Friday, November 20, 2009

taking custom orders for illustrated stationery

if you follow me, you know that i often put custom illustrated details into my pieces. they are usually simple, like a tree or branch, an object, or a scene. because of time and clients' budget restraints, i can't always do a custom illustration, or it may not be very intricate.

however, i LOVE to illustrate my work. as you can see from my daughter's invitation, it's something i truly enjoy.

i've gotten a lot of questions about the invite since i posted it yesterday (below). and i would love to take on custom orders for pieces such as these! the image can be created large enough for reprint as a piece of art after your design is complete. so you can get two things at once -- your stationery and custom artwork for your home.

to see more of my custom artwork created for kids, go to my nicillustration blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

my baby's first birthday invitation

i've been working hard on a number of items, all of which i'll get to in time. =) but i wanted to post up the invitation i just illustrated/designed for my daughter's first birthday party. (important info removed).

i can't believe she's about to be one!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

been busy

hey kids. so sorry to be missing! i've been rather busy -- there were a couple of new babies to celebrate in the past 2 weeks that i made presents for (check out the nicillustration blog for those projects). then, of course, there was anna's first halloween weekend! and of course i've been terribly busy working on my stationery, from winter-themed invitations to holiday cards, and finally my ready-to-order line.

i hope you are all having a good week so far! i'll be on later this week with more updates. in the meantime, be sure to follow me on twitter and fan me on facebook for more nic, more of the time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

winter weddings in the woods

i'm working on some really great winter wedding invitation suites right now. and one in particular is a lot of fun for me (see the sneak peek below). i'm dreaming of snow, a fireplace in a wooded lodge, a dimly lit wedding with the winter wonderland outside and warmth inside...

in getting suggestions for lodge locations from friends and colleagues, i thought i would post some of the most beautiful ones from different states. wow, what i could do with some of these places!

i need a hot cocoa now...

the striking interior of the naniboujou lodge in MN.

skybridge at mohonk mountain house, ny (well known for the location of miranda's honeymoon on SATC!).

the grounds of fairwinds estate in lake tahoe.

interior setup at the cedar valley preserve, WI.

sneak peek!!

hey guys! it's been a busy week around here, between stationery work, illustration work, interviews, and promo pieces. not to mention 2 new babies born to 2 very good friends of ours, and my own little miss anna jae getting bigger (and more demanding!) every day!

just to give you a sneak peek, here is something i'm working on now. enjoy the little bit you can see!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

i'm a SUPER MOM!!!

i didn't know this, but i'm a super mom!

meredith lopez, who writes for the huffington post blog, interviewed me as the first in a series that she's doing on "super moms". it makes me feel good -- one of my main goals is to do things in my career that my girl can look at and be proud of. it's great to be the subject of an article that says that everything i do right now is something my girl can be proud of.

i'm so humbled by this. i just want to say that being a mom is the hardest, happiest, and most rewarding "job" i've ever had. anna brings me joy every day (yes, even on the bad ones). everything i do in my career now is so that i can make her even more proud of me. you know how kim clijsters daughter came out on the court to be with her mom after she won the us open? that made me cry... still does. that's what i want... maybe i won't get something as big as a us open win, but you know what i mean. =)

Friday, October 9, 2009

does the type of printing matter to you?

one of the biggest subjects for my clients is the printing style for their pieces." letterpress or offset?" "how's digital offset?" "what does all of that cost?"

personally, i think that any type of printing -- in the hands of the RIGHT printer -- can be beautiful. of course, the design itself needs to be strong, and the paper selection needs to be correct for your style of stationery. still, i don't think that people need to be intimidated by the printing styles available or by the prices incurred from certain processes.

adrienne & andrew's invitation suite. offset printed on via felt stock.

megan and roy's wedding accessories. letterpress printed on 100% cotton stock.

the best of both worlds? betsy & jeb's invitation suite. offset printed on crane's lettra letterpress 100% cotton stock.

what do you think? did/do you have a preferred printing style for your stationery? could you afford the one you wanted? and do you regret your choice?

you can post your thoughts below, or on my facebook fan page discussion board!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NicEvents in... wait for it... TIME OUT NY!!

ok, ok, on but hey, i'll take it. =)

in their online wedding section, posted an article on local wedding stationery. and NicEvents made the cut. i'm #14 on the list. =D

read more about it here.

the newly redesigned NicEvents has launched!

hello all!

thank you for being patient over the past few weeks. i know i haven't been posting as much as i usually do. but it's all for a good reason. i finally completed my site redesign.

welcome to the new NicEvents!

not only have i revamped the look, but i've also added new content. there are never-seen-before wedding invitations, corporate event stationery, and special event stationery. i've revamped and updated my press section. there's also an informative FAQ section that should answer any and all questions regarding my process and services. finally, there's a new "nic recommends" section, where you can find just a few of my favorite vendors. i will add more over time, but i wanted to start out with the best.

i really hope that you enjoy the new site as much as i enjoyed putting it together. it was truly a labor of love. next up... my ready-to-order line. i'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

say it ain't so... istock jumping on the cheap logo express

i received my email yesterday, as did most designers i know -- we all have accounts with istock of course.

"We're excited to announce a whole new product coming to the iStock collection in just a few months: logo designs...

As a designer, you've probably created hundreds of different logos over the course of your career and we're offering you an outlet to start selling new logos to the world’s largest community of creative buyers.

If you create one of the first 10,000 approved logo designs for iStockphoto by January 1, 2010, we’ll pay you $5 per approved logo and another $5 if we reach 10,000 approved logos by that date. So fire up Illustrator to create some amazing logos or dust off all those much-loved logos that never made it past the third round with a client."

so now there is another outlet, much like logoworks, where anyone can go and get a cheap logo. this is not only undercutting the price of a custom identity package from a designer (and the desire to get one if you can get your brand for $50), but it also opens up the door to trademark and copyright infringement.

thanks a lot istock.

i urge the non-designers out there reading this to continue to look for your brand from an actual designer, not from a logo factory or an easy logo vector download. it means everything to your company to have something that is truly integrated and speaks to what your company is really about -- not something that you can pick off a search on a website.

for more on this development, you can check out logo design love. if you want more information on the importance of branding and identity from a non-designer point of view, go to the thirdway advertising blog.

EDIT: it was brought to my attention by one of my readers that in my anger, i misrepresented the situation a bit above. according to istock's proposed pricing, the lowest price you would be able to purchase a logo at is around $100 ($96 actually). the designer would get 50% of that, which is where my $50 fee came from. not that i think $100 makes it any better, but i did not want to put up incorrect information.

the highest amount to be paid is currently proposed at 750 credits, which i think would work out to somewhere around $750-800. again, that is way too low...

i'm glad the discussion is continuing. =)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

i'm back on the wagon -- new cards available at my etsy store

yes, yes, after many many promised months, i'm back and selling in my etsy store, dearnic. i have 2 pregnancy related items available, and one notecard set. i do plan on adding more soon, but this should give us a running start!

my notecard set is inspired by morocco, where i went on my honeymoon. i fell in love with the tiles, the fabrics, the colors, and the omnipresent foods and spices. i love doing islamic-inspired patterns in fun and vibrant colors. the set has 4 different prints in it.

for the pregnancy-related items, i wanted to do things with a bit of humor. both are illustrated by me. the pregnancy announcement was actually what we used to inform our friends and extended family of our news. it was such fun!! everyone got something more personal than a mass email, which was important to us, but we also couldn't tell everyone in person because we have such a large network of friends and family, many of which are scattered across the country. we both love beer (good beer, thank you!), and to me, it seemed like a great comparison of our old life and new life. fun and lighthearted. i thought others might like it for the same reason.

finally, the "hands-off" card displays one of many complaints that pregnant women have during the process. strangers just come up and touch your belly! it's crazy! most women i know are not ok with this, and i thought it was easily relatable and really funny. anyone could get this as a fun congratulatory card for a good friend who's expecting, or a pick-me-up for a pregnant woman who is a bit fed up with the whole thing. =) everyone can use a good laugh.

so there you have it folks. i hope you enjoy these pieces as much as i do. make sure to go to dearnic on etsy to check them out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

cool necklaces, fab redesign -- HANGER 3

hope everyone had a great holiday weekend/week. happy fall to you!!!

wanted to start off the day with a post about a great site redesign -- HANGER dustin wood offers buyers vintage-inspired token necklaces. from the site: "Each necklace is hand made right here in the states. As public transportation goes to swipe cards, tokens have become obsolete. Re-live the days of riding on the bus, subway, or train by wearing an antiqued chain or leather necklace from HANGER 3."

honestly, i've been a fan of these pieces for a long time. and now i'm so excited to see dustin's bold new design. the texture and color is really interesting. you can almost feel the rough quality of the site, which i appreciate.

now, you can get 20% off your order in their launch special. so hurry up and go! these would make great bridal party gifts too, even for the men in your wedding -- unique and different. my personal favorites are the wine glass markers (shown above), which would make the perfect gift for anyone.

Friday, August 28, 2009

new blog find!! fabric pattern source.

i become more and more interested in patterns these days. i enjoy making my own for my clients, but i am not yet accomplished at the task. so i love to see great fabric patterns to draw inspiration from.

how happy am i then to find by the bolt -- a great resource for fabric patterning. well known companies like marimekko are featured alongside cultural patterning from india and africa.

hope you guys like this site as much as i do. =)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

lovely and delicate -- a new paper craft book worthy of coveting

home, paper, scissors is a new book available by master craftswoman (is that the right term? who knows...) patricia zapata. you might know my friend patricia by her fun website and blog, a little hut, or by her appearance on HGTV's that's clever. patricia takes paper and cuts and manipulates it into lovely little pieces of art -- a card, a decorative flower, a mobile, even a bowl!!

i'll be honest, this is the type of art -- the crafts end of "arts & crafts" -- that is simply not part of my genetic makeup. i wind up cutting myself more than the paper, and it comes out as a big mess. so i have always had great admiration for patricia and love for the work that she does. it's just amazing to see a magazine or a paper bag turned into something to treasure.

maybe home, paper, scissors can help me out. who knows? but if you are into crafting, or just the beauty of it, i would suggest adding this book to your library.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new gallery, tiny new opportunities for artists

you may remember my adoration of charmingwall -- the nyc gallery showcases illustrators' works at reasonable prices, such as prints for $20. their website is equally fun and fabulous, beautifully interactive.

well, now the people who brought us charmingwall are bringing us something new. 6x6 gallery was born from "the tiny art show" featured at charmingwall once a year. except now it's a daily event! the best part? anyone can participate, AND you get to keep 80% of the commission from your artwork.

artists who would like to participate can get a submission package from the 6x6 website. submission packages include your 6x6 canvas and submission guidelines. there is a kit for $40, dressed in a gable box with all that you need, or if you are a local new yorker, you may pick up a scaled down version for $20. the gallery will open with its first exhibit in october 2009.

i think this is such a wonderfully playful opportunity for artists. can't wait to see what others churn out. and maybe i'll do something myself... stay tuned!

Monday, August 24, 2009

a unique wedding remembrance -- and you may even get one for free

because i am an artist, i think of artwork as a wonderful gift option for a wedding. one of my most treasured wedding presents is an art piece done by a close friend. it will always hold a special place in our hearts and our homes.

another good friend, well-known painter jennie traill shaeffer, offers a different type of wonderful artwork for a wedding gift -- wedding cake portraits. i have mentioned these unique pieces before on my blog -- lovely oil paintings of your wedding cake, to remember for all time. there's something so wonderful about this idea. we as brides spend so much time worrying about the cake, picking out the decoration on it, and making it a centerpiece of our event. but then we eat it! how better to capture that tangible, delicious beauty than in a painting? you can almost touch the frosting!

jennie has a fan page on facebook for her wedding cake portraits. and now she's offering more incentive to become a fan. says jennie, "when facebook users become a fan of wedding cake portraits they (or someone of their choosing, should they not be married) will be entered to win a free painting of the top tier of their wedding cake."

this is such a wonderful opportunity. as someone who has known the artist for over 13 years now, i can tell you that jennie's artwork is truly special. honestly, i wish she were doing this when i got married. don't miss out! the contest ends on august 31st.

all images © jennie traill shaeffer, 2009.

Monday, August 17, 2009

and the winner is...


i had an independent judge decide the winner. she especially found tara's comment to be true and deserving of something special. in her words, "everyone deserves a chance to start over, and maybe this bedding will make her feel less alone in her new world."

so, tara, congratulations! i hope you enjoy your new bedding set.

thanks so much to csn mattresses for the wonderful prize.

Friday, August 14, 2009

last day! don't miss your chance to win.

the bedding giveaway from csn mattresses ends today. and the set is beautiful. i really can't wait to give it away to one of my readers. so enter now, tell your friends, and get it all in before 5pm today.

the winner will be announced on monday morning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

only 2 days left to win!!

the csn mattresses bedding contest ends on friday at 5pm est!! so hurry up and get your entries in!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

don't miss the bedding giveaway from csn!

we're giving away this great bedding set from csn mattresses. just a reminder to get in your entries here by friday the 14th at 5pm. don't miss it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"true"ly an opportunity: what i would do with their invitations!

if you are a fan of the HBO fun and fabulous hit, true blood, you probably already know that anna paquin and stephen moyer are engaged. yes, sookie and bill are in love in real life -- which explains the tangible heat between the two of them on-screen.

of course, all i can think is that i would have so much fun designing their wedidng invitations! well, ok, if not anna and stephen's, then definitely sookie and bill's! wow, the things a designer could do.

i couldn't help but look to fonts that might work for their event. (all fonts below can be found on veer.)

so... my first thought was to do it in a blackletter font. tells the story of how long bill would have been on this earth, and of course it evokes some sort of classic vampire feel.

then i thought that a script or calligraphic font, most popular in wedding invitations, might be appropriate. but that script would have to have a hand-drawn, aged, and inked feel to it.

and finally, continuing with the distressed idea, i thought that our modern couple (how much more modern can you get than a vamp with a human?) might like a worn-but-cool looking font. either a mismatched serif/italic font, or a sans-serif in all caps.

which do you think would suit this couple best?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

giveaway from csn -- who wants some bedding?!!

ok, so you know i'm obsessed with interior design and home decorating. i love working on my place and seeing what others do with theirs. i continue to look at real estate, decor, and furnishings as a form of entertainment, even if i'm not in the market to purchase anything. i've got issues. =)

so, when i was looking through the csn mattresses website, perusing the bedding, my little anna jae wasn't the only one drooling. can we say yummy? and a few options would look fabulous in our home... i came to the csn mattresses site too late i suppose.

lovely and serene, while still making a statement. american mills' delano bedding set from csn mattresses.

i'm not a pink person, but i still find this girl bedding so whimsical and fun. i would definitely get it for anna jae. PEM america's flowers for hanna bedding collection on csn mattresses.

this makes me want to go to a garden party. blissful living home's kew green bedding collection on csn mattresses.

and man, i wish they had this last year when i was looking for bedding for our master bedroom. black and white AND gold? perfect! blissful living home's anis yellow duvet set from csn mattresses.

since i can't use any of this bedding for myself anymore, i would love for my readers to have something. and csn felt the same way. so the giveaway contest begins...

you can win the delano quilted bedding set (shown below)!!!


1. leave a comment below and tell me why your home is the perfect setting for the delano bedding set.

2. make sure you include your name and email address when leaving your comment with blogger.

3. only one entry per person.

the giveaway contest ends next friday, august 14, at 5pm. so get your entries in now!

thanks to csn mattresses for the giveaway!