More Less

I need to write more poems again.
I miss the way my brain worked then.
I also need to play more songs,
design more websites, right more wrongs,
find more clients, make more cash,
do more with my craft-stuff stash,
speak more Spanish, read more books,
spend time proving I can cook,
make more friends, call friends more,
do more with my Etsy store,
give my toddler more of me,
be the best that I can be,
yes, the very, very best–
okay, so what should I do less?

Ways I’ve Used My Second Screen

For a long time I made fun of my husband for keeping several extra computer monitors around. He had given away or junked several older computers but he wouldn’t part with the monitors. I thought it was just the little bit of hoarder in him coming to the surface. But when we got settled in our new apartment and got our desks organized, he set up one of the extra monitors for me.

I really like it.

Here are five ways I’ve been using my second screen within the past few weeks:

1. Watching Photoshop tutorials (or any teaching videos) while working in Photoshop (or any design program) on the main screen. Before I had the second screen, I had to switch back and forth between YouTube and Photoshop, or creativeLIVE and Dreamweaver, and I would get behind.

2. Expanding the media pane of Adobe Premiere Pro so that I can see all the clips I’m working with at one time without covering up my other panes.

3. Putting on an episode of “Bob el Constructor” for my daughter while I get some work done on the main screen.

4. Displaying the current version of a website while I work on the new design on my main screen. That way I can compare the two versions easily and make sure that I design a space for all the necessary content.

5. Keeping chords and lyrics visible while I experiment in GarageBand and Adobe Audition.

I’m sure I’ll be finding more ways to use my second screen in the coming weeks– it is a lot handier than I realized it would be. One of the reasons I was hesitant to use it is that I knew the Wacom tablet would need to include both screens within it’s limited drawing space. I thought that this would make pen strokes much less accurate and make it more difficult to predict where the mouse would end up on the screen, but I guess my brain made the adjustment because I hardly noticed a difference. It still seemed intuitive. Maybe for detailed illustration I would unplug the second screen, but so far it hasn’t been a problem.

How have you used a second monitor in your line of work?

Happy Birthday, Business!

posted in: design, Uncategorized | 0

A year ago today I sent a quick little message to a family I barely new, congratulating them on starting their own business and asking them if I could help them with any graphic design. They said “Yes!” and my business began. 

The “Graphic Design” folder on my computer now contains over 1500 items, including folders of files for over fifteen different businesses or organizations I’ve worked with. About a dozen logos that I designed are in use today, and each of those logos is the result of hours of work and dozens of drafts. 

Besides logos, I’ve designed brochures, banners, business cards, greeting cards, profile pictures, posters, flyers, labels, t-shirts, tags, invites, menus, worksheets and wall art. I’ve developed two websites for myself and one for a client. I’ve even done graphics for one temporary tap handle! 

What a year of growth and learning it has been– if that was my internship, I can’t wait to start my job! 

To follow my work this coming year, go like my business facebook page.

Web Design Coming Soon!

posted in: design, web design | 0

I’ve had more than my fair share of websites, but I’ve always used a tool like iWeb, Weebly, or Prosite to give me a starting point and a user interface for design. When Adobe came out with Muse, I was excited to try it out, thinking that it would allow me to go a few steps further into web design before the chore of learning code. But it turns out that I’m the kind of person who prefers to spend time learning HTML and CSS rather than spending time trying to figure out why in the world the simple website I’m creating in Muse is not behaving how I expected. Ignorance isn’t bliss. As soon as I realized that, I signed up for twelve hours of basic web design instruction with Janine Warner through Over the course of two days, it made my brain buzz and say, “Aha!” over and over. I still need to practice, but now I know what best practices to strive for, what resources to call upon, and that CSS is my logical little friend.

Taking a Break

posted in: design, Uncategorized | 0

Over Christmas and New Years, I took a wee bit of a break from design work, but I still made small steps towards growing my business:

–I sent out a New Years letter to friends and family, and I included a poetic, illustrative header I designed.
–I made that file the motivation to quick open my Etsy shop Poem Diem Designs.
–I talked with my sister-in-law about ideas for more products that combine my poetry and graphic design, so I’ll be filling out my shop soon.
–At holiday parties, I gave out business cards to people who asked about what I’ve been up to lately.

graphic design sioux falls mckeever design and copywriting business card
my mini-portfolio business card

–I learned more html from my Dad.
–I set New Year’s resolutions including goals for my business.
–I took the time to notice beauty all around me.

Thanks to the time I took to reflect, absorb, and start something new, the time I’ve spent back on the computer these past few days has been particularly productive. Maybe I should make one more New Year’s resolution: remember to take breaks!


If you’re looking for a graphic designer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, be sure to check out my portfolio!

My Rice Paddy

posted in: design, work-at-home mom | 0

For millennia, moms have strapped their babies on to their backs and gone off to work. After I recovered from the stress of moving, colic, traveling, and more colic that followed shortly after the birth of our daughter, I was ready to enter the economical exchange somehow, if only to reconnect with adults outside my household. But I could not find a single rice paddy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota that would allow me to wear my baby at work. In fact, there are no rice paddies in Sioux Falls, and I really don’t envy that particular job.

But it’s true that most jobs, even part-time jobs, don’t offer the kind of flexibility that I was looking for. So I decided to make one for myself.

I still have a long way to go at this business, but I feel like I’m on the right track. I must say: I’m sure it is much easier to transition from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home mom than to go from employed to self-employed while caring for children. This year of McKeever Design and Copywriting was made possible by my hardworking husband supporting our family. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to slowly but surely grow a business.

Check out my growing portfolio at

Help from a Toddler

posted in: design, work-at-home mom | 0

Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning our wee child wakes up. And then, with a little help, she goes back to sleep. All that helping leaves me wide awake, alone, in the dark hours of a winter morning.

But don’t worry, there is plenty to do, and with everyone asleep, I can actually concentrate on doing it– except for the fact that concentration is not my forte. What I really need is some time to work alone, but with someone looking over my shoulder every once in a while. With just a little bit of help, I can work all by myself.

So I imagine our daughter checking in on me, wondering if I am ready to play yet or if she might be allowed to “help” me with my work on the computer. And so, even (and especially!) while she is sleeping, she really is helping me to get my work done.

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