Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Got plans to celebrate the arrival of the New Year? I'm seeing the year in with my family while painting and drawing... well, I've got all these ufos to finish (unfinished objects) and new ones to start that its best to get started as soon as I can.

I've got big exciting plans for 2014. I've finally opened my online shop at www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au and it is ready to receive customers (that's you! lol). So far I've added Darkroom Door stamps, Graphic 45 papers and stamps, my own logos and, of course, ATC supplies.

For those of you new to the unique and wonderful worlds of Darkroom Door and Graphic 45, here are two stunning creations from each.

Created by Sarah Schwerin for Darkroom Door
Steampunk tag by Graphic 45
Each of these two beautiful artworks could be recreated using any of the Graphic 45 papers or Darkroom Door stamps. Let your imagination be your guide!

The photo I've added to my eShop this week is the one with the beautiful butterflies coloured with the gorgeous Dylusions ink spray.


I just LOVE these butterflies! They're easy to do too.

Simply cut out your shapes from a piece of card (gloss is preferable but not essential, to get the brightest of colours). Then you build a spray booth out of a cardboard box or set aside a place to spray somewhere that won't matter if it gets spattered with ink.

Next you choose the colours of Dylusions you want to use (sometimes the hardest thing!)... then with a quick spritz, spray the shape with the ink.

I like to use more than one colour at a time... the colours blend beautifully and no two shapes will be the same. Also, when the bottles run out (or get very low), they can be mixed together and/or have water added.

For a bit of sparkly fun, you can also add a bit of Perfect Pearls powder. Remember to shake the bottle well. And label it so you don't get muddled up. I put the remains of yellow and orange in a yellow bottle but didn't label it... it took me ages to work out why my yellow was so dark!

You can also spray your card before you punch or cut out the shapes, but if you are using a punch, I recommend you cut first, spray later. The Dylusions ink tends to thicken the cardstock slightly. It can still be punched through, but not as easily as before it is inked.
Soon to be added to the Art by Jenny eShop
So have a bit of fun... most of us have Dylusions ink now, but when you run out or have finished mixing your colours and need more, visit my eShop. I'll give you a yell when they're online, plus I also have packs of smooth and glossy cardstock to add to the store.

Happy New Year!
:)
Jenny

Monday, December 30, 2013

Creativity – Where Are You?

by Guest Blogger, Michelle Tupy

Whether we are writers, photographers, artisans or crafters, we all have something in common – we need a burst of inspiration or creativity to start and finish a project.

Of course we need creativity in order to complete tasks in all aspects of our lives but for those with artistic careers or hobbies, without it, we would fail to be successful in our chosen field.

Have you sat down in front of a blank canvas or piece of paper and struggled to find the right stroke or word to get you started? It happens to all of us in varying degrees but if we have a deadline to meet or a particular image to capture then it can magnify the creativity block tenfold.

So what can we do to inspire creativity?  One thing I know from experience is that you cannot force it.  It has to be able to flow freely and naturally in order to allow you to draw from it.  Keep a notebook or notepad by your side and be ready to write or draw when the ideas come to you.  

I often get my ideas in the early hours of the morning and it is worth honouring them, as and when they do come to you. Thinking you will remember them when you wake up is a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes all we need is a change of environment to bring in the ideas.  Take yourself down to a quiet coffee shop or go to your nearest park or museum and think positive thoughts – you may be surprised how quickly the ideas come flooding back.  For something closer to home – try sitting outside and allowing the calmness of nature to clear your thoughts to allow room to create.  

Or you could try looking at interesting sites online such as Pinterest or Tumblr to create a spark.  It only takes one little spark to get the ideas to flow once again.  

Failing that, just draw or write... anything… something – be uninhibited and free with your thoughts and ideas. Freestyle for a while until your thoughts bring you back around to your desired project but until then just go with the flow.

As creators we need to be gentle with ourselves and not dampen or discredit our ideas.  We need to embrace the flow of passion we have inside of us and over time we will learn what will work for us and what won’t.

All the best with your creative endeavours.

Michelle Tupy
Ghostwriting and Social Media
www.michelletupy.com


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

Just popped on Blogger to wish you all a beautiful happy day, whatever way you are or aren't celebrating Christmas Day.

Today our family is spending the day together, relaxing with coffee then a delicious lunch and opening gifts. 

We've just cleaned up from lunch (4.30pm!!! lol... its a very snailpaced slow day!) and the boys (Dad, my brother Michael and my son Zac) are in the lounge reading, chatting or whatever they're doing while Mum and I are out here drawing ... we both got an engraved picture to scratch. How awesome are these? We're pretty lucky!


Such a lovely day!!! As it should be :)

I hope you're all having as much fun as we are! 

Merry Christmas!
:)
Jenny

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Behind the Scenes of Wood'n Marbles

A behind the scenes snapshot from Ray James of Wood'n Marbles.

Ray is a talented masterturner and timber craftsman, and also my Dad!

He has been busy making a wonderful supply of handcrafted shapes and detailed silhouettes out of wood and some out of MDF (a type of manufactured wood).


Above is Ray using his scroll saw, creating a little arched 'Merry Christmas' sign for a large nativity scene he's making.

Below is a silhouette shape he made a few weeks ago. Its around 15cm long, small enough for an ornament or to use on a card, yet large enough to use on a scrapbook page.


He's made so many over the past few weeks! Here's a small sample, including angels, seahorses, cats, donkeys, rabbits and fish.


Everything Ray makes is always either useful and/or beautiful. I'm not biaised at all either, its simply a fact!!! Ok, maybe I favour his work a little because he's my Dad, but you'll see... his work is amazing!
If you have any special requests, simply ask... Ray can create just about anything!

Here are two of my favourite trivets he's made... a dragon and tiger.


Each is the size of a regular trivet or a small plate. 

These beautiful creations and more will be added to my shop (www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au) from early January. 

I love everything my Dad makes and am pretty excited that he's agreed to sell some of his creations in my shop!

Thank you for reading my blog. I am sending out a wish for you to have a very happy and safe Christmas... may it be filled with love, laughter, good health and happiness.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Designing and Creating Unique Logos

Every designer has a different view about what a logo should look like... after all, an image or icon designed just for you should be different. It should reflect what you sell with your (business) colours and style.

This is how I go about designing a logo... roughly anyway. Each and every single design I create, whether for a logo or website, has a different journey.

Firstly, I start with the words... and have a think about a few things (with the help of my client!).
- What is the name of the business?
- What is the slogan?
ie, "graphic design solutions for you and your business"
- Is it to be a text only logo or are there images involved?

On a personal note, the thinking shouldn't take too long and the words need to be typed out asap to show the shapes of the words and get the creative juices flowing.

When talking or thinking about thinking, I end up having funny thoughts about Winnie the Pooh and Dr Seuss. Usually quotes from the book "Oh The Things You Can Think" and images of Pooh Bear saying "think think think" as he sits confused on a log.

So on we go... you now have your words, lets get some style ideas.

Styles include (but not limited to, as the list is endless) the following (and samples below)...
- shabby chic (Art by Jenny - that's mine, above)
- nostalgic (like my fairy painting with the butterflies that I keep showing off everywhere!)
- strong feminine (Creative Ability Network)
- calm and secure (Your Budget Solutions)
- child friendly and crafty (Natural Fun)
- modern strong (Ristal)
- modern fun (Save a Kitty SA Inc)
- grunge and/or arty (Together Artistry)
- colourful (Robyn's Craft Cave)
- feminine and crafty (Angelarts Studio)
- feminine creative (The Fabric Thread)

I didn't design the Ristal logo but used this logo for the banners I designed for their stand at their last trade fair. Its a good representation of a modern logo.

 
  

 



Questions used to nut out these styles include...
- What does the business do?
ie, make or sell toys, advise about finance, enhance people's wellbeing.
- What sort of toys or product is made or sold?
ie, pool accessories, Tonka trucks or baby dolls.
- Who are the customers?
ie, men or women, young newly weds, older (often wiser!) people, teenagers.
- What are the clients likes and dislikes?
ie, types of animals, flowers, books, anything at all.
- Are there any illustrations or diagrams needed?

And of course, next is colour...
- What colours does the business use or would like to use? I usually ask what are their three favourite colours and go from there.

The wording, images, style and colour will tell me what fonts to choose and I while I state in my quotes I'll design at least three different samples, I always make more and send you the ones I like the most.

Just as a last 'for instance'. This is my logo created in two different ways, both in purple but one with white text and one with dark purple. The white wording banner also has an embossed edge, making it look raised off the page. See how little changes can make it look so different?



The most important thing about creating a logo or image of your business is that you like the finished design and that it makes you smile. If it does that, then it will make your customers smile too!

Well, that should give you a start. If you have any questions whatsoever, simply ask. I'm only an email away!

hee hee... I was inspired by watching Shrek2 the other night (again! its one of my favourites) where the Fairy Godmother would say, "I'm only a teardrop away!"

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Maths n Other Stuff

Hey, would you look at that!??? I do need my advanced maths skills after all.

Here I was, always thinking I just need to use the basics throughout my life, after all, I'm an artist not a mathematician!

But now that I'm ordering stock from companies like Graphic45, Darkroom Door and Ranger Inks, I'll need to source that part of the maths lessons that included things like averages, probability, percentages (yeah, I know, but its only basic for some!! ha ha) extra long division, currency conversion and stuff to do with tax...!

But I think the excitement of receiving parcels like this one from Graphic45 is worth every single sum :)


All of these lovelies will all be available at my online shop by New Year's :)

Along with the Graphic45 stash will be Ranger's Distress Inks, Distress Paints, Distress Markers, Archival inks and Tim Holtz tools, plus Darkroom Door stamps, photochips, word strips and ATC needs. 

Plus soon after, more graphic design services and designs plus a whole stash of original digital buys like overlays, backgrounds for journal cards, digital stickers and lots more!

I'm so excited!!!

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny



Monday, December 16, 2013

Everything Artzy

How Artzy Partzy Came into Being

by Anne van Alkemade

Everything arty weaves through my daily life. It’s the way my brain works, I’ve come to realize, and I’m sure I’ve written before about how odd I feel in general company and embracing this odd thing as that which makes me sort of ‘ME’. 

Finding my niche

This self knowledge hasn’t always been a part of my life and for a long time it lived in a dusty cupboard in my brain while I tried to fit in. For many years I worked in corporate life, unquestioning the drive for promotion and more money and yes, I admit it, status. But I was always the one who could not turn off the personality and often I was accused of being unprofessional because I was too emotional. This failure always hurt. Now I know it is not a failing but part of who I am.

So, how did I ‘come out of the closet?’ What has made it all okay to be me and to start accepting the title of ‘artist’? And what the devil is “Artzy Partzy”?

First thing’s first, I guess.

A kid’s approach is relevant universally

It is often spoken off in artzy social media about how wonderful children’s art is because it is uncompromising, free spirited, and unhindered by criticism. For many years, in my creative writing tutorials, I have urged students to believe that ‘everyone can write’. 


Set your inner artist free with the simplicity of finger painting.
Everyone can be creative. But as adults too often we aren’t. The reason I believe is because as we grow up, we have unrealistic expectations that whatever we will do will succeed. If we don’t achieve perfection immediately we stop trying. Yes, everyone can create, but some are “better” than others. The critic steps in and tells us we will never be good enough; it puts a dollar value on our creativity and tells us to get a ‘proper’ job.

A consequence is we forget how much fun it can be just to try, to enjoy the process and the discovery of technique.

Reconnecting with Arty Me

I was reunited with all of this after my daughter was born and when she first started to express herself artistically.  One of the most unexpected surprises to me when becoming a parent was how dramatically my perspective of the world changed. I looked at my immediate environment in new ways because I had to try to see it through her eyes.

When Robyn picked up pencils and chalks to draw, I would sit with her and draw too. It was (and is) a most bonding and enjoyable experience. As the years rolled by we became more creative together; drawing what we saw and what we imagined, doing huge canvases together, painting on the old shed wall, and covering the driveway in chalk stories.


Vincent van ScareCrogh
My daughter’s hunger for paper and highlighters/permanent markers is insatiable, but that’s 
another story.

My realization through all of this is that we were able to form a special connection by working together and it made me start to think about the wider landscape. Although not together, Robyn’s dad and I get along quite well. He indulges the light of his life (sometimes ... well … again another story) but one of the things I love is that he will help her build houses out of cardboard boxes (thank you Aldi for the many times I have walked out of the store with 3-5 grocery items and a trolley full of empty boxes).

Cardboard boxes have many uses - they're not just for packing!
He will work with her to build a garden, and take her shopping for items in a recipe. Perhaps he feels that creative connection too although he would deny vehemently that he has a single creative bone in his body. I wondered who else feels that way about themselves.

One of the regular art projects my daughter and I have done for years now is making plaster shapes with silicon cake moulds and then painting them. I think I stumbled across this idea because as a kid I had a plaster moulding kit – a rooster and a lion, I seem to recall – which I loved, and I thought she would love doing this too. She did and does!

Uppermost in my mind throughout has been that feeling of ‘connection’.

New people

Robyn and I accumulated a fair few moulds over the next couple of years and of course my garden and house is littered with art projects, reams of drawings, painted and half painted bits of plaster everywhere.

Then in April I met my new neighbours. I was invited to sit around a fire brazier in their backyard one cold Friday night for a drink or two and friendly chat. Don’t you just know that’s when you relax enough to talk about those old ideas floating around in your head? I talked with Stacey about my idea to start a business that connects people through art and we chatted about the plasters Robyn and I made from time to time.

It’s times like those you know it’s never enough just to have an idea, but that you also need the belief and enthusiasm to make them happen. Artists often wrestle with self-doubt. I am no exception. It can be crippling. Stacey has heaps of enthusiasm and belief. Together we became a team and we established Artzy Partzy earlier this year.

What is Artzy Partzy?

Initially, our little partnership is focused on founding the business. Our prime aim is to market plaster painting parties. To this end we have been selling moulded plaster shapes to get establishment funds. There has been a list of things like registering a business name, partnership, getting public liability insurance, purchasing equipment, tables, paints, chairs, smocks and all sorts of consumables – all of the equipment we need to achieve our aims.

Just one of the many kits available.
Perfect gifts for all ages - Christmas or birthdays!
At the moment our Mission is to market the business. But our Vision is to connect people, all people of all ages, by getting them inspired to try. Plaster is our starter, but we have plans on the books to introduce other art forms in formats other than parties. We’re only six months down the track and the going has seemed slow at times, but that Vision is unshakeable and we both believe there is an Artzy place in the world where people can connect.



Like Artzy Partzy on Facebook

To keep up to date with Artzy Partzy, find out more about this fun, creative business or to book an event - visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ArtzyPartzy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our 2013 Christmas Preparations

Its a beautiful day here in little ol' Adelaide :) The sun is shining, the sky is a pretty blue, the birds are singing and our cat is snoozing on the window ledge - with one eye open (as cats do), waiting for her feathered friends to get closer. 

Its getting closer to Christmas day, so we're cleaning and tidying, in preparation for all the mess that tinsel makes when you hang it all over the house! 

Of course having our cat help hang the tinsel might have something to do with that. Here she is "helping" in the Christmas tree.

This is our adorable cat Socks helping in the Christmas tree.
Some of you may have seen her in my Redbubble gallery as this
photo was taken a few years ago. 
Each year I also painting pictures and messages on the front window, hang ragdoll angels and santas (made by my bestie!) on our doornobs, display a little antique nativity scene complete with five wise men (the three traditional men plus my two amphibian wise men) and Santa, and add a beautiful red ribbon to our paper mache kangaroo. 

My antique nativity scene from Christmas 2013 with two gift-bearing frogs.
I love creating the display each year. As Christmas Day gets nearer, the wise men and shepherd (with his sheep of course) "travel" closer to Joseph and Mary. Socks likes to "help" with this as well, knocking them around the tabletop! So helpful :)

When we were children we used to thread coloured, sugar coated popcorn on cotton and hang it on the Christmas tree along with the usual striped peppermint candy canes and chocolate baubles. We only hang candy canes now with other decorations, and eat the chocoloate baubles if we get any - it just melts if we hang it on the tree!

It seems so much effort for a few weeks of the year but it makes so many people smile! And our cat just loves playing with it all and trying to knock everything over... a nice change for her from the usual toys of empty boxes and scraps of paper!

Its all good, nothing is breakable and its fun for everyone. 

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jot Magazine's December Mood Board Challenge

Hello everyone,

I'm sponsoring the fabulous December Mood Board Challenge - a fun challenge for scrapbookers and papercrafters to enjoy and get creative.

Jot Magazine host this each month, giving us beautiful mood boards to be inspired by like the one below. 

Win a stash of papercraft goodness by entering Jot Magazine's challenge!
This is a marvellous way to get your arty mojo a kickstart into thinking outside of the colours you would normally use. 

For instance, I usually go for greens, reds and ocean blues... so this is a great way to use pink (that I don't use much at all) and other lighter shades.

Don't get me wrong, I do like pretty pastels... but just prefer bright colours like lime, lemons and oranges - Just realised, what a great way to get a daily fruit intake!

The prize for December will be a large pack full of art and papercraft goodness!

I'm a bit excited about being part of this challenge... and its just so much fun rummaging about my studio shop choosing what to include - and trying not to get sidetracked by the ideas that just spring up when I do things like this!

Well, I finally decided and chose supplies that I would love to win - Dylusions ink sprays, Ranger Distress ink, chipboard, markers, ribbons, pearl bling, scrapbook paper (suitable for both scrapbooking and project life), alphabet stickers and a few other things!

I've been with Kaszazz for over a year now, absorbing knowledge and making wonderful friends along the way. But I think its time to stretch my wings and get my Art by Jenny Design Shop filled with all my ideas... my brain can only hold so much at a time and my notebooks are overflowing!

The Art by Jenny online shop is open now with a few graphic design products with a whole new section of art and craft supplies being added very soon. I can't wait to show off who have agreed to be included in my shop!

Sign up to receive my eNews to be amongst the first to hear this news, when the doors open AND receive a special code that enables you to receive FREE postage and a fabulous thank you gift with your first order.

Don't forget to enter the challenge!!! For full details visit the Jot Magazine's December Mood Board Challenge and make yourself at home.

edit : This challenge is finished and the winner was Debi Clark! Congratulations Debi :)

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Mum - Author, Artist, Publisher

A post simply to brag about my Mum ... June Eliza James!

Not only is June talented at writing, painting, sewing and fashion design but we've discovered that she has a talent for publishing.

June is one of those clever people who is fabulous at everything she tries! Such an amazing person and a great friend... its wonderful to have a Mum who is also a friend :) I'm very lucky!

With a few tips, short lessons and help along the way from both myself and the amazing Lulu community, June has learnt to create book layouts for both printed books and ebooks.

Lulu Author Spotlight of June 'Eliza' James
www.lulu.com/spotlight/EJsbooks
A talented artist, June also illustrates the stories and poetry, and creates the covers inspired by beautiful leather-bound, vintage books that are over 100 years old.

So far, she has published 12 books (including her own), written by friends and fellow poets... Thelma Driver, Terry Piggott, Meryl Giumelli, Beth Scott, BV Kent and William Williams.

So new to publishing, yet has created the book that won the "Australian Poet Laureate Award, Best Published Book for 2013". This book by Terry Piggott is "Around the Campfire", a book of bush poetry from the Outback of Australia.

Congratulations June and Terry... its a fantastic book!

To buy this book click this link or visit June's store at Lulu ... www.lulu.com/spotlight/EJsbooks.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Tangled Life

A quick fab find to make up for yesterday. So much for the 30 day challenge of write every single day! Never mind :) Life goes on... so check out what I found!!

Zentangling founders, Maria and Rick, sent out and email today. I love receiving them, they're full of inspiring ideas and beautiful tangled drawings.

Isn't this postcard Maria and Rick created together just gorgeous? I love it! 


Maria painted the mouse and quill, then printed it out for both Rick and herself to tangle around. The artwork is finished off with Maria's beautiful calligraphy. 

Its called "Draw your own conclusions" and can be seen with all the other amazing drawings at the Zentagling website at www.zentangle.com or on their blog at http://zentangle.blogspot.com.au.

Enjoy discovering the wonderful relaxing world of tangled art.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Moments in Art

A quick blog today! I've been in the studio all day having a wonderful time with paper, paint and three dimensional glue.

I'll post pics of those when its finished... with a mini tutorial in case you all want to have a go. 

Each month I participate in art swsps, usually Artist Trading Cards, but for a change I entered a tag swap. 

I've not done a tag swap before, therefore I made mine so they were able to be used as a gift tag if the people wanted. I can't wait to see what the others have made!


To recreate this tag, you will need ...
- a white tag or piece of cardstock
- pale pink cardstock (for the rose)
- washi tape (available everywhere!)
- ladybug stickers (mine are from the newsagency)
- black marker
- yellow satin ribbon
- lace border sticker
- plastic sheet (I use packaging)
- Icestickles or Stickles icicle glitter glue
- Dylusions ink sprays in cherry red, postbox red, chocolate, dirty martini (a gorgeous green), turquoise and yellow
- Distress ink in forest moss (dark green)
- StazOn ink in black and cabolt
- daisy punches in small and medium
- scallop circle punch
- owl punch

To make the tag...
- Punch out 15 owl bodies, 5 medium daisies, 3 small daisies. 
- Spray the daisies with the 2 red Dylusions sprays. 
- Shape the larger petals while damp if you wish. I like to do this because the petal then dries in the shape you give it. 
- When they're all dry, trim off the points of the owls and arrange together, with 5 petals to a layer. 
- Than add the medium daisies and finally the small daisies.
- After the glue has dried, give the flower a light spray of chocolate brown.

The tag is sprayed both sides with the other three colours of Dylusions
Once dry, stamp one side with your favourite background stamp in the forest moss, then the circles (a coffee stain stamp!) in cabolt.

The butterfly is stamped with black Stazon and has had Icestickles added to the wing edges.

Punch a scallop and fold in half over the top of the tag, glue in place, punch a hole and tie on the ribbon.

Add the washi tape and glue on the butterfly and flower.


Stick on the ladybugs and use the marker to draw their trails.

That's it! I'll have to rewrite all that properly in step by steps, but you get the general idea. Have fun!

Thanks for reading my blog :)

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Fun

Hello everyone :)

I can't believe its Friday already!!! I missed a day this week... no idea where it went either. 
Found out yesterday, after my little vegemite (he's 15 but he will always be my "lil vegemite", lol) came home from school, that it was Thursday, not Wednesday! I was stunned!!!

So obviously I've had a severe lack of coffee this week and have decided to find some fun facts about coffee and caffiene. 

Fun facts graphic by happytoserveyou.com.au, found at Pinterest
See more coffee pics here - www.pinterest.com/georgiegirlofrb/

Hope they made you smile! We are not addicts, but merely people who enjoy drinking a delicious hot (or cold) beverage... quite a few times a day.

Happy Fun Friday!
:)
Jenny

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Useful Apps for Gadgets

Hello everyone :)

I think there are a fair few of us that have smart phones and tablets that do everything but the housework or wash the dishes... but then again, there's sure to be an app for those! Eventually!!!

I have a few faves... no, I don't just use games. I have a bucketful of useful apps (or applications) that are often found in those other categories. You've seen them - productivity, utilities and photo/video, and many more. 

There's even one called catalogues! I don't imagine that its productive for business but it sounds useful if you like shopping!

I have noticed though, that some of the so called time-saving productive apps take more time to use than it would if you just had a notebook! 

In case you've forgotten, a notebook is a book (actual paper bound together, usually with a cover) that can go anywhere and be used for nearly anything... drawing, writing, scribbling ideas, inventions, chatting (writing messages), games (noughts n crosses, dots, hangman), paper planes, scrapbooking and much more. And its eco friendly, battery free and wireless! 

hee hee All paper addicts will understand what I'm saying... if you don't get it, just pretend you didn't see it. As the penguins (Madagascar) would have said, with their wings/arms swirling about... "there 's nothing to see here!"

A few of the apps I've found useful are iBooks (great for storing and reading pdfs), Blogger (to write this post), Facebook Pages (its good because you can just update your page without distraction), Mailchimp (campaign/subs reports), Mailchimp Editor, Awesome Note, Mail, Music, Shopify, Paypal, eBay, Seek and Linkedin... just a few regulars!

There are so many more apps that we all find useful for every day. Most of the ones I have seem to make the time go too fast... they're still useful though :) They're mainly for drawing, painting, Facebook, Pinterest, photo editing, Safari, Project Life and other apps for "must do every day things". 

There are literally millions of apps out there, for both Apple and Android. While there are those that are a bit tacky, there are bound to be even more amazing apps that would be not just fun to use, but would save time as well... meaning more time for drawing and games!

I haven't created an app (yet) and don't get anything from mentioning any here. I am just sharing my thoughts on the apps that I use.

Have fun discovering new apps and or ways to save time and or be productive. Any tips on saving time that you have would be truly appreciated.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advertising Tips

Advertisements chew up alot of our marketing dollars, so you really need to ensure they're designed for impact. 

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and is also the cheapest, but sometimes we need to give our businesses a bit of a boost. 

Before designing your advertising campaign, you need to find the ideal space to display them... preferably a place where your potential clients will see them.

But some places like radio don't need it to look pretty, they just need good clear content.

Newspaper classifieds and similar styles of advertising only need short phrases (as they're under set headings and categiries), but when you want to get noticed in glossy magazines, websites and television its best to have a good looking and informative advert.

An advert I designed for my Redbubble shop
To work out where to advertise, think about where you usually look for the businesses you shop with. Whether its Facebook, magazines or radio, there will be an ideal space that suits both you and your customers. 

For instance, its best not place an advert for swimwear in a skiing magazine. Although the ski resorts have pools and spas, the majority of readers for those magazines will be looking for warm woolly clothing and ski boots, not bathers and thongs!

If you need help designing an advertising campaign or would like to brainstorm ideas, get in contact. Often the best ideas come from talking outloud to someone else.

Happy Creative Day!

:)
Jenny

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let Me Introduce to You ... Kathie Holmes

Hello everyone :)

Its Sunday, and day 4 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Today I want to introduce to you a wonderful person who's made a big difference to my life and business. She's taught me about navigating the ways of business, networking, finance, how to balance, hop and juggle, and so much more. 

This incredible person is my friend and business mentor, Kathie Holmes of the Creative Ability Network.

The logo I designed for Kathie
Kathie has amazing insight to people's skills, and while the name suggests the skills are about creativity, they're not. Its about nurturing your own abilities and creating a business that you love. My abilities just happen to be creative... and producing and teaching art, craft and design is what I love most!

With the fantastic amount of support from my Mum, Dad, son and Kathie plus all of my wonderful friends, I am working and creating at the same time :) Its just totally awesome... Thank you to all of you! 

Kathie has a variety of clients under her wings and has given us all places to chat, laugh and network, as well as an easy to follow online course for starting and maintaining a business. She is a multi skilled and talented person who gives so much of her time and energies to all others. 

How many other mentors and teachers have you met who give so much of their time for so little? And at all hours of the day too!

So visit Kathie's website, the Creative Ability Network. and see for yourself what Kathie can do for you!

Happy Creative Sunday!
:)
Jenny

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Something on Saturday ... Books

I love books. 

Especially ones with decent paper, good layout and design, nice smell and a great story! You could say I'm an addict but I'm not really... just extremely enthusiastic!

My favourite authors are Walter Moers, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, AA Milne and Marian Keyes. And so many more! I don't have just one favourite...!

Be faster to just take a pic of my bookcase... but you'd not be able read the authors' names because they'd be too tiny, so have taken a photo of my reading list instead.

The following photo is just a few books waiting to be read. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton has been here for some time, but it'll get read eventually!


I've started Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and refuse to watch the movie until its finished. 

Jasper Fforde is an author my brother recommended... the back is hilarious, can't wait to read more.

The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers is just one of his amazing adventures. I love his books!
He also wrote Thirteen and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear, A Wild Ride Through the Night and The Alchemeister's Apprentice

His books are always a wonderful journey through the world of Zamonia and beyond, and the drawings are totally brilliant.



All the illustrations scattered throughout all the books are black and white ink drawings as shown above (from The City of Dreaming Books). I love them!!!
In A Wild Ride Through the Night, Walter used beautiful, detailed woodcuts by Gustave Dore, a very talented artist from the 1800's. 

Thankfully, all Walter's adventures are translated into English from either German or Zamonian (depending on the book) by John Brownjohn... otherwise learning 2 new languages would be on my list of things to do!

Of course, useful books are good to have too, like Women's Stuff by Kaz Cooke. This book isn't on my list, it just lives there. Its got fantastic design and typography too... from cover to cover. 

So that's my thoughts this Saturday morning... I'd love to stay and chat some more, but I've got to get organised for this afternoon's art class. 

Wishing you all a fabulous day!!!
:)
Jenny

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fabulous Find ... Blogs About Successful Blogging

Good morning!

Last week I found a brilliant website about all things bloggy and shared the news with my wonderful friends at the Creative Ability Network. I'll tell you more about the site's creator another day... she's amazing!

The Learning to Blog post was Your Blog Quick Start Action Guide and filled with loads of useful advice about what not to do and how to go about getting your blog up and running.

Then this morning, another great friend, Webgrrl (fellow digital guru and designer of many beautiful works of art), highlighted another fabulous website.

Pixel77 is a website for all things digital but the post that caught my eye was How to Successfully Market Your Design Blog. Just what I needed!

Its hard to go past two amazing sites like these without sharing the news. They've helped me, and hopefully they will be useful for you as well.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Juggling

Welcome to my new blog :)

My plan is that it'll be a mix of graphic design and art, fabulous finds, tips, ideas and tutorials plus shop news and a scattering of things from my life in the slow lane.

My other blog 'Floating Around in Bubbles' that was chatting about my Redbubble artwork and crafty creations, will be archived and that new one over at Wordpress will be removed (or deleted, exterminated or erased... depending on your upbringing) because I think there are enough things to juggle each day without having three blogs to forget to update!!!

Edit (Feb 2014) : Floating Around in Bubbles may have a few broken links and images. If you see anything over there that you'd like to see again, please get in contact. Just because its disappeared from the never never, doesn't mean I don't have it any more!

This is Origami Man meeting who he thinks is a new friend, the Venus Fly Trap.
Just one of my many works of art on display in my Redbubble gallery.

To start off this new blog, I've chosen to chat about what I often talk about in the real world (ok, and on Facebook too) ... Juggling everything to get more time out of every day!

We all have loads we want to get done and often do try to get it all done in one day at the same time as juggling family, friends and work commitments. But every day goes past at the speed of a blink and I don't know about you, but it seems as though my todo list is getting longer, not shorter!

I have a grand plan to fix my ever growing todo list... I'm going to set a time limit for answering and writing emails, Facebook, Pinterest and those little games that only take a minute each to play.

--- ha ha ha... only a minute! That's so funny!!! How many times have you gone to check Snoopy's Street Fair and collect the coins and water the sunflowers, only to be sucked into wandering around with Snoopy and Woodstock, giggling at their antics? No, me neither.

But anyway, I'm going to set the alarm (that I will NOT ignore) for an hour each day. Not an hour for each item, but an hour in total. I'm thinking an hour in the morning before work, then another after dinner. Starting tonight!

I have a feeling this will be just like those New Year's resolutions that are made every year. But the intention is good. Wish me luck :)

The more ways we all have to either slow down time or stretch it out the better, so if you have any great ideas please share... comment here or Facebook or pin it at Pinterest.

Also, if you are a fellow Redbubbler or Zazzler, leave a comment below with your shop links.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

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