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Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party

My sweet Oliver turned 6. Every day I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up. It seems they grow overnight as their pants get a little shorter, their hair a little shaggier and their conversations a little more coherent.

It seems Pokemon has taken over this household for the past 3 years. This was my oldest son’s Pokemon party almost 3 years ago. The post went somewhat viral and yet I only posted a letter to my son on his birthday and not so much about the actual party. So on this post I will do both. I can’t remember the games we played at his party thouggh…ahhh. Mom brain. Continue reading Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party

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Floral Baby Shower

Garden Theme Baby Shower**If you follow a link and make a purchase from an affiliate site, I will make a small commission from that purchase. Sponsors, brand collaborations and affiliates make it possible for this blog to continue. Thank you so much for supporting and helping my blog continue running. **

This post is going to be mostly pictures. Partly because I am too tired to write but also because I know you just want to see the pictures. I will, however, give you an overview of what my mom, the awesome event planner, and I did to put this together. It was so fun crafting and designing this floral baby shower especially for my sister-in-law!

Garden Theme Baby ShowerInvitations: I designed these keeping in mind the mom-to-be didn’t want super girly or pink. The flowers were hand painted and arranged and layered digitally. These will be in the shop soon!

Garden Theme Baby Shower: InvitationDecor+ Party Favors: Because the baby shower was held at La Jolla Groves, there were a lot of lemon trees and decor already there. We kept it simple and just added a few things like:

BABY gold foil letter balloons

Simple rustic floral centerpieces

Gold mercury glass votives were used for the favors and they added a touch of elegance + coordinating tags. We gave everyone one of these pots with these beautiful mini succulents along with a tag that coordinated with the invitations (these will also be available in the shop soon!)

Garden Theme Baby ShowerFood: The best part! My sister in law is Mexican and my brother is a chef so we had some pretty awesome Mexican food. We did order rice, tamales, tacos, taquitos and refried beans to be made by a friend. My brother made amazing sauces to go along with it as well as pico de gallo. While it may not sound sexy, it is all about the presentation. Served in these silver chafing dishes (the restaurant already had these but if you host a lot of events these would be a great investment or just these disposable chafing dishes would be helpful), everything looks organized and coordinated. And the cake! It was a tres leches cake that just melted in your mouth. It was from a local Mexican bakery in Orem, Utah. We topped the cake with flowers and I hand lettered. I uploaded my lettering and cut it out of chipboard on my Cricut Explore .

Garden Theme Baby Shower- Mexican buffet Garden Theme Baby Shower: Food set up and tags for hand stamped bibs

Garden Theme Baby Shower- Cute cake topper!Activities:

We played Baby Shower Bingo where you fill out a bingo card with gifts you think the mama-to-be will receive. These coordinated with the invitations. Can you tell I am big on coordinating items?

Garden Theme Baby ShowerWe also set up a station where the guests could customize bibs, burp cloths or onesies using stamps that I designed and cut on the Cricut Explore. I’ll share how I made those in another post. We used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. I love that stuff because I can use my existing paint stash and don’t have to buy just fabric paint.

Garden Theme Baby Shower- Activities for guests: Hand stamping burp cloths and bibs Garden Theme Baby Shower- Activities for guests: Hand stamping burp cloths and bibsWe also had a photo booth with floral garland hanging down where guests could write a message to the baby and/or parents to be on a chalkboard with erasable chalkboard markers. I took their picture and will be putting those together to make it into a keepsake book for them.

Garden Baby Shower-Brenda Bird DesignsIt was a bit stressful as I had a clingy baby that I wore while we set up for the party and I was flying back to Seattle right after but our family helped us set up and clean afterwards. Which was a huge help! It is kind of crazy that my little brother is now a dad but I know he and Amber will be such awesome parents. Parenthood is a crazy ride but it is so worth it!

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What’s New?

I am working on several new projects and I am super stoked for them. But I have to spread them out as to not to bombard you with awesomeness ha!

1.Did you guys know that I *sometimes* send out some cool newsletters? It’s true. Yes, it is extra work but I do it for you! If you aren’t receiving my newsletters (which contain some pretty fun stuff + super secret discount codes!) but you want to, just sign up here! Or click this cute little box:

newsletter-subscription2. I have a Minted Shop! Well, I’ve had one for a bit now but now I have 2 designs for sale. Minted is a curated group of independent designers and artists. Minted hosts challenges (from Holiday to Fabric Design) and only the winners of those challenges can sell their art and design on their site. I almost cried when I won my first Editor’s Pick on the On A Roll Fabric Challenge.

Watermelon Bash by Brenda Bird

This digital Easter Egg Hunt invitation is now up for free!

Easter Egg Hunt Invitation By Brenda BirdAnd while you are on Minted will you please vote for my designs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) that I entered for the Pottery Barn Kids/PBTeen Challenge? That would be so awesome!

3. I am trying to expand my designs onto other products aside from art prints. I have a few new designs for sale at Zazzle on t-shirts, totes and phone cases. Since I only have maybe a couple of hours some evenings to work on stuff, one project can take a long long time. It’s just that stage in my life where I have little ones to tend to and a home to manage. C’est la vie, right?

World's Best ish Mom by Brenda BirdWhile I am trying to keep up with my blog and business, I am also trying to really be here for my family. Balancing the two is hard- almost impossible. So my new thing is harmonizing the two. They can’t be equal, meaning quantity of time, but the quality can be the same. We shall see how it goes. I am, however, excited about these new products and hope you guys check back again for more. What else would you guys like to see? Tell me!

 

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Tips for Building a Consistent Brand

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PutALabelOnIt #CollectiveBias

Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_7I jumped into opening my Etsy design shop with a passion for design but very little knowledge about business. I just wanted to do what I loved and make a bit of “fun” money doing it. As a business owner, we have all made mistakes and hopefully learned from them. We’ve seen others make mistakes and have seen others make awesome decisions that have made them successful business owners. After 4 years of being the designer/owner/social media specialist/ accountant/shipper/mailer and everything in between, I have a few tips on how to make sure your brand is consistent and professional so that you can be successful.Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_4

1.Who is your ideal customer? This one is hard for me because I love so many things and have so many hobbies/interests that my ideal customer may not exist. With design, I love designing for a myriad of different occasions: birthdays, baby showers, decorating nurseries, sending thank you notes, helping brand a business. Time and time again, study after study, everyone will say that you can’t cater to everyone. It’s like if you make everyone feel special no one really is special. You need focus. Focus on your ideal customer. Focus on your niche. Focus on your strengths. For example, as much as I loved logo design, it took up too much of my time so I had to do away with that aspect of design. It wasn’t my strength nor my passion. I had to sit and write down what I really wanted to sell and who would buy it. Excluding is not my forte but for the sake of my business it had to be done. Again, I needed to focus on an area of expertise and a customer. The more specific you are the better. So for me, I design for the casual yet sophisticated Kate Middleton + humorous and colorful Mindy Kalings (with a touch of Brenda Bird) of the world. Sort of. At least that is who I’d like to appeal. Because I’d like to appeal to those types of customers I need to create items that attracts them but still has my essence so I don’t feel like I am not being true to myself. Spoken like a true creative, huh? I can’t go and create something for them and also try to appeal to Howard Stern or Hillary Clinton. It would be out of my element and again, out of focus.

Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_32. What’s in a name? So much should go into naming a business. First, it should have something to do with your business. For example, if you bake pies or other goods, Bakerella is a great name as it tells your customer exactly what you do.For those not happy with their brand’s name for whatever reason, rebranding is an option. One tip I wish I knew before naming my company: consistent name on social media. So let’s say you pick a name and get a website- you think you are all set! No no. Before you commit, check twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc. to see if your name is taken. People need to be able to find you on those outlets easily. I think if you have to add a slight variation like a number or underscore that is fine but to be different names on all social media channels will dilute the consistency of your brand. I fell into this mess and what I did was add my name to my company. Instead of just From Me, With Love it is From Me, With Love: Brenda Bird Designs that way people can find me on my website (brendabirddesigns.com) and by frommewith_love on my social media outlets. Keep it simple and keep it short…or at least something that is memorable.

Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_2 Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter3. As you read above you see that I have some trouble honing in on one thing. I am eclectic but I lean towards a little more simple and elegant. I use neutral colors because I am afraid to commit but at the same time I love bright colors. I am just confused. Hah! So how, with so many likes and contradictions, can you keep your brand consistent but still in tune with the real you? This can be solved pretty easily: use of color + elements. Keep at least one aspect of your logo or other branding elements consistent. For example, you love simple things but can’t pick just one color to be “your brand.” That’s ok! Pick 3-4 colors/patterns to be consistently included on your business cards, website, social media backgrounds, etc. And then you can use your logo in those colors to mix it up a little and feed that want of being colorful simply and consistently. Or perhaps you don’t want to use your entire logo on everything from packaging to header to labels. Pick one aspect (or even font/typeface!) of it and use it throughout different channels. For example, I have a feather in my logo. In packaging, using my entire logo may be too cluttered so instead I just use the feather and my website. And then when I am watermarking my pictures I could include my name in the credits along with the feather. They can all look different but keep the same element (the feather) to keep a cohesive look.Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_64. Having the correct tools is essential in helping you develop a consistent and professional brand. When I first started my business, I used full page sticker sheets to label my products as well as ship them. I had the stickers left over from a birthday party I threw. I hand cut them out and used those to mail out my products. Yikes. Looking back I realize that was a pretty unprofessional and time consuming move. Then I tried precut labels. You know what I am talking about. Mine always got cut off at the top so I would try to fix it but then it was off center (#perfectionist problems). No business owner should be wasting her time on silly things like this! You should be spending your time doing what you do best: creating.

Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_5To help me with saving time and resources, so I can have more time to create and sell, I have been using the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Bundle Pack from Staples. I bought this on staples.com but it is available at select Staples store location– make sure to check your local store for availability. I can save money on ink because, guess what, it is a thermal transfer and does not use ink. Hallelujah. The bundle comes with 4 rolls of LabelWriter label rolls! And you know how much I hate wasting things- the LabelWriter is precise and saves you from wasting all that paper when you mess up printing on your printer. You can save time by creating labels directly from text in Microsoft® Word, Excel®, Outlook®, QuickBooks® and other programs or easily print addresses from Outlook® Contacts or Mac® Address Book. Awesome for business as well as personal use… hello Holiday Cards!

Besides the Bundle Pack, the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Turbo is another option. Labeling and packaging couldn’t get simpler. It prints precise quantities while eliminating the waste and hassle of sheet labels. Using the DYMO Label™ software and DYMO Stamps® Label, you can mail and file more efficiently. Speaking of efficiency, it prints up to 71 labels per minute- it sure lives up to its name: Turbo. Do you know how long it would take me to manually print and cut 71 labels. Not 1 minute. Not even close. You can also customize and print address, shipping, file folder and barcode labels, plus name badges, etc.– all from your PC or Mac®*

I hope these tips were useful in helping you see ways you can make your brand consistent. I’ve learned some things running a small business the hard way and wish I had more guidance on the matter.

Branding-Tips_DYMO-LabelWriter_1Be sure to go check back every week for Staples Daily Deals for special deals on your favorite DYMO LabelWriter® products including DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle, LabelWriter® 450 Turbo, and LabelWriter® 4XL Turbo!

What other tools do you find helpful in your business? How do you think the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle could help you?

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New Christmas Cards and Holiday Newsletters

I like to keep things simple- at least that is what I tell myself. I wanted to create some cards and newsletters to send out to family and friends that didn’t clutter or steal the focus from the most important part of the card- the picture! People want to see what your family looks like now after not seeing you since last year’s card. Or see how your family has grown or started a new adventure. I didn’t want to design something that would detract but rather enhance the focus.

product_christmas-cards_photo-card_joy

Continue reading New Christmas Cards and Holiday Newsletters

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A Website, A Toddler Capelet and A Giveaway

Do things look a little different around here? I would say so! My new website is LIVE!

Sorry for those that had to make an extra click to get on the page. With a new year (I know, it was 3 months ago) I wanted to focus more on my design business so that had to be the first thing people see. So, tell me- what do you think? Today is the first day of our re-launch and I am so beyond excited about my new brand. It feels fresh yet sophisticated. Scroll around, click here and there and wherever else and let me know if you run into any kinks. My developer did a stellar job- he’s my hero. And the product shots- I owe my next baby to this woman. Katie, you are the best.

With that, let’s celebrate! It is my birthday month and we are going to celebrate all month long with goodies.

relaunch-giveaway-1-pictureI want to tell you a little about the people who have so graciously donated to help me celebrate my birthmonth and re-launch. First off, my dear friend Abby from Twist Me Pretty is the most contagiously happy person in the world. She will starting a 30 days of Hairstyles on her blog so make sure to visit her! Then we have  A Modern Boutique who design their jewelry and have a super fun boutique with trendy clothing and accessories. Agnes and Dora carry the softest leggings you will ever put on your legs- this is where comfort and style meet. Avenlie has a darling selection of clothing at super awesome prices. Here is your chance to win all 4 of these prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wow! Ok, now if you are still with me I want to share Adelle’s toddler capelet I made. Ever since I saw it on Ruffles And Stuff‘s blog (like 5 years ago!) I wanted it for my future little girl. Now I have her so I had to make her this cute capelet. Some pictures may be of the cape, some of her- you never know with this girl.
capelet_toddler_1 capelet_toddler_5 I didn’t have fleece so I used this flannel instead. With fleece you don’t have to sew the edges but with flannel you do. Moral of the story, if you want a no-sew project, get fleece.capelet_toddler_4 capelet_toddler_3 And don’t forget to seal your ribbon’s edges or someone may take the liberty to just keep unraveling it.capelet_toddler_2 If someone could give me a tip to make my daughter not move or how to have Speedy Gonzales fingers that would be great. Blurry or not, she is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Love you all and thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart.

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{Kids} Preschool Valentine’s Day Cards

preschool_valentines_day_cards_1I live and breathe design. I wake up every morning with grand ideas of designing masterpieces. I also live and breathe my life with my children. I love snuggling and crafting and cooking with them. I struggle daily with the guilt of loving my design job more than my full-time job of being a mother. I am coming to a realization that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Sometimes it does, but in this case, I brought both together. I wanted to create something that I could do with my children. No more picture perfect crafts or mom created Valentine’s. I wanted something my kids could do- imperfectly perfect.

preschool_valentines_day_cardsFor my little pre-schooler who can’t quite write, I thought it might be fun to make him something he could put his stamp on- literally. His cute little fingerprints adorn these black and white fingerprint cards made of things he loves: fishies, balloons, trains, birdies, etc. He enjoyed these preschool Valentine’s Day cards I designed but he made.

preschool_valentines_day_cards_2He loved putting his mark the cards he was giving to all his friends. He was so proud he made it all himself. Ahh, what a beautiful success. Design and family- my favorite things.

preschool_valentines_day_cards_4 preschool_valentines_day_cards_3(These are available for purchase in the shop)

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$250 Etsy Gift Card Giveaway

I am joining in with some great etsy shops today to bring you a handmade gift shopping spree!  Buy handmade gifts from Etsy this holiday season with a $250 gift card to spend any way you choose.  Sounds great right?  
Visit the lovely Etsy shops below as well for a taste of what you can find when shopping handmade this holiday season.

Enter to win via the rafflecopter widget below.  Must be 18 years or older to enter.  US residents only.  Void where prohibited.  Winner will be displayed on the widget once the contest ends.  This contest is in no way affiliated with Etsy.  Gift card will fall under Etsy gift cards terms of use policy

How cute are these shops? Here are some of my favorite items:
EtsyGiveaway
The Merci Stamped Clothespins would be so cute closing a treat bag | Love this vintage necklace | I needed this “BOO” sign for Halloween! | One can never have enough tote bags, right? | Need this sign for my house | It’s true, all you need is love- and this sign | These are the perfect accessory for the holiday parties coming up | Love these Ukrainian eggs– what beautiful detailing | Unique wedding favors | If you like to throw parties, you need these labels | These cards would be perfect for a book themed party | This faux cross stitched printable would be a great addition to a cozy home
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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New Digital Prints and Invitations In Etsy Shop

Here are some new digital prints and invitations I have been working on…do you guys like to see my prints/invitations styled in pictures so you can see what they look like or is just a digital version alright?   product_print_lovewithoutend product_print_classyandfabulous product_print_homesweethome product_invitation_fringebanner_pink_front product_invitation_fringebanner_pinkproduct_invitation_shabbychic product_print_withbravewings

I am working on some new products to put in my shop: stationery, invitations and prints- any requests? Styles? Colors? Quotes? I will pick 5 ideas (theme with colors and style) and if I pick yours- you will get yours for free!

P.S. For you popcorn lovers, I did a guest post for Just Us Four, go check it out!

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