07 February 2008

dear m: paperie advice

people are so nice. i like to say it again and again because i'm reminded of it so often. like today when i saw a lady run over (in her stacked heels across the ice) to hand a dropped glove to a man in a hurry. i've had a few emails recently of women telling me what they hope to become and asking advice on what i do and what sources i use. i am flattered that anyone would want to know my deep dark secrets and am happy to spill any information you might like to know.

what computer programs do you prefer to design in?
i mainly use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. i love iphoto for sorting my photos, but prefer Photoshop to play around with the images. if you're serious about buying one software program, i would tell you to get Photoshop and learn the tools from the manual that comes with it. i also love to create designs with my own hands (cutting and pasting and handwriting), scanning it in and then working on them with design programs, adding fonts and such. have just recently discovered (am living under a rock i suppose) that digital scrapbooking is pretty big right now, therefore a lot of really sweet fonts, doodads, and clipart are now available online. i love the handmade look and try to infuse it into my graphic designs whenever appropriate.

where do you get your cute paper and packaging supplies?
i live approximately three miles from five different scrapbook + craft supply stores, wherein i stock up on darling paper, ribbon and more ribbon. the mini mart packaging supplies come from a big paper supply warehouse. when i moved to orange county; although the beach, weather and shopping malls were amazing, the paper supply stores weren't in abundance as they are in my neck of the woods. surely with some digging, there are some great online packaging stores to be found. my number uno tip is that if you find some paper you absolutely la la la love, buy a whole bunch, a fat, thick stack of it. paper is like hot cakes and certain designs go fast. and as in fast, i mean, i'll go back to the same paper store a week later and the lady will be like, oh i'm sorry, we're out of that paper. and it's never coming back. it was a part of the limited edition second week of february only stock. seriously, i stress the importance, buy in bulk.

do you outsource your products?
for large batches of my own card designs, i have pieces printed at a print shop in california. though 90% of my creations have been made by my own hands, printed digitally from pete's amazing big shop xerox printer, punched and threaded by me and packaged at my own craft desk. kinkos often helps with the folding and cutting and dan is my go-to delivery man. i like the hand made touch and think that products are more special if assembled one by one with extra care. therefore i'm a big believer in handling everything (and getting attached to it). therefore anyone who buys any item of mine is an immediate dear friend.

what are you working on currently?
other than blogging, planning a valentine party, a baby shower, a big move, a trip to nyc, writing grocery lists and reading a real page-turning novel.. at my day job, i scan images, design book layouts, logos, websites and a variety of items to go to press. in my 'spare time' i like to create invitations for friends, design etsy shop headers for fellow bloggers, and fill orders for my shop, among other things. currently i am working on a mural size collage featuring ephemera of travels from europe and ribbon binding Bride Books for a few upcoming spring and summer brides. i have lots of new ideas on expanding the mini mart empire, but will have to put them on the back burner in order to stay sane. am attempting to keep up on my yoga, starting a book of my own and laundry too. do you ever wish the whole world would pause and we could have an extra week to scurry about and tie up loose ends. maybe that is what leap year should really be all about.

do you have any suggestions for how I can learn more about handmade cards?
a sweet girl emailed me about her newly discovered passion in the arts. she had just finished her degree yet was feeling ready to forgo her english major completely and become more involved in making handmade items. to her (and you) i say, go for it. you can always return to other interests. abandon whatever is holding you back and follow your heart. there is a plethora of great magazines, books, websites on the subject of handmade. the thing i learned early on about a handmade card is that it takes a great amount of patience, care and attention to detail. i am not an expert at creating the perfect card, but here are a few people to keep your eye on. they create truly amazing things with wee bits of paper. my advice is to keep doing, practicing, cutting, and pasting.

get inspired by these constantly crafting queens:
cute & inspiring kristina (her card tutorial videos are fabulous too.)
nicole with papertrey ink
miss amazing ali edwards
elise the paperie princess

i appreciate all the words, the questions and the bursts of energy. keep the emails coming. i love hearing what you have to say. even if i don't write you back for months, i am thinking up the answers as i go along.

this is up on my bulletin board and is always quite handy for me.


Travelin'Oma said...

This is a little tutorial in itself. Great insights.

EliseBlaha said...

thank you miss fantastic.

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing such great advice. It's so inspiring to see I can do these things too!

Jake said...

So glad that you are passionate about this. I am glad I can benefit without doing any of the hard work!

Shirley said...

thanks for sharing. always a pleasure to read.

lurker here with a question i've been meaning to ask. i like how you bind your books and your quote journals especially - i love the patterned paper and their corresponding ribbon. i've actually started making and experimenting with the binding myself and bought some silk ribbon. but i find it annoying when the ribbon frays at the edges. do your ribbon do the same? by the looks of the pictures at the one world webstore, the ribbons almost look like satin and not silk. is there a particular kind that you buy?

your insight is appreciated.


love.boxes said...

I agree with the "stock up" idea. I use it when I find pants that work too! :)

Anonymous said...

Quick question as well...I am looking for ideas for my valentines party...what are you cooking up?

casey said...

oh thank you marta for this. i agree with all of your points, and have actually done these... it is great to know that i am heading in the right direction. Sometimes i just wonder if i am doing things right, or wrong... thanks again!

Leaning Shanty Farm said...

THANKS!! More encouragement is always so helpful when you feel like you need to find a "real" job and can't do what you love for a living, too.

Always enjoy your posts!!

kelly said...

love all the info you shared :)
and lucky you to be in close proximity to so many delightful stores.

Anonymous said...

thank you for everything you said in this little question and answer...i appreciate all your advice :) i'm artsy and crafty but i am also kinda sorta afraid to take some risks...i love your blog cuz it's filled with inspiration! thanks :)

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