Life is about to get even more crazy in the Smith house! We always wanted a big family but after our second son was born we started rethinking if we could handle being outnumbered. Well we are about to find out because come June 2016 we will officially be outnumbered.
I love designing custom Christmas cards for families because every family is unique and deserves something special to share with their families and friends. I would love to design something for your family and I offer options from a custom card design that you print to double sided printed cards. Please check out my Etsy store to place your order today!
Today I want to take a moment and talk about something that I’m thankful for. I am thankful that I have had access to diapers and healthcare for my boys since they were born. I know this sounds crazy but in 1998 more than two million children died from diseases such as dysentery, cholera, typhus fever and typhoid that were caused by fecal matter and I believe our generation can stop these senseless deaths from happening.
This past Friday my husband and I had the opportunity to attend a charity event called The Change One Event. The night was to highlight a local nonprofit called DriButts and their mission is to provide two reusable diapers and education to families on the importance of using diapers to stop the spread of disease.
The diapers were designed and developed by DriButts with warm climates in mind where there is no electricity or running water. Each diaper fights against bacteria and when cleaned properly they will last over two years.
So what can you do to help? That is a great question and one is spread the word about DriButts. They were recently featured on Fox News Health but we still need to spread the word so go like them on Facebook and tell your friends about DriButts. If you want to do more then please consider giving. For as little as $30 you are saving a family by providing them with two diapers.
I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Wahl, the guy behind DriButts, right after moving to Atlanta and I can tell you that this is his passion and I believe it’s important for us to help him change the world.
My journey as a work-from-home mom started 4.5 years ago after my first son was born. Like most other mothers in the United States I did not have the privilege of taking a proper maternity leave since my family could not afford for me to be out of work for long. So after a month I found myself learning how to balance being a wife, new mother and now learning how to work from home.
At the time I started working from home I was a full time web designer, designing websites for art galleries located around the world. I loved my job but one of my biggest struggles was adjusting to not being around other creative people. I did not have the luxury of hiring a sitter so I could go into the office once a week or even every two weeks so I had to learn other ways to find inspiration.
Staying Trendy As A Solo Creative
- Looking for inspiration online is important regardless if you are flying solo or working in a team. This is the first thing I do every time I start a new project. It’s important to keep up with current trends as well as see emerging trends to help make sure the brand you are working on is staying current or getting a modern take on a classic design. There are countless websites out there for inspiration such as Dribble, Behance, Creative Market, Google searches, etc.
- If I’m working on a web project I will look at websites that were submitted on siteInspire, Awwards, The Best Designs, and you get the idea. These are great sites because you can see everything from huge brands like Nike to small businesses.
- I think two underrated websites for inspiration are Pinterest and Etsy. I use these sites mainly for my print projects but I have been known to use them for web inspiration as well. I generally use them to check for all my invitations and holiday card designs. I like to see what other people have designed but I also like to check to make sure my idea is a little different then what someone else has already done because let’s be honest there are some great invitations and holiday card designs out there.
- While I was in college at Full Sail University I was taught to begin every project brainstorming. I can’t remember if this has a name or not but basically you take a piece of paper and a pen/pencil and do do quick design overviews. Each thumbnail should take minutes to put together because you can quickly see where you want to go without worrying about all the little details. This is a great method that I still find helpful today.
- I used this method a lot when I was in college but it’s still a great idea today, go to a local book store and look through design books and industry magazines. It’s a great way to get out of the house and get inspired at the same time.
- Sometimes when I hit a design block that I can’t seem to figure out, I will do something creative with my boys like color a page in their coloring book, paint, bake, etc and it generally helps to free up my mind so that when I sit back down to work I am newly inspired.
- There are times when nothing seems to work and when this happens I will take sometime and look at other mediums such as cake designs, art, architecture, travel photos or anything that someone else designed or photographed to try to find inspiration in their project for my project.
- Lastly I like to send my work to old design friends who I know will give me a honest critique that always make my designs better. I don’t do this for every project because I know they have projects of their own but it’s helpful when it’s a big project or I’m just stuck and need some suggestions.
This is my method to staying current and as much as I miss working day-to-day with other creative people I wouldn’t trade what I have for the world. I might work a little harder to stay fresh but these methods work for me. What are some ways you use to stay creative?
It’s November and that means it’s time to reminder yourself what you are thankful for! I love Thanksgiving and how it kicks off the Christmas season. Not only that but you get to eat, spend time with family and not have the pressure of gift giving. This month I’ve designed a Facebook header to go along with your daily posts about what you are thankful for. I hope you enjoy the banner and check back next month for a Christmas freebie.
Last week my family survived the worst stomach virus ever! As a result I am a few days behind on the blog so bare with me as I get the website updated with new blog posts and the November freebie.
After losing my job last summer I thought I could become an Etsy sensation. I quickly learned that there are a lot of great things on Etsy and I was drowning in the mix. Not only was I drowning on Etsy, I was competing with free printables I was founding through Pinterest and some of them are amazing.
Here is my first ever round-up of free printables that I did not design. I have linked the printable to the number on the image. I hope you enjoy these prints as much as I do.
Last year we started a new tradition where we paint a pumpkin in October. Until last year I had never painted a pumpkin but I was confident it wouldn’t be that difficult. My oldest son was 3 at the time and I was nervous he would make a huge mess so I used washable paint. After the first night we had to move the pumpkin to a place it wouldn’t get wet because the dew had started taking the paint off.
This year we stepped up our game. In late September we took a trip to Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, GA where we each picked out a pumpkin. I decided that the kids and I were going to paint ours and Matt is planning to crave his pumpkin closer to Halloween. Be sure to follow Laughing Lemons on Instagram to see what he craves. Here are the boys pumpkins before we put paint on them.
Hunter and I painted our pumpkins one afternoon while Miles was napping. He wanted to paint Raphael from Ninja Turtles because his favorite color is red. I helped him draw out the face and then sent him to work painting the pumpkin green. He did a pretty good job for his first time. We did have to wait for each color to dry before applying the next color which he found boring and allowed me time to touch-up a couple of missed spots.
I decided to paint my pumpkin black and gold striped. Once I painted the black strips I realized that the gold glitter paint I had was really just glitter paint that is tinted gold so I had to get actual gold paint before I could finish my pumpkin.
Miles and I finished painting our pumpkins last night. I wanted something really easy for him since he is 1.5 so I took painters tape and taped the word Boo on his pumpkin. The plan was to just pour paint on it and then let the paint slide down the sides. I realized pretty quickly that my idea wasn’t going to work well for him so I gave him a paint brush and hoped he wouldn’t get paint on his clothes. We used CraftMart paint that I bought at Michael’s. I think he enjoyed himself and even Hunter, Matt and myself jumped in and helped.
We had to wait overnight for Miles’ pumpkin to dry since we painted late afternoon and it wasn’t very warm to help the move along the drying process. This morning while the boys were in school I pulled the tape off and noticed two I will do differently next year if we use this idea again. One, I will make the word smaller and second, I will use an orange pumpkin. I think the orange pumpkin would have had better contrast causing the boo to be easier to read. With that said I’m still happy with the results.
Notice we didn’t paint the full way to the bottom. This was to avoid paint getting on the concrete or getting stuck to paper/cardboard. Also it is not noticeable when you are standing next to the pumpkins.
If you haven’t noticed I launched a new blog. Don’t you just love it? Since launching the blog I have decided to offer my readers a discount on a custom made Christmas/Holiday card. All you have to do is visit the Etsy shop, select the Custom Christmas Cards and the option you want, you can either print the cards at home or I can print and ship them to you. Use code NewBlog15 by November 1 to get 15% off your entire order!
If you aren’t interested in Christmas cards but would still like something else the code works on everything! If you want something that you don’t see then let me know and I can add a link.
Welcome to the freebie section! I love the fall because of all the traditions and fun leading up to Christmas. We love to take our boys apple picking, on hayrides, to pumpkin farms and of course let them dress up for Halloween. So this month is all about Halloween. I hope you enjoy the freebie and be sure to check back next month for a Thanksgiving treat!