Wednesday, January 30, 2008

what do you think?

I've been thinking about using my silhouettes for some 8x10 prints. Here are a couple of designs I just came up with... please let me know what you think.

I'm completely open to suggestions - what would you want me to change if you were going to put these in your child's bedroom? I think these would make cute note cards, too... I'll probably be adding some to my Etsy shop soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sarah & Abraham Giveaway!

I was just over at one of my new favorite blogs, Bloggy Giveaways, and saw that Shannon's hosting a Winter Giveaway Carnival. It sounded pretty cool, so I decided to join in. The details of my giveaway are below. To check out a list of over 800 other giveaways, head over to Bloggy Giveaways (after you enter mine!)

Prize: I'm giving away one set of 12 flat personalized notecards with coordinating envelopes. Here are a few examples:

To see all of the available designs, check out the Personalized Cards section of my Etsy shop.

Requirements: Simply leave a comment here with a way for me to contact you if you're the winner. You don’t have to have a blog to win, but be sure to leave your email address if you don’t have one, so I can contact you.

Details: This contest ends Sunday, Feburary 3, 2008 at 12pm CST. I will draw one winner using a random number generator and will then notify the winner by blog or email that they've won. The winner will need to let me know which design they'd like and the name(s) they'd like printed on the cards. I'll send a proof before printing the cards, and then once I receive the okay, I'll ship them free of charge (of course!) - to anywhere in the US.

Oh and if you just can’t wait, or if you don’t win but really want some of these cute cards… you're always welcome to stop by my Etsy store!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

web design

When I was first starting up Sarah & Abraham a few months ago and researching web design and hosting options, I fell in love with a web design company called Aeolidia Design. All of their designs are super clean and fresh, better than anything else I've seen online.

I sent an email to owner Arianne Foulks asking what a complete website would cost, and she replied saying that if you're just starting selling your products online, it can be good to test the waters by selling on a third party site first. She provided several suggestions, and one of them was Etsy.

At the time I was really disappointed with her response (I so badly wanted to have a beautiful website, and felt like her company was the only one I would want to use), but it turned out to be the best advice I've received since starting up my company.

As I've mentioned before, Etsy has been a very supportive and helpful community, and it's an extremely low cost way to start putting your product out there. I've learned so much over the past couple of months, continually changing my mind about what to offer, how to price it, etc.

I still hope to get to a point someday where I'm ready for my own website (and sure hope to have it designed by Aeolidia Design), but now I'm realizing that that day is still pretty far off. I still have lots of work to do on my product line and need a lot more sales before I'm ready for my own professionally designed site.

But in the meantime I just wanted to say thank you again to Arianne and post a few of her beautiful designs here so you can see what I'm talking about...

Summer Salt Design:
Peek Keep:

Sadie Shop:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

fun questions

A couple of days ago I found out that my friend, Megan, has a great blog, My Little Cottage, that I had no idea about. I've really enjoyed going back and reading her older posts - she's such a talented writer!

Also, I've been trying to think of something to post about other than my new illustrations, so I'm going to borrow this idea from her:

4 jobs I have had:
1. favorite: working at Subway in high school
2. shortest: 1 day working as a special ed assistant at an elementary school
3. longest: 2 years at the YMCA national headquarters
4. worst: Rockwell Collins as an "Engineering Project Support Specialist"

4 movies I would watch over and over again:
Supersize Me, Beautiful Girls, Love Actually, Old School

4 places I have lived:
- Keflavik, Iceland
- San Antonio, Texas
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Chicago, Illinois

4 favorite things to eat:
ice cream, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, pizza, a big diner breakfast: pancakes/eggs/sausage/hash browns

4 places I would rather be:
1. just about anywhere WARM
2. sitting on the porch or in the backyard with friends in the summer
3. Starbucks
4. Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ

4 things I look forward to this year:
1. spring!!!
2. taking the kids to all the fun places we go when it's warm outside - the zoo, the arboretum, parks, the riverwalk, swimming
3. buying a printer
4. my mom's summer break (she's a teacher, and she usually takes the kids for a few days in the summer)

Now it's your turn - if you answer these questions on your blog, please leave a comment with a link to your post!

Monday, January 21, 2008

new products - lots of note cards and gift tags

I've been posting lots of new products in my Etsy shop. I haven't gotten much feedback to help me narrow things down, so I'm kind of throwing it all out there to see what sells... here are a few examples of the new items:

Personalized flat note cards for boys, girls, and siblings:
Thank you notes for girls, boys, and an assortment: An assortment of blank note cards with "children at play" designs: An assortment of blank note cards with animal designs:
An assortment of square gift tags with silhouette designs:

An assortment of round gift tags with animal designs:

And finally, an assortment of round gift tags with the "children at play" designs:

Whew! Now I need to start doing some marketing. And I'd like to create some new wall art designs. But in the meantime, please leave a comment and let me know what you think - thanks!! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

more new designs

I feel like I haven't been posting much lately, so I figured I'd share a little sneak peek at what I've been working on. These designs are nowhere near finished (I still need to narrow down everything to my favorites, decide what formats I'm going to offer, how I'll print them, whether to offer personalization, etc.) but I'd love some feedback during this process, so here they are...

I started out trying to design some thank you cards for my daughter, Emma. Even though she had a princess party, she's also crazy about dogs.
Then I started thinking about flat note cards. I really like these, but I'm not sure I want to offer personalized products until I start doing my own printing, and the printer I'm thinking about buying can't print on card stock.So then I made up some blank note cards...
And then went back to adding personalization... even though I don't really want to do it, I just think these are so cute and a set of personalized note cards would make such a nice gift!
And then I decided to try out some of these designs with prayers (getting back to my original business idea)...
So what do you think??? Even if I don't know you and you've never posted here before, I'd really love some feedback. Thanks!

UPDATE: I just had an idea, since personalized items are so popular with online shoppers, and I really should offer personalization, I think I'm going to say "Personalized items are printed on Tuesdays and Fridays, shipped on Wednesdays and Saturdays." Then I'm only running to the printer twice a week - that's not so bad.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

new gift tags

I had an idea this morning for rectangular gift tags that you can just tape to a birthday gift, and I wouldn't have to punch them & string them with ribbon. I think they're pretty cute, so I went ahead and posted them in my Etsy shop. What do you think???

Monday, January 7, 2008

very cool

I was featured on Cool Mom Picks yesterday!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'll stick with paper

Inspired by these fairy crowns from Nest Pretty Things on Etsy, I decided to try making my own "princess crowns" for my daughter, Emma, and her friends to wear at Emma's upcoming 3rd birthday party.
I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, and Emma loves wearing her crown around the house.

But more importantly it was a great learning experience for me. Whenever I see handcrafted things like these I start thinking, maybe I should make stuff like that instead of trying to draw. Making the first one was fun... making the 2nd - 6th ones was definitely NOT FUN. So once again I feel good about what I'm doing and my decision to create illustrations that can be turned into multiple prints with the click of a button.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

so true

Brian Andreas is one of my favorite artists; I was so delighted to receive this New Year greeting from his company, StoryPeople, a couple of days ago: