Thursday, May 15, 2008

Simple Gifts Whenever...

Hello People!
The days started out as dreary. We were expecting it, yet, I dreaded the rain to come. It started off as an annoying drizzle and then actually turned into somewhat of a lovely day! I finished three orders and have one left to go. I had a couple special orders during this rush of business. One was for baby sitting business cards, and notepads. The business cards were double sided. The fronts were the SooBoo name art with an introduction of names of the three sisters who will be offering their services at the beach where they spend many weeks during the
summer months. We came up with a clever little name together called Sister Sitters. The girls are seasoned baby sitters at ages 14 and 13 and employ their small sister to help out. It was a lot of fun to come up with these beachy themed cards. Yesterday, my neighbor came to our door and introduced herself and handed me a surprise party invitation for her father who lives just doors away. I would have wondered why they didn't order from yours truly, but they had no idea I offer invitation designs..besides, my stuff might not be what they're looking for.. anyway!!!.. We are so pleased to be included in this 50th birthday celebration, yet, I had to come up with a great little gift. You just cannot go empty handed to a 50th birthday party! The prank gifts are the best. I've seen some really great ideas for this sort of party, mostly over the hill items. Well, it just so happens that I have had an over the hill gift tag for quite some time now and so, I put it to work. I worked up a fun notepad utilizing the over the hill sooboo art!
~Here it is~
This notepad measures 5.5" x 8.5" and has 100 smooth white sheets of nice thicker 28lb paper. The pad is being glued as I write this and I will have it in time for Sunday's party! Hope he enjoys the light humor in this SooBoo Notepad. We can't wait to get acquainted with them all and to catch up with neighbors whom we haven't seen in a while!

Another special order I have been working on comes from California. This creative customer came up with an idea for graduation gifts combining SooBoo School Mascot Note Cards and Personalized Diaper Bag Tags! ( I have to use the wording "diaper bag tags" because my search engine optimizer people requested that key phrase!) One side displays the SooBtooo na
me art and the other side is graced with the mascot of the college the recipient will be attending! Great idea, and I am so happy to be able to make this possible. The only thing I regret in uploading these images below is that I can't show the precious coordinating ribbon put through the hole in the lamination! The ribbon really makes these very original and useful when finding your luggage or your back pack! A super buy, too at just $12.00 per two sided hand-drawn bag tag!

These are two examples of the mascots and the name art. Don't you just love love love this Cornell Bear? Great fun, great original gifts. Nobody else will have these!

Here is another name but this tag will be with the name on both sides. I was so scared that this long name would be difficult to read, but the customer chose a simple style which made the name a breeze to recognize!

Also, in keeping with my desire to make sure I remember my family's and friend's birthdays and special days, I rang my childhood friend while in carpool line at school today! SEE, there is time to remember and to recognize special people in your life! All the items above are proof of this.

A mother making sure her daughters are well prepared for business this summer as tweens!
A daughter throwing her father a surprise AND catered 50th birthday bash!
And, another Mom making sure that her daughter's close high school pals remember her well after 12th grade!

I just love when people do nice things for others. This all reminds me of a silly show I watched last night on television called Till Death. It was about the 22 year married couple deciding together that they should not have to celebrate their love for one another on that particular anniversary date.. that they should love each other every day! Well, the wife started buying really super clever thoughtful gifts for the husband and he started getting suspicious and thought he HAD to get her something in return. He couldn't ever swim because of some horrific childhood experience, so he took up swim lessons (that was a comedic skit if I ever saw one) given by his friend. Sure enough, the lessons went south and he quit. But in the end, the husband took his wife to a fancy dinner for two poolside where his lesson took place. The wife was seated in her pretty evening gown while this husband unzipped down to his swim trunks. He dove in, nose plugged and feet first and slapped the water as though he was drowning. She jumped in, lovely dress and all, to save him. He got the hang of it and childishly swam toward her. She couldn't have been more pleased that he did this all for her so they could finally take that scuba trip to Hawaii together and he wouldn't be afraid of the water.

So.. this is what I am talking about. Don't wait for special occasions. Just be nice. If you see a dandelion outside, even if you have the means to purchase a dozen roses, go ahead and simply pick that pretty free yellow flower and give it to your love. Simple ideas are the best ones. There IS something to the saying, "It's the thought that counts."

Peace OUT!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let SooBoo be part of your life

Hello People~

This week I am going to go a bit into my skills as a graphic artist. I have always loved the art of placing things on a piece of paper to make it look neat, refined and interesting. I don't always like plain, same ole, same ole, so I try to add a bit of jazz into my designs, yet always follow the customer's desires. I also take into consideration the client's personality or the event's personality. A while ago, my gal pal here in town needed church function tickets for them to sell for their one and only fundraiser for a ski trip this past winter. They were having a spaghetti dinner and she wanted the tickets to portray a fancy Italian Restaurant. So, with lots of information to put on the ticket, I was limited to the art's size I could incorporate into the ticket stub. I found this perfect border with forks wrapped in spaghetti and meatballs! How apropos!
Then, of course, the font is the most important aspect, in my opinion, of the design. If the font doesn't say it with feeling, then the entire piece falls flat. I used an easy to read script font for the "Italian" worded title. I also went to some place online for an English to Italian dictionary. It was fun to do. I have no clue if I worded it correctly, but I don't think there were any true Italians at this function to critique my translation! Anyway, I made a cute full page flyer that was sent to all the church members via email regarding this fundraiser dinner. The tickets were easily sold, the dinner was a success because the kids raised enough funds for their trip! It felt good to be a part of it.

Below is the way in which I start my designs. Since I do love font styles, I begin with the business name and just start typing it out from the computer in any font I think MIGHT be suitable for their company. Given a few choices from this group below, the client adored one of the two I thought were best, also! It's on the top left with the gray watercolor looking swoosh! I was so pleased. When the business card was made, I used a plain, sans serif font for the client's information that was easy to read at the smaller point size. She was very happy to replace her old logo/business cards with this new version. Again, it felt good to be part of it.

It's truly great fun for me to design business cards, logos, brochures and so many more things.
I love color, as is obvious from my website. Placement is a big deal, too. If you don't have the right negative space thing going on, it can make the design too crammed and hard to read. It needs to flow. Hey, these are really basic things, but they are the foundation for a great design.

More great designs. come in the form of simple notepads. I sell these notepads at my website that seem to be my best sellers so far. Just about all my orders have at least one pad in them! People ask me all the time, "How are notepads made anyway?" I take them to a little place I know at the local university and have them glued at the top. They cut the paper for me to exact specs, back it with chip board and place it in a humble old wooden contraption that is pretty small actually. It is then put between two blocks of wood and clamped down to keep the paper stack from moving and to get a nice tight notepad. It is then literally hand brushed with a special white glue. It's then left to dry for at least 5 hours. They then unclamp the stack and tear off the top sheet of plain paper they added to the top so that the notepad will have a clean top sheet with the SooBoo name art design on top! It's very simple, just like the designs. Here is the latest pad I have done. This is a gift that will be given when this customer meets with them this next weekend. I was also asked to make gift tags with the recipients first names on it. They can attach these to wine bottles, or tuck in a gift basket or stick in a plant when giving those gifts. It's a wonderful gift to give to friends. How nice is it to get unusual but useful gifts like these! Again, it's warming to be a part of it. A bit of me goes into every design, and to know that others love it like I do enough to give to their friends and family is very special to me.

This notepad is 5.5" x 8.5" and 100 sheets thick.

This is the gift tag which measures 3.5" x 2" which is business card size.

I am also going to show you some more gift certificate holders. These can be used for those handy gifts that come credit cards sized to any store imaginable! There are tons of holidays for which to give these things, yet, I LOVE YOU is one that is taken for granted. You don't even have to put a gift card in it, you can just write a little poem or sweet nothing inside for that great night that you two just had!

These holders come with a "snot glue dot." Sounds icky but it' s just what you find in the magazines that have little give away things inside their issues. It's really super sticky but not permanent. I also add a clear adhesive dot to close the card. This saves on cost for you and me by not using an envelope AND it saves on paper. SooBoo is all for that!

Birthday wishes come in the form of folded gift card holders as well.

Speaking of saving paper, I found this website, in one of the too many magazines to which I subscribe, called, Peaceful Company. I found these terrific items called Euro Cloths which supposedly save on paper towels. They claim that these last the equivalent to 17 rolls of paper towels! Well, I just had to purchase some. I decided that I would give them as gifts as well. The Republican that I am does not deter me from understanding that waste is bad. My son even has broken me from a life long habit of running the water when brushing teeth and washing dishes. NO MORE! It's very sad to me that recycling is not a way of life here in the rural areas of the south. When I first came here, I felt sick to throw away a plastic bottle or a can in the regular garbage. If these things are not picked up on a weekly basis curbside from your home, then it's very difficult to acquire a weeks worth of these recyclables in bags and boxes around the home. So.. we wait. Anyhow, I have been using ONE euro cloth for several weeks now to clean the counter tops. It really works great and to clean it, it can be either thrown in the dishwasher or can be boiled. It does NOT fall apart. I love it. A little Peaceful Company has come into my home. Just like I have come into others homes with my SooBoo designs!

There are definitely tons of influences that have come from our family members, best friends, websites and communities. We are all intermingling and aren't even fully aware of it. We touch each other's lives in ways we have no idea. To me, these are life's greatest and free gifts of all. Take time to recognize who's touched YOUR life for a while. (Especially Mom!) It's inspiring, absolutely!

Enjoy the warmer weather~
peace out!


Friday, May 2, 2008

Fixin' for School

Oh boy! It's been a while since I've had a chance to write and even more so, something to say that might be interesting.
A lot has happened since I last posted a blog. We went to All State Honors Band and I just about cried throughout the entire middle school performance. It was an unforgettable day. The music was astounding and resounding and I could have listened all day to these young people coming together and in two days making these beautiful pieces of music sound professional.
I was so moved, in fact, that I was compelled to write
all three conductors from that day. I let them know my appreciation for what I heard, and to the middle school conductor, a special thanks for doing such a great service to my child and all the other kids in his band. I was especially tickled when i got a short note back from him. In turn, he wrote things which made me feel good. He let me know the clarinet section came eager, prepared and interested and that his joy was greater than all the band's joy put together!. But then he wrote this, "You are a very special person to take the time to write regarding the performance." This is where life can take you, if you take the time to show appreciation for hard work done well. That one line from him allowed me to realize that everyone feels special when you write them a heartfelt thank you. That's all it takes. If I had his address, I would have hand written the note. I might have sent him this freehand note card as it has the feeling of strong wind ensemble music!

I know, I know! You're saying, "I can do that! I did that in grade school!" Yes, you most surely probably did. The difference is, that when I did my black india ink straw blown art, my Mom not only saved it, but years later framed it in a pretty rounded silver frame...yes, special ordered since it was about 20" long and only about 6" or 7" wide. It hung in our finished paneled basement for years. It was a reminder that what I made was lovely and worth framing. So, I thought, I have all these gorgeous inks in my studio.. get out the straw and get to it! I love these straw blown ink drawings. It's not as simple as it looks, try it some time, and if you do, SEND it to someone you love or to someone who did something nice or even wonderful for you in the recent past or long, long ago. Or, just buy mine online!
Recently, my good friend, great customer and all around great MOM of three and her devoted husband, made a very heavy decision. They are sending their eldest child to a private all girls school. My friend is making the best of this and asked for me to come up with, in my SooBoo designing way, special ordered stationery for her daughter. Because of privacy reasons, I will just show the flat note card I came up with displaying the school's name and using the school's colors.

I also made a notepad with the school's name, note cards with her name in wavy stripes, and luggage/bag tags with her name on one side and the schools name on the back to attach to her backpack and maybe even her instrument case. I was so pleased my friend asked me to do this for her. It makes the transition more exciting for all of them and will let her daughter know how thrilling it is to be on her own, creating new best friends and understanding who she is a bit earlier than she anticipated! I am proud to be their friends and am happy that I have a small little talent that she shares for all the world to see!

I just got an order for a Michigan folding note card! When I printed these out, they were even more true to the colors than I thought. The modulations in the ink/watercolor, really make the difference here.

I cannot wait for this Californian to get these! She will be out of her mind excited. I know they'll make the perfect graduation gift.
I just have to show you one item from another order I had recently. All of the items this customer ordered were adorable. She and her daughter chose the colors an
d the SooBoo styles and this is just one of them. It's slated for a luggage/bag tag. These tags have vibrant coordinating grosgrain ribbon attached as well as it coming with a vinyl loop. Another graduation gift!

Aren't these colors just fabulous? It's so bright and fun.

I am off to get notepads glued, purchase more ink and groceries while I'm out.. save gas!
Oh, Rommel is the same. Although, he's getting scabby in places. I read online that one of the meds he's on can cause sores. Wouldn't you know, with his past skin issues, this would catch up with him?

Peace out~