Don't you love this time of year? Leaves falling, the chill in the air. Before we know it Thanksgiving will be over, Black Friday sales will come to an end, Christmas will be nipping at all our our heels, and then you'll realize, "Crap! I haven't sent out our holiday photo cards yet!" This year, let's get them done early, get them out of the way and then you can enjoy the holidays and stress about getting the perfect gift instead of sending the perfect card!
Below you will find my holiday photo card designs, each can be tailored to fit you and your family. Cards are 5 x 7" and double-sided, designs are $18.50 each to receive your digital files and print them wherever you like. Interested in having me print them? I can do that too! Printed cards are $35 per 25 (envelopes included) + the one-time digital fee of $18.50.
Interested in learning more? See my designs below, email me at EAlexDesigns@Gmail.com with any questions or click on a template to order directly from my Etsy shop.
Merry & Married Holiday Photo Card
Calling all photographers!
It's been a pretty busy couple of days working on my website redesign, but I am happy to say I've come to the end of it! I'm hoping it's a total success but I'm looking to you for a last critique, don't worry, I went to art school I can take it. :) In an effort to drum up some feedback I'm offering a personalized stationery giveaway! And here's how it's going to work.
For one week, September 29 - October 6, 2015, I'm going to ask for feedback on my redesigned site. Take a tour and then comment below. Tell me what you like, or what you don't like. What you love, or what you hate.
Be sure to include:
I mean, there's always one right!? It's simple, it's why I'm reaching out to photographers! While I have the equipment, I'm not a photographer, most of my display work is put together digitally in photoshop. So I ask that you, the winners of my stationery, take a few photos of your specially designed stationery and send them to me.
Recently I designed stationery for Ashton Kelley of Ashton Kelley Photography, she plans to give them to her brides and grooms when they book with her. Today she sent me these extraordinary photos of my work, thereby giving me the inspiration to have this giveaway!
The optimal photo?
I'm not asking for anything super special, you've seen my site, just something that will go along with what I'm already portraying. I'll also be listing the stationery in my Etsy store and my Amazon Handmade store (under development). High resolution, horizontal photos are optimal but whatever you like, I'll like! Full credit will be given to you, as well as a link to your photography site. In the end, we both win!
What are you waiting for?
The winners* will be selected October 7, don't miss out on your chance, take a tour of my site and comment below!
*Sorry, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.
And the winners are...
Thank you to everyone who commented directly on my blog, on my FB posts and other social media outlets. Special thanks to my bestie and SEO God Jon Stroz for all of his suggestions! So, without further ado, the winners! Congratulations to Elisabeth Stone of Stone Werks and Alicia Yarrish of Alicia Yarrish Photography! Now if you'll please excuse me, it's time to dig into their brands and learn more about them! Thanks again to everyone!
Though I've designed holiday photo cards for family the past couple of years, I've never actually sold them. Thanks to Ashton Kelley Photography, that's all changing!
Check them out below and at my Etsy site at Etsy.com/EAlexDesigns. All of my holiday photo cards are 5x7" and double-sided, after you approve your cards I'll send you high resolution files for you to have printed wherever you choose!
Merry Christmas Custom Type: Two background options available, colors can be changed on first
Snowstorm: With this chilly weather it's better to be together (wow am I corny or what?!?)
Love, Joy & Laughter: Nothing's better than a family that has fun together
Happy Holidays Custom Text: Simple but says it all
Holly Illustration: Ribbon, tag and background colors can be modified
Our Most Perfect Gift: Just have a baby? Combine your holiday card and birth announcement
Initial Cap, Stripes: Such a cute simple card (greeting and colors can be modified)
Merry Christmas Chalkboard: For those who prefer to showcase only one photo
Merry & Married: For those who just got married (like me!)
Golden Dots Happy New Year: I'm in love with gold lately :)
So that's what I've got so far. I'll add more as they become available in my shop. Remember to get your order in early so you have plenty of time to print and mail them out! And if you're looking for something totally unique send me a message at EAlexDesigns@Gmail.com and we can work together to make this years holiday card the best ever!
Also, as a little extra announcement that I'll go into more detail on later, I'm going to be participating in the #EtsyGifts holiday marketing campaign. I'll be kicking it off on Tuesday, November 18 and running it through Small Business Saturday on November 26. Each day I will feature a gift idea from my shop at a discounted price for my personal campaign that I will be calling Twelve Days of Etsy Gifts! Make sure to like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram so you don't miss out on any of the deals!
As I get super excited for my first Maryland stylized shoot this afternoon, I thought I should share the last one I participated in with you all.
On July 19, I hooked up with Ashton Kelley Photography and other vendors for the AKP Bridal Brunch in West Virginia. Since I gave myself an unlimited budget I decided to push my skills and try new things, I couldn't have been happier with how it all turned out! Check out some photos from the shoot, courtesy of Ashton, a great friend and amazing wedding photographer.
So that's it, stylized shoot one, finished!
Shout-out to all of the vendors who helped Ashton make the day perfect!
Now to make sure all of my details are perfect and head out the door for the next event I'm working on with Ashton (yes again) and Jillian Jenkins of Elle Ellinghaus Designs.
Welcome to my first ever DIY!
Back in April my sister Bailey got married, you may recall my post about her bridal shower, Peacocks, Pencils, Recipes & Wine, it was a total DIY wedding from the flowers to the dresses to the favors, even the food!
Since we were providing the food we also needed to provide the dishware, we figured why not combine two into one? Mason Jars = Glasses = Favors! We didn't want to give just plain old mason jars so we had to decide on some way to decorate them, and we had to decide pretty quickly, the wedding was coming quick.
The first thing to do was to find the jars. Michael's and other stores sold them individually, it was going to take a long time and a lot of leg work to track down over 100 of these babies. Walmart sold them in cases, but only sold the cases in store, so again, leg work. After finding numerous places online that seemed cheap I'd get to the shipping price and find that it was close to the cost of the whole order, not worth it! Finally I found WebstaurantStore, we purchased eight cases of twelve glasses for $10.99 a case and it was only like $11 to ship! It was insane to see how cheap they could actually ship for, I'm so glad I kept doing the research.
A tip for you all, the WebstaurantStore is amazing, we got all the glasses just a few days later and the price could not be beat! With my wedding coming up in October I already have things bookmarked. I don't want to go with the fake china from our caterer (it just looks kinda tacky and doesn't match our wedding feel) I'm planning to order all of our plates, cups and utensils from them. It's amazing what all you can find on their site to help make your wedding a little more budget friendly! Definitely check them out if you have a chance!
So blah, blah, blah, right? Onto the DIY!
I did some more searching and read as many different tutorials on chalkboard painting as I could. I wanted to be sure I had as much information as I could. I took pieces from many different ones and combined them all together to make it work for me. There are a thousand different ways to do this I'm sure, but here is what I did.
1. Gather your supplies
To make the chalkboard along with the tag as I did you will need the following:
- Mason Jar
-Chalkboard Paint (Before you purchase, make sure that it is approved for glass!)
- Paint Marker (Again, make sure it is approved for glass.)
- Paper Gift Tags
- String, Twine or Ribbon (Whatever you want to use to attach the tag to the mason jar.)
- Ink Pad
- Rubber Stamp
- A Steady Hand
2. Prepare the mason jars
I live in Baltimore City, land of rowhomes and few dishwashers, so I had to do them by hand. Turned out it was actually better, I am an amazing mason jar washer now, but that's beside the point. I wanted to make sure that the jars didn't have any water marks on them, I know all about jet dry and all of that, but still, you get the occasional mark. Back to the internet (seriously, how did we accomplish anything before it?!) I discovered that hot water with some white vinegar added in would make your glasses dry almost instantly and prevent any sort of water mark. It was like magic!
3. Write your text & draw the heart outline
The first thing I did was grab a brush and start painting a heart, big mistake! I couldn't draw as perfectly as I could with a pencil and realized that just trying to make the heart shape with the brush was going to be the death of me.
Stroke of brilliance!
I already had the glass paint marker why not use it? So I went through each glass, drew my heart and wrote Bailey & Zack 4.13.14 on the back. This gave me consistent and (nearly) symmetrical hearts on each jar.
3. Chalkboard painting
The worst mistake I made was thinking that it would only take 1 coat to make the glass, what a bummer that was! However, once I got started it just turned into a kind of natural rhythm and I went with it. Before you begin painting, READ ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS FULLY AND COMPLETELY!!!! Apparently all chalkboard paints are not the same so make sure you follow all of the directions on the can.
I painted my first coat of chalkboard paint (above) on all of the glasses. I was supposed to wait 6 hours to do the next coat! This is where the patience comes in, and I honestly don't have it. I waited 2 hours and not a minute longer. Though I made it work out I quickly realized they give the 6 hours for a reason. While brushing on the second coat the first coat was coming off with each stroke. I quickly fixed that by dabbing on the paint instead of brushing it on. If you're pressed for time or are impatient like me that's how you can get around it.
You will also notice when you go to paint the second coat that any paint marker you didn't completely cover with the chalkboard paint is glossy instead of dull like the rest of the paint. You'll want to pay close attention to this and make sure to cover it completely.
My third coat was really just more for perfection than anything else. I did wait a full 6 hours for the first two coats to dry though, again, for perfection reasons. I went through and put one last thin layer on each heart, making sure to cover any lighter areas and any paint pen I had missed.
4. Break in the chalkboard surface
Since the instructions said to wait 24 hours before use, I decided that was how long I should wait before breaking in the surface. This step is THE MOST IMPORTANT! If you don't break in the surface before using it then you'll have ghosting each time you write and erase your heart.
To break it in is super simple. Just take the side of your chalk and rub it over the entire heart, then wipe it off with a soft cloth or felt eraser.
5. The tags
I picked up the tags, string, stamp and ink from Michael's for only a couple of bucks, I was so thankful they had a peacock stamp! Made my life so much easier!
The tags are without a doubt, the easiest part of the whole process.
Stamp the stamp on one side, write something on the other and tie it on your mason jar!
The finished product
The venue had an amazing tiered stand that we were able to display them on and they turned out perfectly! Since I was in the wedding I didn't get a chance to grab a photo of them before people started using them, thankfully Tyler nabbed a few amazing shots for me!
So that's it, my first DIY is finished. Have you used chalkboard paint on glass? How did it work for you? Do you have any tips I didn't share? Please leave them in the comments!
An aquarium trip while on vacation in Florida seemed totally normal to Brandi Engstrom, but only because she didn't know what her high school sweet heart, Jeremy Westfall, had in store for her! After an engagement in front of otters, they seemed the only way to go when it came to the invitation package!
Proposal photos used with the permission of Brandi & Jeremy
I knew a quick Google search of otters was in store, so I got right to the task at hand.
BTW, if you're having a bad day, do an image search for otters, it's really impossible not to smile!
I mean look at these photos, imagine what else Google has to offer! Soooo adorable!
Illustration time! I COULD NOT get over the cuteness the whole time I was working on them! First I drew them based upon my Google image search, then I transferred the drawing into Photoshop to add color.
Next up was making my thumbnail design come to life!
They were also in need of programs so we took one of my previously designed wedding programs and switched out the information.
I loved the otters so much that I felt I had no choice, I had to frame them!
I sent the print with my close, personal friend (and their wedding photographer) Ashton to give to them on their wedding day. I was so excited when she sent photos of them holding it later that evening!
After the wedding I got the best FB message from Brandi,
Jer & I were SO EXCITED to receive our otter picture!! We absolutely adore it & always will. It is so very special to us. Thank you so much!! We will (hopefully) have lots of babies one day and will be using you for cool stuff with Ashton's pictures.
Brandi and Jeremy were such a blast to work with that I literally CAN NOT wait to work with them again!
Thank you guys again for choosing me, I wish you all the love and happiness in the world, happy one-month anniversary!!!!!!
To see Brandi and Jeremy's wedding in full photo detail please visit Ashton Kelley's blog.
Blogging isn't a constant thing for me, but hopefully someone will get some use out of the things I say, no matter how far in between.