Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Typically English

It's been a great couple of weeks, Wales winning the Grand Slam, the start of the F1 season, seeing my mum and dad at the weekend, going out for a joint meal with my parents, my husband, his mum and dad, sister and their 3 kids for a joint Mother's Day and my nieces birthday meal and work wise I've been busier than I ever expected to be. Now I just need to catch up with all my unfinished projects and build up the ranges in my shop.  

One of my favourite print ranges are the regional / country ones, originally created from a request from my sister in law as she wanted a unique Scottish print for my father in laws birthday, then my Welsh parents wanted something different for their new house so I designed a Welsh one and then it snowballed into various other regions and areas, this is the latest one 'Typically English' which includes a selection of words associated with England.  the colour inspiration for this came from a customer last week who directed me to the Farrow & Ball website for a shade of green. Wow what gorgeous colours and I can't believe I've never looked there for colour inspiration before especially with my husband being a painter & decorator who has told me time and time again about Farrow & Ball colours!  I will definitely be using some of their colours for future projects. 

I've previously mentioned my bad habit of starting a project, doing a bit and moving on to a new one without finishing, well, grrr, I'm still doing it..........in my last post I showed a screen shot of a fairy princess invite, I've actually finished that one but have got no further than the parrot and head for the pirate invite :-( Anyway here's the finished Fenella Fairy Princess Invite.

Lets see how long it takes me to finish the pirate and the other illustrations and what's the betting that other products appear in my shop before they do!

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Good Result

The Wales V Scotland match in the 6 Nations was great, we had a great view of the pitch, the atmosphere inside the Millenium Stadium was amazing and a fantastic result for Wales although the husband wasn't too pleased being half Scottish!  Alll in all a good weekend in Cardiff.  Work wise I've not done as much as I'd have liked last week due to being ill with a kidney infection, however I did manage to get my orders done though but not the chance to work on anything new.

As mentioned in my last post, here are a couple of photos of my handmade tags, I love being able to add that personal touch to my packaging especially for my wedding prints.

One of the wedding things I'm working on is an Art Deco themed table plan and table name cards.  A few weeks ago I downloaded Art Deco Photoshop fonts, I found the perfect one and yesterday when I opened Photoshop I found that I've somehow deleted it!  Back to square one and I just hope I can find it again without wasting too much time. 

The aims of the week are to to finish my Mother's Day range, find that deleted font and continue to build on my wedding stationery range.  It all sounds so easy, the hardest part is finding the time!

Friday, 10 February 2012

It's the Weekend

This week I've found a love for pastels & light colours, I'm currently loving light grey and have been working on a range of wedding stationery in this colour. I did get around to completing my first Mother's day offering, 60 wedding invites, a pair of curtains (just not the ones I'd planned on!) and a couple of other outstanding projects, so all in all not a bad week.  Here's a photo of the personalised Mother's Day print.

Also this week I've been sourcing the cheapest suppliers I can find and looking at my packaging costs, it's amazing what you can find e.g. a role of clear cellophane in my local craft shop costs £3 for 5 mtrs and I managed to find a 28 mtr role for £5.55 online with free p&p.  On all my orders I include a luggage tag style gift tag and when I looked at the cost of what I've been paying for these it added a chunk on the customers p&p so I decided to make my own upcycling any cardboard ready for the recycling bin at home.  I took a flattened beer cardboard box, brown paper, pva, a hole punch and string, I'll post a photo when I make another batch as the ones I've made this week have been sent.  This will lead making savings to both me and my customer with the added detail of being able to personalise them by printing onto the paper.

Friday, 3 February 2012

February Already?

February already, how did that happen? Well I'm not long back from a fantasitc week snowboarding in La Rosiere, France, lots of snow, falls and bruises and sooo much harder than I expected it to be.  I knew it looked difficult but wow and it wasn't really until the last day it all clicked into place , my confidence grew and absolutely loved it, roll on next year! 

I've just realised that my first 2 posts have been after 2 holidays and I wonder why I'm not getting any designing done.  Less holidays and more work and it's time to really pull my finger out, starting this evening.  The plan for this eveing is to bring some focus to my Mother's Day ideas and get the print alternative to a card which has been floating around in my head all day ready for printing tomorrow.  This weekends other plans include making the curtains for my dining room that I've been saying I will make for weeks, making some wedding invitions and watching the opening matches of the 6 Nations Rugby, which has just reminded me that I'm away watching Wales at the Millenium Stadium next weekend, so much for no more holidays!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Looking Forward

After a great Christmas finished off with a wonderful holiday in the Scottish Highlands for Hogmany its back down to earth with a bump and it all seems like a distant memory! I thought I’d start 2012 by writing a blog to help me make sense of all the ideas floating around in my head and log my journey through 2012!

2011 ended with far too many project ideas and not enough time to complete most of them, I don’t make new years resolutions but my aim for this year is to dedicate more time to Ciliegia Designs and take it a step further from a hobby to try and build up a business, easier said than done though!  I started selling in the 2nd half of last year and one of the problems I found was that I wasn't prepared enough in time for things especially Christmas, I'm sure that there's other crafters out there that did the same. This year I'm determined to be more prepared so to help me I've set up a spread sheet with all the major dates of events in 2012 and dates of when I need to start which has already made me realise that realistically I should have been preparing for Valentines Day before Christmas! I've decided the way forward is to go back to my design roots and create mood boards / inspiration boards for each project for some much needed focus.

Anyway my first job of the year is complete, a fully printed set of wedding inviations which included fully printed inserts, RSVP cards and an information card.  (Photos to follow) The bride to be couldn't decide between 3 designs so finally decided to have a mixture of all 3.  As it was the first set I found the most time consuming part was getting the margins & wording etc correct, however now I have all the templates for future use so the the next order (fingers crossed I get one) shouldn't take quite as long.  I'm keen this year to have a range of wedding stationery, something which I talked about a lot last year and am excited at the prospect of getting it off the ground, so all thats left now is to invest some time get creative and expand on the designs I have so far!