Simple Flexible Design

I like clean simple design. This was extremely important to me when I was choosing a web development platform. Squarespace offers clean, minimalistic and modern templates. They have a polished quality and appear as if a designer devoted months into perfecting them. I love the clean lines and use of white space, as opposed to some WordPress themes which can seem slightly cluttered. Squarespace only offers about 40 templates, unlike WordPress which has an endless array to choose from. While the large selection might be nice, too many choices could make it a little overwhelming.

Have you picked a template and decided in a month you don't like it? No problem! You can simply pick a new template and complete redesign your site. With Squarespace there are no updates and no plugins. They also offer hosting, a domain name and email integration. Squarespace is literally the one-stop-shop!

Compatibility

In this day and age, having a site that is fully responsive is imperative. Every Squarespace template is 100% mobile friendly. With WordPress not every template is mobile friendly, so it is your responsibility to make sure the template you're planning on buying is mobile responsive. Not having to adjust my site for mobile use is a huge plus. This is critical because mobile friendly websites will rank higher in Google searches. 

Social, SEO & Analytics Built In

Like I mentioned above, WordPress requires you to install plugins for certain functions. That includes all social media, SEO, Instagram feeds etc. Squarespace offers a customizable social media widget which can be added anywhere on your site. All you have to do is connect your social media accounts in the Settings > Connected Accounts section and voila! You can add social media icons on any page you like and you can automatically post from your blog to your social media accounts.

What's even cooler than that, is all the SEO and Analytics are already built in. You also have the able to create alt tags to images, create page titles/descriptions and change URL's. Squarespace also gives you a sitemap.xml which you can submit to Google to crawl your pages which helps with your Google ranking. On top of that, if you connect your Google Analytics account, Squarespace allows you to track your visitors without having to leave the back-end of your site. This is incredibly useful if you want to get a quick idea of your web traffic.

24/7 Support

Squarespace has an experienced team of real people who offer 24/7 support. There are both a chat and email function for any quick questions or concerns you may have. I haven't found myself in need of contacting their support team yet, but it's nice to know that the option is available anytime of day. There is nothing worse than needing help and not being able to talk to an actual human.


Overall I am glad I chose Squarespace, but these are just my personal opinions. Everyone is different. so please do your research. What works best for one person may not necessarily work best for you. Chose the best platform based on your needs. Have you used both platforms and which do you prefer? 

 

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