All Cakes Are Dog Cakes

Creating custom cards is one my favorite parts of my business.  While the process is a several hour commitment per card, it allows me to explore different techniques and combinations of colors/designs that I may not have tried on my own.  I feel like a kind in a candy store – except my materials are not edible.

My latest custom card adventure was one that tugged at my heartstrings.  My task was to incorporate a family dog into a 60th birthday card.  Seriously the best. Dogs and cake?  Two of my favorite things.  On a personal note I just learned that my birthday present from my boyfriend is going to be a puppy!!!!  (Be prepared for a bounty of puppy pictures).  While I accidentally spoiled the surprise, it didn’t make me any less excited.  With this fresh inspiration I worked on transforming Boomer the Lab into a birthday keepsake.

I received a few photos of Boomer and a note that he was the best dog ever, (aren’t all dogs the best ever?)  I was particularly struck by how doughy and expressive his eyes are; it’s like you can feel him bearing all of his love into your soul with even the quickest of glances.  Boomer also loves people food – especially cake.  I had a vision of a missing cake and a guilty Boomer and went to work.

To get an accurate graphic of Boomer I did a freehand vector sketch.  Because he has so many different shades I chose to focus on a few of the most significant highlights.

While I had a few photos of Boomer I used this as my main inspiration:

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Seriously – look at those eyes!

After doing the initial sketch I colored each space so that I would have a better idea of what color paper to cut for each area, resized the image to fit a 5″ x 7″ card, and chose an appropriate font.  To help tell the story of Boomer eating a cake, I added a few features that were otherwise absent from his portrait.  While his nozzle takes up a larger area on his face, I reduced the size to make room for more animated features.

 

One of the more unique challenges in this card was choosing paper that had a subtle difference in shade.  Like any color, black has varying tones.  For the main body I chose a darker black with a velvet texture and used a smooth black paper with an inky color for the black highlights.  I repeated the gray and black motif with an abstract monotone mat and used red, coral, and turquoise to bring vibrancy back into the card.  In the end, this was the final product:

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Boomer vs Birthday Cake

To fill the void until I have my adopted pup snuggled on my lap I might just have to keep making pet cards and live vicariously through photos.  Do you have a dog?  What is the cutest thing that they do?  Actually, maybe don’t share.  I might just melt into a puddle from the cuteness.

For more information on custom cards send me an email at: info@cecilespaperco.com

 

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Going Full-Time Business Woman

What a whirlwind these last few months have been.  I have been noticeably absent from this blog for longer than I would care to admit, (but there is a digital trace if you are inclined to know the exact amount of time).  However – it is for good reason!  Since November when I had the foggiest notion that I was going to start a business I have allowed myself the opportunity to figure out an actual business plan.  It is fine and dandy to say “I am going to sell greeting cards,” but what does that actually mean?  Who is going to buy them?  How am I going to market them?  What is my cost and what can I sell them for?  These are by no means exclusive questions: every business person ever has had to confront these head on.  While I am still learning the answers I have made at least one lap around the track.  I am returning to my blog as I thought it an appropriate time to update the listening world on my progress before I started the next go-around.

Last we spoke, (don’t we sound like old friends catching up over coffee?), I had started a part-time job at a stationary store and quit my full-time job as an Event Manager.  Because I apparently like to make dramatic life changes right before my birthday, my last day at my part-time job is Friday.  This means that I will be a full-time business woman before I fall into the ugly side of my twenties.  I don’t know the exact moment that birthdays stopped being fun, but I am pretty sure it was at 22.

I will never fail to be grateful for the safe space I had to take time and figure out my plan.  Working at the stationary store inspired, guided, and informed my path.  While the income was small and I am oh so tempted to hold tight, my boyfriend made a brilliant point that I need to have a fire under my ass to really get things going.  Nothing says “terrifying” like no guaranteed income.  Besides lighting the fire, I have come to realize I need all of my time to make this work.  I can no longer sit in the comfort of: when I get this done I will do that.  The moment is do or die.  If my business is going to succeed it is because I will take out the “when” and make it “now.”

So what is to come?

In the past few months I have been working on designing and producing inventory.  Next up is publishing my website, which I am looking to launch the last week of April, (same time my business cards come in!)  After that, or concurrently, is client outreach for invitations.  And during this time and always, I will be designing, producing, learning, changing, evolving.

I know I am doing something right.  Every day I wake up inspired and excited.  Facing the unknown is of course terrifying, but so was driving on the freeway when I was 16.  Now I drive on the freeway without thought and I know that the fear of going out on my own will abate as I continue to practice embracing it.  If there’s something that birthdays are good for it is looking at the luggage of your past years and unpacking the content into your soul.  I don’t have to be afraid of change because I face change every day, and survive.  I don’t have to be afraid of failure because the times I slipped I always got up.  With this freshness I approach year 26 and a brand new adventure.

Speaking of birthdays, I am excited to present a card that will be available through my regular inventory: Let Them Eat Cake.  Perfect for a birthday, high tea invitation, or your favorite Marie Antoinette wannabe, this card is now available on my limited Etsy site!

 

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Let Them Eat Cake