Goodbye 2015 – Hello 2016!

2015 has long gone, and here’s into 2016! Hooray! I’ll admit, I was actually relieved to see the back of 2015 when we shouted ‘Happy New Year!’ to our friends that night. It was a blur of a year for me, being my most emotionally unstable year due to personal issues. Plus it was my busiest year for work, even though I may not feel like I have much to show for it! I took on new retainer clients and did less individual client work, but I actually enjoyed it all! It’s was a big year of learning and growing, and I’ve love to share some things I’ve learnt, maybe at the end of 2016 I’ll have some more things to share.

Try Something New.

I’d taken on some new projects this year that I never thought I’d take on. Before, I would’ve seen the project being too far out of my scope of abilities. I would’ve rather sent it onto someone else who could’ve done the project, saving me some stress and time. But, instead, I took them on, and they actually turned out great. Pushing myself wasn’t a bad thing, so now I have new things to add to my little box of tricks, and I have happy clients.

It’s ok to say no.

This year I was lucky enough to get two new full-time retainer design clients, so a lot of my design time went to their projects. While other branding and website projects were knocking at my door, and I so badly wanted to take them on, I realised my time was limited. If I try take on a project where I physically don’t have the time, I’ll just end up making a mess of the project, and letting the client down. Saying no meant I had fewer large projects, but I had fewer disappointed clients, and projects I was proud that I’d completed. I also followed my gut when I received an enquiry from a client and felt that it wasn’t going to be a good match between client and designer. I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason, that things are meant to be together. There were some briefs I received that gave me this uncomfortable feeling in my gut that couldn’t be ignored. So I turned them away. Just because I’m a designer doesn’t mean I’m the one for you. I realised it’s part of my job to realise that not every job is meant for me, so I refer them to other designers who I think will be a better fit. And it’s ok!

Don’t try please everyone.

I had a number of ‘pro-bono’ jobs I did for family and friends because, well, I just couldn’t say no to their puppy-eyed pleas. But it took just one experience that gave me a great wakeup call, and I realised those jobs aren’t such a great idea. I had someone ask me to do a ‘quick logo design’ over a weekend. I’d had things planned for that weekend, and I cancelled pretty much everything for the weekend. I stayed up late to work on it, only to find the worst lack of communication ever, and they went with a logo that has been “slapped together in 10 minutes”. Not only had I missed out on a great weekend, but now I looked like an incompetent designer. I quickly realised it was a bad idea to try please someone who needed something urgently because I thought I was helping them. Instead, I got burned. I learnt that it doesn’t matter who is asking the favour. Just don’t say yes to jobs to please someone.

 

With all of that said, I’ve also grown a lot in my design skills, and I’ve got a little more in my pocket for the next year of design! I can only put it down to my clients who’ve stuck with me and trusted me with their design work! I can’t begin to thank everyone for their patience, trust and enthusiasm with each project! Here’s to more exciting things coming in 2016!

 

2015_work_summary-01

 

Advertisements

Mother’s Day Printables – Mellow Yellow

Here’s the final set of printables for you to spoil Mum with this Mother’s Day! If you’ve missed the earlier sets, you can print these Blue Watercolour printables, or these Fresh Floral printables too! And if Mum loves yellow tones and geometric patterns, then she’ll love these!

Choose from a a range of printables including a card, cupcake wrappers and cupcake flags, with included recipe and gift suggestions to match!

 

DSC_5559-16 DSC_5560-17 DSC_5561-18 DSC_5553-12

 Download These Printables Here:

Mellow Yellow Card

Mellow Yellow Cupcake Wrappers

Mellow Yellow Cupcake Flags

 

Try These Recipes:

Caramel Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Caramel Frosting

Honey Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Add A Pressie With Your Printables:

Mothers_day_gifts_yellow

If She Loves Jewellery – Citrine Drop Earrings – R390

If She Loves To Cook – Eat Art – Spices of the Orient – R179

If She Loves Bags – Gold Clutch With Studs – R199

If She Loves Her Bath Goodies – Angel Breath Handmade Soap Giftbox – R220

Mother’s Day Printables – Fresh Florals

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, you’ll want to spoil your Mum in a way that she’ll never forget! And if you’re stuck for some ideas for what to get her – here are some simple but personal ways to show your love!

Choose from a a range of printables including a card, cupcake wrappers and cupcake flags, with included recipe and gift suggestions to match!

 

DSC_5563-19 DSC_5566-21 DSC_5567-22 DSC_5568-23

 Download These Printables Here:

Fresh Florals Card

Fresh Florals Cupcake Wrappers

Fresh Florals Cupcake Flags

 

Try These Recipes:

Pink Velvet Cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

 

Add A Pressie With Your Printables:

Mothers_day_gifts_pink

If She Loves Jewellery – Pink Flower With Pearl Earrings – R185

If She Loves Tea – Le Creuset Classic Teapot in Pink – R440

If She Loves Scarves – Floral Sequin Pink Scarf – R389

If She Loves Bath Goodies – 100 Flowers Handmade Soap Giftbox – R165 

Mother’s Day Printables – Beautiful Hues of Blue

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, you’ll want to spoil your Mum in a way that she’ll never forget! And if you’re stuck for some ideas for what to get her – here are some simple but personal ways to show your love!

Choose from a a range of printables including a card, cupcake wrappers and cupcake flags, with included recipe and gift suggestions to match!

DSC_5538-6 DSC_5539-7 DSC_5544-8 DSC_5549-9 DSC_5550-10 DSC_5551-11

 Download These Printables Here:

Blue Hues Card

Blue Hues Cupcake Wrappers

Blue Hues Cupcake Flags

 

Try These Recipes:

Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Blue Velvet Cupcakes

 

Add A Pressie With Your Printables:

Mothers_day_gifts_blue

If She Loves Jewellery – Teardrop Labradorite Necklace -R150

If She Loves Coffee – Nespresso UMilk Espresso Machine – R2 800

If She Loves Bags – Blue Laser Cut Handbag -R530

If She Loves Bath Goodies – Fresh Homemade Soap Giftbox – R165

Christmas Gift Labels

Who doesn’t love freebies? And design freebies? And freebies that make things pretty and easy? If you just said yes to even one of those -keep reading! For years I remember my Mum buying the Your Family magazine in December and using all the awesome free labels at the back. I always loved sitting and cutting out those little labels, they sure came in handy! Last year was my first real DIY Christmas, so I made my own labels. I was super proud of them, even though I used our home printer which was unreliable as hell! Since I know I’ll be doing the same this year, I thought I’d share them with you – like I’m the Your Family magazine!

I’ve created two styles as you’ll see from below. One is a modern glam-inspired style, and the other is a watercolour style. You can print these at home on thicker card – I’d highly recommend using some card (I used pearl project board that I bought from PNA) and make sure you have plenty ink and print at the highest quality. You can also take them to your local printing guys and have them print these on some shiny paper or thicker card. It’s up to you! These files are fairly large (quality counts!) so make sure you’re using a PC or laptop with sufficient internet connection to download. Leave them to download in the background, have some coffee and they’ll be ready to go!

Simply print them out, cut out and punch a hole into each one. Then write on it, and attach it to your gift! Enjoy!

download-glam-labels-02

download-watercolour-labels-03

DSC_3404 DSC_3410 DSC_3414 DSC_3415 DSC_3417 DSC_3421 DSC_3423 DSC_3424 DSC_3426 DSC_3429 DSC_3432 DSC_3433 DSC_3434 DSC_3435

Make Your Own Gift Wrap

There’s nothing quite like seeing all kinds of bright, bold and colourful kinds of gift wrap! Every year we’d have a wide range of colours and patterns under the tree, and it was always exciting (although usually it was very tiring) to hide away and wrap the gifts on Christmas Eve. Sometimes you see some beautiful gift wrap in the shop, and it’s only once you’ve bought it, got it home and started to wrap something, that you realise what terrible paper it is. I’ve encountered so many kinds of gift wrap that are either too thin, too shiny, too slippery, or tear at the corners. And one thing I learnt last year – most of these gift wraps aren’t even recyclable! This prompted me to make my own gift wrap that was not only unique, but perfect for wrapping anything, and I could put it in the recycling when the gifts had been opened. Score!

So, this is my eco-friendly super easy creative way of making gift wrap! It’s great for all kinds of occasions – Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and every other day in between. If you’re feeling crafty this weekend, go grab some supplies and make your own gift wrap! And if you do, please send me some photos, I’d absolutely love to see your creations!

Tools:

A variety of stamps (you can buy them or make your own – check my tutorial here)
Stencils
Ink pads
Spraypaint
Pens
Brown paper (you can use any paper, brown paper is easier and better to recycle)

DSC_3323 DSC_3325

These are my homemade stamps from last year – you can easily make your own with this tutorial, or you can buy them from any craft or stationery shop!

DSC_3328

DIY Giftwrap 1 – Stencils & Stamps

This is a little more complicated, but it gives fantastic results! Spend a day or two making lots of your own, and it’ll be totally worth it once you see all your wrapped gifts with your paper on them!

DSC_3331

I bought a giant book of stencils from Typo, they have a great selection and you get quite a few in the book, about 20 I think. You can also make your own if you’re feeling super crafty, but I love Typo’s wide selection, and they’re easy to clean and reuse if you haven’t cleaned them.

DSC_3335

I’m not a huge fan of spray paint, but this works pretty well! It’s also a more eco-friendly spray instead of the usual heavy duty oil based ones, so if you get any spray on your hands or clothes, it comes right off with some soap! I also used a whiteboard marker in black, and a white marker that was Xylene free. But you can use any pens you like!

DSC_3337

Time to get creative! I like to chose one or two stencils, and some stamps to go with them. It’s best to think of a simple pattern that you can repeat easily. Try keep your pattern close together as well, otherwise once you’ve wrapped your gift, you’ll miss out on most of your pretty pattern!

DSC_3340 DSC_3343 DSC_3344

I chose 2 different snowflakes, and did a super light coat of spray. I did get some overspray around the edges, but it gives it some character. You can always use newspaper to cover the edges so you don’t get any overspray.

DSC_3348

Time to add some stamps! I’m going to add some stars, and also some love! There’s no set pattern, just go for it and create something special and unique.

DSC_3351 DSC_3353

You don’t even have to put a lot of ink onto your stamps, they can range in lightness so you get a wide range of bits and pieces in your pattern.

DSC_3355 DSC_3358 DSC_3361

Here are some I made last year, from homemade stamps, spraypaint and metallic pens. I kept it simple and repeated the pattern every 10cm or so, and it looked great when it was wrapped!

 

 

DIY Giftwrap 2 – Sketch Your Own

Now, if you don’t have time to create giftwrap in vast quantities and create pretty patterns, you can always do that after you’ve wrapped it! Create something simple like I did below (it saves you on ribbon and labels!) or you can go while and make your own patterns with stamps and spraypaint and pens!

DSC_3364

DSC_3368

For something super simple, I went with a handdrawn bow and ribbon. Something that anyone can do, and it looks cute and crafty. It’s also a fun idea for the kids, because who doesn’t like drawing on things?!

DSC_3382 DSC_3384

You can also add in some simple details around the bow, like some polka dots. Or you can go wild – it’s up to you!

DSC_3388

I hope you enjoyed these two mini tutorials – go out and make your own awesome giftwrap! If you follow these, please do take some photos and show me, I’d absolutely love to see what you come up with! Happy DIY’ing!

 

DIY Eraser Stamps

Stamps are a great way to spice up greeting cards, wrapping paper, labels, book covers – anything really! Last year, I was inspired to make all my Christmas wrapping and cards totally DIY, starting off with some stamps. They’re so easy to make, and much cheaper than bought stamps! So, if you fancy yourself a bit of DIY this week, grab yourself some tools and get started!

 

Tools:

– Rubber erasers
– Pen
– Lino cutters or Xacto knife
– Pen
– Ink pad

DSC_3203

You can get a box of cheap erasers at any stationery shop, such as CNA, PNA, Clicks, Makro or Game. They can be any size, but I found that the rectangular ones work best. I have a set of lino cutting tools from high school that are super handy at doing grooves and cutting out the excess rubber from around the design, and you can get them from any large hardware store or art store. I’d highly recommend using an Xacto rather than a craft knife, as the blade is much thinner and tapered at the end, giving you more control over cutting out your design. I got my ink pad from Typo, but you can get from CNA, PNA and art stores.

DSC_3223

Start off by sketching out some designs. Start off with something simple and solid, so you can get some practise.

DSC_3238

Once you are happy with a design – I’m going for a basic Christmas tree shape, transfer the design onto your eraser. My erasers are pretty small, so I have to make sure I don’t go off the edge!

 

DSC_3248

Time to start cutting! Begin by cutting down into the eraser, about 3mm, around the edge of your design, making sure you keep your lines neat so you don’t end up with jagged edges.

DSC_3257

Then cut around the edge of the eraser, about 3mm off the side where your design is. Don’t cut too deep, otherwise you’ll slice off your final stamp shape. Do one line all the way around, and then you can start taking little bits away.

 

DSC_3268

You can take large pieces off by sliding your Xacto knife about 3mm under the surface, keeping away from the stamp design.

DSC_3272

You’ll see it looks quite tatty around the design, but the basic shape is there! Take off little bits at a time so you don’t get carried away and chop off more than you need to.

DSC_3275

I used my lino cutter with a rounded blade to start cutting further away from the surface, so that when I put some ink on it and press it onto paper, I don’t get any excess rubber marks. I usually take about a 1/3rd off from the total thickness of the eraser. One tip – lino tools aren’t as pointy and sharp as an Xacto, but still great at cutting, and you won’t be likely to cut yourself while doing this. Stabbing yourself with an Xacto isn’t fun or pleasant!

DSC_3282

You can neaten up the edges with your Xacto knife so make sure there aren’t any messy edges, or if you’ve accidentally taken off more than you were meant to – you can see I did that on the middle brand on the left hand side – oops!

DSC_3289

Time to test our little stamp! Place it onto the ink pad, and give it a good first coat of ink. You can let it dry before adding a second coat, as the first coat of ink doesn’t coat the rubber too well.

DSC_3294

You’ll see that I can actually take a bit more off around the sides of the design – that’s why you want to take as much off as possible!

DSC_3298

Trial run done! I can see I made a small oopsie on the very top of the tree, so I went back and trimmed again with my Xacto knife.

DSC_3302

And voila! There we have our first eraser stamp for Christmas! You can use any colour ink you want, or decorate it afterwards. It’s up to you!

DSC_3303 DSC_3304 DSC_3306 DSC_3312

I made quite a few last year, after doing my first one. It takes some practise, so feel free to use cheap erasers to start off with before you really get into it. I also haven’t washed my stamps, and it hasn’t affected their stamping ability. But I’m sure you can easily wash them in some warm soapy water, although it might make it tougher for the ink to stick each time.

 

Feel free to use them all year round, on cards, labels, gift wrap and more! I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and if you have any suggestions or questions, let me know! Happy DIY Christmas everyone!