The Otter & the Meerkat

I recently completed the images for ‘The Otter & the Meerkat’, this book was a personal commission job which filled my heart with joy. One of the things I loved most about this story was that some of the scenes were based in Melbourne… oh how nostalgic for me. The culture, the food, the love, the good times.

It was great to fast track myself through the book making process and it has me eager to move forward with my next project… working on an actual real book for children with a wonderful writer and good friend.

The Otter & the Meerkat cover
The Otter & the Meerkat cover
The Otter & the Meerkat - a scene of a couples first date, tramming around Melbourne
The Otter & the Meerkat – a scene of a couples first date, tramming around Melbourne. Illustration by Amie Sabadin

 

Wrapping paper from handmade giraffe stamp

Wrapping paper made from handmade giraffe stamp
Wrapping paper made from handmade giraffe stamp
Wrapping paper from handmade giraffe stamp
Wrapping paper from handmade giraffe stamp

Today I made a new stamp from my Speedball stamp making kit. I thought I’d go simple and cute. Something easy/quick which I could use on things like cards or wrapping paper for gifts for small children etc. So giraffe it was… although I’m sure it could also be seen as an alien or cow… or an alien cow!

I love to use recycled goods to make things like wrapping and cards. Today I used the brown paper bag which a bottle of wine came in to stamp on, the size was perfect for the gift it needed to cover. The orange string was packaging from something I bought from T2 in the past.

To stamp the paper with some kind of repetitive consistency, I measured and marked out the first row with a pencil, marking a small dot every 6 or so cm’s. I was then able to guess the rest by just creating a brick like pattern over the rest of the paper.

 

Etsy packaging

Wrapped Little Love Boat brooch
Wrapped Little Love Boat brooch
Little Love Boat packaging
Little Love Boat packaging

So I’ve been selling casually on Etsy for around 18 months now. I say casually, as in, I’m a bit of a floating experimenting artists, I work a full time job so I don’t put all my everything into my Etsy store, it’s pretty much just one of  my bajillion creative hobbies. Although it is nice that I can fund this particular hobby with a few sales along the way!

Anyhow… packaging, let’s talk packaging. I thought I’d share a few of the packaging tips which I’ve learnt along the way, these tips are more so rules for me to go by these days.

  1. Nice packaging. Since upgrading my packaging recently, I’ve felt much more confident about my products. I think it’s well worth the time and effort to make your packaging as nice as possible, if it increases the price of your products, so be it. Of course if you’re aiming for absolute budget line you might think differently on this one. 
  2. Think about the size and shape of your products when creating product packaging, it could mean the difference between having to charge 2 or 7 dollars for postage. 
  3. Postage packaging. Search around for the best postage packaging option for your products. I purchased my mailer boxes from e-Bay in bulk, they are a better size and price than the Australia Post boxes which I was using at the start of my adventures.
  4. If your product could be damaged by water, wrap it in plastic or put it in a plastic bag.
  5. Save packaging foam, bubble wrap etc. from parcels you receive in the mail, these things can be very useful in keeping your products safe on their travels.
  6. Nice little touches. I like to wrap lots of my products as if they were a present – just in tissue paper. I think it’s a nice touch. I only do this when I have the time though or if a customer tells me their purchase is a gift. Generally not around Christmas time when I have most of my sales.

New packaging & business cards

Hoorah! Little Love Boat finally has some new packaging which doesn’t require me to sew! I quite liked my old packaging but boy oh boy, cutting fabric into squares and sewing little business cards to them was starting to become a bit tedious! I feel far more professional with the new packaging, I’m pretty sure I’ve levelled up!

Little Love Boat packaging & business cards, the new style!
Little Love Boat packaging & business cards, the new style!
Little Love Boat earrings on new packaging
Little Love Boat earrings on new packaging
Little Love Boat Red Bear Brooch on new packaging
Little Love Boat Red Bear Brooch on new packaging
Little Love Boat old packaging
Little Love Boat old packaging

Little Cloud Brooch

Little Cloud Brooch has turned out to be one of my favourite brooch designs… he just seems to go with a lot of my clothes and whenever I wear him I get lots of compliments from strangers… it’s a wonderful little ego boost for my creative side.

In fact just yesterday a lovely lady in a nice shop filled with handmade goods complimented me on my Little Cloud brooch, I thanked her and slightly nervously told her that I made him, conversation went from there and just maybe I might be putting some of my brooches in that store very soon. Stay tuned, I’ll be sure to share if/when it happens.

Little Cloud
Little Cloud

Feeling like a designer again

Folk girl
Folk girl

Recently a souvenir company in Slovakia found my work on Etsy and Flickr, they approached me to do some laser cut magnet designs for them. Timing of this event really couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

It seemed like a wonderful compliment that this company actually hunted me down in the first place. As a bonus they actually seem to like my work and don’t ask for a million changes on the designs I provide. Sadly they didn’t pay me enough so that I can now quit my day job, but they have done something wonderful… they have reminded me that I am a good designer with the ability to pretty much nail briefs for clients. They have given me the confidence to call myself a designer again – something which I’ve been desperately needing of late.

This folk girl is (part of) the third of five designs which I am creating for them.

Wedding invites

Sometimes… or in my case most often, it’s the projects that are for yourself that you find yourself pushing to the side all the time. Well… I finally put a stop to that and got these done today. All nicely printed by my new printer on paper from Pedigree Paper in Preston (Melbourne, Australia) – there is a fabulous factory outlet shop there you can get a whole box of nice paper at a very reasonable price. Now to package and post them!

Wedding invites
Wedding invites

Inspiration Thursday – One of a Kind canvases

Isabel the Astronaut painting
Isabel the Astronaut

I was pleasantly surprised when Joel came home with a surprise today. A beautiful heart touching painting attributed to our little Isabel. Of course again, it made me tear up a little. It will hang on the wall in our future nursery where one day Isabel’s little brother or sister can see it.

One of Kind – Unique handcrafted children’s canvases are created by Melbourne artist Felicity Hargreaves, you can see more of her paintings, including many commission works on the One of a Kind Facebook page and the One of a Kind Etsy page.