18 September, 2011

Creative Selling....while decorating Reception.

In the land of 'full time job', I work in possibly what is known as 'the smallest reception known to man!". It's ok though, the boss has given the go ahead to get it renovated in a number of months so come 2012 it will be a prettier and more productive place to work.....prettier being the important word right?

Until then I have this empty postcard rack that has been stuck on the reception wall since probably time began. We don't sell postcards and I don't know if we ever did, but instead of leaving it blank and boring, now and again I stock it with my own creations and now and again the lovely residents buy them....nifty eh?

The only downside is that it only holds two types of cards, the teeny-tiny type and the super tall type. (I will add the correct dimensions later and try to refrain from using cute like names.....teeny tiny!?!)

12 September, 2011

Lets talk Mood Boards!

Mood boards are usually created to influence you, to generate new ideas and fuel your creative inspiration. I have a (not so dirty) habit of buying magazines....too many magazines in fact and while I completed a hobby interior design course a few years back I collected a rather large amount. Over the years I have narrowed down my magazine collection to a few firm favourites which I purchase each week or month. My absolute favourite is Red Magazine, simply because of how their magazine is laid out and the beautiful fashion, travel and interior design photography that grace each page. I cannot part with these magazines, the images are too pretty!

Because of their prettiness, I recently decided to put the older magazines to good use by cutting out my favourite images and creating an inspiring mood board for my studio. I love the results and think it adds that extra something to my studio and the colours / layout inspire me!

Here are some examples of other mood boards from around the blog-o-sphere and internet globe! Be inspired and make your own!

11 September, 2011

Experimenting with folding!

Yes I said folding! Rather than sticking to the usual type of open / close card you find here, there and everywhere I decided to start experimenting with different folds in the hope of finding new techniques to share with you all.

With Christmas approaching and like other crafty people out there, it's a good time to 'test the market' and see if something different will work / sell. Every year we struggle to buy the perfect gift for a friend or family member and often resort to popping twenty / thirty quid into a card or an envelope in the hope that they will (and I quote my mother here) "buy themselves something nice!". I have seen money wallet type cards sold in shops before and while I can say I've never bought them myself (only because I love the act of buying gifts) I have received them in the past...usually from an auntie twice removed!

I started out creating a birthday type money wallet / card......

Front cover...which can be adaptable of course!

€20 not included!! (and "borrowed" from the other half for display purposes! :) )

While it took a little bit of extra time to figure the folds out and a little bit of extra time than normal to make the actual card, I'm very pleased with the results and will try out a few more ideas to share with you. I also tested out some Christmas money wallets. What do you think of the results?

As always, comments welcome! x

09 September, 2011

Crafting ethics

For nearly two and half years (seven or eight if you count the years I've been thinking about it in my wee head and throw in another five for the years I spent in art college) I have been "lucky-rainbowing". My friends who know me well call my love of handmade craft "lucky-rainbowing" and think it's cute and apt for me. For what it's worth, I happen to think they are correct!

During this time I have fine tuned my style of making to that of a rustic, loose way of creating unique and custom cards. I have also built up some dedicated followers and buyers who remain loyal and come back to me time after time to request that something special for a friend or family member. This dedication I love and appreciate. Their loyalty is important to me and in many, many cases their positive word of mouth brings with it new and exciting customers. 

Behind the scenes and like others, I have tried out various methods and styles, checked out numerous blogs, watched videos, bought magazines and tested the market with all the above to see what works and what does not. I have been influenced by brilliant (and I mean brilliant) designers and creators and know that deep down some of their ideas often creep into my work, however in saying that I always try to create my own techniques by experimenting with different types of paper and materials. I do not engage in direct copy-cat techniques and believe there is a fine line between "being influenced" by someone and "directly copying" them. Often,I walk into my studio, sometimes with the intention of creating specific projects, sometimes to work on an idea I've had in my head and sometimes just to 'play'. All of it is important and all of it is therapeutic.

So, when you've put lots of effort and time into something you love or perhaps even what you consider your brand of style, what happens, when you see similar (or even exact!) techniques creep into the crafty items of someone you know? Is there a crafty code of ethics we should be all abiding by? Should we acknowledge the work of others in our own? Should it be viewed as craft-plagiarism or perhaps (and I can hear my mothers voice now...) accept it as a compliment? I'm all for taking an idea and improving it however what I am against is direct and blatant copying thus showing a lack of creativity to develop a personal style / brand.

It's very easy for someone to see you successful or good at something and think "I'll have a go of that" or my favourite "Sure I can do that!". Behind it all they fail to see that it's simply not just "making cards". It's getting to know a market, creating what people want and will buy, working into the wee small hours (for some, not always me) on your Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, blog page and website and maintaining a professional, working attitude at all times. For some of us, it's not a hobby, it's a way of life and for good friends of mine it's their livelihood.

Those who engage in copying and "Sure I'll give that a go" techniques threaten the livelihood and good intentions of those who create for the love of creating and who use their talent to pay their rent! I refer to talent in the strongest sense, anyone can purchase materials and stick them together but it takes those with said talent, creative foresight and a business acumen to really stick the market out and in the end (I hope) these will be the crafty people who are really successful and who, most importantly deserve success.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Have you ever had those moments where you see a handmade product and think "That's just like my...(fill in crafty item here)!!". Are you a little bit like me (and I feel a drop of shame admitting this) secretive in revealing how you created a certain technique or where you purchased a particular product for fear that someone will copy you or even....and dare I say it, do a better job?? I think we're all thinking about this subject and discussing it with our nearest and dearest, but with our crafty friends, it's probably a touchy subject!

03 September, 2011

Today I heart...

.....technology and the wonderful invention that is the iPhone 4 (Yes I know the iPhone 5 is on the way and soon my phone won't be as cool!) and the even more wonderful App that is Instagram!

Be still my beating heart, I have been longing for the Instagram App since I discovered it via blogs. I searched for it in vain when I had my lovely little android only to discover it's only available on the iPhone! "Oh no!" I thought as I muddled my way through similar android equivalents! Never quite achieving the same interesting, beautiful shots those with Instagram captured!

Then....one day.....the nice lady from O2 (my phone company) called me...."Rebecca, would you like to upgrade to an iPhone 4...(and now the best bit...)... for free?? "Why yes, nice phone lady I would!" and so began the love affair that was Instagram and Rebecca. After 25 photos, I'm addicted.....every moment is a possible Instagram photo opportunity. Why don't you follow me here? We can become addicted together!

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