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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.

Sian Shrimpton Beautiful floral Valentine's Card - Illustrated & Hand-lettered Card

New Greeting Cards in the shop

Sian Shrimpton Beautiful floral Valentine's Card - Illustrated & Hand-lettered Card

Today I’m pleased to share my new greeting card designs with you. A lot of you have requested birthday cards when I’ve been at craft fairs over Christmas and earlier last year, so you requested and here they are!

First up, we have Penguin having a bit of a birthday party with cake, candles, party hats and you can’t forget the presents! He’s even having a little dance too, to celebrate! I know that I’m biased but it’s just the cutest!

This card is printed on a beautifully smooth card stock and comes with a textured kraft envelope.

A FEW SPECIFICS

  • 148 x 148mm square Birthday card
  • Printed on a quality 300gsm TruCard stock
  • Blank inside for your message
  • Printed at a local printer in London
  • Kraft envelope is included
  • Packaged in a pretty paper bag and sent in a board backed envelope to ensure safe delivery

Available to buy on my Etsy Store

Sian Shrimpton Cute Penguin Birthday Card - Illustrated Birthday Card

Next up, especially for Valentine’s Day but could be used for any occasion where you need to send a little love into the world, to cheer up a friend or just because. We have Penguin holding a heart garland that he’s made. It matches my Penguin enamel pin perfectly (so ideal to be bought together!) and also matches the February Calendar page and desktop wallpaper that will be coming later this week (Sorry for the spoiler!)

A FEW SPECIFICS

  • 148 x 148mm square Valentine’s card
  • Printed on a quality 300gsm TruCard stock
  • Blank inside for your message
  • Printed at a local printer in London
  • Kraft envelope is included
  • Packaged in a pretty paper bag and sent in a board backed envelope to ensure safe delivery.

Available to buy on my Etsy Store

Sian Shrimpton Cute Penguin Valentine's Card - Illustrated Valentine's or Love Card

Then to start off a different collection of designs that I’ve been working on, I’ve created this floral beauty with hand-lettered “love” in the centre. Again, this can be for Valentine’s Day or for any other time of year when you need to send a little love into the world. I’ve chosen a beautifully textured gesso card stock for these cards, which give them a gorgeous watercolour paper style feel, they’re quite luxurious.

A FEW SPECIFICS

  • 148 x 148mm square Valentine’s card
  • Printed on a quality 250gsm gesso stock (which has a gorgeous watercolour paper style texture!)
  • Blank inside for your message
  • Printed at a local printer in London
  • Kraft envelope is included
  • Packaged in a pretty paper bag and sent in a board backed envelope to ensure safe delivery.

Now available in my Etsy Store

Sian Shrimpton Beautiful floral Valentine's Card - Illustrated & Hand-lettered Card

Last but not least is a 30th Birthday card. Someone around here is turning the big 3-0 this year (hint: she’s the one typing this right now!) and so are a lot of my friends and so I thought it was a good place to start with a collection of birthday card designs to celebrate the occasion. I’ve introduced this sunflower design into the mix and I absolutely love this colour scheme! This card also uses the same gesso card stock, which gives it a watercolour paper style feel and gives it a totally luxurious feel.

A FEW SPECIFICS
– 148 x 148mm square Birthday card
– Printed on a quality 250gsm gesso stock (which has a gorgeous watercolour paper style texture!)
– Blank inside for your message
– Printed at a local printer in London
– Kraft envelope is included
– Packaged in a pretty paper bag and sent in a board backed envelope to ensure safe delivery.

Now available in my Etsy Store

Sian Shrimpton Beautiful Sunflower floral 30th Birthday Card - Illustrated & Hand-lettered Birthday Card

So that concludes my four new designs that I’ve recently added to my Etsy shop. I’ve decided to print my new designs in small batches like this because I have a long long list of design ideas that I would love to launch into the world, but I think printing and launching them at a slower and steady pace is probably better than printing a huge bulk of designs and feeling overwhelmed as a result.

So, what do you think? What should I work on next? Do you have any requests or special occasions that I could design for next?

Remember that I have a 10% off sale happening in my Etsy Shop at the moment, it ends midnight GMT on Wednesday 31st January so make sure you get in quick. I’m afraid that the sale isn’t on the new card designs but on Penguin Calendars, Christmas Cards, Pins, Gift Sets and Notecards. You don’t even need a code, the discount will be applied to your basket automatically. Just go to SianShrimpton.Etsy.com

I also have plenty of spaces for any Design, Illustration or Wedding Stationery work starting in February or March, so please get in touch if you’d like to work together on something lovely. Just head over to my Contact Page, and your message will go straight to my email inbox.

2017 in numbers

Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year wherever in the world you are and however you chose to celebrate. I chose to take the Christmas week off, and I take time off very seriously. I did take some time to make plans and schemes in my notebook and Dream Plan Do planner but I stayed away from my ever growing inbox and only switched my computer on once last week to send off a few of your orders throughout the sale. It’s so good to be back at my desk this week, I’ve been looking forward to getting back to work this year because I have so many exciting things planned for the year so far and I’m looking forward to getting started.

I reviewed most of my 2017 back in October when celebrating a year of self-employment, I didn’t want to repeat myself, so have decided to review my 2017 in numbers instead.

2017 consisted of 365 days, which was 52 weeks and 1 day, 31,536,000 seconds or 525,600 minutes, at which point, I start singing Season’s of Love from Rent!

At the end of 2017, I have spent exactly 10910 days on this earth and turn 30 in February 2018!

Now onto some more relevant numbers…

Social Media

My Top Nine Liked Photos from 2017

Etsy Shop

  • 10.4k of you viewed my shop, which is an 116% improvement on the same time last year
  • I had customers from the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland
  • There are 39 items currently in my shop
  • I’ve received 61 five star reviews in total
  • 201 of you follow my shop
  • I’ve had 151 orders, bringing the total up to 311 sales
  • November was my best month so far
  • My Penguin enamel pin was the most liked with 89 likes on Etsy
  • I sold 55 mini Penguin Calendars, 24 grid style Penguin Calendars and 24 Penguin Enamel Pins and many more in person

Sian Shrimpton Design Penguin Pins

Possibly my favourite project from last year, and smallest at 25mm across

Website & Blog

  • 766 views of my website
  • 2 comments (I think one of those was my reply! haha!)
  • 10 blog posts

Design

  • 3 wedding commissions
  • 4 Portraits drawn
  • 4 logo designs including my own
  • 1 map commission
  • 18 new card designs
  • 7 wedding stationery collections
  • 2 Penguin Calendar designs
  • 1 soft enamel pin design

Do you recognise these two? I now offer a selection of portraits in my etsy shop

Other achievements

  • 19 Jan – First logo job
  • 6 June – Opened my Love & Lilah Store for my Wedding Stationery
  • 30 June – First wedding commission
  • 13 July – Changed the URL on my website to sianshrimpton.co.uk
  • 24 October – First Christmas Card sale
  • 27 November – 15 Etsy orders over one weekend
  • 3 December – First solo Christmas craft fair
  • 8 December – Started a 2nd Instagram account for Wedding Stationery
  • 15 December – Sent first portrait commission
  • I read 2 books (ooh dear!)
  • Watched 39+ films and I don’t usually “do” films (This was thanks to having a Cineworld Unlimited card and making weekly-ish visits to the cinema)
  • Goodness knows how many cups of tea and frothy coffee!

Taking a look at these stats and achievements has been so interesting. In some cases I’ve been able to compare them to last year and have seen improvement in places but not in others, which is ok. I know that some of these numbers aren’t huge, for example, there have been moments where I’ve fretted over the number of Instagram followers I have, but I think I only had about 200 at the beginning of 2017, so that is a significant improvement. Hello to you if we’ve found each other through Instagram over the last 12 months!

There have been times in the past where I’ve almost obsessed over stats like these and wondered why they’re not better in some cases but this post isn’t to do that but to celebrate where I’m at right now. Rather than worry about why I only had 766 views on my website and 2 comments, I can celebrate that I created 18 new card designs and sold a total of 69 Penguin enamel pins! I must also note that I could easily compare these stats with those of others and find that I have come up short, something that I regularly make a habit of but that isn’t the aim of this post either, nor is it to be a point of comparison for others. It is meant to be a fun little celebration of my own accomplishments over the last year, I have worked hard and hope to achieve more in the next 12 months.

2017 was a great learning year for me, it was a big learning curve after plunging into self employment at the end of 2016. I’ve learned a great deal and although I felt like I was making it all up as I went along for a lot of the year, by November and December I think I found my groove. Now I’m excited to get started on 2018 and look forward to all that it has in store for me.

I’d like to take this chance to thank everyone who has bought from my shop over the last year, who has followed along with the few blog posts I’ve written, if you’ve liked my posts, commented or even been at the end of a private message when I’m in a panic (and there have been a few times!) I really appreciate each and every one of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart because even though it can be tricky business sometimes, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I absolutely love creating cute and colourful things that you’ll enjoy too, so thank you for allowing me to continue.

I’m so proud of these little penguin calendars. I sold a lot more of them last Christmas but I think the illustrations have improved ten-fold from the 2017 version…plus it’s not too late to buy one from my shop! 😉

Some goals & plans for 2018

I’m going to spend most of January this year drawing, painting, writing and creating as much as possible, to get all those ideas that are in my mind, down on paper. I like to call it “creating furiously,” I don’t think much of what I do is actually furious but I like to get loads of ideas down really quickly, then move onto the next thing until I have a selection of good ideas that I can develop further. In this time, I try not to worry too much about it, done is better than perfect. Only after I feel like I’ve got all my ideas down on paper, do I start to over think it all a bit too much!

Other plans/goals include:

  • My word for this year is: Focus
  • Stay off social media when it makes me feel down, when procrastinating and when spending time with others
  • Read 12 books (or more than last year’s 2 at least!)
  • Sew 3 projects including something to wear
  • Visit a gallery/exhibition at least once every 2 months
  • Yoga every day
  • Blog at least once a fortnight
  • Complete a 30 day creative challenge
  • Expand my shop with prints & cards
  • Start a Society6 and/or Redbubble shop
  • Work on 3+ Wedding commissions
  • Work on 3+ portrait commissions
  • I added creating videos to my 2017 list, it might happen in 2018!

So that is that. These are things that I’d love to do this year, if I don’t reach some of them that’s ok. I’m sure I could add a few more to this list but I’d be going on forever.

What have you got planned for 2018? What accomplishments are you celebrating from last year? I’d love to hear from you!

Sian Shrimpton Greeting Card Design

Graduation Card Design


With the end of term fast approaching for most schools and students moving into a new academic year or even a new school, I was asked to design a set of graduation cards for a group of preschool children who were leaving for primary school. I had great fun creating this fun and cute card design.

I started by thinking of all the school and stationery related things that these children will be using and started by drawing then all. I wanted the background to almost look like a chalkboard and the illustrations to look like they’d been drawn in chalk.

I enjoyed adding in smiley faces on the pencils and the addition of hand drawn text in the centre made be a really fun greeting card. Inside the card was the word “Congratulations!” in crayon looking text and space for my client to write a message to her students.

If you’d like a custom greeting card design, please get in touch.

Thank You Card Design

I was asked to design a set of Thank you cards for my client to give to a group of people, who generously donated prizes for a raffle. The client wanted something simple and had loved some of the designs in my Etsy Shop so wanted something similar for these cards. So I got to work straight away, trying a few different lettering styles and this is the design that was chosen.

If you’d like a custom greeting card design, please get in touch.