2013 Year In Review

Friday, January 24, 2014

This has been such a fun year for me. Over the past year I have seriously developed my skills and business into something that has been even surprising and exciting for me. Remember when I just recently posted about my Christmas cards and snuck in an example of my cards from 2013? Well, that card is the one that set off my business. A friend of my sister saw that card and asked me to help design her wedding invitations. Wow! such trust and encouragement she had in me and for that I am so grateful to her! Shortly after that, another friend asked me for a stamp design (which she wanted me to hand carve) but I had a better idea! I would try calligraphing it and have it made onto a stamp and that set off my most popular item this year. Those people near me who believe in me to help create something for them before I even believed that I could are some of the most important and treasured people to me. Now, my mind has bigger dreams and goals and I am a lot less scared then I was this time last year.  Here is some of my most proud work and my round up for 2013! (top photo from the first invitation I designed- it is amazing to see how my work has developed over the year)
The stamps were my most popular item this year and probably one of the most fun things to design.  I have had such an amazing time working with all my clients come up with something that they will love and most likely keep as heirlooms.  All of the stamps are made out of laser carved rubber and attached to a piece of wood that is engraved with the design on the top.  They also have an option for wooden handles which I think is the best part!  That stamp there in the lower right was the very first stamp I designed and am so grateful to that good friend of mine to ask for it.  You can see a feed of the stamp posts here
Earlier last year, I had a goal to calligraphy something every week to help practice and produce work.  I got a few quotes done but I will say it was all still a success and plan to calligraphy some more quotes through this year.  I did a quote my dad always says (pictured above); one from another favorite blogger, Meg Fee, who writes some of the most touching posts; and a lyric from a song my dad always used to sing me when I was young.  Here is the feed for a couple quotes I did.
I also got to design a bunch of cards and invitations.  Like I was saying above,  my first invitation suite to set everything going was Camille's (upper row on the right).  It was such a pleasure to work with her.  I learned so much and will forever be grateful for her believing in me.  Some of the other designs I did were: Brittany's Christmas Cards, Hadley's 1st Birthday Invitation, Our Christmas Cards, Randi and Michael's Wedding Invitation Suite (including two inserts), Camille's Wedding Invitation Suite (including three inserts, a program and a thank your card), Erin and Chris' Wedding Invitation Suite (included 5 inserts- one of which was a map!), Breanne's Bridal Shower Invitation, Leah's College Graduation Announcements and Lauren's Baby Shower Invitation.  Not pictured is Elise's Christmas Card.
One of my most proud projects was being approached to design a logo for a photographer (Jennifer Wanicki Photography).  I also designed a logo for my other shop that sells antlers (AME Antlers) and helped my sister redesign her hilarious blog, On Thai Time.

Speaking of good friends who believe in me... My friend Elise asked me to help design a couple signs for her wedding. Some of the big projects I did were a welcome seating sign (pictured above), a photo booth sign and my most proud was the cocktail sign.  I also worked on some smaller projects and more personal signs that were displayed throughout the wedding. 
Towards the end of the year, I started working on painted calligraphy chalkboards.  I was inspired by a gift we got when we were married almost three years ago.  I thought it would be a nice wedding gift to offer our family and friends that was personal and useful for them while also helping me practice my calligraphy in a different medium.  Those three gifts set off a chain reaction and by December I had 5 additional orders! It was so great! The first couple, I blogged about here. The last few I just finished up blogging about here. One of my favorite boards was the initial wreath I painted here.
Another fun project toward the end of the year was collaborating with Ally from Gifts By Allyson. She specializes in carved wood pieces and is able to transfer my calligraphy onto beautiful wood piece.  We made pieces for Christmas, gifts for friends and even pieces to be displayed at a wedding.
I also finally attempted calligraphy envelope design!  I have been so intimidated by it (and truthfully still am a bit) but decided to dive head first in and write out all of our friend's and family's last names on the envelopes that held our Christmas cards.  I plan to still play around with more envelopes because really they are so fun!

On a personal note, Scott and I had a great year also! We had family visit early in the year, took Wesley on his first bike ride,  took a huge road trip over the summer, did some modeling for Flora Pop!, taught Wesley to pray before his meals, made the best batch of chili over Halloween,  froze our butts off this winter, and lots of other fun things you can check out here

Overall this year has been so fun and inspiring. I have learned that there is no better time to start then now. Even though it is hard without a lot of emotional support, I learned that you have to believe in yourself and just go for it. Make the call, reach out, put it out there and you will learn what people are drawn to. The quote "You are going to wish a year from now you started today" couldn't ring more true to me and I am so happy that I started this journey. I do see everything developing and changing a lot over the next year, I mean it is so fun to see just where my work has come in one year.  I am so thankful you have joined me here in this space and followed along with me. Thank you! Thank you! 

Stay tuned! Because I have BIG news coming.  Like a couple more stamp designs, a giveaway and a new website and portfolio to reveal within a couple weeks. 

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