We’re almost at the end of January but I don’t think it’s too late to wish you a Happy New Year! Oh gosh, I haven’t posted in a month!
This year, I’m planning to create more customised & personalised products. I want the user to cherish it and have a connection with it, to the point that it might be a potential heirloom. Today, I’d like to share with you a new product in my shop – a custom house portrait wooden plaque! I think it’s a perfect housewarming gift, or if you’re someone who moves a lot (but love all the places you’ve lived in). Or maybe you secretly admire that really cute house you pass by each day but will never (but never say never!) own…maybe you could have a miniature version of it hanging on your wall?
A few days ago, Etsy promoted my mountain necklace on Facebook (and also Instagram!) – it was so exciting, and I felt very grateful to have this thumbs-up. Being a curious cat, I went back to the post again today to check out the likes/comments, and realised someone had shared the post & tagged her friend, a designer-maker, and then commented that I copied her friend (and consequently asked her friend to sue me, lol)!
Naturally, I was super-pissed at first – to be wrongly accused is one of the worst feelings ever. It is also astounding to see the negative vibes that some people have. Of course, after a couple of deep breaths, I managed to clear off the bad emotions – well, people can say whatever they want – most of the time it’s out of misinformation and ignorance.
I don’t want to dwell on this too long, and I know it’s too petty, but I wanted to share that this ‘incident’ also made me delightfully realise – I have so many mountain-themed products! Right from the start of Whimsy Milieu in 2012 ’til now – can’t get sick of mountains haha!
I’m the type that needs visual reminders for me to do things. Lists are not enough – well, shopping lists & daily tasks lists work, but I’m talking about bigger projects here. I’m getting rather excited planning for my new studio space (more on that in the future), and I’m thinking I really do need a wall of visual reminders to help me focus on things (in business as well as in life). I find that I get distracted easily, jumping from project A to project B, leaving unfinished projects to be forgotten, focusing on things that I shouldn’t, and procrastinating too much in between projects. Do you experience any (or all) of this?
And maybe it’s an end-of-year thing, but I get kind of psyched up to do lots of planning & organising for the upcoming year and the promise of new things.
Here are some ideas I have for now…and have yet to settle on one (or a combination?).
I like this clipboards idea, as each clipboard would represent a category / focus, and is very portable (easy to just take a clipboard off the wall and bring it to another part of the studio / house). (1 | 2 | 3)
The acrylic boards idea is very visually tempting to me. It would also be super easy to write on. I’ll just need to find huge acrylic sheets which are not too pricey, and also an affordable way of attaching them onto the wall. (1 | 2)
I really really like the idea of covering a whole wall with cork – it feels so free! Otherwise, huge picture frames modified into cork boards would also be a good idea. (1 | 2)
This is my least favourite among all, although it is easy to clip on / tie on things. They certainly look very nice here in these styled images, but they’ll probably look very makeshift in my studio! Hmmm (1 | 2)
Etsy Australia has launched a project, in partnership with Plan Australia to support the ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign. Many Australian Etsy sellers are participating in this project, MakeForGood, and will be selling #makeforgood products on their respective Etsy shops from now until 24th December! This is a great opportunity to shop for meaningful gifts and at the same time to help lift girls out of poverty around the world. Participating Etsy sellers are pledging to donate at least 20% of their #makeforgood sales to the campaign – I currently have three MakeForGood items in my Etsy shop (and I’m hoping to add more!), and I will be donating 25% of sales to the ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign. Read more about the campaign here! Shop #makeforgood items here~
We all love to beautify our homes with DIY things – to inject some personality into our living spaces, to make it our own. I was thinking…wouldn’t it be nice to DIY a few things in one colour (or a really strict colour palette) – that would give it a nice cohesive look, wouldn’t it? I would certainly do it in indigo.
Yesterday afternoon, I was ecstatic to attend a talk by Freya Blackwood, one of my favourite illustrators. I first knew about her when I moved to Orange (where she currently lives!) – I think I was googling for local creative people and her name popped up many times. And then, when one of my favourite cafes – The Agrestic Grocer opened, I found out that she painted the mural in the cafe (which is beautiful!).
The best experience I had was when I went into a house, which was open for inspection…and found that the house-owners then had sooo many of her prints on their walls – it was magical – and the most serendipitous thing was when I became friends with the owners (not through the house inspection, and a couple of years later) and saw the beautiful prints again at their new place.
*took some sneaky pics with my phone before the talk started*
You can imagine my excitement when I was finally able to meet Freya in person at her talk yesterday! I was trying my best to keep my composure but of course was a bit star-struck when I managed to speak to her after her talk. She is the most down-to-earth person and treats everyone at the talk like they’re dear friends. It was such a lovely experience to listen to her talk – there were snippets of her childhood, her journey through design & illustration, and the illustration process behind her picture books. She also read through her upcoming book ‘Perfect‘, which is the sweetest story (for both young and old!). We were also able to flip through her books, her process drawings & final artworks for the books (!!!) after the talk. I really enjoyed every part of it – there was a little toddler screaming at intervals throughout the talk, and I think she was probably super excited to see Freya too, haha!
Freya recently won 3 awards at the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards in the following categories – Picture Book, Early Childhood and Younger Readers. What an amazing achievement! Here are some of my favourites from this talented beautiful woman.
Colouring books have been all the rage for a while now and I can’t help but join in the fun! I’ll be offering free colouring sheets for you to enjoy colouring just for fun, to take away some stress, to practice some mindfulness, or just because you want to do something with your fingers! Perhaps a colouring sheet a fortnight – would you like that? Let me know in the comments!
A behind-the-scenes look at creating the first colouring sheet. This is me tracing over the pencil-sketch before scanning the sheet and cleaning it up on the computer.
This is impatient me colouring it in – I’m sure you’ll do a much better job! This first colouring sheet is full of mountains & things that grow on the mountains. What things do you like to colour? Let me know so I can draw them for you!
When you’re done with your colouring, do share it with me on Instagram (tag and hashtag whimsymilieu so that I know!) Have fun!~
In a recent post, I revealed my new logo and also promised to share the rest of my ‘re-brand’…so here it is! I’m a little bit nervous about sharing this but,.. why not?
Firstly, I gathered images for my inspiration board, which resulted in this:
This helped me decide on my logo re-design, colour palette, as well as other elements. Although, I’ll have to admit that my colour palette (you’ll see below) ended up brighter than the overall feel of the inspiration board. Can’t resist some bright colours in our lives, right?
And why the hexagon in my logo? First and foremost, I’m a geometric fan, and also a few other factors:
it has 6 sides, and the meanings of 6 include communication, interfacing, balance & union (which I reckon are very essential elements in design)
the hexagon is the pattern of the beehive honeycomb – I love honey! And bees are very cooperative & hardworking – which I am (unless when I’m procrastinating…)
the hexagon appears a lot in nature – I love nature, who doesn’t?
And here’s a very quick glance at the elements of my brand identity. To be honest, I do regret not coming up with proper brand identity design for Whimsy Milieu back in the early days…but better to be late than sorry right? And also, one’s aesthetics do change with time, so now’s a good time as any. Tada!
Both print & web collaterals are still in the works, and I’ll be sure to share them with you! I’m really enjoying the process, and I hope to be able to help out with other small business owners’ brand identity design too!
The whole internet and people everywhere are crazy about ceramics, and I’m no exception haha. I’m patiently waiting for when we move to our new place, so I can purge all our mass-produced crockery & vessels/containers and replace them with beautiful, handmade ceramic ware. One can dream, right? Here are some of my favourites~
In a post earlier this year, I mentioned that I will be making some major changes to this website. A couple of months ago, I switched from the free WordPress to a self-hosted one, which was quite a nerve-wrecking process but also exciting. I also got rid of a couple of blog categories that were not relevant anymore – I am still working on that and hope to focus on more meaningful & thoughtful content on this blog.
Over the past week, I decided to give the Whimsy Milieu brand identity a face-lift. Various factors (personal & business) have given me the push I needed to move in a (hopefully) better direction for my business (and I don’t see my business as just a separate part of my life – it is intrinsic to my life and why shouldn’t it; it’s my passion after all).
I know I do not have a lot of readers that follow my blog, but I have just changed some things around here last night – you might have noticed the new logo? I kept it very similar to my previous one as I still like it a lot (I hand-crafted the ‘W’ and ‘M’ myself), and tweaked it to better reflect my aesthetics now (which has changed quite a bit since the beginning of my business).
Here’s how my primary logo looks like before and after the face-lift. I will be sharing the rest of my ‘re-brand’ in a later post, so stay tuned!