This year I thought it would be fun to create some hand lettered holiday gift tags to put on our presents. And since they turned out so stinking cute we’ve decided to make them a free download so you can use them on your gifts too! There are 8 different designs in total with 14 tags printing to a sheet. The file is set-up to easily print on letter size paper. We printed ours on 80# card stock, but anything in the 65-100# weight range would work nicely. After printing we used a paper cutter to trim them down to size and then used a small hole punch. Pair it up with some jute twine or cute baker’s twine and you’re really going to give a pretty gift to your friends and family. Click here or on the photo below to download.
We’re really excited to officially announce the we’re exhibiting on Papernstitch through the end of the year! If you aren’t familiar, Papernstitch is an online exhibition space that was created to promote artists, designers, and makers selling handmade goods. The exhibition space is fabulously curated on a monthly basis by Brittni Mehlhoff and showcases the very best hand-picked items on an international level.
We’re very very excited to be part of it. And as a little bonus we’ve made today’s top pick and are being featured on the pns homepage! Thank you Brittni!
And like that isn’t enough, we’re also debuting a few new products to celebrate. These products are currently only in our Etsy shop, once we get them on our website we will make a formal announcement back here.
Go check out Papernstitch!
This year we have two ways to shop our biggest sale of the year. We’re offering 20% off everything in our Etsy shop with code ENJOY20 OR free shipping on your order above $10 from our website (no code necessary). Take your pick, but don’t think about it too long, only good from now through Monday, December 2.
Last week Steve and I celebrated our three year anniversary. It’s pretty much been a whirlwind ever since we met. The time is just flying by, each day gets better and our relationship grows stronger and stronger. Getting married was a welcomed, but somewhat scary transition for me. I’ve always been extremely independent and completely ok on my own. I liked taking care of myself and having the sense of pride that comes along with that. So moving in and joining my life with another person was an adjustment, but I am proud of both of us. We’ve learned how to go from “me” to “we”, if you will excuse the cheesiness of that phrase, and we’re doing a really great job at it. We’ve moved to a place in our relationship where we feel strong and act as a single unit, while still maintaining our own unique individuality. That’s not always the easiest thing to do. Marriage is a wonderful adventure, friends.
This year to celebrate, we went on our own little adventure. We both really love to travel, so we planned a quick trip up north to see the beautiful wine country of Traverse City, Michigan. Since it was just an overnight trip we thought it would be really fun to bring our Westie, Linus, with us. He loves the car, going places, and anything that involves his leash, but most of all he loves being included. Anytime we leave the house without him his little face goes from super excited to super sad. It breaks my heart every single time. So this time, he got to go. I’ve rarely seen him so excited. He was racing through the house at full speed with that huge Westie smile on his face, I couldn’t get him in the car fast enough. He is just like having a little kid, except furrier. It turned out to be a pretty drizzly weekend, but the scenery was still absolutely beautiful. We caught the end of the autumn colors, drove up the Old Mission Peninsula through wine country and walked around downtown sipping pumpkin lattes, mmm. Short little trips like this are such a nice break from reality that give you the chance to slow down and relax. These are a few photos I was able to snap through the rain.
I don’t know about anyone else, but with the changing seasons I’ve been infatuated lately with the idea of buying a little cabin in the woods and cozying up there for a while. If we did I would fill it with all of these warming Etsy finds. Do you love Etsy as much as I do? I think my favorite thing about it is that you never know what you are going to find. It really makes you feel like you are finding a new treasure every time you visit.
1. Herringbone Tea Towels
2. Hand Carved Antlers
3. Wood Grain Ring
4. Reclaimed Chevron Wood Wall Panel
5. Wood Slice Coasters
6. Pinecone Letterpress Card
7. Organic Cotton Printed Bucket Tote
8. Mixed Metals Minimalist Necklace
9. Quilted Ceramic Mugs
10. Vintage Wood Crate
11. No Vacancy Sign
12. Painted Branch Tealight Holders
13. Reclaimed Industrial Coffee Table
14. Rustic Wooden Wreath
15. Hanging Bird Calendar
16. Free Spirit Wall Art
So today I thought it would be fun to show a little glimpse of my illustration process. This is something that I’ve been working on for a while now and I ended up writing a detailed explanation of the entire process, where I go into specifics on each step. If you’re interested in seeing how I do it, hop over here and get the whole scoop.
We’re so excited to to finally be announcing our brand new, beautiful line of holiday cards. These have been ready to go for months and it’s been so tough to keep them under our hat until now. From Thanksgiving to New Years we’ve got everything you need to get a head start this year, including a new addition to our product line. We’re very thrilled to introduce two personalized card sets for a custom look without the custom price — printed special for your family. There are only 70 days until Christmas so now is the perfect time to get started.
Cue the creepy haunted house music, the Halloween cards have arrived. I’m swooning over the black princess skull. It’s the perfect mix of creepy and beautiful. What do you think? Do you send Halloween cards out? Growing up me and my sisters (all six of them) used to get cards from our grand parents and other close relatives. That’s always a nice little memory for me. Halloween isn’t a big family get together kind of holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but sending a card is a nice way to still celebrate with everyone you love. I’ve got a stack over here waiting to be addressed.
I really loved creating the hand lettered type design below. On the left is the inked sketch and next to it is the concept design. It’s always amazing to me how much the inked drawings come to life once they on the computer and colored. It gives me the opportunity to adjust the layout and spacing and really define the elements that should stand out.
Ultimately we ended up using the first sketch for a simple, clean layout perfect for their day. Below is the final invitation. I had so much fun working on these and just love how they turned out. I don’t take on a lot of custom wedding designs each year, but am so glad I had the opportunity to work on this one. Congratulations to Jane & Ed!
Very excited to announce another batch of new cards now available in the shop. I’ve been as busy as a little bee lately with more new cards on their way, a full line of holiday cards almost ready for release (hooray for getting a head start this year), custom branding designs and custom weddings. I’ve also been working on refining the HPC brand and ferociously going after my 2013 goal of taking HPC wholesale.. meaning that HPC products would be sold in stores. How exciting would that be? The day I make my first wholesale order is going to be a day of celebration. But for today, we have brand new editions in the shop. And I have to admit, the new Holla card is my all time favorite thing I have ever created, ever.
I hope you like them!
It was always you.
And it always will be.
You make me incredibly happy.
Husband & Wife
Cheers to a happy life.
I’ve thought a lot about this and have come to a conclusion. I was wrong.
So.. yeah that happened.
Really sorry about that.
Gnome – Happy Birthday!
So that title didn’t work out quite as well as I was hoping, but we’ve got a new line of birthday cards nonetheless. And with every new line I launch I get more and more excited, because that means we are that much closer to having a full line of greeting cards, which is my ultimate goal right now. So to kickoff our birthday line we have seven, fresh off the press, beauties. They are all 5″x7″, hand illustrated and printed on natural recycled cover stock. Click on each image to go to the shop listing for more information.
Get ‘em while they’re hot.
Inside: Just don’t count ‘em.
Happiest of Birthdays to you.
Inside: Live it up.
Have a super birthday!
Inside: Hope it’s more exciting than a flying dog.
Mmmake a wish
Inside: You know you want to wish for more cake.
It’s your birthday!!
Inside: Hot diggity dog. Enjoy!
Inside: Happy Birthday!
I recently read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and would like to share my thoughts with you today. Being an introvert myself the subject matter interests me greatly and I had hoped by reading this book I would be able to gain some insight and understanding. I can certainly say I have gained what I set out to along with a new appreciation for introverts after reading this book.
As far as the book itself goes, I thought that it was extremely well researched, almost too a point where it became laborious to read. There were sections halfway through that I just could get through. I ended up skipping parts of chapters 6, 7 and 8. The topics and in-depth detail being explained I felt had little relevance to what main topic of the book. A simple explanation and overview in these areas would have been plenty to make her point, but they went on and on. This is a book that I would love to get a Cliff Notes version of. I felt that the chapters 1-3 and 8-10 were the most relevant and insightful. By the time I made it to chapter 8 I was exhausted and really doubting my ability to make it to the end. But 8-10 really turned it around and offered some really incredible explanation. The conclusion notes seem like common sense, but combined with the information from the rest of the book its extremely motivating and a concise summary of the key points
With that being said I think that this is a necessary ready for everyone, at least chapters 1-3 and 8-10. It will help to gain a better understanding of your family, friends, children, co-workers and anyone you communicate with on a regular basis. The information provided was a welcomed explanation to so many things I’ve always written off as just me being weird. My entire life I’ve always felt like the weird kid. I just didn’t quite fit in. I was different, but I didn’t know growing up that I was still normal. It helped me to adjust my view not only on myself, but the rest of the world. People are people, false. The truth is that you are you, and I am me.
Some of the key points that really stuck with me were these:
Open floor plan work environments: kills creativity and makes people inhibited, uneasy and uncomfortable.
Intense passion and commitment to an activity (ie: art) leads to happiness and well-being. (I’ve always been immensely attracted to creating art and have always felt happiest and most calm when I was submerged in creating my art projects.)
Over-stimulation in large groups, public events and spaces is stressful, physically & mentally exhausting for introverts. It interferes with attention span and short term memory – a key component of speaking on the fly.
Solitude was a word that always resonated deeply with me. Its where I am the most calm. I can relax, recharge and where I do my best thinking and work. Introverts desperately crave downtime away from social over-stimulation.
The culture of character that occurred before the 1920′s eventually shifted to a culture of personality post 1920. When this happened the occurrence of social anxiety rose greatly.
Society tells us that we have to be super extroverts to be happy and successful. It makes us introverts feel wrong and ashamed of whom we really are.
Its easy to lose who you are if you started changing who you were too early before you got to know yourself. Self-discovery is something you’ll have to find out later in life. Cain provides simple questions to help you determine who you are and what you like called “core personal projects”.
1. What did you like as a child?
2. What do you do when you procrastinate?
3. Who/what are you envious of?
Introverts have a hard time projecting artificial enthusiasm or excitement.
Public speaking is more difficult if you are not interested in the topic.
Introverts can have different social selves to fit the situation or group they are with during that time. This explains why we can have extroverted moments then revert back to introvert mode. This was something that always confused me.
I would like to end my review with this quote. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Get more information about this book:
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Our new Father’s Day cards are here. Seven to choose from, each card is printed on a heavy, recycled cover stock and paired with a blue or natural colored envelope depending on the card. All designs are hand drawn and produced in our studio. Visit each shop listing for additional details and images. Don’t forget, Father’s Day is June 16th.
Outside: (bouquet of screwdrivers)
Inside: “Screw flowers. Happy Father’s Day!”
You’re the Man
Outside: (mallard + wood grain texture)
Inside: “You’re the man. Happy Father’s Day.”
Back: (wood grain texture)
Cheers to a Smooth Father’s Day
Outside: “Cheers” (glass of scotch)
Inside: “Wishing you a smooth Father’s Day.”
The Ultimate Man Card
Outside: “The Ultimate Man Card” (manly collage: mallard, t-bone, rifle, pipe, canoe, oar, football, swiss army knife, hat, cigar, scotch glass and a golden plaque)
Inside: “Happy Father’s Day.”
Back: (tufted leather pattern)
Tools He’ll Never Have to Use
Inside: “Tools you’ll never have to use. You’re welcome. Happy Father’s Day!”
Back: (hand drawn plaid pattern)
Dad You’re Super Rad
Inside: “Happy Father’s Day”
Stepdad You’re Super Rad
Inside: “Happy Father’s Day”
Spring is here and that means warmer temperatures and chilly offices. Perfect lacy wrap weather if you ask me. So I’ve rounded up my top ten patterns for some cozy spring knitting. All of the patterns come from Ravelry and most are for purchase, but 9 and 10 are free patterns. I picked up some Stroll Tonal sock weight yarn from Knit Picks in the Thunderhead grey color and the Nefertem pattern. I can’t wait to get started.
1. Andrea’s Shawl by Kirsten Kapur
2. Nefertem by Kirsten Kapur
3. Juneberry Triangle by Jared Flood
4. Damask by Kitman Figueroa
5. Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur
6. Celes by Jared Flood
7. Be.Leaf by Kitman Figueroa
8. Xeni by Kitman Figueroa
9. Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn
10. Spearmint Tea by Kateryna Golovanova
I’m back today with another life lesson. The last couple weeks have been quiet for me and I had to put down my sketchbook and pencil. Working all day and drawing all night has been putting tremendous strain on my wrist and I’ve been dealing with some carpal tunnel issues. So to rest and heal I have been limiting the time I spend sketching. This has not been easy and there has been more than a time or two where the husband has walked into the room to catch me drawing. And with that fact I think this is the perfect life lesson for everyone (myself included) today.
Day nine of the Life Lessons hand lettering group project: Be good – most of the time. I believe in being good. I am a rule follower by nature. I don’t like to make waves. I think that you should obey the traffic laws and in general just be a good person. I also think there is a time and place to break the rules. I’m not talking about major laws here. I’m talking about the rules we as a society, and as individuals, put in place. The ones about how you shouldn’t tell someone you don’t like their new hair cut when they ask or keeping quiet just for the sake of politeness. Sometimes you have to speak up. And sometimes you just have to drink coffee at 1am. You know it’s not a good idea at the time, but it doesn’t matter. The fun you have doing it outweighs the consequences. The risks you take in life are often the things you remember the best.
This life lesson is extra special because it has been submitted to the Minted + West Elm design challenge. Submissions close on 4/26 and voting will begin. If you get over to Minted keep an eye out for my lettering!
The Mother’s Day Greeting Cards have arrived in the shop. All of the cards are standard A7 greeting card size (5×7) and printed on a heavy recycled card stock in a speckled cream color. Cards come with an A7 envelope in purple, blue or natural, depending on the design. HPC has recently invested in a wonderful printer that we are going to be printing our own greeting cards on. I was a little nervous about making this move, but after seeing the amazing quality of the test prints I’m so excited about it.
Mom You Were Always Right
Inside: I finally said it. Happy Mother’s Day!
Inside: Thanks for being so awesome.
No Green Thumb Required
Inside: Happy Mother’s Day!
You’re So Crafty
Inside: Thanks for making me.
Day eight of the Life Lessons hand lettering group project - Stay home if you are sick – Don’t be a hero. You don’t want to be sick, we get it, but pretending to be well enough to go to work fools no one. And nobody wants what you’ve got. So don’t be a hero. Use those sick days. That’s what they’re there for. The work will be there when you get back.
Day seven of the Life Lessons hand lettering group project - Use Your Vacation Days. And I mean all of them, because nobody is going to think you are more awesome if you let them expire. Just the opposite actually. So get out there and have fun. Its the best way to recharge and stay motivated. More information on this project and how to join in can be found here. View the entire collection on Pinterest.
We’ve got two new additions in the shop today! Both are hand printed on kraft paper with white ink. The bouquet cards would be perfect for Mother’s Day and also congratulations or thank you notes. The Michigan cards are right for just about anything to let everyone know how smitten you are with the mitten. Get yours here.
Day six of the Life Lessons hand lettering group project – Write it down. I can’t even tell you how many times a day I think of my “most amazing idea yet” and then its completely gone when I come back to it. I haven’t the foggiest what my amazing idea was. Or what I went to the store to get. I know we need it, but I couldn’t tell you what it is for the life of me. Sometimes it comes back to me when I’m pulling back in the driveway, other times I am not so lucky. Lesson learned, so now I keep a notepad on my at all times. I use my iPhone to keep track of notes and I send myself emails in the middle of the night. I’ve got a brain that never stops.
Today is Linus’ 11th birthday. I like to make him little hats to celebrate. This year we made a gold crown that he particularly hated. Besides a general death stare in my direction and a lot of wiggling around he was such a good sport about it. I cannot believe he is 11 already. Happy birthday to the sweetest dog ever!
Day five of the Life Lessons hand lettering group project – Finish this project first before starting the next. Amen. I am the queen of starting new projects before I can even finish the last one. I have so many ideas that I am constantly thinking of and am just so excited about all of them. I want to start working on them asap. My excitement gets the best of me sometimes. I received a gift for my birthday this year that is a coffee mug that says “I’ve got ideas I haven’t even thought of yet” which is so completely fitting on the both counts, the quote and the fact that it aids in my coffee addiction. More information on this project and how to join in can be found here. View the entire collection on Pinterest.
I didn’t get much sleep last night. As I was reflecting back on why exactly that is I thought it might be a good story to tell you. It all starts in October 2009, a week before Halloween. The last time I really knew what a full night’s sleep felt like.
Steve and I were just starting our relationship. We were falling madly in love with each other and like a lot of people do, we thought it would be a great idea to get a(nother) pet. On a trip to the pet store to pick-up food for Linus we happened to wander by the cats that were available for adoption. Most of them were sleeping with their backs turned to us and couldn’t care less that we even existed, except one. This cat was different. She was friendly and excited to see us. Rubbing her entire body up against the glass like she was glued to it, reaching her paw out like she wanted to shake hands, her purring was so loud we could practically feel the vibrations through the glass. She worked us. Bad. We got our food and went home, sad to leave her there. We found ourselves not being able to stop thinking about her. We called the adoption agency and filled out an application. Within a week we were accepted and told we could bring her home. Oh, we were so excited and couldn’t wait.
On the day we went to get her from the pet store we met a cat that we had never seen before. She was pissed and mean. I tried to pet her and she swiped her little jagged claws at me like she wanted me dead. Steve and I looked at each other scared for our lives. The adoption manager assured us that she was upset about being cooped up in her cage so long and she had just had her nails cut and that she would calm down and return to her normal, lovely little self. So we put her in the pet carrier and took her home. On the way home we heard a little “mew” from the back seat. I reluctantly turned around and put my finger into her carrier hoping it would not have been bitten off. I left a nose and a little lick, followed by a couple more friendly meows. Phew. Thank goodness we weren’t bring devil kitty home. Or so we thought.
The first night home was eventful. Within five minutes of letting her out of that carrier she ran away. Out the door, down the stairs and into the dark. Steve chased after her in his socks and brought her back. We immediately got her a little red collar with a jingly bell on it so that we could track her whereabouts. Ninja kitty no more. Best $4 we ever spent.
Fast forward a couple years to the recent past. Lilly is a wonderful kitty. She is friendly, warm and loving. She loves people and is extremely personable. She visits with our house guests and even tries to snuggle up with our dog. He doesn’t like her, but he does tolerate her. Sometimes she hides on him and when he walks by she bats him in the head. This of course turns into a high speed chase throughout our house. They never hurt each other and its actually pretty funny to watch them play.
During the day she sleeps. She also sleeps in the evening and into the night. But around 11 p.m. things change. Our house turns into a war zone. Lilly is awake and has a full tank of energy. She comes up into our bedroom to lay on me making sure to headbutt the phone or book out of my hand so it is clear what my priorities are. Its time to pet her. And love her. And give her my undivided attention. Ok, cat. I’m on it. Eventually though I fall asleep and this is when things really get crazy. She is wired. Sleeping is not an option. She walks on my face, walks on Steve’s face, walks on the dog’s face. Now we are all pissed. She takes off running at full speed through the house. Naturally the dog goes after her to warn her not to come back. This buys us a few precious moments of sleep.
2 a.m. scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch rhythmically on the wall. Pillow thrown, target hit, but not down. There she goes racing down the hallway, dog not far behind. 2:15 a.m. repeat. 3 a.m she is standing on my back meowing. 3:30 a.m. I dream that someone is punching me in the stomach and wake to find the cat headbutting me in the ribs. 3:32 a.m. a tail is flicking me repeatedly in the face as she tries to get in the nearby attic door. Now I can’t be sure, but it would seem logical that I am now threatening to lock her outside. Steve calls her over to leave me alone. I contemplate what it would be like to go back in time and talk myself out of adopting another pet. 4:40 a.m five minutes before Steve’s alarm goes off, she is now on her normal routine of waking him up. She is hungry and craving love. She gets him up and follows him down stairs. I have 2 precious hours before he leaves for work, time to sleep. 6:45 a.m. I feel the gentle grasp of her teeth on my jugular. The dragon is letting me know its time to get up. By 8 a.m. I am walking out the door to go to work and she is sleeping peacefully on the chair. I make sure to wake her up before I go.
Sweet, sweet little cat. She is so very lucky that I love her.
Life Lessons – day three: Your mom was right. Isn’t that the truth? I’m really loving how this one turned out. I tried a couple new effects and techniques and am really happy with the result. The text pops right off the background. Want to get involved? More information about my hand lettering project here.
Life Lessons hand lettering project – day two: Those shoes weren’t worth it. Who’s with me on this one?
So I have a big announcement and I need your help if you can spare just a minute. I recently entered the Minted and PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful Quotes design challenge. For this challenge I created two hand drawn lettering quotes and I would love so much if you could go to Minted.com and vote for me. The winners are going to get a chance to be featured on PEOPLE.com! How amazing would that be? Voting is open until Tuesday, March 26th at 9am PST.
The links to both of my pieces are here:
Search for Perfection
Since I posted my 29 accomplished in 29 list it only makes sense to do a 30 in 30 list as a follow-up and reminder to myself for when I get distracted in the monotony of everyday life. Turning thirty is not the easiest of milestones and to counteract that I am focusing on the good. No. Nope. I’m focusing on the GREAT. I feel like I finally have a solid footing and I am just getting started. My overarching goal for this year: have fun in the everyday. Life is way too short to postpone that. So my plan is to do all of the things on my list and have a blast doing them. Let’s go:
1. Start running and complete a 10k
2. Start offering custom illustration and branding work
3. Return to the custom weddings invitation game on my own terms – (no more hand trimming)
4. Take HPC wholesale
5. Get a cute swim suit and go swimming in lake Michigan
6. Take up calligraphy
7. Get a bike (with a bell) & go biking with Steve
8. Travel: Boston, MA, and Wilmington, NC (Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC just got checked off the list)
9. Plant and not kill a garden
10. Wear more cute skirts
11. Redo our backyard deck
12. Get on my web game – be more efficient in html & css
13. Learn (well, relearn) French
14. Take a class
15. Go horseback riding
16. Wake up on time to make more of my day, in other words stop hitting snooze
17. Code a new portfolio website (in progress)
18. Go to a concert with Steve
19. Create a cohesive, accomplishable (and amazing) five-year business plan
20. Get fancy at cooking
21. Take Linus on adventures
22. Start a daily creative project (just started this yesterday)
23. Participate in Blogging for Books (in progress)
24. Get my letterpress on
25. Knit some really cute knee socks (like this)
26. Start writing a book
27. Focus on quality not quantity
28. Create a giant painting for our living room
29. Cook my way through Clean Start
30. Do something for the greater good
Bonus: Attend a conference
And there it is. It’s going to be a fun year.
I’m excited to announce the official kick-off of my hand lettering project – Life Lessons. I’ve spent a lot of time already planning this out, coming up with ideas and working on sketches. I’ve had this one waiting to post for a few days now and could barely stand the excitement. So here with go with Life Lessons Day One: Tip your waitress.
And if you want to join in on the fun please email me at email@example.com - the more the merrier! I will give you access to the Pinterest board where you can pin your own work. Make sure you tell us a little about it in your pin and that it links back to your website or blog if you have one.
Today I am saying goodbye twenty-nine. It’s been a lot of fun. This was a monumental year. Difficult at times, but worth every single second. And at the end of it I feel stillness. Calm. I started the year with this blog post about feeling restless and searching for more and this one about making the most of 29. Mission accomplished. I ended this year with a sense of complete accomplishment and peace.
As I listed out what my biggest triumphs from the past year I couldn’t believe some of the things that are on there. I still can’t really. Small actions really add up over the course of a year. A year from now you’ll wish you had started today, right? I couldn’t agree more with that. So here we go.. my 29 from 29 list in, no particular order.
1. Attended Making Things Happen (MTH)
2. Turned down the volume on my chronic anxiety
3. Started my business
4. Read a heck of a lot of books
5. Got back into drawing
6. Discovered a passion for illustration & lettering
7. Stayed on Mackinac Island with Steve and Linus
8. Visited North Carolina <3
9. Exhibited in two craft shows
10. Accepted into the National Stationery Show (though I have decided to wait another year)
11. Saw my beautiful friend’s brand new baby right after he was born – yay Ben!
12. Visited Bell Isle, the Riverwalk in Downtown Detroit and Eastern Market
13. Tried my hand at painting with watercolor and gouache
14. Got back into printmaking
15. Completed all kinds of DIY projects from Pinterest
16. Cleared out the clutter from our ENTIRE house
17. Turned an extra bedroom into the business’ office
18. Defined my direction and vision for my company
19. Attended two Making Brands Happen webinars
20. Grew a stronger marriage with my husband
21. Cooked an entirely homemade Thanksgiving dinner (and it was delicious)
22. Purchased a letterpress
23. Spoke up when I had something to say
24. Started learning to do product photography and fell in love with photo styling
25. Made some wonderful friends at MTH in NC
26. Let go of perfection – maybe the most important accomplishment this year
27. Painted a portrait of Snoop Dogg
28. Started thinking about babies
29. Slowed down
Twenty-nine is over and its time to move on. I’ve got more to do, bigger and better, even more awesome to fulfill. Its time to get going. Let’s do this thirty.
The official details for my daily project previously talked about are here. As I mentioned before, I’ve been pulling a lot of inspiration from other designers’ daily projects and decided to start one of my own. Lately I have been spending a lot of time exploring hand lettering and have really been loving it. So it seemed fitting to base my project on that so that I can sharpen my skills and build up some work.
Some of the rules I posted before were:
1.) I want to do something unique. and 2.) I want create my work based on a theme.
I know hand lettering projects aren’t unique so I am basing all of my drawings on the theme Life Lessons. This will give my project the uniqueness I was looking for and also focus it to hopefully make a cohesive collection.
3.) I want to showcase varied styles of work within that theme.
This is something that will need to be focused on with every new drawing. It is easy to get comfortable in a certain style of work so I really want to push to have varied pieces.
4.) I want this to remain a fun endeavor.
With that being said the illustrations I do can be very time intensive and to make quality work I can’t (and don’t want to) rush through them. I’m starting out with a 30 day project. I will be posting new pieces on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
And as part of this project it would be so much fun if others joined in. Anyone can join, the more the merrier, and you don’t have to use my Life Lessons theme or even my rules. The only requirement is that you are creating hand lettering and it needs to be friendly for all audiences. I’ve created a Pinterest board where I will be posting all of my new work in addition to here on the blog. To join this project send me a quick email: handletteringproject at gmail dot com with your Pinterest user name. (ie: http://www.pinterest.com/jaymesloan – jaymesloan is my Pinterest user name.)
I wanted to give everyone the details a little early so they can plan ahead. This project officially launches next week on March 20th.
I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately from the daily creative projects of other designers. They range in subject matter and method of creation, but they do share one big common factor – to create. I am a maker by nature, I thrive on it. During my internet surfing it has really become clear to me that this is a great way to push yourself to create new work, build a portfolio of diverse pieces, learn new skills, expand your visual styles and show off your creative talents. Some of the daily projects that have inspired me are:
Daily Dishonesty by Lauren Hom
Hand Written Letters by Mary Kate McDevitt
The Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische
Daily Drawings by Chris Piascik
365 Patterns by Fifth and Hazel
365 Patterns in 2013 by Ollibird
#365 Drawing Project by Sarah Jane
Logo a Day by Dear Miss Modern (this is a little different, but same principle)
I’ve been thinking about starting one of my own for a while now, and have a few rules that I want to follow. 1.) I want to do something unique. 2.) I want create my work based on a theme. 3.) I want to showcase varied styles of work within that theme. 4.) I want this to remain a fun endeavor. I’m still hashing out the specifics like length of time, type of work, and how often I will realistically be able to post new pieces – keeping in mind rule #4, but I’m really excited about this. The project is going to kickoff on March 21st with full details and how to get involved if you’re interested.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately in my sketchbook working on hand lettering projects. This is the latest one. What do you think? I’m sort of in love with it. When Steve and I were in Savannah we stopped in the Paula Dean store and, of course, she had a hey y’all cast iron sign for sale. I wanted it, bad, but it was heavy and didn’t want to risk exceeding Delta’s bag weight maximum. But that sparked this idea and I’m glad it did. I created a gold and a warm shabby chic cream version. Below those are the original sketch and the inked piece before I worked on it digitally.
Last week Steve and I took a quick trip down South to Savannah, Georgia. It has been a place I’ve wanted to go see since I was in high school and dreaming about attending SCAD – the Savannah College of Art and Design. That didn’t quite happen, but my desire never faded. So we said goodbye to the dog, boarded our plane and hit the road.. or sky really. An added bonus of a southern trip in February is the warm weather. Back in Detroit it was 20 degrees and snowing. While we were there we only needed a light jacket. It was so incredibly nice.
One of the things I love most about the South is the Spanish moss adorning the giant trees that overhang the roads and sidewalks. It has to be one of the prettiest things in just about ever. The picture below was taken at Emmet Park. Aren’t those trees just gorgeous? We walked all over Savannah and tried to soak up as much as possible. From River Street, to the shops, local dining, SCAD and a tour on the Peacemaker. There was a Dick Blick art store on campus, so of course we (me) had to stop in and pick-up some supplies. We don’t have any Blick art stores in Michigan, so I was down right giddy about this.
Friday we traveled east about 20 minutes to Tybee Island. It was stunning and completely serene. We walked miles down the beach and the only sounds to be heard were from the ocean. We could have stayed there for days. Before we left we came across a hurricane category sign that really put the snow in Michigan in perspective for us. Steve is 6’4″ and still shorter than a category 2. Crazy.
Saturday, we decided since we were close enough to take a day trip up to Charleston, South Carolina. It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Savannah. We walked around charming downtown Charleston, visited the City Market, and made our way over to Fort Sumter by ferry. If y’all don’t know Fort Sumter was where the Civil War started. It was a neat thing to go see and soak up all of that history. On the ferry we could see dolphins swimming along side us. We had never seen anything like this before. It felt like we were little kids on Christmas morning.
The weather started warming up nicely back in Georgia and the next day we ventured out to Oatland Island to the National Wildlife Reserve. It was so much fun to walk around the trails and see all of the animals. We didn’t see any wild gators (thankfully), but in the reserve we did see wolves, a cougar, a fox, bobcats and other wildlife that you just don’t see very often if ever at all. I also had a little run in with a giant sheep that did not like me very much. I think I got just a little bit too close for his liking. It rammed the fence right in front of me and I pretty much screamed and ran. City girl at the farm.. what are you gonna do.
Tuesday morning we packed it up and headed back to chilly Detroit. The city welcomed us back with 18 degrees and a snow storm. That’s just about right. We had so much fun though and are planning our next trip already. Thanks for the warm weather Georgia! xoxo
I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting lately with hand lettering and discovered this video by Ryan Hamrick for Holstee. He talks about how he got started and his passion for creating his stunning work. I especially love that he talks about how he couldn’t get the time to move fast enough when he was working regular 9-5 jobs, and now that he is doing something he loves he wishes he could slow it down instead. I remember having these days working office jobs, looking at the clock every five minutes thinking an hour must have passed since the last time I looked and just feeling that devastation when I realized it had only been five and a half minutes. Its funny how the days fly by now when I spend them in my studio. It’s after 5p.m. before I even know it and I’m wishing for more time.
I thought it would be fun to share a recent piece I’ve been working on. It’s fitting for the topic of this post today and I am really loving how it turned out. It’s going to be part of my new personal portfolio site that I am working on to show some of my recent design and lettering work. I can wait to launch it to show off all my new goodies.
I love new ideas. Ideas are my most favorite thing in the world. And I too suffer from creative paralysis. Does that phrase hit home with anyone else, “creative paralysis”? The first time I heard it something clicked and I realized that I’m not the only one that deals with it. The mental overload of projects and possibilities can be overwhelming. I stumbled across this video today while keeping up on my rss feed and completely fell in love with it. If you are a creative professional and are anything like me, you might just identify with this talk like I did. It’s completely brilliant and insightful.
The process goes a little something like this. I get a genius idea – maybe my best idea ever. I research and gather and procrastinate just a little bit, sometimes more, then finally start working. Then the artistic decisions eventually start to stall out the progress I am making. There are so many choices to make and questions to answer. “Which way is the best direction to go? What should I do here?” This continues until my idea haunts me and I avoid even thinking about it. Not long after the project comes to a complete halt as my brain goes numb with overload of possibilities. I couldn’t restart it again if I wanted to. I begin to loathe my idea. It sits in my studio and stares at me day after day. Then my idea turns on me and I begin to doubt myself and my abilities. But something happens, the time passes and all of the sudden the idea has a new life again. I’ve grown, and learned and I have a new light to bring back to the project. So I work and work and work until its finally finished. I feel accomplished. I’m on top of the world. My creative confidence is soaring. I now understand that the idea wasn’t ready when I first thought of it, something was missing. It needed time to develop subconsciously. No, I wasn’t ready for it. I needed time. Everything is right with the world. Onto the next brilliant idea. Sound familiar? Me too, friend.
One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you take things on as you are ready for them. And that’s okay. Things have a way of silently passing by when you aren’t actively seeking them out. So get ready, give yourself time and trust your instincts. Just don’t wait until you are 100% ready because the day will never come. 90% is perfect.
I highly recommend reading Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It follows along the same topic line and is hugely inspirational and motivating.
It is not just you.
It’s true! Wedding suites are coming to the shop. Ten brand new, ready-made custom designs are going to be released on March 1st, featuring all hand drawn illustrations that are inspired by nature. What is ready-made custom? That means that designs are going to be pre-made and easily customized to match your wedding. You will be able to choose one of our designs available and then pick your fonts, colors and customize with your own wording. As close to custom as ready-made can get. Simple, beautiful, and handmade with love for your big day.
Formal details to follow.
This quote hits home with me so much. I have spent my entire life striving to make things around me beautiful. It is the reason why I do what I do. I saw this quote today and knew I had to incorporate it into my daily life and my business. So I made a print to hang in my office and just loved it so much that I want to share it with all of you too, to encourage everyone to make the world a more beautiful place. This print is yours. Hang it in your home or in your work space. Enjoy. And create something beautiful. xoxo
Happy Friday! It’s been a while since I posted a new freebie, so wait no longer my friends. Best of all this freebie is editable! Awesome, right? Download the pdf, type your name in the text field, print on a thick piece of paper at 100% and trim down to size. Remember to fold on the dotted line. Card fits perfectly into a standard A7 envelope (greeting card size).
That’s it. Super cute. Super easy. And it’s all yours. All of our freebies are for personal use only. Enjoy! xoxo
2012. Where should I even begin? It was a huge, wild year for me. I made gigantic strides, huge decisions and even bigger leaps of faith. I began 2012 with this overwhelming desire to make a change. I felt like I was sleep walking through my days and I wanted to wake up. I wanted new. I wanted big. I wanted the chase. I felt void and was desperately seeking to feel that excitement of following my dreams and making a difference in my life. I needed something to change.
That’s how I began 2012 and I am ending it exactly where I set out to be. I made the decision to attend Making Things Happen. That was huge and amazing. Shortly after MTH I reworked my business and started fresh with a new direction that more closely fit my heart. Zero to brand new business in 4 months wasn’t easy and I devoted a lot of my time to making that happen and was happy to do it. I also completed the Making Brands Happen webinars on Branding and the Client Experience. Taking these strides has made my inner drive skyrocket. I have a solid direction that I am excited about and fiercely chasing after in every way possible. Huge ideas are brewing in the studio. One in particular is going to be released in early 2013 and I’m so incredibly pumped about it. It started as a personal project, but I think it will be useful for a lot of people out there like me so I’ve decided to share it with the world. (Blog post coming soon – get excited.)
Part of my success this year can be attributed to finding a few people that have really inspired me, and helped define what I want and how to get there. Marie Forleo, Jessica Hische, Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co., Gary Vaynerchuck, Danielle LaPorte, Gretchen Rubin. And of course, the lovely ladies of Making Things Happen and Making Brands Happen, Lara Casey and Emily Ley. This is not an all inclusive list by any means, but these are some of the major role models for me this past year that I am grateful for.
Speaking of grateful, I’d like to end my 2012 wrap up on this note. One of the biggest things I learned in 2012 was that things can always get worse. This sounds dark and gloomy, but stick with me for just another second and I’ll get to the point. 2012 was a rough year. It was not easy by any means and the challenges presented were tall orders. My 9-5 job was turned upside down as we went from a full team of 7 to a team of 2 in under three months. At every point of this happening I remember thinking to myself, “It can’t get any worse than this.” And you know what, it kept getting worse. And here we are, struggling, but getting by with two people. And what I realize today is that it could still be worse. Thank goodness for the other person that makes up this team of two, without her I would be lost. I’m telling you this not for a pity party, no thank you, but because it has taught me to be grateful for what I have, right now, in this moment, because things can always get worse. There is always something else to lose even when you can’t possibly imagine it. So look around and take note. This year I am thankful for what I have been able to accomplish, for my role models, for my supportive husband, for the support of our incredible customers, for my teammate and for my job – to name a few. This is how I’m ending 2012 and how I will live in 2013. Thankful and excited for what lies ahead.
Cheers to 2012 and to an even happier 2013.
Do you all love Instagram as much as I do? A photo can just be so much more descriptive than 140 Twitter characters. Don’t get me wrong I do love Twitter, but I LOVE Instagram. I really started getting into it towards middle of the year once I discovered how much fun it is, and wanted to share my 12 favorite photos from 2012. Are you on Instagram too? Follow me for a peek into our shop and life.
Being a creative entrepreneur means that I need to be on top of my game. I need to know everything there is to know about running a business, product production, shipping, billing, taxes, customer service, wholesale, blogging, marketing, product photography, trade shows, inventory.. This list could go on for a while and that’s exactly why I am serious about my reading list. During the month of December I am working on planning 2013 and part of that was creating my reading list. I will be writing up a short book review on each of these as I finish them. And while I’m at it I will be doing book reviews on my reads from 2012. (Social accountability, right here folks.) The 2012 books were especially crucial in getting me where I’m at right now, from no plan, no business, no products to being a fully operational business producing and selling my heart out. The 2012 reading list can be viewed here. I’m looking forward to lots of time curled up under a blanket reading these books that I’ve heard so much goodness about.
- The Thank You Economy – Gary Vaynerchuck
- The Charge – Brendon Burchard
- Digital Leader – ErikQualman
- Recipe for Press – Amy Flurry
- Graceful – Seth Godin
- Blog Inc. – Joy Cho
- How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything – Dov Seidman
- The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
- Like A Virgin – Richard Branson
- The Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman
- Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value – Mark Thompson
- Life’s Golden Ticket – Brendon Burchard
- What I wish I Knew When I was 20 – Tina Seelig
- Content Rules – Ann Handley
- UnMarketing – Scott Stratten
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World – Michael Hyatt
- The Referral Engine – John Jantsch
- The Pumpkin Plan – Michael Michalowicz
- Likeable Social Media – Dave Kerpern
- Permission Marketing – Set Godin
- Purple Cow – Seth Godin
- All Marketers are Liars – Seth Godin
- Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield
- Uncertainty – Jonathan Fields
- The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon
- The Now Effect – Elisha Goldstein
- The Myth of Multitasking – Dave Crenshaw
- EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
- Story Branding – Jim Signorelli
- Creative Inc. – Joy Cho
- The Art of Possibility – Zander
- Live More, Want Less – Mary Carlomagno
I’m really excited to introduce a couple new items that were added to the shop this week. Our snowflake block prints cards were such a hit I decided to create a few more designs, the Bow and the Stag. I’m love love loving both of these cards so much, but am completely dying over the Stag. I’m not sure what exactly it is about antlers.. but they are so much fun. It has to be something about the organic shape combined with the rustic vibe they give off. They would be perfect for the holiday season to give with gifts or as thank you notes, and the kraft paper option would really just be a nice greeting card for anytime of the year for guys and gals alike. Speaking of cards to give with gifts, the bow is just perfect year round. I’m completely enamored with kraft paper. Its so subtle and versatile, and when paired with a fun hand printed design the white ink pops right off the paper, giving such a strong statement without being overdone. Okay, enough swooning over these for now. I hope you all love them as much as I do.
I’ve also been busy working on another new set of designs that I just cannot wait to announce. But for now I’m going to keep it quiet until I am closer to launching them in January.
It’s the most wonderful day of the year. Don’t you just love Cyber Monday? I do and to celebrate everything in the shop is on sale today. EVERYTHING! And to make it even sweeter, all holiday items have free shipping. Skip the crowds, grab your coffee and get shoppin’. xo Jayme
I am very excited to announce that I am offering free shipping on all holiday items in the online shop through November 24th. We have 9 different greeting card designs, hand printed lino cut snowflake cards, and hand printed/double sided gift tags. Happy (early) Thanksgiving! Visit the shop.
Our holiday cards are now available in the shop! All are oh so festive and include bright, fun patterns. Cards are sold in sets of 10 with blank interiors for your personal messages and include white envelopes. A few examples of the 2012 collection are seen above. For more information and to view the entire collection, visit the shop. There are only 46 days until Christmas. Time to start planning!
Well our first craft show has come and gone and I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite things that I used for the show. I spent a lot of time planning and prepping to make sure everything was just right from the displays to the packaging. We got a lot of compliments on how lovely our table was and how “super incredibly cute” the pieces were packaged. Makes me happy to think that my efforts were noticed by our amazing supporters. These details might seem small, but they make a huge impact and should not be overlooked. Craft shows are not for the faint of heart. If you are going to do it, you gotta do it right! Every piece you show is part of your brand, whether its what forms of payment you accept or the sticker you use to close your product bags. Here are some of my favorite things to help make an incredible customer experience.
- Washi Tape
- Baker’s Twine
- Square Reader
- Kraft Paper Tags
- Table Card Holders
- Muslin Bags
- Wicker Baskets
- Jewelry Tree
- Cute Paper Bags