Home » Etsy

Tag: Etsy

A selection of five illustrated postcards which are un-coloured, to be coloured in by you or the recipient. The designs are as follows: 1 shows a penguin holding a rainbow, 2 shows a penguin with a speech bubble saying "hi," 3 shows a penguin with a speech bubble with heart inside, 4 shows a penguin holding two bunches of flowers, and 5 shows a penguin floating away with a bunch of balloons. The postcards are styled with a few colouring pens.

New Colouring-in Postcards

A selection of five illustrated postcards which are un-coloured, to be coloured in by you or the recipient. The designs are as follows: 1 shows a penguin holding a rainbow, 2 shows a penguin with a speech bubble saying "hi," 3 shows a penguin with a speech bubble with heart inside, 4 shows a penguin holding two bunches of flowers, and 5 shows a penguin floating away with a bunch of balloons. The postcards are styled with a few colouring pens.

When you create something you’re really excited about, and then forget to tell the world about it! Doh!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So here they are. My colouring pages were so popular a few weeks ago and postcards have been extremely popular with you sending lovely messages to friends and family that I thought, why not combine the two things?
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
These are great to send a message to a little one and they can colour in the other side, or for a little one to colour in and send a message to a friend or family member that they can’t see at the moment. I hope you like the idea and have great fun with them!

They are available on both my website and on Etsy right now and come in either a set of 5 postcards (1 of each design) or available to buy separately.

photo of a bunch of penguin birthday cards all stacked on top of each other.

New Penguin Birthday Cards Available Now

photo of a bunch of penguin birthday cards all stacked on top of each other.

These cards have been in my shop for a little while now and I wrote this blog post a couple of weeks ago about them but soon after, the UK went into lock down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t feel appropriate to shout about a collection of cards that I’d worked really hard on and a lot of things were uncertain for a while. They still are uncertain but for now at least, my shops remain open and I’ve added a banner on the home page, so that I can keep you updated if anything changes. For now though, I’ve written about my new collection of cards and outlined a little of the process that went into creating them.

I am pleased to finally announce that I have some new card designs in the shop!

These have been on the cards (no pun intended!) for a while now and I have had many requests from you guys, for some more Birthday cards suitable children and they are finally here!

There are cards for ages 1-6 in my usual square size, each with a big colourful number and the respective number of Penguins hiding, balancing or dancing around each card. I have only created ages 1-6 for now, but if these go well, I’ll create ages 7-9, please let me know what you think.

There is also a new size of card for my collection, with five mischievous Penguins all balanced on each other, holding cakes and gifts and each wearing a party hat.

These have been so fun to design and I hope they are a colourful and cute addition to my shop for you.

The process

I thought I’d share a little of the process of designing one of these cards. I had been facing a bit of creative block at the start of the year, so I started by writing a list of everything that I wanted to potentially create this year. I reviewed that list and decided to start working on the thing that most stood out to me as something I already had an idea for or thought it might be the easiest thing to get started with.

I chose these cards!

I started these by sketching the design out on Procreate on my iPad. I don’t always start with sketching on the ipad, sometimes the sketch could be on paper or in my sketchbook. It depends how I feel and what feels best at the time. I do like sketching ideas on the ipad though because I can undo easily or turn a layer off, if something doesn’t seem to be working, try it a different way but then that layer is always there if I need it again. I like to use the pencil “brush” in Procreate, it reminds me that this is just a sketch and it doesn’t have to be the perfected final version. 

Once I’m mostly happy with the sketch, whether on paper or iPad, I’ll photograph or send that sketch to my computer, where I work on it in Adobe Illustrator. Each part is drawn again using vector illustration (for nice crisp lines that can be resized to any size without losing their quality) I’ll usually move things around and adapt the design slightly, because sometimes it doesn’t always work exactly like the sketch. I then add colour, outlines and the details before refining it all and then sending to print.

I have made it sound a lot easier than it actually is and the video below is a timelapse of the sketch part of just one of the designs, to give you an idea, this sketch actually took about 40 minutes to create and then drawing the final version took me a few hours. 

You can find out more and purchase these cards from my shop or by clicking through below. 

January page of 2017 penguin calendar sitting on a miniature easel, styled in front of a plant and pencil pot.

The Story of Penguin and a Brief-ish History of my Business (Part Two)

Last week, in part one, I started at the very beginning of Penguin’s story and covered the start of my business story. If you haven’t read it already, please pop on over and have a read, otherwise, this part won’t make much sense. I left it on a huge cliff hanger, in this part two you’ll find out what happened next?

To recap, at the end of my previous post, I was newly self-employed, I had decided to re-design the Penguin desk calendar for 2017 and was determined to make it work.

Creating the 2017 desk calendars and a mini creative crisis

When it came to creating the desk calendar for 2017, I had all of the illustration ideas down on paper and I knew they were already popular with my friends and family. I remember my Uncle asking if and when I was creating another version of the Penguin calendar. However, this didn’t stop the mini creative crisis that followed.

Do I continue with the watercolour style that I had started with a couple of years before? I had loved lettering up until this point and should I include my lettering in with the Penguins? How can I combine the two? Will they be good enough? Will they sell? I had found scanning watercolours really tricky to get the colours right, if I was going to sell these and make it the start of my business, it had to be perfect. I loved creating vector illustrations and this was where my comfort zone was, was that enough? How could I push it further? I compared myself a little bit too much to strangers on the internet. This was the start of my dream, I had jumped right into the deep end with starting this business, I wanted to make it work, I needed to make it work! It was still a bit of a shock that I was now working for myself, and a lot was going on personally too but I was determined to make this work!

In the end, after much deliberation, I created the first “official” Penguin calendar using vector illustrations and I sent it to print. For some bizarre reason, it didn’t occur to me that I could print the calendar pages as A7 leaflets, and so that first run of calendars were printed as flat A3 sheets and I cut each and every page out with a ruler and scalpel. I printed 40 copies of that original calendar, with 13 pages for each including a front cover, it was a lot of cutting by hand! Realising that I could print the pages as A7 “leaflets” saved me a lot of time and saved my hands because, after a while, that was painful!

January page of 2017 penguin calendar sitting on a miniature easel, styled in front of a plant and pencil pot.

The unexpected success of Christmas 2017 and many (many) trips to the Post Office

I reopened my Etsy shop and on 17th October 2016, announced on social media (now on my “business” Instagram account) that the Penguin Calendar was available to buy in my shop alongside a minimal hand-lettered version. As time went on, the popularity of the Penguin version especially, completely shocked me! I remember feeling a lot of imposter syndrome, in awe of their popularity, waiting for someone to find me out or to complain about them. But no one did! Everyone was over the moon with them.

I sold 134 of those Penguin desk calendars for 2017 and that was just on Etsy. It continues to be one of my best selling items each year.

More Creative Crises

After the success of the 2017 Penguin Calendar, I didn’t quite know what to work on next. I faced a bit of an internal crisis, wondering what I “should” be doing, reacting to what I thought customers might want and feeling a little lost. A lot had happened in 2016, and to process all of that, I created a series of colourful floral paintings, which were really intricate and cathartic to create. These I made into a collection of note cards, which are still in my shop today.

Rainbow coloured floral watercolour painted greeting card styled with pens and paints

My very first card designs from 2011 had been painted dots, with little funny faces and legs drawn onto them. Did I want to continue painting my designs? (But ahh the scanning!) After designing our own Wedding Stationery, which I loved doing, I wanted to help other couples by creating their wedding stationery for them, so I created a few wedding stationery collections, which would act as samples. I loved lettering, I loved vector illustration, I enjoyed painting, and working on wedding stationery, how does this all fit together? I hadn’t studied illustration previously, I had worked as a graphic designer/art worker (working on very corporate financial & healthcare brochures etc) as my job for 6 years previously. I thought that carrying on with the Penguin illustrations wasn’t “serious” enough to be part of my job and I wasn’t an illustrator, what right did I have “pretending” that I was? It has been a long process of working it all out and is still an on-going process.

All the while, I’d listed all of my older card designs on Etsy and sold a few of those. What if the Penguin calendar was a one-off fluke and I’d never make or sell anything ever again?

Penguin takes over

It wasn’t until September 2017, after working on those wedding stationery collections, setting up my own website and a few other creative experiments to see what I really enjoyed doing vs. what my customers liked, that I used one of my favourite designs from the upcoming 2018 Penguin calendar as inspiration to create my first enamel pin badge.

Photo of a hand holding a penguin enamel pin. The pin design shows a cute penguin holding a pink heart garland.

Those original pin badges have continued to be another best-seller since I launched them in 2017 and looking back through my Instagram feed, Penguin has been a regular feature throughout my product ranges and social media posts since then.

It took a while and a lot of thinking, trying different things and more thinking, but I realised that people really liked the little Penguin character and I really enjoyed creating products featuring him!

Penguin has featured on a selection of notepads, more pin badges, 2018, 2019 and 2020 desk calendars, wall planners, stickers, postcards, a selection of greeting cards, wrapping paper, a cushion, birthday cards and Christmas cards. This has also included two successful Kickstarter campaigns and a lovely collaboration, which featured in a magazine no less…but now I’m just showing off! There are a lot more plans for him to be featured on more things in the future.

I still love lettering and illustration and they remain big parts of my work, I’ve also had the pleasure of working on the wedding stationery for a few lovely couples, branding projects and a lot of work for corporate clients over the 3 years that I’ve worked for myself. It hasn’t all revolved around Penguin (although, I’m sure he’d tell you differently!)

Lost along the way

It wasn’t until I created a comic strip featuring the little characters who sit on my desk a couple of weeks ago, that I realised I’d really missed the storytelling side. I had almost forgotten how and why it all started in the first place. So I’m going to try and share a few more stories of Penguin as time goes on and embrace doing what I enjoy rather than what I think I “should” be doing.

I hope to continue to be completely flexible with my business though, sometimes floral illustrations, sometimes lettering, sometimes wedding stationery, sometimes corporate brochure design or artwork, and sometimes cute Penguins on a notepad or greeting card, depending on the bright ideas that I have.

So that’s it! That’s the very long answer to why I chose Penguins to feature so heavily on my products (or rather how they chose me!) and I hope you’ve found this little insight into my business interesting.

I hope to make blogging a more regular thing this year, do you have any unanswered questions that I might be able to answer on the blog? As you can see, a small question like “Why do you draw so many Penguins?” has been translated into two whole blog posts, so any question large or small and I’ll see what I can do, just let me know in the comments. 

a pencil illustration of a penguin jumping in the air

The Story of Penguin and a Brief-ish History of my Business (Part One)

a pencil illustration of a penguin jumping in the air

Last month, I spent a lot of time thinking and planning about the why, how and what of my little business. I’m sure you’ll hear more and hopefully see the results of all this as time goes on, but it led me to answer one very important question: Why do you draw so many Penguins? And as I started to think about this question, it wasn’t a short answer. I like Penguins for sure, and although it’s very difficult to look at a Penguin waddling along and not smile, I wouldn’t even say they’re my favourite animal! (I’m so sorry to disappoint you, they’re one of my favourites, but this isn’t the reason why I’ve made Penguin drawings a central part of my business).

Read on to find out the real story behind Penguin, which has been intertwined with a not-so-brief history of my little business. Take a sip of water every time you read the word Penguin, and by the end, you’ll be well hydrated!

The very beginning

Rewind back to February 2013. I’ve just scrolled back through my personal Instagram to find the exact post and spent far too long reminiscing. At the time,  I was working full time in London, I was joining in with the #FMSPhotoADay challenge, I really enjoyed keeping up with my scrapbook and my previous blog. I only had about 77 followers on Instagram back then, but that felt like a lot. I had already opened my Etsy shop about 3 years prior, but it made a grand total of £10 over the 6 years before I started it back up “properly” in 2016. I look back on the cards I designed back then and smile (then cringe a little!) and realise that I had really no idea what I was doing. I still feel like that sometimes but I think 2013 Sian would be pretty pleased with how 2020 Sian is doing! I must try to remember this when I start to doubt myself.

Anyway, I digress. I had recently been to a Dollhouse and miniatures fair with my friend Harriet. I didn’t have my own dollhouse at the time but loved the idea of creating little scenes and I marvelled at the intricacy of the craftsmanship of all the tiny furniture and details. Harriet (who has since written, illustrated and published 11 Isadora Moon books, and in the process of finishing a 12th) had brought along Mini C, a small doll who she photographs in little scenes and situations, all of which are so cute and I love keeping up with the goings-on of Mini C. On that day, I was inspired to look more into my own story-telling. I didn’t want to copy Harriet but I loved this idea of creating a little character, who would get into all sorts of situations. Mine would be drawn rather than a physical doll.

It started with a doodle

At the time, I didn’t even draw regularly, and if I did, it was most probably lettering and not character drawings. I’d been keeping a notebook for little doodles and thoughts whilst I commuted into London every day and I don’t even remember why I thought of drawing a Penguin one day. The original drawing of Penguin was very square because I’d used the squares in my notebook to help me draw the lines and curves, he then had a little speech-bubble saying hello. I posted it to Instagram on 3 February 2013 with the caption: “Meet Penguin, he helps me with the day to day running of this place (ie. standing there smiling at me while I’m being a busy bee)” and Penguin was born and I miss his birthday every year. (Sorry Penguin, I will change that!) Looking back, that photo received a grand total of 3 likes…I’m sure I was over the moon with that too.

a pencil illustration of a penguin on squared paper with a little speech bubble saying "hello."

Why a Penguin?

I still have no idea why I drew a Penguin that day, it was a long time ago! Looking back at the Instagram photo, there seems to be a faint drawing of a person on the page that had been erased, maybe I considered making my little character a human first of all. I’m fairly convinced, however, that I drew a Penguin because I thought they’d be much easier to draw! It sounds like something I’d do. Let’s not forget that it was just a doodle to start with, I didn’t quite imagine that 7 years later I’d still be drawing Penguins.

I imagined a Penguin character and drew it using really simple shapes and it wasn’t until a few years later that I realised the Penguin I’d drawn, from no reference at all, didn’t look like a specific breed of Penguin at all! Oops!

What I do know is that the idea of a little Penguin as an assistant would be really cute! I can imagine them getting into all sorts of mischief, waddling around getting tangled up in things, making a mess, being a little clumsy! The Penguins I draw these days are similar to the Blue Penguin breed (also known as fairy penguins, little penguins, little blue penguins or Eudyptula minor) they are the smallest of the penguin breeds, but a few of my recent designs have included all the different breeds of penguin.

As time went on, I doodled Penguin in a selection of different scenarios, he’d be lying on a beach, the dancing version was one of my favourites, sitting behind a bunch of papers doing my work for me (I wish!), floating away on a balloon was another of my favourites, splashing around in some puddles, you might have seen some of these as updated designs since.

a pencil illustration of pencil sitting at a desk with a big stack of paper work, pencils in a pot and a hot cup of tea.

Fast Forward…

Fast forward to Christmas 2014, and I decided to make those Penguin drawings into little desk calendars, as gifts for family and friends. I had been experimenting with a few different art mediums by this point and decided to paint them all in watercolour, before scanning and printing a few times at home for different members of my family and a few friends. I partnered the printed pages with a little easel so that it could sit on their desk. To my surprise, they went down amazingly with my family and friends! A few people said: “you should definitely sell these!” and I’m sure I dismissed that at the time, but it continued to stay in the back of my mind.

a photo of my work in progress whilst working on the 2015 penguin calendar. The drawings show the January page design in both watercolour and coloured pencil.

The Other Beginning

Penguin almost took a back seat after I created those little desk calendars. We’d got engaged at Christmas in 2014 and so my mind and creativity were all consumed with planning our wedding and working full time. I had bought a little needle felted Penguin I the meantime and he’d featured in a few photos, including a little photoshoot with Harriet’s Mini C. However, I hadn’t drawn him in any new drawings or worked on my Etsy shop for a while. I think I’d even taken down all the Etsy listings by this point, because I just didn’t have the time to maintain a shop alongside working full time and that 1.5hr commute to and from London each day.

Then in September 2016, I was made redundant from my job in London and although a shock, I saw this as a huge positive. It had been on my mind since graduating in 2010 that I wanted to create my own product line, have an online shop and work for myself. It was always one of those “one-day” dreams and I didn’t let the fact that my Etsy had only made £10 previously stop me, I saw this as my chance to make a real go of it. I had a sketchbook full of sketches and little ideas that I just hadn’t had time to implement. Over the following week, I decided that I’d create a new version of the Penguin Desk Calendar for 2017, see how I did and see if I could make this dream of mine a reality.

…and that’s where I’ll leave this story, on a huge cliff hanger, until next time when you can find out how well or how badly it all turned out. 

"Macaroni meal planner" meal planning notepad with an illustration of a penguin eating a bowl of (possibly) macaroni. There is blank space for your meal plans for monday to sunday.

Shop News | Pink Friday, Notepads & Hertfordshire Etsy Team Market

an illustration of a desk scene with mischievous penguins hiding behind pencil pots and sitting on the computer monitor. The desk is covered partly in snow and there are fairy lights intertwined amongst the desk objects.

There is so much going on at Sian Shrimp HQ at the moment with Christmas less than a month away, and I didn’t want you to miss out, so I’ve put together a little update for you. Read on for updates on new notepad designs, including a new option for a magnetic backing, an amazing Pink Friday sale, new pin designs now available and more information about where you can find me selling in person this winter.

New Notepads

I released a selection of new notepad designs recently. If you missed them, there are still plenty of them in my shops and they will make perfect little stocking fillers for the list-maker in your life.

I collaborated on two of the designs with Joy of Pink Coat Club to create a sewing themed list notepad. These are for when you have “sew much to do, sew little time,” with a cute illustration of penguin sitting at a sewing machine, working on some sewing projects and tick boxes made out of buttons. This cute list pad can be used to keep your sewing projects organised or just to cheer up your list of chores and errands. It is available in pink and blue, in my shop, on my Etsy shop and on the Pink Coat Club website. Keep an eye out below for a special “Pink Friday” offer involving these notepads.

"Sew much to do, sew little time" a pink sewing themed to-do list notepad with a penguin sitting at a sewing machine illustration.

I’ve also created a Rockhopper Shopping List and Macaroni Meal Planner, both of which are of course, penguin themed! These would be perfect for the organised Penguin fan in your life…or to keep for yourself! By popular request, I’ve added the option of adding a magnetic strip to these notepads and to the “Do all the cool stuff” notepads too, just select the “magnetic backing” option before adding these to your basket.

Now that all of the Kickstarter rewards are sent and hopefully being received all across the world as I write this, there were a few pins left over and I’ve added those to both my shop and Etsy. There were also a limited number of matching stickers left over from the Kickstarter rewards and they are also available in my shop and on Etsy.

Just a card week

All this week (25th – 29th November) small creative businesses around the country/world are getting involved with Just a Card Indie week and I’ve been shouting about why you should shop of small indie businesses this Christmas time. I wrote this on Instagram yesterday:

“I fly the Just a Card flag because there are so many independent businesses out there working their socks off to bring you lovely creative gift ideas. They don’t always get the recognition they deserve and cannot compete with the online giants and supermarkets, where everything is mass produced and sold for next to nothing. I can’t imagine Mr Amazon doing a little dance for every order they get!

Buying from indie businesses doesn’t have to be an expensive affair either, hence “Just a Card,” it doesn’t have to be a huge expensive item, just a card, just a pin, just a coaster, just a keyring will support a local small business AND make a gorgeous gift for a loved one. Some have likened it to a gift that gives twice.”

When I shout about the importance of buying from small independent businesses, I realise I’m preaching to the converted here because you’re already here reading my blog and paying an interest in my work, if not already purchasing from this small business at least (Thank you!). So please remember to spread the word about shopping from small businesses this festive season, and follow the #JustACardWeek hashtag and the @JustACard account on social media to find new artists/designers/makers that you’ll love and hear more about the Just a Card Campaign. 

Black Friday / Indie Friday / Pink Friday

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to do a “Black Friday/Indie Friday/Pink Friday Sale” or not and it is quite a controversial subject in the indie business community. First of all, I work really hard on all of my products, a lot of time and effort goes into designing them all for my shops. Secondly, I can only produce small quantities of products because I’m limited on space and resources, this will bring costs up and thirdly, I work hard to keep all of these costs down for you, whilst not compromising on quality and making sure I can pay my bills too, all of my prices are meticulously thought about and worked out. I’m sure a lot of other small businesses feel the same and we just cannot compete with the bigger guys with their huge sales!

However, as a special thank you for all your support over the last year, I will be offering 10% off when you spend over £15, AND a Free Sewing Notepad when you spend over £25. The 10% off will be added to your basket automatically after you spend £15 and just add your preferred sewing notepad to the basket for the discount to be applied. This is valid from 00:01am Wednesday 27th November – 11:59pm Sunday 1st December (UK Time). 

The same offers are available in my Etsy Shop. However, please write PINKNOTEPAD or BLUENOTEPAD in the “message to seller” and I’ll pop your freebie in with your order.

Hertfordshire Etsy Team Christmas Market Poster for 30th November - 1st December 2019

Hertfordshire Etsy Team Artisan Market

As part of a collection of Etsy Made Local events happening all over the country on the weekend of 30th November, I will be joining the Hertfordshire Etsy Team for the third year running for their event at:
Christmas Barns, Lannock Farm, Weston, Hitchin SG4 7EE
Saturday 30th November 5pm-10pm
Sunday 1st December 12pm-4pm (I will be there only on Sunday)

Please do come along and say if you’re local. There are more details, including a full list of other sellers on the Facebook event page. If you’re not local to Hertfordshire, there is a full list of events happening this winter on Etsy, make sure you find the one happening near you.

an illustration of a penguin holding an envelope and text below saying "LAST POSTING DATES - UK - Tuesday 20th December, (Most of) Europe - Monday 9th December and Everywhere else - Friday 6th December

Shop News | Last posting dates before Christmas 2019

an illustration of a penguin holding an envelope and text below saying "LAST POSTING DATES - UK - Tuesday 20th December, (Most of) Europe - Monday 9th December and Everywhere else - Friday 6th December

My last posting date before Christmas will be Friday 20th December, so please order before 9 am (UK time) on Friday 20th December and your order will be posted that same day.

I will continue to dispatch orders worldwide throughout December, however, it may not arrive in time for Christmas. Please refer to the list below for recommended order dates to ensure your order arrives in time for Christmas. I have added a few days onto the Royal Mail’s suggested last posting dates, to allow for any delays.

EDIT: I have decided to close both my website and Etsy shops from 20th – 30th December so that I can spend some time with my family and so that there is no question over last posting dates. You can still place orders in my website shop, however they will not be dispatched until 30th December when I return. 

You can view the Royal Mail’s suggested last posting dates here. All UK orders are posted First Class and International orders are sent via Standard Air Mail.

Last Posting Dates

Friday 20th December 2019
UK

Monday 2nd December 2019
Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, Cyprus, Malta, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Far and the Middle East 

Friday 6th December 2019
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and the USA

Monday 9th December 2019
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

Where is my order?

If you place an order before 9 am, it will be posted the same working day. Orders placed during the weekend will be posted on the following Monday. You should receive an automated email from me, saying that your order has been dispatched.

All UK orders are posted First Class through the Royal Mail and International orders are posted via Standard Air Mail and should arrive through your regular postal service.

Please note that Royal Mail does not consider an item as officially lost until 10 working days after it was due to arrive for UK addresses, 25 working days for Europe and 32 working days for the rest of the world and I cannot send out a replacement until after this time has passed.

Holiday Dates

Between Friday 20th December 2019 and Monday 30th December, orders will not be dispatched in their usual same-day schedule so that I can have a break. My website shop will remain open, so you can still place an order, however, there might be a slight delay to the dispatch of your order. Please allow up to 4 working days for a reply to any emails or messages.

All the official stuff aside, I hope you have a lovely festive period, however you celebrate. Thank you for supporting my small business in 2019 and I look forward to creating some more cute and colourful things for you in 2020. 

Three Years of Sian Shrimpton Design & Illustration

Shop News | Stickers, Postcards & Christmas!

There has been a lot going on in the shop since the last time I posted, so I thought it was a good time to update you on the exciting goings-on around here.

Three Years of Sian Shrimpton Design & Illustration

Third Business Birthday

First of all, on October 3rd, I celebrated three years as a freelancer and three years since I opened my Etsy shop. It doesn’t feel as long as 3 years at all. When I first started this little venture, I had no idea what direction I’d be taking it in. I had a few ideas, some of them I haven’t even had the chance to work on yet but there is still time. Some of the things I have worked on, however, have surprised me. I never thought I’d create enamel pins, for example, I never thought I’d run TWO successful Kickstarter Campaigns (more on that later!) If you’ve supported my business at all over the last 3 years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Every like, comment, share, cheerleading message and purchase means the absolute world to me.

Sian Shrimpton Design - Keep Going Postcard

Postcards & Stickers

I have a few new products in the shop, one of those is a collection of new postcards and the option to buy the hand-lettered postcards individually rather than as part of a set. There are plenty of cute colourful Penguin postcards, perfect to send a little note to a friend or to pop on your noticeboard to cheer you up in the end.

I also now have stickers! If you had told ten-year-old me that I’d be making stickers, notepads and postcards as part of my job, I’m not sure I would have coped. 30-something me is also finding it hard to comprehend that this is my job sometimes.

There are Penguin stickers and my favourite of the hand-lettered pieces, “keep going” all available now, with a few more to come once I have sent out the Kickstarter rewards.

Kickstarter update

On the subject of Kickstarter, the campaign was a success! It ended at 151% funded which was fantastic. I had my doubts as the campaign went on because a few pledgers cancelled or changed their pledge to a smaller amount. I understand why you would cancel or change a pledge, however, I feared the campaign wouldn’t get to fully funded, let alone to the stretch goals! Everyone surprised me though, and I shouldn’t have doubted it! I did reach the first stretch goal, albeit after reducing it slightly and there are two lovely Penguin pin designs in production as I type this!

Christmas!

Sorry if it really is too early to be talking about the c-word but the organised among you have already been asking me about Christmas so…I’m sorry!

As you can possibly tell, there is a lot going on in the shop at the moment and I have a lot of new products, with more to come soon! This does mean that there have been no brand new Christmas themed designs, for this year. I did create two brand new designs for Christmas wrapping paper last year and looking back at my Instagram and blog, I didn’t even promote said wrapping paper! Doh! These are back in the shop for this Christmas and there are plenty of my older designs for Christmas cards and tags in the shop too.

Keep a lookout for a few new and exciting products coming to the shop in the next couple of weeks. If you missed out on the Kickstarter pins, if there any leftovers, they’ll be added to both my website and Etsy Shops. They’ll make the perfect for little gifts or a treat for yourself and I also have a few super-secret products to add soon, including a very exciting collaboration.

Penguin Desk Calendar 2020

Shop News | Kickstarter Campaign, Penguin Calendar 2020 and Surprise Boxes

Hello Hello! Long time no blog! How have you been? I’ve wanted to update the blog for a while now but other things have always jumped in the way. Life is busy, work has been busy and then I became out of practice and didn’t know where to pick up again after a long hiatus. So here we are, I plan on starting with monthly shop updates, because although I try to promote everything on social media, you might miss something and I don’t want that happening! Then I’ll try to punctuate those updates with useful little updates about my work, my process or some of your frequently asked questions. If you have any questions or things you’d like to know about, please comment below or pop me a message and I’ll add it to the list. So what have I been up to…?

Up & Away Penguin Enamel Pin Kickstarter Campaign – Only 6 days left! 

Right at the end of August, I launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to create a new collection of penguin enamel pins. The initial goal is for a design based on one of the my favourite penguin drawings, Penguin floating away on a bunch of colourful balloons. I have planned a couple of stretch goals, including one that is slightly festive, some stickers and a cartwheeling and dancing penguin pin.

The campaign has been a bit slower than I thought it might be and after 2 weeks, I decided to change around the stretch goals. I didn’t do this lightly, however I feared that we wouldn’t reach the first stretch goal as it was a big leap, so I made the slightly festive, penguin with all the gifts pin, the first stretch goal and felt a lot more positive that I’d get to that first stretch goal. 

Penguin Enamel Pin Kickstarter Campaign

After a couple of slow weeks, the campaign is doing so well. At the time of posting, it is at 138% funded with only 6 days left. This means that (all being well) the up & away pins will be produced and I only need £51 of pledges to get to that first stretch goal! 

If you haven’t seen the campaign yet, you can read more about it and pledge for a copy of the final designs here. 

Penguin Desk Calendar 2020 – available for pre-order now!

The best-selling* Penguin desk calendars are back for 2020! I’m so excited about these!

This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve designed a little penguin desk calendar to cheer up your desk all year long and after a shaky start with a bit of creative block, I’m so pleased with how these calendars look this time. They remain the same A7 size that they have always been and the little wooden stands are back for the 2nd year running. The actual calendar is 13 pages (one month per page with a front cover) and sits comfortably in the wooden stand. You can opt to buy the calendar with or without a wooden stand if you already have one or if you’d like to pop the pages in your diary, scrapbook or on your notice board each month. The options and uses are endless!

The calendars are now available for pre-order, and they will be printed in time for dispatch at the beginning of October, so you won’t have to wait long.

*best-selling: these have been my best selling product for the last three years

Penguin Desk Calendar 2020I have also updated the Academic wall planners for 2019-20, there is a Penguin version and a minimal version. I’ve added the option to print it on my studio printer for you, this time after a few you requested that option. As always, there’s the downloadable version too. The updated 2020 versions will be available at the beginning of October.

Surprise Boxes

This is something that I’ve wanted to arrange for a while. I love the thought of a little surprise in the mail, and as my product range grows and as we approach that lovely festive time at the end of the year (it is coming, I’m sorry! I won’t mention the C word in September though!) it seems like the perfect time to start offering these surprise boxes.

There are a few options:
Small surprise box – You pay £5 and receive a surprise selection of notecards, stickers, postcards to the value of about £7.
Large surprise box – You pay £10 and receive a surprise selection of enamel pins, stickers, postcards, notepad, notecards and/or calendar to the value of about £15.
Greeting card surprise box – You receive 5 greeting cards for the price of 4. You’ll receive at least 3 birthday cards and 2 other notecards for any occasion.

These can be customised slightly if you have a favourite colour, design or if you have a special occasion coming up, you simply need to write me a comment at check out and I’ll see what I can add to your surprise box. If you need a wedding card for example, as part of your greeting card surprise box, I have a couple of options that I could add. I want these to be a surprise but I also want you to love what you receive. Christmas themed products will only be included as a special request, they won’t be automatically included around Christmas time.

So there we have it, my first update in a while and I’ve been busy! There is a lot more to come, I have a few more plans to work on before this year is up. Next month, I celebrate 3 years of self employment, and I hope to have a lot of those plans ready to reveal then.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you have any questions or suggestions for blog posts, I’d love to hear them. Let’s hope this is the start of more regular blogging from here on out. 

Sian Shrimpton Festive Events 2018

Shop News | Festive Events Calendar 2018

Sian Shrimpton Festive Events 2018

We are fast approaching that time of year when everywhere you go, they’re playing Wizzard or Michael Bublé and Noddy Holder is shouting through the speakers. It’s also that time of year when I get a little busier, with regular trips to the Post Office and should probably call myself Father Christmas’ Little Helper!

I know it’s far too early to be thinking about all things Christmas just yet but I do have a few new products in my shop especially for the Festive Season and I have a few dates for your diary if you’d like to shop from me in person. I’d love to see you there!

Made in Hertfordshire Artisan Christmas Market
Saturday 1st December – 9:30am-3:30pm
Allum Manor, Borehamwood 

Join us at the second Made in Hertfordshire Christmas Market in Hertfordshire. After the success of last years market we have moved to a much bigger venue and have 40 talented designers, makers and sellers for you to browse the stalls of so come along and buy local this Christmas and give your friends and family something unique this festive season.

We have lots of extras planned to add to the experience including a pop up tea room, a craft section for kids plus we will be handing out goody bags to some lucky customers throughout the day.

Wycombe High School Frost Fair
Friday 16th November – 6:30-9pm
Wycombe High School, Marlow Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP11 1TB

Holmer Green Senior School Christmas Fair
Saturday 17th November – 12-3pm
Holmer Green Senior School, Parish Piece, Holmer Green, High Wycombe, HP15 6SP

I’d be delighted if you came along to any of these events, please find me and be sure to say Hi! If there are any other events that I’ll be at, I’ll be sure to add them here for you.

Cute Penguin Rainbow note card - Illustrated Card

Shop news | New Penguin Cards, 2019 Calendars, sneak peeks and 10% off

Good Morning, how is your week going so far? For a while now, I’ve been trying to make a plan for this blog. I’ve read many an article saying “you must have a blog for your business,” “if you want to succeed on the internet, you must write a blog” and “blogging is back” (in my book, it never really went away!) and I’ve written for my own blog for a little under ten years now, with a few breaks here or there. I’ve written about my research at University whilst I studied for my Graphic Design degree, then later about working in London, my life as a graduate and creativity, with a little phase where I loved creating scrapbooks.

Recently however, I’ve been trying to figure out how I want this space to work and considered all different types of blog. I want it to be a useful, helpful space for you, whether you are a regular customer of my Etsy shop, a potential client or an engaged couple, considering asking me to design your wedding stationery. It took me a while longer to figure out what that looks like and so I think I have a little plan.

I plan on posting three times a month (roughly!) with a mixture of posts, featuring:

  • a freebie post at the beginning of the month, like a free desktop wallpaper,
  • a shop update around the middle of the month, with all the new things in my shop and any new goings on, which may or may not let you know about offers or sale events in my shop (that’s what this one is,)
  • a useful post towards the end of the month, some ideas I’ve had so far for this are about my process and what I’m doing to help the environment. I think of this as an extended version of an FAQ section, so if there’s anything you want to know, just give me a shout in the contact form.

Enough chatting about it and more getting on with it!

New super cute card designs in the shop

I have been dreaming up a few new card designs for a while now and finally got round to getting them printed. There are now three new Penguin note cards available to send to a friend to cheer them up, to say hello or just-because. I’ve also added a few colour variations of my floral birthday cards.Cute Penguin Rainbow note card - Illustrated Card

Back to School wall planners and an offer!

If you’ve gone back-to-school or back-to-college/university this month, or just want to get organised for the academic year, I have added two new wall planners to the shop. There is a minimal version and a version with cute penguins on it, if that’s your thing! These are instant download wall planners and available in A3, A4 and US Letter sizes. To celebrate back-to-school, I’ve created a little offer in my Etsy Shop until the end of September, you can get 10% off those new wall planners, penguin stickers and notepad & pencil sets when you use the code BACKTOSCHOOL (or click on the code to add the code to your basket straight away).

Penguin academic wall planner

 

2019 Calendars (a little sneak peek!)

Now for the exciting bit, I have had quite a few messages asking if and when the Penguin Calendars will be back for 2019 and the good news is that I have been working hard on some new designs for the 2019 Calendars. I have expanded from just a Penguin version this time. There will be two other versions and I have exciting new stands that they’ll sit on this time as well. I hope that these will be available next month ready for my 2nd business birthday!

On the subject of calendars, the 2018 version is now available at the ridiculous price of 50p (+postage) and these won’t be available from October 1st to avoid confusion, so if you’d like one make sure you order one before the end of the month. I made the mistake of printing a few too many and so I’m pretty much giving these away. A few people have said that they’re cutting off the calendar part and using them as bookmarks, as postcards, sticking them on the wall or even as gift tags. I’m sure there are endless possibilities!

2019 Calendars sneak peek

 

No. 7 Cherry Tree Lane

On a non-related note, I have set up a new Instagram account for my dollhouse. I had considered documenting the progress here as I had started to write about it on the blog, or setting up a new blog for it, but I struggle to keep up with this one. So, I thought an Instagram account would be perfect. Updates are slow, and I’m still catching up with posting the progress so far but I’m excited to post more about it in the future.

7 Cherry Tree Lane, Dollhouse Instagram Account

 

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the first of my shop updates. There might be some months with more to update and others where there isn’t much at all. Let me know what you think, and just give me a shout if there’s anything you want me to write about that might make ordering from the shop or working with me easier.