Thursday, 24 January 2013

Digital Cards

My Final Design
It's a little bit late into the New Year to be posting Christmas cards but I wanted to share a special project that my mum commissioned. She wanted to send very simple Christmas cards out to friends and family this year and asked me to design one. As it was to be mass produced, my only option was to use my computer to design a digital card. Having never really done anything like this on a semi-professional level before was exciting and a little be challenging, so with my trusty sketchbook in hand, I made a start designing it.
Mum had wanted a simple dove on the front of the card so first things first, I had to try and draw one that didn't look too odd - birds have never been my strong point! I was able to scan it in and get it onto Photoshop  to edit it and make it look pretty. The great thing I found about making digital cards, is that you don't have to worry about finding the right design first time. There is a wonderful thing called the undo button! I was also able to come up with a few designs and email them onto mum so that she could pick the one she liked the most. She was then able to get them printed. The money she saved from buying cards was then donated to the flood relief fund as my area was hit pretty bad by the flooding in November.

Don't worry though! I am still sticking to my handmade cards but that option is available for mass produced cards - my mum sends a LOT of Christmas cards!

Friday, 18 January 2013


Hello, stranger!

I have barely had time to breathe since coming back to the big city. It feels like I've been back far longer than the eight days it's been. Unfortunately, lack of breathing - apart from not being good for you - means lack of card making. My total count this year is a pathetic 3, although that will be going up to 4 this evening (a friend's birthday). 'Tis not good! I have however been on the prowl for craft fairs and written myself a lil' old business plan. 

But first the craft fairs. All but paid and filled in the form for one 3rd February so if you are in the area, come and have a gander. I also found a few farmers markets which happen on a regular basis so I might try and get onto one of those. Whilst looking though, many of the craft fairs/markets want stall holders to have Public and Product Liability insurance. I have heard of this before but it's not been something that I have properly looked into. Business-wise, Made by Emma is still in it's early days, but I think I will have to start thinking about it soon, if only so that I can get stalls at fairs and markets.

I finally had a bit of a chilled evening earlier in the week, which allowed me to go back over the notes from the self-employment workshop I went too and start on my business plan. It's basically a Word Document which says what I do and, what I think is the interesting bit, my future plans. Sure, it's really just a posh, long term version of my New Year's resolutions but it was good to see it all written down on paper and now I have something that I can refer back too. 

I have three deadlines, so to speak: Within my first year, so goals to achieve by March; A year from now, goals to have achieved by this time next year; and within 3 years, this time in 2016. My - very - short term targets are to get at least two more craft fairs (getting sorted) and to get some proper business cards printed - not just the black and white paper ones I have at the moment.

Anyhow, must dash, I have a birthday card to make before I head out to celebrate said friend's birthday.

Toodle Pip!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

2013: Bring It On


I had the week off from card making and I haven't actually made a card this year (Fear not, this will soon be amended!). I haven't been totally lazy so far this year; I've been trying to think about my resolutions and what I want to achieve this year. Having already celebrated my first Christmas, so to speak, 2013 should be pretty exciting. I will have been going 1 year in March - and to think this time last year Made by Emma only existed as a label on the back of my cards!

So, on with the resolutions:

1 - I aim to attend at least one craft fair a month. The difficulty with this is trying to find local fairs but I shall endeavour. Finding the time should be, well, I'll cope.
2 - NETWORK! After the workshop I went to back in November, I set up a LinkedIn account and I have to be honest, I still haven't really got a clue on how it works. Not that I have been on it any time recently (oops). So that is another of my targets, to meet more people and to network more.
3 - This one is more of a goal more than a target and kind of linked with the last one: to reach 300 likes on my Facebook page which technically should be do-able, considering that I have 151 in less that a year ( - in case you have forgotten! Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge). And while we're on the topic of followers/likes/etc, I'm aiming for 100+ on Twitter and 50+ on Tumblr.
4 - Attend the Manchester Entrepreneurs meetings. I found the society purely by accident and decided it would be a good idea to go along. It will make my Tuesdays unbearably long but bear it I must!
5 - Generally be (even) more productive, whilst keeping the work/study/life ratio in balance. This will, of course, include regular blog posts - I feel like there has been some neglection recently which is never good.

With those now written down (and mainly for me to refer to!), no doubt, I will think up some more to add to the list. 12 months (ish) from now, I plan on looking back at these and seeing how far I have come and whether I achieved them or not.

Is it ok to be excited about all of this?