Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black Friday Sale starts NOW!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to let you know that I am starting my Black Friday sale TODAY!

Buy 2 boxes of cards from my Big Cartel Pop-up Shop and get a FREE 2013 Desk Calendar + FREE Shipping! (That's $29 worth of FREE!)

Enter promo code: BLACKFRIDAY at checkout

Black Friday sale starts today and ends Monday, November 26th at midnight.

This is the perfect time to get your holiday cards started and get a free calendar gift for yourself or for a friend. And free shipping? What could be better?!?

Have fun shopping!

Friday, November 16, 2012

2013 Desk Calendar Giveaway!

In celebration of my birthday next week, I'm giving away one of my 2013 Desk Calendars! I feel much more comfortable giving than receiving, that's for sure! So let me treat you, as a treat to me.

Here are the details:

The giveaway starts today and goes until Tuesday, November 20th at 12:00 noon.


To be eligible to enter: 'Like' my Facebook page, and under my post about this giveaway, comment and let me know which month's page of my calendar you like the most. If you already like my Facebook page, (thank you SO much!), you are already eligible to enter to win. Please follow the same directions as new followers, to enter. 

You can view my calendar pages here:
My Pop-up Shop 

One entry per person. Winner to be chosen by me by random. I will announce the winner on Wednesday, November 21st.

Good luck everyone!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Studio & Organization Tips

Those who know me, know that I love to organize - to have a place for everything and everything in it's place. I must admit though, that many times I am so focused on the work that needs to be done that things hardly ever stay  pretty and get put back into their homes. That would be quite an amazing super-hero talent and I admire those who have it! Well, as Fall has been settling in, I definitely got bit by an organizing bug at the same time as discovering The Container Store! (Which, for any of you have been there, you know already how much trouble that means!)

So instead of just putting things back in their places, I decided to completely rethink what was working for me and what wasn't and use my creativity to brainstorm ideas on solutions that would work best. Since I put so much work into it, I thought I'd share what I discovered with you, in the hopes that it would help you figure out what you need most in your surroundings, as well as to inspire you to get organized - at whatever level that means for you.

So, to get started, I would suggest taking a piece of paper and writing down (single or multiple) answers to these questions with regards to your stuff, how you work, and organization:
1) What annoys you the most?
2) What do you always find yourself reaching for?
3) What are the main things that you use every day and week? 
4) What is on your desk that you don't use often?
5) Where are your piles accumulating?

For example, here are my answers to these questions, along with some thoughts on solutions:
1) What annoys you the most?  
That I don't have desk space to work on my current project. BUT I am juggling multiple projects at one time, and need immediate access to these items. That my printer runs out of paper and ink constantly and I'm getting into bins and drawers to get ink and paper. That the piles on my desk get in the way of putting paper in my printer. That there are piles of mini notes & post-its....
SOLUTION: Add a desk shelf so I can stack my projects & have easy access to them. Move my printer ink and paper into a more accessible location. Find something to put my mini notes & post-its in when I need a clear desk

2) What do you always find yourself reaching for?  
Printer ink, printer paper, art supplies, ribbon, Pantone books, personal stationery...
SOLUTION: Put these items closer and in easier to access drawers and containers

3) What are the main things that you use every day and week?
Ruler, memo pad, sketchbook, note book, desk calendar, client folders...
SOLUTION: Make sure these items are on my desk and at arms reach length

4) What is on your desk that you don't use often?  
Books, journal, receipt organizer...
SOLUTION: Move those items off my desk to free up real estate

5) What is in that junk pile that you keep?  
Royalty statements, important notes, printer paper samples...
SOLUTION: Find a way to organize these by importance. Also, allow myself to have a 'junk' section where I put things I need about once a month.

6) Where are your piles accumulating?  
On top of my printer, on the floor, on my drawing table, on top of my calendar that I need to always look at...
SOLUTION: Add a desk shelf to put these on! Spend 5 min at the end of each day putting things back in their places.

After many hours in the Container Store and Ikea, here are my actual solutions:
1) I added a shelf to my desk (GALANT series from Ikea) that I could stack all of my working projects on. This way they are easy to get to and allow me some desk space for working on another project. This has been SUCH a lifesaver!
2) My junk pile reorganized. I purchased these beauties from The Container Store. One shelf is devoted to royalty statements and the 2nd shelf is devoted to items of medium importance. Right next to that are these mini drawers that I put the post-its and mini notes in that have info on them that I still need and want.
3) I purchased this to keep track of the items I need to add to my Art Licensing Manager database
4) Mini mood boards I created, using these fabulous magnet/cork boards, to put behind my monitor, to offer visual stimulation when working
5) My client folders (using my new file folders with my art!)
6) Office supplies
7) Easily accessible printer ink and business cards
8) Pantone books
9) A mini organizer to keep important notes and information I need to access
11) Organizer that holds my sketchbooks and notebooks
12) These amazing sliding drawer bins that allow me to hide anything I don't want on my desk

Off to the left of my desk I re-organized quite a few things and purchased some items to make the area a little prettier.
1) Stacking Storage bin to hold my print inspiration tears
2) Stacking Storage bin to hold my color inspiration tears
3) Filing system to hold my organized print inspiration tears by type of print (graphic floral, painted/hand-drawn florals, geometrics, paisley, ethnic, medallions, damask, lace, texture.....)
4) Ikea flat files to store my drawing papers, hand-drawings, portfolio items, etc.
5) Matching magazine files to hold important magazines that I want to keep and don't want to tear from
6) Paper sorter with slide out trays to hold all the different types of papers I need to access for my printer, and other types of papers I need to access a lot.

Whew! As you can see, I spent a LOT of time re-organizing and finding solutions. Some of what I had was working before too, but I wanted to make things a little prettier (I am definitely an artist who likes to be surrounded by beauty!). I was definitely ready for a change too. I find that since my studio is quite small in comparison with the number of things I have in it, that I need to be quite organized or else my work environment will get frustrating and not be a pleasant place to work=not OK. I have found that it is SO MUCH EASIER now to pick-up my desk and studio because there is a place for everything that crosses my path. What used to take me time to think about where to put something, I am now saving it.

I admit, a lot of these solutions are kind of a no-brainer, but for me, it was actually taking the time to sit down and do something about it. I hope my organizing has inspired you to find out what you need to make your space more productive, or to introduce you to some fun new products out there that might be a solution for you! I'd love to hear what works best for you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mini Mood Boards

I've been organizing my studio like crazy lately (more on that next week...). It all started with me wanting to have something pretty in the background, while I'm working away at my computer. I learned from working in cubicles at Nordstrom, that when the cubicle walls were left the dull gray, that I truly felt very uninspired and had less creative energy. So I would cover my cubicle walls with fabric and papers that were full of color and gorgeousness. Surprisingly this completely helped! I definitely would feel my creative juices flowing and much more energized.

I've been working at home now for about a year and a half, and completely thought that the huge window I get to look out of and see beautiful trees and sky would be enough...but I found I was really ready for a change of environment. SO I finally decided to create mini mood boards to place behind my monitor, so I could just be surrounded by pretty colors and patterns and see them off in the background.

I found these Brocade Magnet Boards at The Container Store, and I HIGHLY recommend them! They are laser cut metal, and the blue that is behind the metal is cork board! (see where I'm going with this??) SO you can use magnets AND push pins!! I ended up gathering cards, swatches of paper and other do-dads that I had and used my iPop magnets and some push pins to hold everything in place. Now I just love sitting at my desk and being surrounded by prettiness! It's been very inspiring.

What have you discovered that helps you feel creative and energized in your working environment?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Pop-up Shop & 2013 Desk Calendars are Here!

 {My 2013 Desk Calendar is here!}

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I've decided to open up a pop-up shop with Big Cartel to sell a few of my products. I just absolutely LOVED the holiday cards that Blend produced of my Hip Holiday collection, and just HAD to find a way to make them available to you!

If you're looking to send beautiful and special holiday cards this season, please consider mine! I personally love to send out multiple types of holiday cards each year - design-savvy ones for my designer friends, something unique for those I work with, and a photo card for family. And if you need the perfect gift for an office party, for your friend who has her own business, your mom, sister, or teenage daughter's desk — or even for yourself, then my 2013 Desk Calendar would be perfect!

{6 different 3-D Holiday Cards available in my Shop}
In the shop I've got boxes of 6 different holiday card designs to choose from, the 3-D gift tags, and my new 2013 desk calendar! Just to let you know, I've only got 6 boxes of most card designs and the gift tags available, so if you are interested, please snatch them up quickly because once they're gone, they're gone! {FYI: I do have 10 boxes available of the 'Peace On Earth' Forest and the 'Merry Christmas' Reindeer cards - and loads of calendars!}. Last year I sold out of my calendars in 2 weeks. I've ordered more this year just to be safe!

Due to the seasonality of the items in my pop-up shop, it will only be open until December 26th. 

{The 3-D Gift Tags available in my shop}
I've also opened up my Etsy shop again to sell my 2013 Desk Calendars too. If you are only interested in a desk calendar, then I would recommend buying it through Etsy, and you'll save about $1 on shipping.

{Individual pages from my 2013 Desk Calendar}
Why sell on Big Cartel & not Etsy?
After I read through Etsy's guidelines on what can and can't be sold on Etsy, they called out that manufactured goods (even though they look handmade) are not keeping with the spirit of Etsy and shouldn't be sold there. Since my holiday cards and gift tags are manufactured (& not physically handmade by me), I just didn't feel right about putting them on there because of this.

Thanks so much for taking a moment to visit my shop(s) and for considering my holiday cards, gift tags and desk calendar for prettying up your holiday and gift giving!!


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