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! 

Holiday Paper is Here!!!

This year I decided to create my first ever holiday line of wrapping paper and frames! Once again I had my pals at Reuse First in Chicago print the paper for me, and they did an amazing job. Take a peek at the new designs below:


Craftbelly + Conjure Movement = AWESOME

Back in November, artist Christina Miglino of Conjure Movement reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in a collaboration, as she had been doing some interesting mixed media pattern work and thought it would be cool to see those patterns come to life through my products. I was initially very interested in this idea, especially after looking at all her amazing work, but was overwhelmed and busy with the crazy holiday season at the time. We kept in touch over the next several months and even though Christina had moved out to Seattle, we both were still interested in the project and wanted to see it come to life!

As I learned very quickly, it's kind of hard to get a side project going, especially when there are some start up costs to begin with and both collaborators have so many other things going on. But what I also learned is that if you just continue to take small steps forward, and start carving out some time, it's definitely possibly to make these side projects come to life! It also helped that Christina is so awesome and was super flexible and understanding about my schedule and my needing to get some other projects out of the way and saving up a bit of extra funds to make the printing happen. 

So once we got going, I had Christina hand draw three different black and white patterns, and I gave her free reign to design whatever she wanted. Then I had those patterns screen printed here in Denver by awesome local print shop Ink Lounge. We printed them in black ink on both cream and kraft card stock and text weight paper from French Paper Co., so I'd have plenty of options to make all the Craftbelly products. They turned out AWESOME. The patterns are amazing and all so different, and they make such a neat collection. It's also very inspiring for me to get to make new products using these beautiful patterns that came from her perspective. 

Having done this first ever collaboration has really made me want to collaborate more with artists in the future. Of course I love designing my own patterns, but there's something quite inspiring and refreshing with working with other creatives, especially when I'm mostly sitting by myself in my studio. I think it would be really fun to do a couple collaborations every year, creating different limited editions of products. Also, I was surprised that I actually kind of enjoyed figuring out the logistics of it, such as how we would split the profits and the different responsibilities we each had. Weird right? Doesn't seem to be the thing you'd think I'd be into... but I'm noticing that the longer I run this business, the more I'm into the more "businessy" parts, for lack of a better term. 

 

The limited edition frames, cards, journals, etc., will be available for sale soon on my website and I'll be bringing them to the next couple of craft fairs that I'll be selling at. OH, and what I would also like to mention is that Christina and I have still never met each other, or heard each other's voice! This was all done over email, which I think is kind of amazing. I think she is super rad and I really hope to meet her in person one day! 

To follow Christina online, you can check her out at the following places: 

http://conjuremovement.virb.com - website

@christinamiglino - instagram

@conjuremovement - twitter

 

Printing trip in Chicago!

I got to spend a whole week back in Chicago with my good pals (Michelle and Jeremiah of Reuse First) printing the new line of paper! They have such an inspiring workspace and I loved getting my hands dirty and being a part of the whole process again. Here's a little photo recap:


The holidays happened and 2015 is here to stay.

Took a little hiatus from the ole blogosphere. Here's a little photo recap of the last 6 weeks!

The first of my two all weekend long holiday shows was The Denver Flea. This group just started organizing craft fairs in 2014 and this was their first holiday show, and it was incredible. I shared a booth with Mandy of Mandy Lemig Jewelry and we had a blast together. Holiday shows are my favorite because everyone is in a great mood, customers come ready to buy, and it's such a great feeling knowing so many people are buying handmade and local for the holidays. There were so many great vendors there too! I'm really blown away by the amount of talent and amazing, creative stuff going on here in Denver. Makes me super proud to now call myself a Denver maker. 

I had been wanting to do this giveaway with Paper Parasol Press for some time now, and of course I decided to do right smack in the middle of the holiday season. I'm glad we did it though because I think the framed prints turned out fantastic. Cindy of Paper Parasol Press illustrates and letterpresses these awesome state prints herself out in San Francisco. Three lucky winners each got to take home one of the framed prints. 

The second (and last) big show of the season for me was The Horseshoe Market. The night before the show, as I was feverishly doing last minute things, trying to make as much product as I could, I nearly sliced off the tip of my left thumb with a freshly changed exacto knife blade. Right across my thumb nail, all in the name of stationery sets. It was one of those, OH FUCK moments where I kinda felt like I was hallucinating. I had an all-nighter planned, but instead I spent the next four hours at urgent care getting stitches. It wasn't exactly how I imagined my crazy holiday season would end, but it definitely was the reminder I needed to slow down for shit's sake every once in the while, even in the midst of madness. Because next time I just might cut the thumb clear off. I somehow still managed to set up and do the show all weekend, all by myself, and still had an awesome show! 

At home in St. Louis for almost two weeks for some much needed R & R.

January... back in the studio, making things and plans. FINALLY got the journals up on the website.  Planning completely new products to launch! Finishing up the designs for the new collection of paper that will be printed soon. (which I'm totally stoked about!) Just really looking forward to kicking ass this year. Last year I switched to running Craftbelly full time, I ran a successful kickstarter campaign, and I moved my life and business to Denver. There were a lot of changes and moving parts. I made mistakes. I learned a TON. I always felt like I was behind. This year, I'm ready to step up my game and take my business to the next level where I know it deserves to be. 2015 is here to stay and so am I.