A place for contemplation.

Contemplation

My dad was telling me a story about a snake he found under the dock while he was contemplating (his words). I was more fascinated (and tickled) by this contemplation business than I was the snake. You see… my parents live on a small lake and they recently had a two-tiered dock built. We use the dock to sun ourselves on the weekends, fish and watch the sunset. We use the rafters under the dock to store the kayak – and apparently my dad also uses this space to spy on fish while he contemplates. Unless a snake is disturbing his flow, that is.

Related:
Dad Style
Things I Learned From My Dad
The Mean Machine
Hello Lake House. We’re Home.

Photo taken by my sister, Tara Street.

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate

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I know… it’s super cliche, but I didn’t realize that peanut butter and chocolate was like – a thing – until that one episode in the 6th season of Survivor where Jeff Probst gave a couple of girls standing on posts in an Amazonian swamp some peanut butter and chocolate in exchange for a peek at their malnourished selves. To clarify it was Oreos and a jar of Jif. I tried it but as an Oreo purist I was unimpressed.

But then years later, after an eventful evening out and a few glasses of wine in, I found myself STARVING. That’s when Jeremy busted out the organic almond butter and some 85% dark chocolate. I finally understood the peanut butter + chocolate thing because it was so good I took my clothes off.

Brand Identity: Leo Evidente Photographers

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When my sister and I first started Braid Creative we thought we might specialize in doing work for the financial industry – you see, we both have 20+ years of combined agency experience branding and creating campaigns for financial institutions. I was a little hesitant at the idea after a year of working on invitations and working with creative entrepreneurs. I wanted to keep working with “my people”. So I’m going to consider it a sign that our first clients out of the gate were Leo and Kat Evidente. A pair of wedding photographers in Ventura, California.

With a few Skype sessions my sister and I walked Leo and Kat through our method to uncover and materialize their brand. Leo and Kat were so cool and stylish and enthusiastic about launching their business (but maybe also a little freaked out – it’s scary being an artistpreneur). And we didn’t just give them a logo – we gave them a story and a healthy dose of confidence to hit the ground running. We felt like we had really made a difference and like that “my people” became “our people”. My sister, Tara, fell in love with working with creative entrepreneurs too.

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Leo and Kat were looking for a brand that really captured their sense of modern-meets-vintage style. They really wanted to keep the name Leo Evidente Photographers (I think it’s great when artistpreneurs utilize their name and personal brand to make their mark in their industry) – but they also wanted to find a way to include Kat in the mix. I addressed this by using 2 vintage wood-cut lions (in 2 colors) in their logo design. As I was going through Leo and Kat’s portfolio I found that neutral colors + pops of red kept appearing throughout their work – I wanted to capture that aesthetic in their logo as well.

Their dream client is a young couple with a point-of-view and a story to tell.  Leo and Kat are sure to tell that story with their one-of-a-kind style.

Anyway, I’m super thankful to Leo and Kat for letting us uncover their brand and for helping Braid narrow in on its dream customer.

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Rhythm

DrummerJeremy circa 1998. Drumming for Bastard People. Photo by Kevin Mix. 

My parents must have instilled some serious you-can-do-whatever-you-put-your-mind-to confidence in me so there’s not a lot I don’t think I can’t do. But playing the drums is one of those things I just know I can’t do. And Jeremy can. The boy has got some rhythm.

With that I would like to share an email my friend Dave sent me in response to my post on Balance vs. Alignment

“I wanted to share with you my metaphor(s) for juggling life. I have been playing drums since my single-digit years. Maybe as a result of that I tend to pay a lot of attention to rhythm. I believe rhythm is essential to our well-being. We start life to the rhythm of our mom’s heartbeat and everything after that is measured in rhythms: minutes, hours, days, seasons…

I love jazz music. Even the freaky stuff of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc. One of the things that freaks people out about jazz is that it’s sometimes difficult to tap your foot to it. People can’t find the groove. That’s life many times. In the midst of the constant rhythms, sometimes we can’t tap our foot to the beat of our own lives. Hence we look for balance. Jazz is often played in polyrhythms and cross-rhythms — one rhythm against another just as life is sometimes. It can be very disconcerting and discombobulating, but it can be (just like jazz) very beautiful.

So when you’re finding your equilibrium by moving forward at a steady pace – arms stretched out wide, by all means move to the polyrhythms of your own song. No one around you will know whether you’ve found the groove or not.”

I rely on Jeremy for his steady beat. And he looks to me for a little bit of jazz.

Spicy Taco Tilapia

MexicanFishA Cholula When I first started getting into eating local and learning to cook I would spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. Soaking, rolling, sifting, chilling, chopping, dicing, slicing, boiling, steaming, baking and frying. I was more than happy to put in the time it took to slow down and really connect with my food – to watch my ingredients combine themselves into a proper meal. So now I feel like I’m somehow cheating if a meal only takes 15 minutes to cook from start to finish. But lately my favorite meal doesn’t take much more than a few minutes and a healthy shake of Cholula.

Spicy Taco Tilapia
1lb. fresh tilapia (about 4 filets)
1 can black beans (I like Eden Organic brand because they use a BPA-free can)
2-3 tablespoons Spicy Taco seasoning (I use a house blend from Native Roots Market
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon Coconut oil
Salt
Cholula

In a large saute pan melt your coconut oil over med-low heat. Cut your onion in thin half-moon slices and throw in the pan.  Meanwhile, wash your fish and slice across the filets in 1″ thick slices. When the onions are translucent throw the fish in the pan. After a couple minutes, as your fish starts to turn white, throw 2-3 tablespoons of spicy taco seasoning in the pan. Stir and cook for a couple more minutes until the fish is cooked through – salt to taste. Transfer this mix to a bowl. Drain and rinse your beans. Throw your beans in the same pan – saute until heated. Combine the fish and beans in a bowl – top off with a healthy shake of Cholula. Enjoy! Serves 4.

You could also add sliced bell peppers to the mix for some color and added veggies. I also like to eat this meal as leftovers for breakfast with a couple scrambled eggs.

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