Tuesday, December 28, 2010

tiny cards

I hope that you had a fabulous holiday!

This afternoon I happened to spy some great lighting conditions in my oh-so-favorite green room, and I quickly started snapping. It was quite a scene, as it always is when I'm trying to make the most of good light. If you were to turn your head to the right of the frame, you'd see stacks of paper, fabric, tins, and more... the aftermath of each shot quickly set aside. Complete chaos is created in order to capture a photograph with any semblance of order. Go figure.

I'm used to working fast. I'm a working mom with a two-year-old, so free time is not part of my vocabulary. Add to that the short days and sunless winter weather in our beloved state of Michigan, and my photo shoots usually happen on my way out the door to work, or in between pouring bowls of cereal and re-filling the aforementioned toddler's sippy cup. Today though, it just so happened that the optimal lighting conditions also lined up with naptime. In other words, the stars aligned.

Here's a sneak peek at some tiny cards I'll soon be posting to my Etsy store. They are 2" x 3.5" tent-fold cards paired with darling coin envelopes, and will be available in sets of ten. I'm still looking for some good names for them, so feel free to throw any thoughts my way. :)

Have a light-filled day,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

shine on.

I love to combine unconventional materials with paper. Every year, I send a hand-made card to my clients for my design business. By hand-made, I don't mean rubber-stamping and glitter. This year, however, there was a glue-gun involved. And round mirrors. And gold paper. Really, what's not to love about that combination? If you're looking for a way to add interest to your cards, sometimes it's as simple as a trip to the craft or hardware store... and looking at everyday things with a fresh pair of eyes.

Truth be told, I spend months thinking about my cards, and then another month putting them together. They're a labor of love, and I take great pride in them and in what they stand for. You see, every year in lieu of a client gift that either gets consumed (can you say chocolate, cheap wine, cheese and empty calories?) or tossed, I give a donation to a charity on my clients' behalf. For the past two years, this has been Highland Park Community Outreach in Detroit. They provide free programs and support to kids in an impoverished neighborhood of Detroit, and offer free sports camps and clinics to teach teamwork and other skills. They truly shine in a place where there seems to be little hope, and bring joy and truth to the lives of many kids!

This Christmas and in the year ahead, may you shine in your own world as well!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DIY monogram giftwrap

Christmas is just three days away. Yikes! 

If you're like me, there are still gifts to be wrapped. Having the right supplies and a few fun ideas on hand can turn this tedious task into a fun one. Of course, a plate of Christmas cookies on hand can't hurt either.  ;)

For a creative way to customize a gift or two, here's a fun and (relatively) easy DIY project. For a simplified variation, do a single monogram instead. When placed in the lower corner of a gift, it can make a beautiful statement. 

Photo courtesy of Creature Comforts
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

DIY Instructions:
  1. Select your base wrapping paper. I recommend Kraft paper, a solid color, or very small pattern.
  2. Select your monogram paper. This doesn't need to be wrapping paper. Flat sheets of paper will be easier to cut. This can be patterned, plain, metallic... whatever suits your fancy! I love the contrast of gold on kraft, as shown above.
  3. I've created a stencil (below) that will fit on 8 1/2 x 11" paper. If your paper is printer-friendly, run it through the printer, being sure to change your settings to landscape (wide format) vs. portrait. Use an Xacto knife and carefully cut along the trim lines. 
  4. If your paper is not printer-friendly, print the stencil on thick cardstock and cut out the letters you'd like to use. This will become your stencil (see photo). Lay the stencil overtop of your monogram paper and cut around them with an Xacto knife. Be sure to protect your surface with a self-healing mat (or a piece of cardboard). If your letters aren't perfect, that's ok! That's the beauty of hand-made wrap. Just make sure that you still have all of your fingers at the end of the project! 
  5. Use a glu-stick or other adhesive of your choice and affix to your gift. 
*Not feeling crafty? These giant peel and stick vinyl letters are a great alternative. Pick them up at a local office supply store, and stick them on solid or patterned paper for a punchy statement. Some stores even carry white letters!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Photo courtesy of Creature Comforts

Happy gifting!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a working manifesto

Above is a manifesto you'll see on the back of our (newly printed) calling cards. I don't know about you, but when I sort the mail, the first thing I look for is a handwritten note. There's something special about it, particularly with Facebook and e-mail abounding, to receive a note that someone held in their hand and took the time to write with you in mind. 

May you find one less bill, and one more handwritten note in your mailbox today!

the first post

Where to begin? I've been suffering from "blogger's block" for the past month in anticipation of officially beginning this little design blog. Perhaps a formal introduction would be appropriate before going much further.

For those of you meeting me for the first time, I'm Lindsay. Otherwise known as designer. night owl. mother. paper addict. coffee-lover. wife. entrepreneur. friend. believer. musician. dreamer, and founder of Inklings Paperie. I love to create paper goods that delight and inspire.

You could say that I've been around creative souls since day one, being the offspring of two artists who met and fell in love at art college in the late 60's. My mother was an aspiring fashion designer and my father, a graphic designer. He wooed her with his Letraset skills, and she, with her illustrations. It was a match made in heaven.

My mother made some huge sacrifices and chose a life of child-raising over fashion (which, in the 70's was anything but fashionable) while my father started a small design studio where, at a young age, I was introduced to the original Macintosh 512k, spinny office chairs, and Letraset markers! More importantly, I learned the essentials of typography, the beauty of paper, the patience of a father, and the power of design for the greater good. I owe a great deal to my parents. They lived out their faith, creativity, work ethic, and love of people in everything they did (and do).

Fast-forward 21 years, and I graduated from University ready to take on the world. The York/Sheridan Program in Design was a tremendous part of my design education. I learned core design principles which, to this day, I still draw upon (excuse the pun). Four tough years... but worth every minute.

Since marrying my best friend and moving to Detroit, Michigan in 2002, I have had the tremendous pleasure of working with some talented individuals as I help companies and not-for-profits build their brands and communicate their messages. My design business (and my family) continue to be a focus of mine, but I'm also venturing out of my comfort zone a little to pursue a pet project of mine that has long been on the back burner... namely, Inklings Paperie.

Stay tuned as I share the creative inklings in our studio, pass along easy DIY projects, and reveal the first Inklings Paperie product! I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well.

May you discover something delightful and inspiring today.


P.S. This first post was undoubtedly on the long side.
I assure you that in future posts, I will let the images tell (most of) the story.