New paper cutting tool

I’ve been a little busy distracted recently….. well since October to be precise. My workflow has completely changed as I’ve started all over again with a shiny new cutter and different software. This is something I had thought about but didn’t expect to happen for at least another year.

Unfortunately my Silhouette Portrait had to be retired during the busiest month of the year. I tried to get Cameo to troubleshoot it with me but after a week I admitted defeat. This left me with the choice of either buying another or taking the bold step to buy something I’d coveted for some time.

Obviously I took the plunge and bought my dream cutter. It can do dual head cutting and it flashes purdy colours when it boots up. It’s basically a raspberry pie with disco lights so definitely an upgrade with a lot less limitations.

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Creating my first Bujo – Bullet Journalism

It’s been a while since I posted last and it got me thinking about all the things I’ve been doing since my last post. I have a long list of exciting topics that I want to share with you, some of which were planned and some impromptu. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to fit them in.

I realise that despite using spreadsheets for my day job – I have a lot to learn about planning and being organised. I also need to find a way to remember things and balance my time better.

I think I have the answer…….


My first BuJo – Learning to be organised!

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What’s in your colour palette?

Making colour palettes for projects is really good fun, I used to do this a lot when working on websites.  You could take a photo of your favourite sunset and use it as the inspiration for your design. I spent many a quiet hour doing this.

My question to you is have you ever made one for yourself?

Using the ColourToy app you can make a colour palette from a photo of yourself. Here’s what my palette looked like:

My colour palette

Oddly, the first make-up I bought from the Body Shop was almost identical to these colours. What’s really nice about the app is that it also gives you the hexadecimal code so you can recreate the colours exactly. Continue reading

Our Etsy Craft-tea Party #EtsyCraftParty

IDEAS Birmingham Etsy team took part in #EtsyCraftParty focusing heavily on the ‘Craft-tea Party’ aspect. With crafting, eating cakes and sharing a virtual cuppa online being our usual thing, meeting up at Boston Tea Party and doing it all for real made for an amazing afternoon followed by much after-party fun.

BTP Corporation Street is a fantastic venue, the staff are so friendly and the cakes……. well the cakes can speak for themselves. I had heard their Earl Grey was amazing but I didn’t quite believe it would quickly go to the top of my favourites. Much respect to Lottie from SimplyCharlotteB & PaperOwlPackages for recommending them both. Continue reading

Copyright or Copy wrong?

Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, especially when it comes to copying your creative work. Forget all the bad examples big business has shown by copying their competitors, making slight changes and calling it innovation! This only dilutes what could be a marketplace with an abundant stream of ideas.

Lazy Mind Copy Idea written on a scrabble tile coaster.

Copyright is something that concerns all artists and designers.  Whilst influence is natural plagiarism is far more calculated. Did you know that the practice of copying work and making slight changes is known as ‘Derivative Works’ and that only the original copyright owner has the right to make them? Continue reading

Etsy UK Captain’s Summit 2016

This month I took part in the 3rd Etsy UK Captain’s Summit in Cambridge with Lottie from SimplyCharlotteB. The Summit was an opportunity to share help and advice on team issues like how the Etsy Made Local Christmas markets went, while catching up with friends and partaking in tea and cake. Lots of tea and cake!

Etsy Admin organised the event around the theme of the Great British Bake Off!  I have to say a big thank you for all the effort that went into making it a really great weekend. I was very happy that I didn’t need any of my emergency food. Big big-ups to Francesca, Ajeet, Sarah & Susannah for looking after everyone so well and for the constant supply of tea and cookies. Continue reading

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Discovering ‘My Toolkit’

I’ve read a few posts lately about ‘What’s in Your Toolkit?’ I honestly thought I knew what was in mine. As a graphic designer you instantly think your software and your hardware. This week I realised there is much more to it than that. There’s obviously your medium but the one that surprised me was masking tape.

It’s definitely something that I considered to be more at home in my Dad’s toolkit.  I didn’t realise how much I rely on it until I ran out this week.  It got me thinking about all the other essentials that I take for granted – until I either can’t find them or they have run out.

Toolkit - Tea, tape, Etsy pencil & craft knife.

Toolkit – Tea, tape, Etsy pencil & craft knife.

Luckily I have collected a lot of pencils from various places so breaking one won’t result in me turning my studio upside down looking for a sharpener.

The focus on sharing or knowing the contents of your toolkit has really made me realise that this is an area I need to work on. If I put them together in a toolbox (minus my computer and software of course) completing work will involve far less hunting and gathering and result in a more fluid workflow.

I’d love to hear if you have the same issues with hunting for tools, or if you were surprised by how much you rely on basic items to get your work finished……. be it caffeine, tape or music. What’s missing from your toolkit?