Posting Schedule

Monday - Design Inspiration
Tuesday - Tips to Know
Wednesday - Website Know-How
Thursday - End of Week Inspiration
Friday - Freebie
Saturday - Weekly Wrap-up

Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of Week Inspiration 2

Busy is good. Busy means that I'm doing something right ... and it means that I sometimes skip a couple days of posts. But there was no way I was going to miss End-of-Week Inspiration!

Officially, I have a home office or "studio". It's a full room just in the process of being remodeled into something more "me". I actually do work in there ... but not as much as I do at the large desk in the living room where I can hear all the household things going on around me. What all this back-and-forth amounts to, though, is a string of materials (paper, fabric, pencils, you name it) that start piling up on both desks.

Anyone who has a child knows it's impossible to get them to keep their rooms clean. I had a startling thought today, though: if I expected myself to keep my studio and extra desk as clean as I expect the kiddo to keep her room, I would be failing miserably. So it was time to start making organization plans.

That's where today's end-of-week inspiration comes in. I mean, if you're going to have to go the whole cleaning up and organizing route, you might as well have some fun "stuff" to do it with, right? And to keep myself from getting into a project that would successfully prevent me from organizing and cleaning at all, it had to be quick. So here we are: fabulous fabric covered binder clips!

This craft takes about five minutes and turns something ordinary into something quite lovely. Enjoy!

Supplies Needed:
Fray Check
Permanent Spray Adhesive
Binder Clips

1. Gather the supplies.
2. Trim your fabric with your fancy fabric only scissors.
3. Use fray check on the fabric edges.
4. Spray the backside of the fabric with adhesive and adhere to your notebook clips.

That's it! Wasn't that easy? Happy crafting to all of you!

Posted by Lolaness

Monday, April 27, 2009

200 Sales Thank You

What a fantastic day today has been, on so many levels. First, we got irrigation water on! Yes, this is huge to me - it means that I can finally start digging in the dirt, spreading grass seeds everywhere, and getting all the plants I've been babying indoors out where they'll be happiest.

To make things one step better, I finished a project I've been loving working on and shared a sneak peek of last week. Created for Silver Cat Jewelry, this preview shows the "Custom Order" graphic that is part of a full identity. The owner and artist of Silver Cat Jewelry is a total delight - you definitely want to check out her variety of high-quality, handmade jewelry.

The icing on the cake? Lolaness on Etsy officially hit 200 sales today! Not only that, but I'm very near 400 hearts, too! What a great feeling. I'm gushing. And to thank everyone for helping me get this far, I've released a special free download. Based on the same design as the Monogram Stickers available in the Etsy shop, this download lets you type your initials in and print out your own 2 1/2 inch monogram stickers. Here’s a preview of the design:

You can download the file here, complete with premium font and instructions. Thank you all, so very much, for helping me get this far!

Posted by Lolaness

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sweet Surprise

In the mail today was such a sweet surprise, I raced home to tear into it: a little package from Jennifer of Under the Root. Inside was a sweetly wrapped bundle with some of the most adorable artwork (see above for an example) I've seen in a while ... but once I got it open, I was just grinning.

Thank you, Jennifer, for such a great Saturday surprise. The eye mask is silk! And the great little satchel feels suspiciously like the softest Egyptian cotton ever.

Jennifer creates "hand structured undergarments and findlings for men and women" through her Under the Root shop. You definitely need to check this eco-friendly and too-too-sweet lady out!

Posted by Lolaness

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday's Freebie!

Although my work day is only half done, I have been so excited to show off one of the latest projects that I've completed, an identity set and print materials for Petal~by~Petal. Above is a small preview, but you can visit her shop or the portfolio page to read and see more. I'm just so pleased with the brilliant green and the beauty of the floral swirls.

Also ... I'm too excited to wait to roll out this week's Friday Freebie - so, without further ado....

This week's freebie is my second free Blogger Skin. It is simple, pure, clean beauty - Bohemienne. Focusing strongly on a white and light pink color palette, your text and images are what really stand out. The background stays put, so the only thing that scrolls is the content itself.

Here's a peek at the skin (it will also be live for at least a few days on the Pixel Boutique Preview page):

This cute little beauty isn't just free, but it has full support for widgets in the sidebar and footer. You can download the skin here. To use, just copy-paste the code into your Blogger layout area. All the images are hosted for you.

Have a "freebie" you'd love to see? I plan on expanding my free offerings to include things like print-at-home stickers and business cards, as well as straight HTML templates. Leave a comment and let me know what you'd like to snag!

Posted by Lolaness

Thursday, April 23, 2009

End of Week Inspiration

I think it's inevitable for anyone who does creative work of any sort ... the nearer the end of the week, the less creative ya seem to feel. It's like your muse is tired, and it can sometimes be a struggle to get through your work - more because it doesn't seem good enough, suddenly, than anything else.

Every Thursday, I feel it come on ... today was no different. I've learned to combat it by diving wholeheartedly into all the projects I have on my plate that are nearly complete. Sometimes, I'm able to wrap up a design ahead of time while at others this sudden rush of enthusiasm to just keep creating inspires new ideas.

The Jaded Silver start-up business set pictured above was the result of a late-night inspiration. I just love the rich, lush tones created.

Need some inspiration of your own? Every Thursday, I'll have a new project - an inspiring challenge - for you to jumpstart your creative juices with. Or maybe to save for a leisurely Saturday morning ... whatever works best for you.

I recently had a featured interview through EcoEtsy, where I spoke about the idea of sending things like business cards in business card holders so that the packaging could be reused over and over - cutting back on waste, preventing the need to recycle or reuse in the first place. Since that interview, I've been asked several times for some kind of example of how I would send cards in a holder.

This is my favorite business card holder. They work just as well to keep your business cards safe as they do for a very pretty - and creative - display case. You can decorate the basic case in any way you wish, making it reflect your personal or business style, and they're sure to stand out on your desk or at a fair.

Business Card Display Box Pattern (PDF)
8.5 x 11" sheet of paper (card stock, repurposed cardboard, etc.)
Scissors, craft knife, bone folder, glue runner, embellishments of choice



1. Print the pattern on the wrong side of your chosen paper. For the example, I've used a sheet of paper cut to size from a gift bag. You could also choose repurposed materials like cereal boxes, flat rate mailing envelopes, and notebook covers. Just make sure that you cut the paper down to size - 8.5 x 11" - so it will run through your printer.

2. Cut the paper out along all solid lines. Follow all the outside lines, leaving the center I shape for the next step.

3. For the center I shape, carefully use a ruler and a craft knife to cut along the solid lines. This will create two flaps that will be folded in and glued down for reinforcement.

4. Using a bone folder and ruler, carefully score the dotted lines.

5. Fold all scores toward the inside (wrong side) of the box and crease.

6. Apply glue to both the inside flaps at the center of the box. Press to the inside, lining up the edges with the folds of its panel.

Think about how you plan to embellish the box. If anything must be done while the box is still "flat", now is the time to do it. For my box, I used this chance to apply 5 eyelets across the top of the window just made and thread ribbon through them.

7. Apply glue to the 4th strip (thinnest) on the left side of the box. Press this glued strip to the inside of the box, lining the fold up with the edge of the reinforced window made in step 6.

8. Apply glue to the middle, thinner strip on the right side of the box. Carefully glue this strip to the panel with half-circle cut out, lining up the edges so they are flush. The raw edge of the "flap" should be in line with the edge of the reinforced window made in step 6.

9. Apply glue to the thick outside panel, wrap it over the opposite panel to form a closed box, and press with edges lined up.

10. Allow to fully dry (at least an hour) and then open the "loose" side to slip your business cards in. It will fold back inward to close. Display proudly!

Posted by Lolaness

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Work and Furry Babies

I love a challenge. When I was contacted about creating a custom Etsy Kit for Venetia, I knew that the design she had in mind would be challenging ... and then I saw the hand-drawn logo she wanted to use. Challenge didn't cover it, but it has been faithfully replicated in vector format and ready for finishing off.

Most of my work day was involved in this challenge, but I also had the chance to put together a new look for The Kestlyn Collection which I think turned out great and which Kestlyn loved.

Somewhere in between these designs, continuing work on the mystery peek from yesterday, and trying to keep in touch with everyone I'm working with, I also found time to snap a shot of three of our four furry babies. Just mention husky and everyone wants to see - so I proudly present a quick shot of Mick (husky) and Nikita (carpathian hound), and BonBon the loverboy kitty.

Posted by Lolaness

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Color & Your Design

Productive days are always the best. When you can sit back at the end of the day, actually view progress on your projects, and generally feel like you've given it your all. Today was definitely one of those days. Above are sneak peeks at two projects that should be completed in the next day or two, for a couple of great ladies to work with. On the left is a 100% hand-drawn vector design ... but you'll never guess what else is in the image! On the right is part of an image the woman I'm working with submitted for a series of hang tags.

On the frustrating end, I finally found out why I'm having connection problems: a line was cut during construction, and it could be a couple of days before I'm fully back to normal. At least having no connection doesn't affect my computer or the graphics tablet - I wouldn't know what to do with myself!

Other than that, it was a calm and beautiful day here 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. With the windows open and birds chirping, it gives me hope that I can be out digging in the ground soon!

When you're out to make an impression, you want to be both attractive and memorable. Of all the ways you can achieve attractive and memorable rather than irritating and memorable, color is the most important. It is through color that we perceive our world, process information both emotionally and psychologically, and convert the color into a message. It all works on an automatic level that most of us aren't even aware of - but by becoming aware of it, you can harness it for your own benefit.


The softest of colors, pink conveys romance, affection, delicacy, sweetness, love, friendship ... and, above all else, it is associated with femininity. It is highly popular for boutiques when paired with black, and many women-owned bakeries favor a pink and brown color combination that is both trendy and pleasing.


The color of dreams, enlightenment, spirituality, and intuition, purple is also famously associated with luxury and royalty. It can convey feelings of elegance, extravagance and independence - the deeper the purple, the more "royal" the feeling. On a lighter side, it can have a calming, serene effect. Be careful here, though - purple is a color that people never sit on the fence about. You either love it or you hate it.


Blue is associated with the element of air and freedom, it's the color of artistry and creativity, wisdom, affection, loyalty, intelligence, and sincerity. Have you ever wondered why blue is so popularly used on corporate websites? There's a simple reason: no matter what culture you've grown up in, blue is generally the last color you'll say "I hate it" to.


Relaxing, calming, and soothing ... green is a color that is associated with two very different things: money and success, or nature and healing. It's all about the context for this color, but the good news is that it's one of the most popular colors worldwide.


ENERGY - Red is all about it. Action, speed, strength, passion, in the right context it can convey feelings of romance and in other contexts, danger and aggression. It is the color of revolution, and it stimulates people to take action. It can be a color of urgency or need, and is definitely one of the biggest "attention grabbing" colors out there. Did you know that red vehicles are the ones most ticketed? Even the police can't keep their eyes off this color. Use caution, though. Bright reds used over large areas can quickly strain the eyes and set off immediate irritation (remember aggression?) reactions.


Another energetic color, orange is traditionally used to convey balance and enthusiasm. It is the color of creativity and joy, but it has a meaning of "cheap" in some cultures. Know your audience before you overdo it with orange.


Ahhhh yellow. Associated with the sun, joy, happiness, imagination, curiosity, memory, energy, glory, and confidence, yellow stimulates mental activity. This can be both good and bad. Light yellow or moderate use of yellow will attract attention, but overusing it can be too mentally stimulating and actually provoke anxiety.

Posted by Lolaness

Monday, April 20, 2009

ecoSpring and Mondays

Today began as a typical Monday ... emails to answer from some of the great people I'm working with, refresh my memory on where I'm at in which projects, and sipping my coffee as I catch up with the weekend happenings over at EcoEtsy.

Then, it turned into a "typical" Monday, complete with no Internet connection, a male husky who managed to break free twice, and a doctor's appointment. By the time everything was resolved, my work day was long gone and all that was left was that lingering need to create.

So while I will have to sincerely apologize to all the lovely ladies I'm currently working with for no communication today, I do at least have something to show for my first post here at the Pixel Boutique: the release of my first free Blogger Skin. Created in honor of Earth Day, it reflects the heart of nature with a lush green tree, roots swirling prettily down into the body, and a sprinkling of pretty spring flowers and even a little birdie to sing.

Here's a peek at the skin (it will also be live for at least a few days on the Pixel Boutique Preview page):

This cute little beauty isn't just free, but it has full support for "gadgets" in the sidebar and footer. How nifty is that? You can download the skin here. To use, just copy-paste the code into your Blogger layout area. All the images are hosted for you.

While you're thinking about Earth Day, have you considered how you're going to honor the day itself? Take a peek at the cool event the EcoEtsy team is working on, and consider taking part in Green Share.

Posted by Lolaness

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