Monday, December 14, 2009

Project 320

Have you heard of Project 320? If not, you really must check it out this week. A group of six amazing women have teamed up to raise $5,000 in one week, enough to fund a well through They received 300 donated items which they grouped into 15 prize bundles (one will include a $50 sarah + abraham gift certificate).

Each day this week there will be 3 prize bundles available on the Project 320 blog. Each $10 donation to their campaign = 1 entry. All of the details can be found here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

sarah + abraham on etsy front page

I woke up to such a nice treat this morning - my holiday family flat cards were on the Etsy front page last night. I would have missed it if it weren't for my friend, Julie, sending me this screen capture. Thank you, Julie! And thank you to Wise Idea Studios for featuring me in her treasury!

Monday, November 30, 2009

free gift with purchase from sarah + abraham

I wasn't planning on offering any promotions in December, but it's been such a great year, and I really wanted to figure out a way to say thank you to my customers and blog readers. Here's what I came up with...

Through December 18th, I'll be including a free gift with any purchase over $10. Customers will be able to choose from several styles of note cards (a few of which are pictured above). Each set includes four personalized note cards or eight postcards with envelopes (retail value $10 - $15).

This is an exclusive offer for my newletter subscribers and blog readers and will not be available through my website. You'll need to use this link to view the free gifts and add one to your shopping cart.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

completely custom illustrations from Meg at olliegraphic

The olliegraphic collection has been really well received, and I've been having so much fun printing the orders!

I mentioned in a previous post how all of the olliegraphic items are customizable (eye color, hair color, hair style, etc.), but I forgot to mention that Meg also creates completely custom illustrations for only about $20 - 50, which you can then purchase as a PDF to print yourself or have printed on any of the products that I offer on my website.

Above are just a few of my favorites that she has created for customers recently.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

olliegraphic collection at sarah + abraham

I'm so excited to announce a new collection that I'm launching today called olliegraphic. I came across the artist, Meg, on Etsy a few months ago and fell in love with her whimsical illustrations.

All of her designs are completely customizable - you pick the skin tone, hair style, hair color, eye color, and eye shape. I noticed that she was only selling printable stationery (PDFs) and she lives close by, so I contacted her to see if she'd be interested in a collaboration.
We've spent the past two months working out all of the details, printing and photographing samples, and getting the listings ready (over 60 items!). Today's a really exciting day for me to finally have everything live on my website.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

15% off holiday items during October

In my year-end recap last year I mentioned that my sales from November 1 - December 19 (13% of the year) accounted for 31% of my total sales for the year. In an effort to spread out my holiday sales a little this year, I'm hoping to entice customers to order their holiday items and teacher gifts early by offering 15% off of those items during October. I'll report back at the end of December to let you know how successful this strategy was!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

PSA Essentials Self-Inking Stamps :: now available at sarah + abraham!

I just finished adding these self-inking stamps from PSA Essentials to my website & I'm so excited about them! I've been thinking about offering them for a little while, and then a few days ago I went into a local stationery store to try one out in person and see how the stamps looked on my envelopes:
This picture really doesn't do the stamps justice, the impression is absolutely gorgeous (even in black ink!), and the stamps are so much fun to use!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

cowboy-themed baby shower

A few weeks ago I posted about the super cute invitations that one of my favorite customers, Heather, made by sewing fabric buggies onto some plain invites I printed for her. Today she posted pictures from the shower, including these sarah + abraham party favor stickers.

If you're planning on throwing a baby shower any time soon, even if it's not cowboy-themed, be sure to check out Heather's post - it's truly inspiring!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

summer knobloch photography

I've been a big fan of photographer Summer Knobloch ever since I came across her website and blog last year. She had me right away when I read this on her website:
"fun. fresh. emotional. real.

These are the words my clients use to describe my style. No studio lights, no fake furniture or backdrops. I want to capture who your child really is... missing front tooth, messy hair, or ice cream covered mouth... your child will only be this age once. Capture them. Not just their outside appearance, or a forced smile. Capture their spirit. I'll do that for you. It's what I do. It's what I love."
I knew this was exactly who I wanted to take portraits of my family! And last week I finally had the great pleasure of not only meeting Summer but also having a really fun, relaxed photo session. My children never cooperate for pictures, but they absolutely adored Summer and are still talking about how much fun it was. Summer posted a sneak peek of our family portraits on her blog, and I couldn't believe how well they turned out!

Summer also took some pictures of just me so I could finally have a professional photograph to add to the "about" page on my website. Having my picture taken by myself is not at all comfortable for me, but again, Summer was great, and I'm so glad to finally have a picture on that page!

Friday, September 18, 2009

personalized Christmas stationery, stickers, etc.

For the past couple of weeks I've been busy working with Shoshanna from Aeolidia on a website redesign and posting Christmas items, and I'm thrilled to report that I'm finally done with both! The new website design went live tonight, and I now have all of my Christmas items on both my website and Etsy.

I know, it's only September and seems a little early to be thinking about Christmas, but I've gotten several emails from customers already asking when my Christmas items will be available, and there was so much to do, I didn't want to put it off.

I'm thrilled with the new website design (a LOT more pictures on the homepage and a better visual representation of what sarah + abraham offers), and I love how colorful my Christmas product pictures are when you see them all together.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

nurseries featuring sarah + abraham personalized art prints

Another one of my super talented and creative customers, Holly of Holly Mathis Interiors, recently shared some pictures of two gorgeous nurseries that she decorated, one for a client (above), and one for her new baby boy (below).
Even if these nurseries didn't include sarah + abraham prints they would still be fun to look at, but seeing those above the cribs is such a treat for me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

baby shower invites with fabric buggies

Last week Heather (who I've previously mentioned for her Hawaiian Luau, Horton Hears a Who party and bug-themed party) asked me to print some baby shower invitations with enough blank space for her to sew on fabric buggies... I LOVE how they turned out! Seeing these totally makes me want to start offering stationery items with fabric details, but I already have too much on my plate and really need to stay focused. But maybe it's something to think about for next year.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cora's Playground in the news

For those of you who participated in the Cora Paige Benefit Sale in February, check out this news clip to see the progress of Cora's Playground and a nice interview with Jess & Joel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sarah & Abraham workspace

I'm so excited that Jennifer will be starting tomorrow! Here are some new pictures of my workspace that I took today. This room used to be a playroom, and then I converted it to an office about two years ago when I moved my computer out of the cloffice.

The idea was that 1/3 of the room would be workspace for me, 1/3 for my husband, and 1/3 for the kids. The kids' craft area didn't last long at all, and my husband's desk was quickly relegated to a small space in a corner of the room.

Now I've taken over the room completely, and my poor husband has been banished to the cloffice. Well, I moved everything from his desk and shelves into the cloffice, but he won't actually be working in there, so it's not really as bad as it sounds.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I decided to completely unplug while on vacation this year, and even include a day before and a few days after our actual trip to just relax and spend time with my family. We're leaving on Sunday morning for a 4-day family vacation, but I decided to "close shop" for 8 days altogether.

As I was posting my vacation notice on my website, putting my Etsy shop in "vacation mode", and setting up an auto-responder for my email, I felt like Mark Harmon in the opening scene of Summer School trying to get away from my computer before any more orders came in (my husband didn't get the reference, but I know someone will!)

A couple of weeks ago as we were planning this vacation I wasn't sure how many days I'd take off or if I'd be able to completely unplug, but as it's gotten closer I've started to really look forward to taking a break from work and hopefully coming back refreshed and energized and ready to make some decisions about the next steps for my business.

For now I actually have other things on my mind for once... bike rides, swimming, ice cream shops, boating, board games, a stack of magazines, a couple of books, and a glass of wine on the balcony after the kids are in bed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

{new!} In-Touch Clutch (tm)

How cute are these??? They're called the In-Touch Clutch (tm), and I just added them to my website in three different fabrics.
The idea is you fill it up with cards, stamps, and a pen, toss it in your purse before you head out the door, and then pull it out to catch up on your correspondence whenever you find yourself waiting (on the train, before an appointment, during your child's soccer practice...)I also think they'd make a super cute gift with some personalized stationery. I really hope these sell as well as I think they will. They're handmade by a woman named Jennifer who has an Etsy shop where she also sells wristlets and iPhone / iPod pouches... so clever!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

{new!} fabric calling card cases

I'm so excited about these new handmade calling card cases I added to my shop today! I think they'll be a really nice addition for a set of calling cards purchased as a gift. Also, I've been wanting to add some non-personalized items to my shop, and I think these are the perfect item to start with.
Once again I'm amazed at what a difference an interesting background makes instead of just a plain white background. My tabletop lights are great for capturing details and accurately representing the fabric colors, but I love taking product photographs outdoors whenever possible.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

new product photographs - personalized canvas prints

Amber's canvas print (from last week's giveaway) was ready to pick up from the printer today, so I took a quick picture (above) before shipping it to her, along with the one I ordered for my daughter (below).
I'd like to buy some much bigger lights for taking this type of product photograph, so I was pleasantly surprised with how well these turned out - much better than I expected using just the table-top lights from my light tent kit.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

personalized sports water bottles

A couple of weeks ago I came across some super cute personalized water bottles (pictured above) in my friend, Dacia's, Etsy shop, Lima Bean Kids... exactly what I needed for my son, Jack. Last fall I bought him a kids Sigg water bottle that he lost later that day at soccer practice. I bought him another one which he left in the car, full of water, in the winter. When the water froze, the bottle cracked. Next I bought him a cheap plastic one at Target that kept leaking. So lately I've just been putting waterproof name labels on regular water bottles from the grocery store for him to take to baseball practice.

I was just about to buy one from Lima Bean Kids when I started thinking, I wonder if my silhouettes would work on these? Dacia was kind enough to tell me where she buys them from and encouraged me to give it a try, so I ordered one, I love how it turned out!
The above images are the front and back of the one I ordered for Jack. The quality of the water bottle is excellent, and the printed images look great! So today I spent some time deciding which designs and colors to offer, and then posted them in my Etsy shop and on my website. These are a few of the options I came up with:
I have no idea how well these will sell, but I'd really like to offer more non-stationery products, so I'm very curious to see how they do!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

product photography

I added a few new products to my website today (including the folded owl note cards pictured above), and since I had time this afternoon I took some actual photographs rather than only posting digital images.

I've been buying lots of new props over the past several weeks, and "update product photographs" has been on my to-do list for a couple of months now, but it stresses me out every time I think about it so I always find something else to do.

Also, I've been hoping for an overcast day so I could take some pictures outside, but we've had lots of sunshine recently with really harsh shadows. So I took these pictures indoors using my little tabletop fluorescent lights, and I'm pleasantly surprised with how they turned out.

Vintage Floral Pattern Folded Cards:
Owl Flat Cards:
Vintage Floral Pattern Calling Cards:
Owl Calling Cards:
Of course it's such a time consuming process, the thought of updating the rest of my product photographs is overwhelming, but I think my plan will be to just keep doing a few each day as I have time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sarah & Abraham canvas art

I've been asked a few times if I'd consider printing canvas wall art, but I never gave it much thought until Stacy from Name Your Design encouraged me to look into it and gave me lots of super helpful advice. I've also been encouraging my sister, Kim, to start an Etsy shop, and she was really excited about the idea of personalized canvas art. So I've been working on creating some 16" x 16" designs, figuring out the pricing, and purchasing all of the packaging materials, and this morning I posted a bunch of canvas art prints on my website.

Here are a few examples:Kim will be helping me with picking up the canvases from the printer and shipping them, and she'll also be offering her own designs soon. I'm hoping that between our two shops these will sell really well so that we're able to buy our own printer at some point and be able to provide better pricing on these to wholesale accounts, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself... I guess time will tell!

I'd love to hear your thoughts... any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Name Your Design featured on Project Nursery

One of the best things to come from having this blog has been meeting two new friends (Stacy & Julie) who both live within just a few miles of me and both have young children who my kids love to play with. Whenever I get together with them I'm absolutely amazed (and delighted!) at how much we have in common and how fun it is to talk with them.

I mention this because I was just at Stacy's house last week drooling over her decor (most of which she created herself), and then on Monday her son, Parker's, bedroom (above) was featured on Project Nursery. Here's a link to the full interview for all the details.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hawaiian-themed invitations

A couple of months ago one of my favorite customers, Heather, (who I've previously mentioned here and here) asked me to create some Hawaiian-themed invitations for a surprise birthday party. I've been so excited to see the party pictures, and she just posted them yesterday. Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, April 17, 2009

more thoughts on balance...

I hope I don't sound like a broken record, but I thought of something this evening that I'd like to share...

As Sarah & Abraham has grown and I've found myself enjoying this work more and more, I've really been letting things slide around the house. I always keep the dishes and laundry caught up, but we've been eating takeout and frozen pizza way more than I'd like to, and my lax attitude about vacuuming, dusting, etc. has become a bit ridiculous.

So for the past week or so I've shifted my focus back to this concept of balance once again. I've been making time for the things that matter and not allowing other things to get in the way.

For example, for the past couple of weeks my daily orders have been about three times my usual average, but I've been making a conscious effort to step away from the computer and make plans with friends and do fun things with my kids. My husband has been working 4-days a week so I can have one full day a week of uninterrupted work, but for the past three weeks I've ended up ditching work on those days to do something fun with him and the kids. I'm also trying to cook at least a little bit more.

Which brings me to this evening... I was in the kitchen making lasagna, watching my kids play in the backyard, and I felt so content. I had several orders that I could have been working on, emails I could have been replying to, and some new product ideas I was really excited to work on, but instead of feeling resentful about my role as wife/mother/homemaker taking up my time, I felt like I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing.

Then this Brian Andreas story popped into my head, and it felt like one of Oprah's Aha! Moments:
Weight Training

This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore.
Which also reminded me of this excellent post about balance on Stacy's Inkspot Workshop blog. If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Real Simple magazine

Sarah & Abraham calling cards are featured on page 64 in the May issue of Real Simple magazine!

I've been wanting to share this news since December when they contacted me about featuring my calling cards in an upcoming issue, but I figured I should wait until it was actually in print. I haven't seen it yet, but Sally at Polka Dot Market was kind enough to scan the page and email it to me (thank you!!!)

Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines, so it's a huge honor!