Monday, 17 December 2012

2012 - WOW, what a year it has been!...

Wow! what a year 2012 has been for Artwork By Angie. 

Aside from all the excitement of the Jubilee and Olympics in London - it was also a milestone year for me as I turned 40 this year. I'm so proud of what I have managed to achieve these past 12 months that I actually feel like 40 is the new 20! I have more energy, enthusiasm and drive now than I've ever had (and those who know me well will tell you that means I'm off the scale as I'm never one to let the grass grow under my feet or dwell on the negative!).  

The reason I feel like this is because I am so inspired.  As we move towards 2013 I can see so many opportunities and ways to develop my work and have lots of plans and ideas.   Please watch this space, as I hope to be sharing so much more with you here next year...

Looking back over this year, it really has been amazing.  At the start of the year I nipped off to Birmingham's NEC for a day to see all the hard work I put in during 2011 on display on The Heart of a Garden's stand at Spring Fair International 2012. From this event, lots of my cards found their way into many shops all over the country, including branches of Waterstones and National Trust shops.

To see my cards stocked in their shops was a dream come true.  National Trust has always been on my 'dream stockists' wish list so that made me very happy.  Another highlight for me was seeing my cards in Waterstones in Exeter where the spinner was near the door and only a few metres away from a wall I used to sit on opposite the Cathedral to sketch people back when I was an illustration student...    

Throughout the summer I was receiving lots of lovely messages from people who had spotted my cards in National Trust shops all over the UK.  Each message filled me with joy not just because people had taken the time and trouble to tell me about it and confirm where my cards were being stocked - but also because I knew that to see my cards in those shops, they must have had a lovely day out at a gorgeous National Trust site!

In September I had lots of fun with some of the team from Somerset Life magazine when we made preparations for a feature about me as their local artist for the November issue of the magazine.  The lovely Sarah Ford popped in for a cup of tea and to interview me.  Then a few days later the very talented portrait photographer Mike Alsford came by and took some fantastic images of me at my desk and generally messing about with my cards....

It has been an extremely busy year and I've certainly put the hours in at my desk, but have thoroughly enjoyed working on a wide range of projects with no two days the same!  It has to be said, earlier in the year I was little un-prepared for and totally overwhelmed by the level of interest and support I've received for my work.

2012 has been a year where I've been lucky to have worked with so many amazing and inspiring fellow designers, crafters, artists and small business owners - either to help them with their business branding or collaborate on particular projects for new product development...

This year alone, I have single handedly worked with around 100 different design and craft based businesses to help them their branding, graphic design needs and general branding advice and tips.  Some projects were big, some small - but all have been an absolute pleasure to do.  I would have dearly loved to have helped more businesses this year and often wish there were more hours in the day as I've had a consistently long waiting list for the best part of 2012. My order book is already full well into February and judging by the length of the current waiting list I'm all set to enjoy working with many more small businesses in the new year!  Here are just a random handful of some of those businesses in the pic below....

However, the branding work is only part the story as I have been hard at work designing 2 new ranges of greetings cards and gift wrap this year ready to get them out in the shops next year.  My 'Living the Dream' and 'Tis The Season' ranges will be making their way to the NEC in February for Spring Fair International 2013..

With only a few days to go until Christmas, I really want to say a very big heartfelt 

 Everyone I have worked with this year - All the business owners I've designed for, all the designer makers I've collaborated with, all the wonderful team at The Heart of the Garden who continue to champion my designs and get them in the shops.  Also a big thanks to photographers Lyndsey James and Kate and Alex Photography for creating stunningly styled images to show off my work in the best possible way- having beautiful photographs to hand has certainly given me a much needed confidence boost this year.

Everyone who has ordered prints and cards from my shops or bought my designs from 
high street shops.  A very special thank you to all of you - I hope you enjoy looking at my designs as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Everyone who has supported me and my efforts at social networking.  THANKS for all the follows, comments, likes, shares, messages, re-tweets, re-pins, linked ins, g+'s, tags and hash tags.  I'm usually a fairly private person and initially found social networking very daunting - but through it I have made so many wonderful new friendships with like minded souls and am gradually finding my voice and confidence with it.  I look forward to catching up with you all again in the new year.

A huge THANK YOU goes to a few very special friends (you know who you are) for helping to keep my spirits high and for supporting me when the going gets tough.

Last but by no means least.  My final THANK YOU goes to my family - particularly my husband John for putting up with my nonsense and long hours... for supporting me and helping do my accounts, packaging orders, post office runs, scanning drawings, occasionally photographing my work, collecting items from the printers on his way home from work, making me endless cups of tea and most importantly, consistently dishing out very good advice - I couldn't have done any of this without him by my side.

So that's it for me this year on here.  I've closed my online shops today until January.  I've got a couple of orders to finish off then I'm taking a break for Christmas (woo hoo!)...well I say break, but I still have a few designs to get prepared for Spring Fair International 2013, which means I will still be doing a little bit of 'colouring-in' on my computer over the Christmas break - but when you love what you do for a living that really is OK.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best wishes

Angie x

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Our Christmas tree is finally up!

It's a very homespun, handmade effort as always, filled with little craft projects that the kids and I have done together over the past couple of years.  Like our rudolf and toadstool felt kits from The Felt Fairy which we made last year...

...then there's this cuddly little knitted Santa, made by the lovely lady who volunteers at my daughters' school to help the reception children with their reading.  I treasure this Santa, knowing that it was made by the lady that helped my daughters find their love of reading...

...there are lots of salt dough creations we made together a couple of Christmases ago and plenty of sprayed pine cones, candy canes and ribbon...

...and some jolly little wooden gingerbread men made by my friend Jo over at Muddy Puddle Crafts

At the top of the tree are a couple of lovely rosettes from Little A Designs 
One which we made up from a kit and the other was a gift which simply says 'Santa's Little Helper'.  I usually have this one up by my desk all year round, but it is on loan to the tree for the festive season!

The big deal for me on the tree this year is the fairy at the very top.  Last Christmas, my dad found her lurking in a box in his attic - she's the fairy we used to put on the tree when I was a little girl, which as you can see from her style, was a very long time ago!..she's very Glam Rock don't you think? he he.  
Good to see her back where she belongs!

The girls break up from school next week and I'm hoping we'll add some new bits to our homespun decos collection.

Festive Wishes

Angie :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Cyber Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc...

Hello!  I've been cutting  A LOT of these lately!...
According to the press & media, the nation is currently gripped by on-line shopping fever this week.  Well, I know I've been hammering the 'add to cart' button lately in order to keep on top of the Christmas shopping!

Just over 2 years ago I opened my website shop and my Folksy shop.  During those past 2 years there was always a big pick up in sales around about now...

...but then again, I also used to do a couple of Craft Fairs around now too.  

This year though, something had to give due to the amount of commissions and orders I've been juggling lately - so I took the decision not to do any Christmas Craft Fairs this year.  It was a tough decision as I quite enjoy doing them - but the amount of work involved to prepare for them for the return I generally make just made it the very thing that had to give!...

..I must confess, I did worry whether I had made the right decision as I've got lots of new designs so therefore lots of new stock. 

It seems I needn't have worried as on-line sales this year are going great guns.  

Folksy has been a real surprise this year...and I can't help but notice that there are far more orders from non-registered Folksy members/shop owners than ever before - so the word that you don't need to be a Folksy member to shop on Folksy has certainly spread in the past 12 months - which is great news for all!...

These pics are just some snapshots of a few of the orders I've prepared for posting off to their new homes in the past week.  All I know is I've gotten through a lot of bakers twine for my Christmas card multi-packs...

Thank goodness for Pretty Fabrics & Trims and their super speedy service for keeping me well supplied :)  

So it's off to the Post Office again for me.
I hope the Christmas Shopping and trading is going well for you all too!

Have a great week

Angie :) 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Every cloud has a silver lining...

I'm very proud to share this bit of news with you.  I am now a member of ACID, which is great news not just for me as an illustrator and designer - but also for all my lovely loyal customers who's logos and branding I have produced over the past couple of years.

For those of you who are not aware of who they are - ACID (Anti Copying In Design) are a membership trade organisation, committed to encouraging respect for intellectual property...and as such they are intent on stamping out intellectual property rights abuses by offering practical support for their members.  
Here's their website:

I'd been considering joining ACID for some time now, but it has to be said, it was always fairly low down on my long list of 'to dos'.  That was until last week when I was alerted to the fact that someone had copied not only chunks of content from my websites (such as all my branding packages, Ts and Cs even the 'about me' section).. but also parts of some of my new designs for Christmas cards and worst of all, some of the branding I had designed for another small business it wasn't just affecting my business.  After a bit of to and fro with messages to the plagiarist, the copied website and facebook page seem to have gone and all is well again (I hope!).

However, as you can imagine this is when ACID membership became a priority for me.  I'm so pleased about joining as it gives me peace of mind and also enables me to better help, support and protect those  who have trusted me to develop their brand identities because it gives me access to the legal back up I'd need.  So as they say, every cloud really does have a silver lining.

I would really like to say a big THANK YOU to the lovely lady who follows my facebook page and who alerted me to the problem in the first place - I am truly grateful to you...please know that the message you worried about sending to me has led to a very positive outcome!

May all our weeks be filled with positive outcomes :)
Best wishes


Monday, 19 November 2012

Christmas Photo Shoot

Hello, I know I said I probably wouldn't get much chance to blog here for a while, but I simply had to share these images with you and tell you all about them as I'm so delighted with them I could burst with joy! :)...

...Now that my portfolio of new greeting cards and gift wrap designs is steadily starting to grow, I knew I needed to find a good photographer, ideally local to me - who could work with me to deliver perfectly styled images and hopefully help take my designs to the next level.

Also, I'd  reached that point most small business owners get to when you realise you just can't build a successful future without adopting a strong support team around you, as it's simply impossible to do absolutely everything yourself and still do it well!...

...As luck would have it, by asking around I discovered the most amazing pair of photographers in the neighbouring village.  Kate and Alex photography usually specialise in gorgeous wedding and child portrait photography, but there was something about the way they styled their images that caught my imagination.  These ladies have a keen eye for something a little bit different, but always exceptionally beautiful!....

...The only snag I could see was that they freely admitted they had never done product photography before.  I on the other hand, have lots of experience assisting and managing product photography shoots from my years spent in ad agencies so was at the ready to share advice and tips...Not that they really needed much of that as they were completely up for the challenge so I had every faith that they would come up with the goods...and oh boy, did they deliver! :)  

You can read on their blog here all about that challenge and how it went for them: 

..This post is just really to say a big thank you to Kate and Alex - I have lots more new products to launch in the new year, so this is just the start of us working together :)

I also want to thank Marna at Little A Designs for all the gorgeous ribbons you see adorning all my parcels - I love pretty ribbons on parcels - after all, it's the finishing touches that make all the difference!

Have a great week

Angie x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fa La La, Fa La La...May the Christmas Shopping commence!!

Remember, Remember the 5th November...not just because of Guy Fawkes, but also because that is when Angie last did a blog post!!

I have a feeling I may not get much of a chance to do many between now and 2013 so let's make this one 'Merry & Bright!' and may the festive chaos begin!!

The next few weeks for me will be filled with Christmas shopping (I've got my eye on plenty of handmade lovelies!).  I'll also be juggling a very full order book ...if you are on my waiting list, the heads up is: I'm full for this year and it looks like January is taken care of too so those on my list are looking at Feb 2013 onwards and I'll be booking those in, in January (I just thought I ought to get that out of the way up front!).

There is also quite a 'fair' bit of work to do for those lovely people over at The Heart of a Garden to take to Spring Fair International at Birmingham's NEC, 3-7 Feb 2013.  As I will have lots of new designs on their stand, I will be escaping for a day that week to have a very good look around - so expect a full Spring Fair review from me on this blog in February!

Meanwhile, have you seen my new Christmas card designs for 2012 in their full glory?...No?
...well here they are...

...There are 6 designs in total and all are available from my website, Etsy and Folksy shops as either packs of 12 (2 of each design) or packs of 6 (1 of each design)....

I'm not sure whether to list them individually too?... I really would welcome any feedback on that...

The cards are 15cm x 15cm and printed onto FSC, 280gsm card with white envelopes and are blank inside with plenty of space to write a full Christmas catch up note...

There will also be gift wrap coming to my online shops soon - those are in the process 
of being photographed nicely... 

...when you order a multi-pack of Christmas cards, I parcel them up nicely with bakers twine and attach one of these lovely matching tags...

...for the best offer on these Christmas cards, my website is the place to go.  My site is all paypal verified 
and secure - and because I'm not having to pay all sorts of sellers fees, I'm able to pass that little saving on to you and offer the price with postage included....

AND FINALLY!...just in case you didn't see my facebook page post last week...I am absolutely over the moon and thrilled to bits to be in Somerset Life magazine this month as their featured artist!

This month's issue is all about my home town, Bridgwater and it's magnificent, annual Guy Fawkes Carnival.  

Of course, our family all went and saw the carnival light up the streets of our town on Saturday night.  As always it just seems to get better every year.  It is not an exaggeration to say that some of the carts are full West End productions on wheels - completely amazing and very, very inspiring!!  The highlight for me was seeing how the carnival inspires my children just like it did for me when I watched it when I was their ages
...and look what that has led to!

 Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

New Designs for 'THE' Season - Coming Soon.


I've been a bit quiet on here lately, but there is a good reason for that.  

Aside from my youngest daughter starting school this month (which has meant a lot of to and fro to her school to help settle her in) I'm also currently buried deep in loads of exciting new briefs.  I'm working on some fantastic collaboration projects, new greetings cards and gift wrap designs, lots of new business branding work and of course helping my lovely regular customers to get their brands prepared for Christmas.

There it is!!!...I've said the 'C' word - like it or not CHRISTMAS is coming soon  
(3 months today in fact!) 
and so are some shiny new festive designs from me.... are some sneaky glimpses of some cards and gift wrap I've just finished working on and am waiting on the printed versions to get them photographed and listed on my website and on-line shops...

...they'll be 3 gift wrap designs and 6 card designs (which I'm hoping to sell as 12 packs - 2 of each design)...

...and just to be ultra organised knowing that I have quite a lot of work to get through in the coming months, I thought I'd pull out all the stops and get some extra card designs in on my Christmas card order at the printers so that 2013's occasion cards are also in the bag!... has to be said that I'm in a state of shock myself to have managed to be that organised.  I think is comes from the experience of not being able to get new designs done in time this past year for specific occasions - so I've learnt my lesson and felt a bit more forward planning was in order.  It's actually lifted a weight off my mind and frees me up to concentrate on all the other projects I have on the boil!

Speaking of other things I've been up to, yesterday was a bit of an extraordinary day at Artwork by Angie HQ.  I have some very exciting news that I'll be able to share with you properly next month.  All I can say at the moment is it was a real pleasure to meet this very talented and genuinely lovely photographer yesterday :

OK,  that's enough teasing with snippets of what I've been doing - I hope you have all been having a great month and are all set for the arrival of Autumn and Winter.

Best wishes

Angie :)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

2,000 Facebook Likes Give Away - We Have A Winner!

WOW, WOW, WOW!!!...I've just been over to facebook to collate all the names of the people that helped promote my give away here with likes and shares.  THANK YOU to every one of you that did that as you are now all in with a chance of winning my 'Lucky Stars' print as featured above ...never mind 'give away' - I'm absolutely blown away by your response!!! :)

I initially posted that pic up on  facebook on Thursday when I was on 1,800 likes, just to casually mention that I'd give this framed print away once I  'eventually' reached 2,000 likes thinking it would be ages away because it took months and months to get 1,000's now Saturday evening and my page seems to have reached over 2,130 likes already...and I have been busy entering well over 300 names onto a list to add to the random selector app to pick the winner.... I saw the response growing I decided yesterday that not only would I also throw in a 3 pack of postcards for the lucky winner (which they can choose from a combination of any 3 of the postcard designs featured here)....but I'd also offer a set of 3 postcards to a  lucky runner up too.... 

...These postcards fit 6x4 frames and really pack a punch of colour when popped in a white triple frame together in the combinations you see here.

Anyway, I'm waffling, I reckon you just want to know who the lucky so and so is that's going to get their mitts on that framed print, so here we go...

...Loads and loads of names typed into an excel spreadsheet by yours truly (I'm a bit of nerd like that so bear with me!).  Names were then copy and pasted straight from that sheet in to handy random name selector over on (great fun, fruit machine with sound effects - very useful for giveaways like these if you ever run one!)...

So here you go...the fruit machine landed on MICHELLE MOORE as the winner!!! and....

...then it landed on VICTORIA CONNOLLY as the runner up!!...

YAY!!! - Congratulations ladies! 

Please can you drop me a message (either through facebook or my website) so I can get these prizes off to you.  Michelle, I'll need to know if you want your print personalised and how many Owls.  Also, Michelle and Victoria, please let me know which 3 of the postcards you'll be wanting.

THANK YOU to everyone who took part and helped push my likes along.  

I will no doubt do another give away here when I reach another big 'likes' milestone.  I'm also going to be having a bit of a stock sort out soon so may put a little sale on over on my website, so please keep your eyes peeled for that too.

Have a great rest of the weekend

Angie :)