Craftbelly Does Weddings Too!

Earlier in the year I worked on a custom frame project for a wedding client. It was such a fun experience, mostly because the bride was so great to work with. She wanted to use my frames to display their table numbers! I thought it was a great idea and I'm sure they were able to give frames to people as gifts afterwards. We matched the colors of the paper to complement the tablescape and overall palette of the wedding. Also, the wedding was in Chicago where I used to live so you know I was excited about that!

 Frames in progress. 25 of them!

Frames in progress. 25 of them!

We completed the project so far in advance that I almost forgot about it but the wedding finally happened and I just love how the frames turned out. Most of the time, I sell a frame and never see it again but because this was a wedding, there were pictures! I loved being a part of their special day. All photos seen below are courtesy of Naturally Yours Events, the wedding planners of the event!

 The invitations and other paper goods were designed by  Ork Posters  and we utilized my hexagon pattern on certain items!

The invitations and other paper goods were designed by Ork Posters and we utilized my hexagon pattern on certain items!


My Favorite Prints Part 1

I have a slight obsession with typography prints. Take one quick look around my studio and you won't find a chunk of wall that isn't filled to the max with phrases, quotes, sayings...whatever you want to call them. If it was designed, typeset, illustrated, printed by hand or hand lettered, I want it on my wall and I want it now. Also, I happen to have a bunch of frames lying around at all times (imagine that!) so framing is never a problem! 

Being in the community and industry that I am, I am lucky enough to be friends with many of the talented folks who make these and I do my best to pimp them out when I can. For example, check out this page to see a list of the artists whose work I featured in my frames for all the imagery seen on the site. 

Since I couldn't feature every single artist that I wanted to in the product photography, I thought it would be fun to share an ongoing post theme of my favorite prints! Maybe I'll do it once a week! (Maybe I'll do it once and never again. Shit, I hope not!) Either way, I am going to try and share with you guys some amazing artists and designers who are making awesome prints that just happen to look awesome in my frames, in case you were ever wondering what you could put in a Craftbelly frame. 

2016 Collection: Behind the Scenes

The 2016 Collection is live! I can’t tell you how good it feels to have the new patterns out in the world with beautiful photography to help show them off. This is the third collection I’ve come out with in the last three years and it was definitely the most challenging to complete. I think that’s probably because I was feeling some major burnout after last holiday season. Once January rolled around, I realized I had been running on autopilot and needed to step back to reevaluatethe direction of my business.

The last two collections were screen printed because you can achieve such cool looks with that process, like amazing metallic inks and bright colors on dark backgrounds. I had a large amount of paper printed so that I could cut down on costs and have a large inventory. This worked for awhile but when I printed that first line, I really didn’t know how much to we printed a lot. I still have paper left over from that line which is cool because I still love it and use it, but it seemed like there could be a better way to avoid so many leftovers. 

2015 Collection pictured on the left, 2014 Collection pictured on the right

Another challenge I was trying to figure out was how to incorporate more custom frame work into my business. This area was where I was seeing the most profit, and it was the most unique part of what I did. And my favorite! My custom clients are amazing and they all come back again and again, which is a great thing to have in a small business. But I wanted to create an easier way for anyone to design a custom frame right on the Craftbelly website

In the past I have used my Epson inkjet printer for printing samples or trying out new patterns, along with printing wedding invitations. I have done a couple of custom frames with paper I printed myself and they always turned out great. I realized that I could easily print my own paper here in my studio on demand,  printing only what was needed. This would be a great way to save on high up front costs and play around with new color combos. Not to mention it would be extremely easy to print custom colors combos. 

With this new direction, it took some time to really figure out how the whole deal was going to work. And then I still needed to design the new patterns. That took longer than expected but was a necessary step. I printed out tons of samples and tried out many color swatches until I came up with a set of eight ink colors that I loved. Once I got going with designing, I was able to finalize five new patterns and decided to keep three of the favorites from past collections for a total of 8 patterns! 

Samples of printed patterns

After the designs were finalized, the next step was making samples for the photo shoot. I was going to have my favorite ladies Nicole D Stylist and Jennifer Olsen Photography do the photography and styling again because they are super talented and awesome to work with. With so many different style combos available, I needed to pare down for the shoot. So I chose a few for each pattern and then came the most fun part. I was going to feature some of my favorite artists’ and photographers’ work in each frame so I needed to pick all the artwork! You can learn more about who I used here. All of these special women were so great to work with and even agreed to run coupon codes for the week during my launch! I feel very lucky to know so many awesome artists. 

It was really fun to see all the patterns come alive as my studio was filled with frames. 

Samples of frames hanging to dry

Finally, it was time for the photo shoot. I love working with Nicole for styling because she always seems to get exactly what I’m going for, even when I can’t exactly put it into words. I came in that day with a general idea of which artwork would go in which frames, but then the rest sort of came together magically. I love watching Nicole and Jen work together because it happens so seamlessly, and we also just have a great time! We really were able to tell a story with the frames and hopefully the images help people picture the frames in their own homes. 

Images from photo shoot with Nicole and Jen

5 Spring Decorative Papers I Love

Even though I've been designing my own patterns for the last couple years, I still have such an obsession with color, pattern and paper that I totally nerd out over new papers at my favorite paper store, Paper Mojo. I still do plenty of custom orders where I mostly use papers from their site, since there are so many beautiful options. Here are a 5 papers that I think are perfect for Spring projects. 


The First Ever Misfit Goods Market!

After a crazy holiday season and a couple months of recovery/brainstorming/revving back up, I'll be back at it with some local events here in Denver! 

The first one is a brand new event that my pal Kiwi of Craft Boner put together, called The Misfit Goods Market. There will be 9 vendors selling samples, seconds, display items, etc., at a huge discount! EVERYTHING at this market will be on super sale. It's also at Grandma's House brewery so why not have some Saturday afternoon beers while you shop!

The other awesome vendors that will be there are Craft Boner, Kaitlin Zeismer, Hazel Ray, Made Wild, Anne Franklin Designs, Blade & Knoll, Mutts & Mittens, and Moore Collection

My Week in Photos No. 1

I was recently inspired to pay more attention to my blog! So I have decided to start a weekly post called “ My Week in Photos” where I share pictures images from the last week of Craftbelly and chat a bit about what's going on in the biz!

I've been doing some fun collaborating lately with Go Play Denver! In celebration of Valentines' Day, they put together a fun scavenger hunt around town to inspire some fun experiences with the loved ones in your life. Every day this week, they would post clues on social media to help you find special prizes. I donated the set of frames above to go with a pair of tickets to Denver Botanic Gardens

I was included in this lovely round up of local gifts put together by local blog Emma & JW's Best Day Ever! It's always fun to be put alongside goods from other companies that I am fans and customers of. Like, HELLO, Hellie Mae's caramels are insanely good. 

This is just me putting my feet up. Sometimes you spend a whole day struggling to complete a project, only to find that you sent the wrong file to the printer. It wasn't the end of the world, it still worked out in the end because the client is awesome and patient, but it was one of those moments that I just wanted to slap myself in the face! That's the thing about a one woman show... there's only one person to blame. But instead of feeling super crappy about it, I decided to figure out the next best solution and then move past it. And also maybe learn to name my files better. :)

When my good pal Kiwi of Craft Boner was last in my studio, she was like, "GURRRRL, you are not utilizing your space well AT ALL." She was right, and I knew it. When I moved into this larger studio in the same building I've rented space at since I've lived in Denver, I didn't really set up with a solid strategy. So it was very easy for me to create giant messes and not clean them up, because really I never found a good way to organize. Whenever I am in Kiwi's studio space, I am in awe at how adorable and organized it is. When she said she would LOVE to help me give my space a makeover, I jumped at the chance. On Thursday of this past week, we totally changed it up and I got rid of a ton of stuff. I can't wait to show the after pictures but I still have some homework to do. She went all Gordon Ramsey on my ass and I loved it! 

Last but certainly not least.... I am officially a DENY Designs artist! I have been a big fan of DENY pretty much since I moved to Denver a year and a half ago. I have bought several items from them, both online and at their amazing sample sales they have done at local craft fairs. They have thrown some fun events featuring local artists and I loved that they were not only located in Denver but all their products were made here as well! I finally got to meet them when I was invited to do a little holiday open house pop up at their offices/showroom. I knew the second I walked in there that I wanted to be on the site and I'm so glad the feeling was mutual. It is such a fun way for me to explore new color combos since everything is printed digitally. I can't wait to buy my first Craftbelly shower curtain, mug or floor pillow!