Photos on Instagram

Did you know that I’m posting on Instagram pretty regularly these days? I suppose it’s an easy way to share, almost like microblogging that is totally visual. I’m finding it super inspiring and a fun way to share given all the challenges and hashtags to explore. Here are a few of my recent favorite snapshots…

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Are you riding the Instagram wave?

March 2015 Memory Book Pages

Another month has flown by and that means another set of pages in my memory book done! I’m still loving this new method that is sort of Project Life, sort of planner, sort of minibook combined for my scrapbooking. Just a huge mix to accomodate whatever I have for the month.

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I did have a big mishap on one page, smeared/dropped ink on the white page and over the bottom photo. It was one of those cringe – oh crap – NOOOOOOO – moments! If only it looked organic and pretty, unfortunately it sort of turned brownish and looked so gross!

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I reprinted the photo, but the page was stained, so I tried to cover it up with embellishments.

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It was really frustrating and I was angry at myself, but gotta let go. Oif! Had to focus on the elements I enjoyed creating… like sewing on vellum and sewing transparencies over photos for the little insert.

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Supplies are from the March Project Life® Kit that I subscribe to by Studio Calico. Of course, I also use whatever fits in from my own stash and designs. I rediscovered all my sparkly pens, so used that to journal throughout.

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Again, I’m a bit worried about how big this book is going to get since I’m only on March and it’s pretty chunky already. Although I love to document, I’m always worried about how much space things will take up. How will I make it to the end of the year?

From Idea to Design

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I’ve been working on greeting card designs for Happy Print Club and wanted to share a bit of the process of how a simple idea can branch out into many design variations and ultimately a final product.

For me, the idea for a greeting card can pretty much spawn from all kinds of inspiration. Anything from seeing the patterns and colors in nature while taking walks to flipping through my favorite magazines to conversations and just taking notice of the world around me. Sometimes an idea comes out of doodling a particular motif and playing around in my sketchbook, but sometimes it’s like a eureka moment when an image just pops up in my mind. I create really simple thumbnail mockups for whatever ideas I have and certainly not all of them are followed through on.

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When I’m sufficiently motivated, I decide if I’m going to create something more polished and pick my medium – either using traditional art materials by hand or working digitally on the computer. When it comes to digital design, it’s especially easy to create a lot of variations and test out different color combinations quickly. For this particular example, I wanted to create an everyday hello card and tried out a bunch of my sketched out ideas in Illustrator.

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Varying the scale, layout and motifs – I usually spend quite a lot of time just playing around. Sometimes the design is very similar to my sketch and sometimes it can just go in a totally different direction. I find it helps to work on a design, then let it sit for a few days so you can revisit with fresh eyes. Somehow, I always have a different perspective when I work in this way, rather than rushing through things.

In the end, I scratched my own full-color sunburst option because I wanted something less ink-heavy for printing. I tested out a super simple classic option to oversized cutoff type and the cute sun motif… I’m still wondering what option is the best for this card design.

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Do you have a preference? Usually, I keep all the source files for the variations I create, just in case I want to revisit the idea or use an element for another project in the future. In the end, I just have to choose the option I like the best and go with it. I think it’s okay to sit on things, but at some point you have to launch!

That’s pretty much my straightforward process from idea to final design. The timeline varies from one day to many many weeks. Sometimes an idea just sits in incubation for a long time because I’m not as motivated or it doesn’t turn out as planned when I dive in. I’m pretty sure most creatives have a whole lot of work they are sitting on – unfinished works waiting to be rediscovered and dusted off. Or just ideas that linger, but don’t really result in anything.

That’s probably why it’s important to keep exploring, sketching and ultimately creating a lot… but picking and choosing what to follow-thru with and actually finish up.

What’s your creative process like? Would love to know how you go from an idea to finish project!

Happy Print Club is LIVE!

Happy April to you! Today is the launch day for my passion project, Happy Print Club! Grown from my love of stationery, pretty paper and beautiful design, Happy Print Club is an online membership website that gives you 3 exclusive printable greeting card designs every month. It’s about sending happy snail mail and creating a community to promote the old fashioned art of writing and sending greetings.

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This idea has been brewing inside of me for quite some time. But of course I had hesitations and doubts. Would I be able to setup the technology to deliver the printables and create a community? Would I be able to find enough stationery and DIY printables lovers out there to join me? Is it even a good idea at all?!

My word of the year is READY and that has helped to push me forward to follow my aspirations. Whatever the result, I’m committed and oh so excited to have embarked on this journey. It feels good to follow-thru on an idea and go for it. Even if there are butterflies in my stomach, it’s the good kind of nervous feeling.

So if you love pretty stationery and want a library of digital printable greeting cards at your fingertips, please consider joining Happy Print Club. You can check out the first month of designs on the site and follow along to keep updated. Wish me luck!