Thursday, December 22, 2011

Icy Poinsettias

As the weather gets colder in California, we hope for snow by Christmas, but know that for most of us it will be sunny and dry on that joyful morning. But as I was cleaning up after a birthday party one morning two weeks ago, I had a creative moment and saw an image I had to capture. Now I am no professional photographer, I'll leave the professional work for people like my dear friend Alisha at "Delicate Moments" (see the link to her web page under Informative and Fun Sites) but I had to give the moment a try.

We had dumped the ice from the cooler into the bird bath the night before and it was still around the next morning.

















I hope this Sparks a little creative bug in you as we enjoy this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December's creative moments

With the holidays done and the new year approaching the graphic designer is put on hold for most businesses. New companies will emerge and require my services but in the mean time I get to share my more creative hands on projects for a little bit. From comforters to mini quilt designs for my oldest daughter and her dolls, to after holiday organization, I'll be sharing what I've been up to in December.

Keep your eyes open though for sneak peaks and teasers to my newest graphic design projects as they develop in January.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowman Lane



Well Christmas is almost here and the house is decorated for the holidays. I love the landing at my stairs. It was so much fun to decorate for Fall that I couldn't wait to see how the Christmas decorations would look. So here is a picture of "Snowman Lane" that I'm totally in love with. We even added pretty white lights to let it glow at night. 





 Have a wonderful December and 
A Merry Christmas to all! 











Look for some craft projects I attempted as Christmas presents and new design creations in the New Year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Only Hours Left!


The cards are glossy, cheerful and as close as an Californian will get to a white Christmas. Don't miss out on my Special Edition Christmas card Sale. The price is great and the quality gorgeous! (the picture just doesn't do it justice)

$25 dollars for 40 cards (envelopes included)

Sale ENDS Thursday December 1st (at Midnight... so you have til almost Friday to order)

So Order them now! Email me "Let It Snow" in the subject line to Jolenemc08@gmail.com, and 40 cards will be in the mail within 48 hrs. Just let me know where to mail them!

Again don't miss out on these great holiday greeting cards.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Extended!

Since it seems that Google and Feedburner took 22 hrs to send an email out to all my subscribers, you all but missed my Cyber Monday Greeting Card Special. So NOW I will Extend this great special til DECEMBER 1st (Midnight PST)




That's 40 - 5x4 inch satin finished Premium Photo paper Greeting cards for JUST $25!

See my Happy Holidays Post from Sunday Nov. 27th for all the basic details, place "Let It Snow" in the subject line of your email when you order.

Hope you are enjoying all your shopping adventures!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Holidays on Cyber Monday

Now that the Holidays are upon us, its time to spread the joy to everyone we know. What better way to accomplish this then with a holiday greeting card.

These cute little cards started out as a sketch while brainstorming some of my favorite things and once the ideas were flowing the creation was easily transformed into a greeting card anyone would enjoy.



I hope that you love this Happy Holidays card as much as I do.

Take advantage of this great Cyber Monday Special Good til 11:30pm November 28th! Just email me your order with "Let It Snow" typed in the subject line.


Happy Holidays is a
5" x 4" card that bleeds off a wonderful Premium Photo Paper.

Envelopes are included

$25 for 40 cards
$10 for each additional 
20 cards ordered 
regular price $35 for 40, 
$1.50 for every 2 cards thereafter.


All orders will be shipped within 24 hrs of receiving your payment via check or PayPal. Shipment to you is included in price.

*Any graphic design advertisements that appear on my emails, posts and blog page are those of Google Ad Sense, that I allow to run but I am not affiliated with these companies, therefor they are my competitors and I make no profit if you order from these companies by mistake, thinking they are part of my business. *

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cyber Monday it will be!

To all my avid followers, please forgive the lack of a black Friday deal. The head cold is not going away and allowing me the time to create the cards I want to design. I will do my best to have them ready to show for the cyber Monday shopping frenzy. If you like blues and snowmen, then come back Monday for two great designs and at great prices.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks to all who visited my blog during my Thanksgiving creations. The moment I have kicked this headcold that my daughter so generously shared with me, I'll have the Season Greeting cards up to view. Keep your eyes open for a black Friday and cyber Monday special on these limited edition cards. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful Greeting Cards: Now Here!

As I look at these great Limited Edition Greeting Cards, I get such a warm feeling. They remind me of family traditions, of a simpler time and the desire to be in front of a fireplace with a good cup of hot chocolate.

I hope you love these as much as I loved creating them. Thanksgiving is just three weeks away and winter is right behind it. So enjoy Autumn for just a little longer and spread that warm fuzzy feeling to those you love.



Thankful for Autumn
8.5" x 5"
blank inside
OR add your own personal greeting
      Up to 3 lines for FREE!




Happy Thanksgiving
8.5" x 5.5"
blank inside
OR add your own personal greeting
      Up to 3 lines for FREE!


REMEMBER... these are limited edition so first come first to enjoy! Only THREE orders of each design to be printed.


Special Request Orders are Welcome! 
Email me at Jolenemc08@Gmail.com with all your holiday needs and spread the love!

Christmas/Season Greeting Cards to arrive shortly.

In the mean time I would love to create an invitation, thank you card, post card, and/or mini calendar for you and all your holiday needs. Just drop me a line... Jolenemc08@Gmail.com... and I'll get back to you within 24 hrs.

Enjoy the Autumn weather!



*Any graphic design advertisements that appear on my emails, posts and blog page are those of Google Ad Sense, that I allow to run but I am not affiliated with these companies, therefor they are my competitors and I make no profit if you order from these companies by mistake, thinking they are part of my business. *

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Greeting Cards and Online Venues

It seems I have forgotten an option when it comes to ordering greeting cards for the holidays, online companies. Now they have many options to see but they don't all give great prices. I did a little research, especially on the companies that Google is advertising on my blog site (which are not me by the way). They have wonderful odd sizes, the ability to add photos to the design and the personalized lines of text but the starting price is just shy of $100 for 25 cards. Still pretty pricey, in this economy, to send to just family and friends.

So here is a competitive list of prices for my Special Limited Edition Holiday Cards, that includes your own personal greeting printed on the inside of each card.


These great cards will be 5x7 up to 8.5x5.5 inches in size.

Only three orders of each will be sold as they are special edition. Though I will be more then happy to take a request to design a card just for you and your loved ones (Keep in mind I need two full weeks to work out a design for you and have it ready to ship).  I will be unveiling greeting cards soon but would love to create an invitation, thank you card, post card, and/or mini calendar for all your holiday needs upon request. Just email me at jolenemc08@gmail.com

The Special Limited Edition cards will be out soon so keep your eyes open for the thanksgiving/fall edition to arrive first.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holiday Greeting Cards & Invitations

With the holidays fast approaching, we are in need of greeting cards, thank you cards and party invitations. The thing is, the catalogs that are mailed to you at home and to your office are gorgeous but expensive for such a small quantity. You can get less expensive cards at the office supply stores but the choices are given to everyone, so what you buy may also have been the choice for three of your coworkers or friends.

Why not be able to give a holiday greeting card this year that is one of a kind, be able to choose the elements you want to mail out for the annual Christmas party or even personalize that thank you card so that special someone will always feel appreciated?

Now with the help of a graphic designer like myself that dream can be a reality. This year I am designing one-of-a-kind greeting cards for purchase. You will have the peace of mind knowing that your holiday greeting cards won't be a duplicate in someones holiday decorations. I will even place a two line personal greeting of your choice on the inside when you order, free of charge. So why get the generic when you can have the unique!

Keep your eyes peeled for the unveiling of my new greeting cards. In the meantime if you need something for the holidays right away, please feel free to contact me at jolenemc08@gmail.com.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Design Tips:  The New Calling Card

I recently came across the newest calling card. It is something we take for granted, we view them everyday as we surf the web, look up our favorite websites or blog pages. Every time we type in a http or www address, it is the first thing we see; the images, colors and shapes at the top of the page.... the HEADER!

These days the most successful blog pages and websites don't just use a generic template or stock photos provided by the hosting company, they have created themselves a look, a branding. They have taken a logo, text, photos & images and created something that you will remember. No matter where you see these uniquely grouped visual cues, you will always think of that one company, person or product. And what better way to get yourself out there then by utilizing the most popular social network, the world wide web.

This new calling card of sorts has also become a new avenue for me to explore within my design capabilities. It has given me the freedom to design something for a client that really combines all the basic elements needed when trying to brand oneself to the world. I can now create a logo or name for a company or product and give the client an expanded visual affect that has less limitations then printing a business card and more space then a 3.5x2 inch card can give. But don't get me wrong... a business  or calling card that is printed and ready to be left in some one's out stretched hand is still VERY necessary. I am a HUGE fan of the printed word and literature necessary to run a business or promote a hobby, but why not utilize what is free and out there for all to see at any given moment.  If you are going to put yourself on the web for millions to view, do it right!

There is no reason why you can not customize the FIRST thing people look at when they type http://www. a b c.... But make sure that what people see at the top of your web page or blog page is memorable and represents what you are saying, selling or promoting.


Here are two of my favorite blog headers that I had the pleasure of creating for some of my newer clients.


http://buttonsbowsbling.blogspot.com



http://mooncalledprime.blogspot.com


The header designs have been so successful that one client turned his blog header into his signature image for whenever he posts a comment or opinion on another site. The other client has been able to utilize her header in a variety of ways and now has it as a place holder on her website, www.buttonsbowsbling.com while it's under construction, as the main focus on her blog calling cards and looks great as a header when she prints her fliers. It is just a great all around collage of images, text, photos and colors that represents her and what she loves.

So in the near future, while you dream about that new online business or want to publish your most cherished thoughts, also think of me.

Contact me today at Jolenemc08@gmail.com and lets create Something Great Together.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so let your Header say it ALL!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Creativity in Many Forms

As I get back into the swing of my computer design work, I have also been reorganizing my craft projects within a new work space. For if the work space doesn't provide you with the right amount of storage and table top space, no projects ever get finished.

When we re-worked the office space, we brought in some of my old craft space elements into the other half of the living room and made me a respectable table top space with cabinets to store the pieces to my most favorite projects.

With all these things I love to do, a proper craft station was necessary. And with the extra space still available under the windows, my oldest girl can sit beside mommy to work on all her craft projects. Such a win, win!


See I love to hand stitch details into holiday Sampler Quilts. And its been a year since I worked on my last one, (look to part two of the "A Little More Fall"  post to see my first ever autumn quilt) So I'm past due to prep and start on my next holiday quilt. I also like to dabble in scrap-booking, which transitions well into creating Invitations, Baby Announcements and Greeting Cards for my clients, family members and friends during this time of the year. Let alone fixing and sewing items for the two little girls in my life. And the graphic design jobs can lead to large production projects that need more space then even my new office work station can give me. (Visit the "Re-Working the work space" post to see how that turned out.)

So now, all my creative hobbies have the space they need for me to finish them. From the Business Literature for that small local business to the newest holiday quilt, I can provide the best quality workmanship for all!



Looking forward to sharing some new design work in my next few blogs; gift cards, blog headers, company logos and so much more! See you soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Little More Fall: Part 2

I am a Graphic Designer day to day for my clients, but I also love to dabble in scrap-booking, hand stitching on sampler quilts, and home decor in my spare time. Decorating my home for the seasons is definitely one of those things I love to do when time allows.

As I posted in Part one, I was in need of finishing up with my autumn decorating. The table was set but the entry way and walls were still bare. Well, not any longer! With a little staging, I could give the landing to my stairway the look of an outdoor porch setting with leaves, pumpkins and some wrought iron candle holders.
Here's my first Autumn sampler quilt, that I hand stitched, 
on my large living room wall. 
I'm usually a Christmas quilter so this was a nice change of pace.

And a little floral arrangement within a spider web basket on my bookcase.

So the first floor of our condo is now ready for the Autumn season, and some Halloween lights will be added to the windows when the holiday arrives, so the little ones can enjoy them, as they trick or treat.

Can't wait to decorate for Christmas!  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reworking the Work Space!

There comes a time when you have to not just take you and your work serious but the space you use just as seriously. And I was in desperate need of some seriousness.

When we moved into our new condo before my second daughter was born, I thought I could share a small but antique desk with my husband. It was to house two computers, my printer, the bill paying center I had created and some essential supplies and paperwork. I used a filing cabinet to hold the printer up and store the supplies & paperwork, and we would share the one office chair since I was home during the day and him at night..... Man was I wrong!


My graphic design clients were starting to increase again, and we were fighting for the chair at night, once the children went to bed. Let alone the need for desktop space and elbow room... it was getting bad.
Then it hit us... we had extra furniture in storage and a gorgeous kitchen table that we could re-purpose as a work station, since it doesn't fit in the kitchen for two adults with two small children.




This wonderful bar top table is actually 54x54", but has this great design to fold down to 27x54" which turns out to fit the space reserved for the office.

With a custom glass top, this great wood table will stay in great condition while we work, without the wear and tear that it's bound to see.

As we add the five foot tall corner shelf unit, all the supplies I need have a home and still look great and organized. And with the two shelves on the under side of the table, I have room for boxes and my bill paying center, while the printer and a CPU can hide away behind the brand new chairs on the bottom shelf.  Thank you Target (www.target.com) for having the 29" chairs we needed for simply $49 each.

Now add a few accessories and we can work side by side at anytime with all this new space. Its been a great transformation and is leading to other great projects around the house that need to be reworked and re-purposed.


So keep your eyes open for the before and after photos of my craft area, which should help me with all the invitation and greeting card requests that come along during the holidays, and I hope to get some new post up soon; all about Blog headers, the rest of my autumn decorating and so much more!

In the mean time, have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little More Fall!

Well since everyone is in the spirit of Autumn & Fall with their blog post.... I might as well join the group!

With Autumn here and Halloween fast approaching I finally got a little of Fall placed around the house. With some help from Pier 1 Import last year, I had a gorgeous Thanksgiving center piece and flatware for the table.



So this year i have taken some of the same pieces from the center piece and decorated my much smaller table (due to a much smaller kitchen this year) to help bring the lovely colors of autumn into our eating space.



Though I am a designer on the computer for work, I also love to dabble in scrap-booking, hand stitching fabric sample quilts, and home decorating in my, very limited, spare time. Sometimes these things cross over and other times they are a thing all their own. Decorating my home for the seasons is definitely one of those things I love to do when time allows, again a mother of a five year old and a two month old. And though I haven't gotten as far as I would have liked this year, the table is set and is enjoyed at every meal.

More Fall home decor pictures to come this week as I finally pull all the boxes out of the garage and get into gear!


Stores I love to buy seasonal items from:
Pier 1 Import: www.pier1.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall & Headcolds

Besides being an independent graphic designer, I'm also an at home mom to two beautiful girls. One five year old and a two month old. And with the new school year in full swing, the colds and flus are making themselves known. We are fighting a nasty headcold and even went thru the 24 hr stomach flu. So please stay tuned in for new posts to appear. I hope to be back on track by end of weekend. Thank you and hope you are all in good health.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Autumn Has Arrived!


With Autumn now upon us, many people get whimsical. Whether they take photos, write poetry, decorate their porches and homes or write that one unforgettable post on their blog page.

Over the past decade as a graphic designer I have been given the opportunity to create many wonderful pieces of literature that go along with this crisp Autumn theme. But the opportunity to write during this time of year or any season, has been minimal. Graphic Designers rarely need to write the content that goes in the business literature a company needs. The client knows their products and services the best and are great at providing such content to us to design that brochure, catalog, post card etc.... We may give advise when asked, create a byline or caption on occasion but writing full paragraphs is a rare thing.

And for me that is a good thing. For writing is like a second language to me, still learning.

I have perfected how to make a small phrase look like a piece of artwork at the top of a page; how to make a long body of text flow from subject to subject without losing the clients attention, visually. But my writing is still in progress and I'm constantly working on making my own words flow from sentence to sentence, from topic to topic. So my posts may be a little weird to read at times, they may get a little lost in thought and it may have a few ERRORS in grammar/vocabulary (Gasp... errors. No it can't be!) But that is the thing about myself and many other graphic designers, we are artist and did not get degrees as an English major but as an Artist!

So I hope you enjoy my work in progress with the written word and continue to enjoy all the artistic elements I share with you over the months to come. For I have much to share and hope I can be of help to you with your next business, or personal, piece of literature.


Pieces of Literature that I can create for you:
Greeting cards • Invitations • Baby Announcements
Company Logo • Business cards • Brochures • Catalogs
Post Cards • Calendars • Price Sheets • Letterheads 
      and so much more!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Designing thru California

As a graphic designer for the past ten years I've had the privilege to work with many businesses throughout  California. From the small at home massage therapist to the larger community projects; there have been many challenges, great accomplishments and wonderful ideas that have come to life through the printed products I've been able to create for each of my clients.

Whether it be at Chico State University or the cute little town of Nipomo, CA, the work I've created has given me great pride in my skills and talents. As you can see in my blog header there are some great local businesses and a wonderful phonebook for the northern San Luis Obispo county highlighted there. And I hope to be able spotlight many more of my clients, past and present, in the near future.

So continue to check in to see all the new things I'm currently working on and get a few design tips along the way.


Businesses that I featured in my header:

B&R farms : http://www.brfarms.com/
Homespun Harbor A Quilt Shop :  http://www.homespunharbor.com/
Team California RV in Pismo, CA
The Original Community Directory for Cambria,
   San Simeon and Harmony : www.cambriaphonebook.com/

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Designer Tip: How to Submit Photographs for Business Literature

So as I work on a new blog header for a client today, I was given the chance to educate this client on how important it is to submit an image correctly for any project. She was curious to why I was taking the photo the way I was. Though the client wanted the product to be a close up image to show almost no background, I was taking the photo far away to gain as much background as possible to help the image blend and crop properly for the space allocated on the header and not lose any of the details.

With lots of "white space" or background imagery, a graphic designer is given the opportunity to showcase the whole object OR zoom in to crop only the most detailed area of interest. We can then choose what works best for the business literature and not what works best for the only view given to us for that item., it limits the graphics's potential to shine!

* * * * *


A great example of needing lots of "white space" is real estate photos. When graphic designers are creating an advertisement, brochure or post card we will always want at least one photo of the front of the house. But the exterior of any home is not the same from one house to another, so they may not view the same within the a standard square or rectangle template.

depending on the height of the rectangle box we could lose the roof line in this photo

the dark spaces are what could get cut off to keep the photo zoomed in close

So if we do not have enough white space around the exterior of the house, a very square exterior home (two stories lets say) will get cut off in a rectangle box of an advertisement if there is not enough surrounding area visible to zoom out on.

And you never want white boxes on either side of your photo when a border is present, you always want a clean look to any business literature you have created.

one of the worst things to see on a post card, or newspaper ad... never waste such space! Re-take the photo!

 So never be afraid to take a picture with room to spare, we graphic designers Thank You!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Creative epiphany! It's time for a Revise.

I realized as i work on the blog for one of my clients, that I have neglected my own business. Here I am putting time and effort into the art and style of a new business but have not put the same effort into look of my own blog page. Yes I went out and took great pictures of something I see everyday as I come and go from my front door, but have I bothered to create an original header to my blog page?...No!

For some reason many of us have the tendency to give such time and care to our clients, our products and our services. We hire others to do the things we can't to improve our business' creditability, but when it comes to the services we can do, we don't take the time to do them for our own company. It's like the saying goes "A mechanics car is always the last to be worked on" for who wants to come home and work on his own car when he has slaved over others for 8 hours. Though his car is his presided possession, just like many of us cherish our businesses and want to start out on the right foot and check every dot and cross every T before we get started. But there always seems to be something we fall behind on, leave out or procrastinate on.

So I've taken the time NOW....before I advice another company or create another piece of literature, to care for my business, to tend to my company's needs and create a header for my blog page that showcases my designs, of the past and present, for all to see.

Friday, September 23, 2011

sincere gratitude

Thank you to all that have already viewed my blog. Its great to know that my friends and family are there to support me. That what I do for a living has a connection to the life's I touch. And I'm cared about by many and they show me such with their ability to take the time and view my work.

Thank you and love you all for the supported you've shown so far.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wild Grapes

though i am not a photographer by trade, it can be quite handy to be able to accomplish the simple act of taking photos successfully when creating original artwork for any given client.

like this photo of the grapes outside my front door, i can use it as a background to just about any business literature i could create whether for a winery or a small business that just loves the green and purple colors within the photo.

So many possibilities!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New to Blogging

Still under construction, as I figure out the ins and outs of blogging so I may be of more help to my clients as they want to get started in this new adventure of social networking.
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