Where to find beautiful stock photos for your blog

Stock photos are an easy and pretty way to create depth on your blog. There are many sites where you can find beautiful stock photos and today I want to share my favourites with you.

Let's see where to find pretty photos and how to use them, shall we?

Where to find beautiful stock photos

You've probably heard of Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photos, right? They are perfectly awesome places for great photos, but there are more. Here are six other amazing sources of beautiful creative business & blog worthy images:

 

WHERE TO FIND STOCK PHOTOS FOR YOUR creative BLOG

 

 

HOW TO USE THEM

 

BRAND THEM

Look for photos that match the mood of your blog – too dark, too colourful , or too cluttered? Be picky! When you find a suitable image, don't use it 'as is' – brand it! 

 Here is how:

  • Use a filter or overlay colour that matches your brand look&feel.
  • Crop it and use only part of the image.
  • Cover the photo with your a transparent version of your brand colour and add text.

 

Use them as a tool

Don't forget – everybody can use the same photos as you. They are not your story, they are a tool that can help you tell your story. Look for photos that can help you do that, not just for pretty pictures you feel drawn to.

 

Make sure they are really free

Most sites use the Creative Commons licence and if the picture you've chosen is marked as CC0, you're good to go. This is a "no rights reserved" licence and you can, use the image "as is" or alter it, and you are not requred to give credit.

All other licenses have some form of terms and conditions, so read them carefully, just to be on the safe side. And when in doubt, ask the artist or the website where you found the image. 

 

Always Give credit where credit's due

Enough said.

 

Where do you find your stock photos?

And how do you match them to your blog? Or do you prefer to shoot all your pictures yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Thanks a million for being here, dearest!

 

Stay creative!

♥ Lin

How to Create a Beautiful Logo for Your Small Business

Nothing beats a professionally designed brand identity – with your carefully crafted logo, custom images, clear voice, beautiful website, and everything right and proper you can awe instantly.

Except one thing.

Starting your business.

How to Create a Beautiful Logo for Your Small Business

 

the most important thing when starting your business

Can you guess what it is?

No, it's not your amazing branding.

Nope, not your beautiful working space.

Not even your absolutely marvelous newsletter.

Yes, you've guessed it - it's the magic that happens, when you connect your incredible offerings with your amazing audience.

It's your first sell.

Now, that might sounds a bit self centered (to me it did at first), but it's not. You wish to create a business  by serving & helping others. And this is how it starts. 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with starting with a polished brand. 

But not if that will mean not starting at all. Or losing momentum, motivation and zest.

So, I say it's OK if you are a one woman show and want to start your small business small.

It's much more important to get out there,  find your people and share your gifts with them, than to have that perfect logo. At least at first. You can (and you will) figure out the details along the way. At some point you will be able to hire help - copywriters, designers, online assistants, you name it.

But first - ignite your idea and connect, connect, connect.

 

"changing branding later is hard"

Yes, it is. No doubt about it. Changing your logo, colours and all your visuals when you have an established business is no picnic and not everybody will like your new brand (just google the new Instagram logo, everybody has an opinion about it)

But it is much harder to do any of this if you don't have a business at all, yes?

When your business starts to get momentum and you find that your DIY brand is no longer serving your customers, this is the time to think about rebranding.

Before that and you'll have no business.

After that and your brand is too well known to change easily.

And yet. I was inspired by Melyssa Griffin - she recently changed not just her visual identity, but also the name of her brand from The Nectar Collective to Melyssa Griffin. Now, I haven't seen any numbers or anything, but I know that this change will work for her, because she has built her entire business around her audience and not around herself - people will love her no matter how she calls her brilliant enterprise.

 

JUST START

OK, enough said. If you have your business idea ready, go ahead and start it now! This is the sign you've been waiting for (I'm giving a lot of signs lately, maybe I should design one to go with my constant encouragements, what do you think?)

Just start and don't look back.

 

how to create a beautiful logo for your small business

Start by writing down the name of your business or blog on a blank piece of paper. You are creating just your logo today, so don't get overwhelmed by all the other elements of branding. Just start with the name and see where it goes from there.

Additionally, you might like to write a short description of your business – you are not that well known yet and introduction might be in order ;)

Here are three simple ways to design a logo for your small business and growing blog:

 

CREATE A SIMPLE FONT LOGO

There are sooo many gorgeous fonts out there, just pick one, and use it for your logo. Make sure you have the legal right to do so.

The good thing is that it's simple, you can start your blog right away!

The downside is that it's not very "branded". This means that it may lack instant recognition or somebody else might be using the same font for their logo. But if your name is not too common, chances are the same font-name combination won't pop up everywhere.

Make sure you use the full advantage of the font by using Adobe Illustrator Glyphs (Type > Glyphs)

For this Illustrator tutorial you will need Adobe Illustrator and your favourite fonts. Install them, open the programme and let's get creative!

 

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Open a new file

2. Write the name of your business

3. Pick a fancy font for it

4. Write down your business tag line

5. Pick a simple font for it

6. Pick colours (here are some girly + dreamy patterns)

7. Fix your design (Object > Expand)

8. Export your work as a transparent PNG or JPEG so you can use in your blog header and on your social media accounts (File > Export)

9. Continue rocking your awesome budding business :)

 

suitable fonts:

 

DESIGN A LOGO USING A LOGO KIT

If just your name is not enough, then turn your attention to the many logo kits out there. I created the Mandala Logo Creator for branding project like this in mind. 

 

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Pick and buy a suitable Logo Kit (here is the Mandala Logo Kit and here are more kits you can choose from)

2. Unpack and read the instructions.

3. Browse through the design elements and sketch some ideas.

4. Write the name of your business and your tag line in the programme (usually Adobe Illustrator) and start testing your ideas.

5. When your design is ready, pick your colours  (here are some girly + dreamy patterns)

6. Fix your design (Object > Expand + Object > Expand Appearance)

7. Export your work as a transparent PNG or JPEG so you can use in your blog header and on your social media accounts (File > Export)

8. Continue rocking your awesome budding business :)

 

cREATE A LOGO Using your own handwriting

This is one of my favorite ways to brand anything (just look at my latest Instagram project). You can use your handwriting, lettering, brush lettering, calligraphy. Experiment with different pens and brushes and see, what works best for you.

I was going to make a video on that too, but then I remembered my absolutely favourite tutorial about digitising hand lettering by non other than seanwes:

 

and here are the results of all three methods:

In case you are wondering, this is LORELEI - Nordic Blog & Shop Wordpress theme by Ilgelo Design. Before I moved to Squarespace I used one of their themes for mindfulpixels.com and I loved it!

 

WHEN is it the right TIME TO HIRE A DESIGNER?

Sooner rather than later, but perhaps not too soon. Here is what I mean:

When your business is no longer just an idea in your head but a tiny empire you rule form your kitchen table, it's time to get your brand audited and uplifted by a designer.

You started well, gained confidence, established your name, made friends with your beautiful audience and started helping people through your gifts and offerings.

You've hatched your business.

Now it's time to let it fly. 

 

Let's hear your branding story!

Do you have a DIY branding story? Did you hire a designer right away or did you started small?

Please, share your story in the comments below!

 

Thank you for reading, sharing and being here, my dearest!

 

STAY CREATIVE!

♥ Lin

How to Stay Fit on a Super Busy Schedule + Free Habit Tracker

A couple of weeks ago, in one of my newsletters, I told the story of my bent and restored back to health spine. And after being sick last month (flu season, yo) I decide to make sure you are taking very good care of yourself, while building your awesome online empire.

There is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) more important than your health – taking care of yourself first is crucial. Even the flight assistants on every plane you've ever boarded keenly remind you to fix your oxygen masks first and then help others.

So if you have any health issues, go take care of them now. If you have any doubts, ask your doctor. If you are waiting for a sign, this is it. 

I am not a health professional and I can only speak from personal experience. So here we go – my personal view on how to stay fit on a super busy schedule.

How to Stay Fit on a Super Busy Schedule + Free Habit Tracker

I love working from home and not having to go out at all. Yes, I’m one of those super introverted people, that looooveee to be by themselves in their imagined spaceship.

*ahem*

Yes, I am a sci-fi geek, so nice to meet you! :)

This is one of the reasons why I am obsessed with workouts you can do at home, such as yoga and weightlifting.

Now, I know that there are people who need other people in gyms or yoga classes to help them dive into their fitness routine and stay on track. If you need people to be motivated, by all means find a suitable class or a gym nearby.

But if you, like me, love the comfort (and privacy) of your home, read on – I'm about to share my secret workouts.

 

DIET

First thing first. No amount of exercise could possibly compensate for fast food, junk food or any other kind of abuse you put your body through. So be mindful of what you eat.

I eat vegan food. For me this is simply the best diet there is. I know the topic is very controversial (hotter than my baked potatoes, in fact), so I’ll be very short. Here is how I went vegan:


Let me know if you have any questions about going vegan, I'll be more than happy to help you in any way I can.

Let's move on to exercise!

 

FITNESS

We all agree that we need some form of physical exercises, so we can stay fit and be able to be everything else - designers, girl bosses, mums, girlfriends, superheros, etc.

Yes?

OK.

There are very many types of exercise you could do, but if you have any issues with your health, go ask your doctor first, just to be on the safe side.

I've done many things throughout the years, but what works for me best are exercises with a lot of movement control. So yoga and weightlifting is what I like best. Besides as I said, this is something I can do without leaving my spaceship at all!

So, here are some of my favourite places to find good workouts:

 

Also, I do daily squat challenges:

Have a favourite song? Why not take a 5 minute break and do a song squat challenge? My favourite squat song right now is Hold On by Extreme Music.

Put some music on and squat away!

 

FREE HABIT TRACKER

I hope you feel a little bit more inspired to move more and make some positive changes in your daily life. I created a habit tracker just for that. It is super easy to use even without printing, if you'd like to save a three or two. If you decide to print it, it's going to fit perfectly in your cute three hole binder.

How to Stay Fit on a Super Busy Schedule + Free Habit Tracker

Get the free habit tracker

Want to change something about your daily routine?

This simple habit tracker will help you stay focused & motivated.

 

How do you stay fit while being the supergirl you are?

I showed you mine, now show me yours :) I'd love to try new things, so please share your favourite online workouts with me in the comments below.

 

Thank you for being here, my dearest!

 

Stay healthy!

♥ Lin

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - the #monthlymoods project

Have you ever wanted to capture the mood of a day or a month in a mood board? Here comes a little personal project of mine - 12 mood boards for every month of the year, or as I call it The #MonthlyMoods project.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

 

One Year of Mood Boards

Creating mood boards is one of the most fun things a gal can do on a Friday evening, right? I think so, but I'm as geeky as it gets, so don't take my word for it. I see it as a digital art journaling and I love it!

For this little project of mine, I encapsulated the mood of each month of 2015 into a mood board. It is a project made purely for inspiration and enjoyment – yours and mine.

I hope you like it!

January

Truly white weddings.

Snow white brides and

dreamy serene woods.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

February

Making things with your hands.

From scratch.

The pure joy of creation.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

 

March

Plant your seeds.

Get your hands dirty.

Expect magic.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

 

April

Colours are popping up.

Nomadic spirit are stirring up the soul.

Life is a beautiful mess.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

May

It’s the calm before the wild.

It’s the green before the heat.

It’s all so full of hope.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

 

June

Gently warm nights.

Dreamy long dresses.

The sea is calling for us.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

 

July

Beaches of silver and blue.

Slow days and warm nights

full of timeless joy.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

August

Young and ripe and full of life.

Made to roam the Universe.

And laugh.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

September

Soothing breeze

after a walk in a desert.

Going home to roost.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

October

Rich hot tea.

The smell of wet leaves and

the secrets of ancient poets.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

 

November

The quiet rain talks to the books,

They whisper to the tea and the blanket.

Silence is music.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

 

December

The smell of cinnamon and crisp air.

Candles and mittens and all things

made of winter wonder.

12 Mood Boards for Every Month of the Year - The #MontlyMoods Project | Mindful Pixels

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

 

 

The Monthly Moods Project

 

Thank you so much for being here, dearest! I really hope you liked my #MonthlyMoods.

 

Stay INSPIRED!

♥ Lin

9 FREE BOHO CHIC FONTS

This pretty little collection was inspired by a gift my mum gave me a while back. It was a beautiful hand towel by Natural Life. I loved it so much, I decided to use it to decorate my watercolour & calligraphy box (yes, I have a wooden box filled with watercolour & calligraphy tools – everybody should have one, yes!)

9 Free Boho Chic Fonts

As the year moves towards its more gentle seasons, my nomadic soul gets itchy for road trips, wind in my hair, and new sandy and/or green places to discover. It's a part of an annual cycle and it marks the beginning of the summer for me.

I don't know about you, but my summer style is all about colourful dresses, lots of seashell jewellery and braided hair, or in other words – gypset or boho chic. It was a personal challenge to find fonts that match this happy, relaxed and crafty style.

 

9 FREE BOHO CHIC FONTS

9 FREE BOHO CHIC FONTS ♥ Mindful Pixels

 

AdefebiaINSPIRA | Good Dog

Eryx Rennie Macintoshchocoletamodesty

PaintedVanessa | Beacon

 

 

Which font is your favourite?

I have to say, I really love them all, but my personal favourite is Inspira. Calligraphy and hand lettered fonts are everywhere at the moment, but I somehow needed to see something different and fresh. This geometric, clean font is very intricate and very simple at the same time.

Do you feel drawn to one of the nine fonts?

 

Stay happy & free!

♥ Lin