BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography

One part of BlogHer that is so incredibly important, I’ve learned, are your media cards. These are the cards that you give out to literally every.single.person that you meet at the conference.

How do I want to represent myself as an artist and blogger?

What do I have to show for myself?

How do I want others to see me?

Well…I knew that my very first step was to call on Hanlon Lain Photography and talk photo shoots with Laina.

We started talking inspiration, the message behind Sweet Stella’s, and what I was hoping to gain out of a photo shoot. We talked models, horses {yes…horses}, fields of clover. We talked journals, sculpted wall art, paintings and garlands.

We have a really amazingly beautiful photo shoot planned featuring Kassidy, who modeled masks for me this past January.

It’s going to be inspired by Kassidy’s background in dance, more specifically in ballet and will feature not only my work, but that of Atutudes Handmade Tutus.

Laina is a master behind the lens. I am confident that she will capture the movement not only in a very still piece of art (my journal), but in the surrounding and environment that we are going to shoot in. Her style absolutely shines through in every shoot that she does and I cannot wait to see what comes of our photo shoot for BlogHer!


Website

Special Post: Want to Review Sweet Stella's?

I have had the pleasure of being reviewed by some really amazing mama blogger like Baby Shmizz and Building Our Story, and word is getting around about my crafty little shop.

One thing that I am asked about quite frequently by mom bloggers is if they can feature my blog (heck yes!) and do a product review (quite possibly!) and even a giveaway or coupon code for their readers (when resources are available, for sure!)

As such, I've created a new tab called Reviews to help you with your requests to make sure that my work fits well for your readership, and that your blog fits with my goals and shop values.

Take a minute and give it a read!

I will be looking for some blogs to be reviewed on for 2012, so get your name in the hat early!!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Favourite Products

I've been asked time and again...what is your favourite product to create?

Hands down, board books.



The first one that I created was for my son, Owen, so that he would have pictures of all of the special people in our family and would know what they did with him when he was just a baby.

I love to write, and have written some short stories, tonnes of poems, and even a few children's stories in the past, so writing the board books about someone's silly special family is amazing. it's such an honour to work with a family on their story too!

I get a crazy list of family members, their special names and what they do with the child. From there, I create a one-of-a-kind story while the Mama choose papers, stamps and inks, a theme for the backgrounds and cover.


After that, I get crafty and create a board book like no other...unique and special, just for them! Some I have handwritten and others I have done some graphic design for. It brings me so much happiness to know that I've created something truly wonderful and unique for a family!

Finally, I put clear photo corners on the pages so that the family can fill the book with pictures of their child (or children!) with their special family members.



I think I may need to expand the selection of board books as well...shapes, letters, animals...maybe even those stories that I wrote a number of years ago about a lazy otter named Ollie who loved to daydream...

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show Week 3...or is it 4?

I'm seriously starting to lose track of what week of prep I am in all of this craft show madness! Over the past week I have...

  • stamped and bound 18 Tiny Stacks
  • planned out the rest of the masks
  • embellished 7 journals
  • decided on display materials
  • packaged 6 party packages

Whew! Lots was accomplished and I'd love to share the journals with you!

I just love them so much! Each one is different and unique...their own individual abstract paintings. Then, they're embellished with either feathers and glass beads, or a stamped image and glass beads. Sort of...abstract art meets shabby chic!











So...what do you think??

MOMPreneur Monday: Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels


Last night, I was on twitter and sent out a "Help!! I need a MOMpreneur to blog about tomorrow!" Boy...I did not expect to get connected with one of the most amazing MOMpreneur`s out there, Julie Cole, VP and Co-founder of Mabel's Labels.



If you have children, and they watch Disney Junior, you are very familiar with Mabel's Labels already. I was so excited to blog about Julie last night, that I said to my husband "You know...Mabel's Labels...ba-na-na-na-na-na-na hey! We go bananas for birthdays!" and he knew exactly what I was talking about (bless his heart).



Here's a little about Julie and how the ever awesome Mabel's Labels started...



Eight years ago, I started Mabel’s Labels Inc. with 3 friends – and what an adventure it has been! We often refer to Mabel’s Labels as our “other” baby, and it has been amazing to nurture her and help her grow. We find inspiration in so many ways – through our Mabelhood community, our beautiful children and our entrepreneurial spirits.



photo credit: www.jvlphoto.com


Bio:


Julie is the mother of six and a co-founding VP of Mabel’s Labels, the leading provider of labels for the stuff kids lose!®. After her eldest son was diagnosed with autism, Julie shelved a legal career to monitor his therapy and launch a business that would strike a better work/life balance. Mabel’s Labels has since grown from basement start-up into an award winning, celebrity endorsed, international phenomenon.



It has been featured everywhere from The View to Forbes.com and is widely recognized for its business and product excellence, winning –amongst others- a coveted RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award. As company spokeswoman, Julie is a well-known personality amongst mom entrepreneurs and her charismatic and dynamic personality has led to numerous speaking engagements, from morning TV, including The Marilyn Denis show, to university business classes.




With humour and endearing candour, Julie’s writing focuses on her experiences raising a big, happy family while running a successful business, and has appeared in Chicken Soup For the Soul – Power Moms and the blogs www.mabelhood.com/JulieCole, http://www.thebabymachine.com/ and PTPA’s Blogaholics, amongst countless other outlets. Follow her on twitter @juliecole

Emmy Given Wednesday: Packaging

Do you know what this past weekend marked? 3 months until all of the members from The Artisan Group who are participating in the GBK Productions Emmy's Gifting Suite have to have all of their gifts to the event coordinators.

3 months

OH GOSH!

Am I ready? Well...I'm close! Yesterday, I finished of #75 of my 100 NoteStacks...well...at least the fronts. I still have to trim them to fit into their cello bags, stamp the backs with my Sweet Stella's custom stamp, bind with ribbon and tie a business card on.

They'll look like this



From there, they'll be put into eco-friendly cello bags from Nashville Wraps, and sealed with a custom Sweet Stella's sticker...and then they're ready to go!





I toyed with the packaging options quite a bit. Canvas bags that I could paint on...paper bags that I already have an abundance of (anyone need custom treat bags??)...organza bags...

So, why cello?

Well first and foremost, I wanted the recipients to see my product without having to take the effort to unwrap it. I don't want to chance that they won't even open the bag if the knot is too tight, or they simply just don't have the time. They will be able to see my product and art for what it is right in their hand, and they'll be able to see my website address from the back should they flip it over.

Trying to be strategic with my packaging and marketing, especially with the hand painted journals that will be going into the press bags and on the display table.

The cello bags that I chose are eco-friendly, which makes me really happy. They're high quality and look fantastic!

My goal for this weekend is to get those 75 Stacks packaged, while I decide on what image to stamp on the last 25.

Stay tuned for next week when I reveal the four Emmy Stack designs!

Whimsical Wednesday: Auction Promo!

Happy Wednesday! We're half way through the week, and one step closer to the weekend! Yahoo! Anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend? We're hosting a dinner party on Saturday evening for my best girlfriends....all fondue! Totally inspired by Jenni From The Blog, who loves the Melting Pot. Cheesey goodness, healthy grapeseed oil and four (yes...4!) different types of chocoalte fondue, including Toblerone! Mmmmm! Drooling yet?? Today's post is all about an auction that I'm participating in. Danielle's Sweet Treats and Chocolates over on Facebook is hosting a 200 Fan Sping Auction and Giveaway! It's so easy to participate! First, like Danielle's page Second, go to the album that I've linked here Third, read over the rules and post agree if you agree to the terms of the auction Fourth, look through the goodies that are up for auction (at amazing prices, I might add!) and decide what you'd like to bid on Fifth, get bidding! The auction will be opening on April 12th and will run until April 14th! That's only TWO days of bidding people!! Start scouring the items now to get ideas of what you want to bid on! Oh...and Sweet Stella's has some really awesome items in there, too. From favour pouches, baby food journals and treat flags, that are all ready to ship to the chance to bid on a CUSTOM party package...how could you go wrong!!

Thankful Thursday: Handmade For Help

Happy...well not so happy Thursday today.

The news of disaster in Japan, unfortunately, is keeping the news stations very busy at the moment.
The news isn't good, in any way...shape...or form. However, there is some good that can come out of what has happened in Japan.

I've teamed up with some other amazing Etsians, such as Blush Printables, to collaborate in a shop called Handmade For Help.

100% of the proceeds of sales from the shop will be donated to the Red Cross for their relief efforts in Japan.

A few of the items that Sweet Stella's has donated are.....


Irelyn Treat Flags (set of 12)


Matthew Tooth Fairy box, with customizable lid



Parfait Baby Food Journal

To check out what's in store, click here.


Whimsical Wednesday: Etsy!

Wow...already half way through the week! Fantastic!

Today for Whimsical Wednesday, I have an announcement!

I have decided to take the plunge into the great and amazing world of Etsy.

Sweet Stella's on Etsy will be going LIVE March 1st and I couldn't be more thrilled with how everything is turning out.

This past weekend, I spent a ridiculous amount of time working on favour pouches, photo boxes and tooth fairy boxes. Today, I've been working on some really amazing treat flags.

Everything will be ready-to-ship, but as always, custom orders are available and encouraged! There are beautiful new collections, all named after kiddo's of some amazing Mom's I've gotten to know over the past few months. Collections are paper based, which means that while a photo box might be in one paper, it can be made in any of the paper collections.

Also, I've lowered my shipping prices. Instead of flat-rate shipping, I've priced things more reasonably, based on the individual items. If you have any feedback on shipping, please please let me know!

Anyhow, here are a few sneak peek product photo's for items you can expect to see on Etsy!

~Charlotte~ Photo Box





~Sebastian~ Treat Flags





~Holden~ Tooth Fairy Box




~Caleb~ Favour Pouches


As you can see, the top of the tooth fairy box and the flap of the favour pouches are unfinished. This is because they are all customizable! From paper embellishments to stamped images, let me know what you're looking for and from which collection, and we'll get to work!


See you soon, on Etsy!



Welcome to Sweet Stella's

Well hello there!
I've got to say...I've been very busy this weekend really ramping things up with the store. From new products and packages, to ordering business cards, setting up new email addresses and setting up this blog...it's been a very very busy weekend.

So, welcome to the Sweet Stella's blog! It's a place to introduce new products before they hit the e-store...a place to blog about other Mompreneurs...a place to get the creative juices going and get feedback from my ever wonderful customers!

Feel free to write in the comments about what type of posts would be interesting to you. I'd love to hear from you!