Pet Portrait Service

All of my life I have had animals as parts of my family. They really make the best companions. They are always happy to see you, they don’t judge and never stay mad at you. This is why I have enjoyed drawing portraits of companion animals. I feel that it is just as important that our memories of our quadrupedal friends last forever. As a former veterinary technician, I have seen many people lose their loyal friends and it can be just as painful as losing a human friend. Although you can go out and adopt another pet, no one forgets their lost companions. They are all unique with their own personalities, just as we are.

Most portraits were made for friends and co-workers, but a few were for some lucky raffle winners.

Dogs…..

(click on the images for slideshow and info)

I use high quality, archival drawing paper for graphite drawings, textured paper for charcoal and pastels.

Cats…..

😉

 

New Business Cards!

New Business Cards!

A few weeks back I shared a Wanelo collection I entered into Zazzle’s New Year New You Contest. And guess what? I won the Bronze prize, which was a $25 Zazzle gift certificate!

Initially I thought I would use it to purchase one of the products from my collection. I really liked the Blue mist snowfall desk lamp and Fresh mint flavor wall clock.

But I decided to use it for something that I actually needed, which were new business cards. I have not had professional cards since I started referring to my business as Tara White Studio, apart from my free Etsy mini cards, which I ran out of.

I started from scratch and designed my own, full color, double-sided cards on a linen textured card. With the gift certificate and an online promo, I got 100 cards for just $8.10! They came in this adorable little kraft paper box with a little white Zazzle seal.

Processed with Moldiv

 

I am very impressed with how they turned out. The colors are exactly what I expected and the images and text printed perfectly. Even the reverse side, which I used to promote my pet portrait service looks amazing!

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So thank you Zazzle for choosing my collection as a winner so that I can promote my business with these amazing new cards!

And now, Zazzle is running a 30 Days of Maker Giveaways campaign where each day they’ll be giving away a product from one of their Makers ! I’ll be entering for a chance to win and so should you!
30 Days of Maker Giveaways on Zazzle

Valentine’s Day Gifts and Garb

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I know, this is one of those love it or hate it holidays. Personally, I don’t care for the mushiness, stuffed teddybears, Hallmark cards, and heart-shaped everything. I do celebrate the February 14th because it’s my husband and my original anniversary of when we started dating 16 years ago!!

I think it’s a good day to celebrate someone you care about, and I don’t think that someone has to be a significant other per say. Why not a sister, brother, friend, co-worker, Mom or Dad? Remember back in grade school when you gave a Valentine to all your classmates? Let’s bring that back!!

This is one of those holidays when handmade or just really thoughtful gifts go a long way too. This year I decided to make a bunch of cute, valentine’s-inspired items for my Etsy shop. I came up with some really fun wooden spool photo holders. While the concept is not new, I gave them my own special flair by adding extra “bling” to the tops!

Valentine's Decor

Wooden Spool Photo Holder

 

And of course I had to make my own Valentine’s. As a creative and lover of the environment, I always try to make my own cards from recycled materials. I had so much fun making these first three cards. They are made from the tops of those small, square Kleenex boxes, recycled greeting cards, Starbucks corrugated cup sleeves, scrap fabric, trim and assorted embellishments.

Valentine's Day Card

Valentine’s Day Card Victorian Romance

Valentine's Day Card

Valentine’s Day Card Bohemian Lace

Valentine's Day Card

Valentine’s Day Card Carnival Love

      

 

 

 

 

 

One thing that drives me crazy about cards is that they typically aren’t something you want to keep out for very long. So, the best part about these Valentine’s is they can be hung as a keepsake!

Valentine's Day Card

Valentine’s Day Card Victorian Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

For our special day, my husband and I will likely go to dinner somewhere close to home. Not too fancy, but more upscale than usual. I’d most likely be able to wear a cute dress with leggings and boots, which are more my style than a little black dress with heels (I don’t do heels). Perhaps I’ll splurge on a new outfit!

Modcloth has so many cute dresses and more and they’ve made shopping for Valentine’s Day super easy by creating their Sweetheart Shop. I checked it out and here’s three items I’d like to buy for V-Day:

This is the “About the Artist” dress, which I have been obsessed with for quite some time, but have not allowed myself to purchase yet. It is so simple, but still pretty and romantic.

artist dress

About the Artist dress – Modcloth

I’d pair it with these adorable little pink ballet flats because they add just a touch more girly without being sickeningly sweet.

pink ballet

Tasteful Touch flat in blush – Modcloth

Finally, this bag, omg, this bag is the icing on the cake. How amazing is this? It looks like it came right out of an antique store and the colors go with the gray dress perfectly! If I end up buying these I’ll be sure to share a pic of me in the outfit!

forget me not bag

Forget me not bag – Modcloth

See what cute things you might want for 2/14/15 at www.modcloth.com/shop/valentine-clothing-decor!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

TWS 2015: Reorganization and Realignment

TWS 2015: Reorganization and Realignment

While others were partying and ringing in the new year, I spent a quiet evening on the couch with my dog, Jackson. We reflected on the past year and realized that Tara White Studio, as a craft business, needed some reorganization and realignment. The first step in addressing these would be to draft a business plan.

This is something I have never actually done before, so I was a bit nervous to get started. After a quick Google search I came across a post from Etsy’s blog (of course, why didn’t I think to check there?). The post, How to Write a Creative Business Plan In Under an Hour, was exactly what I was looking for. In her post, the author included an example business plan for her fantasy business. This was not the text-heavy word document that I had initially envisioned. It was very visual and fun but included all of the pertinent information for a successful business plan.

Since this was my first attempt at this document, I decided to base mine off of her example, but added my own flair. In an effort in keeping it all on one page it may be a bit busy, but since it is a plan for myself, I am happy with it.

Tara White Studio 2015 Business Plan

The most difficult parts for me were coming up with a value proposition, assessing the market need and proposing the solution to that need that my business fulfills. These parts are definitely going to be works in progress and one of my goals for the year is to reevaluate them and make them a bit more specific.

The fun parts were adding up my expenses, revenue and calculating my profit. Since 2014 was not as successful as 2013, I set my revenue goal for 2015 in between the two other values. However I also plan to spend less on expenses. One of my goals for this aspect of the plan is to start utilizing my expense planner again or look into a Quickbooks account.

Back in 2013, I made an active effort to post on social media and this blog. At the time I did not think it was impacting my business, however after looking back at the past two years I’ve realized that this was the biggest difference between 2013 and 2014. This year, I plan to boost my social media presence through increased Instagram posts and more personal stories here. I will also be taking more advantage of some of the useful tools provided through Facebook Page Insights. Here I was able to find a graph summarizing all the people who have liked my page, including gender and age. Interestingly, the percentage of women versus men is comparable to that of my Etsy customers. I hope to use this information to reach out to and provide better products to my potential customers.

Last but not least, were my milestones. I admit these are modest but every small thing means something and can provide inspiration and drive for moving forward. In the past year my notable moments were surpassing 200 likes on the Tara White Studio FB page, 2 sales resulting from custom requests through FB and of course, completing my business plan!

I am very excited for the year to come and all the work I plan to do. I wish you success in your own ventures.

~Tara W.

Oh and I almost forgot, I also reorganized my small and humble work space. Enjoy some pictures below!

Craft Corner

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Upcycled hanging storage boxes

Craft Corner with re-upholstered and distressed bench from my sister

 

 

That’s my bag baby!!

My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!

Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…

Nautical themed bridal tote bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio

Bag handmade by Tara White Studio using pattern from the Purl Bee. Apple tree designed by Tara White Studio.

 

Green duck shoulder bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio. Available for purchase on Etsy!

Chipmunk shoulder bag ~ designed by Tara White Studio. Available for purchase on Etsy!

Custom penguin and duck shoulder bags ~ designed by Tara White Studio.

And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…

Tara's bags ;)

Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!

That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!

If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!

~Tara

Spring Craft Projects

Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…

I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.

Welcome Sign ~ Handmade by me out of a worn shallow basket, driftwood, shells, buttons and paint.

For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.

Vintage doily flower bag ~ handmade by me following pattern from Sew Mama Sew.

I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.

Multi-fabric tote ~ handmade by me following tutorial from Oliver + S blog.

Family wall hanging ~ collaged book pages, acrylic paint and metal leaves on canvas.

I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.

Office door sign ~ collaged book pages, printed text, acrylic paint on canvas ~ a Tara White Studio original.

The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!

Pattern Making

Pattern Making

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Back in January I wrote about the sewing machine that my husband gave me for Christmas, and how I was teaching myself the basic techniques.

Since then, I have made a ton of things, mostly from free patterns I’ve found online…

photo by Tara White Studio

Kitchenaid Bowl Cover (Pattern from Keeping it Simple blog)

photo by Tara White Studio

Lunch bag (pattern from Pink Penguin blog)

photo by Tara White Studio

Child’s Apron (pattern adapted from unknown source)

photos by Tara White Studio

Baby boy shower gifts (patterns from multiple sources)

The baby shower gifts in the last photo were made from patterns from the following blogs: clockwise from bottom left – Make it and Love itNalle’s House, The Crafted Sparrow (pattern no longer available).

I’ve also made some things from my own patterns…

Photo by Tara White Studio

Fingerless zippered gloves from upcycled pants

Photo by Tara White Studio

Drawstring whale bag (pattern by Tara White Studio)

Photo by Tara White Studio

Owl bag (Pattern by Tara White Studio)

 

The gloves were made from a pair of old pants, the ankles of which had awesome zippers on them.

The two animal bags were inspired by a pattern for a fish bag from Make it Love it blog. I had made that bag for my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday and it was so adorable, sadly I forgot to take a photo of it : (

Having designed my own patterns, I was very excited to hear that I could actually sell my patterns on Craftsy! Keep reading for more information!

 

How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)

CraftsyPatterns

In addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee!

How do you add a pattern to Craftsy and start your pattern store? It’s easy!

1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns.
2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy.
3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching our members’ eyes!
4. Fill out the pattern description. We will ask you some basic questions around your pattern making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.

For more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy, or to get started, visit Craftsy today!


Thanks for reading, check back soon!

~Tara W.