Sugar cube inspired desktop background

sugar cube wallpaper // print (em) shop

Last weekend I attempted to make liege waffles. Yes, the yeast dough waffles with pearl sugar that caramelizes inside.

I say attempted because it failed horribly. I am pretty sure I am cursed when it comes to yeast. I heat it + I allow it to sit, but I don't think I have the magic touch to make sure it actually, you know, rises.

There is a reason why bread making is a trade, because it's not easy to make a perfect dough.

So instead of using all the sugar cubes I bought to use for waffles, I stirred them into fresh-brewed iced tea.

This backdrop is inspired by those sugar cubes. When you first can't make waffles, make a desktop background download instead. And enjoy some iced tea too. 

Fish scales are beautiful + now available as a desktop download

fish scale wallpaper // print (em) shop

The more + more I play around with design I find that I am completely drawn to abstract design. Not that I don't like hyperrealism, but I like subtly representing common items in different ways. This time, it's all about the fish scales.

Nothing is particularly enthralling about fish scales on the surface, but when you look closer you notice how beautiful they truly are. Each scale contains a myriad of colors, glistening when hit with sunlight.

These scales are super abstract + don't glisten in the light, but an homage to the beauty of the real deal. These shapes are free form, repeating between a shorter + a longer style of "scale". I've been playing around with color a lot lately, but here it's a monochromatic color scheme of blue. 

Download below + be sure to let me know of you do so! 

Coffee + Stars // a desktop backdrop

coffee + stars desktop backdrop // print (em) shop

When I set out to design desktop backgrounds for this space, I was admittedly unsure what my aesthetic was.

I am a voracious pinner. While using a tool like Pinterest is fun + inspirational, after some time everything looks like same.

As an online creator I want to create work that is shareable, but designing or photographing for re-pins really stinks. I want to create my work.

I'm the first to admit that I still think my drawing skills aren't cool. Frankly, I'm intimidated by drawing in general. I'm not trained + my approach is very DIY. I know some of you reading this might feel the same exact way. 

This desktop design is the closest to my personal aesthetic at the moment. Each element has been handdrawn + then colored in post production. It's an ode to the morning: when you have some time for yourself, the stars are fading + you get to enjoy your coffee or tea. Then you get on with your busy day. 

A pick me up desktop download for Monday

coffee break desktop backdrop // print (em) shop

Well, lovelies, it is Monday. Not everyones favorite day of the week, but hopefully I can make today a bit smoother with this desktop backdrop designed like a latte.

I've never been a habitual coffee drinker, although I do like to drink cups of tea throughout the day if I can. When I want an extra kick I can't resist a good latte for both the warm caffeine + the pretty designs on top. 

Coffeeshops hold a special place in the hearts of most freelance creatives. I can't afford a studio for my work, so often my options are home, a public library or a coffeehouse. Home is sometimes distracting + my public library has only one seat with a plug (!!!) so if I want to get some good stuff done, sitting with a latte isn't a bad deal.  

There must be countless novels, blog posts + big ideas that have been cooked up while over coffee. And that's pretty cool. 

Download the backdrop below + let me know your go to caffeinated drink in the comments below. 

Geometric desktop backdrop freebie

Blue + yellow desktop backdrop // Print (Em) Shop

Every once in a while I bug my parents with endless questions about my heritage. It's a fascination mostly because so little is actually known.  

My family had roots in Europe, but the tree was disturbed, like many others family trees, by World War 2.  

In college I tried to connect back to my part German roots by studying the language for my language credit. Most of the people in my class were indeed not beginners, so I quickly took a Spanish placement test + dropped German.  

I don't regret it, but I do think about ways to connect to those relatives often.   

A few weeks ago I came across a German cookbook, one that my grandmother would refer to. It had this crazy yellow + green iconography on the front like a wooden rolling pin and a pot over a hearty flame. Inside were hundreds of recipes, all in German. The best part were probably the images both illustrations but also photographs of oddly presented dishes on a bright blue backdrop. 

Since I am obsessed with everything geometric, this desktop backdrop is kind of like my ode to the cookbook. Really abstract, but incorporating the color palate so boldly chosen by its author.  

On dreaming big + taking risks anyway (+ a free printable)

Dream Big Free Printable // Print (Em) Shop

If there is one thing I have learned since starting Print (Em) Shop, it is that you have to dream big. We all face limitations, but dreams can drive us to be creative + think beyond those limitations.

Print (Em) Shop turned 1 years old a month ago. When I started my shop I had no master plan except I knew I needed a creative outlet that would push me out of my comfort zone.

Sharing your work with others is not always a dream. People can be critical + they might not like what you have to offer. There is always risk inherent in any creative pursuit, which is why it is so stomach churningly addictive. If I learned anything since I launched Print (Em) Shop, it is that you should not wait to package orders at midnight AND you have to dream big.

This 4x6 print is dedicated to those moments when you might question yourself, but you know you are going to take that risk regardless. 

So do just that, dream big + know you have a cheerleader over here rooting you on.