Oh, February, how you fly!

February's been trucking along at full speed so far!

On Super Bowl weekend, I printed up a set of wedding invitations for a bride in Texas. They were a customization of my country sunset design, and involved a gradient that was making a little nervous, to be honest, but they came out great. I'll have full pictures in a few days on the Phaedra Paperie blog but til then, here's a little peek into the printing process.

Then, I got back to the work of remodeling/reorganizing my studio. I know it's been a long time since my Remodel: Part 1 post, but it's an ongoing process. My studio has vertical beams that run down the middle of the space, and the remnant of the house's original chimney, which makes it hard to make the most of the space. Boxes and piles have a tendency to collect along the dead space around the beams. So I took that area and turned it into a work surface with storage underneath. It's not yet what I would call clean, but now at least I have a well-lit place to do small paintings, drawings, pen and ink, etc. without having to clear a spot and sit on the floor.

Capping off the month so far, yesterday I had Kate from Katie Joy Photography over. She's an up-and-coming photographer who will be shooting her first wedding in only a couple of days, and just got a new camera. We know each other from our day jobs, but it was great to interact with her on a professional level. I needed some professional/head shot type photos, and I also wanted to get some action shots in the studio. We looked through a few, and they looked promising -- the studio shots especially looked great. I'm so excited to see all the shots!

Happy Birthday To Me!

In honor of my birthday (which was yesterday) I printed up birthday cards! The design is a drawing I made a little while back, but finally got around to printing, and the printing itself was actually quite fun. I mixed the ink live while printing, so they're all a little different, and sometimes there are neat streaks of color.

I also had breakfast this morning with my friend-turned-consultant Tiffany. She's talented, and super-inspiring, and just gets my gears turning. It was really great. A nice pick-me-up on a rainy day. I feel freshly motivated.

Then I talked to my dad, and did my best to pay that motivation forward. He owns his own business as a housepainter/carpenter, and with the housing market (and the economy in general) in the tank, he's having a hard time making ends meet. We talked a little bit about a few jobs he's been working on, mostly custom woodworking of the problem-solving sort... Long story short, I'm going to whip him up a little portfolio website to showcase his custom woodwork because that's where his real talent - and passion - is. Plus, lots of guys can paint a wall, but not everybody can make great architectural details and furniture.

We also talked about how the down economy presents us small business owners with an opportunity (however forced it may be) to really look at our operations, specifically our weak spots, and see how we can improve. The work is slow, so at least there's time to disect all the little bits... and hopefully we'll all come out the other side having survived and improved because of it. But it takes commitment and determination - and a willingness to really examine and admit your own weaknesses - to do it.

Trade Shows and Time Flying

I've been getting flack for not updating (you, M) but I've been busy. Isn't that always how it goes, though? From now on, assume that my absence either means that I'm on a glorious vacation far from computers (unlikely) or just busy.

So, a run-down of events from the last couple of weeks, and other things I've been meaning to post...
  • I have a new valentines card, "Cardiac Brocade." It's pretty. You want one and you know it. Pick one up at carlybodnar.etsy.com.

  • I went to the Gift & Accessories show two weekends ago, and it was quite enjoyable. It's not open to the public -- only buyers -- but I got in as a prospective exhibitor. Yay for dressing professional and bringing my business cards and samples. Chatted it up with the owner (I think) of the company that does the west coast gift shows about my thoughts on retail vs wholesale for my line. Felt competent. I also met the other card makers that were there, and chatted for quite a while with Kristin of Sydney Designs. She does these great cards using vintage wallpaper. And necklace pendants. Check her out.

  • I'm also working on wedding invites for a friend of mine. It's been fun to experiment with different paper layouts and folding options. And of course browsing for the right paper is always great. We just decided on the final paper choices, and they're going to be beautiful

  • I went to the Portland Bridal Show this past weekend -- again, for professional reasons (the opportunity to gawk at beautiful things didn't hurt, though) and got some great card ideas for the future. One company featured a line that was all done with screenprint, which was nice to see, too. I don't think I'll ever be an exhibitor at a bridal show, though. Way huge and hectic. I'll suffice with word of mouth. Which apparently works just fine, because I may already have another wedding lining itself up.

  • This just in: I just made my first Etsy sale. Yay!