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December 31 2011

03:02

Collaborative COLOURlovers Project: Spoonflower Quilt for a Queen

So many great things have happened on COLOURlovers in 2011, but one major, behind the scenes project that only a very small portion of members have been aware of was a quilt project straight from the heart of the Group: COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

Group administrator, leader and very involved COLOURlover, Penina, wanted her group to be something more than just a group of people who loved the idea of fabric. So one fine day back in July 2011, after coordinating ideas to make a digital quilt from the group member creations, she had the thought, “What’s stopping us from making a real quilt?!

Penina wanted this quilt project to have purpose and to involve as many group members as possible. This also meant that the final piece would need to have a good home at a single location; so who would get the quilt?

Before designing began, group members had to decide on a theme. Unknown to one another, a handful of COLOURlovers independently suggested the same idea, a Cancer Healing Quilt. Many offered the idea with a particularly beloved COLOURlover in mind, o2bqueen, (a.k.a. Linda) who had shared her personal cancer journey (which she is still going through) on her COLOURlovers profile. With that in mind, the secret project started...

Official Spoonflower color test swatch created by Penina 

And so began the first COLOURlovers on Spoonflower cooperative project: a queen-sized quilt made from colors, palettes and original templates submitted by members of the COLOURlovers community.

Blueberry_Pancakesmy_color_10anilIceberg_Lettucesoft_fleshButterfly_BreezeForgetmenot_again

This turned in to much of a learning experience for many COLOURlovers (see the postpartum "what I learned thread in the group here) including Penina as the project coordinator and group leader. Under her very involved leadership, the project began when members voted on a seven color palette.

#F26F97#4D3C5F#9A8FC8#8DBDEB#FFFAD3#D6DD90#7DB8A2

Project Colors Links by ycc2106

Next, each contributor combined the chosen palette colors in the variation they thought best featured their submitted template. This is where some COLOURlovers learned exactly how the protection of works literally works on COLOURlovers. After learning the in and out of the COLOURlovers rules, some participants were unable to be involved since it required the submitting of your own template.

During the last days of pattern submission, a couple of colors seemed to become the most prominent choice as the background for many of the patterns. At this point, additional COLOURlovers were invited to participate and their submissions helped reestablish the balance of colors which provided enough squares for the quilt to be queen-sized.

Completed submissions were printed via Spoonflower. There was some discussion on how how this was to work as a collaborative project. Between COLOURlovers copyright restrictions and needing to order from a single Spoonflower account, each participant had to email their SVG of the colored Template to Penina who put them in to a group run, not for sale status, account on Spoonflower called, COLOURlovers on Spoonflower.

This solution actually turned out to be beneficial to the group on COLOURlovers because it has since turned in to a feature group on Spoonflower where Penina can utilize it in a number of ways as it showcases the group and member designs on Spoonflower.com. Also, she has provided a link to each pattern (on COLOURlovers) and put the username of the designer in the details. Lastly, this established group can also be used in the future for more collaborative Spoonflower projects.

pictured, Dannielle (aka sundancer)

The swatches were sent to a talented charter member of the group, Dannielle (a.k.a. sundancer), who enthusiastically volunteered to sew it.

Originally, meant to feature the finished quilt on the blog in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dannielle’s timeline for sewing up a queen size quilt was insanely short as swatches were arriving in the first weeks of October.

left: Dannielle / sundancer: All the swatches cut to size and ready to sew! right: Special Thread

She began cutting the fabric as soon as the package arrived. Shopped for additional materials for the quilt’s back, border, binding and batting at her local fabric store. With her own unique thread, she sewed by hand and with her sewing machine. Although she has made many quilts for others, she admits “I’ve never made a quilt that fast!

During the four weeks it took to finish the quilt, Dannielle joyfully continued, even when her personal responsibilities intensified unexpectedly. Group members posted encouraging comments for her and she posted photos of the quilt as it progressed. Excitement really began to build as fellow COLOURlovers saw Dannielle’s loving heart and high standard of excellence reflected in the quilt’s construction.

As her deadline neared, Dannielle says she gave up a little sleep and postponed some housework to get the job done. She also had numerous fights with her sewing machine that threatened a delay. Ultimately, these arguments were settled by her seam ripper, which Dannielle calls “a quilter’s best friend.” Finally ready, the quilt was sent off to ketisse for a special lunch-date delivery to o2bqueen / Linda.

left: ketisse, right: Linda / o2bqueen - having lunch!

After all the months of work that was put in to this top secret project, not to mention, keeping it a secret, the tension started surpassing the excitement, what if Linda / o2bqueen did not want us to surprise her with a quilt centered around her cancer? What would we do with it then?

left: ketisse, right: o2bqueen / Linda

This was clamped as quickly as the hesitation came when Linda excitedly and warmly responded to our reaching out to her and she welcomed the gift, overjoyed:

" I love, love, love it. It's gorgeous, ingenious, inspiring, and joyful, and every time I see it, I will feel loved. How can I ever thank you enough for such a gift?"

"Not till I read your note did I realize how many people were involved in the project. I teared up big time. And I thought to myself, "However did they all keep this secret from me?" I do hope the experience was fun and rewarding for all of you." - Linda / o2bqueen (provided by sundancer / Dannielle)

It so happened, the very week ketisse was due to try to meet with and deliver the quilt, Linda was having yet, another recovery surgery and this meant so much to her to have something positive from the community she so loved and it was delivered in time, right before her 6th surgery.

o2bqueen / Linda holding the folded quilt to take home

Best wishes to Linda (o2bqueen) on the road to healing on behalf of the entire COLOURlovers on Spoonflower members. Many members were still a part of the process even when they were unable to submit a custom template.

Finished quilt


Funding & Sponsorship for this project most generously provided by Spoonflower:

Printing a collection on Spoonflower as a Swatch Sampler will save you money when assembling a project like a quilt.

You can order a batch of swatches for all the designs in a collection in a single 'swatch sampler'. A sampler for a collection of 1-5 designs is $12, 6-15 designs is $20, and 16-30 designs is $35. At as little as ~$1.20 per swatch, this is the most cost effective way to order swatches at Spoonflower. Swatches are the same quality fabric as ordering a fuller selection of fabric.

Be sure you are familiar with the color changes (Spoonflower Color Guide), before printing an entire collection. Creating a color palette for an entire collection and then printing a proof swatch is the smartest way to avoid a major mistake and waste of money.


Templates used for this project and laid out in a digital quilt which links to the Spoonflower version of each template, which in turn links back to COLOURlovers (kindly assembled by ycc2106):

 

Much of this story and content of this article was written by Ketisse. Posted as a collaboration with my editing and a few portions written by me (mollybermea).

November 22 2011

21:34

November 17 2011

00:39

November 10 2011

23:45

Eric Carle - Daring You to Imagine a World with Purple Penguins and Lime Green Rhinos

Imagine a world where anything is possible—where dogs sport a luscious coat of pink fur, green cats preen themselves with zebra striped tongues, ruby red snakes have glowing purple polka dots, and rainbow spotted elephants spray orange slices from a mile long trunk. This is the world that Eric Carle dares his readers to imagine.

This article is presented by the leader in business card printing with fast turnaround times, Next Day Flyers.

Eric Carle was born June 25, 1929 in Syracuse, New York. When he was six years old, he and his parents moved to Germany where he grew up and eventually graduated from Akademie der bildenden Künste, a prestigious art school in Stuttgart. He never forgot his American roots and returned to the place of his happiest childhood memories in 1952.

Eric Carle | Books

 

Inspired at a young age by German artist Franz Marc, who is known for his paintings of blue horses, Eric Carle has illustrated over seventy books, many of which he also wrote. The following are some of his most memorable contributions to children’s literature.

(source)
Brown_Brown_Bear

The first book Eric Carle illustrated was titled Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Published in 1967, its bold and colorful illustrations brought a fresh look to children’s literature.

(source)

Hungry_Caterpillar

In 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar quietly began to work its way into all of our hearts. By far his most well-known children’s book with over 22 million copies sold, it has been translated into more than thirty languages and has graced bookshelves for over forty years.

Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar (source) | Food page - source

Book and pages from The Very Hungry Caterpillar - source | source | source

So, what is the magic that makes this book popular even to this day?

Is it the simple story of the life cycle depicted in the form of a tiny insect? Is it the fact that it teaches the days of the week, counting, and good nutrition paired with interactive die-cut pages? Is it the suggestion that we are all a bit like this little caterpillar and will one day turn into beautiful butterflies? Maybe it is the vivid illustrations themselves, which startle the senses and spark the imagination. Whatever the reason may be, it stands true that The Very Hungary Caterpillar is a worthy example of how far a little imagination and creativity can take you.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (source)

The year 1970 brought The Tiny Seed with its collage illustrations accompanied by simple poetic text that demonstrate the enormous potential of one tiny seed.

Have you seen my Cat? by Eric Carle (source |  source | source)

One of my personal favorites, Have you seen my Cat? takes the reader on a journey through distant lands where wild and domesticated cats alike adorn the pages in Eric Carle’s classic illustrative style. Published in 1973, the pictures more than the text lead the reader from page to page searching for a boy’s beloved pet.

The Very Busy Spider includes a raised printing technique (source)

The Very Busy Spider was published in 1984. Its striking illustrations are enhanced with a raised printing technique that allows readers to enjoy the story by sight, sound and touch.

Hello, Red Fox (source)

 

Published in 1998, Hello, Red Fox is a colorful book with a lot of surprises. Eric Carle’s illustrations take readers on a journey to discover complementary colors.

Cover source  |  Two-page spread from “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle (source)

Featuring amazing rainforest illustrations,“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth was released in 2002. Eric Carle was inspired to write this book at a time when his life was very hectic. He got fed up with it one day and after locking himself up in his studio he began to work on this book. It now stands as a reminder to us all to slow down and take a break sometimes. (source)

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? by Eric Carle  (source)

In 2007, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? hit the shelves. If you will remember, Eric Carle started his career with a book with a similar title, but from the adult bear’s perspective. Thinking it would be a nice way to sort of round off his career, he got back together with Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated this children’s book. Little did he know that he wasn’t quite finished with his career…

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, by Eric Carle (cover source)

The_Blue_Horse

(source)

Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse came out this year (2011) as a stunning illustrated book that truly explores and encourages a child’s imaginative potential. The first page displays a little boy holding a paintbrush saying, “I am an artist and I paint a blue horse.” Subsequent pages are illustrated with a whole zoo of unconventionally colored animals, and concluding with the little boy again, this time saying, “I am a good artist…” The addition of one powerful little word to the sentence expresses Eric Carle’s deep belief that the imagination cannot and should not be hindered. In fact, his own creative process is a testament to this. (source)

Eric Carle in his studio (source)

“I often try making paper more than what paper is.”-Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative technique is to use hand-painted, cut and collaged tissue paper. Using overlaying colors combined with bold strokes, wavy lines, polka dots, and other techniques, the resultant tissue paper is bright and colorful.

(source)

“Many people make collages. Artists like Picasso and Matisse and Leo Lionni made collages. Many children have done collages at home or in their classrooms. I happen to make my collage illustrations using painted tissue papers. You might want to try it too!” — Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative style demonstrates how repeated sequences of circles, squares, and lines can lead to endless creative possibilities.

(source)

As the author of some of the most unique and well-recognized illustrations in children’s literature, Eric Carle is a true advocate of creative expression. We would do well to recognize our own attempts at creativity as simply as Eric Carle does, meaning that anything goes. The imagination holds endless possibilities, and when we tap into our own creative wells, what will emerge? A beautiful butterfly? One can only hope there are a few purple penguins and lime green rhinos in there, too.


header credit: source | source

October 27 2011

22:26

September 27 2011

22:03

The Sketchbook Project: Transforming a Library into a Successful Business

For the past decade, the libraries we knew as children with the Dewy Decimal System and the Card Catalogue have been approaching the brink of extinction. We live in an era where the Kindle and the iPad challenge the need for physical books, and libraries and bookstores face the daunting task of attracting the readers’ attention just to stay in business.

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"


Granted, those who are surviving have found some sort of niche to keep the interest going. For example, the bookstore Barnes & Noble has always had a sort of coffee-house atmosphere where people actually go to enjoy an experience. Amazon.com, already online and a threat to physical bookstores, quickly became a source for digital media along with its physical media. So, how about the local library? What has changed to keep it in the running?

From the sketchbook of, Kelcey Beardsley Portland, OR, United States | "Things found on restaurant napkins"

The Brooklyn Art Library is not exactly a traditional library, but more of a co-op gallery. It does provide a library-type experience, but with so much more. The library acts as a physical extension of Art House Co-op, a library featuring artistic talent from around the globe encompassed in sketchbooks.

Folding Sketchbooks - source

Art House opened its doors in December of 2006 initially as a pay-to-play gallery, but it didn’t do so hot. Scrounging for ideas to keep the business going, the co-op started the first ever, “A Million Little Pictures,” meaning a million photographs and one cross-country exhibition.

“A Million Little Pictures is a community-supported exhibition of snapshots captured around the world. By joining together thousands of specific moments to create a single immersive environment, A Million Little Pictures imagines a communal story from the images of our lives.” - arthousecoop.com (A Million Little Pictures)

The exhibition did okay, but it didn’t help fully support Art House’s gallery. The one thing it did do was give birth to idea of “The Sketchbook Project”—a traveling library of artists’ journals that is open to anyone around the world. The Art House gallery has had three locations and finally resides in Brooklyn, NY, as the Brooklyn Art Gallery—the home of many sketchbooks from around the World.

Art House Co-op & The Library

The library acts as the physical extension of Art House and is home to the Sketchbook Project. The walls are lined with shelves of sketchbooks from The Sketchbook Project. Visitors can check out a pile of books or simply peruse sketchbooks from around the globe. How amazing it must be to sift through so many varied mediums and talent.

The Brooklyn Art Library

Sketchbooks are individually catalogued and bar-coded so that they can easily be found (by artist name, location and theme). Authors can also choose to have their books digitalized, which means they are scanned and become available online at the Art House Co-Op online in their Digital Library.

The physical library is also a storefront for, you guessed it, sketchbooks, notebooks, art supplies, stationary and vintage trinkets.

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

The library’s purpose is to connect artists from all over the world and encourage the Art House community to interact with one another face-to-face, while showcasing members’ artwork to the local Brooklyn audience. The library hosts readings, discussions, workshops and performances. (source)

A West Coast US location may be opening up in the San Francisco area. Participants in the 2012 exhibition would be included in the launch of the West Coast hub.

The Sketchbook Project

When you sign up for participation in The Sketchbook Project you will get to pick from 40 themes. Themes are there to give you a little boost in the creative direction of your sketchbook and are not restricted to any specific rules. Basic participation costs $25 (USD). This gets you a sketchbook and helps in the expense of the entire project overall. Other optional expenses include requesting that your book be scanned for online viewing ($20 USD) and/or a Sketchbook Project t-shirt ($20).

From the sketchbook of, Gení§ay Aytekin Istanbul, Fatih, Turkey | 

From the sketchbook of, Jackie Mangione Williston, VT, United States | Storybook

I signed up for the Category, Monochromatic and plan to either stick with a single color in many different mediums to create my sketchbook artwork as a whole or use a different hue in single color creations for each page. I am considering a way to incorporate COLOURlovers color swatches.

From the sketchbook of, Jane Kim Los Angeles, CA, United States | Coffee & Cigarettes

Unique Folded Sketchbook - source

Take note that these sketchbooks are not restricted to the format of a regular book either. Creative foldouts, popouts and any type of mixed media is acceptable with a warning to adhere things strongly since these will be handled and viewed from people all over the world. Your book will be well traveled.

source

What a great outlet to work on your creative style and promote your name as a creative individual be it Graphic Design, Illustrative Design, Mixed Media Artist and any type of singular art such as drawing, sketching, painting, inking, stamping and so on. I am looking forward to participating and experimenting in varied mediums.

source

Apparently themes fill up fast with over 10,000 people in participation. You must sign up no later than October 31st, 2011 in order to participate for the 2012 exhibition. Deadline to turn in your finished sketchbook is January 31st, 2012 (postmarked by) and the Tour starts in April 2012.

August 31 2011

10:00

Undo: The Best Feature for Everything

Let’s take a step back and for now relax and indulge ourselves with a feature that may or may not be possible: an undo button for everything. Yes, it’s the undo button. Everything needs an undo button. From social media websites, email clients, overwriting files, submitting forms, and almost everything. Don’t you just get that feeling that you confirmed too fast and would like to reverse your decision? Well, you are not alone. So, web designers and web developers out there, pretty please?

Why am I so eager about this?

The current acceptable form of “final” decision is actually in form of an alarming warning. “Doing this will delete your existing file,” fine, delete it. Oops, I take that back. Sorry, you can’t. So why not, instead of hitting the final nail, give users the option to go back in time and fix whatever stupid mistake has been made? Humans are rash creatures that need a second chance, always.

I understand the limitations of technology, and I also understand that having an undo button for everything is computationally taxing for the developers and the system. I just want to indulge in this topic because it’s fun!

Where should the almighty Undo button be?

It should be placed at every final stage of decision and should never be removed as long as the whole thing is processed. Like, on email, if the receiver has already opened the file you can’t undo it anymore. On online stores, once the processing has already begun you can’t undo. Just give the people the chance to undo any time it is still possible to do so.

On Email

Undosend

For sure I’m not the only one who has sent a client, or a lover, the wrong email, right? It is interesting to note that Gmail has an undo feature, but you still have to enable it. There’s also a similar feature with different desktop email clients.

To enable, go to your Mail Settings -> Labs -> find Undo and Enable. Want more Gmail tips and tricks?

Gmailundoo

Gmail gives its users the chance to delete, move, and do things within gmail and still offer an undo for everything. Deleted a file? You can undo that. Deleted your trash? Nope, that’s the final nail. At least Gmail gave you three chances: selecting the email to delete, the undo button, and the trash.

On Forms

Like, on impulse you registered your email for a website’s newsletter but you really regret doing so. Unsubscribing takes a lot of time because first you’ll have to find the page where you can unsubscribe, or check your inbox for instructions on how to unsubscribe. Why can’t we just click “undo” and everything’s back to normal?

On Overwriting Files

Mostly for desktop files and files on your server. “Doing this will overwrite your existing data,” so what? Then a moment after that a revolution inside your head will occur, “wrong file!!!” And things get nasty.

We have “undo move” and “undo rename” but why can’t we have “undo overwrite”?

With Google Docs you won’t have to worry about saving and overwriting things because it offers every possible revision you’ve made. So if you’re still using Microsoft Word, or another desktop application for writing, I suggest you switch to Google Docs because it’s far safer.

Until “undo overwrite” comes, I guess we’ll have to keep backups of our important files.

On Payments

Another great call-to-action buttons or creative advertisement suckered you into another impulse buy? You hit the ‘Buy Now!’ button only to realize you really don’t need whatever you just confirmed a payment for. I’m sure these online stores don’t process your purchase instantly, so why not give people the chance to undo the whole transaction any time within a set grace period, like an hour or so before they actually process the whole thing.

On Support Tickets

Godaddy

Recently I’ve submitted several support tickets to my previous web host (I left! Oh, the freedom!) because of the very bad service they’re giving me. Of course, I first asked if they noticed a problem with their servers, or if they can help me fix a 302 redirect. Then I told them my website has been slow for a week now, and is experiencing downtime everyday! Some of these I’ve solved on my own, some not. I guess what I’m trying to say is, why can’t I just undo other tickets that I’ve solved on my own so that they won’t be bothered with it anymore?

On Blog Comments

Comment

There are blog commenting systems that do not offer the option to delete or edit a comment after you’ve made/posted it. Most often you’ll see stupid remarks or spelling and grammar errors that the person who made the mistake finds really embarrassing and wish they could just vanish off the face of the earth or just change their name. Sometimes emotion gets the best of people and they simply shout in ALL CAPS ABOUT THEIR RAGE!!!!! Good thing on Twitter and Facebook you can delete your comments and posts, but readers of 1stwebdesigner can’t (I can. mwuahaha).

Having access to the comments, because I moderate them, I’ve seen a ton of comments saying “to the admin, please disregard this and my other comment,” or “admin, I made a mistake, can you change ____ to ___?” I’d be happy to assist you, but wouldn’t it be better if an undo button was present just after you sent it for moderation?

On Chat/IMs

Skype has it…and I think it’s the only one. Why can’t we undo/delete our IMs on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, and Google? I feel exceptionally awkward when I IM someone and he/she doesn’t reply for a very long time, making me wish I could take back what I just said/asked.

Disclaimer and Conclusion and Your Turn

This article is a product of my imagination and is meant to serve as both comedic relief for your tense shoulders and to simply state the obvious things we need. This may be possible, or technically exhausting, but wouldn’t it be very cool to have an undo button for everything? Eliminate those confirm, cancel, delete, yes, and other buttons and replace them with undo!

So, what do you think? Feel free to add to the list, I’m sure I missed something..somewhere.

August 30 2011

21:12

August 16 2011

15:00

Inspirational People in Business: Commercial Artist Interview - Chuck Anderson of NoPattern

Businesses large and small have embraced big color full force. Commercial Artist, Chuck Anderson, is a Photographer and Digital Artist. He has been a unique resource for many businesses since 2004, breaking the rules and becoming a design phenomenon. In more recent years, you might have seen Chuck appear in interviews as the Windows 7 brand designer for Microsoft.

'humanlike' - on Npandco.com

"I don't honestly think I ever actually decided to become a designer. I've just always been an artist - since I was a child. It's always been a part of me to create things." - interview from mocoloco.com

photos from interview with rapidgrowthmedia.com

What I've learned about Chuck is that he's just a regular guy and he was a regular kid (starting at 17) with a strong passion for creating, using color to the max and experimenting outside the box. Many interviews ask him how he got where he's at and he would answer that he still doesn't really know. From what I can see, hard work, being unique and obviously having a super cool personality has taken him a long way. We've pulled together some questions for Chuck that might help you, as an aspiring or even seasoned creative find inspiration and resources from. Enjoy!

The Interview

COLOURlovers: At the age of 17 you defined your image as NO PATTERN to give yourself some flexibility in who you were as an artist and what type of work you did. You are currently known for your freeness of style and expressive work with photography, light and color - do you still consider yourself as undefined as you were when you were 17 or 18?

NoPattern / Chuck: Yes and no. On one hand it's clear I've developed a distinctive style that I've come to be most recognized and hired for. I don't deny that, but I don't think it's in any way a bad thing. When I was just starting out at 17, 18 years old, I was so raw and completely still finding what it was I was going to be most drawn to, which meant a lot more in the way of experimenting. Now that I've hit a sort of groove and found what it is I'm generally best at, I just do my best to continually evolve that style and continue to develop it. However, the name NoPattern, at it's core, is the idea of always being in flux, never staying exactly the same and continuing to grow. I think that's something that I try to hold to in every project I do.

'GODLIKE' on Npandco.com
GODLIKE_-_NoPattern

COLOURlovers: Your photo-manipulated pieces all seem to carry similar patterns of color usage (blue, green yellow, red and magenta-purple), would you say that is a signature mark in your work?

NoPattern / Chuck: In a way it is, but it's never been my intention to become known by a certain color palette. I just enjoy using unexpected colors and strong contrast between elements in a piece. I really just do what looks best as I work - 99% of what I create is decided on the fly, not planned out ahead of time.
NoPattern_RedSunshine_GrinNoPattern_BlueNoPattern_GreenNoPattern_Purple9.1

COLOURlovers: Being self-taught, you probably have a fairly expansive artistic library. What books stand out to you for major inspiration, direction or have been helpful for you in your career?

NoPattern / Chuck: Love this question because I love art & design books and love talking about them. A few of my absolute favorites include 'Sonic: Visuals for Music', 'Supersonic: Visuals for Music', 'Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting', 'Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing', 'Fashion Unfolding', 'Maharishi DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material', any and all Ed Ruscha, KAWS, and David Shrigley books, 'Lord of the Logos - Christophe Szpajdel', 'Annie Leibovitz - A Photographer's Life', 'Grotesk 1999-2009', 'Bohemian Modern - Living in Silver Lake'. Those are just a few that have been super, super inspirational to me over the years. There's plenty more but those are a few standouts.

'anarchrysanthemum' - on Npandco.com

COLOURlovers: What websites would you recommend as a MUST for designers (what are your favorites)?

NoPattern / Chuck: 

  • mrporter.com - the best designed content & site out there right now in my opinion
  • ffffound.com - for finding & tracking eye candy and inspiration
  • booooooom.com - with 7 "o's" - Jeff does a great job curating content and picking awesome illustration & art to feature
  • supersonicelectronic.com - another great blog with great taste
  • abduzeedo.com - Fabio started something really special with this. very helpful to young designers, great resource & place to learn

COLOURloversYou’ve never taken any official Color Theory classes in your life. Do you think that by having COLOURlovers around when you were a kid, starting out, would have helped a lot with learning and playing around with color usage?

NoPattern / Chuck: Absolutely! I love looking through crazy, left field, classic, unique, interesting color palettes. People come up with some really fascinating things and there's really no limit to how you can blend and combine colors. I love it and think it will be super helpful to upcoming designers.

'NOPATTERN' Book on Npandco.com

COLOURlovers: Do you think it is easier for designers starting out to get their work noticed than when you were starting out in 2003? Do you think the avenues to opportunities have changed?

NoPattern / Chuck: It's absolutely categorically different now than when I started in 2003. In 2003 there was no Twitter, no Facebook, no image blogs or Tumblrs to get caught up in. It was way more focused to a handful of design news sites like DesignIsKinky, LinkdUp, K10K, Newstoday, etc. You had just a small handful of very focused sites concentrating on what was going on. Now there's just an endless world of blogs/Tumblrs/Twitter feeds/etc and I feel like it's a bit more crowded & saturated now. Things just move way faster on the internet now than they did back then. So in a way there are more avenues than ever before to get your work out but there are 1000x more players in the game, if you will. Meaning more people, more websites, more critics, and generally more access. I had to work super hard to get my work out in 2003 for sure but I'm glad I got my foot in the door back then rather than now, to be honest.

#INTERVIEW QUOTE - HOW CHUCK GOT STARTED#

COLOURlovers: You seem like the type of guy with a cool playlist. Many of your print pieces express a lot of movement. If you could add a song or playlist to some of these what would it be? 

NoPattern / Chuck: I'm not sure my answer to this would make a whole lot of sense. Most of my work looks like it should be paired with some electronic/techno/rave/DJ vibe and I'm really not into that kind of stuff much at all. Ha. When I made the 'Dark Light I' piece I was listening to a lot of Baroness, Trap Them, and Ghost, which is all pretty heavy hardcore/metal stuff and it just really got me thinking 'skulls/evil/metal' more than usual, ha.

Perhaps for the piece 'Lights For Drowning' I'd think of 'Balabaristas' by Tristeza...

...and for something like 'Heavenlike' I would think of 'Pachuca Sunrise' by Minus The Bear.

COLOURlovers: A lot of your designs are applied and sold on products in a wide spectrum. You’ve recently re-designed your own online store which has been online for six years - NP&CO (npandco.com). What type of stuff will we be seeing, aside from your books and the awesome prints?

NoPattern / Chuck: I've sold books and prints and at one point t-shirts, and have more t-shirts coming up soon. But those things are the main focus. I really hope to expand this later this year and next year, but client projects tend to take priority over personal projects these days.

COLOURlovers: At COLOURlovers we get to play with naming things and giving funky or meaningful titles to our creations which can completely change the feeling you get when you are simply looking at a color palette, pattern or color swatch. While cruising through NP&CO.com, I was reflecting on the names you use for your pieces - Do you usually have a title for a print piece before you start creating it?

NoPattern / Chuck: Great question. Actually no, naming a piece is almost always the hardest part for me and something I always do when I'm finished with it. I like to sit back and look at a piece and usually the right title just comes to me. But I love the idea of coming up with a title and creating something inspired by that. Just the reverse of what I typically do, could be a fun little challenge to give myself. So, thanks for the idea! :)

'SUMMER SLAYS' on Npandco.com

COLOURlovers: It’s awesome how involved you are with different charities around the Globe. How do you apply what you do as a designer to your charity work/contributions?

NoPattern / Chuck: I always try to donate a portion of sales from my online store to charity. I really see no reason NOT to do this. I am extremely blessed and fortunate in this life. My main income is from client projects so it's quite easy to justify setting aside a portion of my personal work's profit to give to charity. That's a pretty specific way I've tried to contribute over the years. I also realize I have a fairly large platform to share information, ideas, and news via my Twitter, Facebook, NoPattern.com, my mailing list, Tumblr, and other avenues. I think once you gain a decent following and have an audience who care about what you have to say, you should use it wisely. So sharing what I'm doing, sharing what other designers or creative

Photo from Computer Arts Interview

One of my favorite interviews Chuck has done was with Computer Arts. In this, Chuck talks about starting out and if I had read that at 15 or 16 years old I would have been so inspired that, yes, you CAN do it at whatever age or whatever situation you're in. He wasn't given his career on a silver platter - he was a broke kid wanting to create and he certainly worked hard for it... and hey guess what? It worked! My favorite part of this interview just goes to show that it can take a little determination:

CA: Have you always been your own boss?

CAN: I graduated from high school in 2003, and had started NoPattern when I was in high school, at about the age of 17. It was just a place for my personal work. When I graduated I had a couple of odd jobs locally but eventually I quit those – I was getting more and more freelance work. I never ended up getting hired anywhere. I’ve never worked in a creative office with anyone else; I’ve had to teach myself everything about business.

CA: How did you get your first break?

CAN: I would spend tons of time in book stores looking at old magazines. I was about 18. I would see illustrations and designs and they would have a credit for the artist, and I thought that looked like an interesting way to work.

So I’d look up the art director’s name, then I’d go home and email them and introduce myself. If I couldn’t find an email address I’d just make up 15 different combinations of email address based on their name and hope that I got 14 error messages back. That’s how I got work with ESPN. I just threw it out there, guessed the guy’s email and got it.

- Snippet from interview with Computer Arts / computer arts.co.uk

Thanks for the great words of wisdom and super-inspiration Chuck! If you'd like to learn even more about Chuck, visit his ABOUT page on nopattern.com. He's got a great list of links out to interviews, charities he's involved with, a partial client list and friends in the business. But if you'd like to see his fantastic print work and books, visit npandco.com.

August 15 2011

19:57

Plywerk - Naturally Display Your Artwork

Introducing...PLYWERK, an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based in Portland Oregon. They work with professional artists, photographers, interior designers, point and shoot photographers, parents, and everyone in between!

Curly_Oak_Grove
Art pieces are a made up of your print adhered to a Plywerk Panel to create a beautifully natural piece of wall art. Gorgeous bamboo or maple are offered for the wood options.

Plywerk Anatomy 101

Bamboo & Maple Plywerk Panels

COLOURlovers has recently become a Pro Partner of PLYWERK. Why is this super notable to mention? Because you're going to get the best, most amazing deals ever when you create an account (which is free). These deals are customized to COLOURlovers Members Only under the Prodeal membership (which is also free). Pretty sweet huh?

COLOURlovers Creations On Your Wall...

You can mount anything photography, graphic design pieces, etc. I'd personally like to see some fantastic patterns from the community mounted on these!

Cabbage_Flowers

 

Amber_wingsAnything

FIRST: Create A New Account on Plywerk.com

NEXT: Sign Up For A New Account.

Make sure you check the box under, "Prodeal Signup?" which will unlock the Pro Partners selectors where you'll be able to enter your COLOURlovers information.

Want to see COLOURlovers work on a Plywerk piece?

I'd love to see your COLOURlovers + Plywerk piece. Plywerk offers a layered PSD file for you to mask your creation. If you want to play around with it, the file link is located on the Prodeal page here (bottom - left).

Let's see what ya got!

August 05 2011

18:21

Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!

Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop,  AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.


Monster11Monster3TeenyBop
Shawna continually uses COLOURlovers in every which way for both work and fun. Let's take a peek at how she does it...

Using COLOURlovers in Daily Design

COLOURlovers: How do you specifically use COLOURlovers.com tools to work with a client in getting a perfect color palette?

Shawna: The first thing I do is to ask them what type of look they are going for. In doing so, I sometimes ask them what their favorite restaurant or hotel is, which can sometimes help show me an example of the style they like. After a preliminary discussion of their style, I direct them to COLOURlovers.com and ask them to choose three color palettes they’d like me to work with. From that point, I can design a pattern in Seamless, work on the mock-up and work with them to get a design that they were imagining.


Sunday_Persimmon
COLOURlovers: How exactly do you get clients to send you palettes to use?

Shawna: Usually I have clients email me links to the palettes, OR I have them download the AI or ASE swatch files (to email me) - depending on which is easier for them. Everytime that I have had them do this, it has gone very smoothly. Usually only issue being that they send more than three palettes because there are just so many wonderful color combinations to choose from. Then we get to play the elimination game, which can be a daunting task in itself!

COLOURlovers: What COLOURlovers tools do you use specifically, and how?

Shawna: When I use COLOURlovers.com, I almost always use COPASO to create my palettes. COPASO allows you to make palettes with custom widths, but I mainly use it for the simple fact that I can use photos to pick colors from and use a scratch area to keep all my ideas organized.

Since I've just gotten the COLOURlovers iPhone App, ColorSchemer, I'm really looking forward to utilizing it in every day work. Being able to access and creating palettes on the fly will be an amazing tool. I imagine having a client sitting right with me saying, “Hmm, I need to see some color options for our company’s new look”. All I'll have to do is pull up the app and create the palette on the spot! It will definitely speed up this part of the process.

COLOURlovers: I know you've also recently got a copy of Seamless Studio. Do you use patterns a lot in your work already? If so, how will having a copy of SS on your desktop help out?

Shawna: I do try to use patterns in my work, because they can add subtle qualities that make a design much more interesting. Using the website is awesome because I can tailor the pattern templates to my needs, and then color several very quickly. It’s also exciting to find hidden gems among other users that create amazing templates.

Cleanest_BathroomDiner

Seamless Studio expands the limitations of making the templates in so many new directions. I have a lot more control over what shapes are in the pattern and better yet, getting the colors exactly how I like them for the big picture.


Lovely_BirdsBird_Ornate
Being able to create organic shapes makes it so much more fulfilling to use the software and website to my full potential as a designer.

Pearly_GateBeadedCurtains


Shawna's current Fav's

Love_NotesQuotaPeachesMintCreamBerry_Delishwhats_next...retro_circuslet_them_eat_cakeAF


I find it fascinating to see how our community uses COLOURlovers for both work and play and We have so many unique freelancers and small business owners. I'll be on the lookout for more Lovers to showcase here on the blog.

So how do you use COLOURlovers?

 


header design credits:
Betabrand2*L_A_B_E_L*Origami

July 15 2011

13:26

May 30 2011

06:05

Artist Interview: Laura Berger

I discovered Laura Berger's work very much by accident. I was visiting some close friends in Seattle and I wandered into a home store that carried her prints. The print I purchased was called Be Nice to Yourself (still available on her Etsy shop). Something about the design and the little creatures she created really captivated me, and I never forgot it. In fact, I held on to her business card, which was neatly tucked into the back of the bag the print was sealed in, and when I looked her up online I discovered a whole world of work she'd created, from paintings on wood to precious little dishes. In short, I wanted to buy everything -- and that's when I knew I had an artist on my hands that the world needed to know about.

Lucky for us here at COLOURlovers, Laura had time to speak to us for an exclusive interview in which she speaks about her creation process, inspirations, dreams of one day seeing her creatures as collectible figures and more. If you're as capitivated as we were, you can keep up with Laura on her Flickr page, through her blog (listed above) or on her Etsy page.

COLOURlovers: Do you remember the first time you created art? When was it?

Laura: I distinctly remember bringing home a giant fish that I made when I was in kindergarten.  It was made out of two pieces of fish-shaped brown kraft paper that we painted fish faces onto, stapled together, and stuffed with something or other to make it three-dimensional.  I showed it to my mom and then I watched Mister Roger's Neighborhood & ate a sandwich.


I_feel_weird

COLOURlovers: When was the first time you sold something you created yourself?

Laura: Hm, that's kind of tough to say -- I used to freelance as a scenic artist for theatres & such, so I would get paid for that work.  But as far as an actual piece of art that you could hold in your hands, the first thing I sold was about 4 years ago, on etsy.  It was a very exciting feeling.

COLOURlovers: Were you influenced by other artists growing up? What artists do you feel inspired by now?

Laura: Generally speaking, I'm definitely influenced by Japanese pop art, illustration, and street art, as well as patterns found in nature & architecture.  Artists I love are endless, but my first favorite was maybe Mark Rothko -- there's something so calming to me about his work.  Lisa Kowalski, Jay Ryan, & Jeremiah Ketner are some Chicago artists that I really admire. Shinzi Katoh, Marc Boutavant, Jon Burgerman, Chuck Close, Mark Whalen, Naoshi, & loads of other folks...there are so many people doing amazing work, it's overwhelming!


the_happy_lollipop
COLOURlovers: Is a story behind the creatures that appear in your art?

Laura: I kind of think of them as little friends.  They are inspired by humans & animals, but it's so much more fun to combine a whole bunch of traits and let them be their own unique thing.  Confusing, not really sure what they are or where they fit in, sort of trying to just be what they are... sort of like us.

COLOURlovers: What medium do you most prefer to create?

Laura: I like gouache the best.  I also really love drawing in ink & marker.


Nice_People_To_Meet

COLOURlovers: Have you ever considered your creatures in other forms (statues, toys, etc)?

Laura: It is absolutely a dream of mine to make vinyl toys.  I want to do that.  I don't really know how to go about it.  If you know, please let me know.

COLOURlovers: Do you create art full time, or is it a side project for you?

Laura: I've been putting in full-time hours on my art & doing shows for the past 3 years while I worked another part-time job. Then I quit my part-time job last September & I've been doing art full-time since then.


Band

COLOURlovers: How do you like selling work on Etsy? Do you find the community supportive?

Laura: I am very grateful for Etsy.  I find it to be very supportive & it seems like they're often adding features that really make selling & staying organized a lot more streamlined, so I really appreciate the attention to improvement.

COLOURlovers: Do you have any dream projects that you'd like to take on in the future?

Laura: I want very much to illustrate a children's book, or twelve.  I also want to do more murals, as I really love painting on a large scale.  I would be ridiculously happy to be able to design characters for vinyl toys.

COLOURlovers: Thank you for your time today, Laura!


May 24 2011

21:51

Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel

Meet Shannon, a new author soon to be seen frequently on our Wedding Channel (mainly). She has over 23-years of floral experience and is so deliciously creative with her art, that we had to snag up some of her talent for our benefit!

Besides owning and running, Flourish, located in Sacramento, California, Shannon also blogs and manages, FancyPantsWeddings.com, a fantastic resource and fun place for wedding tips, floral advice and you name it.

Shannon has been a COLOURlover since September 2010 as FlourishShan, and constantly refers brides over to COLOURlovers.com to first create a palette before deciding on flowers. We'll get to learn more about her flower advice and a little DIY in the coming posts. Give her a big welcome and feel free to hit her up with any wedding flower related Q's! Enjoy! - Molly Bermea / Blog Editor


Hello, from Shannon herself...

Hi!  Let me start my intro post by saying that I LOVE color!  Color has always been a defining element in my life.  I clearly remember the color of my childhood bedrooms, the color of my high school's corridors and the colors of my own bridal bouquet.  Color drives my passion for floral design.  I consider the way I combine colors in my creations to be my strong point as a designer.  That is why I am so drawn to the COLOURlovers site and the tools it offers to myself and other color-philes (is that a word?).

Sarah Maren Photography

Day in Your Life Photography

So when Molly asked me to blog for the wedding channel here on COLOURlovers I couldn't say "YES!" fast enough.  I have been using the tools on this website for a little over a year now when developing color palettes for weddings and branding my blog, Fancy Pants Weddings and re-branding my floral business, Flourish.  I am a HUGE fan!

Flourish is my main business.  We are a special event floral design company in Sacramento, Ca.  I have been in business for over 20 years.  Every day brings me a new set of design challenges and I love it so much.  I have designed florals for over 800 weddings and events.  About 10 months ago I realized my brand could use some dusting off and sprucing up.  John Conley, graphic designer and friend, developed the color palette and logo that were to starting point for a complete brand re-vamp.  He has also helped me with every aspect of the branding from the look of the website to business cards.  But in the end it always comes back to the colors.
Not_S.West_Inspired

This is the palette we started with when we first started talking colors for Flourish's new brand.  As you can see, after a  few minor tweaks we stayed pretty true to the original color ideas.

Recently, I helped a bride develop a color palette using COLOURlovers for her wedding.  Erin had a hard time blending colors when she was developing the look and decor for her wedding.
Erins_wedding

The palette we put together was the main tool she used when choosing all the elements of decor for her event.  Linens, paper products and florals all centered around this palette.

Her bridal bouquet (above) added a little punch of magenta/purple and ivory.  Her bouquet consisted of Super Green roses, peonies, cymbidium orchids, dendrobium orchids, anemone, stock, Bells of Ireland and hypericum berries.  It smelled heavenly too!

Because clearly I do not have enough to do, I also write the blog, Fancy Pants Weddings where  I dish out advice and help to brides and grooms planning their Northern California weddings.  I also feature images of real Nor-Cal weddings, do the occasional wedding craft, and try not to take it all too seriously. Stop by and say "howdy!"  Because no blogger wants to feel like they are talking to themselves.

I am looking forward to writing more for COLOURlovers regarding weddings and all that goes into to planning the big event.


Header Palette:
Welcome_Shannon

May 23 2011

17:19

May 12 2011

15:47

Fine Art Wedding Photography: Book Review & Giveaway

When I found out that one of the photographers that I stalk, I mean uh, follow on twitter wrote a book on the subject of wedding photography, I had to buy it. I really didn’t even think about it. I saw the post that Fine Art Wedding Photography was released, immediately went to amazon on my phone and Jose Villa’s book arrived 48 hours later.

So was it all I expected?

More.

What I expected was a book of some of his favorite images, how he goes about his day and then maybe some pointers. It is a comprehensive book about his whole career. He goes through all of the types of photos he takes during the wedding day, the technical aspects of it (down to his camera settings and film choices), his business practices, marketing, and how to move your business up to the next level. It is much more detailed than I anticipated… to the point that in some instances I thought, “I can’t believe he’s sharing all of this with everyone.”

One thing that I’ve always had a hard time doing is marrying my fine art background to wedding and portrait photography. Jose does just that, and does it beautifully. He taught me to not be afraid of grain or blur… that it can sometimes give life and energy to the images.

i.e. – this shot of the bride and groom dancing (on left). The groom has a bit of motion blur to him, but it shows the energy of what’s really happening.

For this shot, I upped the ISO and lowered the aperture for the low light. I love that the bride and groom have a little motion blur to them but you can still see the great expressions on their faces.

For reception shots he really focuses on capturing emotion. One of my favorite things is to capture those moments that nobody thinks anyone is watching.

The black and white image on the left page is an example of this with the focus on the emotions and reactions to the couple dancing. My take on emotion photography is similar.

Far Left // These ladies have such a different reaction to the dancing going on that it is one of my favorite images and makes me smile every time I see it.

Top Right // With the bride and groom dancing in the foreground, the parents of the bride look on. The mother wipes her tears away.

Bottom Right // The mother of the bride dancing with her new granddaughter-in-law.

I love the sweetness in this image. It takes a simple hug and turns it into a palpable moment between the bride and flower girl.

If you could only have one word to describe Jose Villa’s work I would say it would be elegance. There’s a beauty and sophistication to his images that comes with time and hard work.

One of the little nuggets of information that he gives is sections called “Lessons Learned” where he shares times that he’s made a mistake or two and what he’s learned from it. This gets a big “Hallelujah” in my book that even great photographers like Jose Villa can be real enough to share their mistakes. I applaud him for these little sections and make notes for myself.

During the marketing section he talks about getting featured on blogs and magazines. Most of the publications like to see lots of detail pictures. These are some of my favorite things to photograph because it brings individuality to each wedding. It also shows the bride that you’ve noticed all of her hard work in the small details of her day.

Far Left // Guests grab a glass of champagne after the ceremony

Top Right // Bride putting on her shoes

Bottom Right // Grooms shoes

Some of the other topics that he discusses are the importance of the bridal portrait, bride and groom portraits & family portraits. Here are a few of my favorites from recent weddings.

I think that the book says without actually saying, that there are lots of photographers out there that will create images that are very “now”… but will they stand the test of time? Fine art photography will always be beautiful and will always "wow". No need for gimmicky editing or post effects. No need for quirky props or backdrops. Even though those can still be fun at times, creating your business or selecting a photographer for your wedding that does high-end fine art portraiture will always stand the test of time. You’ll never look back at your photographs and think, “what were we thinking?”

His book is an instant classic for me and a definite “go-to” for inspiration. I will definitely be flipping though it again and again as a refresher and bout of encouragement before all of my weddings.

True wedding photography is a fine art. And Jose Villa is a fabulous artist.


Want a Copy Signed by Jose Villa? We have three!

Basic rules to be a contestant in a random drawing from the comments:

  • - You must leave a comment with either your photography website/blog OR a photographer's site you adore.
  • - We'd also like to hear why you think you deserve/want this book.

 

Contest will run from today, Thursday, May 12th through Thursday, May 19th, 2011. You must be a COLOURlover to be entered (to be able to leave a comment) so register if you need to!


Jose Villa

Jose Villa is one of today's most in-demand wedding photographers with his cutting edge style of fine art wedding photography. Fine Art Wedding Photography shows you how to produce the lush, stylized images modern brides love. Complete with lessons learned and camera detail settings, a must have book for every wedding photographer.

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from the book website. The book is also sold at the following locations (on/offline): Amazon.com, BORDERS, Barns & Noble and INDIBOUND.

Jose's Blog - josevillablog.com | Book Site | Follow Jose on Twitter - @josevilla

May 11 2011

18:54

Small Business Model - Etsy PDF to Print: Featuring Dolls and Daydreams

Etsy.com allows people to sell in many different ways. An excellent business model is selling your creations as PDF Patterns instead of the actual item itself. It requires almost no overhead so to speak since you are selling a digital file for the end-buyer to print themselves. It allows you, the seller, more creative time by simply selling the method rather than trying to keep up with demanding orders.

Featured Etsy seller, English artist Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams, does just that. She does it very well in fact by showcasing a few different finished products as eye-candy for each pattern. Versions of these creations shown in the store are merely examples of how cute these plushes can look, but the fabric choices are up to you, so you can make these projects look any way you want. Each purchase comes packed with a PDF pattern and instructions on how to create it. Sarah also provides some extra bonus links and advice for sewing dolls, along with your purchase.

The_Owls

Opening More Doors for Cashflow

Sarah's business model not only sell's cute doll patterns, but also provides a way to dress these dolls up with upselling. A very smart move and works beautifully for her shop. As soon as you see these guys in their outfits you can't help but want to also accessorize!

Sell the Idea - Make it Tactfully Visual

These doll's aren't anything small either at 18.5" tall! Sarah does an excellent job showcasing her product. She doesn't just provide a single image of one doll, with a note that it's a pattern. She showcases a great picture of the main product - the Owls three in a row, sitting and standing. Then an up sell image of the owl's dressed in clothing - sold separately - and finally a representation of size by having a child in the picture holding one. I couldn't wrap my head around what this 18.5 inch doll might actually represented until I saw the image of the child.

Recapping this selling structure:

- Include nice, clear, un-grainy pictures. Sarah does a simple white background (a piece of posterboard can work). Colorful items are best shown on a simple background.

-Include a variety of inspirational looks. Sarah does this with many different fabric variations of the Owls.

-Include visuals to how big the item is: a quilt - show it on a bed, a doll - show it in your hands or a child's (try to represent it in real life, not against a ruler), an outfit - show it on a real body, etc.

-Finally, if there is a way to accessorize your item show it, but make sure to note that the PDF does not come with such and such items, but you can [link] get them here.

More Upselling

Etsy sellers create many types of products, not only in the sewing or PDF world. A couple of different scenario's to add upselling to your product pages would be:

Jewelry - Selling a necklace? Show an image with a ring and earrings that match....note links to those products...run a special to buy all three, etc.

Sewing Patterns or Clothing and Accessories - we've covered a lot about the patterns as the main topic in this post, but putting doll's aside, things like clothing could include accessories such as a purse, belt or other clothing accessory that might go.

Lastly, don't be afraid to start networking with other sellers to create a cross-combo upsell. Wow, does that sound complicated? It's easy, if you make dresses and skirts and have no interest in making purses, connect with a fellow seller and work out an agreement. If you only make necklaces, connect with someone doing more:

-Simple Exposure Trade - each of you post a product and link in another product page for upselling to the other user.

-Commission - Instruct buyers to mention a code in the special instructions field at checkout for the item on the other sellers product to get some sort of benefit (%/$ off next order, etc). Basically create a way to track that they bought from both of you.

The_foxes

Overall, the PDF to Print business model is an excellent way to keep loving your craft, broaden your market and have more time ultimately for creating new products for your line. A would almost guarantee that selling a pattern over the actual dolls will gross ten times more. Opening your pattern license up to allow others to sell the finished products provides even more of a draw.

As an Etsy buyer and crafter myself, I would much rather spend $10 on a pattern than spend $25+ on a single doll. Remember, Etsy is a creative community. Most of the users who sell on Etsy most likely buy on Etsy - and those people like to create.

 

My_doll

One look at the patterns in the Dolls & Daydreams store, and you can easily imagine yourself spending a long and lazy Sunday with your sewing kit out, creating these precious little plushes.

Handmade plushes always give me a rush of delight. As a person who loves craft and collectibles, there's something about owning an item that has been created by hand that feels better than purchasing a mass manufactured item. It's a similar feeling to receive a gift that's been made by hand.


You can find Sarah / Dolls and Daydreams on Facebook and check out her blog for lots of information and cool things she's working on.

links to products shown: Owl | Fox | Girl

All images copyright Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams.



This post was written in collaboration with both Colette Bennette & Molly Bermea

January 13 2011

10:36

1WD Giveaway Contest Winner Announcement & Feedback

Hello everybody! We’re finally back with our contest results –  I am apologising it took so long, but wasn’t easy to gather all results from Facebook, Twitter, comments –  decide which prizes get each winner and finally putting that all together and contacting all our kind sponsors. Holiday season also didn’t help to get job done faster..:)

Huh, okay, but to move on –  finally results are announced and you can check if you’re one of the winners in the list by reading further. Don’t worry we are contacting everybody even if we didn’t get your email –  expect for Twitter private messages or Facebook message so we can be sure you receive your prize as supposed.

About contest generally –  I really enjoyed your suggestions, tips, complains about design and overall support. We are and we will listen to our readers even more and if you have any more tips or you just want to chat with me directly, please check our  Twitter profile @1stwebdesigner. I am responding there directly now, promising to be more active –  just updating what I and our 1WD team are up to, what we are updating, sharing new ideas and yes –  if you have any question to me, ask there, I will always respond to help out.

OK, now I am answering to actual complains officially and I am happy to tell we fixed several issues already:

1. Logo

As you may notice, we changed current logo to temporary one to let everybody know it will change real soon. How we will do that? Idea is to launch a new contest ( probably after 1–2 weeks) where we will ask to our own readers to design new logo for 1stwebdesigner. Of course winner will get very nice prize as 300$ + iPod, which should be motivating.

Even in case we don’t get any good submissions, we will hire professional logo designer who will design logo anyway, but I am really hoping on our designer audience –  I am sure you can come up with some great ideas and see your own designed on 1stwebdesigner daily!

2. Twitter Stream

We listened and agreed, Twitter stream was way too long so we decreased update count from 15 to 10. You may also notice we took off also our Partners and Ads section to clean up our sidebar.

3. Further Reading Related Posts

There were a lot of complains, that it takes too long to scroll down to comment section and we changed featured images from 570x300px to 150x150px images which saves space greatly now. Now also related post should be really RELATED because we implemented custom code which searches related posts after first 2 tags or we select them manually –  before we used WordPress default results and they weren’t really appropriate, because usually WP filters posts just by date.

Such problems we have also with default WordPress search –  we’re searching for solution there too.

4. Social Bookmarking Sliding Sharing Bar

Sliding effect seemed to distract a lot of readers and they reported that in comments as well, so we removed sliding effect and just implemented customized Sharebar plugin, no more sliding –  no more distractions from article content!

Spacing also has been added when Sharing bar is appearing in comment section –  it should be ok on all screens now.

5. Premium Membership

Even before membership release there were complains about prizing and how useful it will be so we decided not just add usual membership, we are thinking now more about our own products like handy plugins, WordPress themes, ebooks –  maybe nifty software. Membership sites seems to be more than enough in design community already, we don’t want to be yet another design blog. Soon we’ll announce our future plans and change announcements!

Other issues and comments

About other announcements now you can also use www.1wd.co address so if you’re visiting site directly, now it should be less pain to visit our website, we are currently working on implementing our own URL shortener now!

Well, and talking about article structure and regularity –  we have hired 2 more fulltime writers and one more SEO/Social Marking person, we got also first PSD TO HTML tutorial from Ahmad, and yes –  I hope you enjoy regular Photoshop Web Layout tutorials from Michael Burns. We have also one more surprise –  soon you will see the 1st art directed post here and we will cover also some design news, review some cool new sites/services so you don’t need to visit many other sources to be aware of what’s happening in design world.

Currently I am negotiating with proofreader, I hope we’ll get one real soon so finally no-one would complain about bad language, because many of our writers, including me aren’t native English-speaking and for readers from USA and UK some article quality may seem too low –  we will solve this problem real soon!

You should also feel how our article quality is increasing, we’re spending a lot more time into article idea research and actual writing process –  spending quality time there and trying to avoid from general list posts :) There will be occasional resource articles, but not so much as before, we are mixing everything together –  list posts, educational tutorials, tips/tricks articles and some well researched case studies.
We’re working hard, but we still need your feedback, we want to create functional site, we have a team to work on new features –  help us, share your idea here in Twitter, in comments or join our Facebook group and post updates there!

1WD 2 Year Anniversary And Massive 6000$ Worth Giveaway Contest Results

Okay, enough waiting - let’s start with winners announcements! You asked for it, here it is –  congratulations to all winners, I think every loyal reader who left nice feedback got prize –  thank you all for such a huge activity and good wishes!

1000$ Worth Giftcards From CodeMyConcept PSD To HTML Service Company

  1. rorchachdesign
  2. Sergei Tatarinov
  3. Chris

5 Premium HTML Licenses Worth 500$ From SlideshowBox

  1. Martin
  2. Zachary A. Mau
  3. Thinkjayant
  4. Dumazz
  5. Romulo Aguiar Figueiredo

500 Die Cut Business Cards for 3 Lucky Winners ( Worth 250$)

  1. Demitra Mroncz
  2. Rahul
  3. Steverobillard

5 Yearly Subscriptions from Azigos (Worth 100$)

  1. Tomas Lau
  2. Shrikrishna Meena
  3. Michael @ Project Center
  4. Sarah Schager
  5. Belinda VanBuskirk

Win 100$ Off Custom Stickers : 5 Winners ( Worth 500$)

  1. Kristi Hines
  2. Zach Mau
  3. Pablolarah
  4. Kerry
  5. Clara

3 Single User Licenses From MagicMembers (Worth 300$)

  1. Thomas Varil
  2. Adim Subedi
  3. Arun Prabu

Eleven 2 GiveAway 1 Year of Free hosting To 5 People (Worth 500$)

  1. Mehdi Raza Jaffery
  2. George Elias
  3. Thomas Elkhart
  4. Nikunj
  5. Ari Arsyadi

3 Individual Theme/Support Packages of Winner’s Choice From StudioPress (Worth 240$)

  1. Tim Soulo
  2. Satrya Bima
  3. Edmund Ng

KreativeThemes 5 Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice ( Worth 350$)

  1. Hitgirl
  2. Yuni Ardita S.D
  3. Adam Majchrzak
  4. Kiraly Tamas
  5. Christie

Iconshocks Giveaway: 3 Bundle Licenses of Your Choice (Worth 700$)

  1. Lee Gustin
  2. Adrian
  3. Paddsolutions

3 ProThemeDesign Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 240$)

  1. Irina
  2. AnotherBlogger
  3. Matt L.

5 Templatic Premium Theme Single Use Licenses Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 450$)

  1. Abdelhadi Touil
  2. Francois
  3. Sumon Seleem
  4. David Mejias
  5. Jacob S. Campion

5 GabFire Themes Premium WordPress Themes Giveaway of Winner’s Choice (Worth 300$)

  1. Ilona Andrews
  2. Digital Imagination
  3. crunchynow
  4. Bligbook
  5. Athul Jayaram

ElegantBanners Giveaway: 3 Custom Banner Ad Packages (Worth $336)

  1. M Pike
  2. PamS
  3. Stephanie Haw

Those who shared just their twitter accounts or Facebook pages, make sure to contact me dainis [at] 1stwebdesigner.com – I will write you on Twitter,Facebook directly, but I need your responses!

Congratulations to all the winners, I really hope you enjoyed this contest as much as I did!

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