Accounting Confessions of a Businesswoman, Part 4

 

I’ve barely started this post and I already feel naked. Last year was difficult for a multitude of reasons, and the hard and fast truth of it is that my business was one of the bigger ones. I won’t sugarcoat it or try to distract you with pretty words – although maybe some nice photos might help? At times this journey with FreshBooks has felt like picking up the rug only to discover the dirt underneath, or putting on makeup to hide the flaws. It’s made me take a very real, very deep look into my future and the future of this site.

 

 

Blogging is a funny business. It’s not even one that existed in a professional capacity when I started Design Crush almost eleven years ago, and it’s definitely not a career path I planned for myself. But I fell in love and absolutely adore what I do here, and at times probably border on being a bit of a workaholic because of it. But what was once one person sitting behind a desk or on a couch or at a dining room table putting something out into the void of the internet is now a career that includes teams, financial backers, and the dreaded pivot to video. Algorithms seem to change with every week, decimating audiences that have been hard-fought for. Then there’s the game of comparison, and reminding oneself that someone else’s endgame isn’t going to look the same as your middle. So is this my middle or am I nearing my end? Who knows.

 

 

What I do know is that even ten years later I’m still figuring it out as I go.

Last year I was able to get the financial side of Design Crush on lockdown with the help of FreshBooks, and I can honestly say that thanks to them I don’t hate dealing with money nearly as much as I once did. Having all of my invoices present and accounted for on a platform that’s well designed and intuitive with a slew of other features that I actually use has made it loads less painful. It’s so gratifying to see the charting of my earnings throughout the year, and time previously spent on my finances can be dedicated towards making those numbers go up! (Because no, product offers unfortunately do not pay the bills.)

 

 

Like I said, I’m far from having it all figured out. I don’t want to hire a team or have financial backers or pivot to video, and I never did. But one of the most important qualities any small business owner can have is adaptability and I’m certain some changes will be inevitable. And when they show up I’ll learn to roll with the punches just like I have over the last decade. (DECADE!)

Thanks for coming along with me on this four part journey! It’s been eye-opening  and mildly nauseating to say the least, but I wanted to give you an honest look at what goes on behind the scenes and through my mind – usually at all hours of the night. If you missed the first three parts of the series with FreshBooks you can catch up here, here, and here.

 

This post sponsored by FreshBooks. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Zara Picken

 

Zara Picken is a UK-based illustrator with a very graphic style that’s reminiscent of mid-century art. Each piece, commissioned or personal, has a strong concept and lots of visual punch featuring her trademark 2D flat perspective.

Shop Zara Picken’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 High Design Kitchen Finds

Bliss Tea Service

The porcelain Bliss tea service was designed by Odo Fioravanti for Normann Copenhagen. These minimal yet sweet pieces have a quirky charm thanks to their rounded handles and upturned spouts. Each piece sits comfortably in your hand, with a gloss porcelain interior and a matte finish exterior. The set consists of tea cups, mugs, a sugar bowl, a milk jug, and a teapot.

 

Piippu Pot

The Piippu Pot by Kaksikko is a crafted porcelain pot and filter holder which serves two cups of coffee or tea. Designers Salla Luhtasela and Wesley Walters have teamed up to create a beautiful array of objects and furniture for the home with Salla crafting each pot by hand. The set consists of three pieces – filter holder, lid, and pot. Available in a black engobe finish or white gas-fired porcelain.

 

DROP Colander

DROP combines state-ofthe-art functionality with contemporary yet timeless design and color. The ability to pour water into the top of the handle or to rinse salad or berries and allow them to drain when you turn off the tap is unique. The colander is easy to use and store when folded.

 

Hand-Painted Cutting Boards

These hand-painted cherrywood cutting boards with copper hardware come with a white oak hanging puck. Each one is finished in a food safe mineral oil.

 

Cloth

A streamlined, multi-use form that acts as oil jug, creamer, or soy sauce dispenser. The numbered edition is 3D printed porcelain and comes with or without a lid.

 

OIKOS

OIKOS is a table designed for creative working environments and emphasizes the importance of social connection achieved by cooking and eating together. Simply enough, it invites people to gather around it in order to work, eat or cook together.

 

Pour Over Coffee Dripper

 

Pioneer Carafe and Glass Set

The Pioneer set is handcrafted from borosilicate glass and silver plated hammered copper. The design is based around the age old concept of adding silver to water to purify it and prevent bacteria.

 

SKID

Made from 97% wood and 3% alloyed carbon steel, SKID features a unique design that’s handcrafted and manufactured in Magdeburg, Germany.

 

Sucabaruca Coffee Service

The Sucabaruca Coffee Set is rich in cultural and formal references while the main cone-shaped body is reminiscent of Carmencita, the famous character created by Armando Testa in1966 for the tv show Carosello. The lines in the ceramic are meant to emphasize the uniqueness of the pieces which can be stacked and combined in various ways. The finish of the Sucabaruca set, a glossy white, showcases the traditional glaze work of the studio. Kihara, a Japanese porcelain producing company based in Arita, Japan, has been hand-crafting ceramic wares for over 400 years. The set includes pot, filter funnel, and 3 cups.

 

Tea Maker Nº1

When you choose to slow down to prepare a cup of tea manually, you step away from the myriad of distractions that surround you — at least for a short time — to solely focus on “making tea with skill.”

 

Multi-ccino Mug

This borosilicate glass mug invites coffee drinkers to learn, and create, various coffee recipes. Measure ingredients and change the proportions of espresso, milk, and water using the handy indicators printed on the outside of the mug.

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Andie Dinkin

 

Andie Dinkin‘s paintings and illustrations sit firmly on the line between traditional and modern in her very own distinctive style. The faces with shallow features and little detail, the garments that are difficult to assign a time period to, the color palettes that make you study each piece rather than simply view it. My favorites are the crowded scenes, a sort of Where’s Waldo on a considerably elevated scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ian Palmer

 

After years working as a graphic designer, Ian Palmer turned his attention towards being an artist. Precipitated by his family moving from England to a 200 year old barn in southwest France, Palmer found himself surrounded by beautiful mountain and countryside views full of inspiration. I really like his ability to layer colors and when he uses a heavy hand with trowels and drips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dutch Banket (Almond Pastry)

 

Years ago when my stepdad was a resident in Grand Rapids, Michigan he discovered Dutch banket (pronounced bahn-KET) at a local bakery. The combination of almond paste and pastry dough was seemingly unforgettable, and a few months ago he tracked down the recipe and baked some up. Airy and flaky with a dense filling, the resulting long rolls are sliced up into individual pieces before serving. A slice makes for the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, or so I’ve heard!

 

 

Ingredients

Dough
• 2 C all-purpose flour
• 1 C (2 sticks) cold butter
• 1/2 C cold water

Filling
• 1 C almond paste (8 oz)
• 3/4 C sugar
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 1 egg
• dash of salt

Topping
• 1 egg white
• 1/4 C sugar
• sliced almonds (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 425º. In a medium sized bowl, cut the butter into the flour and combine until mixture is crumbly. Make a crater in the center and slowly add the cold water to the mixture. Mix well and add small amounts of additional flour until dough becomes smooth and forms a ball. Chill in the refrigerator.

Onto the filling. Combine almond paste, sugar, almond extract, and egg together in a mixing bowl. Using either a stand or hand mixer, combine until mostly smooth.

Divide dough into four parts. Roll on portion into a ball and place it on a flour-covered surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a long rectangle that measures about 12-inches by 3-inches. Spoon one fourth of the filling into the center of the dough, leaving about an inch on all sides. Fold the ends over first, then bring up the sides and pinch the dough together (you may want to wet your fingertips with water for a better seal). Repeat the process three more times for the other portions of dough and filling. Place the rolls onto a greased baking sheet, sealed side down.

Whisk egg white, then brush generously over each roll. Sprinkle with sugar and add sliced almonds if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.

 

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Alessandra Genualdo

 

I’m having a moment with the work of Italian-born, London-based painter and illustrator Alessandra Genualdo. Each piece feels so very melancholy and introspective, even when filled with bright saturated colors. As you’ve probably noticed by now the time of year drastically affects the kind of art I’m drawn to, and Alessandra’s work feels perfectly suited to how I spend Januarys.

Shop Alessandra Genualdo’s work

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter ’18 Book Recommendations

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
A collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache.

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair
This book tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes, and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game – and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN’s newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories.

 

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a  journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. In a world of “emotional vampires” and “zombie malls,” the monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective psyche. Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls.

Literally Me by Julie Houts
Julie Houts has cultivated a devoted following as “Instagram’s favorite illustrator” by lampooning the conflicting messages and images women consume and share with the world every day. A collection of darkly comic illustrated essays, Literally Me chronicles the exploits of “slightly antisocial heroines” in vivid, excruciatingly funny detail.

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
It was a cloudless summer day in the year 1900. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared. They never returned.

 

Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo by Grant Faulkner
Designed to kick-start creativity, this handbook from the executive director of National Novel Writing Month gathers a wide range of insights and advice for writers at any stage of their career. From tips about how to finally start that story to helpful ideas about what to do when the words just aren’t quite coming out right.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The stunningly beautiful bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Deftly interweaving their lives, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Other People We Married by Emma Straub
Straub creates characters as recognizable as a best friend, and follows them through moments of triumph and transformation with wit, vulnerability, and dazzling insight. In “Some People Must Really Fall in Love,” an assistant professor takes halting steps into the awkward world of office politics while harboring feelings for a freshman student. Two sisters struggle with old assumptions about each other as they stumble to build a new relationship in “A Map of Modern Palm Springs.” These twelve stories, are filled with sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language.

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Mark Thompson

 

Mark Thompson‘s grayscale paintings feel exactly like January. It’s been frigid and full of snow in many parts of the U.S., making everything feel washed-out and salt covered. Thompson says of his paintings that they are works of memory, not of any one time or place but a world distilled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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