New! Sweet Little Cake Stickers

I'm super happy with these brand new cake stickers that I added to my Etsy shop this morning. I've used illustrations from my new book An Amazing Alphabet of Cake to create an A6 sheet of 7 stickers that you can use to brighten up your notebook or laptop. Stickers include a lemon drizzle cake, cupcakes, a towering Victoria sponge, a rainbow cake and a cute cluster of fondant fancies! Unfortunately you don't get any cakes with your order but they do look good enough to eat and are the perfect stocking filler : )

You can order yours by clicking here!

Pretty Pencils

I added these pretty pencils to my shop last week. I use them every day for my to do lists and on-the-go sketching and they make my day just a little bit more sparkly.

They come in white, pink or silver, all with gold foil writing and are sold in a set of four packed in a pink candy stripe bag. Perfect for a little gift or for a little treat for yourself : )

Buy yours by clicking on the picture below!

Adding Products To Etsy

My new cards arrived yesterday so it was time for another mini photoshoot! I'm becoming quite speedy at taking pictures now as I have more of an idea of how I'd like them to look. Adding products feels like it is really time-consuming when you first start doing it but definitely gets easier. Now I can copy previous product descriptions rather than writing them fully from scratch and I'm also able to use presets for postage costs.

My latest set of cards is all about the feel-good factor so I set up my cards with flowers and my favourite fondant fancies as props (I managed to only eat two). The light was quite gloomy so I used a white background again and then upped the exposure in Photoshop to make it seem as if it was a summer's day! I quite enjoy the methodical process of tweaking the photos and uploading them. The process also gives me a full set of images to use on social media and to promote the products.

The next challenge is to really start focusing on getting my shop *seen* by new buyers. So far my hygge print seems to be what's drawing people in and I hope some of these new cards will also start to catch people's eyes.

Mini Mirrors

As well as cards, notebooks and prints, I'd like to sell some little stocking fillers on my stall at the craft fairs I am attending and in my Etsy shop. Today I have sent these little lovelies off to print. Each of these four designs will be printed on a little pocket mirror (just 6cm wide). I'd love to find one of these in my stocking and hope you'll enjoy giving them to your friends as a mini treat. Perfect for handbags and purses.

Cards For Kindness & Keeping Going

With various craft fairs coming up I wanted to add to my collection of cards a little and I've been particularly thinking about offering cards that people can send 'just because'. My latest mini collection is all about kindness and keeping going and will be on sale in my Etsy shop by next week.

New Notebooks

I'll be adding some stocking fillers to my shop very soon including these six new notebook designs. My hygge design is proving popular so I thought it would be fun to have a product with it on and the other designs are all brand new. Each notebook will have a spotty or starry inside cover to give a little extra splash of colour and 48 plain pages for notes, sketches and ideas. I really hope that you like them and will enjoy jotting your own creative ideas down in them!

I'm using Awesome Merchandise to print these. Print feels like it can be quite complicated (!!) and they have been super helpful handling my queries. They also have lots of very helpful templates so that you can ensure that you have the right dimensions and the correct amount of space at the edges of designs to ensure that they get trimmed correctly. I can't wait for the notebooks to be delivered so I can share some pictures with you!

Sending Out My First Etsy Orders

It sounds daft but once your Etsy shop is alive and kicking, it somehow comes as a surprise when buyers actually start to order things from you. After spending so much time and care creating something behind closed doors, it feels like such a compliment that someone likes your products enough to buy them. It's lovely to earn a few pennies but it's so much more than that. Creating for me is about sharing a little bit of myself, it's making something tangible that expresses a part of myself and it's so nice when someone connects with that.

To manage expectations and to allow me to prioritise and schedule my time, I state on my Etsy shop that I send orders out on Fridays and Saturdays. So yesterday, I found myself wrapping up the first ones. Each with a candy stripe paper bag, And So We Begin sticker and a personalised message. I love thinking about someone receiving something lovely in their letterbox rather than a bill and then sending their cards out and sharing that love with someone else. It's so simple but makes me very happy indeed.

Etsy Photoshoot

As an independent you really do find yourself having to be a jack of all trades sometimes. Setting up an Etsy shop is really satisfying and also takes several skills. After creating your products the next step is to make sure they all look super tempting to your potential buyers by putting your photography skills to the test.

Here are my top four tips for good product photos for your Etsy shop.

1. Take photos in natural light.
I have a real aversion to flash photography as it makes things look slightly unreal and over-exposed. Position your products near a window and make sure there aren't any unsightly shadows. If it's a bit of a dull day, you can always brighten your images up in Photoshop or a photo app before uploading.

2. Ensure you have a white background.
A clean, clear background will help to show your products at their best. I faked my white surface by using white card as a base underneath my products. Limit clutter and ensure the product is the focus of the image.

3. Use props.
I think it's quite fun to take photos of products in an environment so that buyers can see them in context. I look for pictures like this when I buy products on Etsy as I feel it puts them in context and sells a 'feeling' as well as the design to the buyer. I wanted my greetings cards to look cosy, fun and warm so I added sparkly stars, cake, party poppers and candles to my pictures. You can see all of my finished pictures on my Etsy shop!

4. Show your packaging.
I love the small details that Etsy buyers add to their products. Many add a personal card, a sticker or pack their products in tissue paper or a pretty bag. I like to show my packaging in my photos as I hope it shows that I really care about every single order and every single buyer.

I hope that you find these points helpful. Have a browse around my shop and let me know what you think!

I'm also taking part in the #inktober challenge on Twitter by drawing black and white ink illustrations. My Etsy photoshoot gave me great inspiration today (and was also a great excuse to eat all of the leftover cake!)