Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Small Book Page Pumpkin - Upcycled and Eco Friendly Halloween, Thanksgiving, Fall and Autumn Decor

It is a VERY crisp autumn day here in Chicago.  I think we'll be lucky to make it into the 50's.  I do not envy those that choose to wear a skimpy Halloween costume today.  Brrrrr!

I just fell in love with this cutie from Etsy Shop - Anthology and Main - and had to share it.  Last year, I attempted to create a Christmas tree from an entire book and it was a P-A-I-N!  I cannot imagine the effort that went into creating this lovely pumpkin.  If you are interested, you can purchase it here.

Happy Halloween all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'm excited to announce a few additions to the SHOP today - The Thanksgiving Greetings Collection.

I've created three new designs that can be customized to send out Thanksgiving greetings to friends and family.  Like my other designs, these are digital files that can be printed at home or using professional print services - the perfect solution to get your DIY groove on.  And if DIY is not your thing, stay tuned.... Printing options may be on their way!


I love the color of the leaves changing this time of year and had to showcase my adoration with this little gem that I call Maple.   Its clean and classic design will bring warm wishes to anyone who receives this greeting.

The whimsy really comes out in my next design, Gobble. I love the rustic but modern look of the wood grain and the contrast of the light on the front and the dark on the backer of the invitation.  One of my favorite type faces and an acorn element round out this design.

What's a greeting without a chance to show off your family?  I know folks love to send family pics so I had to include the chance in this design called Thankful.

I'd love to hear if you think more photo card designs are needed.  I knew I needed at least one option, but can definitely get cracking on more.

Can't you just taste that turkey now?  Yum!  J

Monday, October 29, 2012


I listened to this album the entire flight home from San Francisco (in between watching the in flight movie - Madagascar 3 - Europe's Most Wanted - yes, I watched the entire thing....) so it has been in my head.

If you've been following my Music Monday posts, you've probably noticed by now that I'm a little bit obsessed with this band. J


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hello from San Francisco!

I'm here all week for a conference but was able to pop out for a quick walk so I took some snaps.

The first thing I saw as I stepped out of the hotel was an iconic streetcar. Too bad these wouldn't hold up to Chicago winters because they would defiantly make a commute way more interesting!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Happy Monday!  I'm off to San Francisco this afternoon so I thought I'd share this bright and early.

New album from Grizzly Bear.  Enjoy Yet Again.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Back in August I submitted a few stationery designs to a Minted challenge (you can see them here).  I was more excited about these submissions than I had been about any previous as these were the first that I used the technical skills I had been learning though my Adobe Illustrator classes.  I felt that I had progressed overall as a designer not only because I knew these 'tricks of the trade' but because I was also able to implement them successfully into a design.

I got the news this week that neither of these designs were picked as winners and for the first time in my Minted submission experience, I'm embarrassed to say I got a bit frustrated and resentful.  So much so that I decided that I wasn't going to bother with Minted anymore and that from now on, I would just focus on my shop.

That lasted for all about 12 hours.  I realized that the improvement in my designs wasn't only due to the classes I've been taking or the hours (and hours and hours - Mr. Squareview) parked in front of the computer practicing and designing.  The improvement can also be directly attributed to being held up against all the FABULOUS designers in the Minted community.  

I now look at their designs and actually see them.  I notice the technique they used to create that flower or how they inserted a certain glyph a particular way.  It's honestly like being in art school and getting to learn from and critique your classmates work.  It is invaluable.  

I've resigned myself to the fact that I may never win a Minted challenge and that's OK.  For me, the benefits definitely outweigh the hit to the ego I take when the list of winners is announced and I'm nowhere to be seen.  

So here I am, getting right back on the proverbial horse.

Here's something I put together for the art challenge going on right now.  I really love this one. Hmmm - if this doesn't win, maybe I'll put it in the shop. Love to hear what you think!

art prints - modern family of stripes
art prints - modern family of stripes

Happy Friday!  Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm super pleased to report that I just received my first sale in the shop (insert happy dance here)! I honestly can't wait to head home tonight and customize the order and send off to my client.  If you're curious, this is the design that was picked.  

See, it goes to show you that it isn't too late to order your custom Halloween invitations!  Yippee!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I can't tell you how happy I am to have been featured again on the Nicole's Classes blog last week! It is truly an honor to be part of such a great group of students and my teacher, Alma Loveland, is the absolute best.

For this homework assignment, I decided to take another stab at a bike drawing I did for the Stationery & Journal challenge submitted for Minted many months ago.  While I was really proud of the original effort, I knew I could improve it.  I reached into my toolkit and reworked the whole thing from scratch using the techniques I've been learning in class.


journals - Big City Bike


What do you think? I'm pretty excited to see these side by side.  I can see the improvement in so many areas (just being able to add those wheel spokes - whew, that was worth taking the class on its own!)

So, I guess the message for today is - it's important to revisit the past and see how far you've come. Obviously, this also applies to so many areas in life besides design.  

I'd love to hear how you've come a long way, baby!  Wait, was that seriously from a cigarette ad? Boy, things have come a long way! J

Monday, October 15, 2012


Happy Monday!

Even though the name of the song implies otherwise, here is a peppy little tune to start your week.

I give you Teen Angst by M83. Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012


I've been spending a lot of time thinking through colors that I can offer to as a customizable option for my personalized stationery line.  While they may be gorgeous, the 2013 Spring Pantone colors I spoke about earlier this week have really thrown a wrench in my original plan.

Initially, I had my colors narrowed down to those that would compliment the PaperSource envelope colors.  I put together a chip card to take it all in at once.  Here it is...

I'm thinking that this may be a bit much and give the client too much choice to sort through (I know that may seem counter intuitive, but too much choice could make the client overwhelmed and ultimately make them move on). With that, and the fact that a handful of these colors aren't ones I even like, I figured that maybe I should make some changes. What do you all think? 

Hmmm.... I think I'll take the weekend to mull it over. 

Happy weekend everyone!

p.s - did you notice the new navigational bar up top? I think it is so much better than the boring blue one, don't you?  I may tweak it just a bit.  I'm thinking of narrowing it and maybe putting a boarder around it.  Stay tuned....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


After I opened the Etsy Shop, I couldn't stop thinking about my hum drum navigational bar that you see above {edited to add - tutorial to the rescue - I transformed boring blue to the looker you now see!}. The best I could do was make it blue. Yawn!  I wanted to customize it like all the other gorgeous ones I've seen out there but I just didn't know how.  My obsessive blog reading saves the day once again!

Yesterday, Miss Tristan B. posted on the Besotted Brand blog all about an e-course called CSS Pretty created by Katrina of Pugly Pixel.    You can see the post here.

Let me tell you, it was a game changer for me. Not only am I totally considering taking the course, but I literally ate up all the free tutorials available on Katrina's site including the one below (go directly to the site by clicking here ). They are clear, concise, understandable, professional - I could go on and on.

If you are as shy about changing your CSS code in blogger as I was, this will convert you.  Stay tuned to bask in the beauty of my new navigational bar! J

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Apparently, I'm already over the idea of Fall and Winter as I'm already thinking ahead to the Spring 2013 Pantone fashion color report. I guess that happens if you've been thinking about holiday card design ideas since July!

Check out these beauties...

Spring 2013 Fashion Report Colors from Pantone

Anyway... if you've been reading my little blog you'll know that I'm a self taught stationery designer who discovered Adobe Illustrator earlier this year and went into serious withdrawal when my free trial on my third and last computer ran out.  Lucky for me, Ai was permanently added to the family in August.  Woot!

Before the new Ai addition came into my life, CMYK codes had never really factored in. Sadly, my only experience with color coding was using RGB in PowerPoint!  Now, it seems all I think about is CMYK.  So much so, that I'm beginning to appreciate all the CMYK tattoos I've been seeing on Pinterest.

PHOTO CREDIT: Threadless 

As getting a permanent tattoo to show my CMYK love isn't it the cards, I'm so glad Tina Roth Eisenberg was smart enough to include the crop marks/CMYK design for her temporary tattoo shop - Tattly.  So fun!


So now that you know about my CMYK obsession love, you can't imagine the nirvana I experienced when I realized that Pantone actually supplied the CMYK codes in their color reports!   A - wait for it - MAZING!

Instead of fast forwarding to Spring 2013, I went right back to the Fall 2012 Color Report and gobbled up all those goodies!  Of course, all the other color nerds probably knew all about this, but for those that didn't I had to share.


Monday, October 8, 2012


Happy Monday!  This week I thought it would be fun to feature a blast from my past.

I give you Strange Powers by The Magnetic Fields.  Enjoy!


Thursday, October 4, 2012


I took a little time away from launching the store to put my new found typography lessons into practice by submitting a few designs to The Perfect Match Wedding Invitations Challenge from Minted.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you like what you see - vote for me!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I attended a local event last night called - Marketing Your Etsy Shop.  The event was hosted by the wonderful Rebecca George of purpleandlime.  Etsy recently invited a select group of ladies to the Etsy HQ in Brooklyn and asked that they take part in a new certification process so they could become Etsy educators.  Rebecca was part of that flagship group.  These Etsy educators are not employees of Etsy, rather ambassadors who share the knowledge and experience with other sellers. 

In addition to the super cute TAG-O-RAMA pad and Etsy sticker shown above, Rebecca provide the class with some awesome tips on using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and your blog to get the word out on you shop listings.  I can't wait to put these tips to use!

If you are selling on etsy (or thinking about selling on Etsy), I would highly recommend seeing if there are certified Etsy Educator classes in your neck of the woods and if so, signing up for one.  Time well spent for sure!

If you have attended one of these classes or are thinking about doing so, email me.  I'd love to discuss!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I'm proud to say that the Squareview Studios Etsy shop opened yesterday!  That said, it opened not with a bang, but a whimper whisper - pretty quietly and without fan fare.

You can find a direct link to the shop in the tab above if you're interested in taking a gander.

A few musings on the experience : 

  • Writing shop policies is not easy.  In fact, it is pretty darn hard.  It took so much more time than I originally allotted.  Note to future shop owners, give yourself several hours to write, review, tweak, review again, edit & finalize your shop policies.  You'll thank me later.
  • Writing an item description is a little easier but still took way longer than I expected.  Give yourself enough time to complete this task.
  • Photography styling and post photography editing is super important.  Even with all my planning and prop gathering, I'm still not satisfied with my shop photos.  In all likelihood, you will see all new pics in the shop in less than a week. 
  • It takes at least a couple dozen items (if not more) to make your shop look like it is not empty and I learned this the hard way.  After countless hours (months even) designing and perfecting the 13 items I have in the shop right now, I was so proud to get those listings live and couldn't wait to see everything come together. Once I completed everything and took a step back to take it all in, I have to say, I was left wanting (que wa waaa waaa sound effect). Never fear, I'm getting back to the drawing board and you should expect to see more listings ASAP.  In fact, I have 7 beautiful social stationery designs already photographed but I didn't post because I hadn't finalized my color choices yet.  Expect to see those listing shortly.  
Here is a sneak peak....

See what I mean about the photo editing?  All three of these cards were photographed on the exact same white background.  Even fiddling with the white balance on my camera, all three came out looking different from one another.  Ugh!  

I know I want to tell a story with the shop and consistency is the key to doing so.  Me thinks I'm in for a big day of re-shoots.  I'm looking for alternate solutions as I type this... Any suggestions would be MOST welcome!!

Onwards and upwards though as tonight I'm off to my first Etsy Community event!  I can't wait to tell you all more about it tomorrow.  

Monday, October 1, 2012


Happy Music Monday!  Today I give you Beirut on the Riptide with Sante Fe.  Enjoy!

p.s. The countdown to shop opening is on.  Like me on Facebook to get all the details!