Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ooh, new cards are in.

Well, I've gone over my due date now (+4 days) so I've given myself 100% guilt free permission to just sit and lounge around watching what I want (Partridge, League Of Gents, Prometheus, zombie stuff), wearing what I want (pj's, no bra) and eating what I want (mostly crisps and chocolate).

This all sounds great on paper, or even on a computer screen, but it actually gets tired pretty quick! So I've been getting some of the greetings card ideas out of my phone notes (where most things start off tbh) and into real life print.

I'd love to show you just a few of the more recent ones which now seem to have a sort of pregnancy/baby theme.

Pregnancy congratulations greetings card

First up, we have this little cutie. Some women seem to have a rough time during pregnancy with unwanted comments and advice etc. unfortunately barely anyone who isn't in my circle even acknowledged my pregnancy, this includes our local Priest who even now is yet to ask us when the baby is due!
One lady did ask me if I'd prefer my egg yoke hard in a cafe a while back, I almost cried I was so happy ♥
But yeah, there's a stage when you start to show when there's only a small difference between being fat from pregnancy and fat from, well, just getting fat. If you know someone who's going through this right now then this is the perfect card for them.

 New baby greetings card

This next one is for the proud parents or parents to be. It's pretty cool because it's unisex or gender neutral or whatever we're saying at the minute with a mint background and little hearts.
It can be given either after the pregnancy announcement or after the birth.

thank you card for midwife

Here we have a card to say thank you to your midwife, this is not something I'd even thought of until a few of the ladies in my FB pregnancy group mentioned they were planning on taking in a card for their nurses, doctors etc.
It's also a great choice if you know someone who has recently qualified.

New baby smell card

Last up we have this beauty which conveys just what we all want when we hear that much anticipated bundle of joy has finally arrived, to have a good sniff!
Available in three colours too.

So there you go, a few little ideas for you surrounding all areas of pregnancy. If I've missed any then please let me know your ideas in the comments.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Doing internet stuff, what happens when the baby comes?

Since I found out the super amazing news that God had let our planets align and we were able to make a baby, I've been quite conscious of what this means for my business.

Being pregnant really makes you go through your life with a fine toothed comb, I totally wasn't prepared for that. And when I say go through your life, I mean from childhood and your earliest memories to right now, and into the future too!
A pregnant brain can somehow dig up all kinds of random conversations, decisions, actions you've ever taken, purchases you've ever made and make you question your very core! It's not too bad actually, a sort of shakeup and let's do this slap in the head.
Good times ☺

So once I'd finished beating myself up on a personal level, I started with my business. All in all it's doing ok, but at the moment it's very much a seasonal affair; Christmas, Valentine's, Mother's/Father's Day then the long hard summer, wait, and start over.
It could be better and I realised I've been a tad neglectful in certain areas where I'd made plans to compensate for the quieter gifting times.
My prego beast mode brain is strongly urging me that it's time to fix up, look smart and start getting some ducks not only in order, but shooting the shit out of them too.*
So here's an insight into what my plans are, where I've fallen down so far and what I actually do when I'm 'doing my internet stuff'.

*I re-wrote this sentence a fair few times, but there's no analogy I could use that seemed to work as well. If you're upset by the thought of shooting tin ducks in such a graphic guns blazing 'let's do this' manner then I just don't know what to tell you.

Rise of the Mummy bloggers

As I'm self employed, if I choose to take maternity leave I cannot work at the same time (although there is a 10 Keeping In Touch Days clause).
This is a little frustrating as I've lost count of the amount of ladies I've seen who go on mat leave from their 'regular' jobs, start a biz and undoubtedly turn into one of these 'monochrome/mummy blogger/I'm a mum but don't you dare label me as that' Mums that my feeds are slammed with these days.
I'm not taking the piss or being mean, but that's just the way things are swinging at the moment, heck I've even dedicated a small arm of my business to this trend (more about that below)!
You can legally work as self employed whilst claiming SMP from an employer, but cannot legally work as self employed whilst claiming MA (equivalent self employed version).

I know I'm going to be fully engulfed by this baby and I am sooooo excited to be a Mummy, but I also know myself well enough to recognise that I always need a side project running too, and if I'm not allowed to work on that project then it's gonna leave me a little empty inside!

So I'm going to werk, werk, werk, werk, werk. 

Well what does that look like?

 Malluma Koro

Late last year I opened that aforementioned monochrome shop over on Etsy. This shop is purely digital downloads, all black/grey and white and targeted at all thoses bebes/littles/smalls that Instagram keeps telling me about (babies & kids to you and I).
I think you can tell that I felt a bit like I was selling out at first with this one. I worked a couple of days and made a few designs, set up shop and just left it to its own devices. This is a great little shop but I'll be honest, I need to work on the SEO, get in more products and put my heart into it. But for the moment, it's ready and waiting for me.

 Illustrated succulent pillows
I've been putting some efforts into my Society6 store.

 cactus bags
Pregnancy really closed off the creativity and ideas part of my brain for a good 4-5 months but once it came back it was pretty prolific. I started using my Wacom and spent some time doodling and making these cactus and succulent shelves amongst other things like cats, bar carts and sauce bottles! I really love Society 6 as you essentially become a surface pattern designer, uploading your work and choosing what products to sell. S6 then manufacture these products and send to your customers and you get a percentage of the sales each month.
Again, I can be selling product here whilst sat watching TWD and feeding the baby, win/win ☺

 cactus clipart
So I really enjoyed drawing and ended up with quite a few clipart items so guess what, I made a clipart store!

Probably my most favourite thing that has happened since my brain came back online is the new card range I created for my main store.
Again, these are a result of my doodles, SO much fun to be had here! Whilst they are not digital, the only thing I have to do is walk a block around the corner to the post box so it's not too much extra if the baby is not happy that day.

 Printable planner pages

Oh, and here's my sweet little planner shop. I always forget about this little gem, I don't have much in there but I do love it! Again, all set up and ready to go with a teeny bit of work.

40 free etsy listings link
Etsy has been the best discovery for me and if you're on the fence about it then why not have forty free listings on me! (I'll get 40 too, like). Just click on the pic above.

There's also my website and blog (you are here ☺) which I fall in and out of love with on a seemingly weekly basis! They're set up with ads so I get passive income from this too. Of course I have to keeping knocking out that content and driving traffic but as I said I have a funny relationship here, it's like having an event you're dreading going to but when you're actually there it's bloody brilliant. Well, that's how I feel about my stand alone sites, once I'm on I love it ☺
I also set up Shopify late last year, but guess what, I've let it slip.

Well, there we go, hopefully I've made the right decision for us but no matter what happens I'll be having a cracking time with our new little munchkin!

At the time of publishing I am 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, come on baby. I'd love to know how you juggled your biz and baby, let us know in the comments ☺