Thursday, January 29, 2009

You Twitter, but do you Qwitter?

A while back, I was chatting with my Sweet Talk Boutique buddy Jen about Twitter and mentioned I stopped following someone. I wondered, does someone know when I stop following them? That's when Jen filled me in on Qwitter. With one quick sign-up, you'll be sent an email every time one of your contacts chooses for stop following you. Things lay pretty dormant for a while. But fast forward to the past few days, when I've had a bunch of "qwitters" stop following me. Do I take it personally? No. Especially because my main reason for using Twitter is as a social media marketing tool and a way to stay connected to the online community of design professionals I've come to know and love.

In this respect, Qwitter is actually really helpful. The emails you receive let you know the last post you made before your follower decided to "qwit" you. As a result, I learn more about what my current and former followers are interested in hearing and learning about from me. When I recently joined a wedding related twitter chat, I lost several people who may have followed me for "tweets" on design, mac software, or family life. All topics I enjoy posting on, but that differ greatly from the wedding-themed posts I made during the chat session. The upside? I gained some great, new, targeted followers from the wedding industry.

Is the last post you made before someone qwit you always a good indicator of why they quit? Certainly not. I have people qwit me after benign posts about the weather. I do give a second glance when someone qwits, and much of the time, it's a twitter spammer anyway. I wouldn't give qwitter too much thought though. I know I need to go in and do some un-following myself, just to keep my stream more manageable. Still, I've learned it is a tool business owners can use to better observe their twitter audience and to help them make more informed posts for better marketing impact.

What has using Twitter or Qwitter taught you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bride Design Valentines

When I was in college I had an incredible crush on my friend. He gave me a collection of ten poems by W.H. Auden for my 21st birthday entitled "Tell Me The Truth About Love" and I wrote his name in the back of the little chapbook and cherished it. Years went by and we lived in many different places. He in California, South Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island, and me in New York and Chicago. Sometimes we'd do a decent job of keeping in touch by phone, or we'd even manage a visit. Other times we'd fall out of touch, dating other people, and busy with our individual lives and careers. Still, I always kept that little book in my night stand and read it periodically.

When I was 21 (or even 25 or 26 for that matter) I never imagined that the boy who gave me that book would end up being my husband when I turned 30! And a wonderful husband and friend he is. As a result I decided to make Bride Design's first release of Valentine's Day Cards a tribute to him. Here are the first two designs, inspired by my favorite poem from that treasured book, "O Tell Me The Truth About Love.". Throughout the poem, the poet speculates on and questions what love is, often with humor and a simple beauty that I've come to appreciate in much of Auden's work.


These designs are based on the line "Some say that love's a little boy" and further into the poem, the line "Does it look like a pair of pajamas?" I hope you like my interpretation. I had such fun creating these designs, inspired by a great poet and my own love story as well. You can find these designs, with more to come, at my etsy shop bridedesign.etsy.com. Of course if there's something you'd like to see in our shop, let me know! I love to hear feedback from customers and friends.

We Have a Winner!

Happy Friday Everyone! It's time to give away some movie tickets!! We have a winner. It's #6, Kristy!!

Six, while not my favorite number (that honor goes to the number 2), is a number I've always liked and I'll tell you why. As a kid, I figured 6 was the perfect number of people to go to the amusement park with. You could get on a ride in two groups of three, or three groups of two. No one gets left out! Hey, how many people fit on those giant water rafting rides? Either six or eight, so you could probably score one of those all to yourselves if you are in a group of six.

It was a pretty exciting day when my parents let me know they were having a 4th child. I would now be part of a perfect amusement park family of 6 (not that we went to amusement parks very often!). Too bad little brother is 11 years my junior. He was still ringing the bell on the kiddie fire truck ride as I went off to college. So that's my story on the number 6. And now you've all had a glimpse into my lifelong strange (or is that estranged?) relationship with numbers and math.

Kristy, shoot me an email at: admin [at] bridedesign.com. When I get your email address I'll transfer $20 in Fandango bucks to you and you can head to the movies!! Thanks to everyone who entered and here's to a few more giveaways in the future at Design is Everywhere.

Have something you want to share with the world? Or OK, maybe just with the Design is Everywhere audience? Let me know and a giveaway might just be in order! If it seems like a good fit with this blog's content and mission (to find design in unexpected, and not so unexpected, places and share it), I'd love to give away more treats to my readers!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baby It's C-C-COLD outside!!!

That's why I want to introduce you to the yarn-a-riffic stylings of Le Meow Le Mew! With a high of 8° slated for tomorrow, I live in a place that I believe entitles me to say I know a lot about layering and cold-weather fashion. As I've mentioned in the past, it also means that I love me some knits. That's why I was delighted when fellow shivering local and fashion-forward knitter, Beth, opened her shop.

Beth's work for Le Meow Le Mew, focus on quality and originality. I like how her shop announcement says that she wants customers to "feel good wearing your accessory, knowing that it is of top craftsmanship and that no one else will have a piece quite like yours." It's always the unique pieces from my wardrobe, usually made by an indie artisan, that get the most compliments when I'm out and about. My favorite from Beth's current offerings? I almost don't want to tell you in case you manage to buy it before I can run up to her house and grab it from her, but I'll be kind and share. It's the Broody Tuileries Cowl. That's right. You may not know this about me, but I'm a pretty broody girl. And I learned early on the importance of keeping your neck warm. Many, many years in a children's choir will do that to you.

So do yourself, and your body temperature a favor and check out Le Meow Le Mew. For more on Beth's work, take a gander at her blog Knitted Mews. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this knitter extraordinaire!

PS If you haven't entered our ticket giveaway below, check it out and tell me your favorite wedding movie or scene. What better way to stay warm, than by wearing a lovely knitted accessory and eating popcorn at the movies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bride Wars Ticket Giveaway!


I'll admit, it's been a while since I've been to the movies. But then again, having kids will do that to you. Happily, fellow Central New York Wedding Vendor, Jennifer Comfort of She Takes The Cake convinced me to indulge in a girls night out so that we could see the new Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway flick Bride Wars.

Sure there are a lot of clich├ęs about weddings and today's brides throughout the plot. Then again society's steady diet of Bridezillas will do that to a film. But I am a sucker for a comedy, as well as a wedding and ALL that emotional, insane, and thrilling planning that goes along with it of course! This movie had all three. Do we chicks deserve a better flick? Perhaps, but Anne Hathaway's Mystic Tan mishap did crack me up. I also loved her doing the "Sprockets" Dance. While I don't believe real-life best friends would ever go to the extremes these brides do, there were a few moments where I realized how much ridiculous pressure I put on myself to have "the perfect wedding" when I got married 5 years ago. Thankfully, I was also reminded of just how much I loved weddings as a little girl and how blessed I am today to be able to be part of so many couples' special days through creating their invitations and stationery wardrobes.

So while it might not be for everyone, I think a trip to the movies for Bride Wars would be perfect for that bride who's hit her planning wall for the moment and needs a laugh. It also might be right for the bride who wants a fun evening out with her maid of honor, to thank her for not being Anne Hathaway or Kate Hudson, but rather an amazing best friend and support system. Hey, these two wedding vendors even found a few things to chuckle about and discuss. That's why Jen and I are both both giving a pair of tickets on our blogs!

Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite wedding movie (or wedding scene from a movie) is, and you can win $20 in Fandango bucks, accepted at most theaters around the country. If you're not sure if your theater works through Fandango.com, just type your zip code in on their home page and find out. After I sift through all the entries and come up with a very scientific way to choose the winner, I'll let you know who has won Friday morning and send out those fandango bucks post-haste via email! You can even double your chances to win by entering on Jen's blog too!

Looking forward to hearing all about your favorite wedding scenes and movies!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

An Artist's Toy—Painter's Palette Constructibles Building Set

My 4 year old and I don't always agree on toys, but my Mother-in-law just hooked up my little girl with a plaything we both love! We've been having a blast with Mudpuppy's Painter's Palette Constructibles Building Set. My little one is quite proud of her creations. Creations which naturally need to wait in a safe place, away from 2 year old sister, until Daddy arrives home and can view said masterpiece. I've enjoyed discussing the set's "not-your-everyday preschool colors," like chartreuse, olive, or coral with her.

Besides being very well conceived and designed, this toy also encourages hand-eye coordination and creativity, as well as an understanding of balance, shape, structure. I also like the Bold Patterns version. I'll admit, I found the set so entertaining I've considered busting it out and playing with it on my own time. Of course it's purely for doing research on color combinations for future wedding invitation suites. Of course (*wink*)...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back to Bedtime Basics

You know the good advice you get, that you know you should take...but you just can't seem to make it happen? Lately, I've come across a lot of that, especially when it comes to sleeping and getting enough rest. That's why I was thrilled to spot this gem of an article on Best Bedroom Habits To Start In The New Year at apartmenttherapy.com. The article makes some excellent points and offers a few ideas which I could stand to try (ahem, making "putting stuff away" part of a pre-bedtime ritual). As I often find to be the case with blogs, there are additional good points and ideas throughout the comment section as well. Plus some humor which is always nice. Much of it was stuff I already knew of course, but had just "tuned out" over the last few months. With two little ones, it's just a lot easier to get work done late night sometimes...like, um, now...

Somehow, for me, good advice is just easier to take when it comes from of a stylish, design blog. So check it out and maybe you'll fine some quality zzzs soon too. Now I'm off to go fluff my pillows and hit the sack!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A New Year, A New Perspective on Success...

A few weeks ago, I was assisting in my daughter's preschool class when this quote that was taped up on a wall, caught my eye:

"The Creative Arts are an important part of learning, discovering, developing coordination skills, and expressing feelings. To engage in creativity is to build self-confidence and gain self-image, because everything a child does in art is successful. There is no right or wrong." -Fran Batchko

I don't know who Fran Batchko is, but I like the way he/she thinks! I know that not everything we entrepreneurs do in business can be successful, but as an artist this quote gives me a new outlook for 2009. By believing that everything one (be it a child or adult) does is art is successful, we allow ourselves to create more art! If there is no chance of failure, we take more risks and try things we've never tried. Boundaries are removed and many times we create something we had no idea we could create in the first place!

So this year I resolve to build my self-confidence as a designer, and to gain an increased positive self-image for myself and my business, by using art to learn, discover, develop and express. How will you be creative in 2009? Whether you are a bride, a fellow stationer or entrepreneur, a blogger or writer, a visual or performing artist, an accountant or an engineer, I look forward to seeing what you'll create in the coming year!