Etsy Advice

For when you need a reminder printed and hanging on your wall…









politics, shopping

Happy Presidents Day!

You probably know by now that I’m a huge nerd for politics, so I can’t let today pass without a quick mention. It’s Presidents Day! I hope you’re celebrating with Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite food (rumored to be fried chicken) or gazing up at Mount Rushmore (and if that’s the case, I’m totally jealous because I haven’t seen it yet!).

I bought a version of this presidents artwork from CheeryOde on Etsy back in 2008 (to celebrate you know what!) when I lived in Holland. Highly recommend!


Right now you can grab one in green, orange, blue, or gray. Look!

food, happiness engineer, technology & web

Toast Ambassador

The other day I needed to sign up for a Google Apps email through to use at work, which meant getting a new domain first, and soooooooo:

Welcome, to the Internet! 😀 (I’m sarah@ there.) I really love toast, and my name is an alias for the cute toast emoji (look!) in our Automattic Slack. (Which leads to someone realizing that for the first time occasionally and going, “Why are you a smiling piece of bread?”)

Anyway! Isn’t that little toast logo just the cutest? And so official! The Kawaii Toast is from Collective Creation & the leaf frame is from Erin Bradley Designs (both on Etsy). I combined them in Inkscape to make my status as Ambassador of Toast super legit. Have you visited the site and joined my toast mailing list yet? 

Related: Remember the last time I needed a domain and ended up with (I’ll never forget, Pretty Little Liars. That was just too odd.)

house, life

Welcome to 2016

Newly framed art prints

I spent the first day of the year lounging at home, hanging with my BFF before she drove back home to Austin (we re-launched!), and getting some art in the frames I got from Ikea yesterday.

And tonight I watched the new Sherlock episode with my husband.

My 2015 life/blogging/reading recap & a 2016 reading challenge coming up this week!

event notes, events, technology & web

Notes From An Event Apart Austin: Lara Hogan

And now more notes from An Event Apart Austin… Lara Hogan, Senior Engineering Manager of Performance at Etsy (my fav!), presented “Designing for Performance,” and she’s just plain great. (I mean, she celebrates career achievements with donuts.)

She got big laughs for her “four and horse stars” story of the time Etsy accidentally replaced their half-star with little horse head emojis (because it wasn’t document properly) and users starting writing in to ask what was going on. (As someone who works in support, I can very easily imagine how ridiculous/hilarious this would be.)

On designing for performance:

“Perception of how fast your page loads is more important than how fast it actually loads.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

“Make performance part of everyone’s workflow.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

Don’t have performance cops or janitors. Make performance a part of everyone’s job throughout the project. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

“Performance is everyone’s job, or you’ll be fighting an endless, uphill battle. You need to create a performance culture.” Twitter Bird Icon 16x16

Tips on designing for performance:

  • Consider image edits to improve performance: Blurring background a bit & cropping out busy areas in a jpeg reduces size. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16
    • An audience member tested out in-camera bokeh to make an image smaller and confirmed that it worked. Twitter Bird Icon 16x16
  • gfycat – optimizes gifs for web use.
  • WebP – introduced by google in 2011; image format that provides lossless and lossy compression for images on the web.
  • ImageOptim — app that makes images take up less disk space and load faster, without sacrificing quality.
  • Use srcset — give the browser a choice of which image to load (smaller image = smaller screen, etc).
  • Test page speed at

More Information:

Note: The Twitter bird icons link to the corresponding tweet for each piece. Thanks to @mor10@sbeatty, & @cek_io for live-tweeting the talk along with me on #aeaaus. 🙂

Notes from sessions are being compiled on this page.

life, shopping

Success is Dependent on Effort

Success is Dependent on Effort print by NotBySightDesign on Etsy

True (but also a few other things, including luck).

Print by NotBySightDesign on Etsy.

home office, house

Home Office: Gazing Up at My Gallery Wall

Preparing to hang my office gallery wall

Working from home means I spend a whole lot of time sitting in our shared home office at my desk, which faces a white wall, and really, really needed some color and fun and inspiration added to brighten my work days. I mentioned the other day that we’re fixing up our house and here are the very first after photos. (They count, even if it’s not a whole room yet!)

Preparing to hang my office gallery wallI spent some time on the floor figuring out which frames to use from the boxes of them we already had, which led to my very first gallery wall mixing frame colors. (It’s only black & white ones, but still!)

Five of the framed pieces are free/cheap printables I had printed in full color on a heavy paper at Kinko’s (aka FedEx Office) for under $2 a piece. I didn’t want to spend any money on new frames or mats, so the paper trimmer came in handy to get things to fit just right.

I cut out a kraft paper shape for each frame (since I had a roll in the closet) and had heard it can be helpful accurately hanging a gallery wall as planned. (We’ve always measured & eyeballed & sort of winged it before.) The paper templates really helped! Once I had a few pieces up, I even found a way to include another frame that I’d left out when I was arranging on the floor. It’s way easier to decide when you’re staring at it up on the wall, even in just paper stand-in form.

So, here’s the gallery wall in-progress: 

Paper test run of my office gallery wall
(excuse the bad night time lighting — the walls are white!)

And look! Here it is with the frames up:

My office gallery wall

Here’s where you can find the art pieces (clockwise starting from the round frame):

I love it! (It’s so nice to look up & see bright colors, inspiration, and cuteness.)

SOURCES: Desk Lamp – West Elm | Paint – Benjamin Moore’s Simply White in flat | Frames – Ikea, West Elm, Michaels.