on the desk…

Stamping and packaging up cards today.  Isn’t my helper cute??

Next stop… post office.

I will get these in the mail before the end of the month!! YAY for meeting goals.

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to work or not to work

Until last week, I was really wondering if I could keep going with the “work” part of Seven Layer Designs.

When other parts of life are feeling crazy, it can be an added pressure.

We have been dealing a lot with time around here lately.  Balancing it, prioritizing it, using it for pursuits that really “matter”…  and I have wondered, more than ever before, is it time to put this on hold???

Either way, with a few things pending, I can’t make this decision until I complete them and tie up all prior obligations.  So I pushed on.

And a few attainable goals later, I realize again, I really do love it.

it’s like a breath.

There are parts of it that I may not love all the time.  It can pull me away from other tasks, and I could do with out the pressure that I sometimes feel from social media to perfect my online persona and to be insta-twitter-whatevering to stay in constant connection…. but…

I love the creating.  I have so enjoyed my time over the last week… designing, cutting, stitching, folding the paper and patterns to say what I want them to say… standing back and feeling pride and accomplishment in these little pieces that make me (and hopefully others) smile.  Thinking of the enjoyment and encouragement others may find as they send and receive this card.  I love thinking about the words that will fill it.  What will they say?  Who are they for?

When other parts of life are feeling crazy, I look forward to being able to sit and create in the quite corner of my room, with the sun floating in the window.  For that time I forget about the chores, about the demands, and I am alone, quiet, refreshed.  Now, more than ever am I coming to appreciate these opportunities.

So, whatever form Seven Layer Designs may take in the near future, I will have to find a way to continue.

 

they like to play at your ankles…

I don’t usually attempt to do much work while Saida is up and on the move.  I find it to be too stressful… and at this stage of the game, I am fortunate enough to have the choice.

I’ve got a few clients I am trying to finish up in the next couple of weeks and with some simple printing and cutting tasks before me {and my cousin’s little one over to play} I figured I would give it a go.

I found the place they decided to play rather hysterical, so I thought I would share it today.

Here is Saida’s room

cue chirping crickets….

and here is my work space…

 

 

Despite the look of things, they were very occupied playing together and I was able to make some progress!  Thanks little ladies!  Note – the diapers scattered about are not dirty or anything, they are small dipes for her dolls.  Also, Saida can be pretty regularly found in her diaper with no pants… she is learning the potty, and I have a limited number trips up and down the stairs each day. so if there is a morning accident, she may be pantless until nap time.  although we did make it back upstairs here, I guess i still just didn’t bother to put her pants on… o well.  don’t judge me.

makeover monday

I am in need of a nap today.  A cold has hit our house.  {boo, hiss}

But before I run off to dream land, I had to post the first result from my challenge.

I started with my favorite card first, mostly because I had a vision for it already.

And surprisingly, the vision I had change a bit before making it’s way to paper.

So here is how it came together.  I am pretty happy with the results. There are a few necessary changes before this would be ready for the masses… but I think it would make a lovely wedding suite.  It remindes me of a different take on the paper lantern or pom pom decoration look that we all love for any type of fiesta!

I love how customizable it is, by changing the colors, or patterned paper, the invitation could take on a whole new look!  And I can’t help but think of how great these would look with envelope liners in the same matching patterned paper!

Ok, time for me to get some rest before the little miss is ready to play again!  –happy monday!

 

layered lace and slippery ink

Remember when I said that this little lady was my favorite?

Well, she is quickly becoming a favorite in my shop!  I recently did a redesign for a baptism.  This time, instead of a tea length invite, the proud mama wanted a 5×7 for her daughters big day.  We added some pink text and a simple cross stamp to make this design unique.  By taking out a few of the layers of lace and using some papers already in stock, I was able to bring the cost down a bit.  I  love being able to provide a unique design at an affordable cost and I am happy to work with clients to achieve what they are looking for at a price that works for them.  It was a pleasure working on these again with a new twist.

BONUS TRACK — An inside look into stressful times when things don’t work out the way you hoped… at first!  Also, a helpful note on stamping on metallic and pearlescent paper

Full disclosure: most of the time, when working on designs, hiccups arise.  This time, it was with the stamping of the cross.  I was already working with a limited supply of paper, trying to give this client an invite she adored while staying within her budget.  To do this, we decided to use the supplies I had in stock.

Working away, I was feeling good, everything had come together very well so far, I had printed and cut all the invitations and was ready to start stamping and assembling.  I stamped 50 silver crosses and headed off to prenatal yoga.

And as I drove, the nastiest little thought popped into my head.  “Oh please oh please, let that ink dry properly on the metallic paper.  The first set hadn’t dried by the time I left, and that is not usual.  Ok, out of your mind, time to focus on Yoga.”

Return home.  eeekkkkk eeeekkkk.  Still not dry?!?

Tomorrow.  Still not dry, ink will smudge if touched.

Stress about this all day.

Conference with my VP (Ben) after we put Saida to bed.  I love his optimism, “we will fix it, there has to be a way.”  and he is right, there always is.  However, my pessimism spent the last 48 hours thinking “I’m doomed!”

After a few ideas and some internet research… we discovered that we could simply dust the existing stamped image with clear embossing powder, and emboss using a heat tool.  Amazing news!  I don’t have to rush order fresh paper, stay up all night once it arrives to finish order and then ship them overnight to client.  This will save me buckets of time and money.  So we tried it and it worked amazingly!  The finished effect was even preferable to the plain stamping.  It matched the metallic look of that papers used in the design very well.

Like I said, “It always works out in the end.”  …or something like that!

Another Note:

I hope that my transparency here will not leave you thinking that your invitations will not be handled and cared for with the utmost importance.  Really, it’s just the opposite.  Though these hiccups do arise,  when creating a customized, handmade product, you can rest assured that when you hire me to create invitations and paper goods for your special event, it will arrive to you, within the deadline discussed, for the price agreed upon and meeting all your specifications.   You will get someone who will bend over backwards for you and give you 100% personal attention.

You know I am a huge advocate for small business and the handmade market.  Our budgets may not be huge and we may be figuring out a few things as we go, but you get something that you just can’t get with mass production.   And it is that little something extra that will make sure you get what you are looking for, because we care, we really do.  We care about you, even though we never met you.  Most of us are in business because we want to share something with people.  In my case, I want to provide a personal experience, a unique paper good and an affordable price.  I want brides and clients to be able to get what they are looking for, unique and individualized attention, without spending a fortune to get it.  This is why I am in business.  Now… if I am going to stay in business depends on whether or not I can do this while making a profit… but that is a story for another day.