May: Meet Gabriel and Sarah of PrettyGrafik

free printable 2015 calendar

Today I’m continuing the graphic artist interviews.  If you haven’t seen the others yet, here’s the scoop:  This year I’ve teamed up with some amazing graphic designers for our annual free printable calendar.  These artists create such beautiful designs that I wanted to feature them in a post of their own.  I’ve asked them to do a short interview so you can see some of their designs and get to know them a little.

free printable 2015 calendar

Meet Sarah and Gabriel of PrettyGrafik who have designed the background image included in our 2015 calendar for the month of May.  I loved reading their story about how PrettyGrafik started, it’s so inspiring and encouraging to see how other artists have succeeded in their craft.

1.  How/why did you start your business? 

My husband Gabriel and I started Prettygrafik after a huge set back in our lives. We had to quit the family business because of the financial crisis, which was to say the least a devastating experience. I spent a year trying to find a job while Gabriel supported us by working for an engineering firm which saved us financially. Right around the one year mark I became super frustrated and decided that I wanted to find a way to sell art, something we are both very passionate about. I did some research and I discovered Etsy and the digital art world and we quickly learned all we could about this market.

We worked tirelessly for another year and our shop started to sell a little but not enough to support us. That same year through Etsy we ended up being discovered by a giftware company who liked our work and needed some commercial designs. This opportunity opened up a whole new world to us, the art licensing world. Within the next year we were able to become a professional design studio with both a commercial and e-commerce division selling our art worldwide. This became the push that we needed to succeed as it allowed Gabriel to leave his job and for us to work full time on Prettygrafik.

2. Where do you get your inspiration from? What inspires you?

We are inspired by creative people, by beautiful things, we love Pinterest and magazines. We like to shop for ideas and see how other people express themselves and their ideas.

 3. Are there any routines or practices you do to keep you organized/focused?

We have Monday morning meetings, and we follow a schedule to make sure that we are dedicating time to all aspects of the business such as marketing and social media. We have normal work hours from 9am to 6:30pm and we have a very structured and organized system for all our art.

 4. What is your favorite design/favorite current trend? 

I love so many things it’s hard to choose, my favorite personal trend right now is the apothecary/vintage style. For Prettygrafik our favorite trend right now is super bright colors, chalkboard and kids party themes which is a trend that keeps growing in popularity and originality.

clip art for children's parties

More of Sarah and Gabriel’s designs available in their shop PrettyGrafik

5. What is your favorite pastime or hobby besides graphic design?

Gabriel: Reading and traveling

Sarah: Gardening, repurposing old furniture, watching movies, playing MMO games, planning Halloween parties and learning anything new.

 6. How do you balance your business and family life? 

We try to keep them as separate as possible which is challenging because our studio is at home. So we keep a normal business schedule and really try to unplug after office hours, although we sometimes have trouble staying away from social media because we love to check up on fan reactions and comments. Our meetings have really helped to focus us because we allow a generous amount of time to discuss the business in depth, so there is no need to do it in our time off.

7. What modern technology can you not imagine having?

Gabriel: A Wacom tablet

Sarah: A computer, and the internet for work. Personally it would be clean water and modern medicine, which unfortunately not everyone has access to.

 8. If you could visit anywhere in the world were would it be?

Sarah: I am desperate to visit Ireland as it is part of who I am, and I feel very close to it. I have visited and would love to revisit Italy, what a beautiful Country.

Gabriel: I’m obsessed with England and would live there if I could.

9. Is there anything that I haven’t covered that you would like to share?

We would just like to encourage anyone out there who is trying to turn their passion into their job to not quit. It is not always easy but if you are persistent and focused you will succeed.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLE 2015 CALENDAR

Be sure to check out all of Gabriel and Sarah’s wonderful designs on the PrettyGrafik website and in their Etsy shop.

Free Printable Reindeer Christmas Gift Tags

free printable Christmas gift tags

Currently I’m trying to reorganize and make some new plans for next year.  I pretty much only have a week left! My family and I will be traveling up to Illinois for Christmas to see family.  We are so excited!!  I can’t believe we are leaving one week from today.  Wow that came so fast, even  though we bought our tickets way back in August. So starting next Tuesday through the end of the year the shop will be closed.

Today however, I wanted to share some free printable Reindeer Christmas Gift Tags for all of you who still could use them.  I like to shop early, I was done the day before Black Friday.  But I just finished wrapping the presents.   I normally don’t even get them done until the day before Christmas, but this year we’ve asked Santa to come early – this Friday night because we will be out of town on Christmas Day.  I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

free printable Reindeer Christmas gift tags

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE REINDEER CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS

Santa’s Magic Key + Christmas Traditions

Santa's Magic Key

This year we moved to a different house and it doesn’t have a fireplace!!  Yes, I know you really don’t need one in Florida, but they are so pretty and inviting even if you only use it about twice a year.  :)  Plus what do you do at Christmas!?

Well, my sister found these Magic Santa Keys that are really nice, larger than most of the keys sold in craft stores.  One side says Santa’s Magic Key and the other has the snowflake design.  You’re supposed to hang it on the outside doorknob of your house Christmas Eve so Santa can get in (since there is no chimney and all).  We thought it was a cute idea and I made up a tag to go along with them that tells what it’s for.

Santa's Magic Key Tags

GET YOUR SANTA’S MAGIC KEY TAGS HERE

Hallmark Christmas Ornaments

What are some holiday traditions you do for Christmas?  When we were young my sister and I used to get each other one gift that we could open Christmas Eve…the rest had to wait until morning after Santa came.  I would like to do that with Tyler but he currently doesn’t have any siblings.

Really the only other tradition besides driving around on Christmas Eve looking at all the lights was going to the Hallmark store every year to pick out an ornament for the tree.  I loved picking out the one I wanted each year and looked forward to it. I picked one out every year until I was 18 years old.  A few times I wanted the ones that said brother on them because I liked sports and my mom had to paint over that part.  So of course we started a collection for Tyler.  My mom bought his first year, the baby carriage.  I picked out the second and third ones based on things he liked at the time, and this year he helped out.  He liked the one with the 3 on it because he’s 3.  I just think they are the cutest ornaments and look so nice on the tree.

 One thing I would love to add next year is to have a cookie decorating party for Tyler and some of his friends.  I would love to hear some of your traditions as well!  Leave me a comment below.

March and December: Meet Shayna of The Paper Pegasus

March and December 2015 calendar

This year I’ve teamed up with some amazing graphic designers for our annual free printable calendar.  These ladies create such beautiful designs that I wanted to feature them in a post of their own.  I’ve asked them to do a short interview so you can see some of their designs and get to know them a little.

graphic art clip art designs

Meet Shayna of The Paper Pegasus who has designed the background images included in our calendar for the months of March and December.  I’ve scooped up several of Shayna’s designs and worked with her a few times before this.  She is always so sweet and a pleasure to work with.  You can tell she loves what she’s doing.

1. How/why did you start your business?

I started my business as a way to make money while living abroad. My
husband and I wanted to spend some time in Bali, Indonesia and making
digital products is something I can do from anywhere in the world!

2. Where do you get your inspiration from? What inspires you?

I find inspiration all over the place. From nature, animals, travel and
just life in general. I often make lists of different themes and ideas
before designing. Pinterest is also a wonderful source of inspiration. Many
times, I start with a pretty color scheme and match it to an idea that I
think it would look good with.

3. Are there any routines or practices you do to keep you
organized/focused?

I’m not going to lie, I am not the most organized person you’ll ever meet.
However, to stay focused, I will usually have a coffee and put on my
favourite music, and just get to work. Once I get started, I’m good. It’s
just the getting started part that I find difficult at times.

4. What is your favorite design/favorite current trend?

I will always love simple geometric patters and designs. I think they
are beautiful and timeless.

camera and dog clip art

More of Shayna’s work, available in her shop

5. What is your favorite pastime or hobby besides graphic design?

Animals & photography are definitely my other passions. If I wasn’t
designing, I’d probably be doing pet photography.

6. How do you balance your business and family life?

My husband and I both work from home, so we are able to spend lots of time
together. We don’t have any kids, but we do have 5 rescue dogs and 1 cat
that keep us very busy. So when work is getting to us, or we just need some
time away from our computers, they are a very good distraction.

7. What modern technology can you not imagine having?

I’d have to say my laptop because a majority of day is spent online. I
literally would not be able to do my work without it.

8. If you could visit anywhere in the world were would it be?

There are too many places to name but on the top of my list
would definitely be India. However, our next trip is going to be to
Australia which I am very excited about. We’re going to the Blues Festival
for my birthday in April.

9. Is there anything that I haven’t covered that you would like to share?

I love my job and being able to have the best customers from all over the
world. I feel very lucky to be doing something that I am so passionate
about.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLE 2015 CALENDAR

Be sure to check out all of Shayna’s fabulous work here:  Etsy Shop, Website

Follow Shayna on Pinterest

Letter to Santa Free Printable

free printable letter to Santa

I’ve made letter to Santa free printable a few times, but this year is the first year Tyler was able to participate and tell me what he wanted and sign his name.

So I am trying to decide what to do with it.  I think it would be something sweet to keep in his memory box, but I would have to make sure he doesn’t see it over the next few years.  Otherwise we could mail it off to the North Pole or bring it to Santa.  What do you do with your letters?

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLE LETTER TO SANTA

Cyber Monday Sale: Best Prices of the Year

Cyber monday Christmas Invitations Sale

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  Today we are back with the biggest sale of the year for Cyber Monday.  Use codes above for discount.

One discount code per transaction. Valid through Monday, 12/1/2014 midnight PST. 

SHOP NOW

New Designs: Holiday Invitations

Reindeer Christmas Invitations

 

Wreath Christmas Brunch Invitations

Holiday Brunch Invitations

Christmas Holiday Brunch Invitations

I wasn’t sure if I was going to create Christmas invitations this year, but when I was asked to make one for a holiday brunch, I couldn’t resist.  Above are the designs I came up with for this year.

I love reindeer and I’m always excited when I can use them in a design.  Naturally, I created the top 3 first and they are my personal favorite, but I like how they all came out.  I will have to make more Christmas items in the future.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR HOLIDAY ITEMS ON ETSY

Pink and Brown Cowgirl Birthday Party

cowgirl birthday party for girls

YEE HAW! Our latest designs are  for a cowgirl party.  Last year I had the privilege of working with April from House by Hoff on her little girl Lily’s 2nd birthday party.  Click here to see the bright butterfly birthday party + party inspiration from last year.  So when she contacted me this year for Lily’s 3rd birthday, I was so excited and honored to work with her again!

Can you see why I love working with April?  She has some great party decorating ideas!  The cupcake table above looks amazing – you don’t even have to load it up with a ton of sweets to make a statement.  And you’ll never guess how she made that backdrop.  Be sure to click on the link below to find out!

personalized cowgirl cupcake toppers

Here’s an unclose picture of one of our cupcake toppers featuring a brown horse and pink gingham design.

personalized cowgirl cupcake toppers

April also used our cupcake toppers for the napkin rings. I love our items that can do double duty.  Our food labels can also be used as place cards.   There’s more inspiration on House by Hoff, including a cute way to display the birthday girl’s photos.  To see more of her cowgirl birthday party, click here.

personalized cowgirl birthday party decorations

Our Cowgirl Collection is now available on Etsy.

CLICK HERE TO GET OUR COWGIRL BIRTHDAY PARTY ITEMS

Thanksgiving Printable Collection

DIY Thanksgiving decorating ideas

This year I’ve created a free printable Thanksgiving collection and am sharing a few ideas to make your dinner great.

free Thanksgiving invitations

Start off by sending out invitations letting everyone know Thanksgiving Dinner will be at your house this year.

free printable Happy Thanksgiving Cupcake Toppers

free printable Thanksgiving cupcake toppers

Our Happy Thanksgiving Flags can be used for cupcake toppers and to tie on to napkins at the table.  For the cupcakes, we used rock candy sticks with our cupcake toppers.

free printable Thanksgiving food labels

Our food labels can be made into tents and used to label your food items.  If you’re having a pot luck style dinner, keep some blank ones around so your guests can write down their dish too.  If you want to set the table before guests arrive, you can also use these labels as place cards.

free Thanksgiving printable decorations

free Thanksgiving decorations

free Thanksgiving printable games

Set up a kids table with a few small buckets of pencils, crayons, and markers for them to color with.  Use our printable word search and tic tac toe to help keep them entertained.

free printable Thanksgiving thank you tags

Send guests home with Thanksgiving leftovers in take out boxes with our Thank You Tags attached.

DIY Thanksgiving decorating ideas

Get your free Thanksgiving printables below:

Give Thanks Banner

Thanksgiving Dinner Invitation

Cupcake Topper Flags

Food Labels

Thank You Tags

Thanksgiving Word Search

Tic Tac Toe Game