Friday, March 19, 2021

Cute custom wrapping paper on a budget

 I have started watching a number of artist/Etsy sellers that have regular studio vlogs on YouTube.  They seem of have several characteristics in common- They are all from the UK and they LOVE PINK!  This is just an observation and I'm not saying that you have to paint your creative space pink but I do notice that they are very dedicated to making this part of their branding.  That branding is obvious even down to the packaging of their orders.  Cute PINK stickers and wrapping paper are a must.

I did check into the whole custom wrapping paper option and found that it is rather of an investment.  I mean to get 250 sheets of wrapping paper printed you are talking hundreds of dollars.  I decided for myself this was going to have to be put on the backburner, as I don't feel that my shop is at that level yet in consistent sales.

Does that mean that I'm stuck using dollar store tissue paper on my orders.  NO- I came up with my own branding solution and I'm having a blast with it.  The beauty of having a farmhouse/country niche is that I can easily use ordinary supplies and give them a farm look.  I have a whole box of huge sheets of white packing paper that were given to me several years ago and rolls of brown Kraft shipping paper in the studio and so I decided I was just going to invest in a few rubber stamps.  Down the road I plan on designing my stamps but in the mean time these are working beautifully.  I ordered some on Etsy (I love supporting my fellow creators if I can) and then a few other's I purchased on Amazon or at my local Hobby Lobby store.  

I have to admit that I've kind of gone a bit overboard on the rubber stamps at this point but they were all so cute and now I have plenty of options.  If the order is primarily goat, then I can pick from several of my goat stamps to create the perfect wrapping paper.  The same goes for cows, sheep, horses and chickens.  Yeah, I have the whole barnyard of rubber stamps now.  It's sort of therapy for me to just stamp up the pages, dreaming of my future art sales.  I can even enlist the help of my grandchildren.  (Got to train them now to be my studio assistance for the future)

My final touch before I seal up the envelope is a sprinkle of pig and cow confetti that I punch out of paper using paper punches.  I've not been able to locate a goat paper punch so if you have one lying around that you never use, let me know.  By the way, my grandchildren also LOVE to use paper punches.  It keeps them well entertained.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Awwchuuu....Spring is upon us

The winds have been fierce recently around the Southern Nevada area, and the pollen count has been in the HIGH range everyday. Add the COVID pandemic and I find it's just a perfect time to stay in the studio and be creative! I know much of the country has faced bitter cold and lots of snow so SPRING is always something to look forward to as we hunker down and try to stay warm. Drawing colorful spring flowers and little critters has been my focus for the past few weeks.  These little drawings have brought me a great deal of joy, and I am pleased at how this spring collection has turned so far. Who doesn't love dark purple irises, sunny daffodils and bright pink tulips? I'm already making plans to add crocus and gladiolus to finish out the spring blub flowers.  For my gardening friends, am I forgetting any other bulb flower? 

 I'm just dying to show you what I've done so far. Be prepared to smile.


Wouldn't these pieces make an adorable wall art collection for a baby nursery or a child's room. I have options where you can print them yourself or I would be happy to do that for you.  You can hope over to either of my Etsy Shops and just search SPRING.  Hint, hint....these would also make wonderful Mother's Day cards and gifts.    

Monday, February 8, 2021

My Studio is Looking More Like a PIGSTY Everyday


I finally found a cardstock paper that I am happy with for use with my mini note cards, recipe cards and bookmarks.  This paper is really smooth and gives a nice surface for the ink to hold to.  It is just thick enough and I can trim and score it easily.  At $12.99 it is a real bargain in my opinion.  

250 Sheets of 65lb premium smooth white cardstock 

Here is my newest pig mini card (5.5 x 4.25 inches) that I have featured on both of my Etsy Shops.  The regular listing is for printed cards and then I have created a digital file listing on my second shop that allows you to print as many cards yourself as you like for one low budget friendly cost.  The only restriction there is that they must be for your personal use and not to be resold.  

mini note cards on my Julie Townsend Studio Etsy Shop

print your own mini note cards on the Townco Studios Etsy Shop

"Having a Swine Time"

I'm adding new listing almost everyday, and this past week it has been pigs.  The artwork here on this card is a piece I titled, "Having a Swine Time".  I think it would be perfect hanging in a bathroom, child's bedroom or a baby nursery.  Like all my prints I have sizes ranging from 4 x 6 to 11 x 14 inches and you can have me matte them or you can pick out a frame at Hobby Lobby or a Michaels and let them matte it for you.  

"When Pigs Fly"

A second piece I finished this week is called "When Pigs Fly".  I know we have all heard that expression but who knew they actually make a flight vest that would work with a pig.  I guess if you have enough helium balloons you can get almost anything off the ground.  I would say the birds do look a bit surprised except for that one that has decided to hitch a ride.

"Purdy the Spring Pig"

Finally, and probably my favorite is "Purdy the Spring Pig."  Purdy is just so pretty in her cute bunny ears.  When the daffodils bloom you know that spring is here and I think is ready, don't you?  This design was so much fun that I decided to use it for my spring garden flag this year.  Both prints, cards and the garden flag are available on my Etsy Shop.

Prints and Cards- "Having a Swine Time"

Prints and Cards- "When Pigs Fly"

Prints and Cards- "Purdy the Spring Pig"

Garden Flag- "Purdy the Spring Pig"

Purdy with Pink Gingham on a garden flag

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Grow your FAITH and there won't be room for FEAR


I drew this little doodle design the other night while thinking about how many of us are under a spirit of fear right now.
This is such a FEARFUL time that we find ourselves living in. It has shaken many of us to our core and I'm claiming 2021 the year of growing my faith and "WEARING OUT MY BIBLE". If you trust in the Lord and fill your heart and mind with the knowledge that HE IS YOUR SALVATION & STRONGHOLD, (Psalm 27:1) then there will be no room for FEAR.
The words to that powerful Zach Williams song, "Fear is a Liar" comes to mind this morning-
Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear, he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
'Cause fear, he is a liar

Monday, January 4, 2021

Coffee with Julie- 1-4-21

2021 arrived and passed and today we are all resuming our daily lives after the holidays. My shop sales came to a screeching halt on December 9th it seems and since this is my first real year of sustained growth and revenue from my online sales I don't have previous history to judge if that is normal.  I think it makes sense that all the online Christmas season shipping had been done and so I took the time to begin working on my new designs for the upcoming year.  

I received my new iPad Pro 12.9" and my first ever Apple Pencil around that same time as my sales slowed down so I stayed very busy learning how to use this amazing new tool.  I downloaded the app Procreate (seems anyone serious about drawing digitally on the iPad chooses that drawing app) and I have been having a blast ever since.  

I'm currently working on my second "Farmhouse Whimsy Coloring Book" and hope to have it published and available on Amazon by the end of the month.  I'm subtitling this one "All Critters Big and Small" so I can include my mice, bunnies and bees in the book too.  This project has me super excited because I LOVE the passive income that I think self publishing on KDP (Amazon) will eventually bring. 

My first book wasn't published until November 1, 2020 and so for those 2 months of 2020 my sales break down as follows:

Farmhouse Whimsy Coloring Book- A Coloring Book to Make You Smile - 62 copies  COLORING BOOK ON AMAZON

2021 Farmhouse Weekly/Monthly Planner- 21 copies  2021 PLANNER ON AMAZON

Little Farmers on the Go- A Traveling Game Book- 13 copies TRAVEL GAME BOOK ON AMAZON

Branding your business is so important and something that I really want to do this year is wrap most of my orders in cute wrapping paper.  Eventually, I will design my own and have that printed for me but in the mean time, I decided that I would use rubber stamps and both brown (the rolls that painters use to tape off windows) and a whole case of white packaging newsprint paper that someone gave me.  The beauty of having all your designs in a farmhouse/country theme is that you can easily upcycle items around your house and it adds to the homemade primitive charm of the farmhouse motif.  

I ordered this "Tim Holtz Collection- Funny Farm" cling stamps and a few colors of ink pads to get started.  We found some wood to glue the stamps too and Wallaaaah! I have cute farm themed wrapping paper with minimal investment.  I can't wait to start wrapping all my 2021 sales with them.

I will be sharing more about this in detail on my next VLOG- YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY!  I have started my own YouTube Channel where I show off my new artwork or studio tips.  This will be expanding in 2021 and I'm super excited about growing this new social media connection.  Here is the link to my channel so please consider subscribing!  Julie Townsend Studio - YOUTUBE

Monday, December 28, 2020

Coffee with Julie- Just CHILLIN with my iPad


Even though it has been pretty chilly in my studio these past few weeks, I've been working on some new spring designs for my shop. I can't think of any better subject to use than a "Herd" of adorable bunnies. They sure can wreak havoc on your garden but here on this sticker or note card they are as cute as can be.

In reality, there wouldn't be any flowers left at all but since I'm the artist and I create my own reality, little spring flowers and butterflies abound.

The sweet little bunny at the bottom is named Flo and she will be making more studio appearances in the future. Of this fact, I am certain. She is just too cute not to have her become a studio regular.

I decided to carry on the flower pot theme this week with my next studio visitors, two sweet little kittens. The little gray kitten at the end is named Bella and she also is going to become a studio regular. So watch out for Bella, she has little streak of mischievousness in her.

I had a blast drawing this pair of cute kittens playing hide and seek in the flower pots. I was trying to think of something funny to say about them when I saw the play on words of "CATcus" I just had to make some changes by adding a cactus to my end flower pot and now I chuckle every time I think about the title. 

Bella wasn't ready to leave it seems, because yesterday she showed up hiding in this knitted pink mitten looking as cute as ever.  Before I was finished with the composition I decided to draw a safety pinned note that read, "Don't forget your mittens.  Love Mama" and a soft pink and gray watercolor background. Now I think it is PURRFECT!

I think all these designs have turned out so adorable and is perfect for all the cat and bunny lovers on your list. Did I mention that I created all of these images using the app Procreate on my new iPad Pro?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  I've had my new iPad for about 3 weeks and I'm just having so much fun with it.  We may find ourselves still stuck at home for much of 2021 but I'm going to have some fun doing it!

These three designs are available in cards, prints, stickers and magnets over on my Etsy Shop

Have a purrfect day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Coffee with Julie- 12/8/20


Good morning!  I'm loving my coffee this morning and am looking forward to my day.  I have the privilege of hanging with my babies and it has been a week since I saw them last (last week I was a bit under the weather if you recall).  So I am up bright and early and feeling good.

I'm so excited about painting again and I love how my first ever saw blade turned out.  These blades were given to me and have been lying around my studio for several years.  I'm determined to may 2021 a year FULL of art and that means using the resources around me rather than purchasing more canvases.  I really like how it turned out and so I wanted to share it with you.

A few months ago I decided I was going to paint these two old saw blades and so I got the idea to have my husband weld some old horseshoes on them that we had lying around.  It really helps with handling them and I think it will make a perfect way to hang the finished art on the wall.  

First thing we did was to clean them up really well.  My husband used the pressure washer on them to get rid of all the dirt or oils on the surface.  Once they had dried I applied 2 coats of Miniwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane- Clear Satin to both sides.  Here is the link for that product on Amazon.  For the cowbell we use a different process to prepare them and I might blog about that whole process another day.  Here is the link on Amazon:  Helmsman Spar Urethane

I had to fashion a safe way to hold these blades to my easel.  I have a real fear of them falling off and landing on my foot (I don't own any steel toed boots) so I have them hanging on the screws and then I loop the bunge cord over them to hold them in place when I'm not painting on them.  In this photo you are seeing the blades with the first coat of acrylic paint applied.  I just made them a very dark color because I've decided that I am going to paint a goat on the one and there will be a dark barn in the background.  The blades are naturally very dark so this just even it all out and gave me a nice solid colored surface to begin with.

Now I didn't take pictures as I started but I used a white pastel pencil to light sketch in my basic composition.  It doesn't have to be prefect because I dial it all in as I'm painting.  That is the beauty of painting in acrylics and oils.  You can fix anything.

It takes a number of layers to get your colors vibrant when painting on metal but I' couldn't be happier with the final piece.  This cute little goat is named Rosemary and she is one of the goats raised by Katie  at Galloping Gertie's Goatery.  Katie takes the best pictures of her goats and I'm so grateful that she gives me permission to use them as reference photos in my work.  If I paint or draw a goat they are more than likely from Galloping Gerties.

This piece is looking for a new forever home but first I have photograph it with the good camera, spray a fixative coat on it and then give it a couple coats of a clear glossy varnish to seal up it up and help prevent fading or scratching.  When all that is done I will be adding this piece to my Etsy Shop if I haven't sold it before that. Just send me a message if you would like to own this piece.  

Now to finish the 2nd saw blade and that cowbell this week.  We also collected a number of old cans while camping over Thanksgiving.  It will be fun to see what I can paint on these.  

Be sure and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and now I'm starting a vlog on YouTube. (just search JULIE TOWNSEND STUDIO)