Monday, December 31, 2012

I Resolve To...


That time of year again where we dust off the 'ol note pad and write down the things that we SWEAR we are going to do to make the upcoming new year uh-may-zing.

• Make Yellow Heart Art even bigger and better! When I started as just a print shop back in 2011 I really thought that that would be my only avenue. Since then I have also made graphic art necklaces, plushes/pillows for your home, scarves, stamps, coasters and wooden necklaces. I always think I can't think of any more products but turns out I still can (I blame Yellow Heart Art for why I can't sleep at night, ever)
• Style my hair more. I have ALL this hair and all I ever do with it is part it on the side, barbecue it with my flat iron, and call it a day. It's time for my 'do to be more creative.

• Do more projects for "me". True Story: I'm a graphic designer and sell my artwork for a living yet there is not a stitch of my artwork ANYWHERE in my apartment.

• Learn to crochet. This has been on my list for a while. My grandma taught me how to crochet back when I was like 11. I kind of remember it and think I can pick it up again. I'm lucky to be 28 and still have my grandmother in my life, my goal is to make her something using crochet really soon. I know she would be so stoked that I actually made her something with a skill that she has been trying to teach me for years.

• Use more coupons. It's like they're giving you free money, I would be stupid to not look for more of them.

• Actually use my vinyl cutting machine. I have had it for a while and have not cut any vinyl using it yet because, well, to be honest I have zero time.

• Take more photos. I used to be a picture taking foo' (thats "fool" for those of you that don't speak gangsta) but I can't remember the last time I took artistic photos with my camera. Bub, do you hear me? We're going on a photo adventure soon. Get ready.

• Lose weight. Yes yes I know I know its one of those things everyone always says their going to do. This was actually my resolution last year, and I did everything in my power to try to shed the pounds. I did weight watchers, a high fiber diet so I would stay full longer and eat less, a low carb diet and cardio. If anything I kept gaining weight, it wasn't making any sense so I went to the doctor and he believes he knows why I wasn't able to lose the pounds last year, so we are going into 2013 with a new plan and per my doctor's instructions trying a FINAL new method! I hope this frekkin works, homegirl is sick of tugging at her clothes every time she sits down or gets up. Honestly, I don't need to be stick thin, I just want to be comfortable in my body regardless of what the number on the scale is. I'm more about "feeling ok in my clothes" rather than reaching a certain number.

What does 2013 look like for you? :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

A look back on 2012

I had so much fun putting together this post and seeing all the things that has happened to me and Yellow Heart Art this past 2012! Here is a quick little year in review

February - Purchased a ticket for a creative conference in Arizona, little did I know the people I was about to meet would be life long friends.

March - was contacted by Rachael Ray magazine to potentially have my camera plush appear in their Summer issue, had to send out my plush the next day! Also met some amazing friends at a creative conference in Arizona. I love these girls so much and they have all helped me by giving me advice and input with Yellow Heart Art! Plus they're really rad and awesome <3

April - Officially launched our wooden necklace collection!

May - Got the word that I would be a vendor at Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn NY

June - Had my first ever Renegade craft show in Brooklyn, New York. My booth neighbor was Project Runway Winner Jay Mccarol. It was so amazing to meet my customers in person, I would do it again in a second.

July - Something is delivered to my door step to "Yellow Heart Art", I open it up to find a thank you note from Rachael Ray magazine for letting them use my camera plush in their magazine. This was my first ever paper magazine publication!

August - FAB contacts me about running a deal on their website, I say "hellz yeah!" and my FAB deal goes live. Also "PS. I made this" tweeted a link to my FAB deal (umm, SWOON MUCH?!)

September - Took a mini break from Yellow Heart Art to go on vacation in Ireland with the bubs! While over there I get an email letting me know one of my prints was featured in Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine.

October - Debuted our rubber stamp collection the day before Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island. We were with out power for close to 2 weeks, and in that time so many of you guys offered to send me anything I needed. You all were amazing and I can not thank you enough for all the love and concern.

November - Started to sell a Hurricane Sandy Relief print where all proceeds went to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. To date we have raised over $150 to give to the ASPCA to help pets that were abandoned during the storm.

December - contacted by Sony to make special "Sony camera plushes" to be given away as christmas gifts at their holiday party.

ok, I can not WAIT for 2013. I have even more new ideas for Yellow Heart Art! You all have been sooo amazing and supportive of me and my art! As a thank you I am giving you guys some crazy deals with my end of year clearance sale! Select 8x10 prints are 50% off and all our necklaces are still 50% off! Help me get rid of this stuff so I can add to my 2012 awesome list :) stock up for valentines day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

That time another man got me a christmas gift

How was everyone's holidays?! I just frekkin LOVE christmas. When else can you bake an insane amount of cookies, leave them out for a magical man who breaks into your house to do the opposite of robbery, and wake up to a glorious amount of gifts?!

Exactly. Never.

This christmas was amazing. There was a giant gift in our living room that Bub was waiting to open for weeks. He had no clue what it was, and I kept saying to him "I wrapped a single hershey kiss and put it in an obnoxiously large huge box to throw you off, its nothing, really"

Ok, so I lied


By the way, if anyone is wondering what to get me for my birthday I will take some ear plugs and a vodka cranberry, hold the vodka.

One plus to having a boyfriend who is super supportive and follows your business's facebook page is that sometimes he surprises you with fun etsy stuff that you post on there that you really really really wanted.

I had saw this cute ring dish on etsy and fell in love. I have no place to put my rings, and I loved that the artist customizes the dishes by carving initials into it! (B+T are our nick name initials, promise I didn't get someone else's gift)

The best part? The fact that this gift was from "Henry Waterton". Bub had no clue who Henry Waterton was, but felt the need to keep the note in the box anyway. I was like "Bub, Henry Waterton is your alias on etsy" He was super confused for a second. You see, Bub was my first sale ever on etsy. He didn't want me to know it was him so he purchased a print from my shop as "Henry Waterton". He never changed his etsy name and now all my gifts from him are from Henry, but I feel as though Henry and I have made a real connection over the years so I decided that I can call him "Huck" now. So, thanks Huck for the dish! Its Le Adorable.

Speaking of handmade, Bub also made me a super cute elephant tissue dispenser

The tissues come out of his trunk, I want to spoon with him at night I love him so much. I named him Elfred. Elfred, meet the Yellow Heart Art readers, Yellow Heart Art readers meet Elfred.

Oh and the-most-awesome-gift-of-them-all? An airplane necklace from Tiffanys. Bub is in the airforce and I just love it oh so much.

How was your christmas loves?!

The Life of the Wife

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Book of Awesome, Day 1

Fun fact about me: I love buying little itty bitty cute journals. Other fun fact: I think they are just too frekkin cute to ruin the inside with my non-sensical scribbles.

Its a vicious cycle really. I want to fill those pages with doodles or thoughts but after doing it for, like, a day I get unmotivated and stop.

I came across this pin on pinterest (unfortunately its a photo from tumblr with no source) where someone suggested for the new year write on a piece of paper something awesome that has happened to you, stick it in a jar, then at the end of 2013 read all the pieces of paper and look back on the year.

I love this idea, but didn't want a ton of loose paper lying around. So I dug up my 30 cute journals and decided to start a "book of awesome" tradition.

Basically its where I jot down one quick thing that has happened to me that day that was awesome. I am not going to do it everyday, only when something really big happens.

• got a ha-uge camera plush order from Sony
• Bub surprised me with my fav. flavor of ice cream

you get the idea. what would your book of awesome say?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Copying VS. Inspired: Creating a Brand Identity

The world is full of inspiration, its what helps us stay creative and come up with new ideas.

When making items for your shop or coming up with a brand identity for your business or blog its important to really know where the fine line between "inspiration" and "copying" come into play.

Being a graphic designer I see it from every angle. As a designer I see my work being copied and it really breaks me heart. 9 times out of 10 the person copying me really didn't mean no harm and just thought they were being "inspired" by me, when I of course make note of how they point blank stole my artwork they then see where I am coming from and most often are very willing to take down the art in question. It's usually followed up with an apology from them and then we go hold hands and frolic in some meadow somewhere. It's kinda magical.

I also see "copying" on the other side of things too, when dealing with a client I'll sometimes get someone send me another person's logo or design work followed by "I want my logo to look JUST like this"
Unfortunately I can not make your logo look JUST like that. It's not fair to the artist who created it and its not fair to the current owner of that logo whose shop is being identified with it. I can be inspired by it, but I can never ever point blank duplicate it.

Some people have a hard time understanding this, and I can see why. You see your friend wearing a super cute gray sweater with orange heart patches on the elbows, you ask her where she got it, then you go to the store and get the same exact sweater.

But designing a brand identity for yourself (or coming up with products for your shop) is a lot different than just buying the same mass produced sweater that your friend has.

The items in your shop or the logo for your blog is your finger print. It is is unique to you. When you go and copy piece by piece another artist's creation you are hurting both people, yourself and them. You are taking someone else's hard work, someone else's design and just "recycling" it for yourself.
When this person finds out they will be hurt, mad and confused. You should never ever steal another artist's ideas, the reason why we are all doing what we do isn't JUST for "The money", its also to let our customers and friends see a little peek of what makes us different, what makes us stand out from the rest.

I designed this logo for Jessica N Designs recently. I want to show you the difference between being "inspired' by her logo and "copying" her logo (by the way, these examples are designed by me, they were not found on cyber web land :) )

See how for inspiration logo for "Leonora Lee Photography and Design" I used some of the flower elements and the script font concept for the tag line? Yet you see these 2 logos and they still look different. Jessica N Designs and Leonora Lee Photography have their own brand identity and their own "fingerprint". Simply changing some colors around and changing a font doesn't get you off the "copying" hook, you are still stealing the artist's concept and design integrity.

This concept also carries over for when you design items for your shop. There is nothing wrong with being inspired, just don't ever ever copy. You wouldn't like it if it was done to you, right?

Basically, when coming up with a brand identity for your shop, make sure to make it unique to you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

S is for Christmas?

I'm on team Christmas, I love the holiday, I do, but buying for so many people can be super stressful. The bubs and I have to buy for about 25 people every year, and of those 25 people 5 of them also have birthdays between November and January.

Whenever I can I try to also include a handmade gift. Handmade gifts can be tricky though, you don't want them ooze with cheddar (see also: Cheesy)

Last Christmas one of the gifts I gave me nephew, Stefano, was this piece of original artwork for his nursery.

excuse all the watermarking, my art has been circulating on pinterest unsourced and it makes me wanna punch someone in the throat.

I love how it turned out! If it didnt take me hours to make a single letter "S" I would contemplate selling them in the shop (who knows, maybe they'll make a cameo in the Spring 2013 collection!) 

Are you giving and handmade gifts this year?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Come Inside

I can't wait for the day that I get to have enough living space to decorate it all swanky-esque and say to people "come inside and look at all this amazingness that stands before you"

Then people will let out little gasps of "ooohhs" and "ahhhhs"

I showed Bub my interior design inspiration board on Pinterest the other day and was shocked when he was on board with my picks. High 5 team Leonora

 That couch? Those pillows? That round shelf? Hellz frikken yeah

pipes as shelving units? Sold.

I love the idea of stenciling a fireplace to make it modern.

what are your interior design boards? Link them in the comments! Would love to follow you :)