Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh Baby!

Baby themed cards have to be one of the most fun to make! I typically do not like monochromatic (one color) designs nor do I like stereotypical blue and pink for babies. But even I just couldn't resist this classic approach to baby cards.

The first step to making a card is the concept. That usually comes along with choosing the focal point to the card. I made these little baby foot prints on the computer (Photoshop) and printed them out. They will be the focal point for these cards.

Next I go to the foundation of the card, the paper. There are so many cute baby themed papers out there! I found a typographic option in both pink and blue. The second paper choice for me needed to contrast the first paper choice. The typographic paper has white type on a colored background so the second patterned paper needed to be the inverse (color on white background) or contrast in value. My third paper choice is a solid color that will be used as an accent.

Keeping my layout in mind, I start cutting paper. Proportion is an important design element in this step. I have two things going across the page and two circles. I need a small and a large of both. Using proper proportion, I create hierarchy and a focal point.

I use some fancy tools on the plain, solid paper to jazz them up at bit. I have a border punch that matches a round die cut. I don't always match, in fact I am going against my design style again because I don't like matchy matchy.

As I make cuts the cards begin to take shape. I lay all the pieces out before I cut my largest shape. Patterned paper isn't cheap so I don't want to mess up a cut that takes up a lot of paper. If I am making a card set or multiple versions of a card, this is even more important because I only have so much of the same paper. The first shape I grabbed was way too small! I'm so glad I took  the extra second to double check it. The larger shape is slightly larger than I would like, but its gonna have to work. (It ends up fitting perfect)!

Now that the plain paper is cut out in a fancy way I'm upping the fancy factor even more! I chose some embossing folders to add texture. I found a paisley pattern which will match the boy card perfect. Too perfect as if I had that in mind when I saw that paper, maybe! Paisley would have been cute for the girl card too but I don't want the cards to be too similar. I grab a flourish one to go with the flowers on the girl card. I lay these out before embossing them. Every element in my cards are thought out. I never just put paper in and hope it works. I move things around and make conscious design decisions.  After embossing I added some shimmery ink to really push the depth. Plus it is just one more way to jazz up this basic paper. Who would have guessed that was just a stock plain paper before I started?!

Now that all my pieces are cut and embellished I can put them all together. I assemble my cards on top of a mat with a grid on it so that I know everything is lined up and straight. And now after reading all that here are the cards!

If you are interested in purchasing these cards they are available for online purchase here. If you would like a custom baby themed card, email me at jlibdesigns@gmail.com
Thanks :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From Vendor to Host

In the Fall I had the wonderful opportunity of co-coordinating an Artisans market. At the time I was working for a local publication. Each month we featured an artist in the publication. We wanted to host an event where we could showcase some of the wonderful talents in the Willamette Valley. We were also very fortunate to have someone with a venue who was interested in hosting. After our first planning meeting it became clear to me that I was going to be a lot more involved that I thought and I couldn't have been happier about it!
At this time I had only been a vendor at one craft fair. I thought this event would be a good way to gain more experience as a vendor.  It was just a bonus that I was the jury and the host so I didnt have to submit an application or pay the fee! The planning process was very extensive but the day of the event wasn't too demanding and I was able to me at my booth most of the day.

The first step in creating the event was creating the poster. Another perk to working on this event was that it was a great opportunity to put myself out there as a graphic designer. I was very pleased with how the poster turned out and so was my co-host! As a small business owner and member of a two person planning committee I knew that it would be me who hit the pavement to put up the posters. It may seem odd, but I actually enjoyed it!

Now that the word was out I needed to make another push to get all the vendors we needed. (I ended up booking over 2/3 of our vendors BTW, go me!). This part was tricky and it took a lot of time. I felt, in a silly way, kinda creepy spending so much time online talking with tons of people LOL! I used Craigslist and Etsy a lot and they were a great resource. I would say getting the vendors had to be the hardest part.

On top of booking vendors I also booked musicians. Luckily I had a number of music connections back from being in choir in High School. I was also able to get Blue Light Special, the men's a capella group at LBCC. Another lovely musician played for us and even went outside to get people off the streets to come in!

The event turned out really great. There seemed to be a lot of shoppers and the vendors seemed happy. It was right before Christmas, so people had gift ideas in mind. Lucky for me my craft is all about gift giving. I also got to enjoy the experience with my sister who had a Pampered Chef booth right next to mine.

I learned so much from the experience and I would love to host an event again. 

Things I learned:
  • Start planning sooner!
  • Pack the car the night before.
  • Make it as easy as possible for vendors to apply and pay their fee.
Perks of being a host:
  • Getting to assign the table. (My booth right in front of the door and my sister right next to me)
  • Getting to know all the vendors.
  • Satisfaction from seeing all the vendors make money!
Special thanks to:
  • My brother and boyfriend for helping set up and take down all the tables and chairs.
  • My wonderful co-host and venue manager.
  • My mom for bringing my lunch and watching my booth while I chatted with other vendors and helped organize the musicians.
One more thing I learned: My family rocks :)