April 17, 2015

Freebie Fridays #50 - Customizable Logo Design


Hi! I'm back after a week of silence. I don't seem to be very productive these last few weeks when it comes to blogging which probably has to do with Spring. After a grey and cold Winter it's always so uplifting when the temperature starts to rise and the sun is starting to show up more and more. So I put time in our new garden project and also just enjoyed being outside. But I did save some time to shortly pop in for another episode of Freebie Fridays.

If you've visited my Etsy shop lately you might have noticed that I changed some products. I'm aiming more towards blog design now, so I took down a lot of the logos I sold. I still have a small section with premade logos/website headers, but it's not the main focus anymore. That being said, I still have a bunch of logo designs hanging around on my computer and I'm going to share one of them with you today.

While I usually share stuff that can be adjusted with free image editing programs, today's logo was made in Adobe Photoshop. So in order for you to add your own text to the logo design, you will need to have Photoshop to open and work on the file. If you don't have it you can use a free 30 day trial of the program which can be downloaded over here: www.adobe.com/au/downloads/

When you download the logo design you will find the following in the zip-file:

• 1 Photoshop (PSD) file at 300dpi
• Font Information and instructions to download these particular fonts and upload them to Photoshop so you can use them
• Instructions on how to save your logo for print and web use
So after download you can install your free trial of Photoshop, download the free fonts I used and upload them to Photoshop and then open the logo file and change the text with your text of choice. Save your logo as a .PNG file to use it for the web, or as a .JPEG file to create a beautiful print result. Have fun with it!




April 10, 2015

Freebie Fridays #49 - Another Free Blogger Template


Since I shared my first free Blogger Template a couple of weeks ago I could definitely see an increase in traffic to this website. I also found several blogs that were actually made with that free template and that was so awesome to see! The 'Share The Blog Love' project is definitely taking off and therefore I think it's a good idea to share the second free template on this episode of Freebie Fridays.

I called it Fifty Shades of Grey, not because I'm such a fan of the book (I never even read it), but the name fitted the design. I used just used grey tones in the layout.

You can download this design for free with the download link below. The only thing you have to do yourself is install the template file on your Blogger account. It's not as difficult as it might sound and you can view a tutorial on how to do this over here. If you are new to Blogger it might be a good idea to check out my Blogger Tutorial Page. I hope you will understand that while I share these free templates, I don't have time enough in my days to answer each and every question you might have about how a Blogger template works. So if you want to find out how you can add your own pages to the menubar of the template, or how you can add more gadgets to the sidebar etc., please be so kind to check out the tutorial page. This will get you started.

If you really can't figure out how to install the template file with the directions in the tutorial, you can contact me to do the installation for you. I hope you understand that while I am sharing the templates for free I cannot do a free installation for everyone. So if you want me to install the free layout for you I ask a $10 add-on fee for that, which can be purchased in my Etsy shop.


SOME INFO ON FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES:

* upon installation the template will take on your own blog title & tagline in the style as shown
* upon installation the following gadgets will be in your sidebar:
   - image gadget (you will still have to upload your own welcome image in this gadget)
   - text gadget (you can write your own welcome text here)
   - email subscription box (your readers can subscribe to your blog here)
   - search box (readers can type in a keyword and they will be directed to all posts containing this word)
   - blog archive (all your posts will be accessible through this monthly archive)
* every new page that you upload to the menubar will automatically be displayed in the font style of the menubar
* every new gadget that you upload to the sidebar and give a title will automatically display that title in the font style of the template
* all your posts will have an automatically appearing 'sharing icon' in the footer that allows your readers to share the post on over 250 social sites
* in the 'Blogger Advance' option you will be able to alter the following yourself:
  - the color of all fonts except the color of the blog archive list (post text, titles, footer font, links, menubar tabs etc. are changeable)
  - the font style & size of the post text
  - the font style & size of the sidebar text
* please be aware that you won't be able to change the following yourself:
  - the font style & size of the blog title
  - the font style & size of the tagline
  - the font style & size of the menubar tabs
  - the font style & size of the post titles
  - the font style & size of the date header
  - the font style & size of the post footer
  - the font style & size of the sidebar titles
  - colors used in backgrounds, bars & borders
  - illustrations used in backgrounds, bars & borders
* social icons are not included, but if you decide to buy a $10 add-on for installation I will install a social icons set of choice from my Etsy shops for you in the sidebar (is included in the fee).


TODAY'S FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATE


DESIGN #2
Post text area width: 700px
Sidebar content area width: 280px
Fonts used: Shadows Into The Light II - Raleway - PT Sans

Images on demo template are only for demonstration purposes and are not included in template file



If you would like to have a Blogger template with some more beautiful gadgets build in and a full installation, then please check out these sections of my Etsy shop:

* Premade Blogger Templates & Installation
* Premade Blogger Templates Extra & Installation





April 6, 2015

Creatives in the spotlight - Angie Knowles


Today I'm introducing a new creative in the blog series Creatives in the spotlight. Her name is Angie Knowles from Art Quilt Textiles and I met her a couple of months ago when she contacted me to do her business branding. I immediately fell in love with her beautiful dyed fabrics and was eager to find out more about them and the story behind the business and product. So let's meet Angie!


1. Angie, please tell us a little bit about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and do you have other jobs or things you do next to your business?

I'm Angie Knowles, and I am a Florida, USA native. I've lived on both the Atlantic and Gulf coast of Florida. I first started sewing at the age of 9 and it has been the one constant in my life. Several years after high school in 1978 I ran off to join the US Air Force. This was a great experience, having exposed me to many different cultures here in the US and Europe. After retiring in 1995 my husband (also a retired veteran) returned to the US, first in Seattle, WA and then later back to my home town in Florida. Shortly after returning I opened a custom slipcover business which I operated for 13 years.

2. What got you into textile dying? And when did you think: wow, I can start a business with this?

In 2006, I attended a big regional quilt show and saw a booth with all types of hand crafted textiles. It took a few years, but in 2008 I attended a meeting of a local group and took my first textile related class in screen printing. Through this group, I've learned all about various textile related techniques; dyeing is just one of them. I really didn't get into this to start a business, but when you keep creating hand crafted fabrics and they threaten to take over, it seemed like the next logical thing to do.

One of Angie's beautiful dyed fabrics
 
3. Can you tell something about your production process. What kinds of fabric do you use? And with what materials do you dye them? I noticed you actually use real metal rust, that sounds pretty interesting to me.

I usually start with a plain white fabric, mostly cotton but sometimes silk and linen. I then treat the fabric with a mordant, which allows the dye or rust to become permanent on the fabric. For dyed fabrics I mix the powdered dyes according to the strength of color I desire. I mostly use the three primary colors of dye - red, yellow, and blue. There are several different colors of each primary, some leaning more toward the cool colors, others more warm. To get different colors I then mix the primary colors in different proportions. I never expected to learn so much chemistry when I started dyeing fabrics. The rusted fabrics also start out plain white and after treating them with a solution of vinegar and water I wrap them around various rusted metal objects. The vinegar solution facilitates the transfer of the rust from the metal to the fabric. And yes! It is permanent. The fabric is then washed and rinsed in a baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) solution to help neutralize  the rusting action.

4. For what purposes can your fabrics be used?

My fabrics can be used for many purposes. They can be use for quilts, clothing and home furnishings; and any other purposes one can think of.

Example of a rust dyed fabric

5. When people order fabric from you, what can they expect? Do you ship outside the USA for example?

My customers can expect to receive a truly unique, one of a kind item. Due to my process, it is impossible to duplicate the results. So they can be assured, no one else will have the same item. The fabrics I use are a high quality cotton muslin and broadcloth. They can also expect to receive excellent, fast service. I try and ship with 24-48 hours after receiving an order. Usually I can ship the same day. At this point, I don't ship outside the USA. That is something I do plan on offering in the future, as soon as I can figure out a way to estimate the shipping costs as accurately as possible.

6. Starting a small business is fun, but also a lot of hard work, especially the marketing part of it. I personally learn from my own experiences and mistakes. Is there something you have learned in the process so far that you would like to share with other people starting up a small business?

Marketing is my worst nightmare! I am very introverted and could spend all my time in the studio making products. But I'm slowly coming out of my shell in that regard. Getting more involved in social media is helping and trying to be consistent in posting on my blog is also helping. And connecting with others via their blogs is a great marketing strategy. Lastly, creating a consistent look across all my online platforms has been a big boost! And I can't thank you enough, Daphne for helping me to achieve that. I could not have accomplished it on my own.


Thanks so much for sharing your creative story with us Angie! It's stories like yours that will hopefully inspire people to do something with their creativity and show us that it's totally possible to start generating some income from the beautiful things we all create!

If you have been inspired by Angie's story and you would like to find out more about her beautiful hand dyed fabrics, you can find her over here:




***NOTE - while Angie and I worked on a complete business branding package for her business, I no longer offer this service. Recently I've decided to narrow down my services and to specialize in blog & blog related design only.


April 3, 2015

Freebie Fridays #48 - Facebook Covers


After skipping an episode of freebies last week it's about time to share something digital with you all. And while I'm not a bit Facebook user myself (I don't even have a page for this blog), I know that a lot of people are very fond of this social medium. So this week I'm sharing five free Facebook Cover designs.

The covers are in .PNG file and are 851x315 pixels in size, which is Facebook's required cover size, so they should fit perfectly.

If you would like to add text to the banners before uploading them to your Facebook account, or you would like to put a photo over the banner, please check out the tutorial on adding text to images and the tutorial on adding images to images.

Have fun with these covers and have a nice weekend!




© The Dutch Lady Designs. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.