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February 11 2014

07:14

Giveaway: Win $250 Worth of Services from PSD2HTML®

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PSD2HTML® is the leading PSD to HTML coding company and today they’re bringing a fantastic giveaway to DesignMag readers!

The lucky winners are going to be awarded the chance to save $250 on professional web development services of their choice. If you are a busy web designer or developer, then you are in for a treat!

660x600

PSD2HTML® isn’t all about just creating XHTML/CSS markup. Their team will help you with Twitter Bootstrap, responsive designs, WordPress websites, HTML email templates and much more. Their code is hand crafted and thoroughly tested to ensure that it will work perfectly in all modern browsers. On top of that, easy online ordering and an amazing client support make PSD2HTML® a joy to use. Want to see some work that their guys have produced? Check it out!

How do you win?

Just check out what PSD2HTML.com has to offer and leave a comment to this post telling us how you will use your prize if you win.

Don’t forget to spread the word around by sharing this giveaway on Twitter and Facebook!

Two winners will be announced in just one week. Good luck, everyone!


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Tags: Giveaways

December 11 2013

19:00

Elegant Themes Giveaway: Win One of 4 Developer Subscriptions for the Upcoming DIVI Theme

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What is Elegant Themes?

Elegant Themes deals in splendid themes for WordPress websites. More than 200k users have gained unrestricted access to all of the 86 drop-dead-gorgeous in existence for just $39 – to re-download at will and use in any number of domains and websites.

 

The New Divi Theme

Brace yourself for Divi, the most flexible and multipurpose WordPress theme known to man. The truth is that it got everyone on edge when the word first came out, and took a little while to launch because everything had to be perfect. And now it is! In fact, it has become the most wanted theme for WordPress websites, prior to it being actually launched – this speaks volumes about what it really has to offer.

With this state-of-the-art theme, you’re in for a Page Builder that simplifies how you piece various website components together – first the structure (horizontal section and rows), and then you apply modules. The sky’s the limit. Naturally, you can always edit already-made layouts, instead. Anyhow, the resulting layout for your portfolio, online store etc, is going to be highly responsive to any given display.

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The Prize

You can win one of the 4 Developer Subscriptions to Elegant Themes, which involve unlimited access to all themes and all plugins, top-class technical support, updates that are enacted as soon as they’re engineered, and layered Photoshop files for savvy users (kick-ass designers, that is) who want to further customize everything according to their taste. Any other day, a Developer Subscription costs $89 per year to activate, so to my mind this is one big fish you’ll want to catch!

 

What to Do

This is the easiest part. Just share your thoughts regarding Elegant Themes or its freshly issued Divi theme in a comment, and at the end of this campaign, the winners will be selected at random. Good luck!

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September 04 2013

02:55

A Freelance Web Designer’s Guide to Offering Freebies to Generate Leads

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free-1

Many experts and gurus recommend giving away a product or service to attract leads. Offering freebies is a marketing strategy that has really taken off to the point where most of us are now inundated with free offers. In fact, not a day goes by when I don’t find a free offer in my email inbox or through a popup window on a site I’m visiting.

I used to get really excited about free offers, but now that it seems like everyone is giving something away it’s gotten so that I mostly just ignore over 90% of the free offers that I run across. Free doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

Many web designers have jumped on board the giveaway bandwagon. This is especially true for those designers who have a side gig that involves selling WordPress themes or apps.

In this post, I’ll examine the strategy of using free offers to attract business. We’ll look at what works, what doesn’t work, and I’ll explain how you can make sure that your free offer reaches your target audience.

How Free Offers Fall Short

free-2

Sadly, one of the reasons free offers are not as successful as they used to be is because there are so many of them. Unless I’m already familiar with the product or the source of the free item, I don’t have time to research every free offer that I see. So, unless the offer grabs my attention or it’s for something I already want, my first tendency is to ignore it.

It’s hard to believe that the market for giving something away would be so competitive, but it actually is. If you spend any time at all on social media, you’ll notice that many of the posts shared are about giveaways. It’s not at all unusual to find posts with titles like “X Free Smart Phone Apps” or “X Free Themes.”

Freebies may be popular, but does giving something away lead to a paying client?

Here are some other problems with freebies as lead generators:

  • Doesn’t reach target market. So many free offers are made to everyone who happens across a website. There’s no attempt to try to reach those who might actually be potential clients.
  • Attracts bargain hunters. Sadly, there are people who are just looking to get as much as they possibly can without paying for it. They have no intention of buying anything from you. Ever.
  • Freebie isn’t representative of what you normally offer. If you something that has no relevance or value to your prospects, it’s unlikely that you will leave them with a positive impression.
  • Freebies need to be promoted. It’s no good having a free offer that no one knows about. You will have to share it on your website and through social media. This takes time.
  • It can be costly to produce something to give away. It costs money and takes time to create something of value. If you’re creating something to give away, you won’t get paid for it (at least not directly).
  • People place less value on something they didn’t pay for. There’s a little psychological truth that people perceive value based on cost. If something is free, it may be perceived as being less valuable.

Those are the downsides of giving something away. Now let’s look at the positives.

Free Offers Can Still Work

In front of Brandenberg Gate. Berlin, Germany.

With all the negatives associated with giving away freebies to generate leads, you might think that you should stop doing it. In my opinion, you’d be wrong.

Giveaways can still generate leads. In fact, a free offer can be a very effective strategy. You just have to be careful about how you do it.

In a way, offering something for free is a sort of gamble. Fortunately, there are ways to stack the odds in your favor.

Here are some tips to make the most of your free offers:

  • Target your offer to those most likely to become clients. If you have a targeted email marketing list or a newsletter for prospects, that might be a good place to offer your freebie.
  • Place a limit on your offer. When something is perceived as being scarce or limited, it is often looked at as having more value. Rather just putting a free offer on your website forever, consider offering your item free for a limited time and then charging for it.
  • Consider a free trial. If you sell apps or have a subscription service, a free trial can be a good way to generate interest. This is especially true if the prospect must enter payment information in order to activate the trial.
  • Make sure that your offer has genuine value. Many free offers fail because they are for things that most people would likely never want. For example, who would want pens or a mug with your company name on it? These items are best saved to use as thank-you gifts for existing clients.
  • Consider your brand when choosing a freebie. Many freelancers forget to think about their brand when they choose a free premium offer. However, whatever you offer will likely be associated with your business and therefore become part of your brand.
  • Look for endorsement from influencers. You want your free offer to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Influencers and thought leaders can help. If you offer your freebie to an influencer or thought leader in your field to review, they may endorse it.

After looking at the positives and negatives of offering a free premium, you may find that you are seriously considering it.

Learn More

Are you preparing to dive into a marketing campaign that involves giving something away? Here are three more resources to help you make sure that your marketing efforts are successful:

  1. From Peter Caputa on HubSpot, How to Write a Whitepaper That Will Capture Leads. One popular freebie that many marketers give away is a white paper or eBook related to their field. This well-written article explains exactly what sort of content you should put in a free white paper and how you should write it. Although the post is written about white papers, I feel the tips would also work for a free eBook.
  2. From Stacy Karacostas on StartupNation, From Free to Fee…The Right Way to Use Freebies to Make More Sales. This thoughtful post gives five rules for offering freebies. It also explains why each rule is important. This is worth a read if you are trying to use a giveaway to generate leads for your business.
  3. From the AppsGeyser Blog, Give Away Your Android App For Free – 8 Reasons Why You Should Not Charge For Your App. Another popular freebie is smart phone apps. This post is very pro-freebie (it’s from a company that converts web content to an app), but makes some valid points. I suggest looking at the points and deciding whether the benefits are important for your freelancing business.

Your Turn

Giving away free items has always been somewhat of a controversial marketing strategy.

What’s your take on freebies?

Have you given something away in order to attract clients? How did that work for you? Share your answers in the comments.


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March 19 2013

12:50

$500 Apple Store Gift Card Giveaway from DealPixel

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DealPixel.com is a site where you can find discounts of 50% and above on stuff like Icons, Vectors, Premium WordPress themes, Photoshop actions, brushes, premium fonts, and much more.

DealPixel is so dedicated to providing amazing deals that they’re giving away a $500 Apple Store Gift Card to a WDL reader. Now that’s an awesome deal! Apple Store Gift Cards can be used to purchase Apple hardware like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch at any Apple Retail Store, the Apple Online Store, or over the phone by calling 1-800-MY-APPLE.

$500 Apple Store Gift Card Giveaway from DealPixel

Two Ways to Enter

  1. Use the field below to subscribe to the DealPixel newsletter. Enter your email address and press the “Subscribe” button.
  2. Like the DealPixel Facebook page.

Enter both ways to double your chances of winning!

Contest Rules

  • On April 30th, we will select a random winner.
  • You must be signed up for the DealPixel newsletter or a fan of the DealPixel Facebook page at the time of the drawing in order to be eligible.
  • Tweet this post and leave a comment (optional).
Tags: Giveaways

July 19 2012

11:20

Web Designer’s Bundle 2 Giveaway from Vandelay Design

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Our friends at Vandelay Design have put together another awesome design bundle. This time around they are offering $338 of Premium Resources for Just $29. And better than that, they’ve been generous enough to provide us with 10 bundles to give away to our readers. To participate just leave a comment here before July 25, 2012. We will announce the winners in July 26.

The Web Designer’s Bundle 2 is an enormous collection of more than 60 premium resource packs that normally sell for a total of $338. The bundle is available for a little time at a price of just $29 (a savings of over 90%). The purpose of the bundle is to provide web designers with a huge library of quality resources that can be used to save time in their own projects. The bundle includes resources like UI sets, PSD files, icon sets, Photoshop brushes, vectors, and more. Each of the resources comes with an extended multi-use license that allows for use on an unlimited number of personal or commercial projects. They can even be used in creating items for sale, like website templates and WordPress themes.

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

The promotional price is only available until July 30th. You can preview all of the included resources on this page. If you purchase the bundle and you wind up winning a free copy through this giveaway, Vandelay Design will refund the purchase.

Some of the things you will find in the bundle:

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Vandelay Design Giveaway - 10 Web Designer’s Bundles

Giveaway Details

  • 10 winnners
  • Comment on this post to be eligible
  • One comment per person
  • Winners randomly selected on July 26, 2012
Tags: Giveaways

March 06 2012

14:00

Color Your FLOR: Carpet Tile Design Contest

We are excited to team up with FLOR for such a fun & creative contest. "I've been a fan of FLOR for a long time now, and when I was remodeling my home office I figured it was about time to put some color under my feet. All day when I'm working, my chair sits on this color inspiration... Now I need to cover the rest of the floors in the house. ~COLOURlover"

If you haven't heard of FLOR yet, it is about time you did. This unconventional carpet company gives you flexibility and creative freedom when it comes to designing the perfect rug for your home. Additionally, FLOR tiles allow you to customize the size of your rug so it fits in the space you need. As you can see through experiencing FLOR online, you will easily get lost in the patterns, colors and textures they provide. The design possibilities are endless for creative people like us.

In their eyes, the world of design is inspiring and ever-changing but must be practical based on your needs. FLOR makes it possible for you to find that perfect solution for room in your home.

The Contest Details

Submissions will close on March 15, but voting will be open until March 20th (11:59pm PST) to get as much love as you can on your design.
On March 20 we will announce the winner with the most love votes on their design.

The winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to spend on any FLOR styles, including your own design. This will give you the chance to pick out your fully customizable rug, then set it up however and wherever you choose.

Design Your FLOR: How to Enter the Contest

So how do you win such an awesome prize like this? Head over to the COLOURlovers FLOR builder for a 4x5 blank template of squares. Using the FLOR tiles, create your best “wow!” rug with FLOR’s color palette.

Once you feel you have fashioned something you love, submit the final creations to our gallery and spread the word about your awesome FLOR design... and remember, the one with the most "love" votes will be the winner of the $500 prize.

Check out the entries page and make sure to "love" your favorites.

 

As a side note, check back next Monday, March 12, for a FLOR Scavenger Hunt and small prize. You definitely don't want to miss a chance to get your hands on a few FLOR tiles, now do you? Want to know more about FLOR? Check out their About page and watch the video.

Tags: Giveaways

January 30 2012

15:28

COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design

Poster design is a really fun, inexpensive and unique way to explore your creative side. From the 1,000's of fonts, variety of poster sizes, and layouts, sometimes, it's difficult to know where to start!


Once you master your design techniques visit Next Day Flyers for fast poster printing at great prices.

Today we are interviewing Jessica Sprague, design guru and owner of JessicaSprague.com. In February, Jessica is heading off a four week Poster Design course. She is also giving away not one, but TWO seats to this really awesome class! I couldn't be more excited about the class after taking Jessica's Subway Art class. I'm a busy mom, so I don't have a whole lot of time to join in a live class, which is why I love Jessica's classes- they are self-paced and available forever!

Follow Jessica: Twitter & Facebook

Can you tell us about yourself, how long have you been designing? Teaching? Do you have a job outside of JS.com?

In my former life I was a web & user interface designer for a software company, so I've been designing in some form or another for about 14 years. I started teaching digital scrapbooking, Photoshop, and graphic design in 2007 when I opened  JessicaSprague.com. Since then it is my full-time job, and I love it!

What three (or less) singular colors do you most identify with, why?

My favorite color is green - I love it in almost all of its shades from lime to olive. It's the color of growth and regeneration, of calm energy, of prosperity, learning, balance, and harmony.

If you had to describe yourself [currently] as a five color palette, what colors would they be? Could you provide me with HEX codes so I can create a JS palette for you? :)

I feel like I am a blue, two greens, and a red, coupled with a dark grey. Hex: aed835, d9ea65, 81c9c0, a90c19, a90c19

The greens I've already described. The blue is an ocean representing responsibility, stability, trustworthiness. The red represents fire and emotion, and the dark grey brings some gravity, but also represents the dark that balances the lighter, fresher colors.

Jessica_Sprague

If you could be a shape, what shape would you be? (i.e. a polygon = triangle, hexagon etc...)

I would be a 5-pointed star. :)

 

How do you approach incorporating color combinations in poster design? Where do you start on this process?

As with any design process, I always start with a theme or a concept. What is it that we're saying? What emotion do we want to evoke in the reader or viewer of this piece? Having a solid design concept, I move in to blocking shapes and choosing colors - usually designed to play on the overall theme.

Source: Jessica Bills

Personally I'm a font junkie, I'm sure you have a large collection of fonts yourself, how do you organize your collection?

I love fonts. LOVE. I collect them, drool over them, dream about them, find excuses to buy new ones. I have a lot of fonts - probably 1700 - and I use a program called Font Expert to organize my fonts. I need to get even better at organizing, when there's time! But right now I have them divided into categories. My categories include: 3d, Block, Calligraphic, Circus, Condensed, Cute, Decorative, Destroyed, Dingbats, Display, Distressed, Gothic, Handwritten, Modern, Monospaced, Ornaments, Outline, Quirky, Retro, Sans Serif, Script, Serif, Skinny, Stencil, Symbol, Typewriter, Wide, Worn.

How do you approach using fonts in poster design?

The typeface choices make a critical part of the design process - this typically comes as the style and theme of the poster is being fleshed out. I think the typography - especially in a poster where the message tends to be very brief and very LOUD, is especially important, and one of the hallmarks of a really good design vs. a less-effective one. Fonts say things in addition to the actual words they spell - they have personality and that personality needs to be respected and taken advantage of in a design.

Heavily using fonts seems quite trendy, where do you recommend a base knowledge or quick reference about font types and usage?

Mixing fonts is an art and a skill that takes time to develop - I recommend beginning to steep yourself in really good typography, such as the samples over at veer.com as a really good resource for getting a feel for the subtleties.

Source: Jessica Sprague The Art of Poster Design

How do you feel about using patterns in poster design? Something busy, but in the background? Or something simple like a chevron- those seem to be rather popular right now. What are some basic rules you follow when incorporating patterns into poster design?

I think patterns are great in limited ways in a poster - most posters rely on a one-or-two color press that doesn't allow for much multi-color pattern; but this is changing as the price for laser printing in large-scale formats continues to come down.

How would you describe your style when creating posters? Do you like to use big fonts? Do you tend to use the same fonts over and over?

The style of a poster is always dictated by the message and the style called for - but in general I like big bold fonts, large graphics, brushwork, and great details.

Source: Janet Carr, a student from Jessica Sprague's Subway Art class.

What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when designing a poster?

I think the most common mistake is that people are afraid to really fill the space in a poster - I see things centered with plenty of whitespace around the text, no color (even black on white can be a color if used well!), and just general blandness. A poster's purpose is to deliver a message in 10 seconds or less - boldness is the name of the game.

Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you're stuck in the mud?

I have Pinterest. I also have a few books, including The New Masters of Poster Design, which is excellent eye candy for all styles of posters.

How long is the filming process for the poster class from start to finish, including editing?

There will be about 12 hours of finished video for this class, which takes about three weeks to record and edit.

Since I've taken several of your classes, I know throughout the videos you give direction for both Photoshop and Elements users, do you prefer one program over the other?

Great question! In my own work I use Photoshop CS5, but I prefer teaching Photoshop Elements, because I love and adore the Project Bin! LOL. 

Source: Sunday Grennan of itsmesunday.

The Giveaway: Two Lucky COLOURlovers Will Win!

As mentioned above, Jessica has generously offered two seats in the class, a value of $63.99 per class! The giveaway starts today, January 30th, 2012 and ends next Monday, February 6th, 2012.

To Enter: 

Leave a comment telling us what your favorite font is and what theme you would use the font for when creating a poster or project.

The Art of Poster Design starts February 13th and ends March 11th. Jessica Sprague will be leading the class with step-by-step video instruction. This is considered an intermediate class. You can sign-up or get more detailed information here.

I've recently created a digital crafting group on COLOURlovers, feel free to join, and share your works of art, palettes, patterns, and chat with people who have the same interests! 

January 26 2012

17:36

January 17 2012

00:03

December 09 2011

16:46

November 30 2011

13:06

Inky Deals Bundle Giveaway

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Today we are happy to announce a giveaway from InkyDeals, a place where creative professionals can find some really nice deals. InkyDeals is offering our readers 5 bundles of their Inky Deals Bundle: the biggest graphic design bundle ever. And yes, the bundle is enormous, check out more info and how to participate!

InkyDeals Giveaway

What is inside the bundle?

  • Seamless Mega pack 3 – 100 patterns – VALUE $50
  • 5 Photoshop actions – VALUE $50
  • Vintage Vectors Bundle -12 sets – VALUE $120
  • PSD Shadow divider -VALUE $10
  • Snype Word Press theme – VALUE $35
  • Engraved flowers vector pack – VALUE $10
  • Scrolls vector pack – VALUE $10
  • Japanese Mega vector pack – 71 elements – VALUE $35
  • 9 Photoshop texture packs – VALUE $90
  • and much much more, check it out!

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment telling why you need this bundle
  • One entry per person
  • 5 random winners will be selected and announced on December 07, 2011

November 17 2011

00:39

November 16 2011

12:31

Win an iPhone 4S and 10 copies of Steve Jobs Biography

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Today we have an awesome giveaway from our friends at MightyDeals.com, a platform that offers the best deals on products and services for web professionals. Their deals are really good and highly discounted (sometimes as much as 90% off the retail price).

In this giveaway, you have the chance to win 1 of 10 great prizes, with the first prize being an iPhone 4S (the contract free unlocked model directly from Apple) – shipped to your door, as well as a copy of Steve Jobs’ biography, by Walter Isaacson.

The other 9 winners will receive a copy of Steve Jobs’ biography.

Read on for more details on how to participate in this amazing contest!

Here’s a bit more information about the prizes:

iPhone 4S

Giveaway

iPhone 4S is quick and responsive, which makes all the difference when you’re launching apps, browsing the web, gaming, and doing just about everything.

It sports a dual core A5 chip, with all new 8MP camera and options. iOS5 and iCloud and with personal assistant Siri. Model provided is 16GB, with option to choose black or white models (pending availability).

This is the UNLOCKED model, which is free of any contracts and works on any GSM network worldwide. Includes free shipping to anywhere in the world. Worth $649. Option for the winner to choose the black or white version. Read more about iPhone 4S

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Giveaway

Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues, Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Important:

  • The unlocked iPhone includes all the features of the iPhone, but without a contract commitment. You can activate and use it on the supported GSM wireless network of your choice. Please note that it will NOT work with CDMA-based carriers. If you are with a CDMA-based carrier (such as Verizon or Sprint in the US), you will have the option to receive a payment of $649.
  • iPhone and books will be sent free of charge to all winners pending availability.
  • Customs or local taxes remain the responsibility of the winners.
  • Contest void where prohibited by law.
  • Apple, Inc. is not a part of this contest or endorsing it in any way or form.

How to participate:

Enter your email address in the field at the end of this post and press ‘submit’. By doing this, you will be automatically subscribed to the Mighty Deals newsletter. You must ensure that you remain subscribed to the Mighty Deals newsletter for the duration of this contest in order for your entry to remain active.

Results:

Results will be announced here on WDL on December 09th, 2011. All winners will also be informed of their winnings via email or Twitter or Facebook.

Good luck to everyone!!!

And make sure to check out MightyDeals.com to keep track of their deals.

Tags: Giveaways

October 03 2011

15:00

Project from Sharing Stitches: Amazing Artist's Apron + Giveaway

In two previous posts—one for the Market Bag and the other for the iPad Sleeve—I shared with you some techniques I love to use for painting layers on canvas and then using the canvas to sew projects with. Well this time, I wanted to kick it up one notch by adding some hand stitching to my painted fabric. I chose the Amazing Artist’s Apron from the book, Sharing Stitches by Chrissie Grace. Liz Lamoreux—one of 15 contributing artists in Chrissie’s book—designed this project.

 

I was already of fan of Liz’s aprons, so I was excited that she shared how to make one in this book! The yummy palette I was inspired to draw from for my apron—How To—comes from lover Phoenixfire. So, with my palette in mind, I headed to Michael’s for paint and embroidery floss and found it easy to find all of the colors in both instances. Having the ColorSchemer app on my phone made this super handy, as I could just pull up the palette and have it in my hand as I visually scanned the products.

How_To

I started by painting plain pieces of light-weight cotton (I only used a small amount of duck canvas this time) with the five basic colors, then had fun layering them with spatters, drips and, of course, lots of stencils. After my fabrics were dry, I cut all the pieces I would need, according to the directions in the book. The focal point of this apron is the pocket, which is a mini quilt of sorts, made up of strips and squares of the various painted fabrics. The pocket is lined and divided into four sections—making it like four different pockets—but before I sewed the patchwork pocket to its lining, I went to town having fun with hand-stitched doodles (or embroidery if you prefer).

One of my favorite books for embroidery inspiration is Doodle-Stitching by Aimee Ray. So before I started stitching, I flipped through the book to get my wheels turning. Everything I did was pretty basic and freeform. I used stem stitch, cross stitch, straight stitch, chain stitch, French knots and, a new one for me, threaded running stitch. I really never went at this by thinking too hard about it. I just looked at the lines and patterns made by the paint and “doodled” on top as it struck me—much like you’d do doodling while on the phone. The lines and shapes on the fabric you paint can therefore act as a type of accidental pattern. Fun, right?

If you love this palette as much as I do and you’d like to try and win this apron so you can see it in person and look cute wearing it out and about town, leave a comment here expressing something you found inspiring over at CreateMixedMedia.com and you’ll be counted in for the random drawing held on October xx.

September 23 2011

16:57

August 31 2011

12:10

New Design Bundle Giveaway from Designious

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Our friends from Designious just launched a new mind blowing design bundle and they have been kind enough to provide us with 5 bundles to give away to our readers. Design Cocktail 6 includes an awesome collection of design goodies that will put a big smile on your face, check it out!

Design Bundle Giveaway

How to enter

  • Retweet the contest link and post the URL to your tweet in the comments area (To get the URL of your tweet, sign in to Twitter, click Profile and locate your tweet. Then click on the time stamp link of the tweet and you’ll be redirected to the URL of that tweet).
  • One entry per person
  • 5 random winners will be selected and announced on Sep 07, 2011

Take a lot at a couple things you will get:

Giga Vector Pack 1

Design Bundle Giveaway

Vector summer mega pack 1

Design Bundle Giveaway

20 Photoshop brushes

Design Bundle Giveaway

Simplio Bussines HTML template + PSD

Design Bundle Giveaway

Vectorious 3 mo subscription

Design Bundle Giveaway

The value of the bundle is $946 worth of awesomeness for just $39, a steal deal for any designer who wants a real bargain for lots of quality design resources.

Make sure to take part in the giveaway and also check out Design Cocktail 6 website to get further details about it!

Tags: Giveaways

August 19 2011

18:32

Printing with Patterns: Three Key Points + $75 Giveaway from Next Day Flyers

Using patterns in print design can really punch up a project. It's nothing new, but I'd like to point out a few different variations you might see as key benefits.

Single Use Design Pieces

Simplify a project by using patterns. In this design, the abstract pattern with the perfect color palette, truly resembles a feel for the arts. It doesn't restrict the design to a certain type of art where the festival might cover anything from painting, sculpting, fiber arts and more. Using an artistically geared pattern keeps that visual open.

Print Magazine's, Color in Design Awards (2011) / Poster Design by Dave Whitley

Coordinating Design Pieces

Using patterns in coordinating print projects can easily lend a hand in matching sets of items such as wedding invitations which usually contain a main element, the invitation - plus response cards, enclosure cards, save the date cards and thank you cards. Not to mention possibly following through with the design on wedding day programs, seat placement cards, etc.

autumn textile by weddingpaperdivas.com

Reusable & Customizable Design Pieces

When working with products you want buyers to customize, simple two-color patterns make it easy to do so. This makes it a snap for you to go in and adjust the pattern palette before shipping a digital file or physical product off to a client.

Tea Invitation by FLIPAWOO (customizable pattern invitations)

No matter what type of print project you have, these are a few benefits to using patterns to speed up your design or business process, not to mention a great way to add a ton of interest in your work.

Using COLOURlovers Patterns in your designs...

Here at COLOURlovers you can download an .SVG file of your pattern designs as long as you were the original Pattern Template creator. Additionally, if you have Seamless Studio, you can export designs as: .SVG, .JPG or .PNG to be able to use in other graphics software for design.

The Giveaway - How to Earn Your $75

This is a random giveaway picked from those who leave a comment. You have two choices:

Link to and place an image of a project you have designed with patterns. This can be from a yesterday or today, real or fake and must be a complete looking project. Does it fall under one of the three examples above?

OR

Link to and place an image of a print piece or pieces (such as a wedding invitation set) you adore and think is a prime example of one of the above three examples.

In addition, I'd love to know why you like using patterns in your design or why you like seeing patterns in design.

Entries will be collected through Sunday, August 28th, 2011 (by midnight PST). 

Next Day Flyers, the postcard printing specialists will be providing gift a credit of $75 to the randomly selected winner!

<div align="center" style="width:140px;border:1px solid #ccc; background: #; color: #0081C1;font-weight:bold;font-size:12px;"> <a style="text-decoration: none; color:#0081C1;" href="http://mycountdown.org/My_Countdown/My_Countdown/">My Countdown </a></div> <p>

 


header credit:
citricnonsense_colors

August 11 2011

20:15

Poppin Color Contest + Giveaway: Desk Set Color Hunt

We know you love color so here's a way to bring that pop to work with some very colorful desk supplies. Why shouldn't your every day workspace be more fun?! Poppin gives you the chance to fix up your drab cubicle and turn it into a space that’s inspirational, more functional and much happier.

The Giveaway: An Entire Desk Top Set!

Poppin is giving away an entire Desk Top Set! You will have the option to mix it up or keep 'em all the same color if you wish.

Desk Top Set ($100+ Retail Value):

  • In Boxes
  • Desk Set (2 Pencil Cups and 2 Desk Trays)
  • Tape Dispensers
  • Stapler
  • Staple Remover
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • XXL Binder Clips
  • Signature Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Calculator
  • Small Soft Cover Notebook
  • Medium Soft Cover Notebook
Poppin_MY

The Contest: Desk Set Color Hunt

Today through next Tuesday we're going to play a game and choose a random winner from the entries (in the comments). What you have to do:

  1. 1.) Go to Poppin.com (there's also a search by color page)
  2. 2.) Hunt for a 5-color palette entry. This means you must find FIVE (different) items you can combine in to a set.
  3. 3.) Create a color palette for those five items on COLOURlovers.com (Basic | COPASO | FROM A PHOTO).
  4. 4.) Post the images of the items and the palette in the comment section to this post.
You can be artsy fartsy with it if you like, but it's not necessary if you don't want to.

EXAMPLE:


My_Poppin_Set_1b

NEED HELP? Send me a Love Note me (mollybermea) if you do not know how to insert an image or the palette badge.

Now here's to some fun poppin-ized desktops!

Poppin_PWB

Poppin_BWY

Poppin Colors:

You may use these colors as reference to create your palettes - just copy the HEX#.
BlackwhiteEbonics_444PaleClusterofLeavesPoppin_BrownPoppin_PInkPoppin_PurplePoppin_MagentaPoppin_RedOctoberPoppin_YellowPoppin_GreenbluePoppin_Pool_Bluethrone


Additionally, Poppin is giving you 15% OFF through Tuesday / Contest End, with code "COLOUR" at Poppin.com. Enjoy!


header credit:
Lolly_SpotsYummySpottled
HP is not involved with this giveaway contest

August 10 2011

17:24

Painted Canvas: iPad Sleeve + Giveaway

How exciting—I get to give something away! Several people liked the Market Bag that I posted last time (thanks so much for the love, lovers!), so I thought it would be really fun to make something to giveaway this time. The palette—Sirus IFRC—that provided the inspiration for this project comes from napkin guy and I loved working with this combination of colors. The pattern comes from Sew4Home and was designed by Alicia Thommas (edited by Liz Johnson). With the exception of omitting swivel hooks (instead I used center-release buckles), using a concealed magnetic clasp instead of a nickel one (and, of course, using my own painted canvas and a coordinating fleece), I made the project just as it was presented.

Sirus_IFRC

It’s really a lot of fun to make projects from canvas that you have painted and made your own mark on. The person who first got me excited about painting layers on canvas with this approach is Roxanne Padgett. I took her Luscious Layered Canvas class last spring and have been having a grand ole time ever since. I continue to experiment and try new things and new ways of making each piece uniquely my own. You’ll be seeing more projects from me where I take this path using a palette, so I thought you might like to see briefly, how I go about painting the canvas. And if you don’t want know all that, just skip to the bottom and leave a comment if you’d like to try and win this bag. I’ll never know the difference.

For what I do, I buy unprimed cotton duck in a medium weight and I typically buy it in one big folded piece (72” x 6 yards [1.83m x 5.49m]) because it’s most economical that way. If I just want to paint canvas, without a particular project in mind yet, I like to work on pieces that are about 18” x 24” (46cm x 61cm) and I usually just tear it. Sometimes—as with the project I’m showing you here—I will read the pattern to see what sizes I’m supposed to end up with and then I tear the duck to individual pieces that are about three inches bigger than I need to allow for shrinkage (when the canvas gets wet).

Before starting to paint, I like to get an entire piece of canvas wet first and I just do this in the sink. Getting it wet allows the paint to spread faster and easier. Start with one color and just make several random strokes. Then use a foam roller and work it over the entire surface to spread the color. Irregularity is good—don’t get hung up thinking you need to end up with a consistent, solid fill here. You’re just getting started!

 

Take a second color and just squirt some in several places. Pretend you are Jackson Pollock and just have fun flinging it on there. Work this in a bit with the roller too, but leave it more concentrated in some places and less so in others. Now you have a decent background and it’s all assorted layering techniques from here. I’ll share a few of my favorites here with you, but keep in mind, you are the artist and whatever way you do it is the right way.

Okay, so one thing I like to create are washes/gradients of color. Be sure the canvas is still wet when you do this. (Or don’t—see last sentence, previous paragraph.) Wet your brush, load it with some paint and start working it onto the canvas. Lightly dip your brush in water and keep stroking, working out in one direction from where you started. Dip it in water again and continue working in one direction as the pigment starts to fade until your brush is more or less clean. I think it looks nifty to then rotate the canvas 90 degrees and repeat with a new color.

Let’s see . . .what else? What’s really fun is to make a watery mix of paint and then just pour it onto your canvas. I then like to lift one edge of the canvas while the paint is still pooled and hasn’t fully soaked in yet, and let it run and drip. Another thing to do with a watery mix of paint is to draw with is using a palette knife.

And then the last thing I’ll share today is that one thing I love to use are stencils! Stencil application works best with a dry roller, working on dry canvas and with paint that isn’t too thin/watery. Fluid acrylics are fine—just don’t add any water to them. Squirt some paint onto your palette or a paper plate and load your roller by evenly getting paint around it. Then, just roll it over the stencil onto the canvas. Sometimes you have to work it in a couple directions to get good coverage. Hold the stencil in place firmly as you do this. (Side note: You know who has cool stencils? Mary Beth Shaw. I was inspired to use her stencils when I worked on her book, Flavor for Mixed Media, and I have used a couple of her stencils in this project.)

Repeat all of these techniques multiple times in multiple layers for the most depth and biggest impact. What happens when you make mark you don’t like? You guessed it—paint over it. No pressure. Nothing but fun here. In lieu of overpainting, another thing that I’ve found is fun to do when you don’t like something (and this only works when the paint is still wet) is to take the canvas to the sink and run it under the water to soak it, wring it out and presto! You have a whole new piece of canvas with a cool stained look over the whole thing. See? Life is full of surprises and that’s where the fun comes in.

If you want some more ideas for painting with layers, I highly recommend Flavor for Mixed Media. (Not to mention there’s some great recipes for food in this book, too!)


iPad Sleeve (shown) Giveaway

So . . .enough of me talking already! Would like a shot at winning this iPad Sleeve (which can also be used as a small shoulder bag in case you don't have an iPad)?

I'd like to get to know you and your crafty interests.... so which books from the Create Mixed Media Shop are you most interested in seeing projects or techniques from?

To Enter, leave a comment by Friday, August 19th:

  1. 1.) Link to one (or more) books from the Create Mixed Media Shop
  2. 2.) Why you chose the book(s)

One winner will be selected randomly and will be notified via Love Notes (make sure your notification settings are set to receive these via your email). Contest officially ends Friday, August 19th, 2011 by midnight USA PST.


<div align="center" style="width:140px;border:1px solid #ccc; background: #; color: #4D116D;font-weight:bold;font-size:12px;"> <a style="text-decoration: none; color:#4D116D;" href="http://mycountdown.org/My_Countdown/My_Countdown/">My Countdown </a></div> <p>

July 15 2011

13:26
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